Beasts (also known as Antagonists or AGs) are the primordial xeno-enemies of humanity. They have a hive-type of organized society centered on a caste system with a Queen at the top of the hierarchy, followed by High Ranking Beasts, and then the Low Rank Beasts.
In the Knight Run series, beasts are the archetypal invasive, alien species that are hellbent on destroying human civilization. Their actual origins however remains a mystery.
Beasts have been existing in the universe at the same time as humans but the two species only made contact when the latter achieved space travel (thereby transitioning to the Cosmic Century era). The pre-Great War Beasts during that time were significantly weak and imposed no threat to the space-borne human factions. It was only in CC 123, with the introduction and subsequent rise of High Ranks, that the Beasts emerged to become the threat that they are now infamously known for. This transformation was achieved after several centuries of progressive evolution through forced adaptation in battlefield scenarios and absorption of foreign technology/biological matter.
- Main article: Human-Beast conflict
Humans have created a taxonomy to systematically identify and determine beasts. All beasts are graded through a "Class" degree then categorized as either a "High Rank Beast" or "Low Rank Beast" depending on its class level. Class directly corresponds to the raw potential power of a Beast or its abilities. Factors for which include, among others, the class of core, armaments possessed, and its special abilities (if available).
High Rank Beasts are those that have a high class and thus have potential to develop its innate talents further through battle experience and skill. They have command over the lesser ranked beasts.
Low Rank Beasts are those that have low classes and are usually treated as grunts or slaves. They only possess basic functions and are thus used for delegated missions or massed wave charges. High Rank Beasts are usually produced in batches within the Nest, if not directly through a Queen's womb as they take considerable time and effort to be created; whereas Low Rank Beasts are mass-produced by Plants. This taxonomy is used by AE and Knight Order to direct and prioritize their war efforts.
Other classifications of beasts are as follows:
- Queen: highest form of beasts and are placed at the top of the hive's caste. Their mental attributes compensates for their physical weakness and make them suited for directing a colony's affairs. The Queen creates her own brood; without her, the colony would typically collapse.
- Type: refer to the behavioral pattern or skills of a Beast as opposed to its power i.e. how a Beast utilizes its strengths and weaknesses.
Powers and Abilities
Queens are officially referred to by the prefix of their type, combined with their linear generation sequence e.g. E-34 is an Elise-Type Queen (prefixed as "E") directly descending from E-33 hence she is referred to as "E-34".
They are identified with a rank by humans. Certain infamous ones are given names for easy identification. High Rank Beasts have the biological equivalent of the Human "Core" technology called Nohsim, which is a very compact high yield energy and particle generator, allowing them to emit Personal Shields and project particle attacks. These cores emit a distinctive signature when activated, allowing them to be detected.
Unlike mass-produced Beasts, High Ranks are born in the substitute womb of the Queen Nest. Types 155 and downwards are considered High Rank, being much more powerful physically and mentally, often acting as tactical field commanders.
The Beasts are waging war on mankind. Queens invade a planet, absorb its resources leaving the planet unable to sustain life, and then move on to the next planet. This war has been going on for centuries. At the beginning of the manhwa humanity has been winning, to the point where Anne thinks the end of the war is near, proclaiming a new Human Age. However, a new, very powerful, Queen invades Arin and the Central Order, and quickly launches attacks on other planets and solar systems.
There are major differences between the different ranks, not only in power but in physical appearance, skills, and jobs. Most High Ranks are humanoid both in shape and size, with some exceptions. Even though the High Ranks are often smaller than many Low Ranks, they are incomparably stronger and smarter. In the attack on 7th Space Colony of Arin, a Type 77 is seen leading a group of no.600's, and because of the High Rank's leadership the defending forces are surprised and are nearly overwhelmed.
There are different classes within the different types, especially among High Ranks. These go from SS, S then A down to F, with SS-Class being the strongest. In Ramsie's fight with Fang Blade, a Type 2 with 15 years of battle experience, he said that because of Fang Blade's technique and skill he would rather face an inexperienced EX-Type Zero, meaning that rank generally confers raw power and not always skill. For example, Fear was rated by Dry Leonhard as nearly S-Class despite her average C-Class core, he mused that she needed to be more experience, showing that ranking within the types determines their relative power, therefore, Fang Blade was most likely a S-Class Type 2.
All of the Beasts' technological "machines" are Beasts themselves. This includes all spaceships, launch pads, and Plants where Beasts are grown. There are also Beasts that produce jamming signals using Jamil Organs and can even twist visible light to create false images using Chamild Organs. The Beasts' Warp engines are biological as well. Because all technology is biological, the Beast's technological power changes from Queen to Queen. More powerful Queens have more powerful technology. For example, powerful Queens that can produce Rank 5 Warp Engine can Warp, or teleport, single units like EX-Type Zeroes from planet to planet. This is demonstrated when Blue Beetle warps to Valtia to rescue her sister Fear in (ME0-Ch21).