Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Fri, 19 May 2000 15:16:36 -0700


I wrote,

>> I have a hunch as to how the Dom Fuenf might relate to the Rick Dom II,
>> but it's part of my complex uber-theory about which Zeon mobile suits were
>> produced where, and that's really a subject for another message...

  And Blackeagle took the bait:

> Don't keep us in suspense! Lay it out!

  So, it being a slooooow work day, here goes.

MARK'S COMPLEX UBER-THEORY ON ZEON MS PRODUCTION SITES

The following assessment is inspired in part by the "Zaku Kai Theory" thread
on the alt.anime.gundam newsgroup
<http://www.deja.com/group/alt.anime.gundam>. In discussing the provenance
of Gundam 0080's wacky variants, and related considerations on Gundam 0083
and the mysteries of the Gelgoog, I've come up with this attempt to account
for all the redundant Zaku, Dom, and Gelgoog variants we've seen over the
years. My solution: In short, each major Zeon factory ends up producing its
own distinct versions of these standard mobile suits.

  To begin, let's look at each of these three types and see if we can suss
out where they were made.

ZAKU II

The early Zaku II models were produced pretty much everywhere, including
Zeon's primary factories at Side 3 and Granada. After the capture of the
Federation's California Base, production of the land-combat J type began
there as well. And once A Bao A Qu is completed, Zeon has a fourth major
production facility. (Presumably there were MS factories elsewhere on Earth,
but Granada and California are the only places cited as suppliers for Zeon's
Earth forces.)

  The high-mobility R type is developed at Granada, but it's indicated that
Granada was not the sole production site for the 70+ R-1 units.

  The F2 type, developed in the middle of the war, is pretty ubiquitous in
0083. It's used by the Delaz Fleet and by Zeon forces in Africa. The Delaz
Fleet's supply may be traceable to the same source as the Rick Dom II - see
below.

  The FZ type is used in Gundam 0080 by members of the Mobile Assault Force,
based at Granada. This last-minute variant of the Zaku II might be produced
exclusively at Granada.

DOM

The Prototype Dom was developed at Side 3, then shipped to California Base
for testing. According to the MG kit manual, mass production of the Dom
began at Granada in late September 0079, and pilot training was conducted at
Side 3; it wasn't until late October that they actually reached the
terrestrial battlefield. By this point, Dom production had begun at
California as well, and Granada switched over to producing the space version
- the Rick Dom.

  By December 0079, Kishiria's Mobile Assault Force is equipped almost
exclusively with Rick Doms. Dozul Zabi's Solomon forces have also adopted
the Rick Dom, with about as many Rick Doms as Zakus present during the
Battle of Solomon. But the forces at A Bao A Qu, have few Rick Doms, relying
mostly on older Zakus and newer Gelgoogs. This suggests that A Bao A Qu
either produced no Rick Doms at all, and that Solomon's supply was produced
at Granada, or that A Bao A Qu's entire output was shipped straight to
Solomon.

  The Rick Dom II, the improved version seen in Gundam 0080 and 0083, was
produced only at Granada (it even says so in the 0083 mecha specs). Judging
from 0083's flashback prologue and the second set of 0083 opening credits,
Delaz went straight to Granada after fleeing A Bao A Qu, and it's likely
that he stocked up on Rick Dom IIs at this point. In other words, he ditched
his original stock of battle-damaged mobile suits and replaced them with
Granada's latest and greatest.

  The Dom Tropen seen in 0083 is present both in Africa and Australia.
Presumably all these were produced at the California Base.

GELGOOG

The 25 prototype Gelgoogs were produced at Granada, then shipped out for
testing and training in one of those handy shoal zones. Since Gato's Gelgoog
is one of these prototypes, it seems that the famous Ace Corps test team
included pilots from every branch of the Zeon military, not just those under
Kishiria's control.

  Curiously, it appears that the Gelgoog was produced _only_ at A Bao A Qu.
The only Gelgoogs used by Kishiria's Mobile Assault Force are prototypes.
Her regular forces all use Rick Doms, and when Char's prototype Gelgoog is
damaged, Kishiria is unable to find him a replacement. On the other hand, we
see a large number of gray-and-green mass-production Gelgoogs at A Bao A Qu,
where Cima's supply of 30 Gelgoog Marines were also produced.

  Aside from the prototypes, the only other Gelgoog seen among the Mobile
Assault Force is the Gelgoog Jaeger glimpsed in Gundam 0080, presumably
manufactured at Granada.

COLOR SCHEMES

As an aside on the Jaeger: I think I may have an explanation for its
Char-like color scheme. The Zeons often borrowed the colors of famous test
pilots for the mass-produced versions - witness the blue Gouf (based on
Ranba Ral's colors) and the black-and-purple Rick Dom (an homage to the
Black Trinary).

  I suspect that the Gelgoogs produced by Kishiria's factories simply use
Char's color scheme in the same fashion - this would include the Jaeger, and
the Char-colored Gelgoog seen in Africa in Gundam ZZ. The A Bao A Qu
factory, meanwhile, as part of Dozul's Space Attack Force, would hardly be
likely to pay homage to someone Dozul hated that much. Hence the
gray-and-green colors used by the A and F types.

THE LAST MONTHS

Putting all this together, here's what I see happening at each of Zeon's
major factories during the last months of the war.

  Granada: At the start of the war, Granada is cranking out the standard
Zaku II, with occasional attempts to upgrade the F type (i.e. the R, F2,
and/or FZ models). In September, it begins production of the Dom, then
switches to the Rick Dom. Even though the Gelgoog is developed here, Granada
doesn't switch to Gelgoog production in December, instead merely upgrading
the Rick Dom to the Rick Dom II. Finally, in the last days of the war,
Granada produces a tiny number of improved Gelgoog Jaegers - perhaps
Kishiria was holding out for something a bit better than the regular
Gelgoog.

  A Bao A Qu: Presumably, when the A Bao A Qu factories were fired up in the
middle of the war, they too were producing F type Zakus. It's possible that
they produced Rick Doms for a while - if so, they were all shipped out to
Solomon. In December, A Bao A Qu becomes the exclusive source of
mass-produced Gelgoogs, producing about 140 A and B types and at least 30 F
types for the Marines.

  California Base: After its capture in March, the former Federation factory
begins cranking out J type Zakus. For a brief period it switches to Goufs,
but then immediately moves on to Doms. For the rest of the war, until its
mid-December recapture, California produces Doms, Dom variants (including
the Tropen), and amphibious mobile suits. Since we see a couple of Gelgoogs
on Earth after the end of the war (a few in Africa in ZZ, and Visch's G type
in Rise From the Ashes), California may have cranked out a few of these
right before it was recaptured by the Federation.

  Well, that's my assessment. If you made it all the way to the end,
congrats! :-)

-- Mark

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