Sigma attacks the Maverick Hunters base, then explodes, somehow managing to cover the entire planet with his virus with that one simple explosion (where’s the Maverick Hunter base again?). The virus causes most robots to go Maverick and sets the space colony known as Eurasia on a collision-course with Earth. The only way to stop it is to blow up the colony, either by building a powerful laser cannon to fire at it, or by building a shuttle and sending it on a kamikaze trip to crash into the colony.

Stupid Questions:

What happened to the humans? If there are no humans left who is building Reploids? If there are humans left, what happened to Dr. Cain? (He was never useful for anything anyway...) Are X and Zero really centuries old? How could the Reploid Wars have been going on for centuries and it’s still only 21XX? How could DNA be retrieved from robots? How could a robot mutate? Why do the Maverick Hunters need a specific ocean to get hydrogen? Why would Zero think it’s odd that you can’t “trust Sigma”? Why are all the good-guy Reploids human-like, whereas all the ones which go Maverick are almost invariably animaloid? Why do the Mavericks insist on fighting you when they haven’t yet gone Maverick? Why is Grizzly an arms dealer if he disagrees with fighting and destruction? What does he expect people to do with the stuff he sells? Why are minor robots in the stages referred to as “Reploids”? I thought only robots created based on X’s design are Reploids (although how a mushroom or a whale are anything like X’s design is anyone’s guess...).

There are a number of things in this game new to the series:

Note: One oddity about this game is that the Mavericks have completely different names in the manual than they do in the actual game. Although normally it is my policy to go by the game first if a game contradicts its manual, I’m hereby making an exception in this case. I’m sorry, but I am not referencing the Mavericks by their Guns N’ Roses names. I list those names in the Mavericks section, but on this game hints page I will be using their original names instead. Thus, if you have a question about who is who, please reference the Mavericks section or your X5 manual. Thanks.

Play Control: 3
The control can be sluggish and unresponsive, especially for Zero. Unfortunately, your character’s previous animations have to play completely out before you can duck or do certain other things...which means if Zero’s hair is still falling after running, you can’t duck until it finishes. Very lame.
Graphics: 4
Very impressive, especially in certain areas, although the perspective of a lot of objects doesn’t match (some objects are a straight side-view, some are slightly overhead, some are drastically overhead, etc.). Also, while I like the transparent terrain in the “fortress” stages, the psychedelic backdrops are enough to give anyone eyesore.
Animation: 3
While the sprites are more or less straight from Mega Man X4, I find some of the animations to be even more odd here.
Music: 4
The soundtrack to this game is certainly...diverse. Still, the music is pretty decent; the opening medley is interesting, and most of the tunes are appropriate. A lot of the tunes are remixes of songs from other games, so you’ll likely hear several musics you recognize.
Sound Effects: 4
X finally gets a male-sounding voice...
Plot: 3
The plot involves more than just Sigma making Reploids go Maverick (although there’s plenty of that, too). There is also a lot of story during the game which I like to see. However some of the plot isn’t terribly clear and a lot is just plain senseless.
Difficulty: 3 (normal to hard)
If you start as X, you get the Force (Fourth) Armor (or heck, the Ultimate, which cuts the difficulty in half) and the going isn’t so bad. Heaven help you if you try to play through as (red) Zero—enemy attacks inflict way too much damage on anyone not wearing armor.
Replay Value: 3
The level design for some sections is hideous. Giving you a countdown timer discourages exploration and experimentation. All this combined with the sluggish control makes a person less than eager to pick the game back up again. While the game does get more entertaining after you’ve played through it a couple of times, first impressions are still important. For a game coming from Capcom it’s really a shame.
Polish: 3
They finally began adding significantly new things to the series rather than just rehashes of things from the original series (aside from using Zero in Mega Man X4 of course). Unfortunately though most of the new features are never sufficiently explained, either in the manual or in the game, leaving you to sit there scratching your head trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
Overall: 79%
This game has lots of really nifty ideas (as well as a lot of blatant clones of things from previous games). Unfortunately, though, the new ideas tend to get overshadowed by the game’s downsides. I would have loved to have seen some of this title’s features in a game that wasn’t quite as irritating to play.

+ Plus:
The duck.
- Minus:
The Guns N’ Roses names.
You can use either character for any stage, and beating the Maverick nets you the weapon and technique for both X and Zero. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you defeat a boss with Zero; X will still get that boss’s weapon too, and vice versa. So do the stages with whomever you want; unlike in Mega Man X4, here Zero has a technique or weapon that will counter every Maverick, so the only real difference in who you use is how you have to execute the required attack (most of Zero’s attacks require you to get Zero right up next to the Maverick which means you may trade hits; most of X’s weapons allow him to attack from a distance). The following is just one possible order. Note: Depending on whether (and when) you destroy the Eurasia, you might not have to do all of these. Also Dynamo will keep popping in to battle you, and occasionally you get other cut scenes as well.
The teleporting hatch room is unusually wide in this game. The psychedelic background doesn’t make for very much ease in splicing together screen shots, but hopefully this will do.

