The RX-78-02 Gundam (RX-78-02 ガンダム?) is the titular mobile suit of the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga. It also appears briefly in the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin OVA and the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Advent of the Red Comet television series. It was piloted by Amuro Ray during the One Year War.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The operation tests of the RX-78-02, a prototype MS of the Earth Federation, were carried out in secret, but civilian Amuro Ray coincidentally became its pilot when Zeon Forces assaulted Side 7.
The RX-78-02 utilizes its wide array of portable weapons such as its beam rifle and hyper bazooka. It also has fixed weaponry such as two shoulder magnums on the left shoulder, a gatling gun on the right shoulder, and a forearm gatling gun on its left arm. It's also possible to swap a beam saber with an optional armament known as the shoulder cannon.
As the war progressed to its latter stages, the RX-78-02 was reconfigured into its Late Type/Middle Type form. When the fighting was moved into space a majority of its fixed weapons were removed and swapped with extra thrusters for better mobility and gate shaped armor on the shoulders. Several fixed weapons were removed such as the arm vulcan, the two shoulder magnums, shoulder Gatling gun, and the shoulder cannon not being used more often.
- Vulcan Gun
- A pair of shell-firing weapon built into the head. Though not powerful, its high rate of fire meant it was employed to intercept incoming missiles, etc.
- Beam Saber
- A combat armament mounted on the backpack. Its blade-shaped beam can instantaneously cut through the armor of the mobile suit.
- Shoulder Cannon
- A medium range, solid shell firearm with a magazine mounted in the rear. It's set on the left side of the backpack after swapping out the beam saber and has a moveable base.
- Arm Vulcan
- Installed on the left forearm, attached to the gate-shaped parts on the cuffs.
- Shoulder Magnum
- Equipped with two on the left shoulder. It was replaced with a second gatling gun for renovation to the Middle Type.
- Gatling Gun
- Equipped with one on the right shoulder in the Early Type and one on both shoulders in the Middle Type. They were changed to sensors for renovation to the Late Type.
- Beam Rifle
- The beam rifle is the primary weapon used by the Gundam. This weapon has also been confirmed to be utilized by the RX-78-01 Prototype Gundam and the GM, hence its similar appearance and equipment. A new form of the beam rifle called the Beam Rifle (Middle Type) was utilized during the later times of the war.
- Hyper Bazooka
- A general purpose fire support rocket launcher. It is used by carrying it over the shoulder and is frequently used by Amuro in tandem with the shoulder cannon for extra power.
- An armament with extremely high defensive capabilities obtained by adopting a multi-layer structure made of multiple materials.
Special Equipment & Features
- Magnet Coating
The project was proposed by Tem Ray in the year U.C. 0078 after he watched the footage of a MS-04 operating in the A Bao A Qu region. He immediately realized that, had the Federation gone ahead with mass-producing the Guncannon, geared toward ship combat at the time, the mobile suits would fare poorly against these Zakus. While the Federation at first believed the RCX-76 Guncannon would suffice, Tem's theory was proven true during the Battle of Mare Smythii, in which 4 MS-05 Zakus, alongside the MS-04 Bugu, wiped out the 12 Guncannons of the Iron Cavalry Squadron, and thus illustrated to the Federation the need of a mobile suit geared toward mobile suit combat, leading to the approval of the RX-78 Gundam development project. Amuro Ray later discovered that his father was not just working on colony construction as he discovered the suit's blueprints and a scaled-down RX-78-02 arm in his father's room .
One Year War (U.C. 0079)
The RX-78-02 was completed in its rollout colors of white and light gray. Its antennae was initially not V-shaped and instead more like the Guncannon Early Type. . The staff at Anaheim Electronics later posed for a photo in front of their completed work .
Gundam Rising (September)
On the day Zakus infiltrated the Side 7 Noa colony, Amuro Ray was at his computer accessing top-secret Federation data. After coming across another security layer, he opened a file containing a diagram of the Gundam's head. He saw the name "RX-78 Gundam", more "weird numbers" and schematics. As Fraw entered his house, Amuro also saw a diagram of a Zaku and how it had a fusion engine within its torso, strengthening his beliefs that his father had more than just colony blueprints .
Notes & Trivia
- It has several key differences to the RX-78-2:
- Its beam sabers cannot turn into the beam javelin.
- It does not have the cooling film or the cooling field for atmospheric re-entry (but was still able to reenter the atmosphere without being burned out).
- It didn't initially have the Core Block System.
- It was the first mobile weapon from Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin to be given a full Master Grade model .
- Curiously, the cover art drawn by Yasuhiko used by both the Japanese R2 and the R1 Anime Legends volume 1 DVD releases of Mobile Suit Gundam features the RX-78-02 Gundam . Another artpiece by Yasuhiko also features the RX-78-02 Gundam and it utilised on western releases of the movie trilogy since 2017, however the "02" is obscured by Char's helmet.
- The Gundam Rollout Type's appearance, with two antennae on the back of the head instead of the V-fin, was based on the RX-78 prototype artwork from Gundam Century.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Episode 4, Eve of Destiny
- ＨＧ 1/144 RX-78-02 ガンダム ロールアウトカラー（GUNDAM THE ORIGIN版）【２次：２０２１年６月発送】 (Japanese). Archived from the original on 2021-01-06.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Advent of the Red Comet Episode 12, Char, The Red Comet
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Chapter 1, Activation, Section I
- Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin Panel - MCM London Comic Con (28th May 2016)
- Redefine the limits of mobility with the MG RX-78-02 Gundam (The Origin Ver.), shipping today!. Archived from the original on 2016-08-02.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Complete Collection 1: Anime DVD Region 1 US Import NTSC: Amazon.co.uk: DVD & Blu-ray. Retrieved on 2021-01-06.