Zero gains "Forms" that alter his abilities by performing certain tasks while on a mission. You can only get one Form per mission, the only exceptions being the Proto and Ultimate Forms. Zero's color scheme changes to indicate his current Form.
|Normal||2||2||2||6||None||Zero's default, unspecialized Form|
|Active||2||2||4||8||Kill 20 enemies with
dashing Z-Saber slash
rolling jump-slashes and rolling-dash slashes
|Energy||3||2||1||6||Collect 25 Energy capsules||Energy capsules appear more often|
|Defense||1||4||2||7||Kill 20 enemies with
charged Shield Boomerang
|Shield Boomerang pwr increase|
|Rise||2||2||3||7||Kill 20 enemies with
mid-air Z-Saber slash
upwards third slash
|Proto||4||1||2||7||Beat the game||No charged attacks, no triple-slash |
Only form in Hard Mode.
|X||3||2||3||8||Kill 50 enemies with
the Buster Shot
|Buster Shot upgrade:|
4 bullets per screen
|Power||4||2||1||7||Pull 30 things
with the Chain Rod
single stronger slash
|Erase||2||3||2||7||Reflect 30 shots back at enemies with the Shield Boomerang||Z-Saber and Shield Boomerang upgrade: erase enemy bullets|
|Ultimate||3||3||3||9||Find and use every Cyber Elf in the game||Perform charged attacks by using button combinations|
This form, as the name implies, is the default form Zero gets when you start the game in Normal Mode. The Normal Form is Zero's most fundamental, bare-essentials form and, as such, covers all of the basic gameplay elements you would expect from a Post-MMX Megaman game(the 3 bullet per screen rule, and the triple Z Saber slash combo for example). The Normal Form also serves as a basis for all the other forms, as most are simply minor tweaks of the Normal Form. Additionally, it would be wise to have a good understanding of this form's capabilities and limitations to better strategize which stage to acquire a different form next and to know where to use the other forms' strengths. Note that it's the only form you can access in the first intro stage mission in Normal Mode, regardless of previous save files, as the menu screen still operates with the layout from MMZ1 and so dosen't accommodate a form select screen for the duration of said campaign. Form selection only becomes available after Cerveau fixes Zero up and grants the player the new menu screen.
The X Form pays homage to Mega Man X, who relied more on Buster-type attacks to defeat his enemies, unlike Zero who favors Saber-type weapons. As such the X Form amplifies your Buster's power, but hinders your Z-Saber skills. This contrast in ability almost directly parallels the difference in gameplay between X and Zero from 'Megaman X6'.
How to obtain: Kill 50 enemies with the Buster Shot in one mission.
- Where to obtain: Phoenix Magnion's stage is perfect for acquiring this form, as the Toitanks near the end allow you to rack up many buster kills quickly.
- Effects: With this Form, the Buster Shot can have four bullets on screen at a time instead of the normal three, and their damage output is increased. However, at the cost of boosting his Buster's power, Zero's Z-Saber skills are hindered; he can only perform the second slash of his triple-slash combo(of which the animation is very reminiscent of X's single slash from MMX6).
- Where to use: Use it anytime you need to use the Buster Shot against enemies that attack you far away from a distance and don't die quickly enough. The Gazamir sub-boss, Pantheon Hammers, and Signaloids are particular offenders. It is also useful against the Toitank brigade in the Power Room when you try to obtain the Hacker Elf Dable. A rapid continuous stream of bullets is crucial to keep up with the fast moving waves of toitanks and the elusive U4.
When Zero becomes used to directing his attacks upward, he masters a new slashing move that triggers the activation of Rise Form.
How to obtain: Kill 20 enemies with a midair Saber slash in one mission.
- Where to obtain: Panter Flauclaws' stage is ideal to obtain this Form, because of the numerous Carryarm mooks and the Carryarm brigade sub-boss, you are inclined to use many many jumping slashes as you progress. The Power Form here can come in handy as the Spike-Wheel enemies take at least two normal jumping slashes to take out whereas the the Power Form jumping slash can cut them in half in one clean hit.
- Effects: This Form changes the third slash of Zero's triple-slash combo from an overhead strike into an upwards rising swing(hence the name Rise Form), which has a slightly quicker animation than the regular third slash, thus making it less punishable. Zero also recieves a slight speed boost that allows him to move a little faster.
- Where to use: This is probably the first enhancement you can get for you Z-Saber. If you have obtained it, do not hesitate to switch from the Normal Form to the Rise Form, as the Rise Form renders the Normal Form practically obsolete. The unique upward slash also has an advantage against aerial foes that would dive down to attack you. The Quicker combo also means you can get out of the way of the bosses' counterattack much easier after you've triple slashed them.
