"You truly did... have the soul of a hero... Go... Cross blades with Omega, and show what that body can do! Will your blade flinch after you learn the truth? Do you have what it takes... to be a hero? You must be the one to determine that!"
—Hidden Phantom, after being defeated by Zero, in Mega Man Zero 3

Hidden Phantom, or simply Phantom, is a character in the Mega Man Zero series. Phantom is the leader of the Cutting Shadow Squadron (斬影軍団 Zan'ei Gundan) with the title of Inshō Phantom (「隠将」ファントム "Inshō" Fantomu, literally "Hidden General Phantom").[1] Phantom's schematics were based on that of X's capabilities of stealth. Phantom wields giant shuriken, named Dark Cross (闇十文字 Yami Jūmonji). He is one of Copy X's Four Guardians.

Design

Like his siblings, Phantom's armor is based on that of his biological origin, X, with thematic alterations. Phantom's armor is colored black. His design is based on that of a ninja, having ninjutsu skills and making use of shuriken, kunai and katana to attack, as well as using illusions and substitutes to conceal himself. He is thus aptly named for his dark nature and ghostly movements. A white mask covers the upper half of his face, and he wears a red two-tailed cape on his back.

Phantom is the only member of the Four Guardians not to display an Armed Phenomenon form, having sacrificed himself in the first game before such transformations were revealed. Although he doesn't appear in Mega Man Zero 2, the Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works contains concept art which depicts Phantom's Armed Phenomenon form (which is a bat/wraith like form - see Gallery).

Personality

"Outdated one... You are not needed in the new world!"
—Hidden Phantom

Phantom has a calm, quiet demeanor. His major trait is his unwavering allegiance to his "Master X", displaying more loyalty than his three counterparts (none of whom were willing to sacrifice their lives in order to protect Copy X). Phantom has no mercy for those who oppose Neo Arcadia. His sacrifice may be considered admirable, despite the flawed nature of its cause.

In the Ciel's Memory drama tracks, Hidden Phantom is one of only two of the Four Guardians who is shown to be cautious of confronting the Resistance, or rather, Zero (the only other being Harpuia), even explicitly telling the others not to underestimate Zero, as he's their main enemy instead of the Resistance.

History

At some point, Phantom and the other three Guardians were cloned from X's DNA for the purpose of restoring the Earth from its polluted and devastated state after Maverick Wars and the Elf Wars. Although Fefnir, Harpuia, and Leviathan were given known purposes, including managing the clean up of the land, restoring atmospheric conditions to proper climates, the restoration of the seas, and to protect the last remnants of humans and Reploids, it is unknown what Phantom was purposed for. Upon X's disappearance, the four became the military generals of Neo Arcadia, responsible for the overall safely of its inhabitants, both humans and Reploids. Phantom became the leader of the Zan'ei Army, Neo Arcadia's stealth units and anti-Resistance intelligence unit.

Mega Man Zero

Phantom's first appearance was to fight against Zero in a factory captured by the Resistance. Zero defeated him, but Phantom turned the tables when he informed Zero that he had planted bombs all over the factory. Zero found them and disposed of them, and later defeated Phantom's closest apprentice, Hanumachine.

When Phantom confronted Zero again in Neo Arcadia's Core, he was again defeated, but this time self-destructed in hopes that his explosion would harm Zero and protect his master. Zero escaped, however, and went on to defeat Copy X. After his death, Phantom's Cyber-elf entered the Cyberspace, where he would encounter Zero in his third adventure.

Mega Man Zero 3

If Zero entered Cyberspace in the Sub Arcadia Level, a secret teleporter accessed by a certain door would appear that would lead him into a confrontation with Phantom. In Cyberspace, the world where all data is sent along with Reploids after death, Phantom learned all truths about the past. He claimed Zero never had the strength within him to be a hero. However, after being defeated by Zero, Phantom realized Zero's power and encouraged him to cross blades with Omega to prove himself once and for all.

After his battle with Zero, Phantom met up with Cyber-elf X, with whom he went to help the two guardians, Fefnir and Leviathan, who were reaching critical state from their battle with Omega earlier on in Mega Man Zero 3. X helped the two recover, as Zero started his battle with Omega, convincing them, and later Harpuia, to help Zero. Phantom didn't appear to help, due to his status as a Cyber-elf. The other Guardians were gone missing by Omega's explosion, but Zero was protected by the Dark Elf, who shielded him from the blast with her own body.

Mega Man Zero 4

Neither Phantom nor the rest of the Four Guardians appeared in this game. Tech Kraken, however, is a pupil of his, and has joined the Einherjar Eight Warriors for an opportunity to avenge Phantom.

Mega Man ZX series

Model P

Phantom reappears in Mega Man ZX as the Biometal Model P. He is still fiercely loyal to X, who became Model X. When used by Vent or Aile, Models P and X combine to become the stealth-oriented Model PX. In Mega Man ZX Advent, Biometal P is used by Siarnaq.

Other appearances

  • In Mega Man Zero 3, Phantom has a mini-game where the player needs to jump between shurikens without falling, and avoid spiked balls. If the player misses a shuriken or gets hit, they'll fall from the sky to the ground.
  • Phantom also appears in the Rockman Zero manga.
  • Phantom, along with X and the other three Guardians are depicted in an illustration viewing the descent of Ragnarok after Dr. Weil's defeat in Zero 4, from the Vile's Incident booklet included with the Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero Physis soundtrack. Interestingly, Phantom and the other Guardians, are shown with updated armors (in their Cyber-elf forms) with capes matching their armor in color, each with an X symbol on the back. In Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works, developers behind the game state that this piece is nothing more than fan art.

