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For the video game of the same name, see Mega Man Zero (video game).

The Mega Man Zero series, known as Rockman Zero (ロックマンゼロ Rokkuman Zero) in Japan, is a video game series by Capcom and Inti Creates that debuted in 2002 on the Game Boy Advance. It is the fifth Mega Man game series released by Capcom, and the third series from the original timeline. It stars the titular Zero, who fights against the oppressive rule of the dystopic Neo Arcadia.

Premise[]

The series is a sequel to the Mega Man X series, starring the same Zero. After the Maverick Wars, another conflict called the Elf Wars ravaged the entire planet, killing 60% of all humans and 90% of all Reploids, and ended with Zero sealing himself away into a deep slumber. One century later, a girl named Ciel awakens Zero to help fight the iron-fisted rule of Neo Arcadia, which is apparently led by a tyrannical X. Zero takes up his Z-Saber again and joins Ciel's Resistance to liberate what's left of the world from his former friend.

Mega Man Zero games[]

Timeline[]

ZeroTimeline

Timeline from the Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works.

The following is a timeline of events preceding the Mega Man Zero series.

Elfwar

The Elf Wars, which directly precede the Mega Man Zero series.

  • 21XX: The Maverick Wars occur during the Mega Man X series.
  • Mega Man X6: In Zero's ending, he seals himself away so his body can be analyzed. This occurs an indefinite time after Sigma's defeat, and without the knowledge of X. The period of his sleep is planned to last 102 years.[Note 1]
  • Cyber-elf technology is discovered from Zero's body. This leads to the creation of the Mother Elf, which X uses to neutralize the Sigma Virus and end the Maverick Wars. However, Reploids retain the ability to go Maverick at will.
  • Dr. Weil proposes Project Elpizo: using the Mother Elf to create a supreme ruler of all Reploids, ensuring total subservience. X opposes the project, so Dr. Weil corrupts the Mother Elf into the Dark Elf (also creating the Baby Elves) to instigate the Elf Wars and prove the unreliability of Reploids. This four-year period kills 90% of all Reploids and 60% of all humans, leaving most of the planet barren. Dr. Weil begins Project Elpizo and uses Zero's dormant body to construct Omega, his supreme Reploid ruler. However, Zero's mind is given a new body and he is awoken to help X. Zero and X fight Weil's forces and defeat Omega with a Final Strike.[1]
  • In the aftermath of the Elf Wars, Dr. Weil is punished with a regenerative armor and exiled to suffer in the wastes. All documentation of Weil is hidden, including banishing Omega to orbit in a spacecraft. Zero seals himself away again, believing that his existence only brings chaos.[2] Meanwhile, X founds Neo Arcadia as a city-state where humans and Reploids coexist. The Four GuardiansSage Harpuia, Fighting Fefnir, Fairy Leviathan, and Hidden Phantom — are created from X's DNA to help restore the planet.
  • The Dark Elf persists, continuing to cause Mavericks. Seeing no other way to stop her, X locks the Dark Elf in Yggdrasil using his own body as a seal.
  • Ciel secretly installs Copy X, a supposedly perfect replica of X, to rule Neo Arcadia in his place. Under his rule, Neo Arcadia becomes more strict.
  • When Neo Arcadia is threatened by a serious energy shortage, Copy X begins executing innocent Reploids as Mavericks to decrease energy consumption and keep human lives comfortable. A Resistance is formed against his oppression.
  • Sometime between the Resistance's formation and Mega Man Zero 2, the Reploid TK-31 stumbles upon confidential information on Project Elpizo, and a week later is ruled Maverick by the Eight Gentle Judges. He escapes from Neo Arcadia with HE-22, a member of the Resistance. TK-31 goes to Area 7 with one Baby Elf, and changes his name to Elpizo inspired by the information he witnessed.[2]

Plot[]

Mega Man Zero[]

Neo arcadia tower

Neo Arcadia

Mega Man Zero takes place a century after the Elf Wars. Ciel and the Resistance seek the legendary hero Zero, but are pursued by Neo Arcadian forces. They find the ruins where Zero is sealed and awaken him. Zero is disturbed to learn that Reploids suffer horrific oppression at the hands of a maniacal ruler, who is none other than his former partner: X. Zero helps the Resistance fight X's forces, including the Four Guardians, to liberate the Reploids.

After Neo Arcadia attacks the Resistance Base, Ciel confesses that the ruler of Neo Arcadia is not X, but merely an imperfect replica of him created after he mysteriously disappeared. Once an energy crisis hit, this Copy X began executing Reploids in order to reduce energy consumption and preserve the humans.

Zero infiltrates Neo Arcadia, defeating the Four Guardians again and escaping Hidden Phantom's kamikaze attack. He then defeats Copy X, but almost perishes in the resulting explosion. The original X appears as a Cyber-elf, whisking him away to the wilderness, where Zero faces a never-ending army Neo Arcadian forces.

