Banagher Links (バナージ・リンクス Banāji Rinkusu?) is the main protagonist of the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn novel and its OVA adapation. He is a student that later becomes the pilot of the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam.
Personality & Character
Banagher is a well meaning young man. No matter the circumstances, he cares a lot about the safety and well being of other people, regardless of whether they're fighting with or against him. As a result of his good natured personality, he often tries to hold back when fighting opponents, resorting to non-lethal methods of subdueing them as best he can. At times, he can be a bit naive, such as when he thought to have Laplace's Box handed over to the Sleeves, despite not knowing what its contents and potential consequences would be. Despite this, he holds the belief that people's identities and actions are not bound by blood or familial ties, and that people should have the freedom to find their own path in life. This is heavily reflected in his actions and behavior, such as his insistence on calling Mineva Lao Zabi "Audrey" despite her true identity being revealed to him, caring little about her status as the heir to the Zabi name, and his resolve in freeing Loni Garvey from her bloodthirsty quest for vengeance for the loss of her family at the hands of the Federation, insisting that it was not her duty to enslave herself to the wishes of her father. Ironically, in an almost hypocritical fashion, he questions to the point of personal frustration what his father, Cardeas Vist, had in mind when he gave him the Unicorn Gundam, and how he intended Banagher to overcome the obstacles that lay before him. As such, when he feels lost or questions whether or not what he's doing is right or wrong, he hesitates to take action. However, when he figures out what he needs to do with the power given to him, he's displayed an iron will with little regard to his own safety, such as when he sortied in the Unicorn Gundam to drive off the Sleeves forces in an effort to protect Mineva in spite of the odds stacked against him, or when he angrily beat Suberoa Zinnerman, a man much larger and stronger than him, to convince him of his hypocrisy in allowing the Zeon Remnants to destroy Torrington in light of the circumstances surrounding his late wife and child, even though he was at gunpoint.
Skills & Abilities
Banagher has displayed some proficiency in piloting petite mobile suits. As a technical student, it is implied that he has some knowledge of how to troubleshoot a mobile suit, though the actual extent of his training is unknown. He also has very sharp eyes, such as when he spotted the Unicorn Gundam from a long distance, while Micott did not. Banagher is also a relatively fit teenage boy, and displays some proficiency in hand to hand combat, as he was able to fend off Marida Cruz, an augmented human, and her guards single-handedly.
Banagher is also portrayed as a Newtype with very high potential. He is instantly able to control the Unicorn in Destroy Mode during his first time in the cockpit, effectively dodging beams from a large number of funnels and defeating the NZ-666 Kshatriya in 1-on-1 combat. By 0096, Banagher is already quite spacially aware, able to sense Mineva Lao Zabi in danger and the negative intent in the Sleeves in Industrial 7. He enters several scenarios in which he clearly telepathically communicates with others on the battlefield, some of them already deceased. Additionally, despite the malintent apparently programmed into the NT-D, Banagher learns to exert his will strongly enough to resist the will of the psycommu. Later during the war, he is fully capable of initiating and shutting down the NT-D and the Unicorn's Destroy Mode on his own accord.
His brainwaves are displayed to reach supernatural levels (even by the standards of Newtypes in general), which, combined with the Unicorn Gundam's extensive psycoframe, are able to manifest themselves physically. They are shown to have enough power to move or destroy nearby solid objects and, eventually, enable the use of the Full Armor Unicorn's shields as remote weapons, by manipulating the psycoframe that runs through them. Upon mastering both the NT-D and Banagher's own powers, over time the psycoframe of the Unicorn Gundam changes from red to green, responding to the growing magnitude of his Newtype ability.
Note: There are differences in events between the manga and the OVA of the story; there are two different histories between the character's manga and animated version.
Banagher is the illegitimate child of Anna Links and Cardeas Vist. He was born in Side 1, 003 Eden. As a child, Cardeas told him the story of the Unicorn and both the art and the animal has captured his imagination since. Although not explained, Cardeas subjected Banagher to a series of tests; the nature of the tests were never clearly explained, but it suggests Cardeas was testing Banagher's Newtype capabilities. Sometime later, Anna decided to not allow Cardeas guide their son under the Vist Foundation any further and took custody of him. Due to the fact Banagher was so young when he left the Vist Foundation and his father, Banagher eventually forgotten his Vist heritage and lived life as a normal boy until 0096 UC.
