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Ciel2

Ciel and the Cyber-elves from Mega Man Zero.

Cyber-elves (サイバーエルフ Saibāerufu?, romanized Cyber Elf in Japan) are a unique feature of the Mega Man Zero series of video games for the Game Boy Advance. Each Cyber-elf is a sentient computer program created with pure energy and made in a physical image of an elf, and notwithstanding some highly advanced exceptions works by fusing with Zero to enhance his abilities or provide temporary benefits (such as healing his life gauge, providing cover fire or raising his Rank to A). As Cyber-elves get stronger, they become more human in appearance, while looking like small blobs while weak.

Characteristics

Cyber-elves are self-aware, which means they are able to think, feel and communicate. However, Cyber-elves are better known for their ability to support a Reploid in combat with their special abilities. There are different types of Cyber-elves and most of them can grow and evolve by feeding them Energy Crystals. As Cyber-elves evolve, their abilities are also enhanced, and some of them can only be used after evolving. However, many Cyber-elves can only be used once since their energy is depleted upon activating their ability. Since their bodies are made of energy, this results in the death of those Cyber-elves, who disappear and cannot be revived, making the ethics in their use questionable. In the games, this also penalizes the player's mission score upon clearing stages.

The Cyber-elves function by interacting with Cyberspace, a parallel world where everything in the "real" world (referred to as "substance world") exists in the form of a program. A Cyber-elf manifests its power by altering the program of Cyberspace, causing changes to the substance world. It is through this process that Cyber-elves can accomplish feats such as increasing a Reploid's power, repairing damage, or even environmental changes such as the removal of local hazards or the transformation of certain Mechaniloids.[1]

Although Cyber-elves vary greatly in appearance, they are generally identified by a simple pair of wings. Due to their small size, they are depicted in the games as tiny balls of light. Also, since they are living data, Cyber-elves can be transferred and downloaded through devices such as Trans Servers.

In the Mega Man Zero series, Cyber-elves are generally unknown to humans since they are only visible to Reploids,[2] with the human Ciel being an exception due to her innate ability to interact with them. In the Mega Man ZX series, however, humans (who receive bionic bodies at a certain age) are able to see Cyber-elves, although most people remain unaware of their existence.

Cyber-elf Types

Most Cyber-elves have one of the following main types

  • Animal Elf: As the name indicates, these Cyber-elves are designed after animals like birds and monkeys. These provide direct combat support; they can enhance a Reploid's ability or even join the Reploid in battle.
  • Nurse Elf: True to their namesake, Nurse elves restore and amplify the user's life and energy. They may also become Sub-Tanks.
  • Hacker Elf: Hacker Cyber-elves tend to have less mechanical and more eccentric forms. Specialized in hacking, these Cyber-elves are capable of feats such as rewriting map and enemy data, making missions easier to complete. Mega Man Zero 2 saw the addition of the level-types, Hacker elves which will give the player an A rank in one mission, as well as "magic-types" which display more drastic changes in their abilities over the course of their evolution.

Aside from the main types, the following subgroups are introduced in Mega Man Zero 3:

  • Fusion Elves: Fusion Elves are how the original Cyber-elves were categorized: their effects are permanent, but they disappear after being used. They are called "Fusion Elves" since they are absorbed into the Reploid's body, becoming one with their user.
  • Satellite Elves: In contrast to the Fusion Elves, Satellite Elves follow and circle the user, providing backup. They can activate their abilities without dying, and they do not penalize the mission score. However, the amount of Satellite Elves that can be equipped is limited by the amount of Satellite slots available (Zero has two slots). In Cyberspace, their abilities are activated automatically.
  • Scrap Elf: Failed experiments from the Elf Wars.
  • Revamped Elf: An entirely new type of Cyber-Elf is introduced in Mega Man Zero 4; although it is the only Cyber-elf the player can obtain, this unique elf can emulate the effects of all Animal, Nurse and Hacker elves.

