The MS-04 Bugu (MS-04ブグ?) is a Mobile Suit featured in the Mobile series
Suit Gundam: The Origin and in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin MSD Cucuruz Doan's Island manga, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin OVA, its TV series and Mobile Suit Discovery series design. Developed by Zeonic from the YMS-03 Waff, the tests were carried out on the Dark Colony in UC0077. In UC 0078, Ramba Ral's Bugu fought in the Battle of Mare Smythii.
The development of the Mobile Suit took a big step forward thanks to the compact fusion reactor and the fluid pulsing system designed by Dr. Torenov Y. Minovsky, which gave rise to the prototype YMS-03 Waff. The MS-04 Bugu was built using data gathered from the Waff, and it was designed with an emphasis on its mobility, maneuverability, and ease of production as a weapon, making it the first machine able to handle a real fight. To improve his mobility, the supply pipes that transmitted energy as part of the Fluid Pulse System were attached to the outside of his armor, and the increased supply of energy used to drive his limb joints gave him great maneuverability. However, as is often the case in the development of high-performance prototypes, it was designed without regard to ease of production. With its high production cost, it was not suitable for mass production, and the role of the official mass-produced machine was given to the redesigned MS-05 Zaku I. Although the Bugu never entered mass production, several units were built.
The head adopts a "mono-eye" camera system that will become iconic on the Zaku.
The Backpack was fitted with two main thrusters and had four feeder hoses connected to the chest and haunt.
- Machine Gun: Side Arm for Mobile Suit manufactured by Yashima Heavy Industrial. It fires real bullets, and was also used by a group of Ms from the Terran Federation Forces.
- Heat Hawk: A hatchet type weapon for close combat. The blade can glow a red glow from heat high enough to melt an MS's armor. The MS-05 and many other machines were also equipped with this weapon.
- Shield: A piece of defensive equipment attached to the arm. It can protect against a machine gun, but its bulletproof performance was not as strong as the "L" shaped shield of the MS-06.
Ramba Ral, personal units
Because it had better baseline performance than the mass-produced Zaku I, one of these units was given to Ramba Ral, who served as a test pilot during the development of the Mobile Suit. Painted in his personal blue colors, he participated in the battle of Mare Smythii on the lunar surface, alongside Gaia, Mash, Ortega, and Tank. Attached to the head of Ramba's MS, a blade-shaped antenna, symbolic of the commander.
Zeonic, Inc. continued development of the YMS-03 Waff prototype along with the highly refined MS-04 Bugu. To respond flexibly to close combat, the top tether has been eliminated. Instead, power pipes were attached to the outside of his armor to increase energy transmission to the fluid pulse system and improve his joint drive performance. This gave the MS-04 greater mobility and a boost of acceleration to its closest degree of perfection as a Mobile Suit. However, the MS-04 not only went over budget, it also had production and operational issues. Strategically, it was very important to be able to mass-produce weapons that provide stable performance and durability and to establish stable logistics to maintain supply and operations. In this regard, the MS-04 was not adopted for mass production.
In May, Sasha Kitz was invited to the Dark Colony where MS were being developed. Various tests had been carried out under the orders of the special operations lieutenant Cucuruz Doan. On June 23, even though checks of the MS-04 Bugu and YMS-03 Waff were to be done, the commander, Captain Yat Delma, told Doan that one of the pilots, Calden, was an industrial spy and he gave the order to "do nothing".
Although it was not adopted for mass production, it nevertheless obtained a very high reputation from the pilots, so Captain Ramba Ral made his exit in a blue MS-04 instead of an MS -05 Zaku I, the first batch for which mass production was completed, in its mission to prevent Dr. Minovsky's defection.
On the dark side of the moon, Ramba Ral in his MS-04 Bugu led the Black Tri-Stars, reaching the edge of Mare Smythii in 12 hours. Zeon took aim at the buggy, giving it the codename "rabbit".
Ramba Ral spotted the buggy. The MS-04 Bugu cranked up its main thruster to full throttle, beginning the "moon rabbit hunt". Ral asked Minovsky to come back while he and his Bugu chased the buggy. The Erdush VB102 through VB107 guns fired at the Bugu and the Black Tri-Stars, but the Bugu emerged unscathed from the explosions. The Bugu inflicted heavy damage to Erdush's chest cannon with its main gun and then crushed him. Later, Captain Ral turned his Bugu to see Gaia's Zaku I chasing a VB103 armed cannon. The success of the MS-04 in combat illustrates the effectiveness of the MS.
Did you know?
- In the manga, only the "MS-04" was mentioned. It is given the name "MS-04 Prototype Zaku" (MS-04プロトタイプザク?) in some old sources such as Mobile Suit Illustrated 2006, and the second volume of the official guide published in 2010. It received its current name "MS-04 Bugu" with the release of Eve of Destiny in 2016.
- Just as the YMS-03 Waff is named after the German word "Waffe", meaning "weapon", the Bugu was named after the Japanese word "武具" (bugu), meaning "weapons" or "armor".
- It shares its name with G-Saviour's CCMS-03 Bugu.