[[caption-width-right:348:Left to right, [[TheLancer Irvine]], [[RobotBuddy Zeke]], [[TheHero Van]], [[MysteriousWaif Fiona]], and [[WrenchWench Moonbay]]. (Top right: [[TheRival Raven and Shadow]])]]
->''"See you on the battlefield!"''
-->-- OnTheNextEpisodeOfCatchphrase

''Zoids: Chaotic Century'' is the first of the several ''Franchise/{{Zoids}}'' anime, adapted from the [[Manga/ZoidsChaoticCentury manga]] of the same name. Known simply as ''Zoids'' in Japan, it was [[MarketBasedTitle marketed as]] ''Zoids: Chaotic Century'' in English-language markets. Western fans occasionally use ''Chaotic Century'' to refer to the first half of the series, and ''Guardian Force'' to refer to the post-TimeSkip second half, though this distinction was never officially made in Japan. It was played on Creator/CartoonNetwork in North America, but [[ScrewedByTheNetwork moved to an early-morning timeslot]] before it finished airing, and eventually canceled entirely without ever showing the last four episodes of the series, which were delayed due to production issues. The [[FanNickname Final Four]] were eventually aired -- on Creator/{{Toonami}} no less -- as a [[NetworkToTheRescue gift to the fans]].

''Chaotic Century'''s story follows Van Flyheight, a teenager who spends much of his time {{Hover Board}}ing around the local desert ruins for kicks. One day, he's pursued by a local bandit and forced to flee into said ruins, where he discovers a set of PeopleJars in a previously inaccessible part of the structure. In one, he finds a [[RobotBuddy small and unusually intelligent dinosaur-like Zoid]]; from another emerges [[GirlInABox a young girl]], who proves to have [[MysteriousWaif no memory of her past]] but experiences [[OracularUrchin occasional visions of a mysterious nature]]. Van promptly names the girl Fiona (which she called herself when initially asked her name, but seemed to forget as soon as she said it) and the Zoid Zeke (after his father's Command Wolf). Zeke proves to have mysterious powers of his own when he instantly revives an old, abandoned Shield Liger, allowing Van to fight off the bandit and return home.

Between being pursued by bandits after Zeke, a valuable "Organoid", and Fiona's visions of a "Zoid Eve", Van [[JumpedAtTheCall Jumps At The Call]] and decides to go adventuring and see if he can find any answers about his new friends. Along the way he meets [[TheLancer tough guy]] Irvine and [[WrenchWench mechanically-inclined]] transporter Moonbay, gets involved in the ongoing war between the [[TheFederation Helic Republic]] and [[TheEmpire Guylos Empire]], and gains a [[TheRival rival]] in Raven, a warrior for the Empire with an Organoid of his own. Before things can be put to rest, Van must learn about Fiona's past and how it relates to Zeke and the SealedEvilInACan that the Empire's TreacherousAdvisor, Gunter Prozen, is trying to harness.

''Guardian Force'' picks up after a TimeSkip of several years, during which the Empire and the Republic have worked together to form an elite military group: the eponymous Guardian Force, dedicated to ending conflicts before they can become full-blown wars. Van, naturally, has joined on behalf of the Helic Republic; his Imperial counterpart is Thomas Schubaltz, who becomes his partner. The two of them, eventually joined by their friends from ''Chaotic Century'', quickly uncover a plot that threatens the entire world. This time, the mystery revolves around Zoid Eve, and the emergence of several new villains, each with the own Organoid. The final conflict, when it occurs, takes place over ''eight full episodes'' without running into EndingFatigue, saturating the series with nearly toxic levels of awesome.

!!This series provides examples of:


