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Volume 1

 

Review by Chris Guanche

December 17, 2020

 

Summary

 

On January 15, UC 0079, the Earth Federation Forces and the Principality of Zeon are locked in battle at Side 5 Loum. Aboard the EFF flagship Ananke, Gen. Revil is urged to escape. On the Zeon ship Falmer, Dozle Zabi orders the nuclear warhead-equipped mobile suits to head to the front and attack. Zaku II pilots Gaia, Mash and Ortega, known as the Black Tri-Stars, move in to attack the Ananke. Revil escapes in a shuttle just before they destroy the Ananke, but his shuttle is quickly captured by the Black Tri-Stars. At the Zeon capital Zum City, Kycilia Zabi congratulates Dozle on capturing Revil. Dozle declares that war will change now that the era of the mobile suit has arrived. Dozle wonders if their brothers Gihren and Garma have accomplished anything, and Kycilia comments that Gihren is likely negotiating with the Earth Federation. A young Zeon officer attempts to interrogate Revil, but Revil refuses to cooperate. Revil notes that the officer looks young, and the officer blames the EFF for killing their veteran soldiers during Operation British and the Battle of Loum. Revil comments that even the Zeon seem to have their own internal problems. Elsewhere, the Black Tri-Stars test new model Zakus with improved acceleration. In late January, the Zeon and EFF negotiate a peace treaty in the neutral territory of Antarctica that will amount to the surrender of the Earth Federation. At the same time, EFF special forces rescue Revil from Zeon territory. Revil then broadcasts a speech declaring to the world that Zeon’s manpower and resources are already exhausted from one month of fighting. In response, the EFF’s resolve to fight on increases, and the Antarctic Treaty is renegotiated as a wartime treaty to ban the use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, as well as weapons of mass destruction like space colonies. Following Revil’s return, the EFF devotes its resources into furthering the development of its own mobile suits, changing the nature of warfare.

 

In December UC 0079, Gundam Blue Destiny Unit 3 pilot Yuu Kajima battles the stolen Blue Destiny Unit 2, piloted by Zeon ace Nimbus Schterzen, near a ruined colony in Side 5. Both units are equipped with the EXAM System, which is powered by the trapped consciousness of the Newtype Marion Welch. Nimbus vows to take Yuu down with him and fires vulcans at close range, but Yuu stabs him with a beam saber in response and kicks him away. Nimbus declares that even if Yuu wins, there’s no end to the fighting, and at that moment Blue Destiny Unit 2 explodes. Thirteen years later, the Second Neo Zeon War engulfs the Earth Sphere, with Char Aznable attempting to drop the asteroid base Axis on Earth. Yuu, piloting a Jegan, abandons his Base Jabber and engages Neo Zeon Geara Doga mobile suits. He destroys one with his beam saber and wonders if people are able to live without fighting. Yuu receives a report that Londo Bell was able to blow Axis apart into two pieces, but one of them is about to enter the atmosphere. Yuu tells his squad to fall back as he speeds toward the front half of Axis. Yuu joins other EFF and Neo Zeon pilots in attempting to push Axis away with the combined thrust of their mobile suits. Yuu declares that they can’t allow the source of all life to be destroyed, and his unit starts to buckle under the stress of atmospheric reentry. Yuu wonders if he’s reached his limit and then sees a green light. Enveloped by the power of the psychoframe in Amuro Ray’s v Gundam, Yuu has a feeling of the light being gentle and warm. The combined will of all the pilots is transformed into energy by the psychoframe, which results in Axis being pushed away from Earth. After the Axis Shock, Yuu abandons his damaged Jegan and uses a thruster pack to head toward a Salamis ship. He believes people will always fight, but there is always the hope that people can understand each other.

