Advanced Pre-Standard Reploid Systems, Weapons and Technique Learning System, Z Saber, Z Buster
Mega Man X (December 1993)
"You can't even lay a single scratch on me. Move on before you get hurt."
Zero is a character from Capcom's Mega Man X series and the main protagonist of the Mega Man Zero series.
Zero was created by the late Dr. Albert Wily sometime in the early-21st century. His first chronological appearance was in the form of schematic blueprints during Bass's ending for Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters and described by Wily as his "greatest masterpiece." Learning from his past mistakes, including the accidental creation of Bassnium, and his construction of Bass and King, Wily constructed a new robot, far more advanced than anything he had ever built before with a power level far superior to that of Bass or Mega Man. Wily took the time to complete Zero, originally planning to use him against both Mega Man, and his insolent rebellious Bass. However, this never happened, and he was never utilized during the Wily Wars.
Zero was routinely activated in a semi-conscious state during his construction, and Wily conversed with him, mirroring what Light himself did with X. Zero was aggressive and disobedient, and because of this Wily decided to seal him in a capsule.
Decades later, in the early 22nd century, he was awakened by a group of Reploids prior to the first Mega Man X game. When he was first activated, he awoke as a Maverick (by the definition of wanting to cause harm to all humans) and destroyed all intruders who had dared to enter Wily's lair. Zero was later cornered by Maverick Hunter Elite, Gamma's Maverick Hunter unit inside an unknown facility, however at the cost of a total loss of said unit. Not wanting to get anymore comrades endangered by the powerful enigmatic Maverick, then-Hunter Commander Sigma himself challenged Zero in a fateful one-on-one battle. Even though Zero eventually gained the upper hand during the battle, Sigma was able to defeat the red Maverick after the gem on Zero's head began to glow and a 'W' symbol appeared, apparently causing Zero great pain. Sigma punched this crystal, shattering it and defeating Zero (subsequently passing on the Maverick Virus to himself). He was then brought to Dr. Cain, who analyzed him.
After that, Zero recovered from his battle with Sigma and was placed under Sigma's watch. Zero did not show any signs of Maverick behavior and was enlisted into the Maverick Hunters' 17th Elite Unit. Zero had sacrificed his life multiple times as a Maverick Hunter and was usually rebuilt or repaired as soon as possible.
However, towards the end of the Maverick Wars, Zero submitted his body had been examined by the top scientists, and his conscious, or control chip, was seperated from his body. A cure for the Maverick Virus was discovered. The cure was made into an entity known as the Mother Elf, and the scientists used the Mother Elf's energy to create Cyber elves that were used to spread the cure. However, Dr. Weil, one of the researchers, was power-hungry, and had stolen Zero's body and the Mother Elf. Weil created a Reploid of pure evil named Omega, who inhabited Zero's body.
Weil then corruped the Mother Elf, turning her into the Dark Elf, and used her to control other Reploids. Meanwhile, the other researchers constructed a new body for Zero. This body was potentially even stronger than Zero's original body, and when his control chip was inserted into the new body, he began to fight alongside Mega Man X in the Elf Wars. The war was so large that 90% of all Reploids and about 45% of all humans were killed in the war. In the end, Omega was sent into space, and Weil was exiled from Neo Arcadia, a utopia for reploids and humans ruled by X. Zero, deciding that it was his own fault that these wars happened, decided to seal himself away for good. However, the Dark Elf was still at large, and X sealed himself away to restrain the Dark Elf.
This would lead into the Mega Man Zero series, which takes place in 23XX, in a dystopian future. Zero is awakened by Ciel, the leader of the Resistance against Neo Arcadia. It is revealed that the ruler is Copy X, an imperfect copy of Mega Man X created by Ciel while the real X, now a cyber-elf, wandered around the Earth aimlessly. Years earlier, during an energy crisis, Copy X decided to label innocent reploids as Mavericks and exterminate them. Copy X was also served by the Four Guardians, known as Sage Harpuia, Fairy Leviathan, Fighting Fefnir, and Hidden Phantom.
