Meanwhile, on the Red Planet, an exchange program created by the United Nations to promote peace and understanding is about to begin; the "Cosmic Culture Club", consisting of 16 boys and girls, as well as their instructor Elizabeth, arrives at the UN Mars base, and are being welcomed by the staff. Among the passengers is Anna a 14 year old girl who serves as the narrator for the story.
Suddenly, four unidentified humanoid robots classified as Super Powered Tracers are detected, engaged in fierce combat with each other. The UN base is caught in the crossfire and quickly destroyed, killing all but six members of the "Cosmic Culture Club"--Elizabeth, Arthur, Roan, David, Simone and Anna, and leaving them stranded on an inhospitable planet that has suddenly become a battlefield. As the battle ends, the lone SPT standing lands next to the terrified group and opens up revealing a pilot, who simply announces to them, "The Earth has been targeted".
The robots who destroyed the UN base were the creation of the Grados, an alien race, from the Udoria system, who came to the Sol system for the purpose of conquest, seeing an easy victory as the two superpowers raged against each other to exhaustion--however, this could also be described as an act of pre-emptive self-defense; the Gradosian supercomputers have determined that humanity will eventually cease its infighting and become powerful enough to spread through the galaxy, posing a destructive threat to even the far off Grados.
However, there were two Grados opposed to the plan: human astronaut Ken Asuka, assumed lost during a deep space mission but discovered by the Grados, and his son Null Albarto (his "human" name being Eiji). As the Grados prepared their invasion fleet, Eiji stows away on board one of the ships and steals their most powerful and advanced weapon, the SPT-LZ-00X Layzner before fleeing, seeking to warn humanity of its impending invasion. It was here where he was attacked. Aside from the Layzner, the surviving humans have now become very important to the Grados; as the only human eyewitnesses to the aliens and their power, the six are the only ones who can convince the warring powers to stand down from destroying each other, and focus on the greater threat.
Opening: Melos no Yōni Lonely Way (Like Melos, Lonely Way)
Ending (Episodes #1-#25): Go-fun Dake no Wagamama (Just 5 Minutes of Selfishness)
Ending (Episode #26>): La Rose Rouge (The Red Rose)
The "C" stands for Common, meaning that the suit is mass-produced. The "U" stands for Unique stating that these are suits reserved for ace pilots or officers. Finally, the "X" stands for Experimental, the classification in which the SPT-LZ-00X falls into. The middle letters in the SPT designation are merely abbreviations of the model's name, for example, SPT-LZ-00X would stand for Super Powered Tracer Layzner 00 Experimental. Similarly the designation SPT-GK-10U would stand for Super Powered Tracer Greimkaiser 10 Unique.
The layout of the SPT is a bipedal locomotive vehicle equipped with multiple vernier thrusters located throughout to aid in high speed combat maneuvers. The cockpit is located in the head and is covered in a hardened armoured acrylic glass canopy. The power systems laid out in the SPT run similar in design to the nervous systems of the humans and Gradosians with multiple overlapping backup systems. Electrical wiring and lubricant cables run throughout the body with locomotion produced by a combination of high power actuators for slow movements and low power pulse motors for quick motions.
Computer and sensor arrays: Since the SPT was designed with the capability for space and planetary exploration every unit is equipped with highly sensitive sensors capable of analyzing and processing any situation. Some of these arrays include both active and passive radar, infrared, laser radar, electronic, photoelectric and atmospheric analysis, sound, sonar and a variety of others (There are well over 20 systems built into each unit). Sensors are measured in negative decibels for detection of vibrations and other movements in the vacuum of space. The collation of data is the responsibility of the SPTs' built-in computer and relays information to the pilot by using a synthesized voice. Much of the controls of the SPT are handled by the computer, which has a built-in artificial intelligence capable of handling or even taking control of a situation should its pilot become injured or incapacitated. The computer constantly maintains unit integrity, handles repairs and controls damage whilst also providing tactical advice. All manual control can be transferred via voice command. The hierarchy of the computers objectives are:
Much of the computer's data is directly relayed into the right eyepiece transferred on the visor of the pilots helmet or a visual monocle.
