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XXXG-01W Wing Gundam
XXXG-01W Wing Gundam (aka Wing Gundam or Gundam Zero-One) is the titular mobile suit of Gundam Wing. It was developed in the L1 Colony Cluster by the engineer Doctor J as a tool to take revenge on the OZ organization for the assassination of the pacifist leader of the colonies, Heero Yuy. Wing Gundam was used mainly in missions against OZ and the Romefeller Foundation. The unit was primarily piloted by the series' main protagonist Heero Yuy (a teenage boy who was code-named after the martryed pacifist).
Technology & Combat Characteristics
Out of the five original Gundams created for Operation Meteor, Wing Gundam has the best balance of abilities and bears the closest resemblance to their common ancestor; the XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero. It boasts incredible speed and can transform into a high-speed aircraft form known as "Bird Mode." Though most of its weapons are relatively standard, its signature buster rifle is an exceptionally powerful ranged beam weapon, but it can only fire three shots. In every aspects, Wing is a scaled down version of the Wing Zero. This was done possibly to reduce the strain placed on the pilot by the ZERO System and the superior capabilities of the Wing Zero. Wing's weapons are also considerably less powerful than those found on the Wing Zero, as Wing was designed to be "strong," but not "overpowering" like its ancestor.
In the Katoki Version, the Wing Gundam looks significantly more similar to that version's Wing Zero, but it is still capable of transforming into Bird Mode. In addition to cosmetic changes, Katoki's version of Wing can carry two arm-mounted energy cartridge pods (each holding 3 spare energy cartridges for the buster rifle), increasing the buster rifle's usage to nine shots in a single sortie.
- Buster Rifle
- Wing Gundam's signature weapon, which can fire either a narrow beam akin to that of a beam rifle or a huge beam cannon-like blast that is capable of destroying multiple enemies in one shot. Its energy supply allows only three shots in the latter mode. The power of the buster rifle creates a 150 metre diameter of high heated energy, and also an electromagnetic field effect. The rifle can be reloaded with spare energy cartridges through a break-action similar to a double-barrel shotgun. In the Katoki version, this weapon can be mounted on a back waist point when not in use. Because it is not powered by the Gundam's reactor (unlike the Wing Zero's twin buster rifle), it is capable of being used by other mobile suits as well.
- Beam Saber
- Used for close combat and easily capable of cutting through the toughest armor, including Gundanium Alloy. It is stored within the Gundam's shield when not in use. The beam saber is typically wielded in Wing's right hand, which forces the Gundam to discard its buster rifle temporarily.
- 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. These weapons are omitted from the Katoki version.
- Machine Cannon
- Mounted on the clavicle sections of the Gundam, they are used as a secondary long-range weapon and have higher power than the vulcan guns.
- Made of high-strength Gundanium Alloy; it can also be used as a ramming weapon. The shield is always seen mounted on the left arm, held with the Gundam's left hand, and can be mounted on its back when not in use or for the transformation into Bird Mode.
- Drei Zwerg (Ver. Ka only)
- Only appears in the Glory of Losers manga and Frozen Teardrop novel, it is a powerful beam rifle type weapon that is originally designed for Wing Gundam Proto Zero. Data of the weapon was stored in the ZERO System by Doctor J in A.C. 186. In A.C. 195, Heero created imperfect replicas that can only be used once given that they were not made of Gundanium alloy, and hence cannot withstand the weapon's power. The Drei Zwerg is a combination of three identical component rifle known as Messer Zwerg, which can be used individually. Although the Drei Zwerg can function on its own as a weapon, it can also be mounted on the buster rifle to increase its destructive power. This combined form is known as Drei Zwerg Buster. When not in use, the Drei Zwerg can be mounted on the Wing Gundam's arms (resembling a hawk's talons when in Bird Mode).
