Mandarin is one of the primary antagonists of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!. He is the original sixth member of the team, formerly inhabiting an orange suit of armor. He was usurped as leader of the team by Antauri after his ambitions grew too far from the team's moral code.
His appearance changes regularly throughout the series, only appearing as his natural self during his debut episode, before being augmented into a muscular abomination for all subsequent appearances until he is ultimately disposed of by Skeleton King, and replaced by Skele-Mandarin.
Flashbacks have shown a complex side to Mandarin. He was shown to genuinely care for his siblings, but was also a very stern, to the point of being vicious leader. When Nova and Sparx were misbehaving, he scared them both into submission, before being gently reprimanded by the Alchemist. He was also said to be very close to Otto, leading to the latter taking his betrayal the hardest.
He was also fairly headstrong. When viewing the portal to the realm of the Dark Ones, where the other monkeys coward in fear, Mandarin simply stared at the beasts with contempt. As soon as he was given the opportunity, he lept onto the portal and began acting threateningly towards the beasts, said action resulting in the sudden release of Dark Energy, which is what ultimately lead to the corruption of both himself, and the Alchemist.
After being mechanized, Mandarin took his role as leader of the Hyperforce seriously. He protected and watched over his siblings, teaching all of them the combat tactics they know in present day. However, as time went on, his training regimens grew more and more rigorous, before becoming downright sadistic, such as an instance where he forced Nova to endure subzero temperatures, resulting in Nova unlocking her Thermokinesis in a destructive manner, and subsequently her volatile hatred of cold weather.
Mandarin is not mentioned at all in any specific sense, though hints of his existence, or former existence are prevalent, until Secret of the Sixth Monkey.
In Secret of the Sixth Monkey, Antauri encourages the team to come up with new moves and attack strategies. Chiro is less than enthusiastic about the idea and resolves to head to his quarters. While in there, he accidentally triggers a compartment in the wall of his room, revealing one of Mandarin's gauntlets, specifically his Shield Gauntlet, alongside his helmet. Chiro activates it, causing Mandarin to sense its presence and awaken from his stasis. Chiro shows the gauntlet to the rest of the team, who are shocked to see it and Antauri decides to tell Chiro the story of Mandarin. While this is going on, Mandarin manages to break free of the prison, and drive the prison vessel to Shuggazoom in order to reunite with his siblings. There, he learns of Chiro and, seizing an opportunity, attempts to bring the young hero up on his own ideology. However, this attachment leads to him underestimating Chiro, who uses the window of trust between them to free the other monkeys. He makes another attempt to defeat the heroes, this time with the aid of the Skeleton King's Hyper Formless, but they are no match for the Team's new moves. After a second defeat in short succession, Mandarin escapes in a ship to the Citadel, where he requests mentorship from the Skeleton King.
Mandarin doesn't appear again until Hidden Fortress, the Season 1 finale, where he first appears as a mysterious masked figure baring no resemblance to his former self, having sent the severed head of Jinmay as a tactical move designed to dampen Chiro's rationality. He eventually removes the mask and reveals to Chiro his true identity. Though his mutated body gives him an initial edge in combat, Chiro manages to quickly adapt, forcing Mandarin to resort to different tactics. Using his purple robot, he manages to uncover and retrieve the monkey team (sans Gibson and Chiro) and bring them aboard the Citadel, where he then begins experimenting in them to make them unwaveringly subservient to him. Chiro and Gibson agree to travel to the Citadel and save their comrades.
Mandarin appears in the Season 2 premier, Skeleton King, as a secondary adversary, with Skeleton King taking the lead. In this episode, he continues his experiments on the monkey's, attempting to force them into permanent servitude. Though he briefly succeeds with Otto, the rest of the monkeys prove too resilient for his experiments, and with a little persuasion, Otto too manages to break free of Mandarin's control. Chiro makes use of Jinmay's torso to break through the wall of the room Mandarin is housing the monkeys. Mandarin attempts to fight Chiro, only to be knocked unconscious by a single attack. He is not seen for the remainder of the episode, even as the Citadel begins to fall apart.
