The 4-series Evangelions refer to both the Evangelion Mark.04 type and the second type of Evangelions with "4" in their name. Since the connections between both types, although implicit, are not entirely clear (and both are significantly different visually), this page provisionally puts them together.
In Eva 3.0
Evangelion Mark.04 is the collective designation of a series of artificial beings possessing characteristics of both Angels and Evas. They first appear in Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo. Their purpose appears to be that of autonomous weapons, with objectives varying depending on the specific sub-type.
The first three types of Mark.04 units seen are based around a saucer shape. Individual units superficially appear inorganic in nature, but this could be due to the extensive use of restraint technology. At least two of the three types exhibit the core block and camouflage cocoon features. Unlike Angels proper, these have the wavelength pattern ≈Blue, meaning "approximately blue".
Mk. 04A are mobile units observed during Operation US, defending the orbital space where Eva-01's "coffin" is being held. They remain hidden in camouflage cocoons until someone infiltrating this space sets off "the auto-defense system's mass weapon" -- explosives along the lines of "space mines" -- at which point they emerge and begin to pursue the invader.
The main body is disc-shaped and houses two cores. The disc's back surface features four pylons, the "Eva-04" logo, and a design featuring two Evas holding hands (which bears some resemblance to the IPEA logo). What appears to be the lower half of an Eva with scissor-like legs emerges from the center of the disc and can freely pivot a full 360˚ degrees. Although not immediately apparent, this Eva body exhibits symmetry along its frontal plane -- that is, instead of the back being distinct from the front, it is a mirror image. This suggests that the body is actually comprised of two Evas that were fused dorsally down to the knees, which is corroborated by the presence of two cores and the image of two Evas on the saucer, and further by the "conjoined Eva" theme made more prominent with the Mark.04 units in Eva 3.0+1.0. The overall appearance of the unit is somewhat evocative of a bacteriophage.
The 4As use layered A.T. Fields as a means of rapid propulsion through space. They attack primarily through the use of an Anti A.T. Field, which they generate while spinning their saucer section and Eva torso/legs section in opposing directions while "kicking" at their target A.T. Field. Once the enemy field is neutralized, they rapidly employ a sort of "energy buckshot" emitted from a plate equipped to both inner thigh sections. This can be charged up quickly and has devastating results, being able to blast Eva-02's shielding into scrap after a single use. Despite their speed and potency, the 4As are vulnerable to targeted long-distance firepower, and they are easily one-shotted by Mari in Eva-08.
Multiple 04A saucer sections can be seen on the decks of Wille's fleet wired into the power system, indicating that Wille have encountered this variety prior to Operation US and determined a way to utilize their power source. Since both 04B and 04C liquify when they die (all 04As die onscreen in explosions, so cannot be directly observed), it's unclear how Wille are able to do this, short of having some way to keep the Evas in a permanently disabled state.
Only a single specimen is encountered, at the culmination of Operation US. This Mk. 04B is built directly into Eva-01's orbital "coffin", concealing itself within a cube-shaped protrusion. Upon its activation, a lid bearing the mark of "Neo"-Nerv is ejected from the cube's top, revealing a mobile core block -- similar to the disc component of the Mk. 04A units -- within. The four walls of the cube are part of the unit and rapidly extend into immensely long reflective ribbons. These ribbons are strategically grouped around the 04B's target, apparently to collect sunlight and "charge up" an attack, which it then unleashes without reprieve. It's said to utilize a "field-reflective coating", which gives the light attack an unusual appearance and prevents it from being deflected via A.T. Field. Mk.04B is capable of both a focused light attack and of scattered rapid-fire bombardment. The latter pocks the entire surface of Eva-02's armor plating in little time and is particularly dangerous.
In its initial assault, Mk.04B targets Asuka's "corrupted" eye indirectly, through her Eva. It is unclear why it engages in this behavior and what this choice of target potentially implies about Asuka's left eye, though it does suggest that the unit possesses some intelligence or, at least, has its behavior directed in a way that enables such discriminating choices to be made. The use of "light" as a means to attack an Eva pilot directly may be a callback to Arael from the original TV show.
