Most people see X as either a strong but doubtful hunter who truly wants peace, or a spineless wimp who relies on Zero to save his ass at the slightest hint of danger.
Here's a new one for X, due to sourcebook info stating that Dr Light created a "suffering circuit" to enable X to examine moral matters more deeply: Is he putting himself through all this because he truly wants to make the world a better place for human and reploid alike, or did the 30 year testing phase in his capsule enslave him to Dr. Light's ideals? (At least the OVA clears this by showing that, while he hesitates sometimes, he fights Mavericks out of his own choice.)
Colonel himself can be subjected to quite a bit of this. In X's story, his decision seems to be made out of nothing but foolish pride. In Zero's, however, he's clearly shocked and outraged that the government would suspect him of being Maverick, and later in the story, honestly seems to believe that war is their only option, sometimes to a delusional extent. Given his backstory...it's certainly possible being faced with the threat of having his life's purpose taken from him caused him to snap.
Iris, Zero's romantic interest, varies from a saint, a seemingly sweet person who is secretly crazy, and truly sweet yet naive girl who just wants everyone to get along.
There's also the recurring idea that he's messing with X for his own amusement due to the ridiculous placement of some of the capsules. This is probably not canon.
Thanks to the first game's remake, is Sigma just a Maverick infected by Wily who wants to dominate the world, or is he just staging a rebellion to test X's abilities in the interest of the good of the Reploids?
For that matter, the entire "Maverick" thing. Canonically it's caused by viruses, but especially in the first and fourth games, there's very little to suggest that it was anything other than what it looked like on the surface: a rebellion. If that's what it was, were they necessarily bad? This is compounded severalfold by the fact that in the Zero series (same universe, just a hundred years or so later), the Irregulars are a genuine robot rebellion (and the good guys) against a tyrannical society which seems to hate all reploids, and the leader of their enemies is a copy of X.
Similarly, fanon popularly puts up a dividing line between "infected" Mavericks and just regular reploids who are criminals. What becomes of the latter falls into this as well — are they shot on sight in a display of Fantastic Racism?
Furthermore, there is a big case of What Could Have Been due to the extra characterization in the remake series. Chill Penguin states that he follows Sigma effectively because of a bribe. Storm Eagle actually challenged Sigma and lost, so he's working with Sigma against his will. If the remakes continued, the "Regular vs Infected Maverick" angle may have been explored in canon.
The Liberion Army of Command Mission: Initially they seem to be a bunch of greedy, power-hungry sociopaths who cruelly oppress and subjugate everyone in Giga City — until you find that a few of their members (namely the Cadre) are surprisingly fair and honorable people, and the fact that they're the project of unethical experiments as well as being manipulated by The Man Behind the Man. Even Ferham, the seemingly sadomasochistic Baroness, has a genuinely tender moment with a fellow comrade. Their leader might even have a point that using force really might be the only way for a group of reploids to be heard. Despite all the horrible things they've done in the game, they're a hard lot to figure out, which is even reflected in the game when they're posthumously deferred Maverick status.
Despite what many of the Reploids they encounter say, neither X, Zero, or even Axl are ever shown to adopt a "shoot first" approach. More often than not, they ask them to surrender peacefully, are refused, and thus are forced to kill the Reploid in self-defense. However...some lines from Zero among others imply the Maverick Hunters prefer their officers to eliminate their target without wasting time. Is this policy because innocent humans and Reploids are in danger at the time and take precedence over violent Mavericks? Because each and every Maverick the Hunters have encountered have refused to surrender anyway? Because of the danger a possibly viral Maverick or one feigning surrender presents? Or is their a racist anti-Reploid agenda behind it?
The humans themselves, particularly the government. Not helped by the fact that humans rarely get their own views, or even appearance, shown in game (the only human we see, Dr. Cain, even disappears after X4). Are they well-meaning, seeing the Reploids as equals and valuing the hard work they do, or do they refuse to see the distinction between them and the Mechaniloids (which are literal machines) and are only happy as long as the Reploids do what they want, as Sigma believed? As for the trust issues, are they simply being Properly Paranoid about them given their capabilities, or are they fanatical bigots like Weil, who felt the entire race "got off too easy" because of what the Mavericks did, and willing to take extremes to control them?
