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Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012








Game: Mega man Zero 2
Systems: GBA, DS (Megaman Zero collection)
Genre: Action-Platformer
Developed by: Inti creates
Published by: Capcom
Release date: October 14, 2003

ABOUT THE GAME

Mega Man Zero 2 is the second in a series of four offshoot games in the Mega Man franchise, starring creator's pet and fan favorite character Zero.
The game, at its core, is of the same action-platformer style established by previous entries in the series, with a few key differences. Gameplay has been streamlined, with Zero performing much more fluidly and with a greater emphasis on speed than his previous incarnations; This is exemplified through his new, slimmer build-gone is the white/red bulky armor combo he was known for in the past, replaced by a black-and-red color scheme, boots, and a vest. And what appears to be a white thong, but let's not get into that. Also added are the cyber-elves (powerups) and a ranking system that loosely affects how the game is played. Perhaps the most jarring change to the classic formula, though, is the lack of "weapon get" style gameplay-defeating bosses doesn't always give you any additions to your arsenal. Instead, an rpg-like "weapon level" system is used-the more you use 'em, the stronger they get.

This game also brings with it a surprisingly deep storyline (considering its roots) - many characters, other than the title one, are introduced, and the 4-game series chronicles the fight of a robot resistance against the abusive utopia, Neo Arcadia.

Zero 2 adheres to most of the things that made the first game great, with a few notable exceptions. The most notable is the redaction of the first game’s innovative world setup; rather than feature interconnected areas you can traverse outside of missions, we’re back to the well-established hub from which we are transported to extraneous areas. While disappointing, this does allow for a much more diverse range of mission biomes, and the base is still open to exploration so all is not lost.
This game also adds unlockable forms and special skills that alter how you can play the game, which makes it far more interesting than the relative lack of variety Zero 1 offered, and more in line with how Zero worked back in the days of Megaman X.
Music and stage design are also much improved, meaning Zero 2 improved on the series in just about every way.

Why Zero 2?

Because it's more fun than the first one? In all seriousness, though, you don't need to be overly familiar with the first to enjoy the second, and I'll be posting a plot synopsis below the OP. You could also check out one of the excellent lps of it in the archive.

WHAT WILL BE INCLUDED:

Mega Man games have been done to death, and while this particular series hasn't been done AS much, I'll be going out of my way to spruce it up.
I’ll be doing a complete run through of the game, getting perfect mission scores, collecting every cyber elf, and not taking one point of damage during missions. I’ll also be getting every form and EX skill, which will be expanded upon later. Separate, optional parts including dialogue with the resistance members, as well as a couple drama tracks, will also be posted when relevant. I’ve even upped the music of the game, as recorded from the source, if you're into that kinda thing.
Additionally, I’ll be running each level on hard mode, with the score and damage stipulations still in effect. These won't be commentated, but they will be faster so if you want to see how the game plays in hard mode (everything hits harder, no weapon levels or skills) or simply can't stand my voice and just wanna see the drat game, that's an option.

After each video, I’ll be supplementing with bios for the characters and bosses introduced and giving any trivia tidbits I happen to know. All in all this should be an interesting journey for everyone.

As for thread behavior, feel free to discuss whatever, but keep spoilers tagged, please. Keep it fun for everyone and all that. You’re also welcome to make requests for boss order, though occasionally I might make the call myself.
------------------------------------------------------------------------



(upper parts of cards link to the pertinent post, so you don't miss out on super-sexy trivia)
Also, PLAYLIST HERE.

































EXTRA POSTS

Rockman Zero remastered (kickass music), and interesting voice-acted drama tracks. Featuring super-cute Alouette!
"So you want to know about the Neo Arcadian Military?"
"Anime and manga!?!"
"Dumb things and long videos no one really asked for."

MUSIC

This game has some legit good music, so if you've got the time you might want to check 'em out. Have at it.

Playlist HERE

Title II
For endless fight II/Comparison For endless fight I
Departure
Guarder room
Crash II/Comparison Crash
Result of mission II
X, the legend
Resistance force
Imminent storm
Labo (Ciel’s lab)
Momentary peace
Instructions
Sand triangle
Strong will
My Platinum/Non-train Platinum
Gravity
Ice Brain
Neo Arcadia II/Comparison Neo Ardadia
Uneasy
Power Bom/Cool remix, thanks Mr. Trampoline!
Spreading Darkness
Combustion
Darkelf
Passionate
Cool Water
Flash Back
Cyberelf
Melt Down
The End of Legend
Cool Hearted Fellow
The Cloudy Stone
Harpuia
Silver Wolf
Supreme Ruler
The Last -The Wish Punished-
In Mother’s Light
Awakening Will
Red Time
Multiplayer Game

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 19:49 on Aug 14, 2014

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Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012




IMPORTANT TERMS:

Neo Arcadia: Idyllic haven for the world’s surviving humans, and oppressive dictatorship for the robots sharing it with them. Previously ruled by a copy of X, Zero has since disposed of the tyrannical leader, but that hasn’t stopped NA’s heavyhanded policies of extermination.

Reploid: Sentient robot. All of them are based off of X’s original design, and possess wills and thoughts of their own. Labeled inferior citizens by Neo Arcadia and commonly “retired” at will. Note that this label does not apply to Zero, as he was made independently around the same time as X.
There’s also a special sub-category of Reploid known as “Mutos Reploids” that make up most of the game’s bosses; they’re all based around an animal or mythological creatures. They work as Neo Arcadia’s maverick-killing enforcers.

Mechaniloid: Other, non-sentient robots. This extends to most of the generic stage mooks, as well as any machine only designed to perform a simple task.

Maverick: In the X series, a robot that had turned upon humanity. In this one, a catch-all label used by Neo Arcadia for “undesirables”.

Cyber-elves: Sentient data creatures, obtainable in-game. Can be used for varying effects, but die upon use and penalize mission ranking. Categorized into Animal, Hacker, and Nurse elves, they’re color-coded green, blue, and red respectively.

E-crystal: Energy source. Currently in short supply, the shortage was the catalyst that started Neo Arcadia’s purge. Obtainable as pickups in-game, used to feed cyber-elves.


PLOT SYNOPSIS:

Pastebin'd for space's sake

http://pastebin.com/qW0j9tzJ


CHARACTER LIST:

Zero

Zero, the title character, was held in stasis for 100 years, resulting in a total loss of his memory. He’s since spent a year stranded in the desert, fighting for what he believes in. Almost certainly created by Dr. Wily, and previously the original carrier of the Zero virus, Zero was initially meant to be on the side of evil. However, through working with his longtime ally X, he’s managed to save the world time and time again, including from the dastardly Sigma and his infectious virus. In fact, the Sigma virus is no longer a threat in this era, period. He’s an ally of Ciel’s resistance, extremely powerful, and possesses his own internal reactor so he doesn't directly suffer from the energy shortage. Also, despite the game’s name, he is not actually a “Mega Man”. Get it right!
Zero can be hard to get a read on, as he speaks more with actions then words. Despite his apparently cold demeanor, though, he has a fierce sense of loyalty and would protect those he believes in to the grave.

Ciel

Ciel is both the female lead of the game, and the first of many resistance members named after some French word; in her case, “Sky”. Incredibly Intelligent and currently 15 years old, she is the only human member of the Reploid resistance, and acted as their leader a year ago. At the tender age of 6, she created the Copy of X that would become leader of Neo Arcadia and later terrorize Reploid kind, a fact she feels great guilt over. She’s the first one Zero met upon awakening, thanks to the sacrifice of her personal cyber elf, Passy. Currently researching alternative energy sources to bring the conflict to a peaceful conclusion.
Personality-wise, she’s wise and strong beyond her years, but can be a little naive and possesses no combat skills to speak of.

Elpizo


In the year since the last game, the resistance has recruited many new faces. One of these is Elpizo, who, by Ciel’s request, has taken over the leadership of the resistance.
Originally known as TK-31, he was working for Neo Arcadia when he, too, was labeled a Maverick. Some rather interesting things happened in regards to that, but that’s a subject for another day.
Regardless, upon joining the Resistance he dubbed himself “Elpizo” and helped with the move to a new base. He’s assisted in reorganizing and arming them to improve their combat capabilities, which made him stand out and resulted in his promotion. He’s currently planning a large-scale assault against Neo Arcadia, dubbed “Operation: Righteous Strike” to take advantage of Copy X’s absence.
Personality-wise, he’s just as grandiose as his clothes would suggest. He’s a confident and inspiring leader, although he does respect Ciel and is willing to follow her wishes to an extent. His confidence in her project is dubious at best, though, so he continues preparations for the attack. Quite a pretty boy, but he does have a degree of combat prowess and swordsmanship skill, as well as above-average intelligence. Zero doesn’t think much of him, seeing as he’s all for supporting Ciel in her work. His name means "hope" in Greek.


Resistance


We’ve now seen and interacted with the resistance in its entirety, so here’s a group shot of the lot of them, save for the operators and Elpizo. Their personalities are many and varied, but for good or ill they’re all very distinct, and committed to the resistance as a whole. The lady reploid standing next to Rocinolle is named Naomi; She doesn’t appear in this game, but she was seen frequently in Zero one, both standing guard and captured in a secret Neo Arcadian base.
They serve to add a great amount of personality to the series, and make it distinct from other Megaman games where other characters were rarely, if ever, mentioned. It really makes you care about your fights.

Soldiers, Isosu, Pasosu


The Resistance soldiers are all outfitted the same, and have little to no personality. This allows them to harbor a rather bad habit, that being getting themselves into all sorts of trouble that results in their untimely demise, or at the very least in them coming a hair’s breadth from biting the bullet. The Zero series’ own personal battalion of Red Shirts.
Two new characters are the soldiers Isosu and Pasosu. They’re the ones that show up with the other soldiers and have prominent blue and yellow hair. Having unique sprites, it can be assumed that they’re sub commanders of the Resistance forces, though we never actually interact with them directly.
I’m not entirely sure if their names mean anything; it’s not French and there’s not much info on them. If anyone happens to know anything, feel free to bring me up to speed.

Rouge and Jaune


The two operators, they spend the game endlessly tapping away on their keyboards by Elpizo’s side. Their names mean “Red” and “Yellow” in French; it should be obvious which is which. Your only real interaction with them is when asking to be transferred back to previous areas, and as such they don’t have much in the way of personality. A drama track called “Alouette’s good day” shows a bit more of their personality, but that’ll be linked later on at a more opportune time so that’s all for now.

Cerveau


Cerveau’s the resident tech guy, and the one who’s called upon for all the engineering work at the Resistance base. This includes the development of new weapons, which extends to our own weaponry as well. His name means “Brain” in French, and sounds like “Servo”, allowing for a double meaning on his intellectual and mechanical traits. He’s pretty tight with Ciel and rather important as far as resistance members go, so we’ll be seeing him a decent number of times.

Rocinolle

Rocinolle is the resistance’s new medic. The diagnostic lab is hers, but given that her patients are mechanical in nature, Cerveau is higher up on the ranking ladder then her. As such, she tends to relatively minor wounds, whilst Cerveau handles the really mutilated cases. Like Zero himself!
She doesn’t really do all that much story-wise, but I do like her design. She looks like an old-timey wartime nurse.
Her original Japanese name is a transcription of Rossignol, a French word meaning “Nightingale”.

Alouette


Alouette is, at first glance, pretty darn unimportant, if extreeeeeeemely cute~. She serves the role of innocent little girl, providing a stark contrast with the otherwise bleak setting, and generally just walks around the base with the doll Ciel gave her. She looks up to Ciel as an older Sister, so much so that she wants to grow up to be a researcher/scientist like her. She's actually pretty good with cyber elves, a role that becomes more important later in the series, but what really makes her stand out is her future: It's generally assumed that she becomes Prairie in the ZX series. That isn't for a loooooong while, though. Her name is French for "Lark", another bird.

Andrew

This one’s a bit of an oddball. Andrew, a returning face from the last game, is probably the oldest Reploid in the base, and comes equipped with the accompanying knowledge. His memory’s shot, though, so getting that wisdom out of him often proves challenging.
Regardless, he’s got a good heart and has seen much in his time. He’ll periodically regale us with long stories about his past life, which is admittedly quite interesting. Of note is that fact that he purposefully had his body redesigned so as to further resemble his aging human lover, given that Reploids don’t age in the same way humans do. This may be a reference to Isaac Asimov’s “Bicentennial man”, in which the protagonist is also named Andrew and modifies his body so as to be more human, so he can be with his human partner. Given that Asimov’s laws of Robotics (A robot may not harm a human or purposefully allow harm to befall a human, et cetera) have played a part in the Megaman series before, this is more than possible.

