This is a remake of Mega Man X(1) with new graphics and features. Like Mega Man X8, it is a side-scrolling game using 3-D graphics. Aside from simply updating the look and feel, however, Capcom made a few other changes to the game itself, chief among them being the fact that you can now play through the entire game as Vile, not just as X.
For the most part this game (at least the X side) plays like the original; however, here are a few differences...
- You can now exit a stage at any time, even if you haven’t completed it.
- Your weapons are refilled every time you die.
- Your shots don’t go through walls here.
- Dash-jumping off walls doesn’t seem to work well in this game.
- X Mode: is an alternate fire button. You can still fire your buster with even when you have a Master Weapon equipped. But you can’t charge using . Only with .
- When you lose all your lives, you are booted back to the stage select screen. (Or back to the title screen, if you lose all your lives in the intro stage.) This really isn’t a big loss, however, since “Continue” in the classic games puts you at the beginning of the stage anyway, so all you really lose is a bit of time.
- Some of Sigma’s fortress stages were revamped entirely.
- In Vile Mode, the stages are more or less the same, but the enemy and object layouts are different.
- You can revisit the intro stage and even the fortress stages (even without a clear-game save).
- There are new plot sequences, and of course all of the character dialogue has changed.
- There are two difficulty modes. Hard mode is a lot like normal mode except bosses have new attacks that they will pull out. (Sometimes they use these on normal mode as well.) I detail these where applicable.
- The game doesn’t offer for you to save after stages. You have to remember to do it yourself on the stage select screen (press Select).
Vile doesn’t use special weapons like X does; instead, he has three weapons installed in three places of his body: his arms, his shoulder cannon, and his legs. You can equip different weapons to these three slots, and you use three different buttons to fire the three weapons...which is both a boon and a curse. Most notably, Vile’s leg weapons use the same button as X’s dash, which means I tend to forget that I can’t dash and get clobbered by what I was trying to avoid because Vile kneels down to use his leg weapon instead...
Vile has a single weapon energy meter which all of his armaments share. However, the meter refills quickly over time, so it really just limits how rapidly you can fire off weapons. If the meter runs out, you merely have to wait a couple of seconds for it to refill enough for you to shoot again.
The biggest challenge with Vile is that he has extremely slow recovery times on most of his weapons. While he’s using one of these types of weapons, you can’t dodge attacks. Therefore, you really have to be careful about when you shoot because you don’t want Vile’s feet to be nailed to the ground at just the wrong moment. This makes Vile feel more sluggish than X and adds a new angle of difficulty to the game.
- Play Control:
- The play control is fairly standard, though slightly sluggish. Not bad, though. X does have a slight habit of turning around when he gets hit, but it’s not as prominent as in some of the other X series games.
- The backgrounds are quite nice in a lot of areas. A lot of attention was given to stuff in the far background, yet at the same time, it’s usually fairly easy to tell what objects are in the foreground and what things are in the background (and, thus, what you can touch and what you can’t). They were often pretty clever about this, particularly with the hills in Sting Chameleon’s stage. My only gripe with the graphics is that the 3-D perspective does make it difficult at times to tell when exactly you should jump when you are trying to clear holes and such.
- Generally I do like the models. Some of the enemies look a little goofy. But most of them have enhanced animation. For example, the laser-shooting robots that drop onto the conveyer belts in Flame Mammoth’s stage look really creepy, but they are animated well. (Actually, they look creepy because they are animated well...)
- The music is totally revamped, as expected. I miss the password tune though, and some of the songs, notably Armored Armadillo’s, have the main melody buried so much you can barely make it out. And don’t even mention the Vile Mode music, which is all indistinguishable heavy metal with few discernable melodies to speak of.
- Sound Effects:
- Ironically, half of the sound effects are straight from Mega Man X8, while the other half sound like updated versions of the original SNES sounds. They also added voice samples, of course, to the bosses and to X himself, such as when he fires special weapons.
