The RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex" (RX-78NT-1 ガンダム「アレックス」 RX-78NT-1 Gandamu Arekkusu?, "Alex" being an acronym for "Armored Layers EXperimental") is the main mobile suit featured in the Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket OVA. It was a next generation Gundam the Earth Federation developed during the One Year War for Newtypes. Christina Mackenzie served as its test pilot.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
As the Earth Federation had not researched the extent of Newtype powers (such research would not become available until the acquisition of the Flanagan Institute by the Federation), the RX-78NT-1 Gundam "ALEX" did not have any sort of psycommu control. Instead, the RX-78NT-1 was optimized at every level for the vastly superior reaction time of Newtypes. Test pilot Christina MacKenzie (an Oldtype) noted that the machine was incredibly powerful, almost to the point that it was out of control.
- 60mm Gatling Cannons "Vulcan Guns"
- The Vulcan guns were 60mm gatling guns stored on the sides of the Gundam's head. Having the greatest rate of fire of all the Gundam's weapons these are primarily used to ward off advancing enemies, shoot down missiles, or hit other fast moving 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 suits if fired at point-blank range) and thus were not often used against larger, more heavily armored foes. Still the Vulcans were useful in preserving ammunition for the Gundam's more powerful weapons such as the beam rifle.
- 90mm Gatling Gun
- Arguably the Alex's signature weapon, the gatling guns are normally stored in the blue forearm pieces of the Alex when not in use. When they are activated, the blue piece(s) quickly pop up to reveal the guns. While not near as powerful as a beam rifle, the sheer number of bullets flying through the air shred through almost anything, regardless of how durable it is. This was shown in the case Gundam "Alex" was able take down a thinly armored MS such as the MS-18E Kämpfer with only a few shots.
- Blash·XB-B-09 Beam Saber
- Standard equipment of most Federation Mobile Suit. Gundam "Alex" has two beam sabers, 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 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.
- BOWA·Norfolk XBR-L Type-3 Beam Rifle
- The beam rifle is the primary weapon used by the Gundam "Alex". 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 outward appearance of the Gundam "Alex"'s Beam Rifle differs significantly from the original Gundam's but is assumed to have the same damage effect.
- 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. Almost no mass-production MS's armors can stop this weapon. While very powerful the Hyper Bazooka had a slow rate of fire and fairly little of ammunition. Most often used to take out slow, heavily armored targets.
- RX·C-Sh-05 UBC/S-0003 Shield
- A basic optional arm-mounted defense armament for many Federation 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.
Special Equipment & Features
- 360-degree Panoramic Cockpit
- Replacing the original Gundam's costly Core Block System, the new panoramic cockpit would give the pilot a complete view of the battlefield in all directions, allowing for faster reaction times. This would later be used in the RX-78GP03S Gundam "Dendrobium Stamen" and the RX-178 Gundam Mk-II. This technology would later turn into an instant hit, becoming the standard design on all mobile suits afterwards.
- Chobham Armor
- First tested on the Alex, the Chobham armor was a series of heavy armor plates grafted to the main body of the Alex. Though it granted the Alex superior defensive capabilities (it withstood a direct hit from the Kampfer's Jagdgewehr shotgun and protected the Alex from major damage from the chain mine), it weighs down the suit tremendously and is unarmed. The armor would later be used to develop the RGC-83 GM Cannon II. When placed on the Alex the model number changes to RX-78NT-1FA Full Armor Gundam "Alex".
- 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. With this, the reaction time of the MS is greatly increased, but also made the "Alex" extremely hard to control, especially for an Oldtype. While the Gundam "Alex" wouldn't reach its intended pilot Amuro Ray, this technology still would be applied to the original RX-78-2 Gundam.
As the One Year War raged on, the Federation was learning that its greatest weapon, the RX-78-2 Gundam, had a major flaw with how it was working; its pilot. As Gundam pilot Amuro Ray's Newtype powers quickly emerged, the Gundam found itself greatly overworked by its pilot's great reflexes. Wanting to fix that, the Federation set out to develop a brand new prototype, the RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex", to make the most of Amuro's Newtype abilities. However, unlike the Newtype Mobile Armors fielded by Zeon, the NT-1 didn't utilize wired pods or bits - due to the fact that the Federation did not have the same Newtype research that Zeon did and wouldn't have it until the end of the One Year War - and instead was developed to be much more responsive to its pilot, utilizing the Magnetic Coating pioneered by the RX-78-3 "G-3" Gundam and the brand new Panoramic monitor. As well, the NT-1 Alex was also outfitted with a brand new set of armor known as the Chobam Armor, transforming the Alex into the Full Armor Alex. However, the use of the armor would set the Gundam's total weight to a whopping 95 tons, effectively killing the speed the Alex was meant to have.
However, Zeon would learn of the creation of the Alex and sent the Cyclops Team to destroy it. The Federation would get it away from its Arctic Base and to Side 6. The Cyclops Team would attack the colony and would finally succeed in critically damaging the suit, thanks to Zeon rookie Bernard Wiseman, who would sacrifice his life to stop a nuclear attack. By this time, the One Year War would come to an end and the Alex project would be dropped in favor of the more common psycommu-based Newtype weaponry.
Notes & Trivia
- Due to the fact its only known pilot was an oldtype, the true capabilities of the ALEX when piloted by an actual newtype have never been definitively explored.
- In the video game Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space, when Amuro Ray pilots the ALEX Gundam, he will say "This Alex isn't just for show!" This is a reference to Char's Counterattack when Amuro tells Char Aznable not to underestimate the RX-93 ν Gundam.
- In the video game SD G-Generation DS, on special mode, if you have unlocked the first extra session, instead of NT-1 Alex getting destroyed along with Bernie and Mackenzie, Gato and Char would intervene, saving the Cyclops team. Through this event, the NT-1 Alex would be piloted by Amuro during the battle at A Baoa Qu.
- The Gundam "Alex" received the magnetic coating before the RX-78-2 Gundam.
|Mobile Suit Gundam 0080 Mechanics|
RGM-79D GM Cold Climate Type | RGM-79G GM Command | RGM-79GS GM Command Space Type | RGM-79SP GM Sniper II | RX-77D Guncannon Mass Production Type | RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex"
Cold District Use APC
|Transporter / Supply Ship|
63 STS "Ginga" | C-88 Medea
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
LMSD-76 Gray Phantom
|Principality of Zeon|
| Mobile Suit|
MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai | MS-09R-2 Rick Dom II | MS-14Jg Gelgoog Jäger | MS-18E Kämpfer | MSM-03C Hygogg | MSM-07E Z'Gok-E
|Ship / Submarine|
|Transporter / Supply Ship|
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
Musai-class Final Production Type | Tivvay-class
RH-35E Riah 35 Draken-E