Cyber X

X as he appears in this series. His identity was initially unknown, appearing at first on a computer monitor and providing Zero with his trusty Z-saber in a moment of need. He later reappeared and gave the resistance codes needed to access Neo Arcadia’s innermost sanctums and termite Copy X. He only revealed his form in the last game’s epilogue, showing he had somehow become a cyber-elf himself, though he was able to take the form of a blurry, regally-dressed image of his past self.
He likes to warp in, be infuriatingly cryptic, make reference to the fact that Zero needs to do what X cannot, then leave. Most recently, he’s made mentioned something called a “Mother elf” that he supposedly sealed, as well as referring to the two elves now held within Ciel’s lab as “baby elves”, which desire to be reunited with their mother. Nothing else, though, because being helpful isn’t the role of the Wise Man archetype he’s fulfilling.


Doigt


Doigt (Finger in French) is Cerveau’s assistant, helping with his projects and experiments when needed, and otherwise simply fetching things for him. He has a weird sense of humor, making slightly awkward jokes then wondering why his audience isn’t laughing.
Design-wise, he looks more like a mechanic than Cerveau, who’s closer to the intellectual type. I could see this guy working in a car shop in some anime.

Pic


Pic (Pic bois is a type of woodpecker) is…strange. Like, even for a Resistance member.
He spends his time sitting alone on a box in some room, and challenges Zero to “defeat him so he can move on”. Pretty much every one of his lines is varying shades of random chatter, and he doesn’t appear to have any sort of definite role within the resistance either. I kinda figure he just wandered in one day and set up shop without anyone noticing.

Hirondelle


Hirondelle gets an actual full body image! Hey, blame the artists, not me.
His name’s French for “Swallow”, and he’s actually a pretty chill dude. He serves as both the Resistance’s lookout and, on occasion, scout, which mean he’s often full of little tidbits of information to share with us. He’s also got a penchant for poetry, odd considering he’s a Reploid. All in all, probably one of the more sympathetic soldiers.

Faucon

French for “Falcon”, Faucon does his name proud by being the left turret gunner for the Resistance. Airborne foes, beware the bird of prey!
Beyond that though, there’s really not much depth to his character. He’s definitely the most soldier-like of the Resistance, what with the rippling muscles and scruffy facial hair. Which, come to think of it, probably needs to be manually grown rather than trimmed. Robots are weird.

Dande/ONB6


Dande’s a returning member of Resistance classic, with a name meaning “Turkey”. Well, Dinde means Turkey in French, it’s close enough. Localizing is hard, guys!
Ciel gave him his name, as she did Alouette’s. In fact, given that Neo Arcadia degradingly refers to Reploids by their serial numbers, it can be presumed that she gave nearly all the Resistance members names as they joined up. Kinda makes sense why they all respect her, if true.
Dande’s really nothing special though; the most distinctive aspect of him is his constant politeness, never failing to refer to us as “Mr. Zero”. He’s been made the right cannon gunner for the resistance, but so far they haven’t seen any large-scale conflict at headquarters so it’s not overly important.

Hibou


Hibou was truly horrible in the last game. He was fat, lazy, made excuses, and MOST UNFORGIVABLY, blocked our way to a cyber-elf. To get him to move, we had to give him 250 E-crystals, because he apparently needs more energy than everyone else. It’s not his fault, he was “built that way!”

In this game, he’s improved slightly and become a little more hard-working, but he’s also gained an annoying habit of fishing for favor with Elpizo, so it’s still highly suggested you hate his guts. His name means "Owl" in french.

Perroquiet


Perroquiet is a tiny little nerd with anime glasses and a kitty face. He’s young, though, so it’s obviously adorable.
Perroquet means “parrot” in French, and he’s the lab assistant to Ciel. This basically means he’s forced to work in the basement data room, shifting through musty old files to try to find anything that might be useful to Ciel’s energy research. To add insult to injury, he has to deal with being right next to Hibou all day! Poor Perroquiet. Luckily for him, it’s assumed he gets to hop series, becoming a scientist named Fleuve in the ZX games.

Autruche


Autruche’s is a tale of tragedy. Built tall and thin, he was quickly delegated to grunt work in the storage room to take advantage of his great height. But he’s bad at lifting heavy things!
Unfortunately he’s also really meek so all he does is complain about his station without ever doing anything to fix it. Woe be him, for the daily grind has sapped all feeling from his tired bones(Alloy rods?). His name means "ostrich".

Menart


Good lord, did they just dump all the intolerables on the ground floor and call it a day?
Menart’s the troublemaker around base, getting everywhere he’s not supposed to, terrorizing Alouette, and not doing the work that needs to be done. Think Calvin, if Calvin wasn’t the protagonist and instead a super annoying downer robot. He even claims that Zero won’t manage to beat Neo Arcadia! He does not have a good grasp of what’s in his best interests. He's the...Mynah bird? Yeah, I don't know either.

Baby elves


Two Cyber-elves captured from Neo Arcadian facilities by Elpizo and Zero, they're unique in that they emit large quantities of energy from their bodies, despite their relatively tiny sizes. Ciel believes she can further her research into an alternative energy source by studying them, making them a source of great hope for the resistance members.

Alouette, especially, has high hopes for the era of peace they could usher in, and went to great lengths to find suitable names for them.
After much deliberation and advice, she settled on two ideas based on their potential: The Reploid's prayers that the babies will allow them to live freely again, and their role in the creation of a new energy source. To that end, they became Crea and Prea.


Fighting Fefnir


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!

Fairy Leviathan


Fairy Leviathan is the cool-headed representative of water and ice within the Guardians. She’s also one of the few instances of a female boss character within the Megaman universe, alongside her underling Poler Kamrous and Splash Woman, a robot master from MM9 that seems moderately inspired by Leviathan.
As far as personality goes, she’s probably the least fleshed out. Like Fefnir, she seems to enjoy fighting Zero, though not to such an extreme extent. She’s got some sass, but again, not much is given on her (the designers have actually gone on record saying they wish they could’ve done more with those two).

Appearance-wise is another story. Obviously named after the catch-all term for giant sea nasties, she’s got a lot of sea-themed customizations adorning her body. Her weapon (an obscure wiki page tells me it’s named the Frost Javelin despite the fact that she never throws it) is reminiscent of the classic trident, spear, or harpoon often wielded by denizens of the sea, her helmet resembles actual hair with a seashell motif, and her form is generally streamlined saved for the large jet on the back of her body, both of which accentuate her feminine form. She’s got high heels because of course she does she’s a woman in a video game, and she’s also sporting the customary superstrong-thong™ popular amongst important people in the Zero universe, though I suppose she can pass hers off as a swimsuit. All in all she’s ok, but not all that interesting as a character.

Sage Harpuia


Harpuia’s the wise and prideful leader of both the Guardians and, currently, Neo Arcadia as a whole.
As such, he gets all the good scenes and hogs the character development. Initially appearing as a vain commander under the orders of Copy X, he thought nothing of the Resistance, Zero, or anyone else, simply carrying out orders without any sort of opposing force. Upon meeting (and being defeated by) Zero, however, his outlook began to change; while he still prioritizes the safety of the humans he shelters above all else, he’s gradually become further and further open to the idea that the Resistance isn’t necessarily his enemy. As such, he’s avoided engaging them beyond those instances where he’s directly confronted by a foe, and was even responsible for Zero’s safe return to the new Resistance base following his breakdown in the Sand Wilderness. An antagonist, but not necessarily an enemy, Harpuia’s definitely the most sympathetic of the Guardians at present.
As for design. His name, Harpuia, is the actual Ancient Greek work for “Harpy”, due in large part to his aerial theming. Aligned with lightning, his entire body is slim and streamlined for swift movement through the air, and his green coloration fits the bill as well because someone somewhere decided green = air at some point. His powers include tornado-summoning, lightning-calling, shockwave-producing, and suplexes.
Due to the streamlining, and the fact that Harpies are monsterbirds with ladyparts, and also his very high-pitched battle vocalizations, lots of people mistake him for a her. This is not the case, do not be fooled, Harpuia’s a guy robot which matters quite a bit because
Other notes: He has big boosters on his back, which produce the thrust needed for his aerial maneuvers, and his helmet is apparently reminiscent of Valkeries, which if intentional only further compounds his gender ambiguity due to the fact that they were/are female warrior spirits. His twin swords are known as “Sonic Blades”, and are also part of that obscure “10 shining weapons” thing.


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.

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 17:22 on Aug 16, 2014

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012







Stage notes!

100-Pt requirements:
-Clear time: 2:10
-Enemies killed: 37

Hard mode really doesn't add anything to this stage, seeing as you wouldn't have any high-level abilities anyway. It'll be more unique later.

The intro stage begins by summarizing the events of the last game in a prologue that’s much shorter than the one in the first game before thrusting us into the stage itself. It takes place in the sand wilderness, a wasteland far from any settlement, strewn with scrap metal and the broken-down husks of machines, and largely populated with all manner of bizarre Mechaniloids, including tumbleweeds and cacti. Pretty much all of nature and the wide variety of living things it once supported has gone extinct, so all plant and animal life in the game will be either mechanical or bio-mechanical at best. And will likely be trying to kill us.
This level is almost excruciatingly awesome. It has a great theme, pits you against a stream of enemies right off the bat so you can practice your attacks, and contains some really great references to the first game that help to set the tone. After his year of wandering, Zero’s on the verge of breaking down and can no longer use his two sub-weapons from the last game, the shield boomerang and triple rod. This is shown in both the menu screen and the intro music; firstly, have a listen to these.

For endless fight (Zero 1 ending theme)/For endless fight II (Zero 2 prologue theme)
As you can undoubtedly hear, both are variations of the same theme; the kicker, though, is that while the first one has a definite air of triumph and determination, the second is tired and weary, just as broken down as Zero himself.
The boss theme of this stage is a remix of the first game's boss theme, too.

Now, for a menu screen comparison:

Zero 1-



Zero 2-



Save for the redesign of the Z-saber icon, they’re obviously the same menu; thing is, though, the second one is covered with pockmarks and static, and the entire toggle to the Cyber-elf screen has been destroyed, meaning we’ve lost access to any Cyber-elves we might’ve picked up in the last game. It’s a glorious bit of attention to detail, and after having been transported back to the Resistance base and repaired we get a shiny new menu to represent our shiny repaired self, as demonstrated in-game.
Just a personal thought on the level, I personally have a huge attachment to this game in general and this stage specifically because it was basically the first Megaman game/stage I ever played, and one of the first games I owned.


Forms!

A new feature in Zero 2 is the ability to acquire different “forms” for Zero, which give different stats, abilities, and color schemes to our numerical hero. With the normal and hard mode videos, we’ve already seen two of them, and I’ll be detailing them here, along with stats and other unique things about them.

=Normal Form=


The normal form is the most basic of forms, and Zero’s default color scheme. Its stats set the benchmark for comparing all other forms:

Power-**
Defense-**
Speed-**

It has no other special things about it that are worth noting; it can use all charge attacks and triple slash when you’ve gained the weapon levels, but it’s an easy to use, all-purpose form that can easily get you through the game if you so choose.

=Proto Form=


The Proto form is usually obtained upon beating the game, but it’s the default for hard mode, and for good reason. Look at its stats:

Power-****
Defense-*
Speed-**

When playing in hard mode, you’ll notice two things: one, that you’re tearing through enemies like butter, and two, that they’re tearing through you just as easily. You’ll be taking ridiculous amounts of damage, and the form’s secondary effects stop you from gaining (or using any earned) weapon levels, meaning that you’re stuck with the most basic of your attacks.
A cool thing about this armor, though, is its color: It’s basically the “Black Zero” special armor from the X series games which is pretty sweet.

Character bios!

~Enemies~

Pantheons


Returning from the first game, Pantheons make up the Rank & file of the Neo Arcadian forces. Mass produced, degraded copies of X, they possess some form of intelligence but, gameplay-wise, serve as standard enemies.
We’ll be encountering a decent amount of different pantheons through the game, like the hunter-model pictured above, and as shown in the video they’re not too hard to take down, although each form has to be dealt with a little differently. Regardless of difficulty, though, their vast numbers have worn Zero down over the last year, and they’re still on his tail as the game starts. I personally like the pantheons quite a bit, so I might name the different models as they crop up. Their overall name, “Pantheon”, comes from the Greek “Pan” and “Theos”, and means “All gods”.

Golem type-E


Moveset:
  • Front lasers: Charges the front lasers, then shoots them. Standing away from the Golem will cause them to miss entirely.
  • Rear lasers: Charges the rear lasers, then shoots them. Standing next to the Golem will cause them to miss entirely.

The Golem type-E, and his counterparts types F and I, are recurring sub-bosses in this game. The type E especially has numerous appearances.
An upgraded version of the Zero 1 intro boss, the regular Model-A golem, the Type-E incorporates electricity into its attack pattern by shooting it out of its arms as a laser attack. Unlike the intro boss of Z1, it doesn’t go down in one hit but it’s still pretty drat weak to Zero’s weaponry. The annoying thing about them is the way their hitbox works; it extends jussssst far enough down the right arm-thing that you have to be pixel-perfect in your slash, otherwise you get hit and that’s never fun. Not too hard, and later on when we have Elemental chips they’ll be even easier, but they serve as a good intro to more powerful enemies and dodging attacks. And those enormous metal codpieces are great.

