Invid (Robotech)

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The Invid are a fictional alien race in the Robotech storyline.[1][2][3] They appear in the New Generation portion of the series, which uses the animation of the unrelated Japanese series Genesis Climber MOSPEADA, so their on-screen behavior and appearance matches the antagonists of that series, called the "Inbit." Since the MOSPEADA storyline stands distinct from the Robotech storyline, however, and because the Invid are not the Inbit despite the same appearance, the material provided here refers only to the former.

Fictional background[edit]

A hive mind consisting of invertebrate, bipedal, crab-like creatures, the Invid came from the world of Optera, the inhabitable planet of the Tzuptum System. Their world was defoliated by the Robotech Masters in an attempt to monopolize the Flower of Life, a powerful narcotic that was native to the planet and also the source of an incredibly powerful energy source called protoculture. Enraged by the devastation and betrayal by those who came as apparent friends, the sedate and agrarian Invid militarize and begin a program of genetic manipulation, evolving to a point where they can strike back. The unleashed rage of the Invid proves superior to the Masters' own power, and the Robotech empire is slowly conquered. Ultimately, the Invid trace the stolen Flowers to Earth (which turns out to be the only other place in the galaxy where the Flower can grow) and invade Earth without a moment's hesitation, thus beginning the Third Robotech War.

The Invid are led by twin monarchs. Long ago, the Regis genetically modified herself to interact more easily with the scientist Zor, who came to Optera to study the Flowers of Life. In this form, she was seduced by Zor, who took from her knowledge of the Flowers' secret before abandoning her and the Invid.[4] The Regis is devoted to the Flower of Life and its ability to transform. While willing to engage in near-merciless conflict in the short term, she views evolution as a path to move beyond slaughter in the longer term and aspires to reach a stage of evolution where the Invid might recapture the idyllic life that was once theirs.

The male counterpart to the Regis is known as the Regent. Less interested in evolution than his estranged wife, the Regent is also physically undeveloped beyond the natural bipedal stage of existence that was the Invid's original form. His path is not transformation but annihilation: while Zor was likely unaware of the Masters' intent to defoliate Optera, he links the personal betrayal of the Regis's seduction to the defoliation and has since that time devoted himself to the destruction of the Masters' race.

With the release of the movie Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, the spelling of the name of the female leader of the Invid was changed to "Regess". Not only was the new spelling used in the movie credits, but references to the character on the official Robotech website were changed to match the new spelling. The reasons for this change are unknown.[5]

The Legend or myth of Invid[edit]

If the Shadow ("Shadau" as their term) spread over our world, and that turns into the dark and doomed.

If the Light ("Raytou" as their term) spread over our world,and we expanded "The wings of light".

The scattering our children into this Universe, you must voyage to " The Promised Land " which the Light [Reitou] invites.

Thus, doing so becomes your own evolution!

Invid Factions[edit]

By the time of human involvement with Robotechnology, the Regent and Regis have largely ceased to interact and divided the race between them. The Regis leads the invasion of Earth while the Regent presses his assault against the remnants of the Masters' empire on their own homeworld of Tirol, left virtually defenseless in the wake of the First Robotech War (which saw the near-obliteration of the Zentraedi) and the departure of the Robotech Masters (to Earth, in search of the Protoculture Matrix).[4][6] Ironically, this arrangement leaves humanity to confront both of the monarchs, the Regent battling the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) when it arrives in Tirol and the Regis arriving to take Earth from Southern Cross forces already depleted by a prolonged war with the Masters.

Army of the Regis[edit]

Following its pyrrhic victory against the Robotech Masters at the end of the Second Robotech War, the Army of the Southern Cross (ASC) is left badly weakened. Beyond shortages of mecha, starships, and protoculture, nearly all of the senior Southern Cross officers are dead and Monument City is in ruins. Given the situation, it is little surprise that what remains of the command structure is unable to mount an effective defense even when warned in advance of the coming Invid threat. Arriving with numbers in the millions, the Regis' forces rapidly destroy all organized resistance. The ruins of Monument City are atomized, and the site of that once bore residence to Zor's protoculture matrix becomes the site of Reflex Point, the Regis' new central hive cluster. Other cities are devastated and largely depopulated, with the entire population of Earth subdued and most people put to the task of harvesting the Flowers that now cover their planet's surface.

