ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam is designed as a high performance general-purpose MS that can handle a variety of combat situations without exchanging equipment during the battle. For close combat, the suit features two Beam boomerangs that double as beam sabers, a pair of Palm Beam Cannons, and a large Beam Sword, which is the preferred weapon-of-choice of Destiny's pilot, Shinn Asuka. For long-ranged battle, it is equipped with a Long-Range Beam Cannon and a handheld Beam Rifle. For defense, the Destiny mounts a small physical shield as well as two Beam Shield Generators. Lastly, the suit is equipped with a standard set of head mounted CIWS.
For the Destiny Gundam to use its wide variety of weapons effectively and quickly, it is necessary for the suit to have a wider range of body movements as well as be more flexible. To achieve the first goal of having wider range of body movements, the suit's basic structural component have been split into smaller, movable pieces, while the suit's armor has been divided into smaller pieces in a manner that is similar to that used on the ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom. The exposed gaps in the armor due to smaller armor pieces are remedied by mapping out the ranges of motion of the frame using Shinn Asuka's combat performance to determine the most efficient way to separate the armor parts. This help to ensure that the wider range of body movements do not come at a price of lower defensive power. For the second goal of being more flexible, the joints of the Destiny are constructed of the same materials found in Phase Shift armor. This allows the joints to possess near human flexibility when phase-shifted and a faint metallic glow is produced when discharging excess residual energy within the body through the joints.  Through all these special designs, the suit met its requirements, however, various problems remain to be solved, including maintenance problems and production issues. In addition, Destiny also features an improved version of the Freedom's wing units which are arranged symmetrically around the main thrusters.
Other special aspects of the Destiny are its Wings of Light and the Mirage Colloid System. The Wings of Light is a special light effect produced by ZAFT's version of the Voiture Lumiere propulsion system, this system is capable of greatly increasing Destiny's speed when activated and is frequently used together with the Mirage Colloid System to create an illusionary copy of Destiny, confusing the enemy as the real Destiny sets up for a high speed attack. The Voiture Lumiere propulsion system is installed in the Destiny Gundam's wing units, which are improved version of the Freedom's wing units. Like the ZGMF-X666S Legend Gundam, the Destiny Gundam is powered by the Hyper-Deuterion Engine, and is armored with Variable Phase Shift Armor.
- MMI-GAU26 17.5mm CIWS
- Mounted in the head, the pair of CIWS are mainly used for shooting down missiles, projectiles or enemy units at close range.
- MA-BAR73/S High-Energy Beam Rifle
- Developed based on the ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam's beam rifle, it is the Destiny Gundam's main ranged weapon. As the beam rifle is powered by the suit's Hyper-Deuterion Engine, its firepower and rate of fire are superior to that of its predecessor's . When not in use, this weapon could be stored on the back waist point.
- A small, expandable anti-beam coated shield that is mounted on the left arm. In its compacted state, it can be used together with the beam shield. However, this shield is rarely ever seen being used.
- MX2351 "Solidus Fulgor" Beam Shield Generator
- Like its brother unit, the ZGMF-X666 Legend, the Destiny is also equipped with two MX2351 "Solidus Fulgor" beam shield generators, with one generator on the back of each hand. These generators produce powerful beam shields that can effectively block physical and beam attacks, one beam shield was enough to block the combined power of a GFAS-X1 Destroy's three "Super Scylla" multi-phase beam cannons.
- M2000GX High-Energy Long-Range Beam Cannon
- Stored on the left side of the backpack, it is Destiny's most powerful long-range weapon and is capable of destroying just about any MS or battleships with a single shot. Thanks to the suit's Hyper-Deuterion Engine, the M2000GX high-energy long-range beam cannon has a higher firing rate, output and firing range than the ZGMF-X56S/γ Blast Impulse's M2000F "Kerberos" high-energy long-range beam cannon. When in use, the cannon unfolds and swivels underneath the Destiny's shoulder while a trigger and guard extend to allow the Destiny to take manual aim.
- MMI-X340 "Palma Fiocina" Palm Beam Cannons
- A unique feature of the Destiny is its two MMI-X340 "Palma Fiocina" palm beam cannons. These weapons are designed for extreme close-range combat and can release powerful bluish energy discharges that are capable of destroying the heat rods of a ZGMF-X2000 GOUF Ignited and even the armored head of the GFAS-X1 Destroy. It should be noted that during the battle of Orb, a blue beam is seen destroying a Murasame, suggesting that the palm beam cannons can also serve as make-shift ranged weapons as no other suits are known to use blue beams.
