||This article may contain improper references to self-published sources. (February 2014)|
|Appears in||Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam|
|First appearance||"Hong Kong City"|
|Designed by||Kazumi Fujita
|Designation||MRX-009 Psyco Gundam|
|Main pilot(s)||Four Murasame
|Armaments||Scattering mega particle cannons
Mega beam cannons
|Psyco Gundam Mark II|
|Appears in||Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
|First appearance||"Mirror of Rosamia"|
|Designation||MRX-010 Psyco Gundam Mark II|
|Main pilot(s)||Rosamia Badam
|Armaments||Mega scattering beam cannons
Mega beam cannons
Wired psycommu beam swords
Psyco Gundam (サイコガンダム Saiko Gandamu?, "PSYCO-GUNDAM") refers to a series of fictional mobile armours of prodigious size, appearing in the Gundam franchise in various forms. The animation incarnations were designed by Kazumi Fujita (original work by Katsuji Murakami), and have appeared in both Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and its sequel, Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, both by the antagonistic Titans force, and later, the Neo Zeon movement. The original motive of this design is a transformable mobile suit, it is a candidate of the Z Gundam design. Other appearances by various Psyco Gundams include, but are not limited to, the Super Robot Wars franchise, the PlayStation 2 titles MS Saga, AEUG vs. Titans, Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam and Climax U.C., the PSP Gundam Battle series, the multi-platform Gundam: Battle Assault series, and others.
Design and development
Although it may be strange to have a Gundam type mobile suit used by an antagonist, originally the Psyco Gundam was one of the designs considered to become the Zeta Gundam. In the production phase, several designs were considered for the mobile suit carrying the series name. At the end, it was not used as the titular mobile suit and served another purpose in the show. However, it was still used by one of the heroines and maybe still considered a mobile suit of the leads.
In Zeta Gundam
Two Psyco Gundams, the original and its Mark II successor, appeared in Zeta Gundam. Both were fielded by the malicious Titans force, and operated by unstable artificial-Newtype pilots.
Following the end of the One Year War, Zeon Newtype-use technology, such as the psycommu system, fell into the hands of the victorious Earth Federation forces. As the One Year War drew to a close, the results of Flanagan Institute's Newtype research were actively destroyed just prior to Federation occupation. What research data the Federation were able to recover were largely incomplete and mostly neglected until the rise of the Titans, who placed a vested interest in development of "artificial-Newtypes". Developed alongside those test subjects at the Murasame Lab in Japan, the MRX-009 Psyco Gundam was used throughout the series by the Lab's most successful experiment, Four Murasame. However, artificial-Newtypes almost always tend to be mentally unstable due to the hypnosis and medical procedures involved, and Four is no exception.
The Psyco Gundam bears much in similarity to the Zeon-manufactured One Year War-era MSN-02 Zeong: an exceptional size due to the space requirements of the psycommu system, cockpit positioned in the head (an unusual location for Universal Century mobile suits) and a heavy beam cannon armament in its limbs, body and head to compensate. Aesthetically, however, the Psyco is obviously an Earth Federation design. Barring its paint scheme and dimensions, the Psyco Gundam shares much in physical appearance to the original RX-78 Gundam of Mobile Suit Gundam and other Gundam-class units, including the signature "V-fin" antenna.
In the Gundam franchise, very large mobile weapons often suffer from a significant flaw in the form of poor mobility. The Psyco Gundam's transformable nature addresses this to an extent. By reconfiguring its body into a boxy "mobile fortress" form, the Psyco Gundam can move at exceptional speed via a Minovsky Craft System installed in its body. Some of its weapons cannot be used in this mode, however.
After nearly destroying Hong Kong in its initial deployment (episode 19, Cinderella Four), the original Psyco Gundam, with Four Murasame at the controls, would continue to cause trouble for the Anti Earth Union Group force trapped on Earth and their Karaba allies. The monstrosity was finally crippled and put out of action during the Karaba assault on the Titans headquarters at Kilamanjaro (episode 36, Forever Four), mortally wounding Four in the process (much to the chagrin of protagonist Kamille Bidan, and furthering the ongoing feud between him and Titans pilot Jerid Messa).
The giant would live again, however, in the form of the powerful MRX-010 Psyco Gundam Mark II, which saw action near the end of the Gryps Conflict. The Mark II was a substantial upgrade from its predecessor in both offensive and defensive capabilities. Its armament was nearly doubled with additional beam cannons installed all over its body, and its arms were rigged with a detachable wire-guided ability (a throwback to the Zeong), including a pair of massive beam swords. An unknown number of unique "reflector bits" are stored in its backpack. A custom provision for the Psyco Mark II, these weapons are not armed like conventional bits, but instead allow the Psyco's pilot to redirect incoming beam weapons away from it, or to bounce attacks from its own weapons at otherwise impossible trajectories. Finally, the Mark II is fitted with a detachable head (another throwback to the Zeong), allowing its pilot to escape if the main body becomes damaged or inoperable.
