Coordinators are genetically enhanced human beings which possess a number of enhanced traits, including faster learning and stronger and faster bodies that are virtually immune to diseases. They share similarities with the Augments from Star Trek and Nietzscheans from Andromeda, as they are physically and mentally superior to baseline normal humans. Like the Augments in Star Trek, Coordinators are feared and hated by normal humans. In the case of the Augments, much of that fear stemmed from their part in the Eugenics Wars; in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, hatred and envy of Coordinators stem from their superior abilities. However, Coordinators lack the extreme ambition and aggression that characterizes the Augments and Nietzscheans.
The First Coordinator
In Cosmic Era 15, the highly respected man named George Glenn announced the shocking news that he was the first Coordinator, as he was born following a genetic manipulation procedure that ultimately resulted in a human "engineered" to be better. He disclosed the entire process to create a Coordinator to the public.
The genetic modifications that create a Coordinator had to be performed in the earliest stages of embryonic development. The Coordinator embryo was then reinserted back into its mother for gestation. These genetic enhancements are then passed on to the Coordinator's children without the need for more enhancements. When Natural parents have their children turned into Coordinators, the children are described as first-generation Coordinators, whose own children will then be second-generation Coordinators, and so forth.
Those who were born without any genetic enhancements, be they inherited from the parents or introduced during prenatal development, became known as "Naturals."
Coordinators and Naturals
For many years, after George Glenn's revelation, Coordinators remained illegal. When the ban was repealed in the CE 30's, the "Coordinator boom" started and lasted until the CE 50's. Following the rapid and widespread diffusion of Coordinators, major social unrest followed, throwing the world into chaos. Many Naturals started to oppose the Coordinators out of jealousy for their abilities, stating that they were created unnaturally. Anti-Coordinator pressure groups, most notably Blue Cosmos, labeled Coordinators as "unhuman" and declared that they had to be wiped out "for a blue and pure world."
As the major political blocs began building the space colonies, known as PLANTs, these gradually became a new home for Coordinators. The Naturals intended to make the Earth their exclusive domain, although it was not uncommon to find Coordinators and Naturals living peacefully together in nations such as the Orb Union.
By the mid-50's, the situation had deteriorated to the point that Blue Cosmos operatives were in positions of power across the Atlantic Federation, and Coordinators had largely retreated to either neutral nations like the Orb Union or into space in PLANT, where they were more than welcome.
A derogative term among Naturals for Coordinators is "Patchworker," a reference to their "patchwork" DNA.
As of CE 71, Coordinators are becoming increasingly sterile because they do not have the genetic input which Naturals possess. Additionally, this sterility only occurs in 3rd-generation Coordinators. Though PLANT scientists are busy working on a solution, there is no known cure as of the present date.
Another potential flaw of Coordinators is that there is a discrepancy between how a Coordinator fetus is intended to develop and how the child turns out in reality. In many cases, unwanted genetic traits would appear in the baby, arguably due to the inability of the mother's womb to pose as an adequate environment to support the genetic modifications.
In the early 50's, renowned scientist Professor Ulen Hibiki proposed the usage of an artificial womb to circumvent the natural womb's shortcomings. Many "prototypes" failed, including Canard Pars, the only known one to have survived, before the last and successful Ultimate Coordinator, Hibiki's son Kira Yamato, was born on May 18, CE 55. Kira grew up completely unaware of his origins until later during the First EA-PLANT War.
According to the "GG Unit", an artificial intelligence said to be derived from the memory engrams of George Glenn's brain, Coordinators have strayed from their intended purpose: to "coordinate" the next step of humanity's evolution, as the name indicates. George Glenn never intended for Coordinators to view themselves as a superior race, but in his eyes, anyone who works for the betterment of mankind is a true Coordinator, regardless of whether his genes have been enhanced or not. Unfortunately, this enlightened view is not shared by many on either side of the Earth/PLANT conflict. While some fans have suggested that the next stage of human evolution that Glenn refers to are Newtypes, he neither uses that term nor gives any details of how this next stage differs from current humans.
See Biological CPU.
SEED factor (Superior Evolutionary Element Destined-factor) is a controversial and as yet unproven theory about the continuation of human evolution. Both Coordinators and Naturals can possess "the SEED," and those who do are thought by some to be the next stage of human development. This bears some similarity to the Newtype theory of the Universal Century, but the abilities of those with SEED factor appear to be unrelated to Newtype potential. While acceptance of SEED theory is limited, Orb engineer Erica Simmons and prominent religious leader and peace activist Reverend Malchio are known adherents of the theory.
SEED mode represents the ability for an individual with the SEED factor to enter into a state of enhanced awareness and peak physical ability. While in this state, the person (usually a mobile suit pilot, but not necessarily) demonstrates heightened reflexes and extremely quick information processing. This ability is usually triggered by extreme situations or from recalling significant traumas, often arising out of a need to protect someone else in a critical situation.
