E-4000: the Forgotten Machine
E-4000 is a Sonic the Hedgehog fan character that was solicited for an audio drama.
The main idea of the concept is that E-4000 is a forgotten and abandoned E-Series droid that was previously abandoned, but had been discovered and put to use by the main villains of the audio drama.
The prompt of the character Design was as follows:
A flying robot, rocket propelled, with a chest cannon and a menacing but agile build.
Along with the deign prompt was provided a few clippings from games and comics of known E-Series robots. And so the challenge of my design began.
The overall design
E-Series droids use a very clear set of design elements. A rounded body, green eyes, two red dots between the eyes (possibly sensor instruments?), broad shoulders, and arms/legs with three segments (an upper arm, mid arm, and forearm that may either terminate in a prehensile mechanism or a weapon).
This design makes use of a more pointed and elongated main body to suggest speed, as well as smooth almost wing-like arms that terminate in two large energy discharge apertures. Overall it is most readily inspired by E-101 Beta’s Mk II (Hereafter referred to simply as Mk II) design, which was evolved from the classic E-series deign and possessed greater strength, speed, and agility than the classic E-Series droids.
E-4000 possesses both a high-speed and all-range mode of mobility operation.
The all-range mode makes use of four multidirectional jets used both for movement and stabilization. (The grey jets with yellow rings.) These jets also aid in the steering of E-4000 during High-Speed Flight Mode.
E-4000 also possesses two jet turbines based on the jet built into Metal Sonic’s torso. These jets take the place of the normal large shoulder joint present on most E-Series machines and enables powerful forward thrust. The Shoulder Jets also possess a little bit of rotational mobility and can be used for bursts of speed in any direction they can point.
The general idea was to enable an E-Series machine the possibility of keeping up with the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog. Wether this is actually possible is entirely up to the write using this character.
General Weaponry and Drive Core
E-4000, having been modeled after Mk II, makes use of unique energy-based weaponry as part of enabling greater mobility and agility. The arms can produce several energy-based fields and bolts, including homing bolts common to a number of E-Series droids, as well as a powerful Fast Bolt not unlike Mk II’s charged shots.
Because the design of the arms are more streamlined, they are not designed with the points present on Mk II’s arms. However, cutting and piercing are still sensible attack capabilities to maintain, so a laser blade designed after Mk II’s pointed shields is present.
An energy shield is also available through the arm beam projectors.
All energy features may be amplified by combining the power of both arms.
E-4000 also makes use of a Chaos Drive Core. All Eggman robots ordinarily make use of some kind of Animal Core that capably powers his autonomous machines, but a secondary Chaos Drive Core made sense as a concept to provide extra energy for propulsion, as well as an effective weak point to attack. It is also a design callback to the Power Core that ejected from Mk II during combat for cool off after a strong attack.
As an aside, E-4000’s drive core can accept a Chaos Emerald. This can be used to amplify his performance overall, as well as provide a plot device to attach to the Chaos Emeralds, per any desire of the writer.
An important component of the prompt as given by the client was a chest cannon. This is a secondary function of the Chaos Drive Core.
Chest-mounted weaponry is not an unusual feature of machinery in Eggman’s Robot Army. The Sonic 3 and Knuckles Death Egg Robo is a shining example of a robot that made use of a Chest Cannon, so I used that as a template for the design of E-4000’s chest cannon.
You can see in the reference page most of the salient visual and behavioral information as to how the weapon charges and fires, and how use of the weapon affects E-4000.
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