In X8, it is revealed that the New Generation reploids (and by extension, Axl himself) were built via the manipulations of Sigma, who considers them his children. This bothers Axl roughly a thousand times less than Zero's similar origin eats at him; in fact, he's the only one of the three not driven into a Heroic BSoD by this "Break Them by Talking" done soon after. It helps that:
Sigma and Lumine don't press the point (when Axl outright asks Lumine whether Sigma's influence will affect his sanity, Lumine dismisses him), unlike what Sigma does with Zero.
Zero was having nightmare visions of a certain crazy, eyebrow-waggling old scientist even before Sigma started playing with his head.
Also of note is his lack of angst over being forced to kill his adopted father. In his defense, Axl didn't really deal the killing blow. He just beat the guy in a fight. It was Red's decision to set the place to blow if he lost and to go down with it.
Dr. Doppler in X3. His attack pattern is almost insultingly easy, though his ability to absorb your attacks can make the fight seem harder than it is.
Iris in X4. Compared to Double in X's route, Iris isn't terribly difficult. Justified as Iris was never meant to be a fighter and the project that spawned her and Colonel, spawned the two for a reason. note They were originally one and the same reploid meant to replicate the paradox X had with technical pacifism, but Iris' innocence and pacifism doesn't go well with Colonel's spirit of combat and honorable nature, so they were Split at Birth.
X in X5. You realize how inconvenient charge attacks are when they telegraph every move X makes as a boss. You'll also realize why it's important to move while charging.
Zero in X5. Also like X, the battle isn't very spectacular due to the fact that Zero's AI makes him spam his easily avoided (with some practice anyways, but you're certain to get some) Giga Attack over and over again. This results in a decidedly unspectacular battle.
Sigma in his X6 form, especially since he's fought after Gate (and his goddamnedlaboratory). Subverted for his second form, however.
Broken Base: Up until now, there has been fans who believe the X series should be put to rest at X5, as many believe many key plot points (such as X and Zero's destiny to defeat each other despite being best friends) were resolved there, and the plot picks up at Zero 1. Inafune even indeed stated that the game has the "finality" feel to it. Others want X9 to be made. Of course, by this account, X5 is still the end of the series, as each post-X5 games has a time period during the 3 years the epilogue states, while X6 took place after Sigma's defeat in a few weeks of X5.
As an additional note, Zero's ending in X6 is supposed to take place after the end of the series, allowing sequels to be made. Of course, the debate won't stop even with that.
A lesser example; whenever X3 is brought up, expect to see much discussion on which has the better soundtrack, SNES version or PS1 version.
Complete Monster: Dr. Albert W. Wily, thought long dead, is, in truth, the Greater-Scope Villain of the entire series. With nothing resembling his more honorable traits from the Classic series, Dr. Wily created Zero as a means to finally create a robot strong enough to destroy Mega Man, and engineered the creation of the Maverick Virus, turning Reploids who were infected to violence and murder. Wily integrated himself into the virus itself and fostered countless amounts of death and destruction, most notably causing the fall of the once-noble Reploid Sigma to ambitious evil with thousands killed in his mission, and even nudging Sigma into trying to cause the fall of the colony of Eurasia to spread the virus further, which would consequentially kill off almost all mankind.
Continuity Lockout: Zero's ending in X6 is said to take place after the very end of the X series. However, Zero's presence in X7 and X8 is highly confusing to most fans because the status of Zero's X6 ending is only revealed All There in the Manual in the Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works.
Die for Our Ship: Despite actually dying in canon, many fangirls still want to say this to Iris for "stealing" their Zero.
Dork Age: X6 and X7 is generally considered to be a slump for the X series; the former for its rushed development and cobbled-together level design resulting from it, and the latter for its clunky gameplay, bland level design, and misguided attempt at bringing the franchise to 3D. Many will say X8 was an admirable attempt to get it out of the slump and an improvement over the former two games, but sadly, the damage had been done by then, and a new game in the series has yet to surface.
