Mega Man X6 is the sixth entry in the series, released for the PlayStation in November 29, 2001 in Japan. This was released soon after in North America in December 4, 2001. Europe received it on February 8th, 2002. This was near the end of the PlayStation's life span, and the rushed release resulted in an infamous "Blind Idiot" Translation. Since Mega Man X5 was supposed to be the grand finale, this led to a Post Script Season.Three weeks after the fall of Eurasia, Earth is severely polluted, and Zero is still missing, presumed dead. Humans have fled underground, and Reploids are busy terraforming the land. Enter the new Big Bad, Reploid scientist Gate, who has found a piece of Zero's Reploid DNA. He uses this to create a zombie-like race of robots called Nightmares. His associate Isoc and his greatest creation High Max began a search across the world, looking for the rest of Zero so he could create more monstrosities.X squares off against Gate's eight resurrected Nightmare Investigators, as he tries to find out the mystery behind Nightmare Zero, an extremely powerful Nightmare based on Zero. It turns out that Zero himself is alive and well, and will join X if they meet.The Nightmare Investigators are:
A re-translation was going to have in Mega Man X Collection, but was dropped.
Bonus Boss: The 8 stages have optional exits guarded by optional bosses. First it is Nightmare Zero (which unlocks Zero for play). High Max replaces him, and defeating him will unlock Gate's Fortress prematurely. The third is Dynamo, back from X5 and can be farmed for Nightmare Souls with Rainy Turtloid's weapon. Ironically, he's probably the easiest part of the game.
The Nightmare Mother is based on CWU-01P from Mega Man.
Ceiling Cling: Blizzard Wolfang can cling to the ceiling. Zero can do this as well with Hyoroga, and X with the Shadow Armor.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: Zero's Sentsuizan is mapped to Up+Attack, even though it's a diving attack. Unless you want Zero to dive into a bottomless pit, make sure you release up while jumping.
Distant Finale: Zero's ending was retconned into this. Realizing he is a Typhoid Mary, he enters a capsule and goes to sleepfor about a hundred years while scientists purge him of the Sigma Virus and develop a true antidote by studying his systems. Capcom eventually stated this does not happen immediately after defeating Gate but instead happens after X and Zero have many more unspecified adventures saving the world.
For starters, some levels have spikes in places that you can't see them like in Commander Yammark's stage.
The Nightmare system can cause effects that tends to screw you over on certain stages, like the darkness effect that hinders your sight to small portion of the screen in Commander Yammark's and (even worse) Rainy Turtloid's level, and the raining fireballs that will always hit you in Blizzard Wolfang's level.
Another Nightmare effect causes "ghosts" of X or Zero to charge into your character oppose of the one you're playing, which gets annoying pretty damn quick. There's another where you get mobbed by mechanical flies just about everywhere you go and get in the way of your attacks until they fly away after hitting them a lot or destroying them with Yammar Option.
Letting a Nightmare possess a civilian Reploid can potentially mean losing useful parts and power-ups forever. Needed that Jumper part to help you leap the Spikes Of Doom in Gate's Lab 1 without Zero, Shadow Armor or Blade Armor's air dash? Chances are the Reploid that had it went Maverick and that part is gone for good.
There's one where colored metal blocks show up to get in the way of several places which can only be pushed or destroyed by Ground Dash or Sentsuizan. In Metal Shark Player's case, they show up in the worst possible places to slow you down and maybe get you crushed flat from the compacter above you.
As mentioned on Damn You, Muscle Memory above, Zero's Sentsuizan move mapped to Up+Attack. This is especially irritating in Infinity Mijinion's alternate path where there's many ropes to latch onto as well as innocent Reploids waiting to be corrupted by Nightmares.
As Hide Of Beast can tell you in his "minimalist" speed-run of the game, X6 flat-out hates unarmored X, to the point that one wonders why he was made playable at all. Not only does the game make things absolutely, unreasonably difficult with him, but Gate's first stage is impossible to beat without either one of the armors or the Jumper part (which also requires the Hyper Dash part to get.)
As the author of the fan-site The Megaman Homepage puts it it's as if the play-testers used only the Ultimate Armor.
