MSN-02 Zeong

The MSN-02 Zeong (sometimes Ziong or Jiong, see here) is a fictional mobile suit designed by Kunio Okawara for the anime "Mobile Suit Gundam". It has also appeared in many video games and other media, including, but not limited to, the Playstation 2 titles ',cite web | url = http://gundam-sora.net/ | title = jp icon Encounters in Space official page | work = Bandai | accessdate = February 13 | accessyear = 2007] 'cite web | url = http://www.gundam.channel.or.jp/goods/videogame/evsz_dx/index_ps.html | title = jp icon Federation vs. Zeon official page | work = Bandai | accessdate = February 13 | accessyear = 2007] and Climax U.C.,cite web | url = http://www.bandaigames.channel.or.jp/list/ps2_gundam_climax/ss/ss.html | title = jp icon Climax UC Official Website | work = Bandai | accessdate = February 22 | accessyear = 2007] the "Gundam Battle Assault"cite web | url = http://www.ex.org/2.6/37-game_battlemaster.html | title = Gundam: The Battle Master review | work = EX: Online World of Anime & Manga | accessdate = February 13 | accessyear = 2007] series of fighting games, "Super Robot Wars",cite web | url = http://db.gamefaqs.com/console/psx/file/super_robot_taisen_robot_series.txt | title = Super Robot Wars: Robot Series Guide | work = GameFAQs | accessdate = February 13 | accessyear = 2007] , the motion simulator attraction "",cite web | url = http://www.ex.org/5.5/21-feature_gundam.html | title = EX Special Report: Gundam The Ride | work = EX: Online World of Anime & Manga | accessdate = February 13 | accessyear = 2007] and in its Perfect form, the PSP title "Gundam Battle Royale".cite web | url = http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/gundambattleroyale/index.html | title = Gundam Battle Royale for PSP | work = GameSpot PSP | accessdate = October 28 | accessyear = 2007]

In "Mobile Suit Gundam"

The Zeong is the last mobile suit piloted by primary antagonist Char Aznable in "Mobile Suit Gundam", appearing at the end of One Year War to defend the A Baoa Qu space fortress. It was portrayed as the first combat-ready mobile suit intended specifically for Newtype pilots. Previously, Psycommu systems had only been installed in large mobile armors due to bulky size.cite web | url = http://web.archive.org/web/20011030210632/www.gundamproject.com/world/newtype.html | title = Newtypes and Newtype Weapons | work = Gundam Project (courtesy of the Wayback Machine) | accessdate = February 12 | accessyear = 2007] While the Psycommu system had been scaled down somewhat, a very large mobile suit was still required, and normal-sized mobile suits would not be equipped with Psycommu technology until the events of "Zeta Gundam", set 8 years later.cite web | url = http://web.archive.org/web/20011030210632/www.gundamproject.com/world/newtype.html | title = Newtypes and Newtype Weapons | work = Gundam Project (courtesy of the Wayback Machine) | accessdate = February 12 | accessyear = 2007] .

To help make up for its large size, the Zeong is exceptionally heavily armed, mounting nearly a battleship's worth of mega particle cannons. Each of the mobile suit's digits mounts the barrel of one cannon, and a pair are installed in its torso. A final cannon is mounted in the mobile suit's face directly under its mono-eye track. The Psycommu system allows the Zeong's forearms to detach and operate independently of the main body, enabling it to perform "all range attacks", the Gundam franchise's term for a multi-directional attack. A wire connects the arms to the mobile suit's main body, presumably to provide power and/or commands from the Psycommu system, somewhat limiting its maximum range when compared to a completely wireless bit. Unlike most mobile suits, the Zeong's cockpit is positioned in its head. If the main body is destroyed or otherwise rendered inoperative, the head can be ejected to escape, or continue fighting. [cite book|title=Gundam: The Official Guide|url=http://www.amazon.com/Gundam-Official-Guide-Mark-Simmons/dp/156931739|isbn=1569317399|publisher=Bandai|date=2002-05-06|author=Simmons, Mark.]

