Technology & Combat Characteristics
The MS-07B Gouf featured a focused design intended for Earth-based, close-quarter MS combats. It featured much improved mobility with powerful backpack and leg-mounted thrusters for jet-assisted jumps based on the YMS-08A High Mobility Test Type. For armaments, the suit had the 75mm machine gun left hand and "heat rod", which could be used as a superheated slicing weapon or as a grappling weapon with a powerful electric shock effect. It also had a powerful heat sword, and could also use the standard Zaku II weapons, such as the 120mm machine gun or the 280mm bazooka.
The Gouf easily outstripped the Zaku II in terms of speed, power output, and melee combat ability. But the mobile suit's overall performance was not great enough to be justified by its increased cost. The Gouf's production was cut short by the development of a more cost efficient unit, the more powerful and nimble MS-09B Dom. Despite its very short production run, it was still deployed across the world alongside Zakus and Doms. One customized unit was piloted by Visch Donahue, which was painted in a lighter blue color scheme and had the original 5-fingered machine gun left hand replaced by a normal manipulator hand, in its place a 3-barrel 35mm machine gun was mounted on the left forearm.
Although the Gouf's production was cut short, several variations of the design were produced in limited numbers.
- 5-barrel 75mm Machine Gun
- The MS-07B Gouf's regular left manipulator is replaced by a five-barrel 75mm machine gun which is shaped like enlarged fingers. It fires physical rounds at a rapid rate, and despite its bulky and awkward appearance, its barrels demonstrate limited degree of digital dexterity, including the ability to hold the arm shield, and to adequately grip the heat sword and various firearms. Some Goufs were fielded with two 5-barrel 75mm Machine Guns.
- Heat Rod
- A close-range weapon installed in the right forearm of the MS-07B Gouf. This retractable cable delivers a high-voltage electrical shock when it comes into contact with an enemy mobile suit, damaging its internal systems and stunning its pilot. The heat rod could also be superheated to give it cutting properties.
- An optionally fixed armament of the Gouf was a shield attached to the left arm, which stored its handheld melee weapon, the heat sword.
- Heat Sword Type-βIV
- A melee weapon originally developed for the Gouf series. Like the Zaku's heat tomahawk, the heat sword has a blade that is heated to high temperatures in order to increase its cutting capacity. The heat sword however has a longer reach and hence a greater range of attack than the heat tomahawk. Initially, the weapon's blade is made of a polymer compound that has undergone a shape memory treatment, and thus is stored inside the weapon's grip when not in use and upon heating, will expand out of the grip and took on the shape of the heat sword's blade. This polymer compound was later replaced by easier to produce ceramic materials. The heat sword is sometimes referred to as heat saber.
- Heat Hawk Type5
- An axe-like melee weapon, whose name is short for "tomahawk". Thermal energy is used to superheat the heat hawk's blade, allowing it to slice through the armor of enemy warships or mobile suits.
- Heat Wire
- The customized Gouf piloted by Visch Donahue had the original heat rod on its right forearm replaced with a heat wire. First featured on the MS-07B-3 Gouf Custom, the heat wire is a magnetic grappler mounted on a thin cable, allowing the right forearm to store a much greater length of heat wire and giving the weapon a much greater reach. The heat wire can release an electric charge to disable an enemy mobile suit, and in the hands of highly-skilled pilots, it can be utilized as a survival tool for hanging onto buildings or enemy units to buy time for the Gouf to launch surprise attacks. The weapon is also known as heat rod (anchor type).
- 3-barrel 35mm Machine Gun
- The customized Gouf piloted by Visch Donahue had the original 5-fingered machine gun left hand replaced by a normal manipulator hand, and instead a 3-barrel 35mm machine gun was mounted on the left forearm. It fires physical rounds at a rapid rate and is magazine fed with better ammunition capacity.
- ZMP-50D/120mm Machine Gun
- The same weapon as used by the Zaku type mobile suits, it is a shell firing gun that does not require energy to be used, however its effectiveness against heavy armor is very limited. This model used a 100-round drum magazine.
- H&L-GB03K/360mm Giant Bazooka
- The Giant bazooka is the same model used by the MS-09B Dom. The bazooka is magazine-fed and holds 10 rounds per magazine. A single round can blow the torso off of an enemy mobile suit. During Zeon's invasion to EFF's Jaburo headquarters in December U.C. 0079, some Gouf units were equipped with Giant Bazooka for ground attack.
- The Gouf unit piloted by Renchef is equipped with a pump-action shotgun that is similar to the model used by the MS-18E Kämpfer.
- H&L-SB25K/280mmA-P Zaku Bazooka
- The same weapon as used by the Zaku type mobile suits, it fires explosive rounds that were quite effective against the armor of Earth Federation mobile suits and battleships.
- Gatling Shield
- The Gatling Shield is combination of a Gatling Gun with a modified Gouf shield, and grants both offensive and defensive power in one single weapon. The shield can be mounted directly on Gouf's left forearm or on top of the 3-barrel 35mm Machine Gun.
- 75mm Gatling Gun
- The 75mm Gatling Gun featured a cyclic, 6-barrel design which facilitated cooling and synchronized the firing-reloading sequence. This configuration allowed higher rates of fire to be achieved without the barrel overheating. The Gatling Gun's concentrated shots and high penetration power could easily destroy Federation's mobile suits, such as RX-75 Guntank Mass Production Type. The 75mm Gatling Gun was drum-and-belt fed, with the entire set being welded onto a specially-designed frame to be mounted onto Gouf's shield. It was fired via a hand-held trigger which was controlled via a normal MS manipulator. The Gatling Gun can be ejected from the Gatling Shield if its ammunition was depleted, or whenever its weight proved to be a hindrance when its pilot needed speed and maneuverability.
Shortly after its initial introduction, the early model MS-07A Gouf was replaced by the completed MS-07B Gouf model. The Zeon pilot, Lieutenant Ramba Ral, played havoc with the crew of the Pegasus-Class Assault Carrier White Base and the young pilot of the RX-78-2 Gundam with his YMS-07B Gouf, a prototype of the standard B-Type Gouf. The Gouf was used all around the world as a means of advancing Zeon's ground campaign due to the Zaku slipping into obsolescence .
Shortly after the Gouf's introduction its production was halted in favor of the MS-09B Dom. However, research into the Gouf's basic design would continue which would lead to the development of several improved models that would see limited production. Despite the research, none of the Gouf's models would see development in the United Maintenance Plan that the Principality of Zeon initiated to improve existing mobile suit designs, likely due to Zeon putting more focus into the One Year War's space front at the time of the plan's initiation and the lack of development in a space-capable Gouf model.
Notes & Trivia
- For reason's unknown, the MS-07B Gouf's heat sword was animated like a beam sword in Mobile Suit Gundam animations.
- A storybook adaptation of "A Wish of War Orphans" published by Asahi Sonorama features a Gouf in Char Aznable colors, which is exclusively made for the book.
- In the opening CG animation of Sony PlayStation 2's Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front video game, the MS-07B Gouf is armed with the Gatling Shield used by the MS-07B-3 Gouf Custom.