Marida Cruz (マリーダ・クルス,Marīda Kurusu) is a female pilot of the Neo Zeon remnant forces in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
Personality & Character
She refers to Captain Zinnerman as "Master", which irritates him, and loyally carries out his orders. Marida also sees herself in the ideal of misconceived notion that Newtype are to serve as weapons. Marida also seems to have a deep loathing hatred for the concept of the Gundam, as when one appears her objective changes to completely and thoroughly annihilating it.
After meeting with Banagher Links, and particularly after her recovery from the Banshee's cockpit, Marida's personality begins to change, and a hitherto unseen kindness begins to become apparent. The true depth of her attachment to Zinnerman is later revealed, when instead of "Master" as she once had, she calls him "Father".
Skills & Abilities
A capable pilot and artificial Cyber Newtype. Marida is also proficient in military martial arts. When piloting the Kshatriya Marida primarily utilizes the funnels, usually about 18 at any one time, to overwhelm the enemy with multi-directional ranged attacks. This tactic tends to quickly eliminate weaker enemies while restricting the movement of stronger enemies. Should the funnels prove to not be enough Marida will then close in and use beam sabers. She tends to hold the mega particle cannons in reserve.
Marida was originally known as "Ple Twelve", a clone of Elpeo Ple. Marida was awakened by Glemy Toto and fought with her sisters during the first Neo Zeon movement. After the fight with Chara Soon in U.C.0089.1.17, she was one of the only surviving clones and was later taken by slave traders. She was later sold into sex slavery, in a colony brothel. Although her handlers thought she was too young to be a prostitute, the Madam thought there are pedophiles that would be interested in such youth. Before coming under the protection of Suberoa Zinnerman, she experienced countless pregnancies and abortions and her body is scarred from the abuse of her brutal customers. Afterwards, she was rescued and taken in by Neo Zeon faction to become a MS pilot once again.
Journey to Industrial 7
While on board the Garencieres en route to the Anaheim Electronics colony of Industrial 7, the ship came under attack from a Clop-class ship. Marida was launched in the NZ-666 Kshatriya to defeat the incoming forces which consisted of a group of RGM-89D Jegan units and a RGM-89S Stark Jegan. Though defeating the Jegans with ease using Kshatriya's funnels, the Stark Jegan proved a more difficult foe to defeat. The Stark Jegan entered close combat with the Kshatriya, but it was soon defeated. Little did the crew know, Princess Mineva Lao Zabi had snuck on board the ship to stop Neo Zeon from gaining control of Laplace's Box.
Retrieving the Princess
When Neo Zeon realized that the Princess Mineva had gone missing, Suberoa had Marida enter Industrial 7 to find her while he negotiated with Cardeas Vist over the acquisition of Laplace's Box. Marida eventually found Mineva with another boy at the Colony Builder. Marida attempted to convince Mineva to return to The Sleeves, but Mineva knew that Full Frontal would only use Laplace's Box to justify another conflict with the Earth Federation. Though Mineva tried to convince Marida to understand her reasoning, Marida's duties as a soldier overtook her own personal feelings. Despite Marida's training and the support of two other henchmen, the boy successfully fought all three off and escaped the builder.
When Londo Bell forces from the SCVA-76 Nahel Argama started to surround the colony, Marida was launched in the Kshatriya once more to fend them off and to find Mineva. Unfortunately, in the midst of the fighting, she accidentally caused collateral damage to the colony, even blowing a massive hole in it. When she returned to the colony entrance, however, she was intercepted by the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam which pushed the Kshatriya outside of the colony. Marida had the Gundam cornered and used Kshatriya's funnels to finish the job when it suddenly emitted an energy field that deflected the beams and transformed into its Destroy Mode, revealing its Gundam type structure. The sight of the Gundam enraged Marida, but the Gundam's power overwhelmed the Kshatriya, destroying one of the wing binders. Marida wanted another go at the Gundam, but Zinnerman ordered her to fall back as their mission had failed.
Capturing the Gundam
During Full Frontal's mission to attack the damaged Nahel Argama, Marida returned in her damaged Kshatriya to back up Full Frontal. Working in tandem with Full Frontal's MSN-06S Sinanju, Marida managed to overwhelm and capture the Gundam, taking it back to the space fortress Palau. There, the Gundam was taken and the pilot, Banagher Links, was interrogated by Frontal. Frontal called for Marida and Suberoa to take Banagher into the civilian block of Palau for safe keeping while engineers analyzed the Unicorn.
