Mobile Suit Gundam: Cross Dimension 0080
Mobile Suit Gundam: Cross Dimension 0079, a sort of turn-based strategy RPG released for the Super Nintendo in 1995, followed the main story of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series, allowing the player to control the RX-78-2 Gundam and other mobile suits of White Base through the major battles of the One Year War. Moreover, completing the main portion of the game unlocked several extra levels containing an additional story arc, featuring new characters and mobile suits.
The game was only available in Japanese until a fan-made English patch was produced by translation group Aeon Genesis. (The ROM, along with a SNES emulator, may be easily found online, and the English patch may be downloaded here.)
In short, inspired by this bit of additional plot, I began writing a comic, to be illustrated using the game's original graphics, to tell a new original story picking up where the game left off. Almost two years after beginning the project while I was still in Taiwan, I am at last proud to present Cross Dimension 0080: Lingering Embers.
To read the comic, which will be released chapter by chapter on a weekly basis, click here, or on the image above.
The comic presumes familiarity with the original story told through levels 15–20 of the game. Be warned that this comic thus contains spoilers. I strongly advise all readers to consider playing Cross Dimension 0079 before reading this comic. However, as that is something of a troublesome undertaking, readers may obtain thorough information on the game, including some details about the original story, at this fine site. The ending dialog, from which the comic picks up, may be viewed here.
Additionally, I have provided some background information below. Once again, if you're interested in playing the game yourself, beware of spoilers.
Earth Federation Force
- Major Nacht Gaddish
- Suspected as an associate of the traitor General Elran, he was demoted and reassigned as commander of the Federation's Gobi base and its Albatross Transport Team. Fleeing in the base's only Medea cargo plane, he left his subordinates to battle Zeon attackers and abandoned the prototype mobile suit he was charged to deliver to _White Base_ for use in Operation Odessa.
- Captain Bork Cry
- Originally a fighter pilot, he was the superior officer in several units, but suffered demotion on account of his tendency to disobey orders he felt ran counter to the situation at hand. A pragmatist and skilled pilot, he took control of the prototype mobile suit in the Albatross Team's care in order to defend the Gobi base against the repeated Zeon attacks which were part of Operation Desert Dragon. Though left for dead by his commanding officer, he survived the fight to single-handedly repel Zeon's Wolfgar Team, and remained on the abandoned base, bereft of his comrades.
- Sergeant Daba Soy
- Once a Hong Kong police officer, the Federation selected him as a mobile suit pilot. Sympathetic to Bork's pragmatism, he stuck with Bork despite a disinclination to disobedience. Piloting one of the Albatross Team's Guncannons, he fought alongside Bork in defense of the Gobi base until he was killed while protecting the escaping Medea transport.
- Corporal Sanah Nima
- Formerly assigned to a Federation base in the Russian countryside, he fled when Zeon attacked shortly after his arrival, and was eventually arrested for desertion. Having served his sentence, he was reassigned to the Albatross Team. He too fought for the Gobi base piloting a Guncannon, until finally laying down his life at the same time as Daba, covering the base's Medea as it took off.
Principality of Zeon
- Captain Henry Boone
- A career soldier with an exceptional military record, he once served as one of Kycilia Zabi's personal guard, but was demoted after being implicated in an anti-Zabi plot, and reassigned to the command of the Wolfgar Team, a special operations squad made up mostly of criminals assembled by Captain M'Quve. Dispatched as part of Operation Desert Dragon, Zeon's counteroffensive to disrupt the Federation's preparations for Operation Odessa in Asia, the Wolfgar Team was cut off from the rest of the terrestrial Zeon forces and left wandering the desert. Having located the Federation's Gobi base, he hoped for a chance to resupply with a raid. However, upon discovering the prototype mobile suit hidden there, he became more interested in the chance for an ultimate showdown. Attacking the already beleaguered base, he took the lives of Daba and Sanah, though all of his team members were defeated as well. Although ultimately bested by Bork, he nevertheless found satisfaction in meeting a worthy opponent.