Mk. 04C (Nemesis Series)
Mk. 04C, also called the "Nemesis Series", appear in the polar oceans where AAA Wunder is being outfitted: a cadre consisting of four core blocks and spontaneously generated attacking units ("pillars of light").
The four core blocks, holding thirty-two cores apiece, lie beneath the water's surface, shielded by a camouflage cocoon. The Nemesis Series' principal strategy is to keep its core blocks protected, and deploy mobile pillars of light on the surface, which develop into towers of stacked units that link together to form a lattice around a target. The pillars of light employ a "saturated attack", which appears to instantaneously vaporize anything that contacts it.
If the cocoon is breached, the core blocks can attack with prehensile ribbon-arms, resembling those of Zeruel from NGE, but otherwise seem largely helpless. While the core blocks are being destroyed by the Wunder's guns, their interior sections are visibly comprised entirely of core-material.
When the Nemesis Series appears, Misato states, "They're back", and Ritsuko later says, "we should retreat like we usually do." This possibly suggests that Wille have had multiple run-ins with Mk. 4C, but were not able to confront and defeat them until the activation of the AAA Wunder.
In Eva 3.0+1.0
Another set of three Eva types, based around the number "4" and possibly a second series of Mark.04 units, are encountered in Paris at the beginning of Evangelion 3.0+1.0. Unlike the ones in Eva 3.0, these much more closely resemble actual Evangelions, but are similarly fused with technology at a level far exceeding the Eva norm. These units do not utilize core blocks, and instead are formed from two or more Eva units merged into a single being. The number of times the "4" in their name repeats is how many individual Evas are present in units of that type.
Pronounced "Four-Two-A". Two Evas fused front-to-front. They have the overall appearance of a humanoid drone.
Like all other known Mark.04 units, the 44As have no heads, and each neck stub has a mask similar to the Fourth Angel's first face tied over it. The cord holding down each mask also winds through multiple apertures in the entry plug hatch cover, physically binding the entry system shut. A Spear of Longinus is held in place between the fused bodies, with the tines emerging from the cranial end between the two masks. What may be the spear's other end emerges caudally to form a rudder-like "tail", comprised of a thin strut enhanced by a membranous covering. Flanking the fused neck region, there are two mechanical restraints resembling the equipment that helps hold an Eva within its cage. Despite being a fused entity with two "backs", the 44As do appear to have a preferred up/down orientation; their "top-right" shoulder is the one that has an antenna attached to its pylon.
Ritsuko says that the group in Paris has formed their own colony, which makes them "like a new creature". They are said to be modified for aerial capability, indicating that non-flying types exist. These flying types have their hands and feet replaced with drone-like rotors, and the surface area of the body is extended via membranes. Each of the four rotors has three pylons on both top and bottom, which are in addition to the four shoulder pylons (two for each body half).
They singlemindedly attack Eva-08, completely ignoring the Wille landing team, a behavior which the landing team anticipated. Their offensive appears to be based entirely around charging with their Spear of Longinus. This enables Mari to eventually trick them into all impaling each other, forming a massive cluster which she hurls to the ground. The 44As in the cluster all turn red-hot and detonate as a result. A point of blinding white light appears for every 44A unit, possibly corresponding to their power source. When previously destroyed one by one, the 44As produced rainbows individually, while the cluster generates a single circular rainbow that increases in size as more of the units detonate.
After they are all destroyed, the 4444C reveals its presence behind a camouflage cocoon, prompting Mari to comment, "Using Angel-style lures?". However, beyond the implication that the 44As were used as an intentional distraction, it's ambiguous what this means.
The 44As, being airborne Evas equipped with Spears of Longinus that attack in groups, seem intentionally poised to evoke the Mass Production Evangelions from The End of Evangelion. The shot of them creating a circular formation around Eva-08 especially acts as a callback to the MP Evas' introductory scene, where they circled above Eva-02 before landing.
Pronounced "Four-Two-B". Power-feeding companion units to 4444C, comprised of two Eva torsos and legs linked at the shoulder by a generator. In place of a normal Eva upper body, they have a rounded cylindrical section with ten evenly spaced holes on its upper forward face. According to Ritsuko, the ones encountered in Paris were modified for power-feeding purposes, and it's not known how they would look or function normally.
