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Video Game / Mega Man X

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"X possesses great risks as well as great possibilities. I can only hope for the best."
Dr. Thomas Light, Mega Man X opening.

Mega Man X is the first entry in the Mega Man X series, released on the Super Nintendo on December 17 1993 in Japan, January 1994 in North America, and May 1994 in Europe.

The game is set in the year 21XX, after scientist Dr. Cain discovered the late Dr. Light's laboratory. There he found a robot capable of physical evolution and mental free will, known as Mega Man X. Dr. Cain studied X and attempted to replicate his specs, resulting in Ridiculously Human Robots called Reploids.

Having free will, some of the Reploids began to go rogue, and were thus branded "Mavericks." To counter the threats of Mavericks, a law enforcement group known as the Maverick Hunters, led by Sigma, were formed. Ironically, soon Sigma himself went Maverick, taking many of the Hunters with him to lead an anti-human rebellion. X, feeling responsible for the chaos and desperate for peace, heads into battle alongside the Maverick Hunters' ace Zero to stop Sigma.

The game is a souped-up version of classic Mega Man, featuring more mobility (i.e. dashing and wall-kicking) and power-ups (i.e. Life Ups, Sub Tanks, and Armor Parts). Its core game loop involves fighting eight major Maverick bosses, all former Hunters now leading Sigma's rebellion. Just like the Robot Masters of the original series, defeating each Maverick grants X a Special Weapon to use as a weakness against another boss:

  • Chill Penguin, of the 13th Polar Region Unit. X earns Shotgun Ice from him.
  • Spark Mandrill, of the 17th Elite Unit. X earns Electric Spark from him.
  • Armored Armadillo, of the 8th Armored Division. X earns Rolling Shield from him.
  • Launch Octopus, of the 6th Marine Unit. X earns Homing Torpedo from him.
  • Boomer Kuwanger, of the 17th Elite Unit. X earns Boomerang Cutter from him.
  • Sting Chameleon, of the 9th Special Forces. X earns Chameleon Sting from him.
  • Storm Eagle, of the 7th Air Cavalry Unit. X earns Storm Tornado from him.
  • Flame Mammoth, of the 4th Overland Unit. X earns Fire Wave from him.

It was later remade as Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X for the PlayStation Portable, an expanded retelling with 2½D graphics, a heavier emphasis on story, and a playable Vile.


