Technology & Combat Characteristics
Unlike the two other Crossbone Gundam units, the XM-X3 is drastically different. Instead of mounting Beam Shields, it was equipped with two I-field generators on each arm, which could completely disperse beam attacks, even those from Variable Speed Beam Rifles and battleship-grade beam cannons (one thing that the beam shield cannot block). However, even after being used for so many years, I-fields still suffered the problem of overheating. As a result, each could only operate for 105 seconds before needing to cool off for another 120 seconds. Even when alternating between the two I-field generators, the Gundam still would be defenseless for about 15 seconds. The chest armor is strengthened and features a pair of machine cannons to enhance its close combat abilities.
The X-3's main weapon is the muramasa blaster, a large sword mounting fourteen beam saber emitters along its blade and a beam gun in its tip that can also function as a beam saber. The blades are powerful enough that only the X-3's own I-field can stop them, but because of its high energy output the blaster cannot be used for an extended period of time and was thus designed to be useful even unpowered. Otherwise, the X-3 is effectively identical to its predecessors.
- Vulcan Gun
- These head mounted shell firing weapons have a high-rate of fire, but have little power and are generally ineffective against mobile suits; however, the vulcan gun can damage lightly armored areas such as the sensors. These weapons are ideal for shooting down small, fast moving, lightly armored targets such as missiles or small vehicles.
- Mega Machine Cannon
- The Crossbone Gundam X-3 is equipped with a pair of fire-linked mega machine cannons in its chest. In the age of miniaturized mobile suits, the emphasis for mobile suit designs is speed, thus armor is sacrificed to reduce mass and weight. This leaves many mobile suits vulnerable to physical round weapons, such as machine guns, that had been discarded for mobile suit combat because of a lack of effectiveness after the One Year War. Though based on the concept of old mobile suit machine guns, the mega machine cannons mounted in the Crossbone Gundam's chest have been improved with modern technology, making them more effective.
- Beam Saber
- The beam saber is the standard close-combat melee weapon of mobile suits descended from the RX-78-2 Gundam, and many other machines developed in the years after the One Year War. Beam sabers are powerful weapons that emit a blade of plasma contained by an I-field that can cut through any physical armor. The only way to fully defend against a beam saber is to block it with another beam saber or a beam shield. Because of the I-field a beam saber can be used to block an attack from a beam rifle, but this is a technique that requires considerable skill, and can only block an attack of so much power. The Crossbone Gundam is equipped with two beam sabers stored in shoulder racks when not in use. They also serve as the beam guns for the core fighter.
- Heat Dagger
- An alternative close combat weapon, the heat dagger is unlike most heat weapons as its blade is heated using leftover heat from the leg's thrusters. The heated blade can melt the enemies armor on contact, which when combined with the force applied to the attack, can inflict significant damage. The heat daggers are stored in the legs, one in each calf. Normally, it is handheld when in use, but it can also slide out of the sole as a surprise attack.
- Scissor Anchor
- Each Crossbone Gundam is equipped with a pair of scissor anchors stored on the front skirt armor. These anchors are attached to the Gundam by long chains and use scissor claws to grip objects. While these are not offense weapons per-say, they provide several uses in combat. They can be used to grip the limb and an enemy machine to ensnare it or to reel it in closer to the Crossbone Gundam where it is within melee combat range. They can also be used to turn ensnared mobile suits into bludgeoning weapons by pulling on the chain. The scissor anchors can also be used to stabilize the Gundam's footing in case of emergencies, such as when fighting the wind force of an explosion.
- Beam Shield/Brand Marker
- Like its brother units the X-3 could be equipped with the beam shield/brand marker unique to the Crossbone Gundams, mounting them over the I-Field generators. However, these were never equipped to the X-3 before its first sortie, after which it was never properly resupplied with fresh weapons.
- Muramasa Blaster
- The Muramasa Blaster is a unique weapon exclusive to the XM-X3 Crossbone Gundam X-3. Its form resembles that of straight rapier with a gun handle in the guard and with a skull and crossbones painted on the sides. The Muramasa Blaster is quite large, at least half the length of the X-3's height if not longer. The Muramasa Blaster mounts a total of 15 beam emitters, one beam gun on the end (or tip of the sword) that can also emit a beam saber and 14 beam blade emitters that line the sides, making it a weapon that can be used for both long range and short range combat. Unfortunately the Muramasa Blaster is a prototype weapon and because of its power intensive nature it can only be used for a limited operational period. When not in use the weapon is stored on the left hip.
- Beam Gun
- The Muramasa Blaster mounts a single beam gun on its tip, allowing it to be used for ranged combat
- Beam Saber
- The Muramasa Blaster mounts 14 wide beam saber emitters along its sides, 7 to each side. The sabers emitted are quite short by the standards of the day, but are wider than average. When activated they give the Muramasa Blaster an appearance similar to a sawed-tooth weapon.
- Beam Zanber
- The beam zanber is a high power beam saber and is the primary weapon of the Crossbone Gundam. The hilt of the beam zanber is modeled after that of a traditional pirate cutlass, as does the beam blade when it is formed, and is stored on the left hip when not in use. The power of the beam zanber is significantly higher than that of ordinary beam sabers, such that it is easy for the Crossbone Gundam to overpower an enemy in melee combat or even "cut" through the beam of an ordinary beam saber. Behind the guard of the beam zanber is a gun handle that is used in the zanbuster configuration.
