Mega Man Zero 2, known in Japan as Rockman Zero 2 (ロックマンゼロ2, Rokkuman Zero Tsū ), is a video game developed by Inti Creates and published by Capcom for the Game Boy Advance (GBA). It is the second video game in the Mega Man Zero subseries of the Mega Man franchise. It was released May 2003 in Japan and October 2003 in North America and Europe. The game was later released in Japan on the Wii U's Virtual Console on January 7, 2015.
Mega Man Zero 2 follows the same basic format as its predecessor, being a side-scrolling, platform action game. Once again, players take control of the Reploid known as Zero, and lead him through various levels in the battle against the forces of Neo Arcadia.
The controls are identical to that in the previous game, with players given the option to assign functions to the buttons they are most comfortable using. The weapons are also identical, with the exception of the Triple Rod, which has been replaced by the similar but somewhat more complex Chain Rod.
Cyber Elves are present in the game, and function in the same manner as they did in the previous game. However, unlike the first game, in which four specific Cyber Elves could be transformed into health-storing Sub-Tanks, two of the four Sub-Tanks are now hidden in various stages as collectible items, as they were in the previous series, while the remaining two must be unlocked using Cyber Elves.
While the first game in the series had the player select missions from a list, Mega Man Zero 2 returns to the traditional Stage Select option found in the Mega Man and Mega Man X games, although the player can only select from four at a time. In addition, whereas Mega Man Zero had a large, interconnected world, none of the stages in this game are linked.
New features added to the game are Forms and EX Skills. Forms are unlocked by completing various tasks during a mission, such as destroying a set number of enemies with the Buster Shot. Forms alter Zero's abilities in various ways, such as increasing the power of certain weapons or making him more resilient. However, they also tend to decrease performance in other areas, such as lowering attack power for increased defense or removing special attacks of the Z-Saber to enhance the Buster Shot. EX Skills are unlocked if a player completes a mission with an A or S rank, allowing the player to give Zero's weapons the properties of the bosses he's defeated.
Players begin the game with the Buster Shot and the Z-Saber. After the introductory mission, Zero is granted the Shield Boomerang and the Chain Rod, which replaces the Triple Rod in the previous game. As with the previous game, the player can unlock new attacks and abilities for the weapons through repeated use. There are fewer upgrades in this game; the Z-Saber has a total of four upgrades, while the rest only have two.
Cyber Elves function in the same manner as the previous game, being single-use aids with either temporary or permanent effects on Zero or the game's levels. They are hidden throughout the game as well as dropped by enemies. The use of Cyber Elves penalizes the mission score. There are three types of Cyber Elves, "Nurse", "Animal and Hacker. While certain Elves can be used immediately, the larger Elves need to be fed crystals in order to be used. The cost for doing so is significantly less than it was in the previous game.
The second game introduces the concept of various forms, which can be earned by meeting certain criteria throughout the game, ranging from killing twenty enemies in a stage with a dashing slash technique to getting twenty-five energy capsules in one stage.
- Normal Form (Red) - Zero's basic form. The player starts the game with this. It has basic stats in all areas. No glaring weaknesses or strengths. It uses the standard 3-hit Z-Saber combo of "back, forward, overhead".
- Energy Form (Yellow) - This form makes energy crystals appear more often. The Buster Shot and Z-saber gets an attack boost, while sacrificing some speed. The player have to grab twenty-five energy capsules in mission to awaken this form.
- X Form (Blue) - The Buster Shot gains an attack boost, and also allows a rapid fire capability. Like the Erase form, it cannot perform Z-Saber combos and instead uses only the forward slash. It is named after X because of X's fighting-style (which relied heavily on the buster) in the Mega Man X series. Zero also uses the Z-Saber the way X uses it in Mega Man X6. The player need to kill fifty enemies in mission with the Buster Shot to awaken this form.
- Defense Form (Green) - Zero's defense is increased to its maximum, as well as sacrificing attack power in the process (except for the shield boomerang, which gains an attack boost). The player need to kill twenty enemies in mission with Shield Boomerang to awaken this form.
- Erase Form (Pink) - The Erase Form allows the Z-Saber and Shield Boomerang to nullify enemy shots. It cannot use saber combos, instead it always uses the forward slash. The player need to ricochet thirty shots back at enemies with the Shield Boomerang in mission to awaken this form.