After destroying Copy X, resulting in the death of Hidden Phantom and the defeat of the rest of the Four Guardians, the fortress in which Zero and Copy X self-destructed, and Zero was presumed dead by the Resistance. Though, in reality, he has been wandering around the desert aimlessly for a year. Eventually, he is found by the Resistance, and taken to the new HQ.
Under the command of the new commander of the Resistance, Elpizo, Zero continued his duty by destroying Mavericks that were a threat to the Resistance. Meanwhile, Elpizo had been planning Operation: Righteous Strike, in which he believes the only way to acquire peace is to destroy Neo Arcadia, though Ciel and Zero were against the idea.
However, when he finally carries the operation into motion, it quickly goes horribly wrong when the Resistance soldiers involved in the operation were quickly killed by the three remaining Guardians. Having gone mad by the death of his soldiers and his absolute failure as a commander, Elpizo leaves the Resistance, and decided that he would make it up by unleashing the power of the Dark Elf to destroy Neo Arcadia.
Making his way into Yggdrasil, the location in which X's body was holding the Dark Elf, Zero had reached Elpizo, but it was too late. He had already gone mad and absorbed the power of the Dark Elf after destroying X's body, while also possessing the power of the Baby Elves.. After a fateful battle, Zero defeated Elpizo, who realizes the wrongs of his actions, and asks for forgiveness. However, the Dark Elf, turning good briefly, saves Elpizo from death by turning him into a cyber-elf.
As Zero continued his duties as with the Resistance, under the command of Ciel, he encounters a powerful Maverick named Omega on one mission, who easily defeats the Guardians. Zero and Omega engage in combat, but are interrupted by Dr. Weil, who has returned for revenge, as well as Copy X MK-II, a stronger and more advanced, yet still mentally imperfect, clone of Mega Man X.
Being endlessly loyal to X, or anyone like him, the Guardians side with Omega, Weil, and Copy X MK-II. While diverting Zero's attention by summoning several Mavericks to fight the crimson warrior, Weil spent his time looking for the Baby Elves. After persuading them to side with him, Neo Arcadia launches a missile at a small town to enable Omega to find the Dark Elf, Zero goes there and attempts to stop it, but fails, and Omega fuses with the Dark Elf, making him all the more powerful.
However, during an assault on Neo Arcadia, Zero makes his way to Copy X MK-II, where they fight. Zero defeats him, but after being completely destroyed by a built-in failsafe system by Dr. Weil, the real X, still a cyber-elf, reveals to Zero that Dr. Weil had apparently planned to use the failsafe system to frame Zero for the death of the ruler of the human utopia, and also ensures that Weil becomes the leader of Neo Arcadia.
Zero then proceeds to make his way to confront Weil. After terminating the Baby Elves, he went on to fight Omega in three different forms, the last having Omega in Zero's original Mega Man X-era body. After an intense fight, Zero manages to defeat Omega with the help of the Guardians, but the Dark Elf appears, creating an energy barrier around Omega, protecting him.
However, Zero manages to bypass the barrier and destroy Omega. The explosion is so massive, though, that it killed everyone nearby, except Zero, who was recovered by the Resistance. Also, with the death of Omega, the curse upon the Dark Elf has been lifted, and now she is pure of heart, once more becoming the Mother Elf, and flies away. Ciel explains that Zero survived because he was protected by the Mother Elf.
Meanwhile, Dr. Weil's tyrannical rule over Neo Arcadia has caused a several humans to flee, and start a settlement in Area Zero, which happened to be the crash site of Eurasia. The Eurasia Incident (Mega Man X5), happened to be the cause of Zero's death/disappearance for three weeks back in the Maverick Wars.
The humans fleeing from Neo Arcadia are attacked by Variant-brand Mavericks controlled by Weil, but Zero destroys the Mavericks, and the humans step out. One of the humans, a reporter named Neige, thanks Zero cautiously, but warns him to stay away from the settlement, as Reploids aren't welcome. When Ciel asks why, Neige explains that humans hate and resent Reploids for bringing war and death for over two centuries.