Draco in Leather Pants: Fangirls like to think that Vile is secretly sexy under his helmet and try to slash him with X (despite trying to kill him multiple times), and that Dynamo is a lovable goof who joins the Hunters and is paired with Alia (despite nearly destroying the world with a Colony Drop). Lumine is also starting to get this treatment.
After the "X is the original Mega Man after an upgrade" theory got Jossed, more than a few fans have decided that he might be Bass from the original series. Unlikely as all hell, but yeah, people still think it.
Everything about Dr. Wily's existence in this series counts as this. Here are a couple of popular ones:
Alternately, he's just using the Time Skimmer he used to obtain Quint.
Speculation on whether or not Serges is Dr. Wily, because of his physical resemblance and strange interest towards Zero. An even more outlandish theory is that Wily somehow "lives on" in all three X-Hunters.
To elaborate, Serges was able to repair and upgrade Zero (or possibly made his new body entirely from scratch), despite Zero being notoriously difficult to analyse and repair, due to his Black Box status. Arguably, the only one who could show such an understanding would be Wily himself. Also, in the Japanese script, he expresses regret over being defeated by "Light's robotic memento". Maybe he just knows his history?
Made worse by the fact that the manga adaptation leaps to the conclusion that Serges is Dr. Wily.
Due to Axl's ending, many fans suspect that Lumine has somehow transferred his consciousness into Axl after his defeat.
Estrogen Brigade: Mega Man X has a very strong female following, especially in comparison with other entries in the series. For how action-packed it is, the strong focus in X/Zero relationship, how much the games are dripping in Ho Yay between the two of them and the drama help make the series appealing to both sexes. It also helps that Zero is handsome and mysterious with a tragic past.
It has been a long debate whether the series after X5 (where Zero really died) was canon. However, an official artbook released for the Mega Man Zero series subtly hints at their canonicity. Doesn't stop some fans from disputing the issue, though.
Some fans completely disregard the Guns N' Roses names for the X5 Mavericks, and refer to them by their Japanese names instead. The version of X5 found in the second X Legacy Collection switching to names closer to the Japanese originals only helped this stance.
The first stage is called "Noah's Park", a space elevator is named "The Jakob Project" after Jacob's Ladder, and the final boss appears as a fallen angel whose ultimate attack is called "Paradise Lost".
Sigma's true form is called Belial Sigma. Fans have also likened Lumine's name to that of Lucifer, the "light-bearer" and fallen angel who would eventually become Satan, due to the aforementioned angel motifs. Similarly, the Mavericks' plot to migrate to the Moon and escape a war-torn (and thus useless) Earth is seen as an allusion to the story of Noah and the Flood.
Hoo boy, Sigma takes the cake here. Aside from The Grim ReaperOmnicidal Maniac bit, there's also X8. For starters, his X8 form vaguely resembles the Devil note the form is called Belial Sigma, Belial being the name of a demon king, and then there's the very logical conclusion that he's weak to light-based weapons...
First Installment Wins: The first Mega Man X game is often considered the best. Critics and fans often agree that the first X game evolved Mega Man to a higher level of platforming gameplay along with new gameplay features and a more mature storyline, and no subsequent game has gotten the same praise. X4 and X5 are the only ones that come close, with some fans regarding them (particularly X4) to be even better than X1.
Franchise Original Sin: One of the criticisms of X7 is that X himself got shafted to being unlockable, becoming a bit player in one of his own games. Thing is, that had always been a bit of a problem, specifically because Keiji Inafune apparently regretted his decision to withdraw Zero's design as the lead and deliberately was giving the X the short end of the stick to make people like Zero more. It started in X2 which started the hints of Zero's origins and a sidequest about bringing him back to life, but that was okay since it gave the series another cast member. But when the Playstation era started, X was just along for the ride while Zero got all the big character interactions and backstory in X4 and was pretty much the sole reason for X5. While X6 was a little better, Zero still hung over the plot and two of the endings were sequel hooks for the Zero series. Hence, X being dropped as the lead for the next game was the obvious endpoint. Command Mission and X8 addressed this with X getting equal or more screentime compared to his partners while Zero mostly did his own thing in the Zero series.
