|This article is about a/an rider in Kamen Rider Ex-Aid.|
Nico Saiba (西馬 ニコ Saiba Niko) is a professional gamer and supporting character in Kamen Rider Ex-Aid. Originally approaching Taiga Hanaya for her vendetta against "Genius Gamer M", Nico eventually becomes Taiga's assistant in handling the Bugster crisis.
Nico was already a skilled gamer by the age of 12, going by the alias of "N". During a gaming tournament in 2010, Nico was observing Genius Gamer M winning against another gamer. She later made it to the final round playing against M but lost, attaining second place in the tournament. Though M was impressed by her gaming skill and hoped to play against her again sometime in the future, Nico was dissatisfied and developed a grudge against M.
Nico would later go on to win numerous game tournaments as "N", earning a huge amount of income. As her only loss in gaming was her loss to M, she vowed to avenge this, waiting for a chance where she could defeat M once and for all.
She visits Taiga again during his internet investigations into Kuroto Dan and Genm Corp. Nico fakes Game Illness in order for Taiga to pay attention to her, but she shows gratitude for him actually checking her anyway despite his annoyance of her lying. She reveals she knows of Taiga from stories on the internet including eyewitness reports. Nico once again asks for Taiga to defeat M and she seems puzzled as to why he has Genm Corp. games for use as medical equipment, but Taiga tells her not to touch his Gashats and forces her to leave.
Attempting to Transform into a Kamen RiderNico eventually pushed Taiga too far by attempting to move into his hospital, after which he told her never to return before storming off. In an effort to take matters into her own hands, she stole Taiga's Gamer Driver and the Bang Bang Shooting Gashat, and faked a call to CR. When Emu and Asuna arrived, Nico attacked Emu and attempted to transform. However, without the compatibility surgery, she instead awakened the dormant Bugster Virus inside of her. After Revol emerged from her and escaped, Nico was brought to CR.
Due to her grudge against M, she refused treatment and openly antagonized him. Eventually Taiga came to retrieve her from CR.
Kuroto told Emu the reason behind Emu becoming Ex-Aid without the need of a compatibility surgery, his recent headaches after transforming, and his ability to create Gashats. Nico attempted to stop Kuroto from revealing the reason behind all this, but it was too late, as Kuroto revealed the reason despite the objections against it: Emu was the first patient in the world to be infected with the Bugster virus.
Nico was one of the witnesses of Emu's Game Illness breaking out, and upon returning to Taiga's clinic, she stated that if she lost to "Genius Gamer M", she didn't actually lose to M himself, but rather the Bugster inside him.
After Kuroto's death at the hands of Parado, Nico was relieve that Kuroto is no longer a threat anymore, but Taiga replies even after Kuroto is gone now, the remaining Bugsters like Parado are still on the loose, as the battle still continues to stop Kamen Rider Chronicle Gashat from being produced completely.
Nico got a shocking info about sudden mass-production of Kamen Rider Chronicle Gashats and show it to Taiga. Becoming suspicious of this "new" Genm Corp. marketing, she and Taiga goes to the company to find the new CEO Ren Amagasaki, and Hiiro also goes there for the same thing on this suspicion.
Becoming Ride-Player Nico
Tantalized by the prospect of becoming a hero gamer, Nico found a copy of Kamen Rider Chronicle and became a Ride Player. Christening herself as "Ride-Player Nico", Nico's skills as a gamer allowed her to beat the Revol Bugster, becoming the first Ride-Player to defeat a Bugster. As a reward, Nico was granted the Gashatrophy of Bang Bang Shooting, which Poppy explained was proof of her victory and that through collecting all of them, she would be eligible to face the final boss.
In order for the Kamen Riders to "clear" Kamen Rider Chronicle, Nico acts as a front-out for the Riders as a Ride-Player. As so, she has defeated most of the Bugsters and collected most of the Gashatrophies for the Riders.
