It is the duty of all who dedicate their lives to the science of robotics: make the coolest, deadliest machine you possibly can. Just don't make 'em too smart; that never works out for you.
The eighth episode of season four offers two combatants a challenge to each other, both the robotic crown jewels of mad scientists. The hosts will match an ever-adapting system against a vast versatile weapons system, speed enough to surpass the fastest thing alive against the power needed to outshine all others, all as Metal Sonic and Zero come to blows in the type of match only possible in a death battle.
To start the episode off, Wizard and Boomstick delve into the lore behind Metal Sonic, the ultimate creation of Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, the roboticist whose aim to conquer the planet Mobius was consistently halted by the efforts of the speedster Sonic the Hedgehog. To keep up with the threat that Sonic posed, Eggman got to work on creating the machine built solely to surpass and destroy the hedgehog; a mechanical duplicate known simply as Metal Sonic, which would be repeatedly deployed to match Sonic on his later adventures.
Despite Metal Sonic's conception being quite plain as far as origins go, it hides a far more interesting assortment of skills and equipment. Eggman succeeded in making Metal Sonic contend with his organic rival, as he bears several other tools made specifically to counter the blue hedgehog; Metal Sonic can fire plasma beams from the engine on his chest, summon an energy shield that surrounds him and renders him impervious to attacks from fellow powerhouse hedgehogs Shadow and Silver, and overclock his systems to perform the V. Maximum Overdrive attack which quadruples his speed. In addition, Metal Sonic can also analyze his foes and use their signature skills as his own, helped further by the fact that Metal Sonic's form is highly malleable, able to shift and change at will. His speed, in particular, is a point of pride; using details in Sonic lore from Adventure and Unleashed, a handful of assumptions put Sonic's highest recorded speed in the series at well past 26,000 mph, or eight times the speed of sound, and even this rate Metal Sonic can keep up with, and with V. Maximum Overdrive, exceed until reaching Mach 35, speed that he has put to good use in displacing a 46-million ton stalactite. Topping it all off are a number of his super forms, such as the 40-foot Titan form, or, by copying sufficient amounts of data from his enemies, reach higher stages of development, going from Neo Metal Sonic, to Metal Madness, culminating in the massive draconic beast known as Metal Overlord. In this form, Metal Overlord can fire salvos of missile and crystal alike and withstand simultaneous attacks from the Super forms of Sonic and his allies.
As impressive a figure as Metal Sonic is, it stands to reason that his accomplishments only heighten Eggman's success in creating him, perhaps too well. He has managed to overthrow his creator and evolve past his intended programming, and his physical capabilities have served him just as well. But that does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean Metal Sonic is impenetrable. The original Sonic is regularly given a fair match, but Metal Sonic regularly loses to his flesh and blood nemesis. In addition, his impressive technological capabilities have drawbacks of their own; his components can be damaged if excessively taxed, to the point that every usage of V. Maximum Overdrive risks permanent damage to his system and while he can copy the abilities of others, his own usage of them has always been a simplified variant. But these problems have never cropped up in the myriad conflicts Metal Sonic has brought, and their ever-present possibility does little to stop him.
- Neo Metal Sonic: All living things, kneel before your master! (releases a thunderbolt into the sky)
From Metal Sonic, the hosts cover his opponent, Zero, Dr. Albert Wily's ace meant to put an end to the feud between him and fellow scientist Thomas Light. As Light's own prized creation, Mega Man, defeated Wily's mechanical armies countless times over, Wily set out to create the ultimate robot, designed to be a warrior. A design flaw in Zero, however, meant that the robot was disobedient towards Wily, forcing him to be kept in stasis for a hundred years. When he came to, Zero's flaw was still present, leading him on a rampage that was only checked by Sigma, commander of a task force meant to stop violent malfuntcioning robots, otherwise known as mavericks. A virus capable of turning robots maverick was also present in the container Zero was kept it; when he was released, so was the virus, which infected both robots and reversed the mindsets of Zero and Sigma. Thus, as Sigma grew a loathing for humanity, Zero became their newest defender, joining Sigma's old task force to become a Maverick hunter.
