The Blade Liger is a Lion-type Zoid, a race of mechanical lifeforms from the fictional Zoids universe. The Blade Liger features heavily in the first two anime series’, Zoids: Chaotic Century and Zoids: Guardian Force, where it is piloted by the protagonist, Van Flyheight. It also plays a relatively important role in the Battle Story and secondary roles in the Zoids: New Century and Zoids: Fuzors anime.
While the Shield Liger's capabilities were solid for its day, the Blade Liger improves upon them, being faster and more agile than its predecessor. It also gains new weaponry, the most noticeable being a pair of Laser Blades, hence its name, capable of cutting through all but the densest of enemy armour. Its E-shield is enhanced with the addition of four cooling units located in the white 'fins' of its shoulder armour. Like the Shield Liger, it sports a Shock Cannon on its chest, albeit a longer dual-barrelled one as opposed to its predecessor's shorter triple-barrelled variant, and the Pulse Laser Guns found on the back edges of the Laser Blades add to the Zoid's ranged combat abilities. Overall, the armament of the Blade Liger is superior to that of the Shield Liger in every way, save the lack of indirect fire capability offered by the Shield Liger's missile launchers.
In the Chaotic Century anime, Van Flyheight's Shield Liger evolves into the first Blade Liger with the help of his Organoid, Zeke, after being destroyed by Raven's Geno Saurer. In contrast, much of the Blade Liger's enhanced performance in the Battle Story comes from the newly-discovered Organoid System built into the Zoid's design, which was used in upgrading it from a Shield Liger and increasing its capabilities compared to a 'normal' Zoid.
Battle Story Appearances
The arrival of the Geno Saurer in ZAC 2099 posed a severe problem for the Republican Army's forces on the Western Continent. With its Organoid System and devastating Charged Particle Cannon, the Geno Saurer was more than a match for anything their forces fielded. When upgrades of the Shield Liger and Gojulas proved to be substandard counters, the Republic developed a new Zoid, the Blade Liger.
Powered by the Organoid System, the Blade Liger's high performance made it a dangerous opponent, capable of matching up against the Geno Saurer and other new Guylos Zoids. However, the Guylos Empire responded by creating a new Zoid from the Geno Saurer's design to counter the Blade Liger - the Geno Breaker, which yet again turned the tables against the Republic forces. Despite this, the Blade Liger was still an effective fighter, especially after the development of the Attack Booster System in August ZAC 2100 , allowing it to go head-to-head with the cutting-edge technology of the new Guylos Zoid. A Blade Liger piloted by Lt. Arthur Borgman was also instrumental, with some help from a Geno Breaker, in the defeat of the rogue Death Stinger (both Zoids were ultimately destroyed, leaving the Geno Breaker pilot, Ritz Runstead, the sole survivor).
Problems with manufacturing the Organoid System limited the production of the Blade Liger. As a result, it was largely replaced in frontline service after the new Liger Zero was deployed in ZAC 2101.
Chaotic Century - Guardian Force
The Blade Liger first appeared in Zoids: Chaotic Century episode 25, midway through the series. After Van's Shield Liger was destroyed by Raven's Geno Saurer, his Organoid, Zeke, and the Ancient Zoidian, Fiona, merged with the wreck. The Zoid 'evolved,' over the course of several days, into a new form to increase the Zoid's overall performance and combat capability, resulting in the Blade Liger, a completely new and unique Zoid. Dr. D would be the one to name the Zoid in its debut, based on the steel Laser Blades it was equipped with. Van used the Blade Liger for the remainder of the series, defeating both Raven's Geno Saurer and Prozen's Death Saurer.
Van continued to use the Blade Liger throughout Zoids: Guardian Force. Over the course of the series, the Blade Liger was upgraded to include several new weapons, such as a system that could quickly switch out the Pulse Laser Guns attached to the Laser Blades for sniper rifles or gatling guns. The Blade Liger's E-shield was upgraded to neutralise charged particles in order to counter the Geno Saurer. At the arrival of the Geno Breaker, Van's Blade Liger was further upgraded for higher performance and maneuverability with a new top speed around 325km. It could reach 350km with the new Attack Booster Unit attached, making it the fastest Liger of its time.
Throughout the series, the Blade Liger survived many near fatal attacks. Still, Van used the Zoid to great effect several times. The AB unit was only deployed a few times, and wasn't used after the battle with the Geno Breaker (when the Death Stinger's Charged Particle Cannon fired at the base, it might have destroyed the disengaged Attack Boosters - in episode 60, The Giant Fortress, the Blade Liger is seen leaving the Ultrasaurus with the AB unit equipped, but the boosters disappear when the Zoid jumps off, implying that it was an editing mistake with stock footage).
