Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Gundam was incredibly advanced for its time. Built from lightweight Luna Titanium Alloy, its frame was both lighter than that of Zeon's mass-produced mobile suits and much sturdier, able to shrug off a MS-06 Zaku II's machine gun fire with little to no damage. Its offensive power was above and beyond that of the Zakus. The Gundam would engage in most battles with its beam rifle, making it the first mobile suit to have firepower equivalent to a battleship's beam cannons. In addition, it made use of two beam sabers, blades of extremely hot plasma which could cut through any metal with ease. Those beam sabers could be extended into a spear-like beam javelin, which could be used to stab into an enemy from a longer distance.
The Gundam also used more conventional weaponry; it could launch rockets with a "Hyper Bazooka," the Federation's answer to the bazookas used by Zeon's Zakus; in addition, its head was outfitted with a pair of small vulcan guns, as a way of attacking light-armored aircraft and vehicles without wasting ammo or energy from its more powerful armaments. It also made use of a very unconventional close-range weapon known as the "Gundam Hammer" - a large weapon similar to a flail which could be swung at enemies to deal crushing damage. The Gundam Hammer was eventually upgraded for use in space and outfitted with a number of verniers on the ball, and renamed to be the "Hyper Hammer". Lastly, it wielded a shield which would offer it a defense against enemy attacks that not even its Luna Titanium body could withstand without damage. Gundam pilot, Amuro Ray, would make use of the shield as a decoy in many battles, taking advantage of its size to fool the enemy into thinking he was charging at them, then attacking the enemy through the shield.
In terms of technology, the Gundam was equipped with a sophisticated Learning Computer which would collect pilot and enemy data during skirmishes and allow the Gundam to operate more effectively. The data from the computer was used by the Federation to improve the controls of the Gundam's mass-produced form, the RGM-79 GM. In addition, it was upgraded by Federation technician Mosque Han shortly before the Battle of A Baoa Qu to improve its reaction times, the joints of the Gundam were given a Magnetic Coating, based on the experimental procedure performed on the RX-78-3 "G-3" Gundam and later used on Amuro's intended successor unit, the RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex".
The Gundam makes use of the Core Block System implemented in the other V Project units. The torso of the Gundam is mostly hollow so that a FF-X7 Core Fighter can dock with it. This allows the pilot to jettison the legs and torso of the Gundam should the machine be too heavily damaged and gives the pilot a chance to escape from battle. Later, during Operation Odessa, the Gundam is given a support unit known as the G-Fighter. The two G-Fighters were designed to take advantage of the Gundam's modular system and diversify the Gundam's role in active combat. These modes ranged from the assault bomber G-Armor to the close combat support tank G-Bull.
- 60mm Vulcan Gun
- Mounted in the head, the pair of Vulcan guns were 60mm Gatling Guns and have a high rate of fire. Primarily used to ward off advancing enemies, shoot down missiles or other lightly armoured targets, they also made good use as an anti-aircraft and anti-personnel weapons. The Vulcan guns however had a hard time piercing heavy armor (though they had shown the ability to do severe damage to Mobile Suit's if fired at point-blank range) and thus were not often used against larger, more heavily armored foes.
- Beam Saber
- The Gundam was the first mobile suit to ever use a beam weapon made for melee combat, and two beam sabers are stored on the backpack. 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 in the E-cap within the hilt of the saber, which is recharged from the Gundam's reactor when the saber is returned to its backpack storage rack. Once activated, beam sabers do not rely on the mobile suit's reactor and can be thrown or discarded as decoys. One can be used as a reserve weapon, or both can be used simultaneously in a twin sword fashion. The beam saber can also transform into the Beam Javelin.
- Beam Javelin
- The beam javelin is an alternate form of the beam saber, with an extended handle and a three pronged beam at the end. The long reach of the weapon gives the RX-78-2 an advantage in close quarters combat.
- Gundam Hammer/Hyper Hammer
- The Gundam Hammer is essentially a large spiked ball attached to a chain, and provides the Gundam with a ranged melee weapon. The Gundam could either throw or swing the Hammer around itself in order to impact and damage its target through the sheer mass of the hammer. Later, it was upgraded into the Hyper Hammer and had several rockets mounted into the ball in order to allow it to maneuver more effectively in space as well as the ability to change its direction before impact, and to increase the damage it could cause.
- BAUVA*XBR-M-79-07G Beam Rifle
- A revolutionary weapon for its time, the beam rifle is the primary weapon used by the Gundam. Making use of the Federations 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. The rifle could only be fired 16 times before depleting its energy and becoming useless. When not in use, the beam rifle can be stored on the back skirt armor.
- BLASH*XHB-L-03/N-STD Hyper Bazooka
- 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 often used to take out slow, heavily armored targets.
- RX*M-Sh-008/S-01025 Shield
- Hand-carried, forearm-mounted or stored on the Gundam's backpack, the shield is a simple defense used to block most physical and beam attacks. 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. The shield is also used to deflect heat away from the mobile suit when undergoing atmospheric re-entry.
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.
- 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.
- Learning Computer
- A critical component of the Gundam's success in combat, the Learning Computer System was similar to a modern day black box. It recorded the data from each of the Gundam's battles for further use. However, the system could also actively learn and improve the capabilities of the Gundam. This was conceived of as a means to get around the difficulty of training pilots. The computer could apply various programs for walking, fighting, and working to the case at hand, independently reaching decisions and making improvements. Once adequate data had been accumulated, the programs could be transplanted, allowing even a machine operated by a novice to perform like a veteran pilot.
- Heatproof Field
- A system installed in the RX-78-2 Gundam, which pumps out air to counter the friction heat of atmospheric entry. The mobile suit's internal cooling systems must also be engaged to deal with the heat that penetrates the air field.
- Magnetic Coating
- A special membrane treatment applied to mobile suit joints to improve their response speed. The mobile suits developed by the Earth Federation Forces use special actuators called field motors, whose efficiency is increased by the magnet coating process. The treatment also reduces friction resistance in the mobile suit's joints. First tested on the RX-78-3 Gundam, this process is then applied to the RX-78-2 used by Amuro Ray, reducing the time required for changes of direction by roughly 27%.
The RX-78-2 was the second of three Gundam prototype units constructed on Side 7 in UC 0079, as part of the Earth Federation's V Project. Built to complement the long-range unit Guntank and mid-range support unit Guncannon, the Gundam was designed to be a highly mobile, close range machine with advanced weaponry beyond that used by Zeon's machines.
A raid by Zeon forces on Side 7 in September of UC 0079 resulted in heavy damage to the other two RX-78 units built on the colony. However, thanks to the unexpected interference of V Project head Tem Ray's son, Amuro, inside the RX-78-2, the Zeon intruders were repelled. Though they had caused significant damage to the colony, the Gundam and its sister units were spared. The three machines acted as the defense force for the Pegasus-class mobile suit carrier White Base and protected the ship in its push to Earth and travels over North America and Asia, fighting in support of General Revil's Odessa campaign.
The RX-78-2 would see use in the defense of the Federation's headquarters in Jaburo and the pivotal raids on Zeon's asteroid bases Solomon and A Baoa Qu. Its reputation was one of dread, with Zeon armed forces nicknaming the unit and its pilot White Devil. In the final battle of the One Year War, the Gundam engaged an unfinished Zeon prototype, the Zeong (piloted by Char Aznable), in battle. Both machines took heavy blows from the other, with the Gundam losing its head and left arm. The two machines ultimately destroyed each other within the corridors of the Zeon stronghold, when their pilots had them both fire one last shot after being set to auto pilot. Amuro later returned to the Gundam's wreckage and used the still-intact Core Fighter to escape the fortress.
Despite the loss of Amuro's prototype Gundam unit, the series itself enjoyed a long service life in the Federation, being made with many variants before being replaced in 0087 by the Gundam Mk-II, the Zeta Gundam and the ZZ Gundam.
- RX-78-2 Gundam Real Type
- RX-78-3 Gundam "G-3"
- RX-78-3 Solomon Express G-3 "White Devil"
- RX-78-4 Gundam Unit 4 "G04"
- RX-78-5 Gundam Unit 5 "G05"
- RX-78-6 Mudrock Gundam
- RX-78-7 7th Gundam
- RX-78/C.A. Casval's Gundam
- RX-78-Z1 Zeon's Gundam
- RX-78T Gundam Titans Version
- RX-78-2 Gundam General Revil Custom
- RX-78-2 Gundam + B-Parts
- RX-78Opt Gundam G-Dash
- PF-78-1 Perfect Gundam
- PF-78-3 Perfect Gundam III "Red Warrior"
- Musha Gundam
- Knight Gundam
- Ryubi Gundam
- GPB-X78-30 Forever Gundam
Notes and Trivia
- The Gundam was portrayed as having another weapon, the Super Napalm. Seen only in the second episode of the original series, it was a projectile fired from the beam rifle that caused whatever it hit to be engulfed in flames. The weapon did not appear in any other episode and is in many cases simply not mentioned in sourcebooks; however, it has since appeared as a weapon in the PlayStation game SD Gundam G-Generation F (used by the RX-78-1 Prototype Gundam) , the Game Boy Advance game Super Robot Wars A , the PlayStation 3 game Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. and in Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation the Super Napalm is attached the Beam Rifle.
- The ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny has similarities to the RX-78-2 Gundam consisting of legs as one section, upper body as another, and its YFX-M56S Core Splendor being based on The FF-X7 Core Fighter, and has a very similar red-with-gold-cross design for its shield.
- The GN-000 0 Gundam in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 largely resembles the RX-78-2 Gundam, and is even repainted in a color scheme similar to the RX-78-2 in its final battle. Another in-joke is that the 0 Gundam's pilot and antagonist, Ribbons Almark, shares the same voice actor with Amuro Ray. Ironically, Amuro's English voice actor, Brad Swaile, is the same English voice actor for Gundam 00's main protagonist, and Ribbons' main rival, Setsuna F. Seiei.
- In the novelization of Mobile Suit Gundam, the RX-78-2 isn't destroyed during the Battle of A Baoa Qu, but during an ambush in Texas Colony at the end of the first book. Amuro then uses the RX-78-3 until his death at the end of the novels.
- The Gundam makes a very small cameo in a commercial for Toys'R'Us. It appears in the lower right corner for about 1–2 seconds.
- The Gundam can also be clearly seen on one of the shopping bags carried by Will Smith in an early scene of the 1998 movie Enemy of the State.
- The RX-78-2 appears in one scene in Mobile Fighter G Gundam clinging on to a rocket. .
- The RX-78-2 has the biggest number of variations in the game SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online. The variations include the normal version, the Twin Bazooka version, the Hyper Hammer version, the Beam Javelin version, the Magnetic Coating/Last Shooting version, the special edition Gold version, the Char Custom, and with B-Parts.
- The RX-78-2 Gundam, GN-000 0 Gundam, AGE-1 Gundam AGE-1 Normal and YG-111 Gundam G-Self share the same head height - 18 meters.
- The RX-78-2 makes a cameo appearance in the 2018 film Ready Player One, albeit in a pose performed by the MSZ-010 ZZ Gundam. The RX-78-2 Gundam was also mentioned in the novel of the same name. In the film, the character Daito uses an item to turn into the RX-78-2 Gundam while in the novel, it was piloted by the character Aech.
- In Super Robot Wars A, despite the story taking place after the One Year War, the RX-78-2 Gundam is Amuro's main machine from the start of the game, even though it was destroyed at the battle of A Baoa Qu. It is never explained how Amuro managed to get back the RX-78-2 Gundam.
|Crossbone Gundam: Skull Heart Mechanics|
EMS-06 Batara | EMS-10 Pez Batara | XM-10 Flint | XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 Kai | XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 Kai Kai "Skull Heart"
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
Little Grey | Mother Vanguard
Amakusa | EMS-06 Batara | EMS-06-P Arana Batara | EMS-10 Pez Batara | EMS-12 Arana
|Earth Federation Forces|
F91 Gundam F91 | RGM-79 GM | RGM-122 Javelin | RX-78-2 Gundam
B Gundam | RB-79 Ball
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
|Principality of Zeon|
MS-06F Zaku II | MS-06MS Barbus | MS-09R Rick Dom
|Jupiter Energy Fleet|