Reploids, powered by something known as a “DNA Soul” (no, I won’t get into a discourse about that here), cannot function without their souls. Someone has been going around gathering souls from Reploids to use in building items. Most of the Reploids attacked in this way merely deactivate. However some have had their souls replaced with the Maverick virus which naturally causes them to go Maverick. X and Zero have been called in to put a stop to whoever is behind this in order to save the Reploids from being deactivated.
This is much like Xtreme as one might expect, similar in style but with new bosses (spanning three SNES games (Mega Man X1 through X3) rather than two), and new parts and enhancements to gather. Not only is Zero in this game (as a player character) but Iris is too, taking the role of both Roll (no pun intended) of the original series and Alia from the normal X games.
(Note: This is a Game Boy Color game only. It will not run on a standard Game Boy or on a Nintendo DS. However, it does run on a Game Boy Advance.)
The game’s mechanics are a little confusing though and the manual isn’t very helpful in some respects so I’ll cover some highlights here.
- You can gather DNA Souls to use to build Parts (naturally, it’s just fine for the Hunters to use Maverick DNA to build items, but it’s not okay for the bad guys to use Reploid DNA to build items). These are obtained from enemies much in the same way as P-Chips and Bolts in games like Mega Man IV. They look like one or more energy pellets stuck together and are either blue or yellow. This is confusing because it’s hard to tell which items will recover your life/weapon energy and which ones give you DNA. Some do both.
- To build a Part, you have to select “Part” from the stage select screen.
- To equip a Part, you must enter a stage and then select the Part on the subscreen. (Unfortunately they are not named on the subscreen so you’ll just have to remember which icon is which.) Press the B button to remove a Part that is equipped.
- X can equip up to four Parts at once if he doesn’t have all of the enhancements, but once he’s got his new suit of armor, the number drops to two. Zero can equip three Parts.
- When you choose a character (X or Zero) you’re stuck playing as that character for the first four stages. After that Iris gives you a device which allows you to switch (use the right-most option on the bottom of the subscreen). You can switch as often as you like during a stage—you can even switch during boss battles, although you’re (inanely enough) not allowed to switch while your current character is invincible (after being hit) which makes it insanely difficult to get a good switch off in the heat of battle.
- Which character you pick determines which four Mavericks you face (even though eight are mentioned in the plot). Evidently the other character is off fighting the other four for you (even though when you finally get the character switch ability, the other character doesn’t have any weapons. Duh).
- X and Zero cannot both be equipped with the same Part at the same time. So before you switch characters be sure to remove any Parts you want your new character to use.
- Some of Zero’s techniques are used via specific control pad motions, similar to previous games. Others you must select off the subscreen to use, and they activate immediately as soon as you close the subscreen.
- Oddly enough, lava doesn’t instantly kill you in this game, even the rising lava that fills most of the screen. However flood waters that similarly fill most of the screen do kill you instantly. I’ve yet to see the logic behind this. (To top off the inconsistency: some flood waters will merely push you backward without harming you, but these are uncommon. Also the fireballs in Flame Mammoth’s stage sometimes kill you instantly—and sometimes don’t—so watch out. (Note: Yes, I know the water flashes yellow sometimes and that flashing water will kill you. However in the fortress stages the water is not flashing and it still kills you. So...hello inconsistencies.))
- In the default control scheme, Start opens the subscreen and Select cycles through your weapons. On the button configuration (under Options), you can assign the Select button to activate the X/Zero switch (assuming you have the ability to switch characters) which can be handy as well (when you’re ready to switch, just keep pounding Select until the switch occurs).
- Play Control:
- The same as the first Xtreme, really. Zero can actually attack while on the move, which is nice.
- Same basic quality as Xtreme.
- X’s sprites are as good as always and he gets a new one for his upgraded equipment. Zero’s however look pretty odd and even the Saber animation (which is impressive in most other X games) is rather lame here.
- The music quality itself isn’t all that bad, but unfortunately many of the tunes are from Mega Man X3 which barely even qualify being called music.
- Sound Effects:
- Same as Xtreme.
- I can’t really complain about the plot too much. There are the usual English grammar mistakes and plot idiocies, but there’s also a lot of story scenes and interaction between X and Zero during the game which is nice. Zero’s plot seems a bit more refined however. And I wish people would only give speeches once. I don’t need to see the same story over and over every time I die.
