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Manga / Mega Man X

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"Because I know that humanity will have to wage many wars against evil in the future, I am leaving behind the strongest robot in history..."
Dr. Thomas Light, Chapter 1: Awakening

Rockman X is a manga adaptation of the Mega Man X series, authored by mangaka Yoshihiro Iwamoto and serialized in Kodansha's Comic BomBom magazine from 1994 to 1998. It is notable for its additional characters, Adaptation Expansion of the games' simple plots, and being even Darker and Edgier than ever. It has never been officially translated outside of its original Japanese releases, though fan translations are common online.

The manga managed to fully adapt the first three games in the Mega Man X series (and almost all of the fourth) before its cancellation. It has since maintained sort of a cult following in Japan for its unique take on the world of Mega Man X, and Iwamoto has found success illustrating other X products such as the novel Rockman X: Irregulars Report and the continuations of the Mega Mission Carddass series, Mega Mission 4 and Giga Mission.

A short adaptation of the climax of the fifth game was also released for the X series' 25th anniversary.

Manga in the series include:

  • Rockman X (Jan. 1994 - Jan. 1995)
  • Rockman X2 (Feb. 1995 - Feb. 1996)
  • Rockman X3 (Mar. 1996 - Aug. 1997)
  • Rockman X4 (Sep. 1997 - Aug. 1998)
  • Rockman X5 IF (Nov. 2018)

