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Characters / Mega Man X Heroes

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The three main playable characters of the X series: X, Zero, and Axl.
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    Mega Man X (Rockman X)
Click here  to see Command Mission X.
Voiced by: note 
The first of a new breed of robot with the ability to think and feel, X was the last creation of Dr. Thomas Light. Of course, Light had experience with about ten or so doomsday scenarios courtesy of one Albert Wily, and decided to give X a Hyperspace Arsenal and an endless array of power ups in the expectation that, come the next one, X would become the world's new champion. In spite of his own pacifistic leanings, X did just that.

Has his own set of tropes under the Mega Man Zero allies page for tropes that apply exclusively to him in that series.

  • Aborted Arc: In X4, X worries about becoming a Maverick after fighting Colonel, and asks Zero to Mercy Kill him if it had come to that. This angle was never explored any further, and by the time of the Zero series, the one who was Jumping Off the Slippery Slope was his copy. It was the intention, but Executive Meddling changed this, resulting in the creation of Copy X.
  • Adaptive Ability: This is the true reason behind his "limitless potential." He has the ability to learn and grow stronger according to his experience.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Played with. He has a simpler-looking design than most bosses, but he is literally described as having unlimited potential, and throughout his series, developed abilities that were previously seen after he picked up armor parts or health upgrades; it's like the concept of Weapon Copy was taken to its logical conclusion and turned into an Ability Copy. Justified, he's a Super Prototype.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Defied. Being a robot with 100% free will, Dr. Light makes sure that this trope doesn't happen by sealing him in a 30-year morality testing to ensure that he would do the right thing.
  • Almighty Janitor: He's a B-Rank Maverick Hunter for most of the series because of his adherence to non-violence, despite stopping Sigma and saving the world multiple times. He eventually gets promoted to S-Rank, some time before Command Mission.
  • Ancestral Weapon: His X-Buster has gone through 16 previous iterations during its life as the Mega Buster, and its latest version is at least a hundred years old.
  • Asskicking Pose: He always does this after he teleports into a stage.
  • Arm Cannon: The X-Buster, aka the Mega Buster Mark 17.
  • Badass Boast: To Sigma, at the end of X6.
    • And in Maverick Hunter X, to Sigma.
    X: I'll finish this. Right here, right now! I WILL DEFEAT YOU, SIGMA!
  • Bag of Spilling: Unsurprising for the series, but it doesn't seem to be for lack of trying: he keeps his dash ability permanently after the first game, and both X5 and X6 feature watered-down versions of the previous entry's powerups, with the implication that battle damage has detracted from their effectiveness. X7 and X8 also see X respectively regaining the air-dash and super charge shots, which were once armor exclusive powers, for his base form.
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation: One way or the other — a memorable boss fight in X5 suggests at the very least that X can recover old maverick weapons somehow. The leading theory is that X doesn't want to have all that power, so he voluntarily gets rid of his weapons at the end of each game.
  • Berserk Button: His greatest strength and Achilles' Heel is his emotional bond with his allies. Threaten them. Cause them harm. Use them as leverage against him. Turn them against him if you want. He'll blast a trail through your minions to see that you pay for it in blood.
    Sigma: "Hmm...I see a new clarity in your eyes. You are no longer troubled."
    • Maverick Hunter X shows what happens when X has to deal with the loss of his friend. He goes from being a little detached from the conflict and reluctant to fight to full-on scary voice, angry eyes, and absolute lethal intent. The change is jarring.
    • He also has no tolerance for those that take pleasure in causing chaos and collateral damage. For the Mavericks that are a Well-Intentioned Extremist, he'll debate with them, and for those that just happen to be in his path, he might even apologize to them - but if your response is For the Evulz, like Vile in particular, he'll drop trying to understand you and put you down.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The final boss of Maverick Hunter X shows that X can be downright terrifying when he gets mad. X's enemies tend to forget that he's a Maverick Hunter that's defeated countless opponents, and saved the world multiple times.
  • Black Box: His design and mechanisms are so hard to understand and looks complex even by the future's standards (i.e when they found him a century after his sealing). Dr. Cain notes that he couldn't replicate X completely due to this (that, and he was actually an archeobotanist). Only in the Zero series does someone manage to create the closest thing to a "perfect" copy of X, and even then it still has its flaws — Dr. Light put X in a 30-year ethical testing for a reason.
  • Blue Is Heroic: The Blue Bomber's next incarnation, pretty much.
  • Blue Oni: The blue to Zero's red. Much later on, though, the relation is inverted: X becomes the Red Oni as X become more emotional.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Only in X8, but there's an X on the sides of his helmet.
    • The new basic armor he sports in Command Mission has a white X on the chest.
  • Call-Forward: Zero's X7 ending. "Eliminate the Mavericks. The Mavericks...eliminate..." Depressingly, this game marks the one time we see X actually try to escape his fate, so it packs a punch even though the writers botched it.
  • Calling Your Attacks: In later games, and the remake of the first.
  • The Cameo:
    • Appears briefly in Zero's Tatsunoko vs. Capcom ending.
    • He and the other Mega Men (Volnutt, EXE, and Geo) come to aid the classic Mega Man in Super Smash Bros.. during his Final Smash. X also appears as a collectable trophy, and his armor is DLC that can be worn by Mii Gunners.
  • Car Fu: In the opening of X2, he jumps out from his speeding Ride Chaser, which then hits the Mechaniloid guarding the facility he's trying to infiltrate.
    • Can be done in-game as well, in Overdrive Ostrich's stage, as well as in X4 and X5.
  • Character Development: Subverted; his fall from the spotlight coincided exactly with the series' increased focus on characterization. It is only heavily displayed in the end of X5, X6, and through X8 do we see true examples of growth upon X's part beyond that point.note  However, The Day of Sigma and Maverick Hunter X do cover his journey from Wide-Eyed Idealist to Martial Pacifist, and it's generally assumed that the scrapped remakes of X2 and X3 would have followed up on this.
  • Character Tics: His "armor up" gesture (crossing his arms over his face and throwing them back), which he performs when warping in with armor equipped, when receiving capsule upgrades in Maverick Hunter X, and any time he appears as a boss. Copy X, his evil duplicate in the Zero series, seems to have inherited this gesture, performing it when equipping his Ultimate Armor.
  • Character Title: While he's no longer referred to in-universe as "Mega Man," the series is still named after X.
  • Charged Attack: One of his main features.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: In the first game, where he has to shoulder the burden of being humanity's next champion, despite not being as powerful as Zero or their enemies.
  • Clear My Name: The plot in X6 starts with a Palette Swap of Zero, called the Zero Nightmare, wreaking havoc. X decides to investigate the Zero Nightmare to clear Zero's name. For some reason, this is not part of the plot entirely, since defeating the Zero Nightmare is optional. And guess what? A Secret Character (not that Capcom was fooling anyone) will be unlocked upon defeating it.
  • Climax Boss: He'll do anything to prevent his friend from going Maverick. Including fighting him.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Blue, of course.
  • Crossdressing Voices: In X4, actually having the same voice actress as the original Mega Man in Mega Man 8.
    • Hardly noticeable in X1, since all he actually says is "Hadouken!" but only if he obtains it.
    • This trend continued on the YouTube channel of Lucas Gilbertson (Zero). Here, X is voiced by Carol Anne Day.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The X3 opening is entirely made of this trope. Blowing away two Bee Bladers in one shot? Dropping Launch Octopus's irritating mini-boss on him, destroying both? Switching between the armor sets of the first two games at will while fighting Sigma? Awesome.
  • Depending on the Writer: The horribly self-pitying loser of X7 and the half-crazed macho warrior of Command Mission are the farthest extremes, but how willing he is to fight varies wildly from game to game. It generally remains constant within any given game; Maverick Hunter X is the exception that proves the rule, as his Character Development actually matters for once. Zero being dead probably helped.
  • Demoted to Extra: He suffers from this in Mega Man X7 where he isn't playable from the start as people would instead play as Axl. He's playable later in the game if you've rescued 65 reploids or defeated all 8 maverick bossses.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In the end of X6, after taking down the resurrected Sigma, who can at best be described as a nightmarish, half-lobotomized, giant parasitic bimechanical robo-zombie, X has some very choice words for him.
    X: Sigma...we don't have time to deal with you. We need to rebuild our world and I can't let you get in our way. I doesn't matter how many times you'll come back... I'll beat you!
  • Doomed by Canon: Attempts to stop the fighting in X7...which came out while the Zero series was in full swing. Failure Is the Only Option.
  • Dual Boss: With Zero in Maverick Hunter X's Vile Mode.
    • Combination Attack: Aside from attacking in tandem in general, they have one attcak where Zero fires a slow energy projectile, then X fires onto that projectile and it results in a burst of energy that spreads out like X3's combined buster upgrade.
    • Kill One, Others Get Stronger: If you take Zero down, X will get angry and unleash stronger attacks. The same goes if X is defeated, but with Zero.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite being the reason Reploids exist, and the one with the most potential power, X is a B-class Hunter for most of the series, though those who know him realize this is entirely because he holds back and is reluctant to fight. By X8 and Command Mission, he's a Special A class hunter, having apparently gotten over those hang-ups.
  • Dull Surprise: He does this in the opening cut-scene to X8, whether from shell-shock or bad animation. Facing down an army of shapeshifting Reploids (let alone them taking form of Sigmas) should yield a stronger reaction than, "did I leave the oven on?"
  • The Ego: In relation to his teammates Zero and Axl. Is usually the one who has deep thoughts about most things happening around. But on the other side, he's a pacifist who's quite emotional, especially about fighting, and frequently thinks about all the enemies he fights.
  • Eleventh Hour Super Power: In the second Vile battle in the first game, after Zero's Heroic Sacrifice to destroy Vile's Ride Armor, all of X's energy is restored for some reason, ready to fight Vile on equal footing now. This was even lampshaded:
    Vile: "What the—? Where did that energy come from?!"
    • In the Day of Sigma OVA, something similar happens, only X's attack looks suspiciously like the Shining Finger.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: His Blade Armor from X6 resembles a samurai armor.
  • Evolving Weapon: Once you get a buster upgrade, almost every Maverick weapon counts as this. (Well, sort of. The second version counts as a Charged Attack.)
  • Face Palm Of Doom: Gives Sigma one in The Day of Sigma, mimicking the Shining Finger, no less.
  • Fighting the Lancer: If you don't get to fight the X-Hunters (and thus, gaining Zero's parts) before the Sigma fortress stages are unlocked in X2, you'll have X fighting Zero in one of the stages, although he was Brainwashed and Crazy at the time.
