Trans-Am System (or Trans-Am) is an inherent feature of both the GN Drive and GN Drive Tau that temporarily increases their GN Particle output beyond normal parameters for greatly enhanced combat performance in Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
System Description & Characteristics
The Trans-Am system was originally drafted by Aeolia Schenberg to grant Celestial Being's Gundam Meisters full utilization of their GN Drives and was a secret feature hidden inside the black boxes of the five original GN Drives. Because of this, the first and second generation Gundams never had the chance to utilize Trans-Am as the pilots didn't even know that such a powerful function existed; however, it was later possible for Fereshte since they were still in possession of a GN Drive when Trans-Am was enabled. The system itself was rigged to unlock by a system trap inside Veda that automatically executed itself once Aeolia was killed.
Under normal operation, a GN Drive generates particles at a preset rate while excess GN Particles are stored inside the GN Condensers. When Trans-Am is activated, the GN Drive operates at full power by releasing all of the stored particles and increasing the GN Drive operation rate to its maximum output. These released GN Particles saturate the frame of the mobile suit, which renders a glowing pink-reddish hue on the entire machine. Suits executing Trans-Am leaves afterimages, these afterimages normally confused by people seeing them as the MS-shaped GN particles. From this, it is speculated that suits equipped with Trans-Am system have extreme high speed and maneuverability, along with unlimited bursts of accelerations. This improves the MS's defense and at the same time, increases the amount of thrust produced. Overall, Trans-Am increases the suit's speed, attack and defense by 3 times its normal specifications. It is said that a single Drive with Trans-Am activated is superior than three Drives that are not using the system. One example that attests to this is Trans-Am Seravee being able to push the three-Drive Trilobite in battle rather easily.
When it was originally unlocked in 2308, the Trans-Am System was usable by Celestial Being's Original GN Drives due to specific equipment that was only loaded onto them. Because of this, it can be safely presumed that any of their GN-based machines or equipment cannot use the system unless it was linked to the GN Drive where the equipment needed to facilitate the system is loaded. This appears to have changed by 2312 however as equipment not linked to the GN Drive was seen to be able to enter or stay in Trans-Am even after the Drive is disengaged or without the Drive ever being connected. One of the best observed examples of this is Cherudim's Shield Bits entering Trans-Am during the battle against Gadess despite not docking with Cherudim first as well as later on during the final battle where the Ptolemaios 2 used the system despite not having GN Drives aboard. 00 Gundam later was also capable of using Trans-Am even when it was only equipped with Large GN Condensers. All these situations heavily suggest that Celestial Being reversed engineered the system from the Original GN Drives and integrated it into their mobile weapons and their equipment. Because one of the functions of the Trans-Am System is to increase particle generation rate of the GN Drive, a big disadvantage of not having a GN Drive equipped would be the lack of being able to harness this increased particle flow which would lead to decreased power or operation time.
While useful or even decisive when used at the proper time, Trans-Am comes with several drawbacks that makes it a "double-edged sword." Once activated, Trans-Am gradually drains the mobile suit of all its GN particles and once the unit's GN particle supply is depleted, the GN Drive must replenish the aforementioned GN particle supply in conjunction to a temporarily lower particle generation rate from the GN Drive. Until the particle supply is replaced, the unit will perform at a dramatically reduced capacity. This leaves a MS extremely vulnerable to any remaining opposition once Trans-Am ends. Currently, the system is known to be able to last around three minutes under general circumstances. In addition, pushing the Trans-Am System too hard runs the risk of overloading the GN Drive and potentially causing the suit to self-destruct in a massive explosion, though no situation observed so far has this happening without the pilot willingly using Trans-Am for that purpose.
While the system remained exclusive to Celestial Being for a while, it was later reverse-engineered and adapted by the Earth Sphere Federation and the Innovators. Performance-wise, the GN Drive Tau's Trans-Am was shown to be able to hold its own against an Original Drive's Trans-Am. However, a large weakness of the GN Drive Tau's Trans-Am is that the drive destroys itself during/after usage, essentially leaving the mobile suit without a GN Particle generator and reliant on reserve particles in order to escape. While this is known to be the case for the 2312 Tau Drive models, it is unknown whether the problem was rectified or not by the year 2314.
It should be noted that the Earth Sphere Federation and the Innovators developed Trans-Am separately. While the Innovators developed their Trans-Am from stolen Celestial Being data, A-LAWS technical engineer Billy Katagiri created an imperfect version through notes left behind by Ralph Eifman. Billy finally managed to obtain the Innovators' more potent Trans-Am System (which was copied from Celestial Being) after he finished developing the GNZ-004 Gaga series for them.
According to Ian Vashti, Innovation is caused by the GN Particles' special state in Trans-Am. He theorized that it may be possible that this special state of GN Particles can even be felt regardless of range, and that more possible genuine Innovators have awakened as a result of the Trans-Am Burst that Setsuna used during the final battle with the Innovators. In addition, he is also worried that the Earth Sphere Federation will notice its relation to Innovation now that it possesses Trans-Am as well.
