Totem BattleMechs represent a Clan or faction's spirit, concept or totem-animal on which they were founded. More common among the Clans, particularly after Operation Revival and in the later days of the Dark Age, these BattleMech designs often devote more resources to aesthetic "frills" than many others; These "frills" are often anthropomorphic or zoomorphic in appearance.
One example of the increased importance of the Totem 'Mech can be seen when these units are compared to the OmniMechs that regularly appeared in the Clan's front line Clusters. Those units, designed for brutal efficiency on the battlefield and quick production, lack all the special moldings, formed armor, and other design details used in the Totem 'Mechs.
The use of a Totem Mech isn't limited to the Clans however. Many examples exist in the Inner Sphere as well. For example the JagerMech III was a part of the "Redesign for Davion Pride" project. The Hatamoto-Chi of the Draconis Combine and the Yu Huang of the Capellan Confederation represent those realms' bushido ideal and Xin Sheng belief.
Many totem 'Mechs are named after their clan, such as the Nova Cat (OmniMech). However, a great many more are designed to resemble some part of the faction fielding them, such as the Eyrie, Gyrfalcon, Jade Hawk, and Shrike of the Jade Falcon's 3130's revival BattleMech line, all of which resemble the clan's totem bird of prey with their talons, hawk-like head assemblies, and heat-dissipating wings. Others, like the Draconis Combine totem 'Mech Shiro, which is symbolic of that faction's strong Japanese traditions and bushido, are powerful figureheads for commanders to lead their forces from.
List of Totem BattleMechs
- Arctic Wolf - Clan Wolf-in-Exile premier Medium totem 'Mech.
- Balius - Clan Hell's Horses premier heavy quad totem 'Mech.
- Battle Cobra - Clan Steel Viper medium OmniMech, characterized by its fully arm-mounted weaponry.
- Black Lanner - Clan Jade Falcon fast medium totem OmniMech.
- Blood Kite - Clan Blood Spirit assault totem 'Mech.
- Cave Lion - Clan Spirit Cat Heavy totem 'Mech, designed to resemble the clan symbol's saber-toothed lion.
- Ebon Jaguar - Also known as the "Cauldron-Born", a Heavy totem 'Mech for Clan Smoke Jaguar.
- Eyrie - Light totem 'Mech for the revival of Clan Jade Falcon.
- Fire Scorpion - Clan Goliath Scorpion heavy class.
- Grizzly - Clan Ghost Bear totem second-line Heavy 'Mech.
- Gyrfalcon - Medium totem 'Mech for Clan Jade Falcon.
- Hellion - Clan Ice Hellion Myst-Lynx-based Light totem OmniMech.
- Jade Hawk - Heavy totem BattleMech for Clan Jade Falcon.
- Kodiak - Totem BattleMech for Clan Ghost Bear.
- Mandrill - Clan Fire Mandrill's Totem Light 'Mech, the first Totem 'Mech to be produced.
- Nova Cat - Clan Nova Cat's premier heavy 'Mech.
- Scylla - Totem Assault 'Mech for Clan Steel Viper.
- Shadow Cat - Clan Nova Cat main medium totem OmniMech.
- Shrike - Assault class totem BattleMech, built by Clan Jade Falcon.
- Thunder Stallion - Clan Hell's Horses Assault totem 'quad BattleMech.
- Tiburon - Clan Sea Fox light totem BattleMech.
- Tundra Wolf - Late Jihad-period Clan Wolf heavy totem 'Mech.
- Turkina - Older assault class totem BattleMech design from Clan Jade Falcon.
- Warwolf - Clan Wolf's heavy companion to the Wulfen.
- Wulfen - Clan Wolf's light totem BattleMech.
- Eisenfaust - House Steiner totem medium 'Mech.
- Hatamoto-Chi - Draconis Combine assault class totem 'Mech.
- Hitotsune Kozo - Another Draconis Combine totem 'Mech, medium class.
- Rokurokubi - Light class Draconis Combine totem 'Mech.
- Shiro - Draconis Combine totem heavy BattleMech, created in the 3130's.
- Yu Huang - Capellan Confederation Assault 'Mech.
- Era Report: 3062, p. 107, "Totem 'Mechs"