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Video Game / Mega Man X6

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Mega Man X6 is the sixth entry in the Mega Man X series, released for the PlayStation in November 29, 2001 in Japan. This was released soon after in North America in December 4, 2001. Europe received it on February 8th, 2002.

Three weeks have passed since the fall of the space colony Eurasia - the Earth is severely damaged and Zero is still missing, presumed dead. Humans hide underground, while the Reploids are busy terraforming the land to make it inhabitable again. X remains the Maverick Hunters' star on the front lines.

While on a mission around the Eurasia crash site, X encounters a powerful investigator Reploid named High Max and some sort of illusion of Zero. He then learns from an announcement by a scientist named Isoc that the "Nightmare Phenomenon" has appeared all over the world, causing Reploids to experience hallucinations and potentially destroy themselves. Isoc blames this Nightmare on the "ghost of Zero", enraging X.


With the Nightmare under investigation by Isoc and High Max's team of "Nightmare Investigators", X becomes determined to discover how the situation is connected to Zero and begins seeking out said Investigators. He finds that they react to him with violence, and he soon discovers that a mad Reploid scientist named Gate is behind the chaos. It also turns out that Zero himself is secretly alive and well, and reunites with X to help stop Gate's plans.

The core gimmick of the game is the "Nightmare Phenomenon", things that appear in the affected places that serve as obstacles in the game. Defeating a boss can cause additional phenomenon related to said boss to appear in a few other levels. Alongside them are the "Nightmare Virus", DNA-shaped enemies that fly around and can be destroyed for their floating Nightmare Souls; bosses will also drop a large amount of these. Collect them to increase your rank; your rank determines the enhancement parts you can equip. The enhancement parts are acquired from the rescuable Reploids in the stages, i.e the same Reploids that tried to help with the investigation. Some you can find easily, others you have to search for nook and cranny...and quickly, because a nearby Nightmare Virus may attempt to corrupt the Reploids, turning them into a "zombie" version of themselves, making them beyond saving.


The Nightmare Investigators are:

  • Commander Yammark gives the Yammar Option to X and Zero; is weak to Infinity Mijinion's weapons
  • Ground Scaravich gives the Ground Dash to X and Sentsuizan to Zero; is weak to Yammar Option
  • Blaze Heatnix gives the Magma Blade to X and Shoenzan to Zero; is weak to Ground Scaravich's weapons
  • Blizzard Wolfang gives the Ice Burst to X and Hyoroga to Zero; is weak to Blaze Heatnix's weapons
  • Rainy Turtloid gives the Meteor Rain to X and Ensuizan to Zero; is weak to Blizzard Wolfang's weapons
  • Metal Shark Player gives the Metal Anchor to X and Rakukojin to Zero; is weak to Rainy Turtloid's weapons
  • Shield Sheldon gives the Guard Shell to X and Zero; is weak to Metal Shark Player's weapons
  • Infinity Mijinion gives the Ray Arrow to X and Rekkoha to Zero; is weak to Guard Shell

Mega Man X6 features examples of:

  • After the End: X6 canonically takes place after the Eurasia incident from X5 after Zero piloted a space shuttle in a head-on collision against the colony but its debris hit Earth, and made the planet harmful to humans due to the rampant pollution.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Gate's Lab stages feature many hazards found in the Nightmare Investigators' levels.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The developers at least anticipated just how hard the game was, even by the standards of the series.
    • If you get a Game Over, you can start off right at the last checkpoint in a stage you're in. Unfortunately, this won't do you any favors if you are not prepared to face the situation the checkpoint puts you in.
    • The game doesn't rate your level according to your performance but to your number of Nightmare Souls.
    • If you chose to quit a level after getting a Game Over, the game will track the Reploids you rescued so you don't have to get them again.
    • If it looks like a Nightmare Virus is about to grab a Reploid, if you kill yourself (say, dropping into a Bottomless Pit) before they reach them the game won't count the Reploid as having been infected and thus you have another shot at getting them.
    • If you go against High Max (who normally needs special weapons to damage/open up to damage) with the X and Shadow Armor (which can't use special weapons), the charged saber strike of the Shadow Armor will stun and deal damage instead. Even better, the attack's range is just large enough to bypass High Max's energy shielding during the fight in Gate's Laboratory if X is right next to the shielding, allowing him to cheese High Max surprisingly easily.
  • Attack Its Weakpoint: The Mini Bosses in Blaze Heatnix and Metal Shark Player's stages, as well as Gate's lab #1's boss (Nightmare Mother), can only be attacked at their weak points. Rainy Turtloid also can only be attacked by destroying the 2 crystals on his back. Sigma's second form can only be attacked when he opens his mouth for his stronger attacks.
