Video Game / Mega Man X4

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/270px-mmx4promo_7840.jpg

Mega Man X4 is the fourth entry in the Mega Man X series, released on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn on August 1997 in Japan, September 1997 in North America, and October 1997 in Europe. It was also the first Mega Man X game not to be released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

In the year 21XX, two major Reploid organizations exist to counter Maverick activity — the Maverick Hunters including X and Zero, and the new group, Repliforce. Some time before the game, Zero got to know Iris, the sister of the Repliforce Colonel. One day, the aerial Sky Lagoon is suddenly attacked, causing it to crash to the ground. As Repliforce was in the area, they're suspected to be responsible and the Colonel is asked to disarm his men and come in for questioning; however, he refuses due to his pride. To make matters worse, the Repliforce General launches a coup d'état to start a nation only for Reploids, which immediately causes the entirety of Repliforce to be labeled as Mavericks, forcing the Maverick Hunters to turn against their allies.

Maverick bosses:
  • Web Spider of Repliforce, gives Lightning Web to X, and Raijingeki to Zero; is weak to Twin Slasher / Shippuuga.
  • Split Mushroom, gives Soul Body to X, and Kuuenzan (as well as Kuuenbu) to Zero; is weak to Lightning Web / Raijingeki.
  • Cyber Peacock, gives Aiming Laser to X, and Rakuhouha to Zero; is weak to Soul Body / Ryuenjin.
  • Storm Owl of Repliforce, gives Double Cyclone to X, and Tenkuuha to Zero; is weak to Aiming Laser / Rakuhouha.
  • Magma Dragoon of the 14th Special Unit, gives Rising Fire to X, and Ryuenjin to Zero; is weak to Double Cyclone / Raijingeki.
  • Frost Walrus of Repliforce, gives Frost Tower to X, and Hyouretsuzan to Zero; is weak to Rising Fire / Ryuenjin.
  • Jet Stingray of Repliforce, gives Ground Hunter to X, and Hienkyaku to Zero; is weak to Frost Tower / Hyouretsuzan.
  • Slash Beast of Repliforce, gives Twin Slasher to X, and Shippuuga to Zero; is weak to Ground Hunter / Raijingeki.

Tropes:

  • All There in the Manual: Did you know that Colonel and Iris were designed to be one perfect Reploid by scientists working for Repliforce? And that said Reploid was supposed to be based on X? The irreconcilable personalities meant the project needed to be split to allow any sort of functionality, with Colonel gaining X's fighting spirit and sense of justice, whereas Iris retained X's compassion and pacifism. This is also evident in their relationship to Zero, as respectively, Colonel is The Rival whereas Iris acts as a True Companion to Zero. This is also what causes Colonel to decide to go to war instead of disarming himself and the Repliforce; he literally can't opt for a peaceful solution.
  • Ascended Extra: Zero was technically Promoted to Playable in Mega Man X3, but this game allows him to be chosen as the main playable character from the start, and gives a lot of Character Development. Unlike X, he gains three cutscenes involving him, as well as appearing alongside X's ending where X worries about being a Maverick and Double's betrayal.
  • Back from the Dead: Despite seemingly being destroyed for good at the end of X3 by Dr. Doppler's antivirus, Sigma somehow managed to survive it. His appearance in a Grim Reaper garb is quite appropriate for his comeback. note 
  • Big Brother Instinct: Colonel himself states he only went to the Sky Lagoon ruins to rescue Iris.
  • Bilingual Bonus: All of Zero's sword techniques retain their original Japanese names; for instance, Raijingeki translates to "Thunder God Attack" and Ryuenjin means "Dragon Flame Blade".
  • Bittersweet Ending: While X's ending is only somewhat bittersweet, Zero's ending really qualifies for this. Sigma is once again defeated and the Final Weapon is destroyed along with him, but the Repliforce fiasco has taken untold lives, not just the presumed thousands in the Sky Lagoon crash and the subsequent conflict, but including all of the newly introduced major characters such as Iris, Colonel and General (the former two being killed by Zero, the latter performing a Heroic Sacrifice to destroy Final Weapon). Also, Zero tragically rediscovers his former Maverick history, unwittingly the source of the Sigma Virus. Even after he saves the day, he even believes he has the possibility of going Maverick again. Whereas the first two games ended on a triumphant note and the third game on a mildly bittersweet note, this game really ended in a much more melancholy way.