Piloted by the even more unstable Rosamia Badam, the Psyco Mark II's deployment was cut short by the destruction of the asteroid fortress Gate of Zedan (the former Zeon stronghold A Baoa Qu, given to the Titans sometime earlier). The Mark II was disabled by Kamille's Z Gundam (killing Rosamia in the process), and it joined the fields of wreckage created during the final battle of the Gryps Conflict (episode 48, Mirror of Rosamia).
In Gundam ZZ
Roughly halfway through Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, the mostly intact body of the Psyco Mark II was recovered by the Neo Zeon forces under Haman Khan. After being brought back online, the Mark II is delivered to Glemy Toto's detachment overseeing the colony drop operation on Dublin. Piloted by Puru Two (a clone of Elpeo Puru in Toto's service), the Mark II's full potential wreaks havoc on the AEUG forces attempting to evacuate Dublin. The goliath is heavily damaged during the drop itself, and destroyed for good by protagonist Judau Ashta's ZZ Gundam (unlike its previous operator, Puru Two makes good use of the detachable head and escapes).
Other appearances and beyond
North American audiences' first exposure to the Psyco Gundam series came in the PlayStation fighting game Gundam: Battle Assault, released in November 2000. A "Psyco Gundam Mark III", bearing features of both original machines (e.g. the original's traditional-looking head and face with signature V-fin antenna, and the Mark II's limb- and leg-mounted weaponry) along with wholly unique ones, was designed for the game by veteran mechanical designer Kunio Okawara. The Mark III is a boss unit, and is not immediately available for player use, though it can be unlocked at the end of the main game. The Mark III would later appear in the Gundam War card game, with a line art redesign by Hajime Katoki, another long-time Gundam mechanical designer.
A prototype Psyco Gundam, MRX-007, in the size of a standard mobile suit was designed by Kunio Okawara in his own MS collection (a.k.a. M-MSV) in 1989 and a further developed prototype unit, MRX-008, which is significantly larger and resembles Psyco Gundam, MRX-009, in size was introduced in the novel, Four Story, an official published side story which tells the story of Four Murasame in the Murasame research facility before the events of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.
A curious Psyco Gundam exists in some titles of the SD Gundam G Generation RPGs, formed out of the original Psyco Gundam's head on a giant six-sided die; a play on words between the Japanese spelling and pronunciation of "Psyco" and "dice" (Japanese: "サイコガンダム"(Saikogandamu) is "PSYCO-GUNDAM", while "サイコロガンダム"(Saikorogandamu) is "DICE-GUNDAM"). Perplexedly, it is one of the most powerful units in the games it appears in. This "Psycoro Gundam" can commonly be found in Gashapon capsule toy dispensers. Less frequently, a "Dice Gundam Mark II" can be found in certain G-Generation titles, featuring (uncannily) a Psyco Gundam Mark II head.
From a meta standpoint, the Psyco Gundams further elaborated and built upon the theme of the protagonist reluctantly facing down a much more powerful opponent. First established in Mobile Suit Gundam with Lalah Sune and the mobile armour MAN-08 Elmeth, it has since become a staple of the franchise (e.g. Aina Sahalin and the Apsalus, Quess Paraya and the Alpha Azieru, and so forth). The relationship between Kamille, Four and the Psyco Gundam was recreated almost verbatim in the recent Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, specifically between Shinn Asuka, Stella Loussier and the giant Destroy Gundam.
Model kits in 1/300th scale (a unique ratio for Gundam mobile suit models) of both the Psyco Gundam and Mark II were released in 1985 and 1986 respectively; the smaller-than-standard scale resulted in models that were roughly the same overall size as other 1/144th-scale kits of the same line. The Psyco series remained dormant in the modeling area until August 2004, when a full-sized 1/144th-scale Psyco Gundam was released in the High Grade Universal Century (HGUC) line. Though the same scale as other HGUC models, the Psyco's massive size puts it closer to 1/60th-scale Perfect Grade models in overall dimensions. The Psyco received a Mobile Suit in Action (MSiA) figure in 2002, and was also featured in the expensive, precision-built Gundam Fix Figuration composite model line, where it is currently one of the largest item. As with certain other easily recognizable mobile weapons, the Psyco Gundam has loaned its likeness to Gundam-themed Zippo lighters, including its face and distinctive chest-mounted beam cannons.
In Model Graphix special edition Gundam Sentinel character design notes, by mechanical designer Katoki Hajime, of Gundam Mk-V, MRX-009 Psyco Gundam is quoted to be of great success in terms of combat, yet it is impossible to mass-produce the Psyco Gundam, and the Earth Federation Forces requesting a cost cut down research on the Quasi-psycommu system and wired controlled weapons, resulting introduction of the system in Gundam Mk-IV and finally in the development of G-V (Gundam Mk-V), which could be said as the successor of Psyco Gundam series.
In Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, the Psyco Gundam and Psyco Gundam mk II appear as Mobile Armor bosses.
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