Three MSN-02 units are confirmed to be built, though only one appeared in the animation. At Kycilia Zabi's behest, Captain Char Aznable requisitoned a Zeong to help defend A Baoa Qu against a large-scale attack by the Earth Federation Space Force in episode 42 of "Mobile Suit Gundam".cite web | url = http://www.mahq.net/animation/gundam/series/msgep42.htm | title = Episode 42: "Space Fortress A Baoa Qu" episode review | work = MAHQ | accessdate = February 11 | accessyear = 2007] This Zeong was only "80% complete" as its legs had yet to be installed; otherwise, it was fully combat capable (in zero gravity, at any rate). Char made a single sortie with the Zeong, sinking a Federation warship in the process, before it and Amuro Ray's RX-78 Gundam were mutually destroyed within A Baoa Qu during the final episode of the anime. Both Char and Amuro escaped their crippled mobile suits to continue their battle in hand to hand combat.cite web | url = http://www.mahq.net/animation/gundam/series/msgep43.htm | title = Episode 43: "Escape" episode review | work = MAHQ | accessdate = February 11 | accessyear = 2007]

Elsewhere and Miscellany

Chronologically, Kunio Okawara designed the Zeong as a legless mobile suit (some sources, such as the Gundam War card game, have erroneously referred to it as a mobile armor) for the 1979 animation. The legged version, known as the "Perfect" Zeong and sharing the same model number, appeared in Mobile Suit Variations in 1983, entering canon as the "completed" design. Of the three Zeongs built, two of them were completed to Perfect form (the remainder was sortied against the Gundam by Char Aznable in the incomplete state near the end of "Mobile Suit Gundam"). Aside from the Perfect version's greatly increased height from its legs, it also features additional armor plating on its limbs and a new setup of head-mounted thrusters. The enormous Master Grade Perfect Zeong model kitcite web | url = http://www.hlj.com/product/BAN925651 | title = 1/100th Master Grade Perfect Zeong | work = HobbyLink Japan | accessdate = February 11 | accessyear = 2007] is also furnished with an extremely long solid-state sword. According to the manual's historical section, this is purely an aesthetic accessory for the model, and was not used in the canon universe. [Master Grade Perfect Zeong kit manual, Bandai, 2005] It is speculated that this is a throwback to the 1982 manga Plamo Kyoshiro, where the Perfect Zeong appeared with a prodigiously-sized blade (having almost the same height to the unit), but this is unsubstantiated by any official source. In the PlayStation Portable game Gundam Battle Universe, however, the Perfect Zeong's special attack is a single sweep of its huge sword, meting out huge amounts of damage to anything caught in its path.

Of interesting note, the Zeong is the first mobile suit in the Gundam franchise to feature a detachable arm-based attack; it has since appeared sporadically in a handful of animations (including, but not limited to, ZZ Gundam's Hamma Hamma, Alpha Azieru and Neue Ziel). While certainly not uncommon at the time (1979) in the giant robot genre (Go Nagai's Mazinger Z and Getter Robo come to mind), it did put a new "spin" on the concept: the Zeong's arms utilize beam cannons to perform a ranged attack, as opposed to the commonly-seen melee attack, often in the vein of Mazinger Z's famous "Rocket Punch" or Getter-2's "Drill Missile". [cite book|title=MS Encyclopedia "Kidō Senshi Gundam MS Daizenshū 98"|url=http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4073085190|isbn=4-07-308519-0|publisher=Mediaworks|date=1998-05-15]

