- Wild Zoids

- What Is A Wild Zoid?

 When we think of Wild Zoids many of us probably think of the more accurately called "stray" Zoids. Fully finished war machines that've escaped human control. Perhaps you also think of the Liger Zero's "Wild Body", the form that gave Zero a fierce reputation as a truly "wild" beast. In truth, almost all Zoids come from wild forms of this variety. The difference is that many species were domesticated by humans, setting them apart from the truly wild species that still roamed the planet.

 In this article we're going to go over how these creatures came into existence, what different "Wild Forms" we get to see in the franchise, and how they are differentiated from Combat Zoids.

- The Lifecycle of Wild Zoids

 Wild Zoids reproduce on their own, creating embryotic cores within their own body. These embryos inherit genetic knowledge from their predecessor, including its experiences in dealing with its environment. The adult can develop multiple embryos depending on its physical health and environment, but the number of embryos is not impacted by the species.

 Once the adult dies, and the core is exposed to the outside environment, the core begins to generate new individuals. The embryos that form from that core begin moving towards water. Once submerged, they absorb the water and its metallic elements, recreating the original high-temperature environment from primeval Planet Zi internally. Soon pits begin to form on the surface, varying in size and number for each species. Parts that will later form the skeleton of the Zoid emerge from the pits.

 Once the skeleton is fully formed, the Zoid is officially considered a juvenile. At this stage, they're still absorbing nutrients from the water. They begin moving more actively, and feeding. It isn't until their skeletons have become sturdier that they climb out onto land. From there they seek food high in metals, and continue to grow.


 The time that it takes for this growth cycle varies, with large Zoids estimated to take up to 50 years. The average lifespan of a Wild Zoid ranges from 50 to 200 years, but their aging is halted once they are converted into combat Zoids.

- Dietary Needs of Wild Zoids

 Originally, the Zoid ecosystem closely resembled that of Earth animals. Herbivorous species fed on plants, and carnivorous species fed on the meat and organs of the herbivores. However, after the development of the Zoid Core, when the Zoid's organs began to centralize, both of these systems changed.

 By this point, Zoids had developed a hard metal shell around the outside of their body. However, if one could break through that outter shell, and dig out the Zoid Core, they could instantly replenish the energy and ingredients necessary for their growth and mobility. Thus, both classes of Zoids began to seek out Zoid Cores for sustenance.

- Stray Zoids

 Sometimes, Zoids escape from the military or are left in the field, and become stray Zoids. In these cases it's not uncommon for them to return to their natural instincts, but by this point they are no longer able to thrive on their own. They often turn feral and violent, because their only means of survival is to get their sustenance from other Zoids.

 Even so, it's not uncommon for these Zoids to fall into a state of disrepair. While some media depicts them only retaining injuries that they received in battle, others have depicted stray Zoids as being doomed to die without human intervention as more and more of their systems break down.

- The Foundation of Modern Zoids

 Almost all Zoids use the cores from their wild counterparts. However, because of famous cases like the Liger Zero, it's often assumed that domesticated Zoids use fully man-made cores. This isn't necessarily true. As we can see on the right, even common Zoids like the Rev Raptor have wild counterparts. Standard cores aren't actually artificial, they're still from the wild Zoid counterparts of each species. However, they're based on domesticated species who have undergone years of selective breeding and human intervention.

 This limitation has led to many Zoid disappearing from the front lines. The countless wars that have ravaged Planet Zi have left many species endangered. Without the wild counterparts they couldn't produce more combat Zoids. This is why Zoids like the Gilvader never reoccurred after a certain point. There were simply no more wild individuals to utilize.

 In some cases they were able to bring endangered species back by slowly building up their numbers, such as in the case of the Salamander. In other cases, seemingly extinct Zoids were brought back to life. The Guylos Empire was able to figure out a way to revive seemingly-dead Zoid Cores using the Organoid System, which was used to resurrect the Death Saurer. Later on, they would use the Organoid System to rapidly accelerate the growth rate of Wardick Zoid Cores. They were soon able to mobilize an army, in spite of Wardick's wild counterpart having been thought to be near extinction after the Grand Catastrophe.