  • Attack Reflector: Guard Shell, which can reflect some energy-based projectiles at enemies.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: X's Shadow Armor. Turns X into a Ninja, makes it so you cannot be killed by spikes, makes him swing his saber faster, and replaces your X Buster shots with shurikens. The catch is, you cannot use ANY of your special weapons and the shurikens are shot in an erratic pattern, making it somewhat difficult to shoot accurately. Combining this with the Ultra Buster, which makes it so that you always fire charged shots, is especially this trope, as you lose all ranged capabilities (due to the Shadow Armor's charged shot being a powerful but short ranged sword attack). Ironically, this combination can actually cheese through the majority of the second stage of Gate's laboratory, as the armor provides protection from the spikes and the charged saber can destroy the majority of the enemies in the stage with a successful connection, is just large enough to bypass High Max's energy shielding and massively lower the difficulty, and it can easily and quickly destroy Gate's projectiles, barring the infamous gap that requires the Hyper Dash and the Speedster/Jumper parts being equipped to manage.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Many agree Blizzard Wolfang and Blaze Heatnix are awesome names.
  • Ax-Crazy: As an incomplete clone of Zero, the Zero Nightmare is severely mentally unstable. One moment it's acting like it genuinely thinks it's the real Zero, the next it's screaming incoherently about how it must destroy X.
  • Back from the Dead: The Nightmare Investigators used to be dead long before the events of the game, and Gate revived them.
  • Badass Back: When he isn't rolling around, Rainy Turtloid stands with his back turned toward you.
  • Behind the Black: Many of the stages' collectibles and secrets can only be found after you try to walk through those seemingly open pathways that lead to nowhere; the screen will only scroll once you do so. One of them, in particular, is a seemingly bottomless pit that's actually not.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Infinity Mijinion, Ground Scaravich and Commander Yammark are human-sized creepy crawly Reploids. Also the robot mantises in Yammark's stage.
  • Blown Across the Room: Shield Sheldon and Infinity Mijinion will get flung towards the wall if they're hit by their weakness weapon, and the latter will do this if it hit by a particularly powerful attack as well. The latter will also use this opportunity to make a clone of himself.
  • Bonus Boss: The 8 stages have optional exits guarded by optional bosses. First up is Zero Nightmare (which unlocks Zero for play). High Max replaces him if you go through the optional exits again, and defeating him will unlock Gate's Fortress prematurely. After defeating him comes Dynamo, back from X5 and can be farmed for Nightmare Souls with Rainy Turtloid's weapon. Ironically, he's probably the easiest part of the game.
  • Boss Bonanza: Blaze Heatnix's level is little more than separate fights against 5 of the same Mini-Boss, each played out differently from the last.
  • Breath Weapon: Sigma's second form's stronger attacks come from his mouth. He's also most vulnerable during said attacks.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Nightmare Areas; completely optional, and some have hair-pulling obstacles (Mijinion and Turtloid are probably the worst offenders). They end in the Bonus Boss above.
  • Call-Back: Isoc is eventually found as a lifeless shell, similar to the Erasure incident of Mega Man Xtreme 2.
    • The Nightmare Mother is based on CWU-01P from Mega Man.
  • Came Back Wrong: Sigma is also Back from the Dead, but his mental capacity has been degraded to the point where all he can do is give death threats to X and Zero while screaming their names. He also looks and moves like a zombie.
  • The Cameo: Metal Shark Player uses junk to summon Mavericks from previous Mega Man X games: Sting Chameleon, Magna Centipede, and Blast Hornet show up during the boss fight. X's charged Metal Anchor unleashes a fleet of Storm Eagles across the screen.
  • Ceiling Cling: Blizzard Wolfang can cling to the ceiling. Zero can do this as well with Hyoroga, and X with the Shadow Armor.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: Metal Shark Player's stage has this once you get to its second area (or its Nightmare area). It's also an Auto-Scrolling Level.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: The first part of Blizzard Wolfang's stage has periodic avalanches that you have to go through; whenever an avalanche is about to appear (indicated by the roaring sound), you have to find some hiding place before it rolls over.
  • Damage Over Time: Rainy Turtloid's stage gimmick is the acid rain that appears at certain points of the stage that drains the player character's health slowly. Fortunately, there are healing pods you can use to restore health, and the rains can be stopped if you find the rain generator and destroy it (but not before you destroy the control orbs scattered around the stage that shielded the generator).
