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Zoids: Wild is the fifth series in the Zoids franchise. It was released on July 7, 2018 in Japan on TBS. The first half was released internationally on Netflix on August 14, 2020, with the second half added on October 1st of the same year. It is aimed at a slightly younger audience than prior Zoids anime, and as such features even more Shonen anime tropes than its priors.

The story follows Arashi, a young teenager from a remote village, as he attempts to capture and bond with a wild Zoid. His attempts are met with failure and disapproval from his grandfather, who doesn't want him running off and never coming back like Arashi's father. During a nearly disastrous attempt at capturing a Pincers, Quade of Team Supreme saves Arashi. Supreme is a band of traveling Zoid Seekers looking for Liger, a legendary white Lion-type that escaped from the clutches of the Dark Metal Empire. The Liger is said to have unspeakable power and defeated 100 soldiers on its way out.

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Liger eventually shows up just outside the village, where it's pursued by the Empire's goons. Arashi finds Liger and tries to convince him to let Arashi become his rider. While this doesn't go anywhere at first, Arashi freeing Liger from the hunter squad's tasers despite being shocked himself convinces Liger to team up with Arashi and fight them off. After some training with Quade, Arashi sets off for adventure, first to just get to see the world and later to find his missing father and the mythical Ancient Treasure Z while fighting off the forces of the Dark Metal Empire.

An accompanying toyline was released by TakaraTomy in Japan and Southeast Asia, while the American and European release was adapted by Hasbro. Very few changes were made to the toys themselves, except for the exclusion of stickers, molding the eyes in instead of having them as separate pieces, and including pilot figures based on the show's characters rather than generic, identical clear plastic riders; this was originally intended for the Japanese version but changed prior to release.

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This series was followed by Zoids: Wild Zero, which is mostly unrelated despite the similar name and design aesthetic.


This series provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: As always, the series is traditional 2D animation (though digitally animated still), while the Zoids are 3D models. However, the lighting and design fit much better than before, with the main tell being that the Zoids move a lot more often and a lot more fluidly than the human characters.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The vast majority of Zoids have this as their wild blast. It would be faster to list the ones that don't.
  • The Ace:
    • Battalia is basically good at whatever she wants to be good at. She's a skilled artist, mechanic, and fighter. She even manages to get close to Liger despite his normally wild temper. This is mainly because she's willing to work hard at whatever she wants to do, in contrast to the much lazier Arashi.
    • Apex, even more so than Battalia. He's as much of a Big Eater as Arashi, his Alpha Shadow is faster than the rest of Team Freedom and stronger than all of them except Liger, has an even better ability to communicate with Zoids than Battalia, and even has a second Wild Blast ability that changes his Flash Step into a Razor Wind Spam Attack. The only member of the team that has anything over him is Analog, who is by far the most intelligent and knowledgeable.
  • Action Dad: Arashi's dad was the one who first defended their village from the Dark Metal Empire using a Brachiosaurus-type Zoid. Then he vanished.
  • A Death in the Limelight: Quaid basically disappears from the show after the first few episodes, but comes back briefly to give him some focus before he dies fighting Gigaboss.
  • Aerith and Bob: A combination of Japanese and English names for the English dub, like Arashi and Quade, as well as the Dark Metal Empire's members that go anywhere from the normal-sounding Drake to Malware, Dyna, and Gigaboss. The Japanese version names roughly half its characters after food, with the rest being real names like Arashi (Japanese) and Gallagher (Western) with no real pattern.
  • Agent Peacock: Gigaboss and Router are both flamboyant in appearance and mannerism.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Numb-Lock is both a wild drummer and a vicious fighter. Appropriately, his Zoid is a Gorilla-type named Dragz.
  • Aloof Ally: Liger to Arashi. Even after they start to get to know and trust each other, he's headstrong and willful. If he wants to do something, he'll run off without Arashi, and if he doesn't want to do something, it can take a lot of begging or outright bargaining to get Liger to act. This goes out the window as soon as things go south, though, where Liger puts his pride aside to protect his rider and win at all costs.
  • Alternate Continuity: Wild is a hard reboot of the original anime continuity.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Four Dark Warriors of the Empire all have weirdly colored skin. They are the only ones for some reason.
  • Ambiguously Human: Tremor. He looks like a robot and doesn't talk. Occasionally, steam might come out of his "ears" and mouth. But he eats food and may just be wearing powered armor. In fact, only his head and hands seem to actually be made of metal, since every other par of his body not covered by his jacket or shorts appears to be a tight-fitting bodysuit. He's also capable of using Wild Blast, which inherently requires a close connection and strong emotions, meaning at least part of him is actually alive.
  • Amusing Injuries: More than once, Liger throws Arashi off without warning and seemingly for no reason. And then laughs.
  • Animal Mecha:
    • Zoids are explicitly defined as mechanical lifeforms. It's revealed early on that they went "extinct" at some point but can be revived by electrifying their central power core. Domesticated Zoids are revived in laboratories by scientists and engineers before being sent out to people who will use them, while wild Zoids are born when a deactivated Zoid is brought to life through a natural electrical phenomenon like a lightning strike. The combination of the less refined electrical power and not being handled by humans makes them far more unpredictable and much stronger.