After a Maverick disturbance is detected near the settlement in Area Zero, Ciel dispatches Zero to quell the disturbance. After destroying the Maverick, he is stopped by 8 more Mavericks, named the Einherjar, and their leader, a mysterious Reploid named Craft.
After being sent on several missions, all of which involving destroying the Einherjar, he confronted Craft during a Maverick attack on the Area Zero settlement. After the battle, Craft realized Dr. Weil was the villain, and disappeared.
Zero confronted Craft again on a space station called Ragnarok. Craft reveals that he believes that the best way to eliminate Dr. Weil is by firing a giant laser beam at Neo Arcadia, where Weil presumably resides. Zero attempts to stop him, but fails, and the laser kills most of the residents of Neo Arcadia. However, Zero does manage to terminate Craft once and for all.
When Zero is transported back to Earth, it is revealed that Dr. Weil survived the blast, and now controls Ragnarok. As Zero returns to Ragnarok for his final clash with Weil, the spaceship begins to crash into Earth due to Weil fusing with the core of Ragnarok. With the space station heading straight for Area Zero, Zero is the settlement's last hope.
In his last battle, it is also revealed that Zero does not have enough time to escape if he survives his clash with Weil. Zero figures out that by destroying Ragnarok's core, Ragnarok will explode while still in orbit, and Area Zero will be saved. In a last act of noble courage, Zero sacrificed himself once and for all, destroying Weil, Ragnarok, and himself.
The ultimate result of the infamous Dr. Albert Wily's research, Zero was built with the intention of surpassing anything Wily had built before, and to destroy his long time nemesis's creation, Megaman, as well as his own misguided creation, Bass. Being made before the introduction of standard mass produced Reploids and during the construction of X, his internal processes and construction are considered to be more advanced than most known robotics and on par with X's parameters and capabilities.
He is initially outfitted with an armament known as the Z-Buster, an arm cannon capable of firing of blasts of energy as well as manipulating it to launch it in special variations and projections.
During the X2 series and onward, Zero adopts and becomes the user of the Z-Saber, a beam sword that became his trademark weapon. Not only capable of manifesting itself as a beam of light, it is also capable of changing its consistency, ranging from from different wavelengths of frequencies, different states of energy, including pure electricity, ice, and fire, and to even various mass compositions, including metal, crystal, and even foliage, to suit a variety of situations in combat and on the field.
Zero is also outfitted with the Learning System, a system not unlike the Variable Weapons System in its copying and adaptation of certain weapons, but adapts various abilities and techniques of opponents and enemies, and even goes as far as copying the kind of power and possible energy projection emitted from the attack.
As an android created by Dr. Wily, he possesses superhuman strength, speed, and durability. All Reploids possess these attributes, but it is unknown on how stronger they are than humans exactly.
However, underneath his exterior displays of ability and performance, just like X, Zero holds an immense and potentially limitless capability for adaptation and power. Via his power grid and many gameplay incarnations of him, Zero is a traditional Glass Cannon (weak on defense but strong on offense) as in the main Mega Man games, most of his attacks did an immense amount of damage. But in his fighting game counterparts, Zero has his traditional low health, but makes up for it with great combo potential and versatility despite not being overly strong. Thus, it can be stated with Zero's swordsman skills and with his other abilities, Zero can adapt to practically any foe he fights, and his long combos tend to show Zero often and always fights at his best and does not tolerate holding back.
The reason for his low health is mainly due to his creator and Dr. Light being unable to provide future armor upgrades for him that involve his durability (barring the secret Black Zero armor), and thus his defense mainly stated consistent through out the Mega Man X series. Despite this, he makes up for this with skills in other fields/strengths and great adaptation to many situations.
A hardened soldier, he is a war torn veteran, and is cold, calculated, and ruthless on the battlefield. Once a competitive and daredevil Maverick Hunter, devastating events and close tragedies of those close to him and related to the Maverick Wars brought him to light the sorrows and suffering of the conflict. However, he knows when to show restraint, and can easily tell right from wrong. He comes off as sarcastic and distant, even to his closest allies X and Axl. However, deep down, he is caring and would always put his life on the line for his friends, no matter the consequences. This can be proven by the fact that Zero dies a total of two times in the X series alone, three if you count the non-canon scenario of Mega Man X5 where he sacrifices himself to protect X from Sigma.
He also acts as a mentor to X and Axl, and is a competent leader, being the commander of the Special 0 Unit of the Maverick Hunters. Outside of his duties as a Maverick Hunter, he yearns to find out about his past.
However, in the Mega Man Zero series, his personality is a bit different, possibly due to his amnesia. He is far more silent, having very little lines in the first Mega Man Zero game compared to the rest of the series. He doesn't show a solid personality in this series, though at one point in Mega Man Zero 3, when his friend Ciel begins to question her own actions, Zero assures her that what she is doing is right, and inspires her to continue going on. Later on in the series, he eventually regains his memories, but having experienced a lot in his lifetime, he remains taciturn and without much to say.
His future personality also shows signs of deep indifference and coldness to those inhospitable to him and his friends. In Mega Man Zero 4, he and Ciel attempt to warn the human residents of Area Zero, the last habitable place on a devastated Earth, of the grand threat of the powerful Ragnarok satellite cannon. Faced with much resistance, and their complaints of how Reploids, their wars and destruction that potentially destroyed the world, and how Zero is nothing but the cause of the series' conflict, he leaves them, while telling Ciel that the humans have been warned, and that it is up to them to decide whether to evacuate or be destroyed by Ragnarok. Despite this, he also has much hope in humans, as he believes it is within them to change the world for the better.
Lastly, the most notable difference in terms of personality between his Mega Man X incarnation and his Mega Man Zero incarnation is that the former fights for justice and peace as a Maverick Hunter, while the latter fights on his own accord, refusing to be acknowledged as a hero. There at also hints of him believing in fighting at full power, as Zero's never one to hold back in fights.
In his Mega Man X incarnation, he sports blue eyes, a blond ponytail with a blue band, as well as a red helmet with several "horns" and a blue, triangular energy crystal in the center of his helmet. His body is the standard build of a reploid, despite the fact that he is technically an android, as a reploid is a replica of X built in 21XX. As of Mega Man X2, he also has shoulder guards with the letter Z on both of them.
In his Mega Man Zero incarnation, his appearance is sleeker and more human-like. Like most of the characters in the Mega Man Zero series, he sports a vest that he wears over a skintight bodysuit. The energy crystal located on his helmet is now green, and he now has black eyes. His skin is also paler.
- This is the fourth time Zero has appeared in a Capcom crossover game; he debuted in SNK vs. Capcom: SvC Chaos (in his form from Mega Man Zero), Onimusha: Blade Warriors (again in his MMZ form) and Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, but it is the first time he has ever made it to the Marvel vs. Capcom series. All these listed games have Zero as a hidden/mid-boss character, while save for MVC3, where Zero is introduced as a starter.
- His Level 3 hyper is the infamous Genmurei (yelled here as "Genmu Zero!") from the equally-infamous X vs. Zero battle from Mega Man X5. This also doubles as a Bilingual Bonus, as Genmurei literally translates to "Phantasm Zero".
- Zero briefly gains Awakening Zero's crimson Battle Aura during said hyper, however, it is possibly due to the fact that Zero is not under the virus is the reason why the Genmu Zero is yellow instead of green, and why it fires one wave instead of two like in the boss fight.
- A very subtle reference also comes from the color of his Z-Saber during Genmurei. Zero's Z-Saber can obtain a power-up from one of the Mavericks via his Tenkuuha (Aether Supremacy) ability (or in the case of in X5 and X6, from power-up parts) in several games (these three cases turn his saber purple), allowing him to deflect projectiles (the only exception was X7, where he had this augment from the start). In X8, beating Earthrock Trilobyte earns you the technique Rekkyoudan (Violent Mirror Severing), which gives the Z-Saber a yellowish-orange glow. During his Level 3, the Z-Saber exhibits both of these properties.
- Zero's Hadangeki and Genmu Zero are inversed in color in MVC3; the original Hadangeki was yellow in color, while Genmu Zero during Awakened Zero's X5 boss fight was green. However, Hadangeki was already green in TvC.
- His alternate color schemes are based on X, Axl, and his "brother" Bass. For Ultimate, he loses his X scheme for another one based off X's first Armor, and gets two schemes based off Vile and his Mega Man Zero design. His DLC costume is X himself.
- His character theme is a remix of his Boss Fight theme from Mega Man X2.
- In his ending, Zero also mistakes Silver Surfer's addressing of Mega Man Zero (as in the series, not Zero himself) as the title the Surfer gives him and quickly corrects him on it. This was one of the many problems found in a manga adaptation of Mega Man Zero.
- Zero in his X-Factor mode can be seen as a nod to Maverick Zero, in the infamous X vs Zero fight in X5.
- All of Zero's attacks came from each of the MMX series games he was playable in from MMX3 to MMX8.
- The Hyper Zero Buster originated from Mega Man X3, while Shippuuga, Hienkyaku, and Ryuuenjin originated from Mega Man X4. The Sogenmu and Genmu Zero techniques came from Mega Man X5, while Sentsuizan and Rekkouha came from Mega Man X6. The only move that originated from Mega Man X7 was Hadangeki. Raikousen originated from Mega Man X8. Because of this, he now has one attack from every main series game he has been playable in.
- His standing L, M, and H in that order is a nod to Zero's basic saber combo. His crouching M is a nod to his pre-X6 crouching attack, and his jumping M attack is a nod to his midair saber slash. All of these animations along with the saber itself are before Mega Man X6 (especially since Zero gains new animations as well as a new saber).
- Zero's stance in TvC has both fists formed, while his leading hand in MvC3 is not clenched into one; this is a nod to Zero's original stances in X3-X5 (shown in TvC) and X6 (shown in MVC3).
- Zero is one of only 6 characters (the other being Hsien-Ko, M.O.D.O.K., Spider-Man, Super Skrull and Shuma-Gorath) in the game to have a special quote fighting himself. This is due to him fighting "himself" in some games, namely in an opening cutscene in X5, and the Zero Nightmare in X6, as well as the Copy Zero from Mega Man X2 which Zero will destroy if X manages to have him repaired before that battle.
- Zero confuses Sentinel for a Maverick - a term used in the Mega Man X series describing a Reploid that desires to harm humans (this is partly true as it was made to combat human mutants, but not necessarily humans in general).
- Zero is considered the replacement for Mega Man in representing the series on MvC3. Zero is also considered the replacement for Hayato as well; both have similar fighting styles focusing on the energy sword.
- Niitsuma, the producer of MvC3, announced that he replaced Mega Man with Zero because he felt Zero had more variation in his moves.
- Zero is the only character out of the 3 who came to MvC3 from TvC with minimal changes to his actual model design aside from color fixing, the other two being Viewtiful Joe and Frank West. Zero's only changes involved his hair being to its usual length and form (in TvC had it somewhat thinner like in Mega Man X8), along with the aforementioned one-hand-open X6 stance. Joe's TvC model was exactly from his games (though he faces more forward towards his foe in MvC3's case) while Frank's face gets some changes. Also, in terms of gameplay, Zero's neutral game is more improved, making rely less on pressure like in TvC (where he was considered high/top-tier.) All three characters even improve greatly on their offensive games (More so for Frank and Zero).
- Both Frank and Zero have jumping C/H's that are normal midair attacks rather than air combo finishers (they instead have new ones), while Joe's original jumping C/H is now his j.S, while receiving a new j.C/H. In Frank and Zero's case, the same also applies to Ryu and Chun-Li, though the latter two are long runners in the series.
