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Blaster Master Zero is something I’d already recommend to just about anyone with a deep-seated love of games. It strives to capture the feel of NES-era titles and does so well, though one bit was notably missing: the knuckle-whitening difficulty. Thankfully Inti Creates has decided to remedy that with a new, free update to the game. Check out the trailer, and read on for all the details!

With its Version 1.2 update, BMZ will receive a “Destroyer Mode”. To highlight the change, Jason and SOPHIA III will also get a new color palette. Outside of the difficulty veering towards the easier side of things, my other main complaint with the core game was that you had a great arsenal of weapons but no real incentive to use them once you were fully upgraded. In Destroyer Mode enemies will be immune to certain Gun Levels, meaning you’ll need to cycle through your loadout to take on challenges appropriately.

It’ll also be much more difficult to maintain your Gun Level this time around. The Energy Guard item was a one hit buffer that kept your Level from going down as it normally would, but in Destroyer Mode that won’t be saving you anymore. Items in the overworld will also be downgraded, meaning you’ll have less upgrades and pick ups to rely on overall. Likewise, Life Ups will no longer increase your health meter, making survival even more daunting. Lastly, enemies destroyed during SOPHIA segments will burst into bullets that head towards you, meaning there may be times where it’s smarter not to kill an enemy, or at least demand a little more thought for how and when you do so.

Those aren’t the only changes coming to Version 1.2, though. For those that aren’t concerned with difficulty but still wanting a new way to play, there’s some electrifying news that’ll shoot right through to your heart. EX Character mode is adding new characters to play as through the entire game, and for a limited time they’ll be absolutely free!

First up is the Azure Striker himself, Gunvolt. GV will bring his Flashfield and Prevasion skills from his home series alongside some of his other septimal abilities. We’d already caught a glimpse of him before, but knowing he’ll be added in tomorrow (May 4th) is enough to get excited all over again. If you miss out on grabbing Azure Striker Gunvolt’s main character during the first two weeks of availability, he’ll also be downloadable for $1.99 after that time.

Starting June 1st, Gal*Gun’s Ekoro will make her own BMZ debut. Anyone who played Mighty Gunvolt may remember her from there as well, but first timers will be ready to go with her dual wielded “Desert Angel” guns and other angelic weaponry. Just like GV she’ll be free for a two week period before shifting to a $1.99 price point. More characters will follow these two in the future, and all of them will have the same “free for two weeks” plan in place!

Players on the Switch can download this update today, while 3DS users will be able to do so on May 4th. Also on the 4th will be the Gunvolt EX Character for both platforms, as well as a Demo Version of the game. This will allow players access to two of the game’s areas. Anyone curious about the game should definitely give it a try, and look forward to more updates on Blaster Master Zero.

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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.