Tracking the Motors Bugster with CR, Nico and Poppy engaged him, rescuing an imperiled Ride-Player only for the Bugster to quickly escape them. However, Nico would later discover that Vernier and Gatton had appeared, proceeding to claim the Gashatrophies of Jet Combat and Gekitotsu Robots with Taiga.
Intercepting the Charlie Bugster, Nico claimed the Gashatrophy of Shakariki Sports by beating him with the Nico Critical Punch. With Taiga, Nico would discover that the Bakusou Bike Gashatrophy had been recovered by Hiiro. That, combined with the DoReMiFa Beat Gashatrophy having been gifted to Emu by Kuroto Dan as thanks for saving Poppy, meant that only the high tier of Bugsters within Kamen Rider Chronicle remained.
Though Nico was eager to face the remaining Bugsters, Taiga cautioned her to only step in to perform the finishing blow as the top tier Bugsters were too dangerous for Ride-Players to engage. Through information disclosed by Kuroto Dan at CR, Nico learned of the final boss, Gamedeus, whose only counter was the form of the legendary Kamen Rider Cronus, which itself could only be accessed by harboring all strains of the Bugster Virus. Standing by with Asuna during the Kamen Riders' showdown against the Bugsters, Nico saw that Lovelica had been left open for her to take down and prepared to step in only for the battle to be interrupted by Masamune Dan, first CEO of Genm Corp. and father of Kuroto Dan. Revealing that Kamen Rider Chronicle was his masterplan all along, the elder Dan, having long since implanted and pacified all Bugster virus strains within his body, assumed the form of Kamen Rider Cronus himself, proceeding to terminate Lovelica permanently while defeating all parties.
As the Kamen Rider doctors desperately fought to oppose the rampaging plague of Super Gamedeus, Nico helped the remaining civilians to get to safety while discovering, to her horror, that Riku Suzuki and his mother were among the rampaging Bugster Virus carriers. Fortunately, however, the horde was cured by Poppy as she sacrificed her own existence to neutralize Super Gamedeus's virus through Doctor Mighty XX. In her last words, Poppy told Nico to look after Taiga and Taiga to be nicer to Nico. After Masamune Dan was finally defeated, Nico returned to finish school while leaving behind her Bang Bang Shooting pin in Taiga's clinic. Reuniting with her friends at school, Nico revealed that she had used all of her pro gamer winnings to invest in Genm Corp.'s stocks. Becoming the majority share holder, Nico appointed Ju Ju Burger developer Tsukuru Koboshi as the new CEO of Genm Corp. Soon after, Nico graduated and returned to Taiga's clinic, volunteering to become his assistant in treating the Game Disease.
Not long after appointing Tsukuru to be head of Genm Corp. and returning to Taiga's clinic as an employee, numerous people in the rainy streets began collapsing on the ground, exhibiting symptoms of game disease. The culprits, a gathering of Ninja-Players, attacked random civilians, concurrent with Kamen Rider Fuma leading a group of them to attack the Seito University Hospital. Taiga and Nico rushed to evacuate the civilians, but were hit with data shurikens that put them in a similar state. Their comatose bodies were among those of the victims inside and outside of the Seito University Hospital who had been rushed in there.
Within the Game World of Hurricane Ninja, the basis of the Gashat used by Fuma, Nico and the other victims were trapped in a virtual reality simulation crafted by Machina Vision, with Nico playing the role of a student participating in a footrace at a school's sports festival. When Madoka Hoshi won the final leg of the race, Nico went up to her and congratulated her. The congratulations she offered invoked happiness in Madoka, which created a Gashatrophy above the latter's head that quickly vanished, unnoticed by anyone except Poppy Pipopapo. During the festival's lunch break, Nico was seen playing around with Taiga, who had been playing the role of the official firing the starting pistol for the race, and the two ran around a confused Poppy, seemingly the only figure in that world who could remember the real world.
