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Piranha Advancements (formerly known as Pir-hana) are an Anti-Gravity racing team based in Brazil, although they did once appear as a China-based team. They first appeared as a secret team in Wipeout 2097 and later become a playable team in the subsequent installments.

History[]

Pir-hana was formed in 2044 as a result of a merger between two smaller Brazilian companies, Pir and Hana. Despite the subtle and mysterious appearance of the team, they had played an important role in the history of Anti-Gravity Racing by establishing both the Anti-Gravity Federation and the Anti-Gravity Racing Championship.

Mysteriously, Pir-hana pulled out of AG racing entirely before the F3600 League was announced in 2050. They were bought out by an unknown Chinese consortium. From then, they produced airbrakes for AG Systems and Auricom craft before returning to craft development in 2060 under the new name of Piranha Advancements.

From this time on, Piranha started to gain a reputation as fierce perfectionists. The team brought this reputation to a craft of their own for the first time in 47 years in the F5000 League, entering an unarmed prototype ship that was literally perfect in every area. In spite of its lack of weapon capabilities, its speed and maneuverability was mind-blowing. However, the cost to build such powerful machines was very high, and finding pilots skilled enough to control them was difficult, especially in the face of Qirex's financial superiority.

In the F7200 League, with the Piranha team having returned to Brazil, their craft was no longer godlike in all stats, but it was still a strong performer overall. Their perfectionism was consistent throughout the team's journey, as Aries Piermont, the company owner at the time of the F9000 League, always emphasized on aiming as high as possible. This was further evident with Piranha's acquisition of Assegai in 2150. As a result, the Piranha team's Swiftkiller craft was one of the best in the F9000 League thanks to Assegai's stabilization technologies, and it helped them put up a great fight during races, with a number of victories that are almost equal to that of FEISAR and Xios.

Through the great recession, Piranha withdrew from the public eye before the F9000 League was abolished, but continued operations at their secure factory base in Brazil. Images captured by covert surveillance over the years showed that Piranha employees were busy indeed, with constant activity being recorded at their wind tunnels and fabrication facilities.

However, with no outlook for their development and the death of Aries Piermont, which occurred some time during the decade, Piranha faced a financial downturn. As a result, the Piranha company sold the Assegai name back to the United African Nations in 2181, and was soon acquired by the Brazilian government. Because of this, they were unable to continue creating a craft built with the philosophy of perfection, but still kept their trademark of having the fastest ships out there.

Secretive as ever, a surprise appearance at the Anti-Gravity Rebirth Festival in 2185 confirmed that Piranha were most certainly continuing to develop their trademark style of sleek and agile craft. Although they took a limited role in the development of the FX150 League, Piranha made a prominent contribution to petitioning the League Commission to organize a professional series, resulting in the announcement of the FX300 League in 2195.

The Piranha craft in the FX300 League had shown such superior top speed, making it untouchable at the straights. However, the craft's lack of thrust and handling proved too much for the Piranha team, given the technical nature of racetracks in Makana. As they struggled with this, the team were unable to score as many wins as they did in the far past, although in the end they did manage to come as a mid-pack runner.

Disappointed at the final results, Piranha decided to move on to join the FX400 League. They had created a new craft, which they claimed to be the fastest since their return to AG racing. Nobody even dared to challenge this except, perhaps, Icaras. Nevertheless, the Piranha team would see themselves as they tried to repeat their early success from the front of the grid.

FX300 Background[]

From the day that Piranha Advancements' unarmed prototype rocked the F5000 League in the late 2090's, its consistently strong performance has been the envy of almost every other team. The team's trademark sleek, fast craft have remained competitive through each evolution of anti-gravity racing and, in the hands of the right pilot, have dominated the opposition.

Always mysterious, Piranha is back for the FX300 League with a ship secretly developed over an unknown time period in anticipation of the return of professional AG racing.

FX400 Background[]

Back with a vengeance after five years of uncertainty behind the scenes, Piranha bring what's claimed to be the engine with the fastest top end performance since the return of professional AG Racing in 2197. None, except maybe Icaras with their own extreme power-plant, are going to argue the point.

