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The RX-78-4 Gundam Unit 4 (aka "G04") is a Gundam from Kunio Okawara's MS Collection (M-MSV) original design series, designed by Kunio Okawara as the 4th Gundam. The design was updated to be used in the video game Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters In Space as well as the manga Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story: Space, To the End of a Flash.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The RX-78-4 Gundam Unit 4, more commmonly referred to as "G04", was more advanced in many ways than its more famous predecessor. The Federation decided to convert the Gundam units 4 and 5, which were already in development, into space combat versions for use as main forces in the invasion of Solomon, A Baoa Qu, and then Zeon itself. These machines were of course based on the RX-78-2, and the replacement of the backpack and the addition of thrusters and propellant raised their mobility by roughly 40 percent. Their operating time was also extended, and it was anticipated that they would produce great combat results during lengthy battles, especially in attacks on space fortresses.
The biggest change was the elimination of the core block escape system. The resulting space was used for cooling systems, thus increasing the generator output and enabling the use of more powerful beam weapons. As a result, the armament was upgraded to include an enhanced hyper beam rifle, and one beam gun was installed in each forearm. Plans were also made to equip unit 4 with a mega beam launcher. Thus its generator output was further increased, its cooling systems were enhanced accordingly, and the design of the cooling fins in its chest was changed.
- Vulcan Gun
- A standard armament of the mobile suits that are descended from the Earth Federation Forces's RX series. 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 Saber
- 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. The G04 is equipped with two beam sabers stored in backpack recharge racks.
- Hand Beam Gun
- Mounted on the forearms, presumably has a lower output than a standard beam rifle. Most likely used as a backup to the main weapon or when the unit was fighting with the beam saber. Powered by E-Cap.
- Hyper Beam Rifle
- A high output beam rifle designed to take down heavily armed targets. An upgraded version of the beam rifle carried by the RX-78-2 and G-3. Had fewer shots but was able to more effectively handle the MS-09R and R-2, MS-14, as well as battleships and mobile armors. Was larger and had a longer barrel than the earlier RX-78 beam rifle.
- BLASH-XHB-L-03/N-STD 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.
- Mega Beam Launcher
- A high powered beam cannon. It was connected directly to the G04's generator as well as an external generator in order to be used. It drew so much power that the G04 had to remain stationary with only the essential systems running in order for the weapon to attain a sufficient level of charge. It was only used once in an effort to halt a large fleet of Zeon warships. In the aftermath of the weapon's firing, the external generator exploded and the G04's pilot, Luce Kassel, was killed as a result.
- A basic optional arm-mounted defense armament for many mobile suits. The shield is a thick sheet of armor designed to take severe punishment that would normally destroy a mobile suit. Since the introduction of beam weaponry, shields have been treated with an anti-beam coating allowing it to withstand several beam shots before the coating wears off. Typically physical shields can only take so much damage before they succumb to the pressure and break. This shield has an unique feature, it is normally in its collapse form and can expand when required.
Special Equipment & Features
- Booster Pack (Bst)
- A special set of external fuel tanks and thrusters to give the unit higher speed and better maneuverability.
- 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.
Deployed to the 16th Autonomous Mobile Squadron and assigned to the Pegasus-class warship, the SCVA-72 Thoroughbred, the RX-78-4 Gundam G04 was designed to be able to use a prototype mega beam launcher with destructive power equivalent to that of a capital ship. In order to power such a weapon, the RX-78-4 was outfitted with a heavier power plant than its brother unit, the RX-78-5 Gundam Unit 5 "G05". Like the RX-78-5, the RX-78-4 can be outfitted with a booster system which extends the operational range and time of the mobile suit in space operations. The RX-78-4 only used the mega beam launcher once, in order to stop a reinforcing fleet from Granada. Though the launcher was successful in destroying the fleet, the load it put on the RX-78-4's power plant was too much for the unit to bear, and resulted in the RX-78-4 taking severe damage and killing its pilot. This version of events has always been in dispute. During the final battles of the One Year War there were unconfirmed accounts of the RX-78-4 showing up in battle. In the manga version the artist created the story that Luce Kassel was killed, but he inserted the "IF" it happened story later. It was that Ford Romfellow ripped the external generator off Unit 4 before it exploded, and after that, Unit 4 and Unit 5 were both upgraded with booster units and were in service till the end of the battle of A Baoa Qu.
Notes & Trivia