[gundam] Gelgoog Redux (was Re: Beam Naginata)


Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 13:45:56 -0800


More musings on the pinnacle of Zeon mobile suit technology! But first, a
followup...

Dafydd writes,

>We've been classifying the double-bladed beam weapon as the beam naginata
>and the single-bladed weapon as the beam saber, but that's not what they
>show here.
>
>The same double-bladed weapon is identified as BOTH a beam saber and a beam
>naginata! The difference is not the double versus single blade, but the
>TYPE of blade.

  Yep, the MG Gelgoog kit manual states that the weapon can generate either
straight (saber) blades or curved (naginata or halberd) blades. It's not
clear whether this can be toggled on the fly or is a hard-wired setting.
Makes sense, though; the essential respect in which the beam naginata
resembles the real thing is in the shape of its blade, not the number
thereof.

Now, some more thoughts on the Gelgoog. You'll recall that, in a recent
message discussing the synchronization of the original Gundam series with
Gundam 0080, I'd estimated Char's duel with Amuro at the Texas Colony as
taking place around December 22, UC 0079. Meanwhile, in 0080, a Gelgoog
fights to cover Bernie's entrance into the Revo space colony on or around
December 16.

  But Char's supposed to be a Gelgoog test pilot, and his mobile suit a
pre-production test unit. How come we see advanced production models in use
almost a week earlier? Before we write this off as a continuity glitch, let
me propose an alternate theory regarding the timing of the Gelgoog's
development.

First, I direct you to the MG kit manual. Echoing earlier accounts, the
manual says that the YMS-14 Gelgoog prototype was completed in October,
although the accompanying beam rifle wasn't perfected until late November.
The recently-published Johnny Ridden biographical comic published in the
first and only issue of Comic Japan is agreeable, indicating that Ridden
was pulled from the front lines in late October and put to work as a
Gelgoog test pilot. Organization of the 31-member Ace Corps test team
followed soon thereafter.

  Okay, so we have the Gelgoog prototype completed by the end of October.
Production of the full 25-unit test run, and organization of the elite test
& training team, should plausibly take place in November; by the end of the
month, they can begin testing the beam weapons as well.

When and where was the mass-produced Gelgoog manufactured? An old NewType
timeline claimed that production and posting began on December 8, which
seems too early for compatibility with the animation (no Gelgoogs appear in
the Battle of Solomon, which takes place on December 24). However, in the
real world, you'd have to allot a couple of weeks for pilot training on the
new machines, so they might plausibly not appear in battle until around
December 20.

  The production site can be determined by a process of elimination.
Solomon has no mobile suit factories of its own. Kishiria's Granada base
does, but when she goes to join the defense of A Bao A Qu, she brings no
Gelgoogs with her and is unable to replace Char's damaged prototype when it
gets chopped up in transit. (Char hopes to score a new one when they reach
A Bao A Qu, but by that point they're all gone.)

  The only remaining candidate is A Bao A Qu, which does have its own
factories. This is where Cima's complement of Gelgoogs were produced, and
it may well be the only source for the mass-produced Gelgoog series.
Certainly, A Bao A Qu is able to field plenty of them during the final
battle. And even if they were in stock prior to the Battle of Solomon,
you'll recall that Giren refuses to send Dozul reinforcements (other than
the Big Zam). Conclusion: The production model(s) of the Gelgoog was
produced and stationed exclusively at A Bao A Qu, where Giren hoarded them
for his own purposes.

Now, back to Char. I note that, during the Texas Colony segment, he's
concerned with testing the Elmeth rather than the Gelgoog - he only sorties
in the latter to drive away the Gundam. However, having come from Earth to
Side 6 to Side 5 pretty much non-stop, he can't have had much opportunity
to test the Gelgoog in the meantime.

  My explanation: He didn't need to, since he'd already done his test pilot
chores. Prior to Char's appearance at Belfast in late November, when he's
in charge of the Mad Angler submarine fleet, Char could easily have done a
stint as an early Gelgoog test pilot. In fact, if this was prior to the
formation of the Ace Corps and the completion of the beam rifle, Char and
Ridden may well have been among the very first Gelgoog pilots.

  When (if) Char was transferred back to Earth, what became of his Gelgoog?
Unlike the other 24, it wasn't used by the Ace Corps for their combat
tests. I submit that it came back to Earth with Char, and quite possibly
has been sitting at California Base along with his Zanzibar-class cruiser
the whole time. In fact, since Gundam ZZ indicates that Gelgoogs were
produced on Earth as well, Char may have discharged some or all of his test
pilot duty in testing his Gelgoog on Earth! Perhaps, rather than sitting
idle, Char's Gelgoog was being used by Zeon's terrestrial engineers to
prepare for local production.

  Thus, by the time he duels Amuro at Texas Colony, Char's Gelgoog has long
since outlasted its usefulness as a test unit. Testing has been completed,
production is in full swing at A Bao A Qu and possibly on Earth as well,
trained pilots are being stationed, and last-minute upgrades are being
rolled out.

Whew! There you have it. Long, I know, but perhaps of interest.

-- 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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