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Zoids

Zoids (ゾイド), short for zoic Androids, is a franchise based around a series of plastic toy models designed and produced by Japanese toy company Tomy (now Takara-Tomy). First released in 1982, the models resemble a range of creatures including mammals, dinosaurs, and insects. The majority are in 72 scale scale with a wind-up or battery-powered motor to power moveable features, and feature snap-together construction and precolored parts.

The original line of toys was released in Japan, Europe, and the United States in the 1980s. While the American line was storyless, Zoids in Japan soon had a "Battle Story" told in text on the back of the model boxes, in "fanbooks", and in catalogues. It described the Zoids as metal-based lifeforms rebuilt into mecha and used in a series of wars on Planet Zi and the lives of the native Zoidians involved. Zoids fans in the UK were treated to their own storyline, featured in the comic Spider-Man and Zoids, which differed considerably, dividing the Zoids into warring Red and Blue factions with a party of humans caught in between.

The Zoids franchise also includes five anime series (the first starting in 1999), numerous manga series, and many electronic games, most of which inhabit their own unique continuities independent of the others. Two of the more recent toy lines have been tie-ins to the anime series.

Model Kit lines

There have been a number of different Zoids model lines over the years, both in Japan and other countries. Between these lines, over 200 different designs have been released, some several times over. For a full list of released Zoids, see the List of Zoids article.

Mechabonica

Released in 1982, Mechabonica was technically not a Zoids line, but is counted by collectors as it consisted of three models that would later be re-released as the first three Zoids, (Garius, Elephantus and Glidoler). The line was not very successful, and quickly dropped by TOMY.

Starzeta

Starzeta was the Spanish version of the Mechabonica line. Since Tomy had no direct marketing power in Spain during the 80s the models were released under licence by a smaller company (Feber) but unfortunately the line performed even less well than its Japanese counterpart. The same 3 models were released but bizarrely they were given new color schemes; grey parts became silver and the dark blue caps became bright blue. The models were not given names but are listed as Starzeta I, II and III.

SZ IV (Garantula), SZ V (Aquadon) and SZ VI (Gorgodos) were supposedly planned as a continuation of the series but their release status is currently unknown.

The models are incredibly rare (even more so than the Japanese Mechabonica) and demand is boosted even further by their unique color schemes.

Original American Release

TOMY re-released the Mechabonica line in the United States and Europe in 1983, under the name Zoids. The line was far more successful than Mechabonica, which led TOMY to reintroduce the line in Japan under the new name.

Later, a pair of original Zoids were created exclusively for the European and North American markets, the Power Zoids Tank and Serpent which were never released in Japan. Other Zoids like the Bigasaur (renamed to Giant ZRK) were also released. Radio Shack released the Mammoth Zoid in the US at the same time. While not a part of the release, it is generally counted with them. The Original American Release is commonly abbreviated as OAR by fans and collectors.

Original Japanese Release

In 1983, following the success of the OAR, TOMY reintroduced the Zoids line in Japan. The relaunched Japanese line, now entitled Zoids was a success, running from 1983 until 1990. The Zoids line had its own story that was told on the backs of the model boxes and in catalogues, known as the Battle Story.

Initially, the Zoids were divided into two distinct factions, the Helic Republic and the Zenebas Empire. In 1989, the Zenebas Empire was replaced with the Guylos Empire.

The Original Japanese Release is commonly abbreviated as OJR.

Grade-Ups

At the same time as the change from Zenebas to Guylos (1989), TOMY introduced a sub-line of Zoids, called Grade-Ups. These Zoids featured special motorised connection ports on their backs that allowed them to connect to extra weapons systems with motorised features.

Transfighters

A second sub-line was released alongside the Grade-Ups line. The Zoids in the line were not motorised, but rather were designed to connect to the Grade-Up Zoids. When connected, the Grade-Up Zoid's motor activated action features on the Transfighter. The line was unsuccessful, and only 3 Transfighters were released.

