Technology & Combat Characteristics
The RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex" was developed by the Earth Federation Forces during the One Year War as a mobile suit specifically for Newtypes. Its intended pilot was Amuro Ray, an ace pilot who has been displaying Newtype powers in battle and as a result was overworking his RX-78-2 Gundam. In fact, Amuro's data was utilized during the machine's development. As the Earth Federation Forces did not have the same level of Newtype research as the Principality of Zeon, the Alex did not have any Psycommu controlled remote weaponry. Instead, it was designed to be highly maneuverable, mobile and responsive, taking advantage of a Newtype's superb reaction speed and reflexes. Test pilot Christina MacKenzie (an Oldtype) noted that the machine was incredibly powerful, almost to the point that it was out of control.
To be more responsive to its pilot, the Alex utilized the brand new panoramic monitor/linear floating seat combination, and the Magnetic Coating pioneered by the RX-78-3 "G-3" Gundam. The panoramic monitor provided increased visibility and reduced pilot stress. The linear floating seat not only better protects the pilot against G-forces and impact shocks, but also complements the panoramic monitor as it is suspended in the cockpit, enhancing the pilot's field of view. The Magnetic Coating improves the machine's reaction speed by three times when compared to conventional mobile suit without this coating. To make the Alex highly maneuverable and mobile, its propulsion power is enhanced with the backpack thrusters being enlarged, as well as various thrusters being placed throughout its body. The Alex's generator output is also improved.
Additionally, the Alex can be outfitted with a new set of optional armor known as the Chobam Armor, turning into the Full Armor Alex for better defensive power. This armor however increase the Alex's total weight to a shocking 95 tons, hampering its maneuverability and mobility to a certain degree, although measures were taken to reduce these negative impacts. The "U.N.T.SPACY" markings on various parts of the Alex represent a top-secret plan of the Earth Federation Forces and stand for Under Normal Tactics S Pecial Assortment Construction Yard. Lastly, the name "Alex" is a word play on the "RX" code for the Gundam series and also an acronym for "Armored Layers EXperimental".
- 60mm Vulcan Gun
- A basic armament of many Federation mobile suits, a pair are mounted on the Gundam Alex's head. The Vulcan Guns are mainly for intercepting incoming missiles/rockets, destroying mobile suit sensors, and engaging lightly-armored vehicles.
- 90mm Gatling Gun
- Hidden under the forearm armor, the pair of 3-barrel 90mm Gatling guns pop up when in use. While not as powerful as the Beam Rifle, the Gatling guns have high rate of fire, element of surprise and can penetrate MS armor as seen with the MS-18E Kämpfer. Although quite effective in combat, this weapon is not adopted by subsequent mass production mobile suits due to cost and maintenance issues. The Gatling Guns are unusable when Gundam Alex is fitted with the Chobam Armor.
- Blash·XB-B-09 Beam Saber
- The standard close combat armament of most Earth Federation Forces' mobile suits, Gundam Alex stores two beam sabers in its backpack. The beam sabers use Minovsky particles held in place by an I-Field to form an effective cutting surface that can slice through nearly any material without specific counter measures. The particles for the beam sabers are stored in a rechargeable E-cap within the sabers' hilt.
- BOWA·Norfolk XBR-L Type-3 Beam Rifle
- The primary ranged weapon of the Gundam Alex, it uses parts produced by different companies. The Gundam Alex's beam rifle has a higher output and convergence rate than the one used by the RX-78-2 Gundam, leading to better penetration power. It has been suggested that the magazine-shaped parts at the bottom of the rifle is an exchangeable E-pac.
- Hyper Bazooka
- Technically a large rocket launcher, it fires 380mm missiles to strike targets at long range. Almost no mass-production MS's armors can stop this weapon, but the Hyper Bazooka had a slow rate of fire and fairly little ammunition. A custom type with scope was developed for the Gundam Alex.
- RX·C-Sh-05 UBC/S-0003 Shield
- A defensive armament, the Gundam Alex's shield has the same structure as its Chobam Armor and also has an anti-beam coating to withstand several beam shots like other shields. It is said that some of the later Earth Federation Forces' mobile suits, such as the GP series, uses shields with similar makeup.
Special Equipment & Features
- 360-degree Panoramic Monitor
- A new type of cockpit display, typically used in conjunction with a linear floating seat. The multiple panels of the panoramic monitor make up a single 360-degree display, which covers the entire inner surface of the spherical cockpit. The image displayed on the monitor is a computer simulation constructed from the cameras distributed around the mobile suit's exterior. The viewpoint is that of the mobile suit's head, and the image is carefully edited to remove the mobile suit itself.
- Linear Floating Seat
- A new type of pilot seat which becomes standard after the One Year War and is commonly known as 'linear seat'. In this arrangement, the seat is suspended in the center of the cockpit, supported by a linear arm which electromagnetically counters G-forces and impact shocks in order to protect the pilot. When used in conjunction with the 360-degree panoramic monitor, the linear seat also gives the pilot a larger field of view and eliminates blind spots.
- Learning Computer
- A high-speed, large-capacity AI that surpasses the performance of the one installed in the RX-78-2 Gundam.