    • Being big and muscular with a penchant for drumming, Numb-Lock is themed on a gorilla. Appropriately, so is his Zoid Dragz.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Gigaboss's modus operandi. He's huge and strong, so people should listen to him. He's taken over half of Ferroterra to demonstrate this.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!:
    • How Arashi starts out once he partners up with Liger. Quade quickly teaches him that this strategy isn't always a very good one.
    • How Drake fights, as well. However, using Dark Blast and Wild Blast, after his Heel–Face Turn with his Gilraptor Ruin has the speed to back it up, meaning very few can do anything to fight back.
    • Gigaboss fights this way mainly because his main Zoid is a Gilraptor like Drake's, giving him the same advantages. When he breaks out his Death Rex, Demise, he just has the advantage of being able to tank almost any attack while having one of the biggest, most powerful Zoids to make up for a lack of strategy. This ends up being his undoing.
  • Bad Boss: This is basically the MO of all high-ranking members of the DME.
    • Malware stands out especially by feeding his minions and their Zoids to Overbyte. His men are almost more terrified of him that the actual supreme leader.
    • Emperor Gigaboss, all the way. He gaslights Drake, talks down to his second-in-command like a child, and attacks his own men in combat. He barely interacts with his ground troops for being beneath him, but when he does he casually threatens them regardless of how effective or successful they are. He treats his opponents far better than his loyal followers, although that's all an obvious bit of show.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: By the end of the series, the DME destroys the last few free cities that refuse to accept his rule and the rebel forces are scattered and ineffective. For all intents and purposes, the word belongs to them. The only thing that changes that is when Gigaboss tries to reign in Demise while it flails around trying to break free of his control, causing them both to fall into the volcano and be destroyed.
  • Battle Aura:
    • Wild Blast and Dark Blast cause Zoid and rider to exude one. For Wild Blast, it's normally cyan while Dark Blast is red. Berserk Wild Blast is purple and Awakened Wild Blast is a deeper blue. Liger eventually unlocks a Golden Super Mode as an 11th-Hour Superpower.
    • Demise's Wild and Dark Blast auras have the power to overwhelm the programming of Zoids of the same species as ones he's eaten, making them paralyzed with fear.
  • The Beastmaster: Haxile's second Zoid gains this ability after absorbing some of Demise's genetic code. It allows him to override their systems enough to force them to stop fighting and, in weaker Zoids, brainwash them into serving the Empire.
  • Berserk Button: Arashi hates being called a little kid. He also hates being tied down, especially by his grandfather. Both can be explained by him being a teenager.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Battalia's Scorpear, Needle, gets her name from the large stinger on the end of her tail. It's more than capable of piercing the metal armor of a Pincers, deactivating it.
  • Big Bad: Gigaboss, whose name tells you everything you need to know - he's big (Giga) and in charge (boss).
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Several Zoids are based on insects and arachnids. Pincers and Kabtor pair up as Japanese Beetle Brothers, Spideath/Phobia is a spider, and Scorpear/Needle is a scorpion. There's also Catalga/Spineless, based on a silkwork, and Gusock/Gyro, a giant isopod.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Quade swoops in and saves Arashi from getting gutted by a wild stag beetle Zoid in the first episode.
    • He does it again while Arashi and Liger are getting their butts handed to them by Gigaboss.
    • Arashi gets one in for Battalia while she fights Numb-Lock after betraying him as his mole.
    • Bastion and Tryke get one near the end of the series after Haxile uses a new ability to paralyze and attempt to brainwash Team Freedom's Zoids. Shortly after, Drake does the same while wearing earplugs, preventing himself from being overwhelmed by the sound so he can maintain control.
  • Big Eater: Scrapes from Team Supreme got that name from his love of food. Arashi also gets shown eating quite a lot whenever he manages to get a meal, but he also constantly forgets to bring food with him on his journey. It runs in the family, since his father's notes on Zoids invariably stop giving useful information and start listing his day's meals instead.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Battalia wants to use the money she earns while traveling as an Imperial bounty hunter to fix up the orphanage she tends to and build a repair shop for Zoids. She also tends to treat any young children she encounters very sweetly and protectively.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology:
    • First and foremost, Zoids. They're explicitly giant robots that require occasional mechanical maintenance, but apparently reproduce in the wild on their own (if multiple specimens of the same design can find one another). They eat ore, crude petroleum, and in one case the metal-rich sap of an ancient tree. They can heal damage to themselves through a poorly described process that scientists haven't fully figured out. But they're known to have been constructed by humans in the distant past. They're also solar powered, accumulating energy during the day, but can be powered by external sources. This allows them to be revived if they are ever deactivated by simply electrifying them, and wild Zoids are the result of buried, deactivated Zoids getting struck by lightning, which makes them act wild as a result of messing with their programming. Domesticated Zoids are revived using more controlled voltages.
    • The bamboo on Ferroterra can, under certain circumstances, begin absorbing electricity like a battery. This acts as a natural deterrent to anything that could damage them, especially animals that might try to eat them. Rarely, their shoots will hold so much electrical power that they can be used as a power source. However, they quickly lose charge once harvested and will permanently lose their exceptional capacitance if not replanted quickly enough.