Erase Form gives Zero the ability to neutralize plasma bullets on contact. It is a defense-oriented Form that falls short in melee combat, but it can be a crutch in hairy situations where belligerent Mechaniloids spray everything in their vicinity with gunfire. Coincidentally, this form is the same color as Ciel's outfit.
How to obtain: Reflect 30 shots back at enemies with the Shield Boomerang in one mission.
- Where to obtain: If you use the Shield Boomerang to destroy the power reactors in Phoenix Magnion's stage you'll fulfill the requirement more than three times, though this is not ideal. You are almost guaranteed to unlock this Form on the Kuwagust Anchortus' stage when you have to shield Ciel from the Pluggers. They shoot a maddening supply of plasma bullets that you must deflect with the Shield Boomerang to defend her.
- Effects: This Form enables Zero's Z-Saber to destroy enemy plasma shots or cancel out bullets when they make contact with an uncharged Shield Boomerang. However, he can only perform the second slash of his triple-slash combo.
- Where to use: This Form is very helpful against any Mechaniloid that fires plasma bullets, because if you get surrounded by bullets, you have a way to mitigate the danger of getting hit. It's especially useful to obtain the Defense Form, the other Form related to the Shield Boomerang, because enemy bullets will not be reflected back and you'll have to use the charged Shield Boomerang to defeat the enemies; a good location where to use it is Kuwagust Anchortus' stage.
The Power Form is a risky gambit for those who favor brute strength over finesse. It makes Zero's attack power violently strong, at the cost of hindered agility and speed. It's also a time-saver against foes with bulky health bars and is most favorable for direct combat, though at the risk of not being able to dodge away from the enemy's line of fire as well as before. The purple armor of this form is the only color that didn't appear in later Megaman Zero games.
How to obtain: Pull 30 things with the Chain Rod in one mission.
- Where to obtain: The best place where to get it is Hyleg Ourobockle's stage; there are Pantheon Hammers with shields you can pull away, enemies you can pull on over spikes, and large blocks you need to pull in order to progress. So there are lots of opportunities to use the Chain Rod. If you've already beaten Phoenix Magnion the Pantheon Hammers will be gone, but there's nothing stopping you from pulling the first block you find back and forth to get this form.
- Effects: This Form greatly increases Zero's damage output, but makes him rather slow and sluggish. Additionally Zero can only perform the third slash of his triple-slash combo.
- Where to use: This Form is good to use against some sub-bosses and bosses, especially non-elemental ones that don't die quickly. It's also helpful when you need to use dashing slashes and jumping slashes in order to obtain the Active Form and the Rise Form respectively; since the saber does more damage now, enemies that would normally withstand a hit from a regular dashing/jumping slash will be now destroyed in one swift strike instead of multiple hits.
The Energy Form, much like Erase Form, is better inclined for support. If you keep getting badly wounded in missions, you can count on this Form to rescue yourself from total oblivion by using its power to heal yourself dramatically and restock your Sub Tanks in a bad fix. Although Energy Form knocks your speed down a peg, the boost to your attack is a nice advantage that comes with it.
How to obtain: Collect 25 big or small energy capsules in one mission.
- Where to obtain: Poler Kamrous' stage is good for this, as the Panel Cannons at the start of the stage will only drop life pickups, and there's enough room to respawn both of them to the left so that you can destroy both in one charged buster shot. Even if you want to get 100 Points for the mission, the unusually lenient time will allow you to do so while still getting enough drops for this form.
- Effects: This Form makes energy capsules appear more often. It also alters his triple-slash combo so that he performs the second slash twice, then the first slash, and he can only fire two bullets from his buster at a time.
- Where to use: Use it whenever Zero has low HP, to replenish his health.
Zero's defensive potential is maximized when Defense Form is activated, but to use more energy to boost his guard, his body powers down his attacks to a minimum level to avoid straining him.
How to obtain: Kill 20 enemies with the charged Shield Boomerang in one mission.
- Where to obtain: Burble Hekelot's stage is ideal for this one. Because the Shurubon respawn without you having to leave the stage, you can throw the Shield Boomerang and then dash forward. Jump as it gets near you to avoid catching it and it'll orbit in place, allowing you to destroy several Shurubon without having to charge it multiple times.
- Effects: This Form halves the damage Zero suffers, negates the knockback he receives completely and increases the power of his Shield Boomerang, at the cost of decreased attack power for the Z-Saber. Thankfully it doesn't affect the damage output of the charged Saber or EX Skills.
