Game: Mega man Zero 2
Systems: GBA, DS (Megaman Zero collection)
Developed by: Inti creates
Published by: Capcom
Release date: October 14, 2003
ABOUT THE GAME
Mega Man Zero 2 is the second in a series of four offshoot games in the Mega Man franchise, starring creator's pet and fan favorite character Zero.
The game, at its core, is of the same action-platformer style established by previous entries in the series, with a few key differences. Gameplay has been streamlined, with Zero performing much more fluidly and with a greater emphasis on speed than his previous incarnations; This is exemplified through his new, slimmer build-gone is the white/red bulky armor combo he was known for in the past, replaced by a black-and-red color scheme, boots, and a vest. And what appears to be a white thong, but let's not get into that. Also added are the cyber-elves (powerups) and a ranking system that loosely affects how the game is played. Perhaps the most jarring change to the classic formula, though, is the lack of "weapon get" style gameplay-defeating bosses doesn't always give you any additions to your arsenal. Instead, an rpg-like "weapon level" system is used-the more you use 'em, the stronger they get.
This game also brings with it a surprisingly deep storyline (considering its roots) - many characters, other than the title one, are introduced, and the 4-game series chronicles the fight of a robot resistance against the abusive utopia, Neo Arcadia.
Zero 2 adheres to most of the things that made the first game great, with a few notable exceptions. The most notable is the redaction of the first games innovative world setup; rather than feature interconnected areas you can traverse outside of missions, were back to the well-established hub from which we are transported to extraneous areas. While disappointing, this does allow for a much more diverse range of mission biomes, and the base is still open to exploration so all is not lost.
This game also adds unlockable forms and special skills that alter how you can play the game, which makes it far more interesting than the relative lack of variety Zero 1 offered, and more in line with how Zero worked back in the days of Megaman X.
Music and stage design are also much improved, meaning Zero 2 improved on the series in just about every way.
Why Zero 2?
Because it's more fun than the first one? In all seriousness, though, you don't need to be overly familiar with the first to enjoy the second, and I'll be posting a plot synopsis below the OP. You could also check out one of the excellent lps of it in the archive.
WHAT WILL BE INCLUDED:
Mega Man games have been done to death, and while this particular series hasn't been done AS much, I'll be going out of my way to spruce it up.
Ill be doing a complete run through of the game, getting perfect mission scores, collecting every cyber elf, and not taking one point of damage during missions. Ill also be getting every form and EX skill, which will be expanded upon later. Separate, optional parts including dialogue with the resistance members, as well as a couple drama tracks, will also be posted when relevant. Ive even upped the music of the game, as recorded from the source, if you're into that kinda thing.
Additionally, Ill be running each level on hard mode, with the score and damage stipulations still in effect. These won't be commentated, but they will be faster so if you want to see how the game plays in hard mode (everything hits harder, no weapon levels or skills) or simply can't stand my voice and just wanna see the damn game, that's an option.
After each video, Ill be supplementing with bios for the characters and bosses introduced and giving any trivia tidbits I happen to know. All in all this should be an interesting journey for everyone.
(upper parts of cards link to the pertinent post, so you don't miss out on super-sexy trivia)
Also, PLAYLIST HERE.
Rockman Zero remastered (kickass music), and interesting voice-acted drama tracks. Featuring super-cute Alouette!
"So you want to know about the Neo Arcadian Military?"
"Anime and manga!?!"
"Dumb things and long videos no one really asked for."
This game has some legit good music, so if you've got the time you might want to check 'em out. Have at it.
For endless fight II/Comparison For endless fight I
Crash II/Comparison Crash
Result of mission II
X, the legend
Labo (Ciels lab)
My Platinum/Non-train Platinum
Neo Arcadia II/Comparison Neo Ardadia
Power Bom/Cool remix, thanks Mr. Trampoline!
The End of Legend
Cool Hearted Fellow
The Cloudy Stone
The Last -The Wish Punished-
In Mothers Light
Plot InformationIMPORTANT TERMS:
Neo Arcadia: Idyllic haven for the worlds surviving humans, and oppressive dictatorship for the robots sharing it with them. Previously ruled by a copy of X, Zero has since disposed of the tyrannical leader, but that hasnt stopped NAs heavyhanded policies of extermination.
