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Mega Man Zero 2

by Gamwhiz1

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Original Thread: Broken, not beaten - Let's play Megaman Zero 2! [VLP]

If you liked this LP, you might also like Oogie's Revenge by VoidBurger, Teslagrad by Smite and No More Heroes by Chip Cheezum

Introduction



Game: Mega man Zero 2
Systems: GBA, DS (Megaman Zero collection)
Genre: Action-Platformer
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 game’s innovative world setup; rather than feature interconnected areas you can traverse outside of missions, we’re 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.
I’ll 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. I’ll 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. I’ve even upped the music of the game, as recorded from the source, if you're into that kinda thing.
Additionally, I’ll 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, I’ll 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.

Videos



(upper parts of cards link to the pertinent post, so you don't miss out on super-sexy trivia)
Also, PLAYLIST HERE.

































Supplementary

EXTRA POSTS

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."

MUSIC

This game has some legit good music, so if you've got the time you might want to check 'em out. Have at it.

Playlist HERE

Title II
For endless fight II/Comparison For endless fight I
Departure
Guarder room
Crash II/Comparison Crash
Result of mission II
X, the legend
Resistance force
Imminent storm
Labo (Ciel’s lab)
Momentary peace
Instructions
Sand triangle
Strong will
My Platinum/Non-train Platinum
Gravity
Ice Brain
Neo Arcadia II/Comparison Neo Ardadia
Uneasy
Power Bom/Cool remix, thanks Mr. Trampoline!
Spreading Darkness
Combustion
Darkelf
Passionate
Cool Water
Flash Back
Cyberelf
Melt Down
The End of Legend
Cool Hearted Fellow
The Cloudy Stone
Harpuia
Silver Wolf
Supreme Ruler
The Last -The Wish Punished-
In Mother’s Light
Awakening Will
Red Time
Multiplayer Game

Plot Information

IMPORTANT TERMS:

Neo Arcadia: Idyllic haven for the world’s 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 hasn’t stopped NA’s heavyhanded policies of extermination.

Reploid: Sentient robot. All of them are based off of X’s 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.
There’s also a special sub-category of Reploid known as “Mutos Reploids” that make up most of the game’s bosses; they’re all based around an animal or mythological creatures. They work as Neo Arcadia’s 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, they’re color-coded green, blue, and red respectively.

E-crystal: Energy source. Currently in short supply, the shortage was the catalyst that started Neo Arcadia’s purge. Obtainable as pickups in-game, used to feed cyber-elves.


PLOT SYNOPSIS:

Pastebin'd for space's sake

http://pastebin.com/qW0j9tzJ


CHARACTER LIST:

Zero

Zero, the title character, was held in stasis for 100 years, resulting in a total loss of his memory. He’s 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, he’s 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. He’s an ally of Ciel’s resistance, extremely powerful, and possesses his own internal reactor so he doesn't directly suffer from the energy shortage. Also, despite the game’s 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

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. She’s 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, she’s wise and strong beyond her years, but can be a little naive and possesses no combat skills to speak of.

Elpizo


In the year since the last game, the resistance has recruited many new faces. One of these is Elpizo, who, by Ciel’s 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 that’s a subject for another day.
Regardless, upon joining the Resistance he dubbed himself “Elpizo” and helped with the move to a new base. He’s assisted in reorganizing and arming them to improve their combat capabilities, which made him stand out and resulted in his promotion. He’s currently planning a large-scale assault against Neo Arcadia, dubbed “Operation: Righteous Strike” to take advantage of Copy X’s absence.
Personality-wise, he’s just as grandiose as his clothes would suggest. He’s 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 doesn’t think much of him, seeing as he’s all for supporting Ciel in her work. His name means "hope" in Greek.


Resistance


We’ve now seen and interacted with the resistance in its entirety, so here’s 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 they’re all very distinct, and committed to the resistance as a whole. The lady reploid standing next to Rocinolle is named Naomi; She doesn’t 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 hair’s breadth from biting the bullet. The Zero series’ own personal battalion of Red Shirts.
Two new characters are the soldiers Isosu and Pasosu. They’re the ones that show up with the other soldiers and have prominent blue and yellow hair. Having unique sprites, it can be assumed that they’re sub commanders of the Resistance forces, though we never actually interact with them directly.
I’m not entirely sure if their names mean anything; it’s not French and there’s 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 Elpizo’s 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 don’t have much in the way of personality. A drama track called “Alouette’s good day” shows a bit more of their personality, but that’ll be linked later on at a more opportune time so that’s all for now.

Cerveau


Cerveau’s the resident tech guy, and the one who’s 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. He’s pretty tight with Ciel and rather important as far as resistance members go, so we’ll be seeing him a decent number of times.

Rocinolle

Rocinolle is the resistance’s 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 doesn’t 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


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.

