The XXXG-01W Wing Gundam (aka Zero-One or Gundam 01) is the Mobile Suit
main character of the anime Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. It was primarily piloted by Heero Yuy.
Of the five original Gundams created for Operation Meteor, the Wing Gundam is the most balanced in terms of capabilities and bears the closest resemblance to their common ancestor: the XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero. Like the Wing Zero, the Wing Gundam can transform into another form of flight known as "Bird Mode" and is equipped with a powerful Buster Rifle. However, the "ZERO System" interface (which had technical issues) and other parts deemed excessive were not included, and pilot skill is needed to make up the shortfall. Its cockpit is a spherical capsule surrounded by a linear frame, and it pivots in the same direction as the machine's head. Unlike the standard OZ cockpit, this is a floating cockpit with a shock mitigation feature.
The main contributor to the Wing's mobility is the pair of wings on its backpack. Not only do these units generate lift, but they can also modify the aerodynamic characteristics of the Mobile Suit, through the movements of their individual panels, supporting a range of speeds from stall to hypersonic. Even in space, these wings have high attitude control capability using integrated AMBAC thrusters and vernier thrusters. By transforming into Bird Mode, the Wing's mobility and movement range are increased, allowing it to carry out operations that other Gundams have not been able to carry out. The leg thrusters at the back of the knees serve as the primary verniers in Bird Mode, and are also used for ground launching in MS mode.
- Bird Mode
When transforming into Bird Mode, the Gundam's head and waist rotate backwards, legs fold with feet facing backwards, shoulder armor folds, hands retract inside the forearms, and the claws fold over the forearms. Finally, the shield and the Buster Rifle dock together, then attach to the Gundam's backpack to form the nose, and the Gundam's wings open. In this form, the Wing is capable of high-speed flight, although it requires additional boosters to launch into space.
- Search Eye
Focused on data collection. When antennas and main cameras aren't enough, the Gundam's secondary eye, consisting of the large jewel on its chest, is used to gather visual and radio wave data.
- Self-Destruct System
Like other Gundams, the Wing was built to self-destruct if the pilot so chooses. A remote detonator is placed in the cockpit and if a serious situation happens, the pilot can destroy the Gundam. The system was designed to overload its power systems and has enough explosive power to destroy several city blocks. This is a last option tactic if the pilot is unable to protect the Gundam, without letting it fall into enemy hands. It can also be used as a large explosive device to wipe out large targets.
- Buster Rifle: A beam-type cannon developed from the Wing Zero's Twin Buster Rifle. While Wing Zero's Twin Buster Rifle is powered directly by the MS, the Wing Gundam's Buster Rifle is powered by three special rounds filled with energy that has been degenerated to the brink of materialization, and thus can only fire three times . However, the use of canisters allowed the weapon to be used by other Mobile Suits. The Buster rifle is as powerful as a battleship's main gun and can destroy multiple targets, such as MS, in a single shot. Although the power of the Buster Rifle is less than half that of the Twin Buster Rifle, the energy it emits at maximum is equivalent to the daily consumption of a medium-sized city. Furthermore, the emitted beam is powerful enough to ionize the surrounding atmosphere, creating a violent plasma vortex with a radius of 150 meters centered on the optical axis of the beam and a burning torrent of several tens of kilometers. However, by adjusting the output, the affected area can be changed. The beam itself has a composite structure, consisting of a high-speed, highly penetrating beam in the center, surrounded by a low-speed but highly destructive particle beam. The destructive power of the Buster rifle, combined with the flight ability of the Wing Gundam, means that it is possible for the machine to serve as a strategic weapon.
- Vulcan Gun: A pair of projectile weapons (shells) integrated into the head. When used in unison with the Machine Cannon, they are empty in less than a minute. Mainly useful for close combat and holding back enemy units.
- Machine Cannon: Located on the shoulders, the two cannons are short and medium range weapons. They are capable of rapid fire thanks to the internal structure of the drum.
- Shield: Made of high-strength Gundanium alloy, it can also be used as a melee weapon. The shield can be mounted on the left forearm and/or held with the left hand. It can be mounted on the back when not in use. In Bird Mode, it is docked with the Buster Rifle and mounted on the backpack. A sensor is located at the end of the shield.
- Beam Saber: The beam bsaber or beam saber is the standard close combat weapon for many MS, it generates a blade-like beam to swoop and cut through enemy armor. Due to the use of the highly durable Gundanium alloy, the Wing Gundam's beam saber has a high output that is not attenuated even in water. A pair of sabers are stored in the Wing's shield. When the beam saber is needed, the lower half of the shield folds up to expose a saber grip. The Beam Saber is usually used in the Wing's right hand, causing the Gundam to discard the Buster Rifle temporarily.
