Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Mega Man X3

Go To

All spoilers for Mega Man X2 may be unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
"The Mavericks who were supposed to have been neutralized by the Neuro Computer suddenly appeared and began to riot... At Maverick Hunter Headquarters, all intelligence indicated that Dr. Doppler was the mastermind behind the invasion."
Mega Man X3 opening narration.

Mega Man X3 is the third entry in the Mega Man X series, released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System on December 1995 in Japan, January 1996 in North America, and July 1996 in Europe. It was later ported to the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and PC with anime cutscenes and Redbook Audio soundtrack added in. The SNES version is included with the first Mega Man X Legacy Collection for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

In the year 21XX, several months after the previous game, the Maverick Hunters have finally wiped out Sigma's rebellion. Additionally, Sigma's true nature as the Sigma Virus has been revealed, and a Reploid scientist named Dr. Doppler succeeded in creating a cure to save virus-infected Mavericks. Advanced Reploids and grateful ex-Mavericks from far and wide join Doppler in founding Dopple Town, a utopia for Reploids to live without fear of losing control.

After just a few months, the Mavericks who had been cured begin to riot. The world realizes none other than Dr. Doppler is masterminding this revolt. With no other choice, X and Zero must band together to stop Doppler and his new Maverick revolution. However, X and Zero will learn that there is more to Doppler than meets the eye...

The game is again something of a Mission-Pack Sequel to Mega Man X2, playing almost exactly the same as its predecessor. Major differences include the interference of Bit and Byte in stages, traps set up by a resurrected Vile, enhancement chips on top of Armor Parts, and a more in-depth Ride Armor system.

The eight Maverick bosses for this game are all servants of the Doppler Army, either of their own free will or due to the influence of the Sigma Virus:

  • Blast Hornet, of the 0th Special Unit. X earns Parasitic Bomb from him.
  • Blizzard Buffalo, a former ski slope officer. X earns Frost Shield from him.
  • Toxic Seahorse, a stealth operative. X earns Acid Burst from him.
  • Tunnel Rhino, a former miner. X earns Tornado Fang from him.
  • Volt Catfish, a former emergency generator. X earns Triad Thunder from him.
  • Crush Crawfish, a defective military Reploid. X earns Spinning Blade from him.
  • Neon Tiger, a former poacher hunter. X earns Ray Splasher from him.
  • Gravity Beetle, of the 17th Elite Unit. X earns Gravity Well from him.

Tropes featured in Mega Man X3:

