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Another concept central to the world of Gundam, especially the Universal Century saga (as opposed to alternate worlds such as X, Wing, or G) is that of the Newtype.

The term "Newtype" was coined by Zeon Sum Daikun, the philosopher and spacenoid-rights activist most famous for founding the Republic of Zeon, later to be hijacked by the Zabi family and renamed the Principality of Zeon. Daikun predicted that, as humankind left the sheltering pull of Earth's gravity, the stresses of space travel would bring about the appearance of a new breed of humans - the Newtype. Daikun theorized that Newtypes would have increased powers of perception and empathy, bordering on ESP. His Newtype theory was largely ignored in favor of his revolutionary politics; however, after his assassination in the Zabi coup and the beginning of the One Year War, the appearance of incredibly skilled ace pilots such as "Red Comet" Char Aznable would prompt speculation. While Zeon head general Gihren Zabi saw the Newtype theory as a doctrine of Spacenoid genetic superiority, his sister Kishiria, general of the Earth Attack and Mobile Assault forces, decided to encourage more legitimate scientific research.

The Newtype Research Institute, also known as the Flanagan Agency, was founded in June of 0079 by Dr. Anton Flanagan under Kishiria Zabi's supervision. The Institute confirmed the existence of Newtypes in its first group of patients, who exhibited extraordinary reflexes and a limited ability to sense the presence and emotions of other people. Furthermore, the Flanagan Institute was able to develop a way of detecting the source of these abilities. Its research revealed that the human brain produces another type of radiation in addition to normal electrical brainwaves, which Flanagan dubbed "psyco-waves." The Institute's Newtype subjects were unusually sensitive to these waves, as well as producing unusually strong psycho-waves of their own. With the One Year War in full swing, the Institute rushed to develop a way to make these findings work in a military setting.

In October of 0079 the Flanagan Agency put the finishing touches on the "killer app" for Newtype research. The psycommu system, short for psychic communicator, receives a subject's psycho waves and interprets them as computer commands, thus allowing a Newtype to control a mobile weapon with extraordinary precision by the power of thought alone (though in practice this system almost always served to supplement normal physical controls). However, the enormous detector apparatus necessary to receive the pilot's ethereal psycho waves precludes the system's use in any but the largest of mobile weapons. The first weapon to be fielded using this system was the MAN-03 Braubro, which allowed the pilot to remote-control several wire-guided gun turrets, which could attack targets outside of visual range from several directions simultaneously. The MAN-08 Elmeth improved on this system, controlling self-powered drones called "bits" not by wire-transmitted computer command, but by the Newtype's own amplified and re-broadcast psyco waves. Though this system allowed a single pilot to control multiple beam cannons at long range without Minovsky interference, its use was restricted to the few Newtypes powerful enough to control it.

After the end of the One Year War, the scientists of the Flanagan Agency were absorbed up into the Titans' Newtype Labs, established in 0082. While these labs included such diverse sites as Japan's Murasame Labs and Canada's Augusta Labs, they functioned as a unit, exchanging data and research subjects. It was the Murasame Labs which first developed the technique of creating artificial Newtypes, also known as "strengthened humans." These unfortunates were subjected to a variety of physical and psychological tortures that left them with superhuman strength, endurance, and Newtype abilities, while destroying their memories and mental stability. The Titans' Newtype Labs also produced a psyco-control system that allowed a Newtype to control a mobile suit like a giant bit, but it was only put into use once, in the Psyco Gundam.

In an attempt to make better use of his Newtype powers, AEUG ace pilot and electronics whiz Camille Vidan, working with the lunar-based Anaheim Electronics, developed a compact but inefficient psycommu system called the bio-sensor. This system, installed in the prototype Zeta Gundam, allowed Camille to control his mobile suit with even greater precision, but was not powerful enough to allow him to use bits. The notoriously fickle Anaheim later leaked the technology to the charismatic would-be conqueror Paptimus Scirocco, who used it in his personal mobile suit, The O.

The Axis faction of Zeon remnants, which had been hiding in the asteroid belt since the end of the One Year War, was also developing miniaturized Newtype weaponry. Returning to the Earth Sphere during the AEUG-vs.-Titans conflict of 0087, Axis surprised everyone with their military might. Contributing greatly to this was Regent Haman Khan's personal mobile suit, the Quebely, which sported the world's first true miniaturized psycommu system. This allowed her to use new drone weapons called "funnels." Consisting of a beam cannon and thrusters powered by e-caps, the funnels acted as virtual wingmen for the Quebely, launching to perform all-range attacks on her foes, returning to recharge from the Quebely's reactor, and re-entering the fray.

After the defeat of the Titans and the reabsorption of the AEUG into the Earth Federal Forces, the Federation's Newtype lab in Augusta finally produced something other than damaged-goods psychics. Their quasi-psycommu system actively scanned the pilot's brain for commands, allowing oldtypes to use Newtype weapons, if to a limited extent. This system is implemented in both the Super Gundam and the Axis MS Doven Wolf.

The final [advancement in Newtype weaponry of the first Universal Century is the psyco-frame, developed by One Year War veteran and revolutionary leader Char Aznable in conjunction with Anaheim Electronics. This revolutionary frame surrounded the pilot's cockpit with thousands of miniaturized psycommu receptors, boosting his Newtype powers enormously. The technology was leaked, at Char's insistence, to the Federation's Londo Bell taskforce, and thus found its way into both Char's Sazabi and his perennial foe Amuro's Nu Gundam.

Though little Newtype research was performed in the 60 peaceful years following Char's rebellion, a few advances were made. The Federation's Strategic Naval Research Institute (SNRI) developed a device called the bio-computer which fed combat data directly from the mobile suit's sensors into the pilot's brain, and the Crossbone Vanguard refined psycommu technology to the extent that some of its mobile weapons had no physical controls at all.

The final terrible evolution of Newtype weaponry came in UC 0153, in the form of the Zanscare Empire's Angel Halo device. A weapon consisting of several concentric rings almost the size of a space colony, Angel Halo gathered and amplified the psyco-waves of over 20000 people, and placed that power in the hands of a single Newtype operator, who could brainwash or slaughter entire populations with a thought.

Although Newtypes are never mentioned by name in any of the alternate universe stories, to my mind Gundam Wing's Quattre Rebibah Winner, with his spacey attitude and unjustifiable statements about other pilots' emotions, acts a lot like a UC-continuity Newtype. And anti-hero Heero Yuiy, with his intense physical and psychological training and resulting flat affect, is strongly reminiscent of the strengthened humans from Zeta Gundam. Finally, the Zero System incorporated in the Wing Zero and the Epyon is similar to the psyco-control system of the Psyco Gundam (in that it forces the pilot to fight) and the bio-sensor of the Z-Gundam, ZZ-Gundam, and The O. It seems that the Gundam franchise is stuck with the Newtype concept forever], even in its alternate universe storylines.

Newtypes of note include longtime Gundam pilot Amuro Ray, spacenoid freedom-fighter Char Aznable, short-tempered Z-Gundam pilot Camille Vidan, and charismatic Jupitoris captain Paptimus Scirocco.

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