- They did a pretty good job updating the storytelling while keeping the same basic plot premise the same. X is somewhat of a dunce at times, though, such as when he’s not sure that he recognizes Dr. Light (duh, X!). At least he’s not in whiny “I don’t wanna fight” mode in this game, however. And the artwork used during the plot sequences is really nice, not to mention crisp and clear. (The face portraits don’t take into account X’s enhancements, however.)
- Difficulty: (normal)
- On the default setting, the difficulty is about average. The 3-D view and the slightly sluggish play control make the game ever-so-slightly tougher than the SNES version, but it’s really not that major.
- Replay Value:
- Aside from being a remake of a good game to begin with, there’s some replay value in the fact that you have to play through at least twice if you want to see everything (X and Vile).
- Generally a polished game with a clean interface. Nothing jumped out at me too much, although I have to admit, I found it amusing that this game suffers from NES-style slowdown. 15 years later and dozens of system upgrades and they still haven’t figured out how to keep the game from slowing down when there are too many sprites on the screen at once...
- Overall: 88%
- It’s a good remake, and definitely an improvement over a straight port. But let’s face it—it is a remake. If you’ve already played the original version of the game to death, you might not find this remake to be worth its steep price tag. Unless you’re a huge fan of Vile...
- + Plus:
- You can revisit any fortress stage you want at any time, once you reach them. (Keep pressing right while on the stage select screen until it slides over.)
Capcom shuffled around all of the enhancements, but they did so in such a way that it is impossible to avoid revisiting stages. Because of this, I recommend a slightly different order here than in the SNES version. Also note that you can reduce the stage revisits by doing Flame Mammoth first, but visiting Chill Penguin first will ice over Flame Mammoth’s stage, making it easier on you.
Vile doesn’t have a pattern of using one Maverick’s weapon on the next, so some bosses you will just have to defeat using whatever weapons you have available. The following are only suggestions. Note that the Infinity Gig is one of the better weapons in the game, but you must clear four stages before you can use it. Also, some bosses are easier to defeat without exploiting their weaknesses than others, so if you have troubles with someone, just skip him and go on to someone else.
There are no hatches in this game; you fight the bosses in a predetermined order. In Vile Mode, you might want to choose weapons to take to the fortress stages based on who you will face there.
- Launch Octopus
- Boomerang Kuwanger
- Armored Armadillo
- Storm Eagle
- Spark Mandrill
- Chill Penguin
- Sting Chameleon
- Flame Mammoth
- Vile 1st time:
- You can now actually beat Vile during the intro stage without too much trouble. Just aim for his head, and run underneath him when he jumps. However, even when you defeat him, he’ll just grab you anyway. Pretty lame. In a way, the plot worked better when you had to lose the battle and get grabbed at 1 health...
- X 1st time:
- This is cute that you fight X in the intro stage during Vile Mode. You don’t get Vile’s Ride Armor to use here, though. Perhaps the easiest way to beat X is to jump above him and bomb him. He occasionally jumps into the air himself, but not usually frequently enough to be a problem.
- Same as the original game, only more animated. Use Shotgun Ice or charged shots from your X-Buster. For Vile, try any weapon that you can hit the spider with quickly. You have to hit it when the gems are uncovered and glowing on its back (just after it touches the ground). It also drops little spiders which you can take out with super-shots or a special weapon.
- Rangda Bangda (Face):
- Same as the original game. The eyes attack while the walls are open, but the nose closes the walls to attack. Stay on the walls while they are closed and use Chameleon Sting or Homing Torpedo (Vile’s Infinity Gig works pretty well here). If you destroy the nose first, the eyes attack simultaneously. If you destroy the eyes first, the walls stay closed for the duration of the fight.
- Vile 2nd time:
- He’ll be off his Ride Armor this time (thanks to Zero sacrificing himself for absolutely no reason whatsoever, since Vile is plenty easy enough to defeat in his Ride Armor in this game), so try Rolling Shield or Homing Torpedo. What’s amusing about this fight is Vile will use some of his shoulder and knee weapon animations from Vile Mode.
