October 18, 2004
I am going to be discussing the plot of Command Mission a little bit in this Musing, so if you haven’t played it yet and don’t want any spoilers, please do not read further.
Having now played through Mega Man X Command Mission, I have to admit that the decisions the designers made concerning the overall direction of the plot rather surprise me.
When I first heard about an RPG being developed for the X series, I thought the designers of the game would use it to show us the internals of the Maverick Hunters organization—their base, their operations—and give us an opportunity to finally meet some other Hunters besides X and Zero (and the newcomer, Axl, who I guess has become a Hunter even though X didn’t want him to at first). Instead, not only do we never actually see any Hunters in action other than the main three...not only do we never even see the Maverick Hunter HQ, but we don’t even remotely bump into the characters that Mega Man X5 introduced—Commander Signas, Alia, Douglas, and so forth. Mega Man X6 and X7 managed to finally show some consistency and carried these characters over (rather than leaving them as one-hit wonders as are most characters in the X series), but Command Mission totally ignored them. I realize they needed a new commander because they wanted him to go Maverick, and so they couldn’t have Signas being in charge for this mission, but come on—where is everyone?
And what about showing us the world that X lives in? Where are the humans that we hear about but never see? What about their cities and so forth?
Instead, Command Mission ends up completely isolated from the rest of the X series world because it takes place entirely on a small group of artificial islands in the middle of the sea inhabited only by a small number of Reploids, who, apparently, have nothing better to do with their time than squabble amongst themselves.
Even I didn’t realize how accurate I was when I said that X and Zero have no lives. It would seem that they simply sleep in pods (recharge chambers?) until they are activated for a mission. Gee, that’s entertaining.
And it’s no wonder the X series characters are such a mess. Not only do they barely consider each other friends, but when they finally do start to understand what friendship is, one of their allies invariably betrays them and shatters everything. In particular, I don’t expect Zero will ever trust anyone ever again.
All in all, Command Mission is so far removed from the X series that it barely even manages to feel like an X game at all. (Even X himself barely fits his part, since his personality—though a vast improvement—is nevertheless out of character from the rest of the games, and he doesn’t even look the same anymore.)
It’s kind of surprising, because I expected the designers to take the opportunity of Command Mission to breathe some life into the X series world. Instead, they managed to made it even more stagnant.
- The MegaMaster