    • The King of the Forest is a tree hundreds of feet tall with roots extending for thousands of feet around it. Its sap is rich in metal and petroleum, making it a prime food source for Zoids. Somehow, this doesn't harm the tree itself, which is implied to be the plant equivalent of a Zoid.
  • Blood Knight: Gigaboss. He loves fighting more than anything and wants the challenge of his life. Unfortunately, he's also a Sore Loser. This basically means he wants an equal rival to fight forever. Losing to Quade consistently when no other fighter could stand up to him made him go insane, but Arashi and Liger finally gave him what he wanted... up until his final defeat.
  • Book Dumb: Arashi can't tell a caterpillar from a scorpion. Analog also reacts in genuine surprise to find out Arashi has even read a book in his life. Given it was Arashi's father's Zoid compendium (which talks more about food than Zoids), Analog is no longer surprised once he finds out.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • Drake first demonstrates the Dark Metal Empire's ability to force a Zoid into a berserk state, called the Dark Blast. Unlike the Wild Blast which is activated by a key that the Zoid grants its rider when their bond is strong, the Dark Blast is activated by overriding the Zoid's system using a hacking key that resembles a sword.
  • Broad Strokes: The overall plot is based loosely on that of the original continuity, and most closely follows Zoids: Chaotic Century's. However, a lot of it is mished, mashed, and rehashed in ways that make it stand out. In particular, it's aimed at a younger audience.
  • Butt-Monkey: Router, Gigaboss's second-in-command. He's an absolute suck-up but gets rewarded for it with derision. He gets kicked around by everyone including his own boss. You would think the guy in charge of taking over in the unlikely event of Gigaboss's death would be stronger or have more respect, but nope. The last time he's seen, he's crushed by falling debris while praising Gigaboss.
  • Camp Gay: Zamaas, the commander of the second squad of Deleters that Arashi and Quade fight off has eyeliner, a Noblewoman's Laugh, and flirts with both of them. And this is kept in the Y7-rated dub.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: Demise is the only Zoid that eats other Zoids for sustenance, with every other species able to consume and process raw material to repair themselves. When he eats a new species for the first time, he absorbs their distinctive programming and genetics, allowing him to alter his electromagnetic aura to override their software security and force them into a state of fear. By the end of the series, he's consumed almost every single species at least once - except Liger.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Arashi, among the many other things he's not that great at. His sense of humor is pretty lame, especially if you ask Liger.
  • Cast from Calories: How Wild Blast actually works. Both rider and Zoid use up their energy much faster than normal, and using it too much leaves them tired.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Arashi's nightmare of Liger getting torn to shreds ends this way.
  • Chekhov's Gun: While Battalia fixes Liger up, a bit of oil gets leaked out near the cave that she and Arashi are about to explore. The episode's mooks have their Pincers Zoids follow the scent, leading them to the secret they were after.
  • Child Prodigy: Analog/Onigiri. He's a renowned Zoid researcher and mechanic that the DME kidnaps and forces to work for them. After escaping, he joins Team Freedom.
  • Clip Show: Episode 26 is a recap of the series so far under the framing device of a letter to Gaffer.
  • Covered in Scars: Seems to be a popular look in this series.
    • When Liger first shows up outside of Arashi's village, it's covered in deep scratches from the DME's attempts at controlling it as well as having to fight off 100 of their troops to escape its captivity.
    • Scrapes is a bit downplayed but has scars on his arms, face, and belly, including some that appear to have required stitches.
    • Gigaboss is covered head to toe in large scars from fighting Zoids with his bare hands.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • Dark Blast causes harm to the Zoid, necessitating the rider to pull the hacker key after a certain amount of time to avoid damaging it significantly. Forcing it to continue fighting after the normal length of a Wild Blast will instead make it slower and less controllable.
    • Arashi accidentally taps into an berserker version of Wild Blast fueled by rage that makes him Brainwashed and Crazy, attacking his teammates as well as enemies. When he snaps out of it, he doesn't even remember what happened. He later regains control of himself and turns it into an even stronger Awakened Wild Blast.
  • Darkest Hour: Gigaboss trades Drake for the original, perfected Hacker Key. He uses this opportunity to go on a rampage and threatens to crush any possibility of resistance once and for all.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Arashi has a few of these with Quade's spirit. At first Quade just repeats things he said before the fight that took his life, but later on has a proper chat to get Arashi out of his rut. It eventually pushes Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane so hard it slips straight into undeniably supernatural territory.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Drake's parents were loving and only joined The Empire because they thought it would offer a nice home and stability, lies they were fed to convince them to join. When they learned what kind of mistake they made, they were killed after sending their child away. Drake was then forced to choose whether to join or die at a very young age, then forced to pick which one of their D-Raptors got eaten by Demise. He planned on revenge the whole time but was too afraid to fight back until Arashi helped him learn to bond with Ruin.
  • Disappeared Dad: Arashi's father left to fight the Empire and never came back, but they haven't attempted to capture the village in the intervening years since. When Team Supreme arrives and one of its members is riding Grax, his father's Brachio-type Zoid, Arashi tries to get more information but the new rider doesn't know anything about it. Quade might, though, since Arashi's father trained Quade. But Arashi never asked, and Quade only started to figure out Arashi is his mentor's son right before they split up. In the end, it turns out Ikazuchi simply lost track of time, meaning his 10 year absence was a mistake.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Malware opens a trapdoor under his subordinate's Zoids after their lab gets destroyed in the battle against Liger and Tanks, dropping them into the pit with Malware's Zoid Overbyte. They're presumable eaten.
