- This article is about the mobile suit. For the anime named after this suit, see Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.
The MSΖ-006 Zeta Gundam (MSΖ-006
Ζガンダム?) is the titular mobile suit of the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam television series and also featured in the Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ television series. It was most famously piloted by its designer, Kamille Bidan during the Gryps War.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Zeta Gundam is a high-performance, next-generation MS developed by Anaheim Electronics in partnership with the Anti Earth Union Group. In terms of weaponry, the Zeta is very well armed with an arsenal favoring beam weapons. It includes standard Gundam type armament including head mounted Vulcan guns, dual beam sabers, and a high powered beam rifle. It also sported arm mounted grenade launchers which could be given additional ammunition from detachable storage packs, and could also house a grappling tool for various purposes. The Zeta's most prolific weapon however is without a doubt the Hyper Mega Launcher, a massive rifle used to great extent in the latter parts of the Gryps Conflict and during the First Neo Zeon War. This weapon fires very high powered beam shots capable of destroying even battleships with a well placed shot. Both the launcher and beam rifle could also double as a cunning melee weapon as the launcher and beam rifle had a built in beam saber bayonet-style modes called the long beam saber. The beam rifle and Hyper Mega Launcher could be used while in Waverider configuration as well, and the hip mounted Beam Sabers doubled as beam guns in this mode. The Zeta Gundam is also the first mobile suit to use the new Bio-Sensor System.
- MU-86G 60mm Vulcan Gun
- As with all mobile suits that trace their lineage back to the RX-78-2 Gundam, the Zeta Gundam features a pair of head mounted vulcan guns. The purpose of the vulcan guns is to serve as a mid-close range defensive weapon against incoming missiles and other small lightly-armored targets. The 60mm vulcan guns are operable in mobile suit mode only.
- 2-tube Grenade Launcher
- One of the Zeta Gundam's more unique weapons is a pair of 2-tube grenade launchers built into the mobile suit's forearms. The grenades are moderately powerful self-propelling explosives that can deal significant damage to a mobile suit. Each tube carries two rounds, meaning each grenade launcher carries four grenades, for a total of eight rounds that the Zeta Gundam can use before needing to reload.
- Grappling Wire
- A Grappling Wire can be optional equipped in place of the explosive warheads on the grenade launchers. Its mainly used to immobilize enemy units when the pilot wishes not to inflict damage to the target.
- A.E.BLASH XB-G-35/Du.105 Beam Saber/Beam Gun
- The beam saber is the standard close-combat melee weapon of most MS. The pair employed by the Zeta Gundam are stored in the side armor and have a power rating of 0.65 MW. However, they are unique in that in waverider mode the beam sabers double as beam guns, partially extending from the storage racks, with a total power rating of 1.3 MW.
- (BOWA) XBR-M87A2 Beam Rifle
- The Zeta Gundam primary handheld ranged weapon is the (BOWA) XBR-M87A2 Beam Rifle. This beam rifle is larger than most models employed by other mobile suits and is powered by a replaceable e-pac, with a power rating of 5.7 MW. It is also capable of emitting a beam saber from its barrel, allowing the Zeta Gundam to use it as melee weapon should the situation call for it.
- Grenade Launcher Cartridge
- An optional piece of equipment that can be attached to the Zeta Gundam's grenade launcher. Holding 18+1 additional grenades the grenade launcher cartridge serves as an extended ammunition magazine for the grenade launcher.
- FXA-03M2 Hyper Mega Launcher
- When the Zeta Gundam needs greater firepower than its (BOWA) XBR-M87A2 Beam Rifle can deliver, it will be equipped with the hyper mega launcher with a power rating of 8.3 MW. Like the beam rifle, the hyper mega launcher can double as a large beam saber but runs on an internal generator instead of e-pacs.
- FF-XV-SH-609Z Shield
- A standard defensive feature of most mobile suits is an arm-mounted shield. A thick piece of extra armor designed to stop physical rounds, the shield also incorporates an anti-beam coating to defend against beam attacks, but with each hit taken, the coating gets worn down until rendered useless. The Zeta Gundam's unique shield serves as the machines nose in waverider mode.
Special Equipment & Features
- A technological variant of the Psycommu system developed by Anaheim Electronics. Although its full capabilities are unknown, its primary purpose is to allow a Newtype pilot to more easily interface with his mobile suit via mental commands. The bio-sensor could also have a rather surprising side effect when the pilot is mentally and emotionally focused enough (usually when angry or upset) to cause the bio-sensor to amplify the power, speed, and strength of the mobile suit for a short period of time.
