Zenless Zone Zero: Should you play as Belle or Wise?

Like most RPGs of its type, Zenless Zone Zero opens with a simple choice of playable character. While the focus in games monetised via gachas is very much on building up huge rosters of increasingly strong units, you do still need a nominal protagonist, after all, and that’s what this decision is about. In many cases, it’s a straightforward choice between a male and a female variant on the same main character.

However, in Zenless Zone Zero — much like its blockbuster predecessor Genshin Impact — your choice is between a pair of siblings: in this case, Belle (the sister) and Wise (the brother). Establishing a connection between the two potential leads usually means that the one you don’t choose doesn’t just disappear from the game forever, and can also indicate that there’s a slight difference in how they play. So, should you choose to play as Belle or Wise in Zenless Zone Zero? Here’s everything you need to know to make your choice.

Zenless Zone Zero: Belle or Wise?

To get the short answer out of the way, it makes no major difference to your experience of Zenless Zone Zero whether you choose to play as the male or female protagonist.

However, the way the protagonist operates in ZZZ is significantly different from other HoYo games and gacha RPGs that offered you this choice.

In most games of this type, your initial playable character is fully combat-equipped, and indeed will usually have a special evolving kit because they’re some kind of “chosen one”. ZZZ does things quite differently: Belle and Wise never enter combat directly, and instead are canonically responsible for guiding and directing your other playable units through the Hollows, this game’s answer to instanced dungeons.

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In the story of Zenless Zone Zero, Belle and Wise work together to form a single Proxy, a type of character who essentially performs mission control for Agents, who are the units you’ll actually play as in combat.

So, what does this mean for your initial character choice? Well, as they’re not direct counterparts to one another, Belle and Wise have far more distinctive character designs than you might expect from a simple gender option.

Belle is physically quite slight, has dark blue hair and large anime eyes, and is portrayed as outgoing and cheerful; while Wise is taller and more well-built, has light grey hair and more normally-proportioned features, and is a little shy yet decidedly kind-hearted. The differences in their personalities are also reflected in their dialogue and voice acting, so take that into account when choosing your character.

Essentially, the choice you make determines who you play as in ZZZ’s overworld, versus who becomes your assistant. The chosen character will be your avatar during exploration and overworld activities in New Eridu; but the one you don’t choose will be almost constantly on-hand as your companion, and will be the one to provide you with tips and guidance during Hollow exploration sections, especially in the early stages of the game. In essence, it’s a case of who you want to see slightly more of versus who you want to hear slightly more from, although you will be spending plenty of time with them both.

Furthermore, you will sometimes switch to playing as your assistant character for brief story beats when your main protagonist is otherwise occupied; so while your choice of the protagonist’s gender is likely to remain permanent as it is in other HoYoverse games, it’s about as low-stakes as it can be. There is just one incredibly minor variant between the two characters in practice: Wise’s height means that he has a faster running speed, so if you’re looking to create multiple reroll accounts, you can shave a handful of seconds off each laborious restart if you pick him.

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How do I name my protagonist in Zenless Zone Zero?

Unlike in other gacha games you may have played, you won’t be able to rename your main character to whatever you like — Belle and Wise are their canonical names, and get used in voiced dialogue so often that there’s really no getting around them.

However, you do get to name Belle and Wise’s shared Proxy identity. Near the start of the game you’re prompted to create an alt account for them to use on the Inter-Knot when they need to disguise their main Proxy identity as Phaethon, which you get to name whatever you want. This will become the primary account your player character uses.

Note that unlike in some other HoYoverse games, you can freely edit your account name later on, so the decision isn’t set in stone. In other words, don’t worry if you don’t have a good name picked out when the game prompts you to enter one!

For more on ZZZ’s weird and wonderful cast of characters, read up on how to claim every free character in Zenless Zone Zero.

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