- Buster Gun
- The buster gun is the primary ranged weapon of the Crossbone Gundam. This beam pistol is modeled after a flintlock pistol and is typically used with only one of the mobile suit's hands, leaving the second hand free to use a melee weapon. Stored on the right hip when not in use the buster gun can combine with the beam zanber to form the zanbuster.
- A beam rifle formed from the combination of the beam zanber and the buster gun, the beam it fires is stronger than those of the buster gun. In this configuration, the butt of the buster gun is connected to the beam emitter of the beam zanber. When a grenade is attached to the Zanbuster's emitter, it can also function as a single shot grenade launcher.
- Rifle Grenade
- The rifle grenade is a high yield explosive that can be attached to the beam emitter of the zanbuster. Typically not used against mobile suits, the rifle grenade was used to intercept a nuclear missile that was targeting the Mother Vanguard.
- Atomic Shell
- An alternative weapon that can be fitted to the beam emitter of the zanbuster, it is fired in the same manner as the rifle grenade.
Special Equipment & Features
- Dummy Launchers
- A deception device that takes advantage of Minovsky particle interference. Thanks to this interference, warfare in the Universal Century era relies heavily on visual sensors, which can be tricked by inflatable decoys. These decoy balloons are designed to mimic mobile suits, asteroids, and even warships. More sophisticated varieties are equipped with small maneuvering verniers, allowing them to move in a realistic manner and register on infra-red sensors.
- The XM-X3 is equipped with a hand mounted dummy launcher that can deploy several dummies in the shape and color of the XM-X3. With these dummies the Gundam can confuse an enemy trying to bombard the Gundam at long range, long enough to get close enough for the Gundam to use its weapons
- Special Weapons Targeting Sensor
- I-field Generator
- A unique feature of the Crossbone Gundam X-3 that it is equipped with is a pair of I-field generators, one mounted in each arm. The I-field is directed by the hand and is capable of bending any beam, whether its from a beam rifle or a beam saber, and can even protect the X-3 from a high-energy cannon from close range. However, despite being far more advanced than any previous I-field generator the units mounted on the X-3 still suffer from overheating problems. Each generator can only be used for a total of 105 seconds and require 120 seconds to cool down. If the X-3 has not been equipped with a beam shield this leaves a window of 15 seconds where it has no defense against attacks. Also the I-field can only protect the X-3 from beam weapons, not physical weapons.
- Anti-beam Coating Cloak
- As with other Crossbone Vanguard mobile suits used in the year UC 0133, the X-3 could be equipped with a cloth cloak that had been treated with an anti-beam coating. Functioning similar to the old physical shields that had received the same treatment, the cloak was used to protect the mobile suit from beam shots. With its size it could completely cover the mobile suit, with the exception of the head, providing full body protection. However, despite its advantages, one of which is conserving power, the cloak has two disadvantages. First, unlike a beam shield the cloak can only handle about 5 shots before the coating wears off, rendering the cloak to simple cloth. The second disadvantage is that the cloak offers no protection from physical weapons.
The XM-X3 Crossbone Gundam X-3 is one of a series of XM-X Crossbone Gundam A.K.A. the "F97 Gundam" series developed by the Strategic Naval Research Institute and used by the Crossbone Vanguard pirate group operating under the leadership of Berah Ronah. Because the X-3 features slightly different technology its construction was not complete at the same time as its brother units, thus it did not participate in the early part of the Crossbone Vanguard's secret war with the Jupiter Empire.
Once the X-3 was complete, in the year UC 0133, it was given to Sherindon Ronah, a wealthy heiress of the Ronah family and Berah's cousin, so that she may give it to Berah's forces as a resupply when their ship, the Mother Vanguard returned from Jupiter in pursuit of the Jupitris 9. However Sherindon considered Berah's methods folly and intended to keep the X-3 in the hopes that it would force Berah to back off, thus letting the Jupiter Empire and the Earth Federation destroy each other so that the Crossbone Vanguard could sweep up the pieces and rebuild society in their image. However, her interest in Newtypes proved to be her undoing as it gave Tobia Arronax, who was being forced to stay on her ship, the opportunity to steal the X-3 and take it out to join the battle between the Earth Federation and Jupiter Empire against the Crossbone Vanguard.
Once on the battlefield Tobia took the X-3 straight towards the Jupiter Empire's Newtype Squadron, which was composed of women piloting Diona mobile suits, to rescue Bernadette Briett who was inside the cockpit of the EMA-06 Elegolea. Tobia used the X-3's Muramasa Blaster (while deactivated) to smash the Diona mobile suits while defending with the I-field generators. He then used the X-3 to fight the Elegolea that was controlled by a Crux Dogatie, rescuing Bernadette in the process.
After the destruction of the Mother Vanguard, Tobia managed to get the X-3 aboard a mobile suit reentry capsule and entered the atmosphere hiding amongst debris. There the X-3 would remain idle for sometime as Tobia waited for the wounded Berah to recover. However while on Earth they would get attacked by the Death Gale Squadron. The battle would be fierce but would end in victory for the X-3.
Tobia Arronax, would use the X-3 throughout the final battles with the Jupiter Empire, sacrificing the Gundam to destroy Crux Dogatie's EMA-10 Divinidad mobile armor on Earth.