Technology & Combat Characteristics
The ZGMF-X23S Saviour Gundam is one of ZAFT's five Second Stage Series mobile suits, it specializes in aerial combat and can transform into a highly aerodynamic mobile armor (MA) mode that has much better flying speed and aerial combat capabilities. The suit is also flight capable when in MS mode and is highly mobile due to its large wings and powerful thrusters. Armed with a beam rifle, a shield, two beam sabers, two CIWS guns, two machine guns as well as a pair of beam and plasma beam cannons, the Saviour Gundam often carries out hit-and-run attacks using a combination of its MA and MS mode. Like the other suits in the Second Stage Series, it can also operate in space and is equipped with a new form of phase shift armor known as Variable Phase Shift armor as well as a battery that can be recharged during battle using the Deuterion Beam Energy Transfer System. As with the ZGMF-X24S Chaos Gundam, the Saviour Gundam is based upon a similar prototype unit, in this case the ZGMF-YX21R Proto-Saviour.
- MMI-GAU25A 20mm CIWS
- A pair of MMI-GAU25A 20mm CIWS guns are mounted in the mobile suit's head and are usable only in MS mode. They are mainly used for intercepting incoming missiles and for suppressive fire.
- MMI-RD11 Aerodynamic Shield
- The main defensive armament of the suit, the shield possesses an aerodynamic form to reduce air resistance when the suit is flying in MA mode and is anti-beam coated to protect against beam attacks. It can be mounted on the left forearm or handheld when in MS mode and in MA mode, it is mounted on the torso and can help to protect the cockpit from attacks below.
- M106 "Amfortas" Plasma Beam Cannon
- The pair of "Amfortas" plasma beam cannons are the Saviour's most powerful weapons, they are attached to the suit's backpack and are movable. When in MS mode, the cannons can be used positioned under the shoulders to be fired, while in MA mode they are always facing forward. The beam cannons serve as the MA mode's main weapon and are improved version of ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam's M100 "Balaena" plasma beam cannons.
- MMI-GAU2 "Picus" 76mm Machine Gun
- The "Picus" 76mm machine guns are the shell firing weapons of the Saviour's MA mode and serve the same purpose as the CIWS. They are located on the backpack cowl that covers the Saviour's head when in MA mode.
- MA-7B "Super Fortis" Beam Cannon
- Improved version of the ZGMF-X09A Justice Gundam's MA-4B "Fortis" beam cannons, a pair of this beam cannons are mounted above the "Amfortas" plasma beam cannons and are usable in both MS and MA mode. They are slightly weaker than the plasma beam cannons but have higher rate of fire.
- MA-M941 "Vajra" Beam Saber
- A pair of beam sabers are stored on the Saviour' shoulder armor, they serve as the suit's main close combat weapon and are usable only in MS mode. The same model of beam saber is used by all beam saber equipped Second Stage Series MS.
- MA-BAR70 High-Energy Beam Rifle
- A custom beam rifle used by the Saviour Gundam, it is developed based on Freedom and Justice Gundam's beam rifle. In MS mode, the beam rifle is handheld when in use and stored on the rear skirt when not needed. In MA mode, it is mounted on the left shoulder and can be fired in that manner. The beam rifle serves as the MS mode's main weapon and is a secondary weapon when in MA mode.
Special Equipment & Features
- Like the other Second Stage Series suits, the Saviour has the capabilities to be remotely recharged using a Deuterion Beam fired from the LHM-BB01 Minerva.
- Like the Second Stage Series suits, the Saviour also uses the operating system Generation Unrestricted Network Drive Assault Module.
- The Saviour is equipped with ZAFT's improved version of Phase Shift armor, it is more energy efficient and its strength, as well as color can be changed in the field, although this must be programmed beforehand.
In late CE 73, ZAFT created a new series of advanced prototype mobile suits known as the Second Stage Series to succeed their previous generation of Gundams, which were all lost in the first war. One of these new suits was the Saviour Gundam, a transformable unit specializing in aerial combat. The suit was not present during the theft of the other Second Stage Series at Armory One as its development has fallen behind the rest. After the fall of Junius Seven debris during the "Break the World" incident, it was assigned by Chairman Gilbert Durandal to Athrun Zala, who was newly reinstated to ZAFT and appointed by Durandal to the elite FAITH detachment. Athrun then flew the Saviour back to Earth and, after a small skirmish with Orb forces, joined the crew of the battleship Minerva. Although Athrun was able to disable the mobile armor YMAG-X7F Gells-Ghe in the Gulnahan Ravine near Suez he accomplished little in combat. He managed to tie up Chaos pilot Sting Oakley in most engagements by providing a difficult to hit target, but took very little offensive action against the EA forces. Saviour is later damaged beyond repair by Kira Yamato's ZGMF-X10A Freedom in a naval battle off the coast of Crete.
Notes & Trivia
- Saviour's head crest displays the text "X-23S TRE", which means "Three" in Italian and is a reference to the Saviour's series number.
- In its serial number, "ZGMF" is the short form of "Zero Gravity Maneuver Fighter", "X" means it is a prototype unit, "2" means it is designed for aerial combats, "3" is it's series number, and "S" represents "Second Stage".
- The way the Saviour was destroyed has been referred to among fans as being "Savioured".
- In the third volume of the English-translated Gundam SEED Destiny manga, the Savior is erroneously referred to as the "Saber". This is an error explained due to the katakana given for this unit (セイバー Seibaa, "Saber" or "Saver") and its pronunciation being at odds with the official English name "Saviour". If that was rendered into katakana, it would be セイビアー Seibiaa, "Saviour". This likely stems from choosing something that is easier to pronounce for the average Japanese as well as to understand, being a regular (katakana) derivation of an agent noun for "save", while being aware of "saviour" being the more common term in English and therefore choosing this for the Latin letters.