Reploid: Sentient robot. All of them are based off of Xs original design, and possess wills and thoughts of their own. Labeled inferior citizens by Neo Arcadia and commonly retired at will. Note that this label does not apply to Zero, as he was made independently around the same time as X.
Theres also a special sub-category of Reploid known as Mutos Reploids that make up most of the games bosses; theyre all based around an animal or mythological creatures. They work as Neo Arcadias maverick-killing enforcers.
Mechaniloid: Other, non-sentient robots. This extends to most of the generic stage mooks, as well as any machine only designed to perform a simple task.
Maverick: In the X series, a robot that had turned upon humanity. In this one, a catch-all label used by Neo Arcadia for undesirables.
Cyber-elves: Sentient data creatures, obtainable in-game. Can be used for varying effects, but die upon use and penalize mission ranking. Categorized into Animal, Hacker, and Nurse elves, theyre color-coded green, blue, and red respectively.
E-crystal: Energy source. Currently in short supply, the shortage was the catalyst that started Neo Arcadias purge. Obtainable as pickups in-game, used to feed cyber-elves.
Pastebin'd for space's sake
Zero, the title character, was held in stasis for 100 years, resulting in a total loss of his memory. Hes since spent a year stranded in the desert, fighting for what he believes in. Almost certainly created by Dr. Wily, and previously the original carrier of the Zero virus, Zero was initially meant to be on the side of evil. However, through working with his longtime ally X, hes managed to save the world time and time again, including from the dastardly Sigma and his infectious virus. In fact, the Sigma virus is no longer a threat in this era, period. Hes an ally of Ciels resistance, extremely powerful, and possesses his own internal reactor so he doesn't directly suffer from the energy shortage. Also, despite the games name, he is not actually a Mega Man. Get it right!
Zero can be hard to get a read on, as he speaks more with actions then words. Despite his apparently cold demeanor, though, he has a fierce sense of loyalty and would protect those he believes in to the grave.
Ciel is both the female lead of the game, and the first of many resistance members named after some French word; in her case, Sky. Incredibly Intelligent and currently 15 years old, she is the only human member of the Reploid resistance, and acted as their leader a year ago. At the tender age of 6, she created the Copy of X that would become leader of Neo Arcadia and later terrorize Reploid kind, a fact she feels great guilt over. Shes the first one Zero met upon awakening, thanks to the sacrifice of her personal cyber elf, Passy. Currently researching alternative energy sources to bring the conflict to a peaceful conclusion.
Personality-wise, shes wise and strong beyond her years, but can be a little naive and possesses no combat skills to speak of.
In the year since the last game, the resistance has recruited many new faces. One of these is Elpizo, who, by Ciels request, has taken over the leadership of the resistance.
Originally known as TK-31, he was working for Neo Arcadia when he, too, was labeled a Maverick. Some rather interesting things happened in regards to that, but thats a subject for another day.
Regardless, upon joining the Resistance he dubbed himself Elpizo and helped with the move to a new base. Hes assisted in reorganizing and arming them to improve their combat capabilities, which made him stand out and resulted in his promotion. Hes currently planning a large-scale assault against Neo Arcadia, dubbed Operation: Righteous Strike to take advantage of Copy Xs absence.
Personality-wise, hes just as grandiose as his clothes would suggest. Hes a confident and inspiring leader, although he does respect Ciel and is willing to follow her wishes to an extent. His confidence in her project is dubious at best, though, so he continues preparations for the attack. Quite a pretty boy, but he does have a degree of combat prowess and swordsmanship skill, as well as above-average intelligence. Zero doesnt think much of him, seeing as hes all for supporting Ciel in her work. His name means "hope" in Greek.
Weve now seen and interacted with the resistance in its entirety, so heres a group shot of the lot of them, save for the operators and Elpizo. Their personalities are many and varied, but for good or ill theyre all very distinct, and committed to the resistance as a whole. The lady reploid standing next to Rocinolle is named Naomi; She doesnt appear in this game, but she was seen frequently in Zero one, both standing guard and captured in a secret Neo Arcadian base.
They serve to add a great amount of personality to the series, and make it distinct from other Megaman games where other characters were rarely, if ever, mentioned. It really makes you care about your fights.
Soldiers, Isosu, Pasosu
The Resistance soldiers are all outfitted the same, and have little to no personality. This allows them to harbor a rather bad habit, that being getting themselves into all sorts of trouble that results in their untimely demise, or at the very least in them coming a hairs breadth from biting the bullet. The Zero series own personal battalion of Red Shirts.
