Part 5: Video 3
Here have a clip of some manly men inspiring the title to a video game video. (I gotta wonder if the devs had this joke in mind when making the level.)
Also, this part marks the advent of a new headset! Be careful with your toys kids or else they'll get broke.
100 pt requirements:
-Clear time: 2:50
-Enemies killed: 64
-Mission: Protect all boxes, -2pts per box loss
Hard mode gives you the same destructive benefits as the power form does, so spikings arent as big a threat as theyd be without the strength boost. The rail gates take ¾ of your health per hit, though, so you dont have much wriggle room as far as errors go.
Also I figured you wouldnt want to watch 50+ seconds of Zero standing in place and yawning as carryarms died on him, so I sped it up a bit. Youre welcome.
AS FOR THE STAGE. It takes place on a speeding Neo Arcadian train, which sounds pretty cool but ends up being one of the blandest designs in the game.
As a bit of context, train stages have seen their fair share of representation in the Mega Man games. There was charge man in Megaman 5, which featured a multi-leveled stage and interesting things to look at (like lumber, boxes and barrels being shipped). Theres Slash beast from Megaman X4, whose stage was entirely horizontal, much like this one, but featured destructibles up the wazoo, a miniboss, and kickass ride armor which amounted to tons of explosions. And theres also the one from Zero 1, which involved traversing a dilapidated subway followed by a timed stint aboard the train and a boss battle. In short, each of them had more to them than just On a train, run right to goal.
which is, of course, what this one goes for
Oh, and not only is the design bleh, its unoriginal too. That train from Zero 1? It had its sprites ripped almost wholesale and plopped into Zero 2. They extended a couple parts by a pixel or two and brightened it a bit, but the similarities are obvious; Here, have some comparisons. Zero one first, then Zero two.
So basically what this means is that everyone that played the first game isnt gonna be seeing anything new here. Its really a shame; this games stage designs are, for the most part, inspired, so its kinda fitting that the worst stage is copypasted from Zero 1s generally crap designs.
Other bad things to say about it: not many things to find (theres a total of 4 cyber-elves), and the spikings and rail gates team up to make a stage that really punishes you for not being a psychic. This one requires a loooot of practice.
The rise form is awarded for slashing 20 things with an aerial attack. The mid-stage carryarm section makes getting the rise form a snap.
The rise form is one of my personal favorites. Its basically a straight upgrade from your normal form, as it doesnt restrict your saber attacks in any way. Instead, it alters your third slash from an arcing, over-the-body crescent into an upwards thrust. This sacrifices the bit of damage you could deal to enemies behind you in favor of an increased vertical range, but because youll rarely have an enemy behind you the extra upwards hitbox tends to be more useful.
Youll also move a little faster with the rise form, which isnt super noticeable but is nice. If I were playing for pleasure, this would probably be the form Id stick with for the whole game, but as it is well be able to put the altered slash to good use in the next stage.
(White Zero is super-slick and I love it, kinda resembles White Axl from X8)
Elemental chips are a holdover of the boss weakness system that the Megaman series was/is so known for. Introduced in the first Zero game, the chips allow you to charge your weapon with a certain element, with varying effects on both enemies and bosses. In general, the system goes Fire>Ice>Electricity>Fire. It doesnt make much sense (arent electronic kajiggers supposed to run BETTER in cold environments?) but W/E. For beating Panter Flauclaws, we get
The thunder chip was the first one Zero acquired in the last game, being awarded upon beating Aztec Falcon. Here, you can get it as soon or late as you want, but its functions are the same: you can pair it with a charged weapon attack to overload the systems of the tougher stage mooks you encounter, which stuns them temporarily, or you can use it to utterly slaughter fire-themed enemies. Because electric fires are harder to put out? Thats the best logic I can come up with. Rock-paper-scissors variants are hard, guys!