- Magnetic Coating
- A special membrane treatment applied to mobile suit's joints to improve their response speed. The mobile suits developed by the Earth Federation Forces use special actuators called field motors, whose efficiency is increased by the magnet coating process. The treatment also reduces friction resistance in the joints. With this, the reaction time of the MS is greatly increased, but also made the "Alex" extremely hard to control, especially for an Oldtype. While the Gundam "Alex" wouldn't reach its intended pilot Amuro Ray, this technology was still applied to the original RX-78-2 Gundam.
- Chobam Armor
- Designed for the Gundam Alex, the Chobam ( Ceramics Hybrid Outer-shelled Blow up Act-on Materials) armor is a series of optional armor plates attached to the machine's main body. It is one of the composite armor developed as part of the Full-Armor System and Weapon System (FSWS) project for the RX-78 series. Materials used in its construction include a thin layer of Luna Titanium Alloy. Though the Chobam Armor granted the Alex superior defensive capabilities (it easily withstand a direct hit from the Kampfer's shotgun and protected the Gundam Alex from the explosion of the chain mine), it weighs down the suit and is unarmed. To reduce the drop in maneuverability and mobility caused by the added weight, the armor plates on the rear skit have built-in thrusters and certain sections of the armor have movable flaps to ensure some of Alex's thrusters remain usable. This armor was later used in the RGC-83 GM Cannon II. When equipped, the Alex's model number and name changes to RX-78NT-1FA Full Armor Gundam "Alex".
The RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex" was a prototype developed by the Federation Forces to make the most of the abilities of Newtypes and to serve as a custom machine for Amuro Ray in the upcoming Operation Star One. In the final months of UC.0079, Alex was delivered from the Arctic Base to Side 6 for testing, with Zeon's special ops Cyclops Team on its tail. The Cyclops Team managed to locate Alex within Side 6's Libot Colony and infiltrated the Earth Federation Forces' base to steal it, or upon failure to do so, destroy it with explosives.
However, the Cyclops' plan went awry and Christina Mackenzie, Alex's test pilot, managed to activate it and confronted Cyclops' MS-18E Kämpfer. Thanks to its Chobam Armor, Alex survived the Kämpfer's Chain Mines and destroyed the enemy unit using its Gatling Gun. In a subsequent assault, Cyclops's Bernard Wiseman made use of terrain and traps to put Alex at a disadvantage and critically damaging it with his MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai, but he was killed in the process. Shortly after, the One Year War came to an end and the Alex project was dropped in favor of psycommu-based Newtype weaponry.
Notes and Trivia
- The Alex's Chobam armor is a reference to the real-life Chobham armor, a type of British tank armor.
- Due to the fact its only known pilot was a non-Newtype, the true capabilities of the Gundam Alex when piloted by a Newtype is unknown.
- A prototype of the NT-1 simply named "RX-78NT1 Proto" appears in Model Graphix vol. 61. It has a red and white color scheme and a "3" marking on its front skirt armor. According to Master Archive Mobilesuit - RX-78 Gundam, this was the Alex's rollout color.
- The team responsible for testing the Alex is known as the G-4 Experimental Team, and the Alex bears a "4" marking on its shoulder, implying that the Alex was originally intended to be Gundam Unit 4. Presumably, the staff was unaware that RX-78-4 Gundam Unit 4 "G04" previously appeared in Mobile Suit Variations. The original Alex MG model manual implied that there may be multiple Gundam Unit 4 due to parallel development.
- In the video game Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space, when Amuro Ray pilots the Gundam Alex, he will say "This Alex isn't just for show!" This is likely a reference to Char's Counterattack when Amuro tells Char Aznable not to underestimate the RX-93 ν Gundam.
- In the video game SD G-Generation DS, on special mode, if the player has unlocked the first extra session, instead of NT-1 Alex getting destroyed along with Bernie and Mackenzie, Gato and Char would intervene, saving the Cyclops team. Through this event, the NT-1 Alex would be piloted by Amuro during the battle at A Baoa Qu.
- The Gundam "Alex" received the magnetic coating before the RX-78-2 Gundam.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 MG 1/100 Gundam RX-78 NT-1, Bandai, October 1999, assembly instruction manual
- ↑ 'Gundam MS Historica vol. 4' Book
|Mobile Suit Gundam 0080 Mechanics|
|Earth Federation Forces|
RGM-79D GM Cold Climate Type | RGM-79G GM Command | RGM-79GS GM Command Space Type | RGM-79SP GM Sniper II | RX-77D Guncannon Mass Production Type | RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex"
Cold District Use APC
|Transporter / Supply Ship|
63 STS "Ginga" | C-88 Medea
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
LMSD-76 Gray Phantom
|Principality of Zeon|
| Mobile Suit|
MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai | MS-09R-2 Rick Dom II | MS-14Jg Gelgoog Jäger | MS-18E Kämpfer | MSM-03C Hygogg | MSM-07E Z'Gok-E
|Ship / Submarine|
|Transporter / Supply Ship|
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
Musai-class Final Production Type | Tivvay-class
RH-35E Riah 35 Draken-E