- X and Zero:
- Yep, you fight them at essentially the same time. This is actually pretty cool (too bad you as a player can’t do this too often). Generally X and Zero switch in and out and fight you one-on-one, but sometimes they attack together. X usually tags in with a fully-charged Rolling Shield active; you’ll need a weapon that can cut through it to get rid of it, or if you wait long enough, it’ll go away on its own. There are no walls to climb here so you will have to jump their shots. When X and Zero charge up together, wait on the floor until they fire, then jump the shot (otherwise it’ll track you into the air).
- D-Rex (Tank):
- This thing comes in two halves. You can safely touch the bottom half, and even stand on it, though watch out for it to try to smash you. Shoot the top half with the Boomerang Cutter or charged X-Buster shots, and remember to do a lot of dashing to dodge the pieces. (I hope you picked up the boots!)
- Sigma’s Dog:
- Try the Shotgun Ice, or fully-powered X-Buster shots. You can avoid its ice by climbing a wall, and the fire by standing in a corner, if the dog is far enough away from you (otherwise, jump over the dog and stand behind it). Hit the dog with charged shots to knock him over; try to do this repeatedly so that it has little chance to attack.
- Sigma 1st time:
- The original pattern for this guy still works, but he tosses in some shots in between, which throws a monkey wrench into things. Note that charged X-Buster shots now do more damage than regular shots (if you have Zero’s upgrade), so feel free to charge your cannon while waiting for him to climb the wall after you.
- Sigma 2nd time:
- Only Rolling Shields will work on him. If you want to use buster shots, you must have an upgrade and charge to the pink level to do any damage at all, and that takes forever. I’d use the X-Buster only as a last resort if you run out of Rolling Shield energy. Stay off the floor and on a wall as much as possible; stand on the hand platforms only long enough to get into position to toss a Rolling Shield at the green panel in Sigma’s head, then get right back off again. The top corner of the room, against the wall, is the safest place to be, although sometimes the lightning bolts that the hands shoot can still hit you there. Sigma has a new attack where he fires a blue beam from his shoulder that rains down on you; stand under one of his hands to avoid this. However, this attack is slow enough that you can get some free hits in on Sigma before you must take refuge, so it actually works in your favor when he uses it.
Remember that if you lose to any of the last three battles, you must start over with Sigma’s dog again (at least he doesn’t repeat his speeches anymore). Fully charge the Rolling Shield and use it to destroy caterpillars in the vertical tunnel before Sigma to quickly refill any Sub-Tanks you may have used.
This game uses saved games. As far as I know there is no password mode. This means you can’t use passwords from Mega Man X1. You’ll have to play through from scratch. This isn’t altogether a bad thing—why else would you buy the game, after all? But it also means there’s nothing I can post here.
Note that you can save at any time, even in the middle of a stage. Also, your saved games will remember how many lives you had and how full your Sub-Tanks were, which isn’t true of the old password system.
Heart Tanks (X Mode)
Sub-Tanks (X Mode)
- Chill Penguin’s stage: Just after you get the Ride Armor, jump up to the ledge high above your head (use the Ride Armor as a jump boost if you need to.) Use the Fire Wave to blow open the building up there.
- Flame Mammoth’s stage: Defeat Chill Penguin. The Heart Tank is under a ledge in the cooled lava.
- Storm Eagle’s stage: Ride up the conveyer platforms found in the beginning of the stage, but when you reach the top take a huge leap to the left. (A dash-jump helps here.) The heart’s on top of the building over there.
- Spark Mandrill’s stage: It’s pretty easy to spot later on in the stage. Use the Boomerang Cutter to grab it from its high ledge.
- Launch Octopus’s stage: Destroy the ship above you that is showering you with missiles. Ride it down through the closed doors. Go right and defeat the sea snake. Head right for your prize.