  • A.I. Breaker:
    • Blizzard Buffalo seems to be afraid of X's crotch, and can be manipulated into turning away from him if you partially jump over him. It seems he wasn't designed to be able to look up. If you're in the air when he turns around, he can't see you. It would seem, in addition, that his AI has no object permanence.
    • Neon Tiger will Wall Jump every time you hit him with the Spinning Blade. Hit him once, turn around and fire. Repeat until you have one dead tiger. This was certainly intentional.
    • Toxic Seahorse will try to Goomba Stomp when shot by a Frost Shield. Dash away then fire another Frost Shield. His Mercy Invincibility is long enough that he can attack briefly, though (although a Good Bad Bug lets you shoot him repeatedly on the way down).
  • Ambiguous Situation: Dr. Doppler's supposed cure for Mavericks differs from source to source:
    • The game's opening narration claims Doppler could "suppress" Maverick behavior using his Neuro Computer, making it sound like a mental influence that could override the Sigma Virus or other abberations.
    • The English game manual claims Doppler created an "anti-virus", implying a program that could delete the Sigma Virus.
    • The game's Legacy Collection blurb claims Doppler created a "counteractive virus" that could flush out the Sigma Virus.
    • The Maverick Hunter's Field Guide book claims Doppler created a "vaccine", implying something that could make Reploids immune to the Sigma Virus. It's also how he does it in the Rockman X3 manga. Since Doppler uses a real vaccine against Sigma in the game's ending, this is likely the canon explanation, but it still hasn't been 100% confirmed.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Early in the opening stage, X gets immobilized and kidnapped by Mac, a double agent working for Doppler... And then control switches to Zero for the first time in the series as you rush to X's rescue.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Zero is available as a backup character to help alleviate the game's grueling difficulty, as he has his own separate (and higher) health bar from X, can charge up his buster shot to two levels, and his own distinct and deadly Z-Saber move. The only downside is that "dying" as him keeps you from playing as him for the rest of the game.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The bosses will reset their attack patterns after being hit with their weakness. Even if you don't aim for their weakness, many of them don't have an awesome strategy aside from going from one direction to another and ramming the wall.
  • Avenging the Villain: Gravity Beetle joined Doppler's army because X killed his brother, Boomer Kuwanger.
  • Ax-Crazy: Crush Crawfish, even before he officially went Maverick.
  • Background Boss: Maoh the Giant, the giant robot you fight in the intro stage.
  • Back from the Dead: Vile has been revived by Dr. Doppler as Vile MK-2.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At the end of the game, either Zero or Doppler will arrive to destroy Sigma's viral form.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The game's ending has shades of this; Sigma is defeated and seemingly killed for good by Dr. Doppler's antivirus, but Doppler had to perform a Heroic Sacrifice in order to ensure it workednote . The English ending also states that Zero has the potential to become a threat and that one day in the future, X will have to destroy him.
  • Bonus Boss: Vile can be fought early in three Maverick stages; this is required for X to get the Infinity +1 Sword.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Dr. Doppler by the Sigma Virus, as well as the Reploids of Dopple Town by the Maverick Virus.
  • Call-Back: If you look closely at the background of Gravity Beetle's level you'll see an airship of the exact same model as the one you fought Storm Eagle on top of sitting on a runway.
  • Combining Mecha: If Bit and Byte are not defeated in the Maverick stages, they'll return in the Doppler stages combined as the Godkarmachine O Inary. Or if you defeat one but not the other, the remaining one will turn into said boss on its own.
  • Cranium Ride: The Tombort dragonfly enemies in Neon Tiger's stage don't do any Collision Damage and can in fact by ridden on like platforms. Doing so is one of the ways to get the Heart Tank and Sub Tank in the stage.
  • Crutch Character: Zero is more powerful than X, which helps the Early Game Hell quite a bit. However, he can only be called upon once per stage, he cannot fight the majority of the bosses, and if his health runs out, then he'll sit the rest of the game out. That said, X will gradually outclass him if you focus on getting his support items and upgrades, to the point where the only thing that makes Zero stand out is his devastating Beam Sabre, and even that can be obtained by X if Zero fights Mosquitus (the only boss he could fight in the game).
