|Please note that this is the Gundam Wiki's article on the mobile suit RX-0 Unicorn Gundam; if you are looking for the article on the series with this as its namesake then you should head to Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.|
The RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (ユニコーン ガンダム Yunikōn Gandamu?, or Unicorn, Unicorn Gundam 01, Singularity One) is the titular prototype mobile suit of the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn novel, its OVA adaptation and the television re-cut. Developed by Anaheim Electronics for the Earth Federation, it concealed a secret that could shake the future of all humanity, for it was the key to opening Laplace's Box. It is piloted by Banagher Links after the head of the Vist Foundation and his father, Cardeas Vist, entrusted it to him at the dawn of the Third Neo Zeon War in U.C. 0096.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
Produced as the final part of the E.F.S.F's reorganization plan, the "UC Project", the Unicorn Gundam is a revolutionary design meant to be the main symbol of the project's main goal: to destroy any traces of Zeonism in the Earth Sphere. Thus, not only does it feature a Gundam design, but it also incorporates an anti-Newtype system. Two prototype machines were completed at Anaheim Electronics' factory in Granada. However, when the Vist Foundation took control of the project, they installed a special "La+ Program" OS into the Gundam, turning it into a symbol of possibility by making it the key to finding Laplace's Box: the embodied hope of the Universal Century. Featuring the most advanced mobile suit technology of the time, its performance is unmatched.
Incorporating test data from the experimental MSN-06S Sinanju Stein, the Unicorn Gundam's entire frame is built with Psycho-Frame material, drastically increasing the unit's responsiveness and allowing it to be piloted like an extension of the pilot's body. While mobile suits used during the Second Neo Zeon War implemented psycho-frame technology on a limited basis, the Unicorn is the first "full psycho-frame" mobile suit. In some cases, this responsiveness is so high that the machine appears to act on its own without any actions from the pilot. In addition, the Unicorn utilizes a special system known as the "NT-D" (or Newtype Destroyer) which activates the suit's psycho-frame and dramatically increases the suit's performance.
In its normal form, the "Unicorn Mode", the Unicorn Gundam's head is similar in appearance to those of Londo Bell's mass-produced mobile suits, with the addition of a single, horn-like antenna on its forehead (which gives it the name "Unicorn"). Destroy Mode is the form when Unicorn Gundam's NT-D System is activated. The transformation is marked by an expansion of the suit's frame. The armor seams separate and lock down into various hard-points, while the newly exposed psycho-frame emits a pinkish-red or greenish (Awakened) glow (attributed to the Psycho-Field phenomenon). In this mode, the Unicorn becomes taller, reveal six more thrusters, and its head transforms to one with standard Gundam features, the visor and face guard retracts into the head to reveal the twin eyes and mouth plate, and the antenna splitting into a V-fin. To prevent its transformation being interrupted, the strength of its I-Field will be increased temporarily. Additionally, a pair of sub-sensors are revealed on the shoulders, and two concealed beam sabers extend out of the backpack.
In Destroy Mode, the suit's psycho-frame scans the pilot's thoughts and directly transmits them to the suit's drive system; in other words, the Unicorn can be controlled by the pilot's thoughts alone. Additionally, the mode also causes the machine's performance - in thrust, generator output, and sensory radius - to be increased to unmeasurable levels. The NT-D also allows the Unicorn to take control of an enemy's psycommu weapons (also known as "Psycommu Jack") by emitting a Psycho-Field. However, the stress placed on the mind by manipulating an object more than tenfold the size of an average human is extraordinary. Even with the aid of the psycho-frame, the pilot's mind can only endure roughly five minutes of operation before a limiter is activated, deactivating the psycho-frame and returning the mobile suit to its Unicorn Mode.
With the performance limiters disengaged, the Unicorn can accelerate up to 20 G's in Destroy Mode; to alleviate such high levels of G forces placed on the pilot, a drug administration system called the "DDS" is fitted on the pilot suit. It suppresses stagnated blood circulation due to high acceleration by administering the drug to the pilot. Furthermore, the DDS activates automatically upon the detection of another Newtype via the "Intention Automatic System".
- 60mm Vulcan Gun
- A basic armament found on many Federation mobile suits. While essentially ineffectual against mobile suit armor, they are useful in intercepting incoming missiles/rockets, destroying mobile suit sensors, and engaging lightly-armored vehicles.
- Beam Saber
- The beam saber is a small device held in the mobile suit's hands when operated and is powered by a rechargeable energy capacitor. It emits a blade of plasma contained by an I-Field and can cut through most armor not treated with anti-beam coating. The Unicorn Gundam is equipped with four beam saber, two on the forearms and two in the backpack. In Unicorn mode, the MS only has access to the two forearms mounted beam sabers. In Destroy Mode, the other two beam sabers flip out from the backpack, allowing access to all four sabers.
