In 1985, Harmony Gold set about to introduce the world to a new franchise with the blended localization of three anime series. They had their hands on the rights to three anime with a similar visual appearance, Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. So, they felt these anime series would work well as a single entity in the west. After they teamed up with Japan’s Tatsunoko Productions, they successfully blended three unrelated anime into a sole product, Robotech.
This series featured an amazing technology that allowed armored vehicles to shift forms from vehicles to mechas. These machines gained the Variable Engineering and Robotics Integration Technology, or Veritech for short. Meanwhile, the series labeled the humanoid forms as Battloids. Meanwhile, other Veritech transformed into Guardians or Gladiator modes.
The Veritech became the staple of the Robotech series. Though, in recent years, the western market has equally become accustomed to the Macross series. Thus, some fans may know these mech units under the title of Variable Fighters.
Other factions in Robotech also had mech fighters, though they were not Veritechs. For instance, the Robotech Masters utilized Bioroids in their battles. Likewise, the Invids had their style of Mechas. So, there was no lack of interesting Mechas in the Robotech series.
Presenting the top ten Veritech fighters and other Mechas from Robotech
10. VF-8 Logan
The smallest of Earth’s mechas, the VF-8 Logan supplied an agile and extremely difficult target. Likewise, its armaments were light to help keep its high maneuverability. It only carried one triple-barreled rapid-fire plasma disk canon, mounted on its nose. There was a single light laser gun pod. Then, it had a single hardpoint on each forearm/wing. Finally, it has a single 275mm medium-range missile. Thus, its armory did not provide it much firepower against Bioroids and the like.
While the Logan had space combat capabilities, it needed a lot of aid. To even make it into space, either a shuttle or warship would transport it out of orbit. Once in space, the Logan had to compensate for a lack of an airbrake with two counter-vernier thrusters. Luckily, it had two thrusters in the Battloid mode’s feet and could thrust forward with its main engines.
Overall, despite the large deployment, the VF-8 Logan did not have much success on the battlefield. For, the AGACs quickly overshadowed the Logan in space. Meanwhile, non-transforming crafts, like the Chimera, overtook the Logan’s usefulness in the air.
9. VHT-1 Veritech Hover Tank
The Army of the Southern Cross designed the VHT-1 as a heavy ground mecha for civil defense. It also played a role in urban combat. This mecha could reach up to 106.9 kph in Transport mode no matter the type of terrain.
Once the hover tank shifted into Gladiator/Guardian, mode, it had a tri-barreled autocannon and a heavy cannon at its disposal for engagement with land targets. When necessary, the VHT-1 could also deploy its Battloid mode for smaller, more agile targets. As such, the Hover Tank was the Southern Cross’s choice vehicle for ground combat.
Unfortunately, these vehicles left their pilots exposed in both transport and Gladiator modes. Thus, even when the mecha could survive a shot, the pilots became severely injured.
The MODAT-5 only ever appeared in the first Robotech movie. This mecha was a secret military prototype at the time of the movie. Its most significant capability was that it could link up with the EVE supercomputer. In essence, it was a mobile terminal in the form of a motorcycle.
In the movie, Todd Harris stole the MODAT-5 then brought it to his friend Mark Landry. While he managed to tell Mark to contact Eve, Andrew’s clone army kills him before he could explain the significance of the bike. Thus, Mark was unaware of the bike’s significance and only uses it as a prop for a movie. Only after contacting a popular idol named Eve, who turned out to be an artificial intelligence, did Mark discover the MODAT-5’s significance.
Unfortunately, a battle with B. D. Andrews eventually destroyed the MODAT-5, so it never resurfaced. Also, Robotech fans question the placement of the movie in the Robotech cannon.
7. Officer’s Battlepod/Roiquonmi Glaug
Issued to the highest officers in the Zentraedi forces, the commanding officers stormed the fields in these vehicles. These Mechas supplied moderately more armor than the standard Zentraedi Battlepod, though they remained lightly armored. Instead of using heavy armor, these Battlepods excelled at deflecting enemy fire.
More importantly, the officer’s Battlepods carried heavy cannons as armament. They had several beam cannons to strike out with. On the top of the vehicle, they had a single long-range heavy beam cannon. Then, on the upper arms, they came with quadruple-barreled medium beam cannons, while the lower arms carried single barrel medium cannons. Likewise, on each side of the “chin”, they sported a single barrel light cannon. Finally, they had six short-range 150mm missiles mounted to the sides of the cockpit.
With all this weaponry, and the experienced pilots at the controls, these Battlepods were effective ground and space fighters. Their engines also made them extremely agile and nimble in battle. As such, their weapons and maneuverability made them fearsome opponents on the battlefield.
6. Invid Shocktrooper/Gurab
When it came to the Invid forces, their Shocktroopers were their first line of defense. These models are heavily armored, which hampers their flight capabilities. Thus, they would leave any air-to-air combat to either the fighters or the scouts. Instead, their power comes from the heavy weaponry at their disposal. With such weapons, they can deal devastating damage with air-to-ground strikes.
Unlike the standard Invid Trooper, these models come with two cannons mounted to the sides that fire plasma discs. They also have triple-clawed hands to deliver physical blows. Thus, they come well equipped to deal heavy and devastating blows to their enemies. Like all other Invid Mechas, the Shocktroopers came equipped with protoculture sensors. Their other sensors included optical and electromagnetic sensors.
Since the Invid pilots would sit in a nutrient fluid that was like blood, direct hits to the cockpit would appear quite bloody. Both the pilots’ blood and the nutrients would flow out from the mech.
