Zain project 1

Human brain research, the origin of the ZAIN Project

The ZAIN Project (ザインプロジェクト) is a central concept from both the Strider Hiryu manga and its NES adaptation, as well as the main reason for both Hiryu and Kain's fight against Enterprise and Matic.

The project codenamed "ZAIN" was initiated and has been under development for atleast 30 years by the bussiness organization Enterprise and its director, Faceas Clay. Faceas Clay has been keeping the project in total secrecy, as he plans to use it to control all humanity and take the throne of a god.

The ZAIN machine is a brainwashing weapon. Through a small radio transmiter implanted on the neck, the machine is able to manipulate the subject by sending a certain kind of electric wave into an area of the brain known as "Crocodile's Area", from where the most basic behaviors can be issued[1]. In this way, ZAIN destroys the mind and forces the subject into acting out of instinct rather than reason.

Development HistoryEdit


Initial research into the human mind led to the discovery of a mysterious area of the brain, which controls the most primitive of human behaviors such as "eat", "sleep", "kill" or "escape". This area hidden deep within human subconscious was christened the "Crocodile's Area" (ワニの領域), comparing it to a Black Crocodile hiding in a swamp awaiting for a prey to attack.[1]

Following this discovery, a scientist from the "Central Control Organization" (Enterprise's legal name) was able to streamline the body's natural electric current into this section, and discovered it tuned to a certain kind of radio wave[1]. By directing this radio waves into the brain, it was possible to control basic actions in human subjects, though perfect control was considered impossible, since the human brain isn't yet fully understood and there exists many mysteries about its workings.[1]

This led into the creation of a computer system and transmiters capable of broadcasting these radio waves.

Effects on subjectsEdit

Str manga zains

Zains, the end result of the incomplete brainwashing process.

Once implanted on the subject, the transmiter exchanges the body's electric current with radio signals from ZAIN, generating hallucinations in the subject's mind[2]. This creates a sense of alienation and solitude, which evolves into a fear of inminent death, a deep paranoia where everyone is plotting to kill him; and finally a state of rage, violence and bloodlust. This hallucinations are permanent, causing a total loss of sanity in the subjects.[3]

The process is eventually irreversible, turning the subject into a shell of its former self, a zombie-like being who can barely move, grunt and swing whatever they hold in their hands at perceived threats. If the transmiter is damaged or disabled in time, however, this can be prevented and the subject comes back to their normal self after a short time. Receiving a fatal injury can also break the mind control and bring the subject back to normal, as seen briefly before Mariya's death.

Enterprise continued conducting experiments in an attempt to perfect the process and achieve full control of the subject's mind without destroying it.


Enterprise developed specific technology in order to transmit and conduct the radio waves of ZAIN in a way that'd allow them to control the subject's mind.



The two models of transmiters.

A radio transmiter was developed in order to conduct ZAIN's radio waves into the brain. The first models are small pea-shaped interfaces that need to be implanted through surgery into the subject's neck, leaving a noticeable bump. A second model was developed by the director of the Kazakh Federation Mental Institute. It's called a "bullet-type" due to its shape, and can easily be implanted using air guns.[2]

Further research on the bullet-type implant was halted folowing Hiryu and Kain's infiltration and destruction of the building. Research on the original model continued and it appears eventually managed to perfect the mind control, with the Host Computer going through an upgrade process to allow it to control anyone on Earth who has been implanted.[4]

ZAIN TerminalsEdit

Main article: ZAIN Terminal

To expand the effective range of the project's mind-control ability, various stations known as ZAIN Terminals are installed in different parts of the world. These terminals are all interconnected as a network of relay computers and are dependant of the "Main Tree" to operate[5]. Likewise, destroying them has little impact, and the project remains active as long as the Main Tree is operational.[6]

Although several are said to exist all over the world, only a select few are actually known in each adaptation.

List of known Terminals

Location From Details
Kazakh Federation Mental Institute Manga An operational terminal, the result of 30 years of research by the director. Destroyed by Hiryu during his and Kain's infiltration.
Amazon Institute Manga Infiltrated by Hiryu and Kain in order to track down the Host Computer. Was under heavy protection by both Enterprise and Matic's men. Destroyed.
Sahara Desert Manga Not seen, mentioned by the Kazakh Institute Director.
Chinese Base Game Protected within a tower base. Hiryu was sent here by Chief Kuramoto to destroy it.
Kazakh Secret Police HQ - Underground Game Kept deep underground in the headquarter's dungeon. Destroyed by Hiryu after his trip to China.
Africa Game Hidden inside a cavern, and under protection of the Strider Matic Unit. Destroyed by Hiryu.
Australia Base/Africa Game Found in an isolated area within the African cavern, only accessed through a transport tube in Australia. Destroyed by Hiryu.
Los Angeles Manga The ZAIN Host Computer, the most important station. Much more massive than the other Terminals, it's shown in the manga to be built as part of the large skyscraper that serves as Enterprise's headquarters[7]. Its destruction marked the end of the project.
The Red Dragon Game


  • The Crocodile's Area referenced in the origins of the ZAIN Project appears to be based on an actual real-life term known as the "reptilian brain" or "reptilian complex", part of the Triune brain model about the evolution of the brain in vertebrates. The reptilian brain is the assigned name of the basal ganglia and similar to the Crocodile's Area, it's said to be involved in controlling a species' instinctual behaviors.
  • The 2014 Strider referenced this concept in the ZAIN Project v2, a similar project related to brain research but intended to create the "perfect warrior" instead of a brainwashing machine.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 3, Pg. 70. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 3, Pg. 81. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  3. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 3, Pg. 82. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  4. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 5, Pg. 162. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  5. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 3, Pg. 114. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  6. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 6, Pg. 188. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  7. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 5, Pg. 159. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
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