  • Advancing Boss of Doom: The first Mole Borer in Armored Armadillo's stage will chase down X with its One-Hit Kill spiked roller drill, forcing X to either kill it, outrun it (it will fall into a spiked pit and die), or find a method to get behind it.
  • A.I. Breaker:
    • Lots of bosses in this game can have their behavior broken by their weaknesses. Chill Penguin goes up in flames, Spark Mandrill is literally frozen in place, and Sting Chameleon will bounce back and forth between two corners of the ceiling easily reached by the Boomerang Cutter.
    • Boomer Kuwanger can also be stuck in a loop by an extremely risky dance of death at the center of the boss arena—he'll try to teleport in to bull rush X and slam him into the ceiling, but if you dart out of range while he attempts this, you get a bunch of free shots on him. This is such an effective strategy that most high-level speedrunners choose to tackle his stage second and buster duel him to death.
    • If the conveyor belt is moving away from the wall, you can lock Flame Mammoth into jumping after you by sticking to the top corner and use his landings to get free shots. Demonstrated here.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Zero loses one arm and his whole lower body during his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Antepiece: Most of the levels are designed in a way that tips you off to what you're up against.
    • Storm Eagle's stage is loaded with tight platforming, with very small platforms that X can barely jump across on his own. It's supposed to be a clue to the player to come back with the dash upgrade, which not only makes the platforming a cinch, but also makes the fight against Storm Eagle much easier.
    • Sting Chameleon's stage has a crumbling cave section that encourages you to get both the Dash and Helmet upgrades. Without them, the stage gets much more frustrating due to the falling rocks and enemies that come with them. This is also meant to tip you off that Sting Chameleon is not going to be an easy fight, and that he also loves to attack you with spikes that fall from his ceiling.
    • Spark Mandrill's stage has electrical volts that travel across the floor and harm younote , just like an attack he uses. The Hotarian enemies that try to blindside you in the darker areas are a warm up for Mandrill's fast punch attack as well.
    • Launch Octopus' stage has miniboss fights that use suction to either blow you away or pull you towards them, a warmup for a similar attack the boss fight uses.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game makes two of the armor upgrades mandatory to get so that you have a fighting chance throughout the game.
      • The Dash upgrade is so crucial to balancing out the game's difficulty and pacing, that the game makes it impossible to avoid getting it (except by password). Without it, the game's difficulty skyrockets into hair-pulling insanity. This is likely also the reason X has the dash by default in subsequent games.
      • The Arm Cannon upgrade in Flame Mammoth's stage is so hard to get, that the game has Zero give you his arm cannon when he "dies" if you missed it, which serves the same purpose as that upgrade.
    • You aren't locked into Sigma's fortress as you would be in the Classic games up to this point; instead, you're allowed to revisit the Maverick stages at any time to refill Sub Tanks and obtain missing upgrades, and you'll always return to the Sigma stage you left off at.
    • The area immediately before the Final Boss has a place which infinitely spawns weak enemies, allowing you to farm them to refill your weapon energy and Sub Tanks if you die against him after emptying them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Hadouken. It can kill anything in a single shot, including bosses. Unfortunately, it can only be used if X has full health, it can only be fired while on the ground, and it's somewhat difficult to land it, particularly against fast-moving targets.
    • Aside from the Chameleon Sting and Rolling Shield, the charged versions of weapons are flashy, but tend not to be as useful as their uncharged versions, given the time needed to charge them and the extra weapon energy spent. Against bosses, the extra damage done typically isn't much higher than an uncharged shot, and it's quicker to just abuse their weakness reactions. Fire Wave stands out in particular, as charging it burns through even more energy (unless one charges another weapon then switches to it), and it can disrupt attempts to use the weapon normally.
  • Bad Boss: It is heavily implied that Flame Mammoth spends most of his time in his unit mocking those inferior to him in terms of strength. As an added bit of laser-guided karma, he's also the only one of the former Maverick Hunters that defected to Sigma's side to not have any of his unit go with him, although given the setting where he is fought, he probably didn't need them anyways.
  • Bad Vibrations: A cave in Sting Chameleon's stage suffers from quakes and falling rocks, which damage X unless he has the Head Parts. The cause is the large and bulky RT-55J miniboss found above the cave; defeating it first will stop the rocks from falling (save for the rocks that are Crag Man enemies).