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Defeating Mosquitus with Zero will cause the boss to perform a Last Ditch Move against him. Despite the character clearly having the skills and reflexes to, the player cannot dodge the attack via any input and it will land on them, incapacitating him but allowing him to pass the Z-Saber to X.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • In the PS1 port's opening cutscene, we can see X shoot down two Bee Bladers (and later a Utoboros miniboss from Launch Octopus' stage) with a single charge shot, and summon both of his armors from the previous two games on a whim, in addition to Zero slicing Vile in half with one swipe of his Z-Saber.
    • Blast Hornet's cutscene also shows he has command over a Kill Sat that decimates an entire city into smoldering rubble. In-game, he has no such attack at his disposal.
    • Gravity Beetle's black hole abilities and mobility are also shown to be much more destructive and faster in his intro cutscene than what's shown in-game.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the game, Zero had to pursue Mac in order to save X from him. In the Shigeto Ikehara manga, Zero kills him on the spot when he kidnaps X.
  • Double Jump: X's leg upgrades allow him to dash straight up, in addition to forward in the air. The leg chip takes this a step further, allowing X to dash twice in the air, effectively giving him a triple jump!
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: An infamous one, almost as bad as Mega Man 7's American Kirby Is Hard Core ending change. X wonders about his fate, and the narrator says his fate has already been decided: "To save mankind, he must destroy Zero." The original Japanese says that X and Zero will fight at some point, but no indication it's to the death. Luckily, Mega Man X4 backpedals this to a mere conflict so the fight in Mega Man X5 makes more sense. Ironically, the English version was true after all, since the backstory of the Mega Man Zero series reveals that Zero's body was engineered into Omega, a horrific weapon of mass destruction that nearly wiped out all life on earth.
  • Early Game Hell: X3 is probably one of the hardest games in the series to start off, since an unarmored X takes extreme amounts of damage while various enemies can take a truckload of punishment in return. On top of that, in common with Minakuchi Engineering's other Mega Man titles (the games they worked on tend to be a bit tougher in general), the game can be very stingy when it comes to life energy refills, which can make it a chore to charge up your sub-tanks, although having Frost Shield helps farm life energy from enemies. Things start to even out once you get more upgrades and Heart Tanks, thankfully.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Zero's first outing as a playable character sees him play very differently than he would in later titles. His main form of attack is the Z-Buster instead of the Z-Saber, which makes him play almost identically to X; while the Z-Saber only comes into play as a fourth-level charge attack where Zero performs a single sword slash (albeit a very powerful one). And as noted above, he can't fight most of the bosses and becomes unusable for the rest of the game if he dies at all. While Zero's playstyle would be completely reworked from Mega Man X4 onward, a few elements from this game would carry over to future games, such as his Glass Cannon status and charged-up sword strikes.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Blast Hornet was second-in-command of Zero's Maverick Hunter unit before he went Maverick. Gravity Beetle defects from the Maverick Hunters after X killed his brother, Boomer Kuwanger, in Mega Man X.
    • Dr. Doppler used to be a benevolent scientist working for a cure for the Maverick Virus, only to end up using it to take control of Dopplertown. Subverted in that he was Brainwashed and Crazy by Sigma, and he helps bring an end to Sigma.
  • Filler Villain: Doppler only appears in this game and is just a brainwashed minion for Sigma. His discovering the Sigma Virus is irrelevant since its existence was already revealed at the end of X2, and Sigma recovers from Doppler’s antivirus offscreen before X4, so his work has no bearing on the rest of the series.
  • Funny Background Event: During Volt Catfish's animated opening sequence, a robot very similar to Auto from the original Mega Man series can be seen watching TV in the background.
  • Game Mod:
    • The Mega Man X3 - Zero Project by Justin3009 and various contributors is a large-scale ROM hack of the SNES version of the game that, aside from overhauling Zero's presence as a playable character, it also features multiple gameplay improvements, replaces the password system with a save feature à la its 32-bit ports (as of v4.1), and a New Game Plus feature (also new to v4.1).
    • A MSU-1 patch by DarkShock is available, which allows the game to play the remixed CD soundtrack from the 32-bit ports onto the original SNES version, even on original hardware with a SD2SNES flashcart.
  • Golden Super Mode: If X neglects to gain any of the individual armor chip upgrades, he can gain the golden armor chip during the final levels, which give him the powers of all of them, as well as a shiny golden makeover.
