The Charged Particle Cannon is, as its name implies, a cannon that shoots charged particles. The particles are accelerated until they reach high speeds, carrying enough energy to melt anything it comes in contact with. In the various media, these cannons are depicted as being among the most powerful weapons ever wielded, far outclassing even high-grade conventional weapons like as the Gojulas' Supercannons.
The Charged Particle Cannon was first mounted on the Death Saurer in the original Battle Story for the purpose of countering the heavily-armored Ultrasaurus. Many other Zoids have also been equipped with the weapon (or some version thereof), although none, save for the Seismosaurus, possess comparable power to that of the Death Saurer's. Some of the smaller Zoids, like the Geno Saurer, are required to anchor themselves down onto the ground via footlocks or similar objects in order to successfully fire the weapon. This is due to immense kickback from firing the cannon, and without firm grounding, a smaller Zoid would either have its projection steered off target or even be thrown back. The Death Saurer and similarly-sized Zoids could fire without anchoring primarily because of their great size and mass.
In the Zoids VS series, all Zoids are required to be immobilised in order to fire the weapon. The only exception is the Mega Death Saurer, which can walk about freely while exploiting its Charged Particle Cannon.
The Charged Particle Cannon is used as an EX (Final) Attack in the Zoids VS series, with the exclusion of the Death Saurer, Death Stinger, and Seismosaurus.
In the Zoids Saga series, a large variety of particle cannons exist, and have different traits depending on the Zoid wielding it. Often there is a size/strength trade-off, as Zoids like the Geno Breaker hit fewer targets but deal more damage, while larger Zoids like the Death Saurer can deal large damage to a large number of targets. These differences are often coupled with varying descriptions, such as the diffused particle cannon mentioned above. Zoids such as the Madthunder can resist particle cannons.
The following Zoids all possess Charged Particle Cannons, with some using variants of the weapon:
The first Zoid to use the weapon, the Death Saurer's CPC remains the most dangerous. The beam is large-bore, carrying a large destructive area, and the Death Saurer's bulk allows it to fire on the move. It was particularly successful, as its thick armor meant that no standard weapons could defeat it without the attacking Zoid falling victim to the Death Saurer's signature weapon. Its only real weakness was the Particle Intake fan on its back, which, if destroyed, would prevent the use of the weapon. In the Battle Story, the Death Saurer is often escorted by Redlers to prevent this weakness from being exploited, although the eventual deployment of the Madthunder (see below) largely ended the Death Saurer's supremacy.
The revived Death Saurer in Guardian Force replaced the Particle Intake Fan with an armored Charged Particle Converter, and was therefore a much greater threat than the "standard" model. Furthermore, this Death Saurer has obtained a lens-like object from the Ultrasaurus' cannon that allows it to change the trajectory, and even split, its Charged Particle Cannon, the result of which allowed Hiltz to inflict enormous damage to wide areas of Planet Zi with only minimal shots. As no Madthunders were present in the anime, Van Flyheight's Blade Liger (see below) became instrumental in combating this threat.
Gul Tiger, King Gojulas
Both the Gul Tiger and King Gojulas appear to use a form of the Charged Particle Cannon that acts more like strong conventional beam weaponry. The Gul Tiger's is compact and set in its back. This ties in with its role in shock warfare, as it appears usable on the move; it can also be boosted with the Gyrocrafter Grade-Up weapon. The King Gojulas' is set in an extremely rapid-fire gatling on its chest, and is used for shredding enemy armor.
The Gungyalado possesses a Hyper Charged Particle Cannon, which is described as being quite powerful.
Geno Saurer and Geno Breaker
The Geno Saurer and Geno Breaker both possess a version of the CPC known as the Focused Particle Cannon, covering less area and focusing on a chosen spot for increased range and power. The Zoids must raise vents along their tails and neck to fire the weapon. The vents release heat generated from the cannon, allowing the Zoids to fire without fear of inflicting self-harm through extreme overheating.
In addition to deploying its vents, the Geno Saurer must anchor itself to the ground to combat the recoil, and loss/destruction of its footlocks would render the Zoid unable to fire the weapon properly.
The Geno Breaker can use its boosters to counteract the recoil, allowing the Zoid to fire its Focused Particle Cannon while hovering, which allows it to easily fire in almost any direction it wishes while in mid-air. The Zoid is also capable of changing its trajectory while firing from the ground so long as it uses its footlocks (something the Geno Saurer cannot do without inflicting heavy damage to itself). The Geno Breaker also features a Charged Particle Converter, similar to the one later seen on the revived Death Saurer.
The Death Stinger possesses a Charged Particle Cannon in its tail, and seems able to fire it with impunity. In Guardian Force, Hiltz used the Death Stinger's Charged Particle Cannon to attack from low orbit with the aid of a Hammer Kaiser. In New Century, the Death Stinger's tail is used by the Backdraft Group to shoot satellites out of orbit.
The Death Stinger does not need to be anchored to the ground to fire its CPC, which could be due to any number of factors, not least of which would be the Zoid's incredible (and somewhat inconsistent) size. It can also fire repeatedly without the use of any form of Converter or Intake Fan.
The Berserk Fury possesses a regular Charged Particle Cannon in its mouth, and, like the Geno Saurer, must anchor itself to the ground to operate the weapon. However, when equipped with its standard CAS, it can also channel energy through its Buster Claws, using them to fire two additional Particle beams in sync with its original for tremendous destructive power in an attack known as the Diffused Particle Cannon.