    • It also retroactively turns the ending of X3 into a Downer Ending; we find out in this game that despite his efforts, Dr. Doppler's antivirus is useless against the Sigma Virus in the long run, the latter finding a way to overcome it, and that Sigma didn't even need to infect others to incite a war, but instead pull strings and turn the Reploids against each other. Doppler's potential Heroic Sacrifice was all for nothing.
  • Blade Lock: Zero and Colonel are engaged in this in Zero's custcene fight against him.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Magma Dragoon's bio says he betrayed the "Irregular Hunters", which is the Japanese name of the Maverick Hunters.
  • Blood Knight: Magma Dragoon sabotages Sky Lagoon, ending untold lives just to force X or Zero to have to fight him in a final duel to the death. Frost Walrus is similar, with him being a Sociopathic Soldier (he was already wanted by Maverick Hunters before he joined the Repliforce) who thinks that rioting around is a military man's duty. Slash Beast is yet another.
  • Boss Arena Urgency: The mini-boss of Split Mushroom's stage is fought over platforms above Spikes of Doom where the boss flies beneath those platforms and then jumps up to attack you, crushing part of the platform in the process; if you don't defeat it quickly, you'll end up with less and less moving room.
  • Boss Banter: Who says more/engages with the Maverick Hunter in question depends on who of what allegiance is fighting. In the case of Zero, Repliforce members will engage in dialogue with one exception. The only time X gets involved with dialogue is between him and Split Mushroom or Cyber Peacock, both Mavericks from the start. Slash Beast won't engage in dialogue with either of them.
  • Boss Subtitles: After choosing which stage to enter, it begins with a single paragraph explaining what the Maverick did, along with the Maverick's name and sprite. Also, a Title Scream of the boss's name.
  • Boss Warning Siren: This game introduced them to the series.
  • The Cameo: Chill Penguin and Blizzard Buffalo can be seen frozen in the background of the Snow Base.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Zero, in his opening cutscene.
  • Character Development: Zero gets a lot of development in this game, something that would continue in the next games.
  • Colony Drop: Sky Lagoon during the intro stage.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Iris just happened to be at the Sky Lagoon (or the city that was crushed) for no other reason than to draw in Colonel, see Big Brother Instinct, and kick-start the plot. Sigma mentions her, but only to mock Zero.
  • Cool Airship: Many of them can be seen in the background of Storm Owl and the Space Port stages; they're apparently hammerhead shark-shaped airships.
  • Cores-and-Turrets Boss:
    • The mini-boss of Storm Owl's stage is a periodically opening-and-closing core on the wall which summons multiple Wave Motion Gun-shooting drones to distract you.
    • Iris's boss battle is like this; she can only be damaged by attacking its outer crystal core, while her Ride Armor-like body acts as the "turret" that also summons floating mines if you attack it.
  • Cutscene Boss: Colonel's Memorial Hall battle in Zero's story. In X's game, it is a Boss-Only Level, but in Zero's version, it all takes place in Full Motion Video, culminating with Iris interrupting and reminding her brother that Zero saved her.
  • Darker and Edgier: For the first time, the Maverick label is used on a group not genuinely having flawed programming (except perhaps for Colonel, that is)note  (whether by itself or due to Maverick Virus), but merely rebellious (albeit on an army-scale) and Zero's ties to Dr. Wily are revealed, not to mention Iris' death, which would continue to haunt Zero after the game.
  • Designated Love Interest: Iris to Zero; they got together sometime between Mega Man X3 and this game, and don't share much romantic screentime in the game proper before Iris's death.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Iris dies in Zero's arms.
