"Zoids: The Battle Begins" was the first Zoids video game ever released. It was released on the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum, which were personal computers that were released in the early 1980's and were discontinued in the early 1990's. Being released in 1986, "The Battle Begins" had very primitive graphics. It did, however, have a fairly complex story to back up the gameplay. The story shares some basic simularities with the UK Zoids comic book series.
You play the game as an Earthman, the lone survivor of an Earth spacecraft that crash landed on Zoidstar. The Blue Zoids have adopted you into their rankings and find your fearlessness and cunning to be a valuable asset in the war against the Red Zoids. The plan is to have you "merge minds" with Zoidzilla and drop you into the heart of Red Zoid territory to wipe them out.
Unfortunately your aircraft carrying yourself and Zoidzilla is shot down and Zoidzilla breaks into six pieces. The Red Zoids take these pieces and bury them away under their cities so Zoidzilla can't be recovered. You did not die though, and you find a lone SpiderZoid to pilot. You then have to make your way into the Red Zoid cities to recover Zoidzilla and face the horrible Red Zoids.
Below you can find the contents of the manual, including a few illustrations. The manual explains in more depth the history, story and directions for the game.