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: The game just takes you back to the last checkpoint you reached in the level if you die or even use a continue. This is beneficial to pass sections without having to repeat the hard parts from the beginning, but in some occasions can be a nuisance. If the player does not have the proper equipment for the next area, they will be stuck having to intentionally killing themselves over and over again to get a game over. Made worse if the player has many lifes, whether they were obtained from 1_ups or from lost Reploids.
  • Descending Ceiling: Metal Shark Player's stage has this spanning almost the entire stage; the stage is a recycling lab and the ceiling acts as press disposer. Gate's second stage also has this at the later part if you take Zero into the stage.
  • Distant Finale: Zero's ending was retconned into this. Realizing he is a Typhoid Mary, he enters a capsule and goes to sleep for about a hundred years while scientists purge him of the Sigma Virus and develop a true antidote by studying his systems. Capcom eventually stated this does not happen immediately after defeating Gate, but instead happens after X and Zero have many more unspecified adventures saving the world (such as the immediate sequels and Command Mission, as well as the upcoming X Dive).
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening songs of the initial releases, "Moon Light" and "The Answer", are performed by Showtaro Morikubo, the voice actor for X in this game.
  • Double Jump: This time Zero has it from the start, unlike in X4 and X5 where he needs to beat a boss to get it. He also can do a rolling slash after double jumping (which, again, is a feature he has to acquire in previous games). X's Blade Armor has an non traditional double jump in the form of a multidirectional dash, which can be aimed upwards.
  • Dual Boss: The Nightmare Mother basically consists of two cubes made of Nightmares, each with an eyeball for weakspots.
  • Dummied Out: Zero's Black Armor, albeit by mistake. There is a script to award it to the player if they defeat Zero Nightmare when he's at Lv.4, but the only way to get him to Lv.4 is to collect 5,000 Nightmare Souls. Collecting 3,000 triggers the endgame, making it impossible to fight High Max and, wait for it...Zero Nightmare! The only way to use Black Armor Zero is either inputting a code or using a Gameshark to force Zero Nightmare to be at Lv.4. Curiously, there is no fanfare or special text displayed when you gain the Black Armor through the latter method, suggesting the devs knew the bug was in the game but didn't have time to fix it on X6's ultra-tight schedule.
  • False Flag Operation: Gate and Isoc enact a plan to use Zero as a scapegoat for creating a new society of selected, powerful Reploids; independent from humanity, in an ideal state, led by Gate. To do this, he created a discolored, apparently insane copy of Zero, called the Zero Nightmare, which was then publicly blamed for the recent Maverick attacks by Isoc. Isoc encouraged Reploids all over the planet to join the Nightmare Investigators to hunt down and destroy the Zero Nightmare to bring back peace.
  • Fake Difficulty: Hooooo boy! Considering this game's rushed production, there is a lot of it. Where do we begin?
    • For starters, some levels have spikes in places that you can't see them, like in Commander Yammark's stage.
    • The Nightmare enemies. They can move and shoot through walls (that the player can't shoot though), when they're not doing this they're moving in to abuse Collision Damage by forcing themselves into the player's hitbox (which doesn't help because of the game's Knockback), can fly (ignoring any and all traps that the player normally has to deal with like spikes or pits), and have a weak spot on their body that can't be hit with any of the default weapons if the nightmare gets completely inside the player's hitbox, forcing the player to either shift to the left or right or abandon their platform if on a small perch. While they're innocent enough mooks in small numbers, the game loves to flood the player with them in narrow platforming segments, in multi-layer passages, and in sections with unstable camera levels (such as ascension rooms).
    • Letting a Nightmare possess a civilian Reploid can potentially mean losing useful parts and power-ups forever. It's generally best to just reset if any reploid gets infected, really.
    • As HideofBeast can tell you in his "minimalist" speed-run of the game, X6 flat-out hates unarmored X, to the point that one wonders why he was made playable at all. Not only does the game make things absolutely, unreasonably difficult with him, but Gate's first stage is impossible to beat without either one of the armors, and/or the Jumper part (which also requires the Hyper Dash part to get). He makes a big point of the fact that unlike all of the other Mega Man X games, X6 goes out of its way to punish you if you don't take advantage of every single benefit given in you.
    • As the author of the fan-site The Megaman Homepage puts it, it's as if the play-testers used only the Ultimate Armor.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Shield Sheldon is a clam that can float around freely.
  • Flunky Boss: Sigma's second form summons green goo flunkies to fill the space and distract you. They can be destroyed and can drop health and weapon energy pickups like any normal enemy.
  • Freudian Excuse: Gate laments the fact that his genius work is looked down upon (referring to his complex reploids) because they're too good. He also says that Zero should be destroyed too (because he's even more complex that any of his creations) and yet people are fine with him.
