The LED Mirage is the AKD’s main heavy combat mortar headd deployed by the Mirage Knights on orders from Amaterasu or an appropriate AKD commander (Rognar, Aisha Codante or Iemarah Lout Jajas). The LED represents the pinnacle of modern mortar headd design and function. Its armament is a testament to the genius of Amaterasu as a MH meight. It is loaded to the brim with anti-MH weaponry of every sort, including lasers, missiles, grenades, plasma weaponry as well as the customary cutlery that comes equipped on most of the galaxy’s Electric Knights.
The "main weapon" mounted upon the LED Mirage is known as the Laser Cutter, which is mounted permanently to the LED’s forehead region. This state-of-the-art heat-blade taps directly into the energy supply so when it is charged, it uses nearly all of the LED’s monstrous power output to pour damage into an enemy unit. It is capable of slicing enemy mortar headds in half as easily as a chef slices tomatoes.
The LED’s 150mm grenade launchers mounted on the arms can be armed with anti-aircraft missiles as well as the anti-armor grenades (used to take out tanks and air barrels as well as annoy mortar headds). The Air Buster (mounted in the chest region) can cause seismic disturbances in the surrounding battlefield and is useful for taking out large contingents of ground troops and equipments and leveling urban environments (by causing earthquakes)
The LED Mirage's veil hides a host of hidden weaponry as well. The main weapon attached to the veil are its pincher-style metrotekchrome Nail, which is capable of capturing or cutting an enemy MH unit in half. It fold back behind the veil completely (and thus, is normally not noticed) and snaps forward to envelope an enemy unit by surprise. The veil also holds various missile launchers and laser cannons, as well as a large caliber anti-armor cannon used for Anti-MH roles.
The LED is also capable of mounting many optional weapons, including a particularly nasty weapon known as the Flame Launcher. This weapon is so devastating, that it is only used when authorized by the emperor himself! The Flame Launcher uses a fuel source known as "Liquid R" which burns much hotter than Napalm. Additionally, LED Mirage units can mount the Biralkema laser machinegun unit which is standard equipment on the Rouge Mirage. Thus, a LED Mirage can double as artillery support for a Jagd Mirage or support ground troops if the accompanying Rouge Mirage is heavily damaged.
The LED Mirage also has a plethora of optional equipment which can be attached to suit a particular situation. The Boomerang unit gives the LED Mirage full atmospheric flight capability at supersonic speeds. The Luna Unit is basically for space flight, and allows the LED Mirage to become interstellar capable attack unit. The Double Veil mounts to the LED's back and works similar in fashion to the Jagd Mirage and Atoll Swans active veil systems. The LED can also mount a Buster Launcher. This system is comprised of the launcher itself and the power supply unit which attaches to the LED’s back. Without the supply unit, the LED would have to use its own engine to power the launcher which would deprive the MH of maneuvering power, which is death to a MH on the field of battle! (This is why many headdliners think the Knight of Gold is a suicide machine.)
Amaterasu developed the LED Mirage as the replacement for the FEMC’s Horned Mirage mortar headd. The Mirage Knights had managed to use up the entire fleet of Horned Mirages by J.C. 2980. Amaterasu use the Horned Mirage as a basis for his LED design, and managed to both miniaturize and enhance the Ezlazer engine to produce astronomical levels of energy. The resultant engine was small enough to place in the LED's calves (dual engine design, with one engine in each calf section of the Legs) leaving more room in the torso to include even more generators and servos to produce additional power. The end resulted in a MH with twice the power output of standard mortar headds.
The LED Mirage is considered the most powerful MH in the galaxy. A lot of hype has gone into this reputation, mainly to intimidate opponents before a battle. Even though it is the star MH of the saga, it makes only 8 battlefield appearances in the history of Joker.
TRIVIA: We know that the LED Mirage is named after the LED Dragon that lives on Kastenpo but what does LED stand for? This is a question that fans have discussed for years. Some say it’s "Light Emitting Dragon" while others say Nagano took the name from one of his favorite bands; Led Zeppelin. Page 159 of F.S.S. Designs 3 Kalamity Godders: Both says it stands for "Leading Earthboth Dominion". Is this retconning or was this always the answer? The debate goes on.