    • Played straighter in X5; no matter which scenario you took, one will end up fighting the other in the third fortress stage.
  • Flanderization: X goes from being a reluctant, yet willing fighter to become more whiny as the series goes. This becomes prominent in X7, where he pulls a 10-Minute Retirement, so you started playing a Mega Man X game without playing as him. In X8, though, he gets back to shape.
  • Foreshadowing: In his X4 ending, X asks Zero that if he (X) ever goes Maverick, Zero should be the one "to take care of him". Because of the Continuity Snarl between the two series, it falls into Fauxshadow.
    • When combined with the ending of X3 stating that X will have to destroy Zero to protect mankind (Lost in Translation notwithstanding), this at least foreshadows that the two of them will fight in X5.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: X loses his memories of Zero in the bad ending of X5.
  • Gameplay and Story Separation: In Vile Mode and Day of Sigma, his Charge Shot was shown to be extremely powerful, the former instance resulting in Vile getting critically wounded and also receiving a gaping hole in his chest, and the latter being powerful enough to knock down and temporarily knock out a renegade Maverick. In gameplay, although the Charge Shot is definitely more powerful than regular buster shots, it definitely isn't as strong as those cutscenes imply.
  • Golden Super Mode: His Golden Armor hidden power-up in X3.
  • Gone Horribly Right: X was put through extensive morality testing (he was intended to be put through 30 years of morality training, and ended up with 100 years), and thus he's the only reploid who is fully immune to the Sigma Virus in addition to being one of the nicest people around. However, also because of his morality testing, he constantly doubts himself when it comes to having to fight (as compared to his closest peer, Zero, who just gets the job done with few complaints).
  • Good Is Not Dumb: X, a Reluctant Warrior who lives in an increasingly Crapsack World infested with The Virus, capable of turning even his best friend against him. Often referred to as 'too trusting' in-universe and 'emo' outside of it because he doesn't like killing people. He's also an Sealed Good in a Can Super Prototype One-Man Army with lots of combat experience and what he can't handle, his aforementioned best friend will. He also ends up ruling the world, basically because he's the only person that could manage it.
  • Good Old Robot: He's this, as he isn't technically a Reploid ("Replicated Androids"), but rather the original robot all Reploids are (imperfectly) based from. Not just that, he's immune to The Virus because of this status (that, and his creator was much better at making virus countermeasures than the guys of later generations). Though he's just referred to as a Reploid altogether (in-story) to avoid confusion because of their similar mental capacities.
  • Gratuitous English: Applied to Calling Your Attacks above, with...interesting results. Generally better in X8, Maverick Hunter X, and Command Mission.
  • Guns Akimbo: X2 and X3 upgrades, sort of. By charging up enough, he fires a blast from one arm, then the other.
    • The Command Mission version of the Ultimate Armor has BFG akimbo!
  • Healing Factor: X gets one in the third game, with either the enhanced helmet parts or the Golden Armor.
  • Heroic BSoD: He suffers a major one during Lumine's Breaking Speech. It got so bad that Axl had to shoot Lumine with his gun and remind X that Lumine is their enemy to get him to at least put it aside long enough to manage to defeat Lumine.
  • Heroic Resolve: In the fight against Vile in the first stage of Sigma's castle, X loses the fight much like he did in the beginning of the game, left paralyzed and with little health. Zero makes a Heroic Sacrifice and destroys Vile's mobile suit with his remaining energy. Vile still thinks he has won, to which X breaks his bonds and restores his meter to full.
    • In the "Day of Sigma" animated-prequel in the PSP remake Maverick Hunter X, Big Bad Sigma stabs X through the gut with his beamsaber. After a brief Flashback of X swearing to Dr. Light that he will always fight for hope and justice, he comes back online and charges Sigma, digging his glowing hand with an awesome power into Sigma's face and giving Sigma his trademark eye scars before finally shutting down.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Zero. At one point in X5, X claims Zero is not only his best friend, but his Only Friend.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: A Reploid fighting against other evil Reploids.
  • Hurting Hero: It's kind of his shtick.
    • "How long must this war go on?" is a constant question he asks throughout the series. Him taking a break in X7 only makes sense, considering the fact that he'd just lost (X5) and gotten back (X6) his best friend for the second time over the course of the last two games and seen nothing change for the better in comparison to the start of the series. However, that aside, he does continue to fight even after being disembodied in the Zero series, and Inafune's original plan for that was X hitting the Despair Event Horizon and reacting not by quitting on the fight altogether, but via Face–Heel Turn.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: He taps into his unlimited potential out of sheer desperation in "The Day of Sigma".
  • Iconic Item: His X-Buster and his helmet.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In the infamous X vs Zero battle in X5, X tries to bring back the Maverick Zero to his, technically, "new self" (the "old self" is the Maverick Zero itself).
  • The Immune: Played with. Most Reploids will become the chaotic, rampaging Mavericks upon The Virus's infection. But X, with his Suffering Circuit inside him, will instead get hurt upon infection, as the circuit's trying to prevent him from being rampaging and genocidal.
  • In-Series Nickname: In the earlier games, other characters would call him anything from his full name (Rockman X, or Mega Man X) or even Mega Man, to just X. While he continues to be called Mega Man X or sometimes Mega Man in promotional materials, he is consistently called X in the games from X4 onwards, creating a lot of confusion with people who thought Mega Man was just an Artifact Title.
  • Infinite: X's most valuable trait, the one Sigma starts a war over in Maverick Hunter X, is his limitless capacity for growth. He has no limits, no set parameters, and no way of knowing just what he can become. His worrying more intensely and thinking more deeply than other Reploids from as early as the first game is a sign that his mind operates under this principle as well, but it manifests most clearly in gameplay. X seems to adapt the abilities of armors into his base form, such as the dash and stored charge shots, and across X1 to X4 he goes from dramatically inferior to Zero as a fighter to his equal, possibly even stronger than him.
  • It Never Gets Any Easier: X always feels grief and doubt about those who die in the Maverick Wars, even his own enemies, because he's at heart a Martial Pacifist. It's even been argued that he deliberately does this so he always has sympathy for the enemy, because becoming callous is not the way to finding real peace. When he finally loses all sympathy centuries into the future, he retires.
  • It's Personal: Sigma and Vile both hold this for X after he defeats them, creating series-long grudges, Vile at the end of X3 vowing to haunt X till the day he dies. X on the other hand has a case for Sigma, in that he never debates or negotiates with Sigma; he'd sooner down the mad Reploid-turned-Virus yet again with his own two hands and move on than waste any more time or risk more innocent lives. Maverick Hunter X transforms this into a genuine burning fury after witnessing Zero's Heroic Sacrifice, on top of Sigma having personally betrayed him previously to be able to nuke Abel City.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: In X8, relative to the other playable characters. He can be nudged towards different skill sets depending on which armor parts you go with.
  • Keigo: Post-Command Mission's Japanese X speaks very politely to everyone, even going so far as to use Watashi.
  • The Knight
  • Laser Blade: He can acquire Zero's saber in X3 if Zero destroys a certain mini-boss in one of the fortress stages. Unlike his Street Fighter-inspired secret moves, he can use the saber by charging his X-Buster all the way and he releases a beam when swung. He gets Zero's saber again in X6; however, unlike Zero, he can only do a single slash, but with armor upgrades, its ability gets tweaked up.
    • Blade Below the Shoulder: The Blade Armor from the same game.
    • Sword Beam: In X3, as mentioned above. In X6, it's the Giga Attack for the Blade Armor, which involves firing a crescent blade forward that does heavy damage. Shadow Armor's Giga Attack uses this differently, with 2 crescent blades that revolve around him, damaging everything in the vicinity.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: In the bad ending in X5, Dr. Light erases all of X's memories of Zero, and installs a program that will "reject" any information regarding Zero.
  • Late Character Syndrome: Ironically despite his name as in the title, X isn't playable until about halfway in X7 due to Axl being the one who you play as first. As a result it would be difficult to justify putting X in your party despite him being a Game Breaker because by then Axl and or Zero would receive half or more of the chip upgrades making X weaker in comparison even after getting the glide armor. But at the very least if you give him the remaining chip upgrades he can at least be able to fair much better towards the end.
  • Legacy Character: Succeeds the original Mega Man as the hero of this time period.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: An impending fight between him and Zero has been hinted upon ever since X2. (Though in a non-canon process just before the final battle in that case.) It was again touched upon in X4 before finally taking place in X5, and by extension, X6.
  • Let X Be the Unknown: Aside from being a Black Box, his name represents limitless potential. It also carries connotations of danger, leading Light to apparently seal him because The World Is Not Ready. Then again, he might have been lying about the last part to spare X's feelings.
  • Level-Map Display: In X3, the head upgrade gives X access to a (very rudimentary) map of the level, dividing it into small sectors, and showcasing the special items of the level.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: X always starts out weaker than the other characters, but after collecting the game's armor upgrades he easily overpowers Zero and Axl.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Specializes in buster combat compared to Zero's sword-based gameplay.
  • Magikarp Power: Really, X himself. No match for pretty much anything at the start of the first game, he is more or less a One-Man Army by the end.
    • A more traditional example is Zero's saber in X6. Oh, X can't wield it for crap (unlike in the third game, where it was ridiculously powerful and even useful at range in his hands), but the subsequently collected armors allow it to be used as a Charged Attack, and a certain set of parts restore it to ridiculous levels of power.
  • Martial Pacifist: X is a gentle-hearted soul by nature, the only character in the X setting who's naturally predisposed to deeper levels of introspection and compassion thanks to his century of stasis testing, and longs for the day that the Maverick Hunters are no longer needed. However, he knows full well, until that day comes, the Maverick Hunters are needed, and the Maverick Hunters need him. Make no mistake, if you bring X down on you, he will order once and only once that you stand down that your life may be spared. Refuse, and you've wrought the full fury of perhaps the most powerful being on Earth.
  • Meaningful Name: X stands for an unknown variable (like in algebra) containing unlimited potential. This was elaborated upon in Maverick Hunter X, where it is also mentioned that the letter "X" denotes danger, such as the tragic results that could occur if X was to violate the First Law of Robotics (cannot harm humans), hence his being kept in stasis before he could be safely released.
  • Mechanical Evolution: He's apparently the key to this, as multiple in-game statements and the Day of Sigma origin short express. As he's forced to fight and evolve, all aspects of himself grow in turn. As such, in theory, the reploid race as a whole may be influenced or directed by his growth — and Sigma is savvy enough to realize this, at least in the remake.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: From X4 onward, X remains the only playable character who can get armor sets (and the resulting buffs and extra abilities) from Dr. Light's capsules, while Zero and Axl's alternate "armors" are typically reserved as secret New Game+ content or only accessible via a cheat code (and even then X gets a secret Ultimate Armor alongside them.)
