Toru Nakayama interview, Megaman Zero/ZX's character designer


Nakayama: For example. The lower half of the Four Heavenly Kings is the same between them, and their weapons being compatible with Zero is a remnant of having planned a Rockman weapon get system (so that if was picked up in a later version of the planning it’d be easier to switch over to that plan). It wasn’t implemented in the final games, though.

Ucchy: Wow! True! Oh yes. When the plastic model of “Zero” was released, I remember someone saying “let’s mod it and use it to make the Four Heavenly Kings”. I see! I think I’d never heard about it before, no! What a discovery!

Nakayama: The Rockman 11 weapon change didn’t only change the colors but part of the head and body also changed; I did think it was cool when I saw it and, at the same time, secretly think “Oh yes. I’m glad I designed the Four Heavenly Kings as I did.”.

Nakayama: In the first stages of (Zero 1) making, we were making everything from scratch so we didn’t whether Zero would be the only playable character.

Ucchy: Oh, yes?

Nakayama: And so, as an opposite of a swordsman, Ciel was designed to be a wizard-like playable character. Instead of being her attack method, Cyber Elves would’ve been more like “summon program magic”. And so the illustrations prioritized the “pretty” looks.

Ucchy. I see! In the opening of Zero 1, when Ciel yells “Passy”, the Cyber Elf is shown as sparkling within the game screen, and it does feel magic-like, even.