Technology & Combat Characteristics
As described in the Master Grade model manual and MS Encyclopedia, at the conclusion of the One Year War, the Federation started 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. 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.
One major innovation in the RX-78GP01's arsenal was the addition of a beam rifle that used removable energy capacitor called e-pac. 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-pac, a beam rifle 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.
- 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 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, lightly armored targets such as missiles, small land vehicles, and attack helicopters.
- A.E.Blash·XBR-L-83d/Du.02 Beam Saber
- Two beam sabers are stored in the recharge racks on the backpack and hand carried in-use. They also serve as beam guns in core fighter form.
- 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. It uses the new "e-pac" technology, which is a replaceable energy capacitor. Thus, when the beam rifle runs out of energy, swapping the e-pac with a new one allows the rifle to be usable again.
- 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.
- BLASH HB-L-07/N-STD Hyper Bazooka
- Technically a large rocket launcher it could fire several 360mm 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.
- NFHI·GMCa-type.09/180mm Cannon
- The Type 09 artillery cannon fires a 180×800 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.
- 10-tube Missile Launcher
- A hand-carried weapon originally used by the RAG-79 Aqua GM for amphibious combat, it contained a set of missile launchers, and two large torpedoes.
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. In the Language of Flowers, it could mean "I love you back, I must atone for my sins, I will never forget you". The last two are part of Kou Uraki's character - the failure to stop Anaval Gato, his desire to get back the GP-02 and, when the suit is upgraded to the Full Burnern, to make up for his childish mistakes.
- 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-78GP03 Gundam "Dendrobium".
- 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.