Tag Archives: Zoid Battle Commission

Spotlight: Zoids – The Lightning Saix

Here we are “in the far reaches of the Milky Way” galaxy again, readers! Today’s post is about one of the most amazing zoids on Zi – the Lightning Saix!

Why is this zoid so special? Look at the video below before you take my word for it!

Is this zoid cool or what?!

The Lightning Saix is a high speed, high performance zoid built by the Guylos Empire in Zoids: Chaotic Century. Capable of reaching 305 kilometers per hour (202 miles per hour), the Lightning Saix’s intense speed is really tough on the pilot’s body. The first pilot for the prototype Saix passed out during a demonstration of the zoid’s abilities. And that was with a buffer installed that powered down the Saix to keep it from going as fast as it could run!

Based on the cheetah, the Lightning Saix’s bare capabilities are on par with those of the Republican Command Wolf. However, the Saix is much faster and more dexterous. Its lithe frame and agility make it an excellent close combat zoid, able to hit an opponent and dodge away before the other zoid and pilot can retaliate. The only zoid which can “dance” with a Lightning Saix is a Storm Sworder. While the Storm Sworder is flying at Mach 3.2, it outstrips the Saix. But if the two zoids get into close combat when the Sworder is flying at lower speeds, you are in for one spectacular supersonic battle!

The Saix, like the cheetah, has claws which do not fully retract. Once the zoid is ready to run, the claws extend. They are sharp, able to cut through the light armor of smaller zoids or the stronger armor of intermediately outfitted opponents. The Saix’s teeth are also able to pierce the lighter “skin” of other zoids.

The Lightning Saix is not a brawny creature. Just like a cheetah, its best asset is its speed. It cannot wrestle in the dirt like a Blade Liger. That would be disastrous for it. The Saix is best piloted by someone who can shoot from a distance and who knows how to strike hard and fast, then run like lightning to get away.

Obviously, though, the zoid is armed. You cannot fail to see the double barrel cannon on the Saix’s back, readers. This is a Vulcan laser gun. It is very effective on lightly armored zoids, or “combat units” with somewhat thicker armor. But the Saix will definitely not be competing in the Highest Yield Explosive Shells Competition. The lasers, like the zoid, are meant for quick-strike fighting. If you need more weight and strength during a battle, then you are going to need something other than a Lightning Saix.

The Lightning Saix is a very fast zoid. It can cross land faster than any other “mechanical combat unit.” The only land zoids which have been modified to keep up with a Saix (to the best of my knowledge) are the Blade Liger and the Liger Zero. In Zoids: Chaotic Century, Van Flyheight’s Blade Liger underwent some booster modifications which allowed it to keep pace with the Lightning Saix.

In Zoids: New Century Zero, the Liger Zero had a set of blue armor, called the Jaeger (or ‘Hunter’) armor, which allowed the zoid to travel at the same speed as the Lightning Saix. This armor was not the Liger Zero’s primary or “basic unit” armor. The Liger Zero’s armor can be changed, allowing the Liger to achieve certain characteristics in combat against specific opponents. The Jaeger armor was one of those three ‘special suits,’ as it were.

There is one last thing you must know about this zoid, readers. One last secret talent of the Lightning Saix. When traveling at speed, the Saix is impossible for most other land zoids to catch. This is when military bases deploy their anti-zoid measures – missiles that will home in on the zoid and destroy it before it can escape the perimeter of the base from which the missiles were fired.

When these missiles are fired at the Saix, the zoid is usually going at a lower speed. It gives the missiles just enough rope to hang themselves. Then it kicks into a higher gear, going faster than the missiles. The zoid also activates some holographic technology and systems embedded in its body. Combining the holographic tech with its high speed, the Saix is then able to create the illusion that it has abruptly vanished.

As you can imagine, this does not go over well with the missiles. They were chasing a target one minute, the next, it disappeared from their radar. The computers in the missiles freeze up as they try to figure this puzzle out. This means the missiles fly skyward in confusion, where they overload and blow up as their computers fry, unable to process their target’s disappearance. Anti-zoid missiles fired from other zoids have a similar reaction, usually.

Once the missiles are gone, the Saix lowers its speed and turns off the holo emitters. Abracadabra, allacazam, and hey, presto! – the Lightning Saix is back in plain view for everyone to see!

Talk about “catch me if you can,” huh, readers?

Most models of the zoid have green eyes, under which their single-seat cockpit is positioned. The one notable exception is Irvine’s Lightning Saix in Zoids: Chaotic Century. But I am not telling you why his Saix had orange eyes. You will have to find that out for yourselves!