  • Background Boss:
    • The second Sigma stage's boss, Rangda Bangda, is a large wall mural in the background. Defeating it requires destroying its eyes and nose, which it sends out into the foreground to attack.
    • Sigma's One-Winged Angel form is a traditional "large background body, head and two arms in the foreground" invocation of this trope.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Zero, who saves X just before he gets destroyed by Vile in the opening level.
  • Blackout Basement: Spark Mandrill's stage suffers from frequent blackouts after beating Storm Eagle, owing to his ship crashing into it. If visited before beating Storm Eagle, the stage still occasionally has dimmed lights, although it isn't completely blacked out.
  • Blood from the Mouth: As Zero lays dying, blood... or some form of liquid is leaking from the side of his mouth.
  • Blow You Away:
    • Storm Eagle has two ways of doing this; the first is using the gust of his wings to push you away from him, and the second is using his Storm Tornado attack. Neither of them directly damage you, but the latter can easily push you off of his airship and send you falling to your death if you don't have the dash upgrade.
    • The Anglerge minibosses in Launch Octopus' stage can do this and also pull you towards them to try and make you fall into the spikes nearby.
  • Boring, but Practical: As usual for the Mega Man series, the Mega Buster and its charge shots will never let you down throughout the regular levels.
  • Boss Bonanza: The Sigma stages have multiple bosses to fight per stage. The first stage has a battle with Vile, followed by the return of Boomer Kuwanger, and then Bos(s)pider to end it. The next stage pits you against Chill Penguin and Storm Eagle for the second time before bringing on Rangda Bangda. The third stage features rematches against Armored Armadillo, Sting Chameleon, Spark Mandrill, Launch Octopus, and Flame Mammoth, culminating with D-Rex. The final stage is a Boss-Only Level where you have to destroy Velguarder before the climatic battle against Sigma can commence.
  • Boss Rush: This game is the only one to intersperse boss fights throughout Sigma's Fortress, much like the first Mega Man game.
    • Retroactively doubles as a Mythology Gag, since every game after it does the traditional teleporter-style boss rush.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: In the iPhone version of the game, Heart Tanks, Sub-Tanks, Armor Pieces, and even the Mavericks' weapons can be purchased. Many people have not approved of this change.
  • But Thou Must!: There's no way to avoid encountering Dr. Light's capsule in Chill Penguin's level or to refuse Zero's Arm Parts. The latter is due to difficulty restrictions; the Final Boss is immune to Level 2 charge shots, so if a player without the Buster upgrade were to run out of special weapon energy, they'd have no way to damage the boss. The former is probably because the game is much more difficult without the Dash upgrade, and some self-imposed challenges include using passwords to skip Chill Penguin's stage without getting the part.
  • Call-Back: The game makes several nods to previous games in the series;
    • The intro theme to each level is the same music that plays when you select a stage from the first Mega Man game.
    • The classic Metall enemies make sporadic appearances throughout the game as minor mooks.
    • The Degraver enemies in Flame Mammoth's stage are stand-ins for the Pickelman enemies from the first Mega Man game.
    • The Hoganmer enemies are similar in appearance to the Sniper Joes from the old games, and even carry a shield with them.
    • In Armored Armadillo's stage, a Bubble Bat enemy from Mega Man 2 makes a brief cameo appearance alongside the newer bat enemies.
    • In Sigma's Palace, the boss fight rematches are sprinkled throughout the stages instead of being fought in one room, just like the first Mega Man.
    • The Sigma Fortress Boss music is a slowed-down version of the Wily Fortress Boss music from Mega Man.
    • Boomer Kuwanger's weapon, the Boomerang Cutter, is a souped up Rolling Cutter, the weapon of Cut Man from the first Mega Man. Kuwanger himself is a mix of Cut Man and Quick Man from Mega Man 2.
    • The repeated underwater bosses in increasingly cramped environments from Dive Man's stage in 4 is repeated in Launch Octopus's stage.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Using the Hadoken has X give a quick, high-pitched shout of "Hadoken!", making it the only voice clip in the game.
  • Character Select Forcing: It's rare for players to not start with Chill Penguin; not just because he's easy to beat, but also because it's where the Dash upgrade is located. Not only does it significantly boost the gameplay's otherwise slow pace, but many levels and bosses are specifically designed around using the extra speed and momentum given by the dash, to the point where attempting them without it is an exercise in frustration.