Two new characters are the soldiers Isosu and Pasosu. Theyre the ones that show up with the other soldiers and have prominent blue and yellow hair. Having unique sprites, it can be assumed that theyre sub commanders of the Resistance forces, though we never actually interact with them directly.
Im not entirely sure if their names mean anything; its not French and theres not much info on them. If anyone happens to know anything, feel free to bring me up to speed.
Rouge and Jaune
The two operators, they spend the game endlessly tapping away on their keyboards by Elpizos side. Their names mean Red and Yellow in French; it should be obvious which is which. Your only real interaction with them is when asking to be transferred back to previous areas, and as such they dont have much in the way of personality. A drama track called Alouettes good day shows a bit more of their personality, but thatll be linked later on at a more opportune time so thats all for now.
Cerveaus the resident tech guy, and the one whos called upon for all the engineering work at the Resistance base. This includes the development of new weapons, which extends to our own weaponry as well. His name means Brain in French, and sounds like Servo, allowing for a double meaning on his intellectual and mechanical traits. Hes pretty tight with Ciel and rather important as far as resistance members go, so well be seeing him a decent number of times.
Rocinolle is the resistances new medic. The diagnostic lab is hers, but given that her patients are mechanical in nature, Cerveau is higher up on the ranking ladder then her. As such, she tends to relatively minor wounds, whilst Cerveau handles the really mutilated cases. Like Zero himself!
She doesnt really do all that much story-wise, but I do like her design. She looks like an old-timey wartime nurse.
Her original Japanese name is a transcription of Rossignol, a French word meaning Nightingale.
Alouette is, at first glance, pretty darn unimportant, if extreeeeeeemely cute~. She serves the role of innocent little girl, providing a stark contrast with the otherwise bleak setting, and generally just walks around the base with the doll Ciel gave her. She looks up to Ciel as an older Sister, so much so that she wants to grow up to be a researcher/scientist like her. She's actually pretty good with cyber elves, a role that becomes more important later in the series, but what really makes her stand out is her future: It's generally assumed that she becomes Prairie in the ZX series. That isn't for a loooooong while, though. Her name is French for "Lark", another bird.
This ones a bit of an oddball. Andrew, a returning face from the last game, is probably the oldest Reploid in the base, and comes equipped with the accompanying knowledge. His memorys shot, though, so getting that wisdom out of him often proves challenging.
Regardless, hes got a good heart and has seen much in his time. Hell periodically regale us with long stories about his past life, which is admittedly quite interesting. Of note is that fact that he purposefully had his body redesigned so as to further resemble his aging human lover, given that Reploids dont age in the same way humans do. This may be a reference to Isaac Asimovs Bicentennial man, in which the protagonist is also named Andrew and modifies his body so as to be more human, so he can be with his human partner. Given that Asimovs laws of Robotics (A robot may not harm a human or purposefully allow harm to befall a human, et cetera) have played a part in the Megaman series before, this is more than possible.
X as he appears in this series. His identity was initially unknown, appearing at first on a computer monitor and providing Zero with his trusty Z-saber in a moment of need. He later reappeared and gave the resistance codes needed to access Neo Arcadias innermost sanctums and termite Copy X. He only revealed his form in the last games epilogue, showing he had somehow become a cyber-elf himself, though he was able to take the form of a blurry, regally-dressed image of his past self.
He likes to warp in, be infuriatingly cryptic, make reference to the fact that Zero needs to do what X cannot, then leave. Most recently, hes made mentioned something called a Mother elf that he supposedly sealed, as well as referring to the two elves now held within Ciels lab as baby elves, which desire to be reunited with their mother. Nothing else, though, because being helpful isnt the role of the Wise Man archetype hes fulfilling.
Doigt (Finger in French) is Cerveaus assistant, helping with his projects and experiments when needed, and otherwise simply fetching things for him. He has a weird sense of humor, making slightly awkward jokes then wondering why his audience isnt laughing.
Design-wise, he looks more like a mechanic than Cerveau, whos closer to the intellectual type. I could see this guy working in a car shop in some anime.
Pic (Pic bois is a type of woodpecker) is strange. Like, even for a Resistance member.
