Mark Simmons (
Mon, 20 Nov 2000 09:47:12 -0800

SJ writes,

>No, I think you and Mark are missing the meaning of general-purpose.

  Well, this could be interpreted in a number of ways, eh? On the one
hand, we have "multi-role"; on the other hand, "multi-environment." The
Japanese term "hanyo", which is often used in mobile suit descriptions
and usually translated as "general-puprose," seems to be used in the
sense of "multi-environment" as opposed to space, ground, or amphibious
mobile suits...

>Now GM's, which are the mass produced version of the Gundam, are used
for all
>the same roles Amuro used the Gundam in, but without Amuro actually piloting
>each and every GM, and at a lower cost.

  I'd originally assumed that the GM had the exact same range of
capabilities as the Gundam, too. But of late I've begun to question this.
The inability to use a beam rifle gives it inherently less mid-range
firepower than the Gundam, and makes it more explicitly a close-combat
machine. (Whereas the Gundam could at least fudge this and fight at a

  Moreover, I've noticed a lot of print references of late that support
the notion of the GM being more limited. In addition to the MSV
Collection File's essay on how the GM is designed explicitly for mass
battle, with Balls for fire support, I now note Tomino himself saying
that the GM was supposed to be a less versatile machine than the Gundam.
(Both citations carry a lot of weight with me - the MSV Collection File
is written by Bandai's Hiroshi Yamaguchi, formerly one of the Streambase
trio who penned all the MSV back story; Tomino's interview is from when
the show was on the air, before he could change his mind. ;-)

  So, there's some solid evidence that the classic GM is more limited
than the Gundam in terms of _combat role_, if not in terms of
environment. 08th MS Team, meanwhile, presents an alternate version of
the GM (and the Gundam) that is just as flexible in terms of combat role,
but limited in terms of _environment_.

>The cost cutting measures taken to
>produce the GM in quantity did not remove the ability of the GM to follow in
>the Gundam's footsteps, but did allow for the GM to be a general-purpose
>platform for usage upgrades that would enhance its performance any given

  To my mind, these "upgrades" constitute entirely new machines.
Likewise, the Zaku could be modified into the Marine Type, Cannon Type,
Recon Type, et cetera - but these weren't changes that could be made on
the battlefield, and any given model of Zaku is _extremely_ limited in
terms of both combat role and environment.

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons / /
"If you can kill it, it's not a god, just a good old-fashioned monster."

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