Have you ever heard of Megaman Zero? This is simply one of the most legendary games to grace the Game Boy Advance (GBA) platform.
Whether you’ve played any of the previous releases of the Megaman games - such as Megaman X - or not, Megaman Zero is one of the most challenging releases of the franchise and is definitely not for everyone.
This game is not for the faint of heart and the impatient.
The creators of Megaman -Capcom- purposely deviated from some of the old ideas of the franchise to bring new elements and twists to this game.
If you relish a challenge, this is surely the game for you.
What is Megaman Zero
Mega Man Zero, also known as Rockman Zero, is a popular action and role-playing video game released back in 2002 for the Game Boy Advance (GBA). This is the third Megaman game released for the Game Boy Advance.
Much like the classic Mega Man video games, in this game, Zero is tasked with completing several side-scrolling stages by completing various objectives, defeating foes and battling powerful bosses and mini-bosses.
Here comes the sweet part; as we know, every good game has an awesome backstory. This one does too.
So here goes…
It’s a hopeless time for the race of androids known as Reploids. After the world was afflicted with constant war, humanity has turned against them, and the one place in the world that became a place of refuge and peace from the chaos, Neo Arcadia, now persecutes Reploids without reasonable cause.
Ciel, a young, prodigious scientist, has helped form a Resistance against Neo Arcadia, but they are sorely outmatched by its weaponry and manpower. In a desperate bid for survival, Ciel leads a remnant of warriors to a location thought to seal away a Reploid of legend known as Zero, chased by their enemies' forces.
Already suffering much loss, Ciel takes the chance to awaken Zero. Her gamble pays off when she discovers the Reploid in stasis, but badly corroded and lifeless. Ciel uses the power of a Cyber-Elf to restore Zero to his prime, and the Reploid springs to life.
Despite hazy memories due to hibernation sickness, Zero saves Ciel from certain doom and he pledges to join her cause. However, there are some dark secrets Ciel has kept from Zero about this new era he's now living in.
As it goes on, Zero will uncover the truths behind these continuous battles, some of which may be beyond mortifying. But he is not alone: a comrade of the past has also returned to help the Reploid in his fight to liberate the Reploids, in the form of a mysterious, prismatic sphere of light.
Who would not want to play a game with a backstory like this?
It’s your chance to cancel the apocalypse and save the world from impending doom.
Are you in?
How to Play Megaman Zero: 7 Steps
Now that we’ve heard the back story and we’ve got a general understanding of what is needed, it’s time to get started.
Like I’ve mentioned before, this game is challenging and can be intimidating if you don’t know what to do. So, to get a handle on things, we’re offering you seven steps guide to take (or consider) to make your life easier when attempting to play.
Step #1 Read the Game Manual
As rudimentary as it sounds, before playing, please take a look at the manual.
Why? Because this game happens to be one of the most difficult games to come around the GBA. The level of difficulty is so high that those unfamiliar with the series may find themselves completely unable to get very far in the game at all.
Going through the manual will get you acquainted with the basic aspects needed for completion of the game. Megaman Zero requires you to be alert, on your toes at all times and, most importantly, to be able to recognize patterns in enemy movement easily and use them to your advantage.
In addition to the sheer difficulty of the game, Zero also has only one life at a time, so if you die during a level, you'll be forced to use a continue. Fortunately, extra continues can be stockpiled by killing various enemies.
However, extra time spent in a level will lower your rating for that level, so you'll have to put on a real show to get the highest score. The game is surely difficult, but it can surely be conquered.
Step #2 Know Your Weapons and Elements
There are 4 weapons in the game. Knowing how they operate at various levels is key to being victorious in this game.
Here’s a summary of these weapons:
Weapon #1: Z- Buster
This is a long ranged rifle type weapon. It gains power and shot quickness as you conquer levels with it. However, it reaches its full potential after four levels and can no longer level up. It is your primary weapon in the game and the weapon you start out with.
Weapon #2: Z- Saber
You get the Z-saber at the end of your first mission from an unknown source. This is your strongest weapon that you might be using the most. It goes up to 7 levels. Also, it increases in attack speed, attack strength and attack variety as you complete levels with it.
Weapon #3: Triple Rod
The Resistance engineer makes this weapon for you. It attacks in most directions and has a pretty long range when fully upgraded. Its upgrades, attack range, attack speed and attack strength increases over the levels. This is the perfect weapon for fighting hard to reach high enemies.
Weapon #4: Shield Boomerang
This is not so much an attacking weapon. It is kind of useless when it comes to taking out enemies but is very effective as a shield when trying to blaze through missions without killing enemies.
It has 2 levels focusing on the length of distance when shot out, but as I said it's pretty much useless as an attack force.