- Bird Mode
- When transforming into Bird Mode, the Gundam's head and waist rotate backward, the legs fold up with the feet pointing backward, the shoulder pads fold close, the hands retract inside the forearms, and the talons fold over the forearms. Finally, the shield and buster rifle docks together and then attaches onto the Gundam's back to form the nose, and the Gundam's wings spread open. In this form, Wing is capable of high-speed flight travel within Earth's atmosphere. The Gundam is also capable of transforming into Bird Mode without its buster rifle.
- Search Eye
- A focus of data gathering. When the antennas and main cameras do not suffice, the Gundam's secondary eye comprised of the large jewel on its chest is used to gather visual and radio-wave data.
- Self-Destruct System
- The Wing Gundam was built to self-destruct should the pilot choose to. A remote detonator is placed within the cockpit and if a dire situation arrives, the pilot can destroy the Gundam. The system was designed to overload its power systems and has enough explosive power to destroy several city blocks. It's a last option tactic if the pilot is incapable of protecting the Gundam, while not allowing it to fall into enemy hands. It also can be used as one large explosive device to eradicate large targets.
- Energy Cartridge Pod (Ver. Ka/Ver. EW only)
- Two energy cartridge pods, each containing three spare energy cartridges for a total of six cartridges, can be mounted on the forearms of the Wing Gundam, allowing the buster rifle to fire nine shots instead of only three in a single sortie. In The Glory of Losers manga, during the battle in Siberia, instead of using the suit's self-destruct system, Heero self-destructed his Gundam by detonating his last energy cartridge.
- Wing Gundam Ricardo Fellini Custom
- A customized Wing Gundam unit built and operated by Ricardo Fellini. This unit features a green color scheme, and retains all of the Wing Gundam's standard armaments. Through many victories and defeats, Ricardo would continue to modify his Wing Gundam, eventually resulting in the XXXG-01Wf Wing Gundam Fenice.
After being built in outer space, Wing Gundam was sent to Earth with Heero to commence Operation Meteor, at the same time that each of Doctor J's fellow scientists deployed their Gundams as well. However, Wing was intercepted during its descent through Earth's atmosphere by an UESA assault carrier commanded by OZ's Zechs Merquise. Heero destroyed two of the carrier's Aries suits with Wing's buster rifle, but Zechs used his Leo suit to grapple with and weigh down the Gundam. Wing then crashed into the Pacific Ocean near the coast of Japan, and Heero abandoned it.
After leaving Wing at the bottom of the sea, Heero enlisted as a student at the St. Gabriel Institute in order to disguise himself. He later stole several underwater torpedoes from an Alliance naval base, in order to destroy his Gundam before it fell into enemy hands. However, Wing had already been found by Duo Maxwell, pilot of the Gundam Deathscythe. Wing was set to self-detonate, but Duo deactivated the device. Duo caught up with Heero as he raised both of their Gundams out of the sea. Heero then fired the missiles at the two suits, which badly damaged them both, but did not destroy them.
After Duo later recovered both Gundams, Heero repaired Wing by stealing parts from Deathscythe (much to Duo's dismay) and he began using it for various missions. These missions included destroying an enemy carrier transporting Gundanium Alloy and taking out OZ's northern Pacific Ocean supply base. When OZ sent mobile suits to attack the St. Gabriel Institute with the intent of killing Relena Darlian, Heero used Wing to repel the attack, believing that OZ had discovered where he was hiding out.
During Heero's mission to the New Edwards Base, all five of The Gundam Pilots were united, thinking they were about to destroy OZ once and for all. However, Heero destroyed an OZ carrier with Wing's beam saber before he found out that it held the pacifistic leader of the Alliance military, Field Marshall Noventa. OZ's leader, Treize Khushrenada, had tricked the Gundam pilots, and the ramifications were clear when OZ took over the world unopposed. Later, when Heero was alerted to OZ's plan to self-detonate the New Edwards Base's missiles in order to eliminate the Gundams, he used Wing to break into the missile silo and disarm the explosives.
