A Newtype is the next stage of human evolution in the Gundam universe. The theory behind this minor but groundbreaking metamorphosis is that in order to adapt to life in space, the human body evolved with heightened mental awareness. As such, Newtypes tend to appear among Spacenoids , although not exclusively (Amuro Ray, arguably the most famous Newtype, was actually born on Earth). Appearing in the Universal Century timeline (chronologically the first), they are also present in the After War timeline.
A similar type of human being called Coordinators exists in the Cosmic Era timeline of Gundam SEED, although their evolution is artificial, obtained by genetic engineering. Coordinators' distinguished abilities are more physical as opposed to mental, but they have a similar heightened mental awareness as Newtypes. The series' director Mitsuo Fukuda identified some protagonists (like Mu La Flaga) as Newtypes, even though the term does not exist within the plot itself.
Another very similar to Newtype appeared in the Gundam 00 series. They are called Innovators, who have also evolved through exposure to high grade GN particles, though the only ones that are confirmed to be one are Setsuna F. Seiei and Descartes Shaman. Like Newtypes, they have the ability to communicate to other beings through the utilization of Quantum Brainwaves and also have a heighten degree of awareness but their full abilities are still unknown.
In Gundam AGE, a race similar to Newtypes also exists called X-Rounders.
Newtypes have an extremely high degree of spatial awareness, almost a sixth sense. They are capable of telepathically detecting other Newtypes, and are sensitive to the hostile intentions directed at them by others, allowing them to uncannily react to their opponents even before the offender carries out his intended action. Some Newtypes also exhibit telepathic abilities or use psychokinesis. Kamille Bidan, the pilot of the MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam was able to channel out sheer emotional rage, summon the spirits of his dead friends, and boost his unit's power for a brief but devastating attack.
The abilities of the Newtype are kept very abstract and treated as mysterious events much the same way the Force is treated in the original Star Wars trilogy.
Newtypes and Society
One of the Universal Century's greatest social conflicts is the exploitation of these advanced humans. Heralded by scientists and philosophers upon their discovery as a beacon of hope for the future of humanity, the various series of the UC timeline show that these humans have merely become cannon fodder for greedy politicians and violent militarists, creating even more war and destruction.
Various characters state that the exploitation of the Newtype is due to fear of them by the Oldtypes, as they represent humanity's next step of evolution and the Oldtypes are merely relics of the past. A great example of this is the signature Gundam pilot of the metaverse, Amuro Ray. Although he is the hero of the One Year War, the first great Mobile Suit war, he barely climbs the ranks in his entire military career and it is implied that this is because of the government's mistrust in his loyalties due to his Newtype status but this maybe due to equality for promotions. Many believe this to be an allegory for the newer generations taking over the previous generation, and the confusion and conflict which comes from this. Well into the very late incarnations of the Universal Century timeline, Newtypes remain as rare an occurrence as they were during the One Year War, facilitating a curious cycle of weapons development, in which highly specialized Newtype-use weapons are developed, and repeatedly phased out, as fielding people capable of using such weapons in significant numbers remains consistently impossible.
The most famous Newtype is probably the legendary Amuro Ray, protagonist of the first series. While Amuro develops into a powerful Newtype, he relies just as much, if not more so, on his superb ability with machinery and his inherent piloting skill than on his Newtype abilities.
The Gundam metaverse's most beloved character Char Aznable is implied to not be a particularly powerful Newtype at all. Char, like Amuro, develops his formidable ability in combat only after years of experience. Char is first and foremost a planner and strategist, fields he excels at without any relation to Newtype capabilities. Although his Newtype abilities were not as powerful as Amuro's, Char was among the best Newtypes of the era, due to the fact that a lot of the previous battles were on the earth sphere.
Canon-wise, the most powerful Newtype pilot is often said to be Judau Ashta of Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, the pilot of the titular MS. Though he is inexperienced and young, Judau exhibits the highest amount of raw Newtype ability and energy of almost any UC protagonist.
