Historical Essays of the Robotech Period

by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Robert Morgenstern

Essay Notes

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MAIN EPISODES USED: #1, #4-#6, #15, #28, #34, #37, #47, #61, #68, #71, #78, Sentinels Video.


Chronology from Macross: Perfect Memory p.54, Robotech Art 3.


The core of this chronology is Peter Walker's timeline essay, "A Methodology for Constructing a Coherent Timeline for the Robotech Television Series", which examined the above episodes for the major time cues inherent in the series. Once this framework was completed, the early Macross-era was fleshed out by adapting the official Macross timeline, with the minor changes needed to fit the Macross chronology to Robotech. The Southern Cross and New Generation eras were fleshed out with speculative dates. The Sentinels- era events were based upon hints from the episode synopses in Robotech Art 3. This decision leads to several obvious plot differences between our Sentinels chronology, and those derived from the McKinney books.


There are two competing dates for the last Macross episode, #36. The first comes from the episode itself. Minmei's hand is seen closing a photo album at the end of the episode; in the corner, the script "So long... 2012" can be seen. However, in episode #34, "Private Time", we have two remarks that point toward 2014. Rick speaks of his first date with Minmei as having occurred over four years prior to the episode. Similarly, Kyle speaks of having worked to advance Minmei's gift of song for the last four years - and his participation in her career didn't even begin until the SDF-1's return to Earth, fully twelve months after its departure. Since the context of the 2012 reference is uncertain, the 2014 date has been preferred.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Wolff's return predates the end of the Second Robotech War. In episode #68, "Eulogy", Scott tells us that Wolff volunteered for Special Forces duty when the first wave against the Robotech Masters was sent to Earth. This wave can be seen to arrive at the beginning of the episode #54, "Mind Games".

In addition, the date for the opening of the New Generation era has been placed a decade later than most derivative works (the novels and comics), to account for references in episodes #61, #68, and #71 which require that most of the crew of Scott's dropship were born in deep space on a Robotech ship, that the Scott was about ten or so years of age at Wolff's departure, and that the Invid were well-established on Earth more than three years before "The Secret Route", when Lancer crashed to Earth.

Go to Timeline File.

The Invid Race


B-Club#9 - Artmic Design Works, Robotech Art 3.


B-Club#9 - Artmic Design Works, Entertainment Bible #16.


In the animation sheets, there is only one Invid morphology (body shape) - contrary to what the RPG portrays. The source material lists others, but the evidence from the footage is inconclusive. There is little evidence to back Siembeda's notions of Invid 'stages' in the show itself (see below). Macek does make mention that the after the loss of the sustenance of the Flower of Life, the Invid were horribly mutated; this led to the ideas relating to the Warrior caste.

The remarks on the genetic relatedness of a haploid species are based upon eusocial terrestrial insects like bees and ants - by which Invid culture was clearly inspired.

Most remarks in this section are speculation based upon the show and Macek's notes in Robotech Art 3.


Peter chose to abandon the RPG's version of stages as presented, as it is inconsistent with the footage and the animation sheets. However, the basic idea was interesting, and this essay was an attempt to do the same thing, while keeping to the reality that the Invid seem to have the same body shape. Though some sort of 'stage' concept was apparent in the source material, only two are tentatively seen in the footage and animation sheets. The main one is that seen in the images in the essay. The other (apparently a lower-stage) is briefly seen in its egg in episode #72 ("The Fortress"), and looks much like a Gurab, and may simply be the actual mecha in hermetically sealed bubbles. Research on this matter is ongoing.

Peter's decision to make the Invid males haploid was based on the analogy clearly hinted at in the show between the Invid and hive-based eusocial insects on Earth.

Peter chose to change the role of the pollinator envisioned by Macek in order to better develop the 'symbiotic link' between the Invid and the Flower of Life referred to in the show. As portrayed by Macek and McKinney, the relationship was mainly parasitic (the Invid gave nothing back to the flower). By making the Invid Workers the Flower of Life's pollinators, the 'symbiotic' relationship is enhanced, and the bee analogy of the Invid is extended. The Pollinator was kept on as a creation of Zor, an 'artificial Invid' of sorts. It is probable that the seed of this idea, as well as the general "feel" of Tirolian civilization, were planted in his head by the comic series "Robotech: Genesis - The Legend of Zor" by John and Jason Waltrip.

The 'Sub-queen' caste is an invention of Peter's, based upon the need to have a reproducing female caste. Whatever was in the 'dome' destroyed by Rand in the Invid hive in episode #72 ("The Fortress") that was "screaming at [Ariel]" was a perfect candidate for the Sub-queen. It should be noted that this caste, the only other than the Regent proposed to have a significantly different body shape than the Invid norm, is definitely not seen in the footage.