As a last note, Irvine was the first pilot for a Lightning Saix in Chaotic Century. In Zoids: New Century Zero, we had three Lightning Saix pilots. Jack Cisco was the first Saix pilot the Blitz Team encountered. He later formed a team of the cheetah-type zoids, adding the sisters Chris and Kelly to back him up in the prize fights. They named their squad, rightly enough, the Lightning Team.

The three also demonstrated a new tactic in the battles they participated in. Jack led the charge and the sisters fell in line behind him, allowing them to build up more speed as they stayed in his draft. This tactic was very effective the first time around, allowing Cisco and the sisters to whip Bit Cloud and his friends.

The second time, it did not go so well for the Lightning Team. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. Never use the same tactic twice on the same opponent, readers. And definitely do not pull the same trick in the same battle more than once!

Catch ya later!

The Mithril Guardian

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Spotlight: Zoids – The Shadow Fox

Today’s Spotlight! is focused on yet another zoid, but this one is not from the series Zoids: Chaotic Century. This zoid – the Shadow Fox – is from the sequel series Zoids: New Century Zero.

If you can remember a post I wrote a looong way back called “Ready…Fight!”, that article sketched an outline of New Century Zero’s general plot and cast list. You will also recall that I said New Century Zero is not my favorite Zoids series. That has not changed, but just because I dislike the series does not mean I do not like the zoids which populate it.

The Shadow Fox was one of the New Century Zero zoids I really liked. In New Century Zero, the Shadow Fox was a zoid built by the villainous Backdraft Group in order to give them a zoid capable of matching the Liger Zero’s power. The Backdraft put their best pilots in the Fox’s cockpit, but none of them were able to keep up with the zoid’s immense potential. Until Brad Hunter – a member of the Blitz Team and partner to the pilot of the Liger Zero, Bit Cloud – stumbled onto the base where the Backdraft was testing the zoid, the Group thought they would have to wait forever to find someone capable of piloting the Fox.

The Shadow Fox is a highly maneuverable zoid, with the cockpit positioned in its head, underneath its orange-red eyes. Its speed and agility make it the perfect zoid for pilots who favor close combat or sniping attacks. Brad was able to use the machine gun attached to the Fox’s back (see the above photo for details) to take down an opponent’s zoid with one shot. And he was shooting through a metal panel when he did that! Though he favors sniper battle tactics, Brad has used the machine gun’s full capabilities in battle. Even when it is not used in close proximity to the Fox’s target, the machine gun can be a very effective weapon.

The Fox also comes equipped with smoke vents. When activated, these vents release clouds of billowing, black smoke, rendering a midday battlefield briefly pitch-dark. The Fox’s armor blends in perfectly with the smoke, and its muffled joints make the zoid’s movements hard to track. In contrast, an enemy zoid lost in the smoke will stand out like a firework display when its pilot decides to try and shoot at the area where he thinks the Fox is – only to miss and be shot by the Shadow Fox, which was nowhere near the position the enemy pilot believed it was.

The Shadow Fox’s most devastating weapons, however, are its Strike Laser Claws. When given the command that doubles as the attack’s name, the Shadow Fox’s forepaws and foreleg joints will begin to glow with yellow light as the zoid charges at an opponent. Jumping into the air, the zoid will draw back one foreleg (which foreleg depends on whether or not the pilot is right or left-handed, since a trained zoid only moves in concert with its pilot in a battle), and swipe at the nearest exposed part of the opposing zoid’s body.

The end result of this attack is devastating for the enemy zoid. One Strike Laser Claw attack is enough to knock down many different types of zoids immediately. Other, more powerful zoids might not fall simply due to this attack, but the damage done by the Strike cannot and should not be underestimated. The only other zoid which possesses a Strike Laser Claw attack is the Liger Zero; the Shadow Fox possesses this ability because the Backdraft Group wanted it to match the Liger power to power. Brad tested this theory before stealing the Shadow Fox from the Group in broad daylight and found that yes; the Shadow Fox can stalemate the Liger Zero’s ultimate move, without even suffering a scratch in the process.

If zoids were real machines/animals and I had the money to collect them, then the Shadow Fox would definitely be one of the zoids I would want to acquire. It is no wonder Brad stole the zoid from the Backdraft Group. Apart from the fact that they destroyed his Command Wolf and owed him a replacement, the Fox was worth having either way!

Until next time!

The Mithril Guardian

Zoids: “Ready….FIGHT!”

Zoids New Century Zero

Hey, DiNozzo….

Guess what today is!

Yes!  Get the man a prize!  It is the second day of Torture Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo Week!!

So what’s today’s subject?  (Stop yawning, Tony, or I’ll call Gibbs.  And I mean it!)

