Gerwalk

GERWALK Ground Effective Reinforcement of Winged Armament with Locomotive Knee-Joint (gaming)
GERWALK Ground Effective Reinforcement of Winged Armament with Locomotive Knee-Joint (from Macross/Robotech)
In GERWALK (Ground Effective Reinforcement of Winged Armament with Locomotive Knee-joint) mode (called "Guardian Mode" in Robotech), the VF-1 looks like the nose and wings of a fighter plane stuck on "chicken walker" legs with two arms.[2][7] The legs are formed by the aircraft's engines and intakes, bent down and forward. The arms are stored between the engines in fighter mode and fold out to the sides, reaching around from behind the legs. In GERWALK mode, the gun pod is held by the fighter's manipulator "hands" and acts in all respects as a very large automatic rifle. This mode is the intermediate one which was originally intended to simply allow the craft to land in a combat zone with a maximum of defensive ability. However, many pilots soon realized that this mode's considerable maneuverability combined with its speed made it formidable in low level aerial combat as well as when making flanking maneuvers on the ground, and most took advantage of these characteristics for such situations. Valkyrie pilots also have the option to deploy the legs alone, leaving the arms in storage.

According to an article in Animerica magazine, the form came about partially by accident. Early in the development cycle for Macross, the creators planned a main mecha called "GA-WALK", with an ostrich-like leg configuration (similar to the enemy battle pods from the finished series). However, the idea met with resistance from the initial sponsor, which wanted a more conventional robot for the hero to pilot. When creator Shoji Kawamori designed the transforming "Breast Fighters" (later redesigned and renamed the "VF-1 Valkyrie" fighters) instead, he had no real thoughts of a third mode. But when the manufacturer Takatoku Toys sent along the prototype of a Valkyrie toy for his input, the prototype's legs were not yet locked into place in Fighter mode, causing the legs to swing down. This was reminiscent to him of the discarded "GA-WALK" mecha idea that had been shot down early in pre-production. He liked the idea, and worked to incorporate the third mode, now renamed "GERWALK," into Macross.[8] In GERWALK mode, the VF-1 has a maximum speed of 500 km/h (310 mph) flying, 100 km/h (62 mph) walking.

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