Marida Cruz (マリーダ・クルス Marīda Kurusu?), also known as Ple Twelve, is a clone of Elpeo Ple who appeared in the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OVA series. She initially served as a female Cyber Newtype pilot for the Glemy Faction during the Second Neo Zeon War, and later became an ace pilot of the Neo Zeon remnant forces Sleeves during the Laplace Incident.
Personality & Character
Marida is shown to be an empathetic and caring person who avoids inflicting unnecessary damage and doesn't want to hurt most people emotionally, although she is usually described as emotionless and scary by others. Although highly competent in battle, she is not combative and will only fight due to her orders or wanting to protect those she cares about. Marida tends to act as a big sister and mentor figure to those younger than her, as children on Palau cling to her and call her "Big Sis", as well as her mentoring role to Banagher Links and Mineva Zabi later on. Marida is fiercly loyal to her captain, Suberoa Zinnerman, seeing him as a father figure and referring to him as "master", which irritates him. She sees herself as a weapon who does not think and carries out her orders faithfully.
After meeting with Banagher, and particularly after her recovery from the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee's cockpit, her hitherto unseen kindness begins to become more apparent. The true depth of her attachment to Zinnerman is later revealed, when instead of "master" as she once had, she calls him "father". Ultimately, Marida becomes as a surrogate daughter to Zinnerman.
Skills & Abilities
Marida is a Cyber Newtype and a genetic clone of Elpeo Ple, giving her the seemingly psychic abilities of clairvoyance, telepathy, and the ability to feel other people's positions, situations, and hostility towards her. Her identity as a Cyber Newtype also allows her to control wireless remote weaponry like the funnels via her psycho-wave through the appropriate computer system in her mobile suit. She was made to specialize in high mobility/high G-force combat, inheriting the best gene samples from Ple. It was said that she outclasses other Cyber Newtypes due to her mental stability and combat aptitude .
Marida is also a highly capable mobile suit pilot of her own accord. When piloting the NZ-666 Kshatriya, Marida primarily utilizes the funnels on her suit to overwhelm the enemy with multi-directional ranged attacks. This tactic tends to quickly eliminate weaker enemies while restricting the movement of stronger enemies. Should the funnels prove to not be enough Marida will then close in and use beam sabers. She tends to hold the mega particle cannons in reserve or to distract an enemy.
She is also proficient in martial arts. She shows quite some strength, such as stopping two men from falling on her single-handedly as they were beat by Banagher in the OVA and sprinting very quickly and catching up to a fleeing Banagher and Mineva (both of whom had quite a lead). Marida also picks up a child by the ankle in both the OVA and novel with a single hand, amusing the children in both instances.
Marida's professional demeanor is not invulnerable however. When faced with anything regarding her past, she tends to descend into terrified psychotic fits, due to remembering her multiple past traumas before and after the defeat of Haman Kahn's first Neo Zeon movement. She is also mentally triggered by the sight of anything resembling a Gundam Mobile Suit, tied to her original programming by Glemy Toto, causing her to ignore any standing order in pursuit of destroying it.
Marida was originally known as "Ple Twelve", a clone of Elpeo Ple. Marida was awakened by Glemy Toto and fought with her other clone sisters using the AMX-004G Qubeley Mass Production Type during the finishing phase of the First Neo Zeon War. After the catastrophic fight with Chara Soon's AMX-015 Geymalk on January 1, U.C. 0089, she was one of the only surviving clones and was later taken by slave traders, and was later sold into sex slavery in a colony brothel. Although her handlers thought she was too young to be a prostitute, the Madam knew that there were plenty of pedophiles among her clientele that would be interested in such youth. Before coming under the protection of Suberoa Zinnerman, she experienced countless rapes, pregnancies and abortions and her body became scarred from the abuse of her brutal customers, resulting in the removal of her reproductive system to better accomodate their services. Afterwards, she was rescued and taken in by Neo Zeon remnant faction Sleeves to become a mobile suit pilot once again.
Journey to Industrial 7
While on board the Garencieres en route to the Anaheim Electronics colony of Industrial 7, the ship came under attack from a Clop-class ship. Marida was launched in the NZ-666 Kshatriya to defeat the incoming forces which consisted of a trio of two RGM-89D Jegan units and a RGM-89S Stark Jegan. Though defeating the Jegans with ease using Kshatriya's funnels, the Stark Jegan proved a more difficult foe to defeat. The Stark Jegan entered close combat with the Kshatriya, but it was soon defeated. Little did the crew know, Princess Mineva Lao Zabi had snuck on board the ship to stop Neo Zeon from gaining control of Laplace's Box.
