Van Flyheight's Shield Liger, as seen in Zoids: Chaotic Century
|Maximum Speed||250 km/h|
|Weapons||Laser Sabre (2), Strike Claw (4), Anti-Zoid 3-Barrel Shock Cannon, Pop-Out Type missile Pod (2), AMD Double-Barrelled 20mm Beam Cannon, Anti-Zoid 30mm Double-Barrelled Beam Gun|
The Shield Liger (シールドライガー Shīrudo Raigā) is a Lion-type Zoid featured prominently throughout the Zoids universe. The Shield Liger plays a central role in Zoids: Chaotic Century, and appears in some fashion in most of the anime series, manga, and video games.
The Shield Liger's design was inspired by that of the Zaber Fang, with the two designs sharing a number of components. While not created in direct competition to it, the Shield Liger proved to be a sufficient match for the Zenebas Zoid - the two had comparable arsenals and performance. While fast and agile in its day, the Shield Liger's performance has been exceeded by more modern Zoids. However, the Shield Liger remains a capable and versatile Zoid.
The Shield Liger's most distinctive feature is the Energy Shield built into its mane that gives it its name. The Shield Liger was the first Zoid to use an Energy Shield, at the time giving it an unparalleled advantage. The Shield covers the Liger's forward half, protecting it from enemy weapons fire. In addition to a defensive measure, the Shield can also be utilised for high-speed ramming attacks.
The Shield Liger would also serve as the basis of the Blade Liger design.
While the standard Shield Liger design was capable of handling most other Zoids, it was soon surpassed by many newer designs. To address this, the Republic began developing new variants from the original design.
Shield Liger Mk II
The Shield Liger's principal weakness lay in its weak ranged weapons, and so the Republic developed the Shield Liger Mk II. This variant mounted a pair of heavy beam cannons (CP-01) on its back, greatly improving its firepower and performance. The extra weight of the cannons did reduce the Zoid’s overall mobility, but this was seen as an acceptable trade-off. In some Zoids video games, this variant is also referred to as the Shield Liger DCS.
Zoids Legacy Stats:
Length: 21.6m, Weight: 110.2t, Speed: 250km/h.
Shield Liger DCS-J
A more advanced derivative of the Mk II is the Shield Liger DCS-J. This version includes the beam cannons from the Mk II, but features greatly enhanced performance (with a new top speed of 285km/h) and improved defensive systems. The changes also render the Zoid very difficult to control, with only the most experienced pilots able to use the Zoid.
Zoids Legacy Stats:
Length: 21.6m, Weight: 115.0t, Speed: 285km/h
The Desert Liger is a Shield Liger variant designed to be particularly well suited to arid environments. Though its standard armament is unchanged from the original design, it does feature improved mobility and durability with no difference in speed.
Liger AeroA specialized variant of the Shield Liger designed for high-speed combat and bearing a head redesigned to minimize aerodynamic resistance (granting it a top speed of 280km/h) also appears in the Zoids Saga and Zoids VS video games. Though not released as a model kit, it has been released as resin custom parts in very limited numbers. Its appearance in the Battle Story isn't much, but it does have an E-Shield more powerful than both the Blade Liger and the Liger Zero Schneider.
Zoids Legacy Stats:
Length: 21.6m, Weight: 94.0t, Speed: 280km/h
Spark LigerAnother specialized version of the Shield Liger, the Spark Liger only appears in the Zoids Saga series. It featured almost the same armament as the basic Shield Liger, but dabbed into electronic warfare, now using electron bite fangs and electron strike claws. It also replaced the Energy Shield with an electric cannon capable of freezing enemy Zoids.
Zoids Legacy Stats:
Length: 21.6m, Weight: 91.0t, Speed: 250km/h
Battle Story Appearances
The Shield Liger was first fielded by the Helic Republic in ZAC 2042, during the Second Central Continent War. The Shield Liger quickly became an invaluable part of the Republic's forces, its Energy Shield and performance making it one of the few Zoids able to stand against the Zenebas onslaught. It was, along with the Command Wolf, developed to counter the new Zoids fielded by the Zenebas Empire's return during the D-Day assault.
