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Author Topic: There's no ZPH in Tarantula  (Read 1123 times)

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There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« on: 22 January 2022, 17:03:35 »
We've been down this topic before:
STG-3R =Stinger
WSP-1A = Wasp
WHM-6R = Warhammer
... and on and on.

But where does the ZPH-1 in Tarantula come from? It doesn't feel like random letters. I feel like I've been missing something painfully obvious.

Luciora

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #1 on: 22 January 2022, 17:06:54 »
Zephyr was taken as a tank name already?  ???

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #2 on: 22 January 2022, 17:12:01 »
Some mechs have designations that don't match their English names.  TRO 3055 was a particularly serious offender in this regard, in addition to the Trantula there's the PPR-5S Salamander, the BZK-F3 Hollander (this one, at least, is because BZK is for bazooka, IIRC), the MR-V2 Cerberus, MDG-1A Rakshasa, ALM-7D Fireball...
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #3 on: 22 January 2022, 17:31:25 »
the BZK-F3 Hollander (this one, at least, is because BZK is for bazooka, IIRC)

I assumed that the Hollander was supposed to originally be named the Blitzkrieg, but was changed either because the writer decided it wasn't fast enough, or someone higher up felt it had unfortunate implications (which if that was the case would mean someone changed their mind by tro 3060).

I mean, "Dutch Guy" doesn't seem like a particularly imposing name...
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Jal Phoenix

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #4 on: 22 January 2022, 18:04:31 »
There's no TR in Wraith, either. No MR in Cerberus. Maybe they're the designer's initials, or something?

JadeHellbringer

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #5 on: 22 January 2022, 18:09:35 »
I assumed that the Hollander was supposed to originally be named the Blitzkrieg, but was changed either because the writer decided it wasn't fast enough, or someone higher up felt it had unfortunate implications (which if that was the case would mean someone changed their mind by tro 3060).

I mean, "Dutch Guy" doesn't seem like a particularly imposing name...

I've always assumed 'BZK' was supposed to stand for 'Bazooka', what with the giant ordnance up on the shoulder.
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #6 on: 22 January 2022, 18:12:48 »
Do we have a Hollander with a thunderbolt 20? Because I suddenly feel like we need a Hollander shooting great big armor defeating rockets.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

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nckestrel

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #7 on: 22 January 2022, 18:17:58 »
I've always assumed 'BZK' was supposed to stand for 'Bazooka', what with the giant ordnance up on the shoulder.

I think the Cerberus might have been Manta Ray and renamed? Or did that nickname only come after?
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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #8 on: 22 January 2022, 18:21:26 »
There's no TR in Wraith, either. No MR in Cerberus. Maybe they're the designer's initials, or something?
Some mechs have designations that don't match their English names.  TRO 3055 was a particularly serious offender in this regard, in addition to the Trantula there's the PPR-5S Salamander, the BZK-F3 Hollander (this one, at least, is because BZK is for bazooka, IIRC), the MR-V2 Cerberus, MDG-1A Rakshasa, ALM-7D Fireball...
The 5M variant of the Cerberus is known as the Manta Ray.  I guess that was one of the planned names when it was designed.  IIRC, a consortium of Liao and Marik, with the Liao version called Cerberus.

Luciora

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #9 on: 22 January 2022, 18:21:57 »
Wasn't that the nickname of one of the variants?

Nvm.  It was pointed out.

I think the Cerberus might have been Manta Ray and renamed? Or did that nickname only come after?

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #10 on: 22 January 2022, 20:07:53 »
There's no TR in Wraith, either. No MR in Cerberus. Maybe they're the designer's initials, or something?

That's pretty much how the Anzu happened. When I worked it up I gave it a placeholder number of Zug-60(because it's my sixty-tonner), on the assumption that the writers would change it before publication. They didn't. ;D
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SteelRaven

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #11 on: 22 January 2022, 20:20:59 »
I'm sure name changes happen during development.
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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #12 on: 22 January 2022, 20:44:07 »
There's no Dick in Richard, either

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #13 on: 22 January 2022, 20:55:41 »
I think the Cerberus might have been Manta Ray and renamed? Or did that nickname only come after?

Not sure if it was renamed, but I think Manta Ray comes from the MR-5M's original designation. In the original TRO 3050, the featured variant is the MR-V2, but the variant is MNT-A-RY-5M, renamed to MR-5M in later publications. I think that's where the nickname originated. Another FASA oddity.

