Mamerto Adan is an engineer by profession, but a writer by night. He loves toys and knives. He also has a martial arts background.
Not sure if I’m writing this out of annoyance to the IBO fandom, or the topic is an interesting subject to discuss. Or may be both. But the reputed invincibility of the featured armor in the IBO universe became a common post in various groups. If that’s the case, it might be worth exploring. But before I move on, I was forewarned by my friends that I will trigger nerves, coming from the IBO fandom. Who cares! They could always scroll down if they want, as everything you will see here is just my opinion.
To begin with, despite being labeled as a Real Robot genre, a lot of the elements in Gundam franchise are not that real. In fact, the concept of a manned giant robot is awkward to apply in real life (at least in our present technology), while the technologies being utilized seemed to be exaggerated.
Even the pilots.
Yes, I’m looking at you dear Kira Yamato. But then again, the Gundam franchise is science fiction. It uses basic science, but still a fiction. If that’s the case, a type of armor material in Iron Blooded Orphan series was being embraced by some fans as the best there is, almost indestructible. The Nanolaminate armor is always being paraded in social media groups, up to a point when it becomes annoying. Beam weapons, from rifles to sabers are the primary arsenals in the Gundam universe. And Nanolaminate armors were said to be resistant to beam weapons. That made the IBO suits the best in the Gundam universe.
Yes and No.
Yes, it could beat beam weapons, but the Gundam universe has a lot of exotic arsenals that could defeat NLA. I scanned the Gundam franchise for such weapons, and I compiled several examples below. And there are more lurking in the Gundam world.
Before we move on, let’s explore how the NLA works. Thank goodness that I don’t need to scrape the dark corners of the internet to get answers. Fandom Wikis will tell you all you need to know, and according to them, Nanolaminate is basically paint that reacts to Ahab particles. And when it did, it forms a defensive layer of molecular arrangement which could render beam weapons ineffective. It could also handle impacts, hence provide protection against solid projectile as well. Range firearms won’t work, as well as some traditional Gundam weapons like beam rifles and beam sabers.
But as what I have seen in my day job as an engineer, any coatings will eventually peel off through repeated usage. Indeed, the Wikis explained that although it will stop solid projectile, repeated impact will shave small portion of NLA, while Napalm missiles could melt the said protection.
The NLA is the reason why IBO suits resort mostly to blunt weapons to kill each other, but using the info we got, we could now come up with the arsenals that could beat the IBO armor.
Again, this is just an opinion based on my understanding and people might disagree.
The Gatling Gun
When we say Gatling Gun in the Gundam world, Gundam Heavyarms (and the rest of the variants) entered our minds. But Gatling Guns are also being used by other suits, like the Full Armor Unicorn Gundam and the Gouf Custom. But one thing is for sure, these guys could pose a threat to Barbatos and its NLA. If we will consider how shots will periodically wear an NRA, then a wall of projectiles will scrape it off until the bare metal becomes vulnerable. Plus, the IBO suits sport an exposed midsection, and everyone knows that the center of mass is an easy spot to shoot. Stray shots missing the armored chest may end up in the unarmored belly.
High Energy Beam Weapons
Extreme heat will melt NLA, but the other Gundams from alternate timelines never had Napalm. They got high energy beam weapons. Basically, those are beam rifle on steroids and made for mass murder.
And the suits look amazing with those big guns.
The Wing Zero, Buster Gundam, Gundam Double X, and the Hi Nu Gundam (with that Hyper Mega Bazooka Launcher) were a few examples. Seeing them fire their weapons to blow platoons of enemy suits, battleships and a whole colony makes for a spectacular show. I mean the widespread destruction was what drew me to Gundam Wing. And to answer the question if NLA could stop high output beams, well the answer is no. The heat being produce is way above what the NLA could take, plus the armor has no insulation. The pilot will be roasted alive even with the armor remaining intact.
Gundam SEED/SEED Destiny might not appeal to most people, but we got to admit that the suits (and the girls) are what kept us from missing an episode. The suit designs and gimmicks are simply awesome! The anti-ship sword is my favorite weapon here, which is basically a combination of beam weapon and a solid tip. Ideal for hacking enemy mobile suits, sinking ships, and beating the hell out of Barbatos. The beam edge won’t do the trick, but the solid tip will. In fact, even with the beam edge being deactivated, the Anti-ship sword is still a formidable weapon, though it never worked on Kira Yamato.
A lot of Gundam Wing Weapons
If beam projectiles and blades were ineffective against NLA, then the suits of IBO should not stray in the Gundam Wing universe. It seems that some of the weapons here were made specially to beat the NLA. Aside from Gundam Heavyarms’ Gatling Gun and the Wing Gundam/Wing Zero’s buster rifle, the typical loadout for Wing Gundam mobile suits include non-beam weapons. Gundam Sandrock sports heat shotels while Shenlong/Altron Gundam has an extendable battering ram (the Dragon Arm), not to mention a flame thrower. And if the Gundam Epyon’s oversized beam sword won’t do the deed, the heat rod will.
This isn’t debatable. Even without the GN Particles, a large switchblade will find its home in the IBO universe. Mikazuki used the longsword of the Barbatos to aim for gaps in the armor, then the same could be accomplished with that giant folder. We could then say that Setsuna’s Gundam Exia, Gundam 00 or Gundam Qan[T] could outmatched Barbatos, but then the Gundam 00 series was nearly a Super Robot. We could only imagine what the Trans-Am could do.
While Setsuna thinks he is a Gundam
No debating here. You want blunt weapon, then Gramps had a spiked ball suspended on a chain. End of the story. And Gramps isn’t the only one who owned a flail. Bolt Gundam and Raider Gundam loves to flatten stuffs with theirs’.
Gundam G Finishing Moves
Please don't ask us why.
And There is More
In theory, the funnel system could defeat an IBO suit by simply flying towards the exposed core and blasting it. And who knows what another weapon exists in the Gundam world that could beat the NLS. One thing is for sure here, NLA is not the indestructible armor that the IBO fans embraced. Like all the Gundam weapon system regardless of the series, it’s flawed