Plot: Fiona and Van get lost in a sandstorm but are saved by a mysterious drifter with a Command Wolf named Irvine. After sharing a meal and telling Irvine about their situation, they sleep through the night and find Irvine has left.
They reunite with the Shield Liger and Zeke and go on with their exploration. They find some ancient ruins of a fortress from a long-since ended war being guarded by a wounded pilotless Gordos Zoid. Irvine arrives, blowing the place to smithereens in an attempt to acquire Zeke.
Gordos is revealed to be the Zoid of a soldier who used to reside within the fortress yet was left behind when they decided to vacate due to its damaged leg. It vehemently defends the fortress yet again, getting damaged even further by Irvine and his Command Wolf.
Van stops to help do some rough repairs on Gordos before Irvine strikes again. Fiona and Zeke get separated from Van, and he becomes trapped under some rubble, but Gordos arrives to help him.
Back in his Shield Liger, Van faces off against Irvine and nearly loses, but Gordos comes to his rescue, bearing the brunt of another barrage. Irvine, now outnumbered, decides to leave. Likewise, Gordos turns to go back to its post. Despite Van’s pleas for Gordos to not return to the fortress, and driving home the fact that the soldiers he had befriended back in the days of the war were either now dead or at least since gone and never returning, Gordos decides to stay behind and wait for them for as long as it’s functioning.
Breakdown: Irvine was one of my favorite characters, though considering Zoids is one of those shows I followed closely in my younger days but remember barely anything about it now, I guess I’m not surprised to find that Irvine’s first episode is one where he’s an asshole. He had his kind moments, but the majority was assholery.
We’re getting a tiny bit more backstory on the Zoids world today and even a tiny tidbit of insight into Fiona when she finds a pillar with gibberish lettering on it that mesmerizes her. She finds that she can read it, but is only able to decipher ‘Zoid Eve’ before passing out.
The story of Gordos was quite sad, and somehow I’m more bummed out that Gordos actually survived this episode than I feel I would be if he ‘died.’ The thing is, in the end, Van says, with triumphant music playing and sporting a smile, that Gordos will wait for his pilot/these soldiers for another hundred years if he has to, which is a massively weird tone to be putting on this situation.
Why is it a happy or a triumphant thing for this poor damaged Zoid, who was left behind by these soldiers for, quite frankly, dumb reasons (his leg was damaged, yeah, but he was more than functional enough to leave the area if he has been able to protect this area for over 50 years and survive two battles with a Command Wolf.) to decide to live in denial for the rest of its possibly immortal existence waiting for people who could neither be bothered to find a way to bring him with them, come back for him later or died in the war/of old age or something and will never come back? That is insanely sad.
Sure, he’s a Zoid, and I’m sure there’s a forum thread or two dedicated to the idea of Zoids’ souls and if they pass on to some garage in the sky, but I think it would’ve been better and, yes, less sad, if they had him take the blast from Irvine and then ‘die.’ It would finally give Gordos peace and, depending on whatever religion exists in Zoidland, possibly be reunited with his fellow soldiers.
Instead, this poor innocent Zoid is left to his own purgatory until he finally does get taken out by another threat. I would say until he runs out of power, but he’s been in those ruins for over 50 years and still has ample amounts of power to spare.
As a final note, the battles in this episode were more poorly animated than they have been. They mostly amounted to running at each other and having a brief push fight. I laughed out loud during one ‘action’ shot during Gordos’ battle with Irvine the first time around.
They didn’t even animate OR DRAW damage to the ruins as Irvine was blowing shit up every which way. I was starting to think these blasts were really just harmless and it didn’t click for the characters, but one blast blows a wall up and a bunch of debris lands on Van (and he’s somehow entirely unharmed after….) Zoids has never been pretty or nicely animated, let’s just be honest there, but I think we can chalk this one up to being a budget episode.
Final-final note – Fiona, you exited a tunnel, assumed you were safe without noticing the GIANT ROBOT WOLF about ten feet to your right. (Zeke didn’t even notice it when he had the proper POV!) and then when Irvine’s about to attack, acting like you’re trapped, you don’t think to just….run back into the tunnel and go back to where you started? Come on.
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