  • Graceful in Their Element: The frog-type Ride Armor is ineffective on land, as its movements and attacks are only designed to work underwater.
  • Gravity Is Purple: The Gravity Well weapon, used by Gravity Beetle (and X), has pale purple tones in official artwork. X also gets a primarily pinkish-purple armor when equipped with it.
  • Ground Pound: The charged Triad Thunder does this.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The Golden Armor Chip requires, on top of intentionally not upgrading yourself, falling down a seemingly bottomless pit and walking through an unmarked invisible wall segment while at full health.
    • For X to get Zero's sword, you have to select Zero to fight a miniboss in one of the last levels — every other time in the game, if you try to enter a boss door, Zero will just switch out back to X automatically. Beating this miniboss causes it to crash-land on Zero and incapacitate him in a cutscene.
  • Healing Factor: The ability granted by X's head chip upgrade, although it only works while X is standing still.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: If Zero has been incapacitated before the end of the game, Dr. Doppler will sacrifice himself to upload the vaccine program into Sigma, destroying them both.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Just like in Mega Man X2, Sigma has been pulling the strings the whole time. Unlike that game, where he was also a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, in this one his presence is pretty clearly hinted at as soon as the first cutscene involving Dr. Doppler (which happens after you defeat two of the Mavericks), and then outright stated by Dr. Cain once you've cleared all eight Mavericks.
  • Humongous Mecha: Maoh the Giant, the giant robot that X fights at the end of the intro stage. While not as big as CF-0, Maoh still towers over X and is armed with wrecking balls for arms. He's still a pretty easy boss to fight.
  • Japanese Beetle Brothers: Gravity Beetle (a rhinoceros beetle) is the brother of Boomer Kuwanger (a stag beetle).
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Sigma is defeated either by Zero using Dr. Doppler's anti-virus or the man himself...who Sigma hijacked and forced to use him for his schemes.
  • Last Ditch Move: The Mosquitus miniboss in Doppler's Lab will crash-land on Zero when defeated in a custscene. This will incapacitate Zero and is the last step in getting the Z-Saber.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The Sega Saturn port got hit bad with this. Every single time the game needs to load, whether it's loading a cutscene or loading a level, it lasts for intervals of 30 seconds. The PS1 and PC ports have comparatively shorter loading times in contrast, and loading was eradicated altogether in the X Collection port.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The "boss arrival" music gets cut off abruptly as the intro sequence of the bosses is too quick for it to play out in full. This even happens in the versions with Redbook audio. The only time you can hear it loop fully is on the boss of the intro level.
  • Lost in Translation: Aside from the screw-up with the ending text, the game's English translation is a lot more faithful to the Japanese original than the previous game was. One major change is that in the Japanese version, Vile is established to be completely Ax-Crazy, to the point where even Dr. Doppler is afraid of him. In the English version, this is reduced to Vile insisting on going out to attack X rather than staying to defend Doppler's lab, with Doppler himself not having much of a reaction other than being worried Vile will screw it up by being too impetuous.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Sigma's weapon in this game. His shield can block incoming projectiles and he can also throw it in the air as a projectile just like Captain America.
  • Mini-Boss:
    • Genjibo and Shurikein, a firefly projector and its Hardlight star-like projection fought in Blast Hornet's stage. The former is The Unfought, as it flees after spawning Shurikein.
    • Hotareeca, a jellyfish boss faced underwater in Toxic Seahorse's stage which drops mines and fires homing missiles.
    • Hell Crusher, a mining bot fought in Tunnel Rhino's stage which attempts to charge at X, and if X attempts to Wall Jump, use its extendable arms to hang on the ceiling and try to impale X.
    • Worm Seeker-R, a centipede boss in Neon Tiger's stage that drops bouncing bombs and burrows around the miniboss room.
    • Rex-2000, a walker robot in the first Doppler stage that fires homing missiles. It's also fought in a room with a Descending Ceiling filled with spikes, and if Zero is alive, he'll help to destroy the machine causing the ceiling to descend.
    • Mosquitus, a mosquito boss in the second Doppler stage. It can only be fought if Vile was killed earlier, is the only miniboss that can be fought with Zero, and beating it with Zero gives X the Z-Saber.
