Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Tue, 11 Jan 2000 00:17:04 -0800


Hi folks,

  This week's techie Gundam tidbit is brought to you by the veery
interesting kit manual of the Master Grade GM Quell. I don't have one yet
- the only December kit release that I've gotten hold of so far is the MG
ZZ - but Mark Schumann loaned me the manual from his. Here's the scoop on
the lineage of this elusive mobile suit, hitherto glimpsed only in the
closing frames of Gundam 0083.

Z Gundam fans may recall Augusta Labs, one of the several newtype
research institutes set up by the Titans. This company, based in North
America, is the developer of the Gaplant and Bound Doc, and the creator
of artificial newtype Rozamia Badam. Over the years, its exploits have
been further embellished by third-party chroniclers...

* According to the Shindosha timeline, this organization began as the
Federal Forces' Augusta research base, where the RX-78NT1 Alex was
developed as an early effort to create newtype-specific weapons. When the
newtype labs were formally established after the One Year War, Augusta
evolved into a full-time newtype research facility.

* According to Gundam Sentinel, Augusta was also the first organization
to succeed in developing a quasi-psycommu system that could be used by
normal humans, and also created the wire-guided incom weapons system.
Augusta's technology was tested in the ORX-012 Gundam Mk. IV and ORX-013
Gundam Mk. V, and subsequently transferred (either by espionage or by
business arrangement) to both Anaheim Electronics and the Neo Zeon.

  Well, the GM Quell manual explains what Augusta was up to between the
One Year War and Z Gundam. The RGM-79N GM Custom seen in Gundam 0083 is
actually designed and manufactured by Augusta, as a derivative of the
Alex. The GM Quell is a continuation of the "Augusta series", produced
exclusively for the newly-formed Titans. Not only does this establish an
early alliance between Augusta and the Titans, but the GM Quell also
introduces an early version of the movable frame technology that was
perfected in the Gundam Mk. II.

This is interesting on a couple of fronts. For one thing, it makes the
lineage between the Gundam, Alex, GM Custom, and GM Quell official - from
the Alex onward, this is Augusta pursuing its own development path,
separate from the work of Anaheim Electronics or the mainstream Federal
Forces. The implication that Augusta's work on the GM Quell was the basis
for the Gundam Mk. II project makes this newtype lab a major player in
Gundam evolution.

   Additionally, the assignment of the GM Quell to a private company
gives the Z Gundam mecha scene a bit of the charming "developer wars"
flavor of the One Year War. After all, we thus have Augusta creating the
GM Quell for the Titans to use _inside_ colonies, and Anaheim producing
the Hizack for combat _outside_ colonies - two rival manufacturers vying
for a lucrative government contract. And the notion that various
manufacturers were licensed to produce upgraded GMs would help account
for the wide variety of variants we've seen over the years...

-- Mark

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Mark Simmons / scorpio@best.com / http://gundam.anime.net
"He's a god - it'll take more than one shot."

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