The feats of the Blade Liger in this series are often exaggerated from the actual performance of the Blade Liger in the Battle Story or other media. For example, in episode 29 of Chaotic Century, the Blade Liger is show to outrun a Black Redler (this particular feat was a result of Zeke fusing with the Liger, though). The Black Redler was an improved version of regular Redlers (which have a top speed of Mach 3). This would mean that the Blade Liger was able to travel faster than Mach 3 (as a comparison, Mach 3 is 3,675 km/h, over ten times faster than the regular Blade Liger's top speed of 305 km/h).
Leon Toros used a red Blade Liger during Zoids: New Century. Despite the Blade Liger's very specific origins in Chaotic Century, the red Blade Liger's were never explained, leading to much fan speculation. It was described as a rare Zoid with "only a handful of units in existence" — according to Dr. Toros, a red one was especially uncommon. Leon first encountered it roaming a valley "travelled by the greatest Zoid warriors of the past"; the red Liger was wandering alone like him, operating under its own free will.Leon Toros and the red Blade Liger would become one of Bit Cloud's and the Liger Zero's rivals, and was able to match up against the basic CAS in close combat. However, Leon never managed to officially defeat Bit, as their first battle was interrupted by the Backdraft. Leon and his Zoid also appeared in the Royal Cup, facing the Schneider armour this time. The Blade Liger was able to counter the Zero Schneider's Buster Slash Attack, but was overpowered and defeated by the new Seven Blade Attack. Despite losing the battle, Leon managed to render the Schneider inoperable, forcing Bit to use the Liger Zero's Panzer armour and the basic armour for its remaining battle against the Berserk Fury.
The final attack Leon's red Liger used is notably the same one Van's blue Liger used against the second Death Saurer in Chaotic Century; activating the boosters and E-Shield, directing the shield's energy to the Laser Blades and flipping them forward to tear through enemy armour with more force and speed.
Blade Ligers in Zoids: Fuzors were associated with Rastani and the Black Impact Team. Unlike the previous series', the Blade Liger was depicted as a common Zoid, albeit a high-performance one. The Black Impact Team's metallic-grey Blade Ligers are notable as being the first Zoids to fight against a Fuzor, the Killer Spiner, which was able to take out all three of them effortlessly.
The only other Blade Liger seen in the series was trapped with other Zoids set for destruction by Alpha's minions, and was coloured primarily white. In episode 7, RD, Dr. Pierce, and Dan investigate an area where two Blade Ligers were ambushed by the Holotech Zaber Fang - though the Ligers are never seen on-screen they might have belonged to the Black Impact Team.
The original Blade Liger's animation model differed significantly from the model's design, possessing a far wider body, along with a differently-shaped mouth, producing what some fans regarded as a 'goofy grin'. The animation model used in Fuzors was heavily revised, resulting in an appearance that corresponded better to the model kit.
Also, the base colours differ from those of the other series'. The Blade Liger's legs were normally black and the body light grey, but the Black Impact's Zoids had a black body and dark blue legs. The claws also differ, being smaller and leaner like those of the Liger Zero. In some episodes the Zoid's colours appear inconsistent, such as the armour segment connecting the canopy to the head.
Rastani's Blade Liger's Laser Blades would later glow blue instead of the standard yellow in episode 11. He stated that he had added extra voltage to the blades' laser systems to counter RD, resulting in the blue blades. His Laser Blades would remain blue for the rest of the series, implying that he kept the voltage weapons (interestingly, after he acquired the voltage weapons, his Blades' hilts would appear the same shade of gold as the blades themselves when uncharged). Besides Rastani, the other Blade Liger pilots had a tendency not to use the Zoids' E-shields.
After Caesar (Van's Shield Liger) sustained heavy damage during the fight to protect the town of Porto from Raven and the Geno Saurer, it became snagged on a power line leading from Wendeen (the ancient Zoid that provided wind power to Porto). Thanks to the combined efforts of Fiona and Wendeen, Caesar was encased in a heart-shaped cocoon on Wendeen's body, allowing Caesar to evolve into its Blade Liger form.
Caesar continued to fight as a Blade Liger until the fight against the Death Stinger, where it was again heavily damaged. Its core was then transplanted into the frame of the Republic's new Liger-type Zoid — the Liger Zero.
