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Knightmare Frames (ナイトメアフレーム, Naitomea Furēmu) are humanoid war machines developed by the Holy Britannian Empire. Unveiled during the invasion of Japan, Knightmare Frames are almost exclusively used in place, and sometimes alongside of, the practically obsolete main battle tanks. The name "Knightmare Frame" is a play on the word "nightmare" and a knight's mare. There also exists a derivative type of war machine based on the Knightmare Frames called the Knight Giga Fortress.

Overview

Knightmare Frames often have a humanoid shape and are usually between four and five meters tall, about twice the height of an average main battle tank, giving them a significant height advantage, although not necessarily range advantage. In addition to the standard range of bipedal movement, Knightmare Frames are equipped with Landspinners, self-propelled roller skates attached to the ankles of the machines, which allow them to achieve high mobility and speeds on most terrain. Visual data is gathered through Factsphere Sensors, which have thermographic capability and an array of other data-collection functions which are collated in real-time. Factspheres are commonly protected under a layer of armor which can be retracted to improve system sensitivity. Knightmare Frames are piloted from a cockpit set in the protruding 'hump back' in the unit. The cockpit is a self-contained control center which can be ejected in case of emergency. Although Knightmare heads seem to have no real function besides housing Factspheres, it seems they are required to pilot the Knightmare, as seen when a pilot ejects himself when his life in danger and the Knightmare's head is knocked off.

Knightmare Frames are typically armed with rocket-propelled anchors called Slash Harkens (スラッシュハーケン, Surasshuhāken) and a number of other weapons. Mass-production models usually carry handheld coilgun-based Assault Rifles, which are able to fire micro ordinance as well, and sometimes Chaos Mines, cylindrical air burst grenades that spray deadly shrapnel over a small area. Less common equipment (though they become more widespread as the series progresses) include Maser Vibration Swords (MVS), a form of vibroblade which oscillates at a high rate to cut through almost anything, and Hadron Cannons, powerful energy cannons which can obliterate almost anything in their path. Late in 2017, Float Systems (フロートシステム, Furōto Shisutemu), devices which allow Knighmares to fly, are introduced, and by 2018 also fall into common use.

Power Source

Energy Filler

Knightmare Frames are powered by the Yggdrasil Drive (ユグドラシルドライブ, Yugudorashiru Doraibu), a fictional energy source. Its centerpiece is a Sakuradite device called the Core Luminous (コアルミナス, Koa Ruminasu), wherein a cube of unknown composition is weightlessly suspended. The centerpiece may also contain some kind of liquid, as when the Lancelot first launched, bubbles could be seen rising before the activation of the Core Luminous. The cube revolves at high speeds during a state of drive activation known as Yggdrasil Resonance (ユグドラシル共鳴), apparently involved in the conduction of electricity. The technology is named after the Yggdrasil Tree of Norse Mythology. The drive is recharged through a Sakuradite Energy Filler (エナジーフィラーenajii firā).

Active Core Luminous

Despite constant animations directed at the Yggdrasil Drive, its location in the Knightmare has never been made clear, nor has the location of the Energy Filler. But, the Filler can be estimated to be around the underside of the cockpit block, close to where the cockpit meets the Knightmare's frame. It is estimated that the Yggdrasil Drive's location is around the waist for most Knightmare Frames, as arms and legs are constantly destroyed in combat but the Knightmare is still able to function. In one case, in the finale of R2, the Tristan Divider was still able to function while the frame is severed at the waist. This would also lend credence to the Energy Filler's location in the lower part of the cockpit block, as it provides power to the drive, and would therefore need to be as close as possible, while still being able to be removed. In old mass production types, the head is used to store the Factsphere Sensor and the chest is occupied by an extension of the cockpit used as the emergency ejection function.

Interface System

Inside a standard Knightmare Frame's cockpit block reside many standard features; three panoramic display monitors, the dual control joysticks, and instrument panels. The panoramic monitors are linked to external sensors and cameras, and can be switched to display other information such as status or even as a video communication system. In custom Frames, the interface system varies, dependent on the Knightmare's primary function. For example, the Gawain, a commander unit, has an interface that has a full screen 'ceiling' or dome above both pilots that show the direct surroundings of the Knightmare. The Shinkirō, which is somewhat based on the Gawain, makes use of a keyboard system that allows the pilot to accurately calculate the positioning of the Absolute Defense System.

History

The creation of Knightmare Frames is roughly divided into nine Ages, or Generations, which mark the birth of a new kind of weapon platform and its evolution into a full-fledged combat system.

First Age: Infancy

The beginnings of the Knightmare Frame came from the creation of 'emergency survival cockpits' for conventional vehicles. Equipped with rocket engines to fly the crew away from the wreck, the contraptions were soon equipped with artificial legs to allow greater mobility. Limited room inside said vehicles restricted the number of legs to two. Though not a weapon in any sense of the word, the 'walking cockpits' provided the base form for their successors.

Second Age: Turning Point

Several years later, the creation of several common Knightmare Frame technologies, such as the Factspheres and Landspinners, lead to the funding for Knightmare Frame prototypes. However, the new technologies performed erratically, and the research was outsourced to military-based robotics projects and social-oriented programs. The former was assigned to a Britannian Army Special Division, the 'Special Dispatch Guidance System Division', while the latter went in the hands of a private group, the Ashford Foundation. The foundation implemented technologies related to training and education, enabling the entire Knightmare Frame program to make progress fluidly.

