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Coyote is the name given to a series of powerful and highly intelligent robots that appeared in the animated series, Gargoyles, designed by the mastermind David Xanatos, whom they physically resembled. Each new Coyote model was designed to be more powerful than the last and had an especially strong link with the criminal organization known as The Pack, working as their fields leader and benefactor in Xanatos' absence.
So far five models have been built, and at least three more models will be constructed in the future.
He was voiced by Jonathan Frakes, who also voices David Xanatos in the same show.
Inspired by Native American folklore, as well as the overall canine theme, David Xanatos created a robot based around the coyote as a field leader for his pet project The Pack.
Leader of The Pack
The original Coyote was designed to be a perfect replica of David Xanatos and worked alongside Dingo to break rest of The Pack (except Fox, who wanted to serve out her sentence) out of prison so as to accomplish his ultimate goal of destroying the Manhattan Clan. Although The Pack was at first apprehensive of Coyote, believing him to be Xanatos at the time, were swayed by Coyote into fighting the gargoyles. Wolf agreed to Coyote leading The Pack after the latter had defeated him in combat. During his stay with The Pack, the psychotic Hyena grew very fond of Coyote, much to her brother's disgust.
Under Coyote's leadership The Pack successfully ambushed and capture the gargoyles Lexington, Brooklyn and their gargoyle beast Bronx, holding them hostage on board an oil tanker off the New York coast. The rest of the Manhattan Clan soon come to their rescue, during this confrontation Bronx revealed Coyote's true nature when he bit off the synthetic skin of the robot to reveal the machine beneath.
Rather than being repulsed Hyena was actually even more smitten by Coyote once she learnt he was a robot. After realizing that Coyote wasn't human Lexington was quick to destroy the robot's body with a laser-weapon. Its head, however, was mostly left undamaged and blasted itself into the air, flying back to Xanatos. The next day Fox is released from prison and is picked up by David Xanatos in his limousine.
David states that the escape was staged as a means of giving Fox an early release, as well as a chance to test Coyote's potential. Fox laments over Coyote's destruction, its deactivated head sitting beside them. David comforts her by stating it was a minor lose and that he could built several more just like it.
Coyote's head was later repaired and mounted on an anti-gravity device so it could float around freely. Xanatos had Coyote deliver an offer to The Pack, now reduced to robbing banks in order to get by. At first Wolf and Jackal refused the robot's proposition without heading it out, but are convinced by Dingo and Hyena to at least hear him out.
Coyote offered to have The Pack upgraded with either genetic engineering, cyber-prosthesis or mechanical battle armor, which would forevermore change The Pack: making them even more formidable. Wolf and Jackal are again partially skeptical after Coyote claims that this was a no-strings-attached offer made by Xanatos and that the he himself could not show up in person, but the two nevertheless accepted the offer.
One month later The Pack return: Dingo is now wearing a suit of armor, Jackal and Hyena have had several body parts replaced with cybernetic parts, Wolf became a wolf-man through genetic engineering and Coyote is now occupying a large robotic body, several times stronger then Goliath and twice as tall. During an ambush atop a building-in-construction The Pack defeat and capture Hudson, Bronx, Elisa and Goliath. The Pack agreed that the their leader would be the one who caught the biggest gargoyle and as it turned out that was Coyote, having bested Goliath.
Again, Wolf and Jackal refuse to have the robot as leader, but they are outvoted by the love-struck Hyena and Dingo who is repulsed by either choice. The gargoyles are taken to The Pack's lair, a train housing station, where Coyote intends to release Bronx at around 4:30 A.M. in order to lead them to the rest of the Manhattan Clan. His intention was to destroy the gargoyles while in their stone sleep. This plan was foiled due to the arrival of Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington, who release their friends and proceed to separate The Pack, beating them one by one.
Coyote proves to be the most formidable opponent, easily overpowering Bronx and Broadway. The entire clan eventually gang up on it and pin the robot down in order for Goliath to remove its head, crushing it with his bare hands. The robot's body was subsequently ran-over by a passing train.
A brand new Coyote, more adapt to hard labor, was later sent to Egypt along with Wolf, Hyena and Jackal to assist Xanatos' patron, The Emir, in summoning the ancient god Anubis in order to obtain the power of immortality. The ritual took place in a chamber located beneath the Great Sphinx, where Coyote and Wolf mostly did all the heavy lifting, namely placing pillars in a ritual circle. Unbeknownst to The Pack, Goliath, Elisa, Bronx and the young gargoyle Angela, had been brought to Egypt by the magic of Avalon in order to stop them from capturing the old god.
Goliath and his team notice Coyote entering the Sphinx, carrying with him a brazier. They soon follow the robot inside, aware that it must have been rebuilt stronger and far more dangerous then before. Inside the chamber The Pack engage the gargoyles and Eliza into a scuffle, with Bronx and Elisa tackling the robot, but it easily brushes them off. Coyote uses a bolo whip to immobilize Goliath, who is then knocked out by Wolf. Goliath and is team are subsequently chained to the walls.
As the Emir successfully summoned Anubis and Coyote demands to know if he can ensure immortality for Xanatos. The Emir orders that The Pack to leave him alone until further notice, to which the they comply. In another chamber Wolf and Hyena decide to have the gargoyles and Elisa killed once and for all, but Coyote disagrees on account that he was not ordered to by his creator.
Instead the robot agrees to let Jackal spy on the Emir, unaware of his teammate's true intentions. The rest of Pack are ordered by the Emir to remove the gargoyles from the chamber because they were distracting him. The Pack are planning to trap their enemies in a burial chamber, but the gargoyles attempt a final confrontation in which Elisa impales the robot with a spear. Mostly unfazed, Coyote shoots a laser-beam at the police woman, accidentally blasting an escape throw the wall. The Pack follow the gargoyles back at the ritual chamber, where Jackal had fused himself with Anubis instead of the Emir. Coyote tries to shoot at Jackal, but is turned into rusted metal and breaks to pieces thanks to Jackal's newfound powers over life and death.
