A robot named Techno has hacked into the Mother Computer at Maverick Hunter Base and is causing general mayhem and destruction. Naturally, X volunteers to dive in and put a stop to the madness at its source.

Wow, a Mega Man X game for Game Boy! The world must be coming to an end! Just kidding. Seriously, this game does borrow some ideas from other Game Boy games: it features four bosses at the start, from Mega Man X1 and Mega Man X2. The plot is new, and of course other things had to be reworked to fit the new platform.

Unlike the original series Game Boy games, here the stages are almost all identical or nearly identical to their SNES counterparts. However there are some differences and new features in this game:

Play Control: 3
Solid, for the most part. There are some quirks, but they’re present in all of the X games, so it’s sort of to be expected.
Graphics: 4
Some are very nicely done, but a few places are a bit gaudy, which can happen when there are not a lot of colors available. In some cases the graphics look better in black and white (believe it or not), but black and white does suffer from some lack of contrast issues.
Animation: 4
X’s sprites look a little odd, probably because this is his first appearance this pint-sized, and he’s missing the flesh-colored face that Mega Man’s NES sprites possessed. However he has a ton of frames of animation which makes up for it.
Music: 4
A little tinny, as one might expect, but most of the tunes are in stereo, which is quite nice.
Sound Effects: 3
Generally pretty good; however X’s charging sound effect (when he’s charging up his X-Buster) drives me batty.
Plot: 3
More bit characters that we’ll probably never hear from again. Why doesn’t the X series ever reuse characters? Dr. Cain is actually in this game but he’s as useless as usual.
Difficulty: 4 (normal to hard)
X really gets gypped in this game. He starts with only 16 units in his energy meter, and yet enemies do a massive amount of damage to him until he picks up his armor upgrade. With some practice, however, the difficulty starts feeling a little more normal.
Replay Value: 3
Well, you have to replay the game from the start just to encounter the other four Mavericks and their stages, so I suppose that counts as replay value. Just note that almost all of the stages are blantant rips from the SNES games—they didn’t even bother trying to find new locations for most of the items. So if you’ve played the SNES games you shouldn’t have any troubles finding anything here...and by the same token, you may feel like you’re just replaying what you’ve already done in the past, so that’s something to consider if you already own the SNES versions before picking this one up.

Tell us something we don’t know.
Polish: 2
A lot of the attempts were somewhat botched which brings this category down. For example, sprites of several things such as X’s super-shots flash rapidly, probably in an attempt to make them look semi-translucent and more like their SNES equivalents. However it just ends up making them harder to see. In this case I would sacrifice cool special effects for clarity. There are other minor glitches here and there, such as sprites losing chunks at times, sporadic screen scrolling, X’s super-shots stopping dead and/or rebounding in funny ways, and the way X slides through gates rather than walking (and then gets dumped a third of the way into the room), which are rare to see in a Mega Man title and makes this game seem a tad unpolished.
Overall: 78%
This game is a downgrade in many categories from the original series Game Boy titles. The only reason I can fathom is that Capcom was trying too hard to emulate the X games, which originally appeared on systems like the SNES and above. The original series, which began as NES games, were much easier to port to the GB. Xtreme does have some pretty nice features. It’s just a shame to see Capcom muck up on some technical issues which their original series GB games handled just fine.

+ Plus:
This is a toss-up; two features jump out at me. One, I love how many frames of animation X’s sprites possess. Two, the fact that you can turn off the system, then turn it on later and restart in the middle of a level is quite nice.
- Minus:
X has a particularly nasty habit of turning around when he gets hit (“Hello, I wanted to be firing the other way!”). He also has a bad habit of not firing when you press the fire button, mostly evident when using special weapons.
Fighting Mavericks is tougher in this game than ever before because until you have the armor, most only have to hit you bodily about three times to kill you. Be extra careful to avoid direct-contact hits. Although the following order puts Flame Stag near the end, it may advantageous to hit his stage early on just to get the armor upgrade, then lose all your lives and pick “Stage Select” to get out (if you find you can’t defeat him). On Hard and Extreme modes, you’ll fight the following bosses:
There are three layouts depending on what mode you are on. As you can see the Extreme layout is basically the other two stacked on top of each other, but, for the sake of completeness, I list them both. Green text is Normal mode; red is Hard.

Normal and Hard Modes:

Extreme Mode:

He’ll jump at you three times, then jump again and begin twirling. So dash underneath his first three jumps, hitting him with a super-shot from behind once he hits the ground. After the third time, wait by a wall until he makes his leap, then climb the wall and quickly dash-jump off it so you clear him, and wait on the other side of the room. You can’t hit him until he jumps again, so don’t bother; just get into position to begin the pattern all over again.
Use Speed Burner. Jump his blades or climb the wall; if he disappears, keep moving so he won’t reappear directly on top of you. When he takes to the air, keep dashing back and forth across the floor for the best chance of dodging him.
Use Shotgun Ice, Magnet Mines, or super-shots. You have to act quickly to nail it while the gem on its back is open. The spider can reach pretty much any location it wants when it comes down, so there is no way to be sure you’re in a safe place. You can try climbing the wall to avoid it, but you’ll have to get to the floor quickly to fire while it’s vulnerable. You can also try “baiting” it, by standing on one side of the room, causing it to head toward you, then rushing over to the other side; if you’re lucky, it won’t have enough rods to make it all the way back over to you. I suggest you bring a Sub-Tank to this battle.
Serges Wall:
Fire at each of the four cannons (I chucked a Fireball at each). The machine moves closer with each cannon destroyed (unless you blow away more than one at a time), so be careful if it starts knocking platforms out from under you. Once the cannons are gone, shoot at the figure in the cockpit (you have to aim high, to hit him rather than his cockpit itself, which is invulnerable). Try dropping Rolling Shields onto his head if you have them. Otherwise use Speed Burner. You cannot stand on the front of the machine this time (unlike Mega Man X2 where this boss originated).
Sigma 1st time:
Sigma with a beam saber, just like Mega Man X1. You can use a similar technique here: climb the wall and stay in the upper left corner. Sigma will eventually begin leaping from wall to wall. When he touches the wall under you twice, drop down as soon as he’s out of your way, hitting him with an Electric Spark or a super-shot on the way down. When you hit the floor, wait again until Sigma is out of your way, fire a second time (you should just barely nick his feet if you time it right), then climb all the way back up before Sigma reaches you. Repeat. Note: The Spin Wheel does only 1 unit of damage but it can nail him repeatedly for multiple hits depending on how you aim it.
Sigma 2nd time:
You have to hit him in the head with super-shots or Rolling Shields. If you have the R.S, just stand on one of the platforms and keep hopping and firing and you should take him down before he damages you too badly. Otherwise, I find it’s easiest to hang out on the wall in the upper left corner and plaster him from there. You will get hit from time to time, but most attacks will miss you.

This cartridge actually uses saved games rather than passwords. So, I can’t post anything here, sorry. On the good side, the game auto-saves periodically in case your batteries die or you just need to turn the system off suddenly.
Heart Tanks Sub-Tanks Enhancements Zero Scramble Programs

You can only get these in Hard and Extreme modes, and if you’re on Hard mode, you have to already possess the enhancement listed in parentheses in order to receive the Scramble Program. Otherwise you get the enhancement instead.

What are Zero Scramble programs? A more accurate translation would probably be: “Zero, get off your duff and come help me!” Basically, these call Zero to perform an attack. As soon as you select a program to use, X teleports out, Zero teleports in and performs the move, then leaves and X returns. Make sure you’re in the right position (and facing the right way!) before you select one of these moves off the subscreen or you’ll waste your attack. On the good side, all other action on the screen is frozen while Zero is executing his move. The Zero Scramble programs share an energy meter and cannot be refilled using weapon energy. They do, however, refill when you exit a stage.

General Hints and Tips:

Difficulty Modes:

Once you unlock them, all of the following modes are available off the title screen when you are starting a new game. Nicely enough, the save games list which difficulty mode they were saved under. Obviously you can’t change difficulties in the middle of a game, but you can start a new difficulty whenever you want.

The Shotokan:

You can get this capsule in the third station of the fortress (after the spider). This gives you both the Fireball from Mega Man X1 and the Dragon Punch from Mega Man X2! (No black belt for Dr. Light here, though...)

To get them, ride the second switchable platform all the way up the vertical passage you’ll find. Each jump onto the platform rotates its direction in a sequence. The platform needs a lot of clearance to pass an obstacle. Especially with the final opening you have to pass through, you have to get the platform positioned just right or it’ll get hung up on empty air.

Once you get the platform up the passage, head it right down the hallway and you can use it to reach the ladder that you find in the ceiling there. In the next section, jump or dash across the spikes (you can dash over a one-block gap in the floor without falling through) until the passage curves back down in a reverse “C” formation. There are three ways to clear this: Charge up the Rolling Shield, use the Speed Burner to give yourself an air-dash, or just dash-jump and curve yourself back to the left as you drop (you should have enough momentum to clear the spikes).

However you do it, slide down the left wall of the tunnel beyond and you will eventually drop through a blue block and into the room where the capsule is. (Note: You do not need a full energy meter for the capsule to appear; however, it won’t show up if you don’t have all of the enhancements.)

To perform these, you need to charge up first to the pink (maximum) level. Then hold Down and release the fire button for the Fireball, or hold Up and release the button for the Dragon Punch.

Normal mode:
X destroys Techno’s computer, and Techno falls over, saying that since he’d connected his CPU to the computer, its destruction destroys him as well. Enter Middy, who reveals that he and Techno are twin brothers (like we couldn’t tell just by looking at them), and since they share a CPU (question: how do two robots share a CPU?), Techno’s fall will cause Middy to “die” as well. Oh yeah, and Sigma is revealed to have been controlling Techno and forcing him to do his bidding (of course). Naturally, Sigma’s downfall isn’t permanent (he says he’s defeated but that he’ll be back) which ushers in the Hard mode.
Hard mode:
There isn’t really much of a plot involved in this one. Sigma is more or less destroyed this time (although we all know how long that will last), and afterward X finds Zero, who says they can escape the core now. So they leave, and that’s the end of the ending.
Extreme mode:
There is no plot and thus no ending, although Sigma does show up after the credits to taunt you.

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Last update: June 12, 2006