  • Game Mod: Mega Man X6 Tweaks (forum thread) is an extensive ROM hacking project that aims to rebalance, modify, and tweak various aspects of the game's heavily-criticized elements, as well as featuring newer redrawn character portrait art (even giving portraits to characters that didn't have them), restore some of the Dummied Out features of the game, and a complete re-translation of the game's infamous English script. Users can also tweak these changes however they like with a separate patcher utility to modify a wealth of features, from starting number of lives, removing nightmare effects altogether, allowing Life and Weapon Energy upgrades shared between characters, changing the title and loading screen graphics, tweaking the mechanics of characters, requirements for Hunter Ranks and events that can be triggered, changing X's Ultimate Armor appearance and much more.
  • Geo Effects: The Nightmare system. Enter a stage, and regardless of whether you complete that stage or not you'll affect several other stages with a generated effect based on the boss of that played stage. It's kind of like how the original Mega Man X bosses would affect others. While several stages can have Phenomenon active at once, each stage can only have one active Phenomenon at a time and if the second Phenomenon is triggered it will replace the previous one.
    • Nightmare Bugs: Commander Yammark's Phenomenon, generated in Blaze Heatnix's and Shield Sheldon's stages. It's an Invincible Minor Minion that takes the form of a small flying insect that flies around X/Zero, hindering their attacks and capable of dealing Collision Damage, and multiple insects can group together with enough time. Invulnerable to everything save the Yammar Option, attacking it enough with anything else will cause it to fly away.
    • Nightmare Cube: Ground Scaravich's Phenomenon, generated in Metal Shark Player and Shield Sheldon's stages. They're an assortment of brown, red, purple, and black cubes that act as obstacles and can only be affected by the Ground Dash or Sentsuzian. Brown and red cubes will be destroyed (though red ones explode), while black and purple ones will move (purple ones will slide while black ones will only budge a bit).
    • Nightmare Dark: Infinity Mijinion's Phenomenon, generated in Commander Yammark's and Rainy Turtloid's stages. A portion of the screen will become pitch-black, and visible/semi-visible portions will be moving in a diamond-like pattern that greatly reduces visibility.
    • Nightmare Fire: Blaze Heatnix's Phenomenon, generated in Blizzard Wolfang's and Infinity Mijinion's stages. A rain of fireballs fall from the sky that can be destroyed by Magma Blade or Shoenzan. Activating this Phenomenon is required to reach the Nightmare Area in Blizzard Wolfang's level since it melts the ice covering the passage leading to it.
    • Nightmare Ice: Blizzard Wolfang's Phenomenon, generated only in Metal Shark Player's stage. Some floors/surfaces become coated in ice that cause Frictionless Ice and can only be destroyed by Ice Burst or Hyourouga.
    • Nightmare Iron: Metal Shark Player's Phenomenon, generated in Blaze Heatnix's, Ground Scaravich's, and Infinity Mijinion's stages. Massive iron blocks that move up or down in the air to try and crush X/Zero underneath them to the floor or smash them up against a ceiling. However, they can also be used as improvised moving platforms with one of these in Blaze Heatnix's stage being a necessary component to reaching the Nightmare Area and the stage's Dr. Light Capsule without a specific combination of parts and/or a specific Armor and are destroyable with Metal Anchor or Rakukojin.
    • Nightmare Mirror: Shield Sheldon's Phenomenon, generated in Rainy Turtloid's and Blizzard Wolfang's stages. Spectral copies of a purple Zero (X) or turquoise X (Zero) highly reminiscent of the Soul Body will appear in the air and after a second will try to rush and collide with the player. They are dispersed if they touch the Guard Shell.
    • Nightmare Rain: Rainy Turtloid's Phenomenon, generated in Commander Yammark's and Ground Scaravich's stages. Rain and strong wind will buffet X/Zero and hinder movement. The acid rain variant only appears in Rainy Turtloid's own stage and Gate's Laboratory 2 if playing as X.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Sigma only appears in the end where Gate reveals he has resurrected Sigma as his final weapon if all else failed. Unfortunately for him, Sigma clearly wasn't finished and proceeds to fatally injure Gate himself.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Zero can dish out a ton of damage with his Z-Saber, Z-Buster, and special skills, but since he lacks armor sets like X outside of Black Zero (which requires a code input before even starting the game), he takes a lot more damage and dies easier. Unless he equips the Shock Buffer part from a Reploid in the Recycle Lab, which cuts received damage in half and eliminates knockback. X can technically equip this part too, but he can only receive its benefits when he's completely unarmored (and unarmored X is all but unplayable due to how the game is structured).
