- This article is about the mobile suit. For the series this unit is named after, see Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
The RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (ユニコーン ガンダム Yunikōn Gandamu?, or Unicorn Gundam, Unicorn, RX-0) is the titular mobile suit of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and its television re-cut, piloted by Banagher Links. When used for noble reasons by a pilot possessing the proper character, the RX-0 is the "key" to opening a mysterious object known only as "Laplace's Box".
Technology & Combat Characteristics
Produced as the final part of the E.F.S.F's reorganization plan - the "UC Project " - the Unicorn Gundam is a revolutionary design and to be the main symbol of the "U.C. project's" main goal - to destroy any traces of Zeonism in the Earth Sphere - and thus not only does it features a Gundam design, but also incorporates an anti-Newtype system. Two prototype machines were completed at Anaheim Electronics' factory in Granada. However, when the Vist Foundation took control of the project, they turned the Gundam into a symbol of possibility by making it the key to finding Laplace's Box - the embodied hope of the Universal Century. Featuring the most advanced mobile suit technology of the time, the machine's performance is unmatched.
Incorporating test data obtained from the experimental MSN-06S Sinanju Stein, the entire frame is built with Psycoframe material, drastically increasing the responsiveness of the unit and allowing it to be piloted like an extension of the pilot's body. While mobile suits used during the Second Neo Zeon War implemented psycoframe technology on a limited basis, the RX-0 is the first "full-psycoframe" mobile suit ever constructed. In some cases, this responsiveness is so high that it appears the suit acts on its own without any actions from the pilot. In addition, the Unicorn utilizes a special "La+ Program" OS and a system known as the "NT-D" (or Newtype Destroyer) which activates the suit's psyco-frame and dramatically increases the suit's performance.
In its normal form, which is known as "Unicorn Mode", the Unicorn Gundam's head is similar in appearance to those of Londo Bell's mass-produced mobile suits, with the addition of a single, horn-like antenna extending from the forehead (hence the name "Unicorn"). In terms of its armaments in normal mode, the Unicorn is very lightly armed, with half of its built-in weaponry only being available in Destroy Mode.
Destroy Mode is the form the Unicorn Gundam takes when its NT-D System is activated. The transformation is marked by an expansion of the suit's frame. The armor seams separate and lock down into various hard-points, while the newly exposed psyco-frame emits a pinkish-red or blue-green(Awakened) glow (attributed to the Psyco-field phenomenon). In this mode, the mobile suit becomes taller and its head transforms to one having standard Gundam features, the visor and face guard retracts into the head to reveal the mouth plate and the antenna splitting into a V-fin. In order to prevent its transformation being interrupted, its I-Field strength will be increased, at least temporary. Additionally, a pair of sub-sensors will be revealed on the shoulders, and two concealed beam sabers will extend out of the backpack.
In this form, the suit's psyco-frame scans the pilot's thoughts and directly transmits them to the suit's drive system; in other words, the Unicorn can ultimately be controlled by the pilot's thoughts alone. The machine's performance - its mobility in particular - is dramatically increased when the NT-D is active partially due to the exposure and activation of six additional thrusters. In addition to the performance boost, the NT-D also allows the Unicorn to take control of an enemy's psycommu weapons (also known as "Psycommu Jack") by emitting a Psyco-field from the manipulator. However, the stress placed on the mind by manipulating an object more than tenfold the size of an average human is extraordinary.
Even with the aid of the psyco-frame the pilot's mind can only endure roughly five minutes of operation before a limiter is activated, deactivating the psyco-frame and returning the mobile suit to its normal form. In order to alleviate the high levels of G forces placed on the pilot, a drug administration system called the "DDS" is fitted on the pilot suit. It suppresses stagnated blood circulation due to high acceleration by administering the drug to the pilot. Furthermore, the system activates not according to the pilot's discretion, but automatically upon the detection of another Newtype via the "Intention Automatic System". This system is inherited from the Sinanju Stein and functions by using the Psycoframe's sensitivity to the pilot's thought-waves to directly affect behavior of the mobile suit. In addition, it is possible for the pilot to intercept the thought-waves of an enemy pilot. The system also directs the movement of the suit when active, and does not completely depend on the pilot for commands. By default, the system will automatically attempt to destroy any Newtype enemies it detects, but requires the pilot to give it a conscience so it does not merely become a killing machine.
- 60mm Vulcan Gun
- A basic armament found on many Federation mobile suits. While essentially ineffectual against mobile suit armor, they are useful in intercepting incoming missiles/rockets, destroying mobile suit sensors, and engaging lightly-armored vehicles.
