Fans Culminate to Create Zero 10th Anniversary Compilation

Following in line with Mega Man Zero's 10th anniversary, passionate fans in Japan are putting together something pretty special. It's a community collaboration called the "Rockman Zero 10th Anniversary Anthology." This self published book (aka doujinshi), contains 110 pages of short comics and illustrations by talented Zero fans. What's more, it also has an interview with Serou, the person behind Yama Tai Koku - one of the most prominent makers of Rockman garage kits.

The Anthology is set to go on sale next week via a couple upcoming conventions in Tokyo: COMIC1 on the 30th and SUPER COMIC CITY 21 on May 4th. Later on it will also be available at Comiket 82. The A5 sized compilation will run for ¥1,200. With any luck, it will also see reprinting at major doujin retailers. Otherwise it might become a bit of a rare item.

A tiny bit more of the compilation can be seen on this Pixiv entry, teasing a 16 page comic about Zero fighting Copy X. All in all, what a great way to celebrate Zero's 10th!

They Grow Up Fast: Mega Man Zero Turns 10

Today (well, in a few hours, as of this posting) another Mega Man series levels up in the anniversaries-divisible-by-five attribute. Ten years have gone by since the legendary red Reploid Zero was reawakened from his slumber in a mysterious, dilapidated laboratory and dash-sliced through an oppressive regime into our hearts.

And all the same, the fairly short lived series was pretty odd... or maybe interesting is a nicer way to put it. At the time of its release, the X series was still running along, although it was showing signs of shakiness. No one was really expecting Zero to get his own game (especially when he was already stealing the show in X's), and definitely not on the Game Boy Advance either. I may be showing my age, but even as a young Mega Man fan with my own wild ideas, I never once imagined a strange dystopian future where Reploids looked boyish and wore vests and thongs.

Mega Man Zero also marks Inti Creates' first foray into the world of Mega Man, and their penchant for dead-on-balls difficult games. You started out with only 16 HP and very weak weapons, and you were expected to move mountains if you wanted to get any progress. Zero even tried to guilt you for using Cyber Elves, the game's main power up system, by making them die when you used them (and they let you know it). Each next game did ease back a little, though, culminating with Zero 4's addition of an "Easy" option.

But I think what really attracted people to Zero, besides fans who were already invested in the series mythos, was the level of craftsmanship the games had. You could tell a lot of work and care went into the titles, and most everything had tons of background details that didn't even make it in the game. The series also featured a number of arranged music albums, even after it formally ended, and in my opinion made consumer Mega Man albums much more mainstream. In Japan anyway.

Besides the games, Zero cameos in Onimusha Blade Warriors and SNK Vs. Capcom, has a very wonky manga series by Hideto Kajima, and some freakin' sweet Japanese commercials animated by Studio 4°C.

So here's to you, Zero, and to you, ghost of X, and to you, Reploids named after words in French. Rock on. Wait, that's ZX.

[audio:|titles=1-06 - Zero 1 - Theme of ZERO (from Rockman X)]

Your Battle Network Questions Answered

Well probably not all of them, nearly. But you may recall that Capcom invited questions to the developers of Mega Man Battle Network in honor of the series' 10th anniversary back in March. Capcom has now posted their select answers, from series artist Yuji Ishuhara and series scenario planner Masakazu Eguchi (aka Mr. Famous). Even our own Tabby got a question answered: Q: (Tabby) I have a question more directed at Ishihara-San. What was your favorite character design, and why?

A: (Ishihara) I love all the characters of Battle Network. My number one favorite tends to vary depending on when I’m asked, but right now Wind Man seems to come to mind. He’s graceful yet domineering—a true stud. In fact, this made me want to draw a picture of him, so I did!

Check out the full article for insider info on how the series came to be, ideas behind character designs, and so forth.

Treasure from the Past: Mega Man Anthology Booklet

TMMN member Jaxel has provided us with something pretty neat that perhaps a lot of you haven't seen. Back when Mega Man 8 came out, oh so long ago, it was Mega Man's 10th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, Capcom made a special edition version of Mega Man 8 that included a booklet called the Mega Man Anthology, that covered the general Mega Man series up 'til then. While meager, it's pretty rare for Mega Man games to come with pack-in goodies in the west, and it's quite a rare article now. Allegedly, due to manufacturer issues, it wasn't even included with every limited edition copy. For its time, it included some rare artwork, since the Rockman promotional images and weapon artwork weren't common in the west (this was still the early year of the internet and awesome websites like TMMN). And of course, it also has a lot of charming errors, like mixing up the promo art for Mega Man 5 and Mega Man 6, and having some truly odd statements in the game summaries. It's also perhaps the final time the fictional "empire" of Monsteropolis is mentioned in a Mega Man storyline.

How many of you still have this trinket? I still have mine, though it's not holding up terribly well. But thanks to Jaxel, if you never had it or you lost it, you can now check it out below!