Geo Effects/Load-Bearing Boss: The Nightmare system. Defeat one boss, and you'll affect some of the stages with a generated effect based on the boss. It's kind of like how the original Mega Man X bosses would affect others. Blaze Heatnix, for example, will cause fireballs to rain down in the next stage you visit.
Hailfire Peaks: Gate's first stage has the player climbing a room filling with lava, while eventually throwing in slippery ice floors at the same time. Why no, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
The Heartless: The Nightmares function as this, mutilating Reploid civilians and quickly coming back from defeat if their Nightmare Soul is not collected.
Hijacked by Ganon: Nope, Gate was working on his own volition. Sigma isn't in this game at all. Kidding! Gate decided to revive Sigma for the heck of it. Or maybe Zero's remains were so badly infected with the Sigma virus he was subconsciously influenced to revive him.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: X's Shadow Armor, X6's equivalent to X5's Gaea Armor only minus the dashing speed lost. It changes X's normal shots to throwing stars and charged attacks becomes a powerful saber attack (equipping the Ultimate Buster part allows for instant charged saber attacks, if you managed to save the Reploid carrying it). It also gives him faster Z-Saber swings, a high jump ability to perform said ceiling-clinging (and ceiling-dashing), and immunity to spikes. The cons? You can't perform air-dashes and you can't use special weapons outside of your Giga Attack.
Kaizo Trap: Thankfully averted with Gate. You fight him over a pit with only a series of small platforms, which he'll occasionally start destroying once his health gets low enough. When you land the final hit, however, X/Zero freezes in mid-air as he explodes, so you don't have to worry about having solid ground under your feet at that moment. Considering this game is notorious for Game Breaking Bugs, this is saying something.
Logical Weakness: Why is Metal Shark Player weak to Meteor Rain? He's aquatic! No wait, water rusts metal, and he specializes in running a scrap yard.
Lost Forever: Unlike X5, the Reploid civilians can be possessed by Nightmares. If the Nightmare possesses them, the Reploid is gone for good. Oh, and left in their place is some kind of Empty Shell that you should probably Mercy Kill.
Necromancer: Gate specializes in Reploid resurrection, and manipulates Reploid DNA to revive the Mavericks. He plans to use Zero's remains to build an indestructible army, and he's busy reviving Sigma, too! Metal Shark Player is also skilled at using junk to form bodies resembling Mavericks from earlier Mega Man X games.
No OSHA Compliance: Gate's laboratory is filled with instant death spikes, rising lava, acid rain and crushing ceilings. Never mind the bottomless pits you need to air dash over.
Peninsula of Power Leveling: the Bonus Boss Dynamo, who can be fought several times to farm Nightmare Souls, which increase the Hunters' rank (influencing the number of parts they can equip).
Puzzle Boss: A rarity in a Mega Man X game, this one has a couple.
High Max must be stunned with a charge shot, then damaged with a special weapon as he recovers (Inverted with Zero, who must stun him with a special attack before using a basic combo.) He is a Hopeless Boss Fight at the end of the introductory stage, and he is Unwinnable by Mistake if you face him as an Optional Boss before you get a Maverick weapon.
Gate is immune to your attacks, but you can destroy the energy balls he throws. The balls break apart and can damage Gate if they hit.
Unwinnable by Mistake: High Max is an optional boss. If you reached him before either defeating one of the Nightmare Investigators or enabling X's Ultimate Armor using a cheat code, you have no way to damage him. The continue point is right before you fight him, so you have no choice but throw all of your lives away and restart the stage. Enjoy!
Gate's Laboratory has a jump that you must air dash. The Shadow Armor and normal X does not have the ability to air dash. Hopefully you know about the good bad bug with the Flame Blade that resets X's gravity, letting him perform long jumps. Otherwise, throw your lives away and restart the stage. There are several "air dash-only" jumps in the game that are after continue points that can be circumvented with having both the "Jumper" and "Hyper Dash" parts equipped.
Unexplained Recovery: So, Zero is alive and well, somehow. He glosses over how he recovered, but an Easter Egg gives an answer. Dr. Light repaired him after repairing X. This generates a Voodoo Shark, but that's what the game says.
Villain with Good Publicity: Gate, Isoc and the Nightmare Investigators are easily trusted by the populace, while the Maverick Hunters are looked down upon.