Retronauts Episode 464: Mega Man Zero

"I thought you were dead!" "I was!"

When Capcom gave Mega Man a 16-bit facelift and created the side-series Mega Man X, our hero needed a strong mentor figure to inspire him to fight, an Obi-Wan if you will, if ol' Kenobi had a robot-ponytail. X's new pal, Zero, made a strong impression on both the game's protagonist and players at home, especially when he (like Obi-Wan) sacrifices himself to ensure X lives.

But when has a little thing like death kept a good hero down? Capcom certainly couldn't fathom laying the handsome deuteragonist to eternal rest, so he made a dramatic comeback in Mega Man X2, and in 2002 he starred in his very own spin-off, Mega Man Zero.

Enter host Nadia Oxford, our resident Mega-Expert, to talk all about this handheld series of Mega Man games that do not star Mega Man. Joining her on this look at humanity's distant future are frequent contributor Stuart Gipp and first-time guest Brian "Protodude" Austrian of Rockman Corner. With this much heat on our side, the Reploids don't stand a chance unless…is there a Podcastman? I hope not!

Description: The early aughts were all about 3D games on consoles, but the humble 2D platformer didn't vanish: it merely migrated, and 2002 gave us Mega Man Zero. Stuart Gipp and Brian "Protodude" Austrian dissect this action classic and lament its bananas difficulty.

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Artwork for this episode by Shaan Khan and editing thanks go to Greg Leahy.