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|Color||White and orange|
Steelport Police Department
|Weapons||S3X Hammer, Viper Laser Rifle, Annihilator RPG, McManus 2015, Riot Shield|
|Vehicles||See section "Vehicles".|
|Game(s)||Saints Row: The Third|
- Not to be confused with SWAT.
STAG is an elite paramilitary group police force directed by Commander Cyrus Temple and his subordinate, Kia. This unit appears later on in the main story arc, and adds a higher echelon of difficulty with their high-tech armaments and vehicles. It is under the direct command and supervision of the United States Government, and acts as a replacement for the SNG whenever the player reaches higher Notoriety levels (the Steelport PD and a minor SWAT presence still remain). STAG has their own, unique arsenal of futuristic weapons and vehicles.
STAG is deployed to Steelport following a devastating attack on the Hughes Memorial Bridge in Stilwater, perpetrated by the Luchadores. Senator Monica Hughes, wife of the late Alderman Richard Hughes (killed in Saints Row), gains unanimous approval from the US Senate to initiate "The STAG Initiative", essentially putting Steelport under martial law with the intent of eliminating the four gangs warring for control of the city.
STAG arrives in force during the mission "Gang Bang", aboard the aircraft carrier Thermopylae (which anchors offshore southeast of the 3 Count Casino), and begins deploying troops and mobile bases throughout the city. Initially relegated to a peacekeeping role in Steelport, STAG's role and actions intensify following the sinking of the Thermopylae by the 3rd Street Saints. The city is put under lockdown and STAG begins to actively combat the four gangs, focusing primarily on the Saints.
The STAG unit possesses a variety of futuristic weaponry, some of which is described as experimental microwave technology . STAG's troops wear advanced body armour and carry laser rifles, while vehicles use a variety of exotic energy weapons and advanced features. Several STAG vehicles (the F-69 VTOL, Condor and Specter) also have the ability to transition between hover and jet modes, using miniature jet engines to maneuvre like a helicopter in the former state.
While STAG is neither a gang nor part of The Syndicate, they do indeed have specialists, who are known as Commandos. They are easy to distinguish from the rest of STAG by their bright orange and white armor, plus they always wear face masks and protective goggles. The STAG Commando is unique among all other specialists in that he doesn't always appear as a hollow red dot on the HUD. This can be somewhat problematic for The Protagonist as the only other way to see them coming is to examine the color of their armor as they approach.
Overall, Commandos are really just regular STAG soldiers with increased health, and they don't have any unique weapons; carrying regular STAG ordinance like Viper Laser Rifles, S3X Hammers, or Riot Shields. Despite this, Commandos should not be underestimated. What makes them notable adversaries is not so much the amount of damage they deal out, but the amount of damage they can withstand, plus the fact that they will often attack in pairs or even teams (similar to Morningstar and Decker specialists). A notable trait of the Commandos is they are immune to grapple attacks (human shields). Being the toughest specialists in the game, a group of Commandos can present quite a challenge to ill-prepared players, thus making fights against them both long and dangerous.
Because their armor is thick enough to prevent them from flinching all the time whenever they are shot, the most effective means of dealing with Commandos is to use melee weapons or explosives against them; especially the Woodsman as it can kill just about anything in one hit, including Commandos. Incendiary ammunition also works pretty well against them too, except during the mission "Air Steelport", where the player must battle a group of Commandos wearing armor sophisticated enough to make them impervious to fire-based attacks. The only named Commando is Sgt. Steiner, an arrogant, self-proclaimed, one-man-army who is listed as an Assassination target in the Saintsbook.
STAG use the N-Forcer as their main transport, an armoured light truck equipped with a top-mounted machine gun. At higher alert levels their special tank, the Crusader, will appear in place of the National Guard's Challenger. An even more powerful Crusader, at one point called the "STAG Tank V2," can be acquired by the player in the mission "My Name is Cyrus Temple" by choosing it from the list of three advanced projects.