Mega Scorpia


Moveset:
  • Tail impale: Uses its spiked tail to stab the ground about ¾ of the way across the screen. Will damage if it hits, and creates a bottomless pit that *cannot* be wall jumped up. Stand a bit to the left or right to dodge, jump over the pit.
  • Pincer shield: Moves his remaining pincer slightly in front of his face, protecting it from damage. Pincer can be damaged during this.
  • Pincer shoot: Snaps the pincer twice, then shoots it out while it glows red with energy. Dash jump over it, then do it again when it boomerangs back. The rear of the pincer can be damaged during this.
  • Triple shot: A generic triple buster pellet shot from what’s left of his right pincer. Jump over to avoid.
  • EX skill: N/A; it’s not possible to have an A or S rank at this point in the game.

The intro boss of the game, Mega Scorpia is about as difficult as you’d expect. The Pantheons called him in, but he’s not the most loyal of Mechaniloids so he ends up firing one of his pincers at you while you’re standing in front of them, which doesn’t end too well.
Thankfully, this means that he’s short one pincer for the battle. He’ll use the remaining one to attack Zero and shield his head, the only vulnerable part of his body. Funnily enough, that Pincer’s destructible; four hits from the saber will cause it to explode.
Mega Scorpia himself only has one health bar, so he goes down fairly quickly to Zero’s assault. The biggest dangers in the fight revolve around the pits his tail creates and the slightly tricky jump over his pincer. Once you’ve got it down, though, he’s a walk in the park.

~Allies~

Elpizo


In the year since the last game, the resistance has recruited many new faces. One of these is Elpizo, who, by Ciel’s request, has taken over the leadership of the resistance.
Originally known as TK-31, he was working for Neo Arcadia when he, too, was labeled a Maverick. Some rather interesting things happened in regards to that, but that’s a subject for another day.
Regardless, upon joining the Resistance he dubbed himself “Elpizo” and helped with the move to a new base. He’s assisted in reorganizing and arming them to improve their combat capabilities, which made him stand out and resulted in his promotion. He’s currently planning a large-scale assault against Neo Arcadia, dubbed “Operation: Righteous Strike” to take advantage of Copy X’s absence.
Personality-wise, he’s just as grandiose as his clothes would suggest. He’s a confident and inspiring leader, although he does respect Ciel and is willing to follow her wishes to an extent. His confidence in her project is dubious at best, though, so he continues preparations for the attack. Quite a pretty boy, but he does have a degree of combat prowess and swordsmanship skill, as well as above-average intelligence. Zero doesn’t think much of him, seeing as he’s all for supporting Ciel in her work. His name means "hope" in Greek.

Soldiers, Isosu, Pasosu


The Resistance soldiers are all outfitted the same, and have little to no personality. This allows them to harbor a rather bad habit, that being getting themselves into all sorts of trouble that results in their untimely demise, or at the very least in them coming a hair’s breadth from biting the bullet. The Zero series’ own personal battalion of Red Shirts.
Two new characters are the soldiers Isosu and Pasosu. They’re the ones that show up with the other soldiers and have prominent blue and yellow hair. Having unique sprites, it can be assumed that they’re sub commanders of the Resistance forces, though we never actually interact with them directly.
I’m not entirely sure if their names mean anything; it’s not French and there’s not much info on them. If anyone happens to know anything, feel free to bring me up to speed.

Rouge and Jaune


The two operators, they spend the game endlessly tapping away on their keyboards by Elpizo’s side. Their names mean “Red” and “Yellow” in French; it should be obvious which is which. Your only real interaction with them is when asking to be transferred back to previous areas, and as such they don’t have much in the way of personality. A drama track called “Alouette’s good day” shows a bit more of their personality, but that’ll be linked later on at a more opportune time so that’s all for now.

Cerveau


Cerveau’s the resident tech guy, and the one who’s called upon for all the engineering work at the Resistance base. This includes the development of new weapons, which extends to our own weaponry as well. His name means “Brain” in French, and sounds like “Servo”, allowing for a double meaning on his intellectual and mechanical traits. He’s pretty tight with Ciel and rather important as far as resistance members go, so we’ll be seeing him a decent number of times.

Weapon bios!

Unlike the previous game, Zero 2 supplies us with our entire arsenal of weapons right off the bat. 3 are returning ones, but there is one new one, the Chain rod, that replaces the shattered triple rod.
Also returning from Zero 1 are weapon levels; each weapon has a number of RPG-esque “levels” that increase through killing sufficient enemies with that weapon. The number of levels has been greatly reduced, though; only the Z-saber’s slash upgrades, the shield boomerang’s distance upgrades, and general charging upgrades are kept.

Z-saber


The Z-saber has been Zero’s iconic weapon of choice ever since its debut in Megaman X2. It was redesigned in the transition to the Zero series, losing its lightsaber-ish qualities in favor of a more streamlined, triangular weapon, and it's arguably the most useful of Zero’s weapons, playing a role in allowing his other ones to function the way they do.
It can be used to execute combos on the ground (once leveled sufficiently), to attack while in motion, and to attack while in mid-air, and while it definitely has the shortest range of all his weapons it’s capable of dishing out the most damage. And it’s just plain fun to use.
In regards to trivia about it, it’s been embedded with Mega Buster MK. 17 tech (the main weapon of Megaman X), which allows it to be charged and to bestow that ability on other weapons. It requires no external energy, either, which allows us to avoid annoying E-crystal imposed limits on weapon usage. When not in use, it’s stored in the visible holster on Zero’s leg; the kicker here is that there’s two holsters, which implies that Zero might have two sabers. Seeing as he used two different sabers in the X series (A fluid one in X2-5 and a solid one in X6 onwards) this might actually be the case, but unfortunately we don’t get any kickass dual-wielding action - this is one of the biggest shames in the entire series.

Buster shot


Zero picked up this long-ranged weapon from a (now-deceased) soldier named Milan in the first game. It serves to replace the Z-buster that kinda sorta got shoved under the rug ever since Megaman X6, and lets us rapid-fire energy shots at our unsuspecting enemies. In regards to its superiority to the guns used by regular Resistance members, the official explanation is that Zero’s internal reactor allows him to fire pure energy, as opposed to regular ammo.
Thing about it is, even WITH that he’s normally unable to fire charged shots, as he demonstrated in the intro stage of MMZ1. To gain this capability, Zero literally stuffs his Z-saber into the back of it, which apparently bestows its awesome charging powers to absolutely anything. You can see it in the art up there^.
The Buster shot is probably the second most useful of the weapons in the game; it really helps in those situations when you just don’t want to touch whatever slimy enemy the game’s thrown your way, and against enemies with no invincibility time it can really do some damage.

Shield boomerang


Returning from the last game, the Shield boomerang was created by Cerveau from data pertaining to Zero obtained from one of the bosses in MMZ1. It’s actually not a unique weapon itself; it’s a modified version of the Z-saber slapped on Zero’s wrist and made to spin around crazy fast, making it both stupidly dangerous and stupidly cool.
Unfortunately, its usage is rather limited (no, you can’t damage enemies just by walking into them with your chainsaw saber ‘o death). Firstly, using it causes the shield to appear in front of you, and prevents you from dashing. You can still do a dash-jump off the ground with proper timing and off a wall normally, but it really hampers your mobility. Secondly, the only things it shields against are the weak energy shots made by Pantheon hunters and a few specific enemies and bosses; melee and other ranged attacks pass right through. And lastly, it can only be used to attack after charging it for 4 or so seconds, and when you do so it flies in an arc path that can be hard to aim, with it arcing up when on the ground and arcing down when in the air. Leveling it doesn’t reduce the charge time, but rather the distance it’s thrown.
Its one saving grace is that it can be charged in hard mode, meaning it’s the only thing usable with elemental chips in that mode, and the only thing that can deal mass amounts of damage. If you can dodge without dashing, it’s good, but overall it’s pretty limited in usage.

Chain rod


The new weapon introduced in Zero 2, it replaces the Triple rod from the first game. It’s basically a combo whip/grappling hook constructed (by Cerveau) from the smashed remnants of the triple rod (also by Cerveau). And it is much, much better.
It’s a Z-saber tip attacked to an energy chain, and when used extends way out without the need to time button presses like with the triple rod. It can be used to hook onto enemies and pull them around, or pull parts of them off, which can be really fun when you have an enemy right in front of a spike pit and really necessary when there’s an enemy with a shield.
You can also use it to hook onto objects and ceilings; with objects, you can pull pick-ups toward you or stage elements around (which is used occasionally for puzzle solving), and when hooking the ceiling you can go all Indiana Jones and swing across the ceiling to reach far-off places (which is also used for puzzle solving). It opens up a lot of stage design possibilities that are actually explored, whereas the triple rod only ever had the ability to pogo-jump which was almost never needed.
The downsides to this weapon are its pure combat capabilities; while it’s a useful subweapon you’ll want to stick with the Z-saber or Buster seeing as it attacks slowly and does fairly low damage. It’s charge is the same as the Triple rod’s was, too, and while swinging it around like a battle staff LOOKS cool it ends up being fairly useless due to its short range and low damage output.

Extra notes!

- Something to look out for later in the game is an NPC that mentions how the profile shots of the Mavericks Mutos Reploids were taken by special reconnaissance teams. Nice justification there.

Music!

There’s buttload of music here, simply because the game unloads a whooole bunch of tracks on you right off the bat. Some of them, like Departure and Labo, are extremely good and highly recommended, and unlike the first game there’s very few tracks that come off as duds. Also, a couple, like imminent storm, only play briefly in-game and go on far longer than you’d think so if you’ve got the time check ‘em out.

Title II
For endless fight II/Comparison For endless fight I
Departure
Guarder room
Crash II/Comparison Crash
Result of mission II
X, the Legend (Bad quality, will be re-uploaded upon reaching a point where there’s no sandstorm)
Resistance force
Imminent storm
Labo (Ciel’s lab)
Momentary peace
Instructions

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 02:15 on Aug 12, 2014

Junpei Hyde
Mar 15, 2013


Never believe in lies





I've only ever seen anything from the first Zero game. that seemed cool, hope this one's even better!

Is the DS compilation worth picking up?

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012




Junpei Hyde posted:

I've only ever seen anything from the first Zero game. that seemed cool, hope this one's even better!

Is the DS compilation worth picking up?

I'd say so, it gives you 4 pretty lengthy games for . It all depends on your enjoyment of the genre really, the things definitely show their age (especially the first game) and they can be extremely unforgiving to first-time players. I know I spent many an hour trying in vain to beat most of these levels as a kid. The DS version is basically everything you see here, with a few added unlockable concept arts and a story mode that you can only play on easy difficulty. And one or two censored references to killing, for some reason.

If you have a DSlite though I'd steer clear, that D-pad is not gonna hold up to the punishment these things dish out.

Schir
Jan 23, 2012



I don't know too much about the Megaman Zero series, but I'm enjoying the LP so far.

Also, I like how your commentary in the early parts of the video is like a restaurant waiter. "Hello, I'm Gamwhiz, I'll be your LPer for today."

WaltherFeng
May 15, 2013

50 thousand people used to live here. Now, it's the Mushroom Kingdom.

Personally, this is the one and only MM game I've ever enjoyed. It was brutally hard at first, but mastering the levels was super satisfying. And the gameplay felt so much more fast paced when you relied on the Z-Saber.

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012







Welcome to supplementary post #1!
In these, I’ll be showing off the slick new hub we now have access to, as well as all the optional dialogue the resistance base has to offer. An unedited video version, like the above ^^, will always be present, but I’ll also pick and choose the important bits and up them in a SSLP format here. While it’s not at all necessary to game completion, it can be fun to see the different personalities that populate the area. So, without further ado…

SSLP!




We're starting our tour of the base right where we left off, under the watchful gaze of the commander. We'll start by going left, as that section of the base is almost completely unexplored right now.



Music: Momentary peace

This is where we first found ourselves upon finishing our repairs. The soldier that blocked our way is still there, but he's no longer a brick wall. First, though, let's check out the med bay.



A new face is waiting to greet us!

- You are the one who was brought here? Oh, you look completely recovered. I'm Rocinolle...I look after injured reploids. When the injury is serious, Cerveau will take care of them.

Rossignol is french for "Nightingale". Most of the resistance members have french names having to do with birds, like Ciel's "sky". That hairstyle and clothing kinda makes her resemble a WWII field nurse, which is pretty cool.



Generic soldier #17 also has something to say. While it's tempting to shun him for railroading us earlier, this is worth hearing.

- If you want to go to the area that you have already cleared, please use the Trans Server. It is located in the center of the command room. It can transfer you to the other areas. In order to use the trans server, stand in the middle of it and speak to the operator.

Trans Servers were ugly little things scattered around the world in the first game, which were used to quickly warp from one region to another. This time around, the command center serves as your one and only access point to the outside world, so they aren't needed anymore.



Just past the soldier sits this big elevator. It's significantly prettier than the one in the last game (which was just a factory-style lift), but appears to be broken and won't move to the upper floors. We'll save that for later, then. Just past it, though...





- Zero! I really wanted to see you! I asked you to stay with us...You lied to me! But I'll forgive you because you came back.

- Ciel has looked sad since we escaped from our old base. I loved our old resistance because I...I don't like Commander Elpizo.

This little cutie's name is Alouette. She was a staple of the last game, and her name's french for "Lark". Ciel gave her that adorable doll, and she goes far in livening up the otherwise cold base. The promise she's referring to is one we made right before the end of the previous game, swearing we'd be back in a jiff. A year's not too long for a robot, so who cares!



Elevator seems to work fine going down, at least.



- You are new here. Welcome to our base, son. My name is Andrew. If you have time, come to my place. I'll tell you an interesting story.

- What is your name, young man? Zero...you have the same name as that legendary Reploid...Work hard and don't disgrace that hero's name!

Andrew here is another returning face, though it seems our face isn't as familiar to him. He looks old because he had himself remodeled to better fit his aging human lover, seeing as robots don't age. Make no mistake, though, he IS stupidly old. His age makes him a wise and respected member of the community.

The area behind the door helpfully labeled "room" is devoid of activity at the moment, as is the area to the right, so we'll just head down another floor.



- Oh, Zero! You are safe!

- It seems that there is something wrong with the elevator and you can't move to the 1st or 5th floors. Plus, you cannot go higher than the 5th floor. But, I think that it will be working soon...

Welp, that stops us in our tracks. It's completely pointless, too; I really don't know why Inti Creates didn't want you exploring the whole thing right now. Regardless, the area to the right of the elevator is, once again, empty, so we'll just retrace our steps.





Cerveau is still in his lab, but he just asks if we get how the chain rod works and repeats his tutorial. Not worth it. Let's go see what Ciel's up to.



Music: Labo

Wait...what's...



That was not on earlier! And what's with that UI? You'd think the future could do better. Let's just see if we can...

- Boot Complete. Do you want to know? ~Y/N~

>>-Y-

- Request accepted. What do you want? ~Maverick wars/Cyber-Elf~

>>-Maverick wars-

- The Maverick wars was started by the Sigma virus, which terrified the world. Eventually the Maverick wars turned into everyone misusing the power of the Cyber-Elves. Thanks to X, the evil Cyber-Elves have been deleted. No further information can be found.

It's an exposition machine! This thing gives explanations for some of the terms players new to the series might not know, as well as bits of plot we wouldn't otherwise know. Apparently we aren't the only ones able to use Elves.

- What do you want? ~Maverick wars/Cyber-Elf~

>>-Cyber Elf

-The Cyber-Elf is a program created to support humans and Reploids. The Cyber-Elf has its own will and can talk. However, once it is used, it dies.

That's all the info it has for now. Update your databanks, Ciel!



That's also all the socializing we have to do for now. It's a bit barren at the moment, but it'll probably fill up as we go along. See you then!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Character bios!

~Allies~

Rocinolle

Rocinolle is the resistance’s new medic. The diagnostic lab is hers, but given that her patients are mechanical in nature, Cerveau is higher up on the ranking ladder then her. As such, she tends to relatively minor wounds, whilst Cerveau handles the really mutilated cases. Like Zero himself!
She doesn’t really do all that much story-wise, but I do like her design. She looks like an old-timey wartime nurse.
Her original Japanese name is a transcription of Rossignol, a French word meaning “Nightingale”.

Alouette


Alouette is, at first glance, pretty darn unimportant, if extreeeeeeemely cute~. She serves the role of innocent little girl, providing a stark contrast with the otherwise bleak setting, and generally just walks around the base with the doll Ciel gave her. She looks up to Ciel as an older Sister, so much so that she wants to grow up to be a researcher/scientist like her. She's actually pretty good with cyber elves, a role that becomes more important later in the series, but what really makes her stand out is her future: It's generally assumed that she becomes Prairie in the ZX series. That isn't for a loooooong while, though. Her name is French for "Lark", another bird.

Andrew

This one’s a bit of an oddball. Andrew, a returning face from the last game, is probably the oldest Reploid in the base, and comes equipped with the accompanying knowledge. His memory’s shot, though, so getting that wisdom out of him often proves challenging.
Regardless, he’s got a good heart and has seen much in his time. He’ll periodically regale us with long stories about his past life, which is admittedly quite interesting. Of note is the fact that he purposefully had his body redesigned so as to further resemble his aging human lover, given that Reploids don’t age in the same way humans do. This may be a reference to Isaac Asimov’s “Bicentennial man”, in which the protagonist is also named Andrew and modifies his body so as to be more human, so he can be with his human partner. Given that Asimov’s laws of Robotics (A robot may not harm a human or purposefully allow harm to befall a human, et cetera) have played a part in the Megaman series before, this is more than possible.

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 05:54 on Jan 23, 2015

The Gentlemieu
Jan 1, 2013


Soiled Meat

That hard mode run is pretty amazing. You make it look a lot easier than it actually is. Just how many takes did it take to get the recorded run? I am excited to see the later stages.

It's too bad the four games tend to blend together when you play the DS compilation. I can't really remember any specific gameplay from this one. I look forward to reliving it.

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012




The Gentlemieu posted:

Just how many takes did it take to get the recorded run?

Trade secret

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 10:33 on Jan 23, 2014

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


Holy poo poo, you are putting more effort into this than I would have done even for the Megathread. It's really obvious how much you love this game and I'll be very glad to follow the LP.

And love it deserves. Zero 2 is the best Mega Man game in my opinion. With the exception of one stage (guess which, people who've played it), it's pretty much perfect, and excluding the one if you'd asked me "what is your least favourite level", I could not answer you, a very sure sign of quality.

The Hard Mode is nothing short of perfect, and I'm sad that it's the only one of its kind. The Proto Form is an absolute stroke of genius, completely changing the gameplay, making it definitely harder, but also interesting in exciting new ways. Especially the loss of even the half-charged Buster is a huge difference from the other Hard Modes, and I absolutely love playing it.


Other things to comment on: The little touches you kindly pointed out just serve to cement the awesomeness that is Zero 2, they put so much effort into every detail, it's mindblowing. Especially the menu at the start, drat. So good. Also the soundtrack, which by the way is sublime, a giant improvement over the bland and boring Zero 1 tracks (with few exceptions). The Resistance base especially got a huge upgrade, fitting for the mood of course, but still, it's just far catchier. Opinions, I know.

Storywise, I really like the Elpizo/Zero dynamic, by the way. Elpizo leads the Resistance like for example the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars after their first big victory: confident in their ability to assume an offensive position, but still up against a foe which obviously outclasses them hugely. It's very classic and in many other games, you'd be supporting him wholesale or play as him.

Zero, however, doesn't fit into this mindset because he always works under the assumption that no foe is too big for him to handle. It was very easy to see that in Zero 1, where the Resistance was on the verge of being completely obliterated and Zero was their last hope. He singlehandedly turned the tide by for example destroying an entire attacking army because he's just that good and knows that instinctively (see: amnesia).
Of course, that makes him into an actually pretty bad character for a game that cares about having a nuanced story. He's perfect for the early X games which he was created for: best at everything from the get-go, mysterious badass idol for your plucky weakling hero, at the end X surpassed him and you felt like an even bigger badass. Zero had to die all the time to show that X had an edge on him just by being even more determined, and frankly, after the third time it got kind of silly, much like the rest of the X series. It's impossible to create a narrative that takes itself seriously with characters that are just varying shades of perfect at what they do.

This is why Elpizo and Ciel are so important to keep Zero in check. Ciel is the one pointing Zero in the right direction, showing two things: a) he has a little more depth than is immediately obvious, because he obviously cares for her with just a few words needing to be spoken between them to confirm their relationship, and b) Zero needs that guidance, meaning that he is far from the lone ranger stereotype: he's completely useless on his own unless he's currently fighting overwhelming odds, which is where he thrives. And even that is not enough, as the intro beautifully shows.

And Elpizo? Elpizo is the perfect foil for Ciel's idealism and Zero's blind devotion to her. The Resistance leader is pragmatic, inspiring and knows what he's doing, therefore exactly the right person for the job. He knows even better than Ciel where to point the Zero-shaped gun at, and as we're going to see, he is fully aware of that fact. Zero has every right to dislike him because he probably realizes he's only going to be used by Elpizo, unlike with Ciel who said pretty please every time. Zero is also going to be very well-advised to listen to Elpizo, however, because he needs the guidance and the other blonde long-haired dude can provide that in spades.

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012




Simply Simon posted:

Holy poo poo, you are putting more effort into this than I would have done even for the Megathread. It's really obvious how much you love this game and I'll be very glad to follow the LP.

-And also a whole bunch of amazing analysis effortpost

Haha, thanks, and also there's no way. I followed bits of your LP (though not all, because I didn't want to copy it) back when you were doing it, and your forte is analyzing the everloving hell out of the stages and story. While I'm trying to get a bit of that out with stage notes, I'm nowhere near your level. Your approach to recording the game worked perfectly for your style; there's simply no way you'd be able to get all you had to say about the stages out if you were limiting yourself to the strict mission requirements. I've still got a longgg way to go.

...speaking of your lp, I really hope I didn't snipe you or anything. I saw the megathread had been archived, and it'd been a good while but even still I wanted to contact you. I shot you a thing on YT a couple days before posting this to check up, but even so, I just want to express the same sentiment you gave me back in the day when I posted this in the sandcastle - you're more than welcome to post your own thing.

Barring that, I'd be honored to put link(s?) to your absolutely stunning dissection of the story and characters in the OP.

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 21:47 on Jan 22, 2014

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


I was mostly talking in terms of in-depth OP and character and weapon bios, though your vids are no slouch either.

Still think I'm going to do my own take on Zero 2 some time later (taking my time during regular stages comes in mind, also Ragny already recorded 100 point Hard Mode vids for him and me to comment on ages ago so I'm obligated anyway), but that's a long way off. I'll be very happy to add some discussion topics here in the meantime.

Kinu Nishimura
Apr 23, 2008

YOU'RE NOBODY


Simply Simon posted:

And love it deserves. Zero 2 is the best Mega Man game in my opinion. With the exception of one stage (guess which, people who've played it), it's pretty much perfect, and excluding the one if you'd asked me "what is your least favourite level", I could not answer you, a very sure sign of quality.

Is it a lava level? Because I have bad memories of the lava levels in this game.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


alcharagia posted:

Is it a lava level? Because I have bad memories of the lava levels in this game.
One fire-themed level is probably my favourite (or amongst them), the other is kinda weak, I guess. But nah. The answer is glaringly obvious and you'll know it when you see it.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Why does everyone think I'm going to get in trouble?



Simply Simon posted:

One fire-themed level is probably my favourite (or amongst them), the other is kinda weak, I guess. But nah. The answer is glaringly obvious and you'll know it when you see it.

Between the LP and your statement, I am seriously about to replay Zero 2 so I can try to figure out what stage you absolutely hate.

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012







You see, the joke is they’re snakes and I ate them for breakfast. I am both clever and topical.

Also, Saber level up! We can now perform a double slash.
This is our first weapon level up, and lets Zero do a one-two strike while standing still. Because of the way combat works in this game (it involves something called combo values, I’m not gonna get in-depth because it’s kinda boring), certain attacks bypass invincibility frames when performed in sequence. This is one of them; if we use this bad boy on a boss, they’ll take the full damage of both strikes, which at base stats is 4+4=8. Super-sexy.

Stage notes!

100 pt. requirements:
-Clear time: 4:00
-Enemies killed: 37

Hard mode actually alters something here, seeing as you can’t just combo slash the midboss to death before he does anything. Also, Hyleg can kill you in literally two hits of his claw. Hard mode is hard, guys!
(I didn’t actually know you could wall jump up the midboss’s platform until now. Learn something new every day.)

