Part 49: Character Write-Up - ZeroWell now that's he's actually here, let's talk about the OTHER blonde pal in the party.
Despite only dying twice in the X series, everyone jokes about Zero keeling over from a light breeze and that one bad voice acting thing from X4. Here... Well. He's got a few things going for him.
Weapon Type: Beam Sabers (Combat Damage)
Starting WE: 15%
WE Gain per turn: 25%
Action Trigger: Command Arts - Imput combos fighting game style to make Zero execute different attacks. More WE = more time to imput combos for more damage.
Elemental Resistances: None
Force Metal Slots: 3
Starting Immunity: 13
Hyper Mode: Black Zero
Hyper Mode Benefits: +100% Power, +50% Speed, WE Gain +25%, 75% Damage from Fire, Chance to counterattack enemies when attacked.
Hyper Mode Turns: 3
Zero's effectively the standard Fighter type character of the party, because amusingly enough he's actually fairly slow. He's also got fairly good defenses, and only Massimo beats him in the health department. His damage however is exactly what you'd expect out of Dr. Wily's ultimate creation, especially in conjunction with his unique Heat Haze Sub Weapon he can equip two of and his Action Trigger, Zero's a bright red buzzsaw ripping through enemies. There's also a combo of his that's less powerful damage wise since it only uses one Heat Haze, but the other sub weapon is Hawkeye - y'know, the one that uses 5 WE and makes it so you can't miss that Marino brought into the party with her? Hawkeye + Heat Haze + Action Trigger, dubbed the "HAT Trick" in the guide I learned about it from, can and will just ruin anything you aim it at since it can't miss. The lessened damage from only one Heat Haze is easily made up for with the extra 20% WE for use in his Command Arts, which when you're going for the HAT Trick you may as well just spam as many of the basic Zero Slashes as possible.
Speaking of those, the different inputs for his Action Trigger have different properties! The basic "Zero Slash" input is a simple slash at 80% power, "Zero Breakthrough" does only 30% power worth of damage but breaks enemy guard, and the "Zero Dragon Slash" is an rising slash attack that deals normal damage and doesn't need Hawkeye to hit flying enemies. Sadly there is a balancing factor to it that keeps his Action Trigger from doing just preposterous amounts of damage that'd make Massimo's potential look mild; Each successful hit does less damage. The first hit does the full damage, the second does 90%, the third does 70%, and then it scales down in damage 10% at a time till the 7th successful hit, where it becomes 30% and staying there for any subsequent attacks. It'll still lay on the hurt, that's for damn sure, but you'd have to be pretty quick on imputing combos to get a hefty amount of hits out of it.
All in all, Zero's very good. Most of his weapons give him a two hit basic attack, and with the amount of power he's got behind each of those swings it's gonna hurt. He also has a Unique Force Metal, Zero Shift, you can get via the Force Metal Generator, but there's better things to put on his limited Force Metal slots with his tiny amount of Immunity. Like WE Gain increasing Force Metals, so he can potentially use his Action Trigger on the first turn without needing Cinnamon's help. Also for bonus annoyance, you can't even sell that spare Heat Haze he left in your pocket back at the end of the Prologue. Still, once he's back around Zero will pull his weight easily - won't be setting any speed records, but if you need something beaten to death with a laser sword, it's hard to get better results than with Zero here.
...And that's without getting into Absolute Zero, his secondary Hyper Mode. You get this by taking down Duckbill Mole in the Melda Ore Plant once you get the Melda Key from Deployment. The aesthetics of it harken back to Bass' Treble Adapter form back in the Classic Series, except Zero just gets his hands turned into the Brutal Right and Killer Left sub weapons while his basic attack becomes a spinning kick called Crimson End. Stat wise, he gains +50% LE, +100% Power, +50% Speed, +50% WE Gain(Putting up 12 more WE per turn before Cinnamon gets involved), takes 50% damage from Water, and like the Ultimate Armor for X he's now a flying unit so Combat Attacks have a harder time hitting him. He also allegedly goes berserk at 25% HP or less and stays that way unless he's healed above that amount or he slaps himself. His Action Trigger also turns into Calamitous Arts, which is a random series of prompts for damaging attacks. Now, all of Absolute Zero's attacks hit like a small freight train on account of doubling Zero's already impressive attack power, the only problem is that some of the attacks he can get out of Calamitous Arts and also his two sub weapons are water damage... so against water resistant enemies, it's a sad time. Against water WEAK enemies however, he can and will rip them in half like a piece of paper. Calamitous Arts also doesn't really follow a pattern so some uses of it may do more damage than others, but in the end it's still really strong. Absolute Zero isn't quite as preposterous as the Ultimate Armor, but it's still insanely good and even if it's over the top it still looks really goddamn cool.
Now while this is the last actual Character Write-up, I have a couple other things to talk about later once Bisby gets into some of the Secret Cool Stuff that hasn't come up yet. There's also a character comparison I want to go over as well for the Combat and Shot damage party members, but I'll save that for the next chapter.