Everything Under The Sun... And Then Some!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

From My Writing Desk

News for 4/23/11
1. Now that I've posted the last part of my Super Dimension Fortress Macross review on my blog, I'm getting back to Gundam. I'll first be working on a chapter for Gundam Meister Grace. I can't help it, Feldt is one of my favorite characters!

2. Next I'll be working on a new chapter for Gundam Alternity, which has been too long in coming. Technical difficulties resulted in a false prologue and the inability to update the story. That changes now.

3. With BioWare gearing up for Mass Effect 3, I need to get moving on Gundam 00ME. I started that story back in July of last year and it's STILL only two chapters!!

4. After that, I'm feelin' like crankin' out a new chapter of StarCraft: The Reformation. What's going to happen to Kerrigan now that she's a prisoner of the Protoss? I don't know, i'm making this up as I go.

5. In addition to the above, I'll be uploading the rest of my old stories.

Out Of The Factory...

6. The Gundam Nova (2003)
XXXG-01N Gundam Nova
Height: 16.8 meters
Armor: Gundanium alloy
Colors: Dark blue and black with white and gold trim
PW: Beam Assault Rifle x1
SW:  70mm Vulcan gun x2, mounted in head; 75mm machine cannon x2, mounted in shoulders; cluster missile pod x2, mounted on legs
Pilot(s):  Zack/Sesina Monroe
Notes: After designing the close-combat Blade and Talon models, I went in the complete opposite direction with the Nova, which features long range, hefty firepower. The Nova’s main weapon, the beam assault rifle, has three firing modes. Machine gun mode rapidly sprays beam fire but isn’t the most powerful mode, sniper mode fires much more powerful semi-automatic shots and burst mode fires a single large blast, much like the Wing Gundam’s Buster Rifle. However, the Nova’s rifle must recharge after this powerful shot is fired. The rifle also mounts an under slung 30mm RPG launcher for that extra little kick. In addition to this, the Nova posses the standard complement of Vulcan guns and machine cannons as well as two cluster missile pods on the legs. Unlike it’s brother unit the Heavyarms, the Nova posses absolutely no melee weapons whatsoever.
The Nova fared well against the Alliance and OZ on Earth but the pilot gradually began to note that the lack of a melee weapon as a final resort after the other weapons had been exhausted was a serious handicap. When Zack/Sesina took the Nova into space, this factor helped contribute to the suit’s destruction at the hands of OZ’s mobile dolls. The Nova would then be resurrected by the Gundam scientists as…

7. The Gundam Supernova (2003)
XXXG-01N2 Gundam Supernova
Height: 16.8 meters
Armor: Gundanium alloy
Colors: Red overall with white and gold trim
PW: Large beam rifle x1, Buster Cannon x1, mounted on left arm/shoulder
SW: 70mm Vulcan gun x4, mounted on head; 75mm machine cannon x2, mounted on shoulders; Enhanced cluster missile pod x2, mounted on legs; Beam Sword x1, mounted on back
Pilot(s):  Zack/Sesina Monroe
Notes: Just like a supernova is the most powerful explosion in the universe, the resurrected form of the Gundam Nova was to deliver barrages of firepower equal to its stellar namesake. With improved and added weaponry throughout the frame, the Gundam Supernova can do just that. It’s rifle is more powerful than the old one, capable of delivering devastating single shots or 3-round bursts. The Buster Cannon is very much like Wing Gundam’s, but this one can fire either six “low-power” shots or three massive ones. The point-defense guns have had two additional Vulcan guns added to the head and the cluster missiles have been improved and additional missiles mounted. Perhaps the single most crucial addition to this Gundam’s arsenal was the addition of a melee weapon, the beam sword. Not as powerful as the Epyon’s version, it is still twice as powerful as an ordinary beam saber and is not to be trifled with even if it’s intended to be the Supernova’s last resort.
Zack/Sesina acquired this powerful upgrade when the Gundam scientists rebuilt it along with the Deathscythe Hell and the Altron Gundams at the Lunar Base. Zack/Sesina quickly found that it performed better than the original and used it in both space and on Earth.