  • Charged Attack: By default, X can charge his Buster up to 2 levels above the uncharged attack; however, once he obtains the Arm Parts, he can not only charge his Buster up to 3 levels, he can now charge all of his weapons.
  • Cheat Code: The password "3673-2177-2487" normally takes you to the Sigma Stages with all of the standard collectables, but holding L, R, X, and Down as you confirm the password will give you the Hadouken as well.
  • Chromosome Casting: The game features no female characters whatsoever, not even in a throwaway role like in the Mega Man (Classic) series.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Surprisingly averted with the Hadouken. The bosses go down in one hit to it just like everything else. The only exceptions to it are Vile's Ride Armor and Sigma's final form on the SNES version.
  • Developer's Foresight: Because Dr. Light has a longer dialogue sequence that treats the leg parts as the first time he and X have spoken, it is impossible to obtain any of the other armor upgrades without the leg parts, ensuring that this really will be the first time X talks to Light.
  • Disc-One Nuke: It's tricky, but far from impossible to beat Storm Eagle first (without the ability to dash against his wind) so long as you know where and when to start running. The reward, Storm Tornado, rips through stages like nothing.
    • If you have the guts to take on Sting Chameleon and Storm Eagle second and third (after Chill Penguin) and get the Buster upgrade from Flame Mammoth's stage soon after, you're rewarded with the ability to constantly turn yourself invincible for the rest of the game, and all for relatively little ammo consumption to boot!
  • Dub Name Change: This is the first Mega Man game to change the names of the bosses for the American version, a tradition that will go on the next games, Boomer Kuwanger being the only exception. So, they are, from Japanese to American:
    • Icy Penguigo -> Chill Penguin.
    • Spark Mandriller -> Spark Mandrill.
    • Armor Armarge -> Armored Armadillo.
    • Launcher Octopuld -> Launch Octopus.
    • Sting Chameleao -> Sting Chameleon.
    • Storm Eagleed -> Storm Eagle.
    • Burnin' Noumander -> Flame Mammoth.
    • Vava -> Vile.
  • Early Game Hell: The game starts off quite hard if you don't get the upgrades right away and fight bosses out of a specific order and without their weaknesses. Half of the bosses (Armored Armadillo, Sting Chameleon, Spark Mandrill, and Launch Octopus) are very hard to fight with your X-Buster alone, and a lot of the platforming in stages like Flame Mammoth's and Storm Eagle's tend to be tight and demanding of precision or have frustrating obstacles to overcome (the lava in Mammoth's stage can kill you in two hits, and you're being hounded by columns of fire and Degraver enemies at the same time, while Sting Chameleon's stage has a very tedious collapsing cave segment). On top of that, even the easier bosses like Storm Eagle and Boomer Kuwanger have fast and hard hitting attacks that you have very little time to dodge. The game gets considerably easier once you get the dash upgrade in Chill Penguin's stage, and even easier once you get the other upgrades and the bosses' weapons.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The Dash is given to you through a capsule rather than being an ability that X already has. (This would get a clever retcon in X2, as X deciding in-between games that the Dash particularly was incredibly vital, so he "internalized" its function into himself.)
    • Zero doesn't have the Z-Saber, as it was introduced in X2. He also has a different look in this game, lacking his gold accents and shoulder pads.
    • The boss refights are done a la the original Mega Man, being interspersed throughout the Sigma Fortress stages in a fixed order instead of having their own dedicated level where the player can choose who they fight.
    • Some places in the script refer to Mega Man X as "Mega Man" for short. Later games in the series would drop the notion that "Mega Man X" is his full name and refer to X as only "X" exclusively.
    • The game uses the same "Stage Start" theme as most of the classic series Mega Man games. The subsequent games would all feature unique "Stage Start" themes, and in general tended to eschew musical references to the classic series in order to give the X series its own identity.
  • Easy Level Trick: There's a section of Sigma's first fortress that's full of springs. The springs launch you toward the ceiling when you step on them, making the section rather difficult, but if you just use the dash feature, you bounce from spring to spring avoiding enemies and zooming past the lasers, landing at the end without a scratch. You can also use the supercharged C. Sting weapon to become temporarily immune to damage and quickly pass through.
  • Ghost Leg Lottery: The Bospider, the first boss in Sigma's fortress, is based on this.
  • Guide Dang It!: Unlocking the Hadouken requires you to collect a specific energy capsule, and then either commit suicide five times in a row, or finish Armored Armadillo's stage five times in a row before the upgrade will appear. Even then, nothing in-game tells you how to perform the move.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: The Ray Bit enemies in Chill Penguin's stage. They have blasters built into their ears and will try to hop into X.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Following his Heroic Sacrifice, Zero loses his lower body.