Incident at Industrial 7
Studying at Anaheim & Spotting Unicorn Gundam
At sixteen years of old, Banagher lived a normal life up until now. Gifted in engineering, studying at Anaheim Electronics Industrial College at the space colony Industrial 7 in the Technology Department's Faculty of Research Development. Banagher does a part-time job clearing space debris with a construction MS. He viewed war as something akin to fiction, as he was born after the One Year War ended, and did not experience the more isolated wars that followed it. He was focused on his studies like his friend Takuya Irei, when their teacher, Mr. Bankcroft, lectured them about how a good education can get them a successful job. Just then, an education assistant entered the class to inform everything that the Anaheim shuttle meant to take them to the Snail, the colony builder, has broke down. Banagher and his classmates soon discover a museum, filled with various OYW items, notably viewing a MS-06F Zaku II. Though Takuya insisted that they check it out, no one else cared, seeing as the war ended a long time ago. Banagher then began to stare at the Zaku, before he was interrupted by classmate Micott Bartsch, who entered into a discussion with him whether he will find his father. Banagher soon became distracted as he saw something in the distance, the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, and had forgotten that Micott was right behind him. After the tour, Banagher was leaving the technical school when he saw a young girl free-falling from the top of the colony. Banagher grabbed Haro and hijacked a TOLORO-800 "Torohachi" to catch the girl in midair. However, the Torohachi ran out of fuel and the two managed to safely crash-land near the Anaheim Electronics school. The young woman was distrustful of Banagher and held him down for interrogation; demanding to know his identity. After Haro spilled his identity, she then pleaded Banagher's help, a speedy means to reach to the Colony Builder to prevent war. Impatient, Mineva left, but Banagher stopped her; he volunteered to take her there as he knows the place the best. The young woman then told Banagher her name was Audrey Burne, an alias to cover up the fact that she is the Princess of Zeon, Mineva Lao Zabi
While taking the mono-rail, Banagher asked Mineva questions about her interested of the Colony Builder, but she remained silent. It wasn't until Banagher mentioned the rumors that it's the HQ of the Vist Foundation that drew her attention. She asked if Banagher knew about the Vist Foundation, but told her he didn't see it himself, he only knew of it because one of their higher-ups is the chairman of his school. The train then made a sudden pause from its route, due to the police investigation the theft of the Torohachi earlier. To avoid police attention, Banagher and Mineva got off the train to travel the rest on foot.
While heading there, the two made a quick pit stop for some hot dogs as Banagher explains the Colony Builder is a system that helps expand the colony as it's still incomplete of its construction. While walking, the princess within her felt uncomfortable eating while walking, but she was surprised how good a hot dog was. To save time, Banagher rushed Mineva as they attempt to intercept Bangher's class; they intend to slip in as a group for her to enter the Colony Builder.
While taking an elevator to the Colony Builder, Mineva bumped into Marida Cruz; she had come to recover the princess. Mineva made it clear that she doesn't want to return with the Sleeves due to her own position on their cause. Marida tries to convince Mineva back, but she argues that the Laplace's Box will only be misused by Full Frontal for unnecessary conflict. Mineva hoped Marida to understand her reasons, but Marida was a soldier, she only cared about following orders.
Marida and her two men tried to apprehend the princess, but Banagher interfered. He used Haro to fake a self-destruct, long enough for the two to escape from the elevator. The two henchmen attempted to follow, but Banagher knocked them both back down to the elevator. Marida then jumped out of the elevator and gave chase. As Banagher reached to the next elevator, Mineva rushed him as Marida was gaining closer. Banagher then quickly did a low swing kick to knock out Marida, but followed up the attack with her own swing kick. Banagher evaded the attack and used her coat to drag her down to the lower level; Mineva was impressed that Banagher single handedly fended off 3 Sleeves.
The two would later take a breather at the Colony Builder rails. Mineva wanted to know Banagher's reasons for helping her, but he interrupted her by introducing himself, because they never formally got acquainted. To avoid detection of her true identity, Mineva told Banagher her name was Audrey Burne. Banagher then jumped into the subject about Haro, asking did she know about the replica Haro being tied to Amuro Ray; Audrey said she didn't know much about it due to the fact she lived in the country and had a "rootless" lifestyle. To Mineva's surprise, Banagher related to her, saying he also had a similar life. After that, the two continued their journey to the Vist Foundation.
As they reached walked towards the Vist Foundation, Bangaher wondered about their early encounter with Marida. Audrey explained they're her comrades; she escaped due to their difference of opinions. Banagher then asked a series of questions, all inquiring if she's tied to an anti-government group and Audrey confirmed his suspicions without telling Banagher they're Sleeves. At the end of the rail, the two can see the giant rails expanding the colony; Audrey couldn't help but be impressed how this contained world is growing.
At the Vist Foundation mansion, Banagher had a strange reaction to the place. Audrey thought Banagher was being rude, but he was compelled to enter the mansion and enter a particular room. From there, Audrey was surprised to find beautiful tapestries of a Unicorn and was further surprised that Banagher can read the inscriptions of the tapestries. It was then that Cardeas Vist arrived to explain the history behind the tapestries; the tapestries are called The Lady and Unicorn, French-made in the Middle Ages and acquired by Vist predecessors.
Audrey then apologized for their intrusion and was going to introduce herself, but Cardeas assured her he knows who she is; they skipped the pleasantries and Mineva was quick to ask Cardeas to reconsider the Vist Foundation's decision to relinquish the Laplace Box to the Sleeves. Cardeas denied her request and then told the two the leave as he explained it's dangerous for them to meet like this; Mineva assured that Capt Zinnerman isn't the sort of man that would create ruckus.
