Sketchley's Translations Main Index
By AARON SKETCHLEY ( Ver 1.0 2016.09.02

Great Mechanics 10: Macross Zero Feature
"Macross Zero Feature." Great Mechanics. 16 Oct. 2003: 96-102. Print.

Table of Contents

Pg 75

Macross Zero Chapter 3 "The Pale Struggle To The Death"
Finally, Genuine Mecha Action!
Composition & Text: Makoto Ishii

"Macross Zero Chapter 3 The Pale Struggle To The Death"
Now on sale
Price: \5,000 (not including tax)
Sales Method: DVD, VHS (rental only)
Recording Length: 30 min.
Product ID Number: DVD: BCBA-1334
Production Specifications: Dolby Digital (5.1 channel stereo), single layer

On Nov. 28, 2003, "The Pale Struggle To The Death", the 3rd chapter of "Macross Zero", was released.
In chapter 2, Shin returned to Mayan Island with the Unified Forces scientist Aries, and witnessed the mysterious power that Sara has. And then, Shin was led by Sara's younger sister Mao and dove deep underwater to the bottom of the ocean. Before their very eyes was something that seems to be the head of the Protoculture relic "Bird Man", that the Unified Forces and Anti Unification Forces are searching for.
On the other hand, the Anti Unification Forces started a maritime anti-ship attack in the approaching twilight, to seize the "Bird Man"'s body that the Unified Forces had pulled up [from the bottom of the sea]. In the end, does an attack with forceful methods appear?
What is the relationship between sisters Sara and Mao, and the "Bird Man"? And what happens when the "Bird Man" completely revives? The prologue has finished, and chapter 3, in which new developments finally arrive, is fully loaded with character drama and combat scene highlights.
The marine nighttime battle concerning the "Bird Man" in particular powers up the flashiness and fierceness with the appearance of Battroids and Armoured Valkyries.
This time, as well, we introduce a chapter 3 scene analysis, together with the latest information on the Hasegawa (1/72 scale) VF-0S Fighter mode plastic model kit that will soon be on sale, and an explanation of the VF-0D's mechanics.

Pg 76

The VF-0's Underwater Battle
Underwater combat is the VF series' new combat method, which hasn't been depicted in a previous Macross series.
Co-pilot Edgar had said, "it's OK if you close the intakes for 2 to 3 minutes, because they are supposed to be for fighting in space". Using that as a hint, when Shin dove his VF-0 into the water to battle the Anti Unification Forces' underwater Destroid, one can confirm that he went in as-is in Fighter form, and folded up the main wings to the minimum size in order to reduce the water resistance.
Even though understandably the underwater Destroid can mobilize better in real underwater combat, the situation was reversed by transforming the VF. The Destroid's camera-eye was destroyed by the Valkyrie's head laser gun, and the head of the "Bird Man", which was almost snatched away by the Destroid, was recovered by the Valkyrie.
You could also say that this concurrently depicts the changing of Shin's mind, as he was stubborn about only flying in the air.

Caption: The VF diving in with its main wings at their minimum size. That shape is like the sea birds that nimbly and speedily capture food that's underwater.

Caption: The VF-0, which wasn't assumed to be for underwater combat, naturally fell into a tough spot. However, by transforming from the Fighter to the Battroid form, it undertook close combat, and won the first ever (!?) underwater battle.

Interception! Destroids
Destroids were deployed to the Unified Forces' state-of-the-art carrier Asuka for interception duties. Marines also accompanied them on the Asuka, and when you consider that the Destroids were also deployed in the landing troops, the Asuka seems to have strong elements as an experimental ship.
With the Destroid's arm weapons, variations exist such as the rocket launcher equipped ones, in addition to the standard machine-gun type. Even though the Destroids are basically fixed in the place of the so-called anti-aircraft emplacements, rollers for high-speed movement are affixed to their legs, and depending on the situation, they can also leave the emplacements and intercept enemies while moving. Also, by using the thruster that's installed in the back, the Destroids can also float for a little bit of time. That seems to have been planned on the assumption that they'd also be used in space combat, which was expected to occur in the near future [at this point in the Macross timeline].
In the story, they fight bravely against the Anti Unification Forces' Sv-51, which raid the Unified Forces fleet in order to steal the "Bird Man". Such things as the details on each part, which could be a result of the CG modelling, are solidly depicted even up to the minutia, and we hope that the Destroids will also be active in the remaining two episodes - the latter half of the story.

Caption: Each Destroid is usually installed within an emplacement-like box. Also, depending on the objective, it seems that they can be operated with rearranged arm parts.

Caption: It's also possible for the Destroid pilots to play it by ear and move from their fixed positions, if it is judged that the Destroid cannot intercept the enemy only from within the emplacement. The way that such a flexible defence is depicted is also new.


Pg 77

Sortie! Full Armour VF-0S
The VF-0S with Reactive Armour is like the ace up Chapter 3's sleeve. Fokker responds to the attack in the Full Armour VF-0S against Ivanov's Sv-51, which is attempting to sneak inside the carrier Asuka. It also seems to be a prototype, and substantiates the experimental character of the Asuka.
Although the basic organization -additional armour with a lot of missile pods installed in it, put on the exterior of the Valkyrie's Battroid form- is the same as the Armoured Valkyrie that appeared in the TV series, the design image differs greatly.
The biggest difference appears to be that the additional armour has become Reactive Armour. That armour explodes outwards by explosives set on the inside when a shock is applied to the outside, and functions by suppressing the damage to the Valkyrie body by offsetting the [damage-causing] pressure.
Although the Full Armour has the flaw whereby the Valkyrie loses the mobility that's distinctive to VFs when they are equipped with it, it could be said that the equipment is appropriate for defensive duties, as the armour remarkable raises the Valkyrie's offensive and defensive capabilities.

Caption: Speaking of the Full Armour, it fires its missiles all at once! The Full Armour VF-0S wasn't done in CG, but was depicted in drawn pictures, and it's possible to see it with flashier directing.

Caption: The micro-missiles that the Full Armour VF-0S let loose chase the Sv-51. However, the Sv-51 tries to hit the Asuka with the missiles by turning around while attracting the missiles.

Caption: The Sv-51 resumes its attack during that opportunity. Although the Sv-51's bullets directly hit the armour, the armour itself explodes, and protects the Valkyrie. Even while suffering a concentrated attack, the VF-0S casts off the armour, and starts its counterattack as-is, with roughly no damage [to the Valkyrie].

Caption: A full-length portrait of the Full Armour VF-0S. The armour that covers the Valkyrie has a design that has an overall roundness, and the impression that it gives differs from the angular image of the Armoured Valkyrie.

Pg 78

VF-0S vs. Sv-51 Shipboard Battle
Fokker's VF-0S, which had cast off the armour, capitalized on its manoeuvrability, and shifted to a counterattack. The deck of the carrier Asuka is the the setting of the battle. The fight is in a place where if they move just little bit, then they fall out onto the sea, and it takes place in the GERWALK form, which has a great hovering ability.
Also, concerning the attacks: because they mutually cannot afford to sink the carrier Asuka, the fight isn't conducted as a firefight, but as a hand-to-hand battle. Although one might say that it's a hand-to-hand fight in the GERWALK form, it isn't wrestling or a fist fight, but is centred on kick work.
Actions that capitalize on mobility and manoeuvrability, such as sideways kicks while hovering and somersault kicks, is a presentation that you would be able to say isn't possible to see in other robot anime.
Also, by battling at nighttime, the fantastical atmosphere is also simply enchanting; notwithstanding the depiction of the battle also being made brutal by directing that uses light: such as the flames that spout out from the jet nozzles, and the sparks generated when the Valkyries slide on the deck.

Caption: An irregular roundhouse kick while flinging the legs upwards in the rear. Movements that are impossible for an ordinary humanoid weapon are possible, if the Valkyrie is in the GERWALK form. This time, too, there are a lot of highlights with the Valkyries in the GERWALK form.

Caption: The midair hand-to-hand battle between fellow GERWALKs, operated by Ivanov and Fokker, unfolds on the deck of the carrier Asuka. The struggle continues in the midst of a fantastic lighting. Incidentally, the conclusion of the fight between these two Valkyries is carried over into Chapter 4.

