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Zentraedi/Meltrandi Technology

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Throughout the entirety of the Macross mythos, we've seen a progressive evolution of Earth's (and by proxy, its colonization fleets') Valkyries. From the VF-0 Phoenix prototypes to the cutting-edge VF-25 Messiah, and everything in between. While the design standard has remained essentially the same--Fighter/GERWALK/Battroid--the Valkyrie has seen practically dozens of variations spanning a 50+ year timeline. It seems to be human nature to keep trying to "reinvent the wheel" so to speak...

But in sharp contrast, Zentran/Meltran technology has remained standardized for literally hundreds of thousands of years. The same Glaugs and Regults that took part in Space War I are the exact same models that were used during the Schizm War against the Supervision Army. In Macross F, Klan even makes reference to a long-dead Nousjadeul-Ger pilot floating in space and the fact that he's been dead for over 7000 years...yet his weapons are still perfectly usable. By all appearances, its the exact same power armor suit featured in DYRL. While there are variations of these mecha, practically all of them still retain identical body styles. The Regult, for example, comes in three flavors, only being differentiated by the weapons mounted on the pod's ventral hull. The Q-Rea uses the same basic spaceframe as the Q-Rau with only slight stylistic differences and weapons loadout. One would be lead to believe that the two models of Meltran armor could mix-and-match weapon systems, based on how similar the two units are.

So here's my couple of questions...

Had the Zentraedi and Meltrandi reached the pinnacle of mecha and weapons development back when humans were still wearing animal hides and just discovering fire here on Earth? And is this the reason why none of the Protoculture factory planets and satellites never really "upgraded" anything at the same fever pace the humans have maintained over the 5 decades since Space War I?

There's probably been tons of material published on this, but I have yet to come across anything that addresses this particular area of Macross history...

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I don't think the Zentraedi have the skills to come up with new designs - it's hinted that they can't even repair them when they're broken. I always had the assumption the protoculture came up with the designs for their ships and mecha and they were simply instructed how to use them.

Which brings up an interesting point- who keeps the factory satellites running?

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So here's my couple of questions...

Had the Zentraedi and Meltrandi reached the pinnacle of mecha and weapons development back when humans were still wearing animal hides and just discovering fire here on Earth? And is this the reason why none of the Protoculture factory planets and satellites never really "upgraded" anything at the same fever pace the humans have maintained over the 5 decades since Space War I?

There's probably been tons of material published on this, but I have yet to come across anything that addresses this particular area of Macross history...

http://macross.anime.net/wiki/Before_1_BC

Here is what we know about Zentradi mecha taking account of Frontier.

Humans developed the Valkyrie and Destroids to combat humanoid giants.

The Protoculture took their inspiration for the Glaugs and Regulds forms from the Vajra. Ultimately they modelled the Birdman after the queen.

Retroactively the Evil Series which became Protodevlin such Gavil, Grabil and Gepelnitch also were designed with the Vajra aesthetic in mind.

But does that mean Zentradi technology became stagnant still after human contact? No.

As we've seen in Macross Plus, Macross M3, Macross VF-X Zentradi who were a bit cultured but still warlike can develop their own technology. At one instance such as the Feios exceed UN Spacy Valkyrie performance such as the VF-19 and VF-22.

The Queadlunn-Rea is hinted to be a UN Spacy/NUNS design on the otherhand.

Though Seto Kaiba would argue in the Macross DYRL-2036-ELS-II Lovers Again continuity there are more Zentradi and Meltrandi mecha out there.

As for making the DYRL Zentradi and Meltrandi ships canon I take the different designs are a sign of the different factions within the Protoculture.

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One part of lack of upgrading in factory satellites is that they haven't had any engineers staffing them to design upgrades in thousands of years: everything's been on autopilot since the Protoculture stopped sending orders. Similarly, the mecha and ships themselves were in a state of stasis because there was no one to change them over millennia. Or to perform repairs, or presumably do much more than reload the weapons. Zentradi mecha seem to be reliable and durable, but on the other hand they're all fundamentally disposable, much like the Zentradi themselves. The Protoculture put a lot of effort into designing a proxy warfare system which was powerful, mass produced, and above all something they didn't have to put much of their own time and resources into maintaining once created. This would lead to the observed effect of highly standardized and fairly static designs, while what new research there was went into the Evil series and other exotic things.

