In 2002, a follow-up series to the Mega Man X franchise was developed for the Game Boy Advance which starred Zero, a character created for the Mega Man X series as a sidekick/ally of Mega Man. The series revolved around Zero battling a powerful human-supremacy force as he protects the oppressed remaining reploids. In the Mega Man Zero series, the gameplay is largely similar to Zero's play style in the later Mega Man X games and features an in-depth ranking system that rewards the player with new abilities and enhancements (such as copied abilities from boss characters) in exchange for better play performance. In the fourth game, Zero can also physically steal weapons from enemies (such as axes and guns).
Many course themes recur throughout the series, including circuit, dirt, off-road, beach, desert, snow, and haunted tracks. Most courses are based on an existing Mario location (such as Bowser's Castle), but there are a number of courses that have not appeared elsewhere, such as Rainbow Road. Each game in the series includes at least 16 original courses and up to 6 original battle arenas. Each game's tracks are divided into four "cups," or groups in which the player has to have the highest overall placing to win. Most courses can be done in three laps. Course outlines are marked out by impassable barriers and feature a variety of bends, ranging from sharp hairpins to wide curves which players can drift around. Numerous obstacles appear on the tracks, ranging from generic obstacles to those themed after the Mario games. For example, the Bowser's Castle tracks feature Thwomps and sometimes Fire Bars or Lava Bubbles; beach courses may feature crabs and/or Cheep Cheeps; and the Mario Circuit tracks, depending on the game, may incorporate anything from pipe barriers to franchise-staple enemies like Piranha Plants and Chain Chomps. Another common type of obstacle is off-road sections which slow down the karts, such as shallow water or mud bogs.
In the first Mega Man game, Mega Man may have been designed to fit in with the impotency order, as he takes 10 units of damage from both the Ice Slasher and Thunder Beam. Mega Man takes far less damage from these weapons in the PSP remake, Mega Man Powered Up, as well as other games those weapons appear, like Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters.
When Link goes back to the castle, she expends all of her power, even losing her physical form, in order to save a dying Midna. She regains her body later only to become possessed by Ganondorf, but his influence is purged from her body by Midna with the power of the Fused Shadows. Ganondorf makes another attempt on Zelda's life soon after, but she is protected by the Light Spirits of Hyrule, who grant her the magical Light Arrows so she can assist Link in part of his final battle. With the battle won and Midna revived, Zelda and Link bid her goodbye at the Mirror of Twilight.
The Crystal-theme can be said to be the overarching theme of the series, as a traditional Final Fantasy plot involves an antagonistic force trying to make use of the Crystals' power with the player power in opposition, sometimes chosen to wield the Crystal's power to enact their will as the Warriors of Light. Some games subvert this theme, such as Final Fantasy XII—where the Crystals are called nethicite—and the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy series with its various types of Crystal, showing that the power of the Crystals is not necessarily something that mankind should pursue despite its might.
Gameplay systems were originally based on those seen in RPGs released at the time the series was developed, though many systems which would become series staples were designed by Hiroyuki Ito. Ito developed systems, such as the Active Time Battle system inspired by Formula One racing (the concept of different character types being able to "overtake" each other). Ito refined the job system in Final Fantasy V to become the system used frequently throughout the series, and designed the Gambits system for Final Fantasy XII. Other systems, such as the Materia system in Final Fantasy VII, were designed as a group effort, and was designed so the combat changed depending on how the Materia was used, as opposed to characters having innate skills. Toshiro Tsuchida would design systems for other games, such as the removal of Active Time Battle in Final Fantasy X to replace with conditional turn-based battle, and later designed the Command Synergy Battle system for Final Fantasy XIII to make battles appear as visually impressive as in the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. The MMO gameplay systems have been drastically different, but mostly drawn inspiration from a mix of the Final Fantasy games and from other games in the genre.
Rockman can transform into Jet Rockman with the Rush Adaptor equipped. By holding down the jump button, air flight is possile with a jet injection, although for a short period of time. It can be checked by looking at the flight time gauge. The flight time is short when compared with the Rush Jet, but as it uses solar energy, it is possible to fly any number of times.
According to GamesRadar, the Mega Man games were the first to feature a non-linear "level select" option. This was a stark contrast to both linear games (like Super Mario Bros.) and open world games (like The Legend of Zelda and Metroid). GamesRadar credits the "level select" feature of Mega Man as the basis for the non-linear mission structure found in most open-world, multi-mission, sidequest-heavy games, including modern games like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. In Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist tenth episode "Raging Demon", Ryu and Ken were seen playing Mega Man 2 from a gift from Ken's father.
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As Mega Man defeats each of the Robot Masters, he finds capsules of the strange energy Dr. Wily took from the island. When he returns to the lab, he gives the samples to Dr. Light for study, but the robot he found earlier breaks free and heads out to the desert. Mega Man goes after him and briefly fights him, but realizes that his opponent is holding back. Before he can consider it further, the robot flees and Proto Man appears, telling him that Wily's new headquarters is up ahead.