Despite this, Kamille Bidan shows some of the strongest and most unique abilities of the Universal Century. Most of this does not manifest itself until the late portions of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, however how he is affected by contact with Cyber-Newtypes such as Four Murasame and Rosamia Badam, even Elpeo Ple. The strongest points of his power are revealed when he uses Zeta Gundam's Waverider Crash on Paptimus Scirocco in the end of the series. He is filled with the strength of the souls of slain Newtypes. This and a mental death throe by Scirocco destroy his mind, however when he begins to recover in ZZ Gundam he is even more powerful than before. He is able to contact and speak with characters such as Ple telepathically and even sense what they do while still functionally comatose. In the end it is his mind and power joining with Judau Ashta that defeats Haman Karn.
Newtypes in the Universal Century
The word Newtype first came into being when Zeon Zum Deikun , the founder of the space colony-based Principality of Zeon, created his philosophy: mankind was destined to leave the Earth for space, where they would evolve into a new stage of evolution, called the Newtype.
This philosophy was accepted by many people to the point that it became superstition, and it became a name for those with strange and exceptional abilities. Hence when enhanced psychic potential manifested in certain individuals in the One Year War, the idea that Newtypes were evolved humans with psychic abilities as a result of the movement to space began to stick. Unenhanced human beings, by opposition, became known by the retronym Oldtype.
As time passed, the number of new naturally occurring Newtypes remained fairly stable. However, as their destiny had been transformed from the "future of mankind" to living weapons forced to fight in war, artificially created Newtypes began to outnumber them. So by the time of the Second Neo Zeon War (Char's Counterattack), it was doubtful whether these Newtypes were the same as the legendary ones found in Deikun's theory.
Newtypes as soldiers
Not long into their discovery, the combat potential of the Newtype is quickly exploited by various military factions. Various technologies allowed these Newtypes to control remote weapons known as "bits" and "funnels", and other psychically controlled weapons. Some systems even allow Newtypes to control entire Mobile Suits or Armors just with the power of their mind, although this would take an exceptionally powerful Newtype to make possible. Many types of interfaces have also been designed for Newtype use, such as the cinematic Psycoframe.
Several research projects tried to artificially expand Newtypes' abilities or to bestow them on ordinary people. The Flanagan Institute has a prominent role in these research projects, and successfully deployed several artificial Newtypes in combat missions. The results of these projects were ultimately flawed, however. While many of these Enhanced Humans did have powerful abilities, they frequently suffered from extreme mental instability. The best example of this phenomenon is Four Murasame. Other known Artificial Newtypes include Rosamia Badam, Gates Capa, and Gyunei Guss.
In all English translations, the term Cyber-Newtype is used rather than Artificial Newtype.
Newtypes in the After War Era
The Newtypes of the After War timeline are similar to those in the Universal Century, however they also differ greatly. The After War era lacks an equivalent character to Zeon Zum Deikun, hence there were no prominent theorists or philosophers prior to the discovery of Newtypes. Despite this once Newtypes were discovered the spacenoids began perpetuating a belief similar to the spacenoids of the Universal Century, saying that only the chosen people of space could evolve into Newtypes and perpetuating the idea that this was the greatest fear of the jealous Earth Federation. The Earth Federation responded to the evolution of Newtypes with a violent program to understand their existence. The chief example of this is D.O.M.E. (original name unknown), one of the first Newtypes who was eventually disassembled down to his component parts in order to understand his nature, his consciousness was then implanted into the D.O.M.E. system on the moon.
Realizing the potential within Newtypes the Earth Federation began a program to create Artificial Newypes, along with programs to monitor, train and use Newtypes that they discovered. They began ranking Newtypes in classifications from A to F, however these classifications primarily expressed the degree of potential they had in use for combat, particularly the Mobile Bit System. These classifications failed to express the nature or degree of the Newtype's abilities as a whole. Shagia and Olba Frost for instance, possessed an active telepathic power that allowed them to communicate mentally regardless of distance.