- Beam Saber
- The standard close range armament for most Federation 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 emits a blade of plasma contained by an I-Field and is capable of cutting through almost any metal that has not been treated with anti-beam coating. The Unicorn is equipped with a total of four beam sabers, two on the forearms and two in the backpack. In Unicorn mode, the MS only has access to the two forearm mounted beam sabers. In Destroy Mode, the other two beam sabers flip out from the backpack, allowing the MS access to all four sabers.
- Beam Tonfa
- The forearm mounted beam sabers can flip over and be used directly, in this form, they are known as beam tonfa. This mechanism is a modified version of the Sinanju Stein's.
- Beam Gatling Gun
- A manipulator-operated, Gatling-style beam weapon capable of high-rates of fire. This weapon was originally made for and used by the Sleeves, as a supporting weapon for the Kshatriya to maintain suppressive fire. Banagher Links managed to secure one while escaping Palau. The weapon unleashes a torrent of beam fire, though individual shots inflict relatively light damage to target (causing minor chip damage to such units as the AMX-009 Dreissen). The Beam Gatling Gun was destroyed during a battle with the NZ-666 Kshatriya, but two new Gatling guns are mounted to the Unicorn when the mobile suit is taken on by The Sleeve ship Garencieres. The regular practice is to discard the weapon, in the event of ammunition depletion, as to avoid hauling the dead weight. This weapon became one of the main weapons mounted on Unicorn and was used the most often after being equipped, as the Beam Magnum was very limited on ammo and Banagher himself considers it too powerful.
- Beam Magnum
- A highly customized beam rifle designed with an energy condenser. The power output in a single shot is the equivalent of 4 regular beam rifle shots at the expense of an entire E-cap battery. Each of the beam magnum's magazine is loaded with 5-battery clip, allowing a total of five shots before reloading. The Unicorn can be outfitted with two spare magazines on the back of its skirt. When not in use, the Beam Magnum is mounted on the machine's backpack via a slot located in the upper section.
- Hyper Bazooka
- A hyper bazooka variant that is exclusive to the Unicorn Gundam, it is stored on the backpack and lengthens when in use. The hyper bazooka can fire various types of rounds, with the default being the scattershot type. Each of the bazooka's magazine can carry up to six rounds and like the Magnum, the Unicorn can store up to two spare magazines on its rear skirt.
- Beam Rifle
- The same beam rifle used by the RGZ-95 ReZEL, which is powered by a replaceable energy pac. The particle beam fired from the beam rifle can penetrate almost any armor that has not been treated with specific counter-measures. In addition, the beam rifle wielded by the ReZEL can also emit a beam saber from its tip, allowing it to act as a long beam saber. This allows the rifle to be used as a close combat weapon in the event that the pilot is unable to draw the beam saber in time.
- A four-petal shaped shield that houses an I-Field Generator; the feature is operational in both Unicorn mode and Destroy Mode. The max duration of the I-Field is unknown, but it is long enough to deflect one beam cannon shot. Due to the properties of the psycoframe allowing for direct manipulation of an object by a Newtype, Unicorn Gundam is able to use its shields as beam deflecting funnels despite them lacking any actual thrusters. When required, the shield can be used as ramming weapons or be equipped with the beam gatling guns.
- When Minovsky particles are released into the air or into open space, the positive and negative particles spontaneously align themselves into a three-dimensional cubic lattice. Due to the repulsive and electrostatic forces between the Minovsky particles, this lattice functions as a kind of a force field, which is referred to as an I-field. This field has difficulty permeating conductive materials like metal, water, and plasma, and it exerts a repulsive force against mega particles. An I field is used to to deflect enemy mega particle beams. Due to its high power requirements, the I-field generator originally could only be installed in large mobile weapons. When the generator is activated, the I-field forms an invisible barrier around the mobile weapon, protecting it from incoming beam attacks. However, this barrier has no effect against solid objects like missiles and projectiles, and beam weapons can still be used at point blank range within the barrier's boundary.
- Beam Machine Gun
- The same one used by the Sleeves' AMS-129 Geara Zulu, the beam machine gun's design is (aesthetically) similar to that of the WWII German Sturmgewehr-44, it can shoot yellow beams and can be fired fully-automatic. The gun is powered by a replaceable energy pac, if the energy pac is depleted it can be replaced with a fresh one. It can attached with an optional grenade launcher. Seen equipped only at the end of Episode 5 and beginning of Episode 6.
- Grenade Launcher
- A grenade launcher is attached below the barrel of beam machine gun. These grenades are not very effective against large ships, but are ideal mid-range anti-mobile suit weapons.
- Armed Armor DE (Bande Dessinee Only)
- A weapon introduced in Bande Dessinee. It is the normal I-field equipped shield used by the Unicorn Gundam with additional parts containing a propulsion system and a mega cannon. It is similar to Shield Boosters that were used in the Gryps Conflict, and can be used as a makeshift melee weapon with significant reach. The Unicorn can achieve speeds comparable to a Base Jabber by mounting the Armed Armor DE on the unit's back thrusters.
Special Equipment & Features
- La+ Program
- A unique Operating System that slowly reveals the path to open Laplace's Box once certain requirements are met. This program was not in the original specifications but rather added later by the Vist Foundation. The system is also responsible for registering Banagher's biometrics, making the Unicorn Gundam impossible to pilot by other indivduals other than him. The program appears to be closely tied to both the NT-D and the Unicorn's pilot. Upon reaching Laplace at midnight Greenwich Mean Time, the program will broadcast the Universal Century inauguration speech and Federation Universal Century Charter made at Laplace in UC 0001. Following that, the next checkpoint given by the La+ Program is Torrington Base in Australia (in the novel version of Unicorn, the checkpoint on the Earth was actually Dakar, the capital of Earth Federation). Ultimately, according to Daguza Mackle, the true purpose of the program might actually be to serve as a guidepost to test the pilot's heart as the program itself leads the pilot to the Box. Ironically (as agreed by both Banagher and Full Frontal) in the novel, the destination, where the Laplace's Box is located was Industrial 7, where everything had begun.
- In the OVA, the program, as explained by Gael Chan, was designed to search for true Newtypes to guide to the Box.
- The Newtype Destroyer (or NT-D) System is an anti-Newtype system developed by the Earth Federation and used on the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam. The system works by using the Psycoframe built within its body to seek out Newtype brainwaves. Should one be found, the NT-D System activates and turns the Unicorn Gundam (The Unicorn Gundam, the Banshee, and the Phenex) from its usual "Unicorn mode" into its "Destroy mode", improving its stats overall and allowing it to take control of Newtype weaponry used by others and turn them against them. However, the system has a number of flaws to it. Among them being having a five minute time usage so it wouldn't kill its pilot and the fact that it doesn't discriminate against real Newtypes and Cyber-Newtypes. Its most ironic flaw is that, because of the massive stress to gives its pilots, a Newtype is the best pilot for the unit. Thankfully, those with strong wills can overpower the system and determine when it can activate.
- Intention Automatic System
In the manga, the Unicorn Gundam debuted with an unknown pilot at the controls, doing a test run for the Vist Foundation. The Unicorn was up against a group of ARX-014 Silver Bullets. Three of the Silver Bullets grabbed the Unicorn Gundam with their incoms and started electrocuting the pilot. Suddenly, the NT-D activated and took out three of the Silver Bullets. The Unicorn charged towards the fourth when the NT-D shut off. The test ended with the pilot being killed due to the G-forces exerted on his body.
Note: Much of the Unicorn Gundam's history can be found on Banagher Links' page
Notes & Trivia
- The Unicorn Gundam is one of the playable secret mobile suits in the game Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam Next, coming along with a new Route H. However, it lacked its pilot. For the PlayStation Portable port Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam Next Plus, the Unicorn is joined by NZ-666 Kshatriya and is given its proper pilot.
- There are a few errors regarding its appearance due to having shown up before the OVA's debut. For one, its Beam Magnum shots are colored a bright red identical to Reborns's GN Buster Rifle and lacks its distinct SFX. Additionally, its head visor features a blue glow instead of a green one. Finally, it is the only Gundam from a series other than Devil Gundam to not have an opening song from its show of origin, instead using a track made specifically for the game.
- The Unicorn Gundam is also included as a Playable MS in Gundam Musou 3, alongside the Sinanju.
- In Gundam Memories, Unicorn Gundam is categorized as a "long" unit in Unicorn Mode, while it is classified as a "short" unit whenever it turns into Destroy Mode. The Unicorn Gundam is the only unit that switches between two different types in the game.
- The Quick Attack is also different: In Unicorn Mode, it can only use 3 attack patterns, while in Destroy Mode, it can use 4 attack patterns.
- The OVA version of the Master Grade Unicorn Gundam includes blue beam saber effect parts, as opposed to pink from the Version Katoki kit.
- Despite being advertised as RE:0096 kit, the Twin Frame version of the Master Grade didn't have the marking seals that befit its appearance in the opening and ending sequence of the anime.
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Unicorn Mode) on Gundam-Unicorn.net (English)
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Destroy Mode) on Gundam-Unicorn.net (English)
- RX-0 Unicorn (Novel) Gundam on MAHQ.net
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (OVA) on MAHQ.net
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam on Gundams.de