 

In February UC 0079, Zeon begins its invasion of Earth. Garret Schmitzer’s Midnight Fenrir Corps is tasked with testing the effectiveness of various types of sensors in combat with mobile suits that occurs at visual range. By the end of the year, the EFF turns the tide of the war and forces Zeon off Earth in large numbers. During the evacuation of the California Base, Schmitzer tells his troops that they’re free to leave Midnight Fenrir and return to space. Corps members Lou Roher, Manning, Renchef, Nicki Roberto, Sandra, Sophie Fran, Charlotte Hepner and Lee Swaggard all refuse to leave. Schmitzer salutes his team and dismisses them, and mechanic Migaki pledges to stay behind as well. Midnight Fenrir is then assigned with protecting HLV launches from the encroaching EFF mobile suits. But they encounter trouble in the form of the Gundam 6th (aka Mudrock) piloted by Agar, who they previously battled at Jaburo. Schmitzer tells his people to fire smoke grenades to put up a smoke screen. Although that will blind them as well, Migaki suggests using passive sonar to get the Gundam’s approximate location. Lou’s Gouf uses a bazooka to target Agar through the smoke, and he manages to land a hit. Agar begins to fall back, and Schmitzer orders his team not to chase him too far since they’re pulling out soon. Following the evacuation of the California Base, the Midnight Fenrir Corps board a Jukon sub and head for Africa.

 

In North Africa, the EFF’s Alexandria military port prepares for a large-scale deployment, but it comes under surprise attack from the Midnight Fenrir Corps. Schmitzer issues orders to Nicki, Charlotte and Sophie to attack the headquarters amidst the confusion. From a distance, Rommel stands on the hand of his Dwadge and uses binoculars to watch the Midnight Fenrir in action. He’s impressed by them and sees they don’t need help, so he decides to return to base. After the battle, Agar flies in on a Fanfan and lands at a Mini Tray land battleship. An EFF officer tells Agar that they don’t have any mobile suits to spare, and Agar assures him that won’t be necessary. At the Zeon base, one of Rommel’s men, Nikki, tells Lou and Nicki that there’s news of Zeon and the Earth Federation possibly entering an armistice. Rommel greets Schmitzer and welcomes the Midnight Fenrir to his base. Rommel mentions hearing that Schmitzer suffered an eye injury early in the war, and Schmitzer responds that he’s grateful to Kycilia for letting him be a unit commander. Rommel thinks that would be hard to accept, and Schmitzer comments that his dream is to turn his young soldiers into officers, but he doesn’t know if that’s possible now. Rommel raises a beer in toast and vows to fight until the bitter end in the name of the Zabis and Zeon. Rommel questions Schmitzer’s silence, and Schmitzer explains that he’s fighting for the freedom of all Spacenoids, not the Zeon or the Zabis. Rommel laughs and says that even if they think about things differently, they have the same fighting spirit. A battalion of EFF mobile suits and tanks enters visual range and surrounds the Zeon base. The EFF announces on a loudspeaker that the Earth Federation and Republic of Zeon signed an armistice on January 1, so they should surrender. Rommel doesn’t want to believe it, but news comes in that Gihren and Kycilia are dead. Schmitzer’s soldiers ask for orders, and he tells them to launch.

 

Sandra reports to Schmitzer that she couldn’t visually assess the EFF’s numbers, but she was able to analyze the topography. Rommel prepares to launch in his Dwadge and tells Schmitzer that he doesn’t believe this news about peace. Schmitzer asks Migaki for a rundown of the unit’s battle strength, and Migaki notes that they have Lou in a Gouf, Matt Austin in a Zaku I, Sophie in a Dom Tropen, Renchef in a captured GM, Charlotte in a Zaku II F2 and Nicki in a Zaku II, with all units operating at 70 percent power. Schmitzer sees that this is the final destination of their losing fight. An EFF Hover Truck repeats the surrender demand and is destroyed by a bazooka blast from Rommel, who declares that he’ll never surrender. The EFF commander aboard the Mini Tray orders a counterattack, and Schmitzer reminds his unit not to chase the enemy too far. The Zeon forces suffer heavy damage, and Rommel reluctantly issues an order to retreat. As the Zeon forces fall back, Schmitzer asks for a status report and is informed that Charlotte’s Zaku went down, but she survived. Matt thinks it’s odd that the EFF surrounded them but didn’t seem desperate to fight, and Schmitzer wonders if the war really is over. During an argument about the retreat, Schmitzer volunteers to have the Midnight Fenrir Corps stay behind and cover everyone else. Schmitzer asks Rommel if he intends to fight to the death, and Rommel answers that he will. Rommel wishes Schmitzer good luck and tells him not to throw away the lives of his soldiers. Agar asks the EFF commander if he can initiate a temporary cease fire and let Agar try to negotiate a Zeon surrender. The commander wonders if they’ll respond, and Agar answers that he came all this way for this. Agar explains that he’s fought the Midnight Fenrir many times, so much so that they feel like comrades even though they’re the enemy. Agar takes off in a Fanfan with the weapons sealed and heads for the Zeon base.

