The Mega Man Zero series, known as Rockman Zero (ロックマンゼロ Rokkuman Zero?) in Japan, is a series in Capcom’s Mega Man video game franchise. It was developed by Inti Creates, with Co-Producer Keiji Inafune and Director Yoshinori Kawano. The series consists of four games that were first released on the Game Boy Advance and later on the Nintendo DS and the Virtual Console (Wii U).
The story plays a century after the Mega Man X storyline and follows the re-awakened Zero, who is fighting in a war between humans and Reploids. Reploids are self-conscious, human-like robots, who are oppressed by mankind due to a worldwide energy shortage. Zero, together with the human Reploid engineer Ciel, helps the Reploid resistance survive and fights against other reploids send by mankind. However, this is only the setup for the story and events change drastically throughout the series.
Similar to the Mega Man X series, the Mega Man Zero series is a two-dimensional action platform game with run and gun elements that places a heavy emphasis on memorizing boss patterns and selecting the correct weapons to use against enemies.
Unlike previous series, the stages of Mega Man Zero are inside of areas that are part of a larger map, and the player could freely explore these areas once the respective mission(s) in each area is completed. However, Mega Man Zero 2 and later entries removed this and returned to the standard format that allowed the player to select a mission from a stage select screen.
The game mechanics slightly change with every entry of the series. Zero is also given a variety of weapons to use and can level them up to unlock new abilities, although this was removed from Mega Man Zero 3 and onward as the abilities become accessible from the start of the game. Weapons that return from the Mega Man X series are Zero’s Z-Buster and his signature Z-Saber. In addition, the first 3 games also features the Shield Boomerang (which can deflect bullets or be thrown at enemies), and a Rod weapon that differs in each of the three games. The first game has the Triple Rod; a spear with an ability to extend its reach. The second game features the Chain Rod, which could be used to latch on to things and grapple across the environment. The third game introduces the Recoil Rod which could knock enemies away a great distance, move heavy obstacles, or propel high in the air when used on the ground. The fourth game removes the Rod weapons and the Shield Boomerang but instead features the Z-Knuckle, which could steal weaponry from enemies and use it as the player’s own.
A new entry to the series was the Score and Level System, which gives the player a score out of 100 and its corresponding level (which range from S, A, B, C, D, E, and F, from highest to lowest) depending on how well they performed on each mission. The number of attacks that the bosses use are reduced as Zero’s level gets lower, but it also prevents the player from obtaining each bosses’ EX Skill should Zero’s level fall to B or lower, which allows Zero to perform special high-damaging attacks with his weapons.
The series also introduces the Cyber-Elf system, which allows Zero to equip small helper beings known as “Cyber Elves” to assist him in combat. After feeding them with a certain amount of E-Crystals that are dropped by enemies, the elves can either provide permanent enhancements–such as increasing Zero’s maximum health capacity, or grant temporary benefits–such as the ability to deflect bullets for a short time. However, the score at the end of each mission will be deducted for every Cyber-Elf used.
Finally, the series implements the elemental enhancements on Zero’s weapons in every game except Mega Man Zero 4. Acting like a Rock-Paper-Scissor system, Zero gains three element chips (Fire, Ice, Thunder) that can be attached to all of his weapons and can be changed freely. Doing so adds elemental effects to his charge attacks which allows him to inflict higher damage onto bosses that are weak to a certain element, or no damage if they are immune to it.
Author: Cos Plus 3D