- RQM60F "Flash-Edge 2" Beam Boomerang
- The Destiny is equipped with two RQM60F "Flash-Edge 2" beam boomerangs that are stored on the shoulders. They are upgraded forms of the ZGMF-X56S/β Sword Impulse's RQM60 "Flash-Edge" beam boomerangs. Unlike previous models, the Destiny's beam boomerangs also double as beam sabers, though they are rarely seen used in this form. Shinn uses these versatile weapons in a wide variety of ways, such as using them to distract opponents while he closes in for a close-range attack, or to destroy several enemy units in its trajectory.
- MMI-714 "Arondight" Beam Sword
- Stored on the right side of the backpack, the foldable MMI-714 "Arondight" beam sword is the Destiny's main and perhaps its strongest close-combat weapon. It is capable of slashing through the armor of a GFAS-X1 Destroy from head to toe. Despite the name, it actually resembles an anti-ship sword like MMI-710 "Excalibur" anti-ship laser sword. It is Shinn Asuka's preferred weapon in close-quarters combat and sees extensive use against all types of enemies.
Special Equipment & Features
- The Destiny is powered by a hyper-deuterion engine, a fusion of a nuclear reactor with deuterion conversion technology, giving it a self-replenishing power reserve. However, it is still possible for Destiny to drain its power reserve to a critical level, as shown during its first engagement with the Strike Freedom.
- A device built into the mobile suit to counter the effects of Neutron Jammers, this gives the Destiny the ability to use its Hyper-Deuterion Engine without risk of being shut down.
- Operating System
- The Destiny Gundam uses the Gunnery United Nuclear-Dueterion Advanced Maneuver operating system, (MOBILE SUIT NEO OPERATION SYSTEM Ver.1.62 Rev.29).
- Wings of Light
- The "Wings of Light" utilizes a variant of the Voiture Lumiere propulsion system, allowing the Destiny to achieve very high speeds during movements and to create after-images when used together with the Mirage Colloid System. One of Shinn's signature attacks with the Destiny is to utilize both systems in conjunction with the "Arondight" beam sword, rushing into close combat range with unprecedented speed and impaling his target with the sword. This maneuver is very effective against larger, less maneuverable opponents such as the Earth Alliance's Zamza-Zahs, Gells-Ghes, and Destroys, but its effectiveness against units of similar mobility such as the Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice is questionable. As shown during the final battle of Gundam Seed Destiny, the speed and after-images produced allow the Destiny to effectively dodge the multi-directional attacks of the DRAGOON system.
- Mirage Colloid System
- Activated when Wings of Light is used, it spreads Mirage Colloid particles, leaving a trail of visible after-images that can confuse enemy pilots. This system was actually installed on Destiny Gundam for unknown reason and the after-images are an unintended side-effect of mixing Mirage Colloid particles with the Voiture Lumiere system while traveling at high speeds.
The ZGMF-X42S Destiny is ZAFT’s newest and most advanced mobile suit. It was commissioned by ZAFT Chairman Gilbert Durandal, who ordered the new machine to be designed and built with the most advanced technology of the time, also incorporating technologies which were banned by the Junius Treaty. Based on the ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam and Shinn Asuka’s combat data, it is designed to be able to handle any combat situation with its varied armament. Most of these armaments were tested on a specialized Silhouette pack mounted on the ZGMF-X56S/θ Destiny Impulse.
The Destiny was personally presented to the pilot Shinn Asuka by ZAFT Chairman Gilbert Durandal, and first entered combat against a ZGMF-2000 GOUF Ignited piloted by defector Athrun Zala. It then went on to participate in Operation Ragnarok, the invasion of Heaven's Base in Iceland, and was instrumental in the ZAFT-EA Defectors victory by first destroying the base's complement of five GFAS-X1 Destroy Gundam units.
It then participates in the attack on the Orb Union, where it was confronted by Cagalli Yula Athha in the ORB-01 Akatsuki. As his beam rifle and long-range beam cannon were shown to be ineffective against Akatsuki's anti-beam reflection system, he used his beam sword and his beam boomerang to attack Cagalli/Akatsuki and manages to sever Akatsuki's shield-wielding left arm before Kira Yamato and Lacus Clyne made planetfall in ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom Gundam and ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice Gundam to assist Orb and destroyed Destiny's remaining offensive weapons. The ensuing duel with Strike Freedom proved so ferocious that Shinn was forced to retreat as Rey Za Burrel relieved him.
Shinn/Destiny returned to battlefield along with Rey/ZGMF-X666S Legend Gundam to battle Strike Freedom Gundam once again. The team was able to force the Strike Freedom into defensive until the timely intervention of Athrun Zala and his ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice Gundam, who managed to cut off both of Destiny's arms (losing the beam sword for the second time in the process) after activating his own SEED Mode in response to Shinn's attacks when he activates his own SEED Mode, after which all the ZAFT pilots received orders from Minerva to retreat upon assuming command in the aftermath of the original command ship (Saint Helens) being sunk by Archangel.
