Since all of the X games play in a similar manner, the Game Hints deal with only general hints on where to find items and accomplish tasks in that particular game. I have compacted all of my general strategies, tidbits, and tips into this file, along with some other details that may be helpful to people.
Note that in some of the descriptions I use just “X” to denote the player’s character. If you’re playing as Zero the text still applies unless otherwise stated.
The X games are side-scrolling action games, AKA platform games. The biggest difference between Mega Man
and any other platform game is the fact that you can choose the order in which you tackle the main levels of the game, and you also usually acquire one or more weapons in each of these levels, which adds some strategy to the order in which you choose. Note that in all Mega Man X
of the initial stages can be completed without any items or weapons (unless that item is given to you at the start of the game). Because of this, you can complete the stages in literally any order, although many cannot be fully explored without certain items, and some are more difficult to complete without certain items—though never impossible.
The player takes control of a robot by the name of Mega Man X (natch) or, in later titles, Zero or Axl.
On the stage select screen, you choose a stage by selecting the robot boss (called a “Maverick”) that ends the stage. At this point, X or Zero is teleported to a predetermined spot, and the level begins.
Most levels travel from left to right. X must move through obstacles—jumping pits, avoiding spikes, climbing ladders, and fending off foes—to find the boss which closes the level. There, he must face off in a one-to-one battle in an enclosed room, where the battle does not end until one of the two combatants is destroyed.
Should X perish along the way, and he has an extra life to spare, he will be teleported back to the nearest “continue point” and can attempt the stage again. Should he be defeated when his lives are at 0, the game is over. At this point the player can usually choose to retry that stage, or pick a new one.
Once you have collected all of the weapons from the Mavericks, the game usually advances to “fortress” stages which are initiated by selecting a new entry which will appear on the stage select screen. There are usually four levels of this and they must be played in a predetermined order. After you finish one section, you will usually be returned to the stage select screen where you advance to the next fortress stage by selecting the same spot on the grid again (this means that you cannot revisit older fortress stages, since they all share the same spot on the grid). Alternately you could choose to revisit other stages first to refill Sub-Tanks and find any items you may have missed before continuing on with the fortress.
Usually the Mavericks of the previous levels must be fought again in the fortress, along with other unique bosses. Then, the game ends when the player wins the final battle against Sigma.
The Mega Man X games are applauded for their superior play control, detailed graphics, and techno music. The play mechanics are simple but polished. X doesn’t have a whole lot of moves, but what he has suffices. Below is a list.
In some games, Zero is not only a player character but plays in a significantly different style from X. Here are some of the differences (reference the X section above for the simularities).
Using the Saber
- Use leaping attacks a lot. Zero’s a sitting duck on the ground.
- Press the fire button three times rapidly for a special combination attack. (For lack of a better term, I call this Zero’s “triple-slash.”) The final slash seems to be more powerful than normal ones (and also has better range), so use it.
- Bosses tend to be immune for several seconds after you hit them. So to hit one with the final slash of the triple-slash explained above, come in high and take a pop shot before you hit the ground. Then, while the boss is still flashing, start the triple-slash. If you time it right, the bossís immunity will run out just as you are executing that precious final slash.
- The Saber can often hit multiple times per slash. It also can do damage by just hitting with its very tip, so even when you think you can’t reach an enemy, you can still strike it.
- There is often a delay when Zero hits something with his Saber that might throw you off, so beware.
- Zero can slash his Saber at almost any time, including while climbing ladders and clinging to walls. Note, however, that if you slash while dashing, Zero will discontinue his dash.
- Zero’s Saber isn’t long range, but it has a great short range. It can destroy things on the ground or even the ground itself. It can reach over Zero’s head and knock enemies out of the air. It can even hit things behind him. Experiment.
Zero typically does not gain Master Weapons from his foes, as X does. Instead, he gains Techniques. Most of these are activated using specific button combinations, usually by pressing a direction on the control pad along with one of the two fire buttons. Usually the game will tell you how to use the move when you get it, or you might find it in the manual. If you can’t find the move’s combination, just experiment or check the relevant Game Hints Data Base page.