In the manga, there are a handful of changes to the Blade Liger's abilities. Notable among them is that the E-Shield can be focused in any direction, and can be used to support the Blade Liger over water, as well as through it. The Blade Liger's blades in the manga do not possess the yellow laser system from the anime, but the Zoid does have something similar that allows it to fire its E-Shield at its target, being able to propel its target without damaging it. The Blade Liger's name was never directly mentioned as the Zoid's type, although Melissa Su (a 10-year-old scientist and genius) does mention that the Zoid's shield would easily be able to propel a Blade Liger through the water in the eighth manga, indicating that it was a known but rare Zoid.
The Blade Liger makes an appearance in most of the Zoids video games, including the Zoids Saga and Zoids VS series. It plays a moderate role in both, piloted by Van during a time shift and at the end of the game in Zoids Legacy (the more common name for Zoids Saga II). The Blade Liger AB in Zoids Saga loses its ability to use the Laser Blades, but is equipped with Laser Fangs to compensate for the loss of its signature weapon. In the Battle Story, anime and Zoids VS, the Blade Liger AB is capable of using its Laser Blades simultaneously with the Attack Boosters.
Both Van's and Leon's Blade Ligers make appearances in Zoids VS II (Zoids Battle Legends), where they are fought separately in Battle Mode. The Blade Liger Leon version is the most powerful type, according to the in-game stats. The second time a player fights Van in Battle Mode, he is piloting a Blade Liger AB, even though he only piloted it once in the anime.
In the Zoids VS series, a variant of the Blade Liger called the Blade Liger KS is an improved version of the Blade Liger and is available in the shop at the start of the game. It is black with a blue trim, despite being completely unrelated to the Mirage Infinity KS model kit. Because of its well-balanced stats and reasonable price, it is recommended to be one of the first Zoids the player buys. In addition, a Blade Liger Mirage is available in the game as the second most powerful Blade Liger. Although it does not come with an Attack Booster system like its model kit counterpart, players are given the option of having one attached (in the game, the Attack Booster can be recoloured to match the Mirage in a similar white and red colour scheme, unlike the model kit version, which is black). In Zoids VS 2 mission mode, the Blue Unicorn Team can obtain a Blade Liger if the player decides not to cooperate with the Rottiger Team when fighting the Seismosaurus.
In the Zoids VS series and later in the Saga series, Max Rubin plays a pivotal role with his unique Blade Liger. No Shield Liger was available in the first Zoids VS game, so, instead of starting with a Shield Liger like Van, Leon or Rastani, Max obtains a Blade Liger as his first Liger-type Zoid. His Blade Liger was initially red, identical to Leon's, but after an intense battle, Max's Zoid turned white. In Zoids VS and Zoids Legacy (Zoids Saga II), this white Blade Liger has a tan trim, with blue fenders above its paws, and its Attack Boosters are also blue, whereas in the rest of the Zoids Saga series, Zoids: Battle Legends and Zoids VS III, Max's Blade Liger is identical to a Mirage. Unlike most Blade Ligers, Max's Zoid could use the Strike Laser Claw attack.
In the Game Boy Color game Jashin Fukkatsu!, Van starts piloting a Shield Liger, which can be upgraded to either a Shield Liger Mk II or a Blade Liger (though neither option involves evolution), or sold and replaced with a Zoid of the player's choice. There are also wild Blade Ligers.
In Silver Zero, wild Blade Ligers are found in the areas before Hope Tower. By default, it has very high attack and solid defense on the physical/melee part of its stats, making it useful to catch and use against the final boss.
The Blade Liger appeared as part of the Trading Collection Cards and Zoids Card Colosseum sets of Zoids Trading Cards. The Blade Liger AB was featured as a card in the Original Battle Game; the Blade Liger BI appeared in Zoids Scramble, and a Blade Liger Van Special was used as a promotional card for the Original Battle Game.
Two variants of the Blade Liger appeared in the Zoids Battle Story Webcomic. They were the Snipe Liger and the Slash Liger. Both are designated as RZ-028+ and have yet to appear as model kits.
The Snipe Liger was designed for long-range combat, and thus is lacking in melee weaponry. It makes up for this with firepower and defense. The Slash Liger, in contrast, improves on the Blade Liger's close combat ability to the point of specialisation. Its only ranged weapon is the shock cannon on its chest, but it compensates with its speed and power.
A few standard Blade Ligers appeared in the comic as well.
Snipe Liger Weaponry & Equipment: Long-Barrel Linear Launcher, Gojulas-type Buster Cannon (Short Barrel) (2), Shoulder-Mounted Micro Missile Launcher (4), Anti-Personnel Mini Gatling, Chaff Dispenser (8)
Slash Liger Weaponry & Equipment: Improved Laser Blade (2), Booster Pod (2), Bite Fang, Laser Scissors (2), AZ 3-Barrel Shock Cannon, Tail Knife
The Blade Liger was first introduced in the Zoids Zoic Androids line.
