The Mega Man Zero series, known as Rockman Zero (ロックマンゼロ Rokkuman Zero) in Japan, made its debut in 2002 on the Game Boy Advance and takes place one-hundred years after Zero had sealed himself after the Elf Wars. In this time-period, both the "Maverick Wars" and "Elf Wars" have ended, but a new threat has arisen. A young scientist named Ciel, leader of a "Resistance", is searching for the legendary hero Zero to help in the fight against the oppressive forces of Neo Arcadia. She comes across the ruins of the lab in which Zero was sealed and awakens him. Thus, Zero joins the Resistance and takes up his sword once again to fight against evil.
The following is a timeline of events that precede, include, and directly follow the Mega Man Zero series.
Between the X and Zero series
- 21XX: The Maverick Wars continue during the Mega Man X series.
- Mega Man X6: An indefinite time after Sigma's defeat, and without the knowledge of X, Zero allows himself to be sealed in his ending of the game to be analyzed by scientists. The period of his sleep is planned to end 102 years later.
- Note: 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.
- Cyber-elf technology is invented by analyzing Zero. Cyber-elves are pure energy with artificial intelligence. They were invented for the sole purpose of ending the Maverick Wars. Their creators designed them to amplify the power of Reploids and to combat the effect of the Maverick Virus. The key in this development was the creation of the Mother Elf, which Mega Man X used in order to permanently destroy the effects of the Maverick Virus and thus end the Maverick Wars.
- Neo Arcadia is built as a major city-state sometime during or after the Maverick Wars as a place where humans and Reploids can live in peace.
- The Mother Elf is stolen by Dr. Weil, who turns it into the Dark Elf and instigates the Elf Wars. This four-year period is so violent that it kills 90% of the planet's Reploids, 60% of the planet's humans, and leaves much of the world barren. During this time Zero's original body is stolen by Weil to construct Omega. Weil also creates copies of the Dark Elf, the Baby Elves, to control all Reploids in the world. Zero is given a new body using his original mind. Zero and X fight against Weil's forces and, in the end, go up against the powerful Omega, defeating him with the Final Strike attack. Dr. Weil is banished from Neo Arcadia, being punished by receiving a regenerative armor so that he will survive and "suffer" forever in the inhabitable lands outside Neo Arcadia. Omega is banished to space. After the battle, Zero seals himself again.
- After the Elf Wars, X seals the Dark Elf at Yggdrasil using his own body.
- Copy X labels several innocent Reploids as Mavericks in Neo Arcadia, and a Resistance is formed to confront him.
- The Reploid TK-31 accidently saw confidential information, and a week later is considered 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 and takes one Baby Elf with him, and changes his name to Elpizo based on the information he saw. This event happened sometime between the Resistance's formation and Mega Man Zero 2.
Mega Man Zero takes place hundreds of years after the events of Mega Man X series, where he is sealed to be analyzed. Ciel and her companions go after the legendary Reploid Zero to help them in their fight against Neo Arcadia, and are followed by Neo Arcadian forces. They come across the ruins of an ancient laboratory where Zero is sealed up, having been in stasis for a century. The world that Zero is brought into is one drastically different to the one from a century earlier- Reploids are living under constant oppression at the hands of a maniacal ruler who can call them "Maverick" at a whim, and the ruler is none other them his former partner, X. Zero fights X's forces, led by the Four Guardians - Fefnir, Harpuia, Leviathan, and Phantom, and then learns the truth from Ciel: The current ruler is not the original X, but rather is a "copy". Copy X was created when the real X went missing some time ago. Zero goes to confront and defeat Copy X and, upon doing so, is almost destroyed by the large explosion that results. Then, the original X appears in the form of a Cyber-elf and tells Zero that he must continue fighting.
