New Zadir Reveal, Plus a Tribute to a Very Special Dragon

With my new Patreon/Subscribestar exclusive mecha serial Zadir Corps: First Strike launching, G-d willing, sometime during the first week of July, I’m excited to be able to provide a little bit more hype for the series in the form of another mecha class that will eventually be making an appearance. (Also, keep reading past the specs to read about what else went into this.)

Behold: the Ozikiryu-class Air Dominance Zadir

Length (with the head in standard combat positions): 69 meters

Wingspan: 60 meters

Height (from feet to main body): 25 meters (including main turret) 30 meters

Crew: 5 (Pilot/commander, main gunner, 2 wing gunners/engineers, rear gunner)

Acknowledging the inherent weakness of previous zadir models against airborne enemies, and with the Revittan Empire’s starfighter fleet designed strictly for space combat, an atmospheric air combat platform was required. In particular, one was needed which was capable of engaging multiple enemy targets simultaneously Additionally, this new platform had to be capable of supporting other zadir while on the ground as well as from the air, so the mythical dragon was used as a design inspiration.

Additionally, the new invention of repulsor technology, while not sufficiently powerful enough to lift vehicles as large as zadir, allowed for the production of even larger vehicles. For the Ozikiryu-class, this technology, mounted in the dragon’s chest, provides the zadir with enough lift for agile flying, and allows it to perform dynamic maneuvers while on the ground that would otherwise be impossible for a combat platform of its size.

Due to its greater size than previous zadir classes such as the Zerakami-class, the Ozikiryu requires a crew of five to maintain the zadir & operate its weapons systems. In addition to the pilot and main gunner, it has two wing gunners who can both act as engineers and conduct repairs on the fly, plus a dedicated rear gunner.  All this, along with combined with thick armor plating turns the Ozikiryu-class into a veritable flying fortress–as is expected, given the Zadir Corps’s concept being for combat platforms that required little to no support from other military branches.

If the zadir is forced to land and the wings are damaged, the wing gunners can retreat into the zadir’s main body and the wings detached to allow for greater mobility.

The color scheme combines the colors associated with both the Dragonwing clan (one of the oldest Revittan clans) and the color from the emblem of the first Revittan air force (from before the species became spacefaring) as a tribute to the history of the Empire. These colors can also provide some measure of camouflage on several Nekessian worlds on which the Zadir Corps is expected to operate, which have clouds that can range in color from purple to orange.

Weaponry: As with most zadir, the Ozikiryu-class’s primary offensive weapon against large targets is the back-mounted plasma cannon controlled by the main gunner. Also similar to other zadir, the pilot can fire a pair of smaller fixed forward cannons on the chest. For this class, however, in order to increase the zadir’s ground attack capability, those cannons can be angled slightly down (or up, against air targets slightly above the vehicle).

All cannons fire standard plasma projectiles, with the exception of the mouth cannon, which fires armor-piercing physical projectiles, so give the platform additional efficacy against enemy targets equipped with energy shielding. These projectiles are electronically fired in large bursts to maximize volume of fire without too much wasted fire.

In addition to the cannons, both the main cannon turret and the smaller turrets are equipped with miniature missile pods. All missiles are equipped with tracking capabilities, and the platform’s targeting systems allow these to lock onto targets in the vehicle’s blind spots below the main body.

When the zadir is on the ground, it’s tail, which functions as a rudder while airborne, provides additional stability in addition to a backup weapon, with the reinforced spikes mounted near its tip. The zadir’s claws are similarly reinforced, though the zadir’s mass will necessitate short bursts from the engines in order to carry out more active maneuvers. Even while landed, the Ozikiryu’s primary weapons are its cannons, which are capable of covering the zadir from all angles.

Additionally, if the situation required it, the mouth cannon can be retracted enough to allow the zadir’s mouth to serve as yet another close quarters weapon.

A bit about the Ozikiryu-class from a different perspective

As I hinted at in the title of this post, there is a bit more going on here than just me revealing a badass dragon mecha. As may already be clear from the previously revealed zadir class, the Zoids franchise is a huge inspiration for this project and the mecha in it, and since dragons are awesome, there was always going to be one. Also, I’ve long loved the design of the classic B-17 bomber, and that had no small amount of influence on the Ozikiryu. (My initial concept was what if a dragon, a mecha, and a B-17 had a baby lol.)

However, this model won’t be appearing till later in the story. The reason I had the art made now was to pay tribute to a very special dragon, the legendary Kiryu Coco of Hololive, who will be graduating (retiring from the company) in just another couple days. In addition to just being hilarious and a great entertainer (seriously, go watch some of her more popular clips), she has been a key bridge between the Japanese & English-speaking fans of not only Hololive, but VTubers in general, and she deserves a lot of credit for the opening of the company’s English branch. We’re all very sad to see her go, but she is getting to do so on her own terms, and she leaves behind a huge legacy that we will all carry forward.

So when that news broke, it only made sense to include a tribute to her in my upcoming series, through both the Ozikiryu’s color scheme and its name. In regard to the name, there is yet still more to it. While the second part is obviously from Kiryu Coco’s name, the first part of the zadir class name, comes from the Hebrew word “oz”, which can be translated as strength or courage.

Seemed fitting for our strongest dragon.

Thanks for everything, Coco, and may you see only success in whatever you decide to do in the future. Keep flying high. (And don’t worry, this mecha is going to be extremely badass once it makes its appearance in the story.)

Just to close out with some quick housekeeping, reminder that Zadir Corps: First Strike will be available to all my Patreon/Subscribestar subscribers, no matter what tier, and the plan is for the monthly installments to be somewhere near 10,000 words long apiece. Be sure to subscribe next week so you start at the beginning!

Also, I want to give a huge thanks to kryuchekov on Fiverr, who took my extremely ambitious concept and brought it to life. He’s great to work with, so look no further if you need mecha art of your own.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, the other zadir class I’ve revealed for the series, the Zerakami-class Assault Zadir. (Done by the same artist who drew the Ozikiryu-class.)

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