The forest of Dysis (west forest) is the first area we’ll be honoring with our presence. It’s not a forest as we know it, though; every bit of greenery is artificially made and spread, from the trees down to the grass. The rationale for this is that the crash of what remained of the Eurasia space colony in Mega Man X5 decimated the ecosystem, so humans turned to bio-mechanical replacements. Presumably they work as air purifiers or some other such useful and necessary function. Not sure what use explosive bees would be, though

Also, the forest is apparently situated next to a large body of water. Gaze into that serene orange abyss and watch your worries melt away. Incidentally the music for this stage is called “Sand triangle”, despite it having nothing to do with sand or triangles. Forest, beach or desert – Decide on one, IC!
---
This is one of four stages that you can choose to play right off the bat, but it’s the one that your cursor defaults to when selecting missions. There’s a reason for that; it’s really obviously designed with the chain rod in mind, to get new players acquainted with the new weapon’s functions and versatility. While I give Inti Creates credit for this, they didn’t pull it off without any kinks. The addition of Pantheon hammers (which highly resemble the sniper Joes of old, btw) help to teach players that they can pull enemies around, and the blocks common within the ruins of Dysis teach how to manipulate the environment, but as for the grappling mechanic, well…



This is what they give you. Do you know what that is? Because I sure as hell don’t.
See, with the blocks, you’re given something to practice on right off the bat, seeing as Cerveau’s lab has one convieniently placed right smack in the middle of it. But with this, it just looks like some kind of bizarre enemy chillin’ in the air. Not only that, but it’s way too narrow; for first-time players, successfully grappling this instead of falling to your death is no mean feat. Once you figure out that’s what you’re supposed to do, that is. To be fair, though, IC is still super smart, and gives you this:



A grapple target to practice on, before the actual challenge! How gracious.
There’s just one problem with it:



…yeah. See, you can extend and retract the chain by pressing down and up, but the game never tells you this. Furthermore, pretty much all stage traversal so far in the series has relied on the left-right buttons; the down button is barely, if ever, used. What this means is that the grapples over bottomless pits in this stage are super unintuitive and will more than likely result in many a cheap death for new players as they try in vain to get a *perfect* grapple that will manage to bridge the gap. Not fun at all.
Other than that though it’s pretty well designed. There’s a good few secrets (some of which we’ll have to come back for) as well as shortcuts for the keen-eyed player to use. The stage is probably the best place to farm e-crystals too, seeing as they regenerate each time you reenter the stage and there’s a bunch hidden both in the trees and in the secret area behind the midboss.

Forms!
=Power form=


The power form is your reward for pulling 30 things with the chain rod within a single stage. Given that this stage is chainrodapalooza, it’s the ideal first form to obtain.

Power-****
Defense-**
Speed-*

The power form’s on par with the Proto form when it comes to sheer destructive power, and comes without the grave setback of being made of wet cabbage. It’s slightly slower than your normal red-hued self, but in all honestly the speed decrease is not nearly as noticeable as you’d think; you have to really be looking for it to tell a difference. This would probably be the go-to form because of this, if it weren’t for one thing: this form steals combo slashes from you. Rather than doing our new one-two slash, we’re given a slow slash that arcs over our whole body and has a pretty substantial recovery time. While it has its uses, even with the damage boost it doesn’t do as much damage as a combo would and just doesn’t feel as smooth, so I tend to prefer basic Zero over this. That deep purple’s pretty snazzy though.

EX skills!

The first EX skill of the game warrants a new subsection. Unlike the last game, you can obtain certain skills from bosses, much like Megaman games of old. Unlike those, though, these are a prize given only to the best of the best: You need an A or S rank to get the skill, which means no lower than 86pts. This makes the barrier for entry nonsensically high, but it’s better than nothing. You can select whether to have them active or not in the EX skill sub menu.

=Laser Shot=


Our first EX skill is one we can’t actually use yet. Woe to us.
The laser shot replaces your level 3 charged buster shot when active, turning it from a wide energy blast into a narrow laser. This’d be all well and good if it weren’t for the fact that the buster has piercing damage anyway, so the big appeal of lasers is lost. It’s still capable of penetrating enemy defenses, like the rotating cacti in the intro stage or the pantheon hammer’s shield, but it doesn’t do enough damage to one-shot them so it’s often more convenient to take them out in an alternate fashion. If you’re a deadeye with the buster, it could be better than the default I suppose, but there’s really only one specific section in the game where I’d recommend switching to this; the size decrease is just too extreme. Also, you can only use it when you have no elemental chips active, so that’s another strike against it.

Extra!

=Subtank=


Returning from the X series, subtanks let you store unneeded energy (up to a certain point) for later use. Given the lack of heart tanks or other non-elf health upgrades, this provides a much-needed boost to Zero’s abysmal health capacity.
In the last game, you could only gain them by using one of four cyber-elves that required more than a thousand e-crystals to raise (for reference, after two full stages we now have 200), which made them extremely costly. Here, though, the game shows some leniency; while the cyber-elves are still present (only two this time), you’re able to obtain sub tanks in select hidden areas, much like how they worked in the X series. The two varieties, stage and elf, also have two different designs (the other one’s redder), so you can quickly differentiate the two. This is just another of the many ways this game improved upon the last; it’s really quite amazing.

Character bios!

Pinofeel

Moveset:
  • Spiked Jaw: Extends jaw out all the way at the beginning of fight. Said jaw has insta-death spikes. Don’t fall.
  • Eye shot: Eye turns violet, then shoots out a reflective purple beam which bounces around room.
  • Bubble shot: Shoots a purple bubble from underneath him. Bounces towards you and explodes. Destructable.
  • Waterfall: Fills the room with water from his…ears? Alters the trajectory of his bubbles, alters jump mechanics.
This guy’s super odd. Apparently a guard of some sort in the ancient ruins, he looks extremely imposing but isn’t all that tough. The biggest danger in the fight is, obviously, the instant-death spikes that await you if you fall from your narrow platform, but you can mitigate the danger by latching onto his nose-platform and pulling it out with the chain rod – see what I meant by this being a tutorial?
His eye’s his main weak point, and it goes down to a measly four saber slashes, or two combos. If you want to play it safe you can always just stay on the starting platform and shoot him, but you can also live DANGEROUSLY and walljump up his nose without pulling it out. Take your pick.

Hyleg Ourobockle + Altoloid

Moveset:
  • Slither snake: Altoloid will undulate up and down, making navigation tricky. Stay on your toes.
  • Jumping viper: When Zero is a certain distance away from Hyleg, he’ll make a mighty leap towards your location and attempt to do contact damage. Move to avoid.
  • Constrict: Sends arms into one of Altoloid’s segments, which then appear on the segment you were last standing on. If contact is made, wraps Zero and does continuous damage until he struggles free.
  • Snake strike: Waves arms around a bit, then performs a vicious strike with his claws. Long range.
  • Snake slither: After performing 6 moves, Hyleg compresses into a traditional snake form and slithers towards you. Jumps to opposite end of Altoloid afterwards, immediately followed by…
  • Snake steps: Altoloid changes forms into a staircase-like shape. Will attempt to make it so Zero is on the lower end.
  • EX skill: Joint laser: Jewels on Altoloid charge, then shoot lasers. Every other one will fire, followed by the unfired ones. Head does not fire laser.
  • Snake…slinky?: Hyleg throws a slinky down Altoloid. Will damage, but is destructible.
  • Snake square: Altoloid arranges itself into a square, consisting of four groups of two segments. Hyleg stands on top of the highest. Followed immediately by…
  • Snake shock: Altoloid’s segments glow purple in a rapid-fire sequence. The first will then light up with electricity, followed by the second, and so on. Keep track and move.
Good lord, look at all those moves! Hyleg Ourobockle is no walk in the park by any means. He’s a snake-themed Mutos Reploid whose name is based off of “hydra” and “ouroboros”. The first one’s the Hercules snake that regrew two heads for each that was chopped off, the second is the snake eating its own tail. Match made in heaven.
Anyway, he’s a member of the Zan’ei army (which I’ll get more into later) and was under the command of one of Neo Arcadia’s four guardians, Phantom. Phantom’s gone now, but his protégés are still kickin’. The members of his squad specialize in speed, stealth, and deception, and Hyleg fits cleanly into that first category. He and his pet snake mechaniloid, Altoloid, move all over the place and attack with swift, decisive blows that can be super hard to dodge. Thankfully, the fight is heavily scripted to make it easier on players; they’ll always start by alternating between jumps, constricts, and snake strikes, followed by Altoloid altering its shape twice before reverting back to slither snake and repeating the pattern over again. It’s certainly a challenge, but because of the predictability, it’s possible to memorize his pattern for a clean victory. Furthermore, you can fill up the Sub tank the stage so graciously gives you beforehand to improve your chances of victory.
Probably the greatest danger in the fight is Altoloid’s snake square move; when rearranging, he presses the blocks against each other, which can and will knock you off, and if you’re not expecting it you’ll fall to your doom. This pair’s a good wake-up call to the general difficulty of the game’s bosses.

Cyber X

X as he appears in this series. His identity was initially unknown, appearing at first on a computer monitor and providing Zero with his trusty Z-saber in a moment of need. He later reappeared and gave the resistance codes needed to access Neo Arcadia’s innermost sanctums and termite Copy X. He only revealed his form in the last game’s epilogue, showing he had somehow become a cyber-elf himself, though he was able to take the form of a blurry, regally-dressed image of his past self.
He likes to warp in, be infuriatingly cryptic, make reference to the fact that Zero needs to do what X cannot, then leave. Most recently, he’s made mentioned something called a “Mother elf” that he supposedly sealed, as well as referring to the two elves now held within Ciel’s lab as “baby elves”, which desire to be reunited with their mother. Nothing else, though, because being helpful isn’t the role of the Wise Man archetype he’s fulfilling.

Music!
Reasonable quantities of music this time. While sand triangle (seriously, what’s with that name?) is pretty okay, it’s not *mindblowing*.
As for the boss music, eh. It’s alright, I guess; I’m not a huge fan. I honestly prefer Crash, though not by much.

Sand triangle
Strong will

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 21:42 on Jul 12, 2014

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


You only need 86 points or higher, not 90, for an A-rank. Also you hosed up a spoiler tag.

More later when I can actually watch the video .

A_Raving_Loon
Dec 12, 2008

Subtle
Quick to Anger


Those enemies are called Hammers because Meteor Hammer is one of many names for ball-and-chain style weapons.

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012




A_Raving_Loon posted:

Those enemies are called Hammers because Meteor Hammer is one of many names for ball-and-chain style weapons.

HUH. I honestly never knew that. That's pretty cool actually.

(also shhh Simon, it never happened, NEVER HAPPENED)

InterrupterJones
Nov 10, 2012

It's obvious that this man and I share the same destiny. Therefore I must join forces with him! Besides, I'll save on gas money if I take him with me.



I know I've been excited for this LP, but still those hard mode videos take my breath away. So thank you Gam, for making an awesome LP so far AND for helping me realize how bad I am at video games.

Clarste
Apr 15, 2013

Just how many mistakes have you suffered on the way here?

An uncountable number, to be sure.


Regarding the enemies getting cut in half, in the Japanese version this was also accompanied by a splash of red "oil". At least in the first game, which is the only one I played in Japanese. I'm not normally a fan of gratuitous gore, but it made using the saber very satisfying. Really made me feel like a samurai.

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012




Clarste posted:

Regarding the enemies getting cut in half, in the Japanese version this was also accompanied by a splash of red "oil". At least in the first game, which is the only one I played in Japanese. I'm not normally a fan of gratuitous gore, but it made using the saber very satisfying. Really made me feel like a samurai.

Yep. Here, have a demo.



Image not mine, but it's good for illustrating the point. The effect was in this game, yeah, but got removed from everywhere but Japan. I don't mind really, it's cool but can get distracting after seeing it a bajillion times.

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 19:39 on Jan 23, 2014

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Why does everyone think I'm going to get in trouble?



Gamwhiz1 posted:

Yep. Here, have a demo.



Image not mine, but it's good for illustrating the point. The effect was in this game, yeah,but got removed from everywhere but Japan. I don't mind really, it's cool but can get distracting after seeing it a bajillion times.

For what it's worth, I think it got censored in Japan when they released the Zero Collection over there.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


So! Hyleg Ourobockle's (?) stage. I love it. Just from the first few moments, it's immediately obvious how much of a step upwards from Zero 1 it is in level design, valuing speed and pacing over everything, even with higher-health enemies which you can easily skip or take out with your new tool. For how "gimmicky" the stage is, meant to introduce the Chain Rod, it holds up incredibly well just by virtue of most of its uses being optional.

You are simply rewarded for trying it out on everything (the miniboss, for instance), no questions asked or strings attached. It's not a forced tutorial, it's a playground and you are the king.

If you have been shaking your head at my broad generalizations so far, don't sweat it, you're right. The two jumps which require swinging from the Rod go contrary to my entire argument above, are complete poo poo and should have been erased. A small but significant misstep which could well cause a new player to quit, though it's nowhere near as flagrantly bad as Aztec Falcon's trash compactor, unless you start with Zero 2's electric boss who has an admittedly kind of dickish level.

Also, immediately when entering the stage the soundtrack is awesome with its bassline, for which I love the Zero 2 soundtrack. Sadly, once the actual melody starts, it's less than exciting (at least to my ears).

From the start to the end, Hyleg is pretty much my favourite boss period. His fight is completely different from anything you've seen so far in all the best ways, the changing arena is simply the best. It alone gives the fight an incredible dynamic, even for a Zero bossfight it is outstandingly fun. The one thing dragging it down is that you can obliterate Hyleg before he switches sides the second time (especially with the Rise Form).



Oh and one more thing: the Power Form's single slash is pretty much just the triple combo's third slash coming out immediately, if I'm not mistaken.

Heavy Sigh
Nov 13, 2011

They've planted corn everywhere.



Soiled Meat

Simply Simon posted:

One fire-themed level is probably my favourite (or amongst them), the other is kinda weak, I guess. But nah. The answer is glaringly obvious and you'll know it when you see it.