Dashing at an enemy while firing a normal shot dealt double damage in X and X2; "fixed" in the third game.
In X8, Zero (and Layer) can fly!Note Contrary to popular belief, this isn't limited to the PC version of the game, as the PS2 version uses both the D-Pad and the left stick for movement, so the glitch can be performed using both.
In X4, standing on Colonel's saber swing area when he fires his Sword Beams doesn't do any damage.
Vile in Maverick Hunter X can use his shoulder or leg weapons to stop his descent, allowing him to move horizontally through the air. Use a weapon with low enough energy requirements and you can practically levitate into places early that would normally require a late game weapon upgrade for. This might be a case of Throw It In!, as stopping Vile's descent using the weapon drops is the only way to avoid getting hit by X and Zero during a certain attack phase.
Growing the Beard: Many believe that the X series did so with the jump to the PlayStation, which allowed both games and story to reach new heights that they never could have within the SNES' limitations.
At least in story order — while X taking a beam saber through the chest in The Day Of Sigma cues a Moment of Awesome, it's also reminiscent of...something more permanent that happened to him later on, especially considering the parallels drawn by one character between Sigma and Elpizo.
Similarly, in the same OVA, Sigma launches a missile strike against Abel City (although with the intention of giving Reploids a future). In Zero 3, the Neo Arcadian Government (specifically Copy X and Dr. Weil) launched a missile strike against Area Z-3038, a human population, of which the missile contained Omega, so they could acquire the Dark Elf, an action that was implied to have resulted in severe casualties in the city.
Also, in X4, Sigma tells General that humanity, and by extension the Maverick Hunters, are perfectly willing to destroy anything that doesn't obey humanity absolutely. The Zero series shows just how correct Sigma turned out to be, with the main bad guy in Zero 3 even stating that humanity enjoys controlling everything, considering it to be the ultimate joy. However, he, Weil, is the only human shown to feel that way, and ironically, is almost exactly like Sigma in terms of his megalomania, self-serving morality, and appetite for death and destruction, the only real difference being Weil's bigoted against Reploidkind where Sigma looked down on humanity.
At one point in Day Of Sigma, X wonders what could have caused the Maverick uprisings. Funny when you realize who he's talking to (and it's not Sigma).
In the climax of Command Mission Zero yells "What were we fighting for?!" One cannot avoid to think about the memetic line from X4 which was famous for its poorly delivered voice acting (and later the much more awesome voice acting provided by Lucas Gilbertson in a YouTube video).
The X3 finale. X scrambles desperately away from Sigma to avoid possession and freaks out at a dead end, then Dr. Doppler or Zero shows up and gives his life (minus the sacrifice in Zero's case) so that Sigma will not infect X with The Virus and take over everything with all the wonderful armors and weapons and whatnot. It turns out, Sigma can't actually do any of this; the whole thing was pointless.
Martei, a mermaid-based Reploid who becomes X's Love Interest in the manga, was introduced before the release of Mega Man 9, which included mermaid Robot Master Splash Woman. The original Mega Man is sometimes shipped with her.
Egregion, the enormous dragon intro stage Boss in X4, who was originally named Eregion. Apparently named from one of J.R.R. Tolkien's works, yet it also brings to mind another piece of literature...
Up until the release of X4 and thus his decidedly male voice, due to his long blond hair and "booblights", Zero was often mistaken for a woman. Come the ZX series and Zero is now a Biometal, which merges with the player character, one option of which is a girl.
The ever popular "WHAT AM I FIGHTING FOOOOOOOOR????!!" from X4, no less due to the really poor delivery of Zero's (and Iris') voice actor. It is, otherwise, a suitably tearjerking scene, especially with the original Japanese voice acting.
"Take a wild guess!" note When X demands Split Mushroom to reveal who his boss is, Mushroom responds with this. Cue his Life Meter appearing with a Sigma logo underneath.
