Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Duel Gundam is the earliest unit to be developed in the Earth Alliance's G Project series of prototype MS. It is designed to be a general-purpose machine that has well-balanced performance, and also serves as a development base for the other MS in the project.
The Duel's armament consists of two head-mounted "Igelstellung" 75mm multi-barrel CIWS guns, which later become standard weaponry on most Earth Alliance's suits to intercept incoming missiles and closing in enemy units, two beam sabers stored on the backpack and hand-carried for use in close combat, a 57mm high-energy beam rifle with an attached 175mm grenade launcher for ranged combat, and an anti-beam coated shield for defense. Duel also has a rail bazooka as an optional weapon, but it was taken and used by MBF-P01 Gundam Astray Gold Frame to escape from Heliopolis. As with the other suits developed under the G Project, the Duel was equipped with the new Phase Shift armor, making it nearly impervious to shell firing weapons.
After being stolen by ZAFT and damaged in battle with the GAT-X105+AQM/E-X01 Aile Strike Gundam, the suit is upgraded with the Assault Shroud. The Assault Shroud is a set of ejectable armor mounted on the Duel’s body to enhance overall combat performance. It adds a "Shiva" 115mm railgun to the right shoulder and a 220mm 5-barrel missile pod to the left shoulder for additional firepower, as well as various leg and backpack-mounted thrusters for better mobility. Although the equipment worked well in space, it performs poorly under gravity due to its bulk.
- "Igelstellung'"75mm Multi-barrel CIWS
- Mounted in the Duel's head are two "Igelstellung" 75mm multi-barrel CIWS guns. Although classified as an anti-air weapon, these light projectile weapons can be used to intercept missiles and to destroy lightly armored vehicles.
- Beam Saber
- Mounted in the backpack, these are the primary close combat weapons and can slice through any armor without an anti-beam coating. One can be used as a reserve weapon, or both can be used simultaneously in a twin sword fashion.
- 57mm High-energy Beam Rifle
- The Duel's main ranged weapon, it has a single-shot grenade launcher under the barrel. The beam rifle can easily destroy a ZGMF-1017 GINN with one shot, but is mostly ineffective against armor with anti-beam coating. It is stored on the side skirt armor when not in use. The same beam rifle is later used by other mobile suits.
- 175mm Grenade Launcher
- Fitted underneath the barrel of the beam rifle. It can fire a variety of grenades, but is a single-use weapon.
- "Shiva" 115mm Railgun
- Mounted on the right shoulder of the Assault Shroud armor, this weapon uses electromagnetic forces to launch the projectile.
- 220mm 5-barrel Missile Pod
- Mounted on the left shoulder of the Assault Shroud armor, it is similar to those on the GAT-X103 Buster Gundam.
- A piece of equipment that increases the Duel's defensive capability, it is mounted on the left forearm and/or handheld. The shield does not have phase shift armor, so it is not as durable as the Duel's body armor, however, it also does not drain energy each time it is hit. The shield's major advantage is that it is anti-beam coated and can block or deflect beam weapon attacks, against which phase shift armor is ineffective. The same shield is also used by Strike Gundam and other mobile suits. The shield can seemingly be stored on the rear waist armor when not in use.
- 350mm "Gáe Bulg" Rail Bazooka
- A handheld range weapon that uses electromagnetic forces to launch its projectile. Originally developed for the Duel Gundam, it was taken for use by the MBF-P01 Gundam Astray Gold Frame.
- Hyper Impulse Long-Range Sniper Rifle
- A weapon borrowed from the GAT-X103 Buster Gundam, this beam cannon type weapon has a very high energy output, firing a larger beam that is capable of penetrating several targets, including battleships.
Special Equipment & Features
- As with all of the G Project mobile suits, the Duel is equipped with phase shift armor. When activated the Duel's color is changed from a light grey to a blue and white scheme with a bit of orange mixed in. Phase Shift armor, when activated, renders the Duel immune to physical attacks such as bullets, the GINN sword, or against missiles. However, Phase Shift armor continually drains the battery of energy, shortening the mobile suit's combat endurance, and uses up additional energy when it is hit.
- Assault Shroud
- A ZAFT manufactured add-on, built for the Duel after it was damaged in combat. It is based on similar equipment used by the ZGMF-1017AS GINN Assault Type and the ZGMF-515AS CGUE Assault. The Assault Shroud increases the Duel's battle effectiveness by granting it extra armor and new weapons like the "Shiva" Railgun and a Missile Pod. It also contains additional vernier thrusters to enhance Duel's mobility in space and offset some of the added weight. However, the latter is effective only in space and the extra bulk still hinders the Duel's movement when under gravity. If a lethal or heavily damaging strike is suffered, the Assault Shroud can be detached, and the Duel Gundam can still fight using its basic form and weaponry.
The Duel was the first mobile suit developed under the Earth Alliance's G Project during the opening months of the First Alliance-PLANT War. It served as a testbed for the GAT-X103 Buster Gundam, GAT-X105 Strike Gundam, GAT-X207 Blitz Gundam, GAT-X303 Aegis Gundam and was the first mobile suit to be equipped with Phase Shift armor. On January 25, CE 71, the Duel was stolen from Morgenroete Inc.'s Heliopolis facility by ZAFT mobile suit pilot, Yzak Joule.