Nico and everyone else in the virtual reality was pulled out (with the exception of Madoka, who refused to leave) when Ex-Aid used the power of Mighty Creator VRX to defeat Fuma and create a massive portal in the sky that pulled everyone into it, allowing them to escape. Nico woke up and fell from her stretcher, on top of Taiga's back.
Build & Ex-Aid with Legend Riders
One year after the defeat of Gamedeus Machina, Ex-Aid and Para-DX were attacked by a mysterious man in red and blue who previously encountered Genm during the original Gamedeus virus outbreak, with the figure, named Build, defeating Para-DX and collecting a sample of Ex-Aid's essence into a Fullbottle, taking away Emu's ability to transform. Some time after that incident, a new breed of Bugster Virus foot soldiers attacked, having been created from the virus being exposed to the Nebula Gas originating from the Sky Wall in Build's home world. Nico was attacked by these new Bugsters, but she was saved by Takeru Tenkuji.
An American gamer named Luke Kidman meets Nico at Taiga's hospital and grows fond of her. However, he falls victim to Toki Meki Crisis game disease, concurrent with the revival of Saki Momose and her new boyfriend Lovelica, the Toki Meki Crisis Bugster.
Video Game appearances
Nico has a tomboyish yet bubbly personality, but is immature and incredibly childish. Competitive to a fault, she had a vendetta against Emu simply because he beat her in a gaming tournament. She has shown herself to be bossy and manipulative: completely redecorating a room in Taiga's hospital and CR during her stay (done in both instances without permission), and faking a Game Illness outbreak in an attempt to defeat Emu (ironically, this attempt actually triggered an outbreak). Her bark is much worse than her bite: she often boasts and makes claims that can't be backed up, particularly in regards to the other Riders.
Despite her somewhat unlikable demeanor, Nico is not completely self-absorbed: she helped civilians escape during Genm's attack on Genm Corp. Nico has also shown to act somewhat as a moral compass for Taiga, occasionally asking him questions about his true intentions that break through his tough demeanor. Later on, after defeating Lovelica, she even helped him locate the Bugsters they needed to beat to clear Kamen Rider Chronicle, even if they both have their own reasons for playing.
Nico is also shown to have somewhat of a sincere side. After learning that the person she lost to six years ago was not really Emu but in reality Parado who was possessing Emu, she feels apologetic towards Emu for the unnecessary trouble, and now resolves to settle things with Parado instead.
Eventually, while Nico was infected with Gamedeus' virus, she also decides to let go of her childish demeanor and realizes that she didn't want to just beat Emu or Parado for losing to them, but that she wanted to beat someone strong instead.
Powers and Abilities
- Genius Gamer: Nico is a professional gamer who goes by the alias "N", a reference to the genius gamer M. Her skills are such that she was able to be the runner-up in a gaming tournament at the age of only 12. According to Taiga, she makes around ¥100 million a year in winnings. This is also shown as she becomes a Ride Player, beating Revol easily with a coordinated use of Energy items and her skills.
- "Enter the Game! Ri-Riding the End!"
- ―Transformation announcement[src]
- Height: 198.2 cm.
- Weight: 98.4 kg.
- Punching power: 21.7 t.
- Kicking power: 27.3 t.
- Maximum jump height: 32.5 m.
- Maximum running speed: 100 m. per 2.5 sec.
Ride-Players are the "Kamen Rider" form used by civilians to play Kamen Rider Chronicle. To transform into a Ride-Player, a person must activate their Kamen Rider Chronicle Gashat, and press its button again to transform. In this form, all Ride-Players are equipped with the Ride Weapon, which can transform between a sword and a gun.
Despite having a similar appearance to normal Ride-Players, Nico uses her personal items to differentiate herself from others, including wearing her civilian hat, carrying her civilian backpack, wearing her arm bands, and putting a sticker on her left chest mail. Additionally, after applying these items, she doesn't need to re-apply these when she transforms again.
