Technology & Combat Characteristics
A new mass production mobile suit produced after the first war, the ZAKU Warrior's performance is superior to the first generation GAT-X series. It features a rather standard set of armament designed for both close combat and ranged battle. For close combat, the suit features a single beam tomahawk which is stored inside its shield. For ranged combat, the suit usually uses a beam assault rifle, although it can optionally use other hand armaments like a bazooka or a recoilless rifle. The most unusual weapon of the ZAKU are four mobile suit sized hand grenades which are available in different types. Oddly, the ZAKU lacks the CIWS guns that are standard equipment in most mobile suits of the era.
To deal with the restriction placed on mobile suit number by the Junius Treaty, ZAFT also designed the ZAKU Warrior with the ability to mount Wizard Packs to adapt to different combat roles. Besides the three main Wizard Packs, the Gunner Wizard (for long-range fire support), the Blaze Wizard (for high mobility combat), and the Slash Wizard (for close combat), the suit can also mount packs which were only produced in limited numbers, which, among others, grant the ZAKU series features for non-combat roles. Commanders and ace pilots are usually given the higher performance ZGMF-1001 ZAKU Phantom that is also Wizard Pack compatible.
- Hand Grenades
- Stored on the waist of the suit, four hand grenades are among the standard armament of the ZAKU. Several different types can be carried, including fragmentation, high-explosive, and smoke grenades.
- Shoulder Shield
- The shoulder shield is a distinctive feature of the ZAKU series. Unlike most mobile suit shields which are mounted or held by the left hand, the shields of the ZAKU series are mounted on the shoulder, leaving both hands free to hold weapons. Large enough to protect the torso, the shield also serves as a storage unit for the beam tomahawk and for two spare energy clips for the beam rifle.
- MA-M8 Beam Tomahawk
- While other suits usually use beam sabers for close combat, the ZAKU Warrior instead uses a beam tomahawk which can be thrown quite easily, granting it limited ranged combat abilities. When not in use, the tomahawk is stored inside a physical shield, which is mounted on the left shoulder.
- MMI-M633 Beam Assault Rifle
- The primary ranged weapon of the ZAKU is an MMI-M633 beam assault rifle, which unlike most beam rifles does not draw power from the mobile suit's battery. Instead, the rifle has its own independent battery, stored in a replaceable clip (similar to the technology used in the Eurasian Federation's CAT1-X Hyperion series), with a pair of extra clips attached to a shield mounted on the ZAKU's left shoulder. When not in use, this weapon could be stored on the back waist armor.
- M68 "Cattus" 500mm Recoilless Rifle
- First used by the GINN, the M68 "Cattus" 500mm recoilless rifle is similar in design to a bazooka and can fire various types of rounds depending on the magazine used. Typically, the "Cattus" is reserved for larger more heavily armored targets such as battleships. Due to similarity between the GINN and ZAKU Warrior, the "Cattus" can easily be used by the latter. This weapon would be used by pilots in aquatic combat, since beam weaponry is ineffective underwater.
Special Equipment & Features
- Wizard Pack Hardpoints
- The key feature of the ZAKU Warrior is its ability to equip additional equipment in the form of Wizard packs. Each Wizard pack is designed to outfit the suit with the equipment needed to fulfill specific combat roles or non combat roles with maximum efficiency.
After the end of the first war and the signing of the Junius Treaty, a new generation of mobile suits was needed by ZAFT to cope with the technological and numerical restrictions placed on the superpowers as part of the treaty. To that end, a competition was held to determine the first MS in the "New Millennium Series" of next generation mass production MS, the ZAKU series's ZAKU Warrior participated and defeated the ZGMF-XX09T DOM Trooper Original Spec Type and the initial GOUF Ignited design. Like the Earth Alliance's GAT-02L2 Dagger L and later the GAT-04 Windam, the ZAKU Warrior and its higher performance sibling, the ZGMF-1001 ZAKU Phantom, could mount Striker Pack-like Wizard Packs to adapt to different combat situations. The ZAKU Warrior itself is based upon the prototype ZGMF-X999A ZAKU Trial Type, which is produced prior to the signing of the Junius Treaty. Despite fielding many ZAKU Warriors in the second war, older suits like GINNs, CGUEs, DINNs, BuCUEs, and ZGMF-601R GuAIZ Rs were still widely used at that time.
ZAFT policy allows for certain elite pilots to paint their ZAKUs in their own custom color schemes. Examples of this include Lunamaria Hawke's red ZGMF-1000/A1 Gunner ZAKU Warrior and the ZGMF-1001 ZAKU Phantoms of Rey Za Burrel, Yzak Joule, Heine Westenfluss, Dearka Elsman, and Riika Sheder, painted white, blue, orange, black, and purple, respectively. In addition, one ZAKU Warrior has been specially painted in a distinctive pink color scheme as the "Live Concert Version", for use as a stage prop in Meer Campbell's concert tour; which would be used in the Battle of Messiah.
- ZGMF-1000/A1 Gunner ZAKU Warrior
- ZGMF-1000/M Blaze ZAKU Warrior
- ZGMF-1000/K Slash ZAKU Warrior
- ZGMF-1000/AAL Noctiluca ZAKU Warrior
- ZGMF-1000 Hospital ZAKU Warrior
- ZGM-1000/R4 Command ZAKU CCI
- ZGMF-1000 Kerberos ZAKU Warrior
Notes & Trivia
- The Zaku Warrior is the Cosmic Era parallel to the Universal Century's MS-06 Zaku II, with the main armaments having slightly similar appearances but significantly different properties. (i.e. the Zaku II's ZMP-50D is a shell-firing machine gun, whereas the Zaku Warrior's MMI-M633 is a beam weapon)
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Battle Destiny, a mission the Another arc called "Zaft's Protectors" entails battling waves of regular Zaku Warriors including the Live Concert version (who imparts auto hyper mode to all allies whenever Meer Campbell starts singing). Ace pilots with custom colored Zaku Warrior and Zaku Phantom units (Yzak, Dearka, Heine, Rey, and Lunamaria) will also appear later on, with their entrance paying homage to a Super Sentai group intro scene.