- Difficulty: (normal)
- This game is a lot easier starting out than its predecessor. Enemies do a reasonable amount of damage this time even before you get any Heart Tanks or armor. Some of the later stages and bosses can be a headache however. As usual X tends to be a tad easier to play than Zero, although not for the same reasons. In this game it’s because Zero’s Saber has horrible reach.
- Replay Value:
- The control is still a little loose and Zero plays rather poorly compared to his PSX games. Although you do have to replay the game multiple times if you want to see everything.
- A lot of the problems from the first Xtreme game got carried over to here. For example some enemies toss chunks of themselves when they die which don’t harm you but due to the limited colors of the system and the fact that many weapon shots flicker too, it’s almost impossible to tell these harmless chunks from weapon shots, so you’re left struggling to dodge for no reason. Also the level design is somewhat poor in areas, failing to take into account the smaller screen.
- Overall: 80%
- Similar to Xtreme with lousy level design in some areas (mainly the ones which aren’t blatant copies of the original SNES levels). The character interaction is better here though.
- + Plus:
- This game has the best interaction between X and Zero of any title to date, meaning they give the illusion of the two working together even though you are only playing one at a time.
- - Minus:
- The level designers still haven’t figured out that vertical scrolling is bad. Funny, the original Mega Man games got it correct right from the start. Because of the poorly done scrolling, there are many places here where you can’t see something that’s above or below you until after you hit it. This is particularly unhealthy when said things happen to be spikes...
Although getting through stages without any weapons or items isn’t all that difficult in this game, fighting the Mavericks still can be. The below are only suggestions; since bosses go in a loop, try someone else if you have troubles.
There are no teleporting hatches in the regular game (*gasp* *shock*). However there are hatches for the Extreme and Boss Attack modes (see the Secrets section if you don’t know how to unlock these).
In the Boss Attack mode, you fight with X and Zero (use the normal operation to switch between them) through eight Mavericks. The game times you and records your best times but only if you complete the mission (defeat all eight). You are given all of the weapons, Parts, and Heart Tanks, but no enhancements, no Sub-Tanks, and no lives (if you die once you have to start all over).
One strategy is to ignore the special weapons and instead just use Parts. Try the following:
For X: Equip the Buster Plus 1, Buster Plus 2, the Hyper Dash, and either the Ultimate Buster or the Barrier Extender...and then just rapid-fire all of the Mavericks to pieces. The Hyper Dash is there to help you avoid damage, since because X cannot air-dash there are a couple of attacks which you otherwise simply cannot dodge. The Buster Parts will cause you to take insane damage on the boss.
For Zero: Same basic idea: Equip the Saber Plus 1, the Saber Plus 2, and the Ultimate Saber, then get close and slash away. The Ultimate Saber will ensure that you are doing maximum damage with each of your swings (but if it slows you down too much ditch it for something else). Zero can only equip three Parts, but he doesn’t really need the Hyper Dash because he can air-dash.
Note: Which Parts you have available in this mode might be dependant on which Parts you have built at least once during the normal game. I’m not sure because by the time I got this mode I’d already built all of the Parts. So if you are missing some Parts just go build them in the normal game, then come back here.
Teleporting Hatches Layout
(Extreme mode uses the B layout, naturally.)
Yep, that’s right, all of the Mavericks from Xtreme! The Xtreme 2 bosses have info elsewhere on this page, but for the Xtreme 1 guys...
- As X, use Ray Claw or just the X-Buster. For Zero try the Drill Crush or the Saber (or the Final).
- Face Tank:
- Since you can use both X and Zero during this battle, take advantage of it. Have Zero slash at the lower face, while alternating hitting the tank itself to shove it backward (you don’t want to touch the spike on the front—and you definitely don’t want to get trapped underneath the platform). Zero can also hit the upper face while standing on the platform if the tank is close to him, but he’s likely to be low on health by this point. So once the lower face is toast, switch to X, stand on the platform, and rapid-fire the upper face like mad (or try the T.Fang if you have it). Giga Crush the tank first if you can. This battle is painfully unfair because there is literally no room to dodge, so don’t worry about using a Sub-Tank if you have to. You can refill it before the next stage.
- As a curious handicap, whenever there are spikes on the walls, you are not allowed to jump, and when there are spikes on the floor, you’re not allowed to fire. Keep this in mind and dodging shouldn’t be difficult. You can shoot the A and B shots to prevent this, or just dodge them. Try the Tri-Thunder or just use super-shots. Equip the Buster Plus Parts to make the battle go by that much faster.
