Monday, March 27, 2017

Mega Man Zero 3 (Game Boy Advance, 2004)

I once said that Mega Man Zero 2 was possibly the hardest Mega Man game. I was wrong, because this one is harder. Yep, each Zero game seems to be even more difficult than the one before it.



The game begins with Zero walking through a wasteland, just like the first two games. This time, he isn't alone: He's accompanied by his roommate. Or at least, that's what they tell Grandma when she comes over.

This game re-uses assets just as much as the first two, including the bad guys. Here's Harpuia, yet again.

Fefnir and Leviathan are here too, and they're all locked in combat with...

...Omega, the super-reploid that the previous two games made reference to. He'll be the big bad for this one.

Wait, what? Who is this shriveled-up old man in a mech body who seems to be in control of Omega? Could it be? COULD IT BE?? DR. WILY IS FINALLY REVEALED!

Wait, what? Dr. Weil? What is this fanservicey bullshit?

Well, suffice to say, this isn't Dr. Wily, even though it being Dr. Wily would actually cause the whole story to make a lot more sense. They, once again, pulled back from having Wily appear in this series. Instead we're getting Dr. Doppler for the 00's. Making things even more confusing, "Weil" is pronounced "Vile".

What the? Copy X is back too? That's right. Dr. Weil put him back together, so that's another foe to deal with. Dr. Weil has extensive knowledge of Zero and X's inner workings...somehow...despite being a random Not-Wily nobody that the story just pulled out of its ass.

Back at CTU, our heroes review their detailed files on Omega. Notice how it has a giant sword on its back.

The stage select screen from the second game returns! They also revived the story from the first game, as I'm back to fighting Neo Arcadia again. Specifically, Copy X's new set of generals.

..."Blazin' Flizard"? What the fuck? Did the horribly lame naming people get rehired for this game?

The minibosses are INSANELY HARD in this game, oftentimes harder than the stage bosses. I learned this right away with a spike-throwing hologram monstrosity.

That miniboss is immediately followed by an acid waterfall with platforms falling down, a blisteringly difficult section even if it didn't follow a super-tough miniboss.

Here's Blazin' Flizard himself. Wait, what? Weil's Numbers? You mean like... Wily's Numbers? (The bosses in the classic series that he built or helped build were numbered from 1 to 100).

Nope, of course it doesn't mean Wily's Numbers! That'd be silly! This is "Weil's Numbers", a random pairing of words that means nothing except fanservice! Yay!

Wait, Dr. Weil was around a hundred years ago? That explains why he's a rotting human in a robot body.

...it doesn't explain anything else though. If he was around a century ago, shouldn't we know him from the X series? I mean, maybe not, since he's a random nobody and all. But it'd explain SO MUCH and tie all three series' together if it were Dr. Wily starting the Elf Wars in desperation after Sigma got destroyed (in Mega Man X5, since the Zero series follows that one), since we know he was around.

Oh well...I give up. When I play Mega Man X6 I'm not even going to try to connect it to anything else.

BUT WAIT! Could Dr. Weil be the mysterious scientist who was helping Sigma in Mega Man X5, NOT Dr. Wily? And if so...what the hell is the point of that? It's like Capcom was going "plzdon'tsue" to ITSELF.

The good news is that we still have sweet afterimages when we dash-jump.

Dark Elf is back...back again. This game is like the Mortal Kombat Armageddon of Mega Man titles! Pretty much EVERYBODY shows up.

Dark Elf "mutates" an enemy into a larger foe with the trademark Dark Elf spiky-ness, and another super-hard miniboss fight follows. After that our hero fultons the Dark Elf back to Mother Base.

These boss names are LUDICROUS.

Seriously, what the fook! And look at this guy's head!

It's a Burning Crusade as I run around destroying shrubbery!

If it seems like I haven't been showing many pictures of stages, it's because most of them have looked super-similar to one another. Not a lot of variety in this game so far.

This creepy pale dude kidnapped the Baby Elves, these weird little nitwits who went willingly because the pale dude said Zero was a bad man. Who the hell? Baby what? Why?

Dr. Weil talks to the weird-ass Baby Elves in his Skull Fortress Castle.

What? He created Dark Elf too?

In any case, he seduces the Baby Elves with the dark side of the Force... and a little cleavage.