  • Heroic Second Wind: X's health bar refills after Zero destroys Vile's Ride Armor.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Zero explodes himself to destroy Vile's Ride Armor during the second confrontation with him in Sigma's fortress. It doesn't quite stick.
  • Hollywood Chameleons: Sting Chameleon, who can turn invisible.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Twice with Vile. It is absolutely impossible to kill him in his first appearance, even by cheating. In the second fight, even if you're fully upgraded, it is still impossible to penetrate his Ride Armor's shield — fortunately, Zero turns the tides by delivering a blast strong enough to destroy his Ride Armor, allowing X to finally defeat Vile.
  • Improvised Platform: Charging up Shotgun Ice will allow X to fire out a sled that he can ride on.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Hadouken, which delivers a One-Hit Kill to all bosses except Sigma's final form. Obtaining it requires beating all eight Mavericks, finding every armor part, Life Up, and Sub Tank, and visiting a specific spot in Armored Armadillo's stage up to five times.
  • Instructive Level Design: The game's level design is such that it teaches you different techniques by throwing you into situations that require them. By the end of the first level, the player will have had to use all of X's platforming abilities at least once. The only exception is charging the X-Buster, but Zero does that during his Big Damn Heroes moment to encourage you to try to follow his example.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The charged Chameleon Sting lets X pass through enemies.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: Boomer Kuwanger's stage is a tall tower that sees X travelling upwards via elevators, ladders, and wall jumping across the outside of the tower.
  • Kaizo Trap: If you get blown off the edge of the map just as you beat Storm Eagle in the refight, you fall to your death with no chance to grab onto the edge, as defeating the boss locks your ability to move.
  • Laser Blade: Sigma's main weapon in his first form is a Star Wars-esque lightsaber.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Flame Mammoth's stage is this; at least before you defeat Chill Penguin.
  • Life Drain: Launch Octopus can use his E-Drain move to steal X's health if you get caught by his Combat Tentacles.
  • Lighter and Softer: Mega Man X1 definitely has its serious moments, but compared to most of its successors (besides its sequel), it's one of the more upbeat games in the series. Take, for instance, the Mega Man Classic-esque and cheerful Password Theme with cute Metools on the screen, the overall upbeat soundtrack, the Mavericks are much more cartoony, having humorous animations and reactions to their weaknesses, the storyline and plot is much simpler, with Sigma being essentially a bald reploid version of Dr. Wily.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: In 2018, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the classic series, the game was rereleased in a limited 8,500 cartridge production run on the SNES. Most of these cartridges are opaque white, though 1,000 of them are a special translucent, glow-in-the-dark blue.
  • Lost in Translation: Boomer Kuwanger left non-Japanese speaking players scratching their heads trying to figure out what kind of animal a kuwanger is since all of the other mavericks are named after animals. Its name is in fact a Pun based on boomerang and kuwagata, the Japanese word for a stag beetle, which the translators must not have realized and simply transliterated the name instead of Woolseyizing the pun.
  • Minecart Madness: Armored Armadillo's stage. The minecarts themselves travel very fast, mow down nearby Mooks in an instant, and are in fact required to cross the large chasm connecting the end of the mine to the entrance of the Boss Room.
  • Mini-Boss: A number of the stages have these, Launch Octopus' notably has four:
    • Thunder Slimer, the Blob Monster in Spark Mandrill's stage which attacks with electricity from the ceiling, bouncing around on the ground, and spawning blobs that temporarily get X stuck in them.
    • Anglerge, an angler fish from Launch Octopus' stage that attacks by vacuuming X into spiked pits and fires destructible eel projectiles. The second one also has the ability to blow him into spiked pits.
    • Utuboros, a Segmented Serpent enemy from Launch Octopus stage that is fought before the boss, and another in a secret area.
    • RT-55J, a large green robot fought in a secret area of Sting Chameleon's stage. It attacks with Rocket Punch claws.
    • Vile himself also acts as one during the first Sigma Fortress stage.
