Than again, that ending implies that both Zero and Sigma stayed dead, and the backstory of the Mega Man Zero series established that Zero was a carrier of the Sigma Virus and was unknowingly spreading it around the world, and that the cure to virus was discovered in his AI. Said cure was weaponized by Weil, who started the Elf Wars and razed the planet before being stopped. Since none of that will ever come to pass, maybe the X in that version of events will accomplish his goals and create a real utopia.
In one of the X7 endings, Zero has a nightmare in which he and an Ax-Crazy X are fighting to the death. What do you face in the Zero series? An Ax-Crazy doppelgänger of X. Counts as a Shout-Out rather than Foreshadowing because "X7" came out after the Zero series began.
Maverick Hunter X introduces a possible reason for Zero's Superhero Speciation away from using his buster: he can't aim it. In Day of Sigma he fails utterly at hitting the Mechaniloid's weak point without hitting its hostage (something which Sigma claimed X was able to do) and in the intro stage of the game proper he tries to shoot Vile when he's escaping in the Death Rogumer, with similar results. The only moment when he actually succeeded in using it was when he was trying to blow up Vile's ride armor from point-blank range.
A problem that gets remedied in Zero's own series, where he gets his hands on a Buster handgun with a sight.
That wasn't due to accuracy. If you look closer, you'll notice that Zero had dashed into point-blank range of his target before firing.
Also it explains his attack style on latter games when he becomes a boss, where he either uses charged shots (with large Area of effect) or spams it on every direction hopping one of those shots hits, when he uses his buster he relies more on firepower than on accuracy.
Fridge Brilliance: The Zero parts acquired from the X-Hunters in X2. match them perfectly. Violen is the strongest of the X-Hunters, and has Zero's body. Agile, the fastest, has the legs, and Serges, the most intelligent, has the head.
Remember Enigma Cannon? Y'know, the big-ass laser cannon from X5 whose name has nothing to do with its function? There are some reasons for its meaning.
First, the entire franchise comes from Japan, and we all know how Japan is so much in love with cool-sounding foreign words.
Second, its mere existence in X5 is also the reason why it was called Enigma. There were never any mention about said weapon from previous games. The closest we could have for a gigantic laser cannon is Final Weapon, and we all know what happened to it. When X5 came, it just came out of the blue mysteriously.
In X4, what appears to be the Enigma Weapon can be seen in the background of Web Spider's stage, and it later dominates the backdrop of Web's chambers. He must have been a Repliforce officer associated with it!
Finally, the most important reason why the Enigma Cannon was named like that was because...well, it was an enigma. At first, people kept on looking for the meaning, from any available and possible standpoint, before they just give up. There might be a real meaning of its name, other than just for sounding cool. But until someone finds that meaning, it will stay as a mystery, hence the name Enigma. The name pretty much self-demonstratesitself.
After replaying the second and third X series games, I realized why the bosses had blue explosions when they died, as opposed to the reddish orange ones seen everywhere else. The bosses were upgraded to the absolute limit, making their bodies run "hotter" to generate enough power. After X3, the heroes' power meters default size jumped to 32, with the max being 48. The increase was an upgrade in order for Reploids to take full advantage of advancing technology and to function properly.
This Troper gave some thought on why Zero is named "Zero", How he can do exceptionally high close range damage at the expense of low armor, and also as a character why he has a tendency to rush headlong to face impossible odds, performing extraordinarily heroic feats getting himself killed at least three times counting both series he participates in the process. Then I remembered the Japanese airplanes employed during World War II, The A 6 M 2 "Zeroes" who were destructive in close range, but fragile compared to most other fighter planes, and several pilots who were about to die or ran out of ammunition... who were instructed beforehand by their superiors that they may not make it out alive, crashed their ships into targets as a last ditch effort, creating the suicidal term known as "Kamikaze", and they were revered for such heroic acts. Interesting stuff.
Becomes more brilliant in Marvel vs Capcom 3. The opening quote for Captain America to Zero is "Your name's Zero? Hope you don't fight like one." Now what war did Cap fight in? And what war did the A 6 M 2 Zeroes fight in? That's right, Cap isn't insulting Zero, he's tense about his fighting style.
There's also another interesting theory about Zero's name. You see, in mathematic term, x means a variable with limitless potential. Now, no matter what value x is, if timed by zero (or divided by zero, although the former seems much more safer), the result will be the same: nothing. Zero's purpose? To destroy X
Actually the above explanation is a lot closer to the truth - as "0 & X" are both math terms, where 0 means 'nothing, empty, void, or devoid of meaning' X means 'limitless, potential, unlimited, full of meaning'
Another good explanation is that Wily was trying not to make another Bass. Bass was made for pretty much the same purpose as Zero, but his enormous ego repeatedly got in the way of his mission, and on multiple occasions caused Bass to turn on Wily. Zero, in contrast, thinks less about himself, and more about destroying his enemies and completing his mission.
