Zero (ゼロ, Zero?) is one of three protagonists in the Mega Man X series and the main protagonist of the Mega Man Zero games. Alongside X and Axl in the Mega Man X series, he is one of the highest ranking "Maverick Hunters" who is fighting to stop Sigma's forces of infected Reploids, known as Mavericks, from exterminating humanity.
Incidentally, Keiji Inafune, Mega Man creator and former senior corporate officer at Capcom, had admitted to creating Zero to be Mega Man X himself, the character who would replace Mega Man as the hero. However, due to concerns that players would find it hard to relate Zero with the original Mega Man due to the large visual differences between the two characters, he was made X's partner, and the X widely known today was designed for this purpose instead. Nine years later, Zero did eventually get his own starring role, in the Mega Man Zero series.
Mega Man X Era Edit
In Zero's debut appearance in the first Mega Man X game, he was a gameplay extension of the main character, X. He had a more powerful form of X's X-Buster weapon, called the Z-Buster, and a contrasting red color scheme to X's blue. Until the release of Mega Man X3, Zero was an unplayable character to the player, only assisting at discriminate intervals. When he became available, steps were taken to give Zero a varied playing experience from X. While X used long-range shots/projectiles to dispatch enemies, Zero gained a very powerful saber called the Z-Saber to attack enemies at close range.
Mega Man Zero Era Edit
At the beginning of Mega Man Zero, Zero was discovered in suspended animation by a human scientist named Ciel, who leads a band of Reploid freedom fighters. Ciel used the Cyber-elf Passy to revive Zero, who in turn saved Ciel from the forces of Neo Arcadia. Zero, however, was suffering memory loss due to "hibernation sickness." As it turned out, Neo Arcadia was the government of the world at this time period. Reploids were discriminated against and often deemed Maverick and terminated without justifiable cause. Copy X, a ruthless, conceited weaker clone of the real X, was in charge of this policy. Zero agreed to join Ciel's team in fighting this oppression of Reploids. Zero would then go on to defeat Copy X's Four Guardians as well as destroying Copy X himself.
Later on in Mega Man Zero 2, Zero learned of what had happened before his sealing; Sigma and his Mavericks were defeated, but some time after the Elf Wars broke out, Zero himself helped X to end them by defeating and banishing Omega, the most terrifying Reploid of the time. Several decades after Zero was sealed, X sacrificed his body to stop the worst Cyber Elf of all, the Dark Elf, leaving him in a more ethereal form. X's body was destroyed and the Dark Elf released by a rogue Resistance commander, Elpizo. Zero defeats Elpizo, but the Dark Elf escapes. She and Zero appear to know each other, and X informs Zero that the Dark Elf was not always known by her current name. Her powers became a threat due to a curse by Dr. Weil, the man who started the Elf Wars, at which point people began calling her the Dark Elf.
In Mega Man Zero 3, Dr. Weil and Omega reappear and seize control of Neo Arcadia, and the Dark Elf. Weil reveals (and X confirms) that the body Zero currently inhabits is a copy, even though he still has his real soul. This led to a final battle between him and Omega, who is revealed to contain the "Original" Zero. With the help of X, the Guardians and even the Dark Elf who breaks free of her curse, Zero manages to destroy Omega once and for all, but Weil escapes. The Dark Elf, now called Mother Elf, roams free. However, X now cannot roam in the real world any longer. Before X goes away, he tells an unconscious Zero to always protect the peace between Reploids and humans.
Eight months after the destruction of Omega, Neo Arcadia remained under Weil's control. After Weil began to terminate humans who opposed him, several groups of humans escaped the city that used to be their utopia. When the Resistance received knowledge of this, they immediately dispatched a team to assist and protect the refugees. Zero, along with Ciel and a few other Resistance members, intercepted an assault team of Weil's Variant drones, remodelled Mechaniloid soldiers which had replaced the Pantheons, that attacked a refugee truck caravan. After countering the attack, Zero and Ciel met Neige, a human journalist who tried everything possible to both bring all people safely to their new refuge, Area Zero,(the site where Eurasia's wreckage landed in Megaman X5) and to find out the whole truth about Weil.
Mega Man Zero 4 is the hunter's final battle. After repelling an attack on Area Zero by the Einherjar eight warriors, Zero heads for the space station "Ragnarok," created by Dr. Weil, and fights him in two battles. After the first battle, the space station is damaged and begins to fall to Earth. Ciel tells Zero that he can either return to Earth at that moment, or become stranded on the station due to increasing transporter interference. He passes the offer to come back and proceeds to finish Weil off in their second battle, ultimately sacrificing himself as the death of Weil's last form causes the station to explode. Zero's final act opens the eyes of many, and brings peace between the Reploids and humans left on Earth.
The final scene of the game depicts an image of Zero's helmet as it lays shattered, along with various other metal pieces, in a rocky crater, though there is a human-like silhouette shown at edge of the crater. Whether it means that Zero survived the impact or not is unknown.
Armor Types Edit
Throughout the Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero series, Zero sometimes has an alternate black armor which usually carries increased attack abilities. This was first seen in Mega Man X2. If the player collects all three of Zero's parts, Black Zero appears in the last level. In Mega Man X4, X5, X6, and X8, the player could unlock a powered-up black version of Zero's armor which usually has an increase in attack and defense.
Mega Man X: Command Mission also featured a hidden armor upgrade called Absolute Zero, which was reminiscent of Bass' Treble Boost in the classic Mega Man series. Absolute Zero uses no weapons, relying instead on his claws and feet in battle, which are devastating by themselves. Zero's attacks while in this form are ice/water based, presumably making reference to the fact that absolute zero is the lowest possible temperature.
In Mega Man Zero 2 – Mega Man Zero 4, Zero has the Proto form and the Galacta/Junk armor chip set. Both of them bear a dark gray appearance and the effect of double damage dealt and received.
Zero's latest chronological appearance within the Mega Man series was in Mega Man ZX, where he appears in a flashback as well as in the form of Bio Metal Z.
Zero has also appeared outside of the Mega Man series in four games; Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars and Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds in his X series appeararance, and SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos and Onimusha Blade Warriors in his Zero series appearance. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Zero's ending has him hitching a ride with the Silver Surfer back to his own world. Silver Surfer, instead, accidentally takes Zero to Neo Arcadia, the setting of the Mega Man Zero series, due to him not being able to tell the two apart (as they are essentially the same world in a different time). They soon travel to a different world in order to take Zero back to his homeworld.
Guile's Theme in Street Fighter II bears a little resemblance to Zero's theme in Mega Man X3.
Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters is known by fans as being the game that introduces Zero, although this game was not released until three years after Mega Man X. He was to be the successor of Bass.
In the new Rockman Online, the Zero Reploid that is featured is just one of many copies engineered by the government to combat a future Maverick threat. This is not the Zero featured in the X series or the Zero series, although each copy has been programmed to believe they are the actual one.
For more images of this character, see their Gallery.