04 June 2009

Here Lie the zPutties

Alleigance: Lord Zedd
Abilities: teleportation, shape-shifting
Language: "putty babble", English (understood, not spoken)

Clay footsoldiers, light grey/white in color. Their hands/forearms are brown, larger in proportion, and rocky—perhaps to make for a better weapon. Their faces are either brown or grey, with red eyes, a rough, bumpy complection, usually depicting a twisted sort of smile, but sometimes with nothing more than a hole for a mouth [usually from using the older masks that have lost their shape; a faint reminder of the twisted smile could still be seen]. They wear silver vests/chestplates with a circular emblem with a raised letter 'Z' of their creator and master, Lord Zedd. They have silver boots and kneepads, the latter also bearing the same emblem that appears on their chests. They are often heard making a babbling noise that could be assumed to be a language only they understand. While they have the ability to stand upright, as humans do, they are most often seen hunched down, prepared to fight. Their gait, like their fighting stance, is awkard and clumsy, sometimes seeming to not so much run into battle as much as stumble.

Entrance: teleportation through static, flipping into view out of nowhere
Exit: teleportation through static, running away, shattering
Weaknesses: Striking the round 'Z' emblem on their chest would disrupt their power source, causing them to crumble to pieces.

First Appearance: The Mutiny (part I), MMPR Season 2
Final Appearance: Countdown to Destruction (part II), PR in Space
[zPutties appear in the Nintendo DS version of Power Rangers Super Legends]
Ultimate Fate: destroyed by Zordon's energy beam

Notes and Oddities:
It can be assumed from the way zPutties follow commands to them in English that they understand the language. When Zedd or Goldar would command them, they would respond appropriately.

As time wore on, zPutties would often appear dancing or performing some odd or comical gesture, perhaps in mockery of the rangers or to better serve their purpose as a distraction, as was their purpose in some episodes. [As I understand it, parents reacted negatively to the appearance and mannerisms of the character of Lord Zedd. Later episodes inserted more humor into the villains, perhaps to make them less scary.]

Bulk and Skull once pretended to be zPutties to lure the rangers into action. It made the zPutties look more apt by comparison.

If I counted correctly, 145 zPutties were shattered over the course of the series. That does not include the 8 who were struck in the chest plate and, in all likelihood, shattered soon thereafter, albeit off-screen (2 in The Mutiny, part II; 1 in Mirror of Regret; 5 in Rangers Back in Time, part I).

Zack never shattered a zPutty while unmorphed.

Tommy shattered the most zPutties with 38. Next is Kim with 25½ (the ½ comes from the three times Kim double teamed with another ranger to hit a zPutty in the 'Z'—twice with Aisha, once with Billy). Aisha had the fewest, with 5. Jason and Adam each had 10, Billy had 9½, Rocky, Zack, and Trini each shattered 6. Rocky, Aisha, and Adam once triple-teamed a zPutty, all three punching it in the chest. 27 zPutties shattered in a group, without any one ranger shown delivering the blow. One zPutty was shattered by another zPutty with a kick intended for Kimberly. The 8 zPutties that (assumingly) shattered off screen (not counted in the totals above) were hit in the Z by the following: 2 by Zack, 2 by Kim, 1 by Adam, 1 by Aisha, 1 by Billy, and 1 by Bulk.

It's hard to judge when zPutties actually succeeded in doing what they were sent to do, be it attack the rangers or distract them while another zPutty or monster did something else. There were 21 episodes in which they, arguably, won a battle, or got away with doing something: 7 instances in which they sabotaged or retrieved an item to be made into a monster, 6 instances in which they aided in capturing someone, 4 instances in which they successfully served as a distraction, 3 instances in which they aided a monster in stealing an item, and 1 instance in which the zPutties actually looked better than the rangers in a fight (though they did eventually lose).

While most fights with the zPutties would end with one or more of them shattering to bits, there were 18 times where the battle did not end on that note. In "The Power Transfer (part I)", the zPutties arguably win the battle with Rocky, Aisha, and Adam, though the rangers overcome them in the second round of the fight. In "Where There's Smoke, There's Fire", the rangers teleport from battle, leaving the zPutties behind. In "The Beetle Invasion", "Blue Ranger Gone Bad", and "Best Man for the Job", the zPutties just stop appearing on screen at one point, neither teleporting away, running away, nor shattering.

[During some battles, the putty babble usually uttered by the zPutties was noticeably missing. During at least one other battle, the metal clanging noise heard when a zPutty was struck was missing.]

[In "Forever Friends", the powering-up sound-effect heard before a zPutty shattered was higher pitched, quicker, and different from the usual sound effect.]

[The footage of the zPutties teleporting in "The Mutiny (part II)" was reused for the entrance of the zPutties in "Two For One".]

1 comment:

  1. Nice work, very OCD but I can appreciate that.

    It'd be awesome if you did more profiles!