- Beam Tonfa
- The forearm mounted beam sabers can flip over and be used directly, in this form, they are known as beam tonfa.
- Beam Magnum
- A handheld firearm equipped with an energy condenser, it is common to the RX-0 series mobile suits. The power output of a single shot is the equivalent of 4 regular beam rifle shots at the expense of an entire E-pack. As such, a single shot is sufficient to destroy a mobile armor-class machine, and even stray particles from the fired shot have sufficient power to destroy a mobile suit, meaning a direct hit is not always required. The beams fired from the beam magnum are as hot as 10000°C and are surrounded by a field of plasma ranging from 3000°C to 7000°C—depending on how far away a particular area is from the actual beam. Five connected E-packs served as a single magazine for this weapon, and the magazine is also known as "Magnum Bullets". Up to two spare magazines can be stored on the Unicorn's rear skirt armor, meaning the beam magnum only has a maximum of 15 shots, causing it to have poor continuous battling capability. Additionally, the weapon can be too powerful for certain situations, limiting its use. When not in use, the beam magnum is stored on the backpack via a slot in the upper section.
- Hyper Bazooka
- A 280mm large-caliber recoilless rocket launcher system. This hyper bazooka model is exclusive to the Unicorn Gundam, but it conforms to the standard specifications of the Federation Forces. The hyper bazooka can fire various types of rounds, such as regular rounds and scattershot-type rounds, with the scattershot type being the default. When not in use, it is stored on the backpack, with its barrel retracted. The barrel is also equipped with a rail mount for attaching optional armament, such as grenade launcher or missile launcher, enabling it to function as a weapon platform. Like the beam magnum's E-pack, up to two spare magazines for hyper bazooka can be stored on the rear skirt armor, but this is at the expense of the E-pack.
- A forearm-mounted physical shield common to the RX-0 series mobile suits. An I-Field generator is built into the center, enhancing the shield's defensive power. The I-Field can block beam attacks from beam sabers to battleship-class beam fire. The shield also has four psycho-frame panels to enhance its toughness and to increase the amount of psycho-frame carried by the mobile suit. When in Destroy Mode, the upper and lower sections of the shield slide apart, revealing the I-Field generator for use, and the psycho-frame panels are also deployed in an X-shape around this generator. In Unicorn Mode, the I-Field barrier can be deployed by having the shield slide apart momentarily. As the properties of the psycho-frame allow for direct manipulation of an object by a Newtype, Unicorn Gundam is able to use its shields as beam deflecting funnels despite them lacking any thrusters.
- Beam Gatling Gun
- This armament was originally developed for the NZ-666 Kshatriya, but since it uses the same standards as Anaheim's, it can also be used by the Unicorn Gundam. It is based on the MSN-03 Jagd Doga's Mega Gatling Gun, and can fire a series of beam bullets at high speed. One such gun was used during the Unicorn Gundam's escape from Palau, and it showed its power by destroying a AMX-009 Dreissen that the Unicorn encountered. When the Unicorn was operating from the Garencieres, two of the guns were attached to the back of its shield.
- Beam Rifle (ReZEL's)
- The same firearm used by the RGZ-95 ReZEL, it has a long duration, high output shooting mode that is known among the Federation’s pilot as the ‘Guillotine burst’. Furthermore, the beam rifle's muzzle can generate a beam blade, allowing the rifle to function as a long beam saber.
- Beam Rifle (Jesta's)
- The same firearm used by the RGM-96X Jesta, it has excellent rate of fire and is longer than the usual beam rifle due to the installation of the acceleration/deflection device. Besides the normal firing mode, it also has a beam machine gun-like rapid fire mode. Accuracy can be improved by holding the rifle in a two-handed manner via the main and fore grip. Used by the Unicorn in Bande Dessinee.
- Beam Machine Gun
- The same firearm used by the AMS-129 Geara Zulu, it rapid fires pellet-shaped beams and its firing and focusing rates are consistent with the standards at the time. By adjusting the irradiation time, the weapon can also function as a beam rifle. Seen equipped at the end of Episode 5 and beginning of Episode 6.
- Armed Armor DE
- A weapon introduced in Bande Dessinee. It is the normal shield used by the Unicorn Gundam with additional parts containing a propulsion system and a mega cannon. It is similar to Shield Boosters used in the Gryps War, and can be used as a makeshift melee weapon with significant reach. The Unicorn can achieve speeds comparable to a Base Jabber by mounting the Armed Armor DE to its backpack.
