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  • I’ve cleared the original Mega Man. I’ve killed Air Man. (And Wood Man, for that matter.)

  • I’ve zombified Mega Man using the second controller and done the weird superjump shenanigans.

  • I obtained the hadouken and shouryuken decades before Street Fighter X Mega Man. I’ve dominated

  • the original canon, and X, and ZX, and .EXE, and Legends... But I’d not touched the Zero

  • series. Not out of any disdain for it or anything... it just... scared me a bit. And for good reason.

  • After getting my hands dirty and trying it out, I got the crap kicked out of me repeatedly

  • until my bruised, bloodied viscera cowered over the sink, scrubbing said hands raw and

  • quoting lines from MacBeth. It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood.

  • So years and years after the Mega Man X series (itself 100 years after the original series),

  • Reploids populate the earth. But theyre under attack, as a cloned version of X (yes,

  • that X) is on a rampage, retiring (read: EXTERMINATING) anything and everything in his path, and employing

  • a slew of bosses fashioned after ancient deities like Anubis and Hanuman. As the recently-revived

  • Zero, you have to assist resistance leader Lark... erm... Ciel, by undertaking a series

  • of missions. The wall-climbing, sword-and-gun action should feel familiar to anyone who’s

  • used Zero in X4 or X5, but the system of character progression is a little... stranger. You don’t

  • get heart tanks, you don’t get weapons dropped from enemies, you don’t find sub-tanks out

  • in the wild... nope, you have to harvest (read: CONSUME) cyber-elves. And even then, some

  • cyber-elves you come upon aren’t mature enough for harvesting yet, so you have to

  • raise them by feeding them them credits. So somehow, some RPG grindy elements got stuck

  • in a Mega Man game. And normally, that wouldn’t be so bad, except Mega Man Zero doles out

  • extra lives with an eyedropper.

  • I’m sorry, the nomenclature failed again. Did I say extra lives? THERE ARE NO SUCH THING.

  • You can occasionally find continues, but these aren’t replenished. And if you run out,

  • youve got two choices: Reload your save and lose all your progress, or fail the mission

  • and never get to re-challenge it again. Mega Man Zero, much like that legendary Honey Badger,

  • don’t care. You can fail all you want; it just means that, when X’s forces attack,

  • youre going to be mostly defenseless and thoroughly screwed. If youre up to the

  • challenge - and with all this to-do surrounding the 25th Anniversary of Mega Man, you might

  • find yourself jonesing - Zero will punish you. And you might be into that sort of thing.

  • Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

I’ve cleared the original Mega Man. I’ve killed Air Man. (And Wood Man, for that matter.)

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