Retrieving the Princess
When Neo Zeon realized that the Princess Mineva had gone missing, Suberoa had Marida enter Industrial 7 to find her while he negotiated with Cardeas Vist over the acquisition of Laplace's Box. Marida eventually found Mineva (under the alias Audrey Burne) with a boy named Banagher Links at the Colony Builder. Marida attempted to convince Mineva to return, but Mineva knew that Full Frontal would only use Laplace's Box to justify another conflict with the Earth Federation. Though Mineva tried to convince Marida to understand her reasoning, Marida's duties as a soldier overtook her own personal feelings. Despite Marida's training and the support of two other henchmen, the boy successfully fought off all three and escaped the builder with Mineva.
When Londo Bell forces from the SCVA-76 Nahel Argama started to surround the colony, Marida was launched in the Kshatriya once more to fend them off and to find Mineva. Unfortunately, in the midst of the fighting, she caused severe collateral damage to the colony by accidentally detonating the reactor of an enemy suit with her funnels, causing a nuclear explosion that obliterated the surrounding area and blew a massive hole in the colony's hull. When she returned to the colony entrance, however, she was intercepted by the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam which rammed the Kshatriya outside of the colony. Marida cornered the Gundam and used Kshatriya's funnels to finish the job, when the Gundam suddenly emitted an I-field that deflected the beams and transformed into its Destroy Mode. The sight of the Gundam enraged Marida, but the Gundam's power overwhelmed the Kshatriya, destroying one of the wing binders. Marida wanted another go at the Gundam, but Zinnerman ordered her to fall back as their mission had failed.
Capturing the Gundam
During Full Frontal's mission to attack the damaged Nahel Argama, Marida returned in her damaged Kshatriya to back up Full Frontal. Working in tandem with Full Frontal's MSN-06S Sinanju, Marida managed to overwhelm and capture the Unicorn Gundam, taking it back to the space fortress Palau. There, the Gundam was taken and the pilot, Banagher Links, was interrogated by Frontal. Frontal called for Marida and Suberoa to take Banagher into the civilian block of Palau for safe keeping while engineers analyzed the Unicorn.
While eating dinner at Gilboa Sant's residence, Banagher debated with Gilboa's son Tikva over the justifications of war. When Banagher explained that he wouldn't have killed anyone if his life wasn't in danger, Marida rose from the table and took Banagher with her to a church. There, she explained the nature of the constant rise of Spacenoid movements. She also counseled him over his unintentional killing of Ensign Sergei, advising Banagher not to think too hard on those he killed. She then thanked Banagher for saving Mineva, though Banagher asked if she herself was a pilot. Marida said that she only did so when they didn't have enough manpower.
Second Duel & Capture
After Banagher attempted to escape from Palau back to the Nahel Argama, Marida went with Suberoa to Gilboa's residence to pick him up as he was needed for combat. Marida apologized to Suberoa for letting him go so easily, though he said that Banagher wouldn't make it out of Palau. When Banagher retrieved the Unicorn and escaped from Palau, Marida was sent on a solo mission to take on the Gundam. Marida was surprised to learn that Banagher was the pilot of the Gundam. Banagher implored Marida to let him leave Palau if she wants the Federation to withdraw. When he brings up that Mineva was recently on the battlefield, Marida demanded that he tell her the whereabouts of the princess if he wants the Sleeves to withdraw too. She called the boy a hypocrite, claiming that he was against fighting but his perspective on it was that of the Federation. Enraged, Banagher/Unicorn breaks from of Marida/Kshatriya and transforms into Destroy Mode. However, to her shock, the Gundam hijacked Kshatriya's funnels and used them against her. Marida was confused at how the funnels didn't recognize her brainwaves and was overwhelmed by the attacks from both the funnels and Unicorn's beam sabers. Marida was tossed around inside the Kshatriya and was eventually knocked unconscious by multiple hits to the head. As the Gundam was about to strike the finishing blow, the two psycho-frames resonated, allowing Banagher to see her entire life, causing him to relent. They then had a brief debate over whether compassion can save people. Banagher then brought Marida aboard the Nahel Argama.
