Thursday, July 18, 2013

Of mind-melds and dialogues

My dorky heart got its fix of mecha overdose in the last two weeks when I watched Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim…twice. And I’m not disappointed! I enjoyed it despite its obvious Evangelionesque and trope-loving universe. Anyway, I’ll spill all my thoughts in a review later. Last night I managed to write a two-part meta about Pacific Rim’s piloting system and Gundam Wing’s ZERO system (anyone who’s lurked around long enough would have seen that coming). Read on if you know both the show and the movie, or if it colors you curious enough to scroll down. ;)

The Drift and the ZERO System

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In Pacific Rim, Jaegers are mech-titans that the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. built as the first line of defense against the amphibious monsters called Kaiju. A Jaeger is initially maneuvered by one pilot only, but the program’s scientists realized that the neural load and mental strength required to control a Jaeger was too much for a single person to handle.

In Gundam Wing, the ZERO (Zoning and Emotional Range Omitted) System is a technology that allows the pilot to interface with the mobile suit. But the ZERO system has frightening effects too: the onslaught of raw information caused by the direct brain interface is too much for the pilot, making him “hallucinate the possible paths [he] can take; as [he] tries to figure out what is going on, the system can overload the brain with too many statistics and estimated values, causing temporary insanity.” (READ MORE)

“It’s a dialogue, not a fight.”

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Drifting is a two-way mind-melding. Once you connect to a party through the neurological bridge you create, that party will be able to cross it and connect to you…whether you want it to or not (looking at you, Kaiju-lovin’ Geizler). In GW Episode 44: Go Forth, Gundam Team, Quatre masters the ZERO System to lead the other Gundam pilots in battle. They’re clashing against the mobile dolls, which are remotely controlled by Dorothy via an altered version of the ZERO. Basked in the system’s light and influence—and without any kind of clue—the leaders of the two sides realize they are fighting each other at the same time. (READ MORE).

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