Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten Gundam Super Robots

Fans of the Gundam metaseries will tell you that the Gundam is a development away from the super robot; that they are far more realistic and only have their roots in super robots, and have clearly moved away from that. Sure, G Gundam took things in a different direction for one short series, but that's the only exception, right? (Other than the upcoming Gundam AGE, which many Gundam fans have decried despite it not having come out yet.)


Having perused the Gundam Wiki over at Wikia, I can tell you that the idea that Gundam-series giant robots aren't "super robots" is pure honky. And to prove it, here's a list of ten Gundams from various non-G Gundam series (as a list that included G Gundam would have somewhere between five and ten G Gundam robots on it) which are clearly super robot material.

(An additional note that qualifies these robots as "super" robots, more so than their qualifying by my broad super robot definition: In most of the series inspired by Gundam, so-called "real robot" series, most giant robots are mass-produced. These robots? All more or less one of a kind; at any rate, they're not considered practical for mass production. Super robots are usually unique entities, and these are generally more like that than not.)

10. RX-178 Gundam Mk-II and FXA-05D G-Defenser.

What qualifies the less-well-armored than its predecessor Gundam Mk-II with its support unit, the G-Defenser, as a super robot? They combine into the Super Gundam.

Sure, it's mostly just a name, but building a specialized upgrade thing to add on to an older machine? That's pure super robot material there.

9. F91 Gundam Formula 91.

So what qualifies this smaller, less-heavy (and rather goofily named) Gundam as a super robot? Aside from its weapon system, which is a pseudo-laser that can be tweaked by its pilot to affect different targets differently and the computer that interfaces with the human brain (neither of which are exclusively the ground of super robots, admittedly), an unexpected byproduct of the F91's cooling system causes sensor-fooling afterimages of the F91 to appear.

Read that again and let it sink in a bit.

That's like saying that a minor modification to your radiator might unexpectedly keep a radar gun from telling the police you're speeding.

Granted, the cooling system operated by leaving behind little chunks of armor, but that's not going to create a nice, neat afterimage unless magic's involved somewhere.

8. MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam.

The Zeta Gundam is capable of transforming into an air/spacecraft called the Waverider, and in this form was able to defeat a huge, heavily armored robot by ramming it, despite not really being designed as a ramming weapon (it was a reentry vehicle). If that's not bad enough, the Zeta Gundam also is equipped with a device called a bio sensor, which is similar to the device in the above F91, but comes with the added bonus of making the Zeta Gundam stronger when you get mad.

7. MSZ-010 ZZ Gundam.

Of course, this being Gundam, there's a successor to the Zeta, the Double Zeta or ZZ Gundam. It's mostly pretty similar (although apparently it's lost the ability to make atmospheric reentry and perhaps ramming wouldn't be as effective in this case), but is also armed with the High Mega Cannon, "one of the most powerful weapon mounted on a mobile suit ever," in its forehead. (Keep in mind that Gundam-series mecha can usually level multiple city blocks in very short order.) And of course, it retains the bio sensor.

8. RX-93 v (Nu) Gundam.

The Nu Gundam is physically controlled by the pilot's psychic interface with it, making it one of the most responsive Gundams ever built. It also carries a fleet of flying gun-missiles psychically controlled by its pilot. This fleet of flying gun-missiles can also make a protective shield to block beam attacks by the enemy. Finally, it's said that the Nu Gundam could have held off the entire opposing army (not the enemy in a battle, the enemy in the war) more or less by itself, thanks to its pilot's experience.

'Nuff said.

7. OZ-13MS Gundam Epyon.

Like a number of robots from its series, the Epyon is made of Gundanium, a material so durable that, when other robots made of it were destroyed, said robots were later rebuilt from the same materials in the same shape and given the same names, and by people who hadn't worked on the original robots. The Epyon also had a variation of the ZERO System, which is some kind of supercomputer that makes you virtually invincible in battle thanks to its tactical prowess unless it drives you crazy instead. Both of these things are classic super robot material, but they're not what make me declare the Epyon a super robot.

No, the fact that the Epyon has a lightsaber beam saber that can vary in intensity and length, which is almost its only weapon and which is hooked into its primary power plant is what makes me declare the Epyon a super robot.

If you need to ask why that makes it a super robot...

...you haven't been reading this blog since I last found an excuse to embed this video.

6. XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero.

Aside from having the worst unit designation number ever, the Wing Zero is a robot in similar vein to the Epyon, made of the same nearly indestructible stuff and with the same ZERO System computer (which takes its name from the robot, I guess?). It also can transform in similar fashion to the Zeta and ZZ Gundams, and is equipped with the Twin Buster Rifle, a weapon at least comparable in power to the ZZ Gundam's super-powerful forehead gun, if not moreso-reportedly, it can destroy objects several miles across at maximum output.

5. RX-0 Unicorn Gundam.

The Unicorn Gundam is mostly not especially crazy, but it has a super mode called Destroy Mode. This form not only grants it enhanced combat abilities, but lets it hijack enemy psychic-controlled weaponry. It's a very super robot.

4. ELS Gundams.

There has been only one confirmed instance of extraterrestrial life in any of the Gundam series, and these, the ELS (hilariously, pronounced "else"), are it. They're some kind of outer space machine virus thing that can possess human beings and giant robots. And when they have, apparently they confer regeneration on their hosts.

3. GNT-0000 00 Qan(T).

That said, this Gundam, whose name, now that I'm looking at it, offends me a lot more than Wing Zero's unit designation number, was said to probably be able to defeat a thousand or more ELS. With its flying remote-controlled swords. However, that would have taken a week or more, so the pilot instead opted to use its control system to telepathically communicate with the aliens. Really. Also, it could apparently teleport across interstellar distances, and it could probably do other stuff that I can't be bothered to look up at the moment. (Actually, I almost missed the teleportation bit.)

2. SYSTEM ∀-99 (WD-M01) ∀ Gundam.

The Turn A Gundam (no, I don't know how that comes out of that full name, other than the rather cute idea that the symbol is an upside-down A) is apparently a Gundam designed for interstellar wars, something that isn't seen in most Gundam series; it is apparently thousands of years old in its own series, and just needs its proverbial key turned to start up. And it has a huge hollow compartment in its chest because its power generation system is tiny. That's not extremely super robot-like in itself, but the Turn A can also unleash nanotechnology to regenerate itself and its pilot (oh, boy, that sounds fun) or use same to destroy all technology across the span of the solar system.

It's also got an epic 'stache.

Look at that 'stache.

1. CONCEPT-X 6-1-2 Turn X.

Remember how I was talking about the Nu Gundam having remote-controlled flying guns?

The Turn X, in addition to having pretty much all the same goodies as the Turn A and is also much bigger and more powerful, is made of flying guns. It can literally split apart to become a fleet of flying guns to attack things.

It also has an attack that is similar to and named after the signature attack of the Shining Gundam from G Gundam, the Shining Finger (so-called because the hand of the robot glows, and somehow can do more damage when used in melee attacks).

I rest my case.

-Signing off.

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