On this site, there have been times that either of the series' two incarnations of Zero has been compared to this Zero.
Alia's "upgrade" in X8.
The Ze-ERO series, a series of MADs (a rough equivalent of YouTube Poop) that mainly involves characters from this series, on Nico Nico Douga (and some of it have been exported to YouTube as well). Warning: NSFW.
"I hid myself while I tried to repair myself." Said scene in X6 (where Zero reunites with X) is especially popular in Japan, with many fanarts parodying it. To be specific, the Japanese thinks their facial expression look more appropriate for Zero trying to make X a boxed lunch and X being happy to be given it. The meme's called "Obentou" (Boxed Lunch), from Zero's quote in the meme: "I woke up early and made this boxed lunch for you". The parody is done between two other characters in other fictions, especially with the "Zero" figure being a character thought to be dead (like Zero was in X6).
"LISTEN TO ME!" - Palette's nagging quote if you set her as your operator in X8, particularly if she finds a secret in a level.
HIS NAME IS DUFF MCWHALEN!!Explanation After the removal of Guns N' Roses references in Megaman X 5 for Legacy Collection, Duff McWhalen becomes a meme icon to protest for the name removal, because his original name, GNR reference aside, is just so stupid it's endearing. The video was the most prominent meme evolution, where the narration launches a tirade about his flaws (weak weapon, level being That One Level, song is a remix of Bubble Crab stage, and his name), but delivered in such hilarious frustration that the phrase becomes the rallying cry mentioned almost everywhere when Duff is mentioned and made people insist to call him Duff McWhalen instead of the more default Tidal Whale.
He really starts crossing it in X3, X4, and X5. In X3, he corrupted Doppler and halted an effort that was leading to end to the Maverick Wars. In X4, he manipulates the Repliforce into fighting the Maverick Hunters, causing the events of the whole game, and in the end tries to decimate the Earth with the Repliforce's Kill Sat. His biggest is in X5, when he spreads the Maverick Virus across the planet and plans a Colony Drop with the infected Eurasia just to get Zero to go Maverick, and dialogue with X shows him saying that he figured the Maverick Hunters would keep the planet from being completely destroyed, but he clearly doesn't care about the damage caused even if it wasn't world ending.
The Repliforce War is implied to have been this for the unseen previous commander of the Maverick Hunters as said commander resigned in disgrace following the end of the conflict, resulting in Signas becoming the new commander.
More Popular Spinoff: The X series is oftern better regarded than the classic one for being more plot-driven and for its even better music.
In the Japanese version, he frequently shouts "Moero!" which exactly means "Burn!" Less annoying, but still.
Ride Boarski, also from X7. "Here goes nothing! You punk! You punk! You punk! You punk!"
In Maverick Hunter X, X calls out the name of the weapon he's using every single time he fires it.
Interestingly, Mega Man X8 pokes fun at this. Ignore Pallette long enough when she's trying to contact you, and she will squeal, "Listen to me!!" Fortunately, she doesn't nag you with it nonstop, and comes across as more cute than annoying.
The SNES sound of X's buster charging is also quite wonderful to hear.
In the SNES games, that extra-loud hit sound whenever you land the final shot on a Maverick.
Motive Decay: Invoked with the "Maverick" label, which over the course of the X and Zero series goes from "Reploids infected with the Sigma virus" to "Not infected but still heavily armed and posing a threat" to "Political dissidents the powers-that-be want disposed of."
In Maverick Hunter X, Vile tends to act like an angry child half the time, leading to situations where he erupts into a tantrum because Armored Armadillo, who he'd previously been mocking, said he pitied him, and one where a civil conversation with Storm Eagle turns into a death match because Vile apparently doesn't like his face.
Narm Charm: However, silly as it may be, the fact that he'd blow away potential comrades over a comment that was made in response to his own insults, or because he didn't like a guy's face is terrifying. ...and those cases are the few where he actually has any reason at all!
In X4, the poor voice acting ruins what is supposed to be a legitimately affecting scene between Zero and Iris. Though this one crosses with Narm Charm because of how poorly delivered the entire death scene is. It strengthened Zero as a character, because people will NOT forget it.