Original European Release

Zoids were also released in Europe, (and to a limited extent in Australia and South-East Asia), from 1984 to 1987 by TOMY. The models in this release were a mixture of ones directly ported over from the OJR, as well as recoloured Zoids, including the rare Ghost Zoids line. Additionally, the Tank and Serpent Power Zoids from the OAR were released. Most of the Zoids in the line were renamed.

The Zoids in the release were divided into two distinct factions, the Blue Zoids and the Red Mutants. The line had its own story, told in the UK Zoids comic.

The Original European Release is commonly abbreviated as OER.

Robo Strux

Robo Strux were released in the US and Canada by TOMY, in 1985-86. All the Zoids in the line were OJR Zoids, however, some versions of the same model retained their original (OJR) color scheme, whereas other versions of the same model received a distinctive Robo Strux color scheme. Thus, the Robo Strux line had two differently colored releases of several models. Based on their color schemes, the Zoids were divided into two factions, the Blue Guardians and the Red Mutants. However, there was no accompanying story or media.

Due to the lack of marketing and the relatively high prices of the models, Robostrux was rather short-lived.

Robostrux is commonly abbreviated as RS.

1:24 Scale Zoids

In 1988, TOMY launched a sub-line of the OJR, featuring larger-scale Zoids. The 1:24 line featured Zoids of similar size to existing ones, but scaled for larger pilots. Each kit came with a 3 inch tall action figure of the pilot. Like the regular Zoids line, the Zoids were divided into Helic and Zenebas factions.

The 1:24 Zoids were not a success, and discontinued after a year.

Zevle

In 1990, TOMY re-released several of the 1:24 scale Zoids in a new line called Zevle. The Zoids were recoloured from the OJR versions, and came with detailed, fixed-pose pilot figures instead of the action figure ones of the OJR. Zevle featured its own "Battle Story" on the boxes, but was unrelated to the Zoids battle story.

Like the 1/24th Zoids, Zevle was a failure and quickly discontinued.

Technozoids

Kenner acquired the rights to release Zoids in North America, releasing the Technozoids line in 1995-1996. The Zoids in the line were all recolours of earlier Zoids released in the OJR, although some were directly imported from the Zoids2 line. There were no distinct factions for the Zoids, and no backstory was given.

The Technozoids line was a failure, lasting less than a year before being discontinued. A number of Zoids were left unreleased at the end of the line.

Technozoids is commonly abbreviated as TZ.

Zoids 2

TOMY released another line of Zoids in the UK and Europe (with a re-release in Australia and South-East Asia) in 1996. The Zoids 2 line featured very bright colour schemes, with all the Zoids having at least some chromed parts. The Zoids also had unique stickers with odd swirling designs. The Zoids 2 line did not feature distinctive factions for the Zoids, but did have a backstory loosely based on (but not a continuation of) the UK Zoid comic, with the Zoids invading Earth and humanity's last hope being to turn the Zoids against each other.

Like Technozoids, Zoids 2 was quickly discontinued. A fire was reported to have broken out at the production plant around this time which may have had something to do with it.

Zoids 2 is commonly abbreviated as Z2.

New Japanese Release

In 1999, TOMY relaunched the Zoids line in Japan, with subsequent releases elsewhere in Asia. Initially, the line consisted of recoloured re-releases of older Zoids, but TOMY quickly began producing new Zoids designs. The Zoids were divided into Helic and Guylos factions, with the Zenebas Empire returning later. The OJR battle story was continued on the NJR boxes, with the Zoids Anime and Manga drawing on alternate versions of the New Battle Story's events.

The line was abruptly halted in mid 2004. By the end of the line, there were still thirty-three Zoids from the OJR that were yet to be re-released.

The New Japanese Release is commonly abbreviated as NJR.

Customise Parts

Along with the re-launch of the Zoids line, TOMY also launched a sub-line known as Customise Parts or simply CP. The line consisted of additional weapons and equipment that could be added onto Zoids models. The line was a mixture of new parts and re-issues of parts originally included in various OJR models.

The Customise Parts line was abruptly halted in 2001.

