|Please note that this is the Gundam Wiki's article on mobile suit featured in MSV; if you are looking for the article on the mobile suit featured in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin then you should head to RX-78-01 Prototype Gundam.|
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The RX-78-1 Prototype Gundam is the third MS produced under the Operation V, developed at the Jaburo military headquarters on Earth. The starting point of the RX-78 series of mobile suits, the Prototype Gundam was designed differently from the other Operation V mobile suits models in that it did not place its emphasis on raw firepower like the RX-75-4 Guntank and RX-77-2 Guncannon. Instead, the RX-78-1 placed emphasis on fast, close quarters combat, much like the Principality of Zeon's MS-06 Zaku II.
In addition to thorough weight reduction, cooling units are installed on the waist and knees to withstand battles in outer space, and a heat-resistant field system is also provided for entry into the atmosphere. It was also the first to feature several new technologies, including the energy cap-based beam rifle (making the Gundam the first mobile suit to pack the firepower of a battleship), beam sabers and beam javelins for close combat. The Prototype Gundam also featured the Core Block System. Compared to the RX-78-2 Gundam, its ankle armor is equipped with multiple slit-like attitude control verniers, its knee armor is shorter, and the shape of its wrists are different.
- 60mm Vulcan Gun
- A pair of shell-firing armament built into the head. Though not powerful, its high rate of fire meant it was employed to intercept incoming missiles, etc.
- Beam Saber
- The beam saber is a small device held in the mobile suit's hands when deployed and is powered by a rechargeable energy capacitor. It emits high-energy Minovsky particles to form a blade-shaped I-field (via manipulation of electromagnetic fields), and then fills this I-field shell with superheated Minovsky particle plasma to produce an effective cutting blade. Two beam sabers are stored in the Gundam's backpack. One can be used as a reserve weapon, or both can be used simultaneously in a twin sword fashion. The beam saber can also transform into the beam javelin.
- Beam Javelin
- The beam javelin is an alternate form of the beam saber, with an extended handle and a three-pronged beam at the end. The long reach of the weapon provides a considerable advantage in close quarters combat. It was also used as a throwing weapon.
- XBR-M79-04G Beam Rifle
- A shotgun-style beam rifle. Initial plans was for it to be integrated into the forearms of the Gundam at the time of use, but the concept was dropped. The right side armor is equipped with a slide-out holster to store this rifle.
- Hyper Bazooka
- A general purpose fire support rocket launcher platform for Mobile Suits. With considerable destructive power owing to the explosive yield in each warhead, the weapon was primarily used to destroy less-maneuverable battlefield targets such as warships, satellites, land battleships, bunkers, and buildings.
- M-120A1 120mm Machine Gun
- The same portable firearm used by the Zaku II. It can switch between semi-automatic and automatic fire. Although useless against Luna Titanium Alloy, it can still destroy weaker armor material with multiple shots. It fires 120mm caliber rounds that are stored in a 100-rounds drum magazine. This weapon was used during a mock battle and it was loaded with paint ball ammunition.
- Hand-carried, forearm-mounted or stored on the Gundam's backpack, the shield is a simple defense used to block most physical and beam attacks. Weighing 10 tons, its armor structure is a simplified version of that on the Gundam's body and is designed for the diffusion and absorption of impact rather than robustness. The outermost layer is a triple honeycomb structure using luna titanium alloy-based material.
- Gundam Hammer
- Essentially a large spiked ball attached to a chain, it serve as a ranged melee weapon. The gundam hammer could either be thrown or swung around the mobile suit itself to damage the enemy units.
Special Equipment & Features
- The prototype mobile suits produced by the Earth Federation Forces' Operation V, are equipped with a central block which houses the mobile suit's cockpit, control systems and main power source. This core block can eject in case of emergency and unfold into a small Core Fighter.
- An attachment point for weapons, shields, spare ammunition, or optional mission-specific equipment. Hardpoints can also be used to store carried weapons when a mobile suit needs its manipulators free for other purposes.
- Heatproof Field
- A system which pumps out air to counter the friction heat of atmospheric entry. The mobile suit's internal cooling systems must also be engaged to deal with the heat that penetrates the air field.
The RX-78-1 was tested in conjunction with the FF-X5 Prototype Core Fighter on Earth before being shipped to Side 7, where it underwent further testing. Its Core Fighter was also refitted into the FF-X7 Core Fighter. When it first rolled out, its face, wrists, and waist were different compared to the RX-78-2 Gundam, though after several modifications, they became nearly identical. There was no record of it after its testing in Side 7. According to one account, it was destroyed during the Zeon attack. The truth remains unknown.
Notes and Trivia
- The Prototype Gundam was originally the semi-final draft of the Gundam's design by Kunio Okawara, which notably had a different face design without vents. This design first appeared in the book "How To Build Gundam", as a model example for "Gundam initial development type". For Mobile Suit Variations, Okawara redrew the design, making it identical to the Gundam aside from the color, though the semi-final draft version still appeared as "standard equipment unit".
- In MSV-R, the semi-final draft version was said to be the rollout version of the Prototype Gundam.
- In Gundam Battle Royale, the Prototype Gundam doesn't have a Beam Javelin or a Beam Saber. It instead uses the Gundam Hammer for melee combat. This setup carries over until Gundam Assault Survive.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield, in-game text regarding the Protoype Gundam describes it as "being lightly armored with emphasis on close-combat". As such it carries a Gundam Hammer in place of Beam Rifle but also comes equipped with Beam Sabers (and later, the Beam Javelin) as a secondary melee weapon. Moreover, the Gundam Hammer has an added effect of temporarily disabling visual sensors like the Gouf's Heat Rod and the Dom's scattering beam gun.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation, the Prototype Gundam is classified as a Close-Combat unit, and as such carries all the advantages and disadvantages of said type. It still has a beam rifle but does not carry a shield and its main (and only) close-combat weapon is the Beam Javelin.