- LED Mirage
- Mirage B
- Ladios Sop
- AKD (Mirage Knights)
- 15.2 meters
- 120 tons
- 2.3 trillion horsepower (recent sources place this at 3.3 trillion)
Laser Cutter (forehead)
15mm Anti-material lasers x4 (Skull and chest)
7mm Anti-personnel lasers x4 (same ports, skull and chest)
Demolition Blasters (pole mounted) x2 (chest)
Anti-personnel Blasters x2 (chest)
50mm Anti-personnel S-mines (HE) x12 (chest, shoulders and legs)
150mm Grenade launchers (HE, AP) x4 (arms)
Air Barrier (Generator use)
Air Buster (Generator use)
Spaads (4 per case)
Speid (Nippon-type) x2
- Veil Weapons:
350mm Missile Launcher X2 (1 round each)
120mm Missile Launcher X8 (3 rounds each)
180mm Laser Cannon x2
75mm Laser launchers x4
250mm Blasters x2 (Heat beam artillery)
185mm AP Cannon (single shot, 8 rounds)
Smoke plates x5
Nail (metrotekachrome slicer)
- Optional Weapons:
210mm Flame Launcher (authorized use only) 800 liter fuel supply
Autolance (21.7m in length)
Bal Valah (laser guided boomerang)
Biralkema (laser machinegun unit and power supply)
Buster Faust (exchangable with the Flame Launcher. Discontinued after the development of the Storm Mirage)
- Standard Equipment:
Bust block (mounted on right arm. Think cestus)
Counterweight (Head mounted. Style up to individual headdliner)
Smoke Dischargers x32 (shoulders, arms and legs)
Chaff dispensors x2 (to block laser and radar guided missiles)
Barrier Generators x15 (to block laser and radio communications)
- Additional Equipment:
Boomerang (Atmospheric flight unit. Weighs 30 tons)
Luna (Interstellar war booster with FTL capability. Weighs 100 tons)
Double Veil (dual active veil system)
Buster Launcher Unit (includes launcher and loading components)
Above is the LED Mirage piloted by the mysterious Ikaruga.
The artwork shown in this image is permanently fixed to the lower leg of one of the LED Mirages. The heavy black line is a relief carving of female figures. The red part and its imagery is a mosaic of colored armor chips. Knights are free to choose whatever symbolic images are burning in hellfire. This is the first drawn appearance of fatima Belda. Drawn in 1989, this predates LED Mirage translucent armor, so the armor texture is like marble. Mortar headd armor is more mineral than metallic; even translucent is reminiscent of gemstones. It is interesting to see the double bolt at the knee, where the secondary bolt covers the main bolt.
LED Mirage with Luna Unit A
LED Mirage with Luna Unit B
Editor’s Note: This section comes from the Five Star Stories Manga Reboot Volume 1. It was generously translated by levrin.
LED Mirage Earliest Design
A puzzling robot design drawn between May and June of 1984. The name "Headdliner", a horn on the head, and a red cross were part of the initial imagery, and even now 27 years later this imagery continues. The name it had at the time was "Blood Temple"; a year later I called it "B. Temple", and a year after that it became the prototype for the robot named "LED Mirage".
The B Temple’s creation was done at a period when I’d already switched gears into "Five Star". This illustration drawn June 20th of 1984 already bears a strong resemblance to the established design. When all is said and done, the defining trait of the B Temple’s position as a predecessor to the LED Mirage is the long horn on the head. Not only does the LED Mirage inherit this horn, but since the appearance of the B Temple many anime works have featured robots with similar sword-like horns on the front of the head. I don’t know why it has had such influence, but certainly this is proof that many people think this style of horn is cool. This horn on the head comes from a picture I saw at the time of the "Tsintaosaurus", a Chinese dinosaur fossil. Moving the horn forward resulted in this design. The elongated head of this design that leads into the B Temple, LED Mirage, and others comes from copying the balance of the dinosaur’s skull, as does the attachment of the horn. This impressive horn-bearing design style continued for over 25 years, and I believe it is still one of the peaks of Nagano robot design.
For 25 long years this comic has continued serialization. Many people call it "Five Star Monogatari" or "FSS" for short. As the author, I’ve always called it "Five Star Stories" in English since even before the serialization. This is simply because I like the sound of "stories" better than "monogatari". In combination with the report this time I talk about the events leading up to the serialization of "Five Star Stories" in the interview. A separate work from TV anime "Heavy Metal L-Gaim", even though the designer is the same and and robots are of the same design line, the story is the completely different "Five Star Stories". In 1985, how was I to display this grand story I’d come up with? Could I really do it with a serialized manga? Inoue Shinichiro, who’d been responsible for me in the "L-Gaim" days, was launching "Newtype" the next year, so I asked to publish in it. Inoue stressed that "Five Star Stories" being a story with no connection to "L-Gaim" meant it would have to be more interesting to make up for it. My anxiety blew away with the beginning of serialization; the uniqueness of a manga without an anime, the story, and the lack of "robot manga" at the time led to a large readership. The strong characters of the "LED Mirage" and "Fatima" counted for a lot.
