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  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Vile. While definitely cathartic after having two fights where he's impossible, it's still a disappointment to find that despite being The Dragon for Sigma, he's a pushover outside of his Ride Armor.
    • Sigma's first form. Climb the wall and he'll jump between walls to climb up to you, then when you drop down he'll make his way back to the ground too. He'll never attack; if you keep jumping up the wall and falling back down, he'll do the same as you take potshots at him with your buster. As long as you aren't stupid enough to drop down from the wall on top of him, you can beat him without ever getting hit.
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  • Awesome Music: Simply put, one of the best soundtracks on the SNES, and that's saying something. From the opening Highway stage, to the Spark Mandrill's power plant stage, to the Storm Eagle's airport stage, to the Flame Mammoth's trash disposal plant stage- hell, even the stage select theme rocked your socks off!
  • Best Level Ever: Armored Armadillo's stage, due to the sheer fun of riding on runaway minecarts while plowing into enemies.
  • Better Than Canon: The manga adaptation gets a lot of love for heavily fleshing out the characters.
  • Evil Is Cool: Vile and Sigma, big time. Vile is an Expy to Boba Fett with a blast cannon attached to his shoulder and an awesome ride armor while Sigma has a lightsaber and a robotic pet dog.
  • First Installment Wins: Mega Man X is widely-considered as the best of the entire series because of its intuitive level design, effective special weapons, unintrusive story, and interesting gimmicks like the stages changing. Excluding Mega Man X4, the other games are either polarizing or overlooked.
  • Game-Breaker:
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    • Rolling Shield is your best friend for grinding health and 1Ups. Especially during Boss Rush segments.
    • The Hadoken is easily the most powerful powerup in X's arsenal. It can one-shot every boss save for the second Fortress boss, and even then only because that boss is the only one designed to be destroyed in parts. The only drawback is that you are required to use it at full health.
    • The Storm Tornado. It deals enough damage to one-shot any normal enemy in the entire game via how many hits it lands, has a ton of ammo, goes through walls, and has a gigantic hitbox. Once you have it, you'll steamroll every level, and there's no real reason to use any other weapon outside of boss fights.
    • Sting Chameleon's charge shot straight-up turns you invincible for a brief period of time, letting you rush through enemy filled areas with ease (although Rolling Shield tends to render it redundant).
  • Good Bad Bug:
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    • For some reason, dashing while shooting your arm cannon will double the damage done with it, which is very helpful for speedrunning and turns the boss fights into a cakewalk.
    • Boomerang Cutter interacts oddly with the edge of the screen, allowing for shenanigans such as grabbing the heart tank in Armored Armadillo's stage from the opposite wall, or using the platforms in Storm Eagle's stage as a personal magic carpet.
    • Standing on the Shotgun Ice sled counts as being grounded for the purposes of throwing a Hadoken. That means, with good enough timing, you can create a sled in midair, stand on it, and throw a Hadoken at airborne bosses. (This is used in 100% runs to speedkill Sting Chameleon in his rematch.)
    • It's also possible to use the Shotgun Ice sled, combined with the way the game loads in enemies, and skip the Armored Armadillo rematch.
  • Memetic Mutation: Spark Mandrill Syndrome, applied whenever a boss can be locked into a pattern that turns them into a Zero-Effort Boss.
  • Narm:
    • Sigma's pose on the game cover seems more like he's waving hello to someone than presenting himself as the Big Bad.
    • The effects of the game's armor can be summed up using the title of the Daft Punk song Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.note 
  • One-Scene Wonder: Zero only has two scenes, but he steals both of them.
  • Porting Disaster: The MS-DOS port. It has inferior music and sound quality compared to the original SNES version despite being packaged in a CD-ROM instead of being limited by an SNES cartridge, muted colors, and an inexplicable lack of ride armors. The game also came with a Sega Genesis-like 6-button gamepad (as did Street Fighter II's DOS port).
