Monitor (Sa·Ga) Custom Miniature / Figurine
Custom #:52190
Contest:Gears & Gadgets II
Custom Type:Miniature / Figurine
Toy Series:Sa·Ga
Date Added:July 29, 2013
Base Figure:Modeled/fabricated from scratch
Height:1.10 inches
Articulation:34 points
Spider-like machines that can be encountered in Squaresoft's 1991/1993 Sa・Ga III: The Ruler of Time and Space (サ・ガ3:時空の覇者, Sa・Ga 3: Jikuu no Hasha) Nintendo Gameboy roleplaying video game (more commonly known as Final Fantasy Legend III in North America--however, that name choice was a rather dishonest marketing ploy as the Sa・Ga series is not part of the Final Fantasy franchise). Said title was also completely remade, with 3-dimensional polygon graphics, for the Nintendo DS in 2011 (Sa・Ga 3: Jikuu no Hasha - Shadow or Light), but it's only available in Japan. The robots Guard, Keeper, Monitor, Searcher, and Alert (respectively Spider, Watcher, Zoom, Security, and Focus in the original Japanese version) all share the exact same game sprite but differ in strength (I chose to call my figure a Monitor for the sake of convenience, but it could just as easily be any of the other four variations--did I mention that I hate when game developers recycle sprites?)

The capabilities of these eight-legged machines vary from model-to-model, but they share many similarities. Due to their spindly construction, they're not particularly well-suited to prolonged close-quarters combat, although these robots are fond of dropping down on the unwary from above, crushing their opponents beneath their not inconsiderable weight. Instead of fisticuffs, they tend to rely on long-range attacks and other high-tech gimmickry. Any model can fire off destruction beams from its single eye, and the more advanced versions can also emit lasers with surgical precision. Some of the variants can also drain vitality from other organisms with their sophisticated optics, siphoning out the target's life force simply by focusing on the victim for a few moments (this leeched energy is converted into direct current electricity in the process, which the droid then immediately uses to bolster its own failing reserves). It's also possible for these units to discharge powerful bursts of light from the flash bulb located on the forehead, potentially blinding foes (the glare produced by the advanced variants is so great that it can be instantly lethal!) Perhaps the most annoying aspect of fighting any of these robotic arachnids are the self-diagnostic repair routines that rapidly undo any negative status effects you manage to inflict upon them. A compromised unit (asleep, blinded, confused, muted, paralyzed, etc.) automatically restores itself to 100% operational condition by the beginning of the next round of combat, making any and all attempts to handicap the fight in your favor futile.

In addition to battling these mechanical terrors, your characters can potentially transform into, and play as, a Guard, Keeper, Monitor, Searcher, or Alert by installing the nuts and bolts that are sometimes left behind by defeated cyborgs/robots after the conclusion of an encounter. Becoming a Guard is possible at experience levels 15 and 16, a Keeper at 19 and 20, a Monitor at 21 and 22, a Searcher at 25 and 26, and an Alert at 27 and 28 (if your character is at a higher, or lower, experience level, they'll become something different instead). This transformation is also dependent on the elemental affinity of the individual (installing the pieces of an "earth" cyborg/robot will have a different effect on the evolution of a "fire" character than it would on a "water" one), as well as what their current class is (robot, cyborg, human/mutant, beast, or monster--note that an individual cannot advance to robot form until they have first achieved cyborg status, which is a logical progression). Characters that become robots can equip any weapons or armor, but, completely lacking in magical ability, they may not use spells (with two exceptions: Float and Dive, which cost zero magic points to cast and are required to navigate through some early sections of the game). Although it can get quite expensive, robots are also unique in that you can purchase upgrades, in the form of capsules, to permanently increase their hit points and stats (a character's attributes take a steep dive when they become fully mechanized, so you'll have to invest some serious cash if you want to build those scores back up again).

This Monitor action figure was modeled/fabricated completely from scratch in two days and finished with acrylic paint and gloss nail polish. Design-wise, I went for a more realistic look than the somewhat-cartoony portrayal in the game. Based on the sprites, and the naming choices for the various robot models, I believe that the original artist's intent was a camcorder on spider legs, so, that's the target look I shot for, painting the eye gloss black to resemble a camera lens, instead of giving it a pupil like the digital version. The Monitor has 34 points of articulation (neck x 2, hips x 8, knees x 16, and ankles x 8). As the character is a robot, and utilizes a variety of high-tech weapons/abilities, I feel it fits the Gears & Gadgets II contest theme as outlined in the rules.

User Comments
Voting ends for the Gears & Gadgets II Custom Contest (customizer revealed). - Thursday, August 8, 2013
StrangePlanet -
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Wow. All the multiple points of articulation really make this impressive.
Voting begins for the Gears & Gadgets II Custom Contest (pictures revealed). - Thursday, August 1, 2013
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