- This article contains information about the Dark Spiner only. For information about the Zoid constructed from both the Dark Spiner and Killerdome, see Killer Spiner.
OverviewEditThe Dark Spiner is a highly advanced Zoid used by the Guylos and later Neo-Zenebas Empires. Based on the electronics of the older Dimetrodon, it is the best electronic warfare Zoid ever made. The Jamming Blade fin on its back can jam and intercept communications, interfere with electronic systems, and even flat out disable enemy Zoids without the ability to counter-jam or otherwise shield against its effects. The Spiner's jamming array also has two other abilities; it can generate devastating electromagnetic pulse blasts to disable enemy Zoids, as well as creating an ionization field that deflects enemy weapons fire.
Unlike previous electonic warfare Zoids like Dimetrodon and Gorhecks, the Dark Spiner is no slouch in direct/close combat either, and its melee abilities are said to be comparable to the Geno Saurer. 
The Zoid's other notable ability is the capability to combine with the Killer Dome to form the "Killer Spiner" Fuzor. This fusion is beneficial to both Zoids; although it disables the Jamming Blade, the Dark Spiner is granted the Killer Dome's gattling weapons and pulse laser array, exponentially increasing its firepower, while the slow and awkward Killer Dome has a fast and nimble steed to carry it.
Unlike most Zoid fusions, the Killer Spiner is the only Zoid fusion that does not involve a Zoid utilizing the BLOX system.
The Dark Spiner first appeared in ZAC 2101, serving as a part of the Eisen Dragoon unit alongside the Berserk Fury and other Zoids. Its first action was in support of Prozen's coup, aiding in the disruption of the enemy forces. While Prozen's army was destroyed, the Eisen Dragoons survived and became the core of the Neo-Zenebas Empire. In ZAC 2102, the Empire invaded the Helic Republic, the Dark Spiner again aiding their forces. Following the invasion, a network of Dark Spiners was set up to permanently disable the Helic forces' communications.
Unfortunately, the size and complexity of the Dark Spiner made it very expensive and difficult to mass-produce. As a result, the older Dimetrodon was reintroduced to support the Zoid. Consequently, the Republic reintroduced the Gorhecks design, the Gorhecks’ Crystal Radar able to burn through the Dark Spiner's jamming.
The Dark Spiner's sole anime appearance is during "Zoids: Fuzors", where it is piloted by Malloy. It appears alongside its partner, the Killer Dome, (piloted by Malloy's brother, Rattle) as part of the Dark Assassins team. The Dark Spiner is particularly notable, as it is the first Zoid seen to fuse with another, combining with Killer Dome to create the much more powerful Killer Spiner, which is piloted simultaneously by Rattle and Malloy.
The Killer Spiner made its first appearance in the second episode, "1 + 1 = ?". Its first victims were the Black Impact team and their custom Blade Ligers, who were easily defeated by the Killer Spiner. Mach Storm ended up facing the Dark Assassins as well; their plan was to surround the Killer Spiner and bombard it with ranged fire, whilst RD and his Liger Zero closed the gap and severed the fusion with its Strike Laser Claw. However, the attack didn't go as according to plan and they very nearly lost the fight. With RD's Liger Zero and Helmut's Command Wolf slowly being choked to death, they very nearly lost, until the Killer Spiner's fusion time-limit ran out. With its power depleted, the Killer Spiner toppled over, leaving the Liger Zero the winner... until it fell over from exhaustion as well, and the match declared a tie.
The Killer Spiner would briefly appear at the start of episode 7, "The Unseen Enemy". During a training session, the Dark Assassins are assassinated themselves, by an invisible opponent, which was later revealed to be Keith and his Holotech Zaber Fang. It was not clear if the Spiner was destroyed or merely disabled.
In a later episode, a Dark Spiner was seen as a part of a group of Zoids slated for destruction; it was not stated if this was the same Zoid.
In the "Zoids: Fuzors" anime, besides allowing the Spiner to use the Killer Dome's weapons, the fusion also grants it the ability to raise a domed energy shield, and launch the Killer Dome's claws on thick cables to grab enemy Zoids, (similar to the Geno Saurer.)
In both Zoids Saga and Zoids VS series, Dark Spiner is able to use its Jamming Blade as a weapon. In Zoids Saga, the weapon is pictured as a lightning attack that arcs up into the sky and comes down on opponents as a lightning strike. In Zoids VS, when the Jamming Blade is activated, the Dark Spiner leans forward, pointing the blades forward. When fired, each blade fires one small ball of energy that can home in on opponents. It is used as a fairly long range weapon in the game.
In the Empire Mission mode in Zoids: Battle Legends, a Dark Spiner can be obtainable "if" you fight alone against the Seismosaurus.
Both games also feature a Killer Spiner in-game. In Zoids Saga, it is a fusion Zoid, but in Zoids VS, it is a separate Zoid available for purchase. A separate Killer Dome can be purchased as a weapon (but not as a separate Zoid) for Dark Spiner. A Jamming Blade can also be purchased for Killer Spiner.
The Dark Spiner was featured in both the Zoids Scramble and Zoids Card Colosseum releases of Zoids Trading Cards. The Killer Spiner was also featured in the Zoids Scramble set.
The Dark Spiner was one of the Zoids featured in the Zoids Web Comic. It was used against the Madthunder's division.
The Dark Spiner was seen in a short TOMY commercial where it filled a similar role to the role it played in the above Web Comic.
The Dark Spiner was released as part of the Zoids (1999) line. Introduced in 2001, production continued semi-regularly until about 2004.
The Dark Spiner kit comes on eight frames, along with a battery-operated motor, two body sections, a pre-constructed mounting, a semi-transparent canopy cover, twenty-four rubber caps and a small blue pilot figure. The Dark Spiner is moulded in light green, purple. and black, with silver claws, and a red canopy. Curiously the Zoid came with both Guylos and Zenebas insignias, making it the first Zoid since the 1980s to have Zenebas logos.
The Dark Spiner uses a pair of "AAA" sized batteries for motion, and has two motorised modes. In the first mode, once activated, the Zoid walks forwards with its arms waving and the tail sweeping side to side while the fins on its back ripple. In the second mode the Zoid stands still, the fins deployed forwards and rippling.
The Zoid's other main feature is its ability to connect to the Killer Dome. The Jamming Array can be removed, and replaced with the Killer Dome. In this mode, the Dome's features are motorised; as the Zoid walks forwards, the Killer Dome's claws open, its weapons rotate and its dome spins.
A chromed version was released by Leoshop of Taiwan.
Zoids: Build Customize MobilizeEdit
The Dark Spiner was released as a part of the Zoids: Build Customize Mobilizeline. Introduced in November 2001, this version was identical to the Zoids (1999) version aside from the changed packaging. The American release was Hasbro-branded, and international releases were TOMY-branded.
Main article: Killer Spiner
The Dark Spiner was re-released along with the Killer Dome as the Killer Spiner, as a part of the Fuzors model line. The version was unchanged from the Zoids (1999) line, save for coming with a grey pilot and a different label sheet to reflect its allegiance in the anime.
- ↑ Fan translation of Fanbook Ex. Relevant portion is "It was a formidable enemy, its melee ability said to be on Geno Saurer's level. I couldn't face it in the heavy Panzer equipment."