Self-detonation and restoration
Heero and Wing Gundam's next major mission was in Siberia. Here, OZ was sending its Taurus suits to install its new Mobile Doll system, and four of the five Gundams arrived to prevent this. As soon as Wing arrived, it was intercepted by Zechs' Tallgeese suit and the two engaged in a beam saber duel. Though they seemed evenly matched, Wing managed to gain the upper hand when it sliced the Tallgeese's left arm off. However, before Wing could claim victory, OZ's Lady Une set her trap when she threatened to destroy the space colonies if the Gundam pilots did not surrender their suits. In response to this, Heero activated Wing's self-detonation device while standing just outside the cockpit, destroying his Gundam and nearly killing himself as well.
Wing fell into the hands of Zechs, who took the Gundam's remains with him from Siberia and began to rebuild it. However, OZ's parent organization, Romefeller, ordered Zechs to have the suit destroyed. Zechs tricked Romefeller by simply destroying a dummy, and had Wing taken to Antarctica to be rebuilt for a re-match with Heero.
Wing was mostly rebuilt in Antarctica, but its highly-calibrated inner systems were completely destroyed in its self-detonation, leaving it at a disadvantage. Zechs also left the Gundam's self-detonation device disconnected and it is unknown if it was ever re-installed. Wing was left in the base as Zechs and Heero had their re-match, as Heero had chosen to use Trowa Barton's Gundam Heavyarms instead. During the battle, Trowa used Wing to prevent any enemies from interfering and later warned Heero and Zechs that Romefeller was coming to arrest Zechs for disobeying their order. Trowa then converted Wing into its Bird Mode and picked up Heavyarms, allowing Trowa and Heero to escape.
When the five Gundam pilots returned to space to stop OZ from taking over the colonies, Heero left Wing behind on Earth, due to its inability to fully function in space combat and also because Heero knew OZ would easily be able to detect his presence with his Gundam by his side. Some time later, Wing was found underwater by Sally Po, who eventually turned it over to Lucrezia Noin after the two recovered it while Sally was temporarily imprisoned by OZ. Noin then brought the Gundam to the rebuilt Sanc Kingdom's underground hanger. After Heero returned to Earth with Quatre Winner, they eventually arrived at the Sanc Kingdom as well, where Heero was reunited with his Gundam. After much convincing from Noin and Quatre, Heero used Wing to defend Relena's pacifist nation from the Romefeller Foundation for some time.
Final battle and replacement
When Romefeller sent an army of Virgo mobile dolls to crush the Treize Faction at their base in Luxembourg, Heero used Wing Gundam to help defend the Treize Faction, in order to prevent Romefeller from spreading their forces any further. Wing proved to be more of a match for the Virgos than Treize's Leos and Aries, but the Gundam' right leg was damaged during the battle (though it destroyed several more enemies with its buster rifle while laying on the ground). As more Virgos began surrounding Wing, Treize spoke to Heero on the Gundam's intercom, encouraging him not to give up. Heero managed to get Wing back on its feet, but it was eventually blasted into a building; disabling the Gundam completely. After the remaining Virgos were destroyed in a suicide attack by three of Treize's soldiers, Heero exited Wing and abandoned his Gundam for the final time. He soon after was given the Gundam Epyon by Treize, though Heero would eventually replace that suit with Wing's ancestor; the Wing Zero.
Sometime after the battle at Luxembourg Base, the abandoned Wing Gundam was captured by OZ and taken to a base on the grounds of a military hospital for repairs, where it was fitted with booster rockets, thereby allowing it to fly in space. While one soldier asked another why it needed the modifications for space flight, since nobody remained on Earth capable of piloting it, Treize attempted suicide in space by taunting Zechs into firing the battleship Libra's main cannon directly at him. Sensing that her master was in grave danger, Lady Une, erstwhile in a coma, suddenly awoke, quickly donned a space suit, and commandeered the idle Gundam, launching Wing into space at full speed. Rapidly switching out of Bird Mode, Lady Une arrived just in time for Wing to push Treize's Tallgeese II suit out of the devastating path of the laser beam. Taking the full brunt of the damage, the Gundam was disintegrated below the cockpit. Afterwards, Lady Une emerged from the cockpit and climbed onto the Tallgeese II's hand. Although the Gundam was presumably never repaired again, after surviving destruction as many times as it had, Wing's true fate is not entirely known.
