The AMX-011S Zaku III Custom (also known as the "Zaku III Kai") is a mobile suit from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ. The unit is piloted by Mashymre Cello. This MS also appears in the light novel Mobile Suit Gundam Twilight Axis and is briefly piloted by Danton Hyleg.
Technology and Combat Characteristics
The Zaku III Custom is essentially the basic, modular AMX-011 Zaku III fitted with various optional parts to enhance its performance. Mashymre's Zaku III Custom has a new head unit which mounts a pair of vulcan guns instead of the head beam cannon, a different left shoulder armor with hide bomb dispenser, a new backpack with larger propellant tanks and high output verniers, a long rear skirt armor with thrusters that also functions as stabilizer, and finally different knee armor.
Danton's unit features an all-red color scheme reminiscent of Char Aznable's MS. In addition, it retained the original Zaku III's backpack and knee armor, and was equipped with a Beam Machine Gun originally used by the AMS-119 Geara Doga.
- 30mm Vulcan Gun
- Mashymre's Zaku III Custom mounts a pair of vulcan guns on its head instead of the standard Zaku III's head beam cannon, granting it better close combat capabilities. These shell-firing 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 Cannon/Beam Saber
- Mounted on the front skirt armor and hand operated in use, the barrel units of the pair of beam cannons can be ejected and used as beam sabers. Both the beam cannon and beam saber modes have a power rating of 2.8 MW.
- Beam Rifle
- Mashymre's Zaku III Custom uses a high performance beam rifle which was developed as an optional armament for the standard Zaku III. It has a long effective range and high output.
- Beam Machine Gun
- Used by Danton Hyleg's Zaku III Custom, it was original used by the AMS-119 Geara Doga. There are two versions of the Beam Machine Gun, both are powered by replaceable e-pacs.
- Grenade Launcher
- The beam machine gun can be equipped with an underslung grenade launcher to increase its ranged firepower.
- Hide Bomb Dispenser
- Mounted in the left shoulder armor of Mashymre's Zaku III Custom.
- Option Rack Shield
- The shield on the right shoulder contains a storage rack carrying spare beam sabers and grenades.
Special Equipment & Features
- Propellant Tanks
- The two propellant tanks on the backpack of Mashymre's Zaku III Custom have a larger capacity than those on the standard Zaku III. Beside improving the suit's cruising range, they also allow the suit to accelerate several times faster than the standard Zaku III.
Although the AMX-011 Zaku III design lost out to the AMX-014 Doven Wolf as Neo Zeon's new frontline mass-production mobile suit, a limited number of units were 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 actually the basic Zaku III with various optional equipment for performance enhancement.
During the Battle of Axis, Mashymre Cello engaged 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. In the ensuring battle, the more advanced Doven Wolfs trapped Mashymre's Zaku III Custom and nearly destroyed him, but Mashymre used his Cyber Newtype abilities to resist and destroy one Doven Wolf before he sacrificed himself by detonating his Zaku III Custom.
In U.C. 0096, after the Laplace Conflict, another Zaku III Custom appeared during the events as depicted in Mobile Suit Gundam Twilight Axis. This unit was built by Arlette Almage, and was meant for Char Aznable's use, although he opted for the Sazabi instead. The unit was later abandoned in Axis following Axis Shock.
Later, when Mastema was attacked by Birnam forces, the unit was hastily reactivated by Arlette for veteran test pilot Danton Hyleg's use. During its fight with the RX-78AN-01 Gundam AN-01 "Tristan", the unit managed to damage the Tristan and destroy its Beam Rifle. After the battle the unit's OS was formatted and the unit permanently disabled, as it was too large to bring with them.