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MSS-008 Le Cygne (pronounced "Luh Seen", French for "The Swan") is a prototype mobile suit fundamentally designed for Newtype pilot Asuna Elmarit. It is featured in the manga series Mobile Suit Gundam École du Ciel.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Le Cygne was a gundam-type mobile suit developed and constructed by Anaheim Electronics (AE) before the start of the Gryps Conflict. A test unit specifically designed for use by AEUG pilot Asuna Elmarit, an A-rank newtype, it is considered a reflection of Asuna's test data. The Le Cygne's shared the frame of the MSA-003 Nemo and its concept was unusually traditional for its time, whereas the Gryps-era mobile weapons saw rapid development in TMS (Transformable Mobile Suit) technology. This unit featured a sleek design and also drew inspiration from the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki, designed to be a light, fast and highly agile unit. The machines overall frame was greatly simplified, with emphasis on mobility and ease of maneuverability, and therefore lightly armored. The backpack was a miniaturized four-thruster type that enabled quick and precise movement. The Le Cygne had distinctive shoulder parts that were actually all-purpose compartment bays that protruded forward. The slide rails inside the hatches of these bays could store a hidden gatling gun and also stored the unit's main beam sabers. These components could easily be removed and replaced for a variety of mission roles.
It was determined that Asuna was the only pilot who had the ability to maximize Newtype response feedback to the Le Cygne itself. In addition, simulation data that reflected Asuna's past simulator trials in AE's Amman branch had been inputted into the control system and were adjusted to extract the best possible performance from the Le Cygne.
- Beam Rifle
- A beam weapon of the same design as the Zeta Gundam's. The beam rifle is standard equipment for all mobile suits.
- Gatling Gun
- Chain-guns stored in compartments in the Le Cygne's shoulder armor. The gatling gun itself seems to have less firepower compare to a beam rifle, but eventually, the sheer number of bullets flying through the air can shred through almost anything, regardless of how durable it is.
- Twin Beam Trident
- A unique beam saber that consisted of a single hilt that was able to produce two coherent beams of energy.
- A large experimental shield that incorporated built-in thrusters and attitude control systems, it featured cameras built into its four corners. The thruster nozzles come out of latches on both sides of the shield, with verniers and propellant tanks stored within the shield. The shield can swivel itself while mounted on an arm, which is convenient for turning the shield to cover the front or the flanks with minimum movement. This device could be used for surveillance purposes and ensured adequate visibility should the Le Cygne's main camera be destroyed, and allowed it to hide behind debris or meteorites and expose the cameras alone, making stealthy reconnaissance easy. The shield could also be used an offensive weapon by using the shield's verniers, capable of destroying an enemy mobile suit with ease.
- FHA-05M02 Mega Beam Launcher
- A highly destructive beam weapon, this variant is a shoulder-mounted Mega beam launcher based on the Gaza-C's Knuckle Buster developed for the Le Cygne, it differs from standard MB launchers in that it uses E-Cap cartridges rather than power supplied from a generator.
- As Asuna's personal unit, the design theme of the Le Cygne can be considered an allegory to the The Ugly Duckling fairy tale, drawing from the fact that her first MS was the ungainly TGM-79C GM Canard (Canard being French for Duck), to her being the main pilot of the MSS-008 Le Cygne (The Swan).
- In an interview (featured in Ecole du Ciel Vol. 8) with the manga series Ecole du Ciel's chief mechanical designer Yoshinori Sayama, editors of the series initially wanted a high-speed,high maneuverability "Kunoichi" (female ninja) Gundam, requesting numerous thrusters, followed by the concept of "how much of the Gundam looking components can be removed" claims Sayama, and states that his design theme was "a design with motion", and used a bird motif with the Le Cygne. Sayama used elements from his previous works as a designer such as the Le Cygne's shoulder parts, which drew inspiration from the "The Hope" mecha of the anime series The Mars Daybreak, which had the shoulder extend forward, rather than sidewards like most Gundam-type MS. Yoshinori Sayama cites the classic series Thunderbirds and Armored Trooper Votoms as his inspiration for the Le Cygne's functions and weapons.