STAG's workhorse aircraft is the Condor, corresponding to the National Guard's Eagle. For heavier work, the F-69 VTOL corresponds to the Tornado and Vulture, being armed with both a gun (a microwave laser, in this case) and missile launchers. STAG also use heavy cargo planes, one of which is shown configured as an AWACS. In one of the two final mission choices STAG calls in their ultimate airborne weapon, a giant airship carrier / battleship called the Daedalus.
STAG troops are primarily armed with the Viper Laser Rifle, a rapid-fire carbine which never needs to be reloaded and is instead governed by a heat gauge. Their special shotgun is called the S3X Hammer and works in much the same way, never requiring reloads. STAG do, however, sometimes use more conventional hardware, with specialists occasionally using the Riot Shield and KA-1 Kobra, and snipers armed with McManus 2015s in certain missions.
While never used by STAG itself, the Sonic Boom is described as a STAG-developed weapon and the Satchel Charges can only be accessed by choosing to research them in "My Name is Cyrus Temple." However, satchel charges can be seen in every Friendly Fire store, on a low shelf on the opposite side of the store to the counter. Also in the promotial poster for STAG, they're seen with Bowie Knives but never use them.
- Their symbol is a stencil of a stag's head. Within some of their bases, like the Daedalus, exists an alternate symbol which looks like a stag's skull.
- Despite STAG replacing the Steelport National Guard, SNG helicopters will still spawn at the Sierra Point base throughout the game.
- Completing the eliminate Killbane end of the mission Three Way and destroying the Daedalus will unlock STAG infantry armor for the player to wear. It also becomes available for purchase at Let's Pretend.
- Even though STAG has left Steelport after the last mission, there are still some STAG Outposts located around Steelport and some even have a F-69 VTOL or a Condor.
- The string text "STRONGHOLD_START_MESSAGE_STAG": "START STAG STRONGHOLD" in "tt mission_us.le_strings" implies that there was originally a STAG-related Stronghold in the game. As it is, STAG is the only enemy in the game with neither a single territory or a Stronghold
- STAG is so far the only Special Unit to have female members, although you have to listen to them speak to tell that they are female members.
- In the Survival on Arapice Island there are STAG zombies that will attack The Protagonist just like a normal zombie.
- The promotional image shows a soldier with a carbine rifle, despite STAG using laser weapons in-game.
- Although they are supposed to be an elite unit, they are pretty incompetent as the Saints run rings around them, the Deckers have little trouble in raiding their PR centre for a super computer, albeit they lost it to the Saints, and the Luchadores fight them to a standstill with a possibility of a Luchadore victory had the Saints not have intervened.
- STAG only appears in large numbers in Loren Square, moderate numbers in Sunset Park and very few elsewhere
- There may be STAG posted near the Saints HQ, Kinzie's Crib and Leather and Lace
- The storyline of the game ends with the reputation of STAG ruined either by Kia trying to destroy the Magarac Statue or by Cyrus Temple's near destruction of Steelport
- It is never revealed why STAG is so focused on the Saints rather than The Syndicate, but it might be because of the Saints destroying the Thermopylae and Kidnapping Josh Birk, and STAG knew that it was the Saints that caused these problems.
- STAG is the only faction in Saints Row: The Third that does not (and cannot) become available as a gang customization option
- STAG despite being a law enforcement agency act much like a gang as they carry unconcealed weapons including Annihilators, only patrol certain areas in numbers and are involved in criminal activities such as terrorism.
- In reality a unit like STAG would not be allowed to be deployed for the reasons depicted in the game, in reality it have to be the case where either the Saints or the Syndicate where at least trying to take full political control of a region of the country by force
- Some armed vehicles that have scanners, such as the Tornado or F-69 VTOL, says "Scanning Objective" and "STAG Targeting System v2.67", meaning that STAG applies the system in any armed vehicle.
- During the early stages of the game, Mayor Reynolds can sometimes be heard giving a "Fact or Myth" advertisement about Steelport that mentions the STAG Occupation, long before the organization is formed.
- In reality assuming Steelport is on United States Soilm Monica Hughes the senator or the whole senate would not even have one bit of control over STAG. The only people that could issue orders would be by the President of the United States or by the Chiefs of Staff only.