It is demonstrated visually by cutting to the image of a jewel-like seed, its color matching the color of the experiencer's eyes, dropping from the above and exploding in a shower of light just above the eyes. The physical characteristics are the shrinking of the pupil and growth of the iris. When in SEED mode, a person exceeds his or her normal physical and mental limits. Andrew Waltfield once likened SEED mode to the berserkers of Norse legend, but this is not entirely accurate. While a person who enters it accidentally as a reaction to the stress of the battle often has less control, a person who can willingly enter SEED mode actually possesses an increased, not decreased, level of control.
There are, in fact, two ways that SEED mode can be activated. When a character suddenly resolves to protect his allies or to strike down his enemies during battle, SEED mode is shown as a falling seed which bounces once and explodes. However, if a character has entered battle with a particular resolve, he may trigger SEED mode at will, and it is instead represented as a spinning seed which explodes in a vertical nova. A character's state of mind when he enters SEED mode appears amplified. Entering it through the first way, in response to the stress of battle, is most commonly (but not always) caused by anger or rage; in such cases, those who enter it this way subsequently fight with little or no regard for anything else but slaughtering their enemies (this is especially true in the case of Shinn Asuka). On the other hand, those who enter it the second way display an increased amount of mental control.
Kira Yamato and Cagalli Yula Athha originally entered SEED mode via the first method, though Kira attained the ability to use the second method shortly after he was beaten by Athrun, once he had received the ZGMF-X10A Freedom and had decided what it was he needed to fight for.
In the Second Battle of Jachin Due during the first war, Lacus Clyne may have entered SEED mode after a long philosophical soliloquy about the nature of warfare and death. During the Battle of Messiah in the second war, Lacus sensed Kira and was in SEED mode yet again.
Shinn Asuka, the only new pilot in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny to achieve the SEED mode, always uses the first method in response to his anger to both his tragic past and the horrors of the war. While his skills are improved to the point that he can defeat SEED users using the second method, his anger when using it can cause him to make errors in his judgement. However after joining forces with Kira and Athrun it is unclear if he can now use the second method as they can and his potential while using it is also unknown.
SEED mode can only be entered by characters who can commit themselves fully to a battle for some strong reason. For this reason, Athrun Zala and Cagalli Yula Athha have both been unable to demonstrate their SEED abilities in earlier parts of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, due to Athrun's doubts about whether ZAFT is really justified to fight this war and Cagalli's reservations about whether her interventionism is the best way to protect Orb from the war. Kira Yamato, however, has been able to activate his SEED mode at will all throughout Destiny, because he is motivated to protect his friends (and indeed, the entire world) from aggressive powers.
Some fans who are new to the SEED universe think that only Coordinators have SEED abilities, which often leads them to wonder if Cagalli Yula Athha is actually a Coordinator. The explanation for this common mistake is that the writers have a preference for Coordinators and similar individuals; this is also the reason why almost every important pilot in the series is either a Coordinator, a Newtype, or an Extended. Hence, Cagalli is apparently the only Natural pilot with SEED abilities. Cagalli's genetic type is never fully explored in the first place. While Lord Uzumi clearly states that she is a Natural and it would appear in the flashbacks that her biological mother is pregnant with her (indicating she was to be born without genetic enhancements, whereas Kira developed in an artificial womb), it is possible that, since she is Kira's twin, she may have undergone some genetic enhancement, though this is highly unlikely.
While the actual term is never used in Cosmic Era canon, certain characters display the traits of Newtypes, a concept borrowed from the Universal Century timeline of Gundam. In SEED, Newtypes have extremely high degrees of spatial awareness, almost a sixth sense of sorts. They are also capable of sensing other Newtypes, and when this happens, a white bolt typically flashes across the screen with an accompanying sound effect, a phenomena referred to as a "Newtype Flash." Newtypes also have slight precognitive abilities, allowing them an advantage in combat by being able to predict their opponent's moves; however, such predictions were not always precise. Some Cosmic Era Newtypes also appear to have Telepathy, the ability to transmit and receive psychic messages, as Prayer Reverie and Morgan Chevalier display in Gundam SEED X Astray, but it is still unknown if this ability is unique to these two individuals or can be used by all Newtypes.
In Gundam SEED, Mu La Flaga and Rau Le Creuset were implied to be Newtypes from the very beginning, and after the series ended, director Mitsuo Fukuda explicitly identified them as having been Newtypes. Flaga used his abilities to pilot a Moebius Zero mobile armor, which has four remotely controlled wired gunbarrels he can use to set up a multivector attack. Creuset later became the pilot of the ZGMF-X13A Providence, a mobile suit equipped with the DRAGOON System, which used multiple beam weapon pods to attack from many directions simultaneously. Creuset and Flaga were able to sense each other any time they were within a certain proximity of one another. After Flaga's "death," Kira Yamato also seemed to develop slight Newtype abilities and was able to sense Creuset's presence and eventually defeat him.