- Modern Wild Zoids

 In the mid-to-late NJR era, Wild Zoids received a bit of a facelift. In October ZAC 2100, a prototype based on this wild body was discovered at Nixie Base on the Western Continent, standing beside a tyrannosaurus type. The Republic captured the liger, while the rex escaped.

 Later, fully finished Zoids would be created based on these wild bodies. Their instincts weren't harnessed and controlled, as they are with domestic wild Zoids. Without the confines of modern interventions their instincts remained strong, even in their final form. Those instincts were linked to their pilot's, and thus their reaction speed was significantly higher than conventional Zoids. They could respond almost immediately, weaving around enemies that struggled to keep up.

 Zoids like the Liger Zero and Berserk Führer would later become the famous examples of Wild Zoids, and are distinguished from those who spent centuries going through the domestication process.

- The History of Wild Zoids

- Primeval Life on Zi

 The first bacteria is thought to have appeared approximately 200 million years after the birth of the planet, forming in the primeval seawater. At the time, Zi's oceans contained large quantities of metals and hydrogen sulphide, and exceeded 120 degrees Celsius. In spite of this, thermophilic bacteria began to self-propagate, gaining energy through chemosynthesis instead of photosynthesis, as at this time, sunlight didn't reach the planet's surface. That bacteria would later evolve into a variety of creatures.

 These ancient lifeforms had bodily fluids that exhibited almost the same composition as Zi's primeval seawater. Later forms would begin to form shells using the metals from their environment. Even though this metal couldn't be passed down to one's descendants, they could regulate the concentration of metallic elements that they consumed and take advantage of chemical reactions to generate heat energy.

 These armored organisms would evolve into a variety of creatures, such as this Horseshoe Crab, with a shell hardness rating of 7 on the Mohs Scale, which still lives today. The evolutionary struggle would eventually lead to some of Zi's primeval lifeforms transcending the boundaries of what they had formerly been capable of. Vertebrates emerged, soon evolving into mammals, tetropods, birds, and dinosaurs.

Environmental Evolution

 When the planetesimals fell to Zi's surface, the large amount of water carried with them removed many of the impurities in the air, and sunlight began to reach the planet's surface. At this time, Zi's primeval creatures, not yet 'Zoids', were evolving along different routes for different environments. Protists appeared, using light to perform photosynthesis, and later developed into plants. Lobites, which had gained hard metallic shells, evolved into insects and fish, later developing spinal cords for more active movement, and later developing their fins into legs, aiming for land.

 Their organs, which absorbed metal internally as well as externally were further developed to the point of perfecting semiconductive muscles that had a greater energy efficiency. They became faster, and their shells harder, and they began to prosper on land. Later on, they would develop Zoid Cores as a way to simulate their original oceanic environment, which for the most part had disappeared following the fall of the planetesimals.

The Development of the Zoid Core

 It's said that the development of the Zoid Core, which improved their processing abilities, allowed them to develop strong bodies that could defy gravity. The massive creatures could now stand and even run. Their highly developed organs could also convert proteins from prey into their internal structures, while converting metallic elements into their skeletons and shells. Ultimately this led to a "Lotka-Volterra" Ecosystem model. A balance between predator and prey. It's said that cores ranged in shape and size depending on the species.

- Zi's Cold Period

 Roughly 30 ~ 50 million years ago, the nuclear fusion rhythm of Zi's F-Class Yellow-White sun began to change, and Zi experienced a glacial period. The entire planet grew cold, the surface temperature dropping by 20%, and the ground itself froze over. With the majority of the water frozen, Zoid Cores could no longer reproduce, as there was nowhere for their cores to grow.