  • Double Agent: Double. He even says "Mavericks" (the side he supposedly belongs to) as among the "idiots, all of them", implying that he may be working for yet another party or purely for himself.
  • Draconic Humanoid: Magma Dragoon.
  • Dream Intro: Zero's storyline starts with him having a nightmare of a mysterious figure telling him to destroy the world, as well as his past, involving lovely shots of mutilated Reploids by his own hands.
  • Dual Boss: Sigma's third phase has 2 forms, one is a robotic gunner armed with a BFG with his face on top, and another is his giant disembodied head that lies on the ground. They have separate health bars, as well.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: When playing as Zero. The Z-Saber's precision and his multiple movement options make him great in the main stages, but since he gains new moves rather than new weapons, he can't always exploit the bosses' weaknesses. He has no animation-interrupting move against Slash Beast and Magma Dragoon, for instance.
  • Elemental Armor:
    • Storm Owl produces a wind armor around him when he's damaged, preventing most forms of damage like a form of Mercy Invincibility.
    • Eyezard, the miniboss of Frost Walrus' stage produces an ice armor around itself which it can use to attack.
  • Energy Ball: The Plasma Buster upgrade, introduced for the Fourth Armor, will make X's charged shot fire a piercing large ball of energy that leaves multi-hitting energy balls in its wake. It's also used for the Ultimate Armor, not just for this game but also in its subsequent appearances.
  • Evil Laugh: Sigma in his introductory scene with the General after the General dismisses him, but not before Sigma assures that the General would soon change his mind about the Maverick Hunters. And he laughs again when he realizes that the General has taken action against the Maverick Hunters in his speech to Repliforce.
    • Also, Double laughs after he reveals his true form and slaughters some Reploids at Hunter Base, vowing to target X. He also does the laugh before his boss fight.
  • Expy: Magma Dragoon is pretty much Akuma as a dragon Reploid.
  • Eye Beams: Sigma in the second phase can attack with this.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Magma Dragoon, who betrayed the Maverick Hunters.
    • Once accused of turning Maverick, Repliforce starts a coup d'état to create a separate nation only for Reploids.
    • Iris turns on Zero after Zero kills her brother.
  • Fauxshadow: Happened unintentionally. X, in his ending, tells Zero to retire him if he ever goes Maverick. This is supposed to come to pass in Mega Man Zero as the original Big Bad is the real X who loses his compassion due to countless wars and becomes a Knight Templar and Zero has to stop him, instead of the copy of X (what ends up happening).
  • Fire/Ice/Lightning: Magma Dragoon, Frost Walrus, and Web Spider respectively.
  • Feathered Fiend: Cyber Peacock and Storm Owl.
  • Fish People: Jet Stingray (a stingray Maverick), as well as the King Poseidon enemies fought in the Jungle stage.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Jet Stingray, as well as the Kill Fisher enemies in the Jungle.
  • Flunky Boss: Web Spider and Jet Stingray can shoot out spider and stingray drones respectively. Meanwhile, Split Mushroom can deploy orange clones of himself, as well as creating a real body double.
  • Get Out: A calmer example; in the opening cutscene, Sigma attempts to sway the opinion of General into turning against the Maverick Hunters, under the pretense that they're far too eager to please humans and hunt down reploids. General coldly turns down his offer and orders him to leave his presence. Sigma is unfazed though, and accurately concludes that he'll change his mind later before he departs.
  • Giant Spider: Web Spider.
  • The Grim Reaper: Sigma disguises himself in a Grim Reaper motif, complete with Black Cloak, shadowed face, and a Sinister Laser Scythe.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: When playing as X. As usual, you can rip through bosses like nothing if you know their weaknesses, many of which interrupt the boss's attacks, and even weaken them beyond damage dealt. He also doesn't have to get too close to the bosses (except for using Rising Fire against Frost Walrus). He has to struggle in the levels, however, because he's not as agile as Zero and can (mostly) only attack things in front of him.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Iris' death triggers one for Zero, one that lasts all the way until Mega Man Zero 4.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: General ends up sacrificing himself to stop the Kill Sat Sigma had commandeered to Kill All Humans.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The games cutscenes make it clear right off the bat that Sigma is alive and is going to be the real villain of the game, but X and Zero don't find that out until they fight him at Final Weapon. Split Mushroom lampshades this if you're playing as X; the Sigma logo also appears in his health bar (Magma Dragoon and Cyber Peacock have it too) instead of the Repliforce logo.