Today we focus on Zoids: New Century Zero and Zoids: Fuzors.  Technically, Zoids: New Century Zero is an immediate sequel to Zoids: Chaotic Century.  This twenty-six (yes, DiNozzo, 26) episode series aired in Canada and the United States ahead of Chaotic Century.  I have no idea why.  *Shrug*

In New Century Zero, the governments of Chaotic Century are never mentioned.  The group keeping the peace here is the Zoid Battle Commission.  In this series, zoid pilots compete in large, open land areas for prize money and prestige.  Most pilots form a team of some sort, while others work solo.  These last are called mercenaries.  (Don’t ask me why.  It makes no sense unless it’s because these pilots are willing to change teams for any large sum of money.)

The antagonists of the series are members of the Backdraft Group, a shadowy organization trying to usurp the Zoid Battle Commission’s power.  They are doing this because they consider the Commission to be promoting weak battles.

Honestly, I don’t quite blame them in this assessment.  But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

New Century Zero concentrates on the adventures of Bit Cloud, a young man who routinely scavenges the sites of these battle competitions (at the start of the series) for useful parts.  He does this in the hope of using the better pieces to one day “build [his] own zoid partner.”  On one such expedition he witnesses the Blitz Team (composed of Leon and Lena Toros, with the mercenary Brad Hunter) get walloped by a team of three yellow Zaber Fangs called the Zaber Tigers.

In this first episode we learn that the Blitz Team has been on a losing streak for a while.  If this ‘battle’ the audience first sees along with Bit is meant to be an indication of how badly they were performing, then the Blitz Team was in a very sorry state.

While Leon has promise as a pilot and Brad is a fair fighter, Leon’s younger sister Lena is as trigger-happy as it is possible to be.  The only zoids she’ll pilot are the ones that have the most guns, and she is constantly pestering her father (the manager for the Blitz Team), Dr. Toros, for more ammunition.  As for Dr. Toros, he’s a man with wild bouts of eccentricity that are supposed to serve as comic relief.  All of this contributes to the Blitz Team being unable to win more than one or two battles, which means they’re always on the verge of going broke.

In the battle that Bit witnesses, things only get worse.  Leon’s Shield Liger is totaled and Leon himself ends up with one arm in a sling and a bandage around his head.  The battle is called to a halt and postponed until the next day.  The one ray of hope for the Blitz Team is that, before he tripped up, Leon managed to bring down one of the Zaber Fangs.  It looks like the final half of the battle will be a fair fight.

Sure….

Now enter Bit, who comes poking around the Blitz Team’s warehouse that night for more parts, only to get caught and tied up.  Lena ends up babysitting him through his ‘prisoner’ dinner hour in the hangar.  While she’s there he asks her about one particular white Liger standing nearby.  Lena explains that it is called the Liger Zero.  Since white ligers are rare, her dad snapped it up.  But the zoid is more than useless according to her because it will not accept any pilot her father has pushed into its cockpit.

Later on, after Lena has left and the lights have been turned off, Liger Zero wakes up and frees Bit.  It then offers Bit a ride.  Interestingly, the Liger seems to be possessed of a sense of humor.  He takes Bit on a wild run through the desert and, when Bit finally gets him to stop, the two are in the middle of nowhere with the sun high in the sky.

During the Blitz Team’s rematch with the Zaber Fangs, Bit comes back in time to join them.  The Zaber Tigers are cheating by having their pilot with the damaged Zaber fire from a nearby cliff with a sniper rifle.  Bit takes him down after Lena is decked in the middle of the competition.  However, to help the Blitz Team, Bit has to register with them, something he does right from the Liger’s cockpit.

Yeah, you’re right.  The team takes a while to warm up to him after this, especially Lena.  But with the dough rolling in from the fights he participates in, even she thaws to Bit.

Throughout the series Bit fights beside Brad and Lena, and occasionally the Team’s fourteen year old strategist, Jamie Hemeros (who spends most of his time off the field).  Leon leaves the team almost as soon as he’s healed, becoming a much better pilot from that point on.  He does not rejoin the team after this, though he does drop by to offer advice (or a fight) from time to time.

Because of the power of the Liger Zero and the turnaround in the Blitz Team’s fortunes, the Backdraft Group takes an interest in them.  Realizing that a zoid as powerful as the Liger could be the weapon they need to finally defeat the Commission, the Backdraft Group repeatedly tries to steal him from his rightful owners.  And before you ask, they bungle every attempt, often miserably.

On the whole, this series is not as good as Chaotic Century.  The reason I say this is because the fighting skills of many pilots in the series are substandard.

Bit’s skill mostly comes from the Liger Zero, which is later revealed to have a built-in organoid system or “black box” that lets the Liger memorize an opponent’s pattern of attack.  Once this is done, the Liger decides on a more effective counterattack and acts on it.  Such a rare zoid is called an Ultimate X in the story.  Although Bit does have a good ‘battle sense’ and treats the Liger as a partner, after a point the audience is left wondering just how much of his prowess is actually the Liger’s ability to learn.

