YMMV: Mega Man Zero

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: It's implied throughout the series that Zero regains at least some of his memories. What he remembers and when he remembers it is mostly left unknown, as well as how much any of that memory influences his decisions in any given situation.
    • The game more or less spells it out that Ciel has feelings for Zero short of actually confirming it. Fans have then speculated that the final line of the series might have actually been an Anguished Declaration of Love.
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Elpizo from the second game. If you can avoid his six-orbs energy absorption attack, you can pretty much dodge anything else he throws at you. His second form is arguably even easier, basically being a large floating target in the middle of a large empty walled room with easy-to-dodge attacks. Compare this with the spike-laden stage that you have to traverse to get to him, as well as the Boss Rush in between. A few blows from your charged Z-Saber will destroy his second form in a matter of seconds.
    • Omega plays this straight and then subverts it. His first 2 forms, thanks to the GBA limitations, are slower and predictable than what is implied from the story. His final form, however, is The Berserker Lightning Bruiser capable of thrashing you within seconds if you're not careful.
  • Breather Boss: In the first game, she is arguably the easiest of the four Guardians. She makes up for it later, while Fefnir actually got somewhat weaker.
  • Broken Base: No, really. Zero's death is still a hot debate, no matter the Jossing. And, remember that the Zero series officially ended in 2005.
    • It Was His Sled: Thanks to that long-standing argument, no one would be surprised about Zero's fate now.
    • Well, kind of. The Official Complete Works didn't really elaborate on his fate, and at best stated that he was missing in space. For a thing that would elaborate on a lot of things in the Zero mythos, it really seemed to screw up when it came to revealing Zero's fate.
  • Complete Monster: Dr. Weil is notable in being one of the most evil beings in the Mega Man series despite only appearing in a few games. Following the peaceful resolution of the Maverick Wars by the sentient superprogram, the Mother Elf, Weil decided that Reploids needed to pay for their crimes. To this end, Weil corrupted Mother Elf by turning her into the Dark Elf, and triggered the Elf Wars. Weil used the Dark Elf and her children, the Baby Elves, to control Reploids and force them to fight each other in massive battles, which resulted in the deaths of 90% of all Reploids and 60% of all humans. Defeated, exiled and transferred into a mechanical body for his crimes, Weil eventually returned one hundred years later, consumed with a thirst for vengeance directed at all life for the perceived crimes against him. Weaseling his way into becoming the supreme ruler of Neo Arcadia, Weil turns it into a dystopian hellhole. When he breaks his citizens to the point where they're desperate enough to risk escaping into the wastelands to form their own colony, Weil decides to obliterate their new home with a Kill Sat. When his Kill Sat is disabled, Weil attempts to drop it upon the colony, killing everyone in the region. Cruel, megalomaniacal and displaying an unprecedented level of sadism in the series, Weil reveled in the suffering of others and desired nothing less than to make human and reploid alike feel like their existences were living deaths.
  • Continuity Lockout: The four games are so story-heavy that they only really make sense storywise when played in order back-to-back. The DS Compilation Re-release thankfully makes this a lot easier.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Harpuia. Also one of the most well developed characters in the franchise, which contributes to this.
    • Omega, one of the more popular villains in the Mega Man franchise. Popular enough to come back as a bonus boss and an infinity plus one artifact in Mega Man ZX.
  • Evil Is Cool: Copy X's armor would spectacularly break any Mega Man X game, essentially being X5's Falcon Armor with extra firepower and Charge Man's weapon thrown in for fun.
  • Faux Symbolism:
    • At the end of the first game, Cyber-Elf X starts projecting an image of himself in a blue robe when talking to Zero. A Cyber-Elfy halo appears above his head in this form.
    • Copy X, even moreso. If his first form full of angelic wings aren't enough, in his One-Winged Angel form, he almost literally turned into a seraphic angel. Add to the fact that he's fighting Zero, a crimson-horned reploid.
      • Given the way Copy X acts and his sinister eyes, his transformation is closer to a Fallen Angel.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The ending of the series. The fans don't seem to accept Zero's death, and as Dr. Weil cannot die, they "know" he's still out there... There's also the fact that there's around a century or two of Time Skip between this series and Mega Man ZX.
  • Foe Yay: Three of the Four Guardians have this going on with the titular Zero (the ones that isn't Phantom).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The antagonists of the first three games in this series all have the Greek letter Omega as their symbol. Sure most of them are Knight Templars, but they still mean well, fighting for the sake of humanity. But later we're introduced to an actual character named Omega, who is everything that the antagonists (except one) ever stood against.
