sorry but if a mech is remotely controlled thats a drone, and if its controlled by itself its just a robot. words mean things

on the topic of size, "bigger than a person" is part of it, but exact size is hard to define. power armor could be considered a borderline mech, power armor thats bigger than a person but still worn as power armor (as in, human limbs in the respective armor limbs) is closer to a mech, but a proper mech has to have some sort of cockpit

lets go over a few:

-gundam is pure mecha. giant robot piloted from a cockpit
-attack on titan is technically mecha. loose definition of cockpit
-evangelion is a weird example. you could make the argument that its a giant wearing power armor and piloted like a mech, but i would argue that its a giant turned into a mech -similar category to attack on titan- but evas retain an independent nervous system that titans lack

-iron man and kamen rider are power armor, they are ambiguously mechs, if you consider your muscles (or the suit's sensors detecting your muscle movement) to be the mech's controls. this line is blurred a little bg motion capture mecha. either way, mechs (and power armor, which are borderline mechs) must have augmented movement. power armor moved by pilot muscle alone is just normal armor

-whether humans are mechs or not depends on your understanding of self. if your system defines the self self as contained completely in the nervous system, or as a soul completely separate from the body, then the body is a mech. a quick way to go about it is: if you are your body, not a mech. if you control your body, mech

mechs are commonly bipedal, or at the very least have feet. but here we have another roadblock in rigurously definind mechs: is a mech with its legs shot off still a mech? how about one with its legs still not attached? how about one that can easily detach and reattach its legs?

the zeong and neo zeong from gundam are commonly understood to be mechs, yet they are unfinished and have no legs. you could argue that they're still humanoid, but mechs in mechwarrior and battletech are less humanoid, yet they are still mechs. its hard to go further than this without getting into platonic forms, which i will not criticize in fear of inciting the wrath of plato

in Lancer there's a cool bonus ability that kinda makes the whole pilot/mech dichotonomy crumble, and with it, this whole framework. "Full Subjectivity Sync"

"By creating a stable, two-way ontologic bridge, SSC has removed the need for pilots to rely on physical controls alone to pilot their mech. Using a full subjectivity sync, pilots perceive their mech as their own body and control it via neural impulse; somatosensory feedback is translated to the pilot as well, so caution is advised despite nociception-dampening defaults built-in to the system."

@ItsMorgan anime about a mech that's actually just a giant robot and is constantly trying to convince everyone "haha no i'm just a pilot!! no you can't see my face i'm shy"

@monorail @ItsMorgan wa-hey i really want to come to the picnic but i uhh locked myself in my mech again, yep, key fell out the window so i'm gonna be in my work clothes haha sorry

lb: said this as a shitpost but it would rule actually

@ItsMorgan yes. horse gundam piloted by a horse in a mocap suit in the mocap cockpit.

@SapphicGiraffic yeah thats a pure mech, no question. giant robot piloted from a cockpit inside it. most mech media is very anthropocentric

@ItsMorgan tragic, really.

something i loved about the lore for Mobile Frame Zero was the inclusion of a symbiont species that commonly bonded with all kinds of non-humanoid creatures, giving players freedom to build basically any body plan they could imagine, though the example in the book was a quad with rotational symmetry


@ItsMorgan "legs are just for show" is one of my favorite lines in any mecha

@ItsMorgan what is the formal cause of a mech? of a bronze statue of a mech?

@maidofclay the guntank also rides that grey area between mech and tank, and ultimately illustrates that there's no hard line separating mechs and other vehicles. a guntank is, functionally, a tank with arms. but if it had legs, it would be considered a normal mobile suit

@ItsMorgan there's a character I play in a starfinder campaign who's a full conversation cyborg, his only remaining biological bits are his brain and most of a spinal cord. Mechanically, he uses various suits of power armor, which his cyborg chassis hooks directly into. The link is facilitated by onboard a.i., but fundamentally when he is fully hooked in he has as much control over his suits as he does with his standard mechanized body.

@ItsMorgan funnily, I think that ends up meaning that no matter how big the suit gets, it's never a mech, always definable as either power armor or just a chassis attachment

@swiff this also depends on your position on mind-body dualism. it may be neither mech nor power armor or whatever, just "body"

@ItsMorgan this is actually part of my internal Canon for him! His suits are all custom built, and his early ones had no onboard ai, they were just a direct 1:1 link of brain to new body. This had weird effects when he exited the larger armor, roughly definable as "phantom limb size" where he reached for things across the room as if he was still 10 feet tall. The implementation of the Groundbreaker Combat Assistant causes micro-delays, but buffers against these aftereffects.

@lemoncarrots well thats by definition a mech. though for the sake of argument, if the robot piloting it has a "will", however you define that, then the armor piloted is a mech. if the robot only follows its programming (however you define that), then the greater armor is just an add-on. this is analogous to a mouse and keyboard on a computer. they control the computer, but that doesnt make it a mech, because they dont have their own will

@lemoncarrots here's a specific example: in the finale of gundam unicorn, full frontal's mobile suit sinanju combines with an "pilots" the neo zeong, a mobile suits several times larger. the neo zeong isnt a mobile suit itself, its an add-on to a mobile suit, or a mobile suit without a cockpit, in which case the sinanju functions as a cockpit

@ItsMorgan words don't mean shit, my mech is the earth as I spin it around the galaxy

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