* AdaptedOut: The original Battle Story featured a third nation, the Zenebas Empire. In the anime, the Guylos Empire shares many of Zenebas' traits, making the anime version of Guylos both a CompositeCharacter and AdaptationalNiceGuy. Ironically, in Battle Story the Guylos Empire eventually conquered the Zenebas Empire and absorbed it into their own nation.
* AlasPoorVillain: Raven's reaction after [[spoiler:the Death Stinger kills his Organoid Shadow]], revealing that, [[spoiler: out of all the Zoids Raven utilized, Shadow was the only one he actually cared about]].
** Also, the episode "The Distant Stars" that gives exposition on Raven's backstory.
* AlternateContinuity: ''Chaotic Century'' is an adaptation of the Battle Story featured [[AllThereInTheManual on the original Zoids model kits]], but it is not a 1:1 adaptation, and [[BroadStrokes it takes several liberties with Battle Story's canon]].
* ALongTimeAgoInAGalaxyFarFarAway: Raven's dad makes a comment that humans arrived on planet Zi a long time ago, presumably after the Ancient Zoidians were wiped out.
* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever: The Death Saurer, which unlike the other Zoids, is not depicted at the size the toyline described it as, and is instead depicted as Godzilla sized.
* {{Bowdlerize}}: For whatever reason, the edited English dub featured some mild swearing, such as uses of "damn" and "hell", which were broadcast completely intact on Cartoon Network under a TV-Y7-FV. This leads one to believe the show may have been dubbed uncut, but was edited down to broadcast standards, and the uncut version never saw the light of day. However, several scenes were cut completely:
** In Chaotic Century, Moonbay tells Fiona to answer the door when they're taking a shower, she gets out without bothering to put clothes on and opens the door to see Van. He runs away blushing with her chasing him.
** During the episode in Guardian Force where Van reunites with Irvine, he's sneaking aboard the Whale King but is caught by a group of guys drinking; also the captain grabs Fiona and points a gun to her head.
** When Van and Fiona go to Lumiere Island, Reese shows Fiona a vision where zombies ambush her, Van comes to her rescue but is shot and lies in a pool of blood. Fiona tries to wake him but then she sees her blood-covered hands and screams.
** Reese's flashback to her childhood where Nichalo is shot while trying to protect her.
** In the beginning of the season when Van's village is attacked, the defeated pilot meets up with Hiltz and he's thrown off a cliff.
* CampGay: Stinger. He even pilots pink Zoids.
* CombiningMecha: Zoids and Organoids.
* CoolBigSis: Moonbay.
* CoolOldGuy: Dr. D
* DesertPunk: Though not in a completely desert setting, the characters spend a ''lot'' of time in arid wastelands.
* DiminishingVillainThreat: Prozen went from being the BigBad to becoming the enigmatic Dark Kaiser to being nothing more than a pawn in Hiltz's plan.
* DullSurprise: The voice acting in the English dub for Rudolph and Herman is often completely lacking in emotional range.
* TheEmpire: The Guylos Empire subverts the usual Empire = Evil trend in the anime, with most characters from that side being shown as sympathetically as their Republic counterparts.
* EvilChancellor: Prozen is a defined example.
* EvilCounterpart: Raven to Van. By the same token, Shadow to Zeke.
* EyepatchOfPower: Irvine has one of these; the eye behind it is fine, but it gives him useful things like telescopic or infrared sight.
* FacialMarkings: Nearly everyone has them.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: The Empire is shown as a mix between Germany and the Byzantines. The Helic Republic, meanwhile, more resembles the United States.
* TheFederation: The Helic Republic.
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero: Van, the protagonist and leader of the group.
** TheLancer: Irvine, whose cynicism and pragmatism acts as a counterpoint to Van's energetic idealism.
** TheSmartGuy: Thomas (added in Guardian Force) is the one who comes up with the group's tactics when they're more complex than "find bad guys, shoot them".
** TheBigGuy: Moonbay, an [[BoisterousBruiser enthusiastic]] woman who pilots the [[StoneWall incredibly tough but weaponless]] Gustav for most of the series, but really comes into her own when she upgrades to [[spoiler:the Ultrasaurus, a [[BaseOnWheels mobile base]] with [[WaveMotionGun enormous firepower]]]].
** TheChick: Fiona, the most [[TheHeart emotionally aware]] and [[WomenAreWiser wisest]] member of the group (who is also least useful in combat, acting as a GuyInBack to Van when she fights at all).
** TeamPet: Zeke, Van's RobotBuddy (despite actually being [[BondCreatures Fiona's Organoid]]), whose reactions to things is often used for ComicRelief (when he's not acting as an AmplifierArtifact for Van's Zoid).
* FullPotentialUpgrade: The Organoids allow their owners to unlock this in their Zoids, though in slightly differing ways. Zeke can link Zoids with their pilots allowing them to work in complete synchronisation, Shadow can kick a Zoid's power output into overdrive for a limited time, Specula can rework and optimise a Zoid's physical body, and Ambient can alter or even fuse Zoid cores.
* HeroicSacrifice: Dan Flyheight's death while protecting a group of Helic scientists along with [[spoiler:Raven and Shadow]] from Prozen's forces.
* HollywoodTactics: Major battles boil down to either both sides lining up opposite each other and firing randomly until one side runs away, or hordes of weak units swarming a single overpowering opponent and being annihilated for their trouble.
* HotBlooded: Van.
* HoverBoard: Van owns one.
* HumansAreWhite: There are no people of color on Planet Zi (or at least it's hard to tell if they are white or of Asian descent or both due to {{Mukokuseki}}). The only brown-skinned character is Moonbay. This is especially jarring since Raven's father said people from Earth migrated to Zi.
* JumpedAtTheCall: Van is more than eager to get into the cockpit of a Zoid and embark on an adventure.
* LargeHam: Dr. D
* MadScientist: Dr. D counts as a heroic version of this.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Death Saurer, Death Stinger, Geno Saurer, Geno Breaker.
* NemesisWeapon: Organiods end up being this. At the outset Van has an white organoid named Zeke who would power up his abilities, and by the end of Chaotic Century he's picked a [[TheRival Rival]] in the form of Raven, who has his own black organoid named Shadow. In Guardian Force, two more antagonists with two more organoids (one red, one blue) show up as well.
* ParentalAbandonment: Van's parents died, Raven's parents died, who knows what happened to Rudolph's and Fiona's parents.
* ProtagonistPowerUpPrivileges: Van was the only heroic character to ever fuse with an Organoid, giving him unfair stat boosts from day 1. He could only be matched by [[TheRival Raven]] who also had an Organoid.
** By time of season 2 he had made a point of training without it so he could be legitimately powerful, but still fused to face other Organoid owners.
* RedOniBlueOni: Van and Raven
* TheRival: Raven is this to Van.
* SealedEvilInACan: The Death Saurer and Death Stinger.
* ShipTease: Oh, so much with Van and Fiona. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite go anywhere.
* ShootingSuperman: Most frequently done with the Death Saurer.
* SissyVillain: Prozen comes across as one of these; for starters, the man wears high heeled boots.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: The first Death Saurer is not as powerful as the Death Stinger, and the Death Stinger is not as powerful as the ''true'' Death Saurer.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Van Flyheight has been translated as Ban/Bang Freiheit/Fleiheit, and the Schubaltz siblings' last name was Schwarz in Japanese.
* TheStoic: Karl Schubaltz.
* SuperRobot: The Organoids and any Zoid they're merged with.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: The Heaven and Hell Brothers, who show up once in Chaotic Century and again in Guardian Force.
* TimeSkip: Between Chaotic Century and Guardian Force.
* TitleThemeTune: The theme song for the English dub consists mainly of someone yelling "ZOIDS!" every few seconds.
* TookALevelInBadass: Over the course of Chaotic Century, Van goes from a lucky kid with an Organoid to a capable pilot in his own right. The TimeSkip takes it UpToEleven; by Guardian Force, he's one of the top Zoid pilots in the world with formal military training including hand-to-hand combat.
* WaveMotionGun: The Charged Particle Cannon, which is only mounted on the most powerful Zoids: the Geno Saurer (and its upgrade, the Geno Breaker), the Death Saurer, and the Death Stinger.
* WorthyOpponent: Raven is this to Van.
* WrenchWench: Moonbay.

