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Imperial Mecha

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Baby Steps Edit

1927-1941 Edit

The idea of walking war machines is as old (older, in fact) than the combat vehicle itself. Turn of the century speculative fiction fueled experiments in walking machines as early as 1898, but most experiments were in vehicles with more than two legs.

Stripes
Stripes
Daidarabotchi Prototype
The first Daidarabotchi
Stripes
Stripes
The first Daidarabotchi
(Minor) faction(s) EmpireLogoThumb Empire of the Rising Sun
Type Mechanical
Designation Type 41 Daidarabotchi
Mod Relevance First Mechanical

The reasons were simple; an object needs at least three equally spread points of contact with the ground to balance naturally, and the delicate mechanisms of the human foot (which actually provide two contact points each, in the heel and ball of the foot) were impossible to replicate in the mainstream, though engineers in the Order of the Talon had managed to achieve results with clockwork mechanisms.

As vehicle development in Europe and America pressed forward, the dream of the bipedal machine was left in the dust, a concept explored only by the authors of pulp science fiction and the rantings of ill-informed armchair engineers.

However, in Japan, the story was different. Throughout the 1930s, Japan was engaging in the development of highly divergent technologies from the mainstream. Japanese scientists had stumbled upon an integrated circuit incorporated into a silicon chip in 1931, and this had resulted in an explosion of ever-more powerful computing systems.

These early computers were simplistically programmed indeed; a cutting edge IBM System/360 Model 91, though possessing an order of magnitude less computing power than the 1934 スレートの考え方 (lit. "Thinking Slate") experimental computer, could routinely run programs many times as complex as the programs run by a Japanese computer.

The reason for the disparity seems to be mostly based on differing philosophies; Japanese engineers and scientists attempted to build computers that could manipulate real-world objects, entirely skipping the number-crushing simulations of basic computer science and jumping straight to chasing adaptable robotics.

With nearly endless computer processing at their disposal, programmers eventually created simple balancing correcting routines that could be used to keep an object upright, bypassing a major hurdle in the design of bipedal machines, as well as a system for digitally transferring the motion of a controller and replicating it.

While this was occurring, other scientists were busy on the early development of nano-structures to create materials of extraordinarily high strength. This resulted in what might be best thought of as a perfect storm of converging technologies and philosophies.

The newly coronated Emperor Yoshiro wanted machines that would allow warrior skill to shine through. Computer engineers were presenting technology that would allow a warrior's actions to be captured on any scale, and material scientists were presenting new alloys that could laugh away the inverse square law. It was almost inevitable that the development of these new "mechanicals" would be ordered.

The first prototype walking battle machine was the Daidarabotchi, a twenty-nine foot tall motion capture mechanical built in 1941. Holding aloft a great banner, it wowed crowds by leading the parade celebrating the Emperor's birthday, launching fireworks from its missile racks and plodding at 4.5 kilometres an hour through the streets of Tokyo.

Regarded as little more than a toy by gaijin reporters allowed to witness the event, few realized the significance of the machine in front of them. In Europe, the machine received little more than mocking laughter by commanders who swore by the tank, promising that a large target like a walker could never be a threat, and would be fired upon by everything on the field before it would ever have a chance to respond.

The Glorious Mechanicals DivisionEdit

1941-1955 Edit

The Emperor was an immediate fan of the Daidarabotchi, and immediately ordered that it and machines like it be produced in numbers enough for military deployment. Placing a young, up-and-coming commander named Shinzo in charge of the project; several more machines were developed in the years leading up the Second World War.

Stripes
Stripes
Daidarabotchi
Second generation Daidarabotchi with shoulder-mounted weapons
Stripes
Stripes
Second generation Daidarabotchi with shoulder-mounted weapons
(Minor) faction(s) EmpireLogoThumb Empire of the Rising Sun
Type Mechanical
Designation Type 55 Daidarabotchi
Mod Relevance Predecessor to the Oni Mecha
Stripes
Stripes
Tengu I
A Tengu as originally planned. This design gained a complete overhaul later on.
Stripes
Stripes
A Tengu as originally planned. This design gained a complete overhaul later on.
(Minor) faction(s) EmpireLogoThumb Empire of the Rising Sun
Type Flying Mechanical
Designation Tengu Mark I
Mod Relevance Predecessor to the Mecha Tengu/Jet Tengu
Stripes
Stripes
Striker
Earliest version of the Striker
Stripes
Stripes
Earliest version of the Striker
(Minor) faction(s) EmpireLogoThumb Empire of the Rising Sun
Type Mechanical
Designation Type 47 Striker
Mod Relevance Predecessor to the Striker VX/Copter VX

In addition to the hard-hitting Daidarabotchi, which was originally armed with a breech-loaded 30mm anti-tank gun on a rifle stock and now was changed to shoulder-mounted dual cannons, two new vehicles were developed; the Tengu, a flight-capable motion capture mechanical with a "hand-held" machine-gun designed to protect the larger vehicles, and the Type-47 Striker, a mechanically balanced walker with noise detectors and a cannon, later replaced by rocket launchers.

When the Second World War broke out and the Soviet Union began its push into Europe, they also began a push south at their easternmost edge, pushing through Manchuria and supporting a communist revolution in Korea.

Worried that they would be next on the list of the USSR's targets, the Japanese threw theit lot in with the newly founded Allies and rushed into the rapidly deteriorating Korean War. Under attack by local communist forces, the Red Chinese and the Soviet Union at the same time, South Korea and the meagre forces Europe could spare were rapidly being overwhelmed, but the timely arrival of the Imperial forces turned the tide.

The six hundred machines of the Mechanicals Division were at the forefront of the fighting, throwing their experimental battalions into the fires of war. The results were startling for all sides.