He spends his time sitting alone on a box in some room, and challenges Zero to defeat him so he can move on. Pretty much every one of his lines is varying shades of random chatter, and he doesnt appear to have any sort of definite role within the resistance either. I kinda figure he just wandered in one day and set up shop without anyone noticing.
Hirondelle gets an actual full body image! Hey, blame the artists, not me.
His names French for Swallow, and hes actually a pretty chill dude. He serves as both the Resistances lookout and, on occasion, scout, which mean hes often full of little tidbits of information to share with us. Hes also got a penchant for poetry, odd considering hes a Reploid. All in all, probably one of the more sympathetic soldiers.
French for Falcon, Faucon does his name proud by being the left turret gunner for the Resistance. Airborne foes, beware the bird of prey!
Beyond that though, theres really not much depth to his character. Hes definitely the most soldier-like of the Resistance, what with the rippling muscles and scruffy facial hair. Which, come to think of it, probably needs to be manually grown rather than trimmed. Robots are weird.
Dandes a returning member of Resistance classic, with a name meaning Turkey. Well, Dinde means Turkey in French, its close enough. Localizing is hard, guys!
Ciel gave him his name, as she did Alouettes. In fact, given that Neo Arcadia degradingly refers to Reploids by their serial numbers, it can be presumed that she gave nearly all the Resistance members names as they joined up. Kinda makes sense why they all respect her, if true.
Dandes really nothing special though; the most distinctive aspect of him is his constant politeness, never failing to refer to us as Mr. Zero. Hes been made the right cannon gunner for the resistance, but so far they havent seen any large-scale conflict at headquarters so its not overly important.
Hibou was truly horrible in the last game. He was fat, lazy, made excuses, and MOST UNFORGIVABLY, blocked our way to a cyber-elf. To get him to move, we had to give him 250 E-crystals, because he apparently needs more energy than everyone else. Its not his fault, he was built that way!
In this game, hes improved slightly and become a little more hard-working, but hes also gained an annoying habit of fishing for favor with Elpizo, so its still highly suggested you hate his guts. His name means "Owl" in french.
Perroquiet is a tiny little nerd with anime glasses and a kitty face. Hes young, though, so its obviously adorable.
Perroquet means parrot in French, and hes the lab assistant to Ciel. This basically means hes forced to work in the basement data room, shifting through musty old files to try to find anything that might be useful to Ciels energy research. To add insult to injury, he has to deal with being right next to Hibou all day! Poor Perroquiet. Luckily for him, its assumed he gets to hop series, becoming a scientist named Fleuve in the ZX games.
Autruches is a tale of tragedy. Built tall and thin, he was quickly delegated to grunt work in the storage room to take advantage of his great height. But hes bad at lifting heavy things!
Unfortunately hes also really meek so all he does is complain about his station without ever doing anything to fix it. Woe be him, for the daily grind has sapped all feeling from his tired bones(Alloy rods?). His name means "ostrich".
Good lord, did they just dump all the intolerables on the ground floor and call it a day?
Menarts the troublemaker around base, getting everywhere hes not supposed to, terrorizing Alouette, and not doing the work that needs to be done. Think Calvin, if Calvin wasnt the protagonist and instead a super annoying downer robot. He even claims that Zero wont manage to beat Neo Arcadia! He does not have a good grasp of whats in his best interests. He's the...Mynah bird? Yeah, I don't know either.
Two Cyber-elves captured from Neo Arcadian facilities by Elpizo and Zero, they're unique in that they emit large quantities of energy from their bodies, despite their relatively tiny sizes. Ciel believes she can further her research into an alternative energy source by studying them, making them a source of great hope for the resistance members.
Alouette, especially, has high hopes for the era of peace they could usher in, and went to great lengths to find suitable names for them.
After much deliberation and advice, she settled on two ideas based on their potential: The Reploid's prayers that the babies will allow them to live freely again, and their role in the creation of a new energy source. To that end, they became Crea and Prea.
Fefnirs the Fire elemental of the Guardians, characterized by his FIREY PERSONALITY and BURNING PASSION. He has a love of all things raucous and violent, and thinks of little beyond his next bout. As such, hes rather friendly towards Zero, seeing him as perhaps the only opponent against whom he can have a clean fight. A stickler for fairness, he makes sure all his fights are an even one-on-one, and dislikes backhanded tactics like the earlier attempted bombing of the Resistance Base.