Mineva asked again, the reasons behind entrusting Laplace's Box to the Sleeves after the Vist Foundation have prospered because from it so long. Cardeas didn't give a straight answer, he deflected the situation by focusing on Banagher; Cardeas wanted Banagher to leave (out of fatherly concern) as he felt he has nothing to do with Mineva. Seeing Cardeas displeased with Banagher, she didn't want him to be in further trouble; she expressed her gratitude for taking her this far and relieved him, however Bangaher didn't want to leave.
Banagher mentioned how it was different from learning war in school and sensing it from being with her; he didn't care who she is, so long as she needs him. Mineva was a bit taken back from Banagher's words, but she told him she didn't need him and to forget her. Unable to accept his situation, Banagher stubbornly remained until Cardeas had someone remove him from the Vist mansion and returned to his classmates.
Reunion with Father & Activating Unicorn
As the collateral damage rises between the Federation and Neo Zeon forces, the colony is evacuated. Banagher and his friends attempted to gain access to the hazard shelter, but then suddenly, stray beam shot kill his friends, excluding Takuya and Micott. They are then witness with Federation mobile suit attempting to fend off a quad-wing type suit. After Takuya confirmed that the former was Federation, Banagher advised that they get to the colony builder, where the Federation mothership was bound to be. But first, he decides to search for Mineva, leaving Takuya to watch over Haro and a distraught Micott.
Making his way through maintenance tunnels, Banagher discovers the Unicorn Gundam he saw earlier and in its cockpit was fatally wounded Cardeas Vist. Banagher demanded to know where Mineva was. The Vist Foundation leader cryptically stated that this isn't the first time she cheated death and it won't be her last. Growing furious, Banagher presumes that Vist must have abandoned her and accuses him of cowardly attempting to escape in the mobile suit but Vist admits that even if he could, he wouldn't survive. Banagher demanded to know why he couldn't prevent this war from happening, otherwise his friends would still be alive. Vist tells him that they had set this path to correct the flaws of the Universal Century. Vist asked Banagher if he had the resolve to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. Banagher admitted that he didn't have that resolve, but all what he knew is for Mineva to need him. Satisfied, Vist entrusts the Gundam to Banagher, who realizes that Vist was his father, as his biometrics are assigned to the Gundam, making it so that only he could pilot it. Vist tells him that if he proves himself to be a capable pilot, then the Unicorn will grant him powers unrivaled and open the path to Laplace's Box. Banagher asks what it is, only for Vist to cryptically say is the dark curse that the Vist family guarded for nearly a century, but if used properly, it may bring about a brighter future for everyone. Banagher repeated his question a second time, but Vist ignores it, telling him the reasons why his mother took him. He soothes Banagher to believe in the possibility that lies within. Vist then fell out of the Gundam, before his body was incinerated by an explosion. As the cockpit closed, Banagher became distraught with the revelation that Vist was his father. He then remembered his brief childhood memories surrounding his father and the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry and gained the resolve to move forward. Banagher then launches in the Unicorn Gundam and confronts the Sleeves' elite pilot Marida Cruz, who is piloting the Kshatriya. He attacked Marida Cruz/NZ-666 Kshatriya and pushed it full throttle to take the battle outside the colony. The Nahel Argama was outside the space colony at the time fighting the Neo Zeon forces. While Banagher/Unicorn was surrounded by the Kshatriya's funnels, the NT-D program activated, transforming the Unicorn Gundam into Destroy Mode.
Unicorn Vs Kshatriya & Federation Detention
Banagher/Unicorn subsequently defeated Marida/Kshatriya, forcing her to retreat. Losing his consciousness during the fight, he is taken aboard the Nahel Argama along with the Unicorn. Found unconscious by the crew, he is placed in the ICU until he awakens. Banagher is then interrogated by Daguza Mackle of the ECOAS Special Forces team on his experience piloting the Gundam and his relation to Cardeas Vist. Though everyone protested that he was hurt, Mackle's only concern was to try to have Banagher tried for taking a military mobile suit and interfering a combat situation, warranting capital punishment. Banagher told Mackle everything he knew. The commander was a little unconvinced that Vist would just give the Gundam to a boy. He asked Banagher if Vist said anything when he gave it. Banagher repeated once again that Vist told him to use the Unicorn to protect everyone. As Mackle turned to leave, Banagher muttered under his breath that maybe it would be easier to believe if he said that Vist was his father, which Mackle briefly heard.
Full Frontal's Attack & The Princess of Zeon
Suddenly, The Sleeves attacked again, this time with their leader, Full Frontal launching in his MSN-06S Sinanju. While the crew tried to negotiate with The Sleeves for safe passage to Von Braun, Daguza then revealed that Audrey Burne was in fact Mineva Lao Zabi, heiress to the Zabi family, and held her hostage as negotiations broke down. Mineva said that if Full Frontal were truly Char, then he would not hesitate to kill her since he wanted revenge on the Zabi family for killing his father, Zeon Zum Deikun. Banagher made his way to the bridge to protest that it is wrong to use Mineva (whom he kept calling Audrey) as a hostage and asked why can't they just hand over Laplace's Box when so many people had to die for it. Mackle argued that though they don't know what is contained within the box, whatever it is, it could overthrow the Federation. He asks Banagher how would he explain to all those people as to why their loved ones had to die because he didn't know.
