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Video Game / Mega Man Zero 2

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All spoilers for Mega Man Zero are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

Mega Man Zero 2 is a video game created by Capcom and Inti Creates for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. It's the second installment in the Mega Man Zero series.

One year after the previous game, the Resistance has fled their old base and joined up with another faction. The three remaining members of the Four Guardians have covered up Copy X's death, with Harpuia acting as interim ruler. Meanwhile, Zero still wanders a desert wasteland, fighting the Neo Arcadian forces sent to avenge Copy X. When he finally returns to the Resistance, he meets its new commander, Elpizo, appointed by Ciel so she can focus on solving the energy crisis. Elpizo plans a military operation to destroy Neo Arcadia during its moment of weakness, but Zero foresees a crisis on the horizon...

This game introduces EX Skills, abilities from bosses similar to the Techniques that Zero could use in the Mega Man X games. It also introduces the Form system, which can change Zero's combat capabilities and grant him exclusive abilities, and gives Zero a new weapon: the Chain Rod.

This game provides examples of:

  • Bag of Spilling: Since he was wandering the wasteland for a year by himself, all of Zero's equipment has either been severely damaged or outright destroyed. This also means his weapon levels have been reset.
  • Big Bad: Elpizo becomes this following the failure of Operation Righteous Strike, seeking to defeat Neo Arcadia with the power of the Dark Elf.
  • But Thou Must!: Refusing to help Elpizo with Operation Righteous Strike near the beginning of the game simply ends the conversation. However, there is literally nothing else to do other than roll around the base, which Elpizo snarkily lampshades if you initially refuse. Later on, once the operation commences, the two navigators will take turns begging you to follow Elpizo until you accept.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Dark Elf's and Baby Elves' Mind Control abilities allow them to influence or take control of other Reploids, making them follow Elpizo's directives. The latter makes full use of this during the last few levels on several Resistance members, the Guardians, and the Boss Rush to delay Zero.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The remaining three of the Four Guardians: Harpuia is green, Fefnir is red and Leviathan is blue.
  • Continuing is Painful: Dying knocks three points off of your mission score. This is perfectly fair. However, dying also removes any points you'd accumulated from destroying enemies. God forbid you try to perfect-run the final stage.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Operation Righteous Strike, despite the massive preparations, is an equally massive failure thanks to the intervention of the surviving Four Guardians, who massacre the Resistance members effortlessly.
  • Elemental Variation: The first game's non-elemental Golem is given three elemental variants, one for each element. The Golem Type E fires Energy Weapons, the Golem Type F has a Fire-Breathing Weapon, and the Golem Type I is armed with a freeze-generator.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: X reveals to Zero during the ending that the Dark Elf was corrupted by a man named Dr. Weil. That same person makes a speaking appearance during The Stinger, directing someone named Omega to begin acting.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first half of the game has Zero taking care of missions for La Résistance, or, more specifically, for its new commander Elpizo, in preparation for his Operation Righeteous Strike. When the Operation turns out to be a disaster, Elpizo becomes the designated Big Bad of the game, and the second half is spent trying to find him, and stop him from his plans.
  • Ignored Expert: Zero in regards to Neo Arcadia's military might. He warns Elpizo that the operation won't end well, and he's instantly proven right as it ends in the assault team all but wiped out. Elpizo was the only survivor, and that was because of Zero's timely arrival.
  • Ironic Echo: Elpizo muses on "a world only for Reploids" while describing his plan to Kill All Humans right before the final battle and how such a thing would be a paradise. Iris mused on similar Reploid-only sentiments back in Mega Man X4, albeit a much more benign version (they didn't involve Kill All Humans for one), and she wanted to live in such a world with Zero while Elpizo outright states Zero is going to be the first victim of his new world.
  • Kill All Humans: This becomes Elpizo's plan towards the end of the game. Well, that and killing Zero too.
  • Meta Twist: The mandatory Boss Rush has six rematches instead of the traditional eight, but that's not the biggest surprise. The real surprise is that one of those rematches is Kuwagust Anchus bringing his brother Herculious Anchus (from Zero 1) to tag-team against Zero.
  • Mind Control: One of the abilities of the Dark Elf and Baby Elves is taking control of other Reploids and bending them to their will. Elpizo uses this to his full advantage to make them attack Zero instead of him.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayermode: The original GBA release included a multiplayer mode where two players linked their handheld consoles together to play any of the three modes included. Time Attack, Reaching the end before the other does, Enemy Battle, defeat more enemies than the other player and Get Item, collect more items than the other. This mode was pretty lackluster and forgettable that it did not return in either the Zero Collection on DS and the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection. The latter doesn't even include the two music tracks for this mode in the sound test. It does return in the Wii U VC version, but only because it's an emulation of the original game and it isn't playable due to the Wii U not having the ability to do so.
