Tag Archives: Rosso

Spotlight: Zoids – The Dark/Red Horn

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Rosso and his Red Horn

And we are back with another post about a zoid, readers! Technically, we will be discussing two different “mechanical combat units” today. They are both the same “species” and probably count as the same zoid, just with different color schemes. Visually, that appears to be the only substantial distinction between them.

Today’s subjects are the Styraccosaurus-type Dark Horns and Red Horns. Used by the Imperial Army, Dark Horns and Red Horns are the zoids piloted by anyone holding the rank of Lieutenant on up. They are not infantry creatures; you get to use them only when you move up in the ranks.

The cockpits for both zoids are in their heads, under those glowing green eyes. They can be outfitted with almost any type of arsenal, from machine guns to missile launchers to the trademark three-barrel cannon on their backs. They also have smaller guns attached to their chins, shoulders, and hips, along with radar equipment.

View the video below to see them in action, readers:

While not exactly fixed weapons, Dark Horns and Red Horns weigh a lot and are therefore relatively slow when compared to other zoids. The fact that they are so low to the ground doesn’t help, either. Nevertheless, Harry Champ from Zoids: New Century Zero was able to reduce his Dark Horn’s turning radius and increase its speed with boosters he had installed in the zoid’s hips. But those were eventually fried because he over relied on them during his battle with the Blitz Team. That’s really not surprising, since the guy had more money than brains and generally couldn’t find his way in out of the rain unless you pointed him in the right direction.

But it did prove that the Dark Horn and the Red Horn can have their speed increased. Most pilots do not go in for such drastic modifications, probably because they can’t afford them. We never saw this device used by the Imperial Army, which means the boosters either were not available in this time period on Zi, or they were too expensive to be bought and installed en masse. Either explanation works.

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The only time I ever saw a Dark Horn piloted well was in Chaotic Century. In the episode “Raven,” Van’s old nemesis gets his hands on a Dark Horn and uses it effectively against our hero and his friend, a Lieutenant in the Imperial Army (more about him later). Raven was able to catch a Dibison’s chin on the Dark Horn’s nose horn and, using the other zoid’s momentum and weight, roll it onto its side. He was also able to make the Dark Horn leap over Van’s Blade Liger while the other was running toward him. So the Dark Horn it capable of quite a lot. Most pilots, however, are utterly incapable of getting such amazing results from it.

We didn’t see too many Imperial Red Horns during Chaotic Century’s run. The one I remember best is the Red Horn Rosso piloted before upgrading to an Iron Kong. Rosso achieved his full potential as a pilot in a Storm Sworder, although he piloted his Iron Kong with special skill. In contrast to that, his ability with the Red Horn is nothing to write home about….

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…Except for the fact that it hints at his growing talent. While we don’t see Rosso do much more than shoot and charge in his Red Horn, it is never implied that he is a lightweight in combat. Looking at the picture of him below, you would think that was obvious; Rosso is not a shrimp by any stretch of the imagination. But that doesn’t mean he was, is, or will be a good pilot. “Size matters not” in the cockpit of a zoid; as long as you can reach the controls and work the pedals, you can pilot the zoid you are sitting in.

Rosso’s Red Horn had thick armor, especially on its nose. He was able to deflect the twin shots from a Shield Liger’s back cannon with it. The maneuver didn’t require him to do anything but turn the zoid’s head, and it didn’t so much as scratch the Red Horn’s paint. Under his control, the Red Horn was also able to break through a Shield Liger’s shield with a blow from its nose horn. After Raven, he is the only pilot I could point to as being exemplary in the command of such a “mechanical combat unit.”

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The last time I can recall hearing about a Red Horn was in Zoids: Fuzors. It appeared briefly during an arena battle, and its nose horn had been modified to act like Liger Zero’s Strike Laser Claw Attack. When activated, the forward part of the nose horn would glow yellow, charged with energy so it could slice through an enemy zoid’s armor. It seems like a rather ridiculous modification to me; the Red Horn’s and Dark Horn’s best assets have always been in the tip of the nose horn in my opinion. Having the front part of the horn slice through an enemy isn’t overkill so much as it is… Stupid.

All in all, Dark Horns and Red Horns were pretty effective tanks. Slow though they were, they could deliver in terms of fire and ramming power. Again, predator-style zoids are more my thing, but I don’t recall thinking Dark Horns and Red Horns were silly “mechanical combat units” to take into combat. They could be deadly when used properly, and their arsenal was never anything to scoff at, readers.

Well, that’s it for now. I have one more Zoids post coming up, and then we will all take a break before I do any more. You won’t see those zoids posts for a while, but they will be comin’ round the mountain, don’t you worry.

Catch ya later!

