More common among the Clans, particularly after Operation REVIVAL and in the later days of the Dark Age, these BattleMech designs typically devote more resources to aesthetic "frills". 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.
Many 'Mechs are named after their Clan, such as the Nova Cat. However, this does not make the 'Mech a "Totem 'Mech". To be considered as such a 'Mech is designed to visually resemble some part of the faction fielding them, such as the Eyrie, Mandrill, Kodiak, and Fire Scorpion.
The question has also been answered by previous Line Developer Herb Beas on the Official Forums
List of Totem BattleMechs
- Eyrie - Light totem BattleMech for the revival of Clan Jade Falcon.
- Gyrfalcon - Medium totem BattleMech for Clan Jade Falcon.
- Shrike - Assault totem BattleMech for Clan Jade Falcon.
- Mandrill - Clan Fire Mandrill light totem BattleMech, the first Totem 'Mech to be produced.
- Howler (Baboon) - Light totem BattleMech for Clan Fire Mandrill
- Kodiak - Totem BattleMech for Clan Ghost Bear.
- Era Report: 3062, p. 107, "Totem 'Mechs"