During her time on Earth, the Regis continues to pursue her work of finding the ideal form for her children, manipulating their genetic makeup through so-called "Genesis Pits." Doing so requires protoculture, and in an ironic twist, the Invid prove as dependent on the energy generated by what was once their simple nourishment as the Robotech Masters they so depised. In the intervening years, several assaults are made against Earth by various human forces, including a lunar expedition coordinated with organized resistance groups and a larger assault made by the REF Mars division. All such attacks fail; the Mars Division fleet is defeated even before it can penetrate Earth's atmosphere. All along, the Regis toils, developing several new types of Invid mecha as she closes in on the solution to her puzzle. Finally, surprisingly, she is forced to accept what she might least have wanted: that the humanoid form native to Earth, the very shape of the Robotech Masters themselves, is the form most suited to life on Earth.

Transmuting several of her children to this new form, the Regis decides that all Invid shall be transmuted in this manner. Shortly before her preparations are complete, however, Reflex Point is attacked by the vanguard of the returning Expeditionary Force, the hive cluster coming under direct attack by fighters and troops as several attack groups de-fold in the vicinity of the moon and proceed to engage the Invid in space. Hundreds of ships and thousands of mecha participate in this maximal effort; nonetheless, it becomes rapidly clear under mounting losses that the REF will indeed be defeated by the surprising strength of the Invid in as little as a few hours' time. While the battle on Earth rages, a reluctant commander carries out instructions to obliterate the planet to prevent the domination of the Invid, launching at Earth the Neutron-S missiles intended for that purpose.

But the Regis recognizes as representing the dark tides of shadow that have engulfed them before, and sees that the Earth itself and the form of humanity are inseparable from the malignant spirit of the Robotech Masters, that her intended path can lead only to a conflict raging from generation to generation. Endless death is not what the Invid seek, and so she abandons her plans, recalling all of her Invid from across the surface and from orbit, where they merge into her power and are transmuted to energy, abandoning the Earth on a distant voyage into the unknown. The departure disintegrates the Neutron-S missiles but leaves the REF fleet intact (albeit greatly reduced in strength from the battle), returning the Earth to their care.

Army of the Regent[edit]

The exploits of the Regent are contained within the Sentinels portion of the Robotech timeline, a period whose coverage in animation is limited to five remnant episodes and whose primary source material is from comics and the novels. These materials are not considered canonical by Harmony Gold; accordingly, this information may be changed should future Robotech material address it.

What is almost certainly true is that in the wake of the First Robotech War and the disappearance of the Zentraedi who have long served as guardians of the Robotech Masters' empire, the Regent gains the upper hand and drives towards the conclusion of an interstellar war against the Robotech Masters. The Regent's rule is cruel and harsh, fueled by his fury over the adultery of the Regis with Zor and his anger at the defoliation of Optera at the hands of the Masters, whose homeworld of Tirol (already abandoned by the Masters themselves, who are en route to Earth) falls shortly before the arrival of the SDF-3.

Despite an initial confrontation upon their arrival (in the course of which the SDF-3 sustains damage to its fold system, explaining why it does not return to Earth when it finds the Masters gone), the REF opts not to pursue a war against the Regent. However, a diverse collection of warriors is able to convince a faction of the REF, led by Admiral Rick Hunter, to make a stand, and they set out to liberate the worlds of the Local Group (Karbarra, Spheris, Praxis, Haydon IV, Garuda, and Peryton). The Regent has in the course of his war of attrition lost many millions of troops; thus, the Sentinels' campaign is significantly more successful than one might reasonably expect given the relatively small numbers available to them.

At this point, the events of the Sentinels' saga become unclear, as the retcon comic storyline unveiled in the Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles comic book mini-series diverge from the path taken by earlier comics and by the McKinney novels. In some fashion, however, the Regent allies with the renegade human officer General Edwards, who badly damages the SDF-3 and seriously wounds Admiral Lisa Hayes while fleeing Tirol. The REF and its allies then pursue Edwards to Optera, where the remnants of the Zentraedi are the first to attack. Edwards takes the opportunity to kill both the Regent and Zentraedi Commander Breetai while they are engaged in battle and subsequently takes over the Regent's forces. However, his dominance is short-lived, and Edwards is defeated and killed. The Invid on Optera are left to their own devices as they devolve back into peaceful slug-like creatures, free from the Regent's anger and war planning. (While the McKinney storyline depicts these remaining Invid as being "claimed" by the Regis prior to her invasion of Earth, Prelude leaves this point unaddressed.)

