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Idiosyncratic Mecha Storage

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It's not a very bright idea to park your Humongous Mecha standing straight up. It's a pain to climb back up to the cockpit, it can get knocked over easily (also one of the reasons they don't exist in the real world), plus it just looks a bit silly.

So, make it kneel or curl up into a ball. With the center of gravity lowered, the mecha is harder to knock over. With the height lowered, the mecha is easier to store and can't get in trouble for impeding overhead air traffic. The pilot has a shorter and (usually) easier climb back up to the cockpit. Unfortunately, parking the mecha like that makes it a larger target for dive-bombing birds.

See also Sleep-Mode Size, for when there's less mecha and more sleepies; and Retractable Weapon.

Compare Transforming Mecha, for cases where the mecha's transformation allows for easier storage (and disguise).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Armored Troopers or ATs from Armored Trooper VOTOMS are relatively short for mechs, only standing around four meters tall, but they're often stowed in a kneeling or crouched position. A pilot can board with a pull-up, or perform maintenance on a stepladder.
  • The Big O: While the titular Megadeus normally resides in the protagonist's bank-turned-mansion, it travels the undercity in a humongous Drill Tank.
  • FranXX, the titular mecha in DARLING in the FRANXX, are normally stored standing, but since the hangers are within the giant defensive walls of a city, this is a sensible form factor. For transport, however, they're curled into the foetal position to fit inside a cargo plane.
  • In expanded Gundam works, because they generally operate in zero-gravity, the Zeon space colonists do not store their mobile suits standing upright on racks like their Earth-based Federation rivals and instead have them lying down, back-to-back, or strewn about all over the hangar because there is less of a concept of "up" without gravity.
  • Inverted in Neon Genesis Evangelion; standing up is the idle position for an Evangelion. Justified in that it's stored in a huge cage, and the entry plug is inserted into the back via cranes.
  • Patlabor:
    • Section 2's Ingrams are stored standing up when on standby at base, but when it comes time to take the field, they are transported lying prone in dedicated trailers that then raise them into a standing position for deployment, a depiction that remains fairly constant across all versions.
    • In the first movie, the JSDF's Helldivers are also stored lying down in specialized aircraft for airborne deployment. Logical, since they're from the same production series as the police's Ingrams.

  • Star Wars: B1 battle droids in the prequel trilogy are designed to be able to fold into a compact shape, with the legs folded and pulled up to the chest. This allows for convenient transport and storage; Multi-Troop Transports are able to carry one hundred and twelve of them at once.

  • In Full Metal Panic!, most Arm Slaves (or at least Mithril's) are stored kneeling down when aboard the TDD-1, or lying prone when transported by helicopter or by road.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Most Battlemechs in BattleTech are stored standing up, but come equipped with retracting rope winches the pilot rides to reach the cockpit or climb down.

    Video Games 
  • Custom Robo are kept in a cube form, which is launched from a cannon and unfolds at the start of a battle. How the cube lands can impact the fight, since a robo who unfolds right-side-up can move immediately, but one that lands head face down will have to flail about a bit to get on its feet.
  • The Boxguards of Deus Ex: Human Revolution are called such because they fold up into a cube when inactive. One memorable room has hundreds of the things on the walls, stacked together in compact form.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon: The powered armour units in F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin crouch and open their cockpit when they're usable so the pilot can climb in, or stand up straight with a shield activated when they're in an automatic repair mode (which tends to be how you find unoccupied ones to hijack).
  • Vital Suits in Lost Planet have a specific "folded-up" mode, so the pilot can climb in and out easily.
  • Plenty of mechs in Mass Effect series, such as geth armatures, LOKIs or YMIRs, assume a compact shape when not activated, making for easier transport.
  • The Minotaur exomech in No Man's Sky automatically crouches lower to the ground when you leave it, unless you add an AI module that lets it roam around by itself. It can still be boarded either way, given that the game doesn't take pilot seat height into account, it just needs you to be close enough to give the option.
  • StarCraft II: Thors have a unique animation that plays when they get picked up by a dropship. They fold up into a more compact block hanging under the ship.
  • In the Subnautica series, exiting your P.R.A.W.N. Suit while on land will cause it to automatically crouch down, so that you can reach its top-mounted access points.
  • Averted for the most part in Titanfall, as the eponymous Titans are never seen crouching down or otherwise adjusting its stance when their Pilot is out of the cockpit. They always assume an auto-pilot mode to provide assistance while Pilots are on-foot. They do assist their Pilot inside themselves when boarding by reaching out and gently grabbing them while their cockpit door opens, though. About the only time they actually do this is when a Pilot first calls in their Titan, where they already assume a crouched position after touching down, but they're still active at that time, they're just waiting for their Pilot to get in. If the Pilot doesn't enter immediately, after a certain period, they'll stand up all the way, draw their weapon, and assume a combat stance.
  • In the Trails Series, both Divine Knights and Panzer Soldats are commonly seen kneeling when not in use. However, in properly equipped hangars, like the one in the Thors branch campus, they are stored in a standing position, suspended on the racks, presumably for easier maintenance. Averted for Goliath-class Soldats, which are so massive, they can't kneel, and thus always stored upright.
  • One of the activation animations of the MECs in XCOM 2 has them rising from a ball and powering up. It can look silly, depending on what the MEC did right before the animation.

    Western Animation