Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Video Game Character Spotlight: Zero

When designing a protagonist for a video game series, it's a good idea to make them the most interesting character of the series. But every so often, there comes a support character who outshines even the protagonist. A character who's just as cool and interesting as the supposed “hero” of the story. Throw in a lightsaber and a bitchin' ponytail and now you've got the most interesting support character of all time. Of course I'm referring to none other than the legendary Maverick Hunter himself, Zero of the Mega Man X series. First appearing in the incomparable Mega Man X, Zero burst onto the scene with his sleek red armor and fancy Jedi swordsman skills, forever sealing his status as ultimate badass. Since then, he's become a featured main character to the series and has become so popular that he was given his own series, Mega Man Zero. The fans just could not get enough of this sword-wielding robot and his luscious, flowing mane.

"L'Oreal. Because you're worth it."

     But to understand why Zero has such a devout fanbase, you have to know what makes Zero tick and the challenges he's had to overcome. As previously stated, Zero first appeared in Mega Man X, but his back story runs much deeper than that. Because since the Mega Man X series is actually a sequel to the Mega Man games, there's more you need to know than you're originally given. Details such as Mega Man, the protagonist of the old series, being created by Dr. Light to fight off the evil forces of Dr. Wily's fiendish Robot Masters. Flash forward 100 years and you have X, the protagonist of Mega Man X, also created by Dr. Light to aid humanity and robotkind alike. But what made X special from his previously blue incarnation was his ability to think for himself and make his own decisions.

“Also his ability to make terrible cameos on television cartoons."

     So what does this have to do with Zero, you ask? Well, everything really. Because whereas X was created by Dr. Light to be the hope of the future, Zero was created by none other than the nefarious Dr. Wily himself. BUM BUM BUUUUUMMMMMM!!!!


     Dr. Wily created Zero with the intent to be his ultimate creation, the pinnacle of robot evilness. But the joke was on Wily (who was dead by the time this all mattered), because Zero eventually turned out to be a champion for humans and Reploids, the androids created in the future that, like X, had the ability to think for themselves. So what if Zero had to initially overcome his desire to kill humans and also accidentally released a robot virus that caused other Reploids to want to kill humans, becoming “Mavericks”? It's the end result we're talking about, people!


     Eventually, Zero does overcome these obstacles and becomes a hero to the future, just as X would soon become. Together, they team-up to hunt down rogue Mavericks, Zero serving as X's mentor throughout the series. While acting distant yet cool, Zero would constantly arrive in the nick of time to save X, revealing his true, caring nature. He even proves his heroism when (Spoiler!) he sacrifices himself to give X a fighting chance against Vile, the mini-boss of Mega Man X. It was a profound, touching moment that defined Zero's character forever, even as he was brought back to life in the next game and then sacrificed again, only to be brought back to life once more for Mega Man Zero.

“Guess how many fucks I give about Death."

     However, if his constant sacrifice and subsequent resurrection mean anything, it's proof of Zero's ultimate power: his infectious ability to always do what is right, even at the most extreme cost. He may become broken, destroyed or his mind placed in the body of a copy, but there is no way to keep Zero from fighting for peace and justice. Because even as he was created for destruction, he shows us that we can choose our own destiny, to be better than we were meant to be. And after all, it's hard to keep a good robot down.

"Especially this guy."


Header Image Source.


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