  • More Dakka / Floating Armory: His Command Mission-version Ultimate Armor.
  • Multiform Balance: The armors in X5-X6, as well as Neutral Armor's upgrades in X8.
    • X5: All armors reduce damage taken by 50%. The Force/Fourth Armor has normal mobility, its charged shot being the multi-hitting Plasma Shot (but only on the first thing it hits), energy consumption for special weapons is reduced by 50% and is able to charge special weapons. The Falcon Armor has high mobility with its flight capability, it's invulnerable to collision damage and can hurt enemies by clashing at them while flying, its charge shot can pierce through walls but deals comparatively weak damage and has small hitbox, it cannot charge special weapons, and its Giga Attack is a full-screen blast that is good for clearing the screen. The Gaea Armor moves slowly, has a slow dash and cannot airdash, and it can't use special weapons, but it is invulnerable to spikes, will not slide down walls when wall-jumping, can push special blocks with his dash, and its Giga Attack is a short-ranged blast in front of X that causes massive damage to things in front of it, even bosses. His buster shot lacks range, but is very powerful and can be used to dissipate other projectiles in its way and destroy special blocks. The Ultimate Armor is a more powerful version of the Force Armor in that its Plasma Shot will have effect on everything it blasts through and its Giga Attack, the Nova Strike, is not only useful for damaging but also moving around and avoiding damage, and its uses is unlimited (while the others' Giga Attack needs you to fill its gauge first).
    • X6: All armors reduce damage taken by 50%. The Falcon Armor returns, but its capabilities are changed: It reduces weapon energy usage by 33%, it's no longer able to fly but instead has enhanced airdash with invulnerability, its charge shot is less powerful, but it now can charge special weapons. The Blade Armor can also reduce weapon energy usage by 33% and can charge special weapons, special weapons gauge is increased by 50%, it has longer 4-directional airdash with invulnerability on startup, and its Giga Attack is a Sword Beam that flies forward, dealing high damage to everything on its way. It has 2 charged shots: one that is the weaker version of the Plasma Shot above, and another that is an enhanced version of the Z-Saber swing that does more damage and has larger hitbox. The Shadow Armor cannot airdash or use special weapons, but it is invulnerable to spikes, lets him do a Ceiling Cling, an enhanced normal Z-Saber attack, and its Giga Attack is him doing a circular slash that causes 2 Sword Beams to encircle him for a short time, highly damaging everything in vicinity. Its normal shot is changed into him firing shurikens with randomized trajectory (like C-shot weapon in X5) and its charged shot is a more powerful Z-Saber attack. The Ultimate Armor returns, and has the same capability.
    • X8: The Neutral Armor is the same as X himself, with no special capabilities. It then would become the basis for all his other armors. Icarus Armor (completed I-parts) is an armor system that focuses on attack power and aerial advantage capabilities. Hermes Armor (completed H-parts) is an Armor system that focuses on movement speed and mobility. The Ultimate Armor is similar to before, but it has some capabilities of both Hermes and Icarus armors, it can use both uncharged and charged special weapons infinitely, it's able to do a Shoryuken attack, and its Nova Strike is much more damaging (although isn't as spammy as before).
  • Mysterious Past: In-Universe. Perhaps a major contributor to the ongoing case of Underestimating Badassery X is subjected to no matter how much time passes, is that nobody actually knows he's not a reploid, but rather the template the entire reploid race was built off of. The only two who are known to have this knowledge are Dr. Cain for obvious reasons, and Sigma himself — and the former's deceased while the latter was consumed by the Maverick Virus. Even after Zero's true nature is outed to the Maverick Hunters in the climax of X5, X's origin is still one never disclosed to them.
  • Nice Guy: As the Day of Sigma OVA and the series implies, X is a fairly caring, compassionate and kind-hearted individual, who takes the deaths of everyone, Human or Reploid and even some of his Maverick foes, very personally. This wears on him over the course of the franchise, but he never quite gets broken of it. However, the moment you're a Maverick threat that needs to be taken down, he'll rarely hesitate - and god help you if you target his friends or intentionally incite mass genocide just to get at him and the Maverick Hunters. He drops negotiations for immediately taking you down as soon as possible.
  • Ninja: His Shadow Armor of X6 is clearly modeled after one, with his buster shooting shurikens, being able to Ceiling Cling and provides immunity to spikes like the Gaea Armor before it.
  • Odd Friendship: A pacifist becoming best friends with no-nonsense warrior? Not to mention that they're destined to fight each other...
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Aside from Wily and Zero turned Maverick, X is much older than any of the characters he fights against.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Nova Strike from the Ultimate Armor (especially in X8) and X's Z-Saber in X3 qualify. The hidden Hadoken move is a true one-hit-kill on anything it touches.
  • One-Man Army: Especially in the first two games.
  • Only Friend: As of X5, Zero is this for him. There might be good reasons, especially after what happened to Zero one game earlier. There might also be other reasons, but that doesn't entirely cover it.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: X suffers from this in X7 where he turns into a cowardly Jerkass with a crybaby attitude who overreacts about violence.
  • Out of Focus: After X3, and especially in X7. Axl even lampshades it in the intro stage of X8, threatening to steal the spotlight from him. Too late, buddy.
  • Palette Swap: The golden variant of the Third Armor, obtained by collecting all of the pieces without any of the chips. This is more useful than the usual version, since it reduces energy usage for the Hyper Charge and makes Special Weapons recharge faster, but it isn't saved with passwords.
    • X's Ultimate Armor in X8 is simply a palette swap of his normal armor set for the game.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Not as much as Zero, but still qualifies.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Relatively, anyway. X's base frame measures at 5'5"note  which is perfectly average for the young adult he's meant to physically be on a human scale, but by reploid standards, X is tiny. Official art shows comparatively, he only comes up to the chest of the likes of Alia, and she's not even made for combat purposes.
  • Power Copying: His Variable Weapons System, directly lifted from his predecessor's.
  • Power Crystal: It blinks when his health is critical, projects the map in X3, and when we see it glow full-stop in the OVA, he apparently develops New Powers as the Plot Demands.
  • Powered Armor: He has at least one per game. Later he gets two in X4, and four in X5 and X6. All of them gives X different changes.
  • Powered Armor Expansion Pack:
    • The Neutral Armor's gimmick in X8. With the exception of the Ultimate parts, the armor pieces can be switched for different combinations. Equipping a complete set would grant a fifth ability exclusive to that armor.
      Head: An upward helmet attack
      Body: Halves damage, negates knockback, and prevents the Recovery Gauge from decreasing
      Arms: Wave-Motion Gun as a fully charged attack. Lesser charge attacks are one less level than normal.Example 
      Legs: Increased jump height
      • Hermes Armor: Access to the Hyper Drive, which will increase your movement and charging speed, as well as upgrading the Spread Shot into 5 shots. Its duration depends on the amount of energy in the Hyper Drive meter.
      Head: Boosts weapon charge speed
      Body: Invincibility to weaker attacks
      Arms: 3-way Spread Shot
      Legs: Invisibility while dashing, as well as increased movement speed
      • Ultimate Armor: The Nova Strike returns, which gives high damage to the opponent it crosses over, but unlike in the previous games, this attack can't be quickly spammed (one use will deplete its meter, and then the meter regenerates in a few seconds). Also, it's now a Two-Hit Kill to most Bosses.
      Head: Enabling the Shoryuken move
      Body: Same as Icarus Armor's
      Arms: The multi-hitting Plasma Shot; weapon energy consumption for special weapons (including charged attacks) will be reduced to zero
      Legs: A combination of Hermes and Icarus Armor's leg parts
    • Also, in X3, you can ask Dr. Light to insert a special chip to one of the armor upgrade when you get the access to the capsule. You can only do this to one part of the armor, though. But there's a secret way to get all of them, and it comes with a nice touch of gold color, too!
  • Power-Strain Blackout: Immediately after scarring Sigma in the OVA. As the latter is far from defeated, this is really, really bad timing.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Most of his armors often give out this vibe.
  • Promotional Powerless Piece of Garbage: Despite the rarity of the card, he's effectively useless in the trading card game, having the same stats as Bass.
  • A Protagonist Shall Lead Them: Eventually he becomes this in the time-skip between this and Zero series, being the leader of Neo Arcadia.
  • Purple Is Powerful: His Ultimate Armor in X8 being something of a cross between the Icarus Armor (red) and Hermes Armor (blue) while having its own unique abilities. And of course, the same armor in the previous games.
  • Rage Helm: Downplayed. The design on X's default helmet slightly resembles angry eyebrows, reflecting the more aggressive playstyle and darker tone of the games themselves compared to Mega Man (Classic).
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: His potential is unlimited. This is read by Cyber Peacock, and even his analysis shows that his potential cannot be measured.
  • Reduced Mana Cost: Many of his armor upgrades give him the ability to reduce the amount of energy needed for firing special weapons.
  • Regenerating Health: His X3 armor has an upgrade to his helmet that allows him to refill his health (and Sub-Tanks) by standing still and waiting.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The predecessor to all the sentient Reploids seen in the X series and beyond.
  • Robo Family: With Rock, Blues, Roll, and Auto, but it's kind of moot because they never interact. Being the template from which all Reploids are designed, however, he's kind of everyone's father. This never actually comes up, even with the Guardians, who are built directly from his DNA, but it's a little weird.
  • The Ruins I Caused: In the first three games, he always gets to watch Sigma's fortresses going down from far away after he beats Sigma.
  • Scarf Of Asskicking: Gets one in Command Mission. It's not an actual scarf, but a device built into his back that projects a flowing, tattered scarf when he runs. It also comes in a variety of colors (depending on your game progress) and lengthens to a noticeable degree when he dashes. May or may not be a Shout Out to "older brother" Proto Man and/or Shinobi for the PlayStation 2.
  • Schematized Prop: You can see X's full blueprint in the opening cut-scene in the first game.
  • Screaming Warrior: Spends much pre-fight dialogue yelling at bosses, especially after X7. Reaches Ham-to-Ham Combat territory against Sigma.
    • In Maverick Hunter X, he starts off more or less calm and collected. When Zero dies, he goes into full-on Unstoppable Rage, and he can't communicate in anything less than a shout. Considering he's voiced by Mark Gatha, this is a very good thing.
    Sigma: "Hmm...I see a new clarity in your eyes. You are no longer troubled."
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: His death scream in X4, thanks to the lousy voice acting, and being voiced by the same girly voice as Mega Man in Mega Man 8.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: By the start of the game. He ends up being the template for all kinds of evil, but then his best buddy has it even worse there.
