Technology & Combat Characteristics
The EMS-VSX3 Tortuga is a unique mobile suit created by the Jupiter Empire that was designed to serve as part of the three-machine team of the Death Gale Team. The purpose of the Death Gale Team was to defeat the Crossbone Gundams via tandem attacks. The Jupiter Empire lacked the technology to construct a single mobile suit that bested the Gundams in all areas of combat, but they could build a mobile suit that surpassed the Gundams in a single area of combat. Thus they built three machines that specialized in three different areas of combat that would attack a Gundam together, thus overwhelming their enemy.
The Tortuga serves the role of defense and mid-range fire support. This massive mobile suit features large shell like armor on its back from which protrudes eight spikes. The primary purpose of these spikes is to serve as the emitters for a high-output beam shield that is capable of blocking the attack from any of the Gundams' weapons. These spikes also double as beam guns, allowing the Tortuga to counterattack with a devastating barrage of ranged beams.
In place of standard manipulator hands the Tortuga mounts a pair of hammer hands as its close range weapon. The hammer hands are bludgeoning weapons.
The Tortuga's greatest weakness is its speed and mobility, which are sacrificed for its defensive and offensive capabilities. Because of this weakness the Tortuga is at a disadvantage when combating high-speed high-mobility mobile suits. Because of its capabilities and weaknesses the logical method of combating the Tortuga is to use a frontal close range attack. The Tortuga however possesses a clever defense against such attacks. Hidden within its bulky armor are 6 fast-hardening gas emitter that when breached release a gas that quickly hardens into a rubber cement like substance. The substance then holds the enemy mobile suit in place long enough to be smashed to pieces by the hammer arms.
- Hammer Hand
- In place of standard manipulator hand the EMS-VSX3 Tortuga is equipped with a pair of hammer hands. Each hammer arm has spiked ends that spin independently of each other and are used to smash enemy machines. The combination of the arm's bashing strength, combined with the centrifugal forces of the spinning hammers gives each hammer arm the power to destroy an EMS-06 Batalla in a single strike. Though powerful the hammer arms have a very limited range, plus the Tortuga's lack of mobility makes it less suited for close combat.
- Beam Gun
- The Tortuga mounts eight beam guns, one in each of the back-mounted spikes. These guns are mid-range offensive weapons used to counter attack an enemy that has been blocked by the beam shield. This usually leaves an opening for other members of the Death Gale team to attack
- High-output Beam Shield
- The primary armament of the Tortuga, and the reason for its construction, is a high-output beam shield generated by emitters shaped as spikes mounted on the machines back. The shield generated is similar in size to the Tortuga and is capable of blocking the attack from any known weapon employed by the Crossbone Vanguard's mobile suits, or the Jupiter Empire's mobile suits, several of which were captured and used by the Crossbone Vanguard. The greatest weakness of the beam shield is that it requires the Tortuga's back to be facing the enemy, leaving its front undefended.
- Fast-hardening Gas Emitter
- Hidden within the Tortuga's bulky armor are six fast-hardening gas emitters. Should an enemy by-pass the shield and pierce the Tortuga's front armor with melee weapons, they are unlikely to hit a vital system and are likely to break one of the gas emitters. Once the gas is released it quickly hardens into a rubber cement substance that binds anything it comes in contact with in place. This includes mobile suits that are typically left open to an attack from the hammer hands.
The EMS-VSX3 Tortuga was first deployed in UC 0133, during an operation where the Jupiter Empire intercepted the Mother Vanguard en route to Earth. The Death Gale Team was deployed after Zabine Chareux's attempted coup failed. In its first engagement the Tortuga was used in combination with the other two Death Gale mobile suits to heavily damage the XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 and destroyed an EMS-06 Batalla on its own. However, despite being partly responsible for the Crossbone Gundam X-1 losing its arms, there is a significant difference between the skills of Barnes Gernsback and Kincade Nau, the latter of whom determined that the Tortuga's weakness is speed and used that to outmaneuver it, piloting the Crossbone Gundam around to the Tortuga's front then smashing into it at full speed. Taken by surprise Barnes was unable to stop his suit from being propelled backwards into the mast of the Mother Vanguard, and used to cut the mast down so that its activated beam navigation system could damage the Death Gale Team's mothership, the Jibia that was using massive claws to crush the Mother Vanguard.
The second time the Tortuga was deployed was shortly after the Crossbone Vanguard's flagship, the Mother Vanguard made it back to the Earth Sphere. After orchestrating an attack on the Earth Federation using the stolen and modified XM-X2 Crossbone Gundam X-2 Kai, a ploy to trick the Earth Federation into believing that it was the Crossbone Vanguard that had attacked them. The Jupiter Empire was then free and clear to assist in the attack against the Crossbone Vanguard. During the battle the Death Gale Team would battle the repaired and upgraded XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 Kai, this time with more even results.
After the members of the Crossbone Vanguard were scattered on Earth the Death Gale Team was sent to find them. During this time period the Death Gale Team would attack and destroy several Earth Federation military bases on their own. Shortly after they found Tobia Arronax and the XM-X3 Crossbone Gundam X-3. Because the members of the Death Gale Team were not used to fighting on Earth their movements were slower and they were unable to fully compensate for gravity, air resistance, and natural obstacles.
Tobia defeated the Tortuga by hiding the Crossbone Gundam X-3 in a reentry capsule. When the Tortuga attacked, the pilot intent on smashing both, Tobia pierced the walls with the Muramasa Blaster and penetrated the Tortuga's armor. It was not enough to damage the machine but it did release the fast-hardening gas, which hardened and stuck the Tortuga to the reentry capsule. With the Tortuga bound Tobia reappeared and plunged a beam saber into the joint where the left arm connected to the body, a spot where there wasn't a fast-hardening gas emitter. Tobia punched the beam saber all the way through the mobile suit, causing significant damage to it and rendering the mobile suit immobilized, but left the pilot alive and well.
After the Death Gale Team's defeat and subsequent defection to the Crossbone Vanguard, SNRI would rebuild Barnes' Tortuga into the more powerful Bala Tortuga for his use.
- "Tortuga" means "turtle" in Spanish.
- The fast-harden gas look more like liquid than gas in the manga.
|Crossbone Gundam: Steel 7 Mechanics|
Angel Diona | Arana Abijo | Bala Totuga | XM-07B Vigna Ghina II Jupiter Battle Specification | XM-10 Flint | XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 Full Cloth | XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 "Patchwork" | XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 Kai Kai "Skull Heart" | XM-X3 Crossbone Gundam X-3
Nozzle | Speed King
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
Amakusa | Cornix | Dictus | EMS-08 Diona | EMS-12 Arana | EMS-VSX1 Mass Production Quavarze | EMS-VSX1 Quavarze | EMS-VSX2 Abijo | EMS-VSX3 Totuga | Impulse Cornix
Elcopty | EMA-10 Divinidad
|Earth Federation Forces/SNRI|
F90I-I Gundam F90 Intercept Type Jupiter Battle Specification | F91 Gundam F91 | F99 Record Breaker | RGM-109 Heavygun | RGM-119 Jamesgun | RGM-122 Javelin | XM-10 Flint