In ZAC 2044, the Helic Army introduced a new model, the Shield Liger Mk II. This version featured improved weaponry, greatly improving the design's capabilities. This version was actually a response to a Zenebas force consisting of Mk II versions of Imperial Zoids. The Shield Liger Mk II was an invaluable part of the Helic Army's force used to retake its capital and eventually defeat the Zenebas Empire. The Shield Liger remained in service afterwards, but was eventually replaced by the King Liger.
Following the meteor strike of ZAC 2056, the Helic Republic lost the ability to produce high-performance Zoids like the King Liger. Instead, they began production of a new model of Shield Liger for their forces, based on the original model rather than the Mk II.
The Shield Liger was used during the Western Continent War against the Guylos Empire. During that conflict, the Shield Liger had the dubious distinction of being the first Zoid to face off against the resurrected Death Saurer. A high-speed battalion consisting of Shield Ligers and Command Wolves were sent to reconquer Mount Olympus - a strategic location that was under Imperial control, and it was there that pilot L.G. Halford encountered a half-developed Death Saurer. Halford's Liger was able to destroy the Death Saurer before succumbing to fatal injuries from the Zoid's Charged Particle Cannon.
In response to the annihilation of the Shield Liger force by these two Zoids, the Helic Republic developed an upgraded version, known as the Shield Liger DCS-J, featuring considerably improved performance. However, the Zoid proved to be difficult to control, and was discontinued in favour of the Blade Liger. Ray Gregg actually piloted a Shield Liger DCS-J but it was easily beaten by an un-armoured Berserk Fury prototype.
Chaotic Century and Guardian Force
The Shield Liger initially appeared in Zoids: Chaotic Century. In the first episode, Van found a derelict Shield Liger in the desert, which was restored to life by his Organoid, Zeke. Van used the Zoid to fight off members of Rosso's Desert Alcaveleno Gang, and later defended his village against the full gang, including a Red Horn. Van continued to use the Shield Liger for the first half of the series, facing off against Raven's Zaber Fang four times, until it was destroyed by Raven's Geno Saurer. The Zoid was subsequently resurrected and evolved by Zeke as the Blade Liger.
Other Shield Ligers appeared during Chaotic Century and Guardian Force, used by the Helic Republic's army. Several characters, including Colonel Krueger and Captain Herman, piloted them in various episodes. Some of these Zoids were coloured in the white and dark blue colour scheme of the Shield Liger Mk II (though they were not mounted with the Beam Cannons), with other standard ones coloured blue like Van's. Van's Shield Liger, however, had gold feet, whereas the rest had silver feet. This could be seen as a kind of foreshadowing of the Blade Liger, which also has gold feet.
New CenturyLeon Toros used a blue Shield Liger against the Tigers Team in the first episode of Zoids: New Century, where he was incapacitated upon tripping on Bit Cloud's truck. After Bit joined the team, Leon left, taking the Shield Liger with him. He used the Zoid while travelling, until it was badly damaged in battle. He later replaced it with a red Blade Liger.
The Shield Liger would not be seen again in any anime series after the events of New Century, though it did make a cameo in the opening sequence of Genesis.
Comics and Manga
UK Zoids Comic
The Shield Liger's only appearance in the UK comics was limited to a promotional flyer of dubious canonicity. Like the other large Zoids in the UK comic, it was depicted as being a unique character.
In the Chaotic Century manga, Van does not encounter the Shield Liger for several chapters. When he does, he finds it guarding the tomb of its former pilot, Moonbay's older brother Jadow. Despite the Zoid's initial hostility to Van and his companions, Van is eventually able to win over the Zoid, and becomes its new pilot. The Shield Liger piloted by Van is named Caesar.
Like most Zoids, the Shield Liger (along with numerous variants based around weapons-fit and pilot-character) appears in the Zoids Saga Game Boy Advance/Nintendo DS series and the Zoids VS GameCube series. The Desert Liger plays a heavy role in the first and second ZoidsVS game.
The Shield Liger was featured in all of the Zoids Trading Cards releases. The Shield Liger DCS-J was also featured in the Trading Collection Cards release.
The Shield Liger was first released as part of the Zoids (1983) line. Introduced in 1985, production continued until about 1987.
The kit comes on five frames (two of which are shared with the Sabre Tiger), along with a battery-powered motor (also shared with the Sabre Tiger), a semi-transparent canopy cover, sixteen rubber caps, a small chromed gold pilot, and label sheets. The Shield Liger is moulded in blue and black, with silver weapons and teeth, and a smoke-coloured canopy.