  • Sensitive Guy
  • Set Bonus: In the second and third games, getting all the armor parts will give you the ability to reduce the energy usage of special weapons. In X5-X6, you can't even use the armor parts individually — you have to assemble them first. In X8, you have the option of mixing and matching between the Hermes and Icarus parts, but if you complete a set of either Icarus or Hermes parts, then you can access their respective Giga Abilities.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: When he becomes this is up to Alternative Character Interpretation, but he is definitely this by the Zero series.
  • Shout Out: His in-game attacks have included the Hadouken and Shoryuken (the latter twice), and in the OVA he seems to pull off the Shining Finger...complete with shared voice actor!
    • Frank West's Mega Man armor is clearly a takeoff on X's look. This then became a Mythology Gag in one of the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom trailers, as West using said armor for a special attack alongside Zero made it look like the X/Zero combination might be together for the game after all...for all of half a second.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: For some reason, in Maverick Hunter X, "Damn it!" is one of his lines upon taking damage. Naturally, this will add up if you play badly. No one else swears in that game.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: He's this, at first (especially apparent in The Day of Sigma OVA). He slowly loses his naivete over time, but is still apparently idealistic and pacifistic.
  • Story-Breaker Power: He literally has unlimited potential, being designed with an ability that's frankly miraculous in an artificial lifeform: growing in all aspects from his experiences, mind and body alike, with no external modification or tampering required. In fact, the retelling of the first game, Maverick Hunter X, has Dr. Light state that X can evolve as he fights, explaining how he retains certain powers and upgrades between games. The only reason he has problems in battle is his kindness causes him to hold back, but even then, by X5 he's become equals to Zero's fully-regained strength, and he only grows further from there.
  • Super Prototype: Though only because Cain did a really half-assed job duplicating his technology. Not that it's entirely his fault, mind you, Dr. Light was just that damn good, but basically the plot of almost every game is the result of his inferior skills.
  • Superior Successor: To the original Mega Man. Notably, this has far less to do with power, not that X isn't immensely higher in that regard, but that X is the realization of Dr. Light's dream, a robot with perfectly human level thought, feelings and capabilities, whereas Rock for all his freedoms was still a robot bound by his programming.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While X is typically the primary point of view for the games, his companions typically have roles that are much more intertwined with the events of the story. X will fight to keep the peace regardless, but Zero is more closely related to The Virus plots in X5 and X6, while Axl's story of dealing with Red Alert and the New Generation Reploids is more personal.
  • Swiss Army Hero: In any game with multiple armor sets, but especially X5. Drawing from the third game's opening, fandom sometimes takes this Serial Escalation and depicts him swapping through every armor set ever.
  • Sword and Gun: Some games have him using a saber alongside his buster, but he tends to fare more in the "Gun" department.
  • Technical Pacifist/Reluctant Warrior: He swings back and forth, depending on the game. X3, X4, and X7 leaned more towards Reluctant Warrior, the others portrayed him as a Technical Pacifist.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: In X7. Of course, diplomacy never works in an action series, so he came back.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After the optimistic note of rebuilding the world and the return of Zero helped bring X out of his funk at the end of X6, he suddenly takes a 180 in personality by X7 and retires to a leadership role out of pacifism. This would be fine and all, but he's extremely abrasive towards Axl over the course of the story and constantly undermining the kid's earnest efforts to be a Maverick Hunter, even continuing to refuse it by the end of the game after being saved by him. The other Hunters think he's being too harsh and call him out on it, but he rebukes them and doubles down. Subsequently Took a Level in Kindness mid-game when they finally convinced him to get back in the field, and by the time of X8 he's fully back to his proper self and seems to have personally inducted Axl into his Fire-Forged Friends.
  • Transformation Sequence: Going into a level, you'll usually see X summon his Powered Armor before becoming playable (provided you've gotten it, of course).
    • In X8, even though he's already in the armor as he warps in, he performs the gesture anyway.
  • Tragic Keepsake: He keeps Zero's Z-Saber after Zero's death in X5, up until X7.
  • 24-Hour Armor: More specifically his helmet. X is the only Mega Man not shown to have some kind of synthetic/artificial hair in the main titles, and one of the few who does not take off his helmet when the smoke goes down at the end of the adventure; this has led many to believe that X does not have hair, just a metal plate like Robocop without his helmet.
  • Unconscious Objector: In the OVA, he gets impaled with a light saber and given a Breaking Speech, he has a flashback, finds some courage to keep fighting, and reacts for a brief moment, enough to pass through Sigma's Saber and cause him his signature scar. When Sigma reacts and was going to attack, he notices X is now immobile (he kind of stabbed him right into his energy generator or something like that), so he stops, satisfied as he witnessed the "Hidden Potential" Dr. Cain talked about.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Arguably the point of The Day Of Sigma, and probably the entire retool. While he's already a badass at that point, he's still naive and hesitant.
    • To some degree in the actual games too. Being a centuries-old "robotic relic" who is also a Technical Pacifist, many Reploids think he'd be a cinch to defeat despite the fact he's a famous Maverick Hunter. They're more than a little surprised when he destroys them.
  • Video Game Flight: His Falcon Armor from X5 makes him able to do this.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: He had always tried to be a pacifist, but he quickly concluded (or at least, decided before the first game) that fighting was necessary to bring about peace, to the point that he states that he is not afraid to fight his best friend Zero to stop him from getting corrupted in X5, and his enemy Sigma if he keeps showing up to stop the reconstruction of the world in X6. Then he suddenly made a decision to become an Actual Pacifist in X7, which everyone else (including the players) hated him for, simply because he was tired of killing after having fought six wars and not seen any direct correlation to helping people in at least four of them. Once Zero and Axl rescued enough Reploids and/or beat all eight Mavericks, X realized there were a lot of people in the line of fire in what was essentially a custody dispute gone nuclear, and decided to fight to save them, bringing him back to his original conclusion that yes, violence is necessary whether he likes it or not.
  • Vocal Dissonance: In X4, he had the same voice actor as the original Mega Man in 8. It's more acceptable on Mega Man, who looks more like a teenager, but the adult appearance of X makes the voice feel unfitting.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: On occasion. X8 features one as a Buster Part and Finishing Move.
  • Weak, but Skilled: He's almost always smaller and less technically able than the opponents he faces, but he's goddamn unstoppable once he starts. Add the fact that every game still manages to have That One Boss even after he gets his 'Ultimate' armor.
  • Wimpification: Happens mostly to X in fan works, because he's a peace-loving Reluctant Warrior/Technical Pacifist who has a moral conflict, and is quite angsty about it. Remember that, despite all of them, he's still have a strong will to defeat his enemies. It did happen in canon, however, in X7, where he took a 10-Minute Retirement and during and afterwards, constantly whined about having to fight.
  • Worthy Opponent: Sigma views him as this as evidenced in X5 and X6, where in the former, during his boss fight, he'll readily acknowledge X as the strongest reploid and the best of the hunters and even admit that having Zero fight X was a waste. In contrast, if Zero confronts Sigma, Sigma will instead wonder if X or Zero is the strongest. In the latter, Sigma despite driven mad and barely coherent after his botched resurrection, will state fighting X gives him motivation to return again and again. Even during the time of X3, Sigma is astounded that X was able to destroy his battle body and attempts to possess him with the belief if he has X's body, then he'll be able to rule the world.
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool: His name.
  • Young and in Charge: Zigzagged. Even taking the century of stasis out of the equation, in the greater-expanded X series on one end of the Zero Continuity Snarl, X has been around long enough for the world to experience both near-apocalypse when Eurasia fell and for society to be completely restored by X7, then the shortly-following-X8 sidestory, Command Mission, outright puts the date as another full century passed since the first game. Despite this, X still looks and sounds about as young as he did in the very beginning, Art Evolution aside, and the human age his AI personality mimics seems to have matured from the initial 14-to-15-year-old base, but only up to something more around 20-21; that said, he is still very near the top of the Maverick Hunter chain of command under Signas alone amongst much older-looking reploids.
  • You're Insane!: Maverick Hunter X has the titular Azure Hunter pointing out that Sigma has completely lost it to his subordinates. None of them deny it, but rather believe that Sigma, despite his insanity, has a good point, and people would rather ignore it than deal with the implications.
    Sigma: "Our potential is limitless!"
    X: "You think you have potential?! You're insane, Sigma!"

    DWN-∞ Zero
Voiced by: note 
The beloved Ensemble Dark Horse of the series, Zero has been described by the series creator as "the other main character who gets all the good scenes."

The final creation of Dr. Albert Wily, Zero was created to destroy Mega Man once and for all, but a programming error in his system forced his creator to seal him away. After a violent rampage upon waking up, Zero was quelled following a fateful fight with Sigma, becoming a high-ranking Maverick Hunter and close friend to X.

Has his own set of tropes under the Mega Man Zero protagonists page for tropes that apply exclusively to him in that series.
  • The Ace: In the original Mega Man X, his portrayal boils down to "Here's Zero, he's infinitely cooler than you are, but if you Dare to Be Badass you can be as cool as Zero". His later appearancess take him down a few notches, but he's still consistently considered the highest rank Maverick Hunter and, in X5], the best spaceship pilot on the roster.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: An inverted version. According to the Zero Collection's story, the reason he was berserk before he joined the Maverick Hunters was because a programming error occurred in Zero that caused him to become violent and uncontrollable, and it was for this reason that Wily had him sealed away (apparently he couldn't control him without risk of him being killed by him). Ironically, the Maverick Virus was the only reason Zero became somewhat pacified after being defeated by Sigma.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: He was originally designed by a certain Mad Scientist for the express purpose of destroying all in his path before losing his memory. The only difference between then and now is he's one of the good guys.
  • Ancestral Weapon: It's easy to miss, but the Z-Saber as we've come to know it, introduced in X2, is the very sword that Sigma in his original form wielded before Zero inherited it in his updated body. This trend would even continue a rung further when X inherits it from Zero after X5— but of course, then Zero wanted it back.
  • Anti-Antichrist: Red body armor with pointy horns? Check. Aryan-esque blue eyes and golden hair? Check. In the Blood to become a destroyer of Reploids everywhere? Check. Depicted to rival the power of the Father of Reploids, X? Check. Heck, the only thing separating him from being The Antichrist is Identity Amnesia, as the bad end of X5 can attest.
  • Arm Cannon: The Z-Buster is always there. We just can't use it sometimes because stuff.
