|— Drive Knight on his tactics.|
Drive Knight's real name is Zero (ゼロ, Zero).
Drive Knight has long black hair and wears a white mask. His mask has a single horizontal slit for the eyes, and a single red shining eye in the center of the slit. The mask has three small vertical slits where his mouth should be. His armor is rather simplistic, being similar to a medieval knight's armor. His appearance changes with his Tactical Transformations.
Drive Knight is an incredibly tactical and calculated fighter. He is very focused on gathering information, valuing reconnaissance over the safety of the multiple heroes fighting Nyan, and does not underestimate his opponents even if they are below his level of power. He is not willing to allow an enemy who has seen his abilities to live, possibly to avoid allowing his opponents to learn and therefore exploit his weaknesses. He is also quite merciless towards monsters, willing to use any means, including torture, to obtain the information he desires. Despite this, he is willing to capture certain monsters if they are powerful enough or pique his interest, as seen when he tries to capture Nyan.
Drive Knight works of his own accord despite the Hero Association's orders. According to Sekingar, Drive Knight's confidence stems from the fact that he has never lost a battle.
Drive Knight dislikes and is deeply suspicious of Metal Knight, and when Sekingar explains the status of multiple S-class heroes, who were put in the hospital by simultaneous monster attacks, the hero berates Sekingar for the blind trust they've put in Bofoi and claims that he is the mole. When Sekingar asks for proof of this, Drive Knight gives an advanced analysis of all the factors that would indicate Bofoi's treachery, although offers no strong evidence to prove his claim. As a result, Sekingar begins to doubt Drive Knight's loyalty, seeing too many inexplicable things surrounding his actions and suspecting he may be a traitor.
He also appears to be a single-minded and heartless man with his own objectives, as shown when he ruthlessly drops Genos from great height after his objective in collecting a sample of the fusion of Psykos and Orochi's flesh was completed and doesn't bother taking care of the fellow cyborg's overloading condition.
Abilities and Powers
As an S-Class hero, Drive Knight is very powerful. He was able to easily defeat a group of Tiger-level Mysterious Beings, and he managed to defeat the Dragon-level monster and Monster Association executive Nyan relatively quickly and without sustaining much damage thanks to his multiple features and immense strength. However, he admitted that he won because Nyan was overconfident and reckless and he had already collected battle data beforehand, which allowed him to gain the upper hand. Additionally, Drive Knight claimed the fight with Nyan drained his battle energy to the point that he could no longer even move. Sekingar has claimed that Drive Knight has never lost a battle before. This reputation is enough to cause worry for the Hero Association when the possibility of his defeat is presented.
Immense Strength: Drive Knight possesses tremendous physical strength. He was able to effortlessly rip off the head of a Tiger-level Mysterious Being. He was also able to send Nyan flying with a single punch, although these punches did not deal significant damage, and he was strong enough to stab Nyan in the chest after roasting him.
Immense Speed and Reflexes: Drive Knight has quick movements even outside his Knight form. He was able to use his shape-changing box to form Silver and quickly decapitate two Tiger-level Mysterious Beings before any of them could figure out what was happening. His transformation speed is further showcased when he transforms from his Chariot form to his Knight form as Nyan is coming to strike his face. More impressive is the fact he was able to react to and keep up with Nyan, a Dragon-level mysterious being. He can further augment and increase his speed with his Knight and Chariot Tactical Transformations.
Immense Durability: Thanks to his very sturdy machine body, Drive Knight can withstand very powerful blows. He was even able to stay standing after taking Nyan's multiple Feline Retributions, and in his Gold form, he could withstand these attacks with minimal damage.
Core (コア, Koa): Similarly to Genos, Drive Knight's body is powered by an energy core. During their battle against the fusion of Psykos and Orochi, he requested Genos' cooperation to combine through coalescing their energy cores to maximise their power output.
Tactical Transformation (戦術変形, Senjutsu Henkei): Drive Knight effectively uses his shape-changing box to create weapons and transform his body. This method of combat is highly versatile and adaptable; his transformations are situational. Nyan noted that he could not predict Drive Knight's moves. Due to the situational effectiveness of each transformation, Drive Knight's fighting style consists of transforming multiple times during a fight, depending on the number of monsters involved and on the strength of each monster individually. The speed of each transformation does not seem to be an inconvenience, as it appears to occur almost instantaneously: the transformation from Chariot to Knight was fast enough to let Drive Knight counter the extremely nimble and fast monster Nyan moments before he reached Drive Knight's head with his claws. He was also able to transform between Rook, Bishop and Chariot almost instantly while he was chasing the fusion of Psykos and Orochi.
- Pawn (歩, Ho): Drive Knight's ordinary form.
- Knight (桂馬, Keima): Drive Knight transforms his lower body into that of a horse, giving him the appearance of a centaur. This form gives Drive Knight increased speed and leg strength. Drive Knight also used this form to buck Nyan into the air.
- Silver (銀, Gin): Drive Knight forms a sword as long as desired/needed. The sword is powerful enough to easily slice through multiple Tiger-level monsters and pierce Nyan, although this was only after the monster was roasted by his Gold form. He is able to form swords in both hands simultaneously. This transformation can be used in conjunction with other transformations.
- Chariot (香車, Kyōsha): Drive Knight transforms into a sleek motorbike with lances attached on its frontside.