Now, on the other hand I grant that Protoculture technology on making the Zentradi fleets was fairly mature already, not in the same rapid growth phase of human technology in the Macross setting. I just wouldn't call it a "pinnacle" so much as a "worse is better" approach: the situation where something simple, dependable, and cheap is preferred over something complex, finicky, and expensive. It looks like humans are definitely improving and outstripping the Zentradi technology they've gotten access to, and that modern ships and VFs are more efficient fighting forces ship by ship and ton by ton than classic Zentradi designs. Further, the design philosophy leans a lot more toward preserving the life of those fighting: the Zentradi were disposable to the Protoculture as their ships, and human designs seem to be heavier on ejection seats, escape pods, and ship defenses.

One part of this sudden growth is that humans picked up what the Protoculture had made and used it as a starting point. Once they got some basic mastery of Overtechnology there was really nowhere to go but up. Past that, the cost comes in production and maintenance. Humanity needs its armies of engineers and maintenance crews, it's based around soldiers who are also full citizens within a developed culture, and it seems to be less wholly automated even if there is heavy use of the captured factory satellite. So by that comparison, even if humanity makes better and faster developing stuff, they're putting a lot of constant hands-on effort in, limiting production in part to manpower, and overall taking the opposite approach to the "army of self-sustaining robots" approach of the Zentradi fleets. The Protoculture certainly could have done better than the Zentradi fleets we've seen, but then they would have had to keep hip-deep in them upgrading and designing and fixing compatibility issues and all those other things that they made the Zentradi fleets to not need.

I expect that Zentradi mecha/ship variants made for cultured UNS Zentradi have some hybrid of this approach: they're clearly based on the rugged classic designs and probably share a lot of parts, but I expect to see a lot of upgrades that boost performance and crew survivability at the cost of needing more (which is to say any) maintenance.

Which brings up an interesting point- who keeps the factory satellites running?

That was one of the points that came up after the factory satellite was captured: it was very nearly worn down and production was down to a fraction of what it once was. It was automated and designed to run for very long periods unattended, but it wasn't quite zero maintenance. It's entirely possible that, had the Protoculture not went away, they would have send the occasional support crews to tune them up. It's also possible that they just let factory satellites wear out too, and made new ones to replace them. To clarify on my earlier points, clearly the Protoculture did not expect to put zero effort into maintaining and developing their military forces (take the Evil series there, for example), they just tried not to get their hands dirty in the day to day and year to year.

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I'm quite sure we haven't seen the pinnacle of Protoculture technology (other than the Evil series). The Zents and by extention, their armaments were mass produced weapons in a galaxy-wide war. Obviously they would build them to be as cheap and durable as possible.

Hopefully we can someday see some higher end technology of the protoculture. Because they developed a technology that the humans are just beginning to use: Techno-Organic technology. The bird human and the Evil are probably the highest they got(considering they were wiped out by the Evil). Macross Galaxy seems to be making strides in the areas of cybernetics and (presumably) genetic engineering.

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I'm quite sure we haven't seen the pinnacle of Protoculture technology (other than the Evil series). The Zents and by extention, their armaments were mass produced weapons in a galaxy-wide war. Obviously they would build them to be as cheap and durable as possible.

Hopefully we can someday see some higher end technology of the protoculture. Because they developed a technology that the humans are just beginning to use: Techno-Organic technology. The bird human and the Evil are probably the highest they got(considering they were wiped out by the Evil). Macross Galaxy seems to be making strides in the areas of cybernetics and (presumably) genetic engineering.

I think that this is closer to the truth. Mass production of units combined with cloning of the warriors was the real secret of the Zent success. Even if they were technologically inferior to a lot of their enemies it was still easy to win by relying on overwhelming numbers of units.

Taksraven

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I think that this is closer to the truth. Mass production of units combined with cloning of the warriors was the real secret of the Zent success. Even if they were technologically inferior to a lot of their enemies it was still easy to win by relying on overwhelming numbers of units.

Taksraven

Is there a resource that tells us the upgrades and changes the Protoculture provided their armies before the collapse of their culture? The Zentran / Meltran may not be so much static (technologically speaking) as simply stuck with what they had when their masters disappeared from the scene. Additionally, economies of scale would be a factor. Armies as big as the ones the Protoculture fielded would have consumed enormous amounts of resources. Upgrades would be prohibitively expensive, no matter what the upgrade would be. It would be cheaper to simply roll out another mecha production line and use the older stuff you had until the supply was exhausted, especially when you're in a war of attrition. It may simply be that the UN has not encountered the best the Zentran have to offer yet because there are so many of the inferior units remaining.