It is built off of six frames (two of which are shared with the Shield Liger), along with a battery-powered motor (based on that used by the Shield Liger), a semi-transparent canopy cover and sixteen rubber caps. There are several parts left over when built, which include the Shield Liger's tail, back-mounted turret and missile launchers, as well as a different top mane shield panel. The Blade Liger uses a pair of "AAA" sized batteries for motion. Once activated, the Zoid walks forwards with its jaws moving in a chomping motion. The Blade Liger also features four movable panels on its mane, a pair of retractable boosters, and a pair of blades that can be moved into a wide variety of positions. The cockpit is designed to hold two anime pilot figures, but standard 1/72 pilot figures can be used as well (though only one can fit in the cockpit at a time).
The first release of the Blade Liger was produced by TOMY in 2000 until the line ended in 2004 and was released in Japan. The Zoid is coloured in blue, black, white and grey plastic with some parts painted with a white trim, and the claws, fangs and blades are coloured in a dull gold. This version of the Blade Liger includes a frame containing mini figures of the anime characters Van, Fiona and Zeke, with both the Van and Fiona figures being able to fit in the canopy at the same time. The canopy is coloured a clear yellowish-orange.
The first few releases of the Blade Liger featured claws and fangs made of metal. However, later releases replaced the metal with hard plastic.
TOMY released an upgrade kit for the Blade Liger, the CP-12 Attack Boosters. The Boosters are mounted on the Blade Liger's blade hinges, and can be positioned to act as boosters or a second pair of shock cannons. Additionally, the Blade Liger is capable of using the CP-15 Assault Gatling Unit due to the number of shared components the Zoid has with the Shield Liger, which can also use the CP-15. See Zoids Customize Parts for more details.
Limited Contest Prizes and Giveaways
TOMY released several limited Blade Ligers, listed below:
- Black Chrome Blade Liger
- Silver Chrome Blade Liger
- Blue Chrome Blade Liger
Blade Liger LeonA limited edition version of the Blade Liger was released as a magazine exclusive in 2001, based on the Zoid Leon Toros used in New Century. The armour was recoloured red to match the show, while the rest of the Zoid was largely coloured the same as the 1999 Blade Liger. This Zoid continued to feature metal fangs and claws. Strangely, the Blade Liger Leon came with the sprue containing the Van, Fiona and Zeke figures, despite being from a different series.
Zoids: Build Customize Mobilize
The Blade Liger was released as part of the Zoids: Build Customize Mobilize line in 2001. The American box art was Hasbro-branded, while international Zoids were TOMY-branded. This Zoid featured light red armour (likely because New Century was the first series to be dubbed in English and shown to American audiences) and light grey legs. The Zoid came with plastic fangs and claws, and did not have any pilot figure supplied.This line also saw a blue Blade Liger released in England in 2003. The model was identical in colouration to the 1999 version, but had plastic claws and fangs.
Blade Liger Mirage
This limited edition version of the Blade Liger was released in Japan in 2003 under the Yuji Kaida line. It was recoloured with white armour and black legs, and the white trim repainted red. Additionally, it included a repainted CP-12 Attack Booster. This version had a standard pilot figure rather than the anime pilot frame.A mini-figure of this Zoid (which lacked the recoloured Attack Boosters) was made available with the Zoids Struggle video game for the Nintendo Gamecube in Japan.
Blade Liger Mirage KS
Otherwise known as the Infinity Blade Liger Mirage KS Limited (Kanon Special; Kanon being the name of the Liger's female pilot), Blade Liger Mirage Infinity or Pink Liger, it is an even more limited version of the standard Blade Liger Mirage. It sported a pink trim and possessed a blue CP-12 Attack Booster. It was released to advertise the Zoids Infinity video game in limited numbers (100 sets) and released also as a contest prize giveaway.
The Blade Liger KS from the Zoids VS video game was never released as a model.
Limited Blade Liger
Hasbro created another version of the Blade Liger for North American release. This version was coloured metallic grey with black legs, and had silver blades and what appears to be (plastic) silver claws and fangs, and included a standard blue pilot figure. Oddly, this Blade Liger's tail appears to have the Shield Liger tail gun instead of the regular tail fin. The Zoid was scheduled for a late 2003 or early 2004 release, but due to the cancellation of the line, the Zoid never reached mass production. A few prototypes, complete with packaging, are known to exist.
