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Mega Man Zero
September 16, 2002

I think I’ve decided that Capcom can’t write a plot to save their lives. I love their games, but seriously, doesn’t anybody in this company talk to each other? Or even play their own games? You have to try hard to riddle plots with this many holes, you really do...

For their latest incarnation of Mega Man, Capcom decided to incarnate not Mega Man, but rather Zero...Mega Man Zero. Of course, the game isn’t quite as far removed as it appears at first glance—it takes place in the future of the X series, and even comes right out and says so, unlike the X series itself which danced around the issue. So we’re basically dealing with the same series here, although you’d hardly guess it looking at the artwork.

I haven’t had a chance yet to play through the game, but even before then, what do we learn? Well, we know now that the world will be saved by X—there goes any suspense about Sigma one day getting the better of him, heh heh (like any of us thought that would happen). There’s no mention outside the game of Zero helping out, so where was he? Oh yeah, he’s asleep in storage...except he’s right there in Mega Man X7, plain as day in the screen shots, and you can’t have a two-player mode without two characters. In the game, Ciel mentions that Zero helped X, so apparently Zero’s ending in Mega Man X6 is either inaccurate or delayed, somehow, but I guess at least X won’t have to yell at Zero for disappearing on him.

So, anyway, the world was saved by X (and maybe Zero), and the Reploids become outcasts because they caused so much trouble. (And the humans are back! Look at them, actual human beings!) Mysteriously, Zero wakes up looking entirely different from when he went to sleep—and we’re not just talking about different shoulder pads here. He also traded his beam saber for a big translucent triangular spatula (although admittedly it looks better in the game). But hey, at least he has a functional gun again, even if he has to settle for a hand-held one. But even if he doesn’t remember who he is, it’s clear that Ciel, who awakened him, knows. After all, she decided specifically to seek help from the “legendary reploid Zero” (who helped X defeat Sigma). So why is it that no one knows Zero was a Maverick Hunter (at least according to the manual)? What exactly was he legendary for, then? This is right along the lines of people in X’s time who don’t remember that Dr. Wily tried to take over the world, or that Mega Man saved it. Maybe someone needs to invent some better database systems to store all this vital world history.

As a side note, I wish Capcom’s PR people would get a clue. It’s not “Mega Man’s friend Zero” it’s “X’s friend Zero.” It’s X, you people, X! It’s really sad when Capcom can’t even tell their own characters apart...

- The MegaMaster



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