8. The Gundam Templar (2006)
XXXG-01TR2 Gundam Templar Kai
Height: 16.5 meters
Armor: Gundanium alloy
Colors: Blue, grey and gold with white trim
PW: Gundanium Hammer x1
SW: Gundanium shield x1, mounted on left arm; 75mm Vulcan gun x2, mounted on shoulders; Missile x4, mounted under shield
AW: Cape x1, mounted on back
Pilot(s):  Zack/Sesina Monroe
Notes: The Templar was inspired by the paladins of WarCraft. With a hammer and shield made of reinforced Gundanium, the Templar quite literally smashes its way through battle. This Endless Waltz-style Gundam originally the hammer was a two-handed design and the shield was absent. However, I later changed it to a one-handed design. It just seemed that whenever I imagined it, I just couldn’t quite see the two-handed design working out. The hammer also has special pneumatic plates that add extra damage when the hammer strikes.
The Templar was yet again the Gundam of pilot Zack/Sesina Monroe. After OZ took over the colonies, the Templar was left on earth but was returned to Zack/Sesina by Sally Po. Later, Howard upgraded it for combat in space. After the Eve War, Zack/Sesina refused to cast it into the sun and it served admirably in the final Mariemaia Rebellion conflict.

9. The Gundam Skyrider (2007)
XXXG-01SK-C Gundam Skyrider
Height: 16.3 meters
Armor: Gundanium alloy
Colors: Blue and white with gold trim
PW: Beam machine gun x1
SW: 70mm Vulcan gun x2, mounted in head; 75mm machine cannon x2, mounted on shoulders; 90mm RPG tubes x6, mounted on hips; beam saber x2, mounted in shield; missile tube x2 (3 missiles per tube, usable only in flight mode), mounted in shield
SA: Flight Mode
Pilot(s):  Zack/Sesina Monroe
Notes: My first transformable GWing design, the Skyrider’s speed and beam machine gun make it a deadly opponent on the battlefield. It’s main weapon is complemented by both missile launchers in flight mode and RPG launchers in MS mode. In addition it posses the standard array of point-defense guns and beam sabers.

10. The G6 Gundam (2008)
RX-78-6 Gundam
Height: 18.5 meters
Armor: Lunar titanium alloy
Colors: green and white with red and gold trim
PW: Beam sniper rifle x1
SW: 60mm Vulcan gun x2, mounted in head; Shield x1, mounted on left arm; beam saber x2, mounted on backpack; 75mm machine cannon x2, mounted on shoulders; Hyper bazooka x1, mounted on back
AW: Beam Javelin x1, Gundam Hammer x1, 125mm shotgun x1
SA: Core Block System, “Learning Computer” system, Re-entry coolant system, magnetic coating
Pilot(s):  Connor Hawke
Notes: The personal mobile suit of One Year War ace Connor Hawke. Almost identical to Amuro Ray’s famous RX-78-2 Gundam, the G6, as it was called, had several modifications that separated it from its brother Gundam.
The G6 takes advantage of all the data culled from Amuro’s numerous sorties in the RX-78-2. With improved drive systems, combined with extra firepower, the G6 was a scourge to the forces of Zeon near the end of the war. In addition to the original 60mm Vulcan guns, the G6 mounts two, three-barrel 75mm guns on it’s shoulders. The backpack has been modified with permanent hardpoints for the hyper bazooka, allowing G6 to carry extra firepower into battle. Lastly, a custom designed, 125mm MS shotgun was added as an alternate weapon for close combat.
The G6 was rescued in pieces from the Side 7 colony where Operation V was taking place. As the crew of the White Base desperately tried to get to Earth Federation HQ at Jaburo, South America, the G6 was pieced together while Connor used its Core Fighter in battle. The G6 was finally completed and Connor sortied with it until the end of the war. Unlike Gundam, G6 survived the Battle of A Boa Qu relatively intact. It was later seen in Hyato Kobayashi’s MS museum at Cape Canaveral.
 Addendum:  There actually already is an RX-78-6, but this is my version of it.

11. Ground battle Gundam 06 Team Custom Build (2008)
RX-79[G]cb6 Ground Battle Gundam
Height: 18 meters
Armor: Lunar titanium alloy
Colors: Old school jungle camo pattern
PW: 105mm Customized Assault Rifle x1
SW: 70mm Vulcan gun x2, mounted in head; 80mm machine cannon x1, mounted in chest; 90mm RPG tubes (two rounds per tube) x4, removable, mounted on hips; beam saber x2, mounted on legs; 80mm grenade launcher, underslung on rifle
AW: 100mm machine gun x1, 100mm beam rifle x1, 250mm cannon x1, 80mm grenade rifle x1, 200mm bazooka, bayonet x1, missile launcher pods x2
SA: ECM suite
Pilot(s):  Sven Calhoun
Notes: To combat the Zeon invasion of Earth, the Federation rushed its own MS development program into high gear. Using leftover parts from both Project V and the RX Project, they constructed 24 RX-79[G] Gundam units for use on Earth. Twelve of these units where then sent to the Kojima Mechanized battalion in Southeast Asia. Because these Gundams were made out of unique parts, if they were damaged in battle they were hard to fix. Engineers had to come up with unique solutions in the field and this gave birth to the RX-79[G]cb6. 06MS Team leader Sven Calhoun’s RX-79[G] had been nearly destroyed in battle and the engineers and mechanics, under Sven’s supervision, remade his suit into the 06 Team Custom Build. Featuring customized equipment not found on the other battalion MS, this unique suit led the charge when the Zeon’s secret factory was discovered. After that final battle (October UC0079) the war soon ended and the cb6, quickly outclassed by newer designs, was scrapped.

12. Newtype Gundam (2008)
RX-80 Newtype Gundam
Height: 18 Meters
Armor: Lunar titanium alloy
Colors: Original red, white and blue with gold trim
PW: Beam Rifle x1
SW: 70mm Vulcan gun x2, mounted in head; beam saber x2, mounted under shield; shield x1; Shadow Missile x8, mounted in two, backpack-mounted pods
AW: Hyper Bazooka x1
SA: Proto-Psycommu System
Pilot(s):  Lt. Yuko Kawasaki
Notes: It was realized during the One Year War that the strong possibility in the future of mobile suit warfare would be Newtype pilots. Hayestech Systems, a fledgling MS-building company, secured a contract with the Federation to build an advanced, Newtype-use MS. Unfortunately, like most projects begun during the latter stages of the war (and heavy “interference” from competitor Anaheim Electronics), the new RX-80 Newtype Gundam was not ready for field testing until June of UC0080. Fate seemed to be on the company’s side however, when Zeon insurgents invaded the colony. The Gundam’s test pilot, Lt. Yuko Kawasaki, deployed in the RX-80 and used its advanced, Psycommu-controlled Shadow Missiles to make the Zeons think they were being attacked from all sides. She then used that moment of confusion to single-handedly defeat all the insurgents. This was all for nought though as Federation prejudice against Newtypes resulted in the RX-80 not being deployed with the fleet. But its technology would go into the next generation of MS being built for the G.D.P.

Do You Remember Macross? Part 3

Whew. 5,512 words and counting. This review has officially reached rigmarole status. Fortunately I just have a few more things to comment on, namely the animation and the Valkyries.

The animation in Macross is usually pretty good. Unfortunately, they farmed some of the work out to secondary companies every so often and it resulted in some horrible, horrible work. Case in point, Max and Millia’s famous knife fight. Now a lot of the time though, the series seemed to shine especially in the battle sequences. There was nothing more awesome than Hikaru’s FAST pack-equipped Valkyrie unleashing a hailstorm of missiles at the Zentradi hordes. All in all, its aged pretty good for something that was created all the way back in 1982.

That brings us to the last aspect of the show upon which I would like to comment, the VF-1 Valkyries.
The Valkyries bring me back to my childhood and one of the best things that I loved about the original Star Wars trilogy. The starfighter dogfights. Yes, I’m one of those misanthropes who grew up during the 90s and all we had were VHS tapes and only a few good novels and no bloody Clone Wars cartoons. What I mean is, I have a saying and that saying is, if you can’t be a Jedi, be a frakkin’ X-Wing pilot! I bet these days you’d be hard-pressed to find a kid under fifteen that actually knows what an X-Wing or a TIE Fighter EVEN IS. Anyway, I bring this up because Macross follows a similar vein with its Valkyrie variable fighters fighting space dogfights and even engagements on other planets. Valkyries get a 1-Up on X-Wings though because they can transform into robots. There’s even a perfectly good reason why they can do that too. The average Zentradi soldier is 10 meters (33 feet) tall so they needed some kind of humanoid mechanized infantry to deal with them in hand to hand combat. It also looks pretty cool too. The particularly endearing part to the Valkyries is that they’re all the same machine. The main character does not become automatically awesome when he climbs into his VF-1J and the rest of the pilots are flying VF-1As. Forgetting about plot armor, he has just as much chance of getting blown to smithereens as the rest of the grunts. And, as has been mentioned before, Hikaru is actually not the best pilot, despite being one of the main characters. To sum up: F-22 Raptor? Screw that, give me a VF-25 Messiah!

Macross left as much a mark on the anime industry as Gundam has. Macross took the real-robot sub-genre to new levels and also had a major hand in the transformation craze of the 80s (read: Transformers). But its true enduring legacy is the story. Even in the midst of terrible conflict there can be hope. That said conflict could be solved through means other than warfare. Oh and a good, old-fashioned space dogfight will NEVER go out of style. Deculture!