  • Honor Before Reason: After the Sky Lagoon incident, Colonel refuses to disarm his troops to come in for questioning out of pride, which, combined with their lackluster performance on the field, which makes Repliforce as a whole look suspicious. Justified, however, in that (as the manual has stated) he was built without the supposed capability of compassion and pacifism that he was supposed to have, thus he lacked the capability of peaceful reasoning.
    • Several Repliforce members, including Storm Owl and Jet Stingray, start attacking innocent civilians in order to drive attention to themselves and away from Repliforce as they prepared to launch into space. This, of course, simply justifies the mandate that Repliforce has turned Maverick and must be destroyed.
  • Humongous Mecha: Eregion is as tall as the screen. Frost Walrus is possibly the largest "eight stage bosses" character in all of Mega Man (Rainy Turtloid comes second), as he stands at 3/4 of the screen height, even larger than Frost Man. General is even taller.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: the Ultimate Armor, introduced in this game. It has similar capabilities to the Fourth Armor, including unlimited use of uncharged special weapons, but its Giga Attack can be used repeatedly without requiring him to fill its energy. It can only be acquired with a cheat code, then getting to a Light Capsule to retrieve it.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Eregion and Magma Dragoon.
  • Kill 'em All: Every character in X4 except X and Zero are dead by the end of the game.
  • Kill Sat: Repliforce's space station, Final Weapon, with which Sigma plans to use its laser cannon to destroy all life back on Earth.
  • King of Beasts: Slash Beast is a lion Reploid, and he certainly acts the part.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: Slash Beast, Jet Stingray and Storm Owl represent the army, navy and air force of Repliforce, respectively.
  • Laser Blade: Zero now exclusively use the Z-Saber as part of the Superhero Speciation. Colonel also uses one.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Slash Beast is quite strong and hardy, and fast enough to outrun a moving train. Magma Dragoon as well.
  • Logical Weakness: Sigma's first form, a cloaked Grim Reaper, can only be affected by the weapons obtained from Magma Dragoon. Cloaks are pretty flammable after all, and getting hit with those causes his cloak to burn, causing damage.
  • Mini-Boss:
    • Generaid Core, the core of Storm Owl's flagship. While it doesn't attack, the Beam Cannons that come with it do, and it will also periodically close itself to protect itself from damage.
    • The purple Tentoroid faced in Split Mushroom's stage floats under a set of destructible platforms over a floor of spikes, and will jump up to destroy said platforms while also becoming vulnerable to attack from X or Zero.
    • DG-42L is a train car faced in Slash Beast's stage, and it attacks with a gun emplacement as well as three destructible but regenerating spiked protrusions. To destroy it, X or Zero must destroy the base of each of the spiked protrusions, which also prevents the spikes from regenerating.
    • Eyezard is a small robot that uses an Elemental Armor of ice to protect itself, and can form the ice into different shapes like a claw or fist to attack X or Zero.
  • The Mole: Double.
  • Monstrosity Equals Weakness: Eregion is the second-largest boss in the game and is also the most pathetic.
  • Mushroom Man: Split Mushroom.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Double is a rookie Maverick Hunter newcomer who likes to assist X, or so it would seem.
  • Near Villain Victory: Sigma has turned the Repliforce against humanity and caused countless loss of life on both sides, and his string pulling results in Colonel and Iris getting killed by Zero and nearly destroying General, and Final Weapon is mere seconds away from accomplishing its goal by the time X or Zero mop the floor with him. If General hadn't been functional enough to perform a Heroic Sacrifice by destroying the Final Weapon along with himself, Sigma's plan would have actually succeeded.
