The Let's Play Archive

Mega Man Zero 2

by Gamwhiz1

Part 12: Video 9

Who’s the witch? Is it Elpizo?

Stage Notes!

100 pt requirements:
-Clear time: 3:30
-Enemies killed: 23
-Mission: N/A

This stage is interesting in that basically all of the challenge comes from precisely timing your jumps, to the point that the enemy requirement is tied with one other mission for the lowest in the game. Thusly, hard mode is once again not all that relevant for the stage, though none of the Three Guardians are pushovers so there’s always that to worry about. I actually had a lot of fun with the hard mode version this time, seeing as I got to plot out some fancy shmancy routes through the field of fire that had so often destroyed me in the past. Take that, stage!

The Shuttle Factory takes a similar but different route than the Forest of Notus. Rather than being a distinctly different location that looks and plays just like a previous one, the factory is an EXTENTION of a previous stage (Pheonix Magnion’s Power Room) that has its own distinctive playstyle and feel to it.
Whilst the Power Room focused on nonlinearity and exploration, the Factory is a literal platform hell. Taking the crucibles of molten metal from the Toitank section of said previous stage and making them your primary antagonists, this stage is entirely focused around timing your jumps around the bubbling pots of goo. Said pots can ruin your day in many ways; they do damage upon contact, standing under one as it lowers or on top of one as it rises will result in a red-tinted pancake, and far too many of them are situated above nice hot slag pits that’ll kill you dead upon one over-zealous jump.

It’s difficult, but entirely doable, and usage of the Ice chip to freeze some of the crucibles into temporary platforms makes the stage a lot more forgiving. Some of the later jumps on top of collapsible platforms are a little overly mean, but that’s really my only gripe with this place. It’s also one of only a few places in the game where you get to fight Pantheon launchers, probably my favorite Pantheon variant due to how stupidly over-the-top that gun of theirs is, so that’s one more plus in my book. And there’s a cameo of the Tentolancers in the backround of the boss fight! That’s the transport Ciel refers to later. What could Elpizo be up to, hmm?

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the reactor we start out at is #3, making the area we end up in literally directly to the right of the Toitank section and the aforementioned first appearance of the crucibles. CONSISTENCY. (Except if you come back to the power room via the Operators the hole in the floor leading into the shuttle factory won’t be there, so uuuuhhhh….)

Ex Skills!

=Blast Shot=

Another buster shot skill! This one rounds out the set; we now have a non-elemental skill, as well as one for each of the three elements.
However, as is the general trend, this one kinda sucks too. Equipping the Blast Shot requires the fire chip to be active, and changes your shot into a volatile sphere of burny death, which upon contact with a surface produces a prolonged series of explosions lasting about 2 seconds. It’s visually satisfying, but like the Spark shot, robs you of your piercing damage which is a sucky thing all on its own. Worse still, it really doesn’t do enough extra damage to justify its usage, and as you can see in the rightmost picture up there^^ it won’t bypass enemy shields or anything. Putting the final nail in the coffin is its performance versus bosses; Due to their mercy invincibility following a hit, they’ll actually take LESS damage from this than they would from a normal, non-EX attack, getting hit with only the very first boom and none of the following. Shelve this one the moment you get it, there’s really nothing redeeming about it.

Character bios!

Fighting Fefnir


For each of the guardians, I’m gonna be talking about their personalities a bit before getting into the boss strategy, so I can slap em in the character list.
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!

As far as the fight against him goes, he’s something of a tough cookie. As a boss, many of his moves are recycled from his previous duel with Zero, but his AI has been improved significantly. While in the original game, standing next to him basically guaranteed he’d try to grapple you or do a ground pound (which absolutely trivialized the fight), this time around attempting to manipulate him will more than likely result in a fireball being applied directly to one’s forehead. His new Fire explosion move also serves to freshen the fight up; he’ll often use it when you’re up close and personal, and seeing as the best way to dodge it is too run all the way to the opposite corner of the room, it gives Fefnir a much-needed way to give himself breathing room.
Moreover, his newfound herding powers allow his extreme mobility to shine; unlike many bosses, having him off the screen is often MORE dangerous than sticking close to him, because it’ll entice Fefnir to hurtle across the screen at extreme speed and snipe you from above.
More improvements: while he had his charging ability in the first game, he uses it far more frequently here, meaning his moveset is one of the largest we’ve seen so far, necessitating many different tactics to fight successfully. Also Fefnir likes to vocalize, a LOT, upon each of his shots, yelling out *PWAT PWAT PWAT* in the same way a kid might go *BANG! BANG!* should he find his pistol not making the requisite amount of noise. It’s cute

There’s really only two problems I have with him. The first is a general catch-all for the guardians; their EX skills last entirely too long and leave them completely invincible for the duration (on top of being generally hard to dodge) which becomes overkill in cases like Fefnir’s, where he’ll always use his twice before dying unless you whittle his health away in a very specific manner to maximize the damage you do before passing the threshold where the skill becomes a part of his moveset.
The second is his lack of health; in the previous game, he was given a third health bar layer which we’ve yet to see represented in this game, and its disappearance serves to greatly trivialize Fefnir when fought with the thunder chip. I don’t really think this was a necessary change, but it’s a fairly minor thing.


This time around the recycled stage elements warrant their own theme! And, like “Gravity” before it, “Passionate” has a more laid-back, industrial feel to it than some of its compatriots in the ost, though it’s more lively than the former. This makes it another one of my favs from the soundtrack, which I believe brings the total likes up to about half of the stage themes we’ve heard so far. What can I say, this game’s got some good tunes.
Also, as promised waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in January (holy butts I gotta wrap this up), I’ve reupped X, the legend, after application of a copious amount of sandstorm-be-gone. You’re welcome.

X, the legend