The Wing Gundam was developed in the L1 Cluster Colony, by engineer
Doctor J, as a tool of revenge against the OZ organization for the assassination of the colonies' pacifist leader, Heero Yuy, who the Gundam pilot is codenamed. The Wing was sent to Earth with Heero to begin Operation Meteor, at the same time, each of Doctor J's colleagues deployed their respective Gundams. However, the Wing was intercepted during its descent through Earth's atmosphere by a United Earth Sphere Alliance assault carrier commanded by Zechs Merquise of OZ. Heero destroyed both OZ-07AMS Aries with the Wing's Buster Rifle, but Zechs used his OZ-06MS Leo to fight against the Gundam. The Wing then crashed into the Pacific Ocean near the coast of Japan, and Heero abandoned it.
After leaving the Wing at the bottom of the sea, Heero enrolled as a student at St. Gabriel's Academy to "disguise himself". He then stole several torpedoes from an Alliance naval base, intending to destroy his Gundam before it fell into enemy hands. However, the Wing had already been rescued from OZ by Duo Maxwell, pilot of the XXXG-01D Gundam Deathscythe. The Wing was ready to self-destruct, but Duo disabled the device. Duo later encountered Heero on land, while he was lifting the two Gundams from the sea on autopilot. Ignoring Duo's allegiance, Heero fired the stolen torpedoes at the two MS, although they caused minimal damage. However, the fact that Heero knew Gundanium's tolerance to impact made Duo realize that he was the Wing's pilot.
After Duo helped Heero escape from captivity at an Alliance military hospital, he retrieved both Gundams. Heero repaired the Wing by stealing parts of the Deathscythe behind Duo's back, and he used it on a mission to destroy an enemy air carrier carrying a Gundanium alloy. Heero then used the Wing to destroy OZ's northern Pacific Ocean supply base. During the attack, he
met Duo again and repaid his debt by firing the Wing's Buster Rifle at a Leo who was coming up behind the Deathscythe. When OZ sent MS to attack St. Gabriel's Academy with the intention of killing Relena Darlian, Heero used the Wing to counterattack, as he believed OZ had discovered her hideout. The Wing took out most of the enemies with his beam saber, while impaling the last one with his shield after using it to save Relena from falling debris.
During an assault on the New Edwards base, the five Gundam pilots were united, believing that they would destroy OZ completely. During the battle, Wing destroyed an OZ shuttle with his saber before Heero discovered that she was holding the pacifist leader of the Alliance army, Marshal Noventa. The leader of OZ, Thirteen Khushrenada, had trapped the Gundam pilots. When Heero was alerted to OZ's plan to self-destruct the missiles at the new Edwards Base in order to eliminate the Gundams, he used the
Wing to enter the missile silo and disarm the explosives. Soon after, Heero used Wing to team up with Duo to destroy a base on the island of OZ near the school they had transferred to.
The Wing Gundam's next mission was to Siberia. There, OZ was preparing to launch its new OZ-12SMS Taurus, and four of the five Gundams arrived to prevent their deployment. As soon as the Wing arrived, it was intercepted by Zechs and his OZ-00MS Tallgeese, and they engaged in a saber duel. Although they were tied, the Wing managed to gain the upper hand when he cut off the Tallgeese's left arm. However, the duel was interrupted when Lady Une of OZ threatened to destroy the space colonies if the Gundam pilots did not surrender. In response to this, Heero
Activated Wing's self-destruct device while standing just outside the cockpit, destroying his Gundam and nearly killing himself in the process.
Although Heero had spent over a month recovering under the care of another Gundam pilot, Trowa Barton, Zechs had taken the remains of the Wing with him and began rebuilding it for a return match, as he felt both deceived and disgusted by Lady Une's actions in Siberia. However, OZ's parent organization, the Romefeller Foundation, ordered Zechs to destroy the remains of the Gundam. Zechs tricked Romefeller into simply destroying a decoy, and had the Wing sent to a base in Antarctica to continue its reconstruction.
Although the Wing was mostly rebuilt at the Antarctic base, its highly calibrated internal systems were completely destroyed during its self-destruction, putting it at a disadvantage. Zechs also had the self-destruct system removed to avoid another interrupted duel. However, the Wing was left in the base for the rematch, as Heero had chosen to use Trowa's XXXG-01H Gundam Heavyarms to avoid any feelings of reluctance towards himself and Zechs. During the battle, Trowa used the Wing to prevent Romefeller's search party from interfering and destroyed two Aries that were following Relena's transport. When Romefeller's fleet arrived, Trowa converted the Wing to Bird Mode and picked up the Heavyarms so he and Heero could escape.