Yzak then used his suit together with his comrades piloting the other stolen suits, to pursue the Archangel. During the pursuit, Yzak fought the Strike piloted by Kira Yamato several times and also took part in severely damaging the Eurasian Federation space fortress Artemis. Eventually, the Duel was outmaneuvered by the Strike and suffered a severely damaged arm in one instance and a penetrating hit to the cockpit in another, which caused the scar to Yzak's face. After these battles, the Duel was equipped with an armor system called the Assault Shroud, which it continued to use until the end of the war.
When the Archangel descended to Earth, Yzak and his suit continued to fight against the ship, first as part of Andrew Waltfeld's team and later together with his comrades from a Vosgulov-class. Despite several battles, the team was never able to destroy the Archangel and instead lost their friend Nicol Amalfi, pilot of the Blitz, in a battle against the Strike. The Duel then took part in the disastrous Operation Spit Break, the attack on the Alliance's JOSH-A base, as well as the successful attack on the Panama Spaceport. Even after the Alliance introduced their first mass-produced mobile suit, the GAT-01 Strike Dagger, the Duel was still highly effective in combat and proved to be superior.
Yzak and his Duel eventually returned to space and took part among others, the battle around the Mendel colony and the later battles around the PLANT homeland. He also fought in the Second Battle of Jachin Due, the last battle of the war, during which he defended the PLANTs against the Earth Alliance's nuclear attack. It was also during this battle that he destroyed the GAT-X252 Forbidden Gundam, by sacrificing the Assault Shroud as a decoy. Yzak later helped his friend Dearka Elsman in battle against the GAT-X370 Raider Gundam, which he destroyed by using the Buster's hyper impulse long-range sniper rifle. Duel and Buster were later picked up by Archangel. Yzak and Duel later headed out using the Strike's spare shield and rifle to protect the Archangel as the ship joins up with the Eternal and Kusanagi. After the war ended, the Duel is apparently decommissioned, along with its "brother" unit, the Buster.
The Earth Alliance eventually created several variants of the Duel. The first was the GAT-01D Long Dagger, which was later put into mass production as the ace-use GAT-01D1 Duel Dagger. Both of these suits could optionally use a set of "Fortestra" armor, similar to the Duel's Assault Shroud armor. After the war, as part of the "Actaeon Project" MS development plan, another Duel Gundam was manufactured and piloted by Phantom Pain pilot, Mudie Holcroft. The unit was later modified into the GAT-X1022 Blu Duel Gundam.
- Appearing in the manga Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Re: it is the Duel Gundam equipped with a new atmospheric flight pack on its backpack. The pack is based on data fragments of the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam's IWSP pack that ZAFT recovered while in Heliopolis. It is built with parts from the AMF-101 DINN, and is armed with a pair of swords similar to the YFX-200 CGUE DEEP Arms's Heavy Laser Sword but with solid blades, as well as a pair of double barrel cannons where the top barrel is a beam cannon and the bottom barrel is a railgun. The equipment also allows the Duel Gundam to enter a 'High Mobility Mode' whereby its head is covered by an aeroshell helmet similar to the one used by the DINN.
Notes and Trivia
- The Duel's head crest displays the text "UNO X-102". "Uno" means "One" in Italian (and in Spanish) and is a reference to the suit being the first unit developed under the Earth Alliance's "G Project".
- The Assault Shroud bears resemblance to the PF-78-1 Perfect Gundam, which is the RX-78-2 Gundam with add-on armament, that appears in Plamo-Kyoshiro. Both Duel and RX-78-2 Gundam are the first Gundam model to exist in their respective universes.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam vs. Gundam Next, the Duel appeared as a playable unit with a 1000 GP Cost. The Duel's special move features it sacrificing the Assault Shroud and dealing a powerful attack that mirrors that of the Duel against the Forbidden Gundam. Once the Assault Shroud is sacrificed, the Duel has to rely on its beam rifle and grenade launcher.
- The Gáe Bulg bazooka was finally sold alongside the Duel in the Master Grade series.
- The Master Grade Duel also has an original gimmick that allows the Shiva railgun to be hand-held instead of shoulder-mounted.
- In Gundam Build Fighters, a red and black-colored Duel Gundam made a cameo appearance as one of the Gunpla that fought GAT-X105B/ST Star Build Strike Gundam.
- The Duel appears in the Extreme Vs. series as a 1500 cost unit. With the Assault Shroud, the Duel will have more powerful ranged weaponry, being able to access its missile launchers and railgun aside from its standard beam rifle. Once per life, Yzak can also sacrifice the Assault Shroud for a powerful melee attack. Without its Assault Shroud, the Duel will gain added mobility and melee attacks. Since it no longer has the Assault Shroud's weapons, the Duel must rely on its beam rifle, grenade launcher, and rail bazooka for its ranged attacks. In Extreme Vs. 2, however, it is possible to regain the lost Assault Shroud. To complement the Duel's firepower is the Buster Gundam support, which will fire its sniper rifle at the Duel's command or fire its beam rifle or missile pods in conjunction with the Duel's attacks. For its burst attack, the Duel will pull out the Buster's Hyper Impulse Long-Range Sniper Rifle for a powerful sustained shot reminiscent of the final scene together in SEED.