Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by Arsarcana » Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:12 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:05 pm
The on-screen invincibility to beam weapons was a big reveal in S2 against the rogue mobile armor. Was it ever explained if that beam resistance was something unique to Gundam type units or any Mobile Suit with nano-laminate? Do we ever see a beam-saber or similar weapon in the manga or supplemental weapons?
The only beam weapon we see is the one mounted on the Hashmal but presumably the other mobile armors mounted them. Hashmal's plamodel specifically mentions that beam weaponry was intended to attack civilian targets and not MS or other MA, because nanolaminate armor renders beam weapons more or less harmless. In other words, beam resistance isn't just a Gundam thing, it's everything with nanolaminate armor.

We even see this in the show when Ride's Shiden takes a direct hit and his suit comes out just fine, though his (non-armored) rifle gets blown up in the process. And of course, everything behind him that gets hit by the splash of the beam is still destroyed...

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by yazi88 » Thu Jun 03, 2021 5:57 pm

We also see Chad's Landman Rodi get hit by the Hashmal's beam straight on, but come off just fine despite Chad complaining it was really hot.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by SonicSP » Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:20 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:05 pm
Sounds like a really fun technology. What you described is always how I assumed 00 physical weapons worked in conjunction with GN particles since they don't seem to have an obvious heat or vibration mechanic like you'd see in a heat hawk or progressive knife.
You could see Exia's swords vibrate in Episode 7.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:41 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:05 pm
Your intuition makes perfect sense to me. Beam Sabers were often shown to have very limited run times, so a beam-saber shield would have significant power storage issues. Plus you'd need advanced onboard sensors with a long enough range and a fast enough onboard computer to be able to detect an incoming beam shot and activate the beam shield in time.
The beam sabres short run time is like also due to them being very prone to malfunctioning after awhile. In OYW, GM's beam sabre has about 50% malfuntions after being used. They are built for single use and not repeatedly.


So this one seems a little far-fetched to me. With all the time money and effort spent researching I-Fields I'm certain at some point someone considered using something else as a shield or deflection mechanism for deadly beams. I-Fields are fantastic and it makes sense they dedicate a lot of research to miniaturizing them, we do get the scaled down I-Field for Sentinel as you mention, it's just hard to believe that none of their researchers every spitballed an idea of using a wide beam saber field to block a beam shot as a stopgap solution. My hunch is there is some kind of technical limitation that would prevent it's usage, power consumption and sensor ranges seem like the main restriction to me.
In real life we get a lot of these "Eureka!" moments. For example, many thought of the smartphone before Apple did, there was even similar patents made. However, most failed to think of a way to prevent the phone from registering the face when you are talking to it. The fix is simple, add a proximity sensor which isn't that high tech to begin with.(and I have the luck to happen to test out the problem without one because the phone I bought about 2 years ago had a malfunction system and the proximity sensor was disconnected for around a year.)

There is also one major player here that I forgot to mention. Other than the I-Field, a much cheaper and effective alternative did show up, the anti-beam coating(ABC) technology. ZZ was seen soaking in a pretty large beam shot and still survived almost unscathed, and I recall they said it can take a few shots(of likely lesser, mass production beam rifles). Granted, Hyakushiki didn't hold up as well, but the first shot damaging its leg was on the part that isn't golden(i.e. the inner skeletal frame) So the technological advance in the ABC likely rendered mass production models being able to block the period's beam rifles for a few times is already enough of a defence.

As we can see, most of the concepts and ideas at the time was pretty much add everything you can. With little competition, AE really doesn't need to use much brains to think of new things.

Hahaha! Great point. A beam shield certainly would make a great 'please target me' beacon. Testing without a pilot wouldn't be too hard though, you could easily try that out in a lab or field test where the MS is connecting to something like a hover truck, like you'd see in the Blue Destiny, and the truck/mobile lab simply turns on a proto-beam shield from a distance.
Yeah, it would be test it in an unmanned platform, but that would need to have someone coming up with the idea: "Maybe the beam sabre can block beam shots".

Which, isn't really that intuitive. Yes, we see stories with people blocking bullets with swords, but maybe that is exactly why the idea was thrown out the window. It looks so absurd that it triggers our brains to list it as ridiculous and thus don't think further about it.

As for melee weapons I am curious what the interaction would be. Since a beam saber blocks a heat hawk then a beam shield should block a heat weapon due to the field interaction. Now the interaction with physical weapons certainly becomes interesting, with no field it becomes a question of how much of the weapon survives moving through the plasma and how effective a partially melted weapon is after a MS. Shot-Lancers to me seem like a weapon whose intent is for anti-beam shield combat. Long enough to not get fully melted by the shield and an additional hydraulic thrust mechanism to deliver a killing strike after getting past the shield with a melted and possibly blunted weapon. Just a thought.
Yeah, like I said the short lancer was looking so much like it is designed to puncture through the beam shield.
The only problem here is that even if it punctured through, pretty obvious that it would be melted and you no longer have that sharp tip that looks like it can do some damage. Even if you apply some ABC on top so it survives the beam and keeps the sharp tip, I also have doubts as to whether a simple metal rod can really damage a similarly hard target designed to take the hit, especially the tip will now be heated and melting thus soft and weak and the rod doesn't look like it has enough mass to cause a big enough concussion to the pilot.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:20 am

SonicSP wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:20 pm
You could see Exia's swords vibrate in Episode 7.
I am overdue for a rewatch so I will definitely keep an eye out.
MythSearcher wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:41 pm
The beam sabres short run time is like also due to them being very prone to malfunctioning after awhile. In OYW, GM's beam sabre has about 50% malfuntions after being used. They are built for single use and not repeatedly.
I've heard a lot about malfunctions on the GM since they were rushed out but never heard of the beam saber issue, good to know!
There is also one major player here that I forgot to mention. Other than the I-Field, a much cheaper and effective alternative did show up, the anti-beam coating(ABC) technology.
While ABC is cheaper than an I Field they are by no means cheap for the everyday soldier. The extreme expense of ABC used on Hyaku Shiki is a plot point on the show. I know we see ABC on Jegan shields in Unicorn but I don't recall any semblance if it in CCA. That would leave a long time period for no beam defense and no alternate tech solutions being proposed.
With little competition, AE really doesn't need to use much brains to think of new things.
Haha great point, I guess it's in AE favor not to even both. A lack of useful beam defense means more opportunities to sell MS.
Yeah, like I said the short lancer was looking so much like it is designed to puncture through the beam shield.
The only problem here is that even if it punctured through, pretty obvious that it would be melted and you no longer have that sharp tip that looks like it can do some damage. Even if you apply some ABC on top so it survives the beam and keeps the sharp tip, I also have doubts as to whether a simple metal rod can really damage a similarly hard target designed to take the hit, especially the tip will now be heated and melting thus soft and weak and the rod doesn't look like it has enough mass to cause a big enough concussion to the pilot.
In the victory era it's mentioned that due to miniaturization and bean shield MS are smaller. There's also the thought that as a result they tend to have thinner armor, thus Vulcans becoming a lethal weapon system. Perhaps that's an old theory that didn't prove to be valid. Assuming that is the case and F91 era has thinner armor I'm sure a massive lance would cause some damage even if it's just a dent. I think your point about knocking the pilot around is a surety, which would then allow for a follow-up attack. Of course a single use lance that gets partially melted by a beam shield does sound pretty impractical.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:34 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:20 am