- Wing Gundam's role in the original manga adaptation of Gundam Wing features several differences from the anime. For example, after crashing Wing into the Pacific Ocean, Heero retrieves his Gundam immediately after his first encounter with Relena, thanks to Duo's timely arrival. Other differences from the anime include Wing's self-detonation occurring at the New Edwards base instead of Siberia; Heero using the rebuilt Wing instead of Heavyarms for his rematch with Zechs in Antarctica; and Wing being abandoned by Heero for the last time during the fall of the Sanc Kingdom rather than the battle of Luxembourg. Furthermore, Wing receives less extensive damage from the Libra main laser cannon when Lady Une uses it to rescue Treize, though what happens to the Gundam afterwards is again left unexplained.
- The initial design of Wing Gundam was to follow the national trend from Mobile Fighter G Gundam. Wing's design is Japanese and, according to Kunio Okawara's comment, is heavily based on the GF13-017NJII God Gundam. It should be noted that the Gundam's wings were missing from this initial design and it wasn't until the second draft that the wings, as well as its transformation ability, were added.
- Despite being arguably the title mobile suit of Gundam Wing (as well as arguably the most powerful Gundam among the original five in terms of armament and abilities), Wing not only saw little action compared to the other Gundams, but its own pilot abandoned it multiple times and even tried to destroy it on more than one occasion; with one of these attempts actually succeeding. This has led fans to view the Gundam as a joke.
- Wing was the only Gundam of the original five to never receive an upgrade in the series; it was instead replaced by its own prototype, the Wing Zero.
- The only person within the series to ever actually refer to Wing Gundam by its name was Treize Khushrenada (in episode 46), to others it was simply referred to as "Heero's Gundam" or "Gundam 01," while Heero himself only ever referred to it as "my mobile suit" or "my Gundam" (though Heero does refer to his Gundam by its actual name several times in the manga adaptation of the series).
- Video game appearances for Wing Gundam include Gundam Wing: Endless Duel (released only in Japan), Gundam Battle Assault (an American remake of Gundam: The Battle Master 2) and the mecha crossover game Another Century's Episode (again, released only in Japan).
- The Wing Gundam Ver. Ka. made its first video game appearance in Super Robot Wars Alpha 2. It was an unlockable unit that could be obtained if the five main Gundam Wing pilots' levels were over 140 combined by stage 35. The Wing Ver. Ka. was weaker than the Wing Zero Custom as it had no ZERO System and its buster rifle was ammo-based, not EN-based. However, all seven playable Gundam Wing characters could pilot it.
- The Armor Girls Project Wing Gundam figure includes a special hardpoint attachment that allowed the option of equipping the Robot Damashii EW Version Wing Zero's wings.
- The Gundam FIXX Figuration model is named "Wing Gundam Early Type."
- Wing Gundam is also featured in Gundam Build Fighters. It was the first Gunpla battle scene in the series in which Sei pilots against's Susumu Sazaki's Gyan, where it was destroyed quickly. A red colored version is shown later in the first episode as part of the Gunpla Battle World Championships promotional video Sei watches in a town square. A variant of the Wing Gundam gunpla, the Wing Gundam Fenice, is piloted by Ricardo Fellini.
- Though the unit itself does not appear in Gundam Breaker, its EW wings can be built from scratch using the wings from the Wing Zero Custom. There is presumably no need as both Zero's and Wing's EW designs are virtually identical.
- While Wing Zero was voted #1 on WatchMojo.com's Top 10 Mobile Suits from the Gundam franchise, all footage of Wing Zero shown on the video was actually the Wing Gundam.