Raven Suits are highly advanced and powerful combat-oriented armor suits and equipment sets that were specifically designed to be effective countermeasures against Beasts and Knights. Under the administration of President Robert Nelson, Chief Ray Nelson was commissioned by his father to create the Raven Suits for the Tobal Union's new military. It became a central piece in Robert's plans to unify Tobal and achieve independence since the suits can supplant the power of Knights in repulsing Beast attacks. In CC 431, TU was able to expel the Knight Order from the planet and confiscate their assets, officially severing Tobal's dependence on Knightage for protection.
Using the Raven Suits, Tobal Union formed their own special Anti-Beast/Anti-Knight forces known as Raven Units or simply Ravens. They recruited and trained failed Knight trainees, Tiger tribe members, and enhanced individuals to successfully execute operations while equipped with the suit. The sizeable number of active Raven Units before the Third Battle of Tobal gave TU a substantial defense assurance against threats of Knight Order's backlash or any incoming Beasts. This also warranted the attention of AE's Anti-Knights faction who arranged for a cooperative deal with TU to share knowledge on lost technologies (including access to Ground Zeroes) and mutual security.
The Raven Suits first appeared in Another Episode-2 A Village Where You Are as Tobal Union's exclusive equipment. After the Third Battle of Tobal, the Nelson administration collapsed - effectively ending Tobal's short-lived independence. The Raven Suits had since been adopted by the forces that had taken over TU: AE (initially) and then the Alternative League.
Before creating the Raven Suits, Ray Nelson was the Deputy Director of Central Order's R&D department until he was maliciously framed by Knight Miliaria for espionage. This incident ended Ray's career in the Knight Order and he was stripped of his rank and all titles . After being removed, Ray went back to Tobal where he offered his knowledge and expertise to serve the political aims of his father, Robert Nelson. Much like his father, Ray at this point already detested the Knight Order which was further exacerbated after the disastrous Second Battle of Tobal. He then created the Raven Suits to direct his hatred and to realize his vengeance (as opposed to Robert who simply envisioned to protect Tobal).
The Raven Suits' power to counter Beasts and Knights is derived from Mysteltein. The defeat of EX-Type Zero Hyperion during the First Battle of Tobal allowed humanity to recover and study its weapon, the cursed bough, for potential uses as an anti-Beast weapon. Ray figured out a method on how to safely contain Mysteltein in a resonating chamber which channels its erosion abilities through a controlled medium, the Double Zero Spears (00 Spears). The tip of the 00 Spears reflect Mysteltein's essence into a focused point which can be fatal when applied even to Beasts and Knights. The rest of a Raven Suit's effects are simply meant to supplement the 00 Spear through technological enhancement of the user's combat efficiency and effectiveness.
It was revealed that the development of the Raven Suits happened even before the Second Battle of Tobal although it was done in secret under the personal discretion of Robert Nelson when he was still a general for the Republic of Lian. Nelson also illegally authorized the Raven Suits to be covertly tested across the border in the Utah Desert in grave defiance of the Lian-Utah peace treaty and without the knowledge of President Billy.
Unification of TobalEdit
After the Second Battle of Tobal, President Billy remained a staunch supporter of the Knight Order despite seemingly abandoning Tobal during the battle and even wantonly destroying the Blue Flower which resulted in dangerous debris crashing unto the surface. General Nelson then campaigned against the incumbent Billy for the Presidency of Lian with a platform revolving around unification, independence, and anti-Knights opinion. The nascent Raven Units were initially deployed as bodyguards for Nelson. They notably foiled two major assassination attempts: first when Nelson was visiting a burial for soldiers; and next when he was attending a presidential debate. Nelson also deployed the Ravens to neutralize loyalist military commanders who were aligned with Presidential Billy and were executing his brutal anti-refugee policies. The revelation of refugee massacres happening under the Billy administration damaged Billy's reputation and shifted public sentiments to be more refugee friendly. It also solidified Nelson's reputation as a man for others and paved for the Raven Units to be positively received by the public.
When Robert Nelson won the presidential election, he immediately dissolved the Republic of Lian in favor of the Tobal Union. The Raven Units were then used to silence political opposition to the Nelson administration while the president was still consolidating power.