Wily spared no expense in his development of Zero and his combat potential. His Zero Busters are the preferred tool for long-range combat, capable of firing off quick rapid shots as well as charging up power for a much more expansive and damaging blast. While he uses the Zero Busters in battle, and they have indeed been proven to be reliable, his preferred weapon is none other than the Z-Saber, an energy sword Zero can, much like his foe, channel the powers of defeated enemies into. Zero himself is also capable of utilizing the same trick, taking the powers of others and using them on his own; such abilities included are the Twin Dream which creates a hologram double that mimics his every action, the dragonfly attack drones of the Yammar Option, Rekkoha light beams, and even the time-stopping Dark Hold. Also like his upcoming combatant, Zero bears a number of alternative modes and powered forms to further aid him in a fight. Such forms include the Proto Form and Black Zero, both of which increase his attack power while halving his defensive capabilities, and the Absolute Zero, which restricts access to Zero's Z-Saber and assorted weapons in exchange for flight, claw-based attacks, and noticeable increases in his speed and attack prowess.
By and far, Zero has demonstrated his status as Wily's ultimate creation was no mere fluke, and even if he became less the ultimate force of destruction as his master intended him to be, Zero has still proven his worth on the field. He was designed to surpass the original Mega Man, who can keep up with the lightning-fast Quick Man and could hold up Wily's 60-ton fortress, and Zero is even durable enough to survive crashing a spaceship into the floating colony Eurasia and the ensuing freefall back to earth. But even Zero has his own limits; while he comes equipped with an automatic recovery system, he is still vulnerable to exhaustion and the system can fail to save him if he takes too much damage. The point of ensuring his demise, however, is a tough one to reach, and Zero has more than enough capability to prevent it from happening.
- Zero: I don't even need my sword for such an easy fight. (warps out the battlefield)
The combatants have been given a full rundown, top to bottom and everything in between. One advertisement for the Blue Apron cooking service later, and now, it's time for a death battle!
The ruins that compose the Central Highway has its silence broken by a blurry figure charging through the landscape, tossing abandoned cars away in its hastened dash. A red light beams down upon the empty streets, none other than Zero. Staring down the figure, he identifies Metal Sonic as a Maverick, ready to confront Eggman's prized creation. The former Maverick draws his Z-Saber and yells a battle cry, bringing his energy sword down upon the mechanical hedgehog's path...
... but the attempted attack comes to no avail, as Metal Sonic barrels into the reploid, leading to a midair clash as the two robots try to gain the upper hand on one another. Zero takes the advantage early on, plowing into Metal Sonic at such speeds that even Eggman's magnum opus fails to spot him, which Metal Sonic meets by channeling V. Maximum Overdrive to keep pace. The pair distance themselves from each other, Zero slamming into Metal Sonic with the Z-Saber at such a force that the impact blasts him backwards. Zero quickly recovers and chases down the metal hedgehog, laying into him with a series of Z-Saber slashes before launching him into the air with a Quake Blazer, coating the sword in flame with an upwards leap and thrust back down.
Metal Sonic takes only a moment to lie in the crater prior to his ascending into the air and releasing a plasma pulse ray that hits an unsuspecting Zero. Following this, the hedgehog forms a series of spiraling bats around himself before setting them loose upon the Maverick hunter; this time, Zero is quicker to react, summoning a Yammar option and letting the drones take their explosions for him, the last two bats he dispatches with a Charge Shot. Metal Sonic, meanwhile, locks on to Zero and unleashes a second plasma pulse, this one much greater in power and colorful in design. The blast from the laser, augmented by the Charge Shot, knocks Zero clean off the highway and into the path of a building which topples following the collision.
The beatdown only continues as Metal Sonic conjures a fuchsia orb around himself and rams dead into the reploid. Again and again does the mechanical monster charge into Zero, forcing him to slam the ground with Metal Sonic in midflight, unleashing a Rekkoha. But the light rays simply brush off Metal Sonic as soon as he summons his Black Shield to negate the attack, staring at Zero. Seeing this, the maverick hunter takes on his Black Zero form, smashing the shield downwards and delivering a heated barrage of swipes that leave no effect. Meanwhile, within the Black Shield, Metal Sonic begins to transform, using his newfound Neo Metal Sonic form to force Zero back in a blast of lightning. A car rushing from behind him is the least of Zero's problems as several others begin flying towards Metal Sonic, lending him the opportunity to transform into Metal Overlord and boasting of his intent to annihilate the reploid.