Newtype abilities differ greatly in the After War era, Shagia and Olba Frost have a strong telepathic power, Tiffa Adill has primarily a power of prescience and powerful range at which she can sense other Newtypes, whereas Jamil Neate's abilities were more of a battle sense and his one prescient flash was the last time he was able to use his abilities to any degree, doing so later he can contact other Newtypes minds, but only at a severe level of strain to the point of causing him to physically bleed from the ears.
Truely natural Newtypes in the After War period are revealed to be rare, as many were created as Artificial Newtypes even without their own awareness. The Newtypes that evolved however were not only not limited to spacenoids, but in fact not limited to humans and Newtypes evolved in other sentient lifeforms. The main example here is the White Dolphin, a dolphin who evolved into a Newtype and was able to contact Tiffa Adill telepathically. The White Dolphin experienced Newtype flashes much like characters in the Universal Century and was even powerful enough to contact the extracted neural nets of other dolphins in order to have them backfire on the MS systems they had been built into.
A Psycommu is a device connected directly into the user's thoughts, through which the user can manipulate it by using his/her mind. The name derives from psychic and communicator.
The research into psycommu started when it was discovered that brainwaves can bypass radio interference created with Minovsky particles. The Duchy of Zeon began researching the newtype power, and developed the psycommu system to be used exclusively by newtypes.
In essence, a psycommu system works by passively scanning the brainwaves of newtypes, amplifying them in order to send the brainwave signal out long distances, and then translating these brainwaves into raw machine codes upon being recieved by the selected object with limitations. Since brainwaves are not affected by the radio interference property of Minovsky particles, at first it was mainly used to mentally control remote weapons, usually mounted with a single beam gun. This enabled the resurrection of BVR engagements, with bits and funnels being the first weapons able to engage targets without visual contact since the development of the minovsky particle. Later on, the psycommu system was also used to increase response times.
In UC 0087, the psycommu system was designed to interface the newtype pilot with a mobile suit, called a bio-sensor. The bio-sensor amplified the power, speed and strength of the mobile suit for a short period of time, and in some cases used the psychic power as a weapon, when the pilot was mentally and emotionally distraught, usually when angry or upset.
The Anti-funnel System was used by the mobile suit REON (Robotic Environment Operating-system Nucleus) Ver.5.7 Gundam Zephyr Phantom Mark II "Reon", in the manga of the same name. The AFS worked by blocking Psycommu waves from a Psycommu System of any sort and thus disrupting any use of remote weapons such as bits or funnels.
Appearing in Char's Counterattack and later in Gundam Unicorn, the Psycoframe is a technology that builds the brainwave-to-machine code translator known as Psycommu into the atom-level of the metal frame of a Mobile Suit. This allows a Newtype pilot to control the mobile suit as if it were his/her own body with limitations. Traditional psycommu systems require a large subsystem, and are typically mounted on larger Mobile armor platforms. With the development of the psycoframe, it became possible to install a psycommu system into a smaller mobile suit.
The first mobile suit equipped with the psycoframe was the Neo Zeon MSN-04 Sazabi, built for Char Aznable by Anaheim Electronics. Hoping for a conclusive battle with his long-time rival, Amuro Ray, Char secretly allowed the psycoframe technology to be leaked to the RX-93 Nu Gundam production team -- also at Anaheim Electronics.
The psycoframe absorbing the intense emotions of the mobile suit pilots and the Earth's inhabitants is often listed as the explanation for the mysterious power that prevented the large asteroid base, Axis, from dropping to Earth. In the Gundam Unicorn novels, this phenomenon is dubbed "Psycho-field", and occurs when two psycho-frames come into close proximity to one another. This contact creates a unique spacial phase around an area of space, in which human consciousness is capable of manifesting as physical phenomena. The "Psycho-field" is a phenomenon that deviates from the laws of physics, and within this space, it is possible for things like "another person's emotions," to be directly felt, similar to the quantum effect of the Trans-Am Burst System from Gundam 00 series.
The psychoframe was later used on the Sazabi and Nu Gundam's successors, the MSN-06S Sinanju and the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam. The psycoframe of the latter enables a non-newtype pilot to effectively fight against a Newtype opponent by taking over their funnels and/or bits via the NT-D System.