    • Sigma in his two forms. His attacks can be tricky to dodge and inflict a lot of damage, but he is very fragile. Justified given he wasn't even fully revived right, much less with a completed body.
  • Golden Super Mode: With a quick flip of his cape, Gate swaps his standard purple armor for a Golden Suit. No transformation sequence required. Truly super in the fact that only thing that can hurt him is his own attacks.
  • Gotta Rescue Them All: The stages will contain Reploids that you need to rescue; they're the volunteers that Isoc asked for help in investigating the Nightmare. When you touch them, they'll then teleport to safety, presumably by virtue of your character issuing the base to teleport them. Various rewards you can receive include health pickups, extra lives, increases to maximum health (effectively acting like extra heart tanks) and weapon energy, and enhancement parts. This may get rather cumbersome because the Nightmare Virus mooks may appear nearby and try to possess the Reploids; if they do, they'll become "zombified" and you have to destroy them, denying you some valuable upgrade parts.
  • Guide Dang It!: Good luck figuring out which Reploid is carrying a valuable body part even with a guide. General rule of thumb is that the more hidden, out-of-reach, and/or close to a Nightmare Virus they are the more likely they have something good, but even that isn't a guarantee.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: True to the series, the levels are mostly hard as nails and the bosses are mostly a cakewalk, at least with their weaknesses. Infinity Mijinion, Nightmare Mother, High Max and Gate are exceptions, since their levels and their difficulty as bosses are equally hard.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Because of the Nightmare Phenomenon, stages will be littered with some elements of previously completed stages in them.
    • Defeat Blizzard Wolfang first, and some levels will have icy floors.
    • Blaze Heatnix invokes a rain of fireballs.
    • Infinity Mijinion causes a Blackout Basement.
    • Gate's first stage has the player climbing a room filling with lava, while eventually throwing in slippery ice floors at the same time.
  • The Heartless: The Nightmares function as this, mutating Reploid civilians and quickly coming back from defeat if their Nightmare Soul is not collected. Kill them a second time, however, they will stay dead (though they won't drop a Soul in that case).
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Subverted; Gate was working of his own volition. However, Gate decided to half-revive Sigma for the heck of it. See below.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Zero Nightmare's weakness is, ironically, X's saber attack.
  • Humongous Mecha: Infinity Mijinion's stage has one in the background named Illumina which attacks you as you move around the stage. Your mission is to destroy it by attacking the power cords you find around the stage. Mijinion later reveals that he built it himself (he refers to the mech as "her") and that he's angry at the heroes for destroying it.
  • Improvised Platform: Ice Burst creates a chunk of ice on the ground that X can stand on to reach higher places.
  • Increasingly Lethal Enemy:
    • Infinity Mijinion will periodically duplicate himself during battle (or when he's struck by a powerful attack). He can potentially fill an entire screen with his copies and bubbles if you take too much time, making him harder to kill.
    • Ground Scaravich will always fight with a boulder of rock to use as a weapon and a impromptu shield. At the beginning of the fight the boulder is only slightly bigger than he is and easy to jump over, but if you destroy it, when he heads off-screen and comes back it will be a bit bigger. Repeat this enough, and eventually you'll get a giant boulder you can't avoid without using the hanging ledges of his boss room.
  • Interface Spoiler: If you look at the save screen, you'll see an empty space reserved for someone...
    • There's also a red section of the Parts screen reserved for exclusive parts for said mystery character.
  • Kaizo Trap: Averted with Gate. You fight him over a pit with only a series of small platforms, which he'll occasionally start destroying once his health gets low enough. When you land the final hit, however, X/Zero freezes in mid-air as he explodes, so you don't have to worry about having solid ground under your feet at that moment.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: The Shadow Armor allows X to pass across spikes without getting hurt.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: Shield Sheldon's level has lasers that must be redirected using a shield-bearing Invincible Minor Minion so it shoots the door, unlocking it.
  • Live Item: The rescuable Reploids are effectively this, as they give you HP, extra life, and sometimes enhancement parts when they're rescued. A few of them are also found in hard-to-reach places, and they give particularly valuable parts - as if they're rare items.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • Why is Metal Shark Player weak to Meteor Rain? He's aquatic! No wait, water rusts metal, and he specializes in running a scrap yard.
    • Also Ice Burst freezes Rainy Turtloid easily, who's a water boss. And Blizzard Wolfang, being ice-powered, is weak to extreme heat and thus Blaze Heatnix's weapons. Another dubious example is Blaze Heatnix: his weakness, Ground Dash, can be logical (earth can douse heavy flames), despite there are both ice and water-based weapons for X.