The Destiny led the assault on the Requiem control station on the moon right after several of PLANT's colonies was destroyed by Lord Djibril commanding the Earth Alliance's lunar base in Arzahel, and was again instrumental in the ZAFT victory over the remaining Earth Alliance Forces there. Defeating numerous opposing mobile weapons including three GFAS-X1 Destroy Gundam units stationed there, Shinn is able to successfully buy enough time for Lunamaria Hawke to infiltrate and destroy the command center with her ZGMF-X56S/γ Blast Impulse.
During the final battle of the Second Bloody Valentine War, Destiny was engaged against ∞ Justice Gundam after the latter disabled Lunamaria Hawke's ZGMF-X56S/α Force Impulse and received major damage before being disabled by Athrun Zala/∞ Justice Gundam. The fate of Destiny afterwards is unknown.
Notes & Trivia
- Destiny's head crest displays the text "X-42S DUE", where in italian "Due" means two and a reference to Destiny's series number. It also refers to Shinn's second mobile suit. The "S" in its code number represents that it is a Second Stage mobile suit, although its abilities are actually that of a Third Stage unit. This is done to hide the fact that it is a nuclear-powered suit and should have an "A" instead.
- The Destiny's faceplate has a distinctive pair of red, curved marks, directly underneath each eye. Identical markings were previously seen on the faceplate of the OZ-00MS2 Tallgeese II.
- The opening song, "Wings of Words", may be a reference to Destiny's Wings of Light.
- Every different version of the SEED Destiny storyline (as many as 3 different manga, as well as the TV series) has a slightly different take on how the Destiny Gundam was disabled; one has Athrun disabling the machine with its own Beam Sword before destroying the Requiem cannon with Destiny's weapon.
- The scene where Destiny drained the Hyper-Deuterion engine's reserves was edited out of the Special Edition compilations of the series, but it reappeared in the Seed Destiny HD Remaster.
- This scene was also referenced in Super Robot Wars K and L by limiting its attack list to mostly EN draining attacks, omitting attacks such as the beam boomerangs. This is in contrast to the Strike Freedom and Justice that while having similar draining powerful attacks, also having a nice amount of low EN cost or ammo based options. This isn't the case in the Z series as the Destiny can use its beam boomerangs as a low cost melee option. Also in Z2, it doesn't get its EN regen upgraded to 20% when fully upgraded like the Strike Freedom and ∞ Justice. Instead, Destiny gained +300 attack power as its full upgrade bonus.
- The Destiny's backpack is actually inspired by the Strike's striker packs, as the sword and the long range beam cannon has a close resemblance to the Strike's.
- The Destiny and the GAT-X105+AQM/E-X02 Sword Strike Gundam draw their swords in exactly the same fashion.
- The Destiny and the GAT-X105+AQM/E-X03 Launcher Strike Gundam draw their cannons in exactly the same fashion.
- It's been rumoured Kira's upgraded Gundam in SEED would have been similar to the Destiny, but the designers couldn't find a way to mix the three packs' main traits (Anti-ship sword, anti-ship cannon, and the booster pack) until GSD aired. This in turn might have inspired the Perfect Strike seen in the HD remaster of SEED.
- The Destiny's palm cannon is nicknamed "Destiny Finger" by some fans, a reference to Shining Gundam's "Shining Finger".
- In Gundam SEED Destiny: Alliance vs. Zaft Plus and Gundam vs. Gundam Next, whenever Destiny pulls out its Beam Sword, the Beam Rifle simply disappears, even though in the anime, there's a storage area for it. The same thing happens with the Impulse Gundam when it pulls out its Beam Saber, which coincidentally is also piloted by Shinn Asuka.
- In Gundam vs Gundam, Destiny is unlockable as a PSP exclusive unit
- The Destiny's role is similar to that of Zeta Gundam in the series of the same name; where Destiny, like Zeta is the protagonist's second mobile suit and their first mobile suits were given to a female character.
- An orange colored Destiny Gundam appeared in the CD case of J-pop artist T.M.Revolution's new album "X42S - REVOLUTION". Also, the Gundam itself has its own 1/144 HG & 1/100 MG Gunpla release bundled with the Limited Edition of the Album to tie in with 30th anniversary of the Gundam series. The unit is unofficially known as the Destiny Gundam Heine Westenfluss Custom, probably in reference to the singer behind TM Revolution, Takanori Nishikawa, being the Voice Actor for Heine Westenfluss in the series, one of the rare instances of singers getting Voice Acting Roles in an anime series that they sang songs for.