Go to Invid Race Technical File.

The Nous-gran'diel


This entry is purely an invention of Peter's and Pieter's, for use in the fanfics Roll Call and The Hunted. It began as a "what if" exercise: what if the Tirolians had used their cloning and genetic engineering skills to create an ultimate assassin. It should be reiterated that no such clone is ever seen in the show, though it does bear a striking (and purely coincidental) resemblance to something Bill Spangler conceived of in his Return to Macross.

Go to Nous-gran'diel Technical File.

A Brief Description and History of Tirol

MAIN EPISODES USED: #12, #26, #29, #31, #37 - #60, Sentinels video.


Robotech Art 3.


The description of Valivarre as a blue-white star - and even its name - is a nod to the McKinney novels. The physical description of the star itself comes from Bowers & Deeming, Astrophysics I, based upon the assignation of it as being blue-white. Fantoma was placed at such a distance so as to receive a radiative flux within the narrow liquid-water range, like Earth. Combined with the real physical characteristics of a blue-white star, celestial mechanics gives us the orbital time of Fantoma around Valivarre.

The description of the Fantoma-Tirol system is highly dependent upon the footage and dialogue of the Sentinels video. Exodore tells us that Fantoma is "nearly the size of Jupiter", and the footage shows us how big Fantoma is in the Tirolian sky. From these two facts, and from simple celestial mechanics, we derived Tirol's orbit time around Fantoma - which would be its day, because any terrestrial satellite in orbit around a gas giant and without other satellites of comparable mass will be phase-locked, like Earth's moon is.

The rest of the physical description of the system springs from the subtleties from the video, interpreted through the lens of real planetary physics, taking into account geology, atmospheric science, plasma physics, and the like.

The historical section, including the notes on the Tirolian race, is speculation inspired by the nuances of the show, but is not the only possible interpretation.

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of this file is the Ci'Vonians, their incorporation into the "Disciples of Zor", and their war against the Masters. This section is based on several cues from the show that were written out of other adaptations. Firstly, in episode #26 ("The Messenger"), Exodore tells us "Many years ago, we were exposed to a society very similar to yours, and it nearly destroyed us!" and that exposure to a free and open culture made their soldiers lose the will to fight. In episode #29 ("The Robotech Masters") we see the Masters contemplating what has happened to Zor's battlefortress and the Zentraedi fleets that were sent to recover it. One Master says: "There are two possibilities. Either the disciples of Zor have found the abandoned protoculture factory and have begun a new offensive against our Zentraedi warriors, or the Invid have beaten us to the prize, and now control production of protoculture." The second Master says that there is no evidence that the Invid know where the battlefortress is, to which the third replies: "My only fear would be that Zor's disciples may have mastered the inner secrets of Robotech, and were able to defeat Dolza's vast armada." Finally, in episode #31 ("Khyron's Revenge", we see a follow-up of the discussion of Zentraedi origins which began in "The Robotech Masters", where they conclude that the genetic similarities of Zentraedi and humans points to a common origin. This link is found to be indirect because of the knowledge that the Zentraedi are artificial. According to Gloval, 500,000 years ago a star-faring people created a race of giants as an interstellar police force. "But the newly created race of giants had ideas of their own," Exodore tells us ominously. "Soon they began fighting among themselves," Gloval adds, "but then they realized that they were so superior physically compared to their creators that nothing could stand in their way... the great Robotech civilization collapsed, caught in the crossfire of the fighting giants they created."

The above cues can be interpreted a number of ways. But it should be remembered that these "disciples of Zor", whoever they are, were at one time capable of launching offensives against the Zentraedi fleet (at last count, more than 5 million ships total), and the prospect of a new offensive frightened the Masters.

Our solution was to conflate the forces referred to in the three cues. A free and open society, we suggest, was encountered by the Zentraedi once before, after which a large fraction of their number defected to this world, causing a great conflict between the defecting camp and the loyalists. The rebel Zentraedi, and their Micronian patrons, escaped into space and launched a war against the Tirolians and their loyal Zentraedi. The fighting was intense, causing the effective collapse of the Elders' empire. Zor was added as an ideological influence on the rebels (implied by the term "disciple", which implies a philosophical rather than a military relationship), and because of this, the Masters - leading a shrunken and denuded Tirolian empire, derisively called the rebels and their Micronian sponsors the "Disciples of Zor".

The origins of the Micronian race in question are open to interpretation, but we have simply made them the decendants of Tirolian colonists from the pre-Imperial era, for the sake of parsimony.