Suppression of Sion ZailEdit
The unification and establishment of the Tobal Union was only the first step in President Nelson's agenda. He next needed a compelling reason for the public to accept that they would no longer need the Knights. Despite the Blue Flower incident, public opinion in Tobal was still divided between the pro- and anti- camps in relation to the Knights. This resulted in large civil protests against the Nelson administration for his anti-Knights position. At the same time, there were also demonstrations in favor of Nelson because of his aggressive and revolutionary stance. The situation turned worse as the two sides would often have violent altercations when they face each other.
President Nelson conceived a conspiracy that would convince the Tobal population that the Raven Units are better than the Knight Order. He planned to provoke Sion Zail into revealing her hybrid Homunculus-Adam side in full view of the public and then defeat it. Sion was a Cold Hero who participated at the previous battle and had owned up to the responsibility of the Blue Flower incident to cover the existence of the Original Chimera. She had since been posing as a normal girl studying at IAN School. While on a trip to the ocean, Sion and her civilian companions were ambushed by a Raven Unit squad. The ambushing squad was specially composed of cyborg refugee soldiers from Utah who were recruited personally by Nelson after they failed to assassinate him. As the squad opened fire on Sion, her self-defense system activated, forcing her combat/survival intuition into overdrive which overwhelmed her own ego. Sion then went into a frenzy that she tried to suppress in vain. A media helicopter, tipped off by Nelson, was able to live-broadcast Sion while she was savagely killing the Raven Units (who were previously hailed as heroes for stopping the refugee massacres).
With the public now afraid of the "wild", "rabid" Knight, the rest of the Raven Units were then deployed with orders to kill. However, Sion was still able to neutralize her opponents while also protecting civilians who were caught in the Ravens' eager attack. She then calmed herself down by severing her own cores before peacefully surrendering. Fearing public repercussions or the possibility of a sway of emotions after this turn of events, Nelson ordered the Raven Units to arrest Sion instead. She was soon detained at the Tobal Space Elevator under heavy guard.
Nelson ultimately achieved his goal of a powerful show of force demonstrating the competency of the Raven Units as well as a symbolic event that would show Tobal's strength triumphing over the Knight Order. At the same time, the Tobal public were manipulated into seeing Knights as uncontrollable walking dangers which emboldened the Nelson administration in their anti-Knights initiatives.
Tobal Space Elevator incidentEdit
- Main article: Tobal Space Elevator incident
The Raven Units were deployed in full force when a terrorist raid aimed at freeing Sion occurred at the Tobal Space Elevator. Although they were able to critically injure the terrorists (Van Nelson and Sion's Uncles), many Ravens were either killed or incapacitated during the fight - a grossly disproportional casualty count. The incident revealed the Raven Suits' vulnerability when it comes to countering the martial powers and abilities of Knights.
The incident also had a larger, adverse effect of drawing out most of TU's active forces as well as diminishing their effective fighting strength against external threats. This allowed Chatterbox to infiltrate into Tobal and start the Third Battle of Tobal with a weakened resistance from TU. To make matters worse, Chatterbox allied herself with Hyperion and resurrected it into Hyperion Repair. During the chaos of the terrorist raid, Hyperion Repair retrieved back its weapon, Mysteltein, which was being used to power the Raven Suits.
Third Battle of TobalEdit
- Main article: Third Battle of Tobal
The Ravens immediately participated during the Third Battle of Tobal as principal infantry troops and escorts to TU warships. Unfortunately their combat strength have been greatly reduced from the very start due to casualties from the terrorist raid as well as the lost of their power source, Mysteltein. The TU fleet rerouted their core-based energy to power the Raven Suits which worked for most of the equipment except for the 00 Spears. Left without their primary anti-Beast weapon, the Raven Units were not able to put up an effective fight against the Beasts and were instead decimated in huge numbers.
Despite the odds against them, the Raven Units still valiantly committed themselves throughout the battle. They persistently attempted to kill incoming Beasts using conventional weapons and by sacrificing their own lives. It typically took an entire team of 6-8 Ravens to take down a single Flying Type 5 and that is if they can maintain fighting while losing their own combatants.
A Raven Suit is integrated with a dozen electronic components that analyze and process information around it. It provides visual and auditory sensors across different wavelengths, communication, and body monitoring. It also has its own first aid recovery system that can prevent excessive bleeding. Simply wearing a Raven Suit would already increase the physical strength and speed of its user. The defensive capabilities of a Raven Suit include basic barrier shielding similar to DC Coats, and an invisibility mode.