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A Gallery of Images from Zoids

Following this blog the way you have, readers, you may have noticed this writer is a HUGE fan of the Japanese anime Zoids: Chaotic Century.  This post is a full-blown gallery of pictures I have assembled and am now showing off.  To get you in the mood, the intro theme for Zoids: Chaotic Century is at the top of the post.  I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do, readers.

See you on the battlefield!

The Mithril Guardian

The Zaber Fang (Raven’s Model)

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Shadow (Raven’s Organoid)

 

Dibison (Thomas Schubaltz’s Model)

 

THE BLADE LIGER (Van Flyheight, Leon Toros, and Fuzors’ Models)

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Command Wolf (Standard and Irvine Models)

Irvine's Command Wolf in full
Irvine's Command Wolf 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irvine's Command Wolf

 

The Lightning Saix (Jack Cisco Model)

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The Gojulas

The Gojulas

 

The Shadow Fox

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The Shield Liger

Shield Liger

Shield Liger Missile Launch

 

The Storm Sworder

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The Iron Kong

Spotlight: Zoids – The Storm Sworder

I have never seen a swan in flight, readers. I have seen swans, but I have never watched them fly. I have no idea if they are poetry in motion while in flight; they are beautiful “baubles” on a lake. I only know that the ones I have seen are gorgeous creatures, and I wish I could see some again.

Why do I bring up swans? Check out the video below before you read on:

Beautiful, aren’t they?

These magnificent zoids are Storm Sworders. The fastest aerial zoids on Zi, the Storm Sworders were developed by the Helic Republic during the last days of their war with the Guylos Empire. Lightweight and able to reach Mach 3.2, Storm Sworders are the equivalent of American fighter jets. They are poetry in motion during flight – and during combat.

Storm Sworders come in two varieties: the white, “older” model Storm Sworder was the first type built. Lightly armored so that it can reach Mach 3.2 and keep together at that speed, these Storm Sworders are nimble Pteranadon-type fighters. They are single-pilot zoids with a back seat, making Storm Sworders capable of carrying two people. In a pinch, four rather small people can fit in the cockpit, which is behind the Sworder’s orange eyes.

Storm Sworders come equipped with missiles attached to their wings. These can be fired off like jet fighter missiles to strike down enemies ahead of or around them. Faster than anything else that flies, the Storm Sworder can outmaneuver every other aerial zoid in seconds. They can twist and turn, tumble and rise far faster than any other air zoid.

For close combat, Storm Sworders have a pair of blades or “swords” in their wings. (You didn’t think they were called “Storm Sworders” just because it was a cool name, did you?) Extended and charged with energy, these swords will cut through other zoids like a knife through butter. Most other air zoids have no prayer of avoiding a Sworder’s blades; they are simply too slow to dodge them.

Storm Sworders are also equipped with mini-machine guns behind the claws on their wings. The claws flip down to lie flat against the wing, the gun barrels pop out, and budda-budda-BOOM! ‘Nother enemy down! In addition to these weapons, Storm Sworders have something called “sword missiles.” These are long, thin blades which can be fired from the forehead area of the Sworder, as well as from the “wrists” of the zoid’s wings. Most pilots do not use these missiles in battle.

The zoids also have a blade, or sword, hidden in the “crest” on their foreheads. This flips up and is charged with energy to cut through an enemy the same way as the “wing swords.” All this makes the Storm Sworder one giant rapier, which can be piloted through the sky – to deadly effect!

The second variation of the Storm Sworder is the Triple S. Short for Storm Sworder Stealth-type, the Triple S is painted black and has the ability to remain undetected by radar. Otherwise, it is the same as the white, “older” Storm Sworders – just more sneaky. Of course, a Triple S that is “painted” by the enemy so radar can pick it up is in big trouble. But if you are not prepared for a Triple S to show up, you will not have the chance to “paint” it to see it on your radar.

A pilot for the Storm Sworder has to learn to manage the intense speed at which the zoid travels. Mach 3.2 is fast, readers! It is “tough on the body,” and a pilot incapable of taking the stress is not going to last beyond his first flight. This is also true for the zoid’s agility and nimbleness. Though such maneuvers cannot be executed at Mach 3.2, the zoids will still be carrying momentum from traveling at that speed when they get into a dogfight. The pilot has to be able to withstand the force of travelling at Mach 3.2 and be able to handle the zoid when it drops down to its lower speeds. Otherwise, the pilot’s a deader.

Rosso and Viola, characters from Zoids: Chaotic Century, are the best Storm Sworder pilots I have ever seen. (Actually, they are the only capable Storm Sworder pilots I have ever seen.) Of the two, Rosso is the better pilot. This is an interesting twist on the story, because Viola was the one who initially piloted flying zoids.

Rosso’s great skill with his Storm Sworder seems to come from his special attunement to the zoid. He lectured one pilot – twice – about the need to “guide your zoid with your spirit, pal! With your spirit!”