  • Ascended Extra: Somehow pushed his way from Mauve Shirt status to the co-protagonist role — even after being killed! Invoked by Word of God, as Zero was Inafune's first design for X that got snubbed, so he decided to just have him overshadow the main protagonist instead.
  • The Atoner: He served the Maverick Hunters to stop what he started, i.e Maverick uprisings. It doesn't help that the original virus came from him by design.
  • Ax-Crazy: Before his Heel–Face Turn, he was Laughing Mad and sporting a Slasher Smile, cutting down anything in front of him.
  • Back from the Dead: He was killed in X1 and X5 but was later brought back in the following games. Justified since he's a robot, but noteworthy in that a sticking point in the X series is that generally there's no one around capable of rebuilding him or X if they go down, being far too advanced for anyone to rightly puzzle out.
  • Badass Back: He pulled this out after teleporting in a stage, or after killing bosses. This was carried over to Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Badass Boast: From X2:
    "You should have read the blueprints closer. There is only one Zero!"
    • In later games, if Zero finds the power-up capsules meant for X, Dr. Light will lament not being able to design any upgrades for Zero. Zero doesn't mind, since he's good enough that he doesn't need upgrades.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • He was kidnapped by Vile as a bait for X in the first game. Then, after Vile gets his hands on X, Zero breaks out of the cage and then he does the Heroic Sacrifice to destroy Vile's Ride Armor.
    • Something similar happens in Maverick Hunter X, where Zero is knocked out and Vile immediately captures him without battling him. Zero regains consciousness and then proceeds to do the aforementioned Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Barbarian Long Hair: His very long hair is frequently used to make him look more badass.
  • Battle Aura: In his Superpowered Evil Side.
  • Berserk Button: Iris's death in X4. After that, he didn't care who he was fighting until the end of the game...
  • The Berserker: Maverick Zero. Upon his release from his capsule, Zero goes on a rampage, massacring Reploids (presumably belonging to Gamma's unit in the Maverick Hunters) left and right. Sigma shows up, whips out his Laser Blade, and Zero holds his own with nothing more than a metal pipe and later his fists, going Laughing Mad once he corners Sigma and starts tearing him limb from limb. In X5, however, Zero's awakened form is far calmer and fights with his usual finesse, which arguably might make him scarier.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He manages to pull at least one per SNES game, with the last marking his debut as a player character. The best example is his Establishing Character Moment below.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Towards X in X1.
  • Bishōnen: Even lampshaded by Bass, who called him "too girly" to be the strongest robot, as Wily claimed it.
  • Black Box: Same case as X, though not as pronounced.
  • Blood from the Mouth: The first game has him with blood/mech fluid/oil/some red substance running from the corner of his mouth after sacrificing himself to destroy Vile's Ride Armor. Notably, he does not bleed from anywhere else despite having been torn in half. This also happens in his ending in X5.
  • Bootstrapped Leitmotif: X's theme in the first game, "Variable X", became more associated with Zero, as it played when he talks to X after the opening stage and when he dies later on. As such, it was later used as the intro song to the US version of X5, a game that focuses heavily on Zero's backstory, and when he is found by X in X6.
  • Breakout Character: He was initially meant to be an example of everything X could become with enough hard work, dying at the end of the first game. The fans loved him so much, he became a series staple, even getting a Sequel Series dedicated just to him.
  • Bring My Red Jacket: He's a red robot, and he mainly uses melee attacks, and he's a Glass Cannon. Do the math.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": The stylized "Z" insignia on his shoulder(s). According to a certain flashback, Wily's own insignia can be found on his Power Crystal. Also, in Mega Man Zero 3, "DWN-∞" can be found in the background of one of the areas — likely Zero's designation.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Started in X8 to keep X company.
  • The Cameo: He appears as a trophy in the Wii U version of the fourth Super Smash Bros., and in the same game his armor and Z-Saber are DLC for Mii Swordfighters.
  • Celibate Hero: With Iris's tragedy still fresh in his mind, he believes he's not ready to have another romantic pursuit. This is seen with Layer, although he's also just plain oblivious to her advances.
  • Char Clone: Word of God confirms it. Being a Proto Man clone (himself a Char Clone) helps; see Expy below.
  • Character Development: Post-X4, in spades. After Iris' death, his character changes dramatically. His carefree personality turns into a grim, serious, no-nonsense one (as evidenced by his victory pose changing from a thumbs up to a simply head turn). He's still a good friend to X, but is less willing to hold his hand through tough situations, and is more than willing to call him out for his naivete and idealism as seen in Command Mission. His originally witty humor becomes dry, biting, and cynical. Even his theme music changes from energetic rock to slow, solemn, and even outright melancholic.
  • Chick Magnet: One tragic girlfriend in X4, and two more "admirers": X8's Layer and Ciel in the Zero series. It doesn't seem impressive compared to other examples, but the Mega Man franchise has few other romantic relationships, not to mention that Ciel is a human. There's also Fefnir and Leviathan, who really seem to enjoy fighting Zero, an e-Reader NPC in Zero 3 who surprises Zero with a kiss, and Prairie, who loved Giro because he reminded her of Zero.
  • Climax Boss: Alternative to the article that X also has above. It was all because of a little misunderstanding. Most of it went according to Sigma's plan, though.
  • Close-Range Combatant: From X4 on, he focuses on his Z-Saber rather than his Buster, to the point that he loses the Buster entirely in X7 and X8.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Red, of course.
  • Counter-Attack: His Gokumonken technique in X7. He does a special stance that can reflect projectiles and automatically retaliates a close-range attack.
  • Crutch Character: In his original playable appearance in X3, Zero amounted to a potent Mighty Glacier who, while incredibly useful early on, paled in comparison to a fully-upgraded X. In the RPG, Command Mission, he is the strongest member of your party early on, but leaves for a long stretch of the game. When he returns, however, he's still very strong.
  • Cyber Antichrist Samurai
  • Dash Attack/Deadly Lunge: Some of his acquired techniques are this, e.g Shippuuga in X4, F-Splasher in X5 or Raikousen in X8.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Before he became a playable character, he was only around when the plot needed his power. And then, later, Command Mission also puts him out of commission for a good portion of the game.
  • Deuteragonist: To the point where he got his own series.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: From X4 onwards, Zero was balanced around fighting with the Z-Saber, making him a Glass Cannon with high mobility and a very damaging melee attack, but also with weaker defense and very few ranged attacks. He's a lot harder to use effectively than X since you have to get close to enemies to attack, his special attacks require specific button inputs instead of just selecting them, and he just plain dies faster than X, but with fast enough reflexes and finger speed you can rip through enemies and bosses extremely quickly and stylishly.
  • Distant Finale: Zero's ending in X6 (where Zero seals himself to get rid of the virus within him) is stated to happen long after the end of the whole X series.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In X1, Zero was essentially just a stronger X. It wasn't until X2 that he got his signature Z-Saber, and following X3, his Buster was de-emphasized in favor of the melee-oriented gameplay most associate him with. He completely drops ranged weaponry in X7 and X8, and wouldn't pick up a gun again until his own series.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun:
    • Zero is the one who really takes it on the chin here; in several of the games, he puts away his Z-Saber after each attack or combo, and you can't move until he does this (you also can't move until his ponytail finishes falling.) The PS2 X games fix this by having him keep the saber out at all times. You can also slash while dashing in said games, but doing it while walking will instantly stop him.
    • In "X5" and "X6", his buster requires him to be still in the floor to work.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Has one of these in Command Mission thanks to his Heat Haze sub weapon, though boss enemy Ferham's (Crimson Shade) is stronger (or at least more durable).
    • In X5, his Sougenmu (Twin Dream), gained from Axle the Red, has him projecting a copy in front of him that mimics his attacks. His W-Shredder (gained from The Skiver) is a lesser version, with his copy appearing mid-dash to slash the foe.
  • Double Jump: In X4 and X5, Zero learns a move which allows him to do a double jump in midair (accompanied by the spinning attack mentioned below). It's a default move from X6 onward.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Appears in Bass' ending in Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters in Dr. Wily's blueprints.
  • Elemental Weapon: Some of his copied techniques involve giving an element to his saber.
  • Establishing Character Moment: X getting his ass handed to him by the very first Hopeless Boss Fight in the series? Cue the awesome Theme Music Power-Up, an Arm Cannon being charged, and then Vile goes Oh, Crap!
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: He's supposed to be a robot version of these feudal warriors, if his exaggerated Samurai Ponytail and katana-esque Laser Blade didn't tip you off. Contrasts nicely with the kunoichi Marino.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: In X4 and X5, Zero learns a move which allows him to do a spin-slash in midair, which replaces his normal air slash. X6 keeps the technique, but only during the aforementioned Double Jump, unlike Kuuenzan and C-Sword. And in X6, X7 and X8, he still gets more spinning moves.
  • Expy: Of the Classic series Proto Man in the first X game, and was even referred to as "a Blues like character" in early Japanese publications that came out before the game. However his Character Development in X4 and in X5 onward (becoming cold, stoic, and no-nonsense) and his use of swords has then become a Fountain of Expies basis for future Proto Man clones like ProtoMan.EXE, Girouette, and Model ZX — they even share Zero's long hair.
    • He also has a personal non-Proto Man avatar in Zero.EXE from Network Transmission, who was made as a computer virus to infect other Navis and computer systems before being defeated by MegaMan.EXE (and becoming a purified Navi in the good ending).
  • Evil Knockoff: Zero has been unfortunate enough to pick up a few of these over the years. The first was the fake Black Zero that appears in X2 should X succeed in obtaining all of Zero's parts from the X-Hunters, followed by Nightmare Zero in X6, an unstable and neurotic creation of Gate's using Zero's DNA. Zero 3 would add Omega, though with a twist — Omega is a Cyber Elf personality program inhabiting Zero's original body (encased within what is essentially a self-healing Power Limiter), with Zero (and his A.I./consciousness) revealed to be housed inside a supposedly inferior copy of said body.
  • First Episode Resurrection: Well, okay, he dies in the first game and is resurrected in the second, but he otherwise fits the trope entirely.
  • Flashback Nightmare: In the beginning of X4, Zero has a nightmare about the circumstances of his creation, as well as slaughtering several Reploids upon being reactivated. It's also implied that he's had this nightmare at least once before.
  • Foreshadowing: A subtle one from X5: part of the opening music and start menu theme is actually Zero's death theme from the first game. Guess what happens at the end of the game...
  • Glass Cannon: He's a devastating fighter with his saber, and he takes lots of damage. Even more with his Black Zero upgrade in X8, which doubles the damage he deals and takes. Even more with the Red Lotus Saber in Command Mission, which adds his defense stats to his power stat, but sets the defense stats to zero.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He tends to shoot first, ask question later when encountering Mavericks. What makes it worse is that those Mavericks sometimes have a point about what they did. After his Cynicism Catalyst, he gets even less nice.