It doesnt make us super-weak to ice, thankfully, but it DOES make it so our attacks are utterly ineffective against it. As in, if I went to fight the ice boss right now, Id be doing a whopping 0 damage with my charged attacks. Im also pretty sure that using it against an enemy with the same elemental affinity (like the golem type-e) results in halved damage, but dont quote me on that one.
Another EX skill we cant use yet! Still gonna show it off though.
Like the Laser shot, the Spark shot replaces your level 3 buster shot when active. The catch here is that you have to have the thunder chip equipped to use it, so if youre in the mood to fry some circuits youll have to make a trip to the menu screen.
As far as this one goes, its ok. The ball differs from the normal electric shot in that when it hits an enemy, it splits vertically into upwards and downwards traveling balls, which is great in some situations and not so great in many others because you lose piercing damage. Its useful in vertical sections, and GODLY in a part thatll be coming up very soon, but nothing to call home about in most cases.
- Spark shower: Winds up, then throws two purple spark balls at high speed. Jump over or dash under, depending on train height.
- Crescent moon: Jumps in an arc between the two trains, throwing 3 green crescents down as he goes. Theres a space where a fourth would be directly underneath him, so follow along as he moves. The crescents will travel through objects, so hiding on the side of the train can still get you hit.
- Panther pounce: Roars and does a short pounce forwards, claws extended. Avoid close proximity.
- Whirl waves: Conjures up two spinning purple spirals, which he throws in front of himself. They travel a short distance before arcing back.
- Spiral boomerang: Jumps straight up, then shoots three purple spirals diagonally down. Will stop after set distance, hang for a couple moments, then return to sender.
- Divekick: Jumps in the air, growls, then does a diagonal divekick down. If it connects squarely with Zeros jaw, Panter will actually bounce back and do a little twirl in midair. Quite fun.
- EX skill: Tail Spark: Charges two green balls of electricity, crouches in the middle of his traincar, and after a brief pause becomes completely invincible whilst he routes power through the train. As its made of conductive metal, this causes the entire car to become hazardous. Can hit in-between the trains, so make for the other car. (Im pulling the EX skill names from the wiki, so I assume these are correct. I guess maybe he draws in ambient electricity through his tail?)
Panter tends to be significantly easier than his stage is, but is still more than capable of bringing the punishment. Hes an underling of Harpuia and member of the Rekku army (like the Zanei, Ill be getting more into that later) which means lots of electricity to play with. Oddly enough, though, hes based on a panther; closest thing I can think of to link the two is that cats generate lots of static electricity when they rub against things. I dunno, thats stretching it pretty far.
As for references, his name doesnt serve up much (hes a panther, he has claws, whoop-de-doo), but what IS intriguing is his similarity to another character. The boss of the train stage from X4, Slash Beast, to be exact. Theyre both based on predatory felines, are fought on trains, move superquick, and shoot out shockwave-type slashes at you. While Slash Beast isnt lightning elemental, the parallels are numerous. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.
Panter likes to hop around a lot and use sweeping attacks that cover a wide swath of area, but if you stay away from him (read: on the other train car) or in-between the cars you can generally stay safe. His EX skill covers for his greatest weakness, his inability to hit between the cars consistently, so that makes Zeros life quite a bit harder, but if you play it safe you can generally see attacks coming ahead of time. He telegraphs a lot.
Also, if youve been paying attention up till now you might already realize this, but his element makes him weak to the ice chip. If we had it, we could WRECK HIS SHIT.
Oh well this is a Capcom game so Im sure well never get the opportunity to do that. Onward!
Only one new track this time, and Im loath to put it up because its shit quality. Im dumb and couldnt figure out how to remove the ambient Train noises, so the song for this stage, Platinum, is all polluted. Ill put my version up alongside someone elses as an apology for this. I cant think of any other stages that do this, so we should be good from now on.
Platinums okay, its high-energy at least, but because of the stage it plays over I cant really get into it.
My Platinum/Non-train Platinum