One year has passed since Zero defeated Copy X and ever since then he has been wandering around in the desert in disrepair, fighting off wave after wave of Pantheons. In Neo Arcadia, the remaining three Guardians (Phantom having sacrificed himself trying to hinder Zero's assault on Area X) have assumed control in the place of Copy X, unbeknownst to the humans who had revered Copy X (whom they thought to be the "real X") as a savior. Ciel tries to solve the Energy Crisis that seems to have started much of the problems, leaving command of the Resistance to a Reploid named Elpizo. However, Elpizo believes her efforts to be futile and makes an assault on Neo Arcadia from which he is the only returning survivor.
After that, Elpizo returns and believes that the only thing that will stop the madness is the Dark Elf, the very thing that started the Elf Wars in the first place. Using some of its unsealed power, Elpizo breaks into the temple at Yggdrasil, destroys the body of the original X, unsealing the Dark Elf. However, Zero comes to the rescue, stopping Elpizo from unleashing the Dark Elf's power on the world and defeats him once and for all. Elpizo apologizes for everything that he's done and the Dark Elf turns him into a Cyber-elf (saving him). Elpizo then tells Zero that the Dark Elf isn't evil and then he leaves. X appears (in his Cyber-elf form) and tells Zero about the true nature of the Dark Elf, who was created to be a savior for Reploids and humans during the Maverick Wars but was manipulated by a man named Dr. Weil. After this, the Dark Elf leaves and a voice calls for Omega to come into action.
During the two months after Elpizo's defeat, an unofficial truce was made between the Resistance and Neo Arcadia. Ciel has solved the energy crisis, developing what she called the Ciel System, and entered in contact with Neo Arcadia to send it to them. Meanwhile, a spaceship crashes and emits energy similar to that of the Dark Elf which prompts Zero to go and investigate. At the spaceship, Zero encounters a huge Reploid named Omega that not even Fefnir and Leviathan can take down. While Zero halts his investigation to deal with Omega, a new Copy X assumes command of Neo Arcadia and Dr. Weil introduces himself (he seems to be back from his exile), Copy X admitting him in as his advisor. Copy X and Weil challenge Zero and the Resistance as to which group will capture the Dark Elf first, thus ending the truce.
Weil and Copy X then launch a missile at a densely-populated area that humans live in so Omega can capture the Dark Elf. Zero then had to counter a severe offensive against the resistance after Ciel refused to give her Ciel System to Neo Arcadia. Zero goes to battle and defeat Copy X once more, but Dr. Weil betrays Copy X and detonates a bomb held within his body that goes off when he tries to access his second form. Weil assumes control of Neo Arcadia and uses Omega and the Dark Elf to seize control of the Reploids.
Zero manages to defeat Omega's Dark Elf-enhanced form, defeating him twice, but out of Omega's remains emerges a Reploid that looks exactly like Zero. Weil then informs Zero that he is merely a copy and that Omega occupies his true, original form, which Zero barely defeats. Then, before Omega is rejoined with the Dark Elf, the Guardians come and do further damage to him. X reappears and tells Zero that what Weil says is true: they battled Omega in the past and sealed him long ago.X explains that the defeated Omega is using Zero's original body,but the copy of Zero's body still has the true heart of Zero. Zero decides that he must finish Omega off, regardless of whether or not he occupies his original body. Omega explodes, knocking Zero "unconscious," and he sees visions of X. X tells him that he is out of energy and can no longer remain in the human world. X is confident that Zero will carry on the battle to protect peace and fades away. X is then believed to have "retired into cyberspace." The Guardians also die in the explosion. The Dark Elf brings Zero's unconscious body back to the Resistance HQ and, with Weil's curse broken, the Dark Elf becomes the Mother Elf once again and flies away.
Not long after Zero's battle with Omega, humans begin to leave Neo Arcadia, which is under the dictatorship of Dr. Weil. Humans who oppose Weil's rule are labeled as Mavericks and quickly dealt with, so a Caravan departs under the guidance of a journalist named Neige. The caravan is attacked by Variants and Ciel and the Resistance come across them along with Zero. The caravan explains that they are heading to Area Zero, the last known habitable area outside of Neo Arcadia (Area Zero is the remains of the Eurasia space colony that fell to Earth in Mega Man X5). Soon after this, Zero learns of a plot from Craft, Weil's second-in-command, to destroy Area Zero. Known as Operation Ragnarok, the plan is enacted by a new wave of mechaniloid warriors known as the Einherjar to destroy all habitable areas, especially Area Zero, and force humans to come back and live under his rule. Thus, Zero sets out to defeat the Einherjar and halt their assigned tasks to devastate last haven against Weil.