    • Gigaboss's ultimate fate, except he falls into lava.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • The English dub drops the Edible Theme Naming in favor of mostly normal names for good characters and computer related puns for the Dark Metal Empire. The Japanese version also called them the Death Metal Empire.
    • Zoid names were also changed, but in a unique way - some of the names are for the species as a whole like Pincers or Grax, while others are the names of individual creatures like Team Supreme's two beetle-type Zoids, Flyhorn and Winghorn.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Master Bug is as weird as they come. He's a scraggly old man that looks vaguely like a cricket and claims to be over 500 years old. He feigns senility just to mess with people as well, but he's also incredibly fast and strong for his age.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Drake starts following the team near the climax of the series, right after finally accepting that Ruin has been trying to bond with him and unlocking his Zoid Key. He doesn't become an official member but fights with them for the last handful of battles against Gigaboss and Demise.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Arashi and Liger activate the most powerful form of Wild Blast ever during the final fight with Gigaboss and Demise, giving them a golden aura and even greater speed and strength than before.
  • The Empire: The Dark/Death Metal Empire, who have already conquered a sizable portion of Ferroterra but want the whole thing for themselves. By the end of the series, they have.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The Dark Metal Empire certainly doesn't certainly discriminate based on sexual orientation if the Starter Villains show anything.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Death Metal Empire mainly uses Dinosaur-type Zords like Rapterrix and Gilraptor. There's also Grax, the Brachiosaurus-type Zoid piloted by Team Supreme's Tremor and formerly by Arashi's father. Gigaboss pilots the terrifying Demise, one of the largest and most powerful Zoids in the series.
  • Expy: Many Zoids are based on older ones, rather than just being new designs based on the same animals.
    • (Wild) Liger is one for Liger Zero, being a legendary white Liger with massive untapped potential and a primarily claw-based attak.
    • Zaber Fang is based on the one from previous series. While it's called Fang Tiger in the Japanese version, its similarity is still intentional.
    • Command Wolf gets one in the form of Alpha Shadow, including having a back-mounted jet booster/cannon rather than a blade weapon.
    • Demise is treated with the same fear and reverence as Death Saurer. It also shares some similarities with Berserk Fury.
    • The Dark Metal Empire's Deleters wear masks that, combined with their clothing and punk rock style spikes give a similar impression to Borderlands's Psychos.
    • RAP Squad, the DME gang that Arashi meets early on, have more than a few similarities to Team Rocket including Tempo and Oldskool sharing Jessie and James's exact hair colors respectively. Boombox, their Ambiguously Human partner, has a lot in common with Meowth. And despite being on semi-friendly terms for the most part, frequently try to capture the main character's animal partner.
    • Master Bug is an almost 1-for-1 copy of Master Roshi, from being a super strong mentor who teaches the main character to become the strongest fighter in the world all the way down to his love of attactive young women.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Par for the course in the Dark Metal Empire, but Gigaboss takes the cake. On the rare occasion he offers mercy or the chance to surrender, it's when he knows it will be rejected. He has no qualms about going back on his word, all while putting on a smug and insincere air of politeness the whole time.
  • Five-Man Band: Team Freedom, to the letter:
    • The Leader: Arashi, though after a brief spat he shares duties with the team so all of their best attributes can be taken advantage of.
    • The Smart Guy: Analog, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of Zoids and their abilities and is a decent strategist. Unusually, his appropriately-named Zoid Tanks is actually able to take a beating but is slower than the rest of the team.
    • The Chick: Battalia, who acts as the voice of reason and mechanic. Despite this, she can be a bit of a hothead herself.
    • The Big Guy: Bastion, whose Triceratops-type Zoid Tryke is the bulkiest of the group.
    • The Lancer: Apex, who oddly is the last of the main crew to join. He contrasts Arashi by having his same competitive spirit but being more brooding and aloof.
  • Flash Step: Alpha Shadow's main Wild Blast ability is using the jet engine on its back to do this.
  • Friend to All Children: Liger has no trouble letting children play on him, even though he otherwise Hates Being Touched.
  • Furry Reminder: Played with. Rather than reminding you that Zoids are animals, the show reminds you that they're machines. The first several episodes treat them basically as just large animals with some quirks, but after Arashi and Liger meet Battalia, she chides Arashi about mechanical maintenance and tightens up some loose parts on Liger. The oil he leaked while she fixed a line lead the episode's antagonists to their location. Analog later mentions how scientists hypothesize that Wild Blast imbues Zoids with the power of the animals they're based on, but that it sometimes doesn't hold up. This is a subtle reminder that despite apparently reproducing on their own and acting like living things, they were originally designed and built by humans.
  • The Gadfly: Gigaboss pretends to have some very skewed priorities in addition to demanding absolute obedience from his subordinates. For example, he calls Drake just as he's about to finish off Arashi to ask for some snacks and party favors, and to drop whatever he's doing immediately. While it's at least partly because he's eccentric and flightly, it's also because he just likes to screw with Drake. It's all part of his plan to set Drake up to fail and kill him for it.