Lasered Rifle: The SPT's primary weapon is a proton laser cannon called a Lasered Rifle. Much like a human the SPT carries the Rifle in its arms and the Rifle can be stored on its back. In a non-atmospheric condition the Rifle can easily rip through 100 mm of standard armour, with the power being drawn from either a power clip or directly from the Tracer's main generator. Power output on the rifle can be adjusted from seven different levels including rapid to scattering fire. Knuckle Shot: The most common secondary weapon of the SPT. The Knuckle Shot destroys targets by utilizing a powerful electromagnetic field which-when combined with a high impact-can bypass the SPT's armour and directly attacks the internal mechanisms. Thus the high electrical output wreaks havoc among an enemy's internal circuitry system. Originally designed to remove obstacles the Knuckle Shot is potent weapon when used by an experienced pilot.
Calf Missile: A supporting weapon of some SPTs, the Calf Missiles are stored on the back of an SPT's legs and are fired directly upwards before locking-on and homing in on their target. These powerful missiles have a limited range of three to five kilometers and are primarily used for wide scale destruction.
Armour: SPT armour is composited from specially treated titanium alloy designed to disperse heat from laser blasts. The most vulnerable spots are covered with magnetic-repulsion active armour, electromagnetically polarized to harden its surface and increase resistance to impact-based attacks. To counter this weapons with high electron penetration assaults have been developed called the "Knuckle Shot"
The V-MAX System: The V-MAX system is an exclusive experimental device associated with the SPT-LZ-00X Layzner and later with the SPT-ZK-53U Zakarl. The MF-GL-73U Gasshalan also equips a V-MAX unit.
Once V-MAX is activated it switches on its thrusters and activates the afterburner, it operates the field generator which covers the unit's entire body with a blue magnetic wave and exhausts all inactive gases via the vent in the chest region to strengthen the barrier effect of the field. The speed is then increased making the Layzner an impenetrable "Blue Meteor" impervious to laser attacks. Once the process has begun it is impossible to shut down until the effect is exhausted: this will happen once the computer has 'cleared' the area by eliminating all threats, expending all of the SPT's Once the fuel has been expended or if the SPT overheats then the V-MAX is discharged: outer ports will then open to discharge excess heat and the battery is then recharged via the escaping gases.
Onboard Computer: The majority of the SPTs have their own on-board computer which assists its pilot in monitoring both external and internal conditions as well as assisting the pilot's control of their SPT. The onboard computer can analyze the pilot’s combat skill level and can set itself to match it accordingly. Circuitry inside the pilot’s helmet can also access the onboard computer remotely and can even warn the pilot of incoming enemies. Effectively, it serves as the on-board personality and voice response system.
The AI of the SPT-LZ-00X Layzner is so advanced that it has even developed an intelligent personality of its own. When combat conditions become overwhelming and the Layzner is in danger of being destroyed Rei will advise the pilot to either flee the area or eject. Should the pilot ignore the orders or become incapacitated the secondary on-board computer known as Fouron takes complete control of the SPT and initiates V-MAX. At this point the actions of the pilot no longer apply as the Layzner is under Fouron's complete control and even Rei is pushed down by its domineering personality.
The series also appears in the Another Century's Episode games, with the Layzner & Zakarl being playable in the first game and also the Greimkaiser & Bloodykaiser make appearances as CPU-only units. The sequel, Another Century's Episode 2, follows the basic plot of the series but adapts it to the setting produced by the combined plots of the anime involved. For example, Eiji's first appearance is just after the resolution of Martian Successor Nadesico, and the SDF-1 Macross's fold removes the heroes from Earth long enough for Grados to establish control over some parts of America such as Manhattan. The heroes return in time to aid the resistance, and Eiji finally joins the team officially along with Domon Kasshu after they (and the player's current character) fight off the Demon Death Platoon and several Gundam Heads.
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