Defending the Nahel Argama & Unicorn Vs Sinanju
With Full Frontal's Sinanju taking out most of the ReZEL units on board the Nahel Argama, Banagher dons a pilot suit and equips the Unicorn with its Beam Magnum and Shield, believing that if he took it out, Mackle won't have to use Mineva as a hostage. After a brief coaching about the Unicorn's systems by Alberto Vist, Banagher launches. Even with a powerful beam rifle equipped, he was unsuccessful in actually hitting Frontal/Sinanju. Frontal/Sinanju kicked Banagher/Unicorn in a similar fashion to how Char Aznable kicked the RX-78-2 Gundam during the One Year War. The Unicorn fell back against an asteroid and the momentum caused Banagher's nose to bleed. Refusing to give up, he activates the NT-D, bringing out Destroy Mode. He goes into a high-speed chase with Frontal/Sinanju, before Riddhe/ReZel moves in to back him up, assuring Banagher that they can flank him. And successfully, they managed to graze Sininju's right leg. But Banagher impulsively attempted to get it close, only to be surprised by Marida/Kshatriya, who grappled with Banagher/Unicorn. Banagher tried firing the Unicorn's vulcan guns, only for Marida/Kshatriya to respond with a punch to the cockpit. The impact caused Banagher to puke. As he began to lose consciousness and the Unicorn deactivated, he kept calling Mineva, Audrey.
Sleeves Capture & Asteroid Palau
Interrogation & Meeting Full Frontal
Captured by the Sleeves, Banagher and the Unicorn are taken to the asteroid Palau, where he was interrogated by Marida and Captain Suberoa Zinnerman. Once he told them all he knew, he was brought before Full Frontal himself. The man acted like Char Aznable in many ways, being polite enough to have tea with a mortal enemy. He even complimented Banagher's piloting skills, even though he was a bit reckless.
As Frontal walked up to shake Banagher's hand, he became hesitant and openly asked why Frontal wore a mask similar to Char, suspecting if he has something to hide. The Royal Guards leader, Lieutenant Angelo Sauper, took offense to Banagher's insolence, but Frontal was willing to oblige the boy. Frontal unmasks himself in front of Banagher, revealing his face to be identical to that of Char's, right down to the scar on his forehead. He explained that donning the mask is simply his style and a tool of propaganda; sometimes he forgets he even has it on, until someone like Banagher makes the point of mentioning it. He then questions Banagher as to how and why Cardeas Vist would just hand the Unicorn over him. Therefore, he logically concludes that Banagher must be in some way related to the Vist family. Banagher asks if he has to answer that. In response, Angelo walks up to him and grabs him by the collar of his shirt, warning him to learn some respect. Frontal further adds that they are only asking him politely because of his association with Mineva. Banagher then firmly stated that Mineva/Audrey made it very clear that Neo Zeon must not get the Laplace's Box without war breaking out; he asks why they won,t listen to her if she's their princess. Frontal asks in return if Banagher even believes in the existence of the box. Banagher admits that he doesn't, but firmly voiced his believes that knowledge could change the world in an instant.
When Frontal asks for examples, Banagher cites all the military developments over history. Frontal complimented his knowledge of military history and went on to explain Neo Zeon's point-of-view; even though the Sides have been recognized, the Federation still maintains the authority to appoint their governors and forbid spacenoids to even vote. Thereby, Neo Zeon believes that this must change by overthrowing the Federation and realize the independence of the spacenoids. Banagher then cuts him off, exclaiming that no one should resort to terrorism, not even to take a life. Angelo finally lost his temper and threw Banagher against a wall, informing him that he killed one of their best men, Ensign Sergei, on the battlefield with a stray shot, shocking Banagher. Frontal tells Angelo that Banagher probably doesn't even know what he's talking about, for his response was purely on instinct. He calls for Zinnerman and Marida to take Banagher under their care, expressing his hopes that he will understand what Neo Zeon truly is and work alongside them someday. As he was being led out, Banagher demanded one last question: Is Frontal really Char or not? Frontal answered that he only sees himself a vessel for the hopes of the spacenoids and the ideals of Zeon. Therefore, if people wish to believe that he's Char, then so be it.
Neo-Zeonic Perspective & Escape Plan
Under Marida's supervision, he was taken to one of the residence of Palau. During dinner with Gilboa Sant's family and Marida, his eldest son Tikva asked if Banagher was a prisoner, to which he answered sort of. Tikva tells him that he's lucky that he's now a Zeon prisoner, claiming that in the Federation, prisoners are tortured and malnourished. Banagher denies that claim, only for Tikva to back up that his father was a prisoner on Earth until Zinnerman rescued him. Banagher retorts that what happened at Industrial 7 and the first colony drop was Zeon's doing. Tikva justified that what happens in war and further voices that Zeon fights for the spacenoids. He could also tell that Banagher was a spacenoid too and asked him why was he supporting the Federation. Tikva's father tells him to be quiet. Banagher rhetorically asks everyone if war is ever justified, citing how many people during in Zeon's first colony drop without even choosing to die. He also states that he didn't want to kill anyone when he was using the Gundam, but if he didn't he would've been killed.
