Kali (カーリー), also called the ZAIN Defense System (ザインの防衛システム), is an enemy machine exclusive to the Strider Hiryu manga. It is designed and named after the Hindu goddess of destruction. In the NES adaptation of the manga, Kali is replaced in its basic function by a tempered glass shield that serves as the final obstacle of the Los Angeles stage. The shield protects Clay as he gloats that no human power can break it[1], but Hiryu proceeds to destroy it nonetheless.

The mechanical monster Kali, based on the Goddess of Slaughter from Indian mythology, is ZAIN's main defense system developed by Enterprise. It also serves as Faceas Clay's only bodyguard, as he has full confidence in this mechanical wonder[2]. The giant four-armed robot is equipped with a sword, a hanging rope and a skull staff as weapons[3], which it uses in tandem with its inmense strength to destroy any intruder. Kali itself seems to have some semblance of conscience[3][4], but this is all part of the defense system's deception, by making Kali look like a real being rather than a mere machine.




Kali (Manga)

Kali makes its appearance just as Faceas Clay is about to be attacked by Hiryu. Following Clay's sudden disappearance, Hiryu complains of a loud noise that's splitting his head in two and then he seems to be suddenly transported into a temple-like environment. Clay's voice echoes as he claims the place to be ZAIN's sacred grounds. Soon enough, the giant figure of the goddess Kali appears in front of Hiryu. He at first believes it to be just an illusion generated by ZAIN, but the mocking goddess proves it's real by attacking Hiryu, who barely avoided the sword strike. Taken off guard, Hiryu is forced into the defensive, until Kali gains the upper hand and strikes him down.

Just as the monstrous machine approaches for a final attack, Hiryu recovers his strength after remembering Kuramoto's words of encouragement and is able to slice off Kali's sword wielding arm as it attacks. With sheer willpower, Hiryu proceeds to slice the machine apart. It's just after the system stops working and the illusion disappears when Hiryu realizes the true nature of Kali and ZAIN's defense system.


  1. Capcom (July 1989, NES). Strider (English). Scene 08: Sheena's Sorrow
  2. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 6, Pg. 191. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 6, Pg. 194. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  4. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 6, Pg. 195. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
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