While ABC is cheaper than an I Field they are by no means cheap for the everyday soldier. The extreme expense of ABC used on Hyaku Shiki is a plot point on the show. I know we see ABC on Jegan shields in Unicorn but I don't recall any semblance if it in CCA. That would leave a long time period for no beam defense and no alternate tech solutions being proposed.
That's why the Hyakushiki is a special case, and the other is the Evolve 9 Grey Zeta(that is really golden)
Different coloured ABC are less effective but still useful against beam shots.
There is also the Beam resistive coating as the predecessor, so they have ablative beam defence even before ABC, and likely have a lot of in between versions that finally improved to the golden coating Hyakushiki used.

Haha great point, I guess it's in AE favor not to even both. A lack of useful beam defense means more opportunities to sell MS.
Hey, your armour broke, need a new plating?
In the victory era it's mentioned that due to miniaturization and bean shield MS are smaller. There's also the thought that as a result they tend to have thinner armor, thus Vulcans becoming a lethal weapon system. Perhaps that's an old theory that didn't prove to be valid. Assuming that is the case and F91 era has thinner armor I'm sure a massive lance would cause some damage even if it's just a dent. I think your point about knocking the pilot around is a surety, which would then allow for a follow-up attack. Of course a single use lance that gets partially melted by a beam shield does sound pretty impractical.
The short lance has the same low density problem(the full weight of the RGM-122 aren't significantly more than other MS of the period, which is way too light), it is not really a massive piece of metal.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:53 pm

MythSearcher wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:34 pm
That's why the Hyakushiki is a special case, and the other is the Evolve 9 Grey Zeta(that is really golden)
Different coloured ABC are less effective but still useful against beam shots.
There is also the Beam resistive coating as the predecessor, so they have ablative beam defence even before ABC, and likely have a lot of in between versions that finally improved to the golden coating Hyakushiki used.
Right, BRC starts off with the Gouf Custom and as I recall it's an ablative paint or polymer gel that lessens the thermal impact but is primarily effective against glancing or shallow angle shots. As a result of Zeon rolling out BRC it meant that laser weaponry could be useful again, although to be honest that always seemed like a retcon tech to explain why the Albion used laser weaponry.

I was not aware the golden ABC on Hyaku Shiki or Grey Wolf's Zeta was a better (and likely more expensive) version. Are there any sources that state the Golden ABC is superior to the clear ABC used on ZZ? I guess it would explain why the Delta Plus is a nice Haze Grey instead of continuing the golden lineage.
Hey, your armour broke, need a new plating?
You want to repair a 'Gaplant'? Never heard of it. We are having a flash sale on Hambrabi, buy two get one free!

-------------------BREAK---------------------

Here are two other considerations for the practicality of physical melee weapons. The Gouf Custom and the Efreet Nacht.

The Gouf Custom uses a Type D III Heat Saber. Although in the show it lacks the iconic glowing orange effect we see on other heat weapons. Likewise in the animation when we see it spectacularly destroy a Guntank spilling motor oil everywhere we don't see the oil react as if it was just struck by a super heated weapon.

My question is was this originally just a standard blade that was later retconned into being a heat weapon?

Given the setting where logistics are becoming problematic for both sides in the SE Asia it wouldn't surprise me that a dedicated close-combat unit would use a regular weapon as opposed to a heat weapon since most heat weapons are stated to have limited uses before they are rendered unusable. The Dom's heat saber having the shortest lifespan. If this were a simple sword originally instead of a heat weapon it could have been coated in BRC just like the Gouf Custom to allow it to clash with a Beam Saber.

Of course another explanation is that it is a heat weapon and Norris just chose not to use the heat activation against the Guntank.

Next up is the Efreet Nacht a variant of the lesser known cousin to the Gouf. The Efreet Nacht appears in Gundam 0081 released during Gundam's 30th anniversary which also gave us another look into the G-Line series. The Efreet Nacht is used by the leader of the invisible knights, it's primary armament are "Nacht/Cold Blades" and "Cold Kunai"

They are non-heat weapons which further helps the stealth profile of the Efreet Nacht by not having the blades picked up on thermal imaging. The Cold Kunai can send electrical charges to disable or stun a target similar to the arcing electricity from a Gouf's Heat Rod / Heat Wire. In-game the Cold Blades also arc with electricity. The blades are able to clash with Beam Sabers, whether that is due to a beam-resist coating or a field generated by the electric charge is hard to say.

A physical weapon that can discharge electricity potentially stunning or frying your opponent's electronics seems like a very valuable tool. It also brings up the question why don't we see this type of technology used more often?

Setting aside the obvious, Gundam Senki 0081 was created 30 years later, an in-universe reason could be that electrical blades while useful still pale in comparison to a beam saber / axe. As to why Zeon would use heat weapons over an electrified weapon my guess would be the electric charge needed to incapacitate a unit like the Ez-8 requires a considerable voltage that requires time to recharge. Thus we see electrical weapons used sparingly like the heat rod/wire or the Hambrabi's Sea Serpents in Zeta Gundam.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:33 am

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:53 pm
I was not aware the golden ABC on Hyaku Shiki or Grey Wolf's Zeta was a better (and likely more expensive) version. Are there any sources that state the Golden ABC is superior to the clear ABC used on ZZ? I guess it would explain why the Delta Plus is a nice Haze Grey instead of continuing the golden lineage.
Hmm, nothing immediately come to mind, I will try to find it but that was pretty much the image it gave me from day one they introduced the Hyakushiki and also in Evolve 9 the AE staff's reaction to Shinn(implied) asking them to repaint it in grey.

You want to repair a 'Gaplant'? Never heard of it. We are having a flash sale on Hambrabi, buy two get one free!
Small print on contract: Generator and weapons not included.

After signing the contract: BTW, about your, ahem, Gaplant, yeah, let's have a talk in the back room, pretty sure we can find a few spare parts here and there that "fortunately fits", (whisper *or that we have the blue print data and can print the part out for you*) just that we will have to charge a premium for it to hide the fact that we did it for you. (**Whisper *While we are at it, do you want to see the new Custom upgrade design for the thing as well?)
The Gouf Custom uses a Type D III Heat Saber. Although in the show it lacks the iconic glowing orange effect we see on other heat weapons. Likewise in the animation when we see it spectacularly destroy a Guntank spilling motor oil everywhere we don't see the oil react as if it was just struck by a super heated weapon.

