Black Zero (ブラックゼロ Burakku Zero), also known as ??? in Mega Man X8 and referred to as Nightshade Zero on the box of a figure by Jazwares, is an upgrade for Zero that appears in most of the Mega Man X series games. It is similar to X's Ultimate Armor in that it is usually accessible by a secret code, save for Mega Man X: Command Mission where it is used as his Hyper Mode. Except for Command Mission, this armor is never actually named in-game, and cannot be unequipped in Mega Man X4-X6 once received.
The effects of the Black Zero enhancement are not consistent throughout the games it appears in. In its first appearance in Mega Man X4, it is simply aesthetic and has no effect on his combat abilities. In Mega Man X5 and X6, it enhances his defense and saber power, and also adds 50% to Zero's weapon energy, like all of X's armors in these games do. However, three power-up parts will be automatically added for the black armor in both games, even if the player has not obtained them yet:
- In Mega Man X5, Black Zero has Shock Buffer (Damage and stun are reduced by half), Shot Eraser (Z-Saber can destroy enemies' energy shots akin to Tenkuuha) and Virus Buster (Z-Saber can destroy Sigma Virus drones).
- In Mega Man X6, Black Zero's Virus Buster is replaced by Z-Saber Plus (damage per Z-Saber slash is increased). This replacement is due to the game's absence of Sigma Virus and Zero Virus drones.
- In Mega Man X8, it doubles Zero's dash speed and distance, doubles the damage power of his weapons, but halves his defense as a tradeoff.
- In Mega Man X: Command Mission, it doubles his attack power, increases his speed by 1.5, bumps up his WE gain per turn by 25% and cuts his fire damage to 75%, but has an extremely short number of usable turns without using Build Hypers.
Refer to the table below for codes used to gain use of Black Zero. The codes are listed with the button pressed and the number of times pressed next to it. In Mega Man X4 and X5, highlight Zero on the Character Select screen and enter the codes. In Mega Man X6 and X8, highlight Game Start, complete the sequence of buttons, and press Start. While there is no way of knowing if the code is completed in X4 until the opening stage is accessed, in X5 and X6 a sound clip is heard if entered correctly, while a sound clip of Zero is used for X8.
|Mega Man X4||
R+(→, →, →, →, →, →), B+START (SAT)
R+(→, →, →, →, →, →), X+START (NGC)
R+(→, →, →, →, →, →), B+START (+) (NS)
RB+(→, →, →, →, →, →), B+START (Xbox One/Steam)
|Mega Man X5|
|Mega Man X6||
L, L, L, R (NGC)
S, S, S, B (PC)
L, L, L, ZR (NS)
LB, LB, LB, RT (Xbox One/Steam with Controller)
D, D, D, V (Steam with Keyboard)
|Mega Man X8||, , , , , , , (PS2 & PS4)
L, L, R, R, L, L, L, L (NS)
LB, LB, RB, RB, LB, LB, LB, LB (Xbox One/Steam)
- In Mega Man X5, there is a way to receive the Black Zero enhancement without using a code. In the third Zero Space stage, there is a vertical shaft that leads to a capsule. Enter the capsule as Zero to enhance him into Black Zero (alternately, X can enter a similar capsule in the same area to obtain his Ultimate Armor). According to the conversation that Zero has with Dr. Light, he (Light) says he wasn't able to create any armor for Zero, but he is able to enhance his abilities. Zero is welcome to either take it or leave it, though Zero claims he doesn't need any upgrades. The Black Zero's enhanced saber can destroy energy shots (even Ultimate Armor X's Charge Shot).
- In Mega Man X8, the player must redeem all of Zero's available power-up chips and complete the game to save into a New Game Plus, by which the final power-up chip will be made available (Sigma Blade). Once that final power-up chip is redeemed, Black Zero will be made available immediately for selection. Black Zero will show up as "???" in the character selection screen when made available. But unlike previous games where Black Zero will override the Normal Zero, this game can still allow the player to select Normal Zero even if Black Zero has been unlocked. This method is the only method available for the PC version of the game where pressing codes on the title screen will not work unless a controller is used.
- "Sigma, you should have studied the blueprints closer! There is only one Zero!"
- ―Zero, after destroying his copy, Mega Man X2
The Black Zero armor is most likely a reference to the fake Zero that appeared briefly in Mega Man X2, where if X collected all three of Zero's parts from the X-Hunters, a Zero created by Sigma appears in the last stage, and Sigma tries to convince X that he is the real Zero. The fake Zero has the same black-hued armor as Black Zero, but with gray hair and a red forehead gem. He is destroyed by the real Zero shortly after his appearance. If the game is completed without collecting all of Zero's parts, a black Zero will appear after the credits and reveal the Capcom logo.
The fake Zero appeared as a secret boss in the game's mobile phone port, which was only released in Japan. After completing the game in Free Mode, he appears in the X-Hunter room from the Central Computer Stage in Ranking Mode. He fights in the same way as the original Zero, being only a palette swap. He teleports away after he's defeated.
The false Zero also had a cameo appearance in Mega Man X5's opening scene, as the secret boss from the X Special World in Rockman Xover, and as one of the stamps in the manga cassette from Rockman X3 Buster Battle.
- Black Zero is a playable character in Mega Man X DiVE. His active skills are Raikousen and C-Flasher.
- The Black Zero palette was included as a skin for Zero in TEPPEN.
- Black Zero appeared as an event character in the Japanese version of Zombie Cafe.
