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Mobile Suit Gundam and all its spinoffs

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Post by Grebo Guru » Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:24 am

Being good friends with Mark Simmons, Im lucky enough to have a copy of the entire Gundam Project site's contents. From this archive:

---------------

Mafty Mobile Suit
RX-105 Xi Gundam
Pilot / Hassaway Noa

In UC 0105, more than a decade after Char Aznable's defeat, the resistance organization known as "Mafty" continues the fight against the increasingly corrupt and tyrannical Earth Federation. Mafty's ultimate goal is to complete humanity's migration into space, but its tactic of choice is old-fashioned terrorism and political assassination, using its handful of mobile suits to target Federation ministers directly. To counter the Federation's security forces, Mafty commissions Anaheim Electronics to develop a state-of-the-art mobile suit for its leader - Hassaway Noa, the son of a famous Federation officer.

The Xi Gundam's signature feature is its ability to fly in Earth's atmosphere without the use of a support craft, thanks to its Minovsky craft system - a lift-generating technology previously installed only in warships and huge mobile armors. The Xi Gundam is also equipped with a psycommu system, allowing Hassaway to control its guided "funnel missiles." With a powerful beam rifle, a pair of back-mounted beam sabers, and missile pods in its knees and forearms, Hassaway's Gundam has heavy firepower as well as unparalleled mobility. As the last Gundam produced prior to the downscaling of mobile suits in the second UC century, the Xi Gundam represents a pinnacle of size and power that will never again be duplicated.

The original version of the Xi Gundam, as shown in the Hassaway's Flash novels, was created by mecha designer Yasuhiro Moriki. The design was recently revamped for the SD Gundam G Generation video game series. The illustration shown here is primarily based on the G Generation version, but I've retained a few details of the head, chest, and beam sabers from Moriki's original design.

Model number / RX-105
Standard armament /
  beam saber x 2
  beam rifle x 1
  missile launcher x 4
  funnel missiles

---------------

RX-104FF Penelope
Pilot / Rein Eim

In April of UC 0105, with the Mafty organization waging a campaign of political assassination in Australia and Oceania, a new commander takes charge of the Federation's anti-Mafty taskforce. Colonel Kenneth Sleg, formerly assigned to weapons research and development, reorganizes the taskforce into the "Circe Unit." The Circe Unit's backbone is one of the products of Kenneth's own research: The Penelope, a huge mobile suit equipped with a Minovsky craft system for high-speed atmospheric flight. Co-developed by Anaheim Electronics, the Penelope is functionally almost identical to Mafty's Xi Gundam, a coincidence which comes as a shock to both sides in the conflict.

Like the Xi Gundam, the Penelope is armed with a beam rifle and racks of psycommu-guided funnel missiles. Its forearm shields house built-in beam sabers for close combat, and the long boom that juts out over its head contains a set of vulcan guns. The Penelope can reconfigure itself into a dragon-like high-speed flight mode, in which the mono-eye housed in its elongated chest armor becomes its primary sensor. While the Penelope itself is an equal match for the Xi Gundam, the recklessness and inexperience of its test pilot - artificial newtype Rein Eim - put it at a slight disadvantage in actual combat.

The original version of the Penelope, as shown in the Hassaway's Flash novels, was created by mecha designer Yasuhiro Moriki. The design was recently revamped for the SD Gundam G Generation video game series. The illustration shown here reflects the G Generation version, rather than Moriki's original design.

Model number / RX-104FF
Standard armament /
  beam saber x 2
  beam rifle x 1
  vulcan gun x 4
  missile launchers
  funnel missiles

---------------

You'll note there is not mention of Funnels other than "Funnel Missiles".

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Post by Tachyon » Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:56 pm

Do you think it would be ok if I used some of this information in my Hathaway's Flash section?
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Post by Grebo Guru » Mon Sep 13, 2004 5:10 pm

Tachyon wrote:Do you think it would be ok if I used some of this information in my Hathaway's Flash section?
Sure! When Mark shut down his site, I do believe he said that he was releasing all the text from the site to the public domain...

