Type 90 Maser Beam Tank 90式メーサー殺獣光線車

Type 90 Maser Beam Tank
Type 90 Maser Beam Tank

Length : 19 meters
Height : 6.1 meters
Mass : 132 tons

Powers / Weapons

Maser Cannon; Hyper Maser Cannon

Appearances

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002); Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

Series // Millennium

Sound Effect

Description

Established in Chiba in 1966, the AMF (Anti-Megalosaurus Force) was Japan's answer to the rising monster crisis that the country faced. Also known as the special self-defense force, the unit was a combination of ground and air forces, which had previously worked autonomously against threats. It was the defense agency and the government who formed the unit, in response to the country's battle with the gargantuas, Gaira and Sanda. The grand success of the AMF was found in their development and use of the Type 66 Maser Beam Tanks.

The weapons had established a great track record, including killing Kumonga in 1967 and defeating Gigan in 1972. The crafts were in operation for decades until the AMF began to work hard on a successor, nudged along by the appearance and escape of the monster Kamoebas in 1987. By 1990, the AMF unveiled their improved maser weapon: the Type 90 Maser Beam Tank. This new generation of maser tank decreased personnel, dropping per vehicle staffing from four members down to just two. This was thanks in part to a new advanced targeting system that was implemented on the vehicles. In addition, the firepower of the maser beam itself was improved over the Type 66 model.

By a stroke of a luck, almost a full decade would pass before the new maser tanks would face a giant threat. That opposition came in the form of the three-headed monster King Ghidorah. The creature assaulted Japan in 1999, but thanks to a combined effort between Mothra and the self defense forces the multi-headed creature was annihilated. Emboldened by their success, and their rank growing to 4,072 members, the AMF continued to protect Japan. However, the group would face yet another threat that very same year...

Type 90 Maser Beam TankAppearing in Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, another Godzilla had emerged. Different from the beast who attacked Japan in 1954, the monster made landfall during a typhoon. Quick to respond, the AMF deployed Type 88 SSMs, conventional tanks and Type 90 Maser Beam Tanks to the area. Moving into position, the turrets of the Type 90 Maser Beam Tank raised and discharged against the nuclear menace. However, the ferocity of the rain from the typhoon negatively impacted the ray's power, firing at 70% normal strength. The weakened blasts did little to damage Godzilla, although caught his attention. With the King of the Monsters approaching, the advanced targeting was used to focus on Godzilla's eye as a point of attack. Almost scoring a direct hit, the nuclear menace retaliated with a blast of its atomic ray, destroying part of a nearby mountain. The attack was followed up by using its tail to separate the tractor from one of the masers. Unstoppable by the AMF's arsenal, the creature continued its path of destruction until returning back to the Pacific Ocean.

While the masers had protected Japan for decades, Godzilla has made it apparent that new weaponry would be needed. As a result, the Japanese Prime Minister, Machiko Tsuge, sanctioned the development of a super weapon from the bones of Godzilla: Kiryu. The machine took years to develop, created under a new unit called the JXSDF (Japan Xenomorph Self Defense Force), but by 2003 the mech was finished. Shortly afterwards, Godzilla emerged in Tokyo Bay. After a brief skirmish, Godzilla returned to the bay while Kiryu went berserk.

The incident cast doubt into the continued use of the Mechagodzilla Japan had created. However, the threat of Godzilla was still out there. It wasn't long before the creature was spotted in Tokyo Bay again, this time headed toward Shinagawa. With Kiryu held back, the AMF deployed conventional weapons and the Type 90 Maser Beam Tanks to the pier, creating a line of defense. As Godzilla emerged, jets converged on the target, only to be quickly destroyed by its atomic ray. Next tanks fired on the monster, joined soon after by the Type 90 Maser Beam Tanks. As the masers hit their mark, Godzilla cried out in pain from the blasts. However, their firepower was not enough to halt the giant creature. Instead, Godzilla unleashed his atomic ray, strafing the pier and destroying the line of defense.