5. VFB-9 Beta/Beta Fighter
Designed to boost and extend the range of the Alpha fighters, the VFB-9 Beta came with the ability to merge with the VFA-6 Alpha. Thus, it carried heavy armament to improve the Alpha’s capabilities along with its speed and agility. When combined, the Beta effectively becomes a large fuel tank for the Alpha unit. Likewise, the Beta units will usually carry the same color scheme as the Alpha units that they pair up with.
Even though its primary function is to merge with the Alpha, it can still function as a single unit. Separately, this vehicle stays a fast bomber with significant maneuverability options.
Its armory includes several powerful weapons. For instance, it carries 3 triple-barreled 80 mm beam cannons, with one in the center intake while the other two are on the legs. Then, it has 2 triple-barreled pulse beam cannons on the forearms. Its two chest missile launchers become unavailable when the unit merges. Additionally, mounted behind the chest launchers are two shoulder missile launchers. It also sports a bomb bay that holds 4 metric tons of ordnance. Finally, the hardpoints on each wing can carry long-range missiles or ejection launchers.
During the Beta’s initial test in 2022, the Earth Forces deemed it a failure. Thus, the plans for the Beta fighter became shelved for over a decade. Over time, the Beta fighter’s design received significant enough improvements and updates that they revived the project.
4. Bioroid Armored Fighter/Invid Fighter
The Robotech Masters used the Bioroid Armored Fighters as advanced mecha units for their Triumvirate forces. These machines went into development during the Second Robotech War to combat against the Army of the Southern Cross. Even though the most prominent use of these units was during the second war, the Robotech Masters initially designed them to combat the Invids.
To fully harness their combat abilities, the clone Triumvirate pilots had tight bonds and coupling. Thus, these units could work in coordinate units of three that behaved more like one unit. Unlike other units, with motorized controls like control sticks or sensors to amplify limb movement, these units operated through mental links. To make this possible, the Robotech Masters implanted biological “diodes” into the pilots. With these diodes, the brain signals to the pilot’s motor centers instead went to the Bioroids, which in turn made the machines an extension of the pilots.
The link between pilots and their Bioroids acted as a double-edged sword. While it was exceedingly difficult to disable these mechas without killing the pilots, the pilots would also sustain debilitating mental stress if anyone improperly removed them. Moreover, the damage could be so severe that the pilots become completely unresponsive.
3. VFH-10 Armored Gyro Assault Chopper (AGAC)/AJAX/Veritech Chopper/Veritech Copter
Designed in a joint project between the Southern Cross space forces and the ground forces, the VFH-10 was the final mecha that they developed. Unlike prior models, which specialized in either space or ground fights, the AGAC excelled in both areas. However, it only moderately performs in atmospheric fights.
The AGAC came with several useful weapons. It carried a single or twin-barreled beam cannon on the arms. It also had a single-barreled beam cannon mounted to the nose. Finally, the AGAC came equipped with 2 cluster missile launchers capable of launching 12 missiles in total.
In space, the preferred mode for the VFH-10 was the Battloid form. The engines gave it excellent maneuverability and speed to be an asset in battles. Meanwhile, its beam cannons excelled in space combat since they did not lose range from atmospheric interference.
Meanwhile, on the ground, the troops preferred to use the Helicopter mode, though the Battloid still came into use. The helicopter mode allowed the AGAC to safely hover behind cover. While the beam cannons lost range in ground combat, they performed adequately.
While the Southern Cross deployed large numbers of the AGAC, most fell to either the Robotech Masters or the Invid forces.
2. Cyclone VR-038/Barley
The VR-038 was the older series of the Cyclone Veritech fighters that the REF developed. In comparison to the general issue Cyclone, this vehicle is a faster and more lightly armored machine.
While these models had no built-in weaponry, their pilots could outfit them with weapons packages that fit onto the forearms. There were three typical armor packages. First, there was the choice to use only hand-held weapons. Next, the pilots could use a 60mm terminally guided rocket launcher that mounts to the front of the bike mode. Finally, there was a choice for night vision optics with digital video recording.
Each pilot for the Cyclones, no matter which model, must wear a CVR-3, a specifically fitted piece of armor. Without this armor, the riders would not be able to convert the Cyclones to Battloid mode.3. VFH-10 Armored Gyro Assault Chopper/Ajax/Veritech Chopper/Veritech Copter
1. VF-1S Valkyrie/Skull Leader/Skull One
Perhaps the most prestigious of the Veritech Fighters from Robotech, Roy Fokker famously piloted the Skull One, a VF-1S Valkyrie. Originally, the Skull One was the YF-1 prototype before the vehicle officially became the VF-1S Valkyrie. As such, it began its service in 2006 and lasted until its retirement in 2015. Even past its retirement, scientists dismantled it to boost the research in advanced Veritech fighters.
Fusion engines powered the VF-1 to make it the first transformable trans-atmospheric fighter. As such, it had three modes: fighter for aerospace missions, guardian for close air support, and Battloid for ground assaults. While the VF-1 could reach Earth’s lower atmosphere, it never could break earth’s orbit on its own.
The VF-1S came with a vast array of armaments. First, it had a triple-barreled 55mm Gatling cannon in its gun pod. Mounted on the head and turrets were 4 light laser cannons. Meanwhile, there were 2 light lasers in the nose. Each wing sported two wing hardpoints that could carry a variety of weapons. Either they could carry three 300mm medium-range missiles, an inner or outer 533mm long-range missiles, or a short-range multiple ejection 150mm missile launcher that carried 15 missiles.
Which were your favorite Robotech Mechas?
Now that you have seen our picks for the top ten mechas from Robotech, we would love to hear which were your favorites. Comment below to let us know which machines were the best out of the series.
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