  • Minus World: At the beginning of Flame Mammoth's stage, it's possible to climb up the vents and walk on top of the ceiling. Going right onwards from there leads the player into a glitched version of the second area, with an improper background palette and the lower half of the chamber becoming a Bottomless Pit due to the camera scroll boundaries not being set properly. Additionally, the Sub-Tank, if not collected yet, has a glitched sprite.
  • Multipurpose Tongue: Sting Chameleon is all about this trope. He uses his tongue as his primary attack, and can hang from the ceiling to rain damaging spikes down from the ceiling.
  • New Weapon Target Range: In Chill Penguin's stage, the area immediately after you receive the dash upgrade is designed to encourage you to use it, allowing you to rush over most of the enemies in your path.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game isn't as tough as the classic Mega Man games, but it can still offer a serious challenge, especially if you try to get through the game without getting (or in the case of the unskippable Dash upgrade, using) any of the Armor Upgrades.
  • Obligatory Swearing: The Mega Man X Collection version of the game is inexplicably changed so that X's only line of dialogue in the game starts off with him saying, "Damn!"
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Sigma's fortress is a castle on a floating island, although outside of Sigma 1 (in which X climbs into said castle by riding floating platforms over a bottomless pit), you'll only see it when it's exploding and falling into the sea after the Final Boss's defeat.
  • One-Hit Kill: X effectively gets one in the Hadouken: it actually deals 32 damage to whatever it hits (thus mini-bosses with more than 32 health will withstand at least one), but since bosses have a maximum of 32 HP, they all fold to it, save for the Final Boss.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: While the Boomerang Cutter won't hurt Flame Mammoth or Launch Octopus much, three shots will slice their deadliest weapons clean off. Severing Flame Mammoth's trunk disables his oil- and fire-spitting attacks, and a de-tentacled Launch Octopus can't fire homing torpedoes or drain X's energy.
  • Player Nudge:
    • To ensure the player learns about the otherwise unexplained wall-jumping mechanic, which is a neccesary move to play the game, the opening stage forces the player to learn it by sticking them in a seemingly inescapable pit after destroying the first Bee Blader. A player looking for a way out will likely jump up against the wall, which causes X to cling to it and slowly slide down, hinting that repeatedly jumping up against it will allow the player to traverse it.
    • To also teach them about the Dash mechanic, which the game is heavily built around using, the game outright forces you to collect it in Chill Penguin's stage and then gives you some ample oppurtunities to use it to dodge several enemies in the path up ahead.
  • Railroading: Except by cheating with passwords, the game cannot be completed without acquiring the Dash Upgrade, since its capsule blocks your path in Chill Penguin's stage, and it is impossible to bypass it. Considering that playing the game without the upgrade makes it unreasonably more difficult and slower-paced, the dev team had a very good reason for doing this. On top of that, you need the upgrade to even access the other Dr. Light capsules — the dash is needed to get the Armor in Sting Chameleon's stage and the Helmet in Storm Eagle's stage, and both the leg and helmet are needed to get the Arm Cannon upgrade in Flame Mammoth's stage.
  • Remixed Level: Three stages can be radically changed by completing other levels. Completing Storm Eagle's stage causes his ship to crash into Spark Mandrill's power plant, shutting down the reactor and causing various electrical gimmicks in the stage to no longer work. Completing Chill Penguin's stage sends a wave of cold over Flame Mammoth's stage, freezing the lava throughout it. Completing Launch Octopus's stage causes a tidal wave to hit Sting Chameleon's stage, flooding various areas.
  • Removable Shell: Armored Armadillo; he'll lose his shielding if he's hit with the Electric Spark.
  • Rescue Reversal: In the first Sigma Fortress stage, Zero (who infiltrated earlier) has been captured by Vile. X has to fight Vile to get past him, but he can't hurt Vile while he's in his Ride Armor, and after a short while, Vile grabs X with his Ride Armor's arm. Zero, seeing X in danger, breaks free of his restraints and then destroys Vile's mech in a Desperation Attack, giving X a fighting chance.
  • Save-Game Limits: Though downplayed if running on an emulator, unlike some other titles released at the same time (which made use of a save slot) the game, as with previous Mega Man titles, uses a password which records various elements of the state of your game (e.g. which bosses you've defeated and so which weapons you'll have), allowing you to return back to your game by entering the password. There are naturally limits to the amount of information this password can store. Of note, when you get to the four Sigma stages at the end of the game (being the four final levels where you face off against multiple bosses per level), even if you've completed some of them, the password you're given will still return you back to the start of the FIRST Sigma stage. This meant there was no choice but to complete all four stages in a row (and complete the game) without turning off the game.
