Video Game / Mega Man X4

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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 Repliforce. During this time, 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, 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.

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

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 Colonel is The Rival to Zero, whereas Iris acts as a True Companion to Zero.
  • 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 whereas alongside X's ending where he 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 infected with the Sigma Virusnote  (though Repliforce may or may not have brought it on themselves by being so stubborn) 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.
  • 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.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: When playing as Zero. The Z-Saber's precision makes 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.
  • 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.
  • Expy: Magma Dragoon is pretty much Akuma as a dragon Reploid.
  • 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.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Magma Dragoon, Frost Walrus, and Web Spider respectively.
  • 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 multicolored 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 robes, 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.
  • 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 Sigma: 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.
  • 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 lacklustre performance on the field, which makes Repliforce as a whole look suspicious.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ominous Owl: Storm Owl.
  • Peacock Guy: Cyber Peacock. Even though he's not female, he acts a little campy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Utility Weapon:
  • Warmup Boss: Eregion, the bipedal dragon Mechaniloid of the Sky Lagoon stage.
  • 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 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.

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