  • Good Old Robot: In a similar way to X; he isn't technically a Reploid, was made with a similarly high-level technology as X, and due to being meant to work with the Maverick Virus, he's strengthened by them instead by getting weakened and/or crazy.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: In the games where his Command Arts are not translated.
  • Ground Punch: Zero has many of his Giga Attacks involve punching the ground, though in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 he does so with a charged buster.
  • Guest Fighter: In Project G. Prior to that, his Zero series incarnation appeared in Onimusha Blade Warriors, alongside MegaMan.EXE.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: In X5, X vs Zero — No matter what character you use and Zero's condition (being Maverick or not), your fight will end in a Double Knockout.
  • Healing Factor: It's not utilized as a gameplay element, but he has an auto-repair system that can regenerate entire body parts. This is apparently how he is revived in X6.
  • Heartbroken Badass: In a variant, he lost his lover because she went berserk on her own merits and he has to put her down himself. Zero can only blame Sigma for putting up the whole conflict in the first place. After X4, because of those events, he becomes more serious and straight-laced.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Due to Multiple Endings in some of the games.
  • Heroic BSoD: Part of his Character Development in X4 is the ending where he anguishes himself over not being able to save and/or protect any of the people he ever cared about, and wondering why he should bother continuing the fight. Although the Hidden Heart of Gold doesn't seem noticeable from previous games, this is most probably where it came to a head.
    • He does experience a relatively minor one in Command Mission when he learns that not only did Redips manipulate the entire events of the game to both get the Supra-Force Metal and get rid of Epsilon, but that Redips also posed as Spider for an undeterminant part of the game. While the others are rushing off to chase Redips, Zero is hesitant to go with them, and then tells X "Spider was actually just Redips?! How badly have we been duped here?!" before X snaps him out of it by reminding him that Redips is going to use the Supra-Force Metal, and that they can't let him do so.
  • Heroic Resolve: In the end of X5, after he gets shot by Sigma while trying to defend X and loses his lower half, he retaliates and gives Sigma one final shot to kill him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: If there's any story about Zero, this will always wind up happening to him. The two Sequel Series (plus one drama track, where Zero manages to pull off two sacrifices) can attest to that.
  • He's Dead, Jim: After he accidentally killed Iris, he realized she was dead after calling her name and trying to shake her back to consciousness.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Deep down, he really is a very nice guy. Don't let his portrayal in Command Mission fool you. He blows up at X for letting "the dregs of Giga City" (Marino and Spider in particular) join his mission, saying they could betray the team at any time and go Maverick. As Cinnamon correctly points out, he acts this way because he's scared of trusting people, likely because of what happened with Iris. Lampshaded in the same game, when he actually apologizes for acting like a jerk at one point.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: And he is the original of his kind, in fact.
  • Humble Hero: In his X6 ending, when he seals himself, he told the scientist who helped him in the sealing that his friend, X, will always be the better hero between them, and that the world would be fine with X still alive at the time.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Here are all of Zero's weapons in X7 and X8:
  • I Am Who?: Zero struggles with various levels of amnesia in the this series. He keeps getting flashbacks of his creator, Dr. Wily, but remembers nothing else from before Sigma captured him.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Even in the future, it looks cool. Zero starts and ends every combo with his Z-Saber sheathed on his back. Averted in X7 and X8.
  • Iconic Item: His Z-Saber.
  • Identity Amnesia: We learn in X4 that he was an evil Maverick when Sigma first found him, and he lost his memory in the fight, waking up sane and sober. The bad ending of X5 shows us what would happen if his Maverick self ever resurfaced, and it ain't pretty.
  • Infinite: DWN-∞ is the serial number of Zero; it's implied that his creator sees Zero as having an unlimited potential.
  • Informed Attribute: Ever since the second game, he's gained the position as the leader of the 0th Maverick Hunters Unit. Never does any of that help him in the games afterwards — and worse, some of his subordinates also turn Maverick (like Blast Hornet) or otherwise leave the service (like Web Spider).
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: His fight against Iris, as he tries to bring her back in self-defense. Unfortunately, just after she's going back to normal, she dies because of her injuries. Cue Zero's infamous agonizing scream about his (lack of) reason of fighting.
    • He also is in the receiving end of this in X2 and X5, should (in the former) you fail to collect Zero's parts or (in the latter) the shuttle mission failed and Zero goes Maverick.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Iris' death results in a more serious, stoic Zero, and his ending in X5 has him remembering her before he dies (again).
  • The Immune: He takes it one step further: he's immune to the Maverick Virus, and he even becomes stronger the more the virus infects him, as shown in X5's gameplay (where he doesn't lose health upon coming in contact with the Sigma or Zero Virus and briefly turns invincible once fully "infected"). It has to do with Zero being not only the original source of the virus itself, but he is actually made to be able to use it as a power source.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: His Raijingeki move in X4 and Youdantotsu in X8.
  • Irony: His best friend happens to be the creation of his creator's nemesis. Yet, neither X nor Zero have any ill will towards each other. Of course, neither of them had any idea about each other's creators, not to mention Zero doesn't appear to ever comprehend who made him.
  • It Gets Easier: He's not totally heartless, though — he just sees it from a different perspective. When Middy dies with Techno (because they shared a CPU) in Xtreme, he told the upset X that he knew the consequences and he should honor his sacrifice instead of bemoaning it. However, when his love interest Iris dies in a cruel and pointless war, he didn't take it well.
  • It's Personal: Very much so in X8. Seems like he's taken way too long to hate Sigma's guts — he's mainly angry about the events of X5 (surprisingly, no mention of Iris) — but other than that, it makes perfect sense.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: In the official arts, his Laser Blade is often depicted in a katana-like form.
  • Killed Off for Real: X5 supposedly has this happen to him, to end the series. Of course, Capcom didn't make it stick...
  • The Knave
  • The Lancer: While the X series has yet to form a distinctive Five-Man Band (the secret characters of X8 and the cast of Command Mission notwithstanding), Zero fits this archetype nonetheless.
  • Laser Blade: His Z-Saber. In later games he can also acquire a laser Blade on a Stick, laser pair of knives and laser Combat Hand Fan.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: The Maverick Virus was infecting Reploids long before Zero woke up.
  • Laughing Mad: How he reacted when fighting Sigma in X4 (not to mention later beating Sigma to a bloody pulp when the latter was at his mercy).
  • Lip Lock: This is the reason for Zero's infamous "WHAT-AM-I-FIGHTING FOOOOOOOOOOR!" line in X4, since his lip movements have his mouth open wide when he says it.
  • Magnet Hands: In the 3D games.
  • Manly Man: Being the bishonen of the two, that's saying something.
  • Master Swordsman: Starting with X4, he begins wielding the Z-Saber with finesse rivaling a Jedi Knight, and with the skills he gains with each boss, he only gets better.
  • Meaningful Name: The games only give vague allusions to what Zero really stands for, although Fanon speculated that it has a similar meaning to X, i.e. a fixed power that cannot grow, but is already beyond comprehension, neither positive nor negative. It can also mean limitless potential, just in a different way.
    • Another possible meaning is "Multiple by Zero," which is to say, turn everything to nothingness.
    • Another possible meaning would be Patient Zero.
    • His serial number, DWN-∞ (infinity), also hints at his own limitless potential.
    • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3 at least, Captain America (a WWII veteran) gives allusion to the famous Japanese fighter plane — Mitsubishi A6M Zero — if he encounters Zero. As both the plane and the robot are Glass Cannons that fight up close and deal devastating damage, as well as being known for doing Suicide Attacks, it's pretty much apt.
  • Meet My Good Friends "Lefty" and "Righty": As Absolute Zero in Command Mission, his sub and main weapons are his claws and feet. Since they need names on your attack panel, say hello to Killer Left, Brutal Right, and Crimson End.
  • The Mentor: To X in X1.
    • Mentor Occupational Hazard: He's watched over X from the beginning of the game, forcing Vile to retreat after X couldn't touch him. Obviously, he's the badass of the story, but he's not the title character, so he performs his Heroic Sacrifice, leaving X to face Sigma alone, with no chance at a last second rescue. Incidentally, the placement of the Vile fight in the remake justifies the over the top dialogue X uses when he faces Sigma, as it happened at the end of the previous stage, and not at the start of the fortress, making X's fury still fresh. And even though Zero gets better, he's been surpassed by X by the time he returns, and they work as a team from X3 to X8.
  • More Hero Than Thou: In X5, in order to stop the Colony Drop, one of the heroes has to maneuver a shuttle into crashing into it. Zero volunteered himself, as he stated that, whether or not he (Zero) survives the crash, the world is still in danger, and X is needed more than he is.
  • Multi-Melee Master: In X7 and X8, where he can acquire other melee weapons.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After he beats Iris.
  • My Hero, Zero: Duh.
  • Mysterious Past: Even after all this time, all Zero knows of his "father" is a silhouette; but that didn't stop him from learning that he is the cause of most of the hardships in the world up to that point.
    • A rather popular fan theory is that he killed off the cast from the original series before he was sealed. This, however, has been Jossed.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Has one in at the start X4 and another at the end of X7.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In the flashback cutscene in X4, in his fight against Sigma, at first it seemed like Sigma is controlling the fight, but Zero just keeps getting up, laughing, and finally winning a Single-Stroke Battle, fist to Beam Saber, and then turns the tables completely and goes to brutally maim Sigma. Zero is only beaten when his head crystal glows, causing him a headache, and then Sigma punches it, rendering his opponent unconscious.
  • Not So Stoic: His Freak Out in X4 after Iris' death.
  • One-Man Army: Same as X, he's capable of taking out entire opposing forces of Mavericks all by himself.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In X6, with some loss in translation (not that everything else wasn't): he speaks much more politely than he usually does when asking if Dr. Light knows anything about his Unexplained Recovery.
  • Palette Swap: Several times.
    • In X2, collecting all of Zero's parts meets you with a black replica of him in the final Sigma stage. You seem poised to fight, but the real Zero destroys him in one shot before you get the chance.
    • From X4 onwards, excepting X7, Zero's substitute for an ultimate armor changed his hair to a silver-white color and his armor to jet black, named Black Zero. The effects of this vary across games (Purely cosmetic in X4, improved defense and some minor bonuses in X5 and X6), but most people accept the X8 version of it as the standard version: Improved dash distance and doubled damage, but halved defense.
