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Portrait of a Ruined Country is the ninth episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. It first aired in Japan on June 2, 1995 and North America on March 16, 2000.
SynopsisNoin and Zechs are at the recently taken over Luxemburg Base. Zechs claims that OZ will free countries from the oppressive Alliance; Noin thinks OZ won't be much different than the Alliance was. A carrier arrives with the Tallgeese on it. Otto comes out to greet Zechs, but he's seriously injured. He shows Zechs the now completed Tallgeese, and tells him this is the fastest Mobile Suit he's had the experience of flying. He wasn't able to find it's top speed though, because he passed out during the trial. He is confident though that Zechs can master it.
Zechs wants to head to the Sanc Kingdom immediately. He is going to go on Tallgeese, without even a test run. Elsewhere, Heero and Duo play basketball at their new school. Relena arrives in her limo and says hello to them. Meanwhile, OZ carriers approach the Sanc Kingdom and release Aries mobile suits. The narrator explains that OZ is freeing countries kept by the Alliance. Not all countries believe these intentions are good though.
Zechs gets into Tallgeese and takes off, but it's immense speed is too much for him to handle. Matters become worse when hidden laser cannons rise from the Sanc Kingdom base and start firing. Zechs orders the troops to retreat, but is intent on still attacking himself. He realizes he might die though, and retreats at the last second. Treize talks to Lady Une on his plane.
Meanwhile, the Magunac Core yell at Quatre for heading out on his own. Rashid tells them to leave, but he too is very upset with Quatre. At the circus, Wufei and Trowa sit silent, and Catherine brings them some soup. Wufei says he has no right piloting his Gundam anymore. In the woods, a wounded Otto heads to Zechs' tent, where he too lies wounded after suffering a heart attack in the Tallgeese. Zechs says the Tallgeese ignores the pilot, and is a Mobile Suit made specifically for dueling. The pilot must risk death for victory.
Zechs wants to head back to the Sanc Kingdom the next day, but Noin refuses to let him go on the Tallgeese. Otto, listening from outside says it's for suicide missions. He gets in the Mobile Suit and takes off. Zechs realizes this, and orders Otto to return, but Otto is set on freeing the Sanc Kingdom himself. Elsewhere, Relena looks at a picture of her father. Nearby there is a lot of explosions, being caused by Duo and Heero in their Gundams as they attack an OZ ship.
Zechs follows the Tallgeese in his helicopter, but Otto still refuses to leave. Mobile suits head out from the Sanc Kingdom but Tallgeese flies right by them. Even the laser cannons are useless as he crashes the Tallgeese into the Command Center. Later, we are shown the aftermath, the headquarters is destroyed, and Otto lays dead in the cockpit.
Zechs enters a room in a castle and looks at a portrait of his father, King Peacecraft. He says he has failed him and is unable to lead the Peacecraft Monarchy. He is confident Relena can though. After looking at a picture of her from years before, he leaves. Back at school, students look shocked at the destruction caused by Heero and Duo, they walk by paying no attention to it. The episode ends with another look at the picture of Relena.
- Deceased: Otto