Special Equipment & Features
- La+ Program
- A unique Operating System that slowly reveals the path to Laplace's Box once certain requirements are met. It was added by the Vist Foundation and not part of the original specifications. It is also responsible for registering Banagher's biometrics, making the Unicorn Gundam inoperable by others. Upon reaching Laplace at midnight Greenwich Mean Time, the program broadcasted the Universal Century inauguration speech and Federation Universal Century Charter made at Laplace in U.C. 0001. The next checkpoint given by the program is Torrington Base in Australia (in the novel, the checkpoint was actually Dakar, the capital of Earth Federation). According to Daguza Mackle, the program's true purpose might be to serve as a guidepost to test the pilot's heart as it leads the pilot to the Box. Ironically, the Laplace's Box was ultimately revealed to be at Industrial 7, where everything had begun. In the OVA, Gael Chan explained that the program was designed to search for true Newtypes to guide to the Box.
- Intention Automatic System
- This system is inherited from the Sinanju Stein and functions by using the psycho-frame's sensitivity to the pilot's thought-waves to directly affect behavior of the mobile suit. It is also possible for the pilot to intercept the thought-waves of an enemy pilot. Additionally, the system directs the suit's movement when active, and does not completely depend on the pilot for commands. By default, the system will automatically attempt to destroy any Newtype enemies it detects, but requires the pilot to give it a conscience so it does not merely become a killing machine.
- A special operating system installed in the RX-0 series mobile suits. The name "NT-D" is supposed to be an abbreviation for "Newtype Drive," but is actually an abbreviation for "Newtype Destroyer," a system developed to eliminate Newtypes. The system is activated when it detects an enemy psycommu machine as well as its Newtype or Cyber-Newtype pilot. When activated, the mobile suit transforms into Destroy Mode, dramatically improving its performance as its limiters are disabled, and allowing it to hijack the enemy machine's psycommu weaponry. However, it places a heavy burden on the pilot and the machine, and is limited to five minutes.
- Destroy Unchained
- When the synchronization between the Newtype pilot and the Unicorn through the Intention Automatic System as well as the operating level of the NT-D System exceed control range values, it is said that the Unicorn automatically shifts to a mode called "Unchained". The external armor further expands from those of the Destroy mode, exposing more of the internal psycho-frame. This is to avoid interference as the entire "full psycho-frame" body generates a powerful Psycho field: In a way, it is "unchained" and free from restraint. This secret function, "Destroy Unchained," was considered a last resort and insurance provided for the UC Project. In this state, the Psycommu connection flow limiter is cut off and control of the Unicorn is forcibly transferred from the pilot to the NT-D System. The pilot is treated merely as a "biological component" by the system without consideration for their survival while the Unicorn automatically executes program code for the purpose of defeating enemy Psycommu units, becoming a pure combat machine under complete automatic control.
- Luminous Crystal Body
- The unknown luminous crystal “Psycho Shard” is an additional medium that creates Psycho Field and is produced from the full psycho-frame body to the extent that it pushes away the armor. Unlike the “preliminary plan” Destroy Unchained which was devised in the event should NT-D operating levels exceed control range values, this form was unanticipated by the developer, Anaheim Electronics. The “Psycho Shard” is an accidental byproduct that also occurred during operational testing of Unit 1. It is said that the Neo Zeong's Psycho Shard Generator, which can artificially create miracles using Psycho Field, was created from data obtained during that period. When Banagher displayed levels exceeding the limits of Newtype ability when attempting to generate an unprecedented Psycho Field to stop the Colony Laser's destructive beam, his soul fused with the mobile suit through the psycho-frame and the "Unicorn Gundam" emerged as a new lifeform. In this fused state, it's also possible for the Unicorn to perform feats such as disabling all weapons on Earth or physically travel back in time .
Main article: Banagher Links In the manga, the Unicorn Gundam debuted with an unknown pilot at the controls, doing a test run for the Vist Foundation. The Unicorn was up against a group of ARX-014 Silver Bullets. Three of the Silver Bullets grabbed the Unicorn Gundam with their incoms and started electrocuting the pilot. Suddenly, the NT-D activated and took out three of the Silver Bullets. The Unicorn charged towards the fourth when the NT-D shut off. The test ended with the pilot being killed due to the G-forces exerted on his body.
After its final battle with Full Frontal and the NZ-999 Neo Zeong, the Unicorn Gundam stopped the Federation attack on the Magallanica by releasing a pulse with its psycho-frame that disabled them. This pulse caused their generators to be disassembled, as if they were reverted back to a time they were not built yet. Following these events, the Federation immediately ordered the Unicorn Gundam and its sibling unit, the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee, to be dismantled and sealed away, out of a concern for the powers they displayed. However, the Unicorn Gundam remains intact but sealed by Banagher, waiting for the time its power is needed once more.
Illustrations & Artwork
Notes & Trivia
- In Episode 3 of the OVA, the Unicorn Gundam's Destroy Mode transformation sequence shows the head camera sliding forward. This was not present in any other Destroy Mode transformation sequence in the series.