    • Zero Nightmare is an Ax-Crazy clone (or mind-controlled orignal) of Zero colored primarily with purple and green. Fortunately, he's much weaker than the real thing.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: Zero is the pinnacle of Dr. Wily's robotics career, and was originally intended as Wily's post-death revenge. Unfortunately, Zero dedicated himself to fighting the Sigma virus and completely subverted Wily's intentions.
  • Parrying Bullets: One of Zero's recurring skills is an upgrade to his sword that can block projectiles.
  • Patient Zero: He (and arguably Sigma) was the very first robot to get infected by the Maverick Virus (stated to be leaking out from Zero's hibernation capsule). Subverted in that he's The Immune (see said entry above), but he is indirectly the source of the other viral infections of the series. See also "Typhoid Mary" below.
  • Perpetual Frowner: After Iris dies, he not only stops smiling, practically at all, but loses essentially all of his Badass Boasting personality and becomes The Stoic.
  • Pietà Plagiarism/Cradling Your Kill: In Iris' death scene, he carries the dead Iris this way.
  • Pillar of Light: His Giga Attack in X8. Before that, in X6, he can summon a screen-filling shower of beams.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: This was Zero's original purpose, and when he rediscovers his full functionality both in the Bad Ending of X5 and when his body does as Omega in the Zero series, he more than has the power to prove it.
  • Popularity Power: He proved to be popular after his awesome deeds in X1, just as Inafune planned.
  • Power Copying: His Command Arts/Learning System. Of course, compared to X's, his own pales in comparison.
  • Power Gives You Wings: The "Absolute Zero" armor from Command Mission. He even resembles his brother's Treble Boost.
  • Pragmatic Hero: He's every bit as determined to achieve an everlasting peace as X is, but is more willing to fight than his friend is. Because of this, Zero often keeps X reassured of their goals when the toll of war starts to get to the latter.
  • Predecessor Villain: Before his Heel–Face Turn, he was this. See The Virus below.
  • Promoted to Playable: In X3 by pushing the L button on the pause screen. In X4, he becomes fully playable.
  • Rapunzel Hair: The length of his hair is even mocked by Bass.
  • Rated M for Manly: Most of his theme songs, his play style, and his quasi-Metalhead long hair make him a very manly warrior.
  • Recurring Boss: X2, X5, X6 (sort of), and Maverick Hunter X (Vile's route only, as a Dual Boss with X), complete with Secret A.I. Moves.
  • Red Oni: To X's Blue Oni, yet after certain time the relation is reversed: Zero is more cautious and always keep his head cool. Most likely have something to do with his Character Development.
  • Retcon: Rockman Perfect Memories states that Zero was the original host of the Maverick Virus and that it transferred from him to Sigma. Rockman Zero Collection Timeline changes this to the Maverick Virus being contained in Zero's capsule and infecting them both, curing Zero of his insanity and driving Sigma insane.
  • The Rival: Colonel. Both are swordsmen who fight for what they want to protect. Zero is more concerned with getting the job done by any means necessary; Colonel is so beholden to his honor that it gets in the way.
  • Robo Family: Sigma, at least, considers Dr. Wily to be Zero's father. Making Bass a crappy big brother before he was even born.
    • His ending in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom gives a nod to this, where Dr. Wily actually calls Zero his son.
  • Sacrificial Lion: In X1. With the help of Popularity Power, he's revived in X2.
  • Samurai Ponytail: He has his hair styled this way.
  • Satellite Character: His role in the SNES games was little more than a source of inspiration to X, giving him the courage to grow stronger. As the two became equal in power, Zero started to deviate from this trope and became a fleshed-out character in his own right.
  • Screw Destiny: One of the most important character themes for Zero is how he gives destiny the middle finger and defies it every step of the way.
    • Or tries to, anyway. As Colonel and Iris (and very nearly X) demonstrate, he's still a threat to those close to him under the wrong circumstances — which Sigma is all too willing to provide.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: Both at the beginning and the "end" of this series.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In the beginning of the series.
  • Secret A.I. Moves:
    • The iconic "two charge shots, then Sword Beam" combo; it's first used in an X2 cutscene, and multiple times during his boss fights — even Omega Zero gets in on the fun — but the player never gets to use the move in the main games playing as Zero. X can do it in X3 if you find a way to take Zero's saber and get the arm armor, Model OX can do it as well, and this is one of Zero's Hyper moves in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
    • Awakening Zero has plenty of these. The shots from his Buster combo turn into halo-like disks that gain homing capabilities, and he gets a One-Hit Kill attack that takes the Sword Beam Up to Eleven.
    • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, he does get that Sword Beam as a Level 3 Hyper... except that it does a lot of damage instead of being an instant kill. The player also gets to let him use it in Project X Zone as a Multi-Attack.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: In the later games.
  • Shout Out: Several of his X8 techniques are straight out of Street Fighter. His staple rising sword uppercut is also based on the Shoryuken.
    • In Command Mission Zero can gain a second, incredibly powerful Hyper Mode armor. It has black bat-like wings, adds smaller bat wings to his helmet, claws on his hands and dark armor on his body and legs. It's a nod to his predecessor Bass and his power armor upgrade, the Treble Boost.
    • His Black Armor Mode turns him into a black clothed warrior that wields a green Light Saber. Someone clearly saw Return of The Jedi.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In Maverick Hunter X:
    Vile: "Hmpf...Zero...Why would someone as powerful as you align yourself with X? He's just a B-Class Hunter, nothing more!"
    Zero: "Vile...You're nothing but a Maverick now."
    • He delivers another to Vile at the top of the Jakob Orbital Elevator in X8.
    Vile: "Don't you ever get tired of the whole 'justice' thing?"
    Zero: "Don't you ever get tired of being Sigma's lap dog?"
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Downplayed due to the fairly kid-friendly nature of the games, but Zero throws out "damn" and "hell" far more than his partners do.
  • The Southpaw: Cutscenes and official art consistently depict him wielding his saber with his left hand. However, an official album cover shows him playing guitar (or possibly bass) right-handed. Art from the Zero games show him using it in his right hand, making this more a case of Heroic Ambidexterity.
  • Spam Attack: His infamous "dash cancel saber" technique amounts to this. His first and second slashes wouldn't trigger a boss's Mercy Invincibility and you can dashi after the second slash and then slash again after the dash. Do the math. note 
    • Also his Renyoudan technique in X8, done with his D-Glaive.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Inafune wanted him to be the main character. Even after Capcom forced him to change his mind, Inafune didn't change his plans.
  • Spring Jump: With an acquired ability in X6. If he high jumps into the ceiling, he can cling to it and can shoot icicles from his saber.
  • The Superego: In relation to his teammates X and Axl. The coldest of the bunch, only concerned in missions, likes to take shoot-first-ask-questions-later approach. He's still a nice guy deep down, though. Oddly, he wasn't like this prior to X4, being closer to The Id with his more spirited personality.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Two of them: Maverick Zero, the state Sigma finds him in pre-X1 where his mind is still damaged without the Maverick Virus, is Laughing Mad, Ax-Crazy, and strong enough to take down Sigma with a lead pipe. Awakened Zero, made by overwhelming Zero's body with a new strain of the Sigma Virus found at Eurasia's impact point, is surprisingly sane, being a Soft-Spoken Sadist who's even more powerful than his Maverick state. It shows in gameplay too: If X takes too long to defeat Awakened Zero, he'll become Unwinnable by Design and OHKO X. Ultimately, both invert the trope because, as Sigma points out, both of these states are achieved by following Wily's original plan and thus are his true self, making his normal state more of an Underpowered Good Side.
  • The Stoic: Downplayed at first, being simply a confident, mellow guy who, while he didn't tend to raise his voice much, has some kind of spirited mentality to his fights. After X4, however, this is played fully straight.
  • Sword and Gun: Technically starting from X2's "bad" scenario where he's a boss, which gave birth to the famous "buster-buster-Sword Beam" combo of his. In the next game where he's playable, his buster is still more emphasized, with the saber only coming out for delivering a strong attack. On X4 onward, as a Divergent Character Evolution, the saber gets emphasized more.
  • Sword Beam: In X2, he can do this during the boss fight with him after firing 2 busters (see above); also in X5 and X6. The latter games also introduce the infamous Genmurei (aka Genmu Zero). In X7, we're then treated to 4 kinds of sword beams, including one that homes in opponents.
  • Sword Plant: Some of his acquired moves has him falling from above saber-first, such as Hyouretsuzan in X4 or Rakukoujin in X6.
  • Take Up My Buster: After his Heroic Sacrifice in X1. A more literal version occurs in X3 where the Z-Saber is an Infinity +1 Sword (if you meet the required conditions) and at the end of X5.
  • Technicolor Ninja: Implied. He's the commander of the 0th "Special Ops" unit, a squadron of what are essentially robot ninjas, but bright red armor and Anime Hair are hardly suited to not being noticed. As the leader, he must be that good regardless.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: If you fail the stop the Colony Drop hitting the Earth, Zero will remember his original programming, and remembers his objective to defeat X.
  • Theme Deck: His Signature Moves, the Z-Saber (triple slash) and Z-buster (two buster shots + Sword Beam) combos, stand out of all of his other Command Arts since they are present in some form in all games. However, the latter was never used again from X7 and beyond. As a Call-Back, though, Omega Zero uses both attacks again in Mega Man Zero 3 (and you can use it as Model OX in ZX).
  • Token Heroic Orc: The only one of Wily's creations who turned good.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: Probably done for Rule of Cool, all of Zero's moves were left untranslated in X4, X6, X7 and X8. Even most of his X5 moves get this treatment whenever they appear in later media or crossovers.
  • Typhoid Mary: It is said that Zero unknowingly spread his virus around as he ventured around the globe. This leads to him sealing himself, to stop the spread, in his ending in X6.
  • Video Game Flight: At least as a bug in X8. Kinda funny, and it lets you bypass the worst parts of the final dungeon — could you ask for more? Oh, and Layer can do it, too.
  • The Virus: He is the source of the Maverick Virus.
  • Weapon of Choice: Post-X4, his Z-Saber becomes this. He actually receives the Saber in X2 (what Sigma has lost, Zero gains), but only uses single slashes in conjunction with Buster Shots until X4, where the Saber becomes his primary.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: After he died in the first game, the second had the X-Hunters rebuild him, or at least the parts of it, which X had to steal for the Maverick Hunters to rebuild him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Command Mission, he chastises X for being so trusting all the time, stating that it's because of such naivete that Shadow managed to betray them.
  • When He Smiles: One of the more notable instances of Zero actually expressing some degree of happiness in the post-X4 titles is when he gives a little grin while alone in his thoughts during the ending of X8, wondering if the end of the New Generation Reploids' revolt means he finally will be able to lay down his sword. Alas...