- Where to use: Use it whenever you need to limit the damage dealt to Zero, for example an unfamiliar or unfair boss fight; it can be better than the Energy Form because limiting the damage Zero suffers can improve your score at the end of the level. And as aforementioned above, since the Form doesn't handicap the damage capacity of your charged and special attacks while still halving the damage you receive, it really becomes your best friend against bosses with elemental weaknesses. Provided your boss strategy relies on you mostly spamming charged attacks instead of the triple-slash-combos, that is.
Zero's speed, agility, and reflexes peak when Active Form is being used. He moves so quickly that he can use his momentum to somersault through the air as he attacks with his Z-Saber or tuck and roll down a corridor while cutting apart everything he hits in a wheeling blur of destruction.
How to obtain: Kill 20 enemies with a dashing Saber slash in one mission.
- Where to obtain: Any stage with a lot of flat ground and enemies to kill will suffice. One in particular is the Residential Area, specifically the pair of Pantheon Guardians with the bed of spikes to the left and the large block (the kind that can be pulled with the Chain Rod) to the right.
- Effects: This Form allows Zero to perform a spinning Saber slash while in the air or a Rolling Slash when dashing, and maximizes his speed. Basically, Active Form gives you access to the two attacks from the first Zero series without needing to level up two more times. However, enabling Sengatotsu disables the dashing rolling slash, and Zero can only perform the first slash of his triple-slash combo when Active Form is used.
- Where to use: Thanks to its speed upgrade and the new, very helpful attacks it adds to Zero's moveset, this is probably one of the best Forms you can have, to be used as much as possible.
The Proto Form is a hidden, instinctive function in Zero's body that activates when he needs more power. It gives you access to a prototype version of Zero's Basic Form that doesn't balance his energy reserves properly. Instead, it reroutes almost all of the energy in his body to power up his weaponry. His weapons do extreme amounts of damage, but the Proto Form burns through so much energy, there isn't much left for Zero to tap on in order to charge some weapons, buffer damage done to his systems or even activate his hidden system that captures and harnesses EX Skills.
How to obtain: Beat the game and save, and/or play on Hard Mode afterward.
- Where to obtain: At the end of the game.
- Effects: This Form greatly increases Zero's attack power, but he can only perform the first slash of his triple-slash combo, his defense is halved, and none of his weapons except the Shield Boomerang can be charged. Zero receives it automatically and is locked into using this Form when entering the first mission of Hard Mode.
- Where to use: Proto Form's costs outweigh its benefits. It is generally not a good choice for anything beyond a self-imposed challenge. Like it or not, you have to use it in Hard Mode with no choice of switching between any other Forms.
When Zero is infused with the powers of literal a Cyber-Elf army, now awakens his greatest most powerful state, the Ultimate Form. Zero's body radiates with the surplus energy from all the Cyber-Elves he used. He can now channel the extra energy to boost all of his stats tremendously. Zero now has faster speed, greater force, and bigger health. Zero may also choose to direct some of that energy into his weapons, raising them to maximum power in an instant. However, bypassing the weapons' charge cycle is not without risks, and the energy transfer must be precise in order to to prevent Zero from tearing himself apart. Luckily, Zero's internal systems have cataloged special command-input programs to funnel the energy spikes safely and accordingly.
How to obtain: Find, raise, and use every Cyber-Elf in the game.
- Where to obtain: The earliest point where you can obtain it in a single game is at the end of the last mission; the requirement to get this Form (using all Cyber-Elves, thus lowering your score to rock bottom) is in complete contrast with the requirement to obtain the EX Skills (getting a high rank); anyway, all the cyber-elves can be used in the last five missions, i.e. starting from Neo Arcadia Temple, taking care to use first the "bee"-type and "stick"-type animal cyber-elves. The Hacker Elves that change your rank to A are troublemakers: they can't be used if your rank is already fixed at A. You must complete more missions to make it rise or fall again, and therefore, enabling them to be used again. If you run out of enough missions to use these particular Cyber-Elves, you will be conscripted to beat the game and cycle back through the missions by choosing to start a new game on a save file that has been cleared once.
- Effects: This Form allows you to perform charged attacks without charging by using button combinations ala Street Fighter. Like the Basic Form, all of it stats are balanced, only one point more each.
- Buster Level 1: + Buster
- Buster Level 2: + Buster
- Saber: + Saber
- Chain Rod: + Chain Rod
- Shield Boomerang: + Shield Boomerang
- Where to use: Once you get it, it would be worth to start a new game and play through it using this Form alone; it would be an easy game. You can also damage bosses much faster by cutting to the chase with the charged attacks rather than taking time to charge them up.