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Think there was a similar discussion in another thread. Iirc the Zentradi automated production plants operate autonomously and update Zentran tech over time, so while the exterior may be similar, the mecha does improve over time. The automated production plants have some sort of learning capacity but Zentran tech will improve at a lower pace then the tech of humans and cultured Zentradi.

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Is there a resource that tells us the upgrades and changes the Protoculture provided their armies before the collapse of their culture? The Zentran / Meltran may not be so much static (technologically speaking) as simply stuck with what they had when their masters disappeared from the scene. Additionally, economies of scale would be a factor. Armies as big as the ones the Protoculture fielded would have consumed enormous amounts of resources. Upgrades would be prohibitively expensive, no matter what the upgrade would be. It would be cheaper to simply roll out another mecha production line and use the older stuff you had until the supply was exhausted, especially when you're in a war of attrition. It may simply be that the UN has not encountered the best the Zentran have to offer yet because there are so many of the inferior units remaining.

Well according to the short hand version of Protoculture history on Rax there is weapons escalation. I believe I heard that the Reaction Bombs are not the ultimate conventional WMD of the Protoculture. They also volleyed Dimension Eater bombs.

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Well according to the short hand version of Protoculture history on Rax there is weapons escalation. I believe I heard that the Reaction Bombs are not the ultimate conventional WMD of the Protoculture. They also volleyed Dimension Eater bombs.

I'm not entirely certain, but if I remember correctly, that bit of information came not from the show, but from the Shaloom's discredited "Liner Notes" to Frontier... :unsure:

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Well according to the short hand version of Protoculture history on Rax there is weapons escalation. I believe I heard that the Reaction Bombs are not the ultimate conventional WMD of the Protoculture. They also volleyed Dimension Eater bombs.

The only weapons escalation was the development of the Ehvil series that were envisioned to basically have the firepower of a (Zentraadi) battleship in a Zentraadi.

Anyhow, long story short: Zentraadi technology hasn't been advanced since the end of the Protoculture.

Humanity acquired Zentraadi technology (first with the ASS-1, later directly from the Zentraadi who joined Earth at the end of SWI), renamed it OTEC, and have been created derivative technologies and advancing technologies ever since.

Case in point: the super fold booster. The technology it has that allows it to bypass (or pass through) fold dislocations has been described in Japanese text as something the Protoculture never attained.

Therefore, human technology is inherently more advanced then Zentraadi technology, and some aspects of it it are more advanced than protoculture technology.

Also, Zentraadi who have come into contact with humans to varying degrees, have improved upon their technology. The stealth versions of the main mecha (VF-X), the Pheyos (VF-X and VF-X2) and the Variable Gluag (Macross M3) are prime examples.

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The only weapons escalation was the development of the Ehvil series that were envisioned to basically have the firepower of a (Zentraadi) battleship in a Zentraadi.

Anyhow, long story short: Zentraadi technology hasn't been advanced since the end of the Protoculture.

Humanity acquired Zentraadi technology (first with the ASS-1, later directly from the Zentraadi who joined Earth at the end of SWI), renamed it OTEC, and have been created derivative technologies and advancing technologies ever since.

Case in point: the super fold booster. The technology it has that allows it to bypass (or pass through) fold dislocations has been described in Japanese text as something the Protoculture never attained.

Therefore, human technology is inherently more advanced then Zentraadi technology, and some aspects of it it are more advanced than protoculture technology.

Also, Zentraadi who have come into contact with humans to varying degrees, have improved upon their technology. The stealth versions of the main mecha (VF-X), the Pheyos (VF-X and VF-X2) and the Variable Gluag (Macross M3) are prime examples.

My brain is running slow today, not enough sleep. Are the games considered to be canon? (They probably are, I'm just trying to get confirmation.)

Taksraven

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I'm not entirely certain, but if I remember correctly, that bit of information came not from the show, but from the Shaloom's discredited "Liner Notes" to Frontier... :unsure:

Guess they didn't go beyond Reaction Bombs, Evil Series and Birdman.

Also, Zentraadi who have come into contact with humans to varying degrees, have improved upon their technology. The stealth versions of the main mecha (VF-X), the Pheyos (VF-X and VF-X2) and the Variable Gluag (Macross M3) are prime examples.