It's the hostages one, isn't it.

ArchiveLurker
Sep 5, 2009


I've got a lot of fond memories borrowing a friend's copy of this back in middle school. Looking forward to this LP.
I do remember dying over and over again on the chain rod jumps. I figured out that you could grapple onto the floating platforms and extend the chain pretty quickly. What I took forever to realize was that the chain rod could stick to objects without holding only up because I was a dumb kid and took Cerveau's comments literally. I just assumed you were supposed to jump into the pit and then fire the chain rod up when you were directly under the platform. I also didn't realize that you could dash jump, which made this and another upcoming level much more difficult.

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012







Welcome to supplementary post #2!

…Warning you right now, this one’s a doozy. After beating the first mission (no matter what you choose), the resistance base opens up entirely, and a BUNCH of new people show up. I guess word of Zero’s return upped recruitment numbers?
Regardless, here we go!

SSLP!



Welcome back to the Resistance Base! We'll start our journey by going right this time. Taking new routes stimulates the mind!

Music: Momentary peace.



And it pays off immediately!

- Um? You must be Zero. My name is Doigt. As Cerveau told me, you're so well-designed that I can't believe you're an old-type Reploid. I want to see your insides, so do you mind if I rip you apart? Ha ha ha. I'm kidding. No really, I'm just kidding. Don't look at me like that.



- By the way, Cerveau is so very interesting...Once he gets deep into research, he does not hear anything. It seems there is no way I will ever be a match for him.

Doigt is basically Cerveau's understudy; he assists with whatever R&D he happens to be doing at the time. As such, his name means "finger" in french. Because he uses them to work with machines! Oh Capcom, your naming never ceases to astound.
I like him, he reminds me of that one uncle who makes good-natured but off-color jokes that illicit an awkward silence afterwards.


Regardless, Cerveau actually has something worthwhile to say this time so we'll see him too.



- Can you use your weapons well? By the way... I wanted to tell you one thing that I noticed while watching you...you seem to have a secret potential ability...For example, if you defeat a boss enemy while your level is high, you will learn how to use their ability...And...If you use only Busters, the attack power of the bullets will increase...If you defeat many enemies with your shield, your defense power will increase. It seems that there are more abilities inside you...It's really amazing...You are a Reploid that was created a long time ago, but you have such incredible abilities...

JEEBUS. That is a lot of ellipses. While it's not quite as offensive as the first game (which literally had entire text boxes filled with nothing but dot after dot), the localization for flavor text can still come off as really stilted.
Incidentally, this is how the game expects you to figure out how to get EX skills and forms. They're not bad hints, but when it comes to finding forms you usually have to just go for trial and error. Or buy the official strategy guide!




There's the other Cyber-elf we just liberated from the Forest of Dysis chillin' in the tank. They're sentient, but they're also just babies at the moment so they can't do much of anything except float around. We'll hear more on them later. Until then...

- Are you ok, Zero? I wonder why Elpizo is bothering you with these very hard orders...If there is a very difficult mission, I will help you. Please tell me if you need the power of the Cyber-elf.

- And, I just remembered! The computer at the entrance has the data that I have studied. Please take a look at it when you have time.

Bit late on the uptake there, Ciel. We've already seen all there is to see! (I thought I told you to update that darn thing, grumblegrumble...)





Rocinolle tells us to go speak to Andrew here, because maybe he'll give us some sweet loot if we do? Soldier's dialogue hasn't changed though, bleh.



- How are you doing in the new Resistance base? I was told not to go to the other room, so I'm talking with it here. It is getting worse, so I want Ciel to fix it...But Ciel is busy...boring!

Unattributed pronouns! This is about as bad as the writing gets; you might've noticed some weird grammatical things already. Based on context, as well as certain info in something I'll be linking shortly after THIS VERY POST, I believe she's referring to her doll here. Meaning it's capable of speech? Grammar is important kiddies!

- Ciel showed me a very pretty Baby Elf in her room...I wonder how it will look when it grows up...? I named the elf Crea! Ciel said this is a good name!

This'll also be elaborated on in the SPECIAL THING. Stay tuned, it's super .

Anyway, we haven't explored further on this floor yet, so let's head in the door there.




- Ha ha ha. You're doing very well, new comer. Now you must defeat me to move on.



- No, no, I was only kidding!

Aw, boooo

- Do you know Ciel? I don't think she should be a human being. The reason why is because humans age and grow old. But, there is a Reploid who purposely asked to look like an old one...That's funny.

- What? Is there anything more you want to tell me? I wanted you to tell me everything you can.

This guy's name is Pic, seeing as he doesn't have the decency to tell us straight off. As for his character, I really can't figure out what his point is. All his comments are totally random, he doesn't really SAY anything with his words; I mean, he doesn't even appear to do anything for the Resistance. His name might be short for Pic Bois, which seems to be a type of woodpecker? Iunno, this guy's just weird.



Bit further to the left, and we come the the end of floor 4. I really dig this vantage point; it gives a feel for where the Resistance is situated. Rockin' the secret mountainside lair, baby!

- Hey Zero! No one would believe me, but I'll tell you anyway. I saw green wind blow in the sky for a moment, just as you were being carried here. Ha ha ha...or maybe I was seeing an illusion?

...or maybe not so secret? This lair is brand-new, how the heck did Harpuia know where it was? You guys should probably be at least a LITTLE concerned about the fact that your enemy knows exactly where you're headquartered.

- Hey, Zero! You know what? Inside the bushes in the forest, you can find various things...You will also find a ruin when you progress, which has many secrets. They are from the mystery of the Maverick wars.

Nope we'll definitely not be going back there no Siree.
Mr. Helpful here is named Hirondelle, a french word meaning "Swallow." He's the Resistance lookout, and as such gets the nice mountainside view. If they're not gonna buy what he tells them, though, I don't really see the point of having one. Anyway, that's it for this floor.




Elevator's fixed, wooo! Goin' UP!



Like the other floors, floor #5 branches both left and right. We'll go left first because this game is Japanese and that's the way things work over there.
Two things to call attention to here: firstly, the shells in the background. The Zero games have a lot of fun little background details in them you can easily miss; looks like the Resistance is packin' some serious heat.
Secondly, Zero's looking mighty smug there about his magnetic (?) hands. Ladders are for losers, it's true.




HOLY MOTHER OF...well I guess now we know what those shells were for! This base really IS a step up from the ratty old place.

- Mr. Zero, leave this area to me. I'll take care of any enemies by myself.

- I just shot down an enemy minnow Mechaniloid.

Gosh, a whole minnow? With that dinky gun? Great job!
Anyway muscleman doesn't get a name until a later game, but I'll give it to you now. His name's Faucon, french for "falcon". Sadly, we can't play with his cannon, so we'll just jump down a story (having robotic legs is super useful) and head over to the right.




FOR LOOOOOOOSSSEEEEERRRRS



Jeez, not just one, but TWO artillery cannon towers? How do they afford this stuff???

- Oh, Mr. Zero! I found a lost Cyber-elf earlier. Can you take this? I think this Cyber-elf would be happier with other the Cyber-elves[sic].



This is one of a few Cyber-elves that make 100% completion a pain. Unless you go around talking to random resistance members, you'll miss out on freebies like this, and seeing as dialogue changes depending on where in the game you are, you'll likely miss this one your first time through. Thankfully, the Zero games have New Game+ features, so you're never completely boned.

- Well, the scenery from here is outstanding...I can't help but forget about the fact that we are here on a mission.

As for this fine chap, his name's Dande. He was in the first game, and Ciel gave him his name; originally, it was ONB6, seeing as Neo Arcadia's suppression includes referring to Reploids by their serial numbers. Dinde means "Turkey" in french; it's likely just a translation thing.

Again, no shooty the gun, so back to the elevator we go.




And up to the roof!



Once outside, we're able to walljump up the exterior of the turrets. That symbol you see there is the official Resistance insignia; you can see it on the Resistance member's hats and in the trans server room, among other places. drat if I know what it means, though.



And, after falling through the gun barrel, we come to a nicely hidden Cyber-elf box.



Close-up box! These things were in the last game too, though who knows where they come from. Poor Cyber-elves must hate being cooped up in there, though.



Freeedooooooom!



Aaaaaaaand captivity again. +1 elf!



There's no hidden junk past the other turret, so we'll just head down again. This base is super spacious!
Might as well take Rocinolle up on her previous tip.




- Are you doing well? When I was new, I used to cause everyone problems because I couldn't learn things quickly. But you're working very hard without complaining about anything...good luck, young man.

Andrew's pretty cool with his support, even if he doesn't always recognize us. Let's just talk to him one more time...

- Zero...If you have time, I will tell you about my younger days. Want to listen? ~Y/N~

HOOOOOOO BOY. Here it comes. Y'see, in the last game, Andrew gave us much the same choice; upon electing to listen to his story, he regaled us with a long tale about his past love and how he came to look the way he does. Basically, these are (comparatively) super-extended character development sections for those who want to know more about Andrew, which are cool but take a bit of patience to sit through. In other words,
TEXT INCOMING.


>>>N

- Are you busy...? How cold recent Reploids are...

Hey buddy, Zero's neither recent nor a Reploid. Get your act together. Seriously though...

>>>Y

- Oh! You want to listen!

- I was working for a bread factory in a small village...There was a clean and beautiful creek near the factory. The location was the best for making bread. All the bread we made sold very well.
And the bread which sold the best was...Wait, I know I can remember this...Yes, it was buns with jam...No, no, no, buns with cream was our best seller. Some people came to buy our bread from far away places because they heard such good things about our bread. I used to work hard and not rest at all because I was happy to see the smiles of those who ate our bread. I had very happy days as a baker...But...who expected that incident...I feel sad to remember...Sorry, I can't tell you anymore. I'm just so sad now...

That's it for now. It's not that bad, admittedly, but it's most definitely the most wordy anyone's been up till now.
Anyway, we're gonna head right now, seeing as we haven't stuck our noses in there yet.




Hey, it's one of those guys from the forest!

- I would have been killed by the monster like a snake without you. Thank you, Zero.

Yep, you're able to get some gratitude out of the resistance soldiers you saved from the forest of Dysis. It's a very nice touch, though it gets even better...



This is what awaits us through the door. MORE DOORS. Their labels correspond to the floor (3) and the door order (a-d). As for the resistance mook...

- Without you, I wouldn't be here. Thank you, Zero.

...He really doesn't have anything of value to say. You guys could at least fork over some E-crystals, what with me saving your butts. We'll give them one more chance; into door 03-A!



- You saved my life, Zero. Thank you very much.

Yeah, screw you too then. Each of these rooms has another soldier in it; it's pretty clearly meant to be the base's barracks. Cool thing is, if you neglected to save any of these guys, they won't be present in the room. Other than your ranking taking a hit and the indelible guilt upon your conscience, though, it really doesn't affect anything. The other quips are all variants of the same "Wow gee thanks for saving me Zero you go gurl", so not even gonna bother with them. Down another floor!





- commander's room is taken by an advance team who used very impressive spy techniques. It must have been very risky to take the pictures.

I made reference to this at the very bottom of the first part, but if you didn't catch it, here it is again. I really like how Inti Creates felt they had to justify the robot pictures after all these years. It's pretty cool.
Incidentally, the "Hall" room here is the one of the few ones that remain empty; both doors lead to the same long, boring area that looks basically identical to the other rooms. Maybe it's supposed to be the mess hall? (I love the thought of a bunch of robots sitting down at a dinner table and shoving E-crystal capsules into their abdomens)




Area to the right is literally identical to the barracks a floor up, except it's just as empty as the other one was a mission ago. FORESHADOWING, PERHAPS?
Anyway this means that we're just gonna head down to the bottom floor. What secrets could possibly await us???




NO.



NONONONONONONO HOW THE BALLS DID HE SURVIVE OUR ABSENCE?!?!?!?!?

- Zero!! I worried about you very much! I must hurry! I must hurry!! I must hurry!!! I have been working so hard these days in order to please Elpizo. I wish I could do operations in that control room...

You, responsible for transporting me safely to missions? Over my dead body!

- I must hurry! I must hurry!! I must hurry!!! I think I am the hardest worker in this base. Zero, if you meet Elpizo, tell him that I'm working hard!

UUUUUUUUUUUUUGH. Ok, for those not in the know, this guy is Hibou (french: owl), and he is truly horrid. In the last game, he existed as nothing more than a fatass roadblock keeping us from one specific Cyber-elf, and would only move out of the way after cramming 250 E-crystals down his maw. While he appears to have turned over something of a new leaf, he's still intolerably sycophantic and just all-around grating. As such:



There. Here, at least, his pain will be unending. Some crimes ARE unforgivable, my friend; you do NOT cross Zero.

Justice served, let us head into the nearby doorway.




MUCH better. I'll take this size extreme any day.

- Nice to meet you, Zero. My name is Perroquiet. I came here to help Ciel locate data, but there are just too many here...However, I think the data on Baby Elves that Ciel wants is not here...