In Gundam SEED X Astray, Reverie displays the ability to sense incoming attacks, as shown in his first battle against Canard Pars, and also used the DRAGOON-controlled "Pristis" beam cannon/scissor anchors mounted on his YMF-X000A Dreadnought, as well as the later-installed DRAGOON pods. He was also able to sense that Chevalier was under attack and telepathically communicated with the latter, even though Reverie could not actually see Chevalier engaged in combat. Chevalier was able to use a GAT-01A1 105 Dagger equipped with the AQM/E-X04 Gunbarrel Striker, which featured improved versions of the gunbarrels found in the Moebius Zero. Chevalier was indicated to be the only Alliance pilot capable of operating the Gunbarrel Striker. He also was able to receive a telepathic message from Reverie which probably saved his life against Pars.
In Gundam SEED Destiny, Rey Za Burrel had a Newtype reaction to Neo Lorrnoke, the two of them forming a short-lived rivalry. Rey has been shown throughout the series to have a strange connection to Creuset, and was revealed in the end to be another clone of Al Da Flaga, making him Creuset's "younger brother" in a sense. Lorrnoke was later revealed to be Flaga, who miraculously survived the destruction of the GAT-X105 Strike at the end of Gundam SEED. Rey became pilot of the ZGMF-X666S Legend, a mobile suit which greatly resembled the ZGMF-X13A Providence; Lorrnoke often piloted the mobile armor TS-MA4F Exus, which bore similarities to the Moebius Zero, and later piloted the ORB-01 Akatsuki, which can be equipped with DRAGOONs.
In Gundam SEED Destiny Astray, Courtney Hieronimus, a civilian test pilot employed by ZAFT, is revealed to have been the original test pilot of the YMF-X000A Dreadnought and can control its DRAGOON system. Though it is implied that only a Newtype can operate the original DRAGOON system, in his on-panel appearances Courtney never displays any overtly Newtype-like abilities.
Kira Yamato, as has previously been mentioned, was able to sense Creuset's presence after Flaga was "killed." In Gundam SEED Destiny, during a battle between ZAFT and a combined EAF-Orb fleet, he has a Newtype reaction to Neo Lorrnoke, who was commanding the Earth Alliance forces from on board the carrier John Paul Jones. Later, when the Earth Alliance was attacking Berlin, Kira was again able to sense Lorrnoke, who was piloting a GAT-04 Windam at the time. It is implied that Kira subconsciously knew that Lorrnoke was Flaga, and he disabled his mobile suit so the Archangel could capture him (while Kira usually disables enemy mobile suits rather than destroying them, this is the only instance where he asks the Archangel crew to retrieve a downed pilot). Later, after "Lorrnoke" denies being Flaga, Kira remains convinced that the two men are one and the same. Soon after that, Kira exhibits a Newtype Flash after launching in the ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom for the first time and activating the suit's DRAGOON weapons. These all suggest the sensory abilities of a Newtype. Kira and Rey were also able to sense each other during the final battle between the ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom and the ZGMF-X666S Legend. During their battle, Rey also mentions that he was created as a "prototype" of sorts to Kira, and that both of them have no place in the world Durandal is trying to create with the Destiny Plan. It is speculated that this suggests that Al Da Flaga's Newtype DNA was used in Dr. Hibiki's Ultimate Coordinator project. This would explain the connection between Kira, Canard, Rey, Rau, Prayer, and Mu.
The list of possible Newtypes in Gundam SEED/SEED Destiny/SEED Astray are as follows:
- Al Da Flaga, Sr.
- Rau Le Creuset (aka Al Da Flaga, Jr., cloned son of Al Da Flaga, Sr.)
- Mu La Flaga (aka Neo Lorrnoke)
- Rey Za Burrel (Al Da Flaga clone)
- Morgan Chevalier
- Prayer Reverie (clone of unknown Moebius Zero pilot)
- Kira Yamato
- Courtney Hieronimus
- Charles Kane (Moebius Zero pilot)
- Winters (Moebius Zero pilot)
- Lindgren (Moebius Zero pilot)
Carbon Human is another type of human beside Coordinators and Naturals that appear in Cosmic Era. They were created from data on individuals possessed by Librarian Works, these are specific people who can be recreated limitlessly. Like a "carbon copy", these are "similar but differing replications," and so are called "Carbon Humans." They are not clones, but are created from the implanting of specific DNA and memories into someone else. Depending on the DNA used, this technology produces a result similar to Coordinators. Using this technology, it is also possible to resurrect someone who has already died. However, how much the Carbon Human resembles the original person is something which depends on the data on the individual which Librarian possesses, and Carbon Humans cannot be created from people on whom there is insufficient information.