ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom Gundam
Technology & Combat Characteristics
A mobile suit tuned to meet Kira Yamato's need, Strike Freedom has Variable Phase Shift Armor and like its predecessor, Freedom, is primarily armed with powerful ranged weapons. It armaments includes head-mounted CIWS, an abdomen-mounted multi-phase beam cannon, hip-mounted rail cannons, combine-able beam sabers and beam rifles, DRAGOON pods controlled by the new Super DRAGOON system and beam shields. It is also equipped with "Voiture Lumiere" propulsion system, Neutron Jammer Canceller and powered by the new Hyper-Deuterion Nuclear Reactor.
Strike Freedom's design focuses on mobility rather than armor strength as Kira is rarely hit, and as the beam shields can overcome the defensive fragility. As a result, the armor is split into smaller pieces to improve the movement range of the joints. To compensate for exposing more of its internal parts, the suit's internal skeleton also has PS armor. When the internal skeleton phase-shift, the unit possess near human flexibility and through its glowing effect, is able to discharge excess residual energy within the body through the joints. This internal PS armor also helps to withstand the high output and Gs caused by Hyper Deuterion and the new propulsion system, playing a role in increasing Strike Freedom's mobility. However, the main contributor to the MS's superior mobility is the mobile weapon wings, which can be deployed in the "High Mobility Aerial Tactics (HiMAT) Mode" to enhance the suit's mobility in the atmosphere or in space. The wings also features a variant of the "Voiture Lumiere" propulsion system, which can generate a visual effect called the "Wing of the Skies" similar to ZGMF-X42S Destiny's Wings of Light and is used as a means of high speed movement.
Like the latest DRAGOON system deployed by ZAFT, Strike Freedom's Super DRAGOON system can be used by pilots lacking enhanced spatial awareness. The system has also been further enhanced by Terminal and thanks to the DRAGOONs, Kira Yamato is now able to more freely position Strike Freedom's weapons in various angles and engage multiple targets from multiple directions if needed to. This is a considerable improvement over the Freedom's single forward-direction attacking, now giving the Strike Freedom a full 360 degree attack range.
Like the Freedom, Strike Freedom is design to operate alongside another mobile suit, in this case, the ∞ Justice and is stationed on board the warship Eternal. The suit also has full flight capabilities in the atmosphere, and is equipped with Freedom's Multi Lock-On System, Full Burst Mode, as well as the ability to dock with the METEOR weapon system to augment its already impressive firepower.
- MMI-GAU27D 31mm CIWS
- As with most other mobile suits, the Strike Freedom features two head-mounted CIWS guns, which are used to shoot down incoming missiles and enemy units at close range.
- EQFU-3X Super DRAGOON Mobile Weapon Wing & MA-80V Beam Assault Cannon
- The DRAGOON system is the Strike Freedom's newest feature and two DRAGOON pods, each with one MA-80V beam assault cannon, are stored on each of the 8 wings. Besides functioning as a ranged weapon, the beam cannon can also generate a beam blade at its tip. The Strike Freedom's DRAGOONs do not require pilots with a high degree of spatial awareness to effectively control them due to the use of an improved quantum communication system. Kira prefers to use the DRAGOONs to attack enemy units/ships from long-range and often in conjunction with all the other weapons. It can also be used in group formations for multiple barrages.
- MA-M02G "Super Lacerta" Beam Saber
- The suit's main close combat weapon, a pair of them are mounted on the hips. They are also used by ∞ Justice, and are enhanced version of the ones used by Justice and Freedom. The two beam sabers can also be combined together to form a dual-bladed beam saber.
- MA-M21KF High Energy Beam Rifles
- Developed based on the Freedom Gundam's MA-M20 "Lupus" high-energy beam rifle, the two MA-M21KF high-energy beam rifles used by Strike Freedom can combine to form one long-range beam rifle, in a manner similar to that of the GAT-X103 Buster. As such, the rifles can be used to hit enemy units in various range and Kira's habit of taking out multiple targets at once is also enhanced with the use of two beam rifles instead of one. The rifles are stored on the hips and can be swiveled to the rear skirt armor when the "Xiphias 3" rail cannons are used.
- MGX-2235 "Calidus" Multi-Phase Beam Cannon
- Mounted on the lower part of the torso, this multi-phase beam cannon is the same as the one used by ZGMF-X31S Abyss Gundam. The beam it fires is strong enough to cancel out Destiny's long-range beam cannon attack.
- MMI-M15E "Xiphias 3" Rail Cannon
- The two "Xiphias 3" rail cannons mounted on the suit's hips are upgraded version of the "Xiphias" rail cannons of the original Freedom, they are more powerful and have a simplified structure. Like their predecessor, the "Xiphias 3" can also be used to attack enemy units in the water, which gives the Strike Freedom a quite efficient way to fight underwater MS and vessels. The only problem with the rail cannons is that they cannot be used when they are swapped to the rear skirt armor to make room for storing the MA-M21KF high energy beam rifles.