The bipedal weapon was nicknamed 'Knightmare' by the Army but its non-offensive equipment was referred to as 'Frame' by civilians. The union of those two terms gave birth to the name 'Knightmare Frame'.

Third Age: Archetype

With the results gained from the two separate programs, Knightmare Frames were developed into combat-effective platforms. Use of Sakuradite became paramount in making the Knightmare Frames perform to expectations, resulting in the mineral's value increasing greatly, turning it into a resource as important as fossil fuels in international politics.

The Third Age also marked the creation of the Ganymede prototype, manufactured and designed by the Ashford Foundation. Its test pilot, Marianne, quickly became famous and was granted knighthood, before eventually getting married to the Britannian Emperor, Charles zi Britannia. However, the company suffered great loss when Marianne was assassinated. The Ashford Foundation eventually retired from its business and its employees were disbanded. The truth on the Empress' death was never truly elucidated but rumors suggest that her downfall was caused by a political feud meant to keep the rising Ashford Foundation in check.

Fourth Age: Implementation

The Fourth Age saw the introduction of the RPI-11 Glasgow, the first mass-production weapons platform. Its abilities allowed the Britannian Empire to easily dominate Japan during the invasion of 2010 A.T.B. The Glasgow moved on to become the baseline unit for the Britannian Army, though it is eventually made obsolete. Some Glasgow units are still used by the Knightpolice for law enforcement, and other countries have used it as a base in the creation of their own Knightmare Frames.

Fifth Age: Evolution

Following the success of the Knightmare Frames against conventional weapons of war, attention was turned to creating Knightmare Frames intended to destroy similar weapons, including other Knightmare Frames. The RPI-13 Sutherland is the result of this. The Sutherland features improvements to cockpit comfort and function, better mobility, and increased close-combat capabilities to emphasize its role as an anti-Knightmare weapon. The Second Princess Cornelia and her bodyguards make use of the Gloucester, a Sutherland variant designed specifically to combat other Knightmare Frames, reflecting the Chinese Federation and the EU's development of their own Knightmare Frames.

KMF Generations.jpg

Sixth Age and Seventh: Missing and Continuation

The sixth age features almost no improvements in Knightmare Frame technology, earning it the moniker "Missing Generation" and no Knightmares exist within this category. The Knightmare Frame Gawain was the first Knightmare Frame to use a Float System, Druid System, and Hadron Cannons. Later, after the Gawain's capture by the rising Black Knights, Gefjun Disturbers were added to it to perfect its Hadron Cannons while also giving it a Stealth System in the process, masking it from radar.

The creation of the Seventh Generation Lancelot marked the first significant innovation. Sakuradite is not only used in the Yggdrasil Drive, but is also scattered throughout the frame, increasing performance dramatically in all areas. This allows the Lancelot to effectively employ the MVS (Maser Vibration Sword) and electromagnetic shielding, as well as becoming the first Knightmare to demonstrate the use of the Blaze Luminous, a special type of energy shield. In addition to the frame, Sakuradite is also used in the VARIS (Variable Ammunition Repulsion Impact Spitfire), with the intent of giving it the strength to survive a direct hit.

The Lancelot also features the implementation of a system that can remotely activate an auto-pilot that calls the Knightmare Frame to the pilot by pressing a button on the key, though the range of this feature is limited to short distances. This kind of rapid development completely defies the notion of general purpose and mass production units, resulting in the Lancelot being a unique machine. The first mass-production seventh generation series of Knightmare Frames is the Vincent series, which bears many similarities in design to the Lancelot. However, it lacks many of the Lancelot's experimental technologies, such as the Blaze Luminous and Harken Boosters.

Eighth and Ninth Age: Aspirations

The Eight and Ninth Generations represent the highest level of Knightmare technology seen in the series; though, like the Sixth Generation, no Knightmares exist within the Eighth Generation. Britannia's efforts are led by Camelot heads Lloyd Asplund and Cécile Croomy while Rakshata Chawla produces advancements for the Black Knights. The Knights of the Rounds' Knightmares incorporate eighth-generation technologies, as does Lelouch's Shinkirō. The Ninth Age sees the introduction of the Energy Wing, an experimental Float System giving unrivaled agility and allowing for blinding speeds, but being highly difficult to control. Only two Ninth Generation Knightmares are known: the Lancelot Albion and the Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. It is assumed all float-equipped Eighth Generation-and-above Knightmares are built in with their own oxygen supply for combat at high altitudes and, for some, underwater travel and combat.

Knightmare Frames by Generation

1st Generation

  • No known Knightmare Frames exist within this category

2nd Generation

  • No known Knightmare Frames exist within this category

3rd Generation

4th Generation

5th Generation

6th Generation

  • No known Knightmare Frames exist within this category

7th Generation

8th Generation

  • No known Knightmare Frames exist within this category

9th Generation

Knightmare Frames by Faction

Ashford Academy

Holy Empire of Britannia

The Order of the Black Knights

Chinese Federation

Europia United

Star of Madrid

Peace Mark

Kingdom of Zilkhstan

Trivia

  • Numerous Knightmares, typically those piloted by members of the Knights of the Round, are named after characters from Arthurian legend. Interestingly, it can be noted that, by the conclusion of the second season, every single Knightmare bearing such a name has been destroyed/defeated on-screen.
  • Most mass production Britannian Knightmares are named after locations in the British Isles, the ancestral homeland of the Holy Britannian Empire.
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