Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Wed, 22 Nov 2000 13:47:25 -0800


SJ writes,

>Oh? Name one vehicle in real life that is designed to do more than any other
>vehicle of its type, and wasactually used to its fullest. A small challenge,
>I would think, but easy enough.

  Okay... what about jeeps versus regular cars? Amphibious personnel
carriers versus non-amphibious ones? Or even the good old hovercraft
versus, say, a schoolbus.

  I'd also note that it's common for computer companies to design
prototype machines whose capabilities far surpass those of the production
version. The prototypes tend to be wish-list machines, whose features are
then stripped down to make them affordable for mass production. For
example, the original iMac was designed with an expansion slot, support
for which was eliminated at the last minute. For a while there,
enterprising hackers did a brisk business in splicing expansion cards
into this vestigial slot, until Apple finally stripped out the last
remnants of it in later iMac models. Thus, the mass-produced version
lacked the range of capabilities of the prototype - and, Steve Jobs
notwithstanding, most computer owners would find it pretty easy to use
this option to its fullest. :-)

>Not needed on a general-purpose, general-use vehicle. The Federation has no
>need to launch a massive orbital invasion of the Earth, nor the need for
>rapid reentry capability, as they deployed their assets on specific fronts.
>So, no need to include it.

  Exactly. The prototyp Gundam could do all kinds of stuff that the GM
couldn't. These capabilities were eliminated for good reasons, but
eliminated they were.

>I still believe the Gundam's invulnerability was Amuro and story plot, to
>which the idea of Lunar Titanium was invented to explain later on.

  Nah, it was always the armor. :-)

>Again, what good is it to a common unit used in massive numbers? To a single
>elite unit, it was very useful. To a fleet of units supporting each other?
>Not so useful. It too complex to be of regular use.

  Right. As the MSV Collection File underscores, the GM is designed for
mass combat - unlike the Gundam, it can't also fight effectively on its
own. If Amuro had been piloting a GM instead of the Gundam, with its
weaker armor and lack of long-range firepower, he wouldn't have been able
to do most of the crazy stuff he did.

>When did I ever say that GMs were more versatile? When I said that they were
>easy to modify? When I said that they could be inherently upgraded? When I
>said that they could use every weapon the Gundam used, and go everywhere the
>Gundam went?

  But they can't. At least, no one version of the GM can. And it's not
like you can turn an Aqua GM into a GM Sniper just by trucking it back to
base and swapping out a couple of parts - each GM version is made like
that at the factory, and they can't be converted back and forth at the
frontlines...

  If I recall correctly, this line of conversation started when we were
talking about the 08th MS Team's land-combat GMs, right? My original
point was that the existence of such specialized spinoffs of the Gundam
was in keeping with Tomino's original intentions, and with the tactical
rationale behind the GM (as outlined in the MSV books).

  In short: The RX-78 was a super-versatile prototype that could, without
modifications, fight anywhere and in any combat role - and it gave birth
to more specialized production types, which retained only a subset of the
Gundam's capabilities, as appropriate for their combat role and
environment. Haggling about terms and definitions aside, I think I've
demonstrated this beyond a reasonable doubt. :-)

-- Mark

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Mark Simmons / scorpio@best.com / http://www.gundamproject.com/
"If you can kill it, it's not a god, just a good old-fashioned monster."

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