Technology & Combat Characteristics
A mobile suit tuned to meet Kira Yamato's needs, the Strike Freedom has Variable Phase Shift Armor, and like its predecessor, Freedom, is primarily armed with powerful ranged weapons. Its armaments include head-mounted CIWS, an abdomen-mounted multi-phase beam cannon, hip-mounted railguns, combine-able beam sabers and beam rifles, DRAGOON pods controlled by the new Super DRAGOON system and beam shields. It is powered by the new Hyper-Deuterion Engine, and is also equipped with the Neutron Jammer Canceller and the Voiture Lumiere propulsion system.
Due to Kira’s stellar piloting, his mobile suit is rarely hit during combat and thus Strike Freedom’s design emphasizes maneuverability over its armor’s defensive capabilities, though beam shields were installed as a compensatory defensive measure. As a result, its armor is split into smaller pieces to improve the movement range of the joints (a similar armor-splitting system was also implemented in ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam). To compensate for exposing more of its internal parts, the suit's internal skeleton also has PS armor. When the internal skeleton phase-shift, the unit possess near human flexibility and through its glowing effect, is able to discharge excess residual energy within the body through the joints.
The internal PS armor also helps to withstand the high output and Gs caused by the Hyper Deuterion engine and the new propulsion system, playing a role in increasing Strike Freedom's mobility. However, the main contributor to the MS's superior mobility are the mobile weapon wings, which can be deployed in the "High Mobility Aerial Tactics (HiMAT)" Mode to enhance the suit's mobility in the atmosphere or in space. The wings also features a variant of the "Voiture Lumiere" propulsion system, which can generate a visual effect called the "Wings of the Skies" similar to ZGMF-X42S Destiny's Wings of Light and is used as a means of high speed movement.
The Strike Freedom's Super DRAGOON system is based on the second generation DRAGOON system deployed by ZAFT, with unique modifications added on by Terminal. Designed for Kira's use, they allow him to hit more targets at once using the Multi Lock-On System as compared to when he was piloting the original Freedom. They also grant Kira the ability to hit the enemy from multiple directions remotely.
Like the Freedom, Strike Freedom is design to operate alongside another mobile suit, in this case, the ∞ Justice and is stationed on board the warship Eternal. It also has full flight capabilities in the atmosphere, and is equipped with Freedom's Multi Lock-On System, Full Burst Mode, as well as the ability to dock with the METEOR weapon system to augment its already impressive firepower.
- MMI-GAU27D 31mm CIWS
- Mounted in the head, the pair of CIWS guns are mainly used to shoot down incoming missiles and enemy units at close range. Originally, the CIWS is supposed to be omitted due to a lack of space in the head unit. However, they are installed in the end due to their effectiveness and reliability.
- EQFU-3X Super DRAGOON Mobile Weapon Wing & MA-80V Beam Assault Cannon
- The DRAGOON system is the Strike Freedom's newest feature and two DRAGOON pods, each with one MA-80V beam assault cannon, are stored on each of the 8 wings. The beam assault cannon can also emit a beam blade from its tip for close combat. The Strike Freedom's DRAGOONs are based on the ZAFT's second generation DRAGOON System, which does not require pilots to have high spatial awareness to effectively control them due to the use of an improved quantum communication system among other enhancements. Terminal also added other unique modifications, and due to the huge amount of data processing required, the Super DRAGOON System can only function at its maximum potential when used by the Ultimate Coordinator, Kira Yamato. The DRAGOONs can be used in group formations for multiple barrages, or used with other of the suit's weaponry to shoot down enemy ships or mobile suits.
- MA-M02G "Super Lacerta" Beam Saber
- The suit's main close combat weapon, a pair are stored on the "Xiphias 3" Railguns. They are also used by the ∞ Justice and are enhanced versions of the ones used by the Justice and Freedom. The two beam sabers can be combined into a twin-edged beam saber, and this form is known as 'Ambidextrous Halberd'. Kira however prefers to dual wield the sabers rather than combine them.