 During this period, dinosaur-type Wild Zoids rapidly declined, while smaller animals flourished. These creatures, which were much smaller and weaker than the dinosaurs, lived in the warmer underground caves. They also didn't necessarily require water for their cores to grow. They utilised the methods developed by their ancestors, chemically decomposing the metallic elements that they had absorbed to gain energy, and survived the cold period.

 Soon, the dinosaurs pushed their way into the underground, seeking a place where they could survive. They chose the high-pressure, high-temperature territories consisting of underground lava reservoirs, returning to an environment not much unlike their primeval seas.

- The Domestication of Wild Zoids

 Roughly 10,000 years ago, Zoidians developed tools and began to capture and prey upon Wild Zoids that lived nearby. While the metal shells of Zoids couldn't be consumed as food, portions of their muscles and organs were still a valuable source of protein. The high amount of metallic elements in their organs, in particular their hearts, made them vulnerable to powerful magnets, which could be used to immobilize a Zoid and sometimes even stop its heart. The shells would later be processed into high-quality iron tools. * (Pictured Right: Zi's metallic lifeforms being sold at market.)

 Once the Zoidians had become more successful, they started incorporating Zoids in a semi-domesticated role. Hunters would bring predatory species along on the hunt, taking advantage of their excellent sense of smell and rewarding them with a portion of their prey. They selected and tamed individuals that were more obedient, allowing the most cooperative individuals to prosper. Through dozens of generations, the Wild Zoids became domesticated.

Noted Uses Of Early Domestic Wild Zoids:

 - Predatory Species: Hunting
 - Large Bird Species: Transportation
 - Large Species: Transportation of Megaliths

- The Dawn of War

 Wild Zoids saw a wide variety of revisions as society advanced, starting in the Domestic Zoid era. First, as Wild Zoids, then Domestic Zoids, and later Combat Zoids. These revisions began with their human owners making modifications that allowed them to transmit commands directly to the Zoid Core. They also began to make straight up modifications to their metallic shells, adding wheels, spikes, and other such adaptions.

 It was the Earth Tribe that first began remodeling Zoids, and soon, the ideas of what possibilities could be achieved through Zoid modification rapidly expanded. Other tribes started to pick up the technology, and incorporate it into their own domesticated species. Meanwhile, the Earth Tribe strengthened their Zoids armor and moved in the direction of war mounts.

- Full Conversion Into Combat Zoids

 As cultures began to merge, and new ones developed, a simplification of the Zoid building process occurred. Parts were better standardized, and mass production became possible as dedicated building facilities cropped up more and more.

 By the 3rd stage of Zoid development almost all of a Zoid's natural body parts had been replaced, aside from the Zoid Core, which remained as a control device and power source. With each developmental stage the size of the Zoid Core increased through the use of unique technologies, such as using blast furnaces to heat the cores and selective breeding, choosing only the larger cores to raise.

The fourth stage of development established the standard of massive robotic animals, sporting large bodies that could carry larger power units and payloads. Under the guidance of the Zoid Administration Bureau, cockpits were added to Zoids, starting with the "common cockpit".

 Servomotors, better recognized as the joint caps on Zoid's legs, became the second major standardized part. This allowed the servomotors to be easily replaced when they became old, increasing efficiency in development and maintenance. Early weapons were added, and soon Zoids as we know them lost their ability to survive on their own.

 For the Core to continue to survive, people needed to provide a regular supply of the components that the core consumed for energy, components similar to the primeval sea waters. The bodies also needed additional energy sources to move, such as batteries to drive the servomotors, oils to run internal combustion engines and lubrication, and oil cylinders in every moving part. Zoids became completely dependent on the people who created them. Even stray Zoids had to attack other Zoids to gain their energy resources, and thus were still dependent on humans, even if by indirect intervention.

 Going forward Zoids would continue to see a wide variety of developmental landmark achievements, but those are a story for another time. Most information on this page comes from the Zoids Bible. If you'd like a more in-depth look at Zoids history, consider giving it a read!