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"I know you feel a little jealous, but I can't help if my city's a little bigger then yours!"
- Zao, showing his resolve of Shang Mu

Zao is the Mayor of Shang Mu, elected some time before the events of Freedom Planet.


Zao is a Red Panda, whose fur color is a reddish-brown and white with green eyes and a height shorter compared to other Avalicians. He wears a royal outfit in the nation's colors, red and yellow, which likely resemble Fire Dragons. Zao also wears a large hat in the shape of an air balloon, with a crown placed in the middle and two red jewels with gold edges placed above on both sides.


Zao is known for his charisma that, along with a rigged democratic rule, lead him to become Shang Mu's Mayor. He is shown to be greedy, as he'll take any opportunity to ensure his chances for re-election. It is also shown that Zao like to be, or wants to be famous.


After Shuigang's forces escape Shang Mu with the Kingdom Stone, Zao is furious, knowing that his one chance for re-election was gone. Afterwards, he sees Lilac and her friends, who had just destroyed a wretched mechanical beast. Grateful for their heroics, he invites them to a royal feast at City Hall and to discuss the Kingdom Stone. Eventually, he was convinced to let them negotiate with Shuigang for the Stone, providing the team with his last Airship still intact from the attack. However, the following morning, Dail and his Sky Battalion attacks the Airship while it was en route. Lilac and co. managed to repel the attack, but the Airship suffered too much damage, forcing them to splash down into a river leading them to Shang Tu.Abilities

Zao is likely to be capable of military leadership, leading his troops to attack Shuigang, and the fact that his city is full of hazardous robots.

While most likely meant as a comic relief, Zao is also able to emphasize certain sentences that he says by adding a "+5" based on what he says, then display it in flashing letters over his head. This is shown in the following scenes:

  • "+5 GLORY" : Outside Zao's Shopping Paradise, when Zao congratulates the team gloriously after learning that they were the ones that destroyed the Robopanther.
  • "5% OFF!" : Outside Zao's Shopping Paradise, when Zao offers the team a coupon for said mall, as a reward for destroying the Robopanther.
  • "+5 SARCASM" : In Shang Mu City Hall, when Zao sarcastically tells the team that an alliance with Shang Tu was a lovely idea.
  • "+5 HEIGHT" : At the Snowfields, after Milla digs up a rock for Zao to stand on, so he and Gong could see and talk face-to-face.
  • "+5 CHARISMA" : In the Battlesphere, when he a makes public appearance in front of a live audience.


  • Mayor Zao's hat has the simplified Chinese character '长' (zhǎng) on it, meaning 'chief' or 'head'.
  • A Mayor Zao coin is available to those who order the Collector's Edition of Freedom Planet. It has +5 marked on the back side.
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