Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Duel Gundam is the earliest unit to be developed in the Earth Alliance's G Project series of prototype MS. It is designed to be a general-purpose machine that has well-balanced performance, and also serves as a development base for the other MS in the project.
The armament of the Duel is rather simple and consists of two head-mounted "Igelstellung" 75mm multi-barrel CIWS guns, which would later become standard weaponry on most suits to shoot down incoming missiles and close enemy units. For close combat, the suit features two beam sabers, which are stored on the backpack and hand carried when in use. For ranged combat, the Duel uses a 57mm high-energy beam rifle with an attached 175mm grenade launcher. For defense, the suit mounts a single physical shield. Duel also has a rail bazooka as optional weapon, but it was taken and used by MBF-P01 Astray Gold Frame to escape from Heliopolis. As with the other suits developed under the G Project, the Duel was equipped with the new Phase Shift armor, making it nearly impervious to shell firing weapons.
After being stolen by ZAFT and damaged in battle, the suit is upgraded with the Assault Shroud armor, which is based on similar equipment used by GINN and CGUE. The Assault Shroud is a set of ejectable equipment mounted around the Duel’s body to enhance overall combat performance. It adds a "Shiva" 115mm railgun to the right shoulder and a 220mm 5-barrel missile pod to the left shoulder for additional firepower. Although the equipment worked well in space, it performs poorly under gravity due to its bulk.
- "Igelstellung'"75mm Multi-barrel CIWS
- Mounted in the Duel's head are two "Igelstellung" 75mm multi-barrel CIWS guns. Although it is classified as an anti-air weapon, these light projectile weapons can be used to intercept missiles and to destroy lightly armored vehicles.
- Beam Saber
- Mounted in the backpack, these are the primary close combat weapons and can slice through any armor that does not have an anti-beam coating.
- 57mm High-energy Beam Rifle
- An optional armament, it is the suit's main ranged combat weapon and has a single-shot grenade launcher under the barrel. The beam rifle can easily destroy a ZGMF-1017 GINN with one shot, but is mostly ineffective against armor with anti-beam coating. It is mounted on the side skirt armor when not in use. The same beam rifle is later used by other mobile suits.
- 175mm Grenade Launcher
- Fitted underneath the barrel of the beam rifle. It did not see much use, but could presumably fire a variety of grenades although it is a single-use weapon.
- 350mm "Gáe Bulg" Rail bazooka
- A projectile weapon that uses electromagnetic forces to launch the projectile. Originally developed for the Duel Gundam, it was taken for use by the Astray Gold Frame.
- "Shiva" 115mm Railgun
- Mounted on the right shoulder of the Assault Shroud armor, this weapon uses electromagnetic forces to launch the projectile.
- 220mm 5-barrel Missile Pod
- Mounted on the left shoulder of the Assault Shroud armor, it is similar to those on the Buster.
- An optional piece of equipment designed to increase the Duel's defensive capability, it is mounted on the left forearm and/or handheld. The shield does not have phase shift armor, so it is not as durable as the Duel's armor, however it also does not drain energy each time it is hit. The shield's major advantage is that it is anti-beam coated and can block or deflect beam weapon attacks, against which phase shift armor is ineffective. The same shield is also used by Strike Gundam, and other mobile suits.
Special Equipment & Features
- As with all of the G Project mobile suits, the GAT-X102 Duel is equipped with phase shift armor. When activated the Duel's color is changed from a light grey to a blue and white scheme with a bit of orange mixed in. Phase Shift armor, when activated, renders the Duel immune to physical attacks such as bullets, the GINN sword, or against missiles. However Phase Shift armor continually drains the battery of energy, shortening the mobile suit's combat endurance, and uses up additional energy when it is hit.
- Assault Shroud
- A ZAFT manufactured add-on, built for the Duel after it was damaged in combat. It increases the otherwise plain Gundam's battle effectiveness by granting it extra armor and new weapons like the "Shiva" Railgun and a Missile Pod, increasing its firepower and range greatly. It also contains additional vernier thrusters to enhance Duel's mobility in space and offset some of the added weight. However, the latter is effective only in space and the extra bulk still hinders the Duel's movement when under gravity. If a lethal or heavily damaging strike is suffered, the Assault Shroud can be detached, and the Duel Gundam can still fight using its basic form and weaponry.