- Sergeant Major Martin Hagar
- A friend of Henry since high school, he used to serve as a drill sergeant breaking in new recruits. However, his hard training claimed eight recruits' lives, which along with his possible connection to the conspiracy against the Zabi family cost him his position. Reassigned to the Wolfgar Team, he fought in a Zaku II equipped with a flamethrower until meeting his end at Bork's hands.
- Sergeant Saki Graham
- Unlike the rest of the Wolfgar Team, she never committed any crime, but joined the unit voluntarily after the death of her elder brother. (Rumor has it she applied to join the Ramba Ral team first, but was not admitted.) Piloting a Zaku II with a bazooka, her information analysis served Henry in coordinating the attack on the Gobi base. Although injured when Bork destroyed her mobile suit, she escaped the battle with her life. Bork found her afterward, and against her protestations took her back to the abandoned base to recuperate.
- Corporal Lester Carrot
- Though he exhibited excellent piloting skill and had a fine record in a Zeon military school, he lived the life of a murderous thief until caught and imprisoned. Though a natural-born troublemaker, Henry selected him to join the Wolfgar Team, where he piloted a Zaku II, favoring the standard 100mm machinegun. He lost his life in combat while attacking the Gobi base.
- Corporal Ray Hamilton
- Ridiculed for his effeminate appearance while attending a Zeon military academy, he sought out and murdered two men for circulating a rumor that he was homosexual. Despite his crime (or perhaps because of it), his outstanding skill as a pilot got him recruited into the Wolfgar Team. Piloting a Zaku II with some kind of cannon (probably a Zaku Cannon type), he also died fighting to capture the Gobi base.
- MS-08TX Efreet
- A high-performance close combat mobile suit somewhat akin to the MS-07 Gouf and MS-18E Kämpfer. Eight prototypes were produced, of which Wolfgar Team commander Captain Henry Boone received No. 4. Armed with a 42mm shotgun and a heat saber as well as smoke dischargers, the suit was powerful, but never mass produced. Henry's Efreet was destroyed in combat. Though the Efreet is generally better known from the manga and video game side story _The Blue Destiny_, it appeared first in _Cross Dimension 0079_.
- RX-78XX Gundam Pixie
- A prototype mobile suit assembled largely from spare parts for the RX-78-2 Gundam, much like the RX-79[G] Gundam ground type. Carrying minimal ranged weaponry (the usual 60mm vulcan guns on the head and a hand-carried 90mm sub-machinegun) the Pixie's main armament consists of a pair of beam knives, stored in the hip armor. Designed almost exclusively for close combat, the Pixie was to be delivered by the Albatross Transport Team to _White Base_ for deployment in Operation Odessa. However, cut off by Zeon's Operation Desert Dragon, the Albatross Team was unable to ship the suit from their Gobi base. Pinned down by Zeon attacks and disobeying orders to the contrary from his commanding officer, Captain Bork Cry piloted the Gundam, using its impressive close combat capabilities to great effect, almost single-handedly defeating the entire Wolfgar Team.
The comic itself, thirteen chapters in length, was made in Adobe Photoshop using SNES graphics captured from Cross Dimension 0079, with some custom sprites created based on those game graphics. It is presented in a style simulating an in-game cutscene, with a letterbox field of action with character dialog placed above or below in dialog boxes which are printed along with the appropriate character's mugshot. Work on the first frame began in January 2008, while I was still in Taiwan. The final frame was completed the following December.
The comic's original story and script are entirely a creation of my own imagination, following the implications of the open-ended conclusion of the game.
The framework through which the comic is viewed was programmed by my distant cousin and good friend Andrew Merenbach. Without his considerable help I would not have been able to realize my idea of how to present the comic as I wished. You are welcome to visit his site.
As always, I would be delighted to receive your feedback. Feel free to contact me with your comments or questions about the comic.