While eating dinner at Gilboa Sant's residence, Banagher debated with Gilboa's son Tikva over the justifications of war. When Banagher explained that he wouldn't have killed anyone if his life wasn't in danger, Marida rose from the table and took Banagher with her to a church. There, she explained the nature of the constant rise of spacenoid movements. She also counseled him over his unintentional killing of Ensign Sergei, advising Banagher not to think too hard on those he killed. She then thanked Banagher for saving Mineva, though Banagher asked if she herself was a pilot. Marida said that she only did so when they didn't have enough manpower.
Second Duel & Capture
After Banagher attempted to escape from Palau back to the Nahel Argama, Marida went with Suberoa to Gilboa's residence to pick him up as he was needed for combat. Marida apologized to Suberoa for letting him go so easily, though he said that Banagher wouldn't make it out of Palau. When Banagher retrieved the Unicorn and escaped from Palau, Marida was sent on a solo mission to take on the Gundam. Marida was surprised to learn that Banagher was the pilot of the Gundam. Banagher implored Marida to let him leave Palau if she wants the Federation to withdraw. When he brings up that Mineva was recently on the battlefield, Marida demanded that he tell her the whereabouts of the Princess if he wants the Sleeves to withdraw too. She called the boy a hypocrite, claiming that he was against fighting but his perspective on it was that of the Federation. Enraged, Banagher/Unicorn breaks from of Marida/Kshatriya and transforms into Destroy Mode. However, to her shock, the Gundam hijacked Kshatriya's funnels and used them against her. Marida was confused at how the funnels didn't recognize her brainwaves and was overwhelmed by the attacks from both the funnels and Unicorn's beam sabers. Marida was tossed around inside the Kshatriya and was eventually knocked unconscious by multiple hits to the head. As the Gundam was about to strike the finishing blow, the two psycoframes resonated, allowing Banagher to see her entire life, causing him to relent. They then had a brief debate over whether compassion can save people. Banagher then brought Marida aboard the Nahel Argama.
Taken in to the infirmary, Marida was treated by Dr. Hasan and confirmed as a Cyber Newtype. Banagher checked in on Marida who woke up and said their roles had reversed. Banagher asked her what happened on the battlefield and Marida explained that the phenomenon was a psycommu backflow, where the Gundam itself began controlling him even though he was piloting it. Marida said that she sensed the negative instinct of the NT-D System, which had the sole purpose of destroying all Newtypes, whether natural or artificial. She said that machines didn't have the capabilities to discern natural from artificial like humans did, She said that she had a master, to whom she was completely devoted to. Banagher said it was a curse to slowly kill herself like that, but Marida said they were two of a kind and that she could see inside him during the phenomenon. She told Banagher that his own will stopped the Unicorn Gundam from killing her, and implored Banagher not to lose himself. She began to have convulsions, and Hasan was forced to restrain her.
The Nahel Argama later goes to Earth, where Marida is taken to the Augusta Newtype Labs by Martha Vist Carbine. However, while she was being transferred, Marida broke free of her restraints but before she could act, a hole was blown in the side of the ship by Sleeve forces attempting to rescue her, sucking out a few Anaheim workers. Marida managed to save Alberto Vist and they both got on the Klimit.
Controlled by Vist
During the time she is captured by the Vist Foundation, she is reconditioned and becomes the pilot of Gundam Unicorn "Banshee". Part of the conditioning involved showing her her old Qubeley, which had somehow been recovered. She is sent to Torrington Base on a mission to capture the Unicorn Gundam.
After a successful mission, both Unicorn Gundams are placed on the Ra Calium. Her main mission is to secure Banagher's Unicorn to reach the Vist Foundation. When Banagher tries to escape, she engages him in combat. After many attempts of securing him, Banagher is effectively talking to her, which caused her to go temporarily insane and attack anything that resembled a "Gundam", including Riddhe's Delta Plus. In the end she hears Riddhe calling her a Gundam, which she faints and falls out of the cockpit and is caught by Zinnerman. They both return to the Garencieres at the end of the battle.
Notes & Trivia
- Marida's situation, being found by Suberoa while working in a brothel, is a reference to Lalah Sune from MS Gundam when Char Aznable found her working in an Indian brothel and she became a powerful Newtype. Marida and Lalah are also similar to each other as both have met the protagonist pilot of their series, although Marida's situation is far darker than Lalah's, in terms of detailed description of her abuse at the hands of her customers.
- While the novel suggests various pregnancies and abortions, the OVA suggests her womb was surgically removed as unnecessary baggage for a prostitute.
- In Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn, one of the randomized missions involves a battle between Banagher and Marida with the latter muttering "I-ice cream...", a reference to the original Puru's love of parfaits.