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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,[1] 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.[2]

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[3]. 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 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. The machine's performance - its mobility in particular - is dramatically increased when the NT-D is active, partially due to the exposure and activation of six additional thrusters. 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.

To alleviate the high levels of G forces placed on the pilot, a drug administration system called the "DDS" is fitted on the pilot suit[4]. It suppresses stagnated blood circulation due to high acceleration by administering the drug to the pilot[4]. Furthermore, the DDS activates automatically upon the detection of another Newtype via the "Intention Automatic System"[4].

Armaments

  • 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 standard close range armament for most Federation mobile suits. 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 is equipped with four beam sabers, two on the forearms and two in the backpack. In Unicorn mode, only the two forearm mounted beam sabers are accessible. 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 highly customized beam rifle designed with an energy condenser. The power output in a single shot is the equivalent of 4 regular beam rifle shots at the expense of an entire E-pac[5]. Each of the beam magnum's magazine is loaded with 5 E-pac, allowing a total of five shots before reloading. The Unicorn can carry two spare magazines on its rear skirt armor. When not in use, the Beam Magnum is stored on the backpack via a slot in the upper section. The Beam Magnum is exclusive to the RX-0 series and causes malfunctions if used by other mobile suits, such as the Delta Plus.
  • Hyper Bazooka
A hyper bazooka variant that is exclusive to the Unicorn Gundam, it is stored on the backpack and extends when in use. The hyper bazooka can fire various types of rounds, with the default being the scattershot type. Each of the bazooka's magazine can carry up to six rounds and like the Beam Magnum, the Unicorn can store up to two spare magazines on its rear skirt.
  • Shield
A shield that houses an I-Field Generator, which is operational in both Unicorn mode and Destroy Mode. The I-field is automatically deployed and can deflect battleship-class beam cannons[6]. Due to the properties of the Psycho-Frame allowing 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. When required, the shield can be used as ramming weapons or be equipped with the beam gatling guns. Like the Unicorn Gundam itself, the shield also transforms and reveals its Psycho-Frame parts during Destroy Mode.
When Minovsky particles are released into the air or into open space, the positive and negative particles spontaneously align themselves into a three-dimensional cubic lattice. Due to the repulsive and electrostatic forces between the Minovsky particles, this lattice functions as a kind of a force field, which is referred to as an I-field. When activated, the I-field forms an invisible barrier around the mobile weapon, protecting it from incoming beam attacks. However, this barrier has no effect against solid objects like missiles and projectiles, and beam weapons can still be used at point blank range within the barrier's boundary.
  • Beam Gatling Gun
A Gatling-style beam weapon with high rates of fire, it can be handheld or mounted on the forearms/shield. It was originally made and used by the Sleeves as a supporting weapon for the NZ-666 Kshatriya to maintain suppressive fire. Banagher Links managed to secure one while escaping Palau. It unleashes a torrent of beam fire, though individual shots inflict relatively light damage to target (causing minor damage to such units as the AMX-009 Dreissen). It was destroyed during the battle with the Kshatriya, but two new beam gatling guns are mounted to the Unicorn when it is taken on by The Sleeve ship Garencieres. When the gun's ammunition is depleted, it is discarded to avoid becoming dead weight.
  • Beam Rifle (ReZEL's)
The same beam rifle used by the RGZ-95 ReZEL, which is powered by a replaceable e-pac. The particle beam fired from the beam rifle can penetrate most armor not treated with specific counter-measures. In addition, this beam rifle can also emit a beam blade from its muzzle, allowing it to act as a long beam saber.
  • Beam Rifle (Jesta's)
The same Beam rifle 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 weapon as used by the Sleeves' AMS-129 Geara Zulu, it shoots yellow beams and can be fired fully-automatic. It is powered by a replaceable e-pac, if the e-pac is depleted it can be replaced with a fresh one. It can attach an optional grenade launcher. 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 Conflict, 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 UC 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[7][8]. 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.
An anti-Newtype system developed by the Earth Federation, it works by using the Psycho-Frame built within the mobile suit's body to seek out Newtype brainwaves. Should one be found, the NT-D System activates and turns the Unicorn Gundam from its usual "Unicorn mode" into its "Destroy mode", improving its stats overall and allowing it to take control of Newtype weaponry used by others and turn them against them. However, the system has a number of flaws to it. Among them is having a five minutes usage limit so it wouldn't kill its pilot and the fact that it doesn't discriminate against real Newtypes and Cyber-Newtypes. Its most ironic flaw is that, because of the massive stress given to its pilots, a Newtype is the best pilot for the unit. Thankfully, those with strong wills can overpower the system and determine when it can activate.
  • 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[9]. This secret function, "Destroy Unchained", was considered a "last resort" and "insurance" provided for the UC Project[10]. In this state, the Psycommu connection flow limiter is forcibly 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 excutes program code for the purpose of defeating enemy Psycommu machines, becoming a pure combat machine under complete automatic control[9].
  • 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[11][12]. 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[13][14]. 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.

History

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.

Variants

Picture Gallery

Games

Fan Art

Gunpla

Action Figures

Notes and Trivia

  • Unicorn Gundam's unicorn motif is likely a reference to the unicorn in the series of tapestries known as The Lady and the Unicorn.
  • 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.
  • Unicorn Gundam is also included as a Playable MS in Gundam Musou 3, alongside the Sinanju.
  • In Gundam Memories, Unicorn Gundam is categorized as a "long" unit in Unicorn Mode, while it is classified as a "short" unit whenever it turns into Destroy Mode. The Unicorn Gundam is the only unit that switches between two different types in the game.
    • The Quick Attack is also different: In Unicorn Mode, it can only use 3 attack patterns, while in Destroy Mode, it can use 4 attack patterns.
  • 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 (not the one at The Gundam Base Tokyo) makes a cameo appearance in the 2018 film Pacific Rim Uprising.
  • In SRW V, Audrey asked Judau if he wanted to pilot the Unicorn which is confusing due to the fact the La+ Program registers to only allow Banagher to pilot the Unicorn and no one else can pilot it.
    • In SWR V, the Unicorn has the unique ability to move twice when it activates Destroy Mode.
  • 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.

References

  1. MS/MECHANIC| MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM UC (UNICORN) RX-0 UNICORN GUNDAM(UNICORN MODE)
  2. Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 Episode 1, Departure 0096
  3. 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.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Mobile Suit Archive RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, p.43.
  5. "MG 1/100 RX-0 Unicorn Gundam Ver.Ka" Instruction Manual, Bandai, December 2007, page 2.
  6. Mobile Suit Gundam UC Mechanic & World ep1-3
  7. MG /100 Sinanju instruction manual, Bandai
  8. Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Episode 0 “The War After the War”
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Mobile Suit Gundam UC Prismatic Mobiles Part 2" p.143.
  10. "Mobile Suit Gundam UC Prismatic Mobiles Part 2" p.142.
  11. HGUC 1/144 The Gundam Base Limited UNICORN GUNDAM [LUMINOUS CRYSTAL BODY] model kit instruction manual
  12. Trading Card Arcade Game "GUNDAM TRY AGE VS IGNITION" VS1-029 "Unicorn Gundam (Psycho Shard)"
  13. 1/144 HGUC Neo Zeong model kit instruction manual
  14. Shukan Gundam Perfect File #156, page 4

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