The ZGMF-X31S Abyss Gundam is a Mobile Suit that first appeared in the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. It was originally piloted by Mare Strode but after it was stolen, it was given to Auel Neider.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Abyss Gundam is a prototype transformable amphibious mobile suit developed as part of ZAFT's Second Stage Series. It is designed to use its MS mode for combat in space and on the ground, and can transform into a specialized MA mode for underwater combat. The MA mode adopts a streamline-shape that helps to reduce water resistance, making the suit faster and more mobile in the water, and also grants it higher underwater combat performance than the other ZAFT amphibious mobile suits. Like the other units in the Second Stage Series, the Abyss Gundam has a new form of phase shift armor known as Variable Phase Shift armor and is powered by a battery that can be recharged during battle using the Deuterion Beam Energy Transfer System.
The Abyss is heavily armed and features a large number of beam and shell based weaponry, but most of them are usable only in MS mode. The MA mode relies mainly on the high-speed guided torpedos and dual cannons for underwater attacks, and the dual beam cannon for destroying targets on and above the water surface. The suit's beam weaponry are never used underwater as their power are reduced by the water. The Abyss Gundam can also use a handheld beam lance for close combat (even in the water as the lance has a physical blade), and for defense, it can use the pair of shoulder-mounted binders as shields as they are anti-beam coated. The suit mainly functions as a long range support unit due to its large array of ranged weaponry.
- M107 "Balaena Kai" Dual Beam Cannon
- An improved version of the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam's M100 "Balaena" Plasma Beam Cannons, the "Balaena Kai" Dual Beam Cannon is mounted in the backpack and is useable in mobile suit and mobile armor mode. In mobile suit mode, the dual beam cannon can be used to engage enemy units after flipping upwards, or all the way forward. In mobile armor mode, the dual beam cannon is flipped forward, and can be used to shoot enemy units on the water when Abyss swims close to the surface. The beam cannons can also be flipped upward to shoot at aerial enemy units when the Abyss swims close to the water surface or alternatively, the Abyss can leap out of water and shoots at them with the beam cannons. The beam cannons are not used in the water as the environment reduces their power.
- M68 Dual Cannon
- Another long range weapon of the Abyss Gundam are a pair of M68 Dual Cannon, these shell-firing cannons are located in the lower end of the shoulder-mounted binders and can be used for underwater combat. The cannons are usable in both mobile suit mode and mobile armor mode, and are capable of destroying most mobile suits with one shot.
- MA-X223E 3-barrel Beam Cannon
- Abyss is equipped with two sets of MA-X223E 3-barrel Beam Cannons, one set in each shoulder-mounted binders. These beam cannons are very effective in engaging multiple targets, but since they are located in the underside of the binders, they cannot be used while in mobile armor mode.
- MGX-2235 "Calidus" Multi-phase Beam Cannon
- The MGX-2235 "Calidus" Multi-phase Beam Cannon is mounted in the Abyss's chest and is its most powerful ranged beam weaponry, but it can only be used in mobile suit mode.
- MMI-GAU1717 12.5mm CIWS
- A CIWS gun mounted below the suit's forehead camera, it is used for engaging light targets, missile interception and surpressive fire. Usable only in mobile suit mode.
- MMI-GAU25A 20mm CIWS
- Abyss also mounts two MMI-GAU25A 20mm CIWS guns in its chest to shoot down incoming missiles or enemy units at close range. Usable only in mobile suit mode.
- MMI-TT101 Mk9 High-speed Guided Torpedo
- These torpedoes serve as the main weapon of the suit's mobile armor mode and are fired from the four launchers that are mounted in the upper end of the shoulder-mounted binders. Can be used in MS mode as well.
- MX-RQB516 Beam Lance
- Since the Abyss was designed for aquatic combat, it is the only Second Stage series MS that isn't armed with beam sabers. Instead, Abyss is armed with a beam lance for melee combat. The beam lance can generate a small beam blade at the end and can also be used for underwater combat as it also has a sharp physical blade.
Special Equipment & Features
- The suit is among the new units to be equipped with the new Deuterion Beam Energy Transfer System, which allows a properly equipped battleship to remotely recharge a mobile suit's battery using a Deuterion Beam. However, since the suit was stolen by Phantom Pain, it's not used as none of their ships are equipped with such a system.
- Operating System
- The Abyss uses the Generation Unrestricted Network Drive Assault Module operating system like the other Second Stage Series suits.
- Like the other Second Stage Series suits the Abyss has VPS armor, this technology is more energy efficient and capable of altering its strength, as well as color in the field, although this must be programmed beforehand.
In late CE 73, ZAFT created a new series of advanced prototype mobile suits known as the Second Stage Series to succeed their previous generation of Gundams, which were all lost in the previous war. One of these suits is the Abyss, and it is initially tested at Armory One by Mare Strode. However, before ZAFT can bring it into active service, Auel Neider of the Earth Alliance's 81st Independent Mobile Battalion (also known as Phantom Pain) steals the mobile suit and escapes with it to the battleship Girty Lue, where it is given the new model number RGX-02. The Abyss is later transferred to Earth and operates from the carrier John Paul Jones. The Abyss sinks the ZAFT submarine Nyiragongo in the Indian Ocean, but is later destroyed by the ZGMF-X56S/γ Blast Impulse Gundam in a naval battle off the coast of Crete, killing Auel in the process.
Courtney Heironimus in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny Astray revealed that Abyss was originally designed with a Core Splendor system similar to those on ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam but this idea was later scrapped. He also indicated that with further developments it could be possible to develop Silhouette Packs that would allow Impulse to have better performance in different environment. Jess then imagines about how ZGMF-X56S/ζ Gaia Impulse Gundam, ZGMF-X56S/δ Chaos Impulse Gundam and ZGMF-X56S/ε Abyss Impulse Gundam might look like.
Notes and Trivia
- Abyss's head crest displays the text "X-31S ONE", which means "One" in Italian and is a reference to the Abyss's series number.
- Although the HG model kit cannot flip the dual beam cannon over the shoulders, the suit in the anime did this once in the beginning of episode four. This feature is also present in the game Gundam Memories: Memories Of Battle, as one of the Abyss's attacks.
- In its serial number, "ZGMF" represents "Zero Gravity Maneuver Fighter", "X" means it is a prototype unit, "3" means it is designed for underwater combat, "1" is its series number, and "S" means "Second Stage".
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Battle Destiny, the Abyss cannot transform into MA mode at all since there are no underwater sections nor stages. Sea levels have all MS hovering over water.
- Curiously, Auel never activates the beam blade on the Abyss's lance throughout the series. The reason for this is never given.