Not to mention this gattai-ing whatchamacallit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K246hR_5ZYo

And I thought Fire Valkyrie and its Sound Booster was Super Robot-ish. :blink:

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Guess they didn't go beyond Reaction Bombs, Evil Series and Birdman.

Apparently they didn't.

I went back and checked the fraudulent "liner notes" and found this:

- The Dimension Eater is a reference to the ancient weapon of the Protoculture: Chou Jikuu Bakudan ( Super Dimensional bomb ). Narrated about in different books and the first cronology. Even this Dimension Eater is much less powerful than the one built by the Protoculture, which devoured entire solar systems, not only part of a planet.

So yeah...no real source (unless by "first chronology," he means the one in Macross Perfect Memory, which has no mention of a "Super Dimesnion Bomb" - I jusy went back and checked).

It's false. Unless the novels say something about it, the Protoculture didn't have Dimension Eaters.

Edited by Gubaba

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Makes me wonder though. Since the Supervision Army is essentially subverted Protoculture-Zentradi tech...

What is the purpose of the modular design of the Gunship? Sure we can see a bit with the Meltrandi Gunboat with the bow but the entire ship?

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Makes me wonder though. Since the Supervision Army is essentially subverted Protoculture-Zentradi tech...

What is the purpose of the modular design of the Gunship? Sure we can see a bit with the Meltrandi Gunboat with the bow but the entire ship?

Seems to me that a modular construction ship would be easier to build and repair.

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Though Seto Kaiba would argue in the Macross DYRL-2036-ELS-II Lovers Again continuity there are more Zentradi and Meltrandi mecha out there.

Well, yes... in the alternate universe continuity there are more models of Zentradi and Meltrandi mecha out there, but they're mainly just variations on the basic designs of the Nosjaedul-Ger, Queadluun-Rau, and Glaug. The only times the Zentradi of the alternate universe are known to have designed their own mecha (like Quamzin's Migg Pitt) the renegade cultured Zentradi were involved.

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The Queadluun-Rhea is a next generation Queadluun outfitted with BDI , initially tested by Millia. (Makes you wonder if its before or after becoming Mayor as it could explain her PMS-ing in Macross 7. :mellow: )

Queadluun-Quilqua is mystery however. You couldn't tell if its a rare Zentradi mecha like the Glaug customized or a customized Queadluun-Rau (Even if three year old Pedro called it that.) or a simply a Queadluun Emillia had designed to her specs.

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There was also the Zentraedi Power Armor at the beginning of Macross Plus that seem to be the "male" equivalent to the Q-Quilqua. A heavier version of the Nousjaedul-Ger outfitted with clamshell-like missile pods on its back. Are these units that have been part of the Zentran/Meltran arsenal for millenia and were just "off camera" during Space War I, or are these newer designs created since then? Notice that both units' chest weaponry seem to be exactly the same...or damn near the same.

Comparison1.jpg

Edited by Cyclone Trooper

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Well either it is an independently Zentradi designed mecha like the Stealth Regulds, Stealth Glaug, Stealth Gnerl, Stealth Quel-Quallie, Feios Valkyrie, Zentradi Variable Glaug, M3's Saishuuheiki or it could be black market mecha like the Gjagravan-Va and Annabella Lasiodora but tailored for Zentradi.

One of the reasons for advancing Valkyries is that cultured rebel Zentradi and other criminal groups were stepping up their game in weapons development.

So far nobody else is fielding Macrosses in opposition to UN Spacy/NUNS unless you count Battle 13 and Battle Galaxy which were really coup attempts.

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The Queadluun-Rhea is a next generation Queadluun outfitted with BDI , initially tested by Millia.

In no such text has it ever been mentioned that Millia tested the Q-Rhea.

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Careful. "Taking part in development" doesn't necessarily equal "test piloting". For all we knew, the (re)designers may have only asked her questions about what worked, and what needed to be improved upon.

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Careful. "Taking part in development" doesn't necessarily equal "test piloting". For all we knew, the (re)designers may have only asked her questions about what worked, and what needed to be improved upon.

Well it could go either way. But prior VF developments and improvements such as the VFX/YF-11 had Millia's input after she tested the bird herself.

Though thinking back to the Encore ep where she is a bit delirious thinking she's going to die when she only has a common cold left an impression to me she never went back being big. As we've seen with Dynamite 7 and Frontier miclone chambers are economically feasible and affordable.