NOTE: In the novel version of Char's Counterattack, entitled Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack - Hi Streamer, a third Mobile Suit, the Psyco Doga , is also equipped with a psycoframe. The Psyco Doga, which served as a prototype for the powerful mobile armor Alpha Azieru , was never animated.
The Quasi-psycommu system was developed to extend the capabilities of remote control to non-newtypes. This system can actively scan the pilot's brainwaves, no matter how weak they are, and then let the computer translate the thoughts into commands to be issued to remote weapons. Using the quasi-psycommu even non-Newtypes and normal humans can control simple wire-guided remote weapons, such as incoms. Incoms, unlike funnels or bits, still have to be tethered to their control unit by wires because the electrical signals to the incom would be otherwise disrupted by Minovsky Particles.
The quasi-psycommu system was first developed in the AMX-002 Neue Ziel by the Axis Zeon in 0083, only known as "half-control computer system". Later, the Titans, in Universal Century 0087, developed their own miniaturized version, which appeared in several units such as the ORX-013 Gundam Mk-V, and the MRX-010 Psyco Gundam Mark II. When the wreckage of the Psyco Gundam Mark II was retrieved by the Neo Zeon they reverse engineered it and used it in several of their own units such as the AMX-103 Hamma Hamma and AMX-014 Doven Wolf.
The Neo-psycommu system took the quasi-psycommu system a step further, allowing a pilot to control the suit with just his thoughts, without any manual controls. The only example of this was the huge mobile armour XMA-01 Rafflesia, in which the pilot's helmet contained numerous neural receptors and connected to the mobile armour through fiber optics wires.
The bio-computer was developed in U.C. 0123, first employed in F91, and then also incorporated in the Crossbone Gundams (F97) during U.C. 0133. In essence it was a reverse psycommu system: instead of reading the brainwaves of the pilot, it analyzed the data observed from the sensors, and then fed it directly to the pilot's brain. This system could even be used by non-Newtypes but a Newtype would bring out its biggest potential.
The EXAM System (Blue Destiny) was quite similar to the Bio-computer, except that it worked using the soul of Newtype Marion Welch, embedded into the system. Due to the fact that it contained a soul, it sometimes went berserk and could not be controlled by the pilot, with sometimes fatal results. To counter this the operation time was limited to 5 minutes.
Angel Halo was a psycommu fortress, basically a giant circular structure with a control ship in the middle. While the other psycommu systems merely read brainwaves and translated them into machine code to control the weapons, the Angel Halo harnessed the power of hundreds of newtypes (controlled by one single newtype in the middle) and used them to "devolve" the human mind. It would literally force an adult mind to think like a baby and even further back. It was used to attempt to mind wipe all inhabitants of Earth.
Angel Halo had no outer defenses, it was only guarded by a Zanscare fleet. However, the effect of the structure's systems prevented potential attackers from getting close.
Below is a list of known newtypes (note this list will probably eventually grown longer and does not include the cyber newtypes.)
- Amuro Ray
- Sayla Mass
- Mirai Yashima
- Char Aznable
- Lalah Sune
- Judau Ashta
- Kamille Bidan
- Uso Ewin
- Haman Karn
- Paptimus Scirocco
- Katz Hawin Kobayashi
- Letz Cofan Kobayashi
- Kikka Kitamoto Kobayashi
- Hathaway Noa
- Quess Paraya
- Challia Bull
- Banagher Links
- In Super Robot Wars series, a newtype will have an enhancement in accuracy, evasion and the range of Funnel-type weapons according to her/his newtype level. The some goes with cyber newtype.
- Some Super Robot Wars series have a newtype as its original protagonist. An example of this is Arklight Blue, one of the protagonists in Super Robot Wars 64.
- Newtypes display some of the general abilities of Jedi and Sith from Star Wars using the Force , such as precognition, faster reflexes, better awareness, and telepathy.
- Newtypes in the Universal Century timeline
- Newtypes in the Cosmic Era timeline
- Newtypes in the After War timeline