When the 44Bs emerge from the 4444C's camouflage cocoon and move forward into position, they lift their legs high with every step in the manner of goose-stepping Nazi soldiers, a possible reference to the German occupation of France during World War II, and/or as a parodic reference to a line of can-can dancers whose dance moves also incorporate synchronized leg lifts.
Pronounced "Four-Four-C". The upper bodies of four Evas attached to something resembling a stylized drill platform. Where the lower body of each Eva would be, there is instead a prehensile drill-like apparatus and its spherical socket. A positron cannon and its associated machinery is situated in the middle of the entity, with the power-feeding array jutting out below, and a bundle of tubing with the rifle aloft emerging out the top, held upright by the four Evas in a manner evoking four people carrying a palanquin. The position cannon is similar in appearance to the weapon used to defeat the Sixth Angel in Operation Yashima, while also outputting an attack that resembles the Sixth Angel's own.
A halo-like structure forms a handrail for the four Eva torsos. Two more glowing rings structures flank the cannon on either side, and together with a fourth hoop on top that glows when the gun is fully charged, there are four mock halos in all.
The Evas, like all other Mark.04s, are headless. A wire emerges from the neck stub of each one, to which the Fourth Angel-like mask is attached. The eye holes of the masks are, interestingly, still employed by the members of 4444C to "focus" their positron cannon's attack in a manner similar to the Angels' "cross-explosions".
Reinforcing the mysterious link between the Mark.04 Evas and Evangelion Unit-04, the Eva bodies on this unit are, in terms of armor configuration and coloration, effectively identical to the Rebuild version of Eva-04 that has been revealed in movie tie-ins such as the pachinko game CR Neon Genesis Evangelion ~Saigo no Shisha~.
The spherical power receiver is covered in an array of eye-like lenses which alternate between magenta and cyan in color. When first seen, they have the symbol of "Neo"-Nerv inside them. This structure may be intended to reference the Ohmu from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (the film version of which Anno worked on), giant pillbug-like arthropods with many eyes that alternate between red and blue in color depending on the Ohmu's mood. While the overall resemblance is quite superficial, there may exist deeper parallels that shed light on what's going on in the post-Third Impact world -- namely, the Mark.04 Evas were perhaps designed to maintain and spread the core-converted world in the interest of "purification", similar to how the Ohmu maintained and spread the Toxic Jungle of Nausicaa which, while temporarily antithetical to human life, served the long-term purpose of removing environmental pollution.
The core block (コアブロック, koa burokku) is a component of certain Mk.4 units, shaped approximately like a medicine tablet, that houses one or more individual cores. Only two types, 4B and 4C, are specifically identified as possessing this feature. The purpose of specifying "core block", as opposed to just "core", may stem from the fact that (A) multiple cores can be present, and (B) the unit may be comprised of multiple separate parts. Hence, "core block" provides a concrete target for complete annihilation of the unit.
The extremely large core blocks of the Nemesis Series, housing twenty-three cores apiece, endure large amounts of fire from the Wunder before they undergo image collapse. In addition to housing cores, their cross section indicates that they are fully composed of core material. Up to four core blocks are seen working cooperatively at a time.
The camouflage cocoon (擬装コクーン, gisou kokūn) is a feature exhibited by 4A, 4C, and 4444C. While employed, the camouflage cocoon creates a barrier that seamlessly camouflages the Evas into their environment. Once breached, whether from without or within, the cocoon shatters into countless thin, glass-like octagon tiles, suggesting it is generated by one or more A.T. Fields.
Their origins are clouded in mystery. The designation "Evangelion Mark.04" suggests a link to Evangelion Unit-04, which could potentially be related to the Impact-like event that Eva-04 caused. In Eva 3.0, it's implied that the Eva-like beings in and around Nerv HQ were once human, semi-evolved during Third Impact in a deliberate Instrumentality attempt. It's possible that Eva-04's failed Impact was a prelude to this, and transformed the people at the Second Branch into near-Angel beings that were subsequently modified with Eva technology.
The image on the Mk. 04A's saucer suggests a possible IPEA connection, although the nature of such a link is completely unknown. In the present day the Mark.04s are either implicitly or explicitly under the control of "Neo"-Nerv.
(Rebuild of Evangelion)
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