Mark Simmons (
Mon, 03 Jan 2000 12:45:47 -0800

Dafydd writes,

>> Remember, to the Japanese, a prototype isn't just a testbed or forerunner
>> of a production model, it's an archetype embodying the ultimate vision of
>> everything the machine can do, from which a lesser, cheaper production
>> model is derived.

  ...demonstrating the hazard of generalizing about other cultures based on
a couple of sci-fi television series. :-)

SJ writes,

> Which brings us to the possible design lineage where the Gundam Alex leads to
> the GM Custom which in turn leads to the GM Quell and eventually to the
> Gundam MkII. Even though this is a retcon solution, it does fit in with the
> overall feel of the Gundam saga (from my point of view, anyway).

  Actually, there's a precedent for this - the RGM-86R GM III, which appears
in ZZ, has some parts in common with the Gundam Mk. II (namely the backpack
and arms). On the one hand, it could be that this GM variant has been
upgraded with Mk. II parts; on the other hand, its model number indicates
that it was designed in 0086, while the Mk. II was still in development.

  Since the Mk. II is supposed to be a half-baked mobile suit created simply
as a movable frame testbed - hence its crappy armor - it doesn't seem that
weird for it to reuse parts from previous and contemporary GM variants. If
the Titans couldn't be bothered to give it superior armor, why go to the
trouble of designing all-new parts for it? Rather, it seems plausible that
they created a high-tech movable frame and kitted it out with existing
components. All the better to determine whether it would be feasible to
revamp standard-issue mobile suits with movable frames.

-- Mark

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