  • Hates Being Touched: Liger, for the most part. He's a wild Zoid, and a very powerful one at that. His abuse at the hands of the Dark Metal Empire made him distrusting of humans, but gives Arashi a chance when he promises to pay attention to Liger's wishes. Other humans who get too close tend to get knocked down and roared at. Though it may be more of a case of picking up on intentions, as Battalia was able to get close and he didn't seem to have much trouble letting letting the kids from the cowboy village play on him.
  • Haunted Technology: Zaber Fang is able to be piloted by Quade twice after he dies, including activating a Wild Blast.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Drake, after bonding enough with Ruin to earn a Zoid Key. This is after Drake had already watched his parents and one of their D-raptors get killed, then dealt with years of abuse despite being one of the Empire's top four fighters. Any chance of going back was killed as soon as Gigaboss admitted that he had been trying to get rid of Drake for a long time anyway.
  • Hero with a Unique Name: At first played straight with Arashi (being the Odd Name Out of the Edible Theme Naming in the Japanese version), but turns out that he follows a "different thematic" outside of the common one. Also, his rival's name is Drake, which is totally not a food.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Arashi seems hopelessly and maybe even terminally stupid at times, especially in how he is extremely Book Dumb. However, he also takes to becoming a Zoid rider very quickly with only a little mentoring from Quade. While at first Arashi doesn't understand that he needs to understand Liger's feelings, once he does it doesn't take long for them to bond enough to forge a Zoid Key and activate Wild Blast. For all of his lack of knowledge, Arashi is very good at reading others' emotions in addition to having strong intuition in battle, allowing him to repeatedly defeat strong and skilled veteran opponents.
    • At first, it appears Bastion will only ever do anything for money. However, he shows that he can be caring when he saves a young girl and her cat at the risk of his own safety when they get too close during a game of Zoids Soccer. He also helps save the village from a flock of V-Raptors that stampede through town with only a little convincing from Arashi despite not getting paid to do it. It also turns out that he needs the money to take care of his sick little sister.
  • The Hilarity of Hats: Buggy and Chuckles, the mayors of the baseball and cowboy villages respectively, both have hats with exaggerated proportions to show they're in charge. Also, Liger wearing a normal human-size hat can't be anything other than funny.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Gigaboss dies in a volcano because he tried one last time to perfect his control over Demise after it threw him off the saddle. He tried to crush Drake and Ruin but instead got hit be Arashi and Liger's 11th-Hour Superpower.
  • Hot-Blooded: What it takes to unlock Wild Blast. Both Zoid and rider have to be at the peak of fighting spirit and be in sync to activate it.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Arashi is really torn up about having to put down Knockz. He thinks Scrapes is going to hate him for it, but instead Scrapes tells him it was necessary.
  • Inconsistent Dub: The show switches from calling Arashi's new attack Ultra King Claw to Ultimate King Claw several episodes after he and Liger create the move, then switches back after the Clip Show episode.
  • I See Dead People: Arashi is the only one to see one. Specifically the ghost of Quade. at first.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Arashi tries to use this to reason with Demise after he throws Gigaboss off and begins fighting against the Hacker Key. Unfortunately, Gigaboss does a No-Sell on it.
  • I See Them, Too: The rest of Team Supreme see Quade while fighting Haxile and Malware. And it's not just them imagining things, because he activates Wild Blast with Zaber Fang.
  • It's Personal:
    • The reason Liger runs off towards a DME base without warning. It doesn't go well - he gets captured.
    • Also why Drake runs off on his own after joining Team Freedom to fight Gigaboss.
  • King of Beasts: Liger's power is explicitly stated to be tied to his status as a Lion-type Zoid. As such, his Wild Blast is called King Claw. This is part of the reason why the DME want him so badly. It's also the only reason why he's able to stand a chance against Demise, as the two kings fight for dominance.
  • King of the Dinosaurs: Gigaboss's Zoid Demise, known as Death Rex in the Japanese version, is a massively powerful and nearly indestructible Tyrannosaurus-type Zoid with the power to either save or conquer the world. It is treated as the strongest Zoid to ever exist and dominates wild Zoids.
  • Large and in Charge: Gigaboss towers over most other characters. He is also absolutely jacked, being mostly muscle. Unlike other similarly built characters, he didn't skip leg day, instead having a realistic if eerily tall build. His Zoid Demise is also one of the largest and most powerful ever.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Gigaboss's Gilraptor is even faster and stronger than Ruin. But the hulking Demise counts even more, being able to leap, dodge, and charge at the same speed while being practically invincible.
  • Limit Break: Wild Blast and Dark Blast. Both power up the Zoid and their rider significantly for a short period of time, unlocking otherwise unused weapons and abilities in the Zoid.
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...: Takes place on the planet Ferroterra, which is very similar to Earth except for the existence of mechanical creatures buried deep in the ground, which can be brought to life by electricity.