Powers and Abilities

As a Reploid clone of the original X, Phantom is an extremely powerful warrior in his own right. Having his design based around X's stealth capabilities, Phantom's fighting style and abilities revolve around various ninja-like arts, such as stealth, deception and misdirection which he combines with a matching set of tools such as smoke bombs, a katana-like blade and a large shuriken which can break apart into several kunai and serve as a flying platform. His EX skill makes the whole background dark and throw 4 kunai in different directions. Together with the fact that he has three health bars arguably makes Phantom one of the most difficult bosses in this game.

Attacks

  • Slash (闇駆け Yamigake, "Darkness Dash") - Phantom will dash at Zero and will try and slash him if close.
  • Clones (朧舞空蝉 Oboromai Utsusemi, "Empty Cicada of Hazy Dance") - Phantom will make four copies of himself for Zero to find. If Zero hits the wrong clone, Phantom will use Habutae (刃二重, "Dual Blade"), sticking a sword into Zero from above. If Zero hits the real, Phantom will use Hagane Hubuki (鋼吹雪, "Steel Blizzard"), throwing shuriken and kunai from above.
  • Cross Shuriken (十字手裏剣 Jūji Shuriken) - Phantom will throw a large ninja star at Zero.
    • Shuriken Ride (螺旋凶車 Rasen Kyōsha, "Spiral Assassin Wheel") - When the ninja star comes back to Phantom, he will ride on the star. Immediately after that, Phantom will use Hagane Shigure (鋼時雨, "Steel Drizzling Rain"), throwing kunai from above, eventually will use Habutae from above.
  • EX Skill: Oboromai Tsukinashi (朧舞月無, "Moonless Hazy Dance") - The entire background goes black and Phantom becomes completely invisible. Periodically he will fire kunai at Zero's position, and Zero can strike him by attacking the location from which the kunai came, which will not end the effect.
  • Mega Man Zero 3 EX Skill: Sumizome Kyuuyou (墨染九葉, "Black Dyed Nine Leaves") - During the Cyber-Space rematch in Zero 3, Phantom will disappear and reappear in the air, and throw three Makibishis on the ground that will explode upon contact with Zero. They can be destroyed. Immediately after that, Phantom will use Yomigake (黄泉駆け, "Hades Dash"), like as Slash (Yamigake).

Armed Phenomenon

The only Guardian who never displayed this ability due to his untimely demise, a piece of concept art shows that Phantom is also capable of using the Armed Phenomenon to assume a more powerful form, in his case one of a large wraith/bat-like form. The concept art also shows that he is able to aim and fire the tips of his wings as giant blades and close his wings to assume a large, kunai-like form.

Dialogue

In-Battle Quotes

Line Translation Usage
投!
(Tō!)
Throw! Throwing knives at Zero
斬!
(Zan!)
Cut! Swinging his saber during dash
裂!
(Retsu!)
Split! Creating clones
かかったな!
(Kakatta na!)
You fell for it! If Zero destroys one of his clones
滅!
(Metsu!)
Destroy! Preparing his EX skill attack
うっ!
(U'!)
Ow! Stunned by an attack
ゼロ!
(Zero!)
Zero! Self-destructing, trying to take Zero with him
今ひとたび…勝負!
(Ima hitotabi...shōbu!)
Here and now, a rematch! Pre-battle line at Cyber-Space in Mega Man Zero 3
空蝉…*
(Utsusemi...)
Empty Cicada! If Zero destroys one of his clones in Mega Man Zero 3

*This word comes from ninpou "Utsusemi no Jutsu" (空蝉の術, Empty Cicada Technique), similar to "Kawarimi no Jutsu". Moreover, "空蝉" is a variant of "現人", it means "living human in this world" or "this world itself". In addition, another variant is "現身", it means "body existing in this world" or "living body".

Gallery

Trivia

  • Even though both Mega Man X4 and Mega Man Zero have broken the tradition of defeating a boss at the end of a mission, Phantom still stands out as the only boss in the game that is fought at the very beginning of his stage. This is later carried on with Argoyle and Ugoyle in Mega Man ZX Advent.
  • Phantom is the only returning boss in Mega Man Zero 3 that is not featured in the storyline. He was fought as a secret boss instead.
  • Ironically, even though Phantom has shown himself to be one of the more noble enemies in the Zero series, the Mega Man Zero 3 database claims that he is an evil Dark Lord.
    • A plausible reason why Phantom is named an "evil lord" in his Mega Man Zero 3 Secret Disk is that Zan'ei can be translated as "Cruel Phantom", which is odd because of his nature. It is possible this was a mistranslation overseas.
  • Surprisingly, out of any of the other Guardian's divisions, members of Phantom's Zan'ei army are fought most often in the Zero series (five of them: Hanumachine, Phoenix Magnion, Burble Hekelot, Hyleg Ourobockle, and Tech Kraken), while the leader, Phantom himself, appears physically in only two games, compared to the other Guardians, who are in three.

References

  1. The idiom dictionary of Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works reveals his intended English title to be Hidden Phantom, as does Mega Man Zero Collection.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.