The RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee (aka Banshee) is a mobile suit that appears in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. It is built alongside its brother unit, the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, under the Earth Federation's UC Project. Originally piloted by Marida Cruz, it was later assigned to Riddhe Marcenas (in the novel only).
Technology & Combat Characteristics
After its completion alongside the Unicorn Gundam, the Banshee was eventually stationed on Earth with the Augusta Research Lab and tested for atmospheric combat. Rather than that of a Unicorn, the Banshee's motif is that of a lion, illustrated with gold accents on the forehead, a golden collar to signify a lion's mane (the Banshee originally had the same collar as the Unicorn but this was changed after it suffered damages while battling in space), and a much more elaborate horn/V-fin.
The Banshee's armor is almost entirely black, and its Psycho-Frame emits a golden-orange glow when the NT-D is activated. Although the Banshee lacks the Unicorn's distinctive La+ System, its performance in atmospheric combat is vastly superior, presumably because of a significant reconfiguring of the suit's operating system to account for Earth's gravity and the atmosphere's frictional resistance.
Combat improvements were made according to Unicorn Gundam's battle data, which had been relayed to the Augusta Research Lab. However, the two Gundams have no major operating differences. Aside from lacking the Unicorn's La+ operating system, the Banshee's raw performance is equal to that of the Unicorn. In other words, any modification to the Banshee (i.e. atmospheric combat performance) could also be applied to the Unicorn, making both suits equal in ability.
- 60mm Vulcan Gun
- A basic armament found on many Federation mobile suits. While essentially ineffectual against mobile suit armor, they are useful in intercepting incoming missiles/rockets, destroying mobile suit sensors, and engaging lightly-armored vehicles.
- Beam Magnum
- A highly customized beam rifle designed with an energy condenser, a single shot from the beam magnum is equal in power to 4 normal beam rifle shots but it uses up an entire E-Pac. Each of the beam magnum's magazine is loaded with 5 E-pacs, allowing a total of five shots before a new magazine is needed. The Banshee can carry two spare magazines on its rear skirt armor. When not in use, the Beam Magnum is stored on the backpack via a slot located in the upper section.
- Beam Saber
- The Banshee is equipped with four beams sabers, two on the forearms and two in the backpack. In Unicorn mode, the MS only has access to the two forearms mounted beam sabers. In Destroy Mode, the other two beam sabers flip out from the backpack, allowing access to all four sabers.
- Beam Tonfa
- The forearm mounted beam sabers can flip over and be used directly, in this form, they are known as beam tonfa.
- A shield that houses an I-Field Generator, which is operational in both Unicorn mode and Destroy Mode.
- Armed Armor VN
- A Psycho-Frame embedded weapon fixed on either the left or right arm. The Armed Armor VN (Vibration Nails) can transform into a shape similar to a beast's claw in both Unicorn or Destroy mode and uses the super-vibrating vise-like claws to effectively destroy mobile suits. It is treated with beam-resistant coating and can also be used as a shield or striking weapon when in closed-mode.
- Armed Armor BS
- A weapon featured only in the OVA version, it is equipped on the right arm. A Psycho-Frame embedded long-range Beam Smart gun capable of extremely accurate firing, achieved by a special built-in sensor unit transmitting spatial data to the pilot via Psycommu system and using the pilot's reaction to synchronize the beam-directing "fins". The weapon can be used in both Unicorn and Destroy Modes.
Special Equipment & Features
- The Newtype Destroyer (or NT-D) System is an anti-Newtype system developed by the Earth Federation and used on the RX-0 series. The system works by using the Psycho-Frame built within its body to seek out Newtype brainwaves. Should one be found, the NT-D System activates and the Unicorn Gundam (The Unicorn Gundam, the Banshee, and the Phenex) from its usual "Unicorn mode" into its "Destroy mode", improving its stats overall and allowing it to take control of Newtype weaponry used by others and turn them against them. However, the system has a number of flaws, including having a five minutes time limit so it wouldn't kill its pilot and the fact that it doesn't discriminate against real Newtypes and Cyber-Newtypes. Its most ironic flaw is that, because of the massive stress to gives its pilots, a Newtype is the best pilot for the unit. Thankfully, those with strong wills can overpower the system and determine when it can activate.