There will also be stars added to the Rider Gauge area, with the amount of stars shown corresponds to the amount of Bugsters that Nico has defeated within the game.
Also, despite Ride-Players having their default stats and assuming Nico should be the same as them, she actually has much higher stats, beating every Ride-Player in existence and slightly lower than Ex-Aid Level 10 and Genm Level 10, making her on par with a Level 10 Rider. This is a result of customizing her Ride-Player suit, weakening the sensor and controls to boost the damage output, and gaining a customization bonus to increase damage by starting from a distance when initiating an attack(as seen by her Critical Strike-like finishers). She is also shown to be quite fast and agile, easily dodging Revol's attacks while using her surroundings and the Energy Items to help her fight against the Bugsters.
This form has three finishers:
- Personal Finishers:
- Nico Critical Kick (ニコクリティカルキック Niko Kuritikaru Kikku): Nico jumps up high in the air and performs a powerful Rider Kick at the enemy charged with rainbow energy. Also, unlike any Critical finisher, she announces this finisher name by herself when using it.
- Nico Critical Punch (ニコクリティカルパンチ Niko Kuritikaru Panchi): Nico delivers a powerful Rider Punch at the enemy charged with rainbow energy. Also, like her Rider Kick finisher, she announces this finisher name by herself when using it.
- Gashacon Magnum Finisher:
Ride-Players detransform by pressing the Kamen Rider Chronicle Gashat's button again. Where they store the Gashat while transformed is unclear. Based on where she reached to get the Gashat before using a Critical Finish, it can be assumed she keeps the Gashat somewhere in her bag.
Appearances: Ex-Aid Episodes 27, 28, 30, 31, 35, 41
- "Gachan! Level Up! Ba-Ba-Bang! Bang-Ba-Bang! (Yow!) Bang Bang Shooting! (Upbeat jazz music)"
- ―Transformation announcement[src]
Shooting Gamer Level 2 (シューティングゲーマーレベル2 Shūtingu Gēmā Reberu Tsū), also refered as Snipe Nico, is Nico Snipe's primary sniper form, activated by inserting the Bang Bang Shooting Gashat and pulling the lever on the Gamer Driver. This form is based on FPS (first-person shooter) games.
Appearances: Ex-Aid Final Stage
- An unknown silver colored version of Para-DX Buckle
- Gashacon Magnum - temporary weapon borrowed from Taiga Hanaya/Kamen Rider Snipe
Behind the Scenes
- Nico's last name, Saiba, is a word pun on the English word "Cyber"
- This word pun was intentionally put on the show, because when she transformed to be a Ride-Player via the Kamen Rider Chronicle Gashat, she customized herself with accessories with the sticker being one of them which has the picture of a cat and the name "Cyber Nico".
- Being a normal human female who attempted to transform into a Kamen Rider to no avail, her efforts harken back to Mari Sonoda from Kamen Rider 555 who attempted to transform into Faiz with no success as normal humans cannot become Riders at all.
- Her video game nickname "Genius Gamer N" mimics Emu's nickname of "Genius Gamer M", but while "M" is a homonym of Emu's given name, "N" is the first letter of Nico's given name.
- As Taiga is based on the eponymous character of Black Jack, Nico is based on Pinoko from the same manga. Another similarities were their age (18 years old) and a habit of clinging to their respective doctors under personal circumstances.
- Her Ride-Player suit design is similar to the titular protagonist of the Mario series, but with the color schemes based on Goombas.
- She is the first Ride-Player to both successfully perform a Critical finisher and actually defeat a Bugster on screen.
- Her roll call as Ride-Player Nico is similar to Go's roll call as Kamen Rider Mach.
- In terms of Female Riders, Nico is the:
- 15th Female Rider in the entire series.
- 5th (6th if you include the retired Kamen Rider Shuki) Rider to exist canonically within the series from which their powers are based.
- 3rd Rider whom is part of the main group and appeared in Rider form for more than one episode.