Invid Mecha[edit]

Invid mecha are generally insectine in appearance, with single scanner eyes and favoring claw-like pincers for melee attack. Energy weapons included in the front-line designs, including all mecha of the Regent's army, are of the plasma variety, firing "annihilation discs" that behave like energy frisbees. Specialized mecha developed by the Regis' forces during the occupation of Earth diverge from this weapon scheme while retaining the signature eye scanner.

Common Designs[edit]

The following Mecha are found in the Invid armies of both the Regent and Regis:

  • Scout (aka. Iigaa/Eager; piloted by Stage 1 Invid): The Scout is a small rust colored unit whose primary armament is its blade like pincer forearms. The pilot is an Invid who is only slightly evolved beyond the natural Invid state, has little free will or intelligence of its own and is incapable of surviving outside of its armor. The Scout is an extremely fast and maneuverable unit for air or space combat.[7]
  • Armoured Scout (aka. Fighter Scout, Attack Scout, or Iigaa/Eager; piloted by Stage 1 Invid): A Scout armed with shoulder-mounted plasma cannons. Armoured Scouts led the Invid assaults on both Tirol and Earth.
  • Trooper (aka. Gurab/Grab; piloted by Stage 2 Invid): Intended for ground rather than space combat, the purple-and-lavender Trooper can fly but is slower and less maneuverable than the Scout (which is also about half of its size). Its Stage 2 Invid pilot has a small degree of free will and intelligence.[8]
  • Shock Trooper (aka. Gurab/Grab; piloted by Stage 3 Invid): A Trooper augmented with large, shoulder-mounted plasma cannons. Shock troopers featured prominently in the second phase of the Invid assault on Tirol and led the ground occupation of Earth.[9]
  • Enforcer (aka. Malar, Urban Enforcer, or Hive Guard; piloted by Stage 4 Invid): Encased in power armor, Enforcers are Stage 4 Invid with free will and intellect commensurate with the average human who often act as field commanders and hive officers. Standard Enforcers are white and grey, about humaoid size, and equipped with energy rifles, concealed forearm lasers, and shields.[10]
  • Red Enforcers are exclusive to the forces of the Regent, measuring twice the size of traditional enforcers and provided with greater armor and durability. In certain instances, these troops make use of specially designed "assault speeders" that allow for ramming attacks.

Regis-Exclusive Designs[edit]

While the Regent is consumed with conquest, the Regis continues to pursue the course of "enlightened evolution." Afforded considerable power in this regard by plentiful supplies of the Flower of Life, the Regis creates several new types of mecha in the course of the canonical occupation of Earth:

  • Pincer Command Unit (aka. Gamo, or Invid Command Unit; piloted by Stage 4 Invid). Larger than a Shock Trooper and colored with a striking blue and white scheme, the Pincer includes two small plasma cannons but also brings to bear the significant firepower of paired heat cannons. The pincer pilot possesses considerable free will and intelligence and is capable of assimilating data and making decisions, providing the Regis' forces with effective field commanders.
  • Royal Command Battloid (aka. Gosu, Invid Battloid or R.C.B.; piloted by Stage 5 Invid). Piloted by human-form Stage 5 Invid, RCBs retain aspects of the traditional Invid mecha design but are in functional terms more like human battloids (or the Zentraedi Female Power Armor design, with which it has much in common). The RCB is, for instance, the only Invid mecha to be armed with missiles (of which it has a formidable array), and while it does have a plasma cannon, the weapon is housed in an arm shield rather than being placed on the shoulders like most Invid mecha. Similarly, while the Battloid does have a scanner eye, it is placed above rather than in front of the pilot compartment, and the mecha's torso is much more heavily armored to provide its Stage 5 pilot with greater protection. The colors of an RCB are highly individual, as Stage 5 Invid possess full autonomy. This unit is a later development of the Regis during the Third Robotech War; pilots include Sera and Corg.

Non-Canonical Designs[edit]

The following mecha designs are derived from supplemental material and are not of the Robotech canon:

  • Mortar Scout: (Stage 2?): A Scout armed with a triple-barrel mortar, more powerful than the Armored Scout. Source: Robotech: Invasion.
  • Heavy Enforcer (Stage 4): Identical to standard Enforcers, except with twin shoulder cannons and extra armor. Source: Robotech: Invasion.
  • Grappler (Stage 4?): A stereotypical video-game design whose primary rationale is difficulty in combatting it on-screen, the Grappler is invulnerable except for shots that strike its sensor eye, which emerges only periodically. Source: Robotech: Invasion.
  • Overlord (aka. Gosamu). Distinct in that it appears in both Robotech: Invasion and Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles, the Overlord is also unique among Invid designs because it is a transformable mecha (the only non-human example of such technology) and apparently appears among the forces of both the Regent and Regis. (While the Prelude storyline is considered canon, the Overlord appears in this section because its specifics are left to the video game, which is non-canon.)
  • Annihilator (aka. Krugatch Annihilator; piloted by Stage 4 Invid): Introduced in the pre-retcon Palladium Books role-playing game scenario book Lancer's Rockers, the Annihilator is described as a "collaborative" effort between the Invid a remnant of the pre-invasion Eastern Bloc Soviet Independent State (EBSIS) called Krugatch. The Annihilator is an imposing mecha with four arms, each equipped with cannons similar to the Enforcer's, as well as forearm gatling guns, short-range missiles, and a special non-plasma energy weapon called the "Strak Beam." Even in the scenario, there is little explanation of what contribution Krugatch made to this "collaboration" that is both Invid-built and Invid-piloted; certainly, the Annihilator makes little sense in canon terms (e.g. why build such a heavily armed unit, and why favor projectile and other non-plasma weapons for a Stage 4 Invid?);
  • Sonic Cannon (aka. I-K Mobile Sonic Cannon, Sonic Titan). A unique prototype unit is piloted by the 150 foot brontosaurus-like Great Invid Slug, standing 200 feet tall (by far the largest mecha in Robotech). Aside from its namesake sonic cannon, the mecha also boasted two high-powered laser cannons and 28 light laser cannons. Introduced in Lancer's Rockers, it is destroyed by the resistance forces in the course of the scenario.

Invid Inorganics[edit]

In pursuit of his goals of conquest, the Invid Regent created drones called Inorganics, which come in four distinct models: the cat-like Hellcat/Cougar and the more-humanoid Scrim, Crann, and Odeon, of which only the Hellcat and Odeon appear on screen in the limited Sentinels footage.

All Inorganics on a given planet are controlled by an Invid Living Computer (Brain and incapable of independent action. The principle function of the Inorganics appears to be to extend the range and firepower of the Regent's forces. Accordingly, they are employed both as vanguards (prior to the main Invid assault) and as occupation garrisons, allowing the Regent to minimize the losses taken by his troops while probing enemy defenses and to move front-line forces on to new battles.

The Hellcat is depicted as fast and vicious, able to leap and tear with force sufficient to knock down and rend a Robotech bioroid, but sufficiently vulnerable as to be destroyed by fire from human-sized hand weapons or by impact against rock. In contrast, the Odeon appears to be nearly indestructable from impact—a contingent of Odeons are seen buried by a landslide only to break free and continue on their way—while being extremely slow-moving.

Essentially willed into existence through use of protoculture, Inorganics disintegrate to nothing when destroyed.

Note that the Inorganics are solely conquest-oriented and exclusive to the forces of the Invid Regent. The Regis does NOT use Inorganics.

Vehicles and Starships[edit]

In all environments, Invid tactics emphasize swarm tactics over concentrated firepower. To that end, their fleets consist primarily of troop carriers, unarmed but capable of holding hundreds of Scouts (better suited for space combat) as well as compliments of Shock Troopers (typically deployed for ground operations).[11] These clam-like troop carriers appear frequently in the New Generation episodes of Robotech as well as in the Shadow Chronicles movie. Significantly, they are the only space vessels shown to be employed by the Regis' forces.

Both the limited footage available from the Sentinels and Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles comic depict another Invid vessel, much larger than the troop carriers and vaguely scorpion-shaped. This vessel is shown to be not only armed but sufficiently powerful as to nearly destroy the SDF-3, suggesting that it would be at least a match for (and possibly superior to) a Zentraedi flagship. While earlier material from the Sentinels sourcebook by Palladium Books suggests that there may have been hundreds of these scorpion vessels, the canon material implies that the vessel is uniquely the flagship of the Invid Regent and has no equivalents.

Invid generally exist within their mecha and do not use vehicles as such. One exception is a ramming-effect "speeder" shown in the Sentinels footage as being used by the Regent's Red Enforcers during the attack on Tirol; whether this vehicle is considered canonical is unclear, and it appears to have been a limited-scope weapon in any event.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Robotech - Protoculture Collection". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Robotech: New Generation Vol. #2". Mania.com. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Robotech: New Generation Vol. #1". Mania.com. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  5. ^ "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  6. ^ "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  7. ^ "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  8. ^ "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  9. ^ "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  10. ^ "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  11. ^ "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2012-02-25.