His final appearance is in the episode, Versus Chiro, where he continues conducting experiments in an attempt to clone Chiro for the Skeleton King. The repeated attempts to clone Chiro all end in some form of failure, with the most life-like ones being unstable, and having their heads explode into Formless Goo, and the most stable ones being horrifically mutated to various degrees. After the Monkeys manage to break the real Chiro out of his containment, they reveal that only the real Chiro can harness the Power Primate. Overhearing this, Mandarin, in a last ditch effort to create a perfect clone, merges all active Chiro clones together in the hopes that one of them will possess the Power Primate, and spread it through the rest of the mass. Unfortunately, this does not work, and though resilient, the Chiro Blob is defeated when exposed to a high concentration of Power Primate energy. As a result, Chiro's genetic code is lost and Mandarin's lab is completely destroyed. He pleads with the Skeleton King for another chance, but the Skeleton King denies it. Skeleton King then reveals Skele-Mandarin, a clone he created to replace the real Mandarin. Mandarin is last seen being dragged away by a pair of red Bone Drones to places unknown.
According to Antauri, Mandarin was once a good-hearted monkey, an argument he used when referring to Chiro's susceptibility to corruption. The extent of Mandarin's kindness is never discussed in detail, only that it did not last a long time.
He is incredibly intelligent and highly combat-adept, making him something of a culmination of all the Monkey Team's skills. In his default form, he can easily take on all of the Monkeys due to predicting the nature of their attacks, which he reveals he taught them. Additionally, in his debut appearance, he's show to be very calm and calculated when not in combat, but he becomes very excited during battle, to the point it becomes a fault, leading to him underestimating his opponents. Additionally, he displayed a father-like fondness for Chiro, seeing him as something of a worthy successor. However, this faded almost as soon as Chiro betrayed him.
After his mutation, he's shown to become increasingly maniacal, to the point where his combat effectiveness progressively dwindles. This is due, in part, to his overconfidence in his new body.
He's not shown to have any fears, however, when the Skeleton King decided to replace him, he was seemingly horrified as he was dragged off into darkness, having outlived his usefulness.
Prior to the series, Mandarin appeared similar to the other monkeys. He possessed a standard armor with a dominant orange colour. Unique to his armor were that the optics possessed a red glint, making his overall appearance more sinister. In addition, he also wore a tunic over top of his armor, as well as his signature gauntlets, due to him not possessing built-in weaponry like his brothers.
Following his exile, he had a number of robotic parts modified or removed, among them being his helmet. His organic face possesses similar black eyes with red glints, albeit much smaller than the optics of his suit. His face is wrinkles and haggard-looking, with long, unkempt eyebrows and a beard. He still wears his old tunic, which is somewhat tattered by this point, as well as mummy-like bandages. His fingers have been replaced with claws as well. Additionally, prior to his reveal, he was completely covered in bandages.
After his debut, Mandarin later returns with a huge, hyper-muscular body, having been modified by the Skeleton King. The body itself seems bio-organic in nature, somewhat resembling that of Bane from Batman. When he initially appears, he dons a helmet that hides his identity, before eventually shedding it. In addition to the bulk upgrade, Mandarin's scalp has a glass dome with cybernetics inside of it, though whether this is a new fixture, or simply obscured by the bandages before hand is unknown. This would be the appearance he'd take up until being replaced by his more subservient clone, Skele-Mandarin.
Mandarin has something of a complicated relationship with Chiro. He was initially insulted by the prospect of being replaced, he briefly grew to enjoy the idea, seeing Chiro as a potential underling to aid in realizing his initial vision. His fondness for Chiro faded following his betrayal, and subsequently developed into something of an aimless obsession with the boy, resembling something of an inferiority complex. This obsession would ultimately result in his termination under the Skeleton King.
Mandarin seems to have had a fatherly, if antagonistic relationship towards his, as he puts it, "brothers" in the past. Among them, Nova and Antauri seem to have the most immediately noteworthy history with him. Nova in particular recalls her fear of cold temperatures being initiated by Mandarin's torturous training regimen. Mandarin seems to hold a great resentment towards the other Monkeys in present day due to his exile. To the point that he'd willingly hand them over to the Skeleton King at the prospect of having Chiro as a subservient underling.
Initially created to combat the Skeleton King, Mandarin would ultimately fall under his control. Working under the Skeleton King, Mandarin would constantly push for his own independent goals, ambitions which the Skeleton King repeatedly makes sure to snuff out before they gain any traction. at the end of the day, the Skeleton King doesn't value Mandarin at all, and the feeling is likely mutual. Mandarin is ultimately cast out by Skeleton King and replaced by a more subservient clone.
- Mandarin's name may be a reference to Mandarin Oranges, a type of orange natively grown in regions of China.
- Alternatively, this could also be in reference to his voice actor, James Hong, who is an actor of Chinese descent.