- When Gareth goes off the top of the screen, dash back and forth across the room to avoid his spears. Otherwise, try to hit him on his head or his feet (if he’s in the air) since he has a rather annoying shield. He reacts to Tri-Thunder but it does only 2 damage, so you’re better off equipping Parts to increase the power of your Saber and slashing him.
- Sigma 1:
- (You knew he had to be in here somewhere...) S.Slicer and M.Tornado do decent damage, or you could opt for the Parts technique mentioned in the Teleporting Hatch section. This is the Neo Sigma form from Mega Man X2. He is extremely fast compared to most foes in this game so you’ll have to be on your toes. Note: Your energy will be completely refilled after this battle (before Sigma 2) so don’t waste Sub-Tanks.
- Sigma 2:
- Even if you ignored the character switch ability throughout the rest of the game, use it here, because this battle was designed for both characters. Depending on what color he is, Sigma can be damaged by different weapons. (You knew this was a color-only game for a reason...) This form is basically the Kaiser Sigma from Mega Man X3 except there are no walls to climb here and his attacks are different.
When Sigma is cyan (light blue), use X, air-dash upward to gain the height you need (you know, Capcom, a wall would have been useful...) and shoot fully-powered super-shots at the higher animal-like head on the front of the robot. (You have to hit the head; otherwise your shots will just bounce off.) The Ultimate Buster comes in handy here; I’d also use the Buster Plus 2 rather than fooling with special weapons. When Sigma is red, switch to Zero and jump and hit him with the Saber (equip both Saber Plus Parts if you can). In either case, when you connect with your shots properly, the robot will flash, but you won’t do any damage at first.
Keep at it, firing/slashing as fast as possible, and eventually the robot will disappear and Sigma will be hanging in space. Shoot Sigma; you can get a shot or two in before he turns back into the giant robot.
His attacks are varied but can mostly be dodged, except the small green spheres which are sometimes more trouble than it’s worth. When he advances forward with a large green slash in front of his machine, just shoot him repeatedly until he goes off the screen. The downward green beam pauses every few seconds so you can dash under it while it’s not firing. Really, the only saving grace to this battle is that Sigma’s green energy attacks only do a tiny amount of damage—even so, you might need some Sub-Tanks before it’s all over.
Note that if you lose all of your lives to Sigma, the nearest continue point is the stage right before the teleporting hatches—yes, you have to re-fight all eight Mavericks just to challenge Sigma again. Between this, the tank boss, and the near-impossible jumps in the Berkana/Gareth fortress stages, you have to wonder if the game developers were trying to make the game irritating on purpose...
This game uses saved games, so there’s nothing I can post here. The good side is the saved games remember everything, including how full your Sub-Tanks were.
- Neon Tiger’s stage: In the section where you must use the Ride Armor to break through tree trunks, you will eventually come to a trunk with two breakable sections, one higher up—the Heart’s hidden in this higher one. Use the walker to jump up there (hold down the jump button and the walker will jet-propel itself through the air). If you can’t reach try a dash-jump.
- Launch Octopus’s Stage: It’s on a platform above the water; let the water-jet carry you upward, then do a vertical air-dash off the top.
- Volt Catfish’s stage: It’s in plain sight beyond a gate during the screen-wide flooding section. Since the water kills you instantly (similar to the lava in Mega Man X5) you may have to sacrifice a life to get this.
- Flame Mammoth’s stage: It’s on the lava at the bottom right corner of the large room with the fireballs that destroy ledges. Lava does not kill you in this game (only does 2 units of damage) so just drop onto the lava and walk over to the Heart Tank.
- Wire Sponge’s stage: At the very beginning, climb the wall to your left and find the hidden opening.
- Blast Hornet’s stage: In the second section of the open area with floating “Skycopter” insect platforms, head down (there’s a ledge and a ladder under your feet when you enter), then right across the platforms.
- Overdrive Ostrich’s stage: It’s during the second hoverbike section. There will be what appears to be a pit, but don’t jump it and you should land in another passage in the wall below the normal path. The Heart is in there.
- Tunnel Rhino’s stage: When you get to the Ride Armor, move right carefully to avoid falling through any sections of breakable floor. When you reach the wall at the right climb to the top and you’ll see the Heart. Hover the Ride Armor up there and hop out to retrieve it.
- Flame Mammoth’s stage: In the upper left wall of the large room where the Heart Tank is. You need the boots to break the blocks.
- Wire Sponge’s stage: After the second weather crystal, climb up. It’s on a ledge up there.
