Design & Development
The instruction manual of the Gerbera Tetra model displayed the following plot to depict how the unit came to be. As part of its military reconstruction following the One Year War, the Earth Federation Forces began its Gundam Development Project, the goal was to produce new Gundam-series mobile suit prototypes to test new technology and concepts. The intended fourth unit in this GP series was the RX-78GP04G Gundam "Gerbera". It was designed around the Principality of Zeon's tactic of performing high speed assault with Mobile Suits, which proved successful against the Federation in the One Year War, as the Federation forces had little to no time to respond to the attack. The Federation recognized this as a superior tactic, and sought to produce Mobile Suits to do the same in return.
However, the "Gerbera" never saw the light of day as its goal conflicted with its brother unit, the RX-78GP01 Gundam "Zephyranthes" which was upgrade-able for space combat, so it made no sense financially or tactically to produce two Mobile Suits to do the similar task. In the end, the "Zephyranthes" and its modular system was chosen over the "Gerbera" and its general purpose design, and Anaheim Electronics was left with a half-completed prototype of the RX-78GP04G. The division within Anaheim Electronics that produced the "Gebera" was created from the Zeonic Company (which still had strong loyalty to Zeon) and was approached by the Delaz Fleet. By request, the division revised the design of the "Gerbera", and produced the AGX-04 Gerbera Tetra.
The Gerbera Tetra features a simple armament, consisting of four 110mm machine guns, two mounted in each forearm, two beam sabers for melee combat, and a beam machine gun, a beam weapon with a much higher rate of firepower than standard beam rifles. The Gerbera Tetra can be equipped with an optional stürm booster on its back, which despite increasing the overall mass, dramatically increases the suit's speed and flight range.
- 110mm Machine Cannon
- The Gerbera Tetra is equipped with four 110mm machine cannons, two mounted on each forearm. They are much stronger than the vulcan guns mounted in the head of the Gundam and GM-type mobile suits, and combined with their excellent rate of fire, they are extremely effective in mid-close range mobile suit combat.
- Beam Saber
- The beam saber is a small cylindrical device held in the mobile suit's hands when deployed and is powered by a rechargeable energy capacitor. It emits high-energy Minovsky particles to form a blade-shaped I-field (via manipulation of electromagnetic fields), and then fills this I-field shell with superheated Minovsky particle plasma to produce an effective cutting blade. The beam saber is capable of cutting through any armor not treated with anti-beam coating. The Gerbera Tetra has two beam sabers stored in the sides of its thighs.
- X-04 Beam Machine Gun
- The beam machine gun operates on similar principles as a beam rifle, but it breaks down the concentrated mega particles so that it fired a burst of smaller less powerful beams instead of a single large coherent beam. Each individual beam in a burst was less powerful than the coherent beam from most other beam rifles, however because of the immense power in standard beams this was an issue of little importance. The burst did allow for a spread of beams, similar to a beam spray gun, allowing for a greater chance of hitting a target, yet holds the same range as a regular beam rifle. Because the beam machine gun will overheat from constant use, it was equipped with an automatic cooling mechanism.
- Stürm Booster
- An optional equipment, it is a combination of propellant tank and vernier thrusters. The Stürm Booster allows the Gerbera Tetra to reach the front line quickly without using any of the mobile suit's own propellant. It is purged once the mobile suit reaches its destination.
- Ejectable External Propellant Tanks
- The Stürm Booster can be equipped with two additional propellant tanks to increase the flight range. They can be purged once empty.
In UC 0083, the Delaz Fleet launched Operation Stardust, an uprising against the Federation. Anaheim Electronics, while supporting the Federation, also offered to support Aiguille Delaz. Vice-President O'Sullivan then gave the completed Gerbera Tetra to Lieutenant Colonel Cima Garahau as a political gesture.
Some say that branch of the Earth Federation, which later developed into Titans, cancelled the development in order to provide this mobile suit to the spy Cima Garahau in secret. Although highly possible, no actual record could be traced to support this argument. During the last stages of Operation Stardust, Cima was killed and the Gerbera Tetra destroyed by Federation pilot Kou Uraki, piloting the RX-78GP03D Gundam "Dendrobium Orchis", when Kou impaled the Tetra on the end of its beam cannon and blasted the suit in half.
- AGX-04 Gerbera Tetra Kirara Custom
- A customized Gerbera Tetra Gunpla operated by Gunpla Idol Kirara, it features a pink color scheme and retains all of the Gerbera Tetra's standard armaments. The first unit was built by Kirara's fans, while Kirara herself built another after her loss in the Gunpla tournament. This second unit seems to be identical to the first, except that it has a modified head unit where the antenna is located on the centre of the forehead like the commander antenna found on some Zeon's MS.
Notes & Trivia
- "Gerbera" refers to the genus of the sunflower plant, which is named after German botanist Traugott Gerber.
- "Tetra" is ancient Greek for the number "four".