- Active Form (Orange) - Zero's speed is increased to the maximum. The Z-Saber cannot perform combos, and will instead use only the back slash. However, this form enables Zero to perform rolling attacks with the saber while jumping or dashing. The rolling attacks, while not very powerful, can strike multiple times. The player need to kill twenty enemies in mission with the Z-Saber while dashing to awaken this form.
- Power Form (Purple) - Zero's power is boosted to its limit, while sacrificing some speed in the process. This form also negates the three-hit Z Saber combo in favor of a single overhead slash. The player should pull anything thirty times in mission with the Chain Rod in order to awaken this form.
- Rise Form (Grey) - More or less identical to the Normal form, but the 3rd (overhead) slash in the Z-saber combo is replaced by the rising slash, which is a little faster, and is given an attack boost. The player need to kill twenty enemies in mission with the jumping slash to awaken this form.
- Proto Form (Black) - Zero gains an attack increase to all weapons, but besides the Shield Boomerang none of them can be charged, and the Z-Saber cannot perform combos. It will use only the back slash. Zero also takes twice the normal damage from enemy attacks. Unlike the other Hard modes in the Zero games, Zero 2 makes the player use only the Proto Form, limiting all weapons to their base attacks. The one thing that deviates is that the Charge Shot(s) is absent in it, as all other Hard Modes have it. Unlike the Galacta Armor from the fourth game, it doesn't deal 2x damage.
- Ultimate Form (Glowing Crimson) - This form gives all of Zero's weapons an increase in power, as well as raising his speed and defense. This form also allows the player to input simplistic Street Fighter-esque commands to execute charged attacks instantly. This form also appears in the first, third and fourth game. The player need to level up and use every single cyber-elf in game and then complete the game in order to awaken this form (can be unlocked at the same time as the Proto Form).
Another new addition to the series is EX Skills, which are similar to Mega Man's ability to copy powers from the bosses in previous series. Unlike the previous series, however, Zero has to have an A or S rank going into the stage to unlock the bosses EX Skill. Unlike Mega Man's copy ability, which required weapon energy to feed the attacks, EX Skills modify Zero's weapons, adding new abilities or replacing their normal abilities with an ability similar to the defeated boss. For example, the Buster Shot can be modified to fire a long-piercing beam instead of its normal charged blast, while the Z-Saber gains additional moves such as a powerful rising slash.
As with the first game, a "New Game Plus" can be played by beating the game and loading the completed save file. In the new game, Zero will start with all activated Cyber Elves used from the previous game still in effect (the penalties, however, will still remain). Zero will also get to keep any EX Skills and alternate forms that he earned in the previous game. Additional modes can also be unlocked under proper conditions.
Hard Mode is unlocked by beating the game once. To play, hold L when selecting to start a New Game. In Hard Mode, Zero starts with the "Proto Form", which doubles his attack strength but halves his defense and locks his weapons at their basic level. Zero also cannot earn any EX skills or alternate forms. Beating Hard Mode will unlock a special "Image Gallery" option. Hold L and Select when selecting New Game to enter it.
Unlike the other games in the series, there is no Ultimate Mode to be unlocked. However, an "Ultimate Form" can be unlocked by leveling up and using every Cyber Elf in the game. It increases all of Zero's stats and also allows him to use full-charge attacks instantly by means of simplistic button combos.
If the player have two cartridges and a link cable, the players can link two GBAs and take part in a two-player game. There are three modes available to take part in:
- Time Attack - Set a goal somewhere in the stage. After three tries, the player with the shortest time to the goal wins.
- Enemy Battle - Defeat the most enemies from the generator within the time limit.
- Get Item - Collect the most items from the map within the time limit.
One year has passed since Zero defeated Copy X. He has since spent his time wandering the desert defeating multiple Pantheons. Zero wearily makes his way through a sand-storm wrapped in a tattered cloak. As the sands die down he is once more being chased by enemies. Despite being in disrepair, with cracked armor and broken weapons, he once again charges into the fray. Zero eventually collapses from exhaustion after defeating a mechanical scorpion boss, and is found by Harpuia, one of the three surviving members of the Four Guardians (Phantom self-destructed trying to stop Zero's assault on Area X in the first game).
The three Guardians have assumed command of Neo Arcadia, with Harpuia as the leader. Copy X's death was covered up, as the humans revered him as their savior. The Resistance is now being led by a Reploid named Elpizo while Ciel continues her work into a new form of energy that will hopefully eliminate the need for war.
