This section discusses some tips and tricks to playing the ZX series games that are general to all of the games, rather than specific to a particular one.
In the ZX
games, you take control of a human-like character who, by default, has no real capability for fighting. However, your character can merge into any number of different forms, each of which has its own abilities.
The ZX games are side-scrolling action games virtually identical in game play to the Zero series games. Each game is divided into missions. To play, you take a mission (some missions are given to you automatically as part of the plot), and then you enter the area where that mission is to take place. During a mission, you will have goals that you are meant to achieve, events will happen that don’t normally, and usually there is a boss to fight at the end.
Should your character perish along the way, and he has an extra life to spare, he will be able to attempt the stage again. Otherwise, you will need to restart from your last save file. Use Transervers to save. These are the same objects that you use to transport to other areas.
Between missions, you can also explore the various locations found in the game. Talk to people (press ), go through doors (press ), find hidden rooms, and so forth.
While you are in “human” mode (that is, not merged), you usually have only a few options available to you.
- You don’t need much to stand on—one foot on firm ground is about all your character needs to remain standing. Experiment to get a feel for how far you can move your character off a ledge before he will drop down.
- Your character runs at a decent clip; though it’s not especially fast, he can run continuously hours on the end without tiring. While you are controlling him, your character only runs, never walks, although he can walk during cut scenes. There is only one run speed, though when merged your dash can be used for brief bursts of speed—see below.
- You can jump while standing, running, or dashing. You can also use jump to release your grip when hanging onto ladders and other objects, thus dropping down. In human form, your jumping abilities are pretty impressive by human terms, but still limited.
- Press to cause your character to duck. This can be used in theory to dodge attacks; however, there are few places where you can use this in practice. You cannot duck while Megamerged.
- While ducking, press downward at a diagonal and your character will crawl forward. This can be used to pass through narrow one-block passages.
- You can climb ladders and certain other structures by pressing on the controller with your character positioned so that he’s standing in front of the ladder. If you press the jump button while clinging to a ladder, your character will let go and begin to fall. Press while falling over a ladder to grab on again. Press to climb up, to climb down, and to control which way your character aims when you press the fire button (if he can shoot).
- Some characters can fire a gun while in “human” form. However, some cannot.