Re: what are the Newtype powers?


Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:31:46 -0800


Chien Ting Chin writes,

>Ok, that's quite believable, in the sense that Newtype are not such a huge
>evolutionary jump from Oldtype. Can Newtypes sense truth and lies?

  I suppose it's possible, but if so, I don't think it's ever been
demonstrated in the animation.

>So how did Amuro figure out the "self-destruct in 1:30" part when he faced
>Giren in the 52-episode outline?

  Um, good question. Fortunately, since this ending wasn't used, we don't
have to try and rationalize it. ;-)

>Again this makes sense, this kind of "brainwave" control is in fact
>functional today. Apparently most normal people like you and me can do it
>without much training.

  Yep - as I mentioned, this is called biofeedback. At a trade show last
year, I saw a demo of an electrode headband that monitored your brainwave
patterns; watching a display of your patterns on the screen, you can train
yourself to produce specific patterns and then program the computer to
recognize them, kinda like a mental command-key shortcut. I recently saw a
TV clip about a scientist in Australia who's developed a more sensitive
variation on this kind of device, which can actually receive the signals
from across a room; Julie and I both yelped, "Psycommu!" when the clip came
on. :-)

>Still I think the so-called brainwave is actually electromagnetic wave.

  Yes, and that's the catch. If Minovski interference block electromagnetic
radiation, it would also block brainwave signals. Maybe the excuse is that
brainwaves also radiate on a presently-undetected "psychic wavelength"
which isn't blocked, but I've yet to see this issue discussed in the
Japanese reference books.

>Ok, that's fine, what about the main weapon of Elmeth? How come it can
>destroy a whole battleship with a single shot at beyond-sensors range? I
>am not impressed that 2 different weapon systems: the remote-control
>system (bits) and the Elmeth long-range weapon is confused into one name.

  The Elmeth's long-range weapon _is_ the bit system. The Elmeth was beyond
sensor range, but the bits were up close to deliver their lethal beam
blasts. The fact that the bits weren't shown at this point was just a
dramatic device to heighten suspense.

  Actually, this brings up a question. The bits have monoeyes for
targeting, but does the targeting info get passed back to the pilot? If so,
how? All I can thing is that the bits would reflect the brainwave signal
back to the pilot, either encoding sensor data into it or at the very least
"pinging" to tell the pilot where they are, which would make them _very_
easy for another newtype to detect.

>Too bad I don't remember the Brau Bro ep, but I remember the Elmeth ep.
>Did or did not Amuro rely on Newtype power to deal with the Bits?

  Oh, definitely - he quickly senses where the bits will be and shoots at
their future location, just like Camille and Scirocco in Z Gundam. But
these guys never pull off the same trick against manned mobile suits, nor
against wired units like the Ziong's hands or the Brau Bro's cannons. The
simple explanation is that they're unconsciously eavesdropping on the
psychic commands that are sent to the bits, like a puppet-show audience
member watching the puppet's strings. I think this is explicitly stated in
the Gundam novels.

>Second problem, (this is nickpicking) when Amuro send msgs to his White Base
>buddies, didn't he explicitly foresee that Frau and the kids can escape by
>running "after the next volley of bullets"?

  Yes, though he didn't warn Sayla about some of the booby-traps in her
path. Either Amuro, in his near-death trance state, actually does become
momentarily precognitive - in which case Lalah's ghostly boast that she can
"see time" may not be utter nonsense - or he's able to sense the Zeon
soldiers who are pinning her down and guess at their next action. Either
way, it's pretty freaky stuff, but he never does anything like it again.

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons <mailto:scorpio@best.com>
MacAddict: the magazine! <http://www.macaddict.com/>
Gundam: the Project! <http://gundam.anime.net/>



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