- Armored Armadillo’s stage: Drop down behind the second tank and destroy it with the Fire Wave. (You can also use other weapons, but the Fire Wave is one of the easier ones.) After the tank is destroyed, the Heart Tank is easy pickings.
- Boomerang Kuwanger’s stage: Use the Boomerang Cutter to snatch it from its resting place. You can also try using a platform made with the Shotgun Ice, if you have the X-Buster enhancement.
- Sting Chameleon’s stage: Defeat Launch Octopus. Slide down walls of the pit right before the cave and the screen will scroll. Use your boots to break through the walls. Use the water’s buoyancy to leap over to the right, where the tank is.
- Flame Mammoth’s stage: In the area with ledges and lava (or ice, if you’ve defeated Chill Penguin), with the picket men, climb the ledges and work your way up and to the left. There’s a 1-Up there. Leap left from the 1-Up to find the Sub-Tank in the wall. You need the helmet to get the Sub-Tank.
- Storm Eagle’s stage: Partway through the stage you come across floating platforms with flamethrower robots on them. Ride one of these platforms up to a building above you on the left; shoot the glass on the side of the building and jump inside for the Sub-Tank.
- Spark Mandrill’s stage: Near the beginning of the stage, climb right and then down. Dash into the wall you find down there and fire a Boomerang Cutter as you strike the wall. This should give your cutter enough momentum to snag the Sub-Tank.
- Armored Armadillo’s stage: It’s behind the first spike tank that cuts through the passage. Stay on a wall and let the tank pass under you, then drop down and head left.
Capcom shuffled these all around from their locations in the original game...
Heart Tanks (Vile Mode)
- Boots: They’re in Flame Mammoth’s stage. Near the area where the Sub-Tank is found, right before the room with the lava/ice, jump up into a vertical passage in the ceiling.
- Helmet: In Chill Penguin’s stage. It’s in a section with bats and spike wheels. Climb a wall on the right and break through some blocks with the boots.
- Armor: Late in Storm Eagle’s stage, look for the tall vertical tower with stripes on it that you have to climb over. Drop down in the narrow space on the right side of the tower, and use the helmet to break through the blocks there.
- X-Buster: Get this from Zero inside Sigma’s fortress. If you want to have it early, go to Sting Chameleon’s stage and dash-jump over to the ledge over the cavern, right near the pit where you find the Heart Tank. You have to fight a mini-boss first. (Try the Storm Tornado on it; be sure to hit its head.)
Sub-Tanks (Vile Mode)
- Chill Penguin’s stage: Like in X Mode, it’s inside a building, but not the one on the cliff. Instead, it’s in the building on the ground, the first one you come across. Bring the Ride Armor from the right back to it and smash the building open with the armor’s fist attack.
- Flame Mammoth’s stage: It’s where the Sub-Tank is in X Mode. If you have troubles making the jump normally, try a hover-jump.
- Storm Eagle’s stage: It’s on top of the building with the Ride Armor in it. Partway through the stage you come across floating platforms with flamethrower cannons on them. Ride them up and go left, and climb the building you find up there.
- Spark Mandrill’s stage: It’s in the same place as in X Mode. Grab it with the Quick Homesick. You can also make the jump with the Ride Armor, but it’s easier to use the cutter.
- Launch Octopus’s stage: Same as X Mode.
- Armored Armadillo’s stage: It’s where the fireball capsule can be found in X Mode. You need to climb across floating platforms, choosing higher ones when possible. Use the hover-jump liberally.
- Boomerang Kuwanger’s stage: It’s at the top of the elevator with the spike platforms; it’s on a spike platform at the top of the screen, just out of Vile’s jumping range. You can get it by jumping from another spike platform down below, before the elevator destroys it. Or use the hover-jump technique off the wall.
- Sting Chameleon’s stage: Right near the beginning of the stage, there’s a high platform with a logger robot on it. Stand on the tree trunk and wait for the logger to whack the piece you’re standing on. The chunk should begin traveling to the left, with you still on it. Just stay there. You’ll snag the Heart Tank automatically shortly before you reach the beginning of the stage.