Forest and Night Fight Blade Liger
This limited edition Zoid was released solely in Asian markets in 2004. The Zoid was recoloured in dull brown and light blue, with a lime-green trim and a yellow canopy. This version came with the same sprue of anime figures that were released with the 1999 Blade Liger, and had plastic fangs and claws. The Zoid was redesignated as RZ-028F.
The only other Asia limited Zoid was the Cannon Diver Original Asia Limited Deep Sea Version. Both Zoids were released at the same time, and featured a similar colour scheme to complement each other.
Blade Liger Black Impact
This limited edition version was released in 2004 as a part of the Fuzors model line. It featured metallic-grey armour with a black body.
The anime version had dark blue legs, gold blades and gold claws, while the box art and promotional pictures depicted the model kit as having black legs, silver blades and (seemingly plastic) claws and fangs. The model kit ultimately featured black legs, gold metal claws and fangs, and silver blades, and came with a standard pilot figure.
Despite being a Black Impact Zoid, the BI Liger does not come with any custom Black Impact sticker sheets, instead coming with the regular Blade Liger sticker sheet.
The Blade Liger BI was released by Academy and Takara-TOMY in 2010, renamed the Blade Liger Black Edition (BE).
High-end Master Model
The HMM Blade Liger, was released in 2007. The first HMM Blade Liger was coloured blue with a white trim, and sported gold claws and fangs. The Zoid includes two pilots, having two seats in the canopy. This model also features poseable blades and a retractable booster.
Blade Liger AB Leon
The HMM Blade LIger was reissued as the Blade LIger AB Leon. This updated version of the kit was recolored to match Leon Toros' Red Blade Liger from the anime. Each model includes the standard pilot figure and Zoids core. The Blade Liger Leon was the first HMM Blade Liger to include a set of frames to build the newly designed, CP-12 Attack Booster parts, which were given colors to match Leon's Zoid.
In 2014, it was announced that the Blade Liger AB Leon will be reissued within the coming months. Unlike the previous release, this reissue will include a Leon Toros anime pilot figure and new decals. This re-release may likely use the newer version of the HMM Blade Liger mold, which has overall improved quality and durability.
Blade Liger AB Bang (Van) Ver.
In December 2009, a Blade Liger AB Van Specification was released in the Japanese model hobby show by order only. It came with detailed Van and Fiona pilot figures as well as a Zeke Organoid figure. This version also came with a special Zoid Core designed with Zeke fused to it. The Zoid featured anime accurate colours. It came with an Attack Booster unit which was also recoloured to match the Zoid.
Blade Liger Mirage
In August 2010, a Blade Liger Mirage was released as part of the HMM line.
A limited edition clear HMM Blade Liger was included with the Blu-Ray box set released 2013.
Blade Liger Mirage AB
The HMM Blade Liger Mirage was released in August 2010. A bonus included with the kit is the Leomaster stickers set. The sprues contain extra pieces for the HMM Shield Liger, including an extra canopy, possibly to convert the Blade Liger into a Shield Liger. The Zoid's colours match the TOMY counterpart.
Prototype Blade Liger
A prototype of the HMM Blade Liger was seen in a new colour scheme. It was never released. It is similar to the HMM Desert Liger in terms of the colours present on the Zoid.
093 - Blade Liger
The Blade Liger was released in July 2010 as part of the Revoltech line. It features no motor, but has a wide range of flexibility. It is smaller than most other Blade Liger models and is not set in scale. It is coloured in a metallic blue with a white trim, and dull metallic fangs, blades and claws with a dark black body, orange canopy and a metallic silver tail.
093 Ltd - Blade Liger Leon (Red)
Released as a limited edition by Dengeki Hobby Magazine, the Zoid was recoloured in a dark metallic red. The Zoid was released from October 25th 2010 to November 30th 2010.
093 EX - Blade Liger Mirage
Released in Febuary of 2011, the standard Revoltech Blade Liger was released in a white colour scheme with a red trim, grey and black body, and dull metallic gold fangs, blades, and claws. The mould was altered from the original Revoltech Blade Liger to be much sturdier and of higher quality. No Attack Booster unit was included.
Announced in early 2011, and released in August 2011, the Kotobukiya D-Style Blade Liger is a smaller, flexable figure, with the head of the Liger being larger than the body to make a "chibi"-like Zoid.
The Zoid includes a small figure of Van Flyheight (in Chaotic Century wardrobe), which can be placed in the cockpit. While the Zoid is mostly moulded in its colour scheme, little details like the small fins and caps do require paint. The figure on the other hand does require a full paint job.
Those who pre-ordered the Liger received a limited-edition stand, which has the Helic Republic symbol on the base.
Two extra versions of the D-Style Blade Liger were released in chrome. One was red, the other blue.