In the X series, many of the bosses have an animal theme (Gravity Beetle, Rainy Turtloid, Blizzard Buffalo, and so forth). This is in direct contrast to the Classic series, where the bosses are humanoid Something Men (and a Something Woman).
Made more brilliant when you realize the context of the two games: robot bosses who appear more human than the era would expect (Classic) as contrasted to bosses who act less human (X).
I've always wondered why they say that, as of X8, Sigma is Deader than Dead. But then I looked at his most recent body: partly completed, with viral energy clearly visible. Perhaps it symbolizes that after so very long, Sigma's on his last legs. Perhaps his mind has finally worn out?
I used to be amused by one discrepancy in Nintendo Power's coverage of the first Mega Man X game, in which they recommended fighting Storm Eagle after Chill Penguin and using your normal buster on him, and then issued a "challenge card" claiming that beating Storm Eagle first was one of the toughest challenges. Until I realized the truth. Look carefully at Storm Eagle's techniques in battle. While his weapon weakness is the Chameleon Sting, that's not what makes him so trivial to beat early in the game. The real difference is X getting the boots from Chill Penguin's stage. Try beating Storm Eagle without a dash. That can be fairly challenging.
The art style and some character designs of Mega Man X8 were changed to make the characters look more human. This is (for now) the last game in the series... which bridges into the Mega Man Zero series, where reploids are basically indistinguishable from humans.
This troper finally noticed a pattern in Mega Man X: Command Mission. The game is divided into a total of ten chapters. You fight a boss at the end of each chapter. The first boss is a flunky with no real impact on the story, it's just...y'know, there. The next eight stages are the main bosses (with two battles in Chapter 9) and the final chapter is the boss rush and final bosses. In the main X series, you fight an intro boss, eight Maverick bosses, and then a boss rush leading into the final battle. While Command Mission was essentially the Ensemble Dark Horse of the series, they kept the same pattern all along.
I always found it strange how in X, X would never retain his armors, especially after later games showing it was possible, but those first few armors never made a comeback. Then it occurred to me. In X1, X is almost pathetically weak compared to the Mavericks until his armor is obtained. In X2, which only happened months after X1, the armor is gone... but X can now dash without it! And his fully charged buster shot now has a pinkish tint to it! In the third game, that pinkish tint is even MORE apparent, and in the fourth game, it's a solid gold! X's first three armors had integrated into his systems until they became a natural part of him. The only reason he keeps starting with so little health is because the Maverick Wars necessitated that weapons technology advance beyond his armor's ability to compensate. The armors were stacking this whole time! Though granted, there are SOME losses of functionality. X can't air dash, no matter how many times the armor gives him the capability.
Zero can also be used as evidence here. In the first game, we see nothing of Zero's power other than he's a freakishly powerful robot. He takes the arm off Vile's Ride Armor with a single level 2 blast. He then turns and tells X that he has the potential to become as powerful as he is. In X1 and X2, Zero is an enormously powerful robot. Even with all his armor upgrades in X1, X could still not damage Vile's Ride Armor. In X3, the first time Zero is playable, he is roughly as powerful as X becomes with all his armor from that game. Vile also re-appears with even MORE powerful Ride Armors, but they aren't invincible anymore, and X can still damage them with his basic buster, which now has the stacked effects from the previous two armors. In X4, Zero starts out just as weak as X does, which means that weapons technology has finally caught up to him, and he too must now rely upon life capsule upgrades and armor boosts to keep his edge in the game. It also means that by the end of X3, X had finally fulfilled Zero's prediction, and had become as strong as Zero himself.
It's also useable as evidence that X's own power is growing on its own. In X's original rampage down the Highway, he wasn't even able to dent Vile's Chimera Ride Armor, and yet by X8, his fully-charged X-Buster shots were breaking shields and he had become able to destroy Ride Armors with just his buster. The reason why his and Zero's lifebars were still so small by that time is that the reploids around them were being constructed with more powerful specs now that the common technology around them has caught up.
A bit of unintentional Fridge Brilliance in X5 with the renaming of the Mavericks to Guns N' Roses references. The person who did it just did it because her husband was a fan of the band, but seeing all the other music-themed names in the franchise...
Zero was originally meant to be Mega Man X. It is no wonder that Zero is the series' Ensemble Darkhorse and later becomes a bigger hero than X. Zero's popularity was meant for him all along!
It's been stated that X considers Zero his only friend. Why? Because all of the others he had made either turned Maverick(such as Volt Catfish) or were Killed Off for Real. In a deeper sense, you can even assume that these events have resigned X to not form meaningful bonds with anyone, save for the one robot who has persevered through it all so far.
In X4 X is worried that he'll go Maverick someday, since Repliforce turned on their own accord. Repliforce turned to protect themselves and make their own home, not to attack humanity, establishing that "Maverick" can be more broadly applied than in the last games. Jump forward to the gap before the next series where X sealed the Dark Elf and abandoned his post without appointing a successor, and in the series proper where he could've made things easier if he appeared before his minions and talked to them, but didn't so he could "rest". He indirectly put everyone in danger of getting killed at some point. He really did go Maverick after all.