  • MacGuffin: Ancient Treasure Z, said to give people the power to either save or take over the world. The treasure is actually Demise. Gigaboss avoided having to bond with it to unlock its true power by using the original, perfected Hacker Key and only being shoved into a volcano stops them.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's hard to tell if Quade appearing before Arashi after being killed by Gigaboss is in Arashi's head or actually happening. It's never clarified, but Quade's ghost does pilot Zaber Fang twice afterward, including activating an Awakened Wild Blast that frees Grax and Rash from the Dark Riders.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Quade shows up long enough to train Arashi before leaving on his journey, then shows up long enough to be killed by Gigaboss.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The series, as ever, mainly exists as a marketing vehicle for toys. In particular, mechanical model kits that walk and attack.
  • Mighty Glacier: Under normal circumstances, Tanks is able to tank some powerful hits without sustaining too much damager. His Laser Cannon Wild Blast is also extremely powerful. But even moreso is Grax, who is even larger, slower, and tankier with a Wild Blast that turns his long neck into a massive pickaxe that can cause earthquakes.
  • The Mole: Battalia turns out to be a bounty hunter working for the Empire after Numb-Lock makes An Offer You Can't Refuse - she either delivers 100 of the most wanted targets to Numb-Lock personally, or he wipes out her orphanage. Arashi convinces her to become a Double Agent instead, though she ends up leaving him behind to fight back on her own instead.
  • Monster Clown: The upper ranks of the DME all have face paint and hair styles that make them look like sinister clowns. They all also have jagged, shark-like teeth.
  • Mooks: The Empire uses masked ground troops called Deleters.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Gabrigator/Overbyte is a toothy alligator-type Zoid whose Wild Blast involves its head extending forward, allowing its already huge mouth to become twice as long - large enough to fit Liger inside it. And the opening along its torso that becomes its extended mouth has teeth of its own made from its ribs.
  • Mr. Exposition: Analog. He was recruited by Arashi for his extensive knowledge of Zoids, especially rare and powerful ones and their riders. His main purpose in the show is to gush about Zoids and inform the viewer of their abilities.
  • Mythology Gag: Going with Dub Name Change, Quade's Zoid is called Zaber Fang in the English dubnote . But given that two of his team mates both pilot the same model of Beetle-type Zoid with different names, it may just be what he named it. It's also yellow like the Tigers Team's Zaber Fangs in Zoids: New Century.
  • Never My Fault: Gigaboss blames Drake for failing to recapture Liger twice when, in both cases, Drake was simply following Gigaboss's orders to the letter. This included explicit instructions to break off from his fight with Arashi and buy some party favors, then blaming Drake anyway. It's all part of a plan to either drive Drake crazy enough to rebel or to set him up to fail in a huge way. Either way, Gigaboss gets to eliminate Drake.
  • Never Say "Die": The Dub Name Change from Death Metal Empire to Dark Metal Empire. And while alternatives ("eliminate" and "destroy") are common, it's occasionally subverted.
  • Nice Hat:
    • Tremor wears a blue baseball cap, which he decides to replace with a red one while fighting in the annual Zoids tournament for the baseball village. He goes back to his blue one after hitting some Deleters in the face with the red one.
    • Both the baseball and cowboy villages seem to have wearing the appropriate style hat as a requirement. Liger even gets to wear a (normal human sized) Stetson. For a... looser definition of "nice", both of the mayors have weird looking variations - Buggy has a ridiculously long visor while Chuckles has the tallest cowboy hat in town.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Demise has armor that is supposed to be literally indestructible, adding this to its terrifying list of abilities. A combination of an Awakened Wild Blast, Ultra King Claw, and hitting his unarmored lower jaw finally do some damage to it. Unfortunately, it's relatively minor.
  • No Sense of Humor: Arashi thinks Liger is like this. It's more that Liger is a Silent Snarker for the most part.
  • Not Quite Dead: Zaber Fang shows up to help fight of Gigaboss long enough for Arashi to regroup late in the series. He's still injured from his previous fight, so only stick around long enough to get some decisive hits in before running off. It's also what finally convinces Arashi that Quade isn't coming back.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Gigaboss sees that he's about to fall into open lava, his reaction is a nervous "Eh...?"
  • Once an Episode: Arashi meets a new character who he tries to recruit to Team Freedom. Liger and Arashi activate Wild Blast during a crisis, either a fight or an incident involving wild Zoid (or both).
  • Only in It for the Money: Bastion uses Tryke as a street performer for cash. At first, this rubs Arashi the wrong way because he thinks Bastion is just using Tryke for his own gain. However, after finding out about Bastion's Hidden Depths, Arashi realizes Bastion and Tryke's bond is real. Despite all that, however, Bastion is still just trying to make some cash to get by and turns down the invitation to Team Freedom because he needs the dosh.
  • Panthera Awesome:
    • First and foremost is Liger. It's a Lion-type Zoid with the King Claw Wild Blast, it's strong and fast, and its roar can intimidate and sometimes command smaller Zoids.
    • Fang Tiger is a smilodon-based Tiger-type Zoid. It has a similar Wild Blast to Liger's, but with two blades instead of three.
  • Pile Bunker:
    • Tryke, Bastion's Triceradogos, has a massive ram formed from its crest and horns. A ram rod then extends out of the center, used to thrust into opponents like a lance.
    • Pach's Zoid Rash is based on a Pachycephalosaurs, making its main fighting style pretty close to this to begin with. But its Wild Blast turns cranial ram into a proper example, able to launch and retract it as a crushing weapon.