From left to right: Dinorex, Necrobat, Firefly, Kraken, Whale, Grizzly, Rosered, Pegasus
Note: The beams in the Black Devil’s stage (which are reminiscent of Quick Man’s stage) kill you instantly; however they can be frozen with the Dark Hold, just like in Mega Man 2. Depending on what parts you have, you may need to have the Weapon Sub-Tank to refill the Dark Hold so that it doesn’t run out of energy until you’re through the entire beams section. (Observation: This type of section is a heck of a lot easier when your character doesn’t stick to walls....)
Black Devil:
Ugh, what can I say? They use the Mega Man 1 battle music here, and the duck will make your day, but otherwise, this is likely to be a very long and tedious battle, since the Devil is only vulnerable for a brief time. The Tri-Thunder isn’t quite as good as the Thunder Beam, but it does decent damage and will hit most of the eye’s locations without much effort. It is possible to dodge the bricks using the Falcon Armor and staying at the very top of the screen (keep pressing up) but it takes timing since you can’t stay in the air forever. Alternately duck the entire time, pressing jump while still holding down so that your character ducks immediately upon landing (otherwise he’s likely to get smacked in the face by the next block). Note: The Ultimate Armor’s Giga Attack does good damage but sometimes as you ’Strike through the Black Devil, you’ll mysteriously take damage—and a lot of it—so use with caution.
Wall Eyes:
You can avoid damage from the green eye’s bullets by flying (using the Falcon Armor) or by rapidly firing (or just dodge). All others you must dodge, but they attack in a very consistent manner (according to eye color) so you shouldn’t have a lot of troubles with them. I would suggest you not destroy the fireball until you’ve destroyed the other eyes (feel free to whittle down on its life a bit though) because once the fireball is gone, the walls remain closed (of course if you have the Gaea Armor you shouldn’t have as much of a problem with this, although dodging the eyes is a lot harder with so little space).
If you’re playing as X, you fight Zero as a boss, and if you’re playing as Zero, you’ll fight X. (Note: it doesn’t matter who you began the game with. It only matters who you’re using when you come to this stage.) I actually called this one...anyone who remembers the Mega Man X4 commentary I wrote a while back will recall that I predicted this one on the money. At any rate...your opponent will be slightly more (*ahem*) beefed up than when you control him, and will go as far as to use special weapons on you. (Naturally, your special weapons just ting off him...) Heck, X will even use the Ultimate Armor against you, heh heh. However you shouldn’t really have any troubles with this battle, unless you’re not wearing armor. (If you just got the Ultimate Armor from the black armor capsule (see below), just die and choose “Stage Select” and come back here with it.)
Sigma 1st time:
I personally recommend you bring the Falcon Armor here if you’re playing as X, because then you can dodge nearly all of Sigma’s attacks effortlessly (just fly through or over them). The only thing you can’t fly through are the large blue arc beams he fires through the air; those you have to duck or jump over. At any rate, it is of course possible to dodge without flying, once you get his pattern down (which you’ll have to for Zero naturally since Zero can’t fly). Sigma’s energy balls can be avoided by standing right next to him (or you can jump them). Note that his purple trails hurt you when he is dashing back and forth across the floor, but not when he’s going diagonally. As X, use the Tri-Thunder and he’ll spark; it doesn’t do a huge amount of damage, but it’s pretty easy to hit with—any time he’s near a wall you can hit him, since the Tri-Thunder orbs travel along the floor and walls. I would recommend you practice until you can get through this battle without using a Sub-Tank. You’ll need them later.
Sigma 2nd time:
You have to hit the gem in his forehead. Only fully-powered super-shots will work if you’re using X (here’s where the Ultimate Buster comes in handy). Zero doesn’t have to worry about this, naturally, since he can’t charge up anyway. Sigma’s hands can be destroyed, but they aren’t much of a threat, particularly if you hang out on the upper left wall. The blue spheres can be dodged by circling the room; if you keep moving and don’t trap yourself, they should miss. The initial purple block can’t really be dodged, but the rest can with very careful maneuvering. (If you’re lucky, he won’t pull the purple block attack at all...)

Note: As usual, you have to do all of the Sigmas in one life; if you die at Sigma 2 you begin again at Sigma 1 (at least he doesn’t give you speeches more than once in this game). If you use a Sub-Tank at any time and then die, note that there is one energy capsule before the gate you can use to fill it back up...but it takes at least four capsules to completely fill a Sub-Tank which means you have to die four times to refill one Sub-Tank. So don’t use Sub-Tanks unless you think you have a shot at winning.