My question is was this originally just a standard blade that was later retconned into being a heat weapon?

Given the setting where logistics are becoming problematic for both sides in the SE Asia it wouldn't surprise me that a dedicated close-combat unit would use a regular weapon as opposed to a heat weapon since most heat weapons are stated to have limited uses before they are rendered unusable. The Dom's heat saber having the shortest lifespan. If this were a simple sword originally instead of a heat weapon it could have been coated in BRC just like the Gouf Custom to allow it to clash with a Beam Saber.

Of course another explanation is that it is a heat weapon and Norris just chose not to use the heat activation against the Guntank.
About this, I have heard of this discussion in the Chinese community around a decade ago. The fan explanation goes like this: (I have not checked if this is from an official account or not.)
Heat weapons face the oxidation problem and will likely become brittle after use(whether it is metal or ceramic), so Norris might be saving the weapon for a target that requires it most and use it as a cold weapon for targets he can surely struck the weak points and disable without the heat.
Next up is the Efreet Nacht a variant of the lesser known cousin to the Gouf. The Efreet Nacht appears in Gundam 0081 released during Gundam's 30th anniversary which also gave us another look into the G-Line series. The Efreet Nacht is used by the leader of the invisible knights, it's primary armament are "Nacht/Cold Blades" and "Cold Kunai"

They are non-heat weapons which further helps the stealth profile of the Efreet Nacht by not having the blades picked up on thermal imaging. The Cold Kunai can send electrical charges to disable or stun a target similar to the arcing electricity from a Gouf's Heat Rod / Heat Wire. In-game the Cold Blades also arc with electricity. The blades are able to clash with Beam Sabers, whether that is due to a beam-resist coating or a field generated by the electric charge is hard to say.
I'd say it is just for the game mechanics. At least I don't see settings explaining this and if such tech exists, it is pretty hard to explain why don't they use it on shields and beam sabres cut through those pretty easily.(I mean, even those units supposedly with BRC are pretty vulnerable to beam sabres.)
A physical weapon that can discharge electricity potentially stunning or frying your opponent's electronics seems like a very valuable tool. It also brings up the question why don't we see this type of technology used more often?

Setting aside the obvious, Gundam Senki 0081 was created 30 years later, an in-universe reason could be that electrical blades while useful still pale in comparison to a beam saber / axe. As to why Zeon would use heat weapons over an electrified weapon my guess would be the electric charge needed to incapacitate a unit like the Ez-8 requires a considerable voltage that requires time to recharge. Thus we see electrical weapons used sparingly like the heat rod/wire or the Hambrabi's Sea Serpents in Zeta Gundam.
That is very likely the reason. The capacitor is limited in capacity and you have to dedicate a larger portion and mass of the unit for that weapon or the target's defensive mechanisms might be able to take it.(circuit breakers, fuse, etc.)

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:24 pm

MythSearcher wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:33 am
Hmm, nothing immediately come to mind, I will try to find it but that was pretty much the image it gave me from day one they introduced the Hyakushiki and also in Evolve 9 the AE staff's reaction to Shinn(implied) asking them to repaint it in grey.
It definitely makes sense, an ostentatious gold suit isn't Char's favorite but he'd accept it if Gold were the only way to get the most potent ABC. I need to catch up on Zeta Gundam Define, I wonder if they mention anything about ABC on either Zero-Shiki.
Small print on contract: Generator and weapons not included.
Oof. Well I'm sure Yazan wouldn't mind, he seems to be very reasonable and mild mannered. :D
Heat weapons face the oxidation problem and will likely become brittle after use(whether it is metal or ceramic), so Norris might be saving the weapon for a target that requires it most and use it as a cold weapon for targets he can surely struck the weak points and disable without the heat.
Very sensible conclusion, but I don't think we see the Gouf Custom ever turn on the heat effects. The White Rose Gouf Custom in the Plot to Assassinate Gihren also uses the Black Blades and doesn't appear to have any heat effects when it's dealing with the Elite Guard Dom's or Galbady Alpha.
It is pretty hard to explain why don't they use it on shields and beam sabres cut through those pretty easily.(I mean, even those units supposedly with BRC are pretty vulnerable to beam sabres.)
I was about to say the BRC Gelgoog Shield can withstand some punishment but then I went and rewatched the 0081 opening and it very quickly gets a haircut from Hughes' beam saber.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by SonicSP » Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:23 am

00 stuff from the first post.
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Sat May 22, 2021 10:20 am
While Exia does carry beam sabers, they appear to have a far more limited operational time than we see in UC. Thus Exia has GN blades that are extremely effective, considering in this universe the enemies they are fighting have almost-primitive MS compared to the Gundam's when they first appear. A suit that mixes physical weapons for long term fighting and beam sabers as a backup is extremely practical in my opinion.
GN Beam Sabers have no operational time limits that we are aware off, either from animation or texts. They are directly powered and only have a small Condenser inside. As long as the machine feeds them particles, they will work. If they leave the hands, then yes they will shut down after a few seconds due to supply cutoff. They also do not require too much maintanence given that Exia is nominally stationed in Japan and only periodically returns to base. 

Exia's GN Drive is a high output semi perpetual reactor so there's very little reason to believe the GN Beam Sabers would stop working unless it was freak malfunction. Even if Exia runs out of excess particles from its GN Condensers, it should still be able to supply the GN Beam Sabers from the GN Drive output directly. It may come with a performance hit to the sabers and/or Exia's other systems but it can be done.

It is correct that Exia is designed for longer term fighting but this is cited in the MG manual due to having less average particle consumption than the other Gundams due to its main weapon being a solid sword, as opposed to beam sabers having a time limit. The difference is subtle but there: about overall energy efficiency for longer optimum performance as opposed to a hard upper limit for a specific equipment set.

The main reason for the Seven Sword System is to cover as many close combat scenarios as possible according to the MG. Exia beating MS in flashy close combat was meant to be a psychological weapon for Celestial Being's goal of war deterrence (comprehensively beating the new advanced Enact with melee during its public unveiling was one such example). These feats were achievable by having Exia's frame designed to be the most humanlike in articulation. This was not only necessary for its sword moves but also allows it to have the best AMBAC and maneuverability among its peers. This however came at the cost of defense as Exia had more exposed joints and exposed GN Particle Cords than the other three.