The Trans-Am system first appeared in 2308 after Alejandro Corner killed Aeolia Schenberg and activated a system trap inside Veda. Aeolia's death activated the black boxes of the 5 original GN Drives to allow full utilization of their abilities. Trans-Am activated within GN-001 Gundam Exia while it was battling Ali Al-Saachez and his GNW-002 Gundam Throne Zwei. The Exia's new abilities allowed it to clearly outclass the Zwei, forcing Al-Saachez to flee.
Ralph Eifman's Legacy
In the four-year interim between the first season and the second, and during the events of 2312 AD, Billy Katagiri recovered and researched what Eifman was working on before his death concerning the GN Drives and their ability to produce topological defects, which gave them a near-limitless energy supply. After much toiling, he was able to successfully replicate one feature: the Trans-Am system, first applied to Graham Aker's GNX-U02X Masurao, allowing him and it to fight on even footing with the GN-0000+GNR-010 00 Raiser. However, it had some serious drawbacks that is not present in the Original Drives in which case each usage destroys/seriously damages the Tau Drive and forcing the pilot on remaining Condenser supply for retreat after usage.
Unlike A-LAWS, the Innovators obtained their Trans-Am System by copying the data from the Ptolemaios 2's databanks via Anew Returner. This system came to light separately from Billy Katagiri's imperfect version on the GNX-U02X Masurao although Billy soon rectified this with an upgrade after obtaining Celestial Being's copied system from the Innovators. This technology was applied Revive Revival's GNZ-003 Gadessa, Hiling Care's GNZ-005 Garazzo and their GNZ-004 Gagas. The former two could also use Trans-Am more than once, indicating that either their Drives were somehow larger in terms of particle storage capacity, a way to reduce the amount of particles exhausted or the suits/drives were changed at the mothership after each usage.
Federation Widespread Adoption
By 2314, Trans-Am technology has been introduced to regular Federation forces to the point that it is considered standard equipment on the newest generation of GN Tau Drive machines. While it is still used for enhancing mobile suit performance when needed, Trans-Am is also used on Tau Drive equipped ships for extreme long distance journeys and as a last resort self-destruct as well. Whether any of the major flaws in using Tau Drives have been rectified remains unclear.
Notes & Trivia
- The shift in color while in Trans-Am, as well as the tripled statics, are a homage to Char Aznable and his Commander Zaku.
- The system shares it's name with the Trans Am series of cars.
- In Super Robot Wars Z2, the song 'Fight' will be played as the BGM during the Trans Am attack of the Gundam 00 units, while 'Daybreak's Bell' will sound during regular attacks. Though once 'Fight' is unlocked, you can change the normal track for any units to that.
- In that game, Trans-Am is a high power attack that drains a sizable chunk of EN per use.
- In the second Z2 game, 'Fight' still plays during most trans-am attacks, perhaps out of the fact they weren't able to have more S2 music on the UMD. The only exception would be the 00 Raiser's Raiser Sword, in which "Trans Am Raiser" Plays.
- In SD Gundam G Generation Wars, you could enable trans-am before moving to provide a boost in stats (and a possible drop in them after 3 turns) to the 4 main mechs as well as the 00 and its variants. This doesn't apply to the GN Arms-docked mechs.
- In World/3D, Trans-Am is a high cost but powerful attack with the older function being reserved for the Ptolemaios 2 (no stat boost, but +3 movement for that turn and -3 for another), and the 00 Raiser (GN Blade II/GN Blade 3).
- In Overworld, the older function appears to be removed alltogether, even for the Ptoelmaios 2/Kai. The reasons for this is unknown.
Articles & References
- ↑ 1/100 GN-001 Gundam Exia [Trans-Am Mode] manual
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Gundam 00 2nd Mechanics book
- ↑ Gundam 00 1st Mechanics - Drive Comparison Page
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2 Episode 22 "Anew Returns"
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2 Episode 13 "Assault on Memento Mori"
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2 Episode 14 "I can Hear a Song"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2 Episode 23 "Flowers of Life"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Mobile Suit Gundam 00V Senki Chapter 4 "0.03 Seconds"
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie -A wakening of the Trailblazer-
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2 Episode 11 "00's Voice"
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie -A wakening of the Trailblazer
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 DX Mechanics March 2009 Issue
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 gundam00.net TV Series MS Profile - Susanowo
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 HG 1/144 GNZ-005 Hilling Care's Garazzo
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2 Episode 14 "A Song Is Heard"
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Unidentified Sourcebook 
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Mobile Suit Gundam 00V Senki Mission 4 "0.03 Seconds"
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 S2 Episode 24 BEYOND
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2 Episode 18 "Mixed Feelings"