Marida then rose up from the table, telling Banagher to come with her. She shows him a chapel and tells him of how the spacenoids looked to Zeon as a new directional light. Banagher then mutters the last words of Cardeas, remembering how he said that humanity alone possesses a god. Marida then counsels him over his killing of Sergei, advising that he not be concerned over those he kills. She also thanks him for taking action to protect Mineva. As she turns to leave, Banagher asks if she pilots a mobile suit, to which she answers if they are low on manpower.
Meanwhile, the crew of the Nahel Argama, having received the new MSN-001A1 Delta Plus, devised a plan to get back both Banagher and the Unicorn. A crewmember disguised as a bum purposefully bumps into Banagher and hands him a note with detailed instructions on the upcoming attack and a pen-shaped transmitter. As he settled in his apartment provided by the Sleeves, Banagher despaired that Palau would soon become a battlefield.
Escaping Palau & Reunion with Audrey
Banagher quickly made a run for it, just as the Federation started their attack. As he made his way to the 14th space gate, he came across the Unicorn Gundam. Referring to the inanimate machine as a person, Banagher takes to his Gundam and attempts to fly out. But his escape did not go unnoticed, as a AMX-009 Dreissen began to fire on him. Banagher tried retaliating with a confiscated beam gatling gun but the weapon was not fully charged. He tries calling out to the Sleeve pilot, trying to reason that unless he escapes, the Federation will keep attempt. However, his pleas went unheard, as the Dreissen pressed its attack. In desperation, Banagher fired his weapon, which tore the Sleeve MS apart.
As he flew away from the colony, Banagher noticed a Federation MS, the MSN-001A1 Delta Plus. He then heard Mineva's voice over the comm. Surprised to find her here, Banagher asked if she was piloting the MS. The Delta Plus pulled up right in front of him and its hatch opened, revealing its pilot as Riddhe. Riddhe and Mienva explain that they are going to Earth, where they can reach the former's father, an influential Federation politician who is an advocate on spacenoid policy, in hopes of resolving this conflict peacefully. They also urged him to return to the Nahel Argama. Once he's been extracted, the Federation will retreat from Palau. After tearing apart a Gearu Zulu, Banagher asked Riddhe to take care of Mineva.
Unicorn Vs Kshatriya II & Marida's Past
As Banagher made his way through enemy lines, he noticed that Sleeve MS were getting out of his way. And he found out the reason why: to give an opening for the Kshatriya to attack him. As they clashed, Banagher somehow knew who the pilot was Marida. He tried calling out to her but Marida/Kshatriya grappled him and held a beam saber to the cockpit, threatening to kill him if he doesn't surrender. He tried reasoning with her, explaining the Federations, battle plan to pull out if he escapes. Marida doesn't believe him, seeing that he's just being fed enemy rhetoric. Banagher even mentions Mineva, peaking Marida's interest before she demanded to know where the princess is. She calls him a hypocrite siding with the Federation. Growing more furious that she refuses to listen, Banagher/Unicorn breaks free and transforms into Destroy Mode. In the midst of the fighting, Banagher evaded all the particle beams fired at him, though he lost his gatling gun, the Unicorn is somehow able to take control of the Kshatriya's funnels. Banahger/Unicorn then began to merciless attack Marida/Kshatriya. But just before he could go for the finishing blow, he relents up making telepathic contact with Marida, seeing her entire life. They engage in a dialogue of beliefs about compassion, before Banagher takes Marida/Kshatriya aboard the Nahel Argama.
While resting in the infirmary, Banagher overheard Ensign Mihiro Oiwakken debating with Doctor Hasan regarding medical treatment for Marida, even to suggest putting her in a straitjacket. Banagher sprang from behind the curtain, insisting that Marida would not harm someone. He tried reasoning that the Federation has rules regarding the treatment of prisoners, but Mihiro retorts that she's a terrorist and responsible for the destruction at Industrial 7, as well as several Londo Bell pilots. Mihiro was surprised by his abrupt defense of Marida and asked if he was brainwashed at Palau. As Mihiro exited the infirmary, promising a security detail, Hasan reminds him that Riddhe has been listed as MIA.
Banagher then asked Hasan about Cyber Newtypes. The latter explained that Cyber Newtypes are the result of a delusion. He and Banagher then go into a discussion about Zeon Zum Deikun's Newtype theory and how it could end war if they could all understand each other.
