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RX-78-1 Prototype Gundam

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Please note that this is the Gundam Wiki's article on mobile suit featured in MSV-R; if you are looking for the article on the mobile suit featured in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin then you should head to RX-78-01 Prototype Gundam.

The RX-78-1 Prototype Gundam is a prototype general purpose mobile suit and predecessor to the RX-78-2 Gundam. The unit is featured in the original design series Mobile Suit Variations.

Technology & Combat Characteristics

The RX-78-1 Prototype Gundam is the third Mobile Suit produced under the Project V, developed at the Jaburo military headquarters on Earth. The starting point of the RX-78 series of mobile suits, the Prototype Gundam was designed differently from the original Project V mobile suits models in that it did not place its emphasis on raw firepower like the RX-75-4 Guntank and RX-77-2 Guncannon. Instead, the RX-78-1 placed emphasis on fast, close quarters combat, much like the Principality of Zeon's MS-06 Zaku II. It was also the first to feature several new technologies, including the energy cap-based beam rifle (making the Gundam the first mobile suit to pack the firepower of a battleship) a beam saber and a beam javelin for close quarters. Like its predecessors, the Prototype Gundam also featured the Core Block System and the FF-X5 Prototype Core Fighter.


  • 60mm Vulcan Gun
Mounted in the head, these shell firing weapons have a high-rate of fire but have little power and can't damage the thick armor of a mobile suit, though it can damage lightly armored areas such as the sensors. The weapons are ideal for shooting down small, fast moving, lightly armored targets such as missiles, small land vehicles, and attack helicopters.
  • Beam Saber
The Gundam was the first mobile suit to ever use a beam-oriented weapon in melee combat. The sabers are stored on the backpack, and can transform from saber to the "Gundam Javelin," a large pole with a three pronged beam at the end. The beam sabers use Minovsky particles held in place by an I-Field to form an effective cutting surface that can slice through nearly any material. The particles for the beam sabers are stored by E-cap in the hilt of the saber, which is recharged from the Gundam's reactor when the saber is returned to its socket. Once activated, beam sabers do not rely on the mobile suit's reactor and can be thrown or discarded as decoys. The beam saber is most often used for close range combat or as an emergency weapon once all other ammunition has been depleted. One can be used as a reserve weapon, or both can be used simultaneously in a twin sword fashion.
  • Beam Rifle
A revolutionary weapon for it's time, the beam rifle is the primary weapon used by the RX-78-1. Making use of E-cap (or "energy capacitor") technology, the rifle uses charged concentrations of Minovsky particles as ammunition. This gives the beam rifle firepower equivalent to that of a battleship's beam cannons. As the Minovsky particles destroy matter on a molecular scale, the beam rifle can penetrate even the thickest armor and destroy its target with a single shot. One weak point of the rifle was its energy limits. When not in use, the beam rifle could be stored on the right hip.
  • Beam Javelin
The beam javelin is an alternative to the beam saber, it has a higher output than the standard beam saber, and the beam's shape allows for a greater amount of armor penetration ability. The long reach of the weapon gives the RX-78-1 a considerable advantage in close quarters combat.
  • 380mm Hyper Bazooka
Similar to the Zaku's bazooka, the Hyper Bazooka was a heavy weapon used by the Gundam. Technically a large rocket launcher it could fire several 380mm missiles to attack targets at long range. No mass-production MS's armor is able to stop this weapon. While very powerful, it has a slow rate of fire and a fairly little amount of ammunition. Most oftenly used to take out slow, heavily armored targets.
  • 120mm Machine Gun
The 120mm machine gun is a standard weapon for 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.
  • Shield
Hand-carried, forearm-mounted or stored on the Gundam's backpack, the shield is a simple defense used to block most incoming ballistic and explosive projectiles. Also used to great effect in close quarters battle with enemy mobile suits. Has a view port than can be sealed off with an internal blast plate.

Special Equipment & Features

The prototype mobile suits produced by the Earth Federation Forces' Operation V, are equipped with a central block which houses the mobile suit's cockpit, control systems and main power source. This core block can eject in case of emergency and unfold into a small Core Fighter.
  • Hardpoints
An attachment point for weapons, shields, spare ammunition, or optional mission-specific equipment. Hardpoints can also be used to store carried weapons when a mobile suit needs its manipulators free for other purposes.


Once the RX-78-1 was tested and approved for continued development, designs were upgraded and enhanced, eventually producing the second - and most famous model of the RX-78 series: the RX-78-2 Gundam.

Picture Gallery

Notes & Trivia

In Gundam Battle Royale, the Prototype Gundam doesn't have a Beam Javelin or a Beam Saber. It instead uses the Gundam Hammer for melee combat.

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