The Duel was the first mobile suit developed under the Earth Alliance's G Project during the opening months of the First Alliance-PLANT War. The suit served as a testbed for the GAT-X103 Buster Gundam, GAT-X105 Strike Gundam, GAT-X207 Blitz Gundam, & GAT-X303 Aegis Gundam and was the first mobile suit ever to be equipped with Phase Shift armor. On January 25, CE 71, the Duel was stolen from Morgenroete, Inc.'s Heliopolis facility by ZAFT mobile suit pilot, Yzak Joule.
Yzak then used his suit together with his comrades piloting the other stolen suits, to pursue the Archangel on its way to Earth. During the pursuit, Yzak fought the Strike piloted by Kira Yamato several times and also took part in severely damaging the Eurasian Federation space fortress Artemis. Eventually, the Duel was outmaneuvered by the Strike and suffered a severely damaged arm in one instance and a penetrating hit to the cockpit in another, which caused the scar to Yzak's face. After these battles, the Duel was equipped with a 34.37 ton armor system called the Assault Shroud, which it continued to use until the end of the war.
When the Archangel descended down to Earth, Yzak and his suit continued to fight against the ship, first as part of Andrew Waltfeld's team and later together with his comrades from a Vosgulov-class. Despite several battles, the team was never able to destroy the Archangel and instead lost their friend Nicol Amalfi, pilot of the Blitz, in battle against the Strike.
The Duel also took part in the disastrous Operation Spit Break, the attack on the EA's JOSH-A base, as well as the successful attack on the Panama Spaceport. Even after the Alliance introduced their first mass-produced mobile suit GAT-01 Strike Dagger, the Duel still proved highly effective in combat and frequently racked up admirable kill counts of these suits.
Yzak and his Duel eventually returned to space and took part among others, the battle around the Mendel colony and the later battles around the PLANT homeland. He also fought in the Second Battle of Jachin Due, the last battle of the war, during which he defended the PLANTs against the Earth Alliance nuclear attack. It was also during this battle that he destroyed the GAT-X252 Forbidden, by sacrificing the Assault Shroud as a decoy. Yzak later helped his friend Dearka Elsman in battle against the GAT-X370 Raider, which he destroyed by using the Buster's hyper impulse long-range sniper rifle as the Duel's beam rifle was destroyed earlier. Duel and Buster were later picked up by Archangel. Yzak and Duel later headed out using the Strike's spare shield and rifle to protect the Archangel as the ship joins up with the Eternal and Kusanagi. After the war ended, the Duel is apparently decommissioned, along with its 'brother' unit, the Buster.
The Earth Alliance eventually created several variants of the Duel. The first unit was the GAT-01D Long Dagger, which was later put into mass production as the ace-use GAT-01D1 Duel Dagger. Both of these suits could optionally use a so-called Fortresta mode, which is similar to the Duel's Assault Shroud armor. After the war, as part of the "Actaeon Project" MS development plan, another Duel Gundam was re-manufactured and piloted by Phantom Pain pilot, Mudie Holcroft. The unit was later modified into the GAT-X1022 Blu Duel Gundam.
- Appearing in the manga Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Re:, it is the Duel Gundam equipped with a new atmospheric flight pack on its backpack. The pack is based on data fragments of the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam's IWSP pack that ZAFT recovered while in Heliopolis. It is built with parts from the AMF-101 DINN, and is armed with a pair of swords similar to the YFX-200 CGUE DEEP Arms's Heavy Laser Sword but with solid blades, as well as a pair of double barrel cannons where the top barrel is a beam cannon and the bottom barrel is a railgun. The equipment also allows the Duel Gundam to enter a 'High Mobility Mode' whereby its head is covered by an aeroshell helmet similar to one used by the DINN.
Notes and Trivia
- The Duel's head crest displays the text "UNO X-102", which means "One" in Italian (and in Spanish) and a reference to the GAT-X102 Duel being the first mobile suit developed under the Earth Alliance's "G Project".
- The Duel is the only G Project weapon that was not severely damaged or destroyed.
- According to other information about the Duel form some sources, it is regarded as a testbed for future mobile suit and related technology research, although it was not specified in the series.
- Duel's Gáe Bulg bazooka was finally sold alongside the Gundam in the Master Grade series.
- In Gundam Build Fighters, a red and black-colored Duel Gundam made a cameo appearance as one of the Gunpla that fought GAT-X105B/ST Star Build Strike Gundam.