Blox

In 2001, TOMY introduced a new sub-line of non-motorised Zoids called Blox, which featured flexible construction. Blox Zoids can be easily disassembled and combined with each other, as well as with regular Zoids.

Cyber-Drive Zoids

TOMY introduced a second sub-line in 2002, known as Cyber-Drive Zoids. This line was centred around partially pre-built Zoids that were remote controlled. Additionally, the Zoids could be operated via an infrared adapter attached to a Game Boy Advance unit.

The line was rather unsuccessful, mainly due to the high price per unit and the pre-built nature of the models. Only three Zoids were released, one of which was a recolour bundled with the Cyber-Drive video game.

Panzer Tier

In 2003, Panzer Tier began re-releases of some of the 1:24 scale Zoids. These re-releases also featured the box art and model kit pilots from the previous Zevle versions of the Zoids. The line appears to have been unsuccessful, and was halted after only half of the Zoids had been re-released.

Toys Dream Project

In 2004, Toys Dream Project began a line of limited Zoids releases. The line consisted of a mixture of new recolours of existing Zoids, as well as re-releases of older versions of some Zoids in their OJR colours, as well as some moulds that had not yet been re-released.

New American Release

Following the launch of the NJR, Hasbro licensed Zoids for release in North America and South-East Asia in 2001. Like the NJR, the line was divided into Republic and Empire factions, with the Anime providing the backstory. Initially, the Hasbro line consisted of just re-releases of Zoids from the NJR. However, they later began developing their own Zoid designs, as well as co-developing others with TOMY. Additionally, Hasbro had planned to re-release several OJR Zoids that had not been released in the NJR.

Although it was initially successful, Hasbro suspended the line in 2004, due to poor sales. The cancellation of the line left a number of Zoids unreleased, including most of those not yet re-released by TOMY. Much of the leftover stock was later released by Hasbro in Australia and the UK. The line is still, however, the largest and most successful non-Japanese Zoids line.

The New American Release is commonly abbreviated as NAR.

Z-Builders

Any Blox Zoids that were released by Hasbro were sold as part of the sub-line known as Z-Builders. Most of the Z-Builders were re-releases of the NJR Blox sub-line, but the line included several Hasbro-designed Zoids, as well as individual releases of Blox Zoids that did not occur in Japan. The Z-Builders line was based on the Zoids: Fuzors anime, and its cancellation is often attributed as a cause of the failure of the anime series in the United States.

New Pacific Release

In parallel to the NAR, TOMY began releasing Zoids in Australia and South-East Asia. The Zoids released by TOMY in these countries were identical to Hasbro's NJR Zoids, but were TOMY branded and manufactured. While the line mirrored the NAR, a number of Zoids scheduled for release in the NAR only came out in this line. Similarly, a lot of Zoids released in the NAR were never released in the Pacific region. The line was effectively dead as of 2004, with leftover stock appearing on shelves throughout 2005.

The New Pacific Release also had a Z-Builders sub-line, identical to the NAR.

New English Release

In 2003, TOMY began releasing Zoids in the UK. Like the Pacific release, the Zoids were identical to Hasbro-released ones, save for the logos on the boxes. The UK release featured several Zoids designs and colour schemes that were not available in the NAR.

The line was cancelled in mid-2004, due to poor sales. This was largely due to very poor marketing, very high prices for Zoids and the Zoids anime never showing on terrestrial UK television.

The New English Release is commonly abbreviated as NER. It is sometimes referred to as the New European Release (despite never having been released outside of the UK).

Fuzors

In late 2004, TOMY launched a new Zoids line to tie into the Zoids: Fuzors anime that was then showing on Japanese TV. The line was composed entirely of recolours of older Blox and Zoids. Some models were altered slightly, or packaged with additional parts, mainly to allow different Zoids to connect (or "fuse"). The line also featured a number of Zoids that were previously only released in North America.

The line was abruptly halted in early 2005, with several items unreleased.

Fuzors is commonly abbreviated as FZ.

