Edward Ju (gundam@loop.com)
Mon, 24 Jan 2000 15:04:34 -0800

>Edward Ju wrote:
>> The S type are commander's units, and several were made. If you see an
>> antenna on its head then it's a S-type Zaku II. Char's just happend to be
>> painted red, but usually these have the same colors as the F/J types.
>I though that the antenna is just an indication of a commander unit and
>it doesn't really tell you the Zaku II type? As far as I know, the only
>external differance the S type has over the F/J types are the extra
>thrusters in the lower leg section.

As far as I know, the antenna in general signals a Zeon suit being a
commander type. In the case of Zaku II F/J variants, the antenna means
it's a S-type. With MSV variants like the R, you are correct in that the
presence of the antenna does not make it a S-type, since most of these
were given to ace pilots who are also comamnders.

The S-type is supposed to have improved performance over the grunt suits of
the F/J variety, but the official story keeps changing - in the original
series and first Gundam movie, Char's S-type is supposed to move at 3 times
as fast as a regular Zaku. Over the years, that performance boost ratio has
been steadily downgraded through model kit manuals, publications, and even
supplement materials from OVA LDs. Last year Mark Simmons wrote a good
report on the topic which includes Bandai's latest stats according to the
PG Char's Zaku II kit, which reduced its peformance down to only 20 or 30%
over the regular Zaku (as opposed to being 3 times as fast). One of the
supplements to the 08th MS Team LD reconciles the apparent conflict by
claiming that Char achieved three times the velocity of a regular Zaku II
by timing his thrusts as he bounced off Fed battleships in his attack runs
during the Battle of Ruum, where he earned the Red Comet nickname because
his speedy maneuvers left a trail like a comet.

As someone here pointed out (I think it was Tet), that doesn't explain how
the White Base crew got his speed to be three times that of a normal
Zaku II, based on the instruments readout as the carrier was leaving
Side 7, however...


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