  • Sequence Break: It turns out there are a few quirks in the physics engine that allows for speedrunning shenanigans, to wit:
    • The Life Up in Sting Chameleon's stage can be reached even before it's flooded by using Shotgun Ice's sled, or extremely precise dash-jumping.
    • Ditto the Life Up in Boomer Kuwanger's stage.
    • The cutscene confrontation between Zero and Vile in Sigma's fortress can be skipped, as well as part of the sequence afterwards.
    • The Shotgun Ice sled can also be used to skip the re-fight with Armored Armadillo by taking advantage of screen scroll.
  • Sequel Hook: After the end credits; Sigma shows up on a screen and taunts X, saying that his spirit still lives on, which turned out to be a hint about Sigma's true nature as The Virus.
  • Schmuck Bait: When you first see the level select screen, the first level highlighted is Launch Octopus' stage. Players familiar with the first game will assume that this means it's a good level to start on, when it's actually one of the hardest levels in the game without upgrades, and features a boss that will mop the floor with you if you don't have the dash upgrade or the weapons he's weak to. The level next to Launch Octopus' stage, Chill Penguin, is the one you're better off starting on.
  • Smashing Survival: Used to escape the Gulpfer fish if you get Swallowed Whole.
  • Teaching Through Accident: In the intro stage, wall jumping is introduced to the player after destroying a Bee Blader miniboss, which collapses the ground and traps the player against a wall that can't be jumped over. With nowhere else to go, they are lured into falling into a small gap by said wall, whereupon they may notice X clinging to it as he falls.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: After Zero sacrifices himself, X suddenly breaks free of his electric bonds and fully restores his energy before the showdown with Vile. Even Vile has no idea how this is possible. This hidden power isn't mentioned again, and was removed in Maverick Hunter X.
  • Turns Red:
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay:
    • On occasion, the game reminds the player how heavy the enemies are when certain ones crash to the ground, causing collateral damage.
    • Storm Eagle's boss fight is two-fold: starting with the upper armor of the Death Rogumer getting blown off, his ship falls when he's defeated because his explosion ruined the already damaged ship. If you backtrack, his stage is slightly shorter because the ship's gone.
      • In addition, the falling ship crashes into the Power Plant, causing serious damage. So when you visit Spark Mandrill's stage, the floor no longer has electric shocks, the stage in general is hit with periodic blackouts, and the miniboss there no longer has power to use its lightning gun.
  • Utility Weapon:
    • The Boomerang Cutter allows you to grab items far away from you, including items tucked away out of reach or behind a wall.
    • When charged up, the Shotgun Ice creates a platform of ice that can be used as a sled. Outside of obtaining the Life Up in Boomer Kuwanger's stage, though, its uses are niche.
    • The charged Chameleon Sting turns X invincible for a short period of time, letting him dash through enemies and obstacles without having to stop and fight them.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Zig-Zagged. The Fire Wave is a short-range flamethrower that does unremarkable damage and chews up ammo rather quickly. Not a very useful weapon overall, and the boss that's weak to it, Chill Penguin, can easily be beaten by the Buster just as well (to say nothing of the fact that trying to beat Flame Mammoth before Chill Penguin is nothing short of a Self-Imposed Challenge). It is, however, excellent against mooks and even makes short work of the Mole Borers.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Storm Eagle relies on generous amounts of knockback to blow you off his ship, and using his diving attack to quickly hit you while he hides offscreen. Luckily his overall damage output is low, giving you a chance to see how dynamic bosses are compared to Mega Man (Classic).
  • Walk, Don't Swim: X can't swim, but he's still incredibly nimble underwater, and has incredible jumping height.
  • Warm-Up Boss
    • Chill Penguin has a very predictable attack pattern and is rather easy to dodge.
    • Flame Mammoth is also a rather easy starter boss due to his simplistic AI and predictable attacks, although his large size and nasty collision damage can keep you on your toes.
  • "With Our Swords" Scene: If you haven't gotten the arm cannon upgrade, Zero will give X his arm cannon (which has the upgrade) just before he dies in Sigma's castle.


Video Example(s):


Launch Octopus explodes

Unlike in the Classic series, bosses don't have the same death explosion effects as the player character.

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Example of:

Main / PostDefeatExplosionChain

Media sources: