-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Thu, 8 Feb 2001 13:01:37 -0800


> in august 0079, the NT-1 Alex project began. that's
> before Amuro realized his newtype potential. shall i
> assume then that the NT-1 was developed not
> specifically for Amuro but rather for newtypes? wasn't
> the Gundam state of the art for its time already? the
> alex project was started before the Feds truly
> believed in NT's right? Matilda seemed reluctant to
> mention the term NewType... by the tim the alex was up
> and running around in the antarctic base, Amuro was
> being chased around by Garma Zabi. and Magnetic
> coating hasn't even been looked at right? please clear
> this up

I don't know if you intended to send this to me alone or not, but I'm taking the
liberty of CC'ing my reply to the Gundam ML because I feel that it's pertinent.

This is an example of the accretion of retcon in the timeline that I mentioned
in an earlier post to the GML. Gundam 0080 appeared ten years after First
Gundam and introduced a new, never-before-seen RX-78 NT-1 between the
established RX-78 of First Gundam and the previous "next stage" RX-178 Mark II
of Z Gundam. This required the creators to backfill a development cycle for the
NT-1, which as you note here makes a hash of the notion that Amuro was the first
Newtype to come to the Fed's attention.

Rationalization time. Since First Gundam centers around a bunch of cadets and
underage civilians who are definitely out of the loop regarding Federation
military policy, it follows that although THEY are in the dark about Newtypes
and are only gradually made aware of the Fed's plans regarding does not
necessarily reflect the FED's knowledge of same. So, just as the Fed was
working on MS as far back as UC 0075, using data stolen from the Zeon for the
most part, so too might they have been paralleling the Zeon R&D into Newtype
research. Remember, Newtype was part of Daikun's philosophy that was later
appropriated by Gihren Zabi for his "Master Race" theory, so the concept was out
there for decades before the War.

The kicker is that the Federation was clueless as to what a Newtype might be.
Was it a psychic power? Was it a mechanical aptitude and ability to think in
three dimensions? Was it simply superior mind-body coordination? They didn't
know. The NT-1 was created as a testbed, using data from Project V to develop a
machine that would be responsive to whatever Newtype was. In the end, after
seeing Amuro in action, they decided that the best thing they could do was make
the machine fast enough to keep up with the one Newtype pilot on which they had
any information, namely Amuro.

This rationale starts to crumble under close scrutiny, when someone asks, as you
have here, "What did the Federation know and when did they know it?" That's
because the whole shebang was tacked on after the fact and wasn't there in the
original continuity. Add to that the retconned capabilities of the MS in Gundam
0080 compared to those of First and Z Gundam and you get some real headaches
making it all hang together. Factor in a complete new line of limited-run
pre-mass production models in 08th MS Team and you have the mare's nest of a
timeline that we have today.

The GP line in Gundam 0083 is even worse. These machines were so out of line
that they had to be expunged with a "make it didn't happen" deus ex machina on
par the likes of which has not been seen since Macross II was written off as an
alternate universe and the Macross movie was said to be, well, a movie -- a
fictional account of the story seen in the original TV series. But the erasure
of all the records and concomitant loss of all that valuable technology doesn't
explain the smoking crater in Kansas that no one in Z Gundam remembers, although
they did a good job of establishing it as the event that paved the way for
Jamitov's ascent and the creation of the Titans.

The net result of all of the retcons over the years has been to cheapen the
currency of First Gundam and, to a lesser extent, Z Gundam. The RX-78 Gundam
has been reduced from the Champion of Earth to just another MS in the inventory,
albeit one that played an extraordinary role in keeping Zeon distracted until
the Federation was ready to mount its counterattack. The poor RX-178 Gundam
Mk.II has been reduced from a gosh-wow next generation Gundam with all the
trimmings to an also-ran, with every single one of its innovative technologies
now credited to some intermediate model that didn't exist until just a few years
ago.

The timeline may be conflicted, contradictory and confusing, but it's true and
accurate to the best of my ability. I only aggregate the official information
that I extract from the canon; I make no attempt to reconcile that information
beyond the rationales given in the official references.

-Z-

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