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Post by Grebo Guru » Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:38 pm

OK, so Ive been really "into" Gundam lately. (I tend to fluctuate a lot between different areas - Gundam, Virtual On, Iron Man, Zoids, Macross, Cyberpunk, Superheroes, Transformers, and then back all over again.) So, this subject has been very interesting to me...
AslanCross wrote:IMO, the NT supertechnology ended with Char's Counterattack--it seems that Funnels went out of use after that.
Mostly, yes... but not entirely. There were of course some more Newtype gizmos scattered here and there.

However, by and large you are right. Char's Counterattack was the last animated Gundam project to focus heavily on Newtype-related MS supertech.
AslanCross wrote:Then there's the Psycoframe, which is basically millions of microscopic biosensors that are embedded into the cockpit frame. (At least that's how it was described to me). The Psycoframe ended up producing a really strange and widespread phenomenon (see the ending of the movie) that basically saved the earth. Also, if you read the novel, there's even more strange NT stuff that happens there.
Yeah, the Psychoframe was pretty much the ultimate Newtype supertech "plot device" -- as far as I can tell, it could do pretty much whatever the writers wanted it to. Ive never seen a hard explanation of what the hell it actully DOES, and I think that was deliberate.
AslanCross wrote:Anyway, there are a couple of reasons I think NT technology went out of use:
I'm of the opinion that NTtech fell out of favor with Tomino and other writers. (In fact, Newtypes in general have largely fallen out of favor with him.) However, Im curious to see what you've got.
AslanCross wrote:-Wartime conventions after Char's Counterattack banned them. The same thing happened between Gundam SEED and SEED:Destiny--N-Jammer Cancellers and Mirage Colloid were banned. Wartime conventions are opportunities for governments to enact their paranoia of each other. They see how dangerous N-Jammer Cancellers can get (because they can make nukes work), so they ban them to level the playing field. The same may be true for NT technology.
Mmm, true. It would actually make a great deal of sense for NTtech to be banned. After all, Newtypes are supposed to be the next glorious step in human evolution... harbingers of a human race that has conscious access to the mass unconscious, etc. It seems awfully petty, shortsighted, and downright twisted to use them as "super-soldiers".
AslanCross wrote:-Budget cuts. Anaheim Electronics can't afford to produce them anymore, so they go back to basics. Notice that after Hathaway's Flash, Gundams become small again. (Gundams like ZZ, Nu and Xi were all above 20 meters, while from F90 to Victory they were all only around 15 meters.)
OK, first of all, a pet peeve: the mecha in the Gundam universe are called Mobile Suits, not "Gundams". A "Gundam" is particular kind of Mobile Suit. It would be like calling all fighter planes F-14s. Anyway.

Actually, the reason for downsizing the size of all Mobile Suits was not a budgetary issue, it was a matter of efficiency. When SNRI became the Federation's new favorite MS design group, their recommendation that MSs be downscaled was put into effect across the board. Smaller, and MUCH lighter MSs could be faster, more energy-efficient, and more maneuverable.

(Of course, MSs eventually went back to their bigger, heavier original format anyway... if Gaia-Gear and G-Saviour are any indication.)

Now, to the subject of budget cuts eliminating NTtech... Im not so sure. The Federation was sitting pretty for 30 years after Char's Counterattack, with no wars or anything. I think they probably had plenty of money. And then there is the opposition to think about; the Crossbone Vaguard were rich as hell (being led by the ultra-wealthy and influential Buffo Concern), yet they eschewed NTtech almost completely. Same goes for the Zanscare Empire; they succeeded in taking over the whole Earth and actually did use a limited amount of NTtech.

Anyway, I guess Im saying that I dont buy budget cuts as the reason for the disappearance of NTtech.
AslanCross wrote:From a writer's point of view, I guess they just got tired of the whole NT thing and decided to let it play second fiddle. There's still some NT-related technology in F91 (such as the Biocomputer) but it isn't as played up as during the Z-CCA era.
True, true. The Biocomputer seemed to be an advanced version of the Biosensor to me, but I may be wrong. But yeah, I agree with you that I think the writers (most notably Tomino) became uncomfortable with Newtypes and NTtech for a two main reasons:

(1) Out-of-control escalation. By the end of Gundam ZZ, NTtech was so out of control that the Gundam franchise as a whole was suffering from "Dragon Ball" syndrome. It was becoming difficult to make NTtech any more powerful. The constant escalation had reached a kind of crescendo, making it hard to tell a decent story for all the flashy newtype craziness eclipsing everything else. So, stepping back from that sort of thing became necessary.