  • Multiple Endings: There are two different endings, depending on whether you kept Zero alive or not.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Played With by the Frost Shield. Its basic attack fires ice spears that leave behind traps when they hit an enemy, but don't do any shielding. However, the Charged Attack does create an icy shield in front of X that even blocks projectiles.
  • Oddball in the Series: Whereas the other games in the series were developed by Capcom alone, this one was mostly handled by Minakuchi Engineering, with Capcom only being responsible for the story, character designs, and general structure of the game.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Gravity Well will one-shot all enemies on the screen if they're affected by it. Most larger enemies aren't, which makes it a Useless Useful Spell at times.
    • Parasitic Bomb will one-shot enemies vulnerable to it, sometimes even throwing them into other nearby enemies. Those who aren't vulnerable take meager damage instead.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • If you let Zero die at any time during the game, or skip or defeat Vile MK-2 in one of three stages he appears in with any weapon other than his weakness, X will no longer be able to get the Beam Saber through conventional gameplay. It's possible to manipulate the password system to enable the saber and Vile, however.
    • If X gets any one of the individual armor upgrade chips, he cannot get the Hyper Chip that gives him all the chip powers. Again, manipulating the password system can still enable up to three of the upgrade chips.
  • Promoted to Playable: Zero can be called on to take X's place in a level, except against bosses (with one exception, see Guide Dang It!).
  • Psycho Electric Eel: Volt Catfish is a rare example that isn't actually an eel.
  • Rhino Rampage: Tunnel Rhino.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: In the post-SNES ports, Blizzard Buffalo's name is infamously misspelled as Bilzzard Buffalo.
  • Route Boss: The Doppler stage bosses are different depending on how X deals with Bit, Byte, and Vile. If X kills both Bit and Byte by using their weaknesses against them before reaching Doppler's stages then X will face Press Disposer instead of the duo's Fused form Godkarmachine O Inary. If X kills Vile with his weakness before Doppler, then Volt Kuragiel will be fought in place of another fight with Vile.
  • Script Breaking: There's a glitch in the Japan-only PSX port that lets you go to Doppler's fortress early. Unsurprisingly, there's no clause in the game code to count Bit and Byte as dead in the Maverick levels if you kill them in the Doppler levels since you aren't supposed to be able to do those things in that order in the first place.
  • Shout-Out: One of the wall-crawling enemies in the game is named Caterkiller.
  • Situational Damage Attack: Parasitic Bomb is a One-Hit Kill on most small/medium-sized enemies as it will latch onto them and render them useless before exploding them. Against enemies that can't be parasitized, it explodes on contact for measly damage.
  • Spread Shot: Ray Splasher is of the Spray Burst variant.
  • Sword Beam: If X gets Zero's Beam Sabre, and he has upgraded his X Buster, then when he uses the Sabre, it will fire a beam that rips through weaker enemies and creates additional slashes on stronger ones.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: Kaiser Sigma.
  • Uniqueness Rule: You have the ability to swap out with Zero. It can only be used once per stage, and if he dies, you lose him for the rest of the game. He's also needed to get his saber near the end of the game.
  • Updated Re-release: The PlayStation, Saturn, and PC versions featured animated cut-scenes, enhanced music, and a save feature. All of this comes at the expense of loading times, which was eradicated in its inclusion of the Mega Man X Collection.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Gravity Well is an unavoidable One-Hit Kill weapon on enemies... if they're affected by it. This only affects most smaller enemies and larger ones don't take even a shred of damage. Even Parasitic Bomb, the other situational weapon, has a wider range of enemies it can One-Hit Kill, and still deals minor damage if it fails to destroy something.
  • Utility Weapon:
  • The Virus: It's finally revealed that Sigma's true form is that of a computer virus that can force Reploids to go Maverick against their will.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Maoh the Giant, the intro stage boss, is almost as easy to beat as Gigantic Mechaniloid CF-0. He's a Stationary Boss who only has one fairly easy-to-dodge attack, and his health goes down in a hurry.
  • Wicked Wasps: Blast Hornet is a hornet robot and one of the bosses. He used to be a good guy — part of the Maverick Hunters, in fact — but he was infected by the Maverick Virus, did a Face–Heel Turn and went on a rampage.
  • "With Our Swords" Scene: In X3, if you use Zero to fight a particular mid-boss in Dr. Doppler's fortress, he'll die after defeating it, but not before giving X his Z-Saber.