By the end of the Empire's first two months in Korea, the Mechanicals had completely destroyed an entire Chinese division, routed a hardened Soviet tank regiment, and had killed thousands of enemy combatants.

However, in return they had been destroyed almost to a man, their machines falling even to small arms fire, turning them into burning metal coffins for motion-captured pilots unable to operate their escape hatches due to their harnesses. Mechanicals could deal vast amounts of damage, but they were extraordinarily vulnerable; to pilot one was tantamount to suicide.

As the Mechanicals division was rebuilt, they were deployed more cautiously, advancing with heavy armour and infantry support. Pilots were trained to hunch low, bend the knees of auto-balanced machines, and hide in the mud like overgrown infantrymen.

No longer were they wiped out en masse, but at the same time they were not achieving the same kill counts. Shinzo, who barely survived these early days, gained a cautious approach from the harrowing experience that to this day has not been shaken. Mechanicals, or "mecha" as they were nicknamed, were now operating firmly in a supporting role, and had managed to fulfill the predictions of both supporters and detractors.

A mechanical was a devastating weapons platform, but also a large, slow-moving target. As the Japanese intervention in the Korean War ended with the death of more than eight hundred mecha operators under his command, but with complete victory in the strategic sense, Shinzo turned over command to new blood.

The Tenzai Revolution Edit

1955-1968 Edit

A rapidly expanding, high tech robotics, electronics, manufacturing and artificial intelligence zaibatsu, Tenzai brought fresh perspective, new technology, and a seemingly endless injection of capital that would turn the mecha into the dream machine it was always intended to be.

The next decade saw hundreds of refinements to the designs of the three primary mecha of the Empire. The Daidarabotchi grew larger and more powerful, becoming the "Oni" series of mecha, most famous of which, the King Oni, would later be at the forefront of the Imperial invasion of Soviet Russia.

Its projectile weapons were replaced with significantly more advanced weaponry like Wave-Force systems, while the framework of the mecha was heavily reinforced and redesigned to take and give brutal impacts.

The Striker, always a machine too light for its chassis and mostly a failure for almost two decades, was paired with an experimental helicopter system in mid 1967, which after several awkward experiments resulted in the simplistic but effective transforming "Model 40 Striker VX", a design known for being successful even after years of misfortune.

The most drastic changes were made to the Tengu; its successors began to resemble it in name only as the highly humanoid machine became a hunched, hovering vector-based platform paired with a jet fighter framework to create the wonderfully flexible Mecha Tengu/Jet Tengu, the first true "transforming mecha".

Tenzai did not limit itself merely to military mecha, of course. Small load lifter suits, simplistically called "Labour Mechanicals" or simply "Labours" replaced the forklift in Japanese industry, while it became common to see police officers riding in a variety of patrol mecha.

Branching Out Edit

1969 and Beyond Edit

With Tenzai having lost their stranglehold on the Mecha industry in the postwar economic boom currently in effect in Japan, a wide variety of alternate designs have arisen.

The most promising of these is Honda's Hanzo Z, designed from the ground up to have a 1:1 control ratio and operate like a twenty-five foot tall infantryman. Large construction mecha like the popular Kintaro have become cheap and widely available, while smaller mecha like the Ikiryo are gaining traction both in military and civilian markets.

The current trend is leaning towards more humanoid designs, yet another step in the development of mechanicals after the early crude machines and the innovative Tenzai-period pieces.

EmpireLogo
EmpireLogo
Empire of the Rising Sun Defence Forces

Italics designate Paradox-Exclusive units and structures.

Infantry Burst DroneImperial WarriorTankbusterMasamuneEngineerHolotree SniperShinobiAshigaru BombardierRocket AngelTsukumogami Proto-SuitBattle PsychicYuriko Omega
Vehicles MCVOre CollectorSudden TransportAuto GoTanuki Vector AssaultTsunami TankJishin Buster TankTedate ProjectorWave-Force ArtilleryIsha Vector Jet TankIzanagi Devastator Tank
Mecha Mecha Tengu/Jet TenguIkiryo Mini-MechaMecha Kitsune/Quad KitsuneStriker-VX/Chopper-VXHanzo ZSamehada Buster MechaKing OniMecha Nezumi/Tank NezumiKintaroSentai Command Mecha
Dedicated Aircraft Raijin X Ground StrikerFujin Variable StrikerHachiman Aerial TransportMasakari Drone Command
Watercraft Yari Mini-SubFukiya HovercraftNaginata CruiserSeawing/SkywingWakizashi Sea TransportShogun BattleshipAerial Battleship Musashi
Structures Construction YardInstant GeneratorInstant DojoInfantry BaseInstant ProcessorMecha BayInstant GarageIncredible Mobile Fortress TatsuSupport AirbaseInstant DocksNanotech MainframeNanoswarm HivePsionic Decimator
Construction Nanocore
Defences Fortress WallNanoscreen WallSecurity GateDefender VXTankbuster TurretDisassembler TowerNoise DetectorWave-Force TowerSpider Hole
Protocols Imperial Protocols
BunrakuSpider NestSpeed ReconSleeper AmbushMotorizationFinal SquadronHot BloodedRetreat Under FireSudden DropoffBalloon BombsNo BarriersPoint Defence Drones
Lore Units Archer MaidenSteel RoninGiga FortressShogun ExecutionerFloating Fortress
Technologies NanotechnologyWave-Force TechnologyPlasma-cutter TechnologyVector JetsKinetic-burst WeaponryPsionicsBreathable LiquidImperial Small Arms and Equipment
Detailed Information Imperial MechaImperial TanksImperial NavyImperial Air ForceImperial Zaibatsu and Military ContractorsImperial CharactersTwilight of the EmpireYakuza

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