  • Lone Wolf Boss:
    • Gate is not affiliated with Sigma at all—he's a disgraced scientist who is acting of his own accord, albeit under the influence of the Zero Virus. He does revive Sigma at the end just for the heck of it though, and it immediately comes to bite him in the ass.
    • Dynamo returns as a mini-boss, and he's not affiliated with Gate—he's only interested in fighting X and Zero because he's interested in harvesting the power of the Nightmare Souls.
  • Mad Scientist: Gate was only a prick at worst in the past, but he's then driven mad with Zero's DNA data he found; he's aware of it, declaring that it feels "liberating". Isoc, his assistant, is also one to an extent.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: In the past, many Maverick Bosses were eliminated under sabotaged accidents, or labelled Mavericks and destroyed outright.
  • Marathon Boss:
    • High Max. Unlike many other bosses, once he gets damaged he'll be invulnerable for a time and flee; he also takes little damage from any kind of attack in the rare moments he does get damaged. During his Desperation Attack, however, he's fully vulnerable.
    • Gate, due to his Puzzle Boss and Tennis Boss status.
    • If you try fighting Infinity Mijinion with his weakness, you'll get this instead. He's savvy enough that he rarely actually attacks with something that can be reflected with Guard Shell. And even if you use Guard Shell's charged shot (which can attack directly), they do little damage to him AND always makes him make a clone. Same with trying to fight Sigma's second form with his weakness; if you do, his inner mouth cannon will disappear early, while attacking with, say, just a normal buster/saber lets you do more damage quickly. That is on top of his massive amount of health.
  • Meaningless Lives: You can earn lives, but they are rendered pointless because checkpoints count even after a Game Over.
  • Multiple Endings: Well, two for X, depending on if he finds Zero or not.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the rescuable Reploids is immediately recognizable as the Green Biker Dude, and another is a yellow version of Middy.
  • Name's the Same: The Nightmare Investigators are unrelated to Mega Man X3's Nightmare Police.
  • Necromancer: Gate specializes in Reploid resurrection, and manipulates Reploid DNA to revive the Mavericks. He plans to use Zero's remains to build an indestructible army, and he's busy reviving Sigma, too! Metal Shark Player is also skilled at using junk to form bodies resembling Mavericks from earlier Mega Man X games.
  • Ninja: X's Shadow Armor, the X6 equivalent to the X5 Gaea Armor only minus the dashing speed lost. It changes X's normal shots to throwing stars and charged attacks become a powerful saber attack (equipping the Ultimate Buster part allows for instant charged saber attacks, if you managed to save the Reploid carrying it). It also gives him faster Z-Saber swings, a high jump ability to perform said ceiling-clinging (and ceiling-dashing), and immunity to spikes. The cons? You can't perform air-dashes and you can't use special weapons outside of your Giga Attack.
  • Nintendo Hard: X6 is easily one of the hardest games in the entire franchise.
  • Noble Wolf: Blizzard Wolfang being a loyal, honorable minion of Gate.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Gate's laboratory is filled with instant death spikes, rising lava, acid rain, and crushing ceilings. Never mind the bottomless pits you need to air dash over.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Commander Yammark, who instead of being a beastman Reploid like other Mavericks, appears to be a humanoid Reploid wearing dragonfly-themed armor. Notice the human eyes under his visor, and how the dragonly eyes are just part of his helmet.
  • Obvious Beta: It's painfully obvious during a playthrough that the game was rushed out in ten months. Many enemy sprites and music tracks are lazily recycled from previous entries (curiously, the latter tracks are missing from the sound test), and the newer sprites are much choppier in motion than previous games. The level design ranges from barren and bland to very sloppy and uneven, and the games main source of challenge is cheap difficulty tricks. Plus, it's extremely hard to play through the game as unarmored X, because the game is practically designed to be played with the Falcon Armor and the upgrades. Parts of the game that are even harder or straight-up Unwinnable without finding a specific part or armor, the former of which can be permanently lost if you don't rescue its specific reploid, and the game never instructs you to find them beforehand. Also, the English localization was rushed out so fast, that the translation is extremely sloppy, and the original Japanese voice tracks were left intact.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The Bonus Boss Dynamo, who can be fought several times to farm Nightmare Souls, which increase the Hunters' rank (influencing the number of parts they can equip). Also Infinity Mijinion's stage, for accessing its Nightmare area (and thus Dynamo) quicker.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Unlike X5, the Reploid civilians can be possessed by the Nightmare Viruses. If one of those viruses possesses them, the Reploid (and thus the useful enhancement parts they may carry) is gone for good. Left in their place is some kind of Empty Shell that you should probably Mercy Kill. As you can guess, sometimes a Nightmare Virus is placed right next to a Reploid, giving you three seconds of reaction before that Reploid is possessed. The worst offender of this is located in Weapons Center, where a Nightmare Virus is placed exactly on top of a Reploid, so you have less than a second!