Never Live It Down: Fans mistook Zero for dying and coming back for countless times. In reality, for this series, he has only died twice.
There's also quite the contingent of fans who mistake X for a whiny, hypocritical wannabe-pacifist because of his portrayal in X7, ignoring all of his previous characterization that establishes him as nothing of the sort.
Periphery Demographic: While most fans despised Axl, there's a few fans (mostly made of young women) who can't resist his cheerfulness.
Player Punch: So the series finally allowed Zero to be fully playable? Iris dies. In fact, she was probably introduced into the story just to invoke the trope to Zero.
Earlier, Zero ends up being a major player punch when he kamikazes Vile. And it also seems that X himself channels the player punch by breaking out of an electrocage, having his health refill and finally having his weapons restored. Then it comes up again after defeating Vile with the conversation, and gift, that Zero will give you if you didn't get the buster upgrade.
By the by, if this scene is too much for someone to handle in the SNES version, do not play the PSP remake. It's much worse.
Polished Port: The X Collection adds a save feature to and removes slowdown from the cartridge-based games, and significantly reduces loading times for the disc-based games.
Popular with Furries: As expected in a series where you battle robot beastmen. Neon Tiger from X3 is particarly popular, even having his own Wikifur page.
Alia as well in X8, due to having a more tolerable voice and being a hidden playable character. X6 did the first step by making most of her dialogs optional and more pertinent, and giving her some backstory.
Sigma in X4, X5, and X8, for toying with the Repliforce and Maverick Hunters like fools, attempting to blow up the Earth with an infected Eurasia Colony, and playing an active role involving the Jakob Project.
Rescuing hostages, especially in Mega Man X6 and X7. Not only do they possess important parts that are Permanently Missable if you screw up, but rescuing them can be a Luck-Based Mission at times as well.
The aptly-named Nightmare System in X6. Whenever you complete a level, two other stages become affected by the Nightmare Phenomena, which amounts to making those stages much worse to put it lightly. For starters, giant metal blocks that crush you against floors or ceilings, pitch-blackness over the stage, or even fireballs coming at you.
Last Lousy Point: In Mijinion's secret area, in particular. All the hostages are in mid-air, and there are a LOT of Nightmares hanging around. Most of them require a blind jump; if you miss and the Nightmare appears on the same screen as the hostage (it WILL happen to casual players), say goodbye to the latter forever.
Sequelitis: After the original game (which, as mentioned above, is often regarded as the best in the series), there seems to be a "rule of two" as to the quality of sequels. X2 and X3 are regarded as decent, but not offering a whole lot over the first game other than being able to play as Zero in the latter sequel (and even then in a very limited way). X4 is seen as a major step-up in quality and the best game after the original, and X5 is also generally considered to be pretty good, although it has received criticism because of some mechanics and the level design. X6 is regarded as an overly difficult Mission-Pack Sequel with poor level design and a ton of annoying game mechanics, while X7 is not only considered to be easily the worst game in this series, but arguably the worst Mega Man game of all time. Command Mission and X8, while not exactly masterpieces, are if nothing else regarded as way better than the two previous games, and not too bad by their own standards.
Strangled by the Red String: Iris appears in one game (assuming you don't count the Xtreme series), only for said game to kill her off (there was the prequel, but there's not much in that game regarding their relationship). The end result is that her relationship with Zero feels rushed.
Awakened Zero's Genmurei, a gigantic Sword Beam attack that is a One-Hit Kill and only used if the battle lasted long enough.
X8's Bamboo Pandamonium's Desperation Attack, a lunging attack that takes off half the screen, comes off without warning and does obscene damage.
