Technology & Combat Characteristics
Developed by Anaheim Electronics the RMS-099 (MSA-099, MSA-009) Rick Dias (codename: "γ Gundam" (Gamma Gundam) became one of the first mass-produced mobile suits of the AEUG's Zeta Project for their fight against the corrupt Titans. Because many engineers who worked on the Rick Dias were former Principality of Zeon members, the Rick Dias featured many similarities to Zeon mobile suits. It not only features a mono-eye sensor but its name is also derived from the MS-09R Rick Dom ("Rick" comes from the word Remake). The Rick Dias ("Dias" is derived from Bartolomeu Dias, the Portuguese explorer who first rounded the Cape of Good Hope) was originally to be called Gundam γ which was due to the fact that the Rick Dias is built out of the new Gundarium γ. This material was developed by Axis and has strength similar to standard Gundarium yet is structurally lighter, making the suit lighter and thus allowing it to accommodate a greater fuel capacity. The Rick Dias was also armed with a great number of weapons and thus became a strong enemy for most of the Titan's suits.
The Rick Dias is one of the earlier models of mobile suits to use the 360-degree panoramic cockpit, and the first original design to be constructed by the AEUG. One notable feature is that unlike other mobile suits in use at the time, the cockpit of the Rick Dias is built into the head and not the chest of the mobile suit. Built into its hands are specialized launchers that can be used to launch fire-suppressing gas or a binding adhesive.
For combat the Rick Dias is equipped with a large variety of weapons, making it a versatile mobile suit. Among its built-in weapons include a 2-barrel 55mm vulcan phalanx anti-missile gun system built into the head and a beam saber stored in a recharge rack in the backpack. For ranged combat the Rick Dias is equipped with a pair of beam pistols stored in backpack storage racks. It can also be optionally equipped with a clay bazooka, a bazooka that fires a specialized round that breaks into smaller pellets, and a standard beam rifle.
- 2-barrel 55mm Vulcan Phalanx Anti-missile Gun System
- A standard armament of the mobile suits in this era. These head mounted shell firing weapons have a high-rate of fire, but have little power and are generally ineffective against mobile suits; however, the vulcan gun can damage lightly armored areas such as the sensors. These weapons are ideal for shooting down small, fast moving, lightly armored targets such as missiles or small vehicles.
- Beam Pistols
- While most mobile suits feature a single large beam rifle, the Rick Dias instead is equipped with two beam pistols. Despite their small size, the pistols are powerful enough to destroy an enemy unit with a single shot. If not in use, the pistols are mounted on the backpack of the unit.
- AE/ZIM.C-BAZ-531 Clay Bazooka
- A projectile-firing bazooka, as its name indicates, the clay bazooka was originally designed to fire adhesive rounds which immobilize enemy machines rather than destroying them outright. However, this weapon can fire several different types of ammunition, and it's normally used with conventional explosive shells.
- Beam Rifle
- A standard hand carried ranged beam weapon is the beam rifle. Capable of firing concentrated mega particles, attacks from a beam rifle can damage any ordinary armor that has not been specially treated to resist it. It is the same one used by the RMS-117 Galbaldy β.
- Beam Saber
- The standard close range armament for most Mobile Suits. The beam saber is a small cylindrical device held in the mobile suit's hands when operated and is powered by an energy capacitor that is recharged from special racks. The beam saber is capable of cutting through any metal that has not been treated with anti-beam coating.
Special Equipment & Features
- "Random Binder" Ejectable External Propellant Tank
- To increase the Rick Dias's operational time, it's equipped with a pair of binder-style propellants, which carry extra fuel. This kind of equipment was modified after MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki's wing binders, and it greatly boosts the Suit's agility. The Random Binders then became standard equipment of the MSA-099-2 Rick Dias II.
- Sealant Launchers
- This device sprays a sticky sealant, similar to the wall film used to mend breaches in warship hulls. This substance can be used to seal ruptures in spacecraft and space colony exteriors. By the time of the Gryps Conflict most mobile suits have sealant launchers built into the fingers of their manipulators, as well as utility devices like signal flares, dummy dispensers, and fire extinguishers.
- Ballute System
- An atmospheric entry device designed to be used by a Mobile Suit. As the mobile suit enters the atmosphere, a bowl-shaped ballute (balloon parachute) deploys to protect it from the friction heat of atmospheric entry. The balloon then detaches, leaving the mobile suit with chest and leg hover units which ease its descent to the ground. If the mobile suit reaches the ground without expending all the fuel in the leg units, these devices can also be used for hovering and high-speed strike missions. The equipment was designed and mass produced between the years UC 0083 and 0087 and is designed to be used by a multitude of different mobile suit models.
The Rick Dias was used during many major AEUG missions as the AEUG's first original and most powerful mass-production mobile suit, making its first known major use during the AEUG's mission to infiltrate Gryps and steal the new RX-178 Gundam Mk-II. Three Rick Dias mobile suits would be used to infiltrate the colony, led by AEUG ace Quattro Bajeena in his custom painted red Rick Dias. The mission was successful and proved the value of the Rick Dias. For all following missions Rick Dias mobile suits were assigned to the AEUG's top pilots who did not possess their own custom unit such as the Gundam Mk-II or the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki.
Initially the standard color scheme for the Rick Dias is black and dark gray, with one unit given a custom red on dark red paint job. However; at some point, while the AEUG was on Earth, the standard color scheme was switched over to the same red coloring scheme used on the unit Quattro Bajeena and later Emma Sheen piloted.
Despite being technologically advanced and state of the art at the start of the Gryps Conflict (to the point that the Titans tried to steal some of the Argama's compliment), the Rick Dias was soon overshadowed by the increasingly more advanced designs in the AEUG and the Titans. By the start of the First Neo Zeon War, there were only a few operational units left, but they would be abandoned for more Gundam-like suits.
Notes & Trivia
- In the Zeta Gundam novelization, the Rick Dias is named after Bartolomeu Dias, a Portuguese explorer who discovered the Cape of Good Hope.
- The Vulcan Phalanx System borrows its name from the close-in weapons systems used by modern-day naval vessels, which are in turn named after the massed phalanx formations of ancient Greek infantry soldiers.
- The design of the Rick Dias' beam pistols resembles the Borchardt C-93 semi-automatic pistol.