Back to time limits, while the Gundams' sabers don't have them, the Plasma Swords used by Flags and Enacts do at 180 seconds and 150 seconds respectively. The 1st Mechanics book also says these are not be able to cut through MS Armor, which sounds weird but not something that we have directly seen on screen either.
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Sat May 22, 2021 10:20 am
Then there's GN particles that adds some techno-magic to make them better at cutting. Lastly, there are some plot reasons why a physical GN weapon is more effective at dealing with a units that have a GN Force Field.
Aside from the dealing with the full sphere GN Field, they are a few other reasons GN Solid Swords are used:

- GN Beam Sabers are greatly affected by atmospheric conditions as well as beam diffusion technology. Celestial Being were worried that the blocs would develop the latter over time and intergrated this contingency into Exia's setup, according to its HG manual. This is exactly why all four of Exia's Beam Sabers have a Beam Dagger mode, as they are harder to diffuse since it's the same power concentrated into a smaller blade. During the large Anti Field sequence in Season 2 Episode 22, it is probably safe to assume 00's GN Sword III was far less affected than beam sabers, if at all. 

- While rarely used, Anti Beam Coating is indeed a thing in 00. The reason why Custom Flag/Over Flags are black is due to their Anti Beam Coating, which was developed by analyzing the beam saber wounds made by Exia on Graham's vanilla Flag in Episode 3 (AEU also did the same from Patrick's Enact). While I doubt it can defend a beam too well or long, it still provides some additional protection. The MA Alvatore's orange plating from the Season 1 finale is also a type of Anti Beam Coating and it was defeated by Exia with a few large slashes from its GN Sword. While Setsuna probably didn't know about the coating, an equivalent attack by a beam saber would likely have done less damage. 

- Solid swords are able to take advantage of the GN Particles' mass reduction properties. Basically at the start of the swing, the mass reduction effect is applied to make it easier to move. The effect is turned off later near impact so the target can feel the full effects of the force, now stronger at full mass. Larger swords like Throne Zwei's GN Buster Sword makes heavy use of this effect, as does Tau Astraea Type F's GN Hammer.

- There are certain GN defense systems that GN Solid Swords would do better than Beam Sabers, further broadening the Anti Gundam general scope of the weapon:
  • Exia and the other 3rd Generation Gundams' physical GN Shields have a GN Field coated on top of their E-Carbon surfaces to further increase defense. It is also implied in some manuals that the rest of their armor also uses the same system.
  • Astraea's handheld GN Shield is noted in its HG to "increase beam weapon resistance by coating GN Particles on the surface". It is not known whether that's a GN Field or not but purely on the description solid swords will do better by virtue of not being a beam.
  • GN Composite Armor system used by Plutone and 0 Gundam Full Armor has GN Field layered internally within the armor. When hit by a powerful beam like Astraea's GN Launcher, the top E-Carbon layer will be destroyed while the the GN Field will protect the inside. This was originally developed as a substitute backup of the full sphere GN Field in case they did not manage to perfect that system. https://imgur.com/a/OlrGeNE
- Various manuals notes that the solid swords can be used to push things or enemies away due to being well, solid. You can't do this with beam sabers minus some obvious exceptions like when parrying another sword with a repulsive effect. While I doubt it's too important of a feature, some of the manuals describe it as a plus so I'm putting it here.

- They can be used to block attacks, since the way they work is that GN Particles/GN Field are applied on the surface to improve their cutting power, and this also brings with it defensive properties. Beam sabers can also block but generally have smaller surface areas. In Season 2 Episode 9 during the Ptolemy Atmospheric Escape launch, 00 was able to block a Baikal-class's beam using only its dual swords. Zwei also uses its Buster Sword's huge surface area as a shield. Cherudim's GN Pistol IIs have blue Anti Beam Coating blades on their underside for blocking beam sabers, while counterattacking with shots in a gunkata-like style.

- You can use them as remote weapons. This can also be used with beam sabers but as solid blades they can be really deadly when combined with their Anti GN Field ability. Zwei's Fangs are able to pierce Virtue's GN Field easily in Episode 23 and destroy one of its two GN Bazookas. If Ali wasn't an idiot and didn't leave on a whim, he could have destroyed Virtue then and there. 

- Further improvements to the solid blade tech are made later in the series, emphasizing the GN Particle aspect further to do damage without the drawbacks of atmospheric conditions or beam diffusion. Celestial Being's green GN Condenser Blade tech seen in the GN Sword III and beyond generates huge amounts of heat that can melt armor even before the blade touches it, making the target more vulnerable when the sword eventually cuts it. Susanowo's dual solid katanas are also mention to be a hybrid solid-beam tech of sorts that was pioneered from the Union's Sonic-Plasma Sword tech and are in fact upgraded forms of Masurao's two Beam Sabers.

- Solid swords are less particle intensive on average compared to beam sabers as they are not made out of pure particles. They can also be used with all particle effects turned off to save power, as noted in one of Exia's manuals. 

- Lastly, they can also integrate secondary features, mainly beam rifles but also beam sabers themselves. 00's GN Sword II and III have rifle modes and the ability to generate beam sabers. Arche's Buster Sword and GN-XIII's Lance have beam rifles. Zwei's Fangs are solid daggers/beam guns/beam daggers. They can also switch between these modes quickly in general, making them good primary weapons. This is more important later on in the series when GN Field units become less uncommon.

Their weaknesses are known: they can break, they are relatively heavy, they can be parried by non-GN solid blades and they require space to swing (see Exia vs Sergei's Tieren High Mobility in Episode 3).
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Sat May 22, 2021 10:20 am
I actually greatly prefer the initial design which uses the GN Sword II. A large sword with a beam carbine that shoots down the blade always seemed more practical to me than dealing with the rotating mechanism we see on Exia's blade. (GN Sword II does transform between modes, but I liked the original premise.) Whether these swords are practical is hard to tell.
From a reliability point of view, having the sword and rifle components seperate like the I and III is probably better as it means reduced complexity. In addition, beam component being further from the blade also means getting less shockwaves from all those melee strikes which can theoretically mean better longevity of those parts.

Smaller GN Solid Swords in general are also hinted to be harder to design/make, as we know from the show and manuals. Exia's GN Long Blade and GN Short Blade took the longest time to develop despite not even having a beam rifle like the GN Sword I. The II being the obvious direct successor to Exia's dual GN Blades also means it may have inherited their difficulty/complexity.

Presumably, the II's design is practical as long as the engineering is able to do create it without too many reliability issues from having so many functions packed in. Ability-wise however they have proven themselves time and time again on the show. Their beam potency also more or less matches anything else in the series that are not 00’s.

00's GN Sword II has many functions including high spec beam rifle with various shooting modes including: single barrel beam rifle, double barrel beam cannon, shotgun needle spread, etc. Theoretically they don't even need to be rotated to shoot since it should not be hard to program the Sword position to use the rifles beams barrels while they are sideways, as what was done in Build Divers. For melee, aside from the basic blade there is also its Beam Saber and Staff Mode for added swordfighting variation.