Almost every main character in Chaotic Century has a special bond with their zoid, the way Western cowboys bond with their specific or favorite horses. Rosso is one of the characters whose bond with his “mechanical combat unit” is the most noticeable and poignant. Rosso is tall, muscular, and would give Robin Hood’s friend Little John a run for his money. Yet he pilots the swan-like Storm Sworder flawlessly, as a samurai would wield a katana.

I wish I could take piloting lessons from this guy, readers. I really do!

The Storm Sworder is the pièce de résistance of aerial combat zoids. This is definitely a zoid I wish I had, for the simple fact that I would love to fly that high and that fast!

May the wind be at your backs, readers!

The Mithril Guardian

Spotlight: Zoids – The Iron Kong Mark II

 

Ready for a fight, readers? Then you have come to the right desert! Today we are once again on Zi, studying one of the zoids which lives there. This zoid is the Iron Kong Mark II.

The Iron Kong Mark II is the only Iron Kong model with which I am familiar. It is the Imperial equivalent of the Helic Republic’s Gojulas. Like the Gojulas, the Iron Kong is a zoid whose basic function is that of a tank. However, Iron Kongs are far more maneuverable than Gojulases. Even on a bad day, I would take an Iron Kong over a Gojulas, for the simple reason that this zoid is more maneuverable than the Tyrannosaur-type Helic tank.

Iron Kongs are gorilla-type zoids. The cockpit for an Iron Kong is in its head, behind that green glass which serves as the zoid’s eyes. The cockpit is usually made for one pilot, but some Iron Kongs are two-seaters – these cockpits are far more spacious than cockpits for single pilots. I imagine it is not hard to modify an Iron Kong’s cockpit either way.

Though they are heavily armored, Iron Kongs are fairly dexterous and nimble zoids – up close, anyway. Over long distances, they are slow moving. Iron Kongs are extremely strong, some of the strongest zoids on Zi. Even without their artillery, an Iron Kong is a ferocious zoid. Someone going up against an Iron Kong had better be prepared to take a pounding. Ace zoid pilots may, with luck and/or spectacular skill, walk away from a battle with an Iron Kong unscathed….

But pit an Iron Kong pilot who knows what he is doing against an equally skilled pilot controlling another zoid, and you have a recipe for an amazing battle!

As I said, the Iron Kong is slow over long distances. But in close combat, their bulk is no hindrance. And this makes them very deadly. Most Iron Kong pilots’ first instinct is to pull the trigger when they are attacked. Despite sitting on a virtual mountain of muscle, their immediate reaction is to go for their guns. (Insert eye-roll here.) I do not know why they do this, but it happens all the time!

The Iron Kong, because it is a strong zoid, can be loaded up with several different weapons and remain highly maneuverable. These armaments range from anti-zoid cannons to machine guns to missile launchers hidden in the zoid’s shoulders. And, just like a real gorilla, an Iron Kong could physically rip an opposing zoid apart. I have never seen it happen, exactly, but a couple of pilots from Zoids: Chaotic Century have shown just what the Kongs are capable of in close combat.

Iron Kongs are generally as expressive in battle as other zoids. All zoids make sounds like the animals they are based on and, as living beings, they have attitudes and emotions they express through sound. Ligers and Zabers can both “purr,” while Command Wolves have been shown to growl affectionately toward their pilots.

When anticipating a battle, an Iron Kong will snort, growl, and snuff like an actual gorilla. And in battle, one or two Iron Kongs have gone up on their back legs and pummeled their chests before charging an opponent, much as King Kong does in his films. (They are called Iron ‘Kongs,’ you know! 😉 )

I would not want to tangle with an Iron Kong pilot who knew what he was doing. If I had to fight him, that would be one thing. But choosing to fight him..?! Thanks. I will pass.

The Iron Kong’s armor is second to none. Only machine guns or other such weapons fired at close range can bring a Kong down. Most guns, fired at a distance, barely put a dent in the armor.

However, this hardly makes the Iron Kong an invulnerable zoid. There are weapons capable of wiping out Iron Kongs (and most other zoids) at a distance. But I am saving those for another day. Eventually, I will explain the matter further. Of course, if you were to look up Zoids: Chaotic Century on your own, readers, you would get the answers much faster. Failing that, I must request that you bear with my descriptions and promises with as much patience as you can muster.

Thank you!

My overall rating for the Iron Kong is that it is a heavy artillery zoid which, with a capable pilot, can be deadly in close quarters. Only great pilots such as Chaotic Century’s Colonel Karl Shubaltz and former Imperial soldier Rosso have shown what an Iron Kong can do with a competent pilot. I have never forgotten their lessons.

The Iron Kong is not revered as the Gojulas is in Chaotic Century. I, however, have a very healthy respect for this zoid. Better with me than against me, that is for sure!

Catch ya later!

The Mithril Guardian