  • Not Brainwashed: The entirety of Repliforce as well as (possibly) Magma Dragoon are Mavericks that are not infected with the Sigma Virus. Sigma just managed to play their Honor Before Reason and Blood Knight attitudes respectively to his advantage in order to incite their Maverick behaviour on their own accord.
  • Nice Hat: Many Repliforce officers wear one, like Colonel, General, Web Spider, Jet Stingray, and Storm Owl.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Even when it turns out that Repliforce didn't do anything to the Sky Lagoon at all, they don't do much to cover themselves either - see Honor Before Reason for why.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Double seems gullible and clumsy, but he's actually a competent mole and a dangerous fighter.
  • Ominous Owl: Storm Owl.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Shooting at Web Spider with the Twin Slasher will deal extra damage than normal, but if you really want to hurt him bad, you need to shoot at the web he's hanging from. It'll cut the web, and he'll go splat on the floor for huge damage.
  • Peacock Guy: Cyber Peacock. Even though he's not female, he acts a little campy.
  • Power-Up Mount: This game introduces 2 Ride Armors: Raiden attacks with a chargeable Laser Blade Below The Shoulder and can be used to crush some train cars in Slash Beast's stage and be brought into Magma Dragoon's boss battle. And Eagle is a flying variant with a chargeable Arm Cannon, available in Storm Owl's stage. There's also the Ride Chaser high speed bike section in Jet Stingray's stage; you use it to chase him.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Most bosses do this.
  • Promoted To Fully Playable: Zero.
  • Remember the New Guy: Repliforce. We're made to understand they've been around for awhile and have worked with the Maverick Hunters on several occasions. Based on the memo in the manual, they had been established after the third game.
  • Sad Battle Music: The Zero vs Iris theme pretty much points out that it's a tragic battle. To a lesser extent, the vs Colonel and General theme; while suitably epic, it also has the vibes of a battle that shouldn't happen from the start.
  • Say My Name:
    Zero: Iris?! Iris! Iris! Iris... AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: There are two storylines, one for X and one for Zero. When you choose one, the other won't appear, except in one case: In X's ending, Zero contacts him.
  • Shoot the Mage First: In the second half of Frost Walrus' stage, there'll be a bird-like robot that tries to charge up energy, and when it's done, releases extreme cold that freezes that part of the stage, rendering it slippery and filled with falling icicles. Try destroying it before he's done charging!
  • Shout-Out: Magma Dragoon is a big one to Akuma of the Street Fighter franchise. He even uses the Shoryuken and the Hadoken by name.
    • When he does the Twin Slasher, Slash Beast does a somersault akin to Guile's Flash Kick.
  • Shotoclone: Magma Dragoon.
  • Sinister Scythe: Sigma uses a Laser Scythe.
  • Skyward Scream: "WHAT AM I FIGHTING FOOOOOOOOOOOOR?!"
  • Teleport Spam: Cyber Peacock and Colonel.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The Japanese commercial for this game shows the infamous scene where Zero yells "WHAT AM I FIGHTING FOR?!" while cradling Iris's corpse.
  • Turn Coat: Web Spider was once part of the 0th Unit in the Maverick Hunters before transferring himself to Repliforce some time before this game.
  • Utility Weapon:
  • Videogame Settings
  • Warmup Boss: Eregion, the bipedal dragon Mechaniloid of the Sky Lagoon stage.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The airships of Storm Owl's level have big vertical laser cannons that fire at intervals; they reappear at the first part of Final Weapon stage. There are also big laser-shooting drones, again at Storm Owl's level. Iris' mecha form (and later also its crystal core) also fires big purple lasers.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Zero only has his Z-Saber, so most of his upgrades give him more powerful or versatile sword techniques.
  • Wily Walrus: Frost Walrus is a gigantic robot walrus with ice powers who looks down on the small and weak and acts like a roughneck.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Sigma pulls one here; if either the Maverick Hunters or Repliforce wins, he can aim the Final Weapon on Earth. The only reason he plans fails was because General survives his fight with X and Zero and stops the weapon himself.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/MegamanX4