    • Somewhat related: in Mega Man X2, Zero, freshly Back from the Dead, very easily destroys a weak clone of himself that the Big Bad made. Cue the third game, where Omega (the same one mentioned above) is the original body of Zero, while The Hero is the clone. But it was subverted, the clone Zero didn't mind the irony of the situation he was in, and goes on to defeat Omega Zero easily. Also, The Hero may be using a duplicate body, but the mind is real; he is still the real Zero. Omega Zero is now just a mindless puppet.
    • This line loses some of its humor if you consider the only girl he's ever been shown with...:
    Resistance Girl: You're terrible! Even though you've kissed me before...Shoot, you probably forget every girl...
  • Goddamned Bats: The spiked wheel enemies. They are inordinately tough (two saber slashes when one will do in most anything else that moves), coming rolling from offscreen towards you (or occasionally from behind) with no warning, do a ridiculous amount of damage (more than virtually any other normal enemy), move just fast enough that it would take split-second reflexes to dodge them, spawn again if you move mere pixels backward from where they appeared, and are sometimes dropped in by lifter robots for added cheapness.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In Mega Man X4, This exchange is made by Sigma and the General in regards to humanity's views on Reploids when the former was trying to recruit the latter:
    Sigma: It's about the Maverick Hunters, General. They are far too eager to please the humans and hunt down the Reploids! Do you believe they pose a significant threat?!
    General: Perhaps...
    Sigma: You already know the truth, General! Their sole mission has been to destroy any Reploids who fail to do as the humans order!
    • As this series, and especially Dr. Weil's speech to Zero in Zero 3 showed, Sigma actually turned out to be right.
    Dr. Weil: Hehehehe...How pitiful. Of course, a Reploid like you would never understand. The joy of ruling all that you see...Only a human could possibly understand!
    Zero: A...human?
    Dr. Weil: That's right! I'm a bona fide human. The creator of Reploids...A human being!
    Zero: ...
    Dr. Weil: The desire for power. The joy of making everything work for you. You have no way of experiencing this without a human brain. It's the ultimate joy! No mere Reploid could ever understand!
    • That being said, Sigma (and by proxy, Weil) was only partially right - there's obviously some humans who think like that, but in this series, considering all of Neo Arcadia's propaganda, who would blame them? To say that all Humans Are Bastards in this instance would be to use the same fallacy that Yggdrasil used in Digimon Savers (using evidence of the actions of one Complete Monsternote  to tar humanity with the same brush). Plus, part of Dr. Weil's motivation (according to the supplemental material and before he jumped off the slippery slope) was that he was getting back at the Reploids for their constant violent uprisings, which were heavily precipitated by the Sigma Virus. Of course, that reasoning shows that he had a warped mindset from the start, believing the entire Reploid race should be held responsible for what insane terrorists and criminals members of their race have chosen to do, making him pretty much the same as Sigma, but on the opposite side of the fence.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Zero gets involved in a rebellion in order to take down an oppressive government. Now why should that sound familiar?
  • It Was His Sled: Dr Weil and Copy X's very existences are common knowledge by now. And, as mentioned above, Zero's Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • It's Hard, so It Sucks: Regarded as this by some, to the point that the DS Compilation Re-release includes an "Easy Scenario" with includes lots of 1-ups and all of the cyber-elves. You can still die even in this mode, given how Nintendo Hard it is.
  • Love to Hate: Ask any of Weil's fans, they'll say how horrifically despicable he is what makes him such an effective villain.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Copy X was just more of being morally ambiguous in the first game (performing genocide on Reploids because of the energy crisis, supposedly for the better for humanity). However, in the third game, he's willing to launch a missile to a city block full of innocent humans just to obtain the Dark Elf. At this point, Hero Antagonist Harpuia can't stand it anymore and defects from Neo Arcadia. A bit later, when Copy X and Weil contact the resistance to cooperate, Ciel cites this event as why they can't be trusted. To be fair, Copy X is reborn as Copy X Mk. II by the Obviously Evil Dr. Weil and he also manipulates Copy X to do so. Clearly Weil must have done things in him, including the Electronic Speech Impediment and the booby trap implanted in his body which activates when he goes One-Winged Angel.
  • Player Punch: Elpizo aims for getting the Dark Elf, and to do so, he had to destroy the seal, X's body. When Zero finally catches up to him near the seal, he forces Zero to watch by binding him with the Baby Elves' powers as he stabs X's body, destroying it and releasing the Dark Elf.
