Mobile Suit Variations
Born in U.C. 0055, Shin Matsunaga was the eldest son of the Matsunaga family, a prestigious family in Side 3 that was considered equal to the Earth Federation's Yashima family. Shortly before the beginning of the One Year War, he joined the Principality of Zeon military, the only one in his family to do so.
Matsunaga was assigned to the Space Attack Force as a mobile suit pilot, with the rank of Seaman. He piloted an MS-06C Zaku II Early Production Type. During the Battle of Loum, he received a field promotion after his superior officer was killed in action. During the opening stages of the war, he was able to sink one battleship and five cruisers.
In recognition of his achievements, he received a special two rank promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade. At this point, he switched to an MS-06F Zaku II, which he painted in white and emblazoned with his personal "White Wolf" emblem. His talent as a pilot was noticed by Dozle Zabi, who always had him escort his personal Zaku II during battlefield inspections.
Since he was field promoted, Matsunaga attended military academy for a time after his promotion, as per Zeon regulations. He quickly graduated and was promoted to Lieutenant. It was also at this point that he received his most famous machine, the MS-06R-1A Zaku II High Mobility Type.
Prior to the Battle of Solomon, he was recalled to Side 3. He would remain there until the end of the war.
Big Book of Tactics and Strategy
According to this book, Shin Matsunaga was the fifth top ranking Zeon ace during the war, with 141 mobile suit kills and 6 ship kills. Strangely, his piloted machines were listed as MS-06F and 14JG (though his High Mobility Zaku was shown separately at the beginning of the book). Furthermore, he was said to have gone MIA during the Battle of Solomon.
In Gundam Evolve: 09, there is a character code-named Gray Wolf who pilots a yellow Zeta Gundam. While his name is never specifically stated, his physical appearance matches that of Matsunaga. In addition, he is referred to as a former Zeon ace pilot and a Gray Wolf emblem similar to Matsunaga's White Wolf emblem is located on the Zeta's shield.
The Zeta's yellow color is the result of being covered in the same anti-beam coating as AEUG's Hyaku Shiki. While understanding the value of such a coating, it does not stop Gray Wolf from complaining that he wanted the Zeta to be colored Gray.
Interestingly, Gray Wolf does not seem to have strong Newtype abilities; while the two other pilots are able to sense the approach of a Psycho ship, he is not. During the subsequent battle, Gray Wolf pilots his Buster Zeta into the mobile armor in an attempt to expose the enemy's movement patterns to White Unicorn, another Zeta pilot.
Two other Zetas in the same movie; one is colored in the purple-and-white color scheme of Amuro Ray (and Amuro himself is implied to be the pilot) and the other is painted in the red-and-black colors of Johnny Ridden (though it is a young Newtype girl named Yurii Ajissah who is piloting it).
Notes & Trivia
- Due to the lack of original material about Matsunaga's background and activity, there are various theories and conflicting information created by fans. Some noticeable suggestions include the following:
- According to the story script in the Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space video game's Ace Mode, He was a close friend of Dozle Zabi during his childhood as the two families were close in business relationships, both fought side-by-side as MS pilots during the One Year War, and the Matsunaga family was a firm supporter of Zeon's independence movement.
- It is also stated in Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space that Shin was recalled to Side-3 shortly before the Battle of Solomon in order to acquire the newly-completed MS-14Jg Gelgoog Jäger, hence why he didn't participate.
- Based on the aforementioned Gundam Evolve, it is also speculated that he served with the Anti-Earth Union Group (A.E.U.G.) / Karaba, under the codename "Gray Wolf", but the reason why he did not join the Neo Zeon is left unexplained however there is some speculation that this is because his ideologies clashed with the newer Zeons or he realized that Haman Karn was simply using Dozle Zabi's daughter for her own ends.
- According to the Gihren no Yabou (Gihren's Greed) games, Shin Matsunaga does join the A.E.U.G at one point. However, within the same game, it is also possible for him to join Axis during the same time period.
- However in Gihren no Yabou: Axis No Kyoui V, Shin Matsunaga can join A.E.U.G once the law stat is high enough. However the reason why he joined up is unknown and this would be classified as an unlockable pilot.
- In SD Gundam G Generation DS, he is noted for having a rather high melee stat and a remarkably high evade stat for an old type (referencing his fame for never getting hit). In most of the normal routes, he follows Char/Quattro into the AEUG and stays for the whole game. He possesses an ID Command that can lock out an enemy's use of ID commands, making him very useful against certain bosses that have HP restoring ones.