|Mega Man Zero|
|Parent series||Mega Man|
Mega Man Zero is a spin-off of the Mega Man series. In the starting idea of the director was that Mega Man Zero 1 should have been the direct sequel of Mega Man X5; this idea was abandoned when Capcom published Mega Man X6.
The Mega Man Zero series starts as a clear break-out from the gameplay of previous Mega Man games, but it gradually comes back to the original schemes, still adding some innovations.
As in Mega Man Legends, two extra modes can be unlocked: "Hard Mode", that presents an extra challenge; and "Ultimate Mode", that is a reward instead, making for an extremely easy game.
- Dialogue: it is important to talk to different non-playable characters in order to get some important items;
- Permanent upgrades: Zero's weapons gain levels being used, in a fashion similar to gaining experience;
- Overworld exploration: almost all stages are connected to each other, and further stages are accessible only after clearing the earlier ones, or the same stage has to be rivisited for a different mission with different enemies.
The latter is the greatest gameplay innovation introduced by Mega Man Zero 1.
In Mega Man Zero 2 there's a clear step back to the past: now the stages are accessible via teleportation, in the traditional Mega Man way. Also, Zero can now earn the special weapon of defeated bosses, exactly as Mega Man and Mega Man X did (but with the further requirement of high score at end mission). Still, there is innovation: Zero can unlock "forms" that give extra abilites.
In Mega Man Zero 3 gameplay is very similar to the previous title. Now the Ultimate Mode is further developed: it is required to unlock 5 mini-games. The "forms" from the previous title are replaced by new #Cyber-Elves with very similar effects.
With Mega Man Zero 4 the process of reverting to the origins of Mega Man is completed: all 8 enemy stages are accessible since the beginning, and all 8 bosses always drop their special weapon to Zero. An innovation is that Zero can temporarily acquire the weapon of any defeated enemy, not only of the bosses.
- Mega Man Zero 1: replay 4 times (normal, Hard, "Jackson Mode", Ultimate Mode)
- Mega Man Zero 2: replay 3 times (normal, Hard, Ultimate Mode)
- Mega Man Zero 3: replay 7 times (normal, Hard, 5x Ultimate Mode) to unlock 7 mini-games
- Mega Man Zero 4: replay 6 times (3x normal, 1x Hard, 2x Ultimate Mode) to unlock 6 (+1) mini-games
A staple of the Mega Man Zero series is the Cyber Elf system. Since Mega Man Zero 1, the hero can collect and use little helpers called "cyber-elves". These help Zero with either temporary or permanent effects, but they "die" after being used (if "die" can be applied to an artificial creature). The player has to raise the level of the most powerful ones before they can be used.
In Mega Man Zero 3 a large portion of Elves can "survive" being used, but only 2 of these can be equipped at the same time. Cyber-elves can be changed between stages only.
In Mega Man Zero 4 the system is greatly changed: there is just one durable Cyber-Elf who can progressively acquire 18 different abilities, but Zero can still choose only 3 abilities to be used in each stage.
- Energy crystals required per game
- Mega Man Zero 1: 26 400 EC
- Mega Man Zero 2: 6 770 EC
- Mega Man Zero 3: 13 520 EC
- Mega Man Zero 4: 7 050 EC
All the four Mega Man Zero games feature exactly 16 stages, with similar structure. This structure is also similar to most games in the Mega Man series.
- 1 or 2 Introductory stages;
- 8 to 11 selectable stages, typically divided in groups of 4;
- 1 or 2 Intermediate stages, after the first 4 selectable stage have been cleared;
- 2 to 5 final stages.
Starting from Mega Man Zero 2, the EX Skills applied to the Z-Saber follow the scheme already introduced in Mega Man X4.
|Flame chip||Ice chip||Thunder chip||No chip|
|Upwards slash||MMX4 Ryuenjin
(Dragon Flame Blade)
(Heaven Rising Slash)
MMZ3 Split Heavens
MMZ4 Flame Fang
|Downwards stab||-||MMX4 Hyouretsuzan
(Ice Fury Slash)
MMZ2 Sharp Edge
|MMZ3 Saber Smash
MMZ4 Sky Chaser
|Dashing slash||-||-||MMZ2 Sengatotsu
(Rotating Fang Thrust)
MMZ4 Thunder Stab
|MMX4 Shippuuga |
MMZ3 Gale Attack
|Shooting slash||-||MMZ3 Throw Blade
MMZ4 Ice Blade
(Thunder God Attack)
|MMZ2 Kougenjin |