- It will take a month to check all the data here. I understand she wants to study and test it as soon as possible, but this schedule is too difficult to accomplish. By the way, I've never seen such a beautiful elf...

He's got the whole thing goin on. Perroquiet (Perroquet is parrot in french, we're nearing the end I swear) is to Ciel what Doigt is to Cerveau. He's also kinda similar to Alouette in terms of age. Fittingly, he also gets a character in the ZX series that's assumed to be him: Fleuve. All in all he's a pretty nice guy, even WITH the animu glasses.
Back right, then.






Tall guy in the storage room. Fitting, I guess. Far more interesting is the cyber-elf slightly beyond him.



Yoink! Ok, you may now speak.

- Hello, Mr. Zero. My name is Autruche. I'm ashamed to say this...I'm tall but I'm not good at heavy work. In spite of the fact, I have to carry goods in storage...I don't know who decided the assignment but they do not have any knowledge of aptitude. Oh, I'm sorry...I really shouldn't complain.

- Keep up the good work, Mr. Zero. I also hang in there...somehow...

...maybe not so fitting after all? Autruche (ostrich, hold on!) is basically everyman Smith in the resistance base. He is the one co-worker we all know who hates his job, but continues on in silent despair due to having no other alternative. Unlike Hibou, he is to be pitied, not hated, for he is but a broken shell of a Reploid. Tragic.

Not much we can do for him, though, so back out and to the right.




Is...is that the end I see? Oh joy! All that's left is to speak with this delightful young scamp!

- Hiya! My name is Menart! I'm not liked by everyone just because I always blow off my work!



- Don't work so hard, because you won't defeat Neo Arcadia!

Good lord, what is WITH these floor-one robots? Is this where they throw the ones no one can stand? Man, I feel bad for Perroquiet.
Apparantly Menart's name is some kind of botched translation for a bird called the "Mynah" bird; look it up if you're that curious. Thankfully, he's the last Resistance member we have to deal with, because a little bit further right...




...Is this! How did the Resistance manage waterfront property? This is actually legit kinda nice.
Oh, and if you were wondering, you can't fall off of either this ledge or the one by Hirondelle because of invisible walls. Suicide is not a Resistance-sanctioned activity, folks!




And on that cheery note, it's back up for us...



...and back where we belong. Thanks for staying with me for that, and see you next time!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Character bios!

~Allies~

Resistance


We’ve now seen and interacted with the resistance in its entirety, so here’s a group shot of the lot of them, save for the operators and Elpizo. Their personalities are many and varied, but for good or ill they’re all very distinct, and committed to the resistance as a whole. The lady reploid standing next to Rocinolle is named Naomi; She doesn’t appear in this game, but she was seen frequently in Zero one, both standing guard and captured in a secret Neo Arcadian base.
They serve to add a great amount of personality to the series, and make it distinct from other Megaman games where other characters were rarely, if ever, mentioned. It really makes you care about your fights.

Doigt


Doigt (Finger in French) is Cerveau’s assistant, helping with his projects and experiments when needed, and otherwise simply fetching things for him. He has a weird sense of humor, making slightly awkward jokes then wondering why his audience isn’t laughing.
Design-wise, he looks more like a mechanic than Cerveau, who’s closer to the intellectual type. I could see this guy working in a car shop in some anime.

Pic


Pic (Pic bois is a type of woodpecker) is…strange. Like, even for a Resistance member.
He spends his time sitting alone on a box in some room, and challenges Zero to “defeat him so he can move on”. Pretty much every one of his lines is varying shades of random chatter, and he doesn’t appear to have any sort of definite role within the resistance either. I kinda figure he just wandered in one day and set up shop without anyone noticing.

Hirondelle


Hirondelle gets an actual full body image! Hey, blame the artists, not me.
His name’s French for “Swallow”, and he’s actually a pretty chill dude. He serves as both the Resistance’s lookout and, on occasion, scout, which mean he’s often full of little tidbits of information to share with us. He’s also got a penchant for poetry, odd considering he’s a Reploid. All in all, probably one of the more sympathetic soldiers.

Faucon

French for “Falcon”, Faucon does his name proud by being the left turret gunner for the Resistance. Airborne foes, beware the bird of prey!
Beyond that though, there’s really not much depth to his character. He’s definitely the most soldier-like of the Resistance, what with the rippling muscles and scruffy facial hair. Which, come to think of it, probably needs to be manually grown rather than trimmed. Robots are weird.

Dande/ONB6


Dande’s a returning member of Resistance classic, with a name meaning “Turkey”. Well, Dinde means Turkey in French, it’s close enough. Localizing is hard, guys!
Ciel gave him his name, as she did Alouette’s. In fact, given that Neo Arcadia degradingly refers to Reploids by their serial numbers, it can be presumed that she gave nearly all the Resistance members names as they joined up. Kinda makes sense why they all respect her, if true.
Dande’s really nothing special though; the most distinctive aspect of him is his constant politeness, never failing to refer to us as “Mr. Zero”. He’s been made the right cannon gunner for the resistance, but so far they haven’t seen any large-scale conflict at headquarters so it’s not overly important.

Hibou


Hibou was truly horrible in the last game. He was fat, lazy, made excuses, and MOST UNFORGIVABLY, blocked our way to a cyber-elf. To get him to move, we had to give him 250 E-crystals, because he apparently needs more energy than everyone else. It’s not his fault, he was “built that way!”

In this game, he’s improved slightly and become a little more hard-working, but he’s also gained an annoying habit of fishing for favor with Elpizo, so it’s still highly suggested you hate his guts. His name means "Owl" in french.

Perroquiet


Perroquiet is a tiny little nerd with anime glasses and a kitty face. He’s young, though, so it’s obviously adorable.
Perroquet means “parrot” in French, and he’s the lab assistant to Ciel. This basically means he’s forced to work in the basement data room, shifting through musty old files to try to find anything that might be useful to Ciel’s energy research. To add insult to injury, he has to deal with being right next to Hibou all day! Poor Perroquiet. Luckily for him, it’s assumed he gets to hop series, becoming a scientist named Fleuve in the ZX games.

Autruche


Autruche’s is a tale of tragedy. Built tall and thin, he was quickly delegated to grunt work in the storage room to take advantage of his great height. But he’s bad at lifting heavy things!
Unfortunately he’s also really meek so all he does is complain about his station without ever doing anything to fix it. Woe be him, for the daily grind has sapped all feeling from his tired bones(Alloy rods?). His name means "Ostrich".

Menart


Good lord, did they just dump all the intolerables on the ground floor and call it a day?
Menart’s the troublemaker around base, getting everywhere he’s not supposed to, terrorizing Alouette, and not doing the work that needs to be done. Think Calvin, if Calvin wasn’t the protagonist and instead a super annoying downer robot. He even claims that Zero won’t manage to beat Neo Arcadia! He does not have a good grasp of what’s in his best interests. He's the...Mynah bird? Yeah, I don't know either.
-------------

*Secret special thing* will be posted tomorrow, probably. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 14:55 on Aug 11, 2014

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012






>>BONUS POST INCOMING<<

Part 1!

Ok, so, I made reference to a *SUPER SPECIAL THING* in the last post. Well, what I was referring to was…



This. What is this, you ask?

Well, in Japan, the Mega man Zero games got special, remastered soundtrack releases for each of the games. The first was simply called “Remastered tracks: Rockman Zero” (with Rockman being the series name over yonder), whereas the later entries got a subtitle appended to their names. In the case of Rockman Zero 2, it’s “Idea”.
Now, normally, if you wanted to give these a listen, you’d have to fork over $50+ bux apiece to get an import copy from Japan. Thankfully, some incredibly awesome dudes over on YouTube took the financial hit for us, and uploaded some clearly labeled, complete playlists of these awesome remixes right here on your home-grown internet. My eternal gratitude goes out to you, kind internet denizens; I’ve spent many an hour listening to these.

While some of them aren’t as good as others, they’re still well worth a listen for those interested in music, especially seeing as the GBA had a sadly limited range of sounds it could make. These give a feel for how the games might've sounded had they been released on more advanced hardware.
I’ll toss the ones for Zeroes one and two up here, but be aware that going past track 14 in the MMZ2 playlist will result in musical spoilers at the current time. You’ve been warned. Links following, Zero one first, then two:



There's also a couple of albums named Mythos and Résonnant Vie, which contain stuff like the final boss themes of the next few games, which amounts to pretty massive spoiler material.

For those who've already played them, though, these two Soundtracks were basically "best of" things released in the wake of the MMZcollection being released. Some of the tracks are from the first two games, others are from the latter two, but they're all worth a listen.

Résonnant Vie especially comes with the official OP seal of approval(TM) because it's filled with amazing Piano and other acoustic arrangements. You cannot go wrong, and I dearly hope to one day get my mitts on it.

Here's playlist links, through the cover art because it's purdy. Mythos first, then Résonnant Vie.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Part 2!

I didn’t link those just because music is great, though. No, I linked them because of a little something called DRAMA TRACKS

In addition to music remixes, the CDs also had the occasional fully voice acted, Japanese Character dialogue snippets. You can hear a few of them in the Zero one playlist above. Sadly, most of us aren't fully versed in the language of glorious Nippon, so they're wasted on us.

That's where an equally awesome dude by the name of Eclipse5632 comes in. He's taken a good chunk of them and translated into Japanese characters, Romanized Japanese, and, of course, English.

Two main things are of interest to us at this point. The first is a collection of tracks in the first remastered collection, collectively referred to as "Ciel's Memory." These take actual dialogue from the first game and supplement it with the internal thoughts of Ciel, which makes them good both for bringing people up to speed on certain events, and for showing Ciel in a very different light, accentuating her Humanity and motivations in a way only touched on in the games. They're each only a minute or so long, too, so it's not hard to give 'em a listen. Links following:

-Ciel's Memory ~ Prologue: Covers the prologue of the first game, up to arriving at the ruined laboratory.
-Ciel's Memory ~ Rebirth from Zero: Covers Zero's revival, and his first encounter with Ciel.
-Ciel's Memory ~ The Big Four: Covers Ciel's thoughts on the guardians of Neo Arcadia, and includes some dialogue between them. They'll be covered later in this LP.
-Ciel's Memory ~ Truth of Hero: Covers Ciel's confession as to her role in Copy X's revival, as well as Zero and Copy X's pre-battle banter.
-Ciel's Memory ~ Epilogue: Covers Copy X's and Zero's dialogue post-defeat, as well as Ciel's thoughts on their relocation and Zero's eventual return, segueing into the intro of Zero 2.
---

The second thing of interest is what I referred to as super . It's a drama track that was actually included in the album for Zero 3, but it's set RIGHT NOW, AT THIS VERY MOMENT.

...What this means, it that this is the

Recommended listening section

You might remember this face:



Well, Alouette actually gets an entire drama track all to herself! And boy, is it LONG.

Here's the link to "Alouette's good day", for starters.

If you don't want to listen to it (though really, you should) the gist of it is Alouette's quest to find suitable names for the two baby elves currently held in Ciel's lab. She tells you in-game she named one of them "Crea", but the other one's name is only revealed within this drama track. She also talks about how Menart broke her doll, which explains her dialogue in the last part.

Basically, she goes around asking for ideas from various members of the resistance, including Ciel (too absorbed in research), Rogue and Juane (come up with a bunch of ok opposite names, and also reference two travesties of GBA RPGs before driving Alouette away with their bickering), Andrew (prattles on and on), and Zero himself (Talks about how cool his fight with Hyleg was) before meeting up with Ciel again and expressing her hopes for what the Baby elves will bring to the Resistance, which leads her to come up with their final names.

I unironically love this track, because it brings so much CHARACTER to the resistance base. It shows that, above and beyond what's happening in the game, there's a real, functioning society filled with all sorts of interesting people going on behind the scenes, and it's one of the many reasons I adore the Zero games.

As for the baby elves, have a character bio.


Baby elves


Two Cyber-elves captured from Neo Arcadian facilities by Elpizo and Zero, they're unique in that they emit large quantities of energy from their bodies, despite their relatively tiny sizes. Ciel believes she can further her research into an alternative energy source by studying them, making them a source of great hope for the resistance members.

Alouette, especially, has high hopes for the era of peace they could usher in, and went to great lengths to find suitable names for them.
After much deliberation and advice, she settled on two ideas based on their potential: The Reploid's prayers that the babies will allow them to live freely again, and their role in the creation of a new energy source. To that end, they became Crea and Prea.
---------------------------------------

That's it for the extra part! Next time will be actual video I swear. This game IS primarily about chopping robots into itty bitty pieces, after all.

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 09:50 on Jan 18, 2015

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!



Somehow, all of that blood makes it look infinitely more painful.

Gamwhiz1 posted:

I didn’t link those just because music is great, though. No, I linked them because of a little something called DRAMA TRACKS

I really wish that these came over to America somehow. There was a bit of stuff about Zero II I didn't even understand until I randomly looked up Zero III's remastered soundtrack.

