Technology & Combat Characteristics
A mobile armor designed for maximized offensive power, the Big Zam was considered the largest and most powerful tactical weapon during the One Year War. It was armed with a wide array of weapons, including a large mega particle cannon in the front of its torso, capable of sinking a Magellan-class battleship with a single shot. Across its torso are an array of anti-air mega particle cannons, which are used to prevent mobile suits from approaching. The claws on its legs can also be fired as missiles. For protection, it was equipped with a barrier that nullifies beam weapons.
In order to power all of its beam weapons at the same time, the Big Zam was equipped with four large fusion reactors, each with a power output of 3,5000 kilowatt. Due to issues with cooling, it was only able to operate at full combat capability for less than 20 minutes. Its cockpit block, located in the upper torso, houses three pilot seats: a pilot, a radar operator, and a gunner; though it can be operated by a single pilot with the assistance of computers
- Large Mega Particle Gun
- The primary weapon of the MA-08 Big Zam is a large mega particle gun that sits prominently in the center of the mobile armor's body. This mega particle gun draws a vast amount of energy from the four fusion reactors, allowing it to fire a mega particle beam that can destroy multiple battleships in a single shot. It is the most powerful weapon used by any mobile weapon or battleship, second only to the superweapons employed by both sides.
- Anti-Aircraft Mega Particle Gun
- The main secondary weapons of the MA-08 Big Zam are twenty-eight anti-aircraft mega particle guns that line the middle of the Big Zam's torso, completely encircling it with the exception of a break for the large mega particle gun. The positioning of the anti-aircraft guns, and their higher firing rate, provides the Big Zam with 360-degree defense against smaller, more maneuverable mobile weapons, such as mobile suits, which can avoid the large mega particle gun's beam. However, their positioning is also a weakness because if a mobile suit can get directly above, below, or simply close enough to the armor, it will be out of the anti-aircraft mega particle guns' targeting range.
- Air-to-Air Missile
- To protect the Big Zam's undercarriage, a blind spot not covered by the mega particle guns, the Big Zam is outfitted with 6 large air-to-air missiles disguised as claws on the mobile suit's feet. These massive air-to-air missiles are almost the size of a mobile suit and are not explosive in nature. Instead, the missiles are designed to crush enemy machines with their size and mass.
- 105mm Vulcan Gun
- A tertiary weapon fitted in the main body of the MA-08 Big Zam are a pair of shell-firing 105mm vulcan guns, placed to cover a blind spot not protected by the mega particle guns. Though larger than most vulcan guns, the Big Zam's 105mm vulcan guns, the first to be used in a Zeon mobile weapon, can still only deliver light damage to the armor of a mobile suit and are better suited for shooting down lightly armored targets such as missiles.
- I-Field Barrier Generator
- When Minovsky particles are released into the air or into open space, the positive and negative particles spontaneously align themselves into a three-dimensional cubic lattice. Due to the repulsive and electrostatic forces between the Minovsky particles, this lattice functions as a kind of a force field, which is referred to as an I-field. This field has difficulty permeating conductive materials like metal, water, and plasma, and it exerts a repulsive force against mega particles. An I-field is used to to deflect enemy mega particle beams. Due to its high power requirements, the I-field generator originally could only be installed in large mobile weapons. When the generator is activated, the I-field forms an invisible barrier around the mobile weapon, protecting it from incoming beam attacks. However, this barrier has no effect against solid objects like missiles and projectiles, and beam weapons can still be used at point blank range within the barrier's boundary.
Developed at A Baoa Qu, the Big Zam was originally intended to be used for the attack on Jaburo. It was expected that after mass production, a company of Big Zams would be dropped onto Jaburo and instantly capture the Earth Federation stronghold. Only one unit rolled out. This unit was later assigned to Solomon by Gihren Zabi as the Earth Federation Forces prepared to attack the space fortress.
Big Zam was first deployed as Solomon's last line of defense during the Battle of Solomon on December 24, UC 0079. Dozle and two co-pilots attacked the Federation space force that was attempting to land on the base, wiping out numerous RGM-79 GM and RB-79 Ball units before taking flight to attack the Federation fleet. The attacks went smoothly and several battleships were sunk before the Big Zam was confronted by the Federation's most powerful mobile suit, the RX-78-2 Gundam piloted by emerging Newtype Amuro Ray. Making his attack run docked with the G-Fighter piloted by Sleggar Law, Amuro was able to attack Big Zam from within the I-Field's defensive perimeter, dealing heavy damage to the undercarriage. He then finished the Big Zam off with Gundam's beam saber, destroying the unit and effectively ending Zeon resistance at Solomon.
In Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Rebellion, it is revealed that the Big Zam's wreckage was recovered by the Federation and repaired. In U.C. 0083, the modified Big Zam was planned to be revealed at the finale of the naval review at Solomon (now Konpei Island). The Federation believed that by showing that the mobile armor that became the symbol of Solomon now belongs to the Federation, Zeon remnants would despair.
Illustrations & Artwork
Notes and Trivia
- Big Zam appears in Gundam: The Battle Master, its sequel and later US adaptation in Gundam Battle Assault as an unlockable VS mode unit as well as the first boss in the game. Its appearance is significantly altered and features additional missile launchers on its underside. Its large mega particle cannon features two panels that open up when it prepares to fire. While its toe claws are still intact, they go unused as Air-to-Air Missiles.
- Big Zam appears as both a boss unit and unlockable VS unit in Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs Zeon and Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam, with its Federation colors (mostly blue) being a reference to its 2P color in Battle Assault.
- Curiously, the Big Zam cannot sortie in any stage taking place in zero gravity space despite that it spent most of its time doing so in the anime. Even after the release of Encounters in Space which rectified this problem, the error still exists in GVZG, which was released two years after. However, a large number of these units can be seen in outer space in Haman's best ending in UC mode.
- There appears to be some inconsistency as to the depiction of its rear thrusters. In official illustrations as well as some games, the thrusters are located in small slots on the top half but in other games, it's given a series of larger and much visible thrusters, some of them being located in its middle section.
|Solomon Express Mechanics|
FA-010E Full Armor ZZ Gundam Final Test Unit | Gundam Phase 3 | Gundam Sky | RX-78-2 Gundam C-Armor | RX-78-2 Solomon Express G-2 | RX-78-3 Solomon Express G-3 "White Devil" | Z Plus 2
Dendrobium Prototype "Night Fighter"
|Aircraft / Spacecraft|
G-Armor Solomon Express | G-Bull | G-Bull Easy | G-Sky Easy
|Principality of Zeon|
Jupiter Ghost | MS-05 Zaku First Refined Type 185th Airborne Paratrooper Use | MS-05BIS Zaku British Invasion "Green Devil" | MS-18E Kämpfer | Zaku Zombie
AMX-002 Neue Ziel | MA-08 Big Zam | MAN-03 Braw Bro | MAN-08 Elmeth
MRX-010 Psycho Gundam Mk-II