OER Krark, Prince of Darkness
|Maximum Speed||Mach 2.0|
|Weapons||Plasma Flamethrower, Vulcan Phalanx (2), Double Hyper Laser Guns (2), Small Bore Lasers (4), Dual Tactical missiles|
|Equipment||Magnesser Falcon Wings, Multi-Blade Radar|
The Salamander is a type of Zoid, a race of mechanical lifeforms from the fictional Zoids universe.
The Salamander is a Pterosaur-type Zoid (originally classified as Dragon-type), created by the Helic Republic, and used during the various wars on Zi.
The third largest flying Zoid ever, behind the Whale King and the Gil Vader, the Salamander possesses a very high service ceiling and an unmatched range. The Zoid is designed for use as a bomber or attack aircraft, and carries a large arsenal. Its main weapons are a pair of long-range tactical missiles, capable of unleashing devastation from great distance. However, the name "Salamander" is derived from its flaming breath.
The Zoid is also very heavily armored, resulting in greater protection than that available to almost all other aerial Zoids. However, the Salamander is relatively clumsy, and finds itself lacking in maneuverability when compared to smaller, more agile airborne Zoids.
The Republic countered some of these drawbacks with the Salamander F2, a massively improved version. Lighter and more advanced, the F2 boasted a maximum speed of Mach 3.5.
Battle Story appearancesEdit
The Salamander was first fielded by the Helic Republic in ZAC 2030, serving alongside other early Zoids like the Gojulas and Gordos. Due to the lack of Zenebas air power at the time, the Salamander was initially very successful. However, the Zenebas Empire eventually developed aerial capability, which in turn prompted the Republic to develop a smaller, lightweight variant of the Salamander. These efforts resulted in the Pteras. The Salamander continued to be effective throughout the war. In ZAC 2035, the Salamander was upgraded to use the Republic Supercannons. Known as Mercury, this version was very successful.
In ZAC 2053, the reformed Helic Army unveiled a new model of the Salamander, known as the Salamander F2, which was equipped with the latest technology. A squadron of F2s were sent to the Dark Continent of Nyx to battle the Guylos Empire's forces. In ZAC 2055, the Salamander F2s, flown by Republic's best pilots, managed to break through the Guylos defenses and penetrate deep into their territory. This breakthrough had been orchestrated as a trap; placing the Republican Zoids in direct contact with the Guylos Gilvader. The heavy aerial war machine wiped out the Salamanders, and provided the Guylos Empire an opportunity to annihilate the rest of the Republic’s forces on Nyx, which were now devoid of air cover.
The meteor disaster of ZAC 2056 nearly wiped out the Salamander design. All the surviving Salamander F2s were destroyed by the cataclysm, along with the wild Zoid that the Salamander was based on. The Republic lost the ability to manufacture the Salamander and its variants, and the few remaining Salamander units were carefully preserved for future use. In ZAC 2101, the Republic reactivated the Salamanders for use against the Guylos Empire's forces during the interwar period between the Western Continent War and the Second Invasion of the Dark Continent. Salamanders were put into service to destroy the Moby Dick carriers that were bombing the reconstructed Ultrasaurus, as no other Republican aerial Zoid could reach the Moby Dicks' altitude. The Zoids continued to be vital in not only driving back the Guylos army, but also in disrupting the enemy’s attempts to resupply and reinforce Guylos ground forces.
UK Zoids ComicEdit
Uniquely amongst the Red Mutants, Krark (known as the Prince of Darkness) did not follow Redhorn's lead. He believed that, rather than fighting over the devastated remains of Zoidstar, the Zoids, both red and blue, should join forces under his lead and conquer the galaxy. While his goals were somewhat idealistic, he was also undeniably evil and ruthless.
Krark saw Redhorn and Zoidzilla as the two biggest obstacles to his aims. Redhorn saw himself as too independent to follow anyone's lead, while Zoidzilla simply wanted to fight Krark rather than follow him. Despite this, he and Krark worked together to destroy Redhorn.
Krark's charisma and grandiose vision attracted followers from both the Red and Blue factions, especially those dissatisfied with Mammoth's lead. He later joined forces with the Blue Zoids to fight the Black Zoid. While the Zoid was destroyed, most of Krark's army was also lost. Instead, he began work on reconstructing his army with three new Zoid types - Hellcat, Scarab and Znakes.