His opponent's massive size fails to perturb Zero after his momentary surprise ends, however, and he runs past the ensuing barrage of crystal shards, using one of them as a ramp to leap skywards and unveil his own ultimate form, Absolute Zero. Wily's ultimate robot continues to evade the projectiles and aims the Z-Saber at his foe's neck, who brushes it off and knocks Zero back with a missile. Zero takes to the skies once again and, after resuming his Black Zero form prepares the enhanced Z-Saber, but a Chaos Control, taken from fellow hedgehog Shadow, quickly puts a stop to the ploy. With Zero in his grasp, Metal Overlord fires a ray at Zero, who manages to break through the time stop with Dark Hold and continue his descent. The moment he sheathes his Z-Saber, Metal Overlord, carved in half, promptly explodes, Zero safely away from the blast.
Metal Sonic's severed head lands on the remains of the highway as Zero warps out the battlefield. Metal Sonic, impressive he may be, was simply outclassed and underprepared to tackle a threat such as Zero. While Metal Sonic was capable of reaching Mach 35, Zero was designed to surpass Mega Man, who could keep up Quick Man; as the speed of lightning, which both could surpass, reaches 224,000 mph, Zero is eight times faster then Metal Sonic. In addition, Zero's array of abilities and weapons was versatile enough to handle anything Metal Sonic could throw at him; even Metal Sonic's partial mastery of Chaos Control falters compared to the more instantaneous means of time manipulation at Zero's disposal. Surviving crashing into the Eurasia colony puts Zero's durability at a level capable of withstanding 100 trillion tons of force, far more than the stalactite formed from both Sonics' power combined. In short, while both fighters are experienced and powerful beyond question, Zero has been shown to handle enemies as tough as even Metal Overlord and still come out on top, putting Metal Sonic in a losing situation.
- Boomstick: Looks like Metal Sonic was the real zero in this fight.
Wizard: The winner is Zero!
Metal Sonic vs. Zero contains examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Not only are both combatants experts at fighting, but both also rebelled against their creators, giving them an extra link.
- Broken Win/Loss Streak: After Wily's (and Eggman's) loss to Metal Sonic and Mega Man's to Astro Boy, Zero's victory over Metal Sonic brings the Mega Man series' losing streak to a close.
- Call-Back: Zero was designed to be stronger than Mega Man, and the same feats covered in Mega Man's own appearance are once again used as a reference point.
- David vs. Goliath: Metal Overlord's appearance in the finale, towering over Zero, qualifies to a greater degree than anything yet seen in the series.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Boomstick makes frequent comments on how Metal Sonic's repertoire of abilities, as well as his Metal Overlord alias, all sound like metal bands.
- Guns vs. Swords: While several of Metal Sonic's attacks are close ranged, and Zero does have his ranged weaponry, the fight turns into this once Metal Sonic goes Overlord. Metal Overlord primarily spams ranged crystals, missiles, and energy beams against the melee-attacking Absolute and Black Zero. Swords win the duel here, after Zero cleaves Metal Overlord in two.
- Power Copying: Both fighters are capable of using the powers of others, which is demonstrated in the fight:
- Attack Drone: Rouge's Bat Guard and Commander Yammark's Yammar Option, which Metal Sonic and Zero respectively copied from their owners, both appear in the fight and cancel each other out.
- Pure Energy: Zero's own Charge Shot, which Metal Sonic copies and uses to amplify his plasma pulse.
- Time Stands Still: Chaos Control is used by Metal Sonic in his Metal Overlord form. Again, Zero uses the Dark Hold to negate its effects.
- Spiritual Successor: Word of God confirms that this was intended to be one for Eggman VS Wily
- Stealth Pun: The fight ends with Metal Sonic getting cleaved in two by Zero. In other words, he got divided by Zero.