|This article is about a/an former villain in Power Rangers Wild Force.|
|"I am the Duke Org, Zen-Aku."|
|―Zen Aku introduces himself to the Rangers.[src]|
|"You just don't learn, do you? Huh?"|
|―Zen Aku's final words before his first death.[src]|
- 1 Character History
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Arsenal
- 5 Behind the Scenes
- 6 Notes
- 7 Appearances
- 8 See Also
- 9 References
No one knows much of Zen-Aku's origin, only that his Org spirit was locked within a Wolf Mask. His statement during the confrontation against Merrick indicated that despite his status as a Duke Org, Zen-Aku was pretty much an outcast and loner, thus nobody lift a finger to help him during his eventual imprisonment within the mask. During the process, his power was divided into fragments each housed within three Wildzords (Hammerhead, Wolf, and Alligator) and the Wolf Mask, and that the fragments would unite, albeit not fully, if someone put it on and became the Duke Org's host. As time passed, many people in both sides gradually forgot about him and viewed the Wolf Mask, that served as his prison, simply as a cursed artifact of power.
When Merrick's friend Animus perished at the hands of the original Master Org, Merrick made the decision that he must be the one to stop their enemy once and for all. Based on local legends, Merrick headed into a temple searching for the cursed mask. Upon finding the mask, he was attacked by the General Org Nayzor, but Merrick, whilst fleeing, put on the mask and called out "Evil Spirit of the Wolf, fill me with absolute power!" When summoning his Predazord, the power from the mask managed to unlock new abilities, namely the Predator Wave, which was used to destroy the evil Master once and for all.
However, after Master Org was defeated, the Wolf Mask seized control of Merrick's mind, turning him into (or merging him with) the entity within the mask, Zen-Aku. While he still retained a fraction of his humanity, he implored his fellow Animarian Guardians to kill him, but they refused to do so. Instead, they used their Crystal Sabers to seal him away in an underground coffin.
Curse of the Wolf
|"A hatred courses through my veins like venom. Why can't I remember more?"|
|―Zen-Aku struggling with his memory[src]|
For 3000 years, Merrick, now Zen-Aku, remained in stasis until the Master Org of the present-day re-summoned Nayzor, who released the Duke Org on the present-day Guardians of Animaria: the Wild Force Rangers. Though he had no memory of his former life, he knew that he wanted revenge on the Guardians who sealed him away 3000 years ago, and he tried to take it by capturing the Rangers' Wildzords and turning those he captured against their chosen ones.
Zen-Aku also revealed that his power came from the phases of the moon, as he was at his strongest when it was full. During the New Moon's phase, he was revealed to be human when Cole saw a young man in the river, accompanied by a wolf cub that Zen-Aku had rescued.
Zen-Aku was able to control his own Wildzords, which he called the "Dark Wildzords", using his flute blade to summon them. He could also combine them to form the Predazord. Zen-Aku's primary weapon was his Crescent Blade, whose blade could open at two notches. While in that position, his weapon's attack was the "Crescent Wave", which was a blade of dark energy that could disable almost any of his opponents.
Over time, Zen-Aku's true nature was revealed, as he began slowly acting more and more human, by starting out with caring for Alyssa, the White Wild Force Ranger and rescuing a wolf cub from an attack from another Org. This was evidenced even further when he surprisingly lashed out and killed another Org, much to even Zen-Aku's confusion as to why he did so. The Rangers themselves also began to grow confused, and even more so, when the spirit of Animus appeared in the sky and urged Zen-Aku to simply "remember." However, just as his human self (Merrick) was about to break free of Zen-Aku's curse, Nayzor arrived and turned him into his willing slave, making him impossible to be reasoned with.
The Ancient Warrior
When Princess Shayla learned that Zen-Aku was really her faithful Guardian Merrick, she tried to piece together the events of the final battle in Animaria. She discovered that the source of the curse put on Merrick was not the Wolf Mask, but rather his Predazord. After Master Org was defeated, the Predazord had turned evil, and its chosen Guardian was cursed along with it. She informed the Rangers that defeating the Predazord was the only way to break Merrick's "curse". With a new Wild Force Megazord combination in the Megazord Striker, they did so and reverted Merrick to his human form, destroying Zen-Aku's mask in the process.
Merrick assumed afterwards that Zen-Aku was gone forever, due to the fact that his Predazord was purified of the evil that poisoned it. But some episodes later, Zen-Aku inexplicably returned with an agenda. Although he no longer needed a host to survive in the mortal world, he chose to attempt to remerge with Merrick once again. Whilst it was mostly believed that Zen-Aku did this for power, Princess Shayla herself specifically mentioned that Zen-Aku had become stronger without Merrick, due to his newfound ability to control his power without any intervention from Merrick's mind. This was also supported when Zen-Aku told Merrick that on splitting with him, he was left rejected, abandoned, and cast aside. Based on the ending of that show, it almost seemed that Zen-Aku is somewhat driven with an obsession not to break the bond.
