Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Thu, 28 Oct 1999 16:55:33 -0700


Hi listies (and BCC'd eavesdroppers),

  Two subjects for you on this occasion. First, I've completed an
extensive backgrounder on newtypes and newtype weapons
<http://gundam.anime.net/world/newtype.html>. Second, I picked up the
Master Grade Alex kit (from Mikado Toys in San Francisco's Japan Center,
for you locals). Couple observations I thought might interest y'all...

First, the newtype business. In the process of researching this section,
I unlearned yet another misconception about the Gundam world - namely
that newtype powers involve the sending and receiving of brainwaves,
albeit ultra-powerful ones. As many of you have pointed out, brainwaves
are just electrical signals, and would thus be affected by Minovsky
jamming. So how do newtypes communicate, and control bits and funnels,
despite Minovsky particle interference?

  Enter another unique pseudo-scientific phenomenon, the psycho wave
(also characterized as "sympathic wave" or "mind wave" in some texts).
These emanations, produced by the human thought process, are similar to
brainwaves but aren't electrical in nature. All humans produce them, but
newtypes emit much more psycho wave activity, and are unnaturally
sensitive to the psycho waves of others.

  This not only explains the Minovsky-proof nature of newtype
communication, but also suggests a few other ramifications. For one
thing, it clarifies that newtype senses are specifically attuned to human
thoughts, rather than to some random portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

  Also, since every human brain emits these waves to some degree, it
suggests that newtypes may in fact be able to harness the energies of
normal humans. Read down to the entry on Angel Halo, and you'll see that
the "psychickers" carried aboard the ship are used as a sort of psycho
wave farm, much like the movie The Matrix. The collected energies of
these hapless mundanes are then wielded by a newtype controller. Could
this be the explanation for the mass-mind miracle at the end of Char's
Counterattack?

Now, the Alex thing. The kit, of course, looks like it'll be a real
stunner when it's built (and by the way, it doesn't have individually
movable fingers a la the Dom - just an open hand whose fingers are
dramatically splayed, rather than dangling limply as in previous MG
kits). The kit manual, with its discussion of the infamous UNT Spacy
term, has excited some discussion already, so here are some more details...

  The manual attributes the use of the UNT Spacy term, now officially
disavowed by Sunrise, to a sort of nostalgic retrofitting by the
Federation's developers. The term originally stood for United Nations
Tactical [sic] Spacy, which was a military arm of the old United Nations
before this archaic entity was succeeded by the Earth Federation. The
Federal Forces then cooked up a new acronym as an homage; as per the kit
manual, this is Under Normal Tactical SPecial Assortment Construction
Yard (the kanji translation of Under Normal is simply "unusual"). This
nostalgic nonsense denotes a top-secret special project, which completely
fails to explain why it's stenciled on transport planes and mass-produced
mobile suits.

  In case you were at all tempted to take this silliness seriously, the
kit manual goes on to provide torturous acronyms for "Alex" and
"Chobham." The British town of Chobham, for which the compound armor is
named, will surely be astounded to discover that its proper name is
actually Ceramics Hybrid Outer-shelled Blowup Action Materials.

  But anyway, acronyms aside, the kit looks like it's gonna rock big
time. I'm off to go build mine right now...

-- Mark

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Seek Mark Simmons at <scorpio@best.com> or <http://gundam.anime.net/>

Goriki has an intelligence and grace lacking in all other megamatons!
Plus, the power to stop steam trains! Goriki is ART!

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