As I mentioned before, Lena’s battle tactic is to blow her opponent straight to kingdom come.  So she gets very angry when her target doesn’t stay still long enough to get shot.  Several other minor characters share her nearly insane attitude, which leads to predictably boring battles throughout the series.   Jaime’s piloting is marked by nervous reactions or extremely foolish charges.  Even though he’s a good kid, Jaime is much better at giving the team tactical pointers than he is at fighting.

Brad is the only member of the Blitz Team who shows any real piloting skill.  He excels in sniping and close combat, and can often be seen chiding Lena for her overuse of her weapons.  While Leon eventually does become an amazing pilot, I’d bet money that Van or any of his friends could put him down with very little effort.  On the positive side, I’m sure Leon would be willing to learn from them.  The same could be said of Brad.

I have a similar attitude toward the few other pilots in the series with good skills, such as the sniper pilot Naomi and the Lightning Saix (cheetah-type zoid) pilot and team leader Jack Cisco.  But either of them against the crew, bad or good, from Chaotic Century would get whipped so fast it would make their heads spin.  Unlike Leon and Brad, these two may be more inclined toward vengeance than learning from their mistakes.

The one pilot in this series who shows anything near Chaotic Century skill is the young boy who appears in the last five episodes of the show.  And sadly he’s the Backdraft Group’s secret weapon.  His name is Vega Obscura, and his main objective is “to be in some really great battles.”  It’s never clarified whether or not he shares the Group’s views.  For the most part he seems to be genuinely interested in nothing more than a good fight.  And while Vega also pilots an Ultimate X zoid, the Berserk Fury (a Tyrannosaurus Rex-type zoid), he proves in his second appearance (via a video game) that he has great potential as a pilot.

I’m inclined to think he might be related in some way to the Chaotic Century terror Raven.  However, I’ve never been able to find any confirmation of that.  It’s mostly conjecture on my part, based solely on his physical appearance and astounding fighting skills, not to mention the similarities between his zoid of choice and Raven’s.  (Raven eventually had to find a new zoid when his Zaber Fang was destroyed.  I am not telling you how or what he got instead, Tony.  That would spoil it!)

All in all, I feel that New Century Zero falls far short of the mark that its predecessor set.

Now you’re going to wonder why I said that I would also talk about the sequel series Zoids: Fuzors.  This series is a lot like New Century Zero, which is why it’s part of my note.  Fuzors is set in a future at least several hundred years after Bit’s time.  The government in this series has again shifted, though it is similar to Bit’s.  Now the government is centralized in some place called Blue City.  Once again the protagonist for this series pilots the Liger Zero, the same zoid Bit had.  This pilot, however, is younger than Bit and goes by the name RD.

Hey, I didn’t write it!  Sit tight and let me finish!  (And no, Bit and RD look nothing alike.)

Blue City is home to the same type of battles that Bit participated in, except these are often confined to arenas within the city.   The series never finished its run in the U.S., but it had twenty-six (26) episodes, too.  (When you’re talking about zoids, I’m beginning to think that twenty-six is not a good number for them.)

There is one big difference between Fuzors and New Century Zero.  In Fuzors, certain zoids can combine with other zoids.  For example, the Liger Zero combines with two different bird-type zoids on different occasions in the series.  Combining in this manner increases the zoids’ power in battle, making the Liger twice as powerful as he was before.  And twice as desirable as he was in New Century Zero.

Yes.  Once again an underground conglomerate begins trying to get as many Fuzors and pilots as they can under their control.  Fuzors shows RD and his team as the only ones actively working to stop them.  At the same time, RD is also on a quest for a zoid called the Ultimate Zoid, which his father was pursuing when he disappeared.   So it could be argued RD is searching for his father in this story, too.

As with New Century Zero, I couldn’t help but feel that Fuzors fell short of the mark.  The zoids were good, as always, but the idea of fighting for near meaningless profit and glory simply doesn’t jive with Chaotic Century’s “Battle to reach your full potential” motif.  The lack of a strong overarching plot, which was present in Chaotic Century, was also a stone around the necks of these two sequels.  The writers may have felt that way, too, since neither series lasted more than twenty-six episodes.

What about the third sequel series?  Come on, DiNozzo.  I’ve about yapped my jaw to death here, and you want me to talk some more?

Aha!  So I have managed to rope you in!!…..  Flustered attempts to proclaim your innocence will get you nowhere.

And don’t worry.  This is Torture Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo Week, remember?  I’ve got all of tomorrow to tell you what I know about Zoids: Genesis – which isn’t all that much, I admit.  And when we’re done with that – ooh, the possibilities!!!

So, are you ready?

Then…hang on to your cover!   (Remember, you’re part of the navy!!)

Later,

Mithril

Zoids_fuzors

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