I have recently got very into playing Horizon Wars, not only enjoying the rules but enjoying the freedom a highly customisable wargame gives to create interesting an unusual armies. When the Biowar expansion came out I felt there was only one thing to do – combine my love of super robots with my love of wargaming and make stats for a whole army of deadly monsters-of-the-week…
Invincible Sword of Steel, Armcalibur (1984-1985, 52 episodes)
Led by the Singularity Overlord Algaron, the Singularity Empire emerged from the B-38 Nebula in 2265 and launched a full-scale invasion of Earth. Resistance from the Space Garrison was strong, and Algaron’s fleet was stalemated in orbit until the Absolute Earth Defence Barrier could be activated – but not before Algaron himself had brought a command vessel to Earth’s surface.
From there, the Empire’s army of Relic Beasts began its march across the planet; human resistance showed mankind to be almost completely outmatched until GUARD, the Global United Advanced Research Division, brought out its secret weapon – the Armcalibur Project.
It is now 2267. Their resolve strengthened by the heroic soldier of steel, Armcalibur, and its pilots Kyosuke Yamada and Yoko Midorikawa, GUARD leads mankind’s war effort against the Singularity Empire! Rise, Armcalibur, and protect this green Earth!
Field Guide to Relic Beasts
Relic Army Death Oni (Featured in most episodes)
The footsoldiers of Algaron’s empire – enormous monsters, twice the size of a man or more, armed with massive shields and swords made of Element 253, a mysterious metal found in the B-38 Nebula.
Armcalibur’s pilots and the GUARD Special Science Squad were uniquely equipped to fight the Death Oni on even terms thanks to their Arc Armaments, weapons made using the secrets of Element 253.
Death Oni Element (Gribbly, P1): Rapid, Vanguard 3/3/2/1
Relic Beast Maragon (Episode 1 – Fight! Resistance Against the Occupying Army)
Maragon was the weakest Relic Beast used by Algaron, sent to try and destroy the incomplete Armcalibur units at the Ultra-Weapons Development Lab. It was able to easily destroy the GUARD forces in its path thanks to its deadly ultra-frequency roar and Element 253-reinforced spines, but Professor Midorikawa managed to find a counter in the form of a nullifying frequency, buying enough time for Calibur Core to launch and destroy Maragon with the Arm Blaster.
In later episodes, Maragons were fielded by Algaron in packs – most notably in Episode 13, Panic! The Tears of a Lonely Idol.
Maragon (Kaiju, P1): Rapid, Mind-Searing 4/2/2/1
Relic Beast Ganbuki (Episode 8 – Combination Blocked? Siege of Ganbuki)
Ganbuki was the result of Algaron’s general Sephiria experimenting on a Maragon, growing it to enormous size with Nebula Rays and mutating it with radioactive waste. Ganbuki’s debut episode was considered quite controversial at the time of airing owing to its scene of Sephiria stealing nuclear weapons from an unnamed US airbase, and a remastering of Armcalibur changed it to an experimental virus instead of nuclear missiles.
Ganbuki’s Radiation Venom was able to burn through Armcalibur’s defensive barrier, and it was only defeated by the Calibur Core separating from the Calibur Wing to avoid the shot, and then fire the Arm Blaster and Wing Laser into its mouth simultaneously.
Ganbuki (Kaiju, P2): Biogun 3/5/4/1
Relic Beast Okamar (Episode 22 – Snow in the Forest! Okamar’s Deadly Assault)
The wolflike Okamar was sent against Armcalibur in the show’s hot springs episode, which was considered very popular by Armcalibur fans because it contained scenes of the Calibur Wing’s pilot, Yoko, naked.
Okamar itself was a fast, vicious monster whose sharp teeth were able to destroy the Calibur Gun and nearly tear the combined Armcalibur in half. Its armoured head and back meant the Vertical Heaven Slash was ineffective, and it was fast and stable enough to escape being flipped over. In the end, Yoko found the key to victory, causing an avalanche while the Calibur Core kept Okamar distracted, and then recombining to stab it as it tried to escape.
Okamar (Kaiju, P3): Rapid, Teeth 5/5/4/1
Relic Beast Viperan (Episode 28 – Vanishing City! The Underground Relic Beast)
The enormous snakelike Viperan was sent by Sephiria to undermine the Ultra-Weapons Development Lab, but Professor Midorikawa intercepted it as it approached while investigating suspicious seismic activity in a nearby town. With Yoko trapped in a burning skyscraper, and Viperan bearing down on the base, things looked bleak for Armcalibur and GUARD!
Episode 28 saw the debut of Armed Gladiator, Armcalibur’s support robot. While Gladiator held off Viperan with its Battle Drills, Kyosuke took Calibur Wing to the city to rescue Yoko. In the end Armcalibur and Gladiator were able to defeat Viperan with the One Hundred Cuts move.
Viperan (Kaiju, P3): Rapid, Tunneller 4/4/5/3
Flying Relic Beasts Hachiman (Episode 31 – Take to the Skies! Terror of the Insects)
Hachiman was the evolution of Maragon with added wings, and gave Armcalibur significant problems. Fighting in vast numbers, the wasp-like creatures could turn invisible and use a modification of Maragon’s ultra-frequency cry to interfere with Armcalibur’s sensors.
Although by this point Armcalibur could fly, it lacked a ranged weapon that could deal with the cloud of Hachiman until Professor Midorikawa brought out the Calibur Gatling Blaster.
Hachiman (Kaiju, P1): Flying, Camouflage 7/3/3/1
Flying Relic Beast Kyoritori-O (Episode 43 – Prehistoric Devil! The Strongest Beast)
As Armcalibur and GUARD pressed back against Algaron’s armies (and Sephiria was defeated in episode 33, Showdown! The Island of Magma), he turned to the Ancient Priest Vandamar for answers. Vandamar used Black Hole Magic to empower the Relic Beasts, creating the Ancient Relic Beasts, first of which was Kyoritori-O.
A huge flying creature, Kyoritori-O had the ability to call down lightning storms around it as well as deadly Element 253 claws and teeth. In order to defeat it, Armcalibur had to release the limiter on its power source, the Magatama Drive, and combine with Armed Gladiator and Armed Watcher to form Shin Armcalibur.
Kyoritori-O (Kaiju, P5): Flying, Breath Weapon 8/5/6/2
Relic Worm (Episode 27 – One Hour To Live! The Deadly Poison Stinger)
Episode 27 was notable for Armcalibur for being one of a few episodes not featuring a typical Relic Beast fight at the end of the episode. Instead, it was an episode set entirely within the Ultra-Weapons Development Lab. After an apparently easy fight against the Relic Beast Tamamushi, nobody notices that Calibur Wing has been seeded with mysterious eggs which grow and mature overnight, hatching into deadly Relic Worms.
Yoko is bitten by a Relic Worm and it seems she has only one hour to live before the poison kills her – leading to a tense race against time for Professor Midorikawa to find a cure, while Kyosuke tries to destroy the Worm hive inside the hangar.
Worm Element (Gribbly, P1): Rapid, Vanguard, Alert 5/3/1/2