    • If you collect enough Nightmare Souls or defeat the eight investigators before defeating Nightmare Zero, unlocking Zero will become impossible.
  • The Phoenix: Blaze Heatnix.
  • Platform Battle: Gate's boss fight is placed on unevenly placed platforms above a bottomless pit, making it harder to move around and attack the orbs he sends out. If his health goes low, he can sometimes attack and destroy the platforms too, though they'll regenerate.
  • Power-Up Letdown: The Ultra Buster is mostly useful, but may be problematic with the Shadow Armor, since it will make X purely melee, and the Ice Burst will not have the Improvised Platform.
  • Proactive Boss: Illumina.
  • Puzzle Boss: A rarity in a Mega Man X game (outside of the usual Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors), this one has a couple.
    • High Max must be stunned with a charge shot, then damaged with a special weapon as he recovers (inverted with Zero, who must stun him with a special attack before using a basic combo). He is a Hopeless Boss Fight at the end of the introductory stage, and he is Unwinnable by Mistake if you face him as a Bonus Boss before you get a Maverick weapon.
    • Gate is immune to your attacks, but you can destroy the energy balls he throws. The balls break apart and can damage Gate if they hit.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Ground Scaravich's Mini Dungeons are put semi-randomly; there are 8 of those mini-dungeons and you'll only encounter 4 of them at a time. Getting the stage's Dr. Light capsule, the Heart Tank and the Nightmare portal is thus a Luck-Based Mission.
  • Rank Inflation: Maverick Hunter ranks in this game goes by D (at the start), C, B, A, SA, GA, PA and UH. The ranks are determined by the Nightmare Souls you collect, and higher rank means more power-up parts you can equip.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The 'X vs Zero' Theme and 'Dynamo' Theme from X5 are reused in this game.
    • The Gate Lab theme is a remix of the 3rd X-Hunter stage of X2.
    • The Final Boss theme is a remix of the final boss themes of X1 and X2.
  • Rise to the Challenge: One part of Blaze Heatnix's stage will have you race against the rising lava...while one of the Nightmare Snakes (the red donut thingy) is harassing you. Eventually it stops just short of the exit door; if you're still fighting it by that point, tough luck especially if you failed to destroy the two lower weakpoints. Gate's second stage also has a rising lava section (with slippery ice slopes!) just before the fight with High Max.
  • Scarab Power: Ground Scaravich.
  • Scoring Points: Defeating Nightmare Viruses will drop Nightmare Souls, which can be collected to increase your Maverick Hunter ranking. However, if one takes too long to collect the Soul, the Nightmare Virus will respawn and if killed again will yield no Soul. The game also keeps track of which specific Viruses you killed, so if you do a run through a level killing every Nightmare Virus you see and collecting their Soul, you can't kill that virus again for another one when you go back, which can be irritating considering X and Zero have separate rankings they need to collect Nightmare Souls for. At the same time, should you take an alternate path (say through the Nightmare Stage of the level) and encounter and kill Viruses you didn't on your first run, they will drop Souls to collect. Also, though the game never tells you this directly, triggering a new Nightmare Phenomenon in a stage will reset the souls as well. The Nightmare Investigators drop 200 each, and Dynamo will drop plenty more.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Did you know Infinity Mijinion is a Water Flea? There's some Hypocritical Humor as he declares the other Mavericks useless fleas.
  • Self-Duplication: Infinity Mijinion can create seemingly limitless copies of himself. Things can get ugly when you have several onscreen at once. Shield Sheldon can also create a single holographic copy.
  • Sequence Breaking: Defeating High Max in one of the Nightmare Stages will make Gate's lab stages be accessible earlier than usual.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: The hostage Reploids from Wolfang's level are named after other Capcom characters.
  • Smart Bomb: Falcon Armor's Giga Attack reappears. Zero also gains one in form of Rekkoha. And a good number of X's charged special weapons affect almost all over the screen.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Isoc for some reason refers to Zero as "the strongest robot". This, among other things, fed to the Epileptic Trees that Isoc is Wily.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Gameplay example. Blaze Heatnix's stage theme is very fast paced and hard rocking. The actual stage itself is very slow paced, featuring 5 fights against the same mini-boss, one of which is a slow autoscroller. The only parts of the stage where the music fits are the shafts with the flamethrowers (or you can make it fit by outfitting yourself to be able to one shot the red donut mini-bosses with X's charged Metal Anchor or Zero's Rekkoha).
