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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Regarding Sigma and his relationship to the New-Gen Reploids. Were Lumine and the New-Gen Reploids ultimately using him and intending to dispose of him, seeing as Sigma was an "inferior" old-gen Reploid? Or was Sigma in charge of them all along, due to his DNA inside of them exerting a controlling Hive Mind effect in them? Alternatively, did Sigma intend for the New-Gen Reploids to succeed him to further his stated goal of Reploid evolution?
  • Author's Saving Throw:
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    • For the first time in the series, you now have the option of not taking a navigator to a stage, meaning if you find the "Can you hear me?" sound prompt annoying and/or you just want to play the game without interruptions, you don't have to deal with it at all.
    • In Mega Man X7, if player lost the current character they were playing, they are defeated regardless of the status of the other character which was an unpopular mechanic. Here, if one character loses all of their hit-points and your other character is fine, they will switch places with the fallen teammate (except when falling into an instant-death trap) and they can be brought back if the player can fill the AT Gauge to full.
    • X in Mega Man X7 was criticized for being Demoted to Extra and for his constant complaining about violence. Here, not only is he playable from the start, but in the one scene he laments fighting, he agrees with Axl that in some situations, fighting is the only solution.
  • Awesome Music: "Jakob", the stage music for the Jakob Orbital Elevator will have rocking out while you turn Mavericks into scrap metal.
  • Catharsis Factor: Vile is infamous due the fact that in previous games, he had access to a ride armor before the battle, giving him an unfair advantage against you. In this game, in Bamboo Pandamonium's level, you can carry a Ride armor during all the stage. If you have the ride armor inside of the second mini-boss room and Vile appears, you can finally turn the tables against the bastard and make him pay for all the previous pain.
  • Contested Sequel: Is X8 a good game in its own right? Or does it only look good after coming off the complete disaster that was Mega Man X7? Pros include more solid level design, return to 2D gameplay, vastly improved voice acting, having a Final Boss/Big Bad that ISN'T Sigma and giving all the characters distinct playstyles without none of them feeling redundant. Cons include overuse of gimmick levels, extremely frustrating 100% completion, a rather aimless plot and the retry chip system.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The Navigators became this. Making them all Action Girls helped a little, but there are other things as well, such as Alia's re-design, Layer's secret crush on Zero, and Pallette being a Token Mini-Moe to the cast. Capcom seems to have anticipated this, as there were figures of the girls made alongside the guys, as well as an alternate title sequence when you unlock the Navigators for play. They were even prepared to bring all three back (along with a fourth) for Mega Man Online, and even offer a poster of the three in swimsuits as a reward for beating Mega Man X: Legacy Collection's X Challenge Mode on Normal difficulty.
  • Game-Breaker: See here.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • In the North American PlayStation 2 version, it is possible to buy a Life Charge for your Sub-tanks while having less than 50 Metals, causing your Metal count to dip