Out of options, the prime minister relented, agreeing to deploy Kiryu. Godzilla and the giant machine waged a fierce battle across the city, although Kiryu eventually depleted its energy. Draining the city's power to restore it, the Type 90 Maser Beam Tanks swung into action. Engaging Godzilla, the vehicles laced the monster with energy blasts, keeping it occupied and buying valuable time to get Kiryu functioning again. Once charged, the robotic creature fought Godzilla again, taking the battle out to the bay. Using its Absolute Zero Cannon, Kiryu managed to deal enough damage to cause Godzilla to retreat, although the battle had greatly damaged the robot in the process.

As development on Kiryu continued, the AMF focused on enhancing the Type 90 Maser Beam Tank. This included outfitting it with a Hyper Maser Cannon, which discharged a more powerful yellow beam. The enhancements were well timed as in 2004 Godzilla once again emerged to terrorize Japan. Leading the creature back to Shingawa, which was still devastated from the previous year, the military engaged the beast. Mines and Type 88 SSMs assaulted the creature from afar, while the pier area was fortified with a defense line. Along the pier, conventional tanks and Type 90 Maser Beam Tanks unleashed their firepower on Godzilla. Unfortunately, despite the enhanced beam power, the tanks did little to halt Godzilla, who decimated the forces with his atomic ray.

Making his way through Shingawa for Hachioji, Godzilla was stopped by the appearance of Mothra. The two monsters waged a fierce battle, although the King of the Monsters had the edge. Seeing Mothra in trouble, the prime minister ordered the self defense force to support her in taking down Godzilla. This saw the deployment of Kiryu and more Type 90 Maser Beam Tanks. As Kiryu was defeated and the adult Mothra killed, Mothra Larvae and the maser tanks swung into action. Unfortunately, Godzilla made quick work of the tanks, leaving the battle up to the larvae and a soon to be repaired Kiryu...


Powers / Weapons
Maser Cannon

Maser Cannon

A giant Maser Cannon was located on the back of the Type 90 Maser Beam Tank. This was able to fire a concentrated, electrical blast at targets. This beam was enhanced from earlier models, able to release a more powerful ray than the 100,000 volt energy blast of the Type 66 Maser Beam Tank.

Unfortunately, the effect of the new cannon was susceptible to weather conditions. In fact, heavy rain, such the typhoon in Tateyama, can reduce the Maser Cannon's power by as much as 30%.

   
Hyper Maser Cannon

Hyper Maser Cannon

For their use in 2004, the AMF equipped the tanks with a more powerful cannon. Called a Hyper Maser Cannon, the beam released was yellow as opposed to the blue color of the normal cannon.

Despite the increase in power, the cannon was still unable to halt Godzilla.


Background and Trivia
  • The tank's Japanese name is 90式メーサー殺獣光線車 (90 Shiki Mesa ya Shishi Kosen Sha). This translates to "Type 90 Maser Beast Ray Car".
  • Koichi Kawakita's Toho SFX Mechanic Chronicle 1954-2003 (ISBN: 477530142X) goes in-depth on the stats of the vehicle. It cites a total length of 19 meters (15.7 meters is the cannon "car" length), a width of 5.3 meters and a height of 6.1 meters. Occupants are noted as being to two people. The publication cites that the cannon was more powerful as well, although does not go into specifics.
  • The 2003 book Godzilla X Mothra X Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. Fantastic Collection (ISBN: 4257036885) cites an English name of "Type 90 Maser Beam Tank" for the vehicles. The 2005 publication Godzilla: Toho Monster Picture Book (ISBN: 4092800525) has a similar English name for the crafts, but adds a colon: "Type 90: Maser Beam Tank".
  • The Godzilla X Mechagodzilla Completion (ISBN: 9784798613536) lists a history of the self defense force as it relates to monsters for Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003). This includes citing the battle against Kumonga and Gigan by the Type 66 Maser Beam Tanks, while also noting the SDF's confrontation with King Ghidorah in 1999 with the following passage:

    "1999: Together with Mothra, with whom the SDF had once fought against, King Ghidorah was annihilated."
  • The international dubbing for Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) notes that the ray's power was reduced "by 70%" due to the rain. However, the monitor cites that the ray was firing at 70% force, which is a 30% drop in power. As a result, it's likely that the dub meant to say "to 70%" rather than "by 70%", although it features other inaccuracies already such as stating that the Atomic Heat Ray destroyed Mothra.