Setsuna uses the latter two abilities simultaneously against Susanowo in Season 2 Episode 21, in a spear thrust attack of sort. He also seemingly used Beam Saber Mode to cut an asteroid in Season 2 Episode 14. The IIs can be easily thrown if needed, like 00 did against the Regnant in order to pierce its GN Field. One was thrown onto the barrier, Setsuna then uses the other to shoot it, it got pushed in and exploded.

The only big downside of the IIs ability wise is that they can be more easily displaced or disarmed in close combat compared to arm mounted designs of GN Sword I and III. In addition they don't have a "free hand" mode like I, which allows Exia to free its right hand for other uses while keeping the weapon mounted on the side of the arm. Though argubly having all the modes and functions you would want on one weapon negates the importance of this.

While I prefer II visual wise, III is probably the more practical design. Separation of blade and rifle presumably is better for reliability while it brings some of the advancements of II along, mainly the Beam Saber Mode. Its also more powerful and seems to take advantage of 00’s true particle output more after Raiser System was completed (II was designed before they got the Twin Drive System working, so they were relying on theoretical projections). The Raiser Sword attack can also be initiated by itself, whereas the GN Sword II requires two of them. III having more power in a one arm weapon also leaves the left hand free for other things: like a shield, another II, another III, beam saber, etc although 00 would never take advantage of this.

Sidenote, my personal theory of the sheer versatility of 00 Gundam's GN Sword series is likely due to a design emphasis multi mode high performance function at the cost of particle efficiency due to 00 having super high particle output. The other 4th Generation Gundams do have versatility improvements but nowhere to the same extent. Those designs were probably engineered for much more particle-to-performance ratios for a more narrow set of tasks.

Anectodally, there is also further evidence for this theory from the depiction of Reborns Gundam, as it also has the same high performance versatility as 00. Setsuna even made the mistaken assumption it was more of a Virtue-Type that he can beat if he got close, only for Ribbons to show that it was also good in close combat and then revealing the Twin Drive System as the reason.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:14 pm

SonicSP wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:23 am
00 stuff from the first post.
Wow!!! What an outstanding post, very informative and concise, I have just learned a wealth of knowledge about 00 technology. My hats off to you!
GN Beam Sabers have no operational time limits that we are aware off, either from animation or texts.
Did not know that, I always assumed the beam sabers had limited operational time and thus were only used in a pinch. Reading your explanation below that CB was worried about reverse engineering and they actually doing so just based off the beam saber gouge marks left by Exia is an impressive feat for the Earthnoids and also explains why Exia was reluctant to use them.
- Solid swords are able to take advantage of the GN Particles' mass reduction properties. Basically at the start of the swing, the mass reduction effect is applied to make it easier to move. The effect is turned off later near impact so the target can feel the full effects of the force, now stronger at full mass.
Oh very neat. You get a similar principle in boxing, albeit with less violations on the conservation of mass. When striking you want your arm to be loose up until the last moment for speed then you tighten at the last second when delivering the punch. It's a nice little tidbit that goes along well with Exia having a more human-like movement.
GN Composite Armor system used by Plutone and 0 Gundam Full Armor has GN Field layered internally within the armor. When hit by a powerful beam like Astraea's GN Launcher, the top E-Carbon layer will be destroyed while the the GN Field will protect the inside. This was originally developed as a substitute backup of the full sphere GN Field in case they did not manage to perfect that system. https://imgur.com/a/OlrGeNE[/list]
Interesting, is the layered GN-Field always on or only turned on when the E-Carbon layer is destroyed? I'm guessing this wasn't used on the later models because of GN Particle coating was superior to the composite and doesn't result in any E-Carbon being ablated.
In Season 2 Episode 9 during the Ptolemy Atmospheric Escape launch, 00 was able to block a Baikal-class's beam using only its dual swords.
What's your opinion on this one, was it possible because of the twin-drive or could any suit feasibly block a ship-class beam weapon?
Celestial Being's green GN Condenser Blade tech seen in the GN Sword III and beyond generates huge amounts of heat that can melt armor even before the blade touches it, making the target more vulnerable when the sword eventually cuts it.
Interesting. Do you recall a time when that happened in the show? I've seen S2 twice but I'm blanking on any scenes where the green blade melts armor. Then again there aren't too many slow motion sword swings are there? :D
From a reliability point of view, having the sword and rifle components seperate like the I and III is probably better as it means reduced complexity. In addition, beam component being further from the blade also means getting less shockwaves from all those melee strikes which can theoretically mean better longevity of those parts.
Very true, I went looking at the lineart again and I had forgotten that Rifle mode has more moving parts gimmicks than I remember. To me a good balance would be a sword with a beam rifle channel running down the back edge to avoid all the extra parts. Although I'm sure it's more fun for the animators (and the viewers) to add in transforming mechanisms.

Since you bring up reliability though one thing I'd like to point out is the stress concentration area on the GN Sword I / III specifically on the area where it rotates around. Anytime it clashes with an opponent's weapon's it would be putting a tremendous stress on that hinge joint.
The IIs can be easily thrown if needed, like 00 did against the Regnant in order to pierce its GN Field. One was thrown onto the barrier, Setsuna then uses the other to shoot it, it got pushed in and exploded.
You've been reminding me of some of my favorite actions scenes in S2. Thanks!
While I prefer II visual wise, III is probably the more practical design.
You've certainly convinced me. When they first debuted the GN Sword III I just figured it was in response to fans who wanted to see more of Exia's lineage in the 00. I too prefer the GN Sword II but you've listed many advantages, the most important one to me is they developed that sword after getting the Twin Drive to work. I would say it's very likely the IIs had a lower maximum output since they weren't yet sure what the Twin Drive was capable of at the time of design and so they took a more conservative approach rather than risk having a weapon that required more power than the suit could provide.

Your personal theory is sound in my opinion. Thanks again for taking the time to put all this together!!

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by Kuruni » Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:50 am

You guy ignore one of the most important melee weapon of all time, FIST.

I'm not talking about G Gundam. It was established since MSG that there's no problem whatever for punching another MS with manipulator, as Doan's Zaku take out another Zaku by punch it in gut snd cause explosion from its back (and thank to Sunrise's policy, the officialness of this scene is undisputable :P ).

In contrast, I remember that in Patlabor, punching with delicate hand is highly discourage (until we get Tupe Zero or Griffon, both have durable digits and can stab with pointy fingers). And from what I can gathered,, it took people in VOTOMS at least six models (ATH-06-ST) before they can made the hands durable enough for arm punch attack. Mightgaine, despite being super robot show, noted that while most robot has no problem with punching, Gurad Diver's high sensitive hands (for rescue operation) are pretty bad for it.
My girlfriend was a loli.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:43 pm

Indeed, fists can be quite useful. In Zeta Gundam we see Buran's Asshimar give Quattro a sucker punch, we later see Amuro deliver his bazooka and fist through the walls of a Garuda. As I recall Kamille got in several kicks with both the MK-II and Zeta throughout the series. In CCA we have the iconic Nu Gundam brawl with Sazabi and the move-set itself gets replicated in the Gundam Vs series.