  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The short based on X5 takes on from the Bad Ending of X5, as the Zero X faces is clearly Awakened Zero, albeit it ends it on a slightly sweeter nature. After their fated fight and Double Knockout, Zero returns to his good self and gives X some of his parts to fix himself so he could fight Sigma. X then manages to curbstomp Sigma, preventing X from ending up critically injured. Because of this, Dr. Light doesn't erase X's memories of Zero, and the short ends with X returning to the Maverick Hunter HQ with an unconscious Zero in tow.
  • Adaptation Expansion: By nature of moving from a gameplay-focused medium to a storytelling-focused medium, Iwamoto had to expand a lot on each game's narrative in order to make them more compelling. This often involved making some sort of central story theme for the characters to follow.
    • Mega Man X1
      • The story opens with a prologue of X and Zero fighting the clown Pierrot, before returning to base to find all the Maverick Hunters rallying together under Sigma and starting the rebellion.
      • There's a legend of a "Rockman" (possibly referring to the original) who is an unstoppable warrior and can save the world. X slowly grows into this legend as the story goes on.
      • X faces Chill Penguin to free a frozen Hunter, Mars. In the end Mars sacrifices himself to help X win.
      • X figures out his Variable Weapons System against Spark Mandrill to beat him, but Sigma deals the final blow before leaving X with an invitation to join his rebellion.
      • Sting Chameleon forces X to go up against an army of mind-controlled animals, but he gets through to them and frees them. X then overloads Chameleon's sensors so he can't change colors and beats him. Afterwards, X and Zero are ambushed by Armored Armadillo, but he has mercy on them and challenges X to face him in his mine.
      • Armored Armadillo got a scar over his eye for disobeying Sigma with his challenge, and wields a samurai sword. He uses it to commit seppuku at the end of the duel, wishing to not self-destruct and destroy X nor the soldiers in the mine. However, when X emerges he finds the soldiers massacred by someone else despite Armadillo's sacrifice.
      • X confronts Vile in a saloon, who gives his bourbon speech and urges X to grow stronger before leaving.
      • Flame Mammoth uses Reploid scraps to heal himself throughout his fight with X. Once Mammoth's body is destroyed, his CPU lingers and demands X finish him off, but he refuses.
      • Zero faces Storm Eagle once X has been knocked out. He loses too, and has a flashback to when he failed to rescue Eagle's girlfriend Teal from an explosion. Then X defeats Eagle, and Zero gets to reconcile with him before his death.
      • X saves a mermaid named Marty on his way to Launch Octopus, although it turns out she was working for Octopus and leading him into a trap. She changes her mind and sacrifices herself to help X beat Octopus. Fortunately, X is able to save her CPU and upload it to a computer.
      • Boomer Kuwanger's CPU is stored within his tower hideout, and X overloads his X-Buster to destroy him.
      • Sigma's hideout floats all the way up into space. Zero's sacrifice against Vile actually kills him along with his Ride Armor simultaneously.
      • Sigma's cape is bulletproof, though he discards it to finish X off. X beats him by shooting his beam saber back into his chest. The fight with Wolf Sigma takes place outdoors instead, and X only wins by taking down the entire hideout so it burns up in the atmosphere.
      • X survives re-entry using Sigma's durable cape. He discards his Armor Parts in a melancholy rage.
    • Mega Man X2
      • A prologue shows X fighting a crazed arsonist who has a Sigma Chip installed. A rescue mission turns out to be a trap, as the Hunter Heel betrays his unit and is destroyed by X. Upon going to the Maverick factory and destroying all the Sigma Chips, Sigma appears to challenge X in person before detonating the factory.
      • X meets Dr. Cain on his way to Wire Sponge, who later appears to repair Sponge and return him to normal. Cain then shows X a graveyard for all the Reploids lost in the last war, including Zero's broken body.
      • Flame Stag holds a grudge against X for losing an old sparring match, and X overloads him to win. Afterwards Serges and Agile introduce themselves to X, while Violen raids Zero's grave for his body.
      • Sigma demands Crystal Snail mine crystals so he can become stronger. X accidentally kills Snail during their battle, and feels remorse over it. Serges is shown revealing the revived Zero.
      • X faces Overdrive Ostrich in the desert while Zero turns on the X-Hunters, fighting waves of Mavericks. Ostrich has mercy on X because he reminds him of his friend Storm Eagle, but they are interrupted by Violen launching another missile. Ostrich sacrifices himself to stop the missile, while Zero passes out on his way to help X.
      • X is told to reach the Mother Computer by a girl named Silky. "Mother" attacks X with the Chop Register sword, but he proves himself and befriends it. Zero is shown watching from the shadows, afraid of his Maverick Virus going out of control. Silky reveals herself as Magna Centipede in disguise, but Mother floods Centipede with a virus to defeat him.
      • X runs into a reborn Marty, who now leads a pirate crew at odds with Bubble Crab. They work together to defeat Bubble Crab.
      • Morph Moth uses illusory dust to fool X into thinking he's fighting old Mavericks he's killed. Zero appears and finishes Moth off, but attacks X and calls him weak before departing.
      • X defeats Wheel Gator with the revelation that Zero will always be at his side.
      • X fights Violen within a giant coliseum in the X-Hunter base. Soon Serges and Agile join the battle, but X kills them all. Serges then moves to activate a space laser, but Zero destroys him before attacking X. X manages to remove the Sigma Chip from Zero at the cost of his Armor Parts.
      • X and Zero work together to defeat Sigma. He reveals that the entire base is his real body and appears as a projection, but X defeats him with a Hyper Giga Crash thanks to Mother. Zero then saves X from the collapsing base.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: Several character backstories were overhauled, mostly in X3.
    • Dr. Doppler was a former colleague of Dr. Cain's.
    • The Nightmare Police, Bit and Byte, were once saved by Dr. Doppler. Their bodies are also composed of worms that let them warp and transform.
  • Adapted Out: The X-Hunter's challenge to X to recover Zero's parts was axed here, instead they make Zero into their fourth member.
  • Canon Foreigner: Oh plenty. Some of the more notable ones include Mars the Maverick Hunter, Storm Eagle's deceased girlfriend Teal, the mermaid with a crush on X called Marty, the traitorous Maverick Hunter Heel, and the computer called Mother.
  • Evil All Along: Heel seemingly appears to be a harsh but heroic member of the maverick hunters, but by the time of his sole appearance, he offed a handful of his comrades thanks to working as a mole for Sigma.
  • A Glass in the Hand: VAVA or rather Vile ends up doing this to a glass of liquid, as a demonstration of how it matters little to him as to what's in the drink to X (he comments that Reploids can't tell the difference between bourbon or mud in a glass). Such was even given a Mythology Gag with his D-Arts action figure, where it shows him with a glass of bourbon and even comes with it.
  • Killing Intent: In the manga version of Mega Man X4, Zero arrives at a hilltop near the Kagikira Forest just a few moments after X has slain the murderous Repliforce sub-commander Web Spider and saved a city from being destroyed by him. Then, the Reploid Magma Dragoon suddenly appears behind Zero, surprising him. Zero pulls out his saber and asks what Dragoon wants from him, but the latter merely tells him to calm down and says he has no interest in fighting Zero. Zero is cautious as he feels an aura emanating from Dragoon, but nonetheless apologizes and puts his saber away. Dragoon then walks past him, and Zero notices in shock that Dragoon has killing intent. They both part ways without fighting however, as it is ultimately X who piques Dragoon's interest for a battle, not Zero.
  • Starter Villain: The first villain X encounters during the X2 manga is the traitorous Maverick Hunter Heel who kills off his own unit in front of X in hopes of being promoted by Sigma.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: In the manga version of Mega Man X4, the co-protagonist Maverick Hunter Zero gets into a fight with his old friend Colonel of Repliforce, since he was unwilling to cease the Repliforce coup d'etat against the Maverick Hunters and the government. Iris, Colonel's brother and a friend to them both, threatens to shoot and kill herself unless they stop fighting, as she feared one of them would die. She is successful, Zero puts down his saber, and Colonel uses the opportunity to swing his saber at Zero, but he stops at the last moment. Sadly, during their second fight, Zero held nothing back and did kill Colonel by slicing him in half.
  • Unable to Cry: Inverted in this version of the story adapted from the games, in which the fact that X can cry is what shocks Zero.