These are features that help you do more or less damage. Here they are:
Non-Elemental: Damage is never reduced or increased
Electric: Stuns enemies for a short period
Fire: Catches enemies on fire for a short period
Ice: Freezes enemies for a short period
Step #3 Keep Your Weapons Charged
Anyone familiar with the Mega Man games would probably be familiar with the whole "charge your weapon before heading through the boss doors" thing so that you have a strong attack ready right off the bat.
In this game, the boss will always have a little introduction animation and also usually some speech. Once this is over and the "Warning" appears on the screen to signal the start of the battle, if you charge up your buster beforehand and let go of the button once this appears on the screen, Zero will fire as soon as the battle begins.
It probably sounds obvious, but you probably should keep your weapons charged pretty much always.
Sometimes it isn't really necessary, but if you're not familiar with the layout of the stages it can save you a fair bit of frustration.
There are many instances where something will show up on the screen and you'll only have a split second to react before it smacks you in the guts or shoots you in the face, even very early on. Freaking out and randomly firing that charged shot can save your life!
Step #4 Focus on Building Your E- Crystal Inventory
In most video games, there are items that are considered valuable currency.
In many games, coins are the currency. In Megaman Zero “energen crystals” (E-Crystals) are collected.
These crystals come in handy during the game. No, they can’t buy you additional life but they contribute to the development and levelling up of a new addition to the game - Cyber Elves.
It is your duty to know where to gain access to crystals since they are critical to the outcome of the game.
For example, After you've beaten the first mission, go back to the area and go to a spider web, do not destroy the web, only the spiders, If you do this for a few minutes you'll have a ton of crystals.
Step #5 Use Cyber Elves
As you fight your way through the game, you'll find a brand-new addition to the series in the form of the "cyber elf" system.
Throughout each and every level, Zero will find these cyber elves by eliminating enemies, or he'll find them tucked away in hidden areas.
Upon successfully completing the level and returning to base, you can then take a look at what your newly found cyber elf can do for you. There are more than 70 different elves to collect and bring to life, each with different abilities, such as damaging the boss' character, refilling Zero's health and slowing down enemies.
To make things a little more interesting, after you put an elf to use, it disappears. This requires you to think carefully about using some of the more powerful ones that you'll come across.
Step #6 Be Mindful of How You Rank
The game introduces the Rank system in gameplay.
A player will start at Rank F, but can raise their rank up to D, C, B, A and S (D being poor and S being excellent). Fighting a boss in A or S will result in “special” attacks being unleashed.
Your rank will be a result of how well you complete a mission - enemies defeated, time taken, accuracy etc.
Unlike most of the previous Megaman games, the level structure is more mission based as the player would, more often than not, have to complete additional objectives after defeating the enemy boss of that level. These objectives could range from rescuing stranded allies to escaping a collapsing area.
Additionally, the inclusion of the concept of cyber elves which can improve Zero’s abilities also has an effect on rank. Usage of Cyber Elves penalize a player’s overall score and rank.
Step #7: Use our Megaman Zero guide
At this point, it should be very clear that it can be a pretty complicated game (especially if you have no previous knowledge of the Megaman franchise).
This article is really just the beginning of what you need to master. To really get all the advice you need to conquer the game, you need to use our Megaman Zero guide.
Our guide can help you understand the weapons, stages, bonuses, and tactics that you need to place yourself amongst the best players of the game.
Pro tip: Know the different modes in Megaman Zero
What’s a great game there’s only a single mode to conquer?
Megaman Zero has three additional modes that can be unlocked if you meet certain criteria.
Here’s a summary of the modes and their goals:
Hard Mode- can be unlocked by beating the game once. To play in hard mode hold “L” when selecting to start a new game.
In this mode Zero takes 50% more damage from his enemies, cannot use Cyber Elves and weapons cannot earn experience, level up nor become fully charged.
Jackson Mode - also called hard mode with Jackson. This mode is unlocked by either collecting and powering up every Cyber Elf in normal mode or beating every mission in Hard Mode at A rank or higher. Zero starts this mode with the Jackson Elf plus all the Cyber Elves he previously collected.
Ultimate Mode - this mode is unlocked after using all Cyber Elves, including Jackson. Hold “R” when selecting a new game to play in this mode.
Zero starts this mode with all the Cyber Elves’ effects active and without penalty! Also, all weapons are at max level and fully charged from the star and full charged attacks can be used from the start with simple button combinations. The goal of this mode is to obtain the codename “Immortal”.
More Awesome Game Options
Megaman Zero is an awesome game, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want a few more options for games to try out. Not to worry. We’ve got introductions to all the best games out there, including:
- Stay with us and check out There Is No Game, an interesting game to say the least.
- Learn all about Egg Inc and what it entails.
- Also, we will show you how to play Everwing, an exciting choice for gamers.
Megaman Zero is a drama filled, action-packed game that is second to none.
With all it’s challenges, modes and adjustments, it is surely a great way to get that intense gaming fix when needed.
Getting the hang of this game might take some time, but when you do you won’t want to put it down.