There's a decent chunk of literal hand-to-hand combat in MSG. There's the Zaku I brawler early on, Amuro ripping off some cabling of Zaku and as you mentioned the infamous Doan's Island.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by SonicSP » Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:20 am

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:14 pm
What's your opinion on this one, was it possible because of the twin-drive or could any suit feasibly block a ship-class beam weapon?
Hard one, we don't have much examples for the rough firepower of the Non-GN Laser Cannon of the Baikal-class.

With a GN Field I think most suits can do it, they are extremely strong against beams. The Empruss' GN Field was even able to bend 00's Raiser Sword for a short while, even if it got destroyed in the process.

Not sure about solid swords, maybe a Buster Sword since they are usually designed to double as shields. 

Beam saber maybe, as the Ahead Sakigake's souped up one was able go block a direct beam shot from Trans-Am 00 Gundam. Maybe Arios' Beam Shield could do it too if a beam saber could.
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:14 pm
Interesting, is the layered GN-Field always on or only turned on when the E-Carbon layer is destroyed? I'm guessing this wasn't used on the later models because of GN Particle coating was superior to the composite and doesn't result in any E-Carbon being ablated.
Not sure to be honest and I do not have access to the source material, 00P, to double check. The info on the GN Composite Armor I posted was based on a summary translation someone else did long time ago. They were running a test on Plutone and used Astraea's Beam Launcher on it.

The 0 Gundam Full Armor version mentions that it cannot be used for too long since particle consumption is high so I assume it is not on all the time.

As for the 'GN Field On Top" armor system, we only have direct confirmation for a few physical GN Shields as opposed to the whole armor. However like I said, it's implied.

Specifically the GN Shield section of MG Exia manual says that the shield deploys a GN Field on the surface to achieve high defense capability. It mentions it is very hard to break with conventional weapons as long as it receives power from Exia. Further says that at first glance, it's questionanable whether Exia even needed a shield since it and the other Gundams are covered in armor that has similar performance, but notes that the advantage is that it can move the arm with the shield to absorb shocks from attacks.

RG 00 Raiser manual's GN Shield section says something similar, that conventional weapons are almost ineffective because of the GN Field on the surface. The GN Drive section also mentions that GN Drives can be used for defensive measures like "armor strengthening" (装甲の強化).

None are direct confirmations that they use GN Field effect on the entire armor but the lines about being super strong against conventional attacks, the rest of the armor having similar performance to the shield, GN Drives being able to strengthen armor and with what we see from the anime in Season 1, makes it super unlikely that they do not use them. The Gundams take many blows all over with nothing but superficial damage, and sometimes not even that. That the blocs were willing to consistently bombard them for 15 hours in the desert battle also shows that their tactical analysis reveals the same thing. If there was a chance that their precious technological prize might be spoilt, they probably wouldn't have resorted to that just for the sake of tiring the pilots. GNMS also use GN Particles for just about everything so it would be weird if their most prominent feature doesn't.

The E-Carbon used by Celestial Being is confirmed to be more sophisticated and stronger than the ones used by the blocs. According 1st Mechanics book, this is due to theirs having a more uniform molecular spin. However I have yet come across a line so far that directly says the the Gundam E-Carbon are immune or near immune to conventional weapons, unlike the E-Carbon+GN Field combo description on the shields.

The other reason I suspect is due to how three Aheads were easily destroyed by conventional weapons while inside the Anti Field in Season 2 Episode 22. The Ahead was supposed to be at least equivalent in performance to the Season 1 Gundams * with no profiles mentioning any defensive compromises. The Anti Field was primarily meant to be Anti Beam in nature but if we suppose that
  • A - Anti Field also weakens GN Field somewhat
  • B - GNMS use some GN Field on armor
are both true, it would explain that weird scene nicely.

[* Sources slightly disagree on this. The 2nd Mechanics book says it is equivalent to a single 3rd Generation Gundam, while the HG Ahead manual says it is superior.]
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:14 pm
Interesting. Do you recall a time when that happened in the show? I've seen S2 twice but I'm blanking on any scenes where the green blade melts armor. Then again there aren't too many slow motion sword swings are there? :D
Don't recall it in animation, but that's how their described to work in text. There was one time in Season 2 Episode 22 that you can see hot metal on an Ahead after 00 cut it in half but I suspect that's normal even with the non-green swords.

We also have to keep in mind that all of the instances we see the green blades being used in animation are in space. Remote heat transfer is slower in space since it can only happen via radiation, as opposed to convection and radiation in atmosphere. Presumably there's less chance to soften the armor before the blade touches it and the overall heating time is lessened.
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:14 pm
Since you bring up reliability though one thing I'd like to point out is the stress concentration area on the GN Sword I / III specifically on the area where it rotates around. Anytime it clashes with an opponent's weapon's it would be putting a tremendous stress on that hinge joint.
I always assumed that there must be a locking mechanism once the blade connects with the beam gun, magnetic or otherwise. If not, I don't think the design is even viable.

The hinge will definitely be taking some extra load but I suspect its mostly during rotation due to what I said above. If the GN Particle mass reduction effect can be applied during the rotation, that will help lessen the stress too.

There will definitely be stress there but if the assertion in my theory that the beam parts need to be serviced and repaired less often for the I/III switchblades holds true, it might still be a net positive. Replacing a simple rotating hinge more often is probably preferable if it buys more time and reliability on the complex beam components. Also, if the rotation hinge were to suddenly fail mid sortie, the beam rifle part would still be viable. Exia Repair's beam rifle for example was still fine despite the blade being cut in half. With the IIs, you get the feeling the fate of the parts are all more closely linked, good for compactability but bad for reliability and maintenance.

Speaking of which, interesting alternate designs for the discussion would be the GN Sword II Blaster from 00 Seven Sword/G and the GN Sword Rifles from Harute. These more bayonet-like designs are primed to be rifles first and sword second. There is a clear separation of rifle and blades but the downsides are they don't make good swords like the main GN Sword series except on downward slashes.
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:14 pm
I would say it's very likely the IIs had a lower maximum output since they weren't yet sure what the Twin Drive was capable of at the time of design and so they took a more conservative approach rather than risk having a weapon that required more power than the suit could provide.
Yes they did but they also had a less conservative set ready. The MSV 00 Gundam Seven Sword was originally meant to be the real equipment set of 00 Gundam that took full advantage of the Twin Drive.

Its GN Buster Sword II (based on the GN-XII's) was the most prominent equipment. A large powerful physical sword and also had a shield mode that can give a lot 
of defense and generate a large GN Field that can even be useful for protecting allies.

