First appearance: Zaxxon (Sega, ARC, 1982)
Abilities: Can fire a big honkin’ missile from a hidden asteroid base with pinpoint accuracy
Nature of demise: Destroyed by its own missile

Profile by Jeremy Parish? | February 2, 2011

The white-washing of history is far more pervasive than most people realize. For instance, the American government would love to obscure the fact that the Soviets reached space first with Sputnik and Laika and Yuri Gagarin, but the news spread far and wide before the U.S. could work pre-emptive spin control.

You’d be foolish to think you know all the facts of the situation, though. The truth is that the U.S.S.R. managed to send an entire colony ship into space before the end of the 1960s, bypassing the moon entirely and venturing to Mars for a full-scale terraforming project. The group landed several years later and quickly established an extraterrestrial Soviet presence -- one that the U.S. government actively downplays, doggedly pretending to search for proof of life on Mars despite the fact that the U.S.S.R. discovered it two decades ago.

The Soviets quickly spread their control to the Mars-Jupiter asteroid belt, establishing multiple tactical bases to secure the inner solar system under Russian control. Things came to a head when they began construction on multiple unmanned Zaxxon missile platforms: autonomous, artificially intelligent assault machines capable of launching planety vyklyuchatelya (“Planet Breaker”) IPBMs with pinpoint accuracy from their asteroid bases toward any location on Earth.

The Soviet scheme had one critical flaw: the colony vessels had launched before the advent of solid-state technology. The Zaxxon devices were powerful but slow, requiring considerable warm-up time before launch. American forces used this to their advantage, destroying the Zaxxon bases -- a crippling blow to the Soviet economy, which soon caused the collapse of the U.S.S.R.

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