Blueberry Pancakes fucked around with this message at 20:23 on Jan 27, 2014

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



Hobgoblin2099 posted:

I really wish that these came over to America somehow. There was a bit of stuff about Zero II I didn't even understand until I randomly looked up Zero III's remastered soundtrack.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Japanese games, where every game has a wealth of supplementary material that's common knowledge to everyone but you.

Dr. Snark
Oct 15, 2012

I'M SORRY, OK!? I admit I've made some mistakes, and Jones has clearly paid for them.
...
But ma'am! Jones' only crime was looking at the wrong files!
...
I beg of you, don't ship away Jones, he has a wife and kids!

-United Nations Intelligence Service

It is also a world where using a wiki of some kind becomes a necessity.

By the way, Gamewhiz, are you going to do a post on the Mythos and Resonnant Vie remixes? There are some fantastic remixes in those albums, but I wasn't sure since they covered some tracks from MMZ3 and 4.

Edit: My bad on the name! And I figured as much, but I wanted to make sure that everyone could hear these if they wanted to.

Dr. Snark fucked around with this message at 22:33 on Jan 27, 2014

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012




Dr. Snark posted:

It is also a world where using a wiki of some kind becomes a necessity.

By the way, Gamewhiz, are you going to do a post on the Mythos and Resonnant Vie remixes? There are some fantastic remixes in those albums, but I wasn't sure since they covered some tracks from MMZ3 and 4.

Gam, please. There's no "e" regardless, but the only reason I've kept this kinda dumb callsign is 'cause I like "Gam".

Anyway as for the Mythos and Résonnant Vie albums, that latter part was why I held off on them. They contain stuff like the final boss themes of the next few games, which amounts to pretty massive spoiler material.

For those who've already played them, though, the two Soundtracks he's referring to were basically "best of" things released in the wake of the MMZcollection being released. Some of the tracks are from the first two games, others are from the latter two, but they're all worth a listen.

Résonnant Vie especially comes with the official OP seal of approval(TM) because it's filled with amazing Piano and other acoustic arrangements. You cannot go wrong, and I dearly hope to one day get my mitts on it.

Here's playlist links, through the cover art because it's purdy. Mythos first, then Résonnant Vie.




Wasn't gonna post these, but relistening to them makes me realize I'd be doing a disservice not putting them here. I'll append them to the previous soundtrack post; thanks a ton Dr. Snark.

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 09:50 on Jan 18, 2015

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



All the times I saw Zero 1, it left an awful taste in my mouth, the punishment for using the items given to you, and the music. The only thing that kept me from screaming over the base music in Simon's LP was his soothing voice.

Looking at this... I take it back. The music so far is wonderful, the game seems smoother. Someone mentioned that there was a DS collection. I will have to see if I can find it. And mute Zero 1.

George
Nov 27, 2004

No love for your made-up things.


I wish there were an easy patch to put the "blood" back into the US release. Is there? It's so... stylish.

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012




George posted:

I wish there were an easy patch to put the "blood" back into the US release. Is there? It's so... stylish.

To my knowledge, no, and besides that's getting into territory so you'll have to look into it on your own.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


Play the Japanese version and check the LP for the story .

Résonnant Vie is amazing. I actually wanted to post all of these music things for the Megathread (with the compilations, like RV, after everything in them was shown off already), but stuff got in the way. So I'm really glad you are doing it now, everyone give it a listen!

Gamwhiz1
Aug 14, 2012







Here have a clip of some manly men inspiring the title to a video game video. (I gotta wonder if the devs had this joke in mind when making the level.)

Also, this part marks the advent of a new headset! Be careful with your toys kids or else they'll get broke.


Stage notes!

100 pt requirements:
-Clear time: 2:50
-Enemies killed: 64
-Mission: Protect all boxes, -2pts per box loss

Hard mode gives you the same destructive benefits as the power form does, so spikings aren’t as big a threat as they’d be without the strength boost. The rail gates take ¾ of your health per hit, though, so you don’t have much wriggle room as far as errors go.
Also I figured you wouldn’t want to watch 50+ seconds of Zero standing in place and yawning as carryarms died on him, so I sped it up a bit. You’re welcome.

AS FOR THE STAGE. It takes place on a speeding Neo Arcadian train, which sounds pretty cool but ends up being one of the blandest designs in the game.
As a bit of context, train stages have seen their fair share of representation in the Mega Man games. There was charge man in Megaman 5, which featured a multi-leveled stage and interesting things to look at (like lumber, boxes and barrels being shipped). There’s Slash beast from Megaman X4, whose stage was entirely horizontal, much like this one, but featured destructibles up the wazoo, a miniboss, and kickass ride armor which amounted to tons of explosions. And there’s also the one from Zero 1, which involved traversing a dilapidated subway followed by a timed stint aboard the train and a boss battle. In short, each of them had more to them than just “On a train, run right to goal.”
…which is, of course, what this one goes for

Oh, and not only is the design bleh, it’s unoriginal too. That train from Zero 1? It had its sprites ripped almost wholesale and plopped into Zero 2. They extended a couple parts by a pixel or two and brightened it a bit, but the similarities are obvious; Here, have some comparisons. Zero one first, then Zero 2.





So basically what this means is that everyone that played the first game isn’t gonna be seeing anything new here. It’s really a shame; this game’s stage designs are, for the most part, inspired, so it’s kinda fitting that the worst stage is copypasted from Zero 1’s generally crap designs.
Other bad things to say about it: not many things to find (there’s a total of 4 cyber-elves), and the spikings and rail gates team up to make a stage that really punishes you for not being a psychic. This one requires a loooot of practice.

Forms!

=Rise form=


The rise form is awarded for slashing 20 things with an aerial attack. The mid-stage carryarm section makes getting the rise form a snap.

Power-**
Defense-**
Speed-***

The rise form is one of my personal favorites. It’s basically a straight upgrade from your normal form, as it doesn’t restrict your saber attacks in any way. Instead, it alters your third slash from an arcing, over-the-body crescent into an upwards thrust. This sacrifices the bit of damage you could deal to enemies behind you in favor of an increased vertical range, but because you’ll rarely have an enemy behind you the extra upwards hitbox tends to be more useful.
You’ll also move a little faster with the rise form, which isn’t super noticeable but is nice. If I were playing for pleasure, this would probably be the form I’d stick with for the whole game, but as it is we’ll be able to put the altered slash to good use in the next stage.
(White Zero is super-slick and I love it, kinda resembles White Axl from X8)


Elemental chips!
Elemental chips are a holdover of the boss weakness system that the Megaman series was/is so known for. Introduced in the first Zero game, the chips allow you to charge your weapon with a certain element, with varying effects on both enemies and bosses. In general, the system goes Fire>Ice>Electricity>Fire. It doesn’t make much sense (aren’t electronic kajiggers supposed to run BETTER in cold environments?) but W/E. For beating Panter Flauclaws, we get…

=Thunder chip=



The thunder chip was the first one Zero acquired in the last game, being awarded upon beating Aztec Falcon. Here, you can get it as soon or late as you want, but its functions are the same: you can pair it with a charged weapon attack to overload the systems of the tougher stage mooks you encounter, which stuns them temporarily, or you can use it to utterly slaughter fire-themed enemies. Because…electric fires are harder to put out? That’s the best logic I can come up with. Rock-paper-scissors variants are hard, guys!
It doesn’t make us super-weak to ice, thankfully, but it DOES make it so our attacks are utterly ineffective against it. As in, if I went to fight the ice boss right now, I’d be doing a whopping 0 damage with my charged attacks. I’m also pretty sure that using it against an enemy with the same elemental affinity (like the golem type-e) results in halved damage, but don’t quote me on that one.

EX skills!

=Spark shot=


Another EX skill we can’t use yet! Still gonna show it off though.
Like the Laser shot, the Spark shot replaces your level 3 buster shot when active. The catch here is that you have to have the thunder chip equipped to use it, so if you’re in the mood to fry some circuits you’ll have to make a trip to the menu screen.
As far as this one goes, it’s ok. The ball differs from the normal electric shot in that when it hits an enemy, it splits vertically into upwards and downwards traveling balls, which is great in some situations and not so great in many others because you lose piercing damage. It’s useful in vertical sections, and GODLY in a part that’ll be coming up very soon, but nothing to call home about in most cases.

Character bios!

Panter Flauclaws

Moveset:
  • Spark shower: Winds up, then throws two purple spark balls at high speed. Jump over or dash under, depending on train height.
  • Crescent moon: Jumps in an arc between the two trains, throwing 3 green crescents down as he goes. There’s a space where a fourth would be directly underneath him, so follow along as he moves. The crescents will travel through objects, so hiding on the side of the train can still get you hit.
  • Panther pounce: Roars and does a short pounce forwards, claws extended. Avoid close proximity.
  • Whirl waves: Conjures up two spinning purple spirals, which he throws in front of himself. They travel a short distance before arcing back.
  • Spiral boomerang: Jumps straight up, then shoots three purple spirals diagonally down. Will stop after set distance, hang for a couple moments, then return to sender.
  • Divekick: Jumps in the air, growls, then does a diagonal divekick down. If it connects squarely with Zero’s jaw, Panter will actually bounce back and do a little twirl in midair. Quite fun.
  • EX skill: Tail Spark: Charges two green balls of electricity, crouches in the middle of his traincar, and after a brief pause becomes completely invincible whilst he routes power through the train. As it’s made of conductive metal, this causes the entire car to become hazardous. Can hit in-between the trains, so make for the other car. (I’m pulling the EX skill names from the wiki, so I assume these are correct. I guess maybe he draws in ambient electricity through his tail?)

Panter tends to be significantly easier than his stage is, but is still more than capable of bringing the punishment. He’s an underling of Harpuia and member of the Rekku army (like the Zan’ei, I’ll be getting more into that later) which means lots of electricity to play with. Oddly enough, though, he’s based on a panther; closest thing I can think of to link the two is that cats generate lots of static electricity when they rub against things. I dunno, that’s stretching it pretty far.
As for references, his name doesn’t serve up much (he’s a panther, he has claws, whoop-de-doo), but what IS intriguing is his similarity to another character. The boss of the train stage from X4, Slash Beast, to be exact. They’re both based on predatory felines, are fought on trains, move superquick, and shoot out shockwave-type slashes at you. While Slash Beast isn’t lightning elemental, the parallels are numerous. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.
Panter likes to hop around a lot and use sweeping attacks that cover a wide swath of area, but if you stay away from him (read: on the other train car) or in-between the cars you can generally stay safe. His EX skill covers for his greatest weakness, his inability to hit between the cars consistently, so that makes Zero’s life quite a bit harder, but if you play it safe you can generally see attacks coming ahead of time. He telegraphs a lot.
Also, if you’ve been paying attention up till now you might already realize this, but his element makes him weak to the ice chip. If we had it, we could WRECK HIS poo poo.
Oh well this is a Capcom game so I’m sure we’ll never get the opportunity to do that. Onward!

Music!
Only one new track this time, and I’m loath to put it up because it’s poo poo quality. I’m dumb and couldn’t figure out how to remove the ambient “Train noises”, so the song for this stage, Platinum, is all polluted. I’ll put my version up alongside someone else’s as an apology for this. I can’t think of any other stages that do this, so we should be good from now on.
Platinum’s okay, it’s high-energy at least, but because of the stage it plays over I can’t really get into it.

My Platinum/Non-train Platinum

Gamwhiz1 fucked around with this message at 05:53 on Jan 23, 2015

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


Yeah, this stage suffers a lot from the atrocious spikings. That very first carrier always gets me and has ruined far too many high-rank attempts. And the middle portion smacks of Blast Hornet's incredibly stupid crate "miniboss" - it's not as completely unfun, but still seriously lacking in the entertainment department.

Though the stage is great to show off how Hard Mode offers some very serious advantages. Two normal buster shots to get rid of a spiking? Yes, please. Proto Form yo.

Flauclaws is a very good boss to make up for it, incredibly fast-paced fight with the terrain mixing it up every second, he has decent evasion to get to show everything off, curiously though an EX move that makes the fight far easier, because it's a sure-fire opportunity to hit him which you otherwise have to work for. Some other bosses also have that problem, thought the EX moves in Zero 2 are incredibly much better than the complete poo poo they were in Zero 1 where they were just wasting your time with few exceptions, especially the guardians' ones.


And two more things: The Rise Form's third slash actually deals more damage than the normal combo's third slash does, so it easily allows you to murder Hyleg before he can do anything (kind of a shame, but his fault for standing still so long). And the EX skills so far are sadly pretty useless, especially the thunder one as it doesn't pierce anymore - which is also a fault of the laser: the normal buster already pierces enemies if it kills them, but most of them are designed around you just murdering swaths of them. So gently caress the thunder shot. By the by, might also be a coincidence, but it acts like Cloud Man's weapon you get in Mega Man 7 (where it was, funnily enough, one of the best).

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Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



Hmm, Why'd you black out something Valiant?
I didn't know there was spoiler stuff in the ranking screens.

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