Zoids: Chaotic Century, simply titled Zoids (ゾイド?) in Japan, is the first of Five anime series based on the Zoids range of mecha model kits produced by TOMY. The series was animated by XEBEC, and aired from 1999-09-04 to 2000-12-23 on TBS. Although the first series to be produced for the franchise in Japan, Chaotic Century was the second series to be dubbed and aired in Western nations, following Zoids: New Century Zero.
Zoids: Chaotic Century is set in the far reaches of the Milky Way, on the planet Zi. On Zi, there are metallic life-forms known as Zoids, which possess powerful fighting capabilities. Throughout the recent history of the series, Zoids have been used as weapons in an ongoing war between the Helic Republic and Guylos Empire.
The setting of Chaotic Century is a few years after the most recent war between the Helic Republic and the Guylos Empire. The two nations are currently observing a ceasefire, although ambushes and minor assaults are initiated by both sides, and tensions are high after it is revealed that one or both sides may have access to the ancient technology of the Ancient Zoidians.
The series follows the story of Van Flyheight, a teenage boy who discovers a mysterious girl named Fiona (Fine in the Japanese version), and an Organoid named Zeke (Sieg). Van discovers that Zeke has the ability to merge with a Zoid, increasing its fighting power, and with that skill, Van and Fiona set off to discover the secrets of Fiona's past. During their travel, they meet up with a transporter named Moonbay, and a mercenary named Irvine, who initially thwarts their progress, but eventually begins traveling with them. As they travel across the Helic Republic, a new war breaks out, with the group of travelers being caught in the middle of it.
Differences between the storylines
Although there are many similarities between Chaotic Century and the 'New Battle Story' accompanying the New Japanese Release, the two storylines are considered to be inherently different, and are believed to occur in alternate continuities. Listed below are the main differences.
- The Zoidian race, known as the Ancient Zoidians in the anime, were wiped out long before human colonists discovered Zi. The event that wiped out the Ancient Zoidians was not the destruction of Zi's third moon by a comet, but the creation of the Death Saurer.
- Both the Guylos Empire and the Helic Republic are based on the Central Continent. No mention of the Zenebas Empire or the Dark Continent of Nyx is made, although Prozen does imply in passing that other continents exist.
- The "Guardian Force" never appears during the Battle Story.
- Certain Zoids are a lot rarer than they are in the battle story. Similarly, the sizes of some Zoids, particularly the Ultrasaurus and Death Saurer, were scaled up dramatically.
Prior to the series there was war between the Guylos Empire and the Helic Republic which ended in a ceasefire. Not much is stated about the war other than that Van's father fought and died in it. The series starts with Van being chased by a group of bandit Zoid pilots and ends discovering the organoid Zeke in some ruins. Zeke revives an abandoned Shield Liger, which Van uses to fight off the bandits. After that, he discovers Fiona in the ruins that he found Zeke in, and finds that she has no memory of who she is. When Van returns to his village, the gang bandits return and try to take Zeke from Van. To keep his village safe from them, he leaves with Fiona. During that time in some more ruins Van hears Fiona speak of something called Zoid Eve and decides to help her find it in hopes that it help her get her memory back. Shortly afterwards, he meets Irvine. Initially, Van and Irvine are enemies because of Irvine's desire to take Zeke, but end up traveling together when they meet with traveler Moonbay, and Van ends having to stay with Moonbay because she blew up her cargo to help him.
Later, the four end up at one the Republic's army bases, and end up having to help stop an invasion by the Empire orchestrated by Prozen. After that, Van, Fiona, Irvine and Moonbay preferred to stay out of the war. However, Van ends getting involved somewhat when he meets the Guylos ace pilot Raven, whom he quickly holds a grudge against after seeing Raven's brutal nature, but proves no match for him their first battle. Van later challenges Raven again, loses, and Zeke suffers near-fatal damage, but Van manages to save him. During this time the Imperial army is marching farther and farther in Republican territory but are eventually stopped by the Republic's Gojulas. Van and the others eventually reach the Republic's capital in hopes of finding information about Zoid Eve, but only end up getting caught up in the Empire's assault on the city. During the battle Van is finally able to defeat Raven.
