Mark Simmons (msimmons@powerstudents.com)
Mon, 20 Mar 2000 11:07:31 -0800


Hi folks,

  Just for a lark, let me outline for you a vexing question I've been
puzzling over for the last few days. This one may be of interest to Dafydd
and the Newtype Asylum inmates...

THE QUESTION

Where were the RX-78 Gundam and the other Operation V prototypes made? Were
they developed at Jaburo, and then shipped out to Side 7 for final tests, or
created from scratch at Side 7?

THE FIRST OPTION

The earliest writers on the subject reckoned that the prototype RX mobile
suits were created at Jaburo. Gundam Century claimed, and the MSV books and
kit manuals echoed, that the first incarnations of the Gundam and Guncannon
(the RX-78-1 and RX-77-1) were completed at Jaburo shortly before the beam
rifle was finalized. It turned out that their power output was too low to
run the beam rifle, so three of each type were sent to Luna Two for
precision reactor adjustments that were only possible in microgravity.

  After refitting at Luna Two, the upgraded prototypes were transferred to
Side 7 for a final round of tests, plus adjustments for space combat.
Several more of each type remained at Jaburo - including, we're told, five
more RX-78-1 version Gundams, which served as testbeds for the GM. (This is
why the GM has a lower power output, and more limited weapons options, than
the Gundam.)

THE SECOND OPTION

More recently, it's been claimed that all the prototypes were developed
entirely at Side 7, since it's the furthest point from Side 3. The MG and PG
kit manuals, and the otherwise-definitive Entertainment Bible and Data
Collection books compiled by Shindosha, make this argument.

MY THOUGHTS

After scrutinizing the early episodes and Tomino's series proposal, I can't
find any evidence either way. (I note that the series proposal characterizes
Side 7 only as the place where the final tests are being conducted, not as
the development site.)

  On balance, I'm inclined towards the classic theory that they were created
at Jaburo. How else could they have enough spare parts left over to assemble
20 RX-79[G] units? It's hard to believe that they could have shipped that
many spare parts back to Jaburo from Side 7. The Jaburo theory also leaves a
few extra Gundams on hand for conversion into the Alex and assorted Full
Armor Types.

  Also: If the Federation had retrieved enough data from Side 7 that it
could begin development and production of so many new machines, what would
it need the Side 7 test data for, much less the prototypes themselves? The
Jaburo theory posits that the Side 7 machines were substantially improved
over the versions that remained at Jaburo, but the Federation didn't yet
have the full details of these improvements. While waiting to get its mitts
on the upgraded versions, it was forced to use the inferior early models as
templates for mass production.

-- Mark

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