Technology & Combat Characteristics
Developed by the Principality of Zeon at the A Baoa Qu space fortress during the One Year War, the Zeong was built exclusively for Newtype pilots. It initially had the model number "MS-16X" and was developed based on the data of multiple experimental units. The Zeong was also the first mobile suit to use the Psycommu system, which allowed a Newtype pilot to utilize its wire-guided remote-controlled forearms for all-range attack effectively. Each forearm was built with five mega particle cannons in its fingers. The Zeong also has three more mega particle cannons on its body, two in the waist and one in the head.
The Zeong was expected to be around 35m tall when fully completed, making it much larger than most mobile suits of the time. Its large size is often attributed to the difficulties in miniaturizing the Psycommu system. However, it also has been suggested that another contributing factor was the need for larger generators to power the thirteen mega particle cannons. In the end, this mobile suit was only 80% complete when it was deployed, thus its lack of legs and exposed upper arms. Although the legs would aid in the AMBAC System, their omission did not hinder the Zeong from performing at 100% combat capacity, since two rocket thrusters were installed at where the legs were supposed to be.
Although the Zeong was developed for Newtypes, it could also be operated by normal pilots. In this situation, the mobile suit would be controlled by a pilot in the torso cockpit and a gunner in the head cockpit. The two cockpits are connected by a traversal tube. In contrast, a single Newtype pilot can fully operate the Zeong from either one of the cockpits, though due to the mobile suit's prototype nature, the activation and initial setting of the machine still has to be done in the torso cockpit. In order to ensure the recovery of its data and pilot, especially if the pilot is a Newtype, the head also doubles as an escape pod, and can detach from the main body when necessary.
- Wired 5-barrel Mega Particle Cannon
- The forearms of the Zeong are actually wired Bit weapons, with a powerful mega particle cannon installed in each finger. Each joint of every finger contains a convergence/deflection device, allowing each finger to fire at a different target. Since they were also intended to function as standard manipulators, the mega particle cannons are covered in dust-proofing panels before sortie, though the mega particle cannons can still be used in this state (the dust-proofing panels are, of course, vaporized should this occur), though due to the Zeong's large size, it is unable to use most existing mobile suit weapons. The cable connecting the forearms and the body is several kilometers long. It is said that should the cables be severed, they can be reconnected using backup cables, though how this is done is unknown.
- Waist Mega Particle Cannon
- A pair of fire-linked mega particle cannons are built into the torso. The muzzles of the cannons are movable to some extent, so they can be used for anti-ground and anti-air attacks.
- Head Mega Particle Cannon
- A mega particle cannon built into the mouth of the head. It can be used even when the head unit is detached, allowing the pilot to have offensive options even while retreating.
Special Equipment & Features
- Psycommu System
- During the One Year War, the researchers of the Flanagan Institute discover that Newtypes emit powerful thoughtwaves - similar to regular brainwaves, but not electrical in nature - which they call psycowaves. The Flanagan Institute goes on to develop a mind-machine interface called the psycommu (psycho-communicator) system, which receives these thoughtwaves and translates them into computer commands. Using this interface a Newtype pilot can direct remote weapons, and operate huge mobile armors, by thought alone.
- Detachable Head
- The head of the Zeong features an independent cockpit block, the Zeong's main camera, a mega particle cannon, as well as vernier thrusters for movement, allowing it to function as a small combat spacecraft. Normally, its energy is supplied from the body, but when separated, it draws energy from a series of high-capacity condensers and energy CAP systems instead. Once it recombines with the body, it can replenish propellant and recharge its mega particle cannon. However, it can only operate for less than 10 minutes once separated, as it did not carry enough propellant for engaging in prolonged combat. A cockpit hatch is located on the back of the head.
Developed to be the ultimate mobile suit, the Zeong was given the same name as the Principality of Zeon itself in order to boost morale. During the Battle of A Baoa Qu, Char Aznable boarded the still incomplete Zeong at the suggestion of Kycilia Zabi, since his MS-14S Gelgoog Commander Type was damaged and all the other Gelgoogs at the fortress had already been deployed. Under Kycilia's order, the Zeong sortied with the 34th Mobile Suit Team to engage the Federation fleet in S field.
After sinking several Salamis-class cruisers, the Zeong engaged in a fierce battle with the RX-78-2 Gundam piloted by Amuro Ray. After a prolonged fight, the Gundam was able to destroy both of the Zeong's arms, while the Zeong was able to destroy the Gundam's left arm. With his main weapons gone, Char landed the Zeong on the fortress itself, and attempted to ambush the Gundam with its waist mega particle cannons. However, the Gundam dodged the beams and destroyed the Zeong's torso, only for Char to escape in the Zeong's head. The Zeong's head then fired its mega particle cannon at the Gundam, destroying its head.
After the Zeong's torso was destroyed, its IFF signal was lost, causing Kycilia to believe that Char had died in battle. Amuro, piloting the now headless Gundam, chased the Zeong's head into A Baoa Qu. He set the Gundam to autopilot and left it. The heavily damaged Gundam and the Zeong's head fired one last beam at each other, destroying one another. However, Char was able to escape just in time from a hatch on the back of the Zeong's head.
Notes and Trivia
- One notable trait about the Zeong is that it is one of only two mobile suits piloted by Char Aznable not painted red (the other being the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki). It did however receive a red color scheme as an alternate palette in Gundam: The Battle Master/Battle Assault series of video games.
- In Gundam Vs Gundam Next Plus and the Extreme Vs. series, the Zeong appears as a playable unit piloted by Char. Although legless, Char can still perform hops and somersaults with the unit, and can fire the Zeong's remote arms to attack enemies from different angles or as a rocket punch. Should the Zeong be destroyed with an empty force gauge, it can still linger on with only its head and its mega particle cannon.
- In Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3, the Zeong can be used in atmospheric ground-level battlegrounds, something its incomplete state would not allow for. This is largely due to game mechanics as a result of removing the previous game's space-based levels while retaining the Zeong as a playable mobile suit.