Yeeeeeaaah….. That really stunk.
Seriously, I could’ve done better than that.
The clip above notwithstanding, it’s easy to see why.
He has a flashy and unique design, his theme music was bad ass, and his first appearance in the series involves him saving your ass from Vile, a character who was impossible to beat at that point in the game.
Add in the fact that in later entries in the series he is given a beam saber, and you have the template for a bad ass supporting character more than capable of eclipsing the popularity of the rather vanilla protagonist.
In many ways, I think of Zero as the equivalent to Trunks from Dragonball Z.
For whatever fuckin’ reason, back in elementary and middle school, Trunks was the bees knees.
You remember those holographic Dragonball stickers all the kids pasted on their binders?
Well, pretty much all the kids I went to school with that had them, went to great lengths to hoard the Trunks ones.
While I admit that Trunks’ design is pretty slick, what with the Capsule jacket, purple hair and (useless) sword, at the end of the day I was always confused with my friend’s appreciation for the character.
Taking into consideration his actual role in the series as opposed to his appearance, I always saw Trunks as being kind of dumb.
Like Zero, he had one of the more bad ass debuts in fiction, however from that point on his abilities are quickly overshadowed by everyone around him, and when he finally does catch up, he’s too dumb to use his powers responsibly.
Indeed, I fail to see the beauty of Trunks’ soul.
That being said, while I happen to like Zero quite a bit, he’s never really been one of my favorites in the series.
Mega Man X4 marked the first time in series history that players were given the option to play through the entire game playing as Zero, and perhaps not surprisingly, his storyline was quite a bit more involved that X’s.
I guess that’s to be expected when you’re dealing with a character like X who has virtually no personality outside of his belief that “Humans = Good, Bad Robots = Bad.”
Over the course of several (poorly) animated cutscenes, it was revealed/hinted that Zero was not only originally a savage and villainous Reploid, he was also responsible for EVERY BAD THING THAT EVER HAPPENED.
While I think it’s cool that they made him the bridge between the original Mega Man and the X series, in the form of making him a product of the late Dr. Wily and progenitor of the Maverick virus; at the same time I think it’s this aspect of his story that kind of ruins him.
As with Trunks, I like Zero’s design, and I like his character, but when one factors in all the stupid shit he’s done throughout the series, it’s kind of hard to hold the same level of appreciation for him.
That being said, congratulations Mega Man X4, not only did you plant the seeds for making Zero look like an asshole, you also fucked him over by casting his role with an English voice actor from Mega Man 8.
And we all know how bad those guys were….