A GERWALK Confrontation In The Air
The fight between fellow GERWALKs isn't only on the sea. While Ivanov and Fokker continue to fight, Shin's Valkyrie recovers the head of the "Bird Man". Thereupon, Nora's Sv-51 approaches to capture it. Here, a battle is depicted under unique circumstances, between the Bird Man carrying VF-0 and the Sv-51, which has almost no remaining bullets.
The GERWALK form also has a monopoly in this kind of situation. Shin and Nora continue flying in GERWALK form, because it's easy to fly and adjust the aircraft's speed, and they can freely change their flight trajectory.
And special attack techniques are also performed here. Even though its impossible to make attacks in an aircraft against enemy planes that have slipped right under your aircraft, you can pursue and attack them, if its a VF.
Shin confirmed the position of the enemy Valkyrie with the camera on the VF's head, which is in the underside of the Valkyrie, and attacked with the laser gun. On the other hand, after skillfully avoiding the attack from the laser, Nora's Valkyrie made a surprising counterattack with an overhead kick, and succeeded in taking the head of the "Bird Man" from Shin's Valkyrie. The exchange of tricky attacks is an interesting scene.

Caption: Nora's Sv-51 grapples with the VF-0 in GERWALK form. It's possible to get such actions if the Valkyrie is in the GERWALK form, where it can freely use its arms.

Caption: Capturing the position of Nora's Sv-51 with the head camera, Shin's VF-0 counterattacks with the head laser.

Caption: Nora's Valkyrie, which avoided the laser attack, revs up its engines, and while inverted in the sky, hits the VF-0's arm with an overhead kick. This attack is also unique to the GERWALK form.


Pg 79

The Anti Unification Forces Destroid
The Unified Forces aren't the only group that uses Destroids. One can confirm that even the Anti Unification Forces side uses several types of Destroids.
First of all, there's the Destroid that tried to recover the "Bird Man"'s head, which was in the sea. Even though the fine details couldn't be confirmed during the story in Chapter 3, it seems to be equipped with large flexible arms. Also, it has the ability to fire torpedoes from the arms. When one thinks about how the Anti Unification Forces use submarines and their movements on Mayan Island, it seems that this Destroid is one that more easily performs undersea work.
And one other type has appeared - it is a Destroid for landing and ground bombardment. It has a gun for ground attacks installed on the top of the Destroid, and moves by seemingly sliding on the water. When it enters the shallows, it transforms and legs appear, and the Destroid turns into something that can make a beach landing.
Destroids that had various functions like those were made in great numbers in this period. It also seems to be fine if one sees them also as preparations for the anti-alien battle that was expected to occur in the near future [at this point in the Macross timeline].

Caption: Huge arm parts are the characteristic of the Anti Unification Forces Destroid. It appears that torpedoes are loaded into both arms. It may have originally been something for deep sea work.

Caption: The Destroid has a form that gives you the impression of a Zentrādi Pod. The legs change from a form where the Destroid hovers, to one with four legs.

1/72 VF-0S - On Sale From The Middle Of Jan. 2004
The long-awaited Fighter form of the VF-0 has finally been released by Hasegawa, who are releasing 1/72 scale Macross plastic model kits. To start with, what's being released is the S model that Fokker boards (pictured on the left is a painted prototype model reproduced in wooden form). Under Mr. Kawamori's supervision, it has the point of additional detail that makes one believe even more that it is a real aircraft. Delicate lines have been solidified on every part of the kit. Certainly, its degree of perfection follows the anime image of the VF-0S. We certainly hope to make the Battroid form and the D model, too. Also, as we're also making the Sv-51 into a kit in the spring, we'll also be introducing that kit's detailed information in this publication.

E 1/72 scale plastic model kit
E Hasegawa
E Suggested Price: 2,800 (without tax)

Caption: Pictured with the separately sold Macross Stand.


Pg 80

Macross Zero Mechanical Analysis 3

The Unified Forces Variable Fighter VF-0D Model
The two-seater model of the Variable Fighter that the Unified Forces developed for the anti alien battle that was expected to arrive in the near future [at this point in the Macross timeline]. It features canards (ailerons) and delta wings that emphasize manoeuvrability when in Fighter. Let's take a look at each part of this unique Variable Fighter that was operated only during this period [of the Macross timeline].

Battroid Form
It has a stocky impression overall as the jet engines are installed in the legs. The main wings aren't completely stowed away because they are so big, and it has a silhouette similar to a cape having been fastened onto it.

Drop Tanks
As the VF-0 moves by jet engine, fuel tanks that are necessary for the engines are installed on the chest.

Compared to the S model, the VF-0D is large, because it is a two-seater model. When in Battroid, the cockpit is covered by an armoured plate to protect the canopy.

Dedicated Gun Pod
A 35 mm-calibre Gun Pod. As it is used in hand when in Battroid and GERWALK, it can strike in any direction.

Main Wings
Even though they are folded up when in Battroid, they have air resistance because they stick out outside of the airframe, and the mobility of the D model is somewhat inferior compared to the S model.

