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Solo
St1 solo portrait
Stats
Japanese: ソロ
Soro
Debut: Game: Strider (CPS-1)
Voice Actors: Shûichi Ikeda (PC-Engine)
Hozumi Gôda (Strider 2)
Hideo Watanabe (Namco x Capcom)
Dave Rivas (Strider 2014)
Yuichi Jose (Project X Zone 2)[1]
Profile
Gender: Male
Hair Color: Bald
Eye Color: Unknown (hidden by helmet)
Yellow (Solo ZN-2)
Nationality: Unknown
Affiliation: Grandmaster Meio (hired)
Weapon: Assorted firearms, explosives and other weapons
In-Game Information
Enemy Type: Human
Hit Points: 3 HP (1)
Score: 500 PTS (1),
1000 PTS (2, first form)
10.000 PTS (second form)

Solo (ソロ) is a recurring enemy, appearing in all versions of the first Strider coin-op as well as all its sequels. He also appears in Strider Returns for the Mega Drive and Game Gear, albeit under the name Inferno, "the flame thrower wielding maniac".[2]

A freelance assassin and bounty hunter[3][4], Solo's body is fitted with a reinforced armor that grants him free-flying capabilities and a speed boost that makes him fly at an incredible speed, such that he leaves several after-images as he moves around. His weapon of choice are two: a large cannon-like weapon in his right hand, and a gun in his left. His right hand weapon is a Giant Flamethrower with a built-in missile launcher on top[3]. His later appearances show him with upgraded armors and new weaponry such as the plasma-based "Impact Cannon", the "Laser Rifle", energy rings and concussive proximity mines.

He's a ruthless and dangerous killer, a lonely hunter who only trusts himself and takes great pride over standing alone as the world's "strongest man"[3], unmatched and undefeated in battle. He's considered to be Hiryu's destined rival[5], awaiting the confrontation between his destructive weapons and Hiryu's martial arts mastery in which only one man will survive[3]. In the end, however, Solo is not quite on Hiryu's level of skill or ability, making him invariably pursue Hiryu for a rematch in order to settle the score.

StoryEdit

StriderEdit

Solo1

Solo (CPS-1)

Having placed a large reward over Hiryu's head[3][6] after he has brought down the higher-ups in Kazakh, the Grandmaster personally contracts Solo's services to eliminate him, stating to the bounty hunter that Hiryu must not "leave Eurasia alive". Solo first ambushes Hiryu as he reaches the top of a Siberian plateau housing a secret complex, but is unable to take him out. Later, together with fellow bounty hunters the Kuniang M.A. Team, Solo attacks Hiryu as he's attempting to hijack an airship. Hiryu confronts and quickly defeats them all.

When Hiryu invades the Third Moon, Solo appears once again for a rematch against his rival, but he's once again unable to match Hiryu and faces his final defeat.

Strider 2Edit

Solo str2 sprite1

Solo (ZN-2)

Bounty Hunter Solo is said to be a prototype of the "Superhuman Army" project, whose success led to the mass-production of inferior "Solo-Type" assassins. Solo's services are contracted, likely by Light Sword Cypher, to join the Chinese Mafia's terrorist strike on Neo Hong Kong City. After confirming his target, Solo confronts Hiryu in the rooftops of the city's wealthy district, inside a giant satellite dish. Fighting in a weaker first form, Solo is unable to defeat Hiryu and retreats into a nearby rooftop. Now determined to stop Hiryu's advance, Solo powers-up his armor and weapon to full strength. However, not even this is enough against Hiryu, and he is forced to retreat once again when his armor malfunctions.

Solo returns to greet Hiryu at the entrance port of the rebuilt Third Moon in search of a rematch, now accompanied by a group of "Mass Production Solo" types. Even with the help of the weaker gravity in the area, Solo and his escort are no match to Hiryu and meet their ultimate end.

