Technology and Combat Characteristics
The basic technology of ZM-S08G Zolo, like most of the Zanscare Empire's mass-production mobile suits, is derived from the ZM-S06S Zoloat and is designed for combat on Earth. Though while the Zolo's design may have been inspired by that of the Zoloat it is still a very different machine in terms of new technologies built into the machine, the type of combat it is suited for, and the types of weapons it uses.
Unlike the Zoloat which was designed for space combat the Zolo is designed for combat on Earth, both on the ground and in the air. For that purpose its thrusters and systems have been optimized for use under gravity and in the atmosphere allowing limited flight. The ZM-S08G Zolo is also the first mass-produced mobile suit to utilize the beam rotor technology which is mounted on a hardpoint on either the left or right arm, or a back-mounted hardpoint. First tested on the ZMT-S06G Zolorotor, the beam rotor works on a principal similar to helicopter rotors allowing more fuel efficient flight. Also while in mobile suit mode the beam rotor doubles as a beam shield or a beam saw that can cut an enemy mobile suits much like a beam saber.
One of the ZM-S08G Zolo's most significant features is its transformation system. The mobile suit's torso can disconnect from the legs at the waist and transform into a helicopter/jet hybrid vehicle known as a Top Terminal. In this form it relies on the beam rotor to provide lift, its thrusters for thrust, and it is equipped with a single nose mounted Vulcan gun for anti-personal and anti-aircraft combat. It can be outfitted with wing mounted missile launchers and a large Gatling cannon, that is hand-carried in mobile suit mode, for use against larger, better armored foes and for bombing runs. Similarly the legs of the mobile suits become a Bottom Terminal that is remote controlled the Top Terminal. The Bottom Terminal relies on jet thrusters for propulsion and can be outfitted with a large missile container so that it may be used as an accompanying bomber to the Top Terminal. Normally the Top Terminal and Bottom Terminal combination is used for bombing runs and other missions that require dealing large amounts of damage to ground targets. The Top Terminal and Bottom Terminal can combine into a full Zolo in midair and disconnect again in midair allowing it to adapt to changing battle conditions.
In mobile suit mode the Zolo could be equipped with a wide variety of optional hand-carried armaments among which include the standard beam rifle, a powerful beam bazooka, a multi-bazooka that could be equipped with a variety of bazooka-use projectiles, and a projectile firing Gatling cannon that can mount under the body of the Top Terminal. The Zolo also makes use of a pair of beam sabers, a fairly standard armament for all mobile suits, for close combat.
The Zolo's unique transformation and "Terminal" system were theoretically an efficient combat system. However, most of Zanscare pilots lack the skill to take advantage of this feature.
- 9-tube Missile Launchers
- The Top Terminal can be equipped with a pair of wing-mounted 9-tube missile launchers that can launch air-to-air or air-to-ground missiles.
- Beam Bazooka
- Beam Rifle
- A standard rang-type weapon employed by almost all mobile suits, though with many differing models, that fires beams of condensed mega particles. The mega particles are pre-condensed and stored in an e-pac that can be replaced mid-battle if the one in use runs out of energy.
- Beam Rotor
- The beam rotor is a new technology developed by BESPA that is based on a combination of beam saber and beam shield technologies. The beam rotor equipment emits several beam sabers in the form of rotors that are then spun at high speed. This can be used to generate a lifting phenomena similar to that created by Minovsky craft system, that when combined with the mobile suit's thrusters allows for improved flight. When the rotors are spinning they can be used to defend the mobile suit in a fashion similar to beam shield, or as a melee weapon to cut into the enemy.The Zolo can mount up to three beam rotors on hardpoints on the left and right arm and the mobile suit's back. However the Zolo is typically only equipped with two. One on the back for use with the top terminal, and one on the left arm for use in mobile suit mode.
- Beam Saber
- Standard melee combat weapon that uses high energy plasma contained by an I-field to form a blade. Hand-carried when in use. Stored in recharge racks when not in use, the location of which are unknown.
- Bombing Unit
- The Bottom Terminal can be equipped with a large 30-tube bomb container that is capable of dropping a large number bombs. When the Bottom Terminal docks with the Top Terminal the bombing units position shifts so that it is back mounted and hanging under the mobile suit's right arm and is still capable of dropping its bombs. When mounted like this the bombing unit throws the Zolo's profile askew and increasing wind resistance. When the bombing unit has spent all of its ammunition it can be discarded to lighten the Zolo and restore some lost maneuverability.
- Gatling Cannon
- Vulcan Gun
- The Vulcan gun is a multi-barrel machine gun mounted mounted under the nose of the top terminal. Similar to mobile suit-used Vulcan guns of the past the weapon has a relatively small caliber, making it unsuitable for use against mobile suits. It is better used against lightly armored targets such as aircraft, transport truck, or soldiers. The Vulcan gun can only be used when the top terminal is separated from the bottom terminal.
Special Equipment & Features
- Used to mount beam rotor with 1 located on each forearm and 1 located on backpack.
- Transformation/Docking System
- The Zolo can separate into a separate Top Terminal and Bottom Terminal aircraft.
- Unmanned Bottom Terminal
- Operated by on-board computer auto-pilot system or by pilot in Top Terminal via wireless remote control.
The ZM-S08G Zolo was an early model mobile suit designed and built by the Ballistic Equipment & Space Patrol Armory for the Zanscare Empire's Earth combat forces. One military unit that was known to favor the Zolo were the elite Yellow Jackets that were stationed in Europe.
The Zolo mobile suits and its varial Terminal combination were used by the Yellow Jackets to hunt down and fight against the League Militaire and its supporters, apparently aware that the League Militaire was in the process of developing its own advanced mobile weapon. The Zanscare Empire military also would not hesitate to use the Terminals to bomb out cities where the League Militaire and its sympathizers resided, not caring how much collateral damage or how many civilian deaths they caused. This was an atrocity that they enacted upon the city of Woowig.
When Uso Ewin stole the ZMT-S12G Shokew the ZM-S08G Zolo mobile suits were his opponents, battling six of them on three separate occasions. When the young teen switched to the LM312V04 Victory Gundam he would battle a red Zolo piloted by ace Cronicle Asher.
Because the Zolo failed to meet expected combat efficiency projections its production was ceased and active models were phased out of service and replaced by more advanced models, including its direct descendant the ZM-S09G Tomliat.
Notes & Trivia
- The Top Terminal and Bottom Terminal system bears a strong resemblance to the AMX-107 Bawoo from the first Neo Zeon war from sixty-five years before the war with the Zanscare Empire.