[[folder:Chaotic Century]]
* ABoyAndHisX: Van counts double, as both "a boy and his Zoid" and "a boy and his Organoid".
* AceCustom: Irvine's Command Wolf and everything piloted by Karl Shubaltz.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Prozen wanted to use the Death Saurer to take over the world.
* AndroclesLion: Van befriends a wounded Gordos guarding an old ruin fortress from a previous war at one point and then later in the episode blocks a shot from Irvine.
* BigBad: Prozen.
* BloodKnight: Raven.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Fiona. She grows out of it in Guardian Force.
* TheDragon: Raven, to Prozen. Mostly in the sense that he's his number two, not that he really cares about Prozen's motivations. Prozen just gives Raven new toys to use for his murder sprees.
* EvilAlbino: Prozen.
* GirlInABox: Fiona's first appearance is half this, half PeopleJars.
* FallingIntoTheCockpit: This happens to Van when Zeke brings him to a broken-down Shield Liger and then proceeds to restore it. Van [[JumpedAtTheCall doesn't mind in the least]].
* HeelFaceTurn: Rosso and Viola, towards the end.
* HopeSpot: In Raven's introductory episode, he goes on a rampage, destroying countless Zoids. Cue Van's appearance in the Shield Liger! Then Raven proceeds to ''demolish'' him, and only withdraws due to orders from above.
* KnightOfCerebus: Prozen. The series starts out mostly lighthearted with the only antagonist to appear aren't hugely dangerous and are [[AffablyEvil reasonably likable]], and the war between the Empire and the Republic is mostly just referenced in the background. Then Prozen shows up, and the war takes center stage and protagonists are into events related to it regardless of whether or not they want to.
* KidHero: Van. He's ''fourteen'' in the Japanese version, but the dub [[{{Woolseyism}} changes it]] to seventeen.
* MidSeasonUpgrade: Van's Shield Liger being evolved into the Blade Liger. Raven switching out his Zaber Fang for a Geno Saurer also counts.
* MysteriousWaif: Fiona.
* OracularUrchin: Fiona displays some traits of this.
* ThePowerOfLove: A key component in the regeneration of Van's Shield Liger into a Blade Liger and its subsequent kicking of Raven's ass in Chaotic Century.
* TheQuest: Van and Fiona set out to find Zoid Eve and pick up some friends along the way. However they get sidetracked all the time and by the time Guardian Force starts, they pretty much put off finding it for later.
* RapunzelHair: Prozen's hair goes down to his knees.
* RegentForLife: Prozen is all over this.
* SleepCute: Van and Fiona do this in Moonbay's Gustav.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Van just can't get enough of those papayas.