 

In July UC 0077, Zeon dispatches mobile suits to Side 6 to aid revolutionaries. In Zum City, pilot Gadem talks to mechanic Gordan about his first mobile suit battle and comments that it wasn’t even a fight because the enemy instantly surrendered. Gadem wonders what the point of mobile suits is if there’s no fighting, and Gordan says that they’re going to change the face of war forever. Gordan was involved in the development of the Zaku I, and he thinks the age of mobile suits will begin in earnest when the Zaku II enters mass production next year. Gadem asks Gordan if he’s going home with his time off, and Gordan mentions that his son had a baby at the Quintzem Colony. Gadem thinks they need to stand up against Spacenoid discrimination, and Gordan says that’s why he’s going back home now before they’re at war with Earth. Gadem understands the sentiment, and Gordan talks about how nice the town is, and how his house is located next to the embassy’s bell tower and has a nice garden. In October UC 0078, the Zeon military is reorganized into the Space Attack Force and Mobile Assault Force. An officer named La Coque informs Gadem that Dozle has recommended he captain a supply ship. Before the transfer orders come in, La Coque wants Gadem to go to Quintzem and deal with a rumored coup that is being planned against the Zabis. Gadem has a bad feeling about things and thinks of Gordan. An anti-Zabi faction initiates a coup in Quintzem and is met with heavy resistance from the Zeon. Fighting through the city in his Zaku, Gadem encounters a destroyed house with a garden next to the embassy’s bell tower. An enemy tank fires at Gadem while he’s stopped, but he destroys it with his heat hawk. He then announces to the resistance forces that he doesn’t want to fight anymore and asks them to surrender. Later, Gadem visits Gordan’s grave and vows that he will carry into battle the mobile suits that Gordan helped to create. When war breaks out in January UC 0079, Gadem captains a Papua supply ship.

 

Commentary

 

Gundam Legacy starts off with a tour of UC conflicts, featuring stories set before, during and after the One Year War. The first chapter is mostly introductory in nature and outlines how mobile suits changed warfare. It shows Revil's capture and eventual escape, which is later depicted in the OVA adaptation of Gundam: The Origin. The second chapter starts at the end of the Blue Destiny game story and provides a sort of epilogue showing that Yuu continued on as a pilot until Char's Rebellion. It's interesting that he was one of the many pilots who was part of the Axis Shock, but piloting a Jegan is definitely a step down from his time in a Gundam during the One Year War. The next three chapters form one story focusing on the Midnight Fenrir Corps from the PS2 game Zeonic Front. As the war winds down, they come into contact with Rommel, first seen in Gundam ZZ continuing his pointless struggle eight years after the war's end. The team's frequent nemesis Agar appears and tries to negotiate their surrender after the war, but the story ends without any definitive resolution. The final chapter switches focus to before the war and stars Gadem, a minor character who appeared in an early episode of the original series and foolishly tried to fight Amuro with an unarmed Zaku I. It is, of course, a sad story, but it provides some insight into why he later risked everything to get Char his mobile suits, at the eventual cost of his own life.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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