Mega Man Zero 2[]

Z2 scene11

Dark Elf and Elpizo.

One year has passed since Zero defeated Copy X. Ever since, he has wandered the desert fighting Neo Arcadians, until he falls unconscious and is miraculously returned to the Resistance. He learns that Sage Harpuia and the remaining Guardians have assumed control of Neo Arcadia in the place of Copy X. Ciel plans to focus on solving the energy crisis that first caused such tension, leaving command of the Resistance to a Reploid named Elpizo. However, Elpizo tries defeating Neo Arcadia by force, leading to the failure Operation Righteous Strike.

Afterwards, Elpizo resorts to using the Dark Elf to defeat Neo Arcadia. Using the Baby Elves, Elpizo breaks into Yggdrasil and destroys the original X's body, unleashing the Dark Elf. Zero kills Elpizo to stop him from using the Dark Elf's powers. Cyber-elf X informs Zero of the Dark Elf's original form as the Mother Elf, before she was corrupted by a man named Dr. Weil. With the Dark Elf free, a mysterious voice calls for Omega.

Mega Man Zero 3[]

MMZ3 Omega Appears

Omega looms above Fefnir and Leviathan.

In the two months after Elpizo's defeat, Ciel completed the Ciel System and formed an unofficial truce between the Resistance and Neo Arcadia. Suddenly, a mysterious spacecraft crashes, wherein Zero encounters a seemingly invincible Reploid called Omega. Soon after, a resurrected Copy X takes Neo Arcadia back from Harpuia, and Dr. Weil introduces himself as his advisor. Copy X and Weil challenge the Resistance to a race to capture the Dark Elf, ending the truce.

Zero crosses swords with the eight Weil Numbers. Once the Dark Elf is located in a populated area, Weil and Copy X launch a missile containing Omega so he can capture her. Zero fails to stop the missile thanks to the Baby Elves, and Omega absorbs the Dark Elf. Zero is forced to retreat with a disgraced Harpuia. Copy X offers the Resistance amnesty in exchange for the Ciel System, but Ciel refuses to trust them, prompting Neo Arcadia to attack. Zero retaliates and faces Copy X again. However, Copy X is suddenly betrayed and killed by Dr. Weil, who assumes total control of Neo Arcadia.

Though Dr. Weil and the Dark Elf-infused Omega now dominate Neo Arcadia, Zero works with X to infiltrate Weil's lab and defeat Omega. However, out of Omega's remains emerges a Reploid resembling Zero; Weil declares this is his original body, and that Zero has been using a copy this whole time. Zero overcomes Omega, and X and the Guardians arrive as backup. Zero accepts that he must kill Omega, regardless of his body's true state. Omega explodes, knocking Zero unconscious and killing the Guardians. In a vision, Zero parts with X as the latter fades into cyberspace for good. The Dark Elf returns Zero to the Resistance Base and, with Weil's curse broken, she reverts to the Mother Elf and flies away.

Mega Man Zero 4[]

5b94bb03

Dr. Weil

Not long after the battle with Omega, humans begin fleeing Dr. Weil's brutal Neo Arcadia. Zero rescues a Caravan from Neo Arcadian forces, and their leader Neige explains they plan to live in Area Zero, the last known habitable area outside Neo Arcadia. Soon afterwards, Zero learns of a plot by Craft, Weil's new enforcer, to destroy Area Zero in Operation Ragnarok. He sets out to thwart Craft and the Einherjar's plots, in the process learning of Craft's history with Neige that complicates his loyalty to Weil.

In reality, the Einherjar are only a distraction to occupy Zero while Dr. Weil finishes his secret weapon: the space cannon Ragnarok. Craft, aboard Ragnarok, has a change of heart and aims Ragnarok's laser at Neo Arcadia instead to kill Weil. Ciel and the Resistance try to evacuate the city while Zero teleports into Ragnarok to stop the laser — unfortunately, he can't reach Craft in time, and Neo Arcadia is annihilated along with millions of civilians. Zero kills Craft, and Weil is assumed to have perished.

However, Ragnarok remains operational and suddenly falls towards Area Zero. Zero infiltrates Ragnarok again to discover that Weil survived the laser thanks to his regenerative armor. Weil believes he will survive the crash too, but Zero fights to the bitter end and completely annihilates both Weil and Ragnarok before it can impact.

ZeroHelm

The remains of Ragnarok with what's presumably left of Zero: his helmet.

On Earth, Ciel and the survivors see Ragnarok's explosion and realize Zero did not escape. Ciel promises to make the world a peaceful place for humans and Reploids without him, but deep inside believes that Zero is still alive out there. The last scene shows a crater with the remains of Zero's helmet. In the written recap Vile's Incident: Eden dome, its sin and rebirth, an epilogue describes humans and Reploids settling in Area Zero.

