Tesla Zap, also called Mama Zap and known as Elec Mama (エレックママ Ereki Mama) in Japan, is a character in the MegaMan NT Warrior anime series. She is the deceased mother of Jack Zap and Gauss Magnus, the mother-in-law of Ann Zap, and the grandmother of Telsa Magnus. She was a wealthy woman of the Zap Estate, and her inheritance is caught in a three-way fight between Jack, Gauss, and Ann. While she has long since passed away by the start of the series, it is shown that she may live on through an AI in the Zap Estate, and has put a Thunder Dragon in the mansion's cyberworld to test who is worthy of it. A harsh and proud woman who shows great concern over her family's good name, she shows displeasure in Count Zap's failures in life and seems to favor Gauss over him, though in actuality she cares deeply for Jack.
Whether or not Tesla actually lives on through an AI in the Zap’s mansion is debatable. During episode 30 of NT Warrior, Jack is summoned back to the mansion, which is in strangely pristine condition with no one living in it for a few decades, by his mother’s voice after visiting her grave, which was unkempt with a lot of overgrowth on it. Later on, when Lan Hikari stops by the mansion to find a phone to use, he is greeted by Count Zap, dressed as and acting like his mother. When Lan goes to pick up the phone Zap points him to, Mama Zap taunts Jack for losing to a kid from the top of the stairs, which Lan neither hears this nor sees her, despite being closer to her than Jack. Once Jack reveals himself to Lan, the two battle, and Mama Zap appears on the roof of the house, encouraging Jack and shocking Lan when Jack begins to lose to give him an edge. Again, Lan is unaware of her presence and she is out of view to him. Other things contradict her being conscious as an AI as well:
- Jack and Lan being shocked during the battle can be explained simply because that was how the arena the two battled in worked. Lan is mysteriously shocked by a stray bolt supposedly summoned by Mama Zap when Zap begins to lose, giving Jack an edge, but this can be explained by the volatility of electricity freely surging in the room with many electronics and machinery in it.
- The intact mansion seemed to have been generated by some cybernetic means, as when Mama Zap begins to shoot electricity at Jack when he angered her, she shattered a window and a vase, which turned into data upon shattering. When Jack loses to Lan, Mama Zap shocks him again, and he passes out. When he wakes up, the mansion, that appeared to be completely intact, was in ruins, similar to his mother’s grave. The Zap’s mansion has sophisticated machinery inside of it, and one may have been creating the illusion that the mansion is still intact, although some things, such as the phone, did not work due to it actually being ruined.
- Jack dressing up as his mother can be explained as more a psychological aspect, as his brother Gauss crossdresses regularly. However, Jack’s crossdressing may have deeper meaning to it with Count Zap’s relationship with his mother, as he always felt that she favored Gauss over him, despite that not being true. In turn, he may have been hallucinating her and simply acting like her as a way of coping with his issues.
- In Beast+, a 3D image of her appears and addresses Jack, congratulating him on defeating the Thunder Dragon she put in place to guard the last of the family’s inheritance and claiming that he was indeed worthy of the Zap family name, before shocking him and calling him an idiot who must only be there to take the inheritance because he lost the rest of it. An interesting thing to note is that this seems to be a prerecorded message, as when she congratulates him, he simply says “Mama”, before she replies with “Of course not, idiot!”, a statement that does not fit as a reply to his last statement. This seems to be a preemptive reply to what she thought Jack might say, implying that it is not in fact an AI of her, but simply a recording.
Despite these things, and Jack passing his battle with Lan as a dream, Lan and MegaMan did indeed visit the “intact” mansion And battled Zap, and MegaMan claims to have heard a woman’s voice while they were there, bringing the possibility that she does indeed live on in the mansion’s computers. Other characters such as the Beyondard versions of Tadashi Hikari and Dr. Wily have accomplished this, so it would not be surprising if the wealthy Zap family were able to do the same. However, there has never an official explanation of the status of Mama Zap, and all the above statements are based on conjecture.
- Tesla’s name is never revealed during any of her appearances, but was shown in the Japanese Ending credits and her concept art on the DVD extras.
- Her granddaughter, Tesla Magnus, was named after her.
- Mama Zap holds the record for the longest absence in the series before returning, being absent for a full 164 episodes from her debut in episode 30 of NT Warrior to her return in episode 12 of Beast+.
- In her letter to Jack giving him the family’s last bit of inheritance, she signed the letter “Tesla M.”. This is an oddity in that while Tesla Magnets was named after her grandmother, Mama Elec’s last name should be “Elecitel”, rather than “M.”, which might stand for “Magnets”.