In reality, the Einherjar attacks were only a distraction to occupy Zero so Weil can finish his most powerful weapon, the space station Ragnarok, which can easily destroy Area Zero with its laser. And then Craft rebels against Weil (he is in love with Neige) and instead fires the cannon upon Neo Arcadia. Zero puts an end to Craft and the Resistance is dispatched to rescue the survivors. Weil then teleports directly into the satellite to manually crash it into Area Zero, but Zero teleports back in and makes his way to Weil.
Weil tells Zero that he is indeed human, although Zero doesn't understand how he could have lived for well over a century. Weil reveals that over a century ago the humans who exiled him gave him a regenerative suit so that he would live through his exile and not die or get sick. Therefore, he tells Zero that he will not be able to destroy him. Moreover, should he ever manage to kill or even just harm him he will be considered a "Maverick." In the end, Zero decides that he doesn't care about justice or being called a Maverick, he only cares about protecting those he cares about. Weil fuses with the Ragnarok core, then with the entire Ragnarok itself, to battle Zero. However, Zero destroys Weil and Ragnarok, destroying the satellite before it reaches the atmosphere.
On Earth, Ciel, the Resistance, and the survivors see the explosion and realize that Zero did not escape. Ciel promises to make the world a peaceful place for humans and Reploids but deep inside she believes that Zero is still alive somewhere. The last scene is somewhere in the desert, where a crater shows the charred remains of Ragnarok with Zero's broken helmet inside.
Vile's Incident: Eden dome, its sin and rebirth gives details after the ending, humans and Reploids settling in Area Zero.
An innovation of the series over previous game is the introduction of elemental chips and of a system of elemental weaknesses analogous to scissor-rock-paper. All the bosses in the series have one of three elemental weaknesses, or no weakness at all.
|Mega Man Zero 1||None|| Maha Ganeshariff|
| Anubis Necromancess III|
| Herculious Anchortus|
|Mega Man Zero 2|| Hyleg Ourobockle|
|Phoenix Magnion||Poler Kamrous|| Panter Flauclaws|
|Mega Man Zero 3|| Deathtanz Mantisk|
| Blazing Flizard|
| Childre Inarabitta|
Glacier Le Cactank
| Hellbat Schilt|
|Mega Man Zero 4|| Popla Cocapetri|
| Sol Titanion|
| Fenri Lunaedge|
| Mino Magnus|
*Only possible on Z Chaser.
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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rockman Perfect Memories, ISBN 4-5751-6354-6
- Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works, ISBN 978-1897376010
- Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero
- Rockman Perfect Memories forum - Analysis of the timeline
|Mega Man Zero series|
| Zero • Ciel • Mega Man X • Resistance • Dr. Weil • Omega • Elpizo • Dark Elf • Caravan • Neige • Craft |
Copy X • Sage Harpuia • Fighting Fefnir • Fairy Leviathan • Hidden Phantom • Eight Gentle Judges • Einherjar Eight Warriors
|Mega Man Zero • 2 • 3 • 4 • Collection • Legacy Collection|
|Mega Man Zero • 2 • 3 • 4|
| Zero's weaponry • Zero Knuckle • Chips • Item Box • Cyber-elf (List) |
Armed Phenomenon • Golem • Locations (Neo Arcadia • Resistance Base • Area Zero • Ragnarok) • Pantheon (List) • Variant
Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works • RTRZ-Telos Drama Track Translations • Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero
Rockman Zero (manga) • Zero 3 Database • Zero 4 Database • Vile's Incident: Eden dome, its sin and rebirth