Banagher then checked on Marida, who was recovering on the bed next to his. She tells him that he was getting in tuned with the Unicorn, which was built to destroy Newtypes. Only his foundation stopped him from delivering the final blow. She tells him not to lose himself before she starts rearing in pain. As Hasan attends to her, Banagher leaves the infirmary, before he is approached by his friends. As they retire to their guest quarters, Banagher tells Takuya and Micott everything that has happened. As Micott asks outloud whether Mineva made it to Earth. Banagher assures her that Riddhe is taking care of her, which Micott finds surprising.
Ethics of War & Search for Laplace
Banagher was soon called upon by the Nahel Argama's senior officers concerning new coordinate data given off by the Unicorn. The coordinates were pointed towards the wreckage of the station Laplace. Mackle told Banagher that he is to pilot the Unicorn to the appropriate coordinates while he rides along. Banagher tried refusing, fearful of being overwhelmed by the NT-D once again and reminds the ECOAS officers that he wasn't a soldier and therefore not obligated to follow his orders. Mackle agreed with him but stated that he has to take responsibility for his actions. Already Banagher has stepped onto the battlefield three times. Though many lives were saved, others were lost rescuing him. He has already become involved in the destinies of others, both friend and foe alike. Therefore, he must see this through to the end. As the ECOAS officers get up, Banagher asks if he's expected to fight until he dies or go on a wild goose chase. Mackle advises him to think on what he said, all what he is doing now is avoiding the problems he's made for himself. Banagher protests that while people are dying, why he should he be expected to kill others but his pleas go unheard. As soon as the ECOAS officers have left, Captain Otto Midas comforts Banagher. He explains to him that Mackle has to see things from that perspective for it's his job. He also tells Banagher that when they were told to attack Palau alone, the crew was already worn out. Then Mackle inspired them to press on, stating that they owed Banagher to get him out safely. Midas remarks that Mackle is acting with the kind of responsibility everyone should have.
Banagher soon boarded the Unicorn, with Mackle riding alongside him in a jump seat. After Mihiro advised him over the comm to maintain a prescribed speed to avoid falling into the Earth's atmosphere, Banagher looks to Mackle, who could tell that something was bothering him. Banagher asked the commander if he ever had any doubts. Mackle answers that he sees himself a cog in a machine known as the Federation. He follows orders and doesn't question them. Banagher admits that he's unsure about who his friends and enemies are. From his perspective, a person like that isn't qualified to pick up a weapon, much less seat foot in the Gundam again, even if it meant letting his father down. Mackle advises that he see another perspective: he has a responsibility to his friends on board the Nahel Argama. Once they've reported back at Luna II, what happens to Banagher's friends will depend on his actions. Banagher asks Mackle if he's implying that they're hostages. Mackle says however he perceives it, right now he's making the right choice.
As they approached the ruins of Laplace, Mackle explains the Laplace Program of the Unicorn displays data once it recognizes the coordinates, precisely inside the station, which passes around the Earth at zero hundred hours each day. Banagher asks Mackle that if the box was hidden in a such an obvious place, then someone would've found it already. Mackle admits that they don't know but it's worth checking out. As they pass through the ruins, Mackle explains that to save humanity from overpopulation, the Earth Federation was created to manage space immigration and act as God; a vengeful God that would crush without mercy. The sabotage of the Prime Minister's residence was the best thing that could've happened for the Federation. It maintained its authority under the pretense of preventing terror. Banagher asks if he's implying that the Federation staged the sabotage itself. Mackle admits that things like that in the real world sometimes happen. Thing is, no one who was involved back then is alive today. All what endures is fear of Laplace's Box and the symbiotic relation with the Vist Foundation. As of today, all what the cogs in the machine are expected to do is maintain the status quo.
As soon as they reached the appropriate coordinates, nothing happens. Then, an ominous speech begins playing, coming from the Unicorn itself. Banagher then begins to imagine the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry and his father as the NT-D began to engage. Then, by reflex, he flew out of Laplace abruptly, sensing the approaching Sleeves about to attack the Nahel Argama. He barely evades a long-range particle beam shot fired at him. He retaliated with his bazooka. Mackle advised him to use the beam magnum but Banagher refused, seeing it to be too powerful. He managed to fire a few shots that took out a Gearu Zulu's right arm, forcing it to retreat. Mackle grabbed him by the shoulder, demanding to him if he's treating this like a game. He should take out the enemy while he has the chance otherwise he will come back kill his allies or even him. Banagher yelled that he's know it's not a game; he takes life seriously if his or anyone else's is on the line. He then barely blocked a beam tomahawk from another Gearu Zulu. Then he heard Gilboa's voice coming over the comm, urging him to stay back. He states that their objective is to retrieve Marida and advises Banagher to stay out of it. Mackle then quickly relays a warning to the Nahel Argama.