The GN Sword II Long was also physically larger than the standard II with a Beam Rifle Mode that was more powerful but has slower firing rate and higher particle consumption. The Sword II Short was a smaller II with the ability to fire a retractable blade with a cable, which was designed with Setsuna's blade throwing preference in mind.

The GN Katars were the first known prototype of the Green Condenser Blades, however they did not work as the blades burned so hot they melted themselves. The tech was only perfected with the GN Sword III.

The official reason on why they did not use the 7S was because the Twin Drive was not perfected and they needed the full output for the 7S. So they put their efforts on building a stabilizer system onto the 0 Raiser support craft instead to bring about the full output.

They only revisited the 7S set after Season 2 ended as the Seven Sword/G. This was where they built a Raiser System equivalent onto the Buster Sword II and used 00 with the Twin Large Condensers. This allowed it to have its normal Twin Drive performance albeit with far shorter operation time and upper hard limits. It had its fair of hiccups though being an experimental system and they only perfected the Twin Condensers when nearing the Movie's time period.

They also gave it a new weapon, the GN Sword II Blaster, that had a rifle mode that is stronger than the II Long. It is focused on the rifle part first with the sword function being secondary. I personally theorize that the reason for this is the reverse of my Twin Drive theory, that with particle efficiency becoming important again they wanted to focus on being good and efficient at a narrow ability.
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:14 pm
Reading your explanation below that CB was worried about reverse engineering and they actually doing so just based off the beam saber gouge marks left by Exia is an impressive feat for the Earthnoids and also explains why Exia was reluctant to use them.
I suspect they were not too worried to be honest as the technology they had were all useless without GN Particles. To use an example, in the 00N Enact chapter, the AEU were pretty excited about analyzing the beam saber marks on Patrick's Enact as they can give them clues on to use for their beam weapon developement (the AEU had the most progress in that area). However, they discovered that there's nothing they can do without access to the special particles. In Episode 2, Kyrios also more or less left its Tail Unit container for the HRL to find, which they did and analyzed in the next episode.

Setsuna also more or less throws his Beam Daggers without much care, even when the tactical advantage is very minor since Exia has a beam rifle. While Celestial Being does have teams that help recover purged items, technology leakage is probably not even a concern if Setsuna is allowed to throw them that often.

I suspect the lesser beam saber usage has more to do with Setsuna's preference more than anything. He sees them as backup weapons to use in emergencies or certain tactical scenarios. He seems to really really favor the GN Sword in general, and that includes disfavoring the GN Blades too. It is likely that he just prefers solids and the main Sword-Shield combo. He also doesn't use the GN Vulcans on Exia's wrist often either.

Usually for melee, he will use the GN Sword most of the time. He is then prepared to use two GN Beam Daggers for throwing. If he needs faster swords, he will then switch to dual GN Beam Sabers or GN Blades. So he has three melee "modes" so to speak: Main Sword, then switching to Fast Dual as needed, with Dagger Throws being sprinkled on from time to time.

Againts Michael Zwei in Episode 19, he started with the main GN Sword to cross the Buster Sword. Then when he had to fight against Fangs, he accurately threw the three daggers he had before switching to dual Beam Sabers to slash the rest. In Episode 22, against Ali Zwei he also began with the GN Sword, before changing to the GN Blades after he lost it, and then switched to dual Beam Sabers after he lost those.

On that note, he also never ever dual/left arm wield with a shield. He will either eject it first, not have it due to not having brought it or it was destroyed earlier in battle. He doesn't appear to like the extra weight while blade wielding with the left arm but still likes it for defense. This is the case even with 00, where he favors the single GN Sword II-GN Shield combo for the majority of the first half of Season 2. Only after getting 00 Raiser does he starts dual IIs all the time probably because the Raiser Wings and GN Field can give him defense, only going back to single wield with the Sword III.

He also only used GN Sword II's Beam Saber Mode twice even though he had access to it at anytime, so that adds more evidence to his solid blade preference. By this time, there should be no concerns of particle conservation or beam saber technology leakage. He even continued to have his "throwing" style too despite having less excess swords: he threw a Beam Saber in Season 2 Episode 13 and 23 against Aheads, and threw the GN Sword II against Regnant in Episode 21.

So yes, he does appear to see beam sabers as secondary in terms of tactical preference.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:27 pm

Thanks again for these detailed posts!! I learned a lot about 00 technology and the MSV designs which previously I had zero knowledge of.
SonicSP wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:20 am
We also have to keep in mind that all of the instances we see the green blades being used in animation are in space. Remote heat transfer is slower in space since it can only happen via radiation, as opposed to convection and radiation in atmosphere. Presumably there's less chance to soften the armor before the blade touches it and the overall heating time is lessened.
Completely agree, remote heat transfer is way slower in space but the Mechanical Engineer in me wants to point out that non-remote heat transfer, heat by conduction, is still possible in space. A high heat weapon can still more easily pass through metal like a hot knife through butter even without convection. I had forgotten many of the battles in S2 are in space and I believe the green edge GN Sword III appears entirely in space, although I'm rusty on Trailblazer so I don't recall if 00 Quant ever battled in the atmosphere.
I always assumed that there must be a locking mechanism once the blade connects with the beam gun, magnetic or otherwise. If not, I don't think the design is even viable.
I think it'd most likely be a mechanical locking joint after the blade swings around. Generating a magnetic force that can resist the impact of a multi-ton attacker would require an exceptional amount of energy, but with GN particles I suppose anything is possible.

I agree with you keeping the beam rifle components away from impacts and vibrations is a net positive, and if the hinge plus locking mechanism can survive three uses without being replaced it'd be far easier maintenance than having to re-calibrate the beam rifle in between each battle. That's a position I hadn't considered before and I'm glad you brought up the logistical portion.
I suspect the lesser beam saber usage has more to do with Setsuna's preference more than anything. He sees them as backup weapons to use in emergencies or certain tactical scenarios. He seems to really really favor the GN Sword in general, and that includes disfavoring the GN Blades too. It is likely that he just prefers solids and the main Sword-Shield combo. He also doesn't use the GN Vulcans on Exia's wrist often either.
You've certainly convinced me. I always assumed he had a reason for using the beam sabers sparingly but it seems his preferred fighting style is with the physical blade(s). I imagine it would be difficult to master two styles, one with a weapon with extremely heavy weight and the other where the only weight is from the plasma being generated.

On a related note are the beam sabers in 00 are they a plasma made of conventional particles or are they also GN particles?