The Bannonesque Dr. Weil talks X into giving him full control over the Neo Arcadia military, while relegating the more moderate Harpuia to the backburner.

Harpuia did a good job running Neo Arcadia while Copy X was incapacitated, but his services are no longer needed. Copy X would be so much more interesting if he were actually X, but I'm a broken record at this point.

Next up, Zero battles the two weirdass little Baby Elves in a fight that is relatively easy for THIS game. That's right...Zero smacks babies.

Neo Arcadia launches a missile at the Resistance Base, but it misses...crashing harmlessly into the Westboro Baptist Church. Thank God...just...Thank God.

Omega is a big boy. He's got the Baby Elves fluttering around him going "Hey!" and "Listen!"

The missile strike was merely a diversion while the bad guys swept in and took the Dark Elf back. Sigh

Why does he keep stuttering? Did Dr. Weil put him back together wrong?

The next set of bosses is a mere trio...and they're all retreads from the first game, as the copypasting of content continues.

The weird boss lineups in these games make me think that my childhood idea of a sixth Mega Man for the Game Boy was possible after all. The Game Boy Mega Man games would generally have four bosses from one NES game and four bosses from another, and it ended about halfway through Mega Man 5's boss lineup. My idea was that a hypothetical Mega Man VI could have the four bosses from Mega Man 5 NES and then two more sets of four, taken from Mega Man 6 NES. Maybe remix them so the 5 bosses would be spread throughout the three boss lineups. Then they could have a FOURTH boss lineup that would only have two bosses in it: Bomb Man and Guts Man from the original NES game, since they never made it to a Game Boy game.

At the time I thought it was preposterous that a Game Boy Mega Man would have more than two sets of four bosses, so a third set and fourth half-set seemed unlikely. We never got that Mega Man VI, but these Zero games give us a lot of boss sets of varying numbers and it's clear that such a concept isn't as out-there as I thought. Well, story time over.

I go after Blizzack Staggroff first. ::makes "whacking off" motions with hand::

He's easily toppled with fire, and it's on to the next stage. I could swear I recognize this terrain from Mega Man X2...

The flaming monkey boss was a tough fight in the original Mega Man Zero and it's the same deal here. With all of the retreads, it's no wonder they were able to release one of these Zero games every year.

The third stage is the desert home of Anubis Necromancess.

You've been what? You mean he re-assembled you? I HATE THESE BLURRED LINES!

A truly epic flying ice slash is the way to go here.

After those three are defeated, it looks like we're going after Copy X once again. And while this could be a final stage in some Mega Man games... in this massive Mega-stravaganza, it's only a midway stage.

Here's a video of his stage with the dulcet tones of Eminem. I like how the background shows digitized images of Zero due to Neo Arcadia being on high alert for him. He DID smash the place once before...

X's worldview is as black-and-white as ever.

He goes into gold-armored battle mode and dashes all over the place like a maniac. What used to be an epic battle has become somewhat routine (and him not being real X hurts it too).

Wait a minute...is that the planet in the background? How high up are we?

Oh snap! It's Real X's Ghost, showing up to spout exposition (he isn't good for much else).

But wait! When Copy X tries to go to his final form, he explodes. It turns out that Weil placed a Godfather Car-Bomb type trap on him just to ensure that, one way or another, he didn't survive the fight with Zero.

Vice President Weil, who was observing all of this, IMMEDIATELY takes the intercom of Neo Arcadia and announces that he's now in charge of the nation that Copy X re-assembled for him.

Even better for him, he gets to use Copy X as a martyr to incite the people against his enemies.

...all of this would mean so much more if it were "real X"

Next up, we get some early 00's political subterfuge, as Dr. Weil calls for war and...

...Ciel laments that The People are believing his lies.

Time for ANOTHER set of four bosses. That's right. The Weil Wars have begun.

Good question. Hell if I know. He COULD have been Dr. Wily, but noooo.

My God. It's...the first-ever French reploid.

Here's an extremely-difficult stage where you need to tilt a platform with your weight to avoid spikes. In retrospect, I can barely believe I finished this game.

Spoiler Alert: I finished this game.

This Number is female, which is pretty weird.

Winning that fight gets me the power of double-jumping, which is HUGE for this game. Unlike other Mega Man games with a double jump ability, this one works with dashes (meaning you can dash-jump twice to clear lengthy pits).