The timespan of 500,000 years was problematic, because Robotech Art 3 and the Sentinels video implied a timescale of the Tirolian space-faring history as being in centuries, not geological epochs. We noticed that if Zor was operating 700 years ago (suggested by remarks about the Carbonaran - aka Karbarran - Lron's current age and that when he met Zor in Robotech Art 3), the Zentraedi were created approximately 500,000 Tirolian days, or 500,000 orbits of Tirol around Fantoma ago. We supposed that Gloval's remark of 500,000 years was caused by early confusion among Earth's translators as to which body was Tirol's star and the possibility that Tirol used its days as the basis of its calendar, and not its years. It's contrived, but it's the only way we could reconcile timelines that differ by three orders of magnitude.

The idea that Tirol herself was attacked in around 1800 was based on Exodore's statement in the Sentinels video that the Masters themselves have not engaged in actual combat for nearly six generations. Because Exodore was speaking to a human audience, and had been living among humans for twelve years at that point, it is safe to assume that he meant six human generations. We supposed that this attack on Tirol, which forced the Masters themselves to fight, was the last great battle of the war against the "Disciples of Zor".


The choice to move the monopoles from Fantoma's "surface" (as Macek intended) to the rings was a difficult one, but we feel it justified. Everything the Sentinels video tells us about Fantoma leads to the conclusion that it is a gas giant much like Jupiter or Saturn. This being the case, Fantoma would have no solid surface to mine, and the pressures at the altitude of the surface of the hydrogen sea (the boundary between gas and the first liquid on the planet) would be so large as to crush anything that got to that level. Furthermore, the suggestion by Stan Bundy of the existence of a "floating island" of monopoles seemed too outlandish and stereotypically anime. Hence, we felt that the rings were a feasible alternative. In addition, it allowed us to explain the presence of such exotic matter as a captured body that broke up in the rings, pushing away the need to answer the question of its ultimate origins.

It was decided that the Tirolians would be humans transplanted from Earth. The fact that humans and Zentraedi are the same species is established in the Macross segment of the show - leading to the conclusion that the Tirolians, on whose genes the Zentraedi and the triumvirate clones were presumably based, were also of the human species. Similarly, the existence of Praxians in the Sentinels universe further leads to the conclusion that all humanoids are one race transplanted from a single source. Since a fossil record 4.5 million years long testifies to human evolution on Earth (genetic studies trace that back three billion more years), the only rational conclusion was that Tirolians and Praxians had their origin on Earth.

The power that took them from Earth was decided to be a new interpretation of Haydon created by Aubry Thonon - and his race, dubbed by Aubry the "Pretoxians". This essay does not depend upon Aubry's interpretation, though nods are given to it in the references to the "P'tok" and "V'loxia".

Peter's primary motivation in creating the Tirolian history was to avoid the premise so common to second-grade science-fiction that an alien race consists of only one culture, language, historical lineage, and religion, living in an inhabited area of some hundred square miles of capital city on their homeworld. This fallacy was especially evident in the McKinney novels, and was nacient in Macek's notes. Peter's intent was to allude to a long history as complex and intricate as our own.

The portrayal of the Invid's role in bringing down the empire is radically different from that in the novels. We realized that the Invid had neither the numbers nor the technical superiority to make a real challenge to the five million capital-ship Zentraedi armada, especially considering that the Regent's half of the Invid were defeated by the paltry band of the Sentinels. Similarly, we never see the Zentraedi mention the Invid as one of their adversaries, and the Robotech Masters only discuss them as a serious threat towards the end of the Southern Cross-era episodes. In episode #29, the Invid are not nearly as great a threat in the Masters' mind as the "disciples of Zor". Hence, we have supposed that at least until the fall of Dolza's armada over Earth, that the Invid were a mere nuisence to the Zentraedi and Tirol, and that other powers (the "disciples of Zor") were the main enemy.

Others have supposed that Tirol's population were the triad clones, and all but the old and weak went with the Masters to Earth. This is clearly not the case. First of all, no triads at all were seen on Tirol, and young mothers and children were seen, contrary to Rem's remarks. Similarly, old and infirm clones are seen on the Masters' flagship in the Southern Cross segment of the show. Based on this, we have supposed that the clones on the motherships were an artificial "perfect society" the Masters surrounded themselves with, and the citizens of Tirol were the indigenous population. This is consistent with Musica's longing for the time "before the Triumvirate". We supposed that the exaggerations about the old and weak representing the remaining inhabitants of Tirol stem from a very long life expectancy and a very low birth-rate, which would lead to a "grey-ing" of the population.

Go to Tirolian History Technical File.

Go to the Robotech Reference Guide Home Page.

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold, © 1985. The Robotech Role-Playing Game is the property of Palladium, Inc. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Content by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Aubry Thonon, and Rob Morgenstern
HTML by Robert Morgenstern

Copyright © 1998, 1996 Robert Morgenstern, Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 3, 1998 4:17 PM