Genesis

In early 2005, another new Zoid line was launched, to tie into the Zoids: Genesis anime. The line consists of a mixture of old designs, new designs and older designs with new parts. The line is most notable for the much-anticipated reissues of Houndsoldier and Gilvader)

Reactions to the line were mixed; the re-releases (which included several Zoids not previously re-released) were well received. The new designs have not done so well, having been plagued by quality control issues and production errors. There has also been a lot of criticism of the substantially "pre-built" nature of a lot of the new models.

The line has suffered from poor sales, and was effectively cancelled as of November 2005, although a small number of models were released after this date.

Genesis is commonly abbreviated as GZ. An alternate abbreviation, GB, is used for the Bio-Zoids released as part of this line.

Neo-Blox

Released in May 2006, the Neo-Blox are an improvement on the previous Blox line, primarily due to the greater range of poseability the 'Blox and peg' connection system has.

Two sublines have also been released. The first is the Legends Series, which features Zoids from previous releases, but redesigned to be the same size as the Neo-Blox Zoids, and modified to use the same connector system. The second are the Custom Blox; small Zoids that use more traditional Blox, and which can be combined together or to the larger Neo-Blox.

By the end of 2006, the main line appeared to be on hold, with Tomy instead focusing on the Legend Blox sub-line. With the cancellation of all unreleased Neo-Blox in early 2007, the line was effectively dead.

The Neo-Blox is abbreviated as either NBZ or NB. Alternate abbreviations are used for the Legends Series (LB) and the Custom Blox (CBZ).

High-end Master Model

Released in late 2006, the High-end Master Model line, commonly abbreviated HMM, is a joint effort between Tomy and Kotobukiya. The line consists of high-quality, highly detailed, poseable 1/72 scale model kits of existing Zoids. Every released (or soon to be released) kit has had an alternate, limited edition color scheme released (or that will be released) as well, after the standard is released.

Evo Drive Zoids

Miniature Zoids that are either wind-up or motorized. So far there are only two different molds, with six kits being released. Exclusive parts are also available.

Original Japanese Reissues

Released in Summer 2007, the OJR are reissues of the original model kits leased in the 1980s. They feature the model kit, a box and booklet with battlestory information.

So far, only three have been released, with another three slated for release.

Zoids 25th: Rebirth Century

To be released in September (approx.), this new Zoids line will be a motorized series consisting of both re-releases and new designs. So far for this line, King Gojulas, Gilvader and Helidgunner have been officially announced. Three new designs, a Neo-Godos, Spider and Gustav-like Zoid designs have been shown.

In March 2008 two photos of Denkagi Hobby Magazine were posted on 2chan featuring a number of new design sketches, and mechanism prototypes. Labeled on the design sketches are "Raptor," "Power Up," "Frog," "Futabasuzukiryu" as well as other indistinguishable text. The prototypes seem to be of a crab, frog, lobster, elephant, futabasuzukiryu as well as some sort of battery unit. There seems to also be a sketch of a dragon type.

Upon the release of the magazine, better scans have been made available..

Battle Story plot summary

Original Battle Story

The planet Zi and its ion-rich oceans gave birth to a large number of metal life forms. Some went on to become the humanoid Zoidians. Others became the creatures known as Zoids, mechanical living beings with a core as a central life-force.

For centuries, the Zoidians lived in small tribes with an emphasis on survival, as their planet was wreaked with earthquakes and volcanoes. As the tectonic instability quieted down, their numbers grew, and people had time to squabble over territory. They took and modified the wild Zoids of the planet, eventually altering and changing them into massive war machines. In ZAC 1955, Helic Muroa of the Wind Tribe, who had tired of the constant battles, united the fifty tribes of the Central Continent into a single nation. He managed to convince his rival Guylos (of the Earth Tribe) to ally with him as well.

Helic's two sons, Helic II and Zenebas Muroa, inherited his nation after his death in ZAC 1978. Zenebas favored aggressive foreign policy, preferring to attack first and ask questions later in contrast to his brother's more peaceful approach. Tensions mounted, and he left after a bitter quarrel and framing by the Republic assembly, splitting the continent into two groups; the Helic Republic in the east and the Zenebas Empire in the west. The two nations went to war in ZAC 1980, beginning a series of low-scale conflicts.