This series is followed by Mega Man ZX, which occurs over 200 years later.

Gameplay[]

The Mega Man Zero series plays similarly to Zero's stories in the Mega Man X series, featuring Dashing, Wall-Kicking, and a variety of Z-Saber techniques called EX Skills. Besides his main weapon, Zero also may equip a sub-weapon. This is normally the long-ranged Buster Shot, but he can also wield the Shield Boomerang, Triple Rod, Zero Knuckle, and more, based on the game.

Stages are divided into missions, with Zero pursuing a strategic goal rather than hunting down a boss. The majority of bosses are Mutos Reploids, powerful Reploids based on mythological creatures who serve Neo Arcadia. It follows Mega Man X's "eight Mavericks" formula only to some extent - some games such as Mega Man Zero 2 only have six Mutos Reploids and three of the Four Guardians as stage bosses.

Elements[]

Rather than specific weapon weaknesses like in Mega Man X series, each boss has an elemental alignment - fire, ice, lightning - that indicates a strength and a weakness (analogous to rock-paper-scissors). Zero can equip elemental Chips to channel different elements himself, and his EX Skills may be elemental too. Null bosses have no element at all, and thus no strength or weakness.

Other media[]

ArchieMegaManZero

The principal cast of characters from the Mega Man Zero series, from Mega Man #55.

A manga series was authored by Hideto Kajima and serialised in CoroCoro Comic in 2003. However, the series diverges greatly from the video-game series in terms of storyline and tone. Whereas the video-games are always dark and serious, the manga is light-hearted and comical. Zero and Ciel in particular experience greatly altered personalities. Ciel is much more dominating and callous than her video-game persona, while Zero now experiences a sort of split-personality disorder: typically, he is weak, frail, and cowardly (indicated by a lack of a helmet), but when danger arises, his helmet appears and he transforms into the powerful, brave, and more serious "Rockman Zero". This usually occurs to protect Lito, a young boy who accompanies Zero throughout the manga. The series has since been released across three tankōbon.

Zero’s timeline would later briefly be seen in Archie ComicsMega Man series in Mega Man#55 as one of Dr. Light's visions of the future.

Trivia[]

Mmz-differences

Comparison of the versions of Mega Man Zero.

  • In the original Japanese versions of the games in the Mega Man Zero series, bosses have splashes of red oil flood from their bodies when split in half. This effect was completely removed from the American version because it looked too much like blood, and was considered too graphic. Surprisingly enough, the oil splashes from the Resistance members slain by the Golems and Pantheons in the opening scene for the first game are not taken out, even in Mega Man Zero Collection (although they are nonetheless still reduced to merely coughing up a comparably minimal amount of oil than showing them emitting large splashes regarding the Golems), leaving Mega Man Zero as the only game in the series with "blood."
  • Mega Man X5 was originally planned to be the last game of the X series, continuing in the Mega Man Zero series. The story had to be changed by Capcom as Mega Man X6 (2001) was released before the first Mega Man Zero (2002).
  • In Mega Man Battle Network 3 White and Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge, there's a carpet in Dex's house which has the main logo of the Mega Man Zero series in it.
  • This is the first series to feature two active Mega Man incarnations within the same timeline; both the original X and his 'successor', Copy X.
  • This is the first series not to have its main character named or entitled "Mega Man", and the first not to have its main character have some sort of Buster built in on his arm, rather having him use a pistol.
  • "For Endless Fight", which is arguably the main theme song of the series, only plays in deserts.
    • The name of this track is ironic, as the first Mega Man began the saying "for everlasting peace", yet in the dark future of Mega Man Zero, war rages on.
    • Mega Man Zero 4 is the only game in the series that lacks this theme, possibly because it was Zero's final fight for a very long time.
  • The majority of the bosses fought in the series are based on figures from mythology.
  • Inti Creates, the developer of the Mega Man Zero saga, didn't wish to create a fourth game in the series, wanting it to end as a trilogy. To avoid creating a fifth game in the saga, the company decided to have Zero "die" in the end of Mega Man Zero 4. His damaged helmet with the Ragnarok's pieces can be viewed in a desert after the game credits.
    • Despite this, however, the Art for Mega Man Zero leaves Zero's fate ambiguous due to claiming he was MIA after the fall of Ragnarok.
    • How the franchise’s story was supposed to go on with Dr. Weil and Zero alive is up to speculation.[3]
  • Mega Man Zero was, with its fourth game, the first series in the franchise to reach a definitive conclusion, although its storyline continues in the distant future with Mega Man ZX.

External links[]

Notes[]

  1. Although not confirmed, it is possible that Zero's ending in Mega Man X6 happened after an undefined period of time after the latest game in the Mega Man X series storyline.

References[]


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