A "tenth Rider" debuted on July 1982, in an illustration published by such Japanese magazines as TV Magazine and TV Land. After a year-long multimedia campaignnote , Kamen Rider ZX finally made his TV debut in the hour-long special Birth of the Tenth! Gather All Kamen Riders!!.
Ryo Murasame, captured by the Badan Empire in the Amazonian rainforest with his sister Shizuka, is remodeled into their own Super Soldier, ZX, while Shizuka is killed just as soon. Initially Brainwashed and Crazy, Ryo miraculously recovers and escapes. He eventually meets three strangers revealed to be V3, Riderman and Super-1, who personally introduce him to the other Kamen Riders and join him in his fight against Badan.
The manga Kamen Rider SPIRITS is an alternate take on the ZX story. The crossover film Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai (released on the 30th anniversary year of ZX) puts a large focus on ZX, with the return of both Ryo and the Badan Empire.
This work features examples of:
- All There in the Manual: By itself the TV special feels like it's missing large chunks of exposition, but it's only the last part of the media campaign mentioned above.
- Back from the Dead: In addition to their own monsters, Badan's army includes revived monsters: Razor Sea Star of Destron, Geddon's Centipede Beastman, Gamereojin of Neo-Shocker, plus Dogma Kingdom's Kamakirigan and Chameleking.
- Backup Twin: ZX's nemesis, Ambassador Darkness, is the twin brother of Ambassador Hell from the original Kamen Rider. Same actor, same costume, completely different One-Winged Angel form.
- They're "cousins" in Spirits.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Ryo was initially this, but he snaps out of it after an accident.
- Clip Show: From Kamen Rider to Kamen Rider Super-1.
- Death by Origin Story: Poor Shizuka.
- The Empire: The Badan Empire.
- Fake Shemp: Two thirds of the first nine Riders are portrayed by substitute voicec actors.
- Hidden Weapons: ZX has an electric rope in his belt, explosive shuriken on his shoulder pads and grenades in his boots.
- Its Pronounced Tropay: Spoken as "zecross", not "zed eks" or "zee eks."
- Let's You and Him Fight: How Ryo meets the rest of the Riders.
- Mooks: Badan has the Combat-Roids.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Tiger-Roid/Tiger Robot, a walking mashup of man, tiger and BFG.
- ZX himself, as he is an insect-themed cyborg ninja.
- Recap Episode: Of the Kamen Rider franchise up to Super-1.
- Reunion Show
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- The Man Behind the Man: After Ambassador Darkness is killed, the Generalissimo of Badan, an evil spirit behind Badan and every previous organization, reveals himself. Surprising absolutely no one, it's Great Leader again.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Shizuka. A rather extreme example, as she's killed off just seconds after being introduced in the opening narration. We don't even see her before she dies.