Kycilia was quick to adapt to the changing technology of the One Year War and was equally proficient in gathering intelligence for use against the Federation. She was in charge of the Principality's Mobile Suit Forces and was responsible for their use against the Federation. In addition, she was responsible for the creation of numerous elite Mobile Suit units, including Char Aznable's (while aware of his true identity), 300th Independent Corps (aka Char's Newtype Corps), the hand-picked Chimera Corps, and the Midnight Fenrir covert ops team.
She is portrayed ambiguously during both the main series and the various side stories surrounding the One Year War, with her motives often open to question. She is shown to be fiercely loyal to the people of Zeon and to the men under her command. Many of her actions, however, can also be interpreted as those of a charismatic but utterly merciless manipulator of the highest order, preparing for a military coup.
Not much is known about Kycilia's youth, but she is known to have grown up on Side 3, where she first met Johnny Ridden. By U.C. 0068, she had taken on the role of Munzo State Security Police commander and steadily developed her abilities. Quick-witted by nature, she was entrusted with tasks such as maintaining public security, and protecting Degwin and other government dignitaries. However, carrying out such duties required enough ability and information warfare capability to identify, neutralize, eliminate, and destroy forces opposed to the government of Munzo. Kycilia would later concentrate her efforts on forming her own secret police-like organization known as the Kycilia Secret Agency.
It is known that during her time as a security official in the Zeon homeland, she may have been directly involved in the assassination of Zeon Deikun according the Young Comet storyline. Also from that material a great insight into Kycilia's mind and drive are give. Kycilia is seen to be frustrated by her inability to be taken seriously by her father during the Zabi's initial raise to power. Her brothers Gihren and Sasro are given the majority of power in Degwin's Side 3 government. However Kycilia is given control of the Internal Security Bureau and the intelligence networks. Using this she starts forming her own power base within the Zeon military and government structure. Her resentment to being underestimated finally comes to a head when she has her older brother Sasro killed for physically assaulting and slighting her.
From this time on Gihren views her as a threat and their relationship is contentious from then on. However Kycilia's does receive new powers and responsibilities to include watching over and later eliminating Zeon Zum Deikun's family and loyalists. Her actions set off Casval's undying hatred for the Zabi family. On two different occasions she attempts to murder the children of Zeon. Her last attempt had her believe that she had killed Casval but instead it set up for him to assume a new identity, Char Aznable.
As the Earth Sphere moved towards war Kycilia was finally given high military command in the Zeon field forces. Taking over the Zeon Mobile Force or Mobile Suit Force she sets herself up on the Lunar cities and brings under her control various aspects of the Zeon war effort like; Special Operations, Research and Development, and Espionage. She creates several special military units throughout the war and commands a sizable fleet from her Lunar HQ.
During the Battle of Loum, she ordered her fleet to withdraw as soon as the main engagement was over, allowing her brothers' fleets the "glory" of mopping up the Federation's retreating troops while preserving the lives of the men under her own command. A veteran of the battle, Lieutenant Commander Garret Schmitzer (who had been too seriously wounded in the fight to continue active combat piloting), approached her during the Antarctic Treaty cease-fire. He proposed the formation of a small Earth-bound covert-operations unit, to be named the Midnight Fenrir Corps. She immediately approved.
Her activities during the first half of the One Year War are poorly documented, and neither she nor her forces encountered the White Base or its crew until much later. Her activities, in fact, are poorly documented even in Gundam's extensive side-story material. If she appears at all, it is often as an aloof patroness, with little dialogue.
In the latter half of the One Year War, she took Char Aznable under her wing after Dozle Zabi dismissed Char from his forces for failing to protect Garma. With her support, he proceeded to form the 300th Independent Corps, gathering Newtypes from Zeon-held territory and prototype Mobile Armors from the Flanagan Institute.