The war is stopped when the Empire's crown prince Rudolph orders a ceasefire, but Prozen refuses to give up on conquering the Republic, and so attempts to assassinate the prince, but his attempt is foiled by the bandits Ross and Viola who kidnap the prince in attempt to gain money. During this time, Prozen finds the remains of the Death Saurer, attempts to revive it, and also creates the Geno Saurer for Raven to use. Raven uses the Geno Saurer to destroy Van's Shield Liger, but was unaware that Zeke and Fiona revived the Shield Liger as the Blade Liger. During this time it's revealed that Fiona is actually an ancient Zoidian that existed before humans came to the planet Zi. Rudoulf joins Van and his friends who try to take him to the Empire's capital Guygalos to stop Prozen from taking over the Empire and restarting the war. During this time, parts of Imperial army loyal to Prozen and some that were manipulated into fighting them try to stop them. Eventually, Van faces Raven again and after an extremely difficult battle destroys the Geno Saurer. He does this by using one of the Blade Liger's blades(the other was snapped off during the battle) along with his shield which disperses the charged particles. However, Raven survives thanks to his organoid Shadow. Although Rudolph is returned to the capital, Prozen attempts to use the revived Death Saurer to take control, which goes on a rampage and almost destroys the capital and joint forces the Empire and Republic that are powerless to stop it, but Van is able to destroy the Death Saurer using the same technique used before with Raven's Genosaurer and appears to kill Prozen in the process. Rudolph is then crowned the emperor and peace finally starts to settle between the Empire and Republic, but Van and Fiona don't take part in celebration and instead leave to find Zoid Eve.
Two years after the Death Saurer's defeat, Van is shown to be part of the Helic army. On a trip home, he meet's up with Fiona, and the two decide to try to find the Zoids eve, again. Over the course of their adventure, the two meet up with old friends, along with new ones. Along with new friends, old and new rivials appear, and a plot to restorr Zoidians to power, even though all humans have to die for it.
(All characters are referred to by their names in the English dub)
- Van Flyheight is a teenage orphan of the previous war between the Republic and Empire. His home is Wind Colony Village, just within the borders of the Helic Republic. Van has an older sister, Maria, who is in her late teens. Their father, Major Dan Flyheight, was a pilot with the Republican Army, using a Command Wolf called Zeke. He was killed defending the Wind Colony from an Imperial attack when Van was five. At the start of the series, Van is chased into series of ruins by a pair of trigger happy bandits. He then finds two capsules in the ruin. Van opens one to find a Organoid, whom he names Zeke. He then fights off bandits in a Shield Liger, which was brought back to life by Zeke. Van then opens up the second capsule, and finds a girl, who he names Fiona. Van then starts a journey to find Fiona memories, and becomes caught up in a new war, and a plot to take over Zi. Van is a bit dense to start with, but is loyal to his companions and has a good heart. His open nature means that many people are attracted to him, and he enjoys a good challenge. He pilots a Shield Liger, a lion type Zoid that can deploy a shield in front of itself. It later evolves into a Blade Liger, which gives it a pair of laser-edged blades capable of cutting through all but the densest of enemy armor. His favorite food is mentioned as papaya. Voiced by: Daisuke Kishio (Japanese), Matthew Erikson (English)
- Fiona is young girl awakened from stasis by Van. She suffers from severe amnesia, and is unable to remember anything. Van gives her the name "Fiona", and the two set off to discover who she is. As her memories return, it is learned that Fiona is actually Elisia Linette, one of the last members of the Ancient Zoidian race. Her driving goal is to discover something known as the 'Zoid Eve', supposedly the source of all Zoids' power. Although a bit naive at first (going up to bandits and demanding they release her friends), she matures over time and eventually serves as Dr. D's brilliant assistant. While she and Van had somewhat of a rocky start, the two would grow close, and form a bond. It is hinted that Fiona and Van did develop romantic feeling for one another, as Fiona did give Van a kiss during his last battle with Raven.Voiced by: Makiko Ohmoto (Japanese), Carol-Anne Day (English)
- Zeke is an Organoid, a small Zoid imbued with many powers. Awakened by Van, Zeke is named after the Command Wolf piloted by Van's father. Zeke's primary ability is to fuse himself with another Zoid, increasing its combat potential dramatically. Zeke is able to use this ability to resurrect destroyed Zoids, and to evolve Zoids into more powerful forms. Voiced by: Takuma Suzuki (Japanese), Dave Pettitt (English)
- Irvine is an eighteen-year-old mercenary, and the "tough guy" of the series. Initially interested in capturing Zeke, he later joins Van and Fiona after losing this desire. Although cold-hearted in appearance, Irvine shows a soft side on more than one occasion. He is a skilled pilot, who uses a modified Command Wolf with a powerful long-range beam cannon. When his Command Wolf is severely damaged, its combat data is transferred to an experimental Zoid, the Lightning Saix, which uses extreme speed to overwhelm the opponent. While he wears an eye patch, he has full function of both his eyes, and uses the eye patch as a camera. Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese), Mark Gatha (English)
- Moonbay is a trader, who often smuggles weapons using the Gustav, an armored insect Zoid capable of pulling 250 tons of cargo. She is considered to be a free-spirited individual, who is not afraid to speak her mind. Although appearing greedy and selfish, Moonbay is a good person. She does like to sing, although she rarely stays on key. Voiced by: Kumiko Watanabe (Japanese), Onalea Gilbertson (English)
- Raven is the top pilot of the Guylos Empire, adopted by Prozen after his parents, Zoid researchers, were killed by the organoid Ambient. He is selected for his prodigious piloting abilities, which are complemented by the Organoid, Shadow. Raven is extremely anti-social and reserved, and holds a deep dislike of all Zoids. He considers Van to be his rival, and swears not to rest until Van has been killed by his hand. Raven pilots a Zaber Fang, which is destroyed in a battle with Van. He then pilots a Genosaurer which is destroyed by Van in another battle. It is replaced by a prototype Genosaurer, which later evolves into the powerful Geno Breaker. Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga (Japanese), Scott Hendrickson (English)
- Gunther Prozen is the main villain of the series. He is the Regent of the Guylos Empire, an Admiral in the Guylos military, and the second in line for the throne of Guylos. Prozen arranges for Prince Rudolph, next in line for the throne, to be kidnapped and assassinated so that he can seize power after Emperor Zeppelin's suspicious death. He plans to use the Deathsaurer to take total control of the world. He is believed to be killed after his Death Saurer is destroyed, but is shown to have survived as the Dark Kaiser. Voiced by: Houchu Ohtsuka (Japanese), Dave Kelly (English)
- Hiltz is an ancient Zoidian with a red organoid named Ambient. His driving goal is to restore Ancient Zoidans to power, even if all humans have to die to do so. He pilots the Death Stinger and later merges with the Ultimate Death Saurer. Hiltz is the main antagonist of Zoids Guardian Force, and arguably the entire series as his arc is tied to Fiona's past and the quest for the Zoid Eve. He is killed in the final episode when Van is fired through the gravity cannon and penetrates the Ultimate Death Saurer. Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese), Scott Roberts (English)
- Reese is an ancient Zoidian with a blue organoid named Specula. She pilots a Double Sworder, and later upgrades to an advanced Genosaurer which was developed based on the data of Raven's Geno Breaker. She and her organoid both possess psychic abilities, and she often uses psychological warfare and mind-control to disable her enemies. While she is first a ally of Hiltz, she changes sides after she finds out Hiltz has been using her all along. She appears to have some feelings for Raven, as she does help him come to terms with his past. Voiced by: Noriko Hidaka (Japanese), Mariette Sluyter (English)
- Doctor D. is a self-confessed mad scientist once employed by the Republican Army as a Zoid researcher. He is considered Zi's foremost expert on anything Zoid or Organoid related, and enjoys hanging around with Van and his group. His attitude and demeanor irritate Van, but Doctor D.'s knowledge comes in handy on several occasions. Voiced by: Dave Pettitt