- Unicorn Gundam is one of the playable secret mobile suits in the game Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam Next, coming along with a new Route H. However, it lacked its pilot. For the PlayStation Portable port Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam Next Plus, the Unicorn is joined by NZ-666 Kshatriya and is given its proper pilot.
- There are a few errors regarding its appearance due to having shown up before the OVA's debut. For one, its Beam Magnum shots are colored a bright red identical to Reborns's GN Buster Rifle and lacks its distinct SFX. Additionally, its head visor features a blue glow instead of a green one. Finally, it is the only Gundam from a series other than Devil Gundam to not have an opening song from its show of origin, instead using a track made specifically for the game.
- The OVA version of the Master Grade Unicorn Gundam includes blue beam saber blades, as opposed to pink from the Ver.Ka kit.
- Despite being advertised as RE:0096 kit, the Twin Frame version of the Master Grade does not have the marking seals that befit its appearance in the opening and ending sequence of the anime.
- A statue of the Unicorn Gundam makes a cameo appearance in the 2018 film Pacific Rim Uprising.
- There are two known names for the Unicorn Gundam's crystalized form: "Unicorn Gundam (Luminous Crystal Body)" as seen in the Gundam Base Tokyo exclusive model kit, and "Unicorn Gundam (Psycho Shard)" as seen in the instruction manual for the High Grade Build Divers RX-零/覚醒 RX-Zeromaru (Shinki Kessho). The instruction manual of the Gundam Base Tokyo exclusive model kit did note that the crystals on the Unicorn Gundam's body are Psycho Shards.
- The color scheme of Unicorn and its sibling units (Banshee and Phenex) are likely inspired by the kitsune of Japanese folklore, specifically the zenko. In Unicorn's case it is likely based on the byakko.
- In the conclusion of the Gundam UC novels, the Unicorn doesn't crystallize after blocking the laser from Gryps II, but remains completely intact and is described to exhibit a rainbow glow from its psycho-frame; it's also said that the Unicorn, as a new lifeform, listened to the voices of billions all at once, while producing unlimited power.
- According to Harutoshi Fukui, Gundam UC's creator, the Unicorn Gundam, and more specifically the psycho-frame within it, are powerful enough to where one misstep in utilizing their power could destroy the present physical dimension.
- The Unicorn Gundam statue outside DiverCity Tokyo Plaza in Odaiba makes several cameo appearances in the Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club anime, also a Sunrise production.
- The statue's foot appears in the 1st episode behind a close-up of Yu Takasaki.
- The statue's left leg appears in the 11th episode in Destroy Mode.
- The statue is seen in full three times in the 13th episode, first in its Destroy Mode configuration from the front, then in Unicorn Mode from behind, and later in Awakened form from the front.
- MS/MECHANIC| MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM UC (UNICORN) RX-0 UNICORN GUNDAM(UNICORN MODE)
- Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 Episode 1, Departure 0096
- Harutoshi Fukui, Mobile Suit Gundam UC Vol. 3 Red Comet,Kadokawa Shoten, Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko, April 1, 2010, ISBN 978-4-04-474807-4, pp. 31-32.
- Mobile Suit Archive RX-0 Unicorn Gundam,p.126.
- Mobile Suit Archive RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, p.43.
- "MG 1/100 RX-0 Unicorn Gundam Ver.Ka" Instruction Manual, Bandai, December 2007, page 2.
- Mobile Suit Archive RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, p.65.
- Mobile Suit Gundam UC Mechanic & World ep1-3
- RG 1/144 RX-0 Unicorn Gundam model kit manual
- MG /100 Sinanju instruction manual, Bandai
- Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Episode 0 “The War After the War”
- "Mobile Suit Gundam UC Prismatic Mobiles Part 2" p.143.
- "Mobile Suit Gundam UC Prismatic Mobiles Part 2" p.142.
- HGUC 1/144 The Gundam Base Limited UNICORN GUNDAM [LUMINOUS CRYSTAL BODY] model kit instruction manual
- Trading Card Arcade Game "GUNDAM TRY AGE VS IGNITION" VS1-029 "Unicorn Gundam (Psycho Shard)"
- 1/144 HGUC Neo Zeong model kit instruction manual
- Shukan Gundam Perfect File #156, page 4
- Dengeki Hobby Gundam NT Release Commemorative Interview
- Harutoshi Fukui, Mobile Suit Gundam UC Vol. 10 Over the Rainbow Part 2, p. 269
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Unicorn Mode) on Gundam UC Re:0096 Official Site (English)
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Unicorn Mode) on Gundam-Unicorn.net (English) (Archived)
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Destroy Mode) on Gundam-Unicorn.net (English) (Archived)
- RX-0 Unicorn (Novel) Gundam on MAHQ.net
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (OVA) on MAHQ.net
- RX-0 Unicorn Gundam on Gundams.de