History

Elf Wars

Cyber-elves are known to predate the Elf Wars, at least one century before the events ot the Mega Man Zero series. One of the most notable uses of a Cyber-elf is X's employment of the Mother Elf's ability to cure the Mavericks infected by the Sigma Virus. However, the later misuse of the Cyber-elves would mark the Elf Wars; In particular, the use of the gigantic Dark Elf and its child like copies, the Baby Elves, intensified the violence. They were used by Dr. Weil to not only amplify the abilities of every Reploid, but to place them under his direct control, which turns them into Mavericks and force them to fight each other in a brutal series of battles. The Dark Elf herself was also intended to be used in Dr. Weil's Project Elpizo, a plan to combine the Dark Elf's power with Omega to control every Reploid on Earth. Dr. Weil's ambition was stopped by X and Zero, who worked together to capture the Dark Elf, defeat Omega and delete the Baby Elves.

The use of Cyber Elves, with the Dark Elf in particular, ended the War in four years but at the cost of wiping out approximately 90% of all Reploids and 60% of all humans. One century after the Elf Wars, X, who had become the leader of Neo Arcadia, would turn into a Cyber-elf himself upon sacrificing his own body to keep the Dark Elf sealed away in Yggdrassil. In the process, his own soul was split into five Cyber-elves; one retained X's consciousness while the other four were used to create the Four Guardians.[3] X was then replaced by Copy X to cover up his disappearance.

Mega Man Zero Series

Years later, Zero's awakening is made possible by the Cyber-elf Passy, who sacrificed herself to restore the legendary Reploid in the Forgotten Laboratory. After saving Ciel, Zero fights to protect the Resistance from Neo Arcadia, which has been acting on orders from Copy X to destroy Reploids due to a serious energy shortage. With support from the original X, who does his best to help his friend even as a Cyber-elf, Zero is successful in defeating Copy X.

One year later, the Resistance has been joined by Elpizo, who gives Ciel one Baby Elf stolen from Neo Arcadia's vault for study. With Zero's assistance, the Resistance succeeds in stealing a second Baby Elf from the ruins in the Forest of Dysis. Named Crea and Prea by Alouette, the two Baby Elves are later retaken by Elpizo to assist the release of the Dark Elf after the disaster of Operation Righteous Strike. Although X tries to help Zero stop Elpizo, the ex-Resistance member manages to breach Yggdrassil and destroy the seal. Elpizo then uses the Dark Elf's power to fight Zero, but he is defeated after a heated battle. However, the Dark Elf appears to feel compassion for Elpizo as he acknowledges his misdeeds and saves his life by transforming him into a Cyber-elf before departing.

After a few months, the Dark Elf is recaptured by Dr. Weil, who returned from exile with Omega to repeat what he had attempted in the Elf Wars. After manipulating a revived Copy X to return to Neo Arcadia, Dr. Weil manages to combine the Dark Elf with Omega as Crea and Prea hinder Zero's efforts. However, the original X is able to protect the Resistance Base from Dr. Weil's control, allowing Zero (who is immune to the effect) to track down Omega and defeat him once and for all. X vanishes soon after Omega's destruction, having spent all of his remaining energy. The Mother Elf, who was finally freed from Dr. Weil's curse in the final battle, returns Zero to the Resistance Base and leaves for parts unknown.

Aside from the Cyber-elf that Zero receives from Alouette, the last game of the series also features an ancient research lab containing failed experiments from the war such as the scrap elves.

Mega Man ZX Series

The first sight of a Cyber-elf occurs when Girouette dies at the hands of Serpent, the president of Slither Inc.. As Girouette leaves Biometal Model Z behind for the protagonist (either Vent or Aile), his body vanishes as he becomes a Cyber-elf and drifts away. However, the presence of Cyber-elves is only confirmed when it is possible through the use of technology to artificially transform humans into Cyber-elves, it is discovered that Serpent harvested Cyber-elves for energy in a power plant, and that Cyber-elves with data on fear are the key to awakening Model W. Upon rescuing innocents held captive by one of Serpent's Pseudoroids, one of them explains that the Mavericks were stealing their memories and terrorizing them before turning them into Cyber-elves.

During the final confrontation, Serpent uses a large quantity of Cyber-elves gathered in the head office of Slither Inc. to feed the Model W core, and ultimately merges with it to transform into a mechanical monstrosity. When Serpent is finally defeated and the Biometals rescue the protagonist from the fallout, Girouette appears as a Cyber-elf for a final conversation.

There are also Cyber-elves in the background of Area E-5, which are used to generate power, and disappear after the defeat of Hivolt the Raptoroid. Although Cyber-elves themselves are not actually seen years later, the efforts to awaken Model W continue as the antagonists feed the fragments with their terrified victims, ultimately leading to the creation of Ouroboros planned by Master Albert.

Other Appearances

SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom

Zero appears in his design from the Zero series as a playable character, and his moves include the ability to summon a few Cyber-elves to attack the opponent; although these Cyber-elves are unnamed, their designs are all based on elves from the first game.

List of Cyber-elves

Known Animal elves:

  • Mega Man Zero - Shelter, Turbo, Jettah, Ribbid, Kelon, Jackson
  • Mega Man Zero, Zero 2 - Buffer, Fubuffa, Gibber, Atti, Birsky, Birtack, Birdian, Birtross, Birfly, Birrair, Birwin, Biraero, Bircarry, Birhang, Birflow, Birhelp, Beesus, Beedie, Beenet, Beehoney, Beefive, Beevoize, Beesult, Beeshot, Beestin, Beebite, Beehitt, Beefire, Beelanch, Beellet, Sticker, Stickon, Stickle, Sticken, Stickah, Stickoo, Stickie, Stickoh, Bomga, Bomgu, Bompa, Bompu, Bomgrow, Bomserow, Bomphew, Bomblow
  • Mega Man Zero 2 - Putick
  • Mega Man Zero 3 - Putite, Balette, Kwappa, Gambul, Maya, Biraid, Birleaf, Beetack, Beenipe, Pitapah, Pitapuh, Archim, Archil

Known Hacker elves:

  • Mega Man Zero - Totten, Itecle, Itemon, Itettle, Itepon, Iteron, Itemeter, Iteroth, Itemass, Iterex
  • Mega Man Zero, Zero 2 - Eenite, Kenite, Menite, Lanite, Hafmargo, Hafmarda, Hafmardo, Hafmarmn, Stoccue, Stocchu, Stoctto, Stocpie, Stocpoh, Stoccum, Stockel, Stocttus, Stoctem, Stocpuss, Stocpell, M-orell, M-oria, M-orque, M-orekka, M-orolli, M-orapp, M-orina, M-orossa, M-oreno, Clocka, Clocta, Cloctch, Clocpah, Clocpooh, Clockle, Clocsule, Cloctell, Clocpull
  • Mega Man Zero 2 - Dable, Acool, Ashiro, Aterner, Anurray
  • Mega Man Zero 3 - Byse, Dylphina, Kynite, Surnite, Tenite, Hanmarga, Hanmarji, Hanmarbo, Stopalla, Stopina, Stopule, Stopeta, Stoposa, Metoras, Metorika, Metorph, Metella, Meterom, Clokkle, Aina, Acooi, Achoon, Anater, Awarne, Cottus, Malthas, Lizetus, Shuthas, Ilethas, Enethas, Busras, Sabras, Roderas, Boomeras

Known Nurse elves:

  • Mega Man Zero - Nuppie, Mippie, Reppie, Lippie
  • Mega Man Zero, Zero 2 - Winkie, Grandie, Arif, Birif, Shirif, Derif, Furif, Gurif, Harif, Irif, Jirif, Eepi, Feepi, Maapi, Yuupi, Ririfu, Murifu, Nurifu, Orifu, Pirifu, Erifu, Kerifu, Motolar, Tielar, Muelar, Rohealar, Ishilar, Tomilar, Mikilar, Remilar
  • Mega Man Zero 2 - Hapitan, Nutan, Lubtan, Nebitan, Estan, Peatan, Morick, Keick, Coswick, Sornack, Emick, Satick, Parick, Mitick, Arnue, Charnue, Culoppe, Miloppe, Meloppe, Reloppe
  • Mega Man Zero 3 - Martina, Milvy, Sylphy, Elphy, Rilphy, Curiph, Luriph, Suriph, Tiriph, Yuriph, Beriph, Wiliph, Cyliph, Artan, Zictan, Snoq, Mathiq, Miyaq, Ajiq, Dobuq, Mulaq, Mott, Dott, Cloppe, Sloppe

Notable Cyber-elves

Mmzscene10

Passy

The Mega Man Zero series also features a number of Cyber-elves that cannot be used by Zero (i.e. the player). The majority serve only to further the plot of the game and as such serve no other real purpose. Two of these Cyber-elves only appear in an e-Reader Modified Game.

  • Passy: This Cyber-elf only appeared in the introduction to Mega Man Zero and was the one that resurrected Zero. In doing so, she apparently healed him of all his injuries in the process, and she perishes. Apparently, she has known Ciel for a long time, and even bears a passing resemblance to her.
  • X: X appears in the first three installments as a Cyber-elf, and provides an integral link to the storyline of the Mega Man X series, as well as helping Zero when he can (he's the one that gives Zero the Z-Saber in the first game.)
  • Mother Elf: The Mother Elf / Dark Elf is an important part of both the second and third games. She was used in the Elf Wars against Mavericks but her power was eventually abused by the evil Dr. Weil.
  • Baby Elf: Crea and Prea are the daughters of the Mother Elf. They are also known as the Baby Elves.
  • e-Reader Cyber-elves: With the Rockman Zero 3 Modification Cards, (available for purchase in Japan only, and later included in Mega Man Zero Collection) it's possible to modify Mega Man Zero 3 with an e-Reader to make two Cyber-elves appear in the Resistance Base, one on the roof and the other near the Command Room. They play no active role in the game and neither are named.
  • New Cyber-elf: An entirely new type of Cyber-elf was introduced in Mega Man Zero 4. She is the only one obtainable in the game, but she can emulate the effects of all other Cyber-elves, granting the player multiple benefits which are further improved if fed enough E-Crystals to evolve up to seven times. This Cyber-elf does not perish when using her abilities, but using abilities beyond her maximum limit penalizes the mission score.

Gallery

Trivia

  • When asked in an interview if there were any characters tough to design, official artist Toru Nakayama mentioned the Cyber-elves. Since they are depicted as balls of light in the games and represented by symbols such as hearts in subscreens, Ryota Ito believes that no one in the staff had a clear idea of what Cyber-elves were supposed to look like. Nakayama admitted that finishing the first drawing was quite daunting, and that the Hacker elves were the hardest ones to imagine.[4]
  • It was revealed in the same interview that with the exception of Hacker, the names of the main Cyber-elf types were only decided late in development. Nurse types were originally called "Life" types, but the name was changed since the designs submitted looked like nurses.
  • It was once mentioned in the Rockman Zero Collection Site that Cyber-elves originated from the research on Sigma Virus activity in a Reploid's thought program. This led to the discovery that the virus had an effect of "volition", and this volition became known as a Cyber-elf. From then on, any volition capable of influencing something in a similar manner (including the Sigma Virus itself) was also designated as a Cyber-elf, and the study eventually reached the level where it became possible to strengthen Reploids through use of Cyber-elves. This information was since removed from the site.
  • Possible candidates for these e-Reader Cyber-elves are Hidden Phantom and Elpizo, as their cards are the ones that make these Cyber-elves appear. The one outside the Command Room is popularly assumed by fans to be Elpizo, whilst the one on the roof is popularly assumed to be Phantom, as he appears inside the Cyberspace. There is also the possibility that these Elves are other characters or merely generic Reploids that have previously fallen in battle.
  • At one point, the Cyber-elf from Mega Man Zero 4 tells Zero that Alouette is teaching it to speak. This Cyber-elf appears to reflect human growth as it evolves from a baby to an adult form.
  • Interestingly, in Mega Man Legends 2, during Mega Man Trigger's memories of The Master, The Master dies and turns into something that strangely resembles a Cyber-Elf.
  • Although Cyber-elves are supposed to be very small, they are shown to grow quite large in SVC Chaos. In particular, Turbo/Jettah and Hafmargo/Hafmarda/Hafmardo/Hafmarmn become larger than Zero himself.

See also

References

  1. Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero - Telos
  2. Rockman Zero Collection Site
  3. Rockman Zero Collection Site
  4. Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works - Page 171

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