- Some of the Destiny's abilities and physical traits mirror those of past gundams, such as The "Wings of Light" mirroring LM314V21 Victory 2 Gundam and SYSTEM ∀-99 ∀ Gundam. The Destiny's after-image ability mirroring the F91 Gundam F91. Not to mention the "Palma Fiocinas" shown to be used in a similar matter to that of Shining Finger, God Finger and Darkness Finger, including the blue color of their beams, which can be a reference to the MSM-03C HyGogg from the Universal Century.
- The Destiny Gundam is playable suit in Gundam Musou 2 and Gundam Musou 3.
- In SD Gundam G Generation portable,SD Gundam G Generation Wars, and G Generation World, there are two versions of Destiny. The normal version has access to beam saberang, vulcan, beam rifle, long range cannon and palm beam cannon. When pilot's tension gauge reach max level, it will switch to a hyper version which replaces beam saberang and beam rifle attacks with beam sword and beam boomerang attacks respectively, as well as an increased damage of palm beam cannon.
- In Super Robot Wars K, whenever Destiny destroys its opponent with "Arondight" Beam Sword, Destiny will let its opponent explode with the sword still stuck in it. But strangely, the sword can still be used thereafter. This quirk has been rectified in Super Robot Wars L, where Destiny retrieves its sword before its opponent explodes.
- Its high speed/mobility is referenced in a scene in Super Robot Wars L where Kira has difficulty dealing with an agile original enemy until Shinn stops it with an attack. Due to changed events in the game, the two pilots are on far friendlier terms compared to other games with GSD.
- An official limited Master Grade of Destiny Gundam Heine Westenfluss Custom was released and displayed in a Gunpla Expo on March 2011.
- Destiny has a unique default BGM compared to the other SEED Destiny units in Super Robot Wars K. The default BGM for Destiny is Zips (by TM Revolution), while the default BGM for the other SEED Destiny units is Kira, Sono Kokoro no Momo ni (by Toshihiko Sahashi).
- Destiny's strongest attack, Extreme Blast is slightly stronger than Strike Freedom's Super Dragoon Full Burst and ∞ Justice's Griffon 2 in Super Robot Wars L.
- During Operation Fury, a Murasame is destroyed by a blue beam before Destiny engage the Akatsuki in melee combat. Since no other MS's beam attacks are blue, it is likely that the beam is from Destiny's "Palma Fiocinas". However, no official source has supported this, except in some video games such as Gundam SEED: Generation of C.E. (PS2) and Gundam SEED: Battle Destiny (PSVita), where the "Palma Fiocinas" can be utilized as mid-ranged weapons.
- Destiny lost its final and most powerful attack, Full Weapon Combination, in Super Robot Wars Z2 part 1, Hakai-hen due to its palm cannons being broken, and the "Arondight" Beam Sword became Destiny's strongest attack. It was later repaired and Full Weapon Combination returned in its sequel, Super Robot Wars Z2 part 2, Saisei-hen.
- In Super Robot Wars K and L, the Wings of Light was also activated during Destiny's attack with its High Energy Long Range Beam Cannon, despite the Wings of Light was mainly used during melee attacks or evasion that require a high speed as shown in the TV series.
- Destiny's model number is the answer to life, the universe and everything (42) according to the writer of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Douglas Adams.
- In Another Century's Episode: R which picks up sometime after the end of GSD, Destiny was fully repaired. Shinn uses it to join forces with Kira and Athrun and investigate the unmanned Alliance mobile suits, before being swept into an alternate dimension.
- In Gundam Memories, the Destiny's M2000GX High-Energy Long-Range Beam Cannon is placed at the right part of its body, instead of the left, but when used, it is placed at the left side during Quick Attack, but still placed at the right in a Special attack.
- It should be noted that there are many animation inconsistencies where the Destiny's physical shield simply appears or disappears.
- Destiny Gundam was the first in this series to have a Real Grade (RG) release in conjunction with the broadcast of the Gundam SEED Destiny Remaster Project aired on March 2013. However, unlike the previous HG Version which was released nearly 10 years ago, this version does not include its Wings Of Light Effect Parts, available only as a separate Premium Release.
- Interestingly in Super Deformed Gundam Online (SDGO), Destiny does not have either the N-Jammer Canceller skill or the N-Jammer Canceller EX skill.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1/100 MG Destiny Gundam reference manual
- ↑ Dengeki Data Collection: Gundam Seed Destiny, Media Works
- ↑ Dengeki Data Collection: Gundam Seed Destiny, Media Works