- MX2200 Beam Shield
- Strike Freedom has a beam shield generator on each of its forearms. The beam shield can effectively block most beam and physical attacks, but can fluctuate if the attacks are too powerful. Kira Yamato was seen using the Strike Freedom's beam shields both defensive, such as when blocking Destiny's beam sword, and offensive, by ramming them at Legend's torso.
- Like its predecessor, Freedom, Strike Freedom can dock with the METEOR unit, a large mobile weapons platform with powerful thrusters and an even more powerful armament of battleship-caliber beam cannons, large beam swords, and dozens of heavy missile launchers.
Special Equipment and Features
- High-Mobility Aerial Tactics (HiMAT) Mode
- A configuration in which Strike Freedom's 8 wings are unfolded for higher maneuverability during aerial combat. When in space, the deployment of the wings can enhance Strike Freedom's AMBAC capabilities.
- Multi Lock-On System
- As implied by its name, this unique system allows Strike Freedom to target multiple enemies and attack them at once. To use this system effectively, the pilot must have high spatial awareness capability, which is rare even among Coordinators. This system can also be used when Strike Freedom docked with the METEOR unit.
- Full Burst Mode
- The name of the attack mode in which Strike Freedom uses its beam rifles, DRAGOONs, rail cannons and multi-phase beam cannon all at once. This mode is also present in Freedom Gundam and is often used together with the Multi Lock-On System to destroy a large amount of enemy units at once. Thanks to the DRAGOONs, the Strike Freedom's Full Burst Mode has a larger firing range than the Freedom's, granting it a full 360 degree range of attack capability.
- Voiture Lumiere
- A variant of the "Voiture Lumiere" propulsion system is mounted in Strike Freedom's wings. It can be used even when the DRAGOON Pods are still attached to the wings, by slightly seperating the DRAGOONs from main wings, without fully deploying them. The propulsion system operates at full power when all the DRAGOONs are fully deployed. When activated, the system forms "Wing of the Skies", similar to those of the Destiny "Wings of Light", allowing it to accelerate at incredible rate and to quickly dodge the most intense enemy beam barrages.
- Like the other new Gundams, the Strike Freedom mounts a Hyper-Deuterion Nuclear Reactor, granting it nearly infinite operation time and enough power to use both the METEOR unit, and the Variable Phase Shift armor.
- A device built into the mobile suit to counter the effects of ZAFT's Neutron Jammers. This gives the Strike Freedom the ability to use its Hyper-Deuterion Reactor without the risk of being shut down.
- Operating System
- The Strike Freedom uses the Generation Unsubdued Nuclear Drive Assault Module complex operating system.
- An improved version of Phase Shift Armor, VPS armor is capable of automatically changing its strength, as well as color and power consumption in the field, although this must be programmed beforehand.
The direct successor of the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam, the Strike Freedom was originally built by ZAFT as a prototype machine for eventual mass-production. Development itself, which had started in the same time period as its predecessor, was behind schedule and could not be completed in time due to technical limitations in developing the DRAGOON System. Further more, development was influenced by the Junius Treaty and data regarding existing development on the unit, was to be sealed. It remained an incomplete unit with the outbreak of the Second Bloody Valentine War. However, the design data(or perhaps the incomplete unit) was stolen by Terminal, who also deleted the data from the ZAFT Integrated Design Bureau's servers. Redevelopment of the Strike Freedom's was carried out by Terminal, based on the operational data of the Freedom. In fact, Strike Freedom is redesigned and modified on the basis that it will become Kira's personal MS. It also incorporated the latest MS technology from both ZAFT and Terminal.
The Strike Freedom made its on-screen debut in CE 74, when Kira boarded the Eternal in a damaged MBF-P02+AQM/E-X01 Aile Strike Rouge after coming to the aid of Andrew Waltfeld and then launched in the Strike Freedom to defend the ship from a ZAFT attack force. Kira, with the Strike Freedom, successfully disabled 25 ZAKUs and GOUFs within two minutes and then proceeded to disable three Nazca class destroyers.
When it arrived on Earth along with the ZGMF-X19A ∞ Justice (piloted by Lacus Clyne, delivered for Athrun Zala's use), it immediately confronted the ZGMF-X42S Destiny, piloted by Shinn Asuka, breaking up its battle with the ORB-01 Akatsuki (piloted by Kira's twin sister, Cagalli Yula Athha). The initial clash between the two suits resulted in Strike Freedom gaining the upper hand, as Shinn's Boomerangs and Beam sword were destroyed and its energy supply was nearly depleted. The Destiny was forced to retreat when Rey Za Burrel ordered Shinn Asuka to return to the Minerva to resupply.
When the Destiny returned to the battlefield, it was now accompanied by Rey Za Burrel in the ZGMF-X666S Legend. At one point, Kira had the chance to destroy Destiny after Strike Freedom kicked the ZAFT suit. But together, both units finally managed to put Strike Freedom into the defensive and gave the Destiny an opportunity to destroy the Strike Freedom. Athrun Zala in the ZGMF-X19A ∞ Justice arrived on the scene at that moment however, stopping the attack as well as the numerical disadvantage. For the remainder of this battle, which was not long, the Strike Freedom engaged the Legend in a skirmish, in which neither suit gained an advantage nor damaged the other because Kira was in a daze of finding out Rey Za Barrel's "true" identity.