- Missiles: The motorbike can shoot missiles from its sides.
- Anesthetic Gas (麻酔ガス, Masui Gasu): The motorbike can emit large anesthetic gas clouds.
- Dissolving Liquid: (溶解液, Yōkai-Eki) The motorbike can release a specially-made dissolving liquid. Drive Knight states that this liquid dissolves things quicker the thinner they are.
- Rook (飛車, Hisha): Drive Knight transforms into a bulky compact fighter jet with four wings and several rocket engines that propel him forward and upward at high speeds.
- Energy Cannons: The jet contains several energy cannons on its sides that can be used for aerial combat.
- Energy Blaster: Drive Knight may detach the wings of his jet and transform it into a separate energy blaster that flies in front of the jet to clear obstacles with it's destructive blasts. Although his jet would temporarily lose the ability to maneuver effectively.
- Bishop (角, Kaku): Drive Knight transforms into a large humanoid robot with a crested helmet. This form sacrifices durability for power. However, Drive Knight was still able to withstand multiple missiles and energy beams from Psykos in this form.
- Gold (金, Kin): Drive Knight adds a layer of armor to his body. His hair turns white and his armor flares between its plates. In this state, Drive Knight was able to withstand Nyan's Feline Retribution attacks, which he was unable to do with Tactical Transformation: Bishop.
Tactical Combination (戦術合体, Senjutsu Gattai): When Drive Knight's energy reserves are depleted, he can fuse with another cyborg or robot to gain access to their energy cores, thus allowing maximum energy output. Drive Knight's shape-changing box transforms their bodies in order to gain promoted versions of his regular Tactical Transformations. Drive Knight explicitly stated that this ability's may not function depending on the compatibility of his robotic partner. This ability was first used in conjunction with Genos.
- Promoted Rook (龍王, Ryūō, Viz: Dragon King): Drive Knight and his robotic partner transforms into a large humanoid robot with several large thrusters and heavy armor. Drive Knight's partner is positioned where the head would be while Drive Knight is embedded within the chest-plates. The transformation's main weapon of choice is a giant longsword with a guard in the shape of a dragon's head and wings.
Keen Perception: Drive Knight can identify the threat level of the Mysterious Beings he engages against. Whether this is because of his robotic mechanisms or a comparison of his strength to the monsters he fights remains unclear.
Master Strategist: Drive Knight can use the information gathered on a Mysterious Being to his advantage by exploiting the weaknesses of the target. Through this, Drive Knight also decides which Tactical Transformations are best suited for fighting his opponent.
Electricity Absorption: Drive Knight can absorb electricity in any type of power outlet as an emergency energy source if his current storage of battle energy is depleted. Drive Knight may absorb extremely large amounts of electricity at once, enough to cause a power outage in a section of City Z.
Shape-Changing Box: Drive Knight possesses a box-like object that contains various cybernetic parts. It can swiftly change shape and fuse with his own body to form various weapons for combat or even as a means of transportation. Drive Knight also uses it to torture his enemies.
- Tactical Saw Blade: Drive knight transforms his Shape-Changing Box into a giant spinning saw blade. Drive Knight can throw this gadget at high speeds at a certain victim, usually as a surprise attack. The saw blade was sharp enough to lop off a small portion of a concrete building cleanly.
- Checkmate (詰, Tsume): Drive Knight can utilize a part of his Shape-Changing Box to create a cage-like device that impales its victim, completely incapacitating it. Drive Knight uses this device to restrain an extremely weakened Nyan while he fights Psykos and Orochi.
Drive Knight has a limited energy reserve; when it is depleted, he is unable to fight.
The rating might be mostly unknown due to Drive Knight's ability to change his form, rendering fixed statistics pointless.
- "Is there a form of torture you've always wanted to experience? My Tactical Transformation can cause you each and every kind of pain."
- "The true nature of evolution... is rivalry."
- "In order to improve the possibility of victory, anything that can be exploited must be exploited."."
- According to the databook:
- Drive Knight's various Tactical Transformations are named after the pieces used in the traditional Japanese board game shogi.
- Murata once drew Drive Knight's Chariot form before but scrapped it in favor of the Knight form.
- Despite his ambiguous status as either a cyborg or a robot, Drive Knight is shown eating noodles in official artwork.
- Murata has depicted Drive Knight using a snorkel in the cover art of Volume 11.
- In the 2017 One Punch Man Halloween cover, Drive Knight was depicted in his Knight form but headless, a reference to the famous mythical figure Headless Horseman.
- Drive Knight appears to share some traits with DC Comics superhero Batman, namely his habit to gather intel on his targets and his reliance on a variety of tactical tools and vehicles in order to achieve victory more effectively.
- His English voice actor, Todd Haberkorn, also voices Natsu Dragneel, the main protagonist of Fairy Tail.
- The promotion of any piece except the King and Gold is possible in shogi when it arrives to the 7th, 8th or 9th row. A promoted Rook increases its movement capacity and is available to move diagonally one square. The promoted Rook is also called a Dragon that can be written 龍 or 竜 (Ryuu).
- Murata noted that Promoted Rook's design was based on ONE's illustration of Genos's dreaming of his new designs. Dragon King is also a pun to Genos's fighting image of a dragon when he used Thunder Drill Cannon.