Andrew

This one’s 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 memory’s shot, though, so getting that wisdom out of him often proves challenging.
Regardless, he’s got a good heart and has seen much in his time. He’ll 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 don’t age in the same way humans do. This may be a reference to Isaac Asimov’s “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 Asimov’s 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.

Cyber X

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 Arcadia’s innermost sanctums and termite Copy X. He only revealed his form in the last game’s 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, he’s made mentioned something called a “Mother elf” that he supposedly sealed, as well as referring to the two elves now held within Ciel’s lab as “baby elves”, which desire to be reunited with their mother. Nothing else, though, because being helpful isn’t the role of the Wise Man archetype he’s fulfilling.


Doigt


Doigt (Finger in French) is Cerveau’s 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 isn’t laughing.
Design-wise, he looks more like a mechanic than Cerveau, who’s closer to the intellectual type. I could see this guy working in a car shop in some anime.

Pic


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 doesn’t 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


Hirondelle gets an actual full body image! Hey, blame the artists, not me.
His name’s French for “Swallow”, and he’s actually a pretty chill dude. He serves as both the Resistance’s lookout and, on occasion, scout, which mean he’s often full of little tidbits of information to share with us. He’s also got a penchant for poetry, odd considering he’s a Reploid. All in all, probably one of the more sympathetic soldiers.

Faucon

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, there’s really not much depth to his character. He’s 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.

Dande/ONB6


Dande’s a returning member of Resistance classic, with a name meaning “Turkey”. Well, Dinde means Turkey in French, it’s close enough. Localizing is hard, guys!
Ciel gave him his name, as she did Alouette’s. 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.
Dande’s really nothing special though; the most distinctive aspect of him is his constant politeness, never failing to refer to us as “Mr. Zero”. He’s been made the right cannon gunner for the resistance, but so far they haven’t seen any large-scale conflict at headquarters so it’s not overly important.

Hibou


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. It’s not his fault, he was “built that way!”

In this game, he’s improved slightly and become a little more hard-working, but he’s also gained an annoying habit of fishing for favor with Elpizo, so it’s still highly suggested you hate his guts. His name means "Owl" in french.

Perroquiet


Perroquiet is a tiny little nerd with anime glasses and a kitty face. He’s young, though, so it’s obviously adorable.
Perroquet means “parrot” in French, and he’s the lab assistant to Ciel. This basically means he’s forced to work in the basement data room, shifting through musty old files to try to find anything that might be useful to Ciel’s energy research. To add insult to injury, he has to deal with being right next to Hibou all day! Poor Perroquiet. Luckily for him, it’s assumed he gets to hop series, becoming a scientist named Fleuve in the ZX games.

Autruche


Autruche’s 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 he’s bad at lifting heavy things!
Unfortunately he’s 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".

Menart


Good lord, did they just dump all the intolerables on the ground floor and call it a day?
Menart’s the troublemaker around base, getting everywhere he’s not supposed to, terrorizing Alouette, and not doing the work that needs to be done. Think Calvin, if Calvin wasn’t the protagonist and instead a super annoying downer robot. He even claims that Zero won’t manage to beat Neo Arcadia! He does not have a good grasp of what’s in his best interests. He's the...Mynah bird? Yeah, I don't know either.

Baby elves


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.


Fighting Fefnir


Fefnir’s 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, he’s 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 name’s 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 dragon’s fangs, as do the distinctive fanged jaws surrounding his twin arm cannons, named Sodom and Gomorrah. They’re named as such because of their biblical namesakes, which found themselves destroyed in a storm of fire and brimstone after inciting God’s wrath due to the corruption of their citizens. Neat!

Fairy Leviathan


Fairy Leviathan is the cool-headed representative of water and ice within the Guardians. She’s 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, she’s probably the least fleshed out. Like Fefnir, she seems to enjoy fighting Zero, though not to such an extreme extent. She’s got some sass, but again, not much is given on her (the designers have actually gone on record saying they wish they could’ve done more with those two).

Appearance-wise is another story. Obviously named after the catch-all term for giant sea nasties, she’s got a lot of sea-themed customizations adorning her body. Her weapon (an obscure wiki page tells me it’s 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. She’s got high heels because of course she does she’s a woman in a video game, and she’s 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 she’s ok, but not all that interesting as a character.

Sage Harpuia


Harpuia’s 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, he’s gradually become further and further open to the idea that the Resistance isn’t necessarily his enemy. As such, he’s avoided engaging them beyond those instances where he’s directly confronted by a foe, and was even responsible for Zero’s safe return to the new Resistance base following his breakdown in the Sand Wilderness. An antagonist, but not necessarily an enemy, Harpuia’s 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, Harpuia’s 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 it’s more of a large, dark purple orb. Presumably due to Cyber X’s influence, it’s still partially sealed, which apparently means half the thing’s animation frames get removed. It’s 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, they’re really not in command of their own actions and are instead simply following Elpizo’s lead. It’s 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 Ciel’s study of them, but here we get the first glimpse of their power – they’re 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.
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