- Sealant Launchers
- This device sprays a sticky sealant, similar to the wall film used to mend breaches in warship hulls. This substance can be used to seal ruptures in spacecraft and space colony exteriors. By the time of the Gryps Conflict most mobile suits have sealant launchers built into the fingers of their manipulators, as well as utility devices like signal flares, dummy dispensers, and fire extinguishers.
The MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam's design was originally used to build three prototypes; the "MSZ-006-X1", the "MSZ-006-X2", and the "MSZ-006-X3" as part of Project Zeta. While these machines could transform, there was too much metal fatigue on the frame. This problem was corrected by Kamille Bidan, a Newtype teenager, incorporating innovations of that time such as the "movable frame" concept extracted by the Anti Earth Union Group from the Titans' RX-178 Gundam Mk-II project (headed by Franklin Bidan), and the Gundarium gamma alloy used in the RMS-099 Rick Dias.
The Ζeta's design was revolutionary in many ways (both in and out of the anime), and in the UC time-line looked very different from previous models of the Gundam type of Mobile Suits. The transformation ability and the suit's great speed were the Ζ's signature quality, as its transformation was fluid and integrated into its combat style often giving it grace unrivaled by most MS. In the Gundam Sentinel, when the MSA-0011 S Gundam approached the Base of Pezun, a commander replied there should not be Mobile Suits like the Zeta Gundam everywhere that have the high acceleration of a Mobile Armor but of the size of a Mobile Suit. While ironically, two MSZ-006C1 Ζeta Plus C1, a.k.a mass production Zeta Gundam units, approached behind S Gundam as a demonstration of how technological advances quickly shifted the form of war.
Kamille became the designated pilot of the Ζeta Gundam in the year U.C. 0087. Replacing the Gundam Mk-II as his personal Mobile Suit, Kamille obtained the Ζeta Gundam after returning to space from the Hong Kong incident involving Four Murasame. Screaming into battle, this sleek convertible Mobile Suit took all of the Titans' forces by surprise with its incredible performance and attack potential. Kamille led many successful missions against the Titans and the A.E.U.G. turned the tide of the war. The Ζeta was responsible for battling and ultimately killing Titans leader Paptimus Scirocco, besting his powerful mobile suit, the PMX-003 The O.
A.E.U.G. pilot Fa Yuiry later recovered the Ζeta Gundam along with Kamille, who was rendered in a vegetative state after a final psychic attack by Scirocco. After undergoing repairs, the Newtype Judau Ashta became the principal pilot of this mobile suit while the mobile suit MSZ-010 ΖΖ Gundam was still under construction by Anaheim Electronics. During a battle with Mashymre Cello's AMX-103 Hamma Hamma and Chara Soon's AMX-104 R-Jarja, the Zeta Gundam's head was destroyed by the Hamma Hamma's shield beam gun. Due to a shortage of spare parts aboard the Argama, the Zeta Gundam was fitted with an MS-06 Zaku II's head, thus earning the nickname "Zeta Zaku". The temporary fix by Iino Abbav worked, despite the visibility being limited to the front of the MS. When Judau received the ZZ, Federation pilot Roux Louka took control of the Ζeta Gundam and used it to great success during the war against Neo-Zeon (though Judau occasionally traded mobile suits with Roux due to the Zeta Gundam being more maneuverable due to its lighter weight). The Ζeta Gundam continued being in operation until its destruction at the end of the First Neo Zeon War, crippled by Ple Two's monstrous NZ-000 Queen Mansa, although the Ζeta got in one final crippling shot before being abandoned. The unit was recovered but never used again and is said to have been stored away along with all the other Mobile Suits belonging to the Gundam team on the Argama and the Nahel Argama secretly by Karaba, an anti-Earth Federation resistance group.
Other Media Appearances
In Char's Counterattack - High Streamer, the unit was recovered after the end of the First Neo Zeon War and concealed along with the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki by Federation Forces. According to Anaheim Journal, the Zeta Gundam was restored exclusively for the U.C. 00100 ceremony to perform flight demonstrations. In MS Graphica, a Zeta Gundam replica constructed by Anaheim Electronics is deployed for a special mission to combat the EARM terrorist group mobile armor, Leiurus, in U.C. 0097. This particular unit was piloted by freelance mercenary "Johnny" (callsign "Lightning").