  • Pint-Size Powerhouse: Very unusually, the power of a Zoid is rarely related to its size. Differences in strength tend to be due to skill level and having special attacks rather than which Zoid is bigger. Small Zoids like Rapterrix, Needle, Kabtor, and Pincers are often depicted as on similar levels to Tanks, Ruin, Grax, and Zaber Fang. The only Zoid whose size gives it a definitive advantage is Demise, who rivals Grax in size but is far more powerful. The medium sized Liger, despite being much smaller, is the only one to give Demise a run for its money one-on-one.
  • Poor Man's Porn: When Master Bug asks for a book to read as payment for Arashi's training, he instead snatches up one of Battalia's fashion magazines. He's not even subtle about why he prefers it, and when called out on it not having much interesting to read in it he insists he can uses his imagination, to everyone's disdain.
  • The Power of Friendship: Team Supreme and Team Freedom believe in friendship above all else. It's half of what allows a bond that can unlock Wild Blast (the other being Hot-Blooded enough). And it gives Arashi the strength to perfect his control over Awakened Wild Blast and defeat Gigaboss.
  • The Prophecy: Two related ones from the ancient people of Ferroterra: one describing how only a powerful king can tame Demise, and another about the fight between Liger and Demise taking place in a field of destroyed Zoids near a volcano. At first it's believed that the king in question is Gigaboss, but it's actually King of Beasts Liger who "tames" Demise by overpowering it and forcing it to sink into a volcano.
  • The Quiet One: Tremor. He only speaks during his second appearance, and only for a short time. Several characters are surprised to find out he even can talk.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Every single one of the Dark Metal Empire's generals are a piece of work with their own gimmicky speech patterns and habits. Except Drake, oddly. Guess who makes a Heel–Face Turn?
  • Raptor Attack: The majority of the Dark Metal Empire's Zoids are small Rapterrix mounts used by their Deleter Mooks. In Japan they're simply called Raptors. The larger, stronger alpha units are called Gilraptors, like Drake's Ruin.
  • Sapient Steed: Zoids are capable of understanding human language, and seem to have some kind of psychic bond that allows their riders to understand them in turn. Battalia is a bit more in tune with Zoids, being able to understand Arashi's Liger as well as gaining his trust the moment they meet. They still act like animals, but have some markedly human personality traits.
  • Schmuck Bait: Liger easily falls for a trap at the entrance of what is implied to be the same Dark Metal Empire base he was tortured at before escaping. His vendetta makes him run toward it and land in a pitfall.
  • Seldom-Seen Species:
    • Gusock/Gyro is based on Bathynomus giganteus, the giant marine isopod.
    • Catalga/Spineless is a silkworm of all things.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: Arashi's nightmare of Liger being destroyed in battle is covered in shadow just as he gets ripped to shreds.
  • Shed Armor, Gain Speed: In addition to a massive boost in speed just from the sheer intensity of Quade's Awakened Wild Blast, Zaber Fang loses some armor and gains quite a bit of agility as a result. It doesn't do much to slow down Gigaboss and Demise, whose armor simply can't be damaged.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Presumably, Quade's yellow Zaber Fang is meant to be a nod to the Hanshin Tigers, like the Zaber Fangs in New Century were.
    • Gigaboss's Japanese name, Gallagher, is transliterated as "Galaga" on the sticker sheet included with his Zoid, Death Rex. It even uses a similar but distinct type face, implying this was intentional.
    • Speaking of Gigaboss's Zoid, its design takes very heavy cues from the Power Rangers reboot, specifically the T. rex Battle Zord. Drake and Gigaboss both pilot a Gilraptor with similar design features, Drake's specifically sharing the same color scheme. Gigaboss's secret Zoid Demise looks even more like it, including a pair of "wings" of similar shape to the side-mounted guns of the Battle Zord.
    • When Numb-Lock believes that Liger is about to fall into his lap, he quips "I can feel it coming in the air tonight."
    • Numb-Lock's Zoid Dragz has a vent-like detail on its forehead similar to Optimus Prime's. This doubles up as a shout-out to Optimus Primal, and even appears to be similar in design to concept art for the character's live action movie series design.
    • One of Numb-Lock's minions shouts "My body is ready!" after taking off his "sumo suit".
  • Silent Snarker: Liger can't speak, being a Zoid and all. But you can tell from his expression when he's just done with Arashi's antics.
  • Smash to Black: When Demise finishes off Zaber Fang and Quade, the screen goes black with a sickening metallic crunch.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat:
    • Arashi and Battalia's basic relationship is exchanging barbs, though Battalia's are usually a bit more biting than Arashi's.
    • Quade and Gigaboss spend their whole time having oddly friendly but threatening banter. All the way up until Quade is finished off.
  • Spam Attack: Alpha Shadow's Wild Blast: Second Gear involves turning his jet engine to point forward and sending out dozens of Razor Wind attacks.
  • Spirit Advisor: Quade does this with Arashi after the battle with Gigaboss and Demise that killed him. It seems like a case of being in his head, but becomes Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane when he starts having full conversations rather than just repeating himself. Then it turns out he's really a ghost when Team Supreme sees him later.