As if to add to their problems, they come under attack by Full Frontal. Banagher soon expended all of his ordnance, he switched to the beam magnum. Mackle encouraged him to fight on if he wants the NT-D to activate. However, Banagher was considering handing the Unicorn over to the Sleeves. Mackle advised against that, for the Nahel Argama consists of pros and the Sleeves would not hesitate to take it out. Banagher then retreated into Laplace. Once he came to a stop, Mackle instructs him to open the hatch. Once Banagher complies, Mackle throws his jump seat out of the hatch, intent on going out alone. Amidst Banagher's protests for him not to go, Mackle says that a while ago, he saw the NT-D start to engage, as if it was reacting to Banagher personally, to his heart. He speculates that Unicorn wasn't build to eradicate Zeon. There is something special about the Gundam and it responds to the heart. That could mean that the Laplace Program acts as a guide post to lead the pilot to the box. He comments that whoever designed this, "was one crafty son of a bitch." Mackle then instructed to wait for his signal. When Banagher asked what he intends to do, Mackle stated that even a cog in a machine has its pride and tells Banagher to play his own part. He points to Banagher's heart, stating that it's the one place where he can decide for himself who he is.
As Frontal/Sinanju flew into Laplace personally, Mackle instructed Banagher to fire his vulcans, forcing Frontal/Sinanju on the ground. Mackle then fires a missile that slightly damages the Sinanju's face. In retaliation, Frontal/Sinanju swiftly kills Mackle with his beam tomahawk. This enraged Banagher, as the NT-D began to activate. He then viciously fired on Frontal/Sinanju, his beam magnum practically tearing Laplace apart. As he pursued Frontal/Sinanju, he in turn was pursued by two Gearu Zulus, intent on taking him apart. Instead, Banagher turns the tables on them, stabbing one Gearu Zulu in the cockpit while dismembering Angelo's MS. He then engaged in beam saber combat with Frontal/Sinanju as they both plunged into the atmosphere. He furiously attacked his opponent, even tearing off Sinanju's left leg, yelling, "I'm going to take you down, or else!". Frontal called out him, trying to stop Banagher to fight and warn him if they continue to fight then they'll both burn up in the atmosphere. But with nothing but blind rage, Banagher intensified his beam saber and slashed through a huge chuck of metal. Switching to his beam magnum, Banagher was determined to not miss this time. But instead of hitting Frontal, he struck Gilboa instead. Paralyzed by what he had done, Banagher/Unicorn then fell into the atmosphere.
New Federation-Zeonic Conflict
Desert Survival with the Garencieres Crew
The Unicorn, with the Garencieres in close pursuit, crash lands in desert. Captain Zinnerman retrieves Banagher and the Unicorn, but the Garencieres becomes trapped in the sand, unable to release the mobile suits without cracking its hull. In hopes of contacting Neo-Zeon and the Zeon remnants, Zinnerman and Banagher make their way to an oasis. Banagher, still traumatized by the events at the Laplace ruins, struggles on the four day journey. He spends much of the time moping about the world's situation, but urged on by Zinnerman, who tells him that he does not trust a man who never cries, he manages to make it to their destination, and Zeon reinforcements arrive shortly after to pull the Garencieres out of the sand.
Upon departure, Banagher meets a young Zeon pilot, Loni Garvey, who tells him not to let her down. He gives her a curious look before entering the Garencieres. The ship's mechanic, Tomura, then explains to Banagher that the Unicorn is able to fit onto the Garencieres because of the universal standard set by the Zeon and the Federation during the wars. Banagher wonders why the Zeon and the Federation could agree to matters like that and not be able to get along, to which Tomura reminds him that it was simply more efficient.
The Garencieres, with the Unicorn in tow, takes off to join the coming battle in Torrington, Australia, where the La+ system indicated the next seal was to be. Meanwhile, the crew of the Garencieres warms up to Banagher. When questions about Banagher's allegiance arise, Flaste, who berated Banagher at first for killing Gilboa, reassured Zinnerman that Banagher trusts him.
The Battle at Torrington
The Garencieres arrives at Torrington to witness Loni in the mobile armor Shamblo destroying the city, which Banagher notes to be nothing but a slaughter. Banagher comes up to the helm to request Zinnerman to allow him to launch in the Unicorn, but Zinnerman refuses, telling him that he would be shot down the moment he took off. Banagher then argues about the morality of the situation, to which the captain reminds him that the Zeon are occupying the city and this behavior on Loni's part was to be expected. When Banagher reminds Zinnerman of the town in which he lost his family to invading Federal forces, the two engage in a fist fight, and eventually Banagher comes out on top and convinces Zinnerman to clear his launch.
The Unicorn takes off and enters the battle, firing on the Shamblo, but Banagher disarms himself to try to convince the rampant Loni to stop her assault. Loni grabs onto the Unicorn, but Riddhe in the Delta Plus comes and rescues him. Riddhe tries to convince Banagher to fire at the Shamblo, but the Unicorn lets go and Banagher continues to try to negotiate with her. When his attempts to reason with her fail, he steps out of his cockpit to show her that she could trust him. For a moment, the Shamblo ceases and lowers its cannon, but when Yonem Kirks, her surrogate father, is killed in the distance, Loni once again activates the Shamblo.