When Degwin attempted to negotiate peace with the General Revil of the Federation, Kycilia was en route to the location with her fleet in case the negotiations failed. Her fleet's sensors picked up the IR signature of the firing of the Solar Ray colony laser, but she was unaware of the death of her father until Gihren told her, also claiming that the firing of the weapon was an accident.
As the opening shots of the Battle of A Baoa Qu were fired, however, Gihren Zabi finally confessed to Kycilia that he killed their father, Degwin, stating that it was too late and mistimed for peace negotiation anyways. In her angry and furious response, Kycilia promptly executed Gihren with a single shot to the head, and took control of all Zeon forces during the battle. She declared that not even her own brother can get away with the crime of patricide and promised that she will stand trial once the battle is over; however, as a result of this turn of events, this lead to many Gihren loyalists to abandon and withdraw from the battlefield, both from mutually losing confidence and support for the Zabi Family as a whole. As the defenses began to falter, she gave the order for the Zeon forces to retreat, and for the defenders of A Baoa Qu to surrender 15 minutes after her escape; she promised hostage exchanges afterwards. Just before she left, however, Char Aznable decapitated her by firing a rocket launcher through the window of the Chimera, her flagship. The ship was destroyed only moments later by Federation warships, the crew unable to communicate Char's treachery to the fleet. Without her leadership, the Zeon fleet rapidly fell into disarray, with individual commanders recovering what suits and pilots they could, then fleeing; others fighting to the death, believing their commander to still be alive but unable to escape.
There is some debate as to the nature of her relationship with ace pilot Johnny Ridden, however, they appear to share a courtly love. He refers to himself as her knight, and uses the symbol of a unicorn as a dedication to her. Immediately before his sortie at A Baoa Qu, Ridden hands her a hand-carved amulet of a unicorn, an heirloom from his grandfather, which she accepts as a token and secures to her pistol. When she shoots Gihren, however, she is seen discarding the amulet - perhaps in the belief that she is no longer pure and worthy of the Unicorn.
She is seen to have a friendship of some sort with M'Quve.
Video Game appearances
Kycilia often plays a more visible role in Gundam video games than she did in the series, as she is the ultimate commander some of Zeon's most elite units. These same elite units provide perfect fodder for arcade games:
- In the squad-based shooter Zeonic Front, all simulator results are personally reviewed by Kycilia, and her responses (in the form of a short video and audio clip) vary from grudging admiration, to distaste, to some moderate praise (only for A or S rank).
- She appears in the arcade and home versions of Federation vs. Zeon Deluxe for Zeon players whenever they acquire 4-star suits, capture enemy suits, or achieve specific combat objectives. These appearances, however, are limited to stills and text. Entering "Kycilia" as the player's name in arcade mode changes the default audio and video clips played during the missions, although it has no effect on Scenario mode.
- In the Tactical Roleplaying Game SD Gundam G Generation series, Kycilia frequently appears as a dangerous enemy. After her defeat she can often be hired for individual battles by the player. She is an excellent ship commander and invariably has a high leadership value, although her attack skills are typically only slightly above-average.
- In the strategy video game Gihren's Greed: The Blood of Zeon, a bonus scenario is available in which Kycilia (shortly after the death of her father) defects from the Principality of Zeon and leads her own faction, the "Legitimate Zeon," to depose Gihren for his corrupt handling of the war as well as continue the war against the Earth Federation on her own.
- In the Super Robot Wars series, Kycilia remains an antagonist, firmly on the side of the Zabi family, and with the omission of Degwin Zabi's appearance in SRW3, she remains loyal to her brother Gihren and they both fall in battle at A Baoa Qu, though if Char (as Quattro) engages her in battle, she expresses shock he's aiming weapons at her.
- Events can play out somewhat differently in the Alpha series. There is an option in the first Alpha game after the defeat of Gihren whereupon Kycilia offers a cease-fire between the Federation and Zeon. The choice is optional. However, even if player agree to cease-fire, the Side 3 will be bombarded with Angel Halo's psycho wave before the next stage, supposedly put her in coma.