Mark Simmons (
Mon, 15 Nov 1999 23:40:35 -0800

James Boren asks,

>When were the Balls first deployed?
>I had always assumed that they would have been available early on in the
>OYW considering they are a simple modification of a civilian device. But
>some things I've read lead me to believe they came out with the GMs at the
>end of the war.

  That's correct. The actual concept for the Ball came years earlier - it
was proposed under the development code RX-76, indicating that it came
after the Guntank and before the Guncannon - but the Federation didn't
put it into production until the very end of the war, when it became
apparent that they weren't going to be able to crank out as many GMs as
they needed for Operation Star One.

  Thus, the Ball seen in the first episode of 08th MS Team, which was
originally supposed to be a modification of the standard Ball, was
retconned when the staff belatedly remembered that there _was_ no
standard Ball at that point in time. It's now billed as one of a hundred
or so trial units, converted from existing civilian space pods as a trial
run for the standard Ball (hence the vestigial winch).

-- Mark

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