Technology & Combat Characteristics
Classified as a fifth-generation Gundam, Zabanya's overall design is derived from the technical and combat data of GN-006 Cherudim Gundam. In order to conserve resources, Celestial Being engineers decided not to create an entirely new Mobile Suit but instead based Zabanya directly from Cherudim's development platform (recycling its predecessor's MS frame design), which limits it's technological development. However, as a result of upgrades in new systems, equipments, and weaponry, Zabanya is a power-up over its predecessor. Unlike Cherudim, its GN Drive is stored inside the chest instead of the rear end.
Zabanya is a departure from its lineage as a long-ranged sniper, placing more emphasis on mass fire tactics while still retaining its sniper capabilities. The reason why this was done was because Dynames and Cherudim were designed with Neil Dylandy's sniping-oriented preferences in mind while the Zabanya was designed with Lyle Dylandy's more direct combat preferences. The emphasis on dealing with multiple targets was an idea that arose during the power play conflict with A-Laws and the Innovators.
Zabanya's Sniper Mode cosmetically resembles a combination of the Dynames (via the descending v-fin) and the Cherudim (targeting scope in forehead). In addition, targeting sensors were also built onto its legs and shoulders for greater accuracy and efficiency in combat. Zabanya's predecessors, Dynames and Cherudim, utilized a single Orange Haro for managing Sniper Mode and its Bit Control System, but because of the complexity of managing its weapons systems, a second Haro port was installed into Zabanya's cockpit. A blue-colored Haro now co-processes the data with its orange counterpart to allow Lockon to effectively pilot Zabanya.
Weapons-wise, the GN Missile Pods are laced under its expandable green armor plating and the GN Rifle Bits contained within the GN Holster Bits. Following the trend of multi-purposed functions for its weapons, Zabanya's GN Rifle Bits and GN Holster Bits can be coordinated for several purposes. The GN Holster Bits are successors to the GN Shield Bits used by Cherudim. They're attached to Zabanya with a docking-clamp system and the bits are interlocked with each other as a solid wall-shield on its sides, similar to Dynames' GN Full Shield.
For dynamic shielding, the clamps can swivel the wall-shield in various positions around its body for optimum defense and the bits can detach and combine into pairs to protect Zabanya. When facing superior numbers, Zabanya can unleash the GN Rifle Bits from within the GN Holsters, allowing Zabanya to fight off 10+ targets at the same time.
For additional fire power, Zabanya can load-up an additional 4 GN Holster Bits onto its back. The Rifle Bits can be reconfigured as GN Pistol Bits; nearly half the barrel can be detached for quick-action shooting. Using its GN Missile Pods and its array of GN Pistol Bits/Rifle Bits II, Zabanya can utilize en masse firing tactics to quickly and systematically annihilate large groups of enemies.
Zabanya's pistols are 2-3 times larger than of Cherudim's. While it retains the anti-beam coated blades, the pistol handle has no handle-swing action to apply them as a hatchet, but more like a rough version of kukuri. When greater firepower is needed, the Rifle and Holster Bits can configure themselves into various configurations with the Rifle/Pistol Bits, able to take out an army of enemies.
An interesting change in pilot interface was that instead of a manually operated rifle control module with the previous generations of sniper-class Gundams, the Zabanya instead has two pistol-grip controllers installed. This was most likely done due to its new emphasis on artillery tactics rather than precision sniping. This is also possibly due to Lockon's preference for gun-kata style combat over long range sniping. The removal of the large rifle control module gives the pilot more room in the cockpit, as well as a larger perspective of the battlefield. The overall capabilities of the Zabanya can be enhanced by the Trans-Am System.
- GN Holster Bit
- The GN Holster Bits are the ten green shield-like containers mounted on the Zabanya's rear thruster blocks. They are used for storing and re-configuring the mode of use for the GN Rifle Bits II/GN Pistol Bits, allowing the pilot to adapt the weapons for various combat situations. The GN Holster Bits also has the ability to act as GN Shield Bits when a pair of them are paired together to form the shield unit. Like GN Shield Bits, the GN Holster Bits can also arrange themselves into specific formations for offensive purposes, and the GN Rifle Bits can be incorporated into said formations for additional firepower. Zabanya can load up four more GN Holster Bits onto its back for additional offensive and defensive capabilities.
- GN Missile
- Like the Dynames and Cherudim, Zabanya has a complement of GN Missiles for use as emergency countermeasures or as additional firepower. However, the Zabanya mounts a much larger number of missiles, with a total of 76 missiles stored in its shoulders, forearms, chest, front skirt, legs and feet. The missiles use GN particles as propulsion while they seek out targets, and realise its entire payload of GN particles once it has penetrated the target's inside, destroying the enemy from inside out. Once Zabanya unloads its payload of missiles, it jettisons most of its armor to remove the dead weight of the empty missile ports.
- GN Pistol Bit / Rifle Bit II
- At least ten GN Rifle Bits II are stored within the GN Holster Bits, mounted on Zabanya's rear thruster block. An additional four bits can be added on Zabanya's shoulders. When facing formidable forces, Zabanya can use the rifle bits as either hand-held rifles or remote weapons to adapt to the combat situation. The weapon can also act as a pistol with a shorter barrel, named GN Pistol Bit,  with the scope and grip hidden. The pistol and rifle bits can also arrange themselves into different shape formations, firing a concentrated beam, or numerous smaller beams to attack multiple targets.
- The pilot has the choice of choosing between either a pistol or a rifle (via the inclusion/exclusion of the extension) before the weapon exits the Holster Bit. The white section on the underside of the barrel is a blade with anti-beam coating that allows Zabanya to use the weapon to block enemy's close combat weapon, similar to Cherudim's GN Pistols II.
Special Equipment & Features
- Holographic Targeting System
- A derivative of the holographic sniping system first used on the GN-006 Cherudim, this system superimposes a hologram of Zabanya's field of view inside the cockpit. The multiple targeting scopes on Zabanya's body are activated, and the two Haro units lock-on to and highlight multiple targets onto the hologram. This allows the mobile suit to dramatically increase its rate of fire and attack large numbers of enemy units in the most efficient manner possible.
Note: Zabanya's history and exploits can be found on Lockon Stratos's page.
In Gundam EXA, Gundam Zabanya is used against Leos Alloy's Extreme Gundam Type Leos Xenon Phase prior to the encounter with the ELS. As the suit's armament is still undergoing adjustments, it is deployed docked with the GN Arms Type D.
Notes & Trivia
- Zabanya is named after the Zabaniya, a reference to the 19 guardians of Hell in the Qur'an.
- Notable differences between the actual Zabanya and the early design concept are the small weapons containers mounted in place of the GN Holster Bits. They can be presumed to be an early design of the GN Holster Bits, though they were already identified in early interviews as weapon containers. The earliest movie teaser also shows the Zabanya using what appear to be upgraded versions of the Cherudim's GN Pistol II.
- Each of the 5th generation gundams have different cockpits, Zabanya's is the only one with two pistol grip controllers.
- Although there were two extra missile containers in the chest, they were not ejected when the missiles were deployed, although this might have been to protect the GN drive/cockpit.
Articles & References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Gundam 00 Final Mechanics sourcebook
- ↑ Mizushima Movie Interview from Gundam Ace April 2010 issue; Japanese transcript link: ;english translation by mike_s_6 
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hobby Japan September 2010 Issue
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Gundam Ace September 2010