Now back under the control of the Brazilian government, the Piranha team don't have the financial depth that they previously enjoyed. The new chassis needs work, too – it's not the best when the track gets twisty. But that engine is going to be hard to beat in a straight line, make no mistake.

FX400 Message[]

Statement issued by Piranha Director of Racing Operations, Zack Vilma, São Paulo, Brazil

Since the turn of the century and the passing of Aries Piermont, Piranha has travelled a sometimes difficult and treacherous path.

With Aries' death I lost a great friend and a man I looked to daily for guidance and inspiration. Piranha the team lost not just our leader, but our reason for being. Thus, we have struggled on like a ship without a rudder for the past six years, unsure of tomorrow, unsure of our ultimate destiny.

Now, as the man chosen to replace Aries Piermont, I have set our team on the road to recovery mindful of something he once told me: 'It is not enough just to run the team – one must lead the team.'

For Brazil, for the fans, and for Aries I will do my very best to follow that advice and return our team to the front of the pack, starting with the inaugural season of the FX400 Racing League.

Appearance, Evolution & Stats[]

The Piranha ships have always had a highly aerodynamic shape, resembling a fish. As Aries Piermont's vision implies, Piranha devoured most of the grid with its perfectionism. In Wipeout 2097, the craft had perfect stats in every area, but lacked the ability to use weapons. This craft was easily the hardest to control in the game due to its insanely high speeds. In Wipeout 3, the craft was very mobile with moderate to high speed, but low shielding, due to the craft's very lightweight frame. In Wipeout Fusion, the craft returned to its 2097 reincarnation in terms of stats, though not as perfect, still suffering from weak shielding, along with mediocre braking power.

However, in the post-Piermont era, the ships have generally been heavier, with very high top speed and strong shield, compensating for poor thrust and handling, despite the retained aerodynamic design (probably because of state ownership). As such, it is difficult to control without mastering the use of airbrakes. However, once the tough handling is mastered and the wall and weapon impacts are minimized, it can truly devour the competition with raw speed and power. Therefore, avoiding any wall grinding, and when possible, weapon hits, is recommended.

In Pure, Piranha is the fastest ship compared to the other ships in the starting line-up, perfect for open circuits. However, due to the low thrust, it will take a bit more time to reach the top speed. Also, the lack of handling proves a problem on the technical tracks. Apart from those, the ship shielding is somewhat mediocre.

The ship model in Pure is reused for Pulse and HD, having the shield improved while maintaining the high top speed. The lack of thrust and handling may be the cause of issues; remember though, that if these issues are held off, it will be able to outrun the competition. The Piranha Fury-class ship shows the explicit improvement of the thrust, which has at least solved the problem on low acceleration. In addition, the minor handling improvement makes the ship slightly better at turning.

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • A piranha is an omnivorous freshwater fish that inhabits South American rivers, noted for its sharp teeth and a voracious appetite for meat should their territory be threatened.
  • In Wipeout 3, the in-game team name is misspelt as "Pirhana". It is also a reference to the fact that Piranha came from the companies stated: "Pir" and "Hana". Chronologically, there was a hyphen separating the two names (as Pir-hana) during the AGRC. This may suggest that at the time, they went through rebranding during the F7200 League (to symbolize their return to their native Brazil), then in the F9000, were renamed once again, back to Piranha.
  • Piranha's team colors are based on a psychological study that the colors red and yellow (their usual team colors) tend to make one feel more hungry.
  • One of Piranha's mottos in the F9000 League, "Just when you thought it was safe...", is a reference to the 1978 horror film, Jaws 2.
  • Piranha chairman Aries Piermont was referred to as the team founder in Wipeout Fusion as stated in their Super Weapon Challenge. Given the ret-conning of the team's establishment in 2044 and having raced in the AGRC before withdrawing by the time of the F3600, his role was changed as the chairman and owner of the team during the F9000 era.
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