- This article is about the (non-canonical) original Gausszilla, which was designed as a joke. For the (canonical) variant of the Annihilator known as "Gausszilla", see Annihilator#Custom Variants.
It was designed by Bryan Nystul, then the BattleTech Line Developer for FASA. With the notion that FASA must never publish the design he passed it around for laughs during a "Trial of Grievance" game at the FASA office against Camille Klein which she had issued over the BattleTech Cartoon series in 1995. However, contrary to popular belief, he did not use it as a playing piece in the actual trial; both Bryan Nystul and Camille Klein fielded a star of regular Clan 'Mechs during the boardgame session.
As a nod to Nystul's design, Historical: Operation Klondike, published in 2010, mentioned a canonical variant of the Annihilator going by the name of Gausszilla; its official record sheet can be found in Record Sheets: Operation Klondike. It should be noted though that this design differs from the original Gauszilla.
The original Gausszilla was described as a Clan (Level 2) technology 100-ton BattleMech with a class 200 standard engine, Endo-Steel structure, 10 regular heat sinks, 11.5 tons of regular armor, 5 gauss rifles with 9 tons of ammunition between them, and an ER Medium Laser as a secondary weapon.
The original Gausszilla almost certainly did not have an associated image. For reasons unknown, its visual appearance is now usually associated with the Stone Rhino (Behemoth) on various internet sites.
Although it is a legal design under the construction rules, the original Gausszilla was explicitly designed as a joke and was never intended to be canonical in the sense of an existing item within the BattleTech universe.
The Gausszilla from Historical: Operation Klondike, on the other hand, is fully canonical; see Annihilator#Custom Variants. It differs from the original Gauszilla as described above in that it has more armor (14 tons instead of 11.5), double heat sinks, 8 tons of ammunition, and no secondary weapons.
- Bryan Nystul allegedly said that the Gausszilla must not ever be made canonical, and that it would never be published as a canonical design under FASA's reign. This came to pass; FASA gave up the BattleTech IP in 2001. When a slightly different Gausszilla was canonized as a unique modified Annihilator fifteen years later in 2010, the rights were held by Topps and licensed to Catalyst Game Labs via InMediaRes. By that time, Bryan Nystul did not work for BattleTech anymore.
- The MechForce Germany produced a HeavyMetal Pro stats file for the Gausszilla
- Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 57
- MFG record sheets download section
- rec.games.mecha thread about the Trial and its outcome, mentioning the Gausszilla stats (during turn 5)