Oddly enough, even though Zero can get enhancements which benefit him, the subscreen shows a picture of X instead. Also if you’re playing the Zero mission, when you get X he’ll have all of the enhancements even if you haven’t gotten all of the capsules. (This is tougher to determine with Zero since his sprite doesn’t change but I suspect this is the case in reverse as well.) Also note that only X can get his capsules, and only Zero can obtain his. A capsule won’t activate for the wrong character. So if you find one and nothing happens, switch characters and try approaching it again.
- Leg Upgrade: It’s in Volt Catfish’s stage. In a section with a vertical tunnel with a waterfall, keep climbing up the tunnel.
- Head Upgrade: In Neon Tiger’s stage. During the floating platforms section you should be able to see the capsule in plain sight under a ledge. Use the Fire Wave to break the wall just in front of it.
- Arm Upgrade: In Flame Mammoth’s stage. You need the Helmet part and probably the Leg upgrade as well (it may be possible to get up there without it, but infinitely easier to just use the vertical air-dash). You should see some breakable blocks in the ceiling rather early on—use your helmet to bust through them. As with the first Xtreme game, this is an exercise in patience since you have to hit the blocks just right for them to break, but it can be done.
- Body Upgrade: In Launch Octopus’s stage. Defeat the first ship and drop down the hole in the ground that it leaves. Head right, defeat the water snake, and walk right past the ladder to find the capsule.
- Leg Crush: In Wire Sponge’s stage. After the first save point, you’ll find a vertical passage with platforms that rise upward. Wait until a platform passes then jump down the pit while holding right.
- Head Crush: In Overdrive Ostrich’s stage. After the section with the tornado whirls that kill you, you’ll encounter a large room with a small ladder leading down. Air-dash to the left rather than going down, and you’ll find a ladder over there. You only get one shot at grabbing the ladder because if you miss you fall down to where you can’t get back up again, so you have to come back to the stage to try again. (You could turn off the game and restart from the auto-save but this only works once. Just don’t trigger the save point that’s right at the bottom of the large room.)
- Zero Final: In Tunnel Rhino’s stage. After falling down through the floor using the Ride Armor, go left rather than right. You’ll come to a narrow passage with two gray-blue blocks. Break the blocks with the Lightning weapon.
- Body Upgrade: In Blast Hornet’s stage. It’s through a wall near the end of the stage. To get to it, don’t destroy the enemy that breaks open the floor. Remove the wall using the Drill Crush.
Not all Parts are able to be built from the start of the game. Iris gradually creates new Parts for you to build as the game progresses, which turns the “?” icons into something you can select. Note that as near as I can tell, how many Souls you collect determines when Iris creates new Parts. Also it may depend on how many Souls you currently have, not how many you have gathered (and spent) throughout the game. I’m not sure, but if you are looking for a particular Part, try refraining from building anything and saving your Souls and it might go faster. For example, I got X’s Armor at 2000 Souls, the Extreme Mode at 3000, and the Boss Attack Mode at 4000. (Use Flame Mammoth’s stage for gathering Souls; just stand on the conveyer belts and shoot enemies that drop from chutes. Zero’s best choice would probably be Wire Sponge’s stage: don’t destroy the flying robots that drop the green vines, but instead just pace back and forth destroying the vines they drop.)
- When you lose all your lives, don’t choose any of the options offered at the top. Instead pick “Quit the game” at the bottom, then choose “Continue” and load the auto-save data. This will put you at the last save point you reached with the same number of lives you had then. Although this won’t put you between the gates before a boss, it will save you a lot of time since you won’t have to go through the entire stage again. Note that this only works once per auto-save point.
- To get lots of extra lives quickly (such as to fight Sigma), use Wire Sponge’s stage. There’s a 1-Up sitting in the level right near where the Sub-Tank is found. Get it and Exit, then repeat.
- When using the regular Saber, Zero seems to do more damage when he attacks while jumping or dashing than with an ordinary swing. This is similar to the third slash of a triple-slash.
- Probably the most useful Parts in the game are the ones which increase the power of your Buster/Saber. Often it’s easier to take out bosses with just your native weapon coupled with the appropriate Plus 1 and Plus 2 parts. Give it a try, especially if you’re having troubles with a particular enemy. See the Teleporting Hatches section for more details on this strategy.
Once you get the character switch ability, don’t forget to use it to your advantage.
- When you’re low on heath, switch. Your other character is essentially a spare energy meter. You can even do this during boss battles.
- If you find yourself having troubles in a stage, try switching characters. Sometimes a particular character is just naturally easier to use in certain sections than the other. The biggest downside is that your alternate character will not have any weapons (except in Extreme mode) and probably no Heart Tanks (unless you skipped them all on your first time through the stages and then went back and picked them up with the alternate instead).