Taken in to the infirmary, Marida was treated by Dr. Hasan and confirmed as a Cyber Newtype. Banagher checked in on Marida who woke up and said their roles had reversed. Banagher asked her what happened on the battlefield and Marida explained that the phenomenon was a psycommu backflow, where the Gundam itself began controlling him even though he was piloting it. Marida said that she sensed the negative instinct of the NT-D System, which had the sole purpose of destroying all Newtypes, whether natural or artificial. She said that machines didn't have the capabilities to discern natural from artificial like humans did, She said that she had a master, to whom she was completely devoted to. Banagher said it was a curse to slowly kill herself like that, but Marida said they were two of a kind and that she could see inside him during the phenomenon. She told Banagher that his own will stopped the Unicorn Gundam from killing her, and implored Banagher not to lose himself. She began to have convulsions, and Hasan was forced to restrain her.
The Nahel Argama later goes to Earth, where Marida is taken to the Augusta Newtype Labs by Martha Vist Carbine. However, while she was being transferred, Marida broke free of her restraints but before she could act, a hole was blown in the side of the ship by Sleeves forces attempting to rescue her, sucking out a few Anaheim workers. Marida managed to save Alberto Vist and they both got on the Klimt.
Controlled by Vist
During the time she is captured by the Vist Foundation, she is reconditioned and becomes the pilot of RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee. Part of the conditioning involved showing her a salvaged Qubeley. She is sent to Torrington Base on a mission to capture the Unicorn Gundam.
After a successful mission, both Unicorn Gundams are retrieved by the Ra Cailum. Her main mission is to secure Banagher's Unicorn to reach the Vist Foundation. When Banagher tries to escape, she engages him in combat. After many attempts of securing him, Banagher is effectively talking to her, which caused her to go temporarily insane and attack anything that resembled a Gundam, including Riddhe Marcenas' MSN-001A1 Delta Plus. In the end she hears Riddhe cursing her as a "Gundam", which she faints and falls out of the cockpit and is caught by Zinnerman. They both return to the Garencieres at the end of the battle.
Two Worlds, Two Tomorrows
After Marida being rescued by Banagher and Zinnerman, she was brought back to Nahel Argama. Marida requests Banagher's help in stomaching down her hospital food. Banagher inquires about what Marida likes to eat, and she replies with ice cream. Banagher then laments about how everything seems to go wrong, though Marida reassures him that she wouldn't be with him if not for his efforts. She tells him to trust in the power of possibility and to follow what he believed in like his father. Banagher believes that it was irresponsible, but Marida says that Cardeas was lucky to pass his dream onto Banagher. She exits the room and is confronted by Mineva. She tries to apologize, but Marida tells her to follow her heart. While the Neo Zeon and others started to fighting and retake Nahel Argama, Marida and Mineva gets in the NZ-666 Kshatriya Besserung as she convinces Banagher to keep saying "Even so,", she intercepts Angelo Sauper's YAMS-132 Rozen Zulu from the back and pins his MS to the floor with its leg. Mineva then openly rejects Frontal's vision. Angelo attempts to launch his incom claw in retaliation, but it bounces off the Kshatriya's wing and lodges in the ceiling. Her Kshatriya gives him a hard kick. Mineva then continued, telling all the Neo Zeon forces that Frontal's future is not the only path humanity must follow.
Hearing the voice of Zinnerman, Marida opens the Kshatriya's cockpit at his command. In anger at Mineva's words, Angelo grabs the Kshatriya and prepares to fire on Mineva and Marida. Zinnerman implores Marida to grab Mineva and abandon the Kshatriya, but Mineva asks if he is still imprisoned by his past when he has Marida. Zinnerman laments that he was unable to help his daughter and wife. To his surprise, Marida calls him "father" and asks Zinnerman to let her do things her way. In grief, Zinnerman gives Marida her final order: To listen to her heart. In response, Marida punches the Rozen Zulu as Angelo launches his other arm towards Zinnerman in rage and prepares to fire.
Over the Rainbow
Even though Marida is not in a good shape, she asks for permission to launch in the NZ-666 Kshatriya Repaired. After she heard of Zinnerman which he gives her the order to fight the Banshee, Zinnerman asks Marida not to overdo it since she nor the Kshatriya are at full strength. Marida then thanks Zinnerman and takes off, cutting off the visual feed. Marida then intervenes in the battle between Banagher and Riddhe, tells Banagher to clear a path for the Nahel Argama while she holds off Riddhe. After she was able to restrain Riddhe, Marida being knocked off by Riddhe, she was about to counterattack Riddhe with the Hyper Beam Javelin, but it was being destroyed. Riddhe tries firing the Banshee's Revolving Launcher at Marida, but she merely punches it out of his hand. The Kshatriya continues to attack the Banshee with Altered Funnel, severely damaging the Armed Armor DE and destroying the Banshee's right leg. Inside the Banshee, Riddhe sees a vision of Marida imploring him to help Banagher, but he thinks that the psycommu is picking up random thoughts. However, Marida tells him that the Banshee's psycommu picks up the thoughts of other people, and that the Banshee itself is also a machine of possibility. After Riddhe started to retake the Beam Magnum, Marida being killed by Riddhe with a Beam Magnum. The Kshatriya Repaired explodes and started to glows a resonance. Her death causes Banagher intense pain, which causes the Unicorn's NT-D to reactivate and overwhelms the Rozen Zulu's jamming field. Marida tells Riddhe that his heart is so earnest that it hurts not only himself, but others. She tells him to calm down and see that the world is filled with many people whose hearts are resonating.
