GENERAL STRATEGIES
GAME PLAY ZERO’S MOVES ITEMS TIPS PRINT
STRATEGIES

Since all of the Zero games play in a similar manner, the Game Hints deal with only general hints on where to find items and accomplish tasks in that particular game. I have compacted all of my general strategies, tidbits, and tips into this file, along with some other details that may be helpful to people.

TopGAME PLAY
The Zero games are side-scrolling action games, A.K.A platform games. In some cases you can choose the order in which you tackle the levels of the game. If you having troubles with one level, it’s usually possible to attempt to tackle another one instead.

As a player, you take control of a robot by the name of Zero (sometimes known as Mega Man Zero). You select a mission, typically from Ciel or in a mission room, then Zero is transported to the area in question and the stage begins.

Most levels travel from left to right. Zero must move through obstacles—jumping pits, avoiding spikes, climbing ladders, and fending off foes—to find the boss which closes the level. There, he must face off in a one-to-one battle in an enclosed room, where the battle does not end until one of the two combatants is destroyed.

Should Zero 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.

Between missions, you can also explore a (usually) safe region called the Resistance Base. Here, you can talk to people (press Up), enter rooms (press Up), use transport chambers, find hidden items, and so forth.

Once you have completed (or, in some cases, failed) all of the available missions, the game usually advances to “fortress” stages. There are typically four levels of this and they must be played in a predetermined order. After you finish one section, you will usually be returned to the base where you advance to the next fortress stage by selecting to begin the next mission. Alternately you could choose to revisit other stages first to refill Sub-Tanks and find any items you may have missed before continuing on with the fortress. Usually the bosses of the previous levels must be fought again in the fortress, along with other unique bosses. Then, the game ends when the player wins the final battle against the final boss.

TopZERO’S MOVES
Stand
Zero doesn’t need much to stand on—usually one foot on firm ground is all he needs to remain standing, though exactly how far off a ledge you can go and still remain standing depends on the game. Experiment with each new game you get to learn his limits in that particular one.

Run
Zero 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, Zero only runs, never walks, and he runs at only one speed (though his dash can be used to speed him up—see below).

Jump
Zero can jump while standing, running, or dashing. He can also jump off walls and ladders. Sometimes you can find items which enhance his jumping abilities.

Wall Climb
Zero can climb walls in a unique manner—jump into them while pressing the directional pad toward the wall in question. Zero will latch onto the wall and begin to slide downward. Keep pressing jump while holding that direction and you can bounce your way up the wall. To stop climbing, merely let go of the direction on the control pad, or press jump and hold the opposite direction to leap away from the wall. Also if you have the ability to dash, you can perform a dash-jump off the wall if timed correctly, which allows you to gain a lot more distance to your jump.

Fire
Zero can fire his weapons and sub-weapons usually using one of two buttons. His buster and saber are your standard weapons, but you can find other weapons as well. You can assign weapons to buttons on the subscreen to customize the game to your situation and play style.

Charge
Zero can charge up most of his weapons and sub-weapons by holding down the appropriate button. In fact, he can charge both of his equipped weapons at the same time, and charge one while using the other. Charging increases the power of his weapons; also, when he is using Elements, the Elemental attribute will only affect charged shots, not normal ones.

Climb
Zero can climb ladders and certain other structures by pressing Up on the controller with Zero positioned so that he’s standing in front of the ladder. If you press the jump button while clinging to a ladder, Zero 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 Zero aims when you press the fire button.

Dash
Dashing increases Zero’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.

TopITEMS
Energy
This refills Zero’s “energy meter” which is 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 large yellow spheres you often find during the game. Energy pellets are the smaller ones. Capsules give you more energy than pellets.

Crystals
These are essentially the currency of this game. You “spend” crystals to level up your Cyber-elves. They come in large and small sizes, just like energy pellets and capsules. Large ones are worth 16, small ones are worth 4.

Sub-Tanks
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.

Continue
These are basically the 1-Ups of this game, which allow you to retry a stage after you die. They come in a very limited quantity. Generally you will find them lying around stages. They are dropped by enemies, but extremely rarely. Zero can carry up to 9 of them at a time.

