Above left, the only known piece of art of Zero's scrapped Ultimate Armor. The Japanese text reads:
"The truth is, Zero was going to have a Mega Armor, too. For various circumstances, we wound up with just X this time. You want to know what his Mega Armor would have been like? Well, it has to do with Zero’s connection to W… actually, I’m not allowed to say any more than that. But, at least I can show you the rough design. I hope that sometime it will see the light of day. That’s all for now! Enjoy Rockman X4!"
"This armor sported a face guard and a central fin on the top of the head, along with a claw-like beam blade emitted from each arm and an overall spikier design. And are those wings in the back? The note pointing to them reads “these parts connect to his hair portion (the hair transforms)”. Transforming hair? Interesting! Could this have been what fans were so often craving, an armor bestowed upon Zero by his father, Dr. Wily? Not that black Zero isn’t awesome, but it’s a little sad to think we could have had this in X4, and instead got a recolor that played exactly the same. It’s a blast to compare this design with Command Mission‘s Absolute Zero."
To say this was a loss is an understatement. Transforming hair? Uh, awesome! I guess all we can do from here is merely imagine the possibilities this guise would have held... that and think of the merchandise and model kits it could have warranted. This is all too much for me... what a pity.
Full report on Zero's armor and a little history behind X's own available at The Reploid Research Lavatory. Thanks, Andrew!