- MA-M21KF High Energy Beam Rifle
- Developed based on the Freedom Gundam's MA-M20 "Lupus" high-energy beam rifle, the two MA-M21KF high-energy beam rifles can combine to form one long-range beam rifle, in a manner similar to that of the GAT-X103 Buster Gundam's main weapons. As such, the rifles can be used to hit enemy units in various ranges and Kira's habit of taking out multiple targets at once is enhanced with the use of two beam rifles instead of one. The rifles are stored on the sides of the waist and can be swivelled to the back when the "Xiphias 3" railguns are used.
- MGX-2235 "Calidus" Multi-Phase Beam Cannon
- Mounted on the abdomen, it is the same type of beam cannon as the one used by the ZGMF-X31S Abyss Gundam. However, its firepower is higher due to the Strike Freedom's Hyper-Deuterion Engine, and the cannon's muzzle is protected by the PS armor. The beam fired from this weapon is the strongest among the suit's beam weaponry, capable of cancelling out Destiny's long-range beam cannon attack.
- MMI-M15E "Xiphias 3" Railgun
- The two "Xiphias 3" railguns mounted on the suit's waist are upgraded version of the "Xiphias" railguns of the original Freedom, they are more powerful and have a simplified structure. Like their predecessor, the "Xiphias 3" can also be used to attack enemy units in the water, which gives the Strike Freedom a quite efficient way to fight underwater MS and vessels. The only problem with the railguns is that they cannot be used when they are swapped to the back of the waist to make room for storing the MA-M21KF high energy beam rifles.
- MX2200 Beam Shield
- Generated from the forearms' beam shield generators, the pair of beam shields can effectively block most beam and physical attacks. Can also be used offensively, as seen when Kira rammed it against the Legend Gundam.
Special Equipment and Features
- High-Mobility Aerial Tactics (HiMAT) Mode
- A configuration in which Strike Freedom's 8 wings are unfolded for higher maneuverability during aerial combat. In space, the deployment of the wings enhances Strike Freedom's AMBAC capabilities.
- Multi Lock-On System
- Like the original Freedom Gundam, the Strike Freedom is equipped with this system to target multiple enemies and attack them at once. To use this system effectively, the pilot must have high spatial awareness capability, which is rare even among Coordinators. This system can also be used when the Strike Freedom docks with the METEOR unit.
- Full Burst Mode
- The name of the attack mode in which Strike Freedom uses its beam rifles, DRAGOONs, railguns and multi-phase beam cannon all at once. This mode is also present in Freedom Gundam and is often used together with the Multi Lock-On System to destroy a large amount of enemy units simultaneously. Thanks to the DRAGOONs, the Strike Freedom's Full Burst Mode has a larger firing range than the Freedom's, granting it a full 360 degree range of attack capability. However, on Earth, the DRAGOONs are not usable, making Strike Freedom's Full Burst Mode similar to the Freedom's.
- "Voiture Lumiere" Propulsion System
- A combat variant of the "Voiture Lumiere" propulsion system is mounted in the Strike Freedom's wings. Unlike the Voiture Lumiere used by GSX-401FW Stargazer Gundam, this combat variant uses an internal laser, instead of solar winds or an external power beam, and converts its energy into a strong light pressure which is then used as thrust. It can be used even when the DRAGOON Pods are still attached to the wings, by slightly seperating the DRAGOONs from the main wings, without fully deploying them. The propulsion system operates at full power when all the DRAGOONs are launched. When activated, the system allows the suit to accelerate at incredible rates and to quickly dodge the most intense enemy beam barrages. Like the ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam's Voiture Lumiere, Strike Freedom's system also produced a light effect known as the "Wings of Light". For Strike Freedom, however, this effect is also sometimes referred to as the "Wings of the Skies".