  • Spirited Competitor:
    • Most of Team Freedom, but especially Apex. He refuses to back down from any challenge, especially if someone claims he's too scared or weak to win. It doesn't matter if it's Zoid battling, an eating contest, or foot racing.
    • Gigaboss, originally Marcellus, to the point of wanting to take over the world.
  • Terrible Artist: Arashi's drawing skills are pitiful. Battalia's much better art becomes the mark for Team Freedom, replacing the doodle Arashi drew. Turns out Drake is on about the same level as Arashi, with his secret sketch book full of child-like doodles.
  • This Is a Drill:
    • Spineless, Greta's silkworm Zoid, has a tunnel borer as its Wild Blast. It can tunnel through the ground as well as deal massive damage to other Zoids.
    • Demise's Dark Blast involves using its "wings" to ensnare and hold its target still, while its mouth splits all the way down its neck and extending a glowing-hot 4-pronged drill straight into the victim.
  • Secret Test of Character: Master Bug offers to test Team Freedom to see if they're worthy of his training. He says it's just a matter of catching him, but he's far faster than any of their Zoids. He's actually testing their resolve to see if they'll give up. But after they create a few new attacks and even lay a trap for him that nearly works, he admits they were never going to touch him and he was seeing how much they were willing to do to earn his training.
  • Stock Footage: Most of the time, Arashi and Liger's Wild Blast uses the same footage. Sometimes it's over a different background, but is still the same character animation.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Both Arashi and his father Ikazuchi shares the same Multicolored Hair. And the same Idiot Hair.
  • Sugar and Ice: Greta is normally a perky and playful young woman, but she will quickly turn scary if owed money. Arashi and Analog found this out the hard way after it turned out that her offer to feed them came with a price tag she didn't mention ahead of time. She warms up after they help protect a town, letting them pay her back whenever they're able to afterward. But then when their debt gets too high again, she starts making them work for her to pay if off.
  • Super Prototype: The first Hacker Key was a perfect model capable of controlling any Zoid including Demise without issue. It even has the ability to repair itself. However, it was damaged and Quade stole half of it, forcing the Empire to reverse engineer it. Later copies could control most Zoids except Demise. Then Gigaboss gets the original back in exchange for sparing Drake.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Edible Theme Naming: The Japanese version could be mistaken as having had Akira Toriyama come up with the names, because about half the cast is named after food. Unusually, they don't follow any particular patterns - anyone can be named after a food or not without regard to alliance, position, or where they come from.
    • Family Theme Naming: Arashi's family is a climatic one: It means "storm" in japanese. His father is name Ikazuchi (thunder) and his grandfather is named Taifun/Typhoon.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Tremor has huge arms and a muscular barrel chest, but relatively small and skinny legs. He has proportions more close to a robotic gorilla.
  • Trickster Mentor: Master Bug uses a combination of trickery and unrivaled skill to train his students through "tests" like trying to catch him (actually getting them to improve their speed and become less predictable in their attacks), while his "training" is actually just chores. He's also very convincing at playing dumb, keeping things like the true nature of Ancient Treasure Z hidden until he's ready to reveal them, surprising everyone when he lets the truth out.
  • True Companions:
    • Team Supreme don't stick together all the time but instead believe that, even when far apart, their bond as friends and teammates trumps distance.
    • Arashi wants to become this with a Zoid. Liger ends up being the one he gets a chance with. While it takes a while for them to really overcome all of their differences, even early on when Liger is somewhat unconcerned with this, he's protective and loyal to Arashi even if they don't see eye to eye.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Gigaboss used to be a friend of Quade's named Marcellus. However, a combination of wanting the strongest Zoid in the world and constantly losing to Quade's superior fighting style with a weaker Zoid eventually drove him crazy to the point of wanting to Take Over the World.
  • Vague Age: Analog appears to be about on the same level as the rest of Team Freedom as far as psychological development goes, but is also half the height of Arashi, the second shortest member of the team. In fact, he's shorter than Bastion's kid sister Raina.
  • Volumetric Mouth: Gabrigator and Death Rex activate Wild Blast by opening their mouths far wider than normal.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Quade tries to use this to reason with Gigaboss. Quade is the one person that Gigaboss acts Affably Evil towards instead of nakedly Faux Affably Evil, agreeing to fight fair both as a reminder of their former friendship and to prove himself to be the stronger fighter without aid. Killing Quade puts a sour taste in his mouth, making him discard the Team Supreme badge he intended to take as a trophy now that he feels he has no Worthy Opponent to test himself against.
  • Worthy Opponent: Gigaboss agrees to fight Quade because Quade is the only one Gigaboss thinks is worth his time, and even with a secret weapon at his disposal has a hard time keeping up. And when he wins, he doesn't enjoy it as much as he thought he would now that all realistic threats have been eliminated.
  • Weaponized Headgear: Tremor throws the red hat he got from the baseball village at some Deleters. Unlike most examples, it has about as much impact as you'd expect from a baseball cap and only serves to distract them.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Gigaboss has one set up for Drake. Either the pointless and disruptive orders will drive Drake crazy and make him lash out, or they will force him to fail so badly that he Gigaboss can justify lethal punishment. Either way, Gigaboss gets to kill him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: What Gigaboss plans on doing to Drake. He doesn't get a chance, though.
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