Desperate to stop the massacre without harming her, Banagher activates the Unicorn's Destroy Mode, this time causing its psycommu to let out a wave of mental energy, to which the Shamblo follows suit. The raw energy created from the psycoframes resonating ravage the nearby area, while Banagher and Loni communicate telepathically. Loni breaks free from the struggle, however, and fires her main cannon at the Unicorn. Banagher dodges the blast and mounts onto the Delta Plus. Riddhe tells him that he has to destroy the Shamblo with his last beam magnum shot before the Shamblo's reflectors could react. Banagher reluctantly agrees to the plan.
As the Delta Plus the Unicorn charge at the Shamblo, Banagher keeps trying to reach out to Loni, but Loni takes aim and begins to fire. Kirks' spirit, made visible by the Shamblo's psycommu, reassures Loni to end her attack because their fight is over. Riddhe urged Banagher to fire and said that possibility is meaningless. Ultimately, Banagher, hearing Loni's voice calling to him, refuses to fire at the last moment. The Shamblo fires, but disperses its beams with its reflectors, and Riddhe takes the beam magnum from the Unicorn and finishes Loni with a shot through the cockpit.
The Black Unicorn
The Delta Plus and the Unicorn and after the battle ends. Riddhe holds a rifle to the Unicorn's head, telling Banagher that he has direct orders to capture it. Before Banagher could react or even comply, the suits' sensors pick up a new mobile suit entering the area. The two look to the sky, and above them, a Black Unicorn enters Destroy Mode and attacks. Riddhe fires back, but the black Unicorn in total ignores the Delta Plus and capture Gundam Unicorn. Banagher wakes up to find that Marida Cruz is the one piloting the Gundam Unicorn Banshee. He is interrogated to give information about the Laplace Box's coordinates as he had locked the Gundam's systems. He refuses to give any information.
Bright Noa later has a conversation with Banagher, saying that he would like to believe that it was the Gundam that chose Banagher, just like all the Gundam pilots before him. Bright Noa's second encounter with Banagher was to keep him away from the Vist Foundation agents, which he tells him to work the Garencieres if he wants to save Audrey Burne (Mineva Lao Zabi). During the atmospheric transfer of both Gundam Unicorn units to a Garuda class ship by the Vist Foundation, the Garencieres launches an attack. Banagher noticed that Marida was ready to take a shot at her old ship and moved to stop her, accidentally stumbling off their Base Jabber. He managed to evade all of Marida/Banshee's shots, accidentally knocking Watts Stepney off his Base Jabber and commandeered it. During the battle, he grapples with an Anksha. Refusing to take a life again, Banagher instead crushes his opponent's beam saber and let them fall to Earth. As he got back on his Base Jabber, he ascends to right above the Garuda and spotted Zinnerman riding a Base Jabber, attempting to board the carrier in midair. Marida/Banshee attempted to take a shot at him but Banagher interposed himself, pleading Marida not to turn against Zinnerman. In between Banagher's pleas and Alberto's shouts, Marida transformed the Banshee into Destroy Mode. The Unicorn attempted to transform in response but Banagher refused to let it. Their fight soon came on top of the Garuda. Both Gundams began to resonance and generated a psycofield. Banagher broke off, fearing that it may destroy the Garuda and Mineva with it.
Banagher then sensed Mineva calling out to him and broke off from the battle and caught her in freefall; as the Gundam transformed into Destroy Mode, the screens briefly turned green. After ensuring that Mineva was safely aboard the Garencieres, he returned to the Garuda to rescue Zinnerman and Marida.
As planned, the Nahel Argama was waiting to bring the Garencieres into orbit. Unfortunately, the latter suffered engine trouble, so Banagher and two other Zeon pilots attempted to use their suits to raise the ship's altitude but it was not enough. Banagher then spotted the Nahel Argama attempting to fire a tether cable and moved to the bow to catch it. But it wasn't long enough to connect to the ship and being caught between both threatened to tear the Unicorn apart. Banagher managed to utilize Gundam Unicorn's NT-D and psycoframe technology to connect the cables between Garencieres and Nahel Argama, emitting a green aura similar to that of the ν Gundam pushing Axis.
Once the Garencieres was in orbit, they and the Nahel Argama came under attack from the General Revil, sent by the Federation higher ups to eliminate all who know of Laplace's Box. And Banagher was helpless to stop them with the Unicorn being out of fuel, as Full Frontal/Sinanju turned up and fired a missile at the General Revil.
Gundam Unicorn was originally presented as a graphic novel and while the OVA bears similarities to the manga, there were modifications to the history of the character in the OVA. Banager Links in the manga is the same as with the OVA's counterpart.
- Banagher bares some similarities with Amuro Ray. For example, his father created the Unicorn Gundam similar to how Amuro's father created the RX-78-2 Gundam.
- Banagher's seiyu Kōki Uchiyama has also voices Ichika Orimura from Infinite Stratos. Ichika's beam saber pose action with the Byakushiki is a tribute to the Unicorn Gundam in its NT-D mode.
- Banagher's name appears to be a phonetic rendition of the Indian name Banerjee or Bandopadhyay.
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Episode 1, Day of the Unicorn
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 Episode 3, They Called It Gundam