In the final battle of the Second Bloody Valentine War, the Strike Freedom and the ∞ Justice, both equipped with the METEOR mobile weapons platform, destroyed an important relay station, which was to be used by the Earth Alliance's Requiem tactical cannon, now under ZAFT control. After accomplishing this goal, they realized the station could be replaced and proceeded towards the Requiem itself. The Strike Freedom then engaged the Legend and, after a short exchange of fire, crippled it with its Full Burst Mode Attack. Kira docked the Strike Freedom once more with the METEOR and then headed to the mobile fortress Messiah, heavily damaging it single-handedly, before allowing the remainder of the Three Ships Alliance vessels and MS to destroy the Messiah fortress completely. The destruction of Messiah led to the subsequent end of the Second Bloody Valentine War, with Kira using the Strike Freedom to escape the fortress.
Notes & Trivia
- The Strike Freedom's DRAGOONs were never shown to be used during the Strike Freedom's short time on Earth. Some consider it to be inoperationable in the Earth's atmosphere, which is possible as the only other DRAGOON-equipped mobile suit to ever operate on Earth, the Legend Gundam, likewise never deployed its DRAGOONs on Earth, though it did fire them while docked on a couple of occasions. So whether or not it can is unknown due to lack of solid evidence. Only various video games have hinted otherwise, but they are not considered official.
- The suit's beam sabers can be combined to form a spear, although this has only appeared in various video games. The Boss Version in Gundam vs. Gundam Next Plus portrayed the beam as twice as long as that of an original saber, nicknamed "Sephiroth Blade" by fans.
- When Strike Freedom was shown in the 3rd opening animation, its head crest displayed the words "Liberta Modifica", which is "Modified Freedom" in Latin. Starting with episode 39 the words were changed to read "X-20A VENTI", which is "Twenty" in Italian, a reference to the Strike Freedom's model number.
- The ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom is the only unit commissioned to Kira that never sustained damage since its debut. The GAT-X105 Strike, Kira's first unit, sustained catastrophic damage when Athrun's Aegis self-destructed, but was repaired and recommissioned to Mu La Flaga before ultimately being destroyed while defending the Archangel from the Dominion's Lohengrin. The ZGMF-X10A Freedom was crippled once in battle against the ZGMF-X13A Providence, and was later completely restored before being completely destroyed by the ZGMF-X56S/α Force Impulse piloted by Shinn Asuka.
- In Gundam vs Gundam NEXT PLUS, Strike Freedom is also a boss and has the ability "DRAGOON- ISSEN". Strike Freedom will fly at an opponent from any distance and repeatedly slash 4-5 times while circling around the enemy and end with all 8 DRAGOON pods cross-firing at the target.
- In Gundam Vs Gundam NEXT PLUS, Strike Freedom is also playable but different from THE BOSS VER. especially in game-play. It also has a stronger Burst Form than the normal version.
- There are actually two versions of Strike Freedom in Super Robot Wars K and Super Robot Wars L. When deploy on Earth, the game will automatically switch to second version. Unlike the space version, Super DRAGOON are missing from Strike Freedom's weapons list and DRAGOON Full Burst attack will be replaced by weaker Hi-MAT Full Burst (which has similar animation except without deploying the Super DRAGOON)
- Rey once referred to the Strike Freedom as the original Freedom's "ghost".
- In Super Robot Wars K and L, Full Burst as a MAP Attack can only be used once before Strike Freedom is resupplied. Meanwhile, Full Burst can be used for several times to attack a single opponent. This has become a controversy as Full Burst is only used for multiple times to attack more than 1 enemy as in the TV show. According to the game developers, they deliberately set the Full Burst can only be used once as a MAP Attack as it would be very easy to complete a scenario if Full Burst can be used for several times to wipe out a swarm of enemies.
- Strike Freedom is one of the 3 guest characters alongside Kamen Rider Fourze and Ultraman Saga for the upcoming crossover game Heroes VS for PSP. Those three characters can be unlocked via codes and only available for the first run of the game's release.
- In various games, Strike Freedom's Wing of the Skies are never activated when the DRAGOON pods are deployed which is very odd as they were always in effect whenever Kira deployed them in the show. Thus, Strike Freedom never receives a boost in speed except in specific instances.
- As of Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost, this problem was rectified.
- In the anime, the two beam rifles change their colors after the VPS armor is switched on, indicating that they may have been equipped with VPS armor. However, this feature has not been documented in any data books or model kit manuals.
- The Strike Freedom is one of the few protagonist Gundams to not receive any variants or successor units.
Articles & References
- ↑ "1/100 MG Strike Freedom Gundam" Assembly Instruction Manual
- ↑ "Dengeki Hobby Magazine" February, 2007 issue.
- ↑ Gundam Seed Destiny MS Encyclopedia