- Boomerang Kuwanger’s stage: It’s where the Heart Tank is during X Mode. Use the Quick Homesick to grab it.
- Sting Chameleon’s stage: Found in a gap in the ceiling during the cavern where you’re being attacked left and right by enemy Ride Armors. Grab the Ride Armor from above the cave (jump over there at the beginning, before you enter the cavern), then get it to the opening in the ceiling, and use it to jump up into the passage (jump while in the Ride Armor, then, while the armor is still in the air, eject yourself from the armor by pressing Up + Jump).
- Launch Octopus’s stage: Ride the water whirl up to the ship that is showering you with missiles. Don’t destroy it. Walk across it to its other side, then jump onto the floating platform that you see over there. Ride it to the right, and you should see the Sub-Tank floating on the water over there.
- Storm Eagle’s stage: This one is so not worth it. Not far into the stage you will come across some floating platforms with flamethrower cannons on them. Destroy the first cannon, then jump on its platform and face left and start scaling the platforms up to the building. Shoot the glass, get in the Ride Armor, and head right. You have to travel across the floating platforms (shoot the cannons with the vulcan and always use dash jumps), across another green building with an enemy zipping back and forth on it, and then over another set of floating platforms. When you reach the right-most platform (it should be really close to the one next to it, and really close to another building), ride it down and use the Ride Armor to punch at the blocks you see down there. Once they’re gone, jump out of the armor and enter the passage you opened up. This one’s a pain in the neck because if you take a hit, or if the enemies don’t drop any weapon energy, or if you don’t dash when you need to, you likely won’t have enough time to make it. And if you die (the Ride Armor drops like a brick), you have to start over from the beginning of the stage. (But at least it doesn’t matter how many lives you have when you attempt this...)
You always end the game with the same collection of weapons; however, you receive different weapons from the Mavericks depending on what order you defeat them in. Generally speaking, the first couple of Mavericks you defeat will give you only two or three items. The next few will average around four weapons. After that, you start getting six to eight weapons per Maverick. Note that some Mavericks have a propensity toward certain types of weapons. For example, defeat Sting Chameleon later in the game and you’ll probably get a whole slew of “Laser” shoulder weapons. Boomerang Kuwanger tends to give you Cutters, and Armored Armadillo tends to offer up Energy Balls. And so forth.
Because of this system, I can’t simply list what weapon you get from whom. However, all Mavericks do seem to have a bare minimum of weapons that they will definitely give you upon their defeat. I list these below. For other weapons, see the Data Base.
- Chill Penguin:
- Flame Mammoth:
- Storm Eagle:
- Spark Mandrill:
- Launch Octopus:
- Boomerang Kuwanger:
- Sting Chameleon:
- Armored Armadillo:
For general tips and tricks, be sure to head on over to the page covering the original game, as most of the information is still valid. This section only details what’s different.
General Vile Mode Tips:
- Take it slow with Vile. It’s ridiculously easy to scroll enemies onto the screen in this game (and ridiculously easy to scroll power-up items off), so be aware that enemies you just defeated two seconds ago might decide to come at you from all odd directions if you accidentally scroll them on the screen while jumping to avoid another enemy’s shots and so forth.
- Bomb ’Em: Try using Leg weapons (particularly Napalm and Energy Balls) from the air. Vile has less recovery time on most of his Leg weapons when he’s in the air, and as a bonus you often can avoid taking damage by being above your target instead of in front of it.
- Vile’s Ride Armors have time limits. This was most likely put into place to create puzzles where you have to get the Ride Armor to a certain location to use it to do something (break a container or whatever) before you run out of time. It’s kind of irritating, though, and any damage you take while in the armor just decreases your available time further. (On the other hand, any weapon energy you pick up increases the time, because the timer shares your weapon energy meter.) On the good side, when the Ride Armor’s time runs out and it blows up, the explosion can damage enemies. So in a way, you can use a Ride Armor like a limited smart bomb if you wish. (Just jump out when you have the Ride Armor where you wish it to blow up.)
