The Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection is a parking spot for six Mega Man games that were in danger of fading away. The Mega Man Zero series was a must-have for action fans during the Game Boy Advance's heyday, but let's face it, the GBA's best years are long, long behind it. Meanwhile, Mega Man ZX and ZX Advent for the Nintendo DS seemed to get a bit lost amongst the endless deluge of DS game releases.
Thus, Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection doubles as an act of game preservation, which is great: The Zero and ZX games have a lot to offer for new and veteran Mega Man enthusiasts. Established fans will go through the games in succession and discover they largely hold up, while new fans (people who discovered Mega Man via previous Legacy Collections and/or Mega Man 11) will be able to experience some of the sharpest action games developed for handheld. I'm very glad this collection exists—even if it's missing a few potential extras I would shank my own next of kin to see realized.
Our full review of Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection is pending, but I've vented more than a few nostalgic sighs while running through the Zero games. I was an extremely active member of the Mega Man fan community when the Zero games were relevant; before settling down to write this, I inadvertently found a piece of Mega Man Zero 4 fan art that a good friend drew for me in 2009. I am too old for this world. I must walk into the ocean now. Goodbye.
(Yeah, I ship Neige and Kraft. It's canon! Come at me!)
Aw shit son, I was looking for a specific image I want to use for my Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection preview, and I found this picture @ireneylee drew for me 11! Years! Ago! pic.twitter.com/Tger37qnBM— Nadia Oxford (@nadiaoxford) February 5, 2020
This bit of fanart ties into the admittedly minor complaints I have about the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection. Its extras are good, but miss an opportunity to preserve especially obscure Mega Man Zero media. When you visit the collection's Extras menu, you find soundtracks (the Zero series' music still shines despite the GBA's feeble sound chip) and lots of cleaned-up artwork by series illustrator Toru Nakayama. I happily thumbed through the art collection, but quickly noticed some of my favorite pieces were missing—in particular, many of the pieces that illustrate the Japan-exclusive Mega Man Zero (nee Rockman Zero) CD soundtracks and "radio dramas."
What makes this omission particularly strange is some of the CD soundtrack images are present, while others are MIA. For example, the Mega Man Zero 4 soundtrack collection was packed with a 2006 calendar that shows up in the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection's gallery (all the dates are removed, thankfully)—but the jacket illustration of Zero sleeping in a meadow isn't present, unless I overlooked it.
The Mega Man Zero 4 CD soundtrack—officially named Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero Physis—also contains a short story called Vile Incident: Eden Dome, Its Sin and Rebirth that sums up the events of the Zero series in the form of a news report. The report also serves as an epilogue that explores the peace between humans and reploids at the end of the long, vicious Maverick Wars.
I would've loved to see an official translation of this epilogue in the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection. The story of the Mega Man X series has always focused around fighting for a world where humans and machines can live side-by-side as equals, and that conflict fed straight into the Zero series' story. Obscure as the epilogue is, it's too bad the collection doesn't let us read about the peaceful, harmonious world Mega Man X and Zero sacrificed so much to create. There is a fan translation of Eden Dome on the internet, but it's a bit rough. Google Translate clearly did most of the heavy lifting.
I suppose my wish for an official translation of Eden Dome amounts to the sighing of a cantankerous old Mega Man fan who's still excited by obscure bits of lore. Regular people will turn to Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection to experience a host of great platformers that were once in danger of being lost. If that's you, Capcom's latest collection should serve you well. I'm certainly enjoying my time with it; I'm just a little disappointed it doesn't include the peaceful resolution that demonstrates two very different species can roll up their sleeves and repair a war-shattered world together.