With the return of the Wolf Duke Org, the Rangers began to question Princess Shayla about this event. The Princess explained that when Zen-Aku's spirit merged with Merrick, it was divided among the mask, Merrick, and his Predazord, but with the Predazord and Merrick now good again, Zen-Aku (who was now free because the purification of the Predazord broke both curses on the mask, including the one that imprisoned his Org spirit) possessed all the evil power that was once divided, and was now much stronger than he had previously been, proving it by holding his own against the Predazord and the Wild Force Megazord Striker while even being able to block the latter's finishing move. However, after Merrick used a new trick pool shot (taught to him by Willie at the Road House) involving the Predazord's Gator Staff and the Armadillo Zord to break Zen-Aku's horn and weaken him, the Wolf Duke Org was apparently destroyed for good by Predazord's "Revolver Phantom" attack.
|"Well then, lead the way... old friend."|
|―Zen-Aku's final words as he leaves to travel the world with Merrick[src]|
After Master Org was defeated, Merrick traveled the world, and Zen-Aku mysteriously returned, offering to join him, since they were both "lone wolves looking for redemption". This act turns him from a villain to an ally.
Power Rangers Legacy Wars
Zen-Aku is a playable character in Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, He uses his Crescent Blade in his attacks.
|"I have been awakened... to carry out 3,000 years of vengeance!"|
|―Zen-Aku explaining his intentions upon his revival[src]|
Initially, Zen-Aku displayed mixed characteristics of an Org and human because of Merrick's influence while they were merged. When Nayzor's bug erased Merrick's influence, Zen-Aku fell completely under Nayzor's control and became more firm and aggressive.
After being free from the bug and separated from Merrick, Zen-Aku only wanted to merge with Merrick. It was hinted he did not want to be alone and lonely because he told Merrick he (Zen-Aku) was "cast aside, discarded, rejected". In addition, Zen-Aku was far more powerful now because his power was no longer divided between himself, Merrick, and Merrick's Wolf, Hammerhead, and Alligator Wildzords and fusing with Merrick again would have only weakened him once again.
After being resurrected a second time, Zen-Aku has mellowed out and is seeking redemption, no longer interested in forcing Merrick to merge with him and when Merrick invited Zen-Aku to join him, he referred to Merrick as an "old friend".
Powers and Abilities
Unlike other Orgs, Zen-Aku has excellent physical strength, stamina, resistance, agility and speed that exceeds that of the Wild Force Rangers. Zen-Aku is powerful enough to take on all five of the Rangers in close combat without too much difficulty. His primary attack is the "Crescent Wave", the only special attack of his blade, which was a blade of dark energy that could disable almost any of his opponents. Though he is a formidable opponent, his greatest strength comes out during full moons. Strangely, Zen-Aku also had his own set of "Dark Wildzords" and can also capture other Wildzords for his own uses. Zen-Aku can also grow to giant size, as he demonstrated after being separated from Merrick and losing the Dark Wildzords. In addition to his powers, Zen-Aku has proven himself several times to be an excellent hand-to-hand combatant and swordsman, capable of defeating the Rangers in every battle. He is apparently incredibly resilient as he lost his horn and was apparently destroyed by the Predazord, yet he later managed to return.
- Super Jump: Zen-Aku can jump high enough into the sky to pose in front of the moon.
- Energy Streak: Zen-Aku can pounce forward and turn into purple energy to tear through his enemies, which was his opening attack on the Rangers. It was strong enough to demorph Max and knock him out and acts as his equivalent to Taylor's Eagle Strike.
- Corruption: Zen-Aku can corrupt the Rangers' Wildzords by stealing their Animal Crystals and freezing them.
- Lightning Blast: Zen-Aku can release a blast of blue lightning from his hand. It was strong enough to knock down Max.
- Teleportation: Zen-Aku can teleport at will.
- Full Moon Empowerment: Zen-Aku becomes virtually unstoppable during the phase of the full moon.
- Forceful Takeover: When he was joined to Merrick, Zen-Aku can force control away from his host when the full moon rises. He presumably no longer has this power now that he is an independent individual.
- Self-Restoration: Zen-Aku was able to restore himself when his mask was destroyed.
- Self-Growth: Zen-Aku could make himself grow without the aid of Toxica's beans.