  • Robo Ship:
  • Ron the Death Eater: A rare canon (at least, What Could Have Been) example: X becomes a tyrant Knight Templar dictator and Zero is the hero with a different body. Though probably Keiji Inafune had a reason for X becoming bad...at least, we can see the potential of it from the backstory for this game.
  • Saved by the Fans: X. Not from death per se, but from being an Ax-Crazy dictator. Similar to what happened to Axel, this resulted in his inaction with regards to the Guardians' attempts to kill Zero. The sequels give him other things to worry about and the issue really doesn't come up again.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: While the Cyber-Elf mechanic isn't bad by itself, the first game punished the player with a lower rank for using them at all despite them being a major selling point. Later games toned this aspect down by only punishing the player for using the more Game Breaker Cyber-Elves, and finally just giving the player one Cyber-Elf that they can upgrade however they want, and only punishing them for overpowering it.
  • That One Level: Neo Arcadia Shrine, part 1. Those. Fucking. BIRDS!!
    • And that's not all. Temporary Platforms abound. Temporary Platforms that have no side grip, shoot bullets downward, leave no margin for error, and are placed above enemies which you will likely land on should you fall. There's also three bosses.
    • Neo Arcadia Tower: Spikes of Doom. EVERYWHERE!
    • One of the most infamous missions in the series is a Protect the Factory section from the first game. After beating the boss, you need to find and disarm 8 bombs scattered around the level. Finding the bomb locations isn't a hard task by any means, but three of them are placed in a very tricky spot - a section with floating platforms and lots of flying enemies. The main problem comes from the small field of view and inability to look around, all of which leads to constant leaps of faith and mission retries after yet another failed landing. It's also the only level in the game that starts right from the boss fight, which more likely means developers knew that the mission is already hard as hell, so they save players trouble of completing the bomb section from the start after losing the boss battle.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Harpuia's voice is Megumi Ogata, a woman. Plus his name is derived from the legend of the Harpy, half bird, half-women.
      • It does not help that he's wearing the exact same clothes as Leviathan (the female Guardian) with a Palette Swap (what appears to be a midriff-baring shirt and...panties).
    • Cubit Foxtar, possibly overlaps with She's a Man in Japan.
      • Made more confusing by being based on a Kitsune, which can change genders. Makes more sense if you assume that his inhuman battle form is his true form.
    • There's also Anubis Necromancess (boss in Zero 1 and 3), confirmed to be male note , and Polar Kamrous (in Zero 2) which, despite the matching build and deep voice, is female.
      • Weirdly enough, the Complete Works book refers to Kamrous as male.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The entire series qualifies, for the reasons listed on the Nightmare Fuel page for the entire franchise.
  • The Woobie: Ciel gets extra points for this. Hoo-boy...
    • Alouette is implied to have gone through a Break the Cutie livelihood, and might have suffered even worse, if Ciel hadn't found her.
    • For the record, how about poor, poor X? Let's just put this in review: The only cure for the virus they had worked tirelessly looking for for well over a centuy is weaponized into a living maverick-maker. His best friend's body is stolen and converted into an ultimate weapon that wipes out most of the planet's already-perilous population. His best friend goes into an intended-eternal stasis, leaving X with basically no shoulder to lean on. He's forced to manage the virtual entirety of the world's remaining population and all maverick activity by himself. He is forced to effectively kill his body to seal the aforementioned corrupted cure which not only leaves him off, but his soul is split into fifths. X is forced to watch as the Copy made to take his place ruins the haven he'd so desperately fought to preserve, and his "offspring" are tricked into being assassins and strongarms for the sociopathic copy. Finally, X is murdered in his comatose state by some minor villain who just wanted the Dark Elf. He did not even get a chance to fight back. He finally spends the rest of the following game slowly, slowly dying and using every precious ounce of power for the sake of others. Jeez, man.
    • Iron Woobie: Almost all the tragedies in the X series are inflicted on Zero, and even more are piled on here. Like the fact that he wakes up seeing the current state of the world, and freshly awoken, he has to continue fighting, again, and he was able to finally return the world to a peaceful state, which was what he and X have been fighting for a long time, only for him not to see it come to fruition, seeing as he's dead...
    • Stoic Woobie: After looking at Harpuia's motives, personality and the situation he's in, it's pretty easy to feel sorry for him.
    • Reploids are turned into a Woobie Species by Copy-X's actions, and while basically turns everything into a Crapsack World.
  • Woolseyism: Some of the boss' names are changed overseas. In particular, Dr. Weil's name was originally Dr. Vile. There's already another guy who's named Vile (who is originally called VAVA), so the name change is to avoid confusion.