As expected this game makes use of save files, so there are no passwords I can post. On the bright side you can save lots of files in a single block of the memory card.
Note: You can earn “Life Up” items by choosing “Weapons&Life” when the game gives you the opportunity. You earn “Energy Up” by choosing “Weapons&Energy.” These are built for you automatically, but require a stage before they are completed.

Falcon Armor Parts

Gaea Armor Parts Heart Tanks
Sub-Tanks Buildable Parts

These are constructed similar to the Life Up and Energy Up parts, except that they require two stages to be completed. You only get the chance to build these if the game gives you a “+” at the end of the option (“Weapons&Life+” or “Weapons&Energy+”). Whether you choose Life or Energy determines which part you get. Note that you have to equip these manually on the stage select screen (hit L1) in order for them to take effect.

General hints and tips:


Armor Codes:

Note: When punching in armor codes, you must press the exact sequence given below. Even after you hear the tone, if you press any button but ones which start the game, you will cancel the code. So if the code doesn’t work, try again and be careful what you press.

Armor Codes (PC version):

(Thanks to Satoshi Kunsai for the PC codes.)

Black Armor Capsule:

There is a Dr. Light capsule in the third station of the “fortress” (the stage which ends with a battle with X or Zero, depending on who you are using). If you get this capsule, whatever character you are using will get the same armor as the armor codes listed above. Note that of course if you already have the black armor, this capsule won’t appear. Also X cannot be wearing any armor whatsoever (he has to be just plain ol’ “X”) or the capsule simply won’t show up.
(Strangely, Zero gets the black armor immediately upon entering the capsule, but X does not. As X you have to exit the stage and equip the armor like normal (after choosing a stage) in order to actually get it...which means unless you lose all your lives and choose “Stage Select” you have to complete this stage without armor.)

At any rate, finding the capsule is relatively simple. Partway through the stage, after a bout of platforms over spikes, you will come to a pit with a stationary platform floating on the left side. Slide down the right wall of this pit and you’ll find the room with the capsule. See the paragraph above if the capsule doesn’t appear; having a full energy meter has nothing to do with it in this game (unlike previous titles).

There are several variations of the ending depending on who you were using and other circumstances. (Again, it doesn’t matter who you started the game with, only who you were using when you beat the game.)

Essentially, when Sigma is defeated he vows to take the other character (Zero if you’re using X, X if you’re using Zero) down with him. Of course your character doesn’t like this one bit, but can’t seem to stop it as Sigma explodes.

If Zero didn’t turn evil earlier in the game, the next scene shows a very battered Zero (regardless of who you were using) lying on the ground, with a somewhat healthy-looking X over him. X starts to pick Zero up, when he hears a voice from a melted skull-like face behind him. The face fires a laser which cuts clean through the chests of both X and Zero. As X collapses and Zero falls back to the ground, Zero sticks out his arm cannon, comments, “How persistent you are, Sigma,” and blasts the face. After that, the two are left lying on the ground. Zero murmurs to himself that X’s optimism led to his own demise, and that X should live.

If you’re playing as Zero, you never do find out what happened to X, and in that way the game implies X kicked the bucket. The ending focuses on Zero, who remembers scenes from the past (and sketchy images of “that old man” that’s been talked about through the game) and decides he finally understands that, in order for there to be peace, he (Zero) must die.

X’s endings (either with or without Zero) show X’s now-battered body also lying on the ground. Suddenly Dr. Light’s holographic form appears beside him. Dr. Light murmurs, “Not yet... Hold on, X, just a few more moments...” (Side note: this guy definitely ain’t dead.) After that, the scene cuts to a later point in time, where X is fully recovered and is leading the Maverick Hunters as usual. If Zero went evil during the game, you discover that all of X’s memories of Zero were erased somehow, and that he returned to the Maverick Hunters already fully repaired, without a scratch. Otherwise, X still remembers Zero, and carries Zero’s beam saber around with him wherever he goes. He feels always close to Zero, as long as he has the saber.

Now, I have just two problems with these endings as a collective whole. (“Only two?” Well, okay, more than two, but I’ll just cover two for now.) One, why is it that X, despite his condition (which was identical to Zero’s incidentally), was able to be repaired, yet Zero wasn’t? Not withstanding that, Zero’s already been offed before and yet he always comes back. Why hasn’t anyone rebuilt him yet? It’s not only silly, it’s inconsistent, with their own series.

Needless to say, if Capcom wants Zero back in the next game, he’ll be back, and probably without explanation, just like before. Trust me on this one; you can take it to the bank. Capcom does, after all, have a very long track record regarding this...and not just with the X series.

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Last update: September 4, 2006