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 to 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 Vulcan gun placed in the suit'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
- Also known as 35mm Vulcan Gun, a pair of these weapons are mounted in the head. 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. They are ideal for shooting down small, lightly armored targets such as missiles, small land vehicles, and attack helicopters.
- 12.7mm Vulcan Gun
- Mounted in the torso, the Vulcan gun is primarily designed to take out enemy infantry. It can be used in conjunction with the head mounted 35mm machine guns to target enemy attack craft, though like the machine guns, it lacks the power to significantly damage mobile suit's armor.
- X.B.Sa-G-03 Beam Saber
- The RX-79[G]Ez-8 Gundam Ez8 has two beam sabers, one stored in each lower leg in an internal recharging rack. Once removed and activated, operating time is limited to one minute at normal plasma temperature and saber length. Can be replaced and recharged via leg sub-generator, with a full recharge taking 15 minutes. Typical plasma blade runs at 250,000 degrees Celsius, with a normal blade length of 12 meters +/- 0.5 meters.
- RGM·S-Sh-WF/S-00116·Ap-A Shield
- Mounted on either forearm, this shield is an improved version of the one used by the Gundam Ground Type and the GM Ground Type. It is capable of deflecting most incoming ballistic projectiles and some explosive warheads. Mount latch and joint/pivot mount position retracted for protection or extended for slashing or punching attacks. Can be thrust into the ground and used as an elevated weapon firing position. Features include top carrying handle and shield claw.
- NF·GMG-Type.37/100mm Machine Gun
- The standard armament for Federation mobile suit ground forces, the Type 37 is an open-bolt, gas-operated, magazine-fed, mobile suit handheld machine gun. It fires a 100x450 millimeter round at a rate of 500 rounds per minute and is loaded with a 20-round box magazine. Features include a folding stock and swivel forward hand grip. Maximum effective range of 1.5 kilometers. The Type 37 cannot be used in space. Every Gundam and GM ground type carry two spare 20-round magazines on their hip armor.
- P.B.R-0079/A12 S-0000204 Beam Rifle
- A more powerful alternative to the 100mm machine gun, the beam rifle is powered by an internal energy capacitor and fires concentrated mega particles that can damage any ordinary armor that has not be specially treated to resist it. Mobile Suits equipped with a beam rifle are considered to have power equal to a battleship.
- NFHI·GMCa-type.09/180mm Cannon
- The Type 09 artillery cannon fires a 180x800 millimeter HE round and is loaded with an 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 and 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 three Gundams to not have the V-fins on the head. The others are the Victory Gundam Hexa and OMS-90R Gundam F90.