The Shadow Fox is a type of Zoid, a race of mechanical lifeforms from the fictional Zoids universe.
The Shadow Fox's main ranged weapon is a 30mm Laser Vulcan gun mounted on a flexible turret on its back. The cannon has a very broad arc of fire, allowing the Fox to attack enemies at almost any angle. The Zoid's other ranged weapon is a rather unusual one; a net launcher mounted in the tail, designed to entangle enemy Zoids.
The Zoid mounts one other unusual feature; the Laser Vulcan can be easily removed and replaced with a wide array of other weapons systems. In addition to various Custom Parts, the Fox can also mount weapons from other Zoids, like the Geno Saurer's long-range pulse cannons, the Lightning Saix's boosters and beam cannons, the Spino Sapper's chainsaws, the Konig Wolf's Dual Sniper Rifle, the Gojulas's buster cannon, the CP-04, CP-06, or CP-13, making the Shadow Fox one of the most versatile Zoids in combat.
Battle Story Appearances
The Shadow Fox was first deployed in ZAC 2101, during the Republic's invasion of the Dark Continent. The Zoid was deployed alongside the Republic's Liger Zeroes, and was initially successful. The Shadow Fox and Liger Zero combination continued to succeed until encountering the Eisen Dragoon's Berserk Fury and Grounchar units. The timely arrival of the Republic's Gunbluster Zoids saved them, allowing them to continue with their missions.
The Helic Republic later designed an improved version of the Shadow Fox. Known as the Fire Fox, the prototype was stolen by the Neo-Zenebas Empire, and later they put them into limited production.
The first anime appearance of the Shadow Fox was in Zoids: New Century episode 20. The Shadow Fox was a prototype Zoid developed for the Backdraft Group by Dr. Laon, and was given to Brad Hunter after the destruction of his Command Wolf AC. In order to pilot the Shadow Fox, Brad joined the Backdraft and was quickly sent into battle his old team. Shocked by his apparent betrayal, the Blitz Team members are even more shocked when Brad easily defeats the Raynos and Gun Sniper LS (in barely thirty seconds, according to Dr. Toros). Bit too had a hard time, as the Shadow Fox's greater agility enabled it to use the terrain to its advantage. When they eventually face off in a head-to-head battle, with their respective Zoids being promised to the winner, the battle is ruled invalid by the damaged (but not inactive) judge. The judge revealed that since Brad had installed his original Zoid Gear in the Shadow Fox (which still listed him as being a registered member of the Blitz Team), the Shadow Fox was effectively and legally a Blitz Team Zoid. Brad used the Fox for the rest of the series, helping to defeat the Lightning Team and Naomi Fluegel's Gun Sniper. In the final battle of the series, Brad and his Shadow Fox helped hold off Vega and his Berserk Fury so that Bit could rearm the Liger Zero with its remaining armor. Brad succeeded in his goal, though the legs on the Shadow Fox's right side were blasted off by the Fury in the process.
Additionally, Brad's new Shadow Fox can detect and track invisible enemies (such as the Helcat), making it a formidable foe in combat. The Shadow Fox's main guns can shoot long distances, and it can shoot at enemies coming in any direction because it has a high degree of horizontal and vertical flexibility. In one episode, the Shadow Fox is customised to use a large Buster Cannon, a gun designed for a Gojulas, and while effective against the Fuma Team's Neo-Warsharks, the weight of the gun impairs the Fox's movement and it is taken out by a flying Hammerhead. When the Shadow Fox is used in this battle, it is deployed from the Hover Cargo's the side panel rather than the catapult, in the same fashion as the Liger Zero when it is outfitted with its noticeably heavy Panzer module.
FuzorsIn Zoids: Fuzors, Marvis used a Shadow Fox, both as a member of the Mach Storm Team and after he escaped from prison. His Shadow Fox was equipped with an energy shield, but despite this, it was destroyed by Helmut and Sigma's Command Striker in episode 10. He later had it replaced with a Styluarmor.