Lumine's first form uses the desperation attacks of the 8 Reploid bosses, including the one mentioned above. However, there are two attacks that he modified; Avalanche Yeti's attack, which causes gigantic snowflakes that freeze you on contact to rain down, lasts a lot longer, and Lumine can still blast you with other attacks while it's in effect. And then Burn Rooster's attack, which engulfs the walls in flames, never wears off. After it hits the field, you can no longer wall-jump. Then his second form...When his health dips low, he uses an attack that opens up a rift in space. If you don't kill him within 30 seconds, you die, game over, no matter how many continues you have.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Later versions of X3, such as in the X Collection, used the PS 1/PC version of X3, replacing the synthesized SNES music with arranged versions, and the classic X sound effects were completely replaced. Not everyone was happy about that...note Mega Man X Legacy Collection included the original SNES version of X3 instead of the enhanced version.
There's a short prophecy that was introduced at the end of X3, stating that "To save mankind, X must destroy Zero". Two games later, the prophecy was fullfilled, but in a twisted way. The battle doesn't involve the fate of mankind directly (at least in the true/canon ending; the alternate path, however, shows another side), but instead it's simply about a question of trust between two friends.
The games vaguely allude to reploids falsely being called Maverick and destroyed for unfair reasons, thus indicating the Hunters themselves could be corrupt, but was never really explored. There's also the fact that the Hunters fight to protect humans, and yet humans are never seen or heard from in the games (except Dr. Cain). It's not until the fourth Mega Man Zero game that we ever see the human perspective on the Maverick wars.
The whole thing about Dr. Wily being alive somehow that they started in X5. There, it was blatant, with his giant logo in the background, a Nostalgia Level and bosses, and he actually talks to Zero when he awakens his Super-Powered Evil Side. It was all but dropped later, with only a few subtle hints in X6, regarding Isoc, and from then on absolutely nothing. Rumor has it that Executive Meddling made them drop it because it was supposed to be resolved in the Zero series. It never was.
The game makes a big deal about Sigma and the Mavericks rebelling against humans, but since there's only one minor human character in the entire series (who disappears after two games) the player never really gets to see the human perspective on Reploids constantly fighting each other and them and tearing the Earth to pieces in the process. This continues on into the Zero series (which also includes only one human character not including Weil, who isn't revealed to be human until the very end of the series) until the very last game, where we finally get to see what the humans think of the Reploids always wrecking everything (and, unsurprisingly, they're none too happy about it and just want to be left alone).
Because of his long hair, sleek body and — no other way to say it — Booblights, many people think Zero is a girl. Well, now everybody knows the truth, but then again, there's some who don't know or outright.
Lumine. It's difficult to explain without looking at him.◊ The fact that he has a womanly voice doesn't help.
Villain Decay: Just like Wily, Sigma's constant defeats makes him less and less of an imposing villain with every game, to the point that in X6 he's reduced to a mentally unstable zombie who can barely form a coherent sentence. Somewhat reversed for X5, however, where the Eurasia Colony Drop he instigates has lasting consequences in the Mega Man Zero series.
While Vile remains a formidable boss in X3 and X8, he never regains his dreaded Hero Killer status from the first game, where he curb-stomps X and Zero and requires a Heroic Sacrifice from the latter for the former to even stand a fighting chance.
Visual Effects of Awesome: X2 and X3 including the Cx4 chip that allowed for usage of wireframe graphics, like the Final Boss of X2. The developers made it a point to show it off in the games as much as they could find excuses to do so, and the times they use it are very memorable and stand out against the normal sprite-based enemies.
Wangst: Most of the endings feature some form of this on X's part.
Again, two of the three main characters (hint: the ones that aren't Axl).
Also, some of the Mavericks that were infected or deemed Maverick, most notably those of the wrongly accused Repliforce in X4, though YMMV on the Repliforce given that they were not innocent of the multitudes of crimes they proceeded to commit over what was essentially a robotic dick-waggling contest.
Well speaking of X4, let's not forget Iris. All she wanted was peace between the two forces, yet this sweet innocent girl got thrown into two forces fighting for their beliefs and she's torn in which side to pick, leading to her brother Colonel killed by Zero, and her going past Despair Event Horizon and then killed by Zero, in turn turning him into an Iron Woobie.
Woolseyism: The name change for Bit and Byte changing them from an obscure mythological reference into something memorable, if not a bit Narmy.