Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Mon, 29 Nov 1999 00:26:21 -0800


Hey folks,

  Some semi-related notes drawn from the Master Grade Rick Dom manual and
the cool year 2000 Gundam calendar (the latter uses CG models from the
upcoming Sunrise Hero Legend game for the Dreamcast)...

TIMELINE GAPS FILLED

The 2000 calendar sports a One Year War timeline on its front cover (in
English, no less) that assigns dates to a couple of key events from
Gundam 0080. While this has been done before - in the infamous EB 39,
Bandai's Visual Comic, and Newtype magazine - these dates are credited to
the staff of Shindosha, godlike keepers of the One True Timeline, and
printed in an official Sunrise publication. Those dates:

  12.09 As before, the date of the Cyclops attack on a Federation polar base.
  12.13 The first attack on Side 6, in which Bernie is shot down.
  12.14 The Cyclops team infiltrate Side 6 to begin Operation Rubicon.
  12.19 Operation Rubicon launched, Cyclops team wiped out.
  12.25 Bernie's final attack, naturally.

  Meanwhile, the Rick Dom manual (vetted, presumably, by Stream Base
veteran Katsumi Kawaguchi) gives dates for the White Base's activities
during this time frame:

  12.13 The White Base launches into space as a decoy.
  12.14 The White Base wipes out Doren's orbital patrol.
  12.19 The White Base wipes out Conscon's fleet at Side 6.
  12.21 The White Base visits Texas Colony.

  The Battle of Solomon, of course, is on December 24.

  The White Base dates all seem eminently reasonable to me. The return to
space is just prior to the official start of Operation Star One (December
14, as per the current Shindosha timeline), and it's much easier to
ascribe extra time to the Jaburo layover than to the Side 6 visit. The
dates are compatible with the typical travel times - three days from
Earth to each Side, two days between Sides, allowing for a 2-3 day visit
at Side 6 and a one-day rendezvous at Side 5.

  One oddity - though the manual follows the movie continuity in putting
the Texas Colony stuff before Solomon, it notes that the Gundam
reportedly battled the Gyan here. They're evidently trying to have their
Gyan cake and eat it too... :-)

CALENDAR SIGHTEMS

The most eyecatching page of the 2000 calendar is the next-to-last, an
eye-popping array of Zakus seemingly fresh from the assembly line. As an
extra treat, a few custom-colored units are mixed into the green ranks.
You'll see Shin Matsunaga's F type, with white head and spike armor; he
has two apparent wingmen with white shoulders. Char's pink colors are in
evidence; though the caption says they're all F types, Char supposedly
went straight from the C type to his souped-up S type, and this
antenna-less unit would presumably be the former. Right in the front is
Gato's Zaku II, sporting a command antenna and his familiar
green-and-blue colors (he has two wingmen with blue shoulders).

  This last Zaku, of course, is the same one featured in the December
issue of Hobby Japan. HJ doesn't identify it by type, but since it has a
command antenna, one rather supposes it's an S type like Char's. (That's
the conclusion that some of the Japanese fan sites have jumped to.)

RICK DOM TIDBITS

As you know, the MG Rick Dom is basically the same as the MG Dom, with
modified back thrusters, rear skirt, and feet - plus a big honkin' beam
bazooka. They didn't even redo the leg internals, so the air vents and
turbine engines seem rather incongruous for the rocket-equipped space
version. But as ever, the info-packed manual helps make up for it. Some
highlights:

* The manual reports that, at the point when the MS-11 project was
rescheduled to incorporate beam weapons, the next few projects were
already underway. Specifically, three of the four Pezun mobile suits were
in development: the MS-10, an improved version of the Dom; and the MS-12
and MS-13, specialized designs for a Jaburo invasion (placing the Gigan
and the Gasshia in the company of the infamous Agg series). The Gelgoog
was changed to the MS-14 because that was the next number available,
which makes sense to me.

* The notion of adapting the Dom for space combat was proposed a month or
more before mass production of the standard Dom began. Since the MG Dom
manual claimed that mass production began at the end of September, this
places the start of the Rick Dom project around mid-to-late August. The
MG Rick Dom manual indicates that production of the completed Rick Dom
began in early November, on the same Granada production lines that had
previously been cranking out ground type Doms.

* The beam bazooka was produced experimentally in December 0079. Instead
of an E-cap, it uses some other means to accumulate energy and generate
mega particles; it's very powerful (on a par with a Musai deck cannon)
but charges very slowly. It's possible that the beam bazooka is a
straight-up mega particle cannon, slowly accumulating Minovsky particles
from the Rick Dom's modest generator and then using a bulky energy
condensor to produce mega particles. The bulk of the beam bazooka, and
the slow charging process, seem pretty much apt for an E-cap-less mega
particle cannon.

-- 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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