Several other Shadow Foxes appeared as background Zoids in Fuzors, including one with a reversed gold and black color scheme in episode 24.
Many Shadow Foxes were featured in Zoids: Genesis, coloured the same as the gold Shadow Fox in Fuzors. They are used in several minor roles, such as by a gang of thieves, and as part of Ra Kan's anti-Digald forces.
Like most other Zoids, the Shadow Fox was featured in both the Zoids Saga and Zoids VS series of games. In Zoids VS, an upgrade called "Shadow Fox S" was available for purchase. This version had better overall stats and was described as "Shadow Team's Zoid". The electromagnetic net gun is featured as a beam gun of sorts, firing with the same animation as the Dark Spiner's jamming blade.
The Shadow Fox was featured as part of the Zoids Scramble release of Zoids Trading Cards.
The Shadow Fox features in only one panel of the New Century manga. There is no spoken dialogue about the Zoid, or about how it is obtained. It does not participate in combat.
New Japanese Release
The Shadow Fox kit comes on six sprues, along with the wind-up motor, orange cockpit 'eyes', 24 rubber caps, two gears, a label sheet and a pilot figure. The Shadow Fox is moulded in grey/silver, black, and metallic blue, with gold and metallic grey details painted on. For a number of NJR Shadow Foxes, the main black colour had a slight green tint, likely a production error. The points where these parts were cut from the sprue made the green tint more evident especially when placed next to a normal Shadow Fox.
The Zoid uses a wind-up motor for movement; once the Zoid is activated it slowly walks forwards. The Zoid's head and neck can be manually positioned, the jaw opened and closed and the Vulcan cannon can be elevated and rotated. A gearing mechanism on the side of the cannon can also be used to rotate the barrels.
The main feature of the Zoid is that the back-mounted weapons rack carries a variety of pegs in different widths, allowing a wide range of weapons from other Zoids to be mounted. The rack has three standard-sized pegs, as well as a large-sized peg and a square hole. The latter allows the mounting of the battery packs from several other Zoids, such as the Lightning Saix, Berserk Fury, and Death Stinger.
The Shadow Fox was released in 2000, with production continuing until 2004.
A chromed version was released by Leoshop of Taiwan.
New American Release
The Shadow Fox was released in the US by Hasbro as a part of the New American Release, as a Toys "R" Us exclusive. This version had a slight mould change, in that the end of the key to the Zoid's wind-up motor was rounded off. This mould change was carried forwards to all subsequent versions, as well as later runs of the New Japanese Release.
The Shadow fox was featured as part of the Hasbro Action Figures line. Instead of its signature 30mm Gatling gun, it featured a 4-barreled rocket launcher, so that it could actually fire the missiles. The legs were poseable and the gun could be pointed in any direction.
The Zoid was also released as a part of the New Pacific Release in similar packaging. This version was a general release.
A limited edition version of the Shadow Fox was released as part of the 'Yuji Kaida' series in 2003, named the Fire Fox.
The main changes concerning this Zoid revolved around the fact that the Fire Fox was stolen from the Helic Republic by the Neo-Zenebas Empire. The Zoid was moulded in red, gold, and silver, had green cockpit 'eyes', contained an altered label sheet (which designated it as EZ-046 instead of RZ-046 to reflect the faction change), and included a blue Imperial pilot. There were no mould changes, except for continuing with the remoulded key.
New Pacific Release
The Shadow Fox was released in Australia as a part of the New Pacific Release. A poor seller, it was often re-packaged in a two-pack with unsold Zabats, and could be found on shelves years after the line's cancellation.
High End Master ModelThe HMM Shadow Fox was released in October 2012. It came with a Brad Hunter figure and the rose decal associated with the pilot.
A Fire Fox HMM kit is planned for release in October 2013 as well as custom chrome parts for both varients.