Unit type: close combat prototype mobile suit
Head height: 19.5meters
Base weight: 23.7 metric tons
Full weight: 42.7 metric tons
Power generator output: 3480 kW
Maximum thrust: 132500 kg
Sensor radius: 20020 meters
Armor: gundarium alloy
Equipment: Nidus System, AI back-up, psychoframe
Armament: beam rifle x 1, hand carried in use; shield x 1, mounted on either forearm; beam saber x 4, hand carried in use, stored on backpack and rear skirt recharging racks; 60mm fire-linked vulcan gun x 2, hyper bazooka x 1, hand carried in use
The NCRX-04 Gundam Schlüssel ( or "Key") is a prototype Gundam designed by New Corinth's Site B. Because New Corinth's bio-engineering labs have developed genetically enhanced, cyber-Newtypes, the Schlüssel was originally designed to be used by these Neer pilots. However, once these pilots led by the mysterious Zora Land began using their ablities to launch an apparent war of conquest with their newly formed Mandest (short for Man's Destiny) Army, New Corinth's Masada organization took the Schlüssel and it's three predecessor's to Site B in hopes of using them to stop Zora and her schemes.
The Schlüssel has much in common, design-wise, with the Rau Sperber. However, the Gundam is vastly more powerful and has systems and features the Sperber is incompatible with. Such as the Nidus System. This system allows for constant information on the mobile suit's condition and operating performance to be instantly analyzed by the machine's AI back up. Consequently, the AI can adjust systems and do damage control of the internals without the pilot needing to devote attention to it in combat. It can also receive commands from the pilot to change things as needed. The Nidus System also acts in conjunction with the pyschoframes in the Schlüssel's cockpit to allow even non-Newtypes to get the maximum performance from the machine. Nidus also allows for effects on other Newtype machines that are similar to the NT-D but without the strain on the pilot and without the NT-D's power. But, at the same time, Nidus protects the Schlüssel's systems from being hacked by other Newtype machines. Nidus can be used to remote control the MS (either by computer interface, or by the psychoframes) and with an additional component, can also make an AI imprint of the pilot to use for the back up system. Giving the machine the "personality" of it's pilot and allowing the computer to interact with others.
However, Nidus has one draw back for Newtypes. If they enter a state of psychoframe resonance there can be a negative feedback (especially if the pilot is a weaker Newtype or inexperienced). This puts such strain on the pilot that they may loose self-control and begin attacking everything in sight. This mode is called the Nidus Shift Mode and unlike the NT-D, which the pilot can fight and eventually overcome to regain mastery of the mobile suit, this is run and controlled not by the pilot but by the AI. The computer, sensing the over-charging of the psychoframes will immediately send out a counter pulse that overrides all systems and takes over the suit, using the pilot as a safety valve to prevent an "Axis Shock" from occurring. This causes the machine to go wild and is always fatal to the pilot. Nidus Shift Mode is responsible for killing the suit's first pilot Foran Myran. To prevent this from becoming an issue again, the Newtype abilities of the machine were down-scaled considerably. The machine's primary pilot, Artan Zuill though himself a Newtype and a Neer, does not engage the Gundam's Newtype features outside of aiding his reaction time. The Schlüssel has different components created for it giving it five different modes. The Basic Mode (seen here) is a standard load out, and the most common. The other's focus on heavy fire power and armor, high speed and maneuverability, atmospheric flight, and one that focuses on Newtype performance ( the least used). These alter the machine's basic appearance as well as it's abilities. The last three modes are combined in a second Schlüssel, further negating the need for this model to undergo the hassles of switching components.