VF-0 D Model
Design Production:
D model - joint development by Northrop Grumman, Stonewell, and Bellcom.
Length: 18.69 m
Weight: 16,805 kg empty weight
Engine: EGF-127 Turbofan-jet Kai (91.08 KN, 148.9 KN with afterburner) x2, GERWALK and Battroid Manoeuvring Rocket Motor (Shinnakasu ARR-2) x3
Maximum Speed: Mach 2.62 (at 11,000 m)
Cruising Range: 2,400 km, when with the Dorsal Conformal Tank standard equipment
Climbing Ceiling: 26,500 m in D model
Fixed Armaments: Mauler Laser Machinegun x1
Standard Armaments: 35 mm Gatling Gun Pod (Howard GPU-9 loaded with 550 rounds, AHEAD rounds may be used) x1
Standard Air-to-Air Specification: AMRAAM 2 Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (Raytheon Bifors AIM-200A I/ALH guided) (12 missile maximum load) 3 per dedicated rack on a total of 4 underwing hardpoints, 2 hardpoints per wing.
Expanded Armaments: Within-atmosphere Combat Super Parts (Micro-missile Launcher/Conformal Tank) x2 - able to house 24 Micro-missiles (Raytheon-Erlikon GH-30B I/IR guided), or a spare magazine for the Gun Pod.
* The maximum payload is exceeds that of the A/S models by about 20%.
* Able to be equipped with the majority of the former American/NATO standard aircraft armaments.
Defensive Armaments:
Chaff & Flare Dispenser System (AN/ALE55 x1, IDECM), (AN/ALQ220A), Active Stealth System (ASS/PS110), SWAG Energy Conversion Armour System (AWAG/RA105), others.
Underwater Action: able to mobilize underwater in Silent Mode for about several minutes.
Action Depth Limit: about 20 m

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Fighter Form
Its stability is high, and it can fly with great manoeuvrability, due to the wide wing area and canards. Although its highest speed is inferior to that of the S model, the D model is excellent in other aspects.

Main Wings
Its stability is excellent because it uses delta wings. In addition, the quantity of armaments it can carry is also more than that of the A and S models.

Canard Wing (aileron)
They have the functions of adjusting the airflow stream, and enhancing the stability of the airframe. They are folded up and located on the Valkyrie's femurs when in Battroid.

(Thrust) Vectored Nozzle
Nozzles that can freely control the jet propulsion's direction. Due to them, it's possible to fly in a fine trajectory with control greater than that by the aircraft's rudders.

Head Laser
The only fixed armament on the VF-0D. Firing single shots like a Vulcan gun, it can also be used like a scalpel, if it is used continuously.

Although its stability is high thanks to the delta wings, because of their small width when they are folded up, the Valkyrie has a slight problem in its manoeuvrability. In all points except for that, the D model has hardly any functional differences from the S model.

We are introducing the mechanisms that appear in "Macross Zero" in this corner of the magazine - and this time we're introducing the VF-0D model, which is also the main character's mecha.
The D model is a two-seater plane, in contrast to the single-seater VF-0S model that Fokker boards, and the shape of the fuselage also greatly differs. In contrast to the S model, which has variable wings, and can easily correspond to various circumstances, the D model has a fuselage that combines canards (ailerons) and delta wings. Delta winged aircraft can get a large overall wing area, and exhibit great overall stability and manoeuvrability in the VF series, which are all tail-less. On the other hand, the D model is somewhat inferior in its maximum speed, compared to the S model.
Also, because the pilot handles such things as aircraft control, and the copilot, who boards the Valkyrie at the same time, is in charge of weapon control and electronic warfare in a two-seater aircraft, the D model can correspond to a wider range of missions when compared to the single seat S model.
It has been painted dark blue on the top of the fuselage, and white on the underside. That is to give the VF-0D a low visibility paint (low visibility camouflage), which makes it difficult for enemy craft to detect it. Even though the VF-0D has a massive image compared to the Anti Unification Forces' Sv-51, its thrust and armour thickness is inferior; and it is also an aircraft that still needs to mature.
One can consider that the D model is conducting an operational study at the same time as the S model variable wing aircraft. However, as indicated in [Macross] history after that, the variable wings, which have great manoeuvrability when in Fighter and Battroid, were adopted. Concerning that, the Variable Fighters with unique wings that were produced, were active only in the very earliest period [of the Macross timeline].


© Aaron Sketchley