Despite its brief appearance in the animation, limited to a single sortie, the Zeong has enjoyed considerable coverage in the merchandise area. As with most mobile suits from the series, the Zeong received a 1/144th-scale model kit in 1981.cite web | url = http://www.gundam.channel.or.jp/goods/pramodel/tv/model/144__ziong.shtml | title = jp icon 1/144th Zeong (1981) | work = Gundam Perfect Web | accessdate = February 11 | accessyear = 2007] It was featured in the 1/250th scale A Baoa Qu diorama, along with the RX-78 Gundam and an MS-09R Rick Dom, released in the same year.cite web | url = http://www.gundamshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=GO403&Category_Code=GO&Product_Count=23 | title = 1/250th Diorama: A Baoa Qu (1981) | work = GundamShop.com | accessdate = February 11 | accessyear = 2007] A 1/250th-scale Perfect Zeong was released along with other MSV kits in 1983.cite web | url = http://www.gundamshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=MSV31&Category_Code=Gundam-MSV&Product_Count=6 | title = 1/250th Perfect Zeong (1983) | work = GundamShop.com | accessdate = February 11 | accessyear = 2007] More recently, a 1/144-scale High Grade Universal Century kit was released in 2001,cite web | url = http://www.hlj.com/product/BAN903327 | title = 1/144th HGUC Zeong | work = HobbyLink Japan | accessdate = February 11 | accessyear = 2007] a Mobile Suit in Action (MSiA) figure in 2004,cite web | url = http://www.hlj.com/product/BAN925497 | title = MSiA Zeong | work = HobbyLink Japan | accessdate = February 11 | accessyear = 2007] a 1/100th-scale Master Grade kit in 2002,cite web | url = http://www.hlj.com/product/BAN912815 | title = 1/100th Master Grade Zeong | work = HobbyLink Japan | accessdate = February 11 | accessyear = 2007] and again in its enormous "Perfect" legged form in 2004.cite web | url = http://www.hlj.com/product/BAN925651 | title = 1/100th Master Grade Perfect Zeong | work = HobbyLink Japan | accessdate = February 11 | accessyear = 2007] This kit is the largest, heaviest, and most expensive 1/100th-scale Master Grade kit to date. Expensive, high-detail resin kits have been released by B-Club.cite web | url = http://www.hlj.com/hljlist2/?Dis=-2&from=detail&Word=Zeong | title = Zeong products | work = HobbyLink Japan | accessdate = February 13 | accessyear = 2007] cite web | url = http://www.hlj.com/hljlist2/?Dis=-2&from=detail&Word=Ziong | title = Zeong products (alternate spelling) | work = HobbyLink Japan | accessdate = February 13 | accessyear = 2007] In addition to model kits and figures, the Zeong's likeness, specifically its unique mono-eye track, has appeared on Gundam-themed clothing items.cite web | url = http://www.hlj.com/hljlist2/?Dis=-2&from=detail&Word=Zeong | title = Zeong products | work = HobbyLink Japan | accessdate = February 13 | accessyear = 2007]

Perhaps the most bizarre iteration, a "Puchuu-ified" Zeong appeared in a Gundam/Leiji Matsumoto-themed episode of Excel Saga, along with a similarly Puchuu-ified RX-78.cite web | url = http://www.tvwiki.tv/wiki/Excel_Saga_episode_guide | title = Excel Saga episode guide | work = TelevisionWiki | accessdate = February 13 | accessyear = 2007] cite web | url = http://www.newtype-usa.com/issues/index.php?itemid=69 | title = Excel Saga episode guide | work = Newtype USA, July 2004 issue | accessdate = October 28 | accessyear = 2007]

The Zeong was also mentioned in the manga Crossbone Gundam Skull Heart where it was stated that it was built to counter a "Giant Gundam," which in reality was a GM Ball with a Gundam faceplate.

References

External links

* [http://www.gundamofficial.com/worlds/uc/msg/mechanics/ms_zeong.html Zeong] at "GundamOfficial.com"
* [http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/msgundam/msn-02.htm Zeong] at MAHQ
* [http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/msv/msn-02-perfect.htm Perfect Zeong] at MAHQ
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20011201164904/www.gundamproject.com/works/gundam.html Mobile Suit Gundam] at the Gundam Project (courtesy of the Wayback Machine)
* [http://www.gundamofficial.com/worlds/uc/msg/story/page2.html Mobile Suit Gundam plot synopsis] at "GundamOfficial.com"
*(2002-5-6) " [http://www.amazon.com/Gundam-Official-Guide-Mark-Simmons/dp/1569317399 Gundam: The Official Guide] ". Mark Simmons. ISBN 1569317399
*(2002-7-9) " [http://www.amazon.com/dp/1591820502/ Gundam Technical Manual 4: Char's Counterattack] ". Hajime Yadate. ISBN 1591820502
* [http://www.1999.co.jp/search_e.asp?Typ1_c=101&scope=0&sortID=0&urikire=0&andor=0&scope2=0&itkey=Zeong&kensaku=Search Zeong] products at Hobby Search (English)


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