Developed by Anaheim Electronics, the RX-0-2 Unicorn Gundam Banshee is virtually identical to the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam piloted by Banagher Links, except for its color, more ornate V-Fin, and the lack of the La+ system. Prior to the "Banshee"'s assignment to Augusta Lab to undergo gravity testing, it was assigned to the General Revil alongside the "Phenex". While attached to the General Revil, the "Banshee" and the "Phenex" encountered a "Sleeves" unit and engaged it in battle, where the "Banshee" suffered significant damage to its chest which required it to be overhauled. During the overhaul, the Banshee gained its golden collar, making it resemble a lion even more.
At Augusta, Banshee is assigned to the captured but brainwashed Marida Cruz. It first sortied at Dakar to capture the Unicorn Gundam after Riddhe had confronted Banagher about the events of both their family's complicated past. Banagher would then come to battle the Banshee, in an attempt to snap Marida back to her senses and away from Martha's influence. Later after Zinnerman and Banagher managed to bring back Marida, this unit was recovered by the Federation and assigned to Riddhe Marcenas, with Alberto hiding this act from Martha. During the final battle, Banshee confronts Unicorn again and both activated their NT-D. Banshee seemed to have an upper hand since Banagher was unwilling to fight against Riddhe, whom he considered a friend. The Nahel Argama provided covering fire, hoping to give Banagher an opportunity to disengage. In the heat of battle, Riddhe saw this as yet another example in a long list of betrayals. He fired upon the Nahel Argama, but Marida threw her damaged Kshatriya into the path of the Riddhe's attack, sacrificing her life in the process.
The explosion of the Kshatriya's Psycho-Frame allowed Marida's spirit to reach out one final time. She implored a rage-filled Banagher to forgive Riddhe and reminds Banagher that only the unicorn and lion together would bring new hope. She also tells Zinnerman that she was glad to meet him. Zinnerman begged her not to leave, but she said that she was grateful for his care of her and satisfied. Riddhe eventually realizes what he should do. Banshee and Unicorn later confront Full Frontal in his damaged Sinanju together, and Banagher killed Frontal. Together the Unicorn, and Banshee activated the psycofield and blocked the laser fired from Colony Laser II. Then the Banshee joined to stop the attack from EFSF ultimately before the attack was called off.
The Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee first appeared after the AMA-X7 Shamblo was defeated during an attack on Torrington Base. The Banshee was dropped from a Vist Foundation Base Jabber and descended upon the MSN-001A1 Delta Plus and RX-0 Unicorn Gundam. After disabling the Delta Plus, the Banshee secures both suits and brings them into the Ra Cailum.
Note: More of the Unicorn Gundam Banshee's history can be found on Marida Cruz page
Notes & Trivia
- In Irish and Scottish mythology, the Banshee is a "fairy woman" whose mournful wail heralds an imminent death.
- The Banshee is nicknamed the "Black Unicorn", although it is really colored in a dark shade of midnight blue.
- The Banshee is based on The Lion from The Lady and the Unicorn.
- Even though Gundam Memories has the Unicorn storyline, the Banshee is not playable in this game.
- The Banshee appears in HG and MG versions in Gundam Breaker. However, neither kit comes packaged with the Armed Armor weapons. They can only be obtained by creating them from scratch.
- Even though the Unicorn Gundam mostly uses the Hyper Beam Javelin, there are instances wherein some official illustrations, the Banshee is using it. The Armored Girls Project version of it also uses the said weapon.
- The color scheme of Banshee and its sibling units (Unicorn and Phenex) are likely inspired by the kitsune of Japanese folklore, specifically the zenko. In Banshee's case, it is likely based on the kokuko.
- Banshee is confirmed intact and sealed during the events of Gundam NT
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee on Gundam-Unicorn.net
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee (Novel) on MAHQ.net
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee (OVA) on MAHQ.net
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 "Banshee" on Gundams.de
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