The Z-Gradt is a recurring "boss" machine in the Cyber Troopers Virtual-On series. It appeared in Operation Moongate, MARZ, and in Super Robot Wars K.
A formidable enemy and the guardian of the Moongate, Z-Gradt is a devastatingly powerful, quadrupedal combat unit that acts as a security force guarding the Moongate and its solar cannon. It possesses an inordinately high defense rating, and a highly destructive arsenal. A large particle beam cannon is constructed into the center of its frame. While Z-Gradt's defense is lowered when the particle cannon is in use, the cannon itself is stronger than even the HBV-05 Raiden's laser irradiators, and the machine is known to move while operating this armament. Exactly what controls Z-Gradt remains a mystery, but appears staunchly determined to avert humanity from using the Moongate their own purposes and to stop the player from preventing the firing of the solar cannon.
Z-Gradt is heavily-armed with a set of five distinct weapons.
- Ring Lasers - Z-Gradt fires a rapid stream of double-ringed concentric ring lasers its four "VR head turrets". Compared to the Bal-Bas-Bow's own ring lasers, Z-Gradt's are even more powerful.
- Beam Guns - Mounted on the top of Z-Gradt's "shoulders" are a pair of turrets, each with a rapid-fire beam gun. As they fire, the turrets follow their target.
- F-Mines - The launching units on the far ends of Z-Gradt's "shoulders" fires swarms of target-seeking F-Mines, again similar to the Bal-Bas-Bow's.
- Phalanx - Z-Gradt's shoulder launchers also use a variation of the Dorkas' Phalanx that fire in multiple directions at a time. This weapon is typically used in conjunction with F-Mines. It is generally followed up by the...
- Particle Cannon - Z-Gradt's strongest weapon, a powerful particle beam cannon whose firepower outclasses even the Raiden's laser irradiators. As it fires, the turret also follows the opponent. Be warned that the machine tends to dash while firing it. However, operating this weapon comes at a heavy cost, for it also massively decreases Z-Gradt's armour rating. A stationary version of this weapon appears in the Antimatter Fortress missions of MARZ.
- Stage: Final Area - Nirvana
- BGM: Crystal Doom
- Nickname (Virtuaroid Technical Manual): the Final Fortress
- Introductory Text (Virtuaroid Techincal Manual): In front of Z-GRADT, the time ends, the space vanishes, and the words loses its meanings...
Z-Gradt is made a playable character exclusively in Sega AGES 2500 Vol. 31: Cyber Troopers Virtual-On as part of a secret gameplay mode. In this one, the roles are reversed, and you have to stop the VRs from preventing the solar cannon from firing!
All battles against its opponents take place only in the Nirvana stage, which has no place to hide. This presents a difficult battle, as Z-Gradt's mobility is sluggish, and its defensive capabilities are somewhat watered down from the boss version. In addition, you're a larger target. However, it still maintains its formidable arsenal. Be careful of using the particle cannon, though; Z-Gradt can take more damage while firing it!
When you defeat all of the VRs, you are treated to a "To Be Continued..." screen that is accompanied by the "You Lose" BGM tune.
Against Z-Gradt - Operation Moongate
When playing the game with a time limit on each stage, you only have a limited amount of time to defeat Z-Gradt. However, as its armor is incredibly thick in its normal state that it takes very little amount of damage with each hit received. Avoid enemy fire from Z-Gradt, and be mindful of its attack patterns. When Z-Gradt fires its particle cannon, attack it while avoiding the particle beam, as it takes more damage in that state. If you had also dealt out some damage to it while its armor is in its normal state, it becomes the kind of situation where every little bit of damage counts towards defeating it. However, Z-Gradt would only deploy the particle cannon two times in a timed battle. Z-Gradt CANNOT be defeated with a time over - It must be destroyed outright before the clock reaches zero! Even worse, melee attacks are rendered useless against Z-Gradt, so only your ranged weapons are viable. Adding even more pressure, is that an alarm would blare out when the timer counts down from 10 seconds, with each blare accompanied by a flash of red, indicating that the solar cannon is about to fire.
If Z-Gradt is not defeated before the timer reaches zero, the Moongate's solar cannon would fire on the Earth, resulting in a game over. But, if you do manage to defeat Z-Gradt before time runs out, your VR will fire one last shot into the core of the Moongate itself with a charged attack from its Center Weapon (or in Dorkas' case, its Hammer).
In the home versions of the game, the timer can be disabled for arcade mode by setting it to Deathmatch, giving you all the time in the world to fight and defeat Z-Gradt with no worry about having to race the clock.
Against Z-Gradt - MARZ
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- Z-Gradt is powered by no less than four V-Converters, with one mounted on each of its legs.
- The mid-game boss for Cyber Troopers Virtual-On: Oratorio Tangram, Bradtos, is comprised of two Z-Gradt bottom halves stacked on top of each other, with the Earth Crystal housed within its center. Unlike Z-Gradt, Bradtos is colored black with a greenish glow.
- Cyber Troopers Virtual On MARZ also features the Stratos, a white and violet-colored Bradtos-like unit armed with a violet Dymon Orb or a trio of Dymon 'mini-orbs', rather than the Earth Crystal.
- Z-Gradt returns in Cyber Troopers Virtual On MARZ as an occasional boss fight. Although the Z-Gradt is twice the size of its original Operation Moongate incarnation, it behaves and fights in the exact same manner, though it is also capable of dashing like a VR. Design-wise, the only visual change to the Z-Gradt is the replacement of its Operation Moongate-era V-Converters with up-to-date FORCE-era V-Converters.
- Additionally, the game features several miniaturized variations of the Z-Gradt, the MLTN (Molton) series and MTN (Moton) series. These are comprised of MLTN FF/MTN FF, which has two particle cannons, MLTN FP/MTN FP, which uses napalm bomb launchers and homing beams, MLTN TF/MTN TF, which has missile launchers, and the MLTN CF/MTN CF, which has TCF Erasers like on Jaguarandi. Of course, each MLTN and MTN comes with a singular ring laser turret, and when they turn gold, they deploy a homing plasma bomb from their underside.
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