In ZAC 2029, a ship from Earth, the Globally 3, crashed on Zi in the middle of the Central Continent. The survivors joined both the Empire and the Republic, using advanced Earth technologies to increase the war potential of the Zoids. The intensity of the war increased, as new Zoids like the Gojulas and Iron Kong were deployed. The two sides battled for nearly a decade, until the Republic deployed the super-heavy Ultrasaurus. With the Ultrasaurus, the Helic Republic was able to defeat the Zenebas Empire.

Emperor Zenebas himself fled, traveling to the Dark Continent of Nyx. Once there, he made a bargain with the emperor of the Guylos Empire to rebuild his army. In ZAC 2042, he returned, invading the Republic with a force of new Zoids. The Zenebas forces quickly advanced with the rollout of the Death Saurer in ZAC 2042, crushing the capital of the Republic. The Republic's government survived, and planned a counter-offensive in the midst of guerrilla warfare in the mountain ranges. In ZAC 2048, they deployed a new Zoid, the Madthunder. With the new Zoid, they were able to defeat the Death Saurer armies and destroy the Zenebas Empire.

Zenebas fled again, but before he could reach the Dark Continent, the forces of the Guylos Empire ambushed him. His army and its Zoids were absorbed into Guylos', who started a new series of conflicts with the Republic. After a successful landing and a long offensive through the brutal terrain of Nyx, the Republic army faced Guylos' trump card, the incredibly powerful Gilvader. To defend itself, the Republic created the Orudios and finally the King Gojulas, a monstrous Zoid that spearheaded a final offensive.

Before the last battle could take place, a meteor struck one of Zi’s three moons, which shattered, raining meteors down on Zi. The Central Continent was sundered into three sections, while part of the Dark Continent sank into the ocean. Most of the wild Zoids, as well as many of the Zoidians themselves, were wiped out...

New Battle Story

The human descendants of the Globally 3 crash survived the destruction, and set about rebuilding the nations of Zi. In ZAC 2096, after decades of peace and recovery from the devastation, Emperor Guylos died. As his grandson, Rudolph, was too young to rule, his chief minister, Gunter Prozen was named regent. In ZAC 2099, Prozen declared war on the Helic Republic, and launched an invasion of the Western Continent of Europa to attack the Republic. The Republic's forces launched a counterattack, but were overwhelmed.

The Empire found the ruins of an ancient civilization containing a Deathsaurer, as well as other technologies. The Guylos Empire began work on restoring the Deathsaurer, as well as deploying new Zoids like the Geno Saurer. The Republic also developed new Zoids and reproduced older Zoids like the Shield Liger, and began to slowly turn the tide against the Empire.

In ZAC 2100, the Republic reactivated the Ultrasauruses that had survived the devastation, and used them to attack the Empire's forces on Europa. The Empire countered with their newest creation, the Death Stinger. However, the Death Stinger went berserk and attacked both sides, destroying all in its path. Eventually, the Death Stinger was defeated, but not before causing massive damage.

The Empire’s troops retreated to the Dark Continent in ZAC 2101, followed by the Republic army. Once there, however, the Republic Army were attacked by a new elite Guylos unit, the Eisen Dragoons, and suffered horrible losses. The Republic’s forces battled their way through to the capital, where they found that Prozen’s personal unit had launched a coup. Prozen, the son of Emperor Zenebas, tried to overthrow the Guylos Empire. The Guylos units loyal to Rudolph joined forces with the Helic Republic, and engaged those loyal to Prozen. The combined forces managed to defeat Prozen, but the Death Saurer Prozen was piloting overloaded, and destroyed the majority of the Zoids in the city.