  • Multiform Balance: Completing a mission and achieving certain hidden objectives during said mission will unlock a new Form based on said conditions, with each having individual quirks alongside varying grades of Power, Defense, and Speed. However, it's only possible to unlock one Form per mission, and if multiple unlock conditions were fulfilled the game will prioritize one. The sole exceptions to this unlock system are the Normal, Proto, and Ultimate Forms.
    • Normal: The basic form, the Jack of All Stats that has no strengths or weaknesses.
    • Energy: Unlocked by collecting at least 25 Life Capsules during a mission. Zero's power increases but his speed is halved, he can only fire two bullets at a time, and his triple slash combo consists of the second slash of his ordinary triple slash combo performed twice, then the first slash performed last. Its unique property is that the probability of enemies dropping life energy increases.
    • X: Unlocked by killing at least 50 enemies with the Buster during a mission. Zero's power and speed increases, he can fire four bullets at a time, and his slash-combo is replaced entirely with the second slash of his triple slash combo as a reference to X's Z-Saber slashes from Mega Man X6. Its unique property is that the Buster shots gain extra damage, and as the name suggests Zero will effectively play like X, up to and including coloring Zero blue.
    • Defense: Unlocked by killing at least 20 enemies with the Shield Boomerang's throw during a mission. Zero's defense doubles and he retains the normal triple-slash combo. Its unique property is that the Shield Boomerang gains increased damage, but in exchange all his other weapons have their power halved. The Stone Wall form.
    • Erase: Unlocked by reflecting at least 30 bullets back at enemies with the Shield Boomerang during a mission. Zero's defense increases, but he can't perform the triple-slash combo in this form, replaced with the second slash of his combo. Its unique property is that it gives both the Boomerang and the Z Saber the ability to absorb enemy shots.
    • Active: Unlocked by killing at least 20 enemies with dashing Z Saber attacks during a mission. Zero's speed doubles but he can't perform the triple-slash combo, but rather performs the first slash of his combo. Its unique property allows him to perform rolling slashes during jumps or dashes akin to the Kuuenzan.
    • Power: Unlocked by using the Chain Rod to pull at least 30 objects during a mission. Zero's power doubles but his speed is halved and he can't perform the triple-slash combo, but rather performs the third slash of his combo. The Mighty Glacier form.
    • Rise: Unlocked by killing at least 10 enemies with the Z Saber in a jumping/rising move during a mission. Zero's speed increases and he retains the triple-slash combo. Its unique property is that it changes the final slash of the triple combo to a rising thrust akin to the Shoenzan that has more vertical range but less horizontal range than the normal finisher, making it ideal for aerial enemies.
    • Proto: Unlocked by completing the game and starting New Game Plus. Zero's defense is halved, only the Shield Boomerang can be charged, can only perform the first slash of the triple-slash combo, but the power of all weapons is doubled. The Glass Cannon form. On Hard Mode, this is the only form by default.
    • Ultimate: Unlocked by using all Cyber Elves, completing the game, and starting New Game Plus. Zero's power, defense, and speed are all increased. Its unique property is that Zero can instantly perform Charged Attacks. The Master of All form.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: The second set of missions pit Zero against the three still-living Guardians...and Burble Herkelot. Since Herkelot is a member of Phantom's squad and Non-Elemental just like him, they might have been compensating...
  • One-Winged Angel: Aside from Elpizo gaining a Mechanical Abomination second form in the finale courtesy of the Dark Elf, there's also the Armed Phenomenons of the three surviving Four Guardians. Fefnir transforms into a dragon-shaped tank, Leviathan turns into a manta-shaped submarine, and Harpuia turns into a bird-shaped aircraft.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The ending involves Zero looking up to the sky from Yggdrasil.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Dark Elf is revealed to be sealed inside the body of X towards the end of the game. It gets released thanks to Elpizo destroying the latter.
  • The Stinger: At the end, Dr. Weil commands his creation Omega it's time to act.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Elpizo begins losing more and more of his mind the more he unseals the Dark Elf. By the final level, he's nothing more than a screaming, rampaging Berserker completely under the Dark Elf's whim.
  • You Are Too Late:
    • No sooner had Zero teleported to Neo Arcadia, did he see that Operation Righteous Strike was an instant disaster.
    • In the latter half of the game, Zero is always one step behind Elpizo, whether due to being legitimately too late to stop Elpizo from getting what he wants in said level or the boss of the level decides he's a much more interesting target than some crazy rogue Resistance commander. In the final level, Zero manages to catch up with Elpizo, but is unfortunately too late to prevent the rogue Resistance commander from destroying X's body and releasing the Dark Elf, thanks to Elpizo trapping him in a force field.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Halfway through the game, your missions are all the same: you must now intercept the runaway Elpizo. Guess what happens every time. Zero also failed to save X's body in time, as Elpizo destroys it, releasing the tightly-shackled Dark Elf in the process.