The Shield Liger uses a pair of "AA" sized batteries for motion. Once activated, the Zoid walks forwards with its jaws chomping. The Shield Liger also features two movable panels on its mane, a pair of concealed missile pods, and a retractable cannon turret.
Like several other Zoids of the time, the Shield Liger could use a number of different optional weapons that were included in the Republic Customise Set.
Initially, the Shield Liger was given the type number RPZ-02, the same as the earlier Gustav.
Super 1000 Zoids
The Shield Liger was released in the UK and Europe in 1986-1987 as part of the Super 1000 Zoids line. It had the name Shield Tiger. There were no changes to the model, aside from packaging.
This Zoid had a gold and black colour scheme. A different version with translucent white and solid black colour scheme was shown as part of a European Ghost Zoids/Gold Zoids limited Contest Giveaway.
The Shield Liger was released in the U.S. circa 1986 as part of the Robo Strux line, under the name Fangz. The Zoid was coloured in a dull blue colour, with a black frame. It was produced in limited quantity.
Shield Liger Mk II
In 1987, TOMY introduced a new version of the Shield Liger, replacing the existing one in production. This version had a new colour scheme; white armour and blue structure in place of the original blue and black, as well as golden weapons and fangs. It also featured new parts, with a pair of large beam cannons added to the Zoid, attached on the missile launcher arms.
The Shield Liger was released in the Zoids 2 line in the mid-90s, under the name Claw. This version was coloured mostly a pale chrome gold, navy blue and black with small amounts of neon green. It came with gold foil decals.
The Shield Liger was released as a part of the Zoids (1999) line, it was introduced in 1999. The new Shield Liger incorporated several changes from the original version. The blue was a darker colour, the canopies are orange and the pilot was now grey. 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.
TOMY also released an upgrade kit for the Shield Liger, the CP-01 'Dual Beam Cannon'. This unit was based on the cannons that were released with the Shield Liger Mk II, but the old plastic tubes were replaced by silver coilsprings. The Shield Liger can also use the CP-15 'Assault Gatling Unit', using the same connection as the Blade Liger. The unit even includes a pair of pegs to allow it to use both CP-15 and CP-01 at the same time.
Two chromed versions of the Sield Liger were released as contest prizes during the 1999 period. The first was completely gold and seen in several promotional flyers and sticker books often accompanied by pictures of the silver Genosaurer. The second had the colour scheme of Van's Shield Liger but with black legs and a smoke canopy.
Shield Liger DCS-J
In 2000, TOMY released a limited edition Shield Liger. This version included the CP-01, a custom sticker sheet, and was remoulded in black, grey, and silver. Also known as the "Leomaster", this version only had a very limited release.
In late 2005, a second run of Shield Liger DCS-J models was made available to collectors. It should be noted that while the original DCS-J has a clip-shut battery cover like the old release, the newer ones have the same screw-shut kind as the regular NJR.
Zoids: Build Customize Mobilize
The Shield Liger was released as part of the Zoids: Build Customize Mobilize line. In North America it was released in 2001, and was Hasbro-branded. The International version was TOMY branded and saw release in the Pacific. It was released in Europe in 2003. There were no changes from the Japanese 1999 version, aside from packaging.
Hasbro Action Figures
The Shield Liger was released as part of the Hasbro Action Figures line. Instead of the 20mm beam gun, it featured a double-barreled spring-loaded missile launcher.
Holotech Shield Liger
In 2004, Hasbro released a second version of the Shield Liger. While similar in colour, several of the armour frames were moulded in semi-transparent blue plastic.
A second version of the Holotech Shield Liger was planned by Hasbro, but was apparently cancelled. There is an example of it on the back of the box for Zoids: Chaotic Century, Vol 1 - Discovery. The Zoid is shown with clear red legs. The Zoid retained the translucent blue parts, and otherwise, it appears no other changes were made to the rest of the Zoid's mould.
Desert Shield Liger
This version of the Shield Liger was released in September 2003 as a limited edition, sold with the Japanese release of the Zoids VS II GameCube game. This version was coloured in desert yellow and brown with orange caps. The silver parts were a lighter shade than the standard 1999 Japanese Shield Liger as well.