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Where is it mentioned that the Queadllun-Rea uses a BDI interface?

Mylene Beat revealed that the VF-22 has some form of a BCS system, but I've never heard of any other fighter using it.

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Where is it mentioned that the Queadllun-Rea uses a BDI interface?

In the Chronicle. But it's role is minimal.

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Is there any info that may indicate if the Meltrandi actually used any other mecha besides the Queadluun-Rau?

I think is odd that while both factions have somewhat equivalent warships, the Meltrandi use a single type of mecha (admittedly the best unit of its time), while the Zentraedi use varied mechas ranging from battle pods and fighter pods to powered suits and the Golg Gants Charts Heavy Attack Craft.

The closest I have seen around is the Queadluun-Nona.

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Weren't those two produced after the Meltrandi had access to human technology, or rather built by the NUNS after gaining access to Meltrandi technology?

Actually I think it was my bad: I should have specified that I meant before the events of Macross.

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In the DYRL-is-an-in-universe-movie version, the Meltrandi weren't so much a separate group, but merely an all-female division of the Zentraadi. So, they used all of the Zentraadi mobile weapons plus the Kwadorun-Rou.

The full list of mobile weapons I've cobbled together is here: http://sketchleystats.webatu.com/Statistics.php#Zentraedi_Aerospace_Craft

The DYRL-is-fact version, the Meltrandi used the Kwadorun-Rou, Kwadorun-Nona, and a 3-headed Heavy Attack something something (the latter two from the game embellishment, that introduced not only the Meltrandi Salvage Ship, but the Zentraadi APC and ECM Pod!).

Ultimately, as Kawamori-san has said that all the movies and series are in-universe fictional dramatizations of the real events, we are left with the idea that the Meltraandi used all of the above. Though, their ships tended to be coloured purple in the SDFM dramatization. ;)

Edited by sketchley

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They were cloned to fight, not to think independantly. Thinking independently would get them wondering if they should be fighting. The creators wanted them to behave in an orderly way.

Lots if unintentional fan-fiction conjecture in this thread. :unsure:

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Well according to the short hand version of Protoculture history on Rax there is weapons escalation. I believe I heard that the Reaction Bombs are not the ultimate conventional WMD of the Protoculture. They also volleyed Dimension Eater bombs.

The only weapons escalation was the development of the Ehvil series that were envisioned to basically have the firepower of a (Zentraadi) battleship in a Zentraadi.
That's still a pretty powerful weapons set..

Also the Reaction bombs are essentially anti-matter bombs, where as the Dimension Eater bomb is a fold device coupled with an omni-barrier capable of folding all or part of a target into Super Dimension space. If positioned well, it can have devastating results.

Anyhow, long story short: Zentraadi technology hasn't been advanced since the end of the Protoculture.

Humanity acquired Zentraadi technology (first with the ASS-1, later directly from the Zentraadi who joined Earth at the end of SWI), renamed it OTEC, and have been created derivative technologies and advancing technologies ever since.

Case in point: the super fold booster. The technology it has that allows it to bypass (or pass through) fold dislocations has been described in Japanese text as something the Protoculture never attained.

Therefore, human technology is inherently more advanced then Zentraadi technology, and some aspects of it it are more advanced than protoculture technology.

That just never seemed realistic to me.

The PC were not supermen to be sure, but if you study the Vajra long enough to pattern your fighters after them and advance your bio-weaponry research to create and emulated weapon system like the EVIL series, then is it so far fetched to expect that they would also learn of fold quartz and its properties???

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The PC were not supermen to be sure, but if you study the Vajra long enough to pattern your fighters after them and advance your bio-weaponry research to create and emulated weapon system like the EVIL series, then is it so far fetched to expect that they would also learn of fold quartz and its properties???

Nope, not far fetched.

But also not far fetched that they didn't figure that out while busy fighting wars and creating bio weapons. Too busy to deal with little stones that seemed to do nothing unless someone had it in very close proximity while experiencing high emotion.

Theoretical research without immediate application usually takes a backseat to weapons research when society becomes war crazed.

Another way to look at it:

Remove the Macross 7 Sailor moon-esque colorful super demons from the continuity and this argument. It's perfectly then that Vajira research didn't actually get that far.

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That's still a pretty powerful weapons set..

(...)

Responding to stuff from 2009 again?

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