[[folder:Guardian Force]]
* AbnormalAmmo: The gravity cannon, as may be imagined from the name, fires ''miniature gravitational fields'' at its target; it's later used to shoot [[spoiler:Van and the Blade Liger at the True Death Saurer]].
* AbortedArc: Guardian Force left a lot of subplots unresolved and hanging (some of which were leftovers from Chaotic Century).
* AlphaStrike: Thomas's Megalomax is an example; he fires all ''[[MoreDakka seventeen]]'' of his Dibison's cannons simultaneously. Which [[BellisariosMaxim somehow]] combine into a WaveMotionGun blast.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Genobreaker is the single most deadly non-legendary Zoid in the series, and is tailored specifically to fit Raven and Shadow working in concert. However, it can only stay merged with Shadow (and thus at peak power) for 180 seconds, meaning that if anybody besides Raven piloted it, they'd be screwed.
* BigBad: Hiltz.
* {{Bokukko}}: Reese likely qualifies, between her early outfit (the later catsuit, less so) and using "boku" in the Japanese version.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Karl falls under this along with an entire base controlled by a MindControlDevice in episode 7.
* CallingYourAttacks: Thomas shouts ''Megalo-Max!!'' every time he uses it.
* ChekhovsGun: Remember The Valley of The Rare-Hertz in Chaotic Century? Guess what? [[spoiler:In Guardian Force, it's where Zoid Eve is located]].
* TheDreaded: Raven is a textbook example by this time, and it only gets worse when he gets ahold of the Genobreaker.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Ultimately why Raven, TheRival and effectively TheDragon of the bad guys, and Reese, the EvilGenius, both abandon Hiltz. Though, to be fair, Hiltz pulling a YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness on them both didn't give them much reason to stick around.
* FastballSpecial: Van's final attack on the True Deathsaurer is somewhere between this and CatapultToGlory.
* ForTheEvulz: This was apparently why Hiltz wanted to resurrect the Death Stinger and Death Saurer.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Raven]] pretty much goes through one after [[spoiler:Shadow temporarily dies]], and [[spoiler:Reese]] goes through one shortly after as well to the point where they both fight against Hiltz and the Death Saurer at Zoid Eve.
* HijackedByGanon: Big subversion! The final few episodes reveal Prozen to be the Dark Kaiser who was ordering the villains around only for Hiltz to [[DragonAscendant ascend]] him for the finale.
* HoverSkates: The Geno Saurer and Geno Breaker can move around this way.
* MechaExpansionPack: The Attack Booster of the Blade Liger. Amusingly first tested on Moonbay's ''Gustav''.
* MidSeasonUpgrade: Teased with the Blade Liger, but ends up being TimeToUnlockMoreTruePotential instead of a real MidSeasonUpgrade. Raven gets another, from his Geno Saurer to a Geno Breaker. Irvine moves from his Command Wolf to a Lightning Saix.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Used almost word-for-word between [[spoiler:Raven and Van]] when the former saves the latter from a MacrossMissileMassacre late in the series.
* RunningGag: Moonbay referring to ''[[InsistentTerminology her]]'' Ultrasaurus, and Irvine correcting her.
* SheIsAllGrownUp: Fiona, compared to Chaotic Century.
* ShipSinking: The Thomas/Fiona ship was sunk in episode 51, after Van went missing after being defeated by Raven. Irvine told Thomas that Fiona loved Van, and after this point, Thomas stopped flirting with Fiona.
* ShoutOut / SuspiciouslySimilarSong: To ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' (almost to the point of plagiarism when both themes climax); just listen to the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RShfhjV2Y2Y#t=1m50s Ultrasaurus' theme]] and then the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8zlUUrFK-M#t=1m40s Jurassic Park]] theme. Also consider how similar the scenes with the Ultrasaurus first moving and Dr. Grant seeing the living Brachiosaur/Brontasaur/whatever are, especially since the aforementioned themes start playing in both instances.
* TheWorfBarrage: Thomas' Megalomax attack suffers badly from this.
* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: Hiltz by the end of the series. The entire planet wants him dead for the [[MoralEventHorizon destruction he caused]], even Raven and Reese since he was just using them and [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness tried to kill them]].