The RX-79[G]Ez-8 Gundam Ez8 (ガンダムEz8) is a custom variant of the original RX-79［G］ Gundam Ground Type. It was one of the signature mobile suits in the 12-episode anime OVA series Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team piloted by the series' main protagonist Shiro Amada.
Technology and Combat Characteristics
The RX-79[G]Ez-8 Gundam Ez8 is a reconstruction of a heavily damaged RX-79［G］ Gundam Ground Type using whatever parts the Earth Federation Forces engineers could find.
The resulting amalgam of spare parts was given the new model number RX-79[G]Ez-8, code named the Gundam Ez8 (Ez8 standing for "Extra zero-8"). The Gundam Ez8, despite being constructed largely of spare parts, was actually capable of a slightly higher performance than the existing RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type. By removing the fixed weapons in the left side of the chest the Kojima Battalion engineers were able utilize the extra space to improve upon its power plant mechanism and boost reactor output, which gave the Gundam Ez8 a higher generator output, better propulsion, improved mobility, and superior overall performance. The Gundam Ez8's armor placement was also revised, giving it added protection around the cockpit block and chest, and around the ankles.
To compensate for the removal of the chest-based vulcan and multi-launcher cannons, the Gundam Ez8 had a 12.7mm anti-personnel machine gun placed in the mecha's abdominal region, as well as twin 35mm machine guns mounted in the head. The Ez8 still retained the two beam sabers stored in the compartments in the sides of the legs, and was still capable of using all of the armaments its predecessor could, although Shiro heavily favored the 100mm machine gun. The traditional Gundam "V-fin" communications array that was mounted on the forehead was also done away with, opting instead to replace it with a more durable and more function-efficient rabbit-ear communications antenna on the right side of its head. The Gundam Ez8's backpack design was left unchanged allowing it to still mount mission packs and other necessary field equipment options.
- 35mm Machine Gun
- When the RX-79[G]Ez-8 Gundam Ez8 was rebuilt, it was equipped with a pair of head-mounted 35mm machine guns that serve the same role as the usual 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. They are ideal for shooting down small, fast moving, lightly armored targets such as missiles, small land vehicles, and attack helicopters.
- 12.7mm Anti-Personal Machine Gun
- The RX-79[G]Ez-8 Gundam Ez8 mounts a new 12.7mm anti-personnel machine gun in the chest armor. Primarily designed to take out enemy infantry, the machine gun can be used in conjunction with the head mounted 35mm machine guns to target enemy attack craft, though like the 35mm machine guns, it lacks the power to significantly damage the armor of a mobile suit.
- X.B.Sa-G-03 Beam Saber
- Just like the standard RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type, The RX-79[G]Ez-8 Gundam Ez8 mounts two X.B.Sa-G-03 beam sabers stored in leg mounted recharge racks.
- RGM·S-Sh-WF/S-00116·Ap-A Shield
- The RGM·S-Sh-WF/S-00116·Ap-A shield model is notably smaller though thicker than the kind equipped to their RX-78-2 Gundam and RGM-79 GM cousins, which allows greater arm movement. Two notable features is the grip bar at the top of the shield and a pair of thick prong-like protrusions that can be used as a smashing weapon against enemy mobile suits.
- NF·GMG-Type.37/100mm Machine Gun
- Because beam rifles are difficult and expensive to produce, the Earth Federation made expansive use of the cheaper and easier to build solid projectile firing weapons similar to what the Zeon's Zaku used. One such weapon was the shell firing 100mm machine gun, which had the power to pierce the steel armor of a Zeon mobile suit. However unlike beam rifles which tend to do massive amounts of damage, the machine gun is more "hit or miss" on the damage it causes depending on which sections of a mobile suit it hits. The machine gun is clip fed and two spare clips are stored on the Ez8's hip armor.
- P.B.R-0079/A12 S-0000204 Beam Rifle
- A standard hand carried ranged beam weapon is the beam rifle. Capable of firing concentrated mega particles, attacks from a beam rifle are can damage any ordinary armor that has not be specially treated to resist it. Mobile suit's equipped with a beam rifle are considered to have power equal to a battleship. The range the P.B.R-0079/A12 S-0000204 Beam Rifle can reach is up to and possibly exceeding 10 kilometers, however such a range is exceptionally difficult for the cameras, targeting computer, and the pilot to effectively target at such range without extra equipment, though it is not impossible.
- 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. The cannon can be broken down into five components for storage in the backpack storage container: the forward barrel with muzzle brake group, the rear barrel group, the forward receiver group, the rear receiver group and the magazine. Features include a swivel-out forward hand grip and top carrying handle.
- Parachute Pack
- For missions that require the RX-79[G]Ez-8 Gundam Ez8 to be air lifted and dropped into the combat zone, the mobile suit can be equipped with a parachute pack. The large pack contains three massive parachutes as well as thrusters used to slow the mobile suit's final descent. Once on the ground the parachute pack can be discarded so it does not slow the mobile suit down as dead weight.
- Weapon Rack
- Another part that could be attached to the back of the Ez8 Gundam is a weapon rack. The Weapon Rack goes on like a hiking backpack and would allow the Ez8 to carry a variety of armaments and ammunition for both itself and the other members of its squad.
As the One Year War continued to drag on, the Earth Federation Forces began to put the vast majority of their resources towards creating and maintaining the mass-produced GM line of mobile suits. This left many of the Federation's older units with little to diminishing supplies needed to undergo repairs and regular maintenance. Nowhere was this veritably felt than with the remaining RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type units since they were constructed primarily of spare parts left over from the RX-78 development project. When the 08th MS Team's leader, Ensign Shiro Amada's, RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type was all but destroyed during an ambush on the Zeon's prototype Apsalus II mobile armor, it had to be rebuilt from the ground up.
Shiro Amada's Gundam Ez8 would continue to see service in the Southeast Asian theater during the One Year War, until it was destroyed during the battle to besiege and capture Zeon's mountain stronghold where the completed Apsalus III was about to emerge and wreak havoc on the forces that had already surrounded and amassed from all sides of the enemy's mountain fortress. The Ez8 was able to defeat the Apsalus after a lengthy and dramatic battle before supposedly being consumed by the latter's massive explosion.
- RX-79Ez-8 Gundam Ez8 Kai
A space combat variant of Gundam Ez8. First appears in SD Gundam G Generation Gather Beat video game. This non-official variant has an identical in-game visual appearance. Aside from becoming space worthy, the only difference to Gundam Ez8 is its hand held cannon which is 200mm caliber instead of the standard 180mm.
In G Generation Gather Beat, the Ez8 Kai is built after Shiro Amada launches his regular Ez8 to fight the Apsalus III in space, but is unable to move, due to the fact that his unit was built for Earth combat and thus easily beaten. Doctor J, aiding the heroes, goes on to modify the Ez8 to be space-worthy and later creates two specialized modules for the Ez8 Kai.
Notes & Trivia
- The designation "Ez8" appears to be a reference to the M4A3E8(76)W "Easy Eight" variant of the M4 Sherman medium tank of World War II.
- Gundam Ez-8 is one of 2 Gundams to not have the V-fins on the head. The other is the Victory Gundam Hexa.