Unlike the other large Zoids, Krark wasn't a unique design. At least three other Krarks existed in hibernation on the Blue Moon. However, they were all destroyed before they could be activated.
The Salamander was featured in both the Zoids Saga series and in the Zoids VS series of video Games. It played a minor role in both games, but played a slightly larger role in Zoids VS II (Zoids Battle Legends). In the game, it was fought in the 3rd battle of the Zoids VS battle mode and in Empire Mission Mode.
The Salamander was featured in the Original Battle Game, as part of the Republic Booster sets, release of Zoids Trading Cards.
An OER Krark was featured in a speech given by Terry Pratchett in 1987 on the subject of the commercialization of Christmas, where he likened its appearance to "a chicken that's been dead for maybe three months."
On July 13th, 1999, ABC's Nightline segment broadcasted "Deep Dive", a video which explains the process of innovation at IDEO, an engineering company. At one point during the video, a Robostrux Radox is seen for approximately 7 seconds moving and flapping its wings. The Radox was seen again later in the program for another 7 seconds, but with a much clearer picture. It should be noted that this specific Radox had one ear piece upside down. The showing of the Radox may suggest that IDEO played some role in the development of the Robostrux toy line, as some modifications were made to the original design.
Original Japanese ReleaseEdit
The Salamander kit comes on five frames, along with a battery-powered motor, a clear orange canopy cover, sixteen rubber caps, three small springs (two different sizes), two small chromed gold pilots and label sheets. The Salamander is molded in blue and light grey, with black missiles and an orange canopy.
The Salamander uses a pair of "AA" sized batteries for motion. Once activated, the Zoid walks forwards, raises its head, opens its mouth, flaps its wings and waves its tail. Rather unusually for a bipedal Zoid, the Salamander can remain balanced on only a single foot. The Zoid also features a pair of spring-loaded missile launchers on the back.
Like several other Zoids of the time, the Salamander could use a number of different optional weapons that were included in the Republic Customise Set. The Salamander was released in 1984, and was produced up until about 1986.
Original European ReleaseEdit
The Salamander was released in the UK and Europe in 1986, under the name Krark the Prince of Darkness. The model was recolored in dull red and silver, and included a new label sheet with Zenebas logos. The missile launchers were removed, and replaced with non-functional missiles.
The Salamander was released in the U.S. circa 1985, under the name Radox. The Zoid was colored in dull red, dull grey and tan with a green canopy. It also included a chrome gold version of the weapons frame originally included with the Red Horn. It shared the same missile launchers as the OJR version but the springs were not included.
There were two packaging versions of Radox; the first was a re-labelled version of the OER box, complete with photographs of the OER version. The second version was similar in design to the other Robo Strux packages, and depicted the Robo Strux version.
In 1989, TOMY introduced a new version of the Salamander known as "Salamander F2", replacing the existing one in production. This version had a new color scheme, being silver and navy blue with chrome gold wings and chest plate. The canopy was changed to blue, and the missile backpack was recolored in white. There were no molding changes to the model, and this version was not intended to be of limited status. The Salamander F2 was released at the end of the formal production run which resulted in severely limited numbers, effectively making it one of the rarest OJR Zoids.
New Japanese ReleaseEdit
The Salamander was re-released as a part of the New Japanese Release in 2001. The new version retained the same colors as the OJR version, as well as the chrome gold pilots; however, the motor was changed to work off a single “AA” battery with no loss of performance. The battery lid was also modified to have a screw-down cover, rather than the clip-down one of the original. The Zoid came with two label sheets; one sheet of new-style labels and one with a replica of the OJR label sheet.
New American ReleaseEdit
The Salamander was re-released in North America by Hasbro in 2001 under the name Pteramander. The missile launchers were retained, but for safety reasons, the springs were removed, preventing them from firing.
This version was released in Japan as a limited edition model in 2004, a part of the Yuji Kaida series. This version was recolored in light grey and mint-green, and included two frames originally from the Republic Custom Set.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVZ8pmkg1do&feature=watch_response (First seven seconds of the video)