- The Leomasters

 The Leomasters were high-speed combat specialists of the Republican Army, who were best known for piloting the DCS-J. They were given their title by the Republic's High-Speed Combat Force and distinguished by the emblem of a black Shield Liger over a shield, which was painted onto the Zoids that they piloted. Every Leomaster's emblem had a different shield color, making that Leomaster immediately recognizable on the battlefield.

 In the HMM manuals, it is also said that Leomasters were given preferential treatment when choosing pilots for the Blade Ligers. It's worth noting however that HMM lore is an AU of the battle story, given that the Shield Liger MK-II manual incorrectly noted two other pilots as Leomasters, both during OJR times (before the establishment of their lore) and four years after one of them died.

The Shield Liger DCS-J

The Shield Liger DCS-J, from the Official Fan Books. A jet-black Shield Liger with many improvements over the standard DCS, but considered more difficult to handle due to imbalance.
 It's theorized (but not outright confirmed) that a requirement of becoming a Leomaster is to have piloted a DCS-J. This theory gains a little traction when considering that Winner Kidd is said to have piloted every type of Liger Zoid besides the DCS-J, but still isn't considered a Leomaster.

 It's also a common misconception that the difficulty of piloting the DCS-J is purely because of the Zoid's hostility. Further examination of the Shield Liger's difficulty reveals that the DCS-J's main problem isn't so much its temperament, but its horrible balance. The Republic wanted to compensate for the increase in weight by dramatically improving its power systems, but simply adding more speed to a Zoid that was already overloaded with weight made it difficult to control. The machine itself suffered from weight imbalance. Ultimately, only 7 of these Ligers were produced before the project was cancelled, and they decided to give them to a group of high-speed specialists, who had the skill and knowledge to control such an unruly unit. These pilots were dubbed the Leomasters.

- List of Leomasters

 The concept of Leomasters originally surfaced on the Shield Liger DCS-J box, followed by many of the pilots being designed for the Battle Card Game. A few of them received lore later on with the release of the Zoids Official Fan Books. Judge, Mizumo, and Amy don't seem to have gotten official artwork, but were originally mentioned in a doujinshi made by one of the creators of the Battle Card Game (which some of these pilots were designed for). Amy also received some (unofficial) fanart from one of the BCG's artists, Sasano. These Leomasters were later confirmed in the Shield Liger DCS-J HMM lore.

 Even as the Leomasters moved up to new Zoids, they kept their emblems, making their units recognizable. Their colors were all listed in the DCS-J manual.

Ray Gregg: Liger Zero
Mizumo Tomii: Aqua Liger
Judge Lyre: Saberlion
Cicily Volta: Liger Zero Schneider
Ceres Ardoise: Liger Zero Schneider
Arthur Borgmann:
Peter Eisop
Blade Liger AB
 Blade Liger Mirage
Amy Ishikawa:* Spark Liger

- Assorted Notes

 *Prior to the release of the HMM lore, Bang Freiheit was theorized to be the yellow Leomaster. He's mentioned on the box of the Shield Liger BLOX kit (though not as a BLOX pilot), which contains the yellow Leomaster decal.

 As another aside, Cicily is mentioned to be the only female Leomaster in the OFB and HMM lore, implying that Amy Ishikawa is male. This is likely an oversight from trying to mash together different medias (Official Fan Books, Box Lore, and Battle Card Game).

 Judge is also listed as the 'white' Leomaster, but this particular Leomaster emblem has always been a bit inconsistent. It appears light gray to dark gray to brown depending on what you're viewing. I decided to strike for a good middle ground of how it looked in other media, as well as the HMM decal sheets.

- Missions Carried Out By Leomasters

  • ZAC 2100, January: Arthur Borgmann and his Blade Liger were dispatched to the Galil Ruins to acquire the missing piece of the Organoid System. This mission was unsuccessful, as Ritz Runstedt's Geno Saurer took the core instead.

  • ZAC 2100, July: Arthur Borgmann joins the fight to defend Rob Base with his Blade Liger.

  • ZAC 2100, October: Arthur Borgmann fights in defense of the Destroyer Corps, and ultimately saves thousands of lives by giving up his own to aid Imperial Lieutenant Ritz Runstedt in defeating the runaway Death Stinger.

  • Much of the content in this article was researched and shared by Falcarius!