    • He's also visibly glad to be reunited with X in X6, highlighting just how strong a bond these two share.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: In his Zero Armor. Played with; he's obviously part of the heroes, but he was created by Dr. Wily to be evil.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Aside from starring in two (arguably three) out of the seven series, he was referenced and cameoed in two more (Legends, Battle Network, with the latter even including a Captain Ersatz/Expy) and finally, appearing in a roster in two three games of the Capcom vs. series, and, along with X, in Project X Zone and its sequel. Whew...
    • Even though he wasn't playable in the fourth Super Smash Bros., he still managed to have a cameo in the form of a trophy. The only other Mega Man characters with trophies were either Classic characters or those who appeared in Mega Man's Final Smash. Not to mention he got his own Mii Fighter costume. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he is promoted to Assist Trophy.
  • World's Strongest Man: By Dr. Wily's design, Zero manages to be this for the entirety of the classic Mega Man timeline... Well, at least until X caught up to him in X5. Still, the margin he surpassed Zero by can't be too large, if Omega was any indication.

Voiced by: note 
A former member of Red Alert (a Bounty Hunter organization) turned Maverick Hunter; since the only difference is the government sanction, this hasn't really changed his outlook on life. As the prototype of the next-generation of Reploid evolution, Axl's copy ability allows him to effectively become anyone.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Easily the youngest of the trio and the most immature due to being a New Generation Reploid. Nevertheless, he's treated less like a kid as the story goes on, but the treatment is still there.
  • Blood Knight: In contrast to the Martial Pacifist X, and the Shell-Shocked Veteran Zero, Axl fights because he loves to fight.
  • Bottomless Magazines: In X8, all of his weapons have this property.
  • Calling Your Attacks: By the name of the weapon.
  • The Cameo: Appears briefly in Zero's Tatsunoko vs. Capcom ending.
  • Character Development: Axl matures greatly from X7 to X8, going from being a Naïve Newcomer to much more competent Hunter.
  • Charged Attack: He has one in his original appearance, but the Bag of Spilling takes it away as part of his later Superhero Speciation.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Blink and you'll miss it, but Sigma's plan in X7 (before the whole Gambit Roulette went Off the Rails) was to have Axl copy the data of X and Zero, presumably with the intent of hijacking him from there. This seemingly irrelevant plot point is eventually revisited in X8 (specifically, where it's revealed that Axl is the prototype of the New Generation Reploids), in Command Mission (with final boss Redips and his officers in the Far East Hunter division being the products of secretly restarted copy chip manufacturing), and (although Axl may or may not be personally involved) Mega Man ZX Advent.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Unlike X and to a lesser extent Zero, Axl comparatively really is as young as he seems. Despite this, he's a Special A-Class Hunter, a position reserved for seriously high-ranking officers in the Maverick Hunters, and on the same technical level of command as Zero.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Black in some depictions; navy blue in others. Despite it only appearing in very small patches of his design, he is typically associated with yellow though.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Axl, for some reason, was not included in the Giga City mission (X and Zero are instead accompanied by newcomer Shadow); the mission immediately went awry because Shadow was The Mole, and X and Zero are separated for a good portion of the game. Even then, Axl, trying to learn more about his origins, would later turn up in Giga City and join X anyway. The clincher is it's in the same general location where X's group would soon meet up with Zero again.
  • Cousin Oliver: He's a character introduced later who's younger (both age and personality wise) than X and Zero and generally "liven" the Maverick Hunters operatives.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Averted. Like Bass before him, Axl can shoot his guns diagonally.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Much like Bass from Mega Man & Bass, Axl in X8 can fire in multiple directions (including diagonally), but he can't run while doing so.
  • Dual Wielding: In Command Mission his Axl Bullets weapon is his default gun times two, and two other weapons are also dual guns. In X7 one of the Maverick weapons lets him wield dual guns and attack two enemies at once.
  • Expy: Mega Man Model A, an expy of unclear origin. To a gameplay extent Axl himself might be considered one of Bass, only with the ability to hover in place of his double jump.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Has to work hard to earn X and Zero's trust and friendship, specifically because he was an assassin for a group that is Ambiguously Evil. Axl's tendency to avoid answering questions, and the fact that Red Alert was more than happy to go to war with the Maverick Hunters to get him back, didn't help Axl's case at all. By X8, he has earned it.
  • Flawed Prototype: His copy ability doesn't work on anything more massive than he himself is. He seems to have ironed this out by the time of Command Mission.
    • Disability Immunity: However, unlike the others, he apparently also lacked Sigma's DNA due to being a prototype. As such, he has no active compunction of going with Sigma's will (i.e. killing humans) because of it.
  • Good Counterpart: To Bass. Both have black armor (Well, Axl's armor is also sometimes indigo, depending on the game). Axl likes to help X and Zero out while Bass is determined to kill Mega Man.
  • Good Scars: Shaped like an X, to boot.
  • Guns Akimbo: Some of his powers acquired from the Mavericks he destroys give him the option to wield a pistol in each hand.
  • Handgun: His Weapon of Choice is a handgun that shoots rapid fire.
  • Hero-Worshipper: According to character data, he greatly admires X and Zero. Not that we'd ever see it in gameplay.
  • The Id: In relation to X and Zero. Likes to get on X's and Zero's nerves, and is also very eager and interested in fighting and doesn't put concern in deep matters.
  • The Immune: Much like X's Suffering Circuit and Zero's already-infected nature, Axl's Next Gen Reploid Copy Chip makes him immune to infection, as is established in X8. Plus, thanks to being the prototype of the batch, he didn't receive Sigma's data like the rest.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Axl gets unique firearms from certain bosses in X7 along with the same special weapon X gets. In X8, though, every Maverick boss gives Axl a new gun instead of X's special weapon. His weapons are:
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The White Armor from X8, which lets him remain airborne indefinitely while firing. And, oddly enough, heals his scar.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Same way as X — at first.
  • Marked Change: The red lines on Axl's body pulse when he's preparing to shapeshift.
  • Master of None: In X7 compared to Glide Armor X. Aside from Axl's Copy Shot (which was already highly situational) and hover ability (which works slightly differently from X's glide,) Axl is basically an inferior version of X, who gets armor buffs and abilities on top of his chip upgrades, as well as a charge shot. X8 rectifies this by giving Axl a weak but multi-directional rapid-fire ability.
  • More Dakka: When the Guns Akimbo don't entirely cut it, Axl pulls out a gatling gun, a grenade launcher, Frickin' Laser Beams, a magnum that ignores walls...
    • While his projectiles are very weak, he makes up for it by rapid-firing a TON of them. This even extends to his guard-break ability in X8: while X and Zero have to use their charge shot and the final hit of their combo attack respectively to break an enemy's guard, Axl just needs a second or two of sustained fire.
  • Multi-Ranged Master: In X8, his copied ability grants him multiple kinds of guns that he can use with near-equal proficiency.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He does not join the uprising of the "pure" new generation Reploids in X8. They, in turn, regard him with contempt and (occasionally) regret.
  • Mysterious Past: He cannot remember anything from before his Red Alert days. Sourcebooks give some hints — he retains certain responses, such as his hatred for Mavericks and admiration of X, but he cannot remember why he feels that way. Red (see Self-Made Orphan below) refuses to talk about how they met.
  • Naïve Newcomer: In X7. He irons it out a little by X8.
  • One-Man Army: He's about as capable of wrecking entire battalion of enemy Mechaniloids and Maverick bosses as X and Zero.
  • Palette Swap: His White Armor in X8 bears an eerie resemblance to Lumine. Given what happens to Axl at the end of X8 note , most fans take it as Foreshadowing for future events. Future events that sadly have been left dangling.
  • Power Copying: His Special Arms.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Pointed out amusingly here (safe for work).
    • And then we have this.
  • Psycho Prototype: Inverted. He is the prototype for the next-generation Reploid line, but he himself is actually quite sane (even with his Blood Knight tendencies). It's the mass-produced versions, especially Lumine and Redips, who were very much insane.
  • Quest for Identity: Hinted at when he first appears in Command Mission, as Axl mentions he's investigating rumors about his copy chip/chameleon ability being invented at the Ulfat Factory (where he meets up with X's party).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He defected from Red Alert when they started killing people who weren't "bad guys."
  • Self-Made Orphan: Red is his adopted father, at least. Axl still takes him out.
  • Sequel Hook: Involved in a big one in X8. It hasn't been settled, yet; theories abound.
  • Shout Out: Briefly acquires what is quite obviously the Morph Ball to solve one puzzle in X8.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!/Talk to the Fist: His most famous positive moment. Just ask Lumine about that bullet in his shoulder.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's a small running gag in Fanon whether or not Axl knows how to spell his own name...
  • Spiky Shonen Hair
  • The Squire
  • Superhero Speciation: Axl's "skillset" from X7 is pretty much the same set that X will use after the end of his 10-Minute Retirement. Fortunately for Axl, X8 fixed the problem by tweaking his set of skills, keeping his copy and hovering abilities while giving Axl multi-directional, rapid-fire capabilities.
    • Command Mission also rectifies this by making Axl a summoner akin to the traditional RPGs, by transforming into a defeated boss and using one of its attacks.
  • Swiss Army Hero: He's got data from all the bosses in Command Mission and can transform into any of them. Command Mission is not a platform game, and this amounts to only using an attack, but as stated above, his expy does much better in ZX Advent.
  • Tagalong Kid: in X7 at least. He "grew up" before X8.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After X7, he goes from being a Naïve Newcomer to a generally competent Maverick Hunter, even if he still gets on X and Zero's nerves.
  • Trigger Happy: On par with him being a Blood Knight, in contrast to X and Zero.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: In this case, it provides immunity to projectiles. In X7, Axl could also fire at locked-on targets mid-roll.
  • Utility Weapon: The various forms Axl takes using Copy Shot are mostly useful in overcoming obstacles.
  • Voice of the Legion: In X7 he could speak like this when transformed, if he chose.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: His special ability that lets him change form.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's anyone's guess what became of him (or indeed, the entire supporting cast) between the last game and Mega Man Zero. His Expy in Mega Man ZX Advent is obviously inspired from him in design and gameplay, but canonically doesn't (seem to) originate from him, which solves...absolutely nothing.
    • The Archie Comics Continuity has a brief glimpse of Axl drawn in Mega Man Zero format fighting Omega alongside X and Zero (who hasn't gotten his upgrade yet).
  • "X" Marks the Hero: How he got the scars or why they are still there remains unknown. A 4koma states that they're self-inflicted.
  • Young Gun


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