- Strength: Zen-Aku can grab a person and drag them with one hand, and even toss them at far distance. He was able to throw Danny back into a rock hard enough to knock him out and demorph him as well as block and stop the Red Ranger's attack (wearing a lion claw-gauntlet) with just his arm and, when giant, he was able to catch and throw back the Armadillo Wildzord with ease.
- Durability/Armor: Zen-Aku has extremely thick skin and armor that allowed him to survive the Lunar Break finisher without a scratch. When giant, he was seemingly destroyed by the Predazord, but later somehow returned alive.
- Hand-to-Hand Combatant and Expert Swordsman: In addition to his powers, Zen-Aku has proven himself several times to be an excellent hand-to-hand combatant and swordsman, capable of defeating the Rangers in every battle. The only way that they ended up defeating him was by working all at once and overwhelming him without giving him a chance to fight back.
- Resistance and Stamina: Zen-Aku can fight nonstop for long periods of time without tiring out from exhaustion.
- Speed and Agility: When he was free and began his attack on the Rangers, he moved so fast that he appear to be a blur and jump around that no one can react or defend themselves from Zen-Aku's attack. During his fight with the Red Ranger, he dodges and avoids the Ranger's blasts with ease.
- New Moon: As if he were a real werewolf, he loses all his power during the new moon and reverts to his human form, Merrick Baliton. However, since they are independent entities now, it is possible that he doesn't have this weakness anymore.
- Severed Horn: Like all the Duke Orgs, whenever he loses his horn, he loses his power and his life.
- Vulnerability to Sacred Water: Like all other Orgs, he becomes weak when touching the sacred water of the Animarian temple.
- Bleeding: Although Orgs don't bleed, he did due to being joined to his human host Merrick Baliton. However, since they are independent entities now, it is possible that he doesn't have this weakness anymore.
- Crescent Blade: Zen-Aku's primary weapon which was a large double-sided blade.
- Crescent Wave: Zen-Aku's signature attack with the weapon is the Cresent Wave, which appears as yellow energy waves that he can fling at his enemies with enough force to wipe out all six Rangers. "Crescent Blade! Cresent Wave!" is the call of his attack.
- Flute Knife: He can also use this weapon to quickly strike an opponent, but it is primarily used to summon his Dark Wildzords similarly to the Dragon Dagger.
- Wolf Mask: An ancient mask where his Org essence was sealed within. When he possessed Merrick through the mask, Zen-Aku's dark powers got fragmented; whereas the master fragment stayed in the mask, another within his host and the Predazord. After Merrick was eventually freed from his control in courtesy of the Wild Force Rangers, the whole fragments eventually reunited, making the Duke Org an independent being although he kept the mask until its eventual destruction during his second defeat.
Behind the Scenes
- Zen-Aku was first voiced by Dan Woren in episodes 10-12, while Lex Lang voiced him in all his other appearances. His suit actor was Shoma Kai (甲斐 将馬 Kai Shōma) in Super Sentai footage from Gaoranger.
to be added
- Zen-Aku's name means "good-evil" in Japanese.
- He may or may not have night vision, since his eyes are always glowing, and he fights at night with ease.
- Zen-Aku uses a flute to summon his Wildzords similar to how Tommy Oliver summons the Dragonzord. Augmented by the fact they had similar roles in their respective seasons as the late addition to the Power Rangers team, beginning as an enemy controlled by the villains, breaking free of their control and joining the Rangers as an ally.
- He and Koragg share some similarities:
- Both have a wolf motif for their respective Megazords.
- Both have animal-based Zords.
- Both can grow to giant size on their own.
- Both turn good.
- He is one of only three Orgs in the series shown to be able to grow to giant size on his own without the help of Toxica's magic beans, the others being Master Org and Retinax. Onikage appeared to grow to giant size without magic beans in his first appearance, but it was later revealed to be just an illusion.
- In his final appearance, he was supposed to return without a horn, but the producers had forgotten to remove it before his scene was filmed.
- He was initially voiced by Dan Warren in his first three appearances but for unknown reasons was replaced by Lex Lang for his last five appearances.
- He is one of three Orgs to survive the finale, the others being Jindrax and Toxica. However, it's unclear how he survived his apparent destruction by the Predazord.
- The Elephant Wildzord is the only stolen Zord he doesn't combine with for the Predazord. Only the Giraffe, Black Bear, and Polar Bear were used to combine with his Megazord.
- Power Rangers Wild Force
- Duke Org Rouki - Super Sentai counterpart in Gaoranger. See comparison page.
- Tsukimaro Ogami - Zen-Aku's Sentai Silver counterpart from Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger.
- Merrick Baliton - Zen-Aku's Wild Force Wolf-Themed Ranger alter-ego.
- Fury - Villain who possessed a Ranger in Power Rangers Dino Charge.