- In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 one of his new win quotes can contextually be taken as a reference to (or even something of a jab at) the huge demand for Mega Man X: "If X were here, he would have tried to talk things out first. Unfortunately for you, X isn't here." Although it's highly likely the line is meant to be Zero suggesting to his opponent that if X were present before the fight it -along with their defeat- might not have happened at all, due to X's famous technical pacifist nature.
- Zero is also the only TvC character to keep a Level 3 Hyper after being transitioned over to the Marvel vs. Capcom series. His original Level 3 Hyper was the Dark Hold, where he would stop time after slashing his opponent with a rushing slash to hold them in place, then run them through with a enlarged Z-Saber in the shape of the one from the Zero series.
- Both his Level 3 Hypers even come from the same game of origin, Mega Man X5.
- Zero is classified as one of the shorter characters in-game, though he is actually estimated to be around 5'8 or 5'9. He is even called "an angry space midget" by Hawkeye. He is shown to be slightly taller than Wolverine, who is 5'3, and around the same height as X-23, though she is 5'6.
- Zero's alignment may be in question. When he was first awoken, he was violent and disobedient towards his creator, Dr. Wily, and caused destruction everywhere, leading him to be sealed away for a century. Because this incarnation of Zero is the Mega Man X series incarnation, he is a Maverick Hunter who protects the innocent. However, there have been occasions where he has been turned to evil (though these events are non-canon), and fights X. However, in SNK vs. Capcom: SvC Chaos, he is in his Mega Man Zero incarnation, and was quoted saying "Humans are my enemy. Enough of this. Shall we?" as pre-fight dialogue. In the final battle against Dr. Weil in Mega Man Zero 4, he is quoted saying "I never cared about justice, and I don't recall ever calling myeslf a hero. I have always only fought for the people I believe in. I won't hesitate. If an enemy appears in front of me, I will destroy it!"
- Zero is shown to be ambidexterous; his Z-Saber in real canon (more so than in his artwork than in his sprites and in MMX8, save for the character select in X4) is sheathed over his left-shoulder, as the aforementioned games makes him show it over his right shoulder instead; yet despite being right-handed most of his normals involve using his left-hand to slash with his saber (in terms of facing to the right that is).
- Zero has the most voice actors in all of his appearances (most of them in English), though in the Vs. Capcom series so far he's only had 3 different ones on average like most others (In both Japanese, which are Ryoutarou Okiayu for his X incarnation and Yuuto Kazama for his Zero incarnation, and one in English).
- Zero's MvC3 English Voice Actor, Johnny Yong Bosch, seems to make Zero via in name play homage to his other roles, including Nero from Devil May Cry 4 and Lelouch Lamperouge/Vi Britannia from Code Geass. Some take it as a casting joke, while others take it a bit offensive in terms of Zero's casting from the MMX series.
- Zero's ending in UMvsC3 is slightly changed so that after saying he isn't Mega Man Zero, he says right after if someone like that ever existed, which is semi-ironic, since both Zero and "Mega Man Zero" are essentially the same being, just in different time periods.
- But Zero himself doesn't know this since his incarnation in the game is his Mega Man X appearance, and his Mega Man Zero incarnation never appears in this game (especially since Zero in the MMZ series lost his memories).
- Zero in the original released version of MVC3 had a snapback glitch with his Sougenmu, where if only Zero's shadow connected on a target during his Shippuuga animation (if any of their assists were on screen), the foe would fly out but no one would be tagged in, thus making Zero or his teammates all alone on the field. This lead to very cheap time-outs with such an exploit, and was removed in the update patches. (Zero's Sougenmu would end if he used a snapback).
- Zero in UMVC3 is one of the few characters without a hyper that can be button mashed for more damage.
- When pitted against Frank West, Zero will call Frank "a civilian" at the start of a fight, and when Zero defeats Frank, he'll make a Dead Rising reference using Frank's catchphrase "I've covered wars, you know!" (i.e. Zero will say "You may have covered wars, but you're still a civilian.") and comment about his eyes and brain being "so weak that he must rely on a photon capture device". Zero likely refers to it in this technical sense because cameras in the future obviously look much different than the one Frank uses.