The AMX-011S Zaku III Custom, (also known as "Zaku III Kai"), was a mobile suit from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ. The unit was piloted by Mashymre Cello. This suit has also appeared in the light novel Mobile Suit Gundam Twilight Axis and is customised by Arlette Almage. It is piloted by Danton Hyleg.
Technology and Combat Characteristics
The Zaku III Custom has some differences from the basic AMX-011 Zaku IIIs. It sported a heavier and more stylized armor, a new head mounting a pair of vulcan guns, optional left shoulder armor with a hide bomb dispenser, a large backpack with powerful thrusters and ejectable external propellant tanks, and an enormous rear skirt armor plate. Rather than building a new unit, all the part that are used by the Zaku III Custom are optional parts of the original AMX-011 Zaku III.
- Beam Rifle
- Mashymre's Zaku III equips a customized beam rifle which is powered by a rechargeable energy cap.
- 30mm Vulcan Gun
- Mashymre's Zaku III mounts a pair of vulcan guns mounted on the head, which is different from the mouth cannon mounted on standard Zaku IIIs. These weapons are primarily used to ward off advancing enemies, shoot down missiles, or hit other fast moving targets. They also made good use as an anti-aircraft and anti-personnel weapons.
- Beam Gun/Beam Saber
- Mounted on recharge racks on the front skirt armor and hand operated in use, these weapons possess two modes, a close combat beam saber mode and a long range beam gun mode (Similar to the AMX-004 Qubeley's forearm-mounted Beam Gun/Saber). Both modes have a power rating of 2.8 MW.
- Hide Bomb Dispenser
- Mounted in the left shoulder armor of Mashymre's Zaku III.
- Optional Shield/Weapons Rack
- Unlike the previous Zaku II, the Zaku III's shoulder mounted shield is optional equipment, though it was standard practice to install one. Also unlike the Zaku II, the shield of the Zaku III doubled as a weapons rack to store extra armaments, such as additional beam sabers and grenades.
Special Equipment & Features
- External Propellant Tanks
- An external tank used for propellant storage. This extra propellant greatly extends a mobile suit's operating range, and enables it to stay in combat longer. When the propellant is consumed, the tank can be discarded to reduce the mobile suit's weight. These tanks use a two-layered construction, with one layer containing propellant, and the other holding extra coolant.
Although the AMX-011 Zaku III design lost out to the AMX-014 Doven Wolf as Neo Zeon's intended new frontline mass-production mobile suit, several prototypes did get produced. These Zaku IIIs proved quite popular with many Neo Zeon officers and ace pilots fighting in the First Neo Zeon War. One Zaku III unit ended up in the hands of Haman Karn loyalist Mashymre Cello, who would employ his customized Zaku III in one of the last battles of the war. Although Mashymre's Zaku III was referred to as the AMX-011S Zaku III Custom, it was indeed nothing more than the basic Zaku III with various optional equipment selected by Mashymre.
During the Battle of Axis, Mashymre Cello attempted to engage Ple Two's NZ-000 Queen Mansa, and nearly scored a hit with his beam saber before being intercepted by AMX-014 Doven Wolfs, lead by ace pilot Rakan Dahkaran. During the fight, the more advanced Doven Wolfs outperformed Mashymre Cello and nearly destroyed him, but Mashymre used his newfound Newtype abilities to resist and destroy one Doven Wolf before detonating his Zaku, killing himself in the process.