- This article relates to Zoids that roam the wilderness of Zi. Not to be confused with Zoids: Wild, the 2018 series.
Wild Zoids are creatures that roam freely across Planet Zi without a pilot.
Wild Zoids were first featured in the Battle Story of the Original Japanese line, but the different Zoids media have made several variations over the years.
True Wild Zoids
This is essentially a Zoid in its original state, having evolved from a core and fed upon metallic foliage found on Zi or the cores of other Zoids. These are the Zoids that inspired designs such as the Liger Zero and Gojulas Giga. They also are the rarest variety of pilot-free Zoids. True wild Zoids have no actual ranged weaponry, but still have close combat weapons and the strength and agility of any military Zoid. There has been no appearance of a true wild Zoid in media outside selected Zoid fanbooks.
Wild Zoids are born from mini-cores budding off an adult Zoid. When the parent dies, the mini-cores break off, forming their own bodies in safe locations.
A few wild Zoids appear in the Zoids comics, being called "primitives" or plainly "wild Zoids" and live on the outer territories of Zoidstar. These wild Zoids do not have androids like the other Zoids in the comics and more closely resemble the wild Zoids in the OJR story. However, the wild Zoids of the comics may have ranged weaponry such as missiles and appear to be huge.
Unmanned Zoids are those that formerly had a pilot, but were either abandoned or managed to escape, reverting to wild behaviors and instinctive fighting tactics. In the Chaotic Century anime, the first unmanned Zoid appeared in episode 3; this installment featured an old, semi-crippled Gordos that had been left at a deserted Republican base by its pilot. In this case, the Gordos continued to follow the orders of its owner - to protect the stronghold - even after their initial separation.
Unmanned Zoids played a prominent part in the Zoids Saga video games, where they became the main opponents set throughout the various maps. In these games, they are referred to as Field Zoids.
Sleepers are Zoids that were equipped with a basic AI system that would order them to attack intruders that enter their territory; while not technically wild, these Zoids can still fight without a pilot. They are placed in strategic locations by the different militaries of Zi to prevent access to certain areas. It is shown in the Chaotic Century episodes that the AI is a White Box installed into the cockpit that simulates being controlled by a human. These Zoids aren't necessarily wild as they have been intentionally placed at a location and still are controlled by a pilot (albeit an artificial one), however, these Zoids are not always removed when they are no longer necessary, and are therefore sometimes encountered in the wild by travellers. Sleepers first appeared in episode 5 of Chaotic Century and appeared repeatedly throughout the anime.
The wild Liger Zero is available as an art statue, but no official wild Zoid model was ever released. Dengeki Hobby Magazine featured customs of Wild Zoids too, including the wild Liger, Wolf and Tyrannosaur.
In the original Battle Story, Zoids were seen in their most basic "wild" form - without cockpits or weaponry. For some time these wild Zoids were captured and kept as livestock until the tribes of the Central Continent found the potential for Zoids in battle. Later, humans would further the technology available on Zi and wild Zoids would gain more power and become militaristic in appearance. In the Battle Story of the NJR line, few wild Zoids were seen or captured. Some new Zoids were based on wild Zoids rather than re-using older Zoids for a direct base or reference. The Liger Zero, Berserk Fury, Energy Liger, Gojulas Giga, König Wolf, and Gairyuki were based on a wild Zoid counterpart. Some NJR Zoids' boxes have even depicted the wild Zoid they were based on.
Unmanned Zoids and Sleepers are occasionally seen in several of the Zoids anime series. However, no true wild Zoid has ever made an appearance. Chaotic Century and Guardian Force feature many sleeper Zoids, such as Guysacks working in packs or a group of Rev Raptors guarding a ruin. There are also a few appearances of unmanned Zoids.
In New Century, Leon Toros' Blade Liger was active, yet unpiloted when Leon found it. Fuzors had packs of wild Rev Raptors considered to be territorial as well as wild Guysacks and Iron Kongs. Fire Pheonix, Jet Falcon, Dispelow and Evo Flyer were also seen as wild Zoids, freely choosing to fight alongside RD and Blake. In Genesis, a herd of abandoned Elephanders were strong, unpiloted Zoids (shown to have dead pilots in their cockpits) that relied on impure Reggel to survive.
In both New Century and Genesis, Zabats are shown to be unmanned, but are remotely controlled by forces using them (the Backdraft Group and Sky People, respectively).
Zoids: Wild is set on Earth, and as such does not share the evolution of Zoids as seen on Zi. Despite this, the Zoids that appear on Earth share many similar traits to Wild Zoids on Planet Zi, despite developing in complete isolation. Zoid bodies buried underground can be resurrected by natural means, such as lightning. These Zoids roam freely and have varying degrees of sentience.
Zoids: Wild ZERO bridges the gap between Zoids Wild being set on Earth and Planet Zi. It shows that migration from Zi to Earth caused Zoids to be sent back in time to the 21st century on Earth. These Zoids could be uncovered a-la Zoids: Wild. However in addition to these Zoids, another form comes from the ground, called Jamminga. These small Zombie-like Zoids are seen en-masse in deserted areas. These do not appear to be true Wild Zoids, but rather an anomaly due to the failed Zi-Forming attempted prior to the start of the series.
The Saga series pits the player against packs of Field Zoids that can be of the same type, or work in groups of several different Zoids. Interestingly, the picture that would normally contain a pilot's image shows a black box with a light on it, similar in appearance to the AI system shown to pilot Sleepers. Similarly, unmanned Zoids combatted against players during the Story Mode of Zoids Full Metal Crash if the player chose to wander outside rather than talking to teammates.
In Geno Breaker's Story, several mutated wild Zoids were seen including a cranky mutant Heldigunner. Zoids Mokushiroku featured a Wild Zoid Icon, that when touched by one of the player's (or computer controlled) zoids could be converted to a combat Zoid.