The 1980s were a golden time for giant robot fans. While the number of Super Robot shows decreased, the rise of the Real Robot subgenre that debuted in 1979 with Mobile Suit Gundam exploded in earnest with Super Dimension Fortress Macross in 1982. That series's signature mecha, the VF-1 Valkyrie, is famous for being a Real Robot with three modes: Fighter, GERWALK, Battroid. That middle word is in all-caps because it's an acronymn, and the Macross franchise isn't the only mecha property to use it.
...Ground Effective Reinforcement of Winged Armament with Locomotive Knee-joint. The GERWALK form allows flight, VTOL (vertical take off and landing) and walking on the ground., and this quality came out in full force in the studio's second "Super Dimension" series: Super Dimension Century Orguss
Orguss heavily features GERWALK mecha designs, as noted at GEARS Online's collection of imagery from the series and its concept artwork. Though not mentioned explicitly, there is one big reason for why GERWALK style mecha are so prominent in this setting: they are cheap as hell to construct.
Why? Because GERWALK is one step away from BattleTech's paradigm of Mech-as-Walking-Tank; put a cockpit and an engine in a box, bolt on a pair of legs, and GO! There is no need even for the expedient of allowing the legs to fold back and make the mech have a Fighter mode- something Macross did with the Zentran Reguld Battle Pod. The Crusher Joe movie (one of BattleTech's image sources) also had such a mech.
But the concept didn't stop with Orguss. While the name went away, the idea matured a little more with the production of Aku Daisakusen Srungle While the title mech, a true transformable super robot, only uses that mode part of the time the pilots at its controls use GERWALK mecha ("Trekkers") when outside of the hero unit. The enemies, naturally, have their own; it's the last time GERWALK style mecha get so prominent a display for a long time after that show's conclusion.
Not that they'll ever be gone for long. I'm not the only one to notice how cheap and easy GERWALK mecha are, which makes them ideal mook mecha across the board. It's what I'm doing with my own Star Knight Saga, and I'm not skimping on the easy transition to flight mode.
Hell, even Uncle George noticed back in the days with the AT-ST and the AT-PT (the latter for the prequels, and one of the more interesting personal-scale mechanical designs). So yeah, I'm giving GERWALK its due- and that includes the word itself (and what it stands for); I'm adding this to the setting bible, including its real--Real World--origins. I'm writing my stories in part as loving homage, so why not give some overlooked ideas some time to shine?
If you're looking forward to seeing the GERWALK return, then watch out for my IndieGoGo campaign to crowdfund Star Knight's first entry, coming soon.