Marida's spirit then departs, and the fighting soon stops. She tells everyone across the battlefield to be careful as something is targeting them. Zinnerman laments that it was typical of Marida to leave him with a cryptic message. However, her spirit appears to him. Marida tells Zinnerman that he was her light that gave her a second chance at life, and thanks him as her "Father". She then visits Mineva, who apologizes for not repaying her. Marida tells her to hold on tightly to Banagher. After the Unicorn psycho-frame overloads, she tells Banagher that she can see the things that he can't see. She tells him that he is light, and that even sadness can be used to light the way with Mineva. She explains that humanity is at a threshold, and that many would choose to cross it while still alive. The path for him would be over a rainbow.
Illustrations & Artwork
Notes & Trivia
- Marida's situation, being found by Suberoa while working in a brothel, is a reference to Lalah Sune from MS Gundam when Char Aznable found her working in an Indian brothel and she became a powerful Newtype. Marida and Lalah are also similar to each other as both have met the protagonist pilot of their series, although Marida's situation is far darker than Lalah's, in terms of detailed description of her abuse at the hands of her customers.
- While the novel suggests various pregnancies and abortions, the OVA suggests her womb was surgically removed as unnecessary baggage for a prostitute.
- As an aged clone, Marida's appearance can be taken as a representation of what Elpeo Ple would have grown into had she survived the first Neo Zeon war.
- In Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn, one of the randomized missions involves a battle between Banagher and Marida with the latter muttering "I-ice cream...", a reference to the original Ple's love of parfaits.
- She also specifically tells Banagher in the OVA and the novels that she likes to eat ice cream, another reference to the original Elpeo Ple.
- She shared her voice actress with Tsukuyo from manga/anime Gintama, who is a courtesan (somehow related to prostitution). This relation was joked in the OVA Love Potion Arc, where the main character Gintoki Sakata uttered the word "Kshatriya", referring to Marida's mobile suit.
- In Super Robot Wars V, Marida first encounters Londo Bell in a battle against the Titans. Due to her status as Ple's clone, Judau mentions how she reminds him of Ple and Ple Two. After being defeated, she retreats when Zimmerman orders her to. She can be captured by Londo Bell and reunite with Elpeo Ple and Ple Two, who treat her like a younger sister.
- In one DLC mission, she and her "sisters" go to escort civilians and are attacked by Angelo and his minions. She falls into Angelo's trap and Ple and Ple Two save her.
- In Super Robot Wars X-Ω, Marida appears as a pilot for both Kshatriya and Banshee Norn.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (Novel) - Volume 4
|Civilians||Banagher Links | Audrey Burne | Takuya Irei | Micott Bartsch | Tikva Sant | Kora Sant | Tucci Sant | Kai Shiden | Beltorchika Irma | Anna Links | Marie Zinnerman | Fee Zinnerman | Tom | Marco | Denis | Douglas Doillon | Ester|
|Vist Foundation||Cardeas Vist | Gael Chan | Syam Vist|
|Anaheim Electronics||Martha Vist Carbine | Alberto Vist | Aaron Terzieff | Bancroft|
|Neo Zeon||Full Frontal | Suberoa Zinnerman | Marida Cruz | Angelo Sauper | Flaste Schole | Alec | Besson | Gilboa Sant | Hill Dawson | Tomura | Savoir | Sergi | Loni Garvey | Yonem Kirks | Russet|
|Earth Federation||Riddhe Marcenas | Otto Mitas | Liam Borrinea | Daguza Mackle | Mihiro Oiwakken | Hasan | Conroy Haagensen | Bright Noa | Meran | Daryl McGuinness | Watts Stepney | Norm Basilicock | Sercel Mitukale | Jonah Gibney | Sydow Omoki | Utalde Husher | Bollard | Galom Gorga | Helm Converse | Homare | Nashiri Lazar | Ronan Marcenas | Ricardo Marcenas|