Welcome to Spotlight! Well, readers, here I am again, this time showcasing another zoid from the animated Japanese series Zoids: Chaotic Century.
The photo above is a still shot of a Zaber Fang (sometimes referred to in Chaotic Century and other series as a Sabre Tiger, Sabre Fang, or Zaber Tiger; Zaber Fang, however, is the more common name for the zoid). The cockpit on the Zaber Fang is in its head, beneath those glowing green eyes. The Zaber Fang, quite obviously, is designed after a Saber-tooth tiger. It is a common ‘cavalry’ zoid in Chaotic Century’s Gulyos Empire’s army. The zoid is agile, and fearsome.
The Chaotic Century antagonist, Raven, was first introduced to the audience piloting a lightly armed blood-red Zaber Fang. Raven, whose expertise with a zoid in combat is equivalent to the Winter Soldier’s proficiency as an assassin and hand-to-hand fighter, was shown to utilize his Zaber’s capabilities in unorthodox and brutal ways. I can never look at a Zaber Fang, no matter which character is piloting it, without remembering his vicious attack style, which he never abandoned even after he lost his Zaber.
It was Raven’s wicked fighting skills that jolted me to the realization that battles are not won on strength and firepower alone. For this reason, although I despised Raven for a long time, I always respected and liked the Zaber Fang.
While it is not the fastest ground zoid, the Zaber is fast. It is dexterous and lithe, making it a perfect zoid for close combat situations, which Raven always favored. The armaments on the Zaber Fang can easily be rearranged or removed; the machine gun on the Zaber Fang in the above photo could be detached and a larger or smaller gun put in its place.
Other Zaber Fangs in the series even came with “flying gear” – attachments that aided the zoids and their pilots in leaping high over a rival zoid or enemy fire. This also allowed particularly skilled pilots to pounce on and demolish enemy zoids. For some reason a great many pilots in most Zoids’ series never seemed to learn to do anything other than pull the trigger on their zoids’ guns.
Yes, a few pilots might have been scared so badly that they stopped thinking and kept their fingers on the triggers, but this is a no less pardonable offense than the first error. Freezing up in a battle, mentally or physically, results in the fighter becoming very, very dead far too quickly.
Of course, the fact that the Zaber can carry whatever weapons will fit on it and not bring it to its knees can also be a problem. Throw too much weaponry on the Zaber’s back and its speed, agility, and all-around maneuverability becomes lethally inhibited. As a result of watching Chaotic Century, I have little patience for characters who cover their machines – zoids or otherwise – with nothing but weapons. The extra weight can be awkward and a burden; this is not what a fighter needs in the middle of a firefight or melee. You can thank Raven for my opinion on this one.
But do not think for a second that a Zaber Fang would be defenseless weaponless. Though I would not recommend fighting with a disarmed Zaber, remember that those teeth and paws are not for show. Used efficiently, they can be as dangerous as the machine gun the photographed Zaber is wearing. (You can thank Raven for this opinion as well.)
All in all, the Zaber Fang is a capable zoid for almost any situation. It is, however, especially good for close combat. And that is where I would use it the most.
The Mithril Guardian