- Like the other new Gundams, the Strike Freedom is powered by a hyper-deuterion engine, a hybrid of the nuclear reactor with the Deuterion Beam Energy Transfer System. This meant that the suit is nuclear powered and has sufficient power to use the METEOR unit.
- A device built into the mobile suit to counter the effects of ZAFT's Neutron Jammers. This gives the Strike Freedom the ability to use its Hyper-Deuterion Engine without the risk of being shut down.
- Operating System
- The Strike Freedom uses the Generation Unsubdued Nuclear Drive Assault Module complex operating system.
- An improved version of Phase Shift Armor, VPS armor is capable of automatically changing its strength, as well as color and power consumption in the field, although this must be programmed beforehand.
- Like its predecessor, Freedom, Strike Freedom can dock with the METEOR unit, a large mobile weapons platform with powerful thrusters and an even more powerful armament of battleship-caliber beam cannons, large beam swords, and dozens of heavy missile launchers.
The direct successor of the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam, the Strike Freedom was originally built by ZAFT as a prototype machine for eventual mass-production. Development itself, which had started in the same time period as its predecessor, was behind schedule and could not be completed in time due to technical limitations in developing the DRAGOON System. Further more, development was influenced by the Junius Treaty and data regarding existing development on the unit was to be sealed. However, the design data (or perhaps the incomplete unit) was stolen by Terminal, who also deleted the data from the ZAFT Integrated Design Bureau's servers. Redevelopment of the Strike Freedom was carried out by Terminal, based on the operational data of the Freedom. In fact, Strike Freedom is redesigned and modified on the basis that it will become Kira's personal MS. It also incorporated the latest MS technology from both ZAFT and Terminal.
The Strike Freedom made its on-screen debut during the later parts of the Second Alliance-PLANT War, when Kira boarded the Eternal in a damaged MBF-02 Strike Rouge after coming to the aid of Andrew Waltfeld. He then launched in the Strike Freedom to defend the ship from a ZAFT attack force. Kira, with the Strike Freedom, successfully disabled 25 ZGMF-1000 ZAKU Warrior and ZGMF-X2000 GOUF Ignited within two minutes and then proceeded to disable three Nazca-class.
When it arrived on Earth along with the ZGMF-X19A ∞ Justice Gundam (piloted by Lacus Clyne, delivered for Athrun Zala's use), it immediately confronted the ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam, piloted by Shinn Asuka, breaking up its battle with the ORB-01 Akatsuki Gundam (piloted by Kira's twin sister, Cagalli Yula Athha). The initial clash between the two suits resulted in Strike Freedom gaining the upper hand, as Shinn's Boomerangs and Beam sword were destroyed and its energy supply was nearly depleted. The Destiny was forced to retreat when Rey Za Burrel ordered Shinn Asuka to return to the LHM-BB01 Minerva to resupply.
When the Destiny returned to the battlefield, it was now accompanied by Rey Za Burrel in the ZGMF-X666S Legend Gundam. At one point, Kira had the chance to destroy Destiny after Strike Freedom kicked the ZAFT suit. But together, both units finally managed to put Strike Freedom into the defensive and gave the Destiny an opportunity to destroy the Strike Freedom. Athrun Zala in the ZGMF-X19A ∞ Justice Gundam arrived on the scene at that moment however, stopping the attack as well as the numerical disadvantage. For the remainder of this battle, which was not long, the Strike Freedom engaged the Legend in a skirmish, in which neither suit gained an advantage nor damaged the other because Kira was in a daze of finding out Rey Za Barrel's "true" identity.