The primary offensive weapon of the Raven Suit is the Double Zero Spear ("00 Spear"). It is the Raven Suit's parallel counterpart to a Knight's AB Sword that can penetrate through the barrier and armor of high rank beasts. The 00 Spear acts as a medium by which the destructive powers of Mysteltein are channeled to. The cursed bough is contained inside a chamber that resonates its essence through an unknown propagation technique. Upon contact with its tip, the 00 Spear would release a controlled amount of Mysteltein's erosion that would still effectively inflict serious damage. Mysteltein provides not just the erosion ability but also the energy to power the entirety of a Raven Suit equipment. However, this also poses a limitation to the operations of Raven Units as the resonance chamber holding Mysteltein would need to be within nearby range of active Raven Suits - risking it to enemy attack. Furthermore, the resonance chamber appears to not have any barrier nor a fast mobility.
Aside from the 00 Spear, Raven Suits have access to a wide variation of compatible weapons for melee and ranged combat. Some of the weapons that were shown to be wielded by Ravens are single-edged arming swords, double-bladed long swords, cinquedea daggers, double-wield cutlass-like swords, and particle beam cannons of different calibers.
Besides the varying weapons that the Raven Suits are compatible with, Ray Nelson also designed the suits to be modular so that it can quickly adapt to the needs of the battlefield. The modular design also eases replacement of damaged parts. There are some Raven Suits which were custom-made for certain individuals - typically reserved for officers only.
- Raven Suit A-Armor - an armor resembling an overcoat that is worn above the Raven Suit. It provides flight ability, defensive armor, and barrier. It can also be amalgamated with a heavy particle beam cannon. The A-Armor is the typical add-on module that Raven Suits are seen with.
- Raven Suit B-Armor "Raven Elite" - a multi-dimensional high-speed maneuver armor suit that possess enhanced defensive qualities such as thick armor and barriers. It also provides flight. The B-Armor can deploy floating orbs that project its own special barrier which can deflect particle beams for added defense. Raven Elite is equipped with four heavy particle beam cannons as well as missiles. Raven Units can switch to the B-Armor simply by purging their current armor set and then accepting integration.
- Gil's Raven Suit - Gil's Raven Suit is custom-made for a former Knight candidate like him. It stresses mobility and strength while equipped with a sword whose blade is imbued with Mysteltein's erosion.
- Suah's Raven Suit - Suah's Raven Suit is custom-made to match her acrobatic flexibility and superior mobility. Instead of a 00 Spear, Suah is equipped with two daggers that possess the same resonating system as the 00 Spear.
- Large Raven Suit - a custom-made Raven Suit that is equipped with strengthened barriers and armor as well as special amplifiers mounted on the knuckles and the feet. The amplifiers magnify the momentum and force of a punch or kick such that it can destroy walls and plow through armored vehicles. The amplifiers can also generate shock waves as a ranged attack or as a shield.
- Tobal Union - TU was initially the only producer and user of Raven Suits until it was superseded by the Knight Order/Alternative League. TU under the Nelson administration heralded the Raven Suits as the replacement for the Knights which led Tobal to withdraw relations with the Knight Order in favor of independence. Raven Suits are still mainly produced in Tobal.
- Tobal Independence Committee - TIC was able to gather Raven Suits from the veterans who survived from the Third Battle of Tobal. Some Raven Units also joined the rebellion. TIC have also made raids on weapon stockpile caches and facilities to loot for their equipment.
- Bell - lead commander of TIC; equipped with a Raven Suit that was retrieved from unknown sources
- Knight Order / Alternative League - the Knight Order under the Alternative League started issuing Raven Suits as part of their standard field uniform equipment. Knight trainees are generally required to wear a Raven Suit for protection during combat missions. The AL was able to acquire Raven Suits when they intervened on the Tobal Civil War and assumed takeover of the TU.
- (On the effectiveness of the Raven Suits in subduing Sion Zail)
- Robert Nelson: "There's no point. That's our ace in the hole to substitute the AB Element. She won't be able to resist. Those spears are just replicas that only resonate the original. And the curse that enables the resonance comes from Mysteltein, the cursed piece of wood from the enemy."
- (AE2 - Ch30)