The Let's Play Archive

Mega Man Zero 2

by Gamwhiz1

Part 19: Video 15

Couldn’t think of something more clever. CAN’T ALL BE WINNERS.

Stage notes!

100 pt. Requirements:
-Clear time: 3:50
-Enemies killed: 37
-Mission: N/A

The stage itself is filled with easy-to-kill enemies, so hard mode doesn’t hurt you that much, save for not letting you kill Poplans whenever you want to with the Tenshouzan. As for the boss though, well, have fun trying to hit him.

The Temple of Wind is…odd. Unlike Ice and Fire, we’re not getting any real examples of “air” here; admittedly, it’d be hard to flood the stage with liquid oxygen, but on the other hand, we’re not given any wind effects, or open-air segments, or anything that really screams “this is the air stage”. Instead, the stage attempts to embody the element by bringing in things last seen in the airborne bomb mission, and by making the path fold in on itself as it steadily travels upwards.

Said elements (the laser-producing generators) are interesting enough, but because there’s no real enemy presence within their little rooms it feels more like an easy maze than the frantic time-is-of-the essence race around obstacles that the bombing mission had, and furthermore because the other electrical bosses we’ve had took place in decidedly non-aerial locations there’s not exactly a plethora of other things to base the stage on, which makes it a little boring. They even actually have to go and pull some enemies from the Forests (Poplans, Saranets) to get a diverse cast, which is pretty funny. Plus, the reuse of the background and textures for the third time here starts to grate, especially seeing as the last stage had some cool ice and water effects changing the look, which is kinda eh.
In fact, it looks even more familiar than that…almost like…we’ve been here before…

That’s a screencap from the first of three Neo Arcadia areas present in the first game, called the “Neo Arcadia Shrine”, a stage which bears a STRIKING resemblance to our Temple of Wind. It might just be me, but there’s quite a few things that make me question the originality of the level:

- The platform seen up there^ ONLY appears in this one stage of Zero 2, in the same place as it did in the first game, and is guarded by bees here in the same general places vultures were on guard
- The first laser area exists in the same place as an equivalent enclosed structure filled with electrical traps, while the second exists in the same place as another structure with a midboss in it
- The second area was immediately followed by a series of thin platforms leading upwards, just like here
- The textures from the shrine were lifted and recycled for those of the temples

Again, could be nothing, but I swear whenever I run the area it gives me an enormous sense of Déjà vu I just can’t shake. HERE’S a NA Shrine video if you wanna check for yourself; there’s differences, but they’re remarkably similar, at least until the second mid-boss.

It’s not overly difficult, at least not as much as the Temple of Fire, but the entire last segment is littered with enemies that are partially/entirely invincible and is remarkably annoying, which makes the stage in general seem kinda mediocre.

Character bios!

Harpuia – Armed Phenomenon


Harpuia gets his share of the giant robot love, but in his case the transformation is against his will – hence the “UWAAAAAAAAH” at the beginning. Those baby elves seem to be bad news.

Harpuia’s battle is a lot like Leviathan’s, what with all the changing of sides, and like his two Guardian friends only his head is vulnerable to damage, which means that you’re only gonna be able to hit with the shield boomerang and buster shot in select instances. As such, this is usually a job best left for your saber and ice chips, a combo which he is no less weak to than he was last time. ‘Course, if you’re on hard mode, you’ll just have to veeeery carefully chip away at that health bar.
His moveset consists of upgraded moves from the past, like his missiles or the tornado used in last game’s EX Skill, and generally hit hard and fast, but unlike some of the other Armed Phenomenon moves none of them are excessively unfair or hard to dodge. They’re telegraphed well, are powerful but not overpowered, and are pretty universally visually satisfying, which makes Hapruia’s AP one of my favorite bosses in the game. He gets a lot of really awesome moves, and though his EX skill still carries the sin of being overly long, it’s pretty dang sweet and gets a pass from me because of it.
Also, he’s a jet.

This makes him about 400% cooler than any other boss design automatically.

There’s some good variety here with attacks at long, mid, and close range, and there’s generally more than one way to dodge attacks (like shooting his missiles down yourself with the X form), which all comes together to make a fight that feels really fair. I’d normally be continuing this a bit by complaining about this or that but nope, Harpuia’s a bro and this is a fun fight, that’s all there is to it. Too bad he’s not behind his own mental wheel at present!

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.

Extra notes!

This is the last stage we have before the final showdown, though I’ll be doing one more extra thing beforehand. However, mediocre as the stage itself is, the boss and accompanying dialogue are amazing, and not just because it’s a fun fight. It’s easy to miss, but Zero and Harpuia get both a good bit of development and a nice bookend here. See, you can visibly notice Zero inching up on Elpizo during the sequence, but he never attacks, seeing as Harpuia’s at risk. Furthermore, even when Harpy begs Zero to kill him, he refuses, instead opting to save his life by beating the elves out of the guardian.
Being a man robot of few words, Zero doesn’t really say anything here, but he’s repaying the debt he owes by sparing Harpuia’s life – Zero got saved by Harpuia at the beginning of the game, Zero’s saving Harpuia at the end, and in recognition of that Harpy leaves the finale up to Zero.

It’s nice and subtle, and a good example of how well the Zero games are written when compared to some of the other Megaman entries. Harpuia always steals the good scenes.


Two new tracks this time round. The first is the new stage theme, called “The Cloudy Stone”. It’s a super-cool name, but the track itself doesn’t really live up to the hype in my eyes – It’s got a lot of really heavy bass, but also an annoying discordant electronic sound underlying a good portion of the song that I’m really not a fan of. When it ends, it’s good enough, but kinda generically ominous and I just don’t care for it.

The second track is titled “Harpuia”, although it’s really not related to him specifically at all-it’s more a theme for when the Baby/Dark elves are doing their thing. I’m sure he doesn’t mind, though, seeing as he’s the only one to get a music track named after him. Always hogging the spotlight, that Harpuia.
As for the sound, it’s a nicely satisfying “OH SHIT” track, but only ever plays for short bits at a time so you’ll likely ignore it for the most part.

The Cloudy Stone