The Gryps Conflict sees the introduction of many new experimental mobile suit technologies. Anti-Earth Union Group pilot Kamille Bidan, being a mobile suit design hobbyist, begins designing a next-generation mobile suit for himself. With the aid of AEUG chief mechanic Astonaige Medoz, Kamille's design so impresses the engineers at Anaheim Electronics that they volunteer to build the suit for him under the flag of the AEUG's "Project Zeta." Initial tests occur on a non-transformable version, the MSZ-006-X1 Prototype Zeta Gundam X1. Called the MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam ("Z" being read as the Greek "zeta"), this unit represents many of the changes in mobile suit design philosophies occurring at the time.
Inspired by the RX-178 Gundam Mark II's "movable frame" design, the Zeta Gundam is also built around a movable frame capable of transforming the mobile suit into a fighter-like form called a "waverider." This VMSAWRS (Variable Mobile Suit and WaveRider System) unit not only gives the Zeta Gundam added speed and mobility in waverider mode, but also allows it to make an atmospheric re-entry from space on its own without the aid of ballute packs or other external re-entry systems. Part of the waverider mode's form is composed of "wing binders" - which have already seen experimental use in another Project Zeta design, the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki - and a "tail binder," all of which not only serve as control surfaces for the waverider in atmospheric flight, but also contain extra thrusters and work as additional "balancing limbs" in mobile suit mode.
The Zeta Gundam's armament is fairly standard, composed of head vulcan guns, a beam rifle and a pair of beam sabers which double as forward-firing beam guns in waverider mode. However, the Zeta Gundam has an additional edge with its bio-sensor - a device developed by Anaheim in an attempt to build a smaller-scale, more economical psycommu system. Though the exact nature of the bio-sensor is unknown, its primary purpose is to allow a Newtype pilot to more easily interface with his mobile suit. The bio-sensor can also have a rather surprising side effect when the pilot is mentally and emotionally focused enough (usually when angry or upset) to cause the bio-sensor to amplify the power, speed and strength of the mobile suit for a short period of time. Kamille's strong emotions create this effect on more than one occasion - turning the Zeta Gundam into a truly unstoppable force when the Newtype pilot is mad enough.
The Zeta Gundam is delivered to the AEUG flagship carrier Argama in mid-UC 0087, where it serves as a frontline assault unit in the AEUG's war against the corrupt Titans. At the same time, Anaheim begins producing the simplified Zeta Plus series for AEUG's Earth-based support organization, Karaba. Following the end of the Gryps Conflict, the Zeta Gundam remains in service for another year, as the AEUG immediately finds itself plunged into the First Neo Zeon War and fighting for its very survival. Though Kamille is mentally incapacitated at the end of the Gryps Conflict, the Zeta Gundam finds itself in other hands, operated by the AEUG's various new pilots, including the equally powerful Newtype youth Judau Ashta. When inexperienced Judau uses the Zeta Gundam in a space battle with Mashymre Cello's AMX-103 Hamma-Hamma, the result is that the Zeta Gundam gets its head blown off. With no replacement head available, Judau's friend Iino Abbav decides to use the head of an old MS-06F Zaku II salvaged in space by Judau. This strange field modification earns it the nickname "Zeta Zaku." This field repair is used only once in battle until a replacement head can be built. The Zeta Gundam remains in service until the end of that war when it is critically damaged during a battle inside the Neo Zeon asteroid base Axis. The Zeta Gundam's design serves as the inspiration for several later Federation Forces units, including the RGZ-91 Re-GZ (from UC 0093's Second Neo Zeon War) and the RGZ-95 ReZEL (from UC 0096's Laplace Incident).
info from mecha domain