(2) Tomino has said that his feelings on the matter of Newtypes and human destiny have changed; no superbeings are gonna evolve out of nowhere and solve all our problems/fight all our wars for us. Humans should have to save themselves -- and to follow up on that theme, Newtypes need to be downplayed.

So there you go. That's my take on it. I must confess, I miss all the crazy NTtech stuff. Were I to do my own Gundam story, Id definitely put a lot of that stuff back in...

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Post by Tachyon » Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:45 pm

This has been a big concern of mine in U.C. Gundam stories. Tomino and the others put Newtypes into Gundam right back in '78. It's part of the setting/story/universe they created. To step back now and say, "I changed my mind" is so arbitrary and fickle that it bugs me. As the saying goes, "You made your bed. Now lay in it."

I'm just stating my opinion here and I'm sure lots of people will disagree with me. But I think there are plenty of Gundam fans who would agree. The over-the-top Newtype technology of ZZ Gundam doesn't have to spoil anything. Char's Counterattack had Newtypes and I thought it was good. The green flashy lights at the end of the movie that saved the Earth was a little far-fetched for me but I was able to go with it.

I think there are ways to keep the bulk of Newtype advances in Z and ZZ Gundam in future stories without getting silly or jeapardizing good plots. If I had a hand in writing a Gundam TV series that happened after ZZ Gundam or Char's Counterattack in the UC timeline I'd definitely put Newtype tech in but I would be careful not to let it get out of hand.

Another thing is, by the time of Char's Counterattack humanity as a whole should have publicly acknowledged Newtypes and began to discuss what they are and what they would mean to humanity. That's pretty lofty wording but I think you get what I mean. Authorities would start discussing laws about Newtypes, setting up agencies to find them. People would discuss it in the news and on talk shows. This kind of thing should be included - and I think good writers could do it without bogging down the show with too much philosophy and sociology that would bore the audience.

In short, Newtype talents and technology are not just an integral part of UC Gundam but a good part. A part that should be included in future Gundam shows. Trying to ignore it or explain away its absence is a disservice to fans.
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Post by Grebo Guru » Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:24 pm

Tachyon wrote:In short, Newtype talents and technology are not just an integral part of UC Gundam but a good part. A part that should be included in future Gundam shows. Trying to ignore it or explain away its absence is a disservice to fans.
Amen, Tachyon. I couldn't agree more.

Interesting note 1:
There are no Newtypes in Turn-A Gundam. (I like this show, do don't get me wrong, but thats neither here nor there.) Turn-A Gundam as written by Tomino, the creator of Newtypes and *almost* the only person to use them in Gundam animation. Turn-A is supposed to include all the various parallel-universe Gundam stories as part of its past. So, when asked why there are no Newtypes in Turn-A, Tomino has said that, at least in Turn-A's "universe", Newtypes were an aberration, a momentary flash in the evolutionary pan. Im not saying I like this, Im just saying its what Tomino said.

Interesting note 2:
There are Newtypes in Gundam X (an awful awful show, but again that is neither here nor there). It is NOT a Tomino show. However, in it, the hero is NOT a Newtype, and he patently refuses to allow humanity's destiny to be decided by some minority of supposedly "genetically evolved" people. He insists that humanity has an obligation and a right to see to its own future. I think this is a very cool sentiment, but that does not mean I wanted it to be the nail in the Newtypes coffin that it is.

Interesting note 3:
There are Newtypes, and clones, and funnels, and other NTtech in Gaia-Gear, which happens in UC 0203 or so. However, it was written at around the same time as ZZ and Char's Counterattack.