- Prince Rudolph Zeppelin III is the grandchild of Emperor Zeppelin. Rudolph is placed into the care of Van by Rosso and Viola, former waste gangers. Van agrees to help return Rudolph to the Guylos Empire capital, Guygalos, and to teach the boy how to pilot a Zoid properly. Although Rudolph's identity is initially kept hidden from Van and his friends, Doctor D. soon reveals the truth about the Crown Prince. Rudolph is an eager, friendly person, who wishes to be able to emulate Van in piloting skill. Rudolph is quite naive and prefers reasoning over fighting, even with Raven and Prozen. He also deeply cares for the Guylos empire and hates seeing others around him hurt. Voiced by: Tomoko Ishimura (Japanese), Elinor Holt (English)
- Karl Lichen Schubaltz is one of the Guylos Empire's greatest Zoid pilots. Schubaltz is an honorable fighter, and wishes to see peace between the Republic and Empire as opposed to total destruction of both sides. He has a younger brother, Thomas, who doesn't appear until Guardian Force. He both loathes and distrusts Prozen, though he doesn't do anything to stop him. Initially a major, he is later promoted to the rank of colonel. Karl Schubaltz pilots the Dark Horn and the Iron Kong, as well as a custom Saber Tiger. Voiced by: Yuji Ueda (Japanese), Jonathan Love (English)
- Thomas Richard Schubaltz is the younger brother of Karl Schubaltz, and pilot of the Dibison. He excels at technical tasks, and is the creator of the BEEK AI unit, which can be installed into a Zoid, and communicates through a series of beeps. When he first meets Fiona, he falls in love with her. This serves somewhat of a gag, as Thomas is shown to compete with Van for Fiona's feelings (though neither Fiona or Van know about this). Voiced by: Kentarou Itou (Japanese), Ryan Luhning (English)
- Rob Herman is the commander-in-chief of the Red River Unit at the Red River base bordering Imperial territory. He is also the son of both the Republic's former and current Presidents, but he is a confident soldier who does not appear to rely on the influence of his family in order to benefit himself. Instead, he prefers to perform his duties and to earn his rank in the army on his own. In fact, it is to be noted that in one of the episodes, it is hinted that he is so detached from his familial ties that he has not called his mother, the current President of the Republic, "Mom" in several years, instead addressing her by her proper title as any other soldier would. The Zoids he has been seen piloting most often are a Pteras and a Gordos. He has also been seen piloting a Gojulas and a Shield Liger from time to time. Voiced by: Jin Horikawa (Japanese), Kurtis Sanheim (English)
- O'Connell is the second-in-command to Rob Herman, and most commonly pilots a Command Wolf and Pteras. His loyalty is a notable character trait, as he appears quite upset when Herman is missing in action, leading him to accept the assistance of Van, Moonbay, Irvine and Fiona (for a price). Voiced by: C. Adam Leigh
The central Zoids are those of the main characters. They are as followed;
- Van's Shield Liger and Blade Liger
- Moonbay's Gustav
- Irvine's Command Wolf and Lightning Saix
- Thomas's Dibision
- Raven's Geno Saurer and Geno Breaker
The Helic Republic uses a wide selection of Zoids for combat use. Most of the time, the Helic Zoids are normally underpowered, but are either faster than Guylos Zoids or used by the masses. The most commonly seen Helic Zoids: the Godos, Gordos, Gojulas, Command Wolves, Storm Sworders, Pteras, Gustavs, Gunsnipers, and Guysacks. A few Guysacks and Godos are seen using mining equipment and used for civilian purposes.
The Gulyos Empire uses a smaller selection of Zoids for combat. Where as the Helic Zoids are faster, the Guylos Zoids are stronger. The most commonly seen Zoids of the Guylos forces are; Red Horns, Dark Horns, Sabre Fangs, Molgas, Redlers, Whale Kings, Rev Raptors, Gustavs, and Iron Kongs.
Organoids are a special type of Zoid left over from the time of the Ancient Zoidans. They usually look like small Tyrannosaurs, (albeit many with added features like wings, spikes, etc), and are around the size of a small horse. Organoids are unique to Chaotic Century and Guardian Force, and don't appear in any other series (though they appear in some games). Organoids do have the ability to fuse with other Zoids, either healing it, making it more powerful, etc. They also appear to have the memories of their masters stored in them. Only four Organoids appear in the series; Zeke, Shadow, Ambient, and Specula.
- Wild Flowers by Ramar
- Song for... by Dear
- Chase by Develop=Frame
- Into Yourself by Transtic Nerve
- Your Song by Earth
- Japanese Zoids Chaotic Century/Guardian Force Page
- Zoids (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Japanese Zoids Chaotic Century/Guardian Force Page
- Zoids (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Zoids: Chaotic Century at Zoids Wiki