With that ability, I can reach a Sub-Tank that eluded me up to this point. These are needed more now than ever.

Rounding out these four bosses are a massive ice-bear and...

...Volteel Biblio~!

I get "Volteel", but what's up with the second word?

What?

An uneasy alliance is formed with Harpuia...again.

A little backstory on what could have been the end of the X series. Instead it's just...weird.

Meanwhile, the Resistance base has been infiltrated by...damn moles!

New New New World Order

Jesus, how many moles were here? This is like half the Resistance! I knew we shouldn't have left Fox News on in the Resistance lounge.

Zero warps to Dr. Weil's base. It was easy to find because of the giant skull on the front of it.

Seriously.

Plzdon'tsue

Dr. Weil is drunk with power at this point.

It just crossed my mind that since Mega Man Zero, Zero 3, and Zero 4 all tell the story of the Dr. Weil Saga... Mega Man Zero 2 is kinda unnecessary. It's almost like a side-story. Maybe this series should have just been a trilogy instead. Dispersing all of the Zero 2 content into the other games would have cut down on the redundancy as they wouldn't have needed to reuse as much stuff.

Time for the capsule room. This could have had a massive number of bosses, but luckily there are only eight bosses here.

Boss rushes are even more fun in the Zero series, as a powered-up Zero is tremendously fun to play as.

................

After the boss rush, ANOTHER super-difficult stage. This time the menace comes from compressing floors and ceilings.

Here's Wily again.

Er, Weil.

Capcom to Capcom: "plzdon'tsue"

Well, we already knew that.

Wait, wasn't that Dr. Cain? Unless Zero was the first of its kind...which would make him Dr. Wily? Oh, whatever.

Time to fight Omega. After all of the hype...it's an easy fight. Not very mobile due to the large size and lack of animation frames, and generally a bit of a gimme.

Win, and Omega goes to Form 2, which has two heads. One head looks like X, one head looks like Zero. What the hell is this?

Regardless, THIS battle is considerably tougher, which it should be because it's technically the final boss. Win, and both Zero and Omega drop down into...

...HELL.

Wait, what? A mere fake?

A sleek figure explodes out of Omega's wreckage. This is kinda like Form 4 Freeza... or when Sigourney Weaver gets broken out of the giant stone monster at the end of Ghostbusters.

Wait, what? The Zero I've been playing as all this time is... Copy Zero?

So... the villain couldn't be X, he had to be "Copy X".

The higher power bigger villain couldn't be Wily, he had to be "Dr. Weil".

The big event that led to this series couldn't be what actually happened in Mega Man X5, it had to be the "Elf Wars" thing they made up to push the "collect 'em all" elf thing.

And now, the hero can't even be Zero, he's "Copy Zero". So basically this series has nothing left in common with the X series...

...except this. Omega is the original Zero, and under Dr. Weil's control. Because... Weil knows Zero better than anybody, for some reason. This explains why the Zero we've been playing as doesn't look like OG Zero, at least. ...but neither does Omega.

What follows is a fight between the two Zeros that I didn't get any shots of. Suffice to say, "real Zero" looks just like Copy Zero, rather than...you know...like OG Zero. Plzdon'tsue

As for not getting shots of the fight...not to worry, I got video. It'll be in my final boss footage roundup in Mega Man Zero 4.

X's Generals from the first game appear to hold off Real Zero while Weil rants over the intercom of Hell.

Wait, what? He worked with Zero to defeat Omega...and Omega then inhabited Zero's body? THIS IS SO WEIRD. Imagine if any of this actually happened in the X series. Wily sending Omega after X and Zero, them defeating it and then it transferring its Maverick-ness to Zero (ala Zero's Maverick-ness transferring to Sigma), prompting X to help build a new Zero or something...

This would be so much less confusing if they FINISHED THEIR SERIESES.

At this point all you have to do is slash Real Zero and he gets cleaved in half. So...that's great and all, but I'm still a SOULLESS CLONE

Well, this series has pretty much lost me as far as plot goes, but...that's another one in the can. Unfortunately, Zero has pretty much lost all of his heat...to himself.

Longest game in the entire Mega Man series, too. Insanely long runtime, and that's probably reflected in the sheer size of this post and how long it took to finish.

Mega Man Zero 4 next.



No comments:

Post a Comment