A fourth Coyote model was built by Xanatos with the sole purpose of capturing the Coyote trickster as yet another one of his attempts at gaining immortality. To further this end Xanatos had the Cauldron of Life (another tool which he hoped would have granted him eternal life) melted and its iron used to create Coyote 4.0. The magical energies within the iron allowed the robot to capture the trickster without him using his powers to escape. Xanatos and the Coyote robot traveled to Arizona, where they attempted to bulldoze the local petroglyphs dug in honor of the trickster spirit as an attempt to lure the Coyote spirit into a trap.
The trickster was indeed angered by the desecration of his sacred grounds, at first stopping Xanatos by vandalizing his bulldozers and later baiting Peter and Beth Maza, Elisa's father and younger sister, into protesting against the digging. At that time Goliath, Elisa, Bronx and Angela had been brought to Arizona by Avalon in order to help. Coyote robot captures Goliath and Angela after the two had went to investigate the digging site.
The gargoyles are nailed to the carvings while Coyote the robot sets a tank full of acid to drop over them in ten minutes, thus destroying the carvings and killing the two all at once. The plan fails because the Coyote spirit informs Elisa, Bronx, her sister and her father about Xanatos attempting to murder their friends. The four of them arrive at the dig site and manage to rescue the gargoyles, as well as stop the acid from falling over the carvings. During the skirmish Xanatos notices the Coyote trickster and orders his robot to chase after him.
Coyote the trickster meets up with the Mazas during a ceremonial Kachina dance, a ritual dedicated to the patron spirits of Native American lore, with Coyote playing the role of the Coyote Dancer. Just then, the trickster is finally captured by Coyote the robot and is brought before Xanatos who demands immortality from him. A final battle ensues, with the Coyote robot keeping the trickster locked inside his own body and takes on Goliath. The robot is tricked into releasing Coyote after seeing Peter Maza masquerading as the trickster and is subsequently destroyed after being impaled into the chest with steel girder by Goliath and buried under several other girders, courtesy of the trickster fooling him into blasting the surrounding skeleton's support beams.
The first Coyote model was an exact body-double of David Xanatos, having the same measurements, body type and the same facial features. Beneath the artificial skin the robots' head closely resembled a human skull. After having the entire left side of its' face bitten-off by the gargoyle beast Bronx every other Coyote model continued using this look, making it a hallmark of the Coyote identity. It wore protective cybernetic armor: a black bodysuit over witch were golden-yellow gauntlets, boots, breast plate and a coyote shaped helmet.
This second model was a robust battle machine vaguely resembling a human, standing at about three meters tall, with a massive frame, two slender feet resembling those of a coyote and two large navy-blue arms, each having only four razor-sharp fingers. The chest, feet and arms were all covered in golden-yellow armor, echoing the previous model's color pallet. It's half Xanatos/half skeletal shaped head was kept in an abdomen compartment which could close itself off for protection. Atop the robot's body was a large metal plate based off of The Pack's signature canine head.
Much like the model that preceded it the 3.0 model was tall and large, standing three meters in height and with a more oval shaped torso, but was less anthropomorphic in appearance. Its legs and arms were far more slender. The feet had four flat, rectangular fingers, more skin to talons. Each of its hands now had three claws instead of actual fingers. The Xanatos/skull head was now appeared on a globe shaped video screen, located at the base of the robot's torso. The body was painted black with some patches of red and golden-yellow armor covering the torso, pelvis, legs and arms.
Coyote 4.0 was a far more evenly proportioned model than the previous two, standing three meters tall, with a rounded out torso, slender arms connected to the chest through rounded plating, and thick legs. Each robotic arm had four sharp edged fingers. Its head was a concave tube with a video round screen showing the signature half Xanatos face, half robor skull. Directly above the screen was a metal plate in the shape of a coyote head with red eyes. The robot's head was attached via an extendable neck made out of wires and cables and iron tubes. The torso, the upper and lower arms, the lower legs and the head were all covered in golden-yellow armor, while underneath the rest of the body was painted navy-blue.
- Earlier in the show's development Coyote was to be a hovering robotic coyote head named CY.O.T.I. (CYber-Operational Technical Intelligence) that used its spinal column to attache itself onto various cybernetic bodies.
- The latter idea was loosely adapted for the 2.0 model which had a hovering Xanatos head that would insert itself inside the bodies' chest cavity.
- Coyote has been damaged to its abdomen in nearly every single appearance: in Leader of the Pack, Lexington shoots a hole throw it with a laser-gun; in Grief, Elisa throws a spear into it, and in Cloud Fathers, Goliath impales the robot's abdomen with a steel girder.
- The robotic Coyote has been based off of three distinct fictional sources:
- The first would be The Terminator cyborgs, known for their persistence to kill their designated targets even after being severely damaged and for sending more advanced models later on. Coyote's half skeletal face might also be a nod to The Terminators' own semi-exposed faces throughout the movie series.
- The second source is the Marvel Comics android Ultron, a highly intelligent machine who constantly rebuilds himself after every defeat and names himself with the number of his current designated model. Also of note, Coyote's personality was loosely programmed after that of his creator's, similar to Ultron's mind having been based off of his creator, Henry Pym, otherwise known as the super-hero Ant-Man.
- A more humorous inspiration is the Looney Tunes character Wile E. Coyote, known for getting himself injured after having one of his outrages gadgets and mechanical traps backfire on him and subsequently picking himself up to start all over.