When the five Gundam pilots returned to space to prevent OZ from taking over the colonies, Heero left the Wing on Earth to avoid detection. A little later, the Wing was found underwater by Sally Po, who eventually handed it over to Lucrezia Noin. Noin then took the Gundam to the reconstructed underground hangar of the Sanc Kingdom. Shortly after returning to Earth with Four Raberba Winner, Heero joined a local branch of the Thirteen Faction and engaged an army of Romefellers and their new OZ-02MD Virgos in standard Leo, but was overwhelmed.
After Quatre arrived to save him in an Aries, Noin delivered the Wing's Buster Rifle to them and Quatre used it to take out all of the Virgos. They were then brought to the Kingdom of Sanc, and Heero was reunited with his Gundam. He would soon use the Wing to lead a counterattack against Romefeller's forces attempting to invade the pacifist nation of Relena. After much persuasion from Noin, Quatre and Relena, Heero agreed to stay in the Sanc Kingdom with his Gundam, to defend the nation against new threats.
When Romefeller sent another army of Virgos to crush the Thirteen Faction at their Luxembourg base, Heero used the Wing Gundam to help defend the Thirteen Faction, in order to prevent Romefeller from expanding their forces further. Although the Wing was tougher for the Virgos than the Thirteenth Faction's Leo and Aries, the Gundam's right leg was damaged during the battle. As other Virgos began to surround him, Thirteen spoke to Heero over the Gundam's intercom and encouraged him not to give up. Heero managed to get the Wing back on its feet, but he was eventually thrown into a building and completely disabled. After the remaining Virgos were destroyed in a suicide attack by three of Thirteen's soldiers, Heero exited the Wing's cockpit and abandoned his Gundam for the final time. Soon after, he was given the OZ-13MS Gundam Epyon by Treize, which Heero would later replace with the XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero.
After the battle at Luxembourg Base, the abandoned Wing Gundam was captured by OZ and taken to a base on the grounds of a military hospital for repairs. There, it is equipped with booster rockets for space travel, although one engineer asked another why the Gundam needed modifications for space flight, since apparently no one could fly it. When Thirteen attempted suicide in space by taunting Zechs into firing the battleship Libra's main cannon directly at him, Lady Une suddenly awoke from a coma on Earth, took the inactive Wing Gundam, and launched into space to full speed.
Quickly switching from Wing to Bird Mode, Lady Une arrived just in time to push Thirteen's OZ-00MS2 Tallgeese II out of the attack's devastating path. Taking the full force of the beam, the Wing was almost completely disintegrated, with only its head and torso intact. Lady Une then came out of the cockpit in a spacesuit and jumped onto the Tallgeese II's hand. The Wing was never seen again after this.
Did you know?
- The initial design of the Wing Gundam was to follow the "nationality" trend of Mobile Fighter G Gundam. The Wing's design is Japanese and, according to comments from designer Kunio Okawara, is heavily based on the God Gundam. Of note, the Gundam's wings were missing from this initial design, and it wasn't until the second draft that the wings, along with its transforming ability, were added.
- Despite being the main mobile suit of Gundam Wing, the Wing has been little seen in action compared to its fellow Gundams (especially after it was rebuilt following its self-destruction in Episode 10) and has been abandoned by its own pilot several times.
- The Wing was the only Gundam of the five original Gundams to never receive an upgrade during the series, it being replaced by its prototype, the Wing Zero.
- The only character in the series to refer to the Wing Gundam by name was Thirteen (in episode 46), with most of the others calling it either "Zero-One" or "Gundam 01," the name given to it. given by OZ, while Heero himself has only ever referred to it as "my Mobile Suit" or "my Gundam" (although he refers to the Wing by name in the original manga adaptation from the Serie).
- Story differences for the Wing Gundam in the original manga adaptation of the anime include:
- After crashing into the Pacific Ocean, Heero recovers the Wing immediately after his first encounter with Relena thanks to Duo's timely intervention.
- The Winf's self-destruct occurs at New Edwards Base instead of Siberia.
- Heero used the rebuilt Wing rather than the Heavyarms during his duel against Zchs in Antarctica.
- In the Kingdom of Sanc, Heero used the Wing to save Relena from a group of Virgos.
- Quatre briefly used the Wing to stop Heero when he piloted the Epyon for the first time.
- Heero abandons the Wing during the final battle at the Kingdom of Sanc rather than Luxembourg, he simply leaves it behind in the hangar and soon after trades the Epyon for the Wing Zero with Zechs.