Design-wise, his names derived from Fafnir, a dragon from Norse mythology, a theming that carries over into his design. Built bulkier than his compatriots, the spikes adorning his chest plate and helmet bring to mind a dragons fangs, as do the distinctive fanged jaws surrounding his twin arm cannons, named Sodom and Gomorrah. Theyre named as such because of their biblical namesakes, which found themselves destroyed in a storm of fire and brimstone after inciting Gods wrath due to the corruption of their citizens. Neat!
Fairy Leviathan is the cool-headed representative of water and ice within the Guardians. Shes also one of the few instances of a female boss character within the Megaman universe, alongside her underling Poler Kamrous and Splash Woman, a robot master from MM9 that seems moderately inspired by Leviathan.
As far as personality goes, shes probably the least fleshed out. Like Fefnir, she seems to enjoy fighting Zero, though not to such an extreme extent. Shes got some sass, but again, not much is given on her (the designers have actually gone on record saying they wish they couldve done more with those two).
Appearance-wise is another story. Obviously named after the catch-all term for giant sea nasties, shes got a lot of sea-themed customizations adorning her body. Her weapon (an obscure wiki page tells me its named the Frost Javelin despite the fact that she never throws it) is reminiscent of the classic trident, spear, or harpoon often wielded by denizens of the sea, her helmet resembles actual hair with a seashell motif, and her form is generally streamlined saved for the large jet on the back of her body, both of which accentuate her feminine form. Shes got high heels because of course she does shes a woman in a video game, and shes also sporting the customary superstrong-thong popular amongst important people in the Zero universe, though I suppose she can pass hers off as a swimsuit. All in all shes ok, but not all that interesting as a character.
Harpuias the wise and prideful leader of both the Guardians and, currently, Neo Arcadia as a whole.
As such, he gets all the good scenes and hogs the character development. Initially appearing as a vain commander under the orders of Copy X, he thought nothing of the Resistance, Zero, or anyone else, simply carrying out orders without any sort of opposing force. Upon meeting (and being defeated by) Zero, however, his outlook began to change; while he still prioritizes the safety of the humans he shelters above all else, hes gradually become further and further open to the idea that the Resistance isnt necessarily his enemy. As such, hes avoided engaging them beyond those instances where hes directly confronted by a foe, and was even responsible for Zeros safe return to the new Resistance base following his breakdown in the Sand Wilderness. An antagonist, but not necessarily an enemy, Harpuias definitely the most sympathetic of the Guardians at present.
As for design. His name, Harpuia, is the actual Ancient Greek work for Harpy, due in large part to his aerial theming. Aligned with lightning, his entire body is slim and streamlined for swift movement through the air, and his green coloration fits the bill as well because someone somewhere decided green = air at some point. His powers include tornado-summoning, lightning-calling, shockwave-producing, and suplexes.
Due to the streamlining, and the fact that Harpies are monsterbirds with ladyparts, and also his very high-pitched battle vocalizations, lots of people mistake him for a her. This is not the case, do not be fooled, Harpuias a guy robot which matters quite a bit because
Other notes: He has big boosters on his back, which produce the thrust needed for his aerial maneuvers, and his helmet is apparently reminiscent of Valkeries, which if intentional only further compounds his gender ambiguity due to the fact that they were/are female warrior spirits. His twin swords are known as Sonic Blades, and are also part of that obscure 10 shining weapons thing.
Elpizo, Dark Elf + Baby Elves
Our first glimpse at the much-hyped Dark Elf, plus Elpizo and his infant cronies. Appearing as an overly large cyber-elf, and sporting both the standard Cyber Elf hoop wings and radiating stands of an ominous black cloth-like material here, in-game its more of a large, dark purple orb. Presumably due to Cyber Xs influence, its still partially sealed, which apparently means half the things animation frames get removed. Its still plenty powerful though, allowing a powerhungry Elpizo to single-handedly overpower and contain Harpuia, and is thus not something to be trifled with.
As for the Babies, young as they are, theyre really not in command of their own actions and are instead simply following Elpizos lead. Its still not entirely clear what they are, though the fact that Elpizo felt they were necessary to finding out about the Dark Elf suggests a link between them.
We already knew they possessed nearly limitless energy, hence Ciels study of them, but here we get the first glimpse of their power theyre capable of controlling the minds and bodies of Reploids, taking over the body of Harpuia and forcing him to fight against Zero. Significantly more ominous than previously thought, these babies may become a handful in the future.