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by SonicSP » Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:12 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:27 pm
Completely agree, remote heat transfer is way slower in space but the Mechanical Engineer in me wants to point out that non-remote heat transfer, heat by conduction, is still possible in space. A high heat weapon can still more easily pass through metal like a hot knife through butter even without convection.
Of course, which was why I was careful to specify remote heat transfer. Once the blade touches, there will still be a lot of heat transfer as you said. However it won't be melting the armor before the blade touch which I recall was meant to be its idealized use.
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:27 pm
Generating a magnetic force that can resist the impact of a multi-ton attacker would require an exceptional amount of energy, but with GN particles I suppose anything is possible.
For what its worth, there's a sentence in 1st Mechanics Page 38, that says: the Gundams' energy consumption is higher than that of the entire Earth, thus they are realistically impossible.

I just remembered and looked up something. 2nd Mechanics book has a section that talks about mobile suit technology at Page 28. Basically the output of the GN Drive is so high that conventional frame and parts of normal MS are not able to handle it. So if you were to take a GN Drive [T] and place it on a conventional MS, it's not gonna end well. The point it's making is that it's not enough to have the core technology but periphery technology must also be good enough to handle it. This was cited as one of the reasons why the ESF decided to produce the GN-X in large numbers cos it's reliable existing technology while going slower with their own designs, like the Ahead.

The 0 Gundam profile on Page 58 mentions that in addition to the completion of the GN Drive, it needed the completion of material E-Carbon that could withstand the huge output.

Some stuff that I can't remember the source at the moment: Celestial Being also strengthened the frames of the Season 2 Gundams so they can handle the huge load that Trans-Am puts on them.

So it seems that handling huge forces is something the parts of GNMS have to deal with already it seems. I suppose that type of tech is applied on stuff like the Exia's hinge then.
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:27 pm
On a related note are the beam sabers in 00 are they a plasma made of conventional particles or are they also GN particles?
They're made from GN Particles. They're basically the same as the beams though I don't think there's any info given on what holds them there.

Pure speculation on my part but GN Particles can be controlled using the Clavicle Antennas so maybe that type of tech then.
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:27 pm
so I don't recall if 00 Quant ever battled in the atmosphere
It did not. I'm not even sure it slashed anything physically.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Sat Jun 19, 2021 11:58 am

SonicSP wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:12 pm
Of course, which was why I was careful to specify remote heat transfer. Once the blade touches, there will still be a lot of heat transfer as you said. However it won't be melting the armor before the blade touch which I recall was meant to be its idealized use.
Very true, seems the weapon would be most effective in the atmosphere where it can apply both conduction and convection. Which is interesting since at that point in the show where they get the green blades the enemy forces had created modernized MS with a lot of space combat in mind. Still a superheated weapon is better than a non-super heated weapon when it comes to chopping MS to pieces :D
For what its worth, there's a sentence in 1st Mechanics Page 38, that says: the Gundams' energy consumption is higher than that of the entire Earth, thus they are realistically impossible.
More energy than all of Earth? That seems like a pretty goofy tidbit the editor should have caught. Hah!

Interesting how a GN Drive will destroy a older MS. I was thinking in terms of power generation in that all the peripheral components need to be able to withstand the apparently very high power generation but I always forget about the weird physics properties it has like lowering weight, etc.
They're made from GN Particles. They're basically the same as the beams though I don't think there's any info given on what holds them there.
I guess with the other 3 Gundams having a higher focus on ranged combat we don't see beam sabers very often, only when necessary and often for defense. I suppose 00 takes the cake on using non-beam melee weapons.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:39 am

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Sat Jun 19, 2021 11:58 am

More energy than all of Earth? That seems like a pretty goofy tidbit the editor should have caught. Hah!
Nah, Kardashev class I vehicles are required to be the predecessor of a teleporting, interstellar travel capable one later. ;9

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:36 am

Hah, that's true, Gundam 00 and especially the movie was setting itself up as humanity about to transition to a new level of civilization. Wasn't familiar with the Kardashev classifications before but was certainly an interesting read.

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Re: Practicality of Physical Melee Weapons in Gundam

Post by SonicSP » Tue Jun 22, 2021 11:49 am

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Sat Jun 19, 2021 11:58 am
More energy than all of Earth? That seems like a pretty goofy tidbit the editor should have caught. Hah!
The idea that GN Drives plus onboard GN Condensers have more energy than the entire world (at least ours) doesn't seem weird to me. It is a powerful reactor that sources its energy generation mechanism from an exotic type of topological defect that was harnessed from Jupiter (I have been unable to find more concrete official detail on their energy generation method but some fan theories speculate forcing byronic decay via the magnetic monopole topogical defect). One of them can even take dozens of non-reactor MS, if not more.

They are also very hard to manufacture, requiring 20 years of on-site R&D and creation the first time around for the initial five units. Then, two years the second time around with existing schematics and on-site infrastructure already in place for the new pair.

The reason why they were named Solar Furnaces was noted to be because they are "reactors that continually produces light" according to MG Exia manual. It wouldn't surprise me if speculatively, an additional reason was also the sheer amount of energy they generate. Would certainly explain why frame tech needing materials able to withstand it being an issue somewhat.

While we don't know much about the propulsion system, we do know they work by emitting GN Particles - and we also know from MG Exia that GN Particles are photons. Photon rockets require a ridiculous amount of energy to get any decent amount of thrust especially to fly within Earth like the Gundams do with standard equipment, and escaping Earth with specialized equipment like Kyrios Gust. This is because photons have no rest mass.

[Sidenote, the Celestial Being colony ship has five empty slots reserved for the Original Drives, presumably for power and interstellar travel as photon rockets are great at that.]

Then there's also the armor and beam weapons. If we go with the assumption that I argued previously about the Gundams' immunity to conventional bullets and explosions to be due to a GN Field layer on their armor, that will also require a huge amount of energy needed to counteract the force of those weapons. Then there's also the fact that they frequently use beam weapons with a high level of damage.

The GN Drive has to power all of these different functions of GNMS by its own output plus a few particle capacitors that they had charged earlier during idle time. I reckon these are not cheap energy wise.

What is less believable to me are the GN Drive Taus, at least based on how they're described in the materials. They have been described in a few sources as "electricity to GN Particle converters" with that type of phrasing. That not only heavily implies that they are net energy negative but that all of it is converted from the battery onboard the mobile weapon. While their reactor output is lower, it is still comparable to the Originals. That would mean that they carry more energy than our entire Earth on that single standard MS battery, if we are extending that Earth energy comment from 1st Mechanics.

Still, I guess we are talking about super advanced MS here, even by the conventional standards of fictional A.D. 2307 when they first appeared. The blocs battery technology pre-GN-X transfer was mentioned to be not be able to hold anywhere near that level of energy density in the 00N Enact chapter. That chapter notes that conventional MS class batteries of the time are not strong enough to power beam weapons, thus the AEU were planning to power the Enact beam weapons using wireless microwave transmissions from their Solar Energy System. I reckon the Corner Faction must have spent a long time on that battery tech in case their Original Drive GN-X plan did not come through.

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