In 1985 before serialization, while working on the TV anime "Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam" I continued to build the framework for this story, but how I actually came up with it is beyond my memory. Searching out old materials from 1985-86 involved a grand excavation not seen since "Designs". So I brought current Newtype editor T and assistant editor M from some other magazine to dig up Nagano’s sealed past in the warehouse/home/atelier; excavation is quite heavy labor. "Found it~ B Temple first design." "Why is this over here!" "The Zeta Gundam roughs were left in my house!" "Oh, the first version of the cluster timeline!! The names are all different!!" "Geh! Roughs for L-Gaim’s Poseidal." "No, those are discarded setup drafts." "What a place for Vifam’s RV designs to be! Hey! An unpublished RV!" "You didn’t see that!!" "Wow. M9 and Geara Doga designs." "All the ZZ and Char’s Counterattack designs are over here! (all rejected designs)" "Found the Hyaku Shiki Neue!!" "Ah, so this is α Gundam!!!" "Destroy it!" It was quite the uproar in all three places. In any case now that the excavation is over they might end up in Newtype some time, but for now this is the first publishing of materials and comments relating to the developments from the "L-Gaim" to "Five Star" era. Incidentally, the excavation took place December 25, 2010. What a thing to be doing on Christmas day... Work is tough...
From A Temple to B Temple – Nagano mecha appearing in "Heavy Metal L-Gaim" include the "Bat-Shu", "L-Gaim", "Auge", and the "Mk-II". That many later Nagano robots have been derived from these designs is obvious from reading "Five Star Stories". The "BANG" and "Wolk Schätze" were born from the "L-Gaim Mk-II", and the face of "the KOG" comes from the Mk-II as well. But as for the other strong design line of the "LED Mirage" and other Mirage MH, even I don’t know exactly where they came from. In the summer of 1983, while planning for the new show I had gotten as far as creating the Auge. Then the real work started on "Heavy Metal L-Gaim" and I had to pause from making robots for production work; as the show started its broadcast in ’84, I started working on more robots to follow the "Auge" and "Bat-Shu". The first image I came up with was that of a four-armed robot. Aside from the L-Gaim itself, the names for all the robots and mecha in "L-Gaim" were left up to me, so I decided the four-armed robot would be named "Ashura Temple". It was tricky thinking up names for all these new mecha coming up, so I started just naming them all after the German rock bands I’d listened to a lot in high school (The rock band Ash Ra Tempel is actually spelled differently. I simply wanted the connotation of a "palace" so it became Temple). This Ashura Temple is a design that directly connects to Five Star Stories. The Ashura Temple discussed here is a different robot from the "Ashra Temple" of the same name in "Five Star Stories"; the MH in Five Star is just named that because it also has four arms, not because of any deeper connection. Sorry for making it complicated.
From B Temple to LED Mirage – With the appearance of the cluster timeline, "Five Star Stories" begins to move. The B Temple is drawn while imagining the great invasion of 3159. The horn attachment is changed, the cross mark becomes the Mirage Knights mark. The flame launcher, the back leg design and such are almost all assembled from my imagination.
A Temple Draft 1 – The LED Mirage’s design started with this A Temple. The clumsy joints have been lifted straight from the "Graia" and "Bal-Bud", but the design line already produces a distinct silhouette unlike the "Bat-Shu" and "Auge".
A Temple Draft 2 – This robot design is something like a base pattern for later Nagano robots. This design transitions into both the "B Temple" and "C Temple". In this second image at last we see the face and earflaps that the LED Mirage will inherit.
A Temple Draft 3 – A forehead part is added to the face in draft 2, and the "reflectors" that later show up on all Mirage MH make their appearance. These reflectors are dropped from the design later, though. Of note are the ankle covers; these will become a staple of later designs.
A Temple Draft 4 – The "A Temple" design just short of completion. The ankle and shoulder designs that will be taken for the "LED Mirage" are in their final state here. Later, after the creation of the LED Mirage, the A Temple became the prototype for the Rouge Mirage.
B Temple, First Sketch – Editor’s Note: The illustration here is the same design but a different image than the one discussed in this paragraph. I thought this one was a nicer, clearer example of the design. The A Temple as a foundation for the design named "Blood Temple", which then advanced into this design in one sitting. On the left is an "Auge". The illustration on page 192 was drawn right after this; drawing three units in a row sent a message of "there are several B Temples".
LED Mirage (1986) – The second sheet’s A Temple’s head was the prototype for the B Temple’s head; while this imagery disappeared for the final A Temple, it was restored in the B Temple. Adding the Tsintaosaurus horn and a flamethrower, it became the B Temple on the left page. Then, adding the "Flame Launcher" and a red cross, it finally became the LED Mirage. "Five Star Stories" had begun.
LED Mirage (2000) – The Crusader imagery of the B Temple is further emphasized in the LED Mirage. The crest-shaped counterweight on the head brings to mind Roman legionnaires, leading to the initial confrontation between the first chapter’s "Japanese armored" Black Knight and the "Western armored" LED Mirage. Finally I’d finished the major step in the LED Mirage design, but details are adjusted and the overall balance shifts with each era; almost every MH has the high heels previously used on the "L-Gaim Mk-II" now. Essentially it took me 16 years to finish this robot. Unlike the still unfinished "Fatima", this is the final form of the LED Mirage. This design doesn’t need any more revisions, and there are no planned changes ahead.
Special thanks to Nu Soard Graphite for the mortar headd profile.