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #14 on: 22 January 2022, 20:58:54 »
Safe to say that TRO:3055 will remain one of the more... odd... books in the line's history.  ;D
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nckestrel

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #15 on: 22 January 2022, 21:04:40 »
Not sure if it was renamed, but I think Manta Ray comes from the MR-5M's original designation. In the original TRO 3050, the featured variant is the MR-V2, but the variant is MNT-A-RY-5M, renamed to MR-5M in later publications. I think that's where the nickname originated. Another FASA oddity.

I know the publishing of the name Manta Ray came later, and for the specific variant.  I don't know if that nickname was "restoring" an original name that was changed before publication.
Otherwise, I have no clue where MR came from.
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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #16 on: 22 January 2022, 22:58:42 »
Do we have a Hollander with a thunderbolt 20? Because I suddenly feel like we need a Hollander shooting great big armor defeating rockets.

You can swap the Gauss Rifle out for a Thunderbolt 20 but you'd be looking at weak ammo endurance since it only gets 3 shots per ton.
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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #17 on: 22 January 2022, 23:29:22 »
Not sure if it was renamed, but I think Manta Ray comes from the MR-5M's original designation. In the original TRO 3050, the featured variant is the MR-V2, but the variant is MNT-A-RY-5M, renamed to MR-5M in later publications. I think that's where the nickname originated. Another FASA oddity.

3058?

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #18 on: 22 January 2022, 23:32:39 »
Sorry, 3055. I knew that, I just typed it wrong. I'm getting old.

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #19 on: 22 January 2022, 23:38:55 »
Crap, so did I!

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #20 on: 23 January 2022, 09:55:46 »
Safe to say that TRO:3055 will remain one of the more... odd... books in the line's history.  ;D

And it's glorious because of it. Love that TRO.
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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #21 on: 23 January 2022, 16:38:14 »
Not sure how persistent and widespread it is, but from the first Legacy Grasshopper story we learned the production code came first, followed by a name chosen by the executives and marketing that's usually a rif on the production code. So it might have started out as just ZPH-1, Marketing pitched Zephyr, Legal didn't want to get sued by GrummanCRI, and the CEO said "let's just name it Tarantula."

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #22 on: 23 January 2022, 16:45:09 »
Not sure how persistent and widespread it is, but from the first Legacy Grasshopper story we learned the production code came first, followed by a name chosen by the executives and marketing that's usually a rif on the production code.

Which is implausibly nuts but made for a nice story.

ShroudedSciuridae

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #23 on: 23 January 2022, 17:00:52 »
Which is implausibly nuts but made for a nice story.

So very few of the first Mechs looked anything like anything it sounds incredibly plausible. Spider likes a bit like Spider Man, Firestarter, Hatchetman and Rifleman really just describe the function. About the only one that someone could reliably matchup with the name is Cyclops.

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #24 on: 23 January 2022, 17:15:08 »
Not sure how persistent and widespread it is, but from the first Legacy Grasshopper story we learned the production code came first, followed by a name chosen by the executives and marketing that's usually a rif on the production code. So it might have started out as just ZPH-1, Marketing pitched Zephyr, Legal didn't want to get sued by GrummanCRI, and the CEO said "let's just name it Tarantula."
I bet most names followed this route, actually...  ^-^

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #25 on: 23 January 2022, 17:23:35 »
Let's go early in BattleMech production. The Ymir is BWP-X1, for Bipedal Weapons Platform. The Firebee was WAM-B for Weapon-Armed 'Mech, before being changed to FRB after getting its Firebee nickname. So I'm all for the Legacy explanation that the designation comes first in at least some cases.

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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #26 on: 24 January 2022, 13:16:04 »
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Re: There's no ZPH in Tarantula
« Reply #27 on: 24 January 2022, 16:56:13 »
Not sure how persistent and widespread it is, but from the first Legacy Grasshopper story we learned the production code came first, followed by a name chosen by the executives and marketing that's usually a rif on the production code. So it might have started out as just ZPH-1, Marketing pitched Zephyr, Legal didn't want to get sued by GrummanCRI, and the CEO said "let's just name it Tarantula."
 

For some reason I feel like ZPH is kinda close to spider, maybe converted from a foreign language that one of the design team might have spoken.  So after Zephyr they thought lets try to license the spider name as a variant/upgrade or give it a other language version, and someone just said we can avoid the legal issues and licensing fees if we just name it a specific type of spider, and a focus group decided that Tarantula sounded both cool and deadly.