A final adapter functioned as a Hyper Combo in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. Mega Man fuses with three of his helpers; Rush, Eddie, and Beat to become Hyper Mega Man. In this form he grows in size and gains elongated wings and a rocket pack from his back. He gains a massively powered up arm cannon and can fire rockets from his shoulders, boots, torso and back.
In Skyward Sword, Zelda, daughter of Gaepora, lives in Skyloft with her childhood friend Link, where they are both students at the Knight Academy. After playing the role of the goddess at the Wing Ceremony, Link and Zelda go for a flight together, when suddenly a twister pulls Zelda and her Loftwing below the clouds. This phenomenon is later revealed to have been caused by Ghirahim, who needs Zelda's soul to resurrect Demise, his master. Upon Zelda's arrival on the Surface, however, she is rescued by Impa before the Demon Lord can capture her. Link then begins to look for Zelda and eventually finds her in the Earth Spring, but Impa impedes him from reaching the young girl, and instead urges Zelda to continue praying at each goddess statue to finish purifying her body.
When transitioning to the 32bit era, Square began to develop games in 3D. A tech demo in 1995 using Final Fantasy VI characters, Final Fantasy VI: The Interactive CG Game, showed the kind of technology they were using. Square opted to develop on the PlayStation, as opposed to the Nintendo 64 as originally intended, due to its use of disc storage instead of the more limited cartridges, and the game still required three discs of storage. Final Fantasy VII was the most expensive game at the time to develop, costing $145 million, though $100 million was spent on marketing. It used pre-rendered backgrounds and character models instead of 2D sprites, in addition to introducing full-motion video sequences. Character models used on the field and those in battle differed, with blocky and less detailed models used on the field. When developing Final Fantasy VIII, Square Enix opted to use a more photo-realistic style, and there was no longer a distinction between field and battle models. The game used more FMVs, and required four discs of storage. Final Fantasy IX was similar, and though its art style was not one of a photorealistic game, it did allow for greater detail than seen previously in the series.
Mega Man X was a commercial success. The SNES version has sold 1.16 million copies worldwide to date, making it the 41st best-selling Capcom game of all time. IGN's Jeremy Dunham speculated that the game's more mature storyline and its inclusion of numerous gameplay extensions over the original Mega Man series helped create a "unique cadre of fans".. A spin-off series, Mega Man Zero, began in 2002 on the Game Boy Advance handheld as a result of the immense popularity of the character Zero.
In 2009, Final Fantasy XIII was released in Japan, and in North America and Europe the following year, for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is the flagship installment of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy series and became the first mainline game to spawn two direct sequels (XIII-2 and Lightning Returns). It was also the first game released in Chinese & High Definition along with being released on two consoles at once. Final Fantasy XIV, a MMORPG, was released worldwide on Microsoft Windows in 2010, but it received heavy criticism when it was launched, prompting Square Enix to rerelease the game as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, this time to the PlayStation 3 as well, in 2013. Final Fantasy XV is an action role-playing game that was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016. Originally a XIII spin-off titled Versus XIII, XV uses the mythos of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, although in many other respects the game stands on its own and has since been distanced from the series by its developers.
None of the Robot Master weapons from Mega Man 5, Mega Man 10, Mega Man & Bass, or Mega Man V are included in Mega Man's arsenal, even though there is at least one weapon used from every other Mega Man game from 1-9, although the Black Hole Bomb from Mega Man 9 appears briefly during his Final Smash. Beat from Mega Man 5 also appears as a custom up special move.
In Twilight Princess, Zelda was the young matriarch of Hyrule until its invasion by Zant, the Twilight King, to whom she surrendered in order to prevent the deaths of herself and her people. Afterward, she is imprisoned inside a tower in Hyrule Castle. It is revealed that Zelda is unaffected by the veil of Twilight Zant casts upon Hyrule and does not become a spirit like all the other inhabitants of the kingdom. As the bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom, Zelda may have been protected by its power.
According to the in-game backstories, the world of Hyrule was created by the three golden goddesses: Din, Farore, and Nayru. Before departing, the goddesses left a sacred artifact called the Triforce, which could grant powers to the user. It physically manifests itself as three golden triangles in which each embodies one of the goddesses' virtues: Power, Courage, and Wisdom. However, because the Triforce has no will of its own and it could not judge between good and evil, it would grant any wish indiscriminately. Because of this, it was placed within an alternate world called the "Sacred Realm" or the "Golden Land" until one worthy of its power and has balanced virtues of Power, Wisdom, and Courage in their heart could obtain it, in its entirety. If a person is not of a balanced heart, the triforce part that the user mostly believes in will stay with that person and the remainder will seek out others. In order to master and control the triforce as a whole, the user must get the other parts found in other individuals and bring them together to reunite them. The Sacred Realm can itself be affected by the heart of those who enters it: those who are pure will make it a paradise, while those who are evil will transform it into a dark realm.