Hasbro White Shield Liger
Hasbro planned a second Shield Liger version for release . This version was based on the primarily white Shield Ligers seen in the Chaotic Century anime, and thus resembled the Shield Liger Mk II, only with an orange canopy and no CP-01. Additionally, the standard Shield Liger label sheet was redrawn with yellow labels replacing most of the white ones. However, the line was discontinued before the Zoid was released. A few examples were released to stores in the UK and Canada in late 2006.
Toy's Dream Project
In 2005, Toy's Dream Project released the Shield Liger Mk II. The TDP Mk II was near-identical to the original Shield Liger Mk II, with the only visible differences a darker tint to the smoke canopy and the replacement of the plastic tubes connecting the cannons to the body with black coilsprings. The release was marred by several moulding errors: some Shield Ligers were missing hardpoints on the cannons, preventing attachment of the decorative springs representing energy tubes.
Shield Liger Commander SP
Released as a limited "white box" in 2007 during the launch of the Zoids online game. It was done in pearl red and deep silver with red caps. The Shield Liger Commander SP included a new frame containing unique weapons and a newly moulded mane piece. Also included was a pilot card of Tita Breeze and a Takara Tomy letter with an autograph from a Japanese wrestler.
Shield Liger Blox
Although not a 'true' Shield Liger model, the Shield Liger Blox was released as a limited edition through the 2005 Zoids Tactics game. The model is designed around a Leoblaze, with scaled down versions of the Shield Liger's head, back, leg armour, and weapons designed to work with the Leoblaze's core structure and legs.
The Zoid has been in development for at least two years before release; a prototype appearing at TOMY's 'Zoids 20th Anniversary Expo' in 2003. The Zoid has been redesignated RZ-007-BX, and includes a custom sticker sheet and standard grey pilot. The Shield Liger Blox is non-canonical in regards to the Battle Story.
In November 2006, a high-quality remodelled Shield Liger was released by TOMY and Kotobukiya as the first release of the High-end Master Model (HMM) line. The 400-piece HMM version features more detailed parts (such as a removable Zoid Core) and greater articulation but lacks the battery-powered motor of many of its predecessors. It was given the new designation, RPZ-03.
In February 2007, a limited edition release of this model was recoloured in Desert Liger colours as the RPZ-0305 Shield Liger Desert-Type.
The RPZ-07 Shield Liger Mk II High-end Master Model was released in March 2008 as a limited edition model for the Tokyo Game Show. It includes redesigned CP-01 Beam Cannons. This model features a similar colour scheme to the original Zoid; white, dark grey, blue, and gold.
Another HMM version was released in July 2011 called the Shield Liger Ramar. Ramar is the band that sang the opening to Chaotic Century main theme song, "Wild Flowers". The Zoid was recoloured in gold, and came with a copy of the song "Wild Flowers." Kotobukiya has also made shirts with the HMM Shield Liger's head.
Shield Liger Bang Version was released December 2011. Same model as Shield Liger except has Van's specifications such as bluer paint job, 2 seater cockpit, tail gun alteration. Also comes with Van
Anime 10th Edition
As a part of the Anime 10th Edition line in 2009 for the Zoids: Chaotic Century anime series, Takara-Tomy released the Shield Liger kit featuring anime-accurate colours. It came with anime figures containing Van, Fiona and Zeke. To make the Zoid more anime-accurate to Van's Liger, an extra frame containing the claws, teeth and tail gun parts was included, coloured in gold, and the orange "nose" of the cockpit piece was painted blue to match the rest of the Liger's face. Also, a region 2 DVD containing clips from the anime was included.
Yamato released a new version of the Shield Liger. The Yamato Shield Liger's appearance is similar to that of the anime, being more slender than the standard battery-operated Shield Liger, but more stocky (in the limbs, chest and head) than the HMM version. However, the Yamato Liger possesses similar traits to the HMM Shield Liger in being posable and having a removable core. The Yamato Shield Liger is non-scale. It dwarfs the original battery operated Shield Liger and HMM version. Much of the model is diecast metal with several high quality plastic parts. Its colours are anime-accurate, and much like the Anime 10th Edition model, it includes Van, Fiona and Zeke. A DCS-J model is also in this line. While the black and silver DCS-J Liger model includes figures of Arthur Borgman, a character associated with the battle story, Yamato USA lists the kit as an upgrade from the television anime series.