In the final battle of the Second Alliance-PLANT War, the Strike Freedom and the ∞ Justice, both equipped with the METEOR mobile weapons platform, destroyed an important relay station, which was to be used by the Earth Alliance's Requiem tactical cannon, now under ZAFT control. After accomplishing this goal, they realized the station could be replaced and proceeded towards the Requiem itself. The Strike Freedom then engaged the Legend and, after a short exchange of fire, crippled it with its Full Burst Mode Attack. Kira docked the Strike Freedom once more with the METEOR and then headed to the mobile fortress Messiah, heavily damaging it single-handedly, before allowing the remainder of the Three Ships Alliance vessels and MS to destroy the Messiah fortress completely. The destruction of Messiah led to the subsequent end of the war, with Kira using the Strike Freedom to escape the fortress.
Notes and Trivia
- The Strike Freedom was originally called the "Super Freedom" but the name was later changed.
- The suit's beam sabers can be combined to form a spear, although this has only appeared in various video games. The boss version in Gundam vs. Gundam Next Plus portrayed the beam as twice as long as that of an original saber, nicknamed "Sephiroth Blade" by fans.
- When Strike Freedom was shown in the 3rd opening animation, its head crest displayed the words "Liberta Modifica", which is "Modified Freedom" in Latin. Starting with episode 39, the words were changed to read "X-20A VENTI", which is "Twenty" in Italian, a reference to the Strike Freedom's model number.
- The Strike Freedom is the only unit used by Kira that never sustained damage since its debut.
- In Gundam vs Gundam NEXT PLUS, Strike Freedom is also a boss and has the ability "DRAGOON- ISSEN". Strike Freedom will fly at an opponent from any distance and repeatedly slash 4-5 times while circling around the enemy and end with all 8 DRAGOON pods cross-firing at the target.
- In Gundam Vs Gundam NEXT PLUS, Strike Freedom is also playable but is gameplay-wise different from the boss version. It also has a stronger Burst Form than the normal version.
- There are actually two versions of Strike Freedom in Super Robot Wars K and Super Robot Wars L. When deployed on Earth, the game will automatically switch to second version. Unlike the space version, the Super DRAGOON is missing from Strike Freedom's weapons list and DRAGOON Full Burst attack will be replaced by weaker Hi-MAT Full Burst (which has similar animation, except without deploying the Super DRAGOON).
- In Super Robot Wars K and Super Robot Wars L, Full Burst as a MAP Attack can only be used once before Strike Freedom is resupplied. Meanwhile, Full Burst can be used for several times to attack a single opponent. This has become a controversy as Full Burst is only used for multiple times to attack more than 1 enemy as in the TV show. According to the game developers, they deliberately set the Full Burst can only be used once as a MAP Attack as it would be very easy to complete a scenario if Full Burst can be used for several times to wipe out a swarm of enemies.
- The Strike Freedom is one of the 3 guest characters alongside Kamen Rider Fourze and Ultraman Saga for the upcoming crossover game Heroes VS for PSP. Those three characters can be unlocked via codes and only available for the first run of the game's release.
- In various games, Strike Freedom's Wings of the Skies are never activated when the DRAGOON pods are deployed, which is very odd as they were always in effect whenever Kira deployed them in the show. Thus, Strike Freedom never receives a boost in speed except in specific instances.
- As of Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost, this problem was rectified.
- In the anime, the two beam rifles change their colors after the VPS armor is switched on, indicating that they may have been equipped with VPS armor. However, this feature has not been documented in any data books or model kit manuals.
- In Gundam Breaker 2, Strike Freedom's wings are the only part from the first game to not be converted into Option Equipment. Instead, it remains an EX-Act that grants a speed boost from the Wings of the Skies.
- Some early sources describe the Strike Freedom's power plant as "laser fusion engine". However, all later sources used "Hyper-Deuterion Engine".
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "1/100 MG Strike Freedom Gundam" Assembly Instruction Manual
- ↑ "1/60 PG Strike Freedom Gundam" Assembly Instruction Manual
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 "1/144 RG Strike Freedom Gundam" Assembly Instruction Manual
- ↑ "Dengeki Hobby Magazine" February, 2007 issue.
- ↑ Gundam Seed Destiny MS Encyclopedia