- In Dragon Poker, Zero is an event character with a split evolution, being able to evolve to Black Zero. Also, Black Zero (original) appeared alongside Neo Sigma in the Rockman X2 event stages, representing the fake Zero.
- Black Zero appeared as an event character in Bouken Dig Dig 2.
- Black Zero appeared as a skin for Zero in Elemental Story.
- Black Zero appeared as an event character in Tower of Saviors.
- Black Zero appeared as a skin for Zero in Shironeko Project.
- During the X Challenge, if the player defeats Ultimate Armor X in Chapter 9-4, Awakened Zero transforms into Black Zero. As a boss, Black Zero uses techniques Zero had obtained from X4 to X6 and his saber's attacks have also been changed to purple to reflect his armor change. He is able to perform a Ryuenjin-Hyouretsuzan combo or a Kuuenzan-Rakukojin combo that leaves a metal anchor in the stage or an E-Blade-Kuuenzan-Quake Blazer combo that causes a small lingering explosion. Zero also has a small range Rekkoha and can jump wildly from wall-to-wall whilst performing multiple Kuuenzan and ending with Hyouretsuzan. Despite the arena not having a visible ceiling, Zero can still perform Hyoroga.
In the Rockman X2 manga, the X-Hunters successfully revive Zero after exhuming his inactive remains from an underground lab where Dr. Cain had stored him following his sacrifice in the first war against Sigma. In order to control him, the X-Hunters installed a Σ Chip within his helmet, which had the side effect of changing his armor black, resembling the fake Zero. Despite being under their control and looking to destroy X, Zero's rebellious personality still asserted itself, causing him to destroy Serges after being ordered to fight. Although Zero briefly managed to regain clarity during his fight with X, he soon returned to his brainwashed state, resuming the fight until X managed to destroy the Σ Chip, freeing him from Sigma's control and restoring his armor back to red.
Bandai released two versions of the black armor as part of its Mega Armor model kit series. The original release, a black-colored version of the Zero model kit, was packaged both as an individual figure and in a 4-armor "Double Impact" set along with a base body that included hot-purple limbs, a smirking face with red eyes, a green forehead gem, blue hair/saber parts and deep purple decals, a color scheme seen nowhere else. Other Black Zero armor was later released as an individual figure, featuring black limbs, a blue-eyed non-smirking face, brown hair/saber parts, as well as the original Zero model kit's silver and gold decals.
Jazwares released an action figure of Zero sporting the upgrade in 2004. It came in two sizes, and was referred to as "Nightshade Zero" on the box.
A black recolor of the "Zero Type 2" D-Arts figure was released in 2013 as a limited edition release.
- A form similar to the Black Zero upgrade appears in Mega Man Zero 2, called the Proto Form. Both have black color schemes, and both have similar effects when equipped.
- In Mega Man X6, the Black Zero enhancement was intended to be accessible without use of the code by defeating the Zero Nightmare when it is at level 4. However, because of a design oversight, this isn't possible, as bosses will only be at level 4 when the PA rank is achieved, which requires 5000 Nightmare Souls. As one way to unlock the endgame is to collect 3000 Nightmare Souls and since unlocking the endgame prevents the player from fighting Zero Nightmare and High Max if they have not yet done so, obtaining the Black Zero enhancement without the use of codes in Mega Man X6 is thus impossible. Despite this design oversight, the Black Zero enhancement is still coded to be rewarded to players that beat Zero Nightmare when it is at level 4. This can be achieved through cheating devices such as GameShark (The NTSC version of the code to fight Zero Nightmare and other bosses at level 4 is 300CCF5F 0003)
- It is worth noting that there is no special text or notification if the player achieves the enhancement through the latter method.
- In Mega Man X4, Zero was actually going to have his own Ultimate Armor, known as "Mega Armor", instead of his Black Zero recolor. The designer of the original X's Ultimate Armor said, "The truth is, Zero was going to have a Mega Armor, too. For various circumstances, we wound up with just X this time. You want to know what his Mega Armor would have been like? Well, it has to do with Zero’s connection to W… actually, I’m not allowed to say any more than that. But, at least I can show you the rough design. I hope that sometime it will see the light of day. That’s all for now! Enjoy Rockman X4!"
- In Mega Man X5, Dr. Light's capsule for the Black Zero upgrade is the only time a capsule takes immediate affect. For the majority of the game, Dr. Light's capsules issues only data programs for enhancements, specifically when processing X's armor program.
- In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, when Zero is facing himself he will say, "Another soulless copy," which is most likely a reference to the fake Zero and Zero Nightmare.
- Zero's black armor also shares a resemblance to Bass from the classic Mega Man series, with a black primary color, grey soft armor and yellow highlights and hair.
|Mega Man X Series Armors and Power-ups|
|Armor Parts (Mega Man X) • Armor Parts (Mega Man X2) • Armor Parts (Mega Man X3) • Fourth Armor • Falcon Armor • Gaea Armor|
Blade Armor • Shadow Armor • Glide Armor • Neutral Armor (Icarus Armor • Hermes Armor) • Ultimate Armor • Ultimate Armor (CM)
|Black Zero • Absolute Zero • White Axl|
|Rockman X Mega Mission armors|
|Clear Armor • Replicapture • Energy Armor • Neo Armor • Giga Armor • iX Armor • R-iX Armor|
|X's armors • Zero's Forms • Hyper Mode|