When the Androsynth departed Earth en masse in 2085 during the Clone Revolt, no Human had ever imagined that one could take to the stars at faster-than-light speed. Clever, cunning, and imaginative, the Androsynth outwitted their human creators at every turn by keeping low-key until an opportunity presented itself. In retrospect, it should have been no surprise that the pride of their space fleet, the dumpy little blue pod known as the Guardian (or sometimes as the Blazer), would hide something a bit more sinister inside its modest packaging, the sight of one quickly becoming the ultimate fear of all mankind. Near the the end of the Ur-Quan Slave War, the Androsynth Hit-and-Run squadrons along the Coreward Front occasionally used modified Guardians capable of extended Blazer modes, giving them greater speed, range, and destructive power.
The Androsynth, obsessed with aesthetics, did not hesitate to give to the Guardian ships a form as beautiful as possible; these ships are basically a tube of platinum metal alloys, multiple pieces of blue glass coiling around it, their sizes increasing as one approaches the back of the ship.1
The Guardian's victory tune is the song 'Mongoloid' by the band Devo. A Guardian's crew also resembles the band.
In its normal configuration, the Guardian is far from the fastest ship around, but it can still outrun an Intruder. With a turning rate slightly below average and its acceleration only slightly above, it may seem less than impressive.
However, in Blazer form, all this changes. Always at full speed — which is faster than almost any other ship — and turning on the edge of a dime, it makes for a highly effective killer. The catch is that this newly gained strength only stays for as long as the batteries are charged, and they will be rapidly being drained. As you cannot turn off the Blazer mode as long as there is energy left, this will leave the Guardian very vulnerable for a moment.
The Guardian's main weaponry is a molecular acid sphere launcher. The spheres use a so-called "Chaos™ tracking", as the Star Control 1 DataBank entry names it — this "tracking" consists of random oscillatory moves that slowly direct the sphere towards the enemy. They don't damage each other or the Guardian that launched them, but they damage enemy spheres and Guardians.
There is one of two ways to defeat an enemy in a head-on battle: be stronger or be faster. The Androsynth decided both options were best when they developed Blazer technology, and did they succeed! One tug of a rope and the Guardian sheds its crusty blue cocoon and morphs into a beautiful blazing deadly comet, which just about vaporizes anything it touches! The only drawback is that once the Blazer form has been initiated, it burns up all available fuel until there is none left. And once it does that, it reverts to normal form and comes to a dead stop like it was a space-anchor.
While the Guardian's main weapon may be useful to keep an enemy at bay for a moment, its real strength lies in its Blazer form. Once activated, go straight for the enemy's ship and quickly bash it to bits. Be careful though as the enemy's weapons can still cause damage. The Thraddash Torch is the Blazer form's worst nightmare — all a reasonably competent Thraddash captain has to do is deploy trails from the Afterburner. Even though the Blazer's incredible turning ability will let it avoid the trails if the Guardian's commander has the piloting ability, it is unlikely that the Guardian will be able to get around the flame trails without either running out of battery power or seriously damaging itself in a mad charge through the fires.
If you can't finish off the enemy in one run, save some of your battery power to escape to a safe range, as you'll be vulnerable when the Blazer form runs out.
Notes and references