An interesting feature of the Ζ Gundam is the incorporation of the plot device, a mysterious Bio-sensor - a reduced-feature replica of the Psychic Communicator (PSYCOMMU) system devised by Murasame Newtype Laboratories to interface Newtype pilots to mobile suits. The bio-sensor allowed a Newtype pilot to temporarily increase the combat power of the mobile suit by using psycho-kinetic energy inherently strong in Newtypes - its usage became more frequent during the last days of the first Gryps War between the AEUG and the Titans, even turning the Waverider into a deadly weapon (Kamille's attack using the Waverider to ram into Scirroco has been named the "Waverider Crash" in video games depicting the Zeta, such as the Super Robot Wars series). The Ζ Gundam was an incredibly high performance machine that accomplished much, helping turn the tide of the Titans conflict and fighting against Neo-Zeon afterwards. The Ζ however, was intricately tuned and built to Kamille's exact specifications and style, so once Kamille was out of the war while the Ζ could be piloted competently by other pilots, it could arguably no longer perform to its full potential without Kamille at the controls although it was still a highly formidable machine.
According to the Master Archive Mobile Suit MSZ-006 Z Gundam, the Zeta Gundam received various upgrades from its initial model, such as the Initial Model + Wave Shooter, mid-model (major upgrade done in December UC 0087, most notable change being the rear skirt thrusters and addition of forearm grenade hatches) and the late model (final upgrade made in March UC 0088 consisting of Zeta Plus parts).
- A/FMSZ-007II Zeta
- FA-006ZG Full Armor Zeta Gundam
- Half Zeta Gundam
- MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam (Wave Shooter Equipment Type)
- MSZ-006-X Prototype Ζ Gundam
- MSZ-006A1 Zeta Plus A1
- MSZ-006 Original Zeta Gundam
- MSΖ-006-2 Zeta Gundam Unit 2
- MSZ-006PL1 Z Plutonius
- MSZ-006> Z Prompt
- MSZ-007 Mass Production Type Ζ Gundam
- MSZ-007 Z Rapier I
- MSZ-007AR Z Another Refined Gundam
- MSZ-007C Zeta Gundam
- MSZ-007S Zeta Easy
- MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam Honoo
- MSZ-008 ZII
- MSZ-010 ΖΖ Gundam
- MSZ-006-3A Zeta Gundam 3A Type ("White Zeta")
- MSZ-006-3B Zeta Gundam 3B Type ("Gray Zeta")
- MSZ-006-P2/3C Zeta Gundam P2/3C Type ("Red Zeta")
- MSZ-006 (MSZ-006-3) Zeta Gundam "Strike Zeta"
- TMS-007X (MS-X-006Z) Z Gustav
Notes and Trivia
- The Zeta Gundam's name is derived from "Zeta", which is the sixth letter of the Greek Alphabet - which may be reference to its model number.
- Zeta is the first Gundam to lack the traditional face vents and for having a white, sharp chin instead of the traditional red, blocky-shaped one.
- The Zeta Gundam is also one of the first variable-form Gundams televised, capable of transforming into a fighter form called the Waverider.
- The MSZ-006 Ζ Gundam is the sixth mobile suit built by Anaheim Electronics as the culmination of the Project Ζ according to Gundam Sentinel list of Anaheim Gundams. The design served as the first Transformable Mobile Suit in real life, and the concept served as the basics of various mobile suit designs later in other Gundam series.
- The "VMsAWrs" marking on its chest armor on the 1/100 Master Grade box art refers to the name of its transformation mechanism. It stands for "Variable Mobile-suit And Wave-rider system".
- The Zeta Gundam gets the moniker "Headshoter Gundam". Kamille shot Psycho Gundam Mk.II's head when he was forced to stop it and kill Rosamia who piloted it. Then in Gundam ZZ, Roux shot Queen Mansa's head with Zeta Gundam, killing Glemy Toto.
- The Zeta Gundam has the honor of being the Mobile Suit from UC timeline, if not in general, to have the highest number of named characters pilot it.
- In the Taito shooting game RayCrisis, the player is given 1 of 3 Waverider ships, referencing the Zeta Gundam's form of the same name.
- Roux Louka is the default pilot for Zeta in Super Robot Wars R, even though Kamille Bidan is present in the game. However, this is due to the plot of the game (Kamille was in his comatose state until before that stage and was given the Super Gundam instead). When Roux and the rest of the Gundam Team is introduced, it's during ZZ's story.
- The Zeta Gundam is a playable character in Gundam Battle Assault 2, but can only be played by using Gameshark device, and is piloted by Akahana in the game.
- In some games such as the Gundam Vs series or Gundam Memories, the Zeta will be shown with both of its beam weapons attached to its top and bottom hardpoints in Waverider mode.
- ↑ Gundam Sentinel Special Edition, Gundam Wars III, Masaya Takahashi interview
- Gundam Sentinel Special Edition, Model Graphix, ISBN4-499-20530-1