Escaflowne is a Guymelef piloted by Van Fanel. It is traditionally piloted by the king of Fanelia. During the Rite of Succession, the incoming king must slay a dragon and withdraw the Energist within its heart. This Energist and a blood pact with the king are then used to power Escaflowne.
Escaflowne was originally constructed by the Ispano Clan, using an Atlantean process that took nearly 150 years to complete. Considered the patron god of Fanelia, Escaflowne is suggested to have a consciousness, and will only accept a pilot it deems worthy.
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.
Like all Guymelefs, Escaflowne uses Energists 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, 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. The cape and armor arms retract into the shoulder armor. Both shoulders extend, with wing 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 backpack attaches to the dragon head before expanding and extending from the body of the armor to form the neck. A seat in the now-exposed back of the dragon mode extends and a panel opens in the back of the cockpit to allow the pilot to climb out and take the reins of the dragon mode.
The exact order of steps is slightly different from scene to scene and between the series and the movie.
"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." - DrydenEscaflowne's bond with its pilot grows stronger the more it is used, to the point that Escaflowne and its pilot share each other's pain. The injuries Escaflowne sustains are also inflicted upon Van as real, life-threatening wounds. It is only when Escaflowne is repaired that Van is able to heal his injuries, also feeling intense pain as the repairs proceed. Similarly, when the Sorcerers in Zaibach attempt to dismantle Escaflowne, Van experiences intense pain.
Escaflowne not only has a physical link, but also a mental link to its pilot. After Van is haunted by the dead Dragonslayers and becomes paralyzed with fear, Escaflowne turns black and falls to the ground, Van falling into a catatonic state. Van was also to make Escaflowne move without being inside it, and when escaping from Zaibach, made it travel at an extremely high, indeterminable speed by using hidden boosters in its wings.
Though it can be a double-edged sword, the intense link between the pilot and Escaflowne means that its speed, dexterity and strength far exceed other Guymelefs, even the more technologically-advanced Zaibach designs like the Alseides units.
In the movie, Escaflowne is known as a Dragon Armor rather than a Guymelef, a name which is also applied to Dilandau's red Alseides. Escaflowne is more organic than mechanical in appearance. 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, the gem in its chest remains in its chest instead of being held by one of the dragon arms like in the anime; the transformation also appears more organic.
Rather than the Energist and the blood pact, Escaflowne uses syringes to directly draw its pilot's blood. Escaflowne uses this blood to determine if its pilot is worthy.