  • Sturdy and Steady Turtles: Rainy Turtloid is a tortoise-based robot who is built with high defenses to withstand high levels of pollution and made to work for a pollution survey team. As a boss, his shell makes him nigh invincible, except for attacks at his weak points.
  • Sword and Gun: This game marks the second time X wields a saber alongside his Arm Cannon, but this time he has it from the start (and is less proficient at it than Zero, although his armors at least give it some extra power). Zero also does the same here, with his Z-Buster being more effective than in X5.
  • Sword Beam: Both the Blade Armor and Shadow Armor's Giga Attacks are variants of this; the former is shot forward while the latter spins around him. Zero Nightmare also can shoot 2 kinds of this: a smaller one that is shot at X and a bigger one reminiscent to Awakening Zero's Desperation Attack.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: If Gate didn't shoot his little energy spheres, he would be completely invincible.
  • Teleport Spam: Zero Nightmare teleports a lot in his boss battle. So does Shield Sheldon.
  • Tennis Boss: Gate can only be damaged by shooting the orbs he fires and sending pieces of them back at him.
  • This Cannot Be!: High Max laments that these old relics (one of which he is an "improvement of") was able to defeat him.
    High Max: Wh-what’s the meaning of this!? Speed, power, body...I’m not inferior in any way! I can’t possibly lose to an old robot like you!
  • Threatening Shark: Metal Shark Player.
  • Triumphant Reprise: One of "Variable X", Zero's death theme from the first game, plays when he is found.
  • Turtle Power: Rainy Turtloid.
  • Undying Loyalty: Rainy Turtloid, Shield Sheldon and Blizzard Wolfang are all very loyal towards Gate, and feel indebted because he resurrected them.
  • Unexplained Recovery: So, Zero is alive and well, somehow. He glosses over how he recovered, but an Easter Egg gives an answer.
    Zero: Sorry to cause you worry. I lay low until I was fully recovered from the damage. Meanwhile it looks like this “toy” was stirring up a fuss.
    • When Zero approaches one of Dr. Light's capsules, Zero asked him if he knows how he came back alive. Light outright says that his recovery was a miracle. Seeing as he's Zero with his fancy Zero Virus, maybe he's still like Sigma and is simply very hard to kill.
      Zero: "I won’t die" is what I’d like to say. But my memory is vague...I don’t know if my recovery function revived me, or somebody picked me up...The next thing I knew, I was able to move...
  • The Unfought: Isoc is the only villain that the heroes never get to fight. Zero does try, but Isoc easily paralyzes him. After Gate is defeated, he suddenly becomes lifeless, with Alia referencing the the Erasure incident and noting he didn't actually "die" so much as his conscious just seems to have left his body entirely.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: High Max is a boss that requires either a particular special weapon or the the Ultimate Armor to defeat. You can reach him without either one, but you won't be able to damage him.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: In addition to the usual involving X the Super Prototype fighting his various successor Reploids, Zero gets in on the fun for once should he fight High Max, who is a Reploid made by Gate using his scavenged DNA and proudly boasts his specs are all higher than Zero's (and X's).
  • Utility Weapon: Some boss weapons are useful against some Nightmare phenomenons found in stages; both the weapon and the phenomenon weak to it usually come from the same boss, i.e the Ground Dash and the colored blocks (from Ground Scaravich) and Guard Shell and the X/Zero silhouettes (from Shield Sheldon).
  • Video Game Settings:
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Gate, Isoc, and the Nightmare Investigators are easily trusted by the populace due to offering to help the current crisis (which they're behind), while the Maverick Hunters are looked down upon as a combination of their actions during X5 not being enough to save the planet from devastation and the currently-missing Hunter Zero apparently being behind the new crisis (which he's not, but Gate made an Ax-Crazy clone of him to help sell it).
  • Warm-Up Boss: Most of the main bosses aren't particularly challenging to begin with, but even on Xtreme mode, Commander Yammark is a complete joke of a boss and can be downed in just a few charge shots, and the best one to start off on. You can even just use a charge shot to destroy all of his attacks before they even get a chance to hit you!
  • Your Head Asplode: The fate of Sigma's One-Winged Angel after being defeated, presumably because it was the location of his energy cannon that kept firing the screen-filling Wave Motion Guns and was also its only vulnerability.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The Nightmare phenomenon is apparently illusions; this is shown in X/Zero and Alia's conversations in the stages, where X/Zero see things that Alia couldn't detect. Despite so, some of the phenomenon are tangible and can hurt the player character. This is also part of the game mechanic; see Geo Effects above.


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