The RX-78GP01 Gundam "Zephyranthes" (aka Zephyranthes, GP01, Unit 1) is a prototype general-purpose mobile suit from the OVA series Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. The unit was piloted by Kou Uraki for the Earth Federation Forces during Operation Stardust.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
As described in the Master Grade model manual and MS Encyclopedia, at the conclusion of the One Year War, the Federation opened the Gundam Development Project, aimed at creating mobile suits superior to those that Zeon had developed. The RX-78GP01 Gundam "Zephyranthes" was the second of five Gundam type mobile suit prototypes completed under this plan.
The RX-78GP01 was designed to be an adaptable mobile suit, able to operate under any condition on earth or in space; to that end its design is superficially similar to the other RX series Gundams. Unlike previous suits, this was one of the first to re-introduce the core fighter concept in its design, utilizing the recently developed FF-XII Core Fighter II as the cockpit.
One major innovation in the RX-78GP01's arsenal was the addition of a beam rifle that used removable energy capacitor clips called e-pacs. Previous beam rifle designs had the energy capacitor integrated into the rifle directly, resulting in the rifle becoming dead weight once the capacitor was depleted. With e-pacs, beam rifles can be used indefinitely as long as the pilot has a ready supply of replacement e-pacs. The RX-78GP01 has three e-pacs (one mounted on the rifle, two held in reserve on the shield) in its normal deployment configuration.
Though the GP01 is operable in both Earth and outer space, it needs to be configured for each environment before battle by swapping out the different Core Fighters. Otherwise, the GP01 will suffer from a lack of balance and will become near impossible to pilot.
- 60mm Vulcan Gun
- A standard armament of the mobile suits that are descended from the Earth Federation Forces's RX series is a pair of head mounted 60mm vulcan guns. 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.
- A.E.Blash·XBR-L-83d/Du.02 Beam Saber
- 2 beam sabers are stored in the recharge racks on the backpack, fixed with the Core Fighter II, they can also serve as beam guns in core fighter form and hand carried in-use.
- BOWA XBR-M-82-05H Beam Rifle
- The BOWA XBR-M-82A-05H beam rifle is the standard rifle for the Zephyranthes, power rated at 1.5 MW, charged by replaceable e-caps. This is the first rifle applying a new technology "e-pacs", which is a replaceable container of mega-particles, able to let the pilot change the e-pac in the battle when running off ammunition of the beam rifle.
- Mounted on the underside of the Zephyranthes' beam rifle, it is a small beam saber designed to catch enemy beam sabers. It allows the pilot to quickly counter when there is no time to draw out his main beam saber.
- HFW-GMG・MG79-90mm Machine Gun
- The bullpup machine gun is an open-bolt, gas-operated, magazine-fed, mobile suit handheld sub-machine gun. It does not require energy to be used, however it is ineffective against heavy armor. When the magazine is empty, it can be discarded and replaced with a new one.
- NFHI·GMCa-type.09/180mm Cannon
- The Type 09 artillery cannon fires a 180x800 millimeter HE round and is loaded with an eight (8) round box magazine. Maximum effective range 3.0 kilometers. Features include a swivel-out forward hand grip and top carrying handle.
- RX·VSh-023F/S-04712 Shield
- As with most other mobile suits, the Zephyranthes carries a single physical shield for defense on its left arm. 2 e-pacs could be stored in the shield.
Special Equipment & Features
- The GP01 features a core block system which allows the cockpit and main engines to eject in the form of a fighter plane, preserving the pilot's life and vital combat data.
- Chobham Armor
- The Chobham armor was a series of heavy armor plates grafted to the main body of the GP01. Though it enhanced the GP01's defensive capabilities, it weighs down the suit tremendously.
- Aqua Equipment
- For amphibious combat, the GP01 could be outfitted with armor components, that allowed it operate effectively underwater. These components contained hydrojets to help in underwater movement, and set of missile launchers on the shoulders.
The RX-78GP01 was taken to Australia's Torrington Base for terrestrial testing, where it was commandeered by (and later assigned to) Federation ENS (later LTJG) Kou Uraki in his effort to retrieve the RX-78GP02A Gundam "Physalis".
The GP01 was heavily damaged while defending the Albion from an attack by Cima Garahau's marine corp., the Cima Fleet. The Gundam was recovered and sent to Anaheim Electronics to undergo a massive upgrade into the RX-78GP01-Fb Gundam "Zephyranthes" Full Burnern.
Notes and Trivia
- Like the rest of the GP0X series of mobile suits, Zephyranthes is named with a flower theme. Its name is derived from Ζέφυρος (Zephyrus), the Greek god of the west wind, and ἄνθος (anthos), meaning flower, referring to the slender stalks.
- There are no GP01 Zephyranthes and Zephyranthes Full Burnern in Super Robot Wars 64 even though there are Stardust Memories storylines in the game. Thus, Kou Uraki pilots a common RGM-79 GM before using the RX-78GP03D Gundam "Dendrobium Orchis".
- Like the RX-78GP02A Gundam "Physalis," the RX-78GP01 Gundam "Zephyranthes" was designed by accomplished anime creator and mechanical designer, Shoji Kawamori, creator of the Macross series.