In the final episode of New Century, the Berserk Fury is seen altering the trajectory of its Particle Cannon while firing. This feat was never replicated in any previous battles, nor does it occur in Fuzors.
While capable of firing its Charged Particle Cannon without the use of anchors, the Gairyuki's main strength lies in the ray-absorbing verniers and panels located across its body. These can absorb energy from energy weapons (and sunlight), but most notably also from other Charged Particle Cannons, and use them to power up its own Charged Particle Cannon. In the Battle Story, the Gairyuki was specifically designed to counter the Seismosaurus by absorbing its attacks and returning fire. This version of the CPC is called the Ray-Absorbing Charged Particle Cannon.
Designed to counter the Gojulas Giga and secure Neo Zenebas rule and superiority on the Central Continent, the Seismosaurus carries an incredibly long-ranged, incredibly strong Charged Particle Cannon nicknamed the Zenebas Cannon (erroneously called the "Seismos Swordrail Cannon" in Fuzors). The weapon is capable of punching through a Gojulas Giga's hyper E-shield (and the rest of the Zoid) in a single shot. The cannon's effective range exceeds that of almost all other weapons on Zi. The Seismosaurus' main weakness lies in targeting: if jammed, it will find itself having to close distance to regain accuracy. It is also capable of channeling Charged Particle energy into its many small beam guns, increasing their penetration and power.
The Bio Volcano has a Charged Particle Cannon variant mounted in its chest called the Bio Particle Cannon. In the Genesis anime, the Bio Volcano is shown to use this weapon both on the ground and in the air. Unlike the earlier versions mounted on the similarly-sized Geno Saurer or Berserk Fury, the Bio Volcano has no heat exhaust vents nor footlocks. In the anime, it was seen to be able to be fired in midair, and is capable of incredible destructive power. According to Ron's segment after episode 40, it causes whatever it hits to be torn apart at an atomic level.
The Bio Tyranno sports a Bio Particle Cannon in its mouth. In the Genesis anime, this gun is built from data collected from the Bio Volcano, but is upgraded to sport more power. This variant is known as God's Lightning, and, rather than create a conventional explosion, it causes whatever it hits to be destroyed in a massive implosion of destructive energy.
To effectively counter the CPC, several Zoids have had their defenses modified:
Built to stop the Death Saurer, the Madthunder's frill is a large Anti-Charged Particle shield. It is this shield that gives the Madthunder the ability to survive the Death Saurer's offenses, allowing it to plough into the Death Saurer with its horns. In the original Battle Story, it is for this reason alone that the Death Saurer's advance is halted.
In the Chaotic Century anime, Van's Blade Liger's blades emitted small electron impulses which negate the particles of the CPC. By sending this energy to the Zoid's shield, Van was able to withstand a direct hit from the fearsome weapon.
Although not a strict Anti-Particle defense, on at least two occasions gravity it has been shown to affect the trajectory of Particle beams. In the Guardian Force anime, the Gravity Cannon's micro black hole is shown to drastically alter the path of the Charged Particle Cannon mid-flight. In addition to this, the Backdraft in New Century used a CPC to attack the land-based Zoid Battle Commission's Ultrasaurus. The attack was launched at a high angle into space, and curved back to strike a target on the ground.
In the Chaotic Century anime, the Blade Liger's shield and blades are studied, and their properties replicated in a shield that is mounted to the Lightning Saix and Dibison, albeit only for a short period. Another makeshift type of armor is shown when Moonbay uses her Gustav to physically block Raven's Geno Saurer's Charged Particle Cannon, the Zoid's thick armour proving sufficient to withstand one (and only one) direct hit. Also of note is that it is stated in Guardian Force that the Dibison has power equivalent to that of a Charged Particle Cannon. This claim is put to the test, and although the Megalomax Attack does match the Charged Particle Cannon initially, the Dibison overheats and explodes, allowing the Charged Particle Cannon to overpower it.
In New Century, the Zoid Battle Commission’s Ultrasaurus, the Backdraft's Berserk Fury, and the Blitz Team's Hover Cargo are all shown to have shields capable of withstanding a hit from a Charged Particle Cannon. These do not appear to be anything more than exceptionally powerful shields (and in the Hover Cargo's case, this is explicitly stated as being exactly that).
In Fuzors, Charged Particle Cannons are used quite frequently, but rarely do any significant damage. This is, in at least one (and presumably two) instances, because RD's Zoid is the "Alpha" Zoid, which, depending on RD's "determination" grants it far greater power than is normally available to Zoids. In most other cases, it is not very clear as to why they do no damage, although it may simply be due to misfire. Either way, there are no specific Anti-Particle defenses in Fuzors.
In Genesis, the only defense shown to stand up to a Bio Particle Cannon is the Bio Tricera's barrier, which appears to be, for all intents and purposes, completely indestructible. Offense-wise, Genesis had the Bio Volcano and Bio Tyranno use their cannons against each other, with varying results (at least in part due to the Tyranno upgrading its cannon after the initial conflict), although in both instances, both Zoids survive with minimal-to-no damage, but in the latter of the two instances, both cannons were disabled by the action.
In the New Century manga, the Elephander's shield was rumoured to "even withstand a Charged Particle Cannon." However, this was never shown. It is worth noting the Elephander couldn't sustain its shield for very long.
The following Zoids also possess the Charged Particle Cannon in different variants: