Solo's entire 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. While all his armors are different, they all share a distinctive feature: a yellow visor covering Solo's face. His only known physical feature is his bald head, visible in the first game (when killed) and in the 2014 game (in his ZN-2 form).
Solo usually carries a number of weapons in battle, usually wielding a large-caliber gun in his right hand, and a smaller side arm in his left. His armor also hides a number of weaponry itself, including a set of energy rings known as the "Halo Wings" and concussive Proximity Mines.
A hired assassin and bounty hunter, Solo is a ruthless and dangerous killer. Known as the "lone wolf", he's a lonely hunter who only trusts himself and takes great pride over being unmatched and undefeated in battle. Solo has a simple philosophy in that he only trusts two things in the world: money and the weapons held in his hands. Unlike most other enemies of Hiryu, Solo displays no specific loyalty or reverence to Grandmaster Meio, being simply hired to do a job.
Solo is considered to be Hiryu's destined rival, but in the end is not quite on Hiryu's level of skill or ability. He doesn't take defeat against him well, and has always returned to have a rematch against him to settle the score.
Solo was introduced because Isuke wanted to expand the Strider world by showing characters not related to either Hiryu or the Grandmaster, in much the same way the scene in The Empire Strikes Back in which Darth Vader contracts bounty hunters did. 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.
Grandmaster Meio contracts Solo's services to eliminate Strider Hiryu as he's traveling Siberia's wilderness, having offered a large bounty for him. Solo first ambushes Hiryu as he was making his way through a Siberian plateau, but is unable to take him out. Later, together with fellow bounty hunters Tong Pooh and her sisters, 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, but he's once again unable to match Hiryu and faces total defeat.
Solo returns as the first succesful prototype of the "Superhuman Army" project, initiated by the shadow group ruling the world in Meio's behalf to create a mechanical and genetically-enhanced army. Solo's success led into the mass-production of "Solo-Type" drone assassins, also called "Dolls". Solo was hired to join the Chinese Mafia's terrorist strike on Neo Hong Kong City, and first confronts Hiryu in the rooftops of the wealthy district, fighting in a weaker first form. Unable to defeat Hiryu, Solo retreats into a nearby rooftop and powers-up his armor's energy halos 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" drones. 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.
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. Though his fees are not cheap, once he's paid Solo will carry out any contract no matter how dirty or dangerous. He has a reputation for always fulfilling a contract and for having never experienced a defeat in his career.
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. 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 his quest 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.
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 who now went 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. Mentally unstable and unhinged, Solo now lives as a demon of revenge whose sole purpose is to finish off Hiryu. 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, with Hiryu claiming the final victory as Solo spirals out of control into the Gravitron, bringing the whole battleship down with him.
Powers and Abilities Edit
Besides his skills as a bounty hunter, Solo relies mainly on his armor and weaponry. His armor provides not only protection, but high-speed flight. 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 being hit while airborne, he uses his jet thrusts to instantly fly out of range. Though certain techniques or actions force him to land or remain still, leaving him vulnerable to a counter-attack.
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. Some of his more important weapons include:
- Giant Flamethrower: His main weapon in the original game. A large-caliber gun with a mounted missile launcher, it is capable of shooting laser beams, fire and missiles at the enemy.
- Impact Cannon: His main weapon in Strider 2. A lance-like plasma weapon which shooots focused blasts of plasma.
- Halo Wings: A secondary weaapon in Strider 2. A set of energy rings Solo unleashes from his shoulders and directs at the target.
- Plasma Rifle: His main weapon in the 2014 Strider. A small, yet extremely powerful plasma gun capable of producing several different laser patterns and attacks.
Other appearances Edit
Solo appears as the boss of the first stage in the Mega Drive and Game Gear port of the non-canonical Strider Returns: Journey from Darkness. In this version, however, he's given the name Inferno, "the flame thrower wielding maniac".
Solo appears as a minor non-playable enemy in the strategy RPG crossover game Namco X Capcom. His design is based in his original appearance rather than his Strider 2 self.
Much like his official story, Solo is a assassin contracted by Grandmaster Meio with orders to eliminate Hiryu, although he's characterized as being an actual robot using a monotone robot speech pattern. 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.
Solo appears in Capcom Quiz: Hatena? no Daibouken 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.
Solo appears as one of the rival units in the crossover tactical RPG Project X Zone 2. His appearence is based on his Strider 2 incarnation.
Solo appeared as a card in Street Fighter X All Capcom.
- Supposedly, Solo's name is meant to indicate his belief in being unmatched, as he's alone at the top as the "single strongest human" (唯一最強の男). The "ZN-2" from Solo's 2nd form in the 2014 Strider game is a reference to the Capcom Arcade board of the same name which housed Strider 2.
- Keiji Inafune has stated that one of the characters from Strider (namely Solo) served as the inspiration/source for the name of Mega Man X character Zero.
- ↑ http://lscmainframe.kontek.net/features/kyotsui.html
- ↑ http://blog.goo.ne.jp/gyroman_black/e/6aec9bb189e657eb1dfd466c620691ce
- ↑ http://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/20071118/rockman.htm