Cyber-elves
Cyber-elves are your main power-up in this game. You sometimes find them trapped in boxes (break the box to free them, then touch them to collect them) or by recovering chips or other parts from enemies, but there may be other ways to get elves as well. Elves often must be “raised” by “feeding” them energy crystals. Usually, elves will perish when you use them, so they are a one-shot deal. Also, an elf which has a permanent effect (such as raising your maximum health) will give you a permanent deduction to your rank for the rest of the game once it is used.

Chips
Chips are essentially items that you equip. They have different effects depending on the chip. Elemental chips give your weapons an Element which can burn, freeze, or paralyze enemies that are vulnerable to them.

EX Skills
Unlike in the X series, here you do not earn techniques from beating bosses. However, in some games you can learn “EX Skills” which are basically the same thing, but you typically only learn them if you are of rank A or higher when you beat the boss in question.

TopTIPS AND STRATEGIES
When using the saber and some other saber-like weapons, press the button three times rapidly for a special combination attack. (For lack of a better term, I call this Zeroís “triple-slash.”) The final slash seems to be more powerful than normal ones (and also tends to have better range), so use it. (In some games, you have to level up your saber first before you can get the triple-slash. Also, sometimes you can add on more than just three slashes.)

The triple-slash appears to ignore or shorten boss immunity. In other words, normally you could only hit the boss once and then you would have to wait a few seconds until the boss stops flashing to damage him again. However, if you pull off a triple-slash, all three slashes appear to do damage even though they occur in rapid succession (as if they are all considered part of the same attack). This is a good way to very quickly hack huge chunks off a bossís meter, assuming heíll stay still long enough to hit him with this.

Never explore stages on your first run through. Run directly to the boss at the end. You are being ranked based on how long you take and how much damage you suffer, among other things. Ranks only apply for the first time you visit a stage, not subsequent visits, so always save your exploration for when you revisit the stage after it is cleared.

When you lose all your lives, always reload from a saved game. When you select to “Continue,” you lose everything that you gained, yet the continue might still impact your future rank, so you are better off simply reloading from your last save.

If the game is too difficult for you to get EX Skills, don’t bother with them. Most EX Skills tend to be relatively useless. Simply focus on clearing a stage so that you can begin exploring it and gathering items from it. Check the Game Hints page for the game in question to see if there are any skills you absolutely want to have. (In some games, you can use the clear-game save to go back and get the EX Skills later, if you can first beat the game without them.)

If you are having troubles with the game, just focus on clearing at least one stage. Don’t worry about your rank or skills, just clear it. Once you have a stage cleared, revisit it over and over, searching for items and gathering crystals. Feed whatever Cyber-elves you have and use them if necessary. You must clear a stage first to be able to do this, however.

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 robots 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 weapons. They are generally all useful for different situations. Usually, you will always have the Z-Buster, Z-Saber, and Shield Boomerang, but your fourth weapon tends to be your gimmick weapon. As such, it also tends to be the most important for clearing certain stages and finding hidden items.

You can level up the power of your weapons by using them a lot. This will even happen in the middle of boss battles, although you probably won’t have time to read the text in that case.

It’s useful to revisit stages between missions to gather energy crystals and to level up your weapons. As long as you’re not in a mission, your performance won’t impact your rank or title, but try not to die.

When searching for items, slide down the wall of every pit you come to. Many such pits are actually passages. If Zero 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.

Zero 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.

Everyone knows that weapons can be used for more than just fighting bosses. Well guess what: they can also be used for more than just fighting, period. Try using them to open new paths or to otherwise fool with your surroundings. Experiment with different Elemental chips for this too.

Charge up before entering the gate that leads to a boss battle. It’s always nice to get in a good first shot!

When facing teleporting hatches where you must battle a group of bosses a second time through, fight the hard ones when you have full energy, and the easier ones if you are missing some energy. When you defeat a foe you gain some energy capsules, so taking on easier enemies while you are lower on energy not only increases your chance of winning (without using a life or a Sub-Tank) but also means you may come out of the battle with more energy than when you went in!


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Last update: October 17, 2005