- You can also use the character switch ability to fill your Sub-Tanks quickly (at the expense of the other character). The idea is to keep one character on the bench at full health and play as the other. When you find life energy and your character doesn’t have full health, switch to your bench guy, pick it up, and switch back. The energy ought to go to your Tank instead.
- You can character-switch in mid-air, but you can’t air-dash after a switch even if the first character hadn’t performed a dash. So don’t count on this to keep you from falling into a pit or onto spikes or anything.
The game contains the following modes:
- Normal: This is what you get by default. You choose to play as either X or Zero and fight four Mavericks, two fortress bosses, and a final battle. Most of this page discusses this mode unless otherwise stated.
- Extra: When you beat the game you unlock the “extra” mode for the other character (meaning if you were playing as X, you’ll get a Zero Mission save data, and vice versa). In the extra mode, you begin the game with the equivalent weapons for your new character which match the four Mavericks from the previous mode. You also keep any Souls you’d gathered. But you lose all Parts, Heart Tanks, Sub-Tanks, and enhancements and have to gather them again. The only way to begin an Extra mode game is to load from a save, so be sure to keep one around.
- Extreme: You buy this. No joke! This option shows up as a Part you can build, but you don’t get it as a Part. Instead as soon as you build it, the option appears on the title screen. (The same holds true for the Boss Attack Mode.) In fact, you don’t even have to spend the Souls to get these modes; merely save the game, then build them and reset. You’ll unlock the modes and get back the Souls you spent buying them! (Note: I’m told this mode can also be unlocked by beating Extra mode, but I haven’t personally verified this, as I had already unlocked it by the time I beat Extra mode.)
At any rate, Extreme Mode is what you would expect: you get the X/Zero Player Switch ability right from the start of the game (although there are still some sections where you can’t switch, basically anywhere X and Zero split up) and you fight all eight Mavericks. You also play through the fortress as normal, fight either Berkana or Gareth (your choice), go through the Teleporting Hatches, and finally face Sigma. There are a couple of catches however. First you only get one weapon per Maverick, meaning whoever gets the final hit in is the one who gets that weapon. (The save screen will show only the items of the character you were using when you saved, so you can’t see what weapons the other character has without loading the game.) Also, enhancements can only be acquired by the correct person (but you can still get all four for both characters). You can give the eight Heart Tanks to whomever you prefer—you can evenly distribute them, or max out one character’s health without touching the other’s.
There is a lot of strategy to this mode—you could choose to try to build up X and Zero both at the same time, share the Heart Tanks, and give each of them certain weapons (generally X’s weapons are more useful than Zero’s, but Zero will need the Drill Crush and the Lightning at the very least if you want to get all of his enhancements). Or you could have one character hog all of the equipment and leave the other on the sidelines. It’s up to you.
- Boss Attack Mode: This isn’t a story mode at all, just boss battles. You buy this the same as the Extreme mode. (Note: I’m told this mode can also be unlocked by beating Extreme mode, but I haven’t personally verified this for the same reason as above.) For more information see the Teleporting Hatch section.
Now this one is sneaky. You pick this up in Berkana’s section of the final fortress stage (where X and Zero split up; you have to be using X and thus have to choose to fight Berkana). At the very end of the stage, right before the gate that leads into Berkana’s room, is a tall vertical room with electricity (read: spikes) lining the walls. You have to climb up the room on orange floating platforms. At the top of this section, before the ladder, air-dash to the right through the tan-colored section of the wall. (There is electricity on the wall but it won’t hurt you; this is sort of a leap of faith really.) Beyond is the capsule with the Shotokan. Note: You probably have to have all of the enhancements for this capsule to appear. I haven’t tested this yet.
X can sense the DNA Souls returning to the Reploids (evidently they just float back to their proper places on their own...unless they’re Maverick Souls of course). X also spends some time thinking about Zero. Although the game never mentions whether or not Zero succeeded in defeating Gareth without you, it is assumed he did.
Similar to X’s ending, except Zero is said to “assist” in returning the Souls (rather than just standing there sensing that they’re going on their own). The ending also mentions that Zero feels he can do anything as long as X is around. (Clearly whoever wrote this never played Mega Man X6.)
This ending shows the island with the DNA Souls returning, and X and Zero have a conversation about the Souls, and about Iris’s first job as a Maverick Hunter. Then they say that their job is done and go home.