Wishing to see Zero die in battle rather than perish from exhaustion, Harpuia saves Zero and covertly delivers him to a location near the Resistance base, where he is soon found by the Resistance and is repaired. He learns that Elpizo is planning a frontal assault on Neo Arcadia, as he doesn't believe in Ciel's plan of using a new form of energy as means to resolve the war. Unable to convince him to call it off, Zero is left to do busy-work in the meantime. Elpizo's assault fails miserably, with himself as the only survivor. Driven mad by this, he declares his desire to harness the power of the legendary Dark Elf, which had brought about the Elf Wars a century ago that left the Earth in a disastrous state.
Elpizo, using the powers granted by unsealing a portion of the power of the Dark Elf, invades Neo Arcadia and single-handedly breaks into the temple where the body of the real X, revered by all in the utopia, is kept. It is revealed that X had ended the Elf Wars by sealing most of the Dark Elf away with his body, thus leading to his disappearance. Despite the Four Guardians' and Zero's best efforts, Elpizo succeeds in destroying X's body, which unseals the Dark Elf, and Elpizo begins to absorb its powers.
Zero manages to stop Elpizo from unleashing the Dark Elf on the world. As Elpizo lies on the floor dying, he apologizes for everything he's done. Amazingly, the Dark Elf saves him by turning him into a Cyber Elf and convincing Elpizo that she is not truly evil. As the two elves depart, X himself arrives and tells Zero about the Dark Elf. She was originally known as the Mother Elf and was made to be a savior, but was cursed by a man named Dr. Weil.
In a post end credits scene, an unknown man notes that the Dark Elf was released, telling Omega to take action.
- Fighting Fefnir
- Sage Harpuia
- Fairy Leviathan
- Hirondelle - is a Reploid that goes around and gathers information for the Resistance, and gives hints to the player. One of his hobbies is composing poetry. He also appears in Mega Man Zero 3 and 4.
- Hyleg Ourobockle - Once a member of Phantom's Zan'ei Army, Phoenix is now under the command of Fefnir. Hyleg is a snake-like boss who Zero fights in the top of a giant Mechaniloid called Altoloid.
- Panter Flauclaws - Serving Harpuia, Panter is a boss that mainly uses electrical attacks and throws pink boomerangs.
- Phoenix Magnion - Another former member of Phantom's Zan'ei Army. He uses fire based attacks and confuses his enemies with illusions.
- Poler Kamrous - Serving Leviathan's Meikai Army, Poler attacks by slashing, throwing ice balls, and using ice walls.
- Burble Hekelot - Another former member of Phantom's Zan'ei Army. Burble is a frog-like boss who attacks (sometimes while hanging from the ceiling) with his tongue, launches missiles from his back, spits bubbles, and turns into a big ball to smash Zero.
- Kuwagust Anchus - A member of Harpuia's Rekku Army. As he was built with the same technology of Herculious Anchortus, they are known as brother Reploids. When the player faces him again in the final stage, Zero fights both him and Herculious together.
- Elpizo - Leader of the Resistance and the final boss of the game. He absorbs the Dark Elf and transforms into a terrifying menace.
Mega Man Zero 2 was the seventh best-selling video game in Japan during its week of release at 53,839 copies and climbed to the number one spot the following week with an additional 25,283 copies sold. The game appeared on Famitsu magazine's top 30 best-sellers list for the following four weeks. By the end of 2003, Mega Man Zero 2 had sold 158,479 copies in Japan alone.
A common remark is that the game has not changed much in its formula since its predecessor, though improvements to the stage select menus was acknowledged. A general complaint is the difficulty of the game, with one reviewer expressing concern that the difficulty would put some people off the game.
Packaging artwork Edit
- ↑ http://www.capcom-unity.com/brelston/blog/2014/06/09/virtual-console-update-gba-titles-breath-of-fire-and-more
- ↑ Mega Man Zero 2 Instruction Manual
- ↑ http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/newsArt.cfm?artid=8677
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20110607080053/http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/29454/top-30-japanese-video-games-05-11-03/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20110607080801/http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/29461/top-30-japanese-video-games-05-18-03/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20110607080843/http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/29553/top-30-japanese-video-games-05-25-03/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20110607080901/http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/29699/top-30-japanese-video-games-06-01-03/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20110607080958/http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/29798/top-30-japanese-video-games-06-08-03/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20150627132904/http://geimin.net/da/db/2003_ne_fa/index.php
- ↑ http://gameboy.ign.com/articles/455/455426p1.html
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/gba/action/megamanzero2/review.html