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 Up), go through doors (press Up), 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 Down 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 Up 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 Up while falling over a ladder to grab on again. Press Up to climb up, Down to climb down, Left and Right 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.

Nothing much has changed in this regards when merged. However, note that some Models are taller or shorter than your “human” form, which can affect how you dodge attacks.

The various Models move at different speeds. Some are faster than your regular form, and some are slower. Models which look similar to your “human” form tend to run at about the same clip. Most Models can also dash for speed boosts.

The Models differ in how they can jump, as well. Some of them have air-dashes, and others cannot jump at all.

Wall Climb
In addition to regular jumping, most Models can wall-jump. Press into the wall while you jump into it, and your character will latch onto it and begin to slide downward. To ascend, keep pressing into the wall as you press jump over and over. Your character will kick his way up the wall. Hold dash when jumping to kick off farther. Not all Models can do this.

Each Model has its own weapons. What happens when you press the fire buttons depends heavily on what Model you are using. Specifics are beyond the scope of this document.

Some Models can charge their weapons. Hold down the weapon button, the one you press to fire. Charging usually increases the power of your shots, but usually will also result in the weapon operating differently than a regular shot.

Climbing ladders and other objects usually works the same while merged as it does while in “human” form; some Models, however, cannot climb at all.

Dashing increases your character’s speed for a brief duration. This can be used to lengthen the distance of his jumps, or to quickly get him out of the way of an attack. In some cases this can also be used to duck obstacles, but because the dash does not get him very low to the ground, there are very few cases where this works. Not all Models can dash. Some can dash underwater or in the air.

Each Megamerge form has its own special moves. However, they are specific to the Model in question and thus such discussion is not covered here. Check the Game Hints page for the game in question for specifics.

Life Energy
This refills your character’s health meter, the yellow/white bar at the top left of the screen. An “energy unit” is a single bar in his meter. Energy capsules are the larger ones; pellets are the smaller ones. Capsules give you more energy than pellets.

Weapon Energy
The colored pellets are weapon energy. They refill your the weapon gauge of your current Model (or all of your Models, depending on the game).

These are essentially currency. Use them to repair Biometals and play mini-games.

These allow you to retry after you die. Generally you will find them lying around stages. They are dropped by enemies, but rarely. You can carry up to 9 of them at a time.

Life Up
These are permanent upgrades that add to your maximum health.

These are permanent containers that can be used to store spare energy and carry it around until it is needed. They are reusable and can be refilled as often as necessary. To fill a Sub-Tank, acquire energy when your energy meter is full, and the energy will go to your tank instead. Tanks are used off the subscreen and refill your life meter. You can use a Tank that isn’t yet full, but it might not restore all of your energy.

Secret Disk
Collecting these lets you access information about enemies, bosses, and other characters in the game. You usually view them somewhere at your main base.

Transervers give you 1-Ups if you visit one while you’re low on 1-Ups.

Certain Models with sabers (most notably Model ZX itself) can perform a triple-slash by slashing three times rapidly. The third slash is more powerful and can take multiple hits on bosses, so try using it creatively.

Where possible, it’s a good idea to explore stages while you are outside of a mission, rather than on a mission. This way you can take your time and go where you wish without special events and bosses interrupting you.

Don’t think you have to destroy every enemy on the screen in order to pass. Often times it is much quicker and easier to simply run by any foes that aren’t directly in your way. You’ll end up with more energy to spend on the boss in this way.

Use caution in new areas. Don’t jump blindly over pits or down ladders unless you know what’s below you. Capcom loves putting deadly things at the bottoms of ladders, and loves placing little robots that shoot out of pits when you try to jump them, thereby knocking you right into the pit. Until you know the level, always climb down ladders, and always stop at the very edge of any suspicious-looking pit. (This will trigger any robot that might be lurking below). Impatience can be deadly, after all.

Get to know all of your Models. They are generally all useful for different situations. You can also use the special abilities of some Models to open up new areas by interacting with your environment.

When searching for items, slide down the wall of every pit you come to. Many such pits are actually passages. If your character begins to go off the bottom of the screen and the screen does not scroll, start jumping your way back up. It’s just a bottomless pit.

Keep an eye out for places where you can quickly gather energy and 1-Ups from defeating enemies. This can be any place where enemies pour in continuously while you stand still, or where you can pace back and forth in a relatively small space scrolling enemies back onto the screen.

Your character is invincible for a short period of time after he is hit. In most cases, he can even safely touch deadly things such as spikes or lava without dying. Take advantage of this. Sometimes it is better to purposely take a hit and run across spikes than risk losing a life.

Back Home
Copyright © 2008 The MegaMaster. All Rights Reserved.
Last update: May 22, 2008