The Escaflowne is a Guymelef piloted by Van Fanel. It is traditionally only piloted by the Kings of Fanelia and bonded to its pilot by a blood pact after the coronation rite that requires a dragon be hunted and killed for its Energist, by the new King, which is then used to power the Escaflowne.
The guymelef was originally constructed by the Ispano, using an Atlantean process that took nearly 150 years to complete. Considered a patron god of Fanelia, Escaflowne is suggested to be conscious, and will only accept a pilot it deems worthy. This is suggested several times throughout the TV series, and very heavily in the movie.
It is also known as the Dragon Armor due to its ability to transform into a flight-mode in the shape of a dragon, although this gives it limited combat capability.
AppearanceEditEscaflowne is a mainly white guymelef, measuring at 8.2 costa (8.09 meters) and weighing 7.5 peizo (7.6 metric tons). In dragon mode, it is 13.5 costa (13.32 meters) in length.
Visually, its main armor mode is in the style of a medieval knight. It has large, wide shoulders with massive, green gems on them. A large cape hangs from them. Its head is similar to a knight's helmet, and its body takes the appearance of armor.
Escaflowne's energist chamber is on the left side of the chest within the reddish-pink gem when in its normal mode. The piloting chamber is in the chest, with an opening between the chest and head for the pilot to see through.
In dragon mode, it has wings made from the same material as the cloak, that span roughly the same length as its body. In this mode, the pilot rides atop the dragon and controls it with reins similar to a horse.
The Escaflowne uses energists, just like all guymelefs, as its power source. However, it requires the blood of the one who wishes to pilot it to be placed on the energist first. It will only accept those that it deems worthy to pilot it, and requires its wielder to possess a truly kingly spirit, and traditionally has only been piloted by the crowned kings of Fanelia.
Like most traditional guymelefs, Escaflowne is designed for melee combat with the large sword that is contained in the sheath behind the helmet, which extends to approximately the height of the standing guymelef when extended.
While seen only in a vision, Escaflowne is shown to be capable of firing energy beams from the green gems on its shoulders.
When in armor mode, the Escaflowne changes form first by kneeling down. The dragon legs unfold from the outside of the armor mode legs. Once properly balanced, the original legs lift from the ground and rotate together, forming a tail. Both shoulders fold outward, with rib spines unfolding and the fabric of the cape is stretched over them. The small dragon arms on the chest fold out, and the dragon head folds up over the armor head. The armor arms fold behind the dragon head and extends from the body of the armor, which then folds together and closes.
The exact order of steps is slightly different between the series and the movie.
As can be seen in the TV series as the story develops, the Escaflowne grows a closer and more tightly held bond with its pilot the more it is used. As Van's link with it strengthens and he kills more foes, the damage that Escaflowne sustains are also inflicted upon Van as real, life threatening wounds. It is only as the Escaflowne is repaired that Van is able to heal his injuries, also feeling intense pain as the repairs proceed. It is suggested, then, that the Escaflowne feels pain from its 'wounds'.
Also, when Van is haunted by the dead Dragonslayers and becomes paralyzed with fear, the Escaflowne turns black, and falls to the ground as though paralyzed as well. It appears it has a mental, as well as physical, link to its pilot.
In addition, Van, under the suggestion of and with aid from Hitomi, was able to make Escaflowne move without being inside it. Also, when escaping from their captors, Van was able to make Escaflowne fly faster by using hidden boosters in its wings, traveling at a faster speed that couldn't be determined.
The Guymelefs built by them choose their master through a contract of blood. Until the master dies, it keeps fighting. Sometimes it does it by itself. When the Guymelef gets damaged and falls, the master dies also.- Dryden Dangerous Wounds episode.
Though a double-edged sword for the pilot, the intense link between the pilot and the Escaflowne appears to allow it to be used to its full potential; speed, dexterity and strength appear to be increased far above other guymelefs, even the more technologically advanced Zaibach designs like the Alseides.
The Escaflowne is nearly identical to its appearance in the anime, but appears more organic than mechanical. However, it now has a pair of syringes that insert themselves into the pilot's neck to draw blood, rather than placing it on an energist before fueling it. It uses this blood to determine if the one trying to use it is worthy. Its sword also extends differently than in the anime, as it extends upwards like a collapsible blade. Also, when it turns into its dragon form, its gem on the left side is placed on its chest/underbelly instead of being held by one of the dragon arms like in the anime; the transformation also appears more organic.