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 Magnet 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 Magnet 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 pair of shell-firing armament built into the head. Low offensive power, only used to restrict enemy movement, and lay down a wall of suppressive fire due to their rapid fire capability.
- 90mm Gatling Gun
- Stored in armor covers on both forearms. It has the power to penetrate the armor of MS as seen with the MS-18E Kämpfer. The gun barrel is usually hidden and pops up during use, but the weapon's vibration and limited number of bullets caused issues. The adoption of this armament was made possible by the fact that the joint parts have been made smaller by improving field motor technology, allowing it to be mounted in the freed-up space. Although quite effective in combat, it is not adopted by subsequent mass production mobile suits due to cost and maintenance issues. These weapons are unusable when Gundam Alex is equipped with the Chobam Armor.
- Blash·XB-B-09 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 sabers are stored on the backpack. Both the beam sabers and the backpack connectors were made by Blash. As a result, these beam sabers have a different design compared to those of the RX-78-2 and RX-78-3, and they are stored closer to the backpack's center instead of being stored on the backpack's outer edges like the other two mobile suits.
- 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-pack.
- Hyper Bazooka
- A general purpose fire support rocket launcher platform for mobile suits. With considerable destructive power owing to the high explosive yield in each warhead, the weapon was primarily used to destroy less maneuverable targets such as warships, satellites, land battleships, bunkers, and buildings. 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
- The Alex was equipped with the NICN system, a high-speed, large-capacity AI with better performance than the ICN system installed in the RX-78-2 Gundam.
- Magnet 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" did not reach its intended pilot Amuro Ray, this technology was eventually 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 Ribo 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.
Notes and Trivia
- The Alex's Chobam armor is a reference to the real-life Chobham armor, a type of British tank armor.
- Most of the Alex's equipment is not seen in the actual OVA series. The Beam Rifle, Hyper Bazooka and Shield are only seen in supplementary materials.
- In the animated intro of Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo, the "U.N.T. Spacy" marking on the Alex's right shoulder was corrected to "EFSF".
- Both types of markings were included as optional decals in the Master Grade Gundam NT-1 2.0 model.
- 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 original 1/144 Gundam NT-1 Gunpla manual stated that the Alex was a redesigned version of the fourth Gundam developed by the Federation Forces, implying that the Alex was originally Gundam Unit 4. However, the M-MSV design series released later in 1990 introduced the RX-78-4 Gundam Unit 4 "G04", which was unrelated to the NT-1. The original Alex MG model manual implied that there may be multiple Gundam Unit 4 due to parallel development.
- While a number of Video Games that feature both Amuro Ray and the NT-1 Alex allow you to have the former pilot the latter, some have details and/or scenarios unique to such a configuration, referencing the original plan to have Amuro pilot the Mobile Suit.
- 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.
- In Mobile Suit: Gundam Pilot's Locus, the Alex is one of the units of the Federation but is held down by Christina's poor piloting skills. If piloted by Amuro, however, the Alex quickly becomes one of the strongest units in the game.
- In the Extreme Vs. series, Christina refers to Amuro as the Alex's designated pilot when paired together. Zeong Char's win quote against the Alex has him wonder and dread what could have happened had Amuro been the pilot instead.
- In its appearance in the Extreme Vs. series initially being at the series' floor cost at 1000, and later 1500, the same cost as the Zaku II Kai. The Alex may also call on a pair of GM Sniper IIs for support. Additionally, it can swap in and out of its Chobham armor in order to trade the armor's defense for more mobility.
- 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 Districts 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|
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