Interesting note 4:
There are NO Newtypes in G-Saviour, which happens in UC 0223. (The farthest-along officially dated material in the U.C.) Of course, there is never a mention of the word "Gundam" in it either, so take that as you will...

Interesting note 5:
Newtypes were not an issue at all in Gundam 0080, Gundam 0083, nor 08th MS Team. This is one of the many reasons why I feel these shows are not quite "authentic" Gundam stories -- especially not U.C. Gundam stories. I mean, I realize theres always got to be plenty of non-Newtype activity going on in

Anyway, I agree with you, Tachyon. I would really like to see a new Gundam story which happens in the U.C., involves Newtypes, and addresses NT supertech. Like you, I feel it can be done well if done careefully, creatively, and intelligently. Hoepfully some producers in Japan feel the same...

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Psycommu

Post by Kuruni » Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:46 pm

Well...about the lack of NT technology in later UC series...I believe it's something to do with size of psycommu system...

I mean...we known that original psycommu system is very huge...MAN-08 Elmeth is 47.7 meters height and has length of 85.4 meters. When Axis develope MSN-08 Prototype Qubeley, it become MS with 25 meters tall. Pretty big.

Though it look like they manage to compact psycommu system to fit in 18.9 meters of AMX-004 Qubeley. By the time of CCA, smallest MS with psycommu weapon is 20.5 meters AMS-120X Geara Doga Psycommu System Test Type, and it name suggest us as experimental unit.

Now the war against Old Mobile Army prove how effective compact MS like 14.3 meters F71 G-Cannon is. It can give a match to those RF series while normal size Jegan not even stand a chance. Now...correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that they never think of develope smaller version of psycommu system that can fit in these tiny MS...

Off-topic. Abit of interesting note, it turn out that neo psycommu system use by XMA-01 Raflessia is base on psycommu system that installed in Neo Zeon's NZ-333 Alpha Aziel...As said in gundamproject.com about XMA-02 Ebihru Doga...
After the defeat of Char Aznable's Neo Zeon in UC 0093, the victorious Earth Federation contracted the professional scavengers of the Buffo Conzern to clean up the wreckage of Char's fleet. The Buffo Conzern's leaders examined the remains of the mobile armor Alpha Azieru with great interest, and used their findings as part of the Rafflesia Project conducted by their private army, the Crossbone Vanguard. The Ebirhu Doga, the successor to the mobile armor Rafflesia seen in Gundam F91, would have been the ultimate culmination of this project. Its wing-like containers carry a full complement of Bug killing drones
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Post by Grebo Guru » Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:10 pm

Hmmm... Not sure I buy that either... I mean, the F-91 and the Crossbone Gundam were both equipped with Biocomputer systems. This is an advanced Psychommu system which noit only reads data from the pilot's mind, but transmits feedback data to the pilot's mind as well. Plus, there's also the Vertigo from Gundam X, which is a Psychommu mobile suit armed with Funnels... that one is between classic MS size and 15m MS size.

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Beep...beep

Post by Kuruni » Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:40 pm

One thing I'm not sure...while Bio Computer can be use as psycommu system...could it be use to operate wireless weapon? (Bio Computer is meant to use for gather information, not emit the psychowave. Though I don't doubt that possibility...) Not to mention that addition pod/binder is need to store funnel, and that pod/binder must be use for refuel funnel too. We may use bit instead, but bit are usaully much bigger than funnel.

Of cause, the ultra-compact psycommu weapon is seen in Gengaozo ( 17.3 m) and Zanspine (17 m). But they're V Gundam-era MS. (And in Gengaozo's case, it has only single unit of weapon. Mean no all-range attack.) Other MS/MA are much bigger...

Abit of correction...In episode name "F91 VS Crossbone Gundam" Seabook mention that Crossbone doesn't feature Bio Computer.
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Re: Beep...beep

Post by Grebo Guru » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:35 pm

Good point. The Biocomputer is a COMPLEMENT to a Psychommu system, but a biocomputer-equipped MS does not necessarily have to have a Psychommu system.

What about the Crossbone Gundam? I cant remember if it has psychommu capabilities or not.

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