- With some weapons Vile can hover in midair essentially indefinitely as long as he doesn’t run out of weapon energy. Just keep tapping the weapon fire button while in the air; Vile hangs motionless in midair while firing, and if you fire another shot as soon as he recovers from his first one, he won’t drop at all between shots. This works best for his shoulder weapons, but you can also accomplish this with certain leg weapons and other armaments. Use this “hover” technique to do things like hang out in the air to avoid enemy shots. You can also use it to aid yourself in landing on moving platforms—just hover in the air until the platform gets into position for you to land on it (or to grab it from the side if need be).
- Hover-Jump: This is my rather lame term for a technique for extending the length of Vile’s jumps. You can use this to reach areas that you shouldn’t normally be able to get to, even without any special equipment. Jump into the air, then start firing your shoulder cannon (the default Front Runner is best, as it is unlikely you will run out of weapon energy with it) while holding the control pad in the direction of your jump. The key is to wait a split second after Vile finishes recovering from his shot before firing again. If you do it correctly, Vile should inch forward without dropping in height much if at all. You can use this to more than double Vile’s normal jumping distance.
The Fireball Capsule:
The same as in the original game, except you have to get to the capsule’s location without taking any damage during the stage (dying by falling into the pit at the end is okay). A charged Rolling Shield does wonders here. On the good side, you only need to visit the location of the capsule once, and the fireball is saved with the rest of your save game data to boot.
Note that you can in fact kill Sigma’s second form with the fireball (and it only takes one fireball in this game). It’s less difficult here because you have a bigger target to aim for. The easiest way is to charge up the Chameleon Sting all the way first, then use the invulnerability it grants to give yourself a chance to jump onto the hand and shoot the fireball at Sigma’s head without getting hit.
- Day of Sigma: This is an animated movie of sorts that you unlock by beating the game as X. It’s a prequel to Mega Man X1 basically.
- Vile Mode: Despite the fact that the manual covers this mode explicitly, you still have to unlock it by beating the game with X first.
- Clear Game Save: This is a save file that you make after you beat the game. You keep all of your weapons and other items that you’d earned on your play through. This save allows you to revisit any stage at any time (even fortress stages), yet the stages are not considered “cleared” and thus you get the plot sequences and bosses as if you were going through the stage for the first time. Even after you complete a stage, it is not marked “cleared” and you can go right back into it and fight the boss all over again. Basically, with this save, no stage is ever considered to be “cleared” yet you keep all of the items and enhancements that you picked up along the way.
- X’s Ending:
- Sigma’s fortress blows up while X stands on a cliff watching. Then the ending shifts into a flashback where Dr. Cain opens X’s capsule and listens to Dr. Light’s warning message (which is now a video recording). Dr. Light’s speech has changed somewhat from the original game; he now calls X the world’s hope (can this guy see the future or what?). There are additional scenes where X looks over at Zero’s bike, then gets on his own and goes for a ride.
- Vile’s Ending:
- Vile beats on X for a while, then Zero stops him by grabbing hold of his leg and then he yells at X to shoot. (Vile: “No! Not a charged shot!” Me: “Yes, a charged shot. They only do 3 units of damage. Surely you can survive that.”) Anyway, X shoots and Vile falls unconscious, waking up later alone with Sigma. (Either X and Zero left him there, or Sigma saved him, I guess.) Sigma just stands there, looking down at him. Finally Sigma asks Vile what it was that he intended to accomplish. Vile laughs, coughs, and admits that now that he thinks about it, he really has no idea. Sigma radios in a call for someone to come pick up Vile, then turns and walks away. Vile stretches a hand out into the air, then his vision statics out and that’s the end of the ending.
Many thanks to Colin for the screen shots.