Strider (2014)Edit

NewStrider solo model

Solo

An unmatched bounty hunter, Solo prefers to work alone and believes only in two things: money and the weapons he holds in his hands. As a man who only trusts himself, his existence can be said to be a "shadow" of the Special-A Class Strider Hiryu, who carries out all his assigned missions to their end[7]. Though his fees are not cheap, once he's paid Solo will carry out any contract no matter how dirty or dangerous[8]. He has a reputation for always fulfilling a contract and for having never experienced a defeat in his career.[8]

Before Hiryu's infiltration in Kazakh City, Solo pursued and killed the bloodthirsty Strider Ouga as he was on a mission onboard the Flying Battleship Balrog[9]. Solo is first seen in a meeting with General Mikiel as they discuss Hiryu's recent intrusion in the city and the defeat of Pei Pooh. While Mikiel remains confident in the Winds' victory, Solo considers that not even together they have a chance. At Mikiel's suggestion he may be worried they "steal his prize", Solo simply responds that he "awaits the inevitable", then flies away. Shortly afterwards, he's contacted by Mikiel again. Grandmaster Meio has communicated him his wishes to contract Solo, at which he remarks that he should have done so earlier, as "prices have gone up". Mikiel states money is no problem as long as Hiryu is exterminated, and sends Solo the contract, which is promptly signed.

Directed to the Military Ring, Solo ambushes Hiryu on the top of the Military Fortress and engages him in battle. Solo unleashes his many weapons and attacks at Hiryu, taking ocassional pauses to mock his performance, as he "expected better", or to laugh maniacally. In the end, however, Solo is unable to put Hiryu down and is eventually defeated, going down in flames as his exo-skeleton breaks apart.

Solo ZN-2Edit

NewStrider solozn2 model

Solo ZN-2

This, however, was not the end for him. Through the technical prowess of Meio's Army, the heavily damaged Solo was brought back to life with even more upgrades and weapons than ever, giving even more power to the already powerful bounty hunter[10] which now goes by the name Solo ZN-2. This, however, didn't came without a cost, as the forceful ressurection and upgrade process, coupled with the mental anguish he suffered after having his pride wounded by "defeat", took a heavy toll on Solo's mind[10]. Mentally unstable and unhinged, Solo now lives as a demon of revenge whose sole purpose is to finish off Hiryu.[10]

Catching up with Hiryu in the Balrog's Gravitron Chamber, Solo admits he underestimated him, states this time Hiryu will be killed and demands he fight with all his might. Both warriors engage for the last time in battle, during which Solo's reckless use of explosives put the Gravitron and the Balrog in critical condition. In the end Hiryu claims victory, sending a damaged Solo spiraling out of control into the Gravitron, bringing the whole battleship down with him.

Skills and AbilitiesEdit

Besides his skills as a bounty hunter, Solo relies mainly in his armor and weaponry. His armor provides not only protection, but high-speed flight[11]. Equipped with powerful jet thrusts on his back, he's capable of moving faster than the eye can see, leaving an after-image effect as he soars through the skies. Solo's primary strategy during combat is to remain airborne, outside the enemy's range, and attack with his weapons. Whenever he's close to be hit while airborne, he uses his jet thrusts to instantly fly out of range[12]. Though certain techniques or actions force him to land or remain still, leaving him vulnerable to a counter-attack.

AttacksEdit

Solo relies mostly on his main weapons, as well as weaponry built into his armor. He usually wields a large-caliber weapon in his right hand and a smaller side-arm in his left, and compliments them with other weapons built as part of his armor.

For more information on the many weapons he's wielded, see Solo's weaponry.

First Armor

Str solo ready

Solo's First Armor

Called a Fighting Suit (ファイティングスーツ)[3], Solo's original armor is a sturdy mechanical suit with a set of jet thrusters on its back which allows both sustained flight and the ability to fly away at high speed when attacked. Solo wields two weapons in hand, his main weapon being a large, long-barreled cannon known as the Giant Flamethrower, described as a flamethrower with a mounted missile launcher on top. His secondary weapon is a simpler Handgun which shoots 3-bullets spread shots.
  • Laser Beam: Solo descends to the ground and charges up his main weapon, shooting a thin laser beam forward, accompanied by a few fire waves and homing missiles. While one of Solo's strongest techniques, it leaves him vulnerable to a counterattack.[12]
  • Three-Way Shot: Using his handgun, Solo shoots three bullets spread at three different angles (straight, 30° up and 30° down) while in the air. He only aims it in a diagonal angle while hovering above Hiryu, and can shoot several times in quick succession.
  • Homing Missiles: Solo shoots a barrage of homing missiles from within the armor. The missiles home-in on Hiryu, traveling in erratic patterns and making them hard to dodge. Solo does this technique only while airborne and out of reach.

Second Armor

Solo str2 sprite2

Solo's Second Armor, full strength

Solo's second armor is an advanced exo-skeleton which gives him the ability to float and move in the air at high speed. The armor is equipped with several weapons, including the "Halo Wings"[13], shoulder-mounted sharp rings of energy; and a "Missile Pod" built in his left arm, which Solo can expand with a quick gesture of his hand. His primary weapon is the Impact Cannon, a large cannon held in his right hand. The weapon starts in a smaller "weaker form", and increases in size when Solo powers-up to full strength.
  • Three-Way Shot: With a hand gesture, Solo expands his missile pod and aims 3 small missiles spread at three different angles straight ahead, in a similar way to his old handgun. He can shoot this attack straight and up as well as down. This is also the only technique he has available while in his first form.
  • Fast Shot: Solo shoots three small missiles straight ahead from his Impact Cannon. Identical to the attack above, only without the long start-up animation or the angled options.
  • Plasma Blast: Solo charges up for a few seconds and then unleashes a blast of energy straight in front of him at the shout of "Take this". Solo seems to use it exclusively in the Third Moon battle, and only if he and Hiryu stand at around the same height.
  • Halo Wings: Once Solo powers-up, two plasma rings are created over his shoulders. Solo charges up energy until the rings on his shoulders release two floating discs of plasma, which he then commands toward his target. The discs have little homing capability, making them somewhat easy to avoid if seen in advance. It also leaves Solo open to attack while he's charging up.

Third Armor

NewStrider Solo

Solo's Third Armor

Solo's "reborn" armor is a nimble full-body exo-skeleton which, while not as defensive as his previous armors, allows him greater freedom of movement in the sky. The armor is equipped with a large jetpack on the back for high speed flight and a belt of concussive mines worn over his right shoulder, placed above a white, long featherly cape. Solo wields a single weapon this time, a Laser Rifle which while smaller than his previous weapons, packs just as much power. The rifle has an alternative "Laser Net Form", where the front opens up to reveal 4 more laser emitters which not only increases the potency of the laser attacks, but also allows the creation of more complex laser patterns.
  • Laser Cannon: Solo flies to either side of the platform and unleashes a large plasma beam forward. It can be avoided by timing a jump right before it starts.
  • Laser Spike: From either side of the platform, Solo shoots downwards and generates a wave of plasma spikes reaching until the middle of the platform.
  • Laser Net: Flying over the middle of the area, Solo unleashes a laser array in the form of a net, which travels downwards covering the whole platform. It can be avoided completely by ducking right below Solo.
  • Volcano: Solo shoots plasma blast at the platform, which emerge as powerful plasma eruptions. A pentagram of energy in the ground signals from where the attack will come. Solo does several of these in succession.
  • Volcano Spike: A variation of the above done when low on health. Instead of a single plasma eruption, Solo generates an array of plasma spikes that raise from the ground. A glow indicates from where the spikes will rise, and there's often an open space where Hiryu can stand to avoid damage. The final array covers the entire platform, so it can only be avoided with a timely jump, or by interrumpting Solo before he can perform it.
  • Tracking Bombs: Solo releases several proximity mines, which slowly home-in on Hiryu. These bombs can be destroyed with the Cypher.
  • Flying Ram: Solo performs three dive-in attacks, trying to ram Hiryu with his body. Only the latter two dives need to be avoided, as the first goes way too high.
  • Rising Strike: Solo dives down toward Hiryu, and at the last second performs a sharp upwards dive while spinning around.
  • White Barrier: Solo's body is covered by a white aura, which protects him and injures Hiryu on contact.

Solo ZN-2

NewStrider solo zn2

Solo ZN-2's armor

In this damaged form, Solo's exo-skeleton is equipped with an upgraded jetpack with missile launchers and a renewed version of his Giant Flamethrower, this time equipped with mine launchers.
  • Fire Blast: Solo circles the room with his flamethrower, unleashing a stream of fire all around him that reaches the entire room.
  • Mine Toss: Solo releases several mines which stand in place for a while before exploding. They come in different numbers and patterns.
  • Fire Wall: Solo dives downward and strikes the ground, releasing two fire streams traveling through the ground. Then, he shoots several small fireballs in large circular waves, originating from him and expanding all across the room. The waves have usually one free spot to help avoid damage, and the fireballs can be destroyed or reflected by the Cypher.
  • Jet Fire: Solo dashes close to the ground, leaving a trail of fire on the ground which can harm Hiryu.
  • Missile Barrage: Solo does three flying passes back and forth, each time spinning and shooting missiles all around him.
  • Flying Ram: Same as in his first encounter.
  • White Barrier: Same as his first encounter.

Design NotesEdit

Strider: Solo was introduced because Isuke wanted to expand Strider's world by showing characters not related to either Hiryu or the Grandmaster, in much the same way the scene from The Empire Strikes Back in which Darth Vader contracts bounty hunters did[14]. Due to this, its possible his design was inspired by Star Wars character Boba Fett, as both are bounty hunters who employ firearms and wear armor that allow them to fly. His name Solo also may call back to the Star Wars character Han Solo, a space-faring rascal of sorts.

In-story, Solo's name is meant to indicate his belief in being unmatched, as he's alone at the top as the "single strongest man" (唯一最強の男)[3]. In the original artwork notes and early sources, Solo's name is actually written "SOLO" in all-caps rōmaji (roman script).[3][6]

Str2 solo concept early

Solo's initial design

Strider 2: Solo was designed as part of the Superhuman Army, a set of enemies created to represent the game's world view. As such, his initial design had a much more organic nature, showing a notable lack of armor and having some of his weapons, like the Halo Wings, growing out of his own body[13]. While the final armored look made it in the game, some details were lost in the transition, most notably the "Tail Whip", a long whip-like appendage coming out from the back of his head which he'd have used in close distance attacks. Even thought these details are missing in the in-game sprite, they do show up in official art.[13]

Strider (2014): Solo was initially shown in a batch of screenshots previous to the 2013 New York Comic-Con and briefly featured in the trailer from the convention itself, before being officially revealed later in December[15]. As with most of the returning enemies, Solo's design concept was "rebuild": creating a new design by taking over elements from the past and fusing them with new elements[16]. In Solo's case, most of his old design was kept while introducing minor new details such as the feather-styled cape.[17]

The "ZN-2" from Solo's 2nd form is a reference to the Capcom Arcade board of the same name used in the Strider 2 arcades. Although possibly unintentional, his title "Inferno Revived" may be a nod to his name in Strider Returns. This would make it the only allusion to Returns in the whole game.

Other AppearancesEdit

Game AppearancesEdit

Strider Returns
"Inferno" is one of the Master's warriors. He awaits Strider Hinjo at the end of the Forbidden Forest, in ambush at an abandoned warehouse building. He fails to defeat Hinjo and retreats. He's later faced at the Prison Ship, after the Master sends him to "fulfill his existence". He fights Hinjo right at the starting point on the ship's surface, and is defeated again.

Solo's Mega Drive pattern is simple: he flies toward Hinjo and, once in front of him, shoots a stream of fire straight ahead, then flies away and repeats. He's much more difficult and chaotic in the Game Gear port, moving across the sky and shooting homing missiles everywhere.

Namco x Capcom
Solo appears as a minor non-playable enemy in this strategy RPG crossover game. His design is based in the original Arcade version rather than his Strider 2 self. Being an enemy character, he has a very limited set of techniques: his main attack consist of a missile barrage, while his special technique is his laser beam.

Nxc solo sprite
Much like his official story, Solo is an assassin contracted by Grandmaster Meio with orders to eliminate Hiryu. He's characterized as being an actual robot, with his lines written in a monotone robot speech pattern, and shows a robot-like fixation to his main directive, "Eliminate Hiryu". He's first seen together with Strider Hien and Tong Pooh as the defense force in the Third Moon, and remains mostly a support ally for either of them in following chapters. He's eliminated for good alongside all of Meio's supporters during Chapter 44.

Capcom Quiz: Hatena? no Daibouken
Solo appears in this Game Boy board-themed quiz as the mid-boss in the game's final world, serving as a bodyguard for the main villain, the "Quiz Master". As a boss he has 10 life units, which means the player needs 10 correct answers to win.

Street Fighter × All Capcom
Solo appears as one of the 500+ character cards found in this crossover mobile phone game. He appears in a single card of "SR" (high) rarity.

Project X Zone 2
Solo appears as an enemy unit in this crossover tactical-role playing game. His design is based on his appearance from Strider 2, and includes scrapped elements from his original design such as the "Tail Whip" weapon. Solo serves as a mid-boss rival unit in-game, and as such lacks unique attack animations.

Pxz2 solo sprite
Solo appears in Prologue 3, one of the few surviving followers of Grandmaster Meio Hiryu is hunting down. Keeping with his characterization in Namco x Capcom, Solo acts and speaks in a robot-like, unemotional manner. After an initial battle against Hiryu and Hotsuma, he later appears as a right-hand man assisting both Tong Pooh and Vile Mk-II in their plans, while pursuing a mission to assassinate Hiryu. He dies for good in Chapter 37.

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Keiji Inafune has stated that one of the character from Strider (namely Solo[18]) served as the inspiration/source for the name of Mega Man X character Zero.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Monolith Soft, Bandai-Namco (November 2015, Nintendo 3DS). Project X Zone 2 (Japanese). In-game "Crosspedia" entry: Solo.
  2. Tiertex, U.S. Gold (1993, Mega Drive). Strider Returns: Journey from Darkness (English). Instruction manual, Pg. 6
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Strider Development Staff (March 1989). "Strider Hiryu Characters Original Image Collection". Gamest (30). Pg. 98-99.
  4. Sega (Septmber 1990, Mega Drive). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Instruction manual, Pg. 22
  5. Capcom (October 2006, PlayStation). Gamebook: Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Pg. 22. ISBN 4-86233-076-2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Capcom (February 22, 2014). Strider Hiryu Visual Chronicle (Japanese). Pg. 07
  7. Capcom (2013). "Character: Bounty Hunter Solo". Capcom's official Strider site. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Capcom (February 2014, multi). Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Character Intel #25: Solo
  9. Capcom (February 2014, multi). Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Story Intel #15: Strider Ouga
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Capcom (February 2014, multi). Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Character Intel #34: Solo ZN-2
  11. Capcom (October 2006, PlayStation). Gamebook: Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Pg. 13. ISBN 4-86233-076-2.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Capcom (24 Oct 2006, PlayStation). Gamebook: Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Pg. 24. ISBN 4-86233-076-2.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Capcom (22 Feb 2014). Strider Hiryu Visual Chronicle (Japanese). Pg. 34
  14. Scion; Dire 51 (24 April 2010). "Interview with Kouichi "Isuke" Yotsui". LSCM 4.0. Translated by Gaijin Punch. Accessed June 14, 2011.
  15. Spencer (December 13, 2013). "Strider's Bounty Hunter Rival Solo Returns As A Boss" (English). siliconera.com. Accessed December 14, 2015
  16. Tani, Rio (February 21, 2014). "With love for the original, the team has revived the newborn "Strider Hiryu" - Mr. Andrew Szymanski interview" (Japanese). gamespark.jp. Accessed December 14, 2015
  17. Yamoto, Shinichi (February 21, 2014). "The aim is a new Hiryu, the only one Hiryu - "Strider Hiryu" producer Andrew Szymanski speaks of the 15-years long revival" (Japanese). 4gamer.com. Accessed December 14, 2015
  18. Gyroman Black (Nov 20, 2007). "Quicky Report (postcript planned)" (Japanese). Accessed March 24, 2014.
  19. Funatsu, Minoru (November 18, 2007). "Capcom, Holding of the Rockman 20th Anniversary Event. Keiji Inafune, New "Rockman" in Production" (Japanese). GameWatch. Accessed December 14, 2015.

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