    • While its understandable that Capcom would rebuild the iOS port from the ground up due to the App Stores "No Emulators" policy, it does not excuse how sloppily done it was. It has lousily "enhanced" graphics by way of a graphic filter, no extra colors or added details, animations were cut and some lost frames of animation, all of which making it horrid compared to the original SNES version. No more smooth scrolling levels, some of the music went missing, and gone is the stage alteration feature where defeating certain bosses will affect another boss' stage, something that made the original Mega Man X stand out from other action side-scrollers for its time.
  • Scrappy Weapon: While none of the normal boss weapons are truly awful, their charged versions (outside of Rolling Shield and Chameleon Sting) can be...less than impressive. Two stand-outs, however, are Shotgun Ice, which just creates a rolling platform that seems to only exist so the player can get to the Heart Tank in Boomer Kuwanger's stage, and Fire Wave, which due to the way the normal weapon works, requires you to burn ammo just to charge the damn thingnote , can disrupt you if you're trying to use the normal fire in long bursts, and the payoff - a ground-hugging fire projectile — isn't particularly impressive enough to make up for it.
  • Signature Scene:
  • That One Boss:
    • Sting Chameleon is a tough boss due to his merciless, hard-hitting and hard-to-dodge attack patterns combined with his ability to turn invisible, which makes him immune to damage. Fight him without his weakness, no dash upgrade, and only using the Buster, and the fight becomes an absolute nightmare.
    • Bospider, the first Sigma fortress boss. Until you realize that she will always take a branching path and will never move up until she reaches the bottom of the screen, she becomes a nasty Lightning Bruiser. Her weakness, the Shotgun Ice, reloads so slowly you only get one real shot at it.
    • Spark Mandrill without the Shotgun Ice is a Lightning Bruiser due to the Schrödinger Fu unpredictability of his attacks and how easy it is to get cornered. Without the dash boots, you have to rely on his A.I. Roulette to pick bad moves that give you a chance to escape and counter attack. Of course, with Shotgun Ice, you can easily stun-lock him (he even freezes in mid-air in total defiance of the laws of physics if you hit him while he's jumping), trivialising the encounter to the point where he's basically a Zero-Effort Boss.
    • You won't realize Launch Octopus is a Lightning Bruiser who relies on Macross Missile Massacre...unless you fight him without dashing. He can stop firing and start his whirlpool to Life Drain attack very quickly, and the only warning you get is how fast his jump is. If you want to pull a Perfect on him? You'll tear your hair out trying to handle his projectiles. Even his weakness, the Rolling Shield, is not that effective against him.
    • Sigma painfully introduces Authority Equals Asskicking to players, as he is much faster and hits harder than any boss in the game. His second form is even worse, being difficult to hit while at the same time being able to smash you with attacks that do a lot of damage.
  • That One Level: While it isn't too bad by classic Mega standards, Launch Octopus' stage is noticably more difficult than any of the other Maverick stages. For one, it's a giant miniboss gauntlet ending with one of the most difficult bosses in the early game (probably the most difficult if one uses proper weaknesses on everything). On top of that, two of the miniboss fights have you having to avoid instant-kill spikes (a submarine that will try to pull or push you into a spike pit, and an optional sea dragon that you have to ride on without being able to see the spikes). This is one of the few stages in X1 to actually use spikes (most stages are content to only use bottomless pits), and that fancy new wall-jump won't save you from those.
  • That One Sidequest: Getting the Arm Cannon upgrade in Flame Mammoth's stage. Even if you have the Leg and Helmet upgrades needed to get it, it's a pain in the ass to reach it. You need to do a pixel-perfect jump dash to reach the blocks, and it is very easy to fall off after you smashed some of the blocks, forcing the player to restart the level in order to get a shot at getting it again. The dev team anticipated how hard this was, and have Zero give the player an arm cannon upgrade anyway in the first level of Sigma's Fortress if they failed to get it beforehand.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Mega Man X1 was such a rousing success, it overshadowed any and all of its sequels, not to mention the SNES lone classic series entry, Mega Man 7. Mega Man X4, however, is generally considered the one game that comes close to matching X1.

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