In the aftermath, the Eisen Dragoons took over the Guylos Empire and re-formed it as the Neo-Zenebas Empire, under the rule of their leader, Wolff Muroa. They invaded the Central Continent and, with the new Seismosaurus Zoid, conquered the entire continent in ZAC 2106, forcing the Republic to retreat to the Eastern Continent

However, in ZAC 2109, the Republic's forces returned from their exile on the Eastern Continent. They drove the Empire's forces back using the newly developed Liger Zero Phoenix, Jet Falcon, and Gairyuki. The battle ended with the Republic reclaiming their capital, and forcing the Zenebas Empire back to the western half of the Central Continent.

Three Tigers Battle Story

By the year ZAC 2230, there have been no wars in decades, instead Zoids are owned by private citizens and fight each other in arena battles. Two large Zoid manufacturing corporations, ZOITEC and Zi-Arms, have become considerable powers on Zi.

The two corporations discover the cores of three ancient tiger Zoids, and recreate them as new machines. ZOITEC creates the first one, the Whitz Tiger. Zi-Arms countered with their own new Zoid, the Dekalt Dragon. The two corporations clash over the ownership of the remaining two cores. ZOITEC succeeds in creating another Zoid from the second core, the Rayse Tiger.

Zi-Arms responded by recreating the third core as the Brastle Tiger, and launching an attack on ZOITEC. With the data they gain from the attack, they combine the three cores and use them to recreate a Death Saurer. Unfortunately, the Death Saurer goes berserk and attacks the Zi-Arms forces, destroying the Dekalt Dragon.

The three Tigers join forces to fight the Death Saurer. By using their various abilities, they are able to destroy it, ending the threat. The tigers then vanish, returning "back into legends".

Anime plot summary

The four anime series pertaining to Zoids are: Zoids: Chaotic Century, Zoids: New Century Zero, Zoids: Fuzors, and Zoids: Genesis. All of these series take place on the planet Zi, and in all series the Zoids are metallic lifeforms which are used by people as workers and weapons.

Chaotic Century

Zoids: Chaotic Century follows a boy named Van Flyheight (more correctly romanised as Freiheit in the Japanese version); the series starts with him being chased by bandits into some old ruins, where he finds a girl named Fiona (Fine in the Japanese) and a small silver Zoid, which he names Zeke (Sieg), in old capsules. Zeke, who is later found to be an Organoid, helps Van and Fiona escape the bandits by reactivating a broken Shield Liger and helping Van pilot it out. As the series progresses, Van meets various opponents, such as Raven, and friends, like Moonbay and Irvine, and eventually ends up helping Fiona in her quest to regain her memory and to find the Zoid Eve.

2-4 years after the defeat of the Death Saurer, the second story arc in Zoids: Chaotic Century begins. Van has been training for the past few years under the direction of Colonel Kreuger in the Helic Republic Army. Because of several events and assumed terrorists arising, the Helic Republic and Guylos Empire form a joint military task force called the Guardian Force. Van soon meets up with Fiona, who has been searching for Zoid Eve along with Dr. D., a seemingly insane and childish genius. They set out to find Zoid Eve together again, and, along the way, meet up with both old and new friends and foes.

As well as the anime series, there was a manga published in Japan. It was later reproduced in English in North America by Viz Communications, and in Singapore in English by Chuang Yi. There are significant differences between the anime and manga, becoming more striking in the later issues.

Despite featuring a lot of similar situations and characters, the Chaotic Century Anime and the Battle Story are nothing alike, and have completely different backstories. The Anime and Battle Story are generally accepted to occur in parallel realities.

Though the second story arc of Chaotic Century is often called Guardian Force by western fans, the name is not officially recognised and is an example of fanon.

New Century Zero

Zoids: New Century Zero takes place several centuries after Guardian Force, where Zoid battles have become a tournament-based league of sorts. The main character is Bit Cloud, a junk dealer, who runs into the Blitz Team. As Bit interferes in a match with the Blitz Team he comes across the Liger Zero, a Zoid possessed by the Blitz Team which no one can pilot. Bit and Liger form a partnership and end up joining the Blitz Team in their various league matches. He is aided by his teammates, Leena Toros, Brad Hunter, Jamie Hemeros, as well as their leader, Dr. Steve Toros.

The Liger Zero is revealed to be a unique Zoid, an Ultimate X; it contains an "Integrated Organoid System", or "black box" - a self-supporting artificial intelligence program that allows the Liger Zero to learn and adapt on its own. Only special "chosen ones" can pilot an Ultimate X.

Along the way, Bit's unique Zoid gets the attention of the Backdraft Group, an organization who is trying to take over Zoid battles and make them more "interesting." The Backdraft attempts to acquire the Liger Zero by any means possible. They eventually unearth the Berserk Fury, a powerful Zoid that also contains an Integrated Organoid System.

During the Royal Cup, an event in which the top teams in the world fight one another for the honour of becoming a "Class-S" team, the Backdraft Group attempts an uprising against the Zoid Battle Commission (ZBC). But because of the ZBC's strength, the Backdraft was quickly destroyed.

New Century Zero has a number of animation cameos with Zoids from Chaotic Century and Guardian Force, which are the cause of much fan speculation but not explained. Moonbay's Gustav can be seen in the background in one of the later episodes, the Backdraft shoots judge satellites down with a Death Stinger tail, and the Ultrasaurus wreck on which Bit Cloud claims victory carries the Gravity Cannon on its side.

This was the first Zoids series to appear on American television, airing in Cartoon Network's Toonami block.

Fuzors

Zoids: Fuzors follows the adventures of team Mach Storm and RD, a novice Liger Zero pilot. They live in the technologically advanced Blue City, competing in Zoid battles. When a top team is wiped out by a pair of Zoids able to combine, it leads to a series of discoveries relating to special "Fuzor" Zoids and combinations - RD's Liger Zero ends up partnered with the Fire Phoenix and later the Jet Falcon.

There's something more sinister lurking behind the sports battles and RD's rivalry with team Savage Hammer, however, and as the series unfolds RD and his friends Helmut, Sigma, Hop, and Sweet get caught up in a plot to take over the city. RD discovers the secret behind the mysterious "Alpha Zoid", however, and with the help of pilots from all over the city defeats the Seismosaurus holding it under siege.

About half-way through the series, the show was removed from America's Cartoon Network, ending on a cliffhanger. This was most likely a result of flagging ratings and toy sales. However, the full series aired in Australia and was later shown in Japan, getting full DVD releases in both countries.

Genesis

Zoids: Genesis was a new series that began in April 2005. As yet, the continuity between it and the previous shows is unclear.

At a certain point in time, there was a great quake on Planet Zi. An enormous crack ran through the planet, stretching as far as the seabeds to the high mountains. Volcanos erupted with fire, and the sky was covered in darkness. Many cities were destroyed as they were swallowed in large areas, sinking underwater. This was known as "Gods' Fury."

Before this large series of natural disasters, all civilizations were at their peak. All were destroyed by the disasters, and it was several thousand years before the inhabitants of Zi were able to re-establish themselves in any meaningful form. Survivors of the disasters gathered together and formed new civilizations; these groups searched for Zoids that are buried underground for human use.

The story begins in a village whose most precious item, a giant blade, is worshipped as a holy symbol. Ruuji, a teenage boy, discovers an ancient Liger-type Zoid, the Murasame Liger, while on a deep water salvage operation. His village is suddenly attacked by skeletal "Bio-Zoids" intent on securing the powerful Generator located in the village. The Bio-Zoids are piloted by what appear to be droids, but they are actually humans souls in special pilot suits. Ruuji, despite being unable to awaken any other Zoid before this, awakens Murasame Liger and discovers that the town's sacred blade is actually Liger's weapon. Together, they fight off the mysterious Bio-Zoids, saving the day... at least for now.

UK Zoids Comics

In the 1980s, a Zoids tie-in strip was published in the Marvel UK title Secret Wars. On the back of this, it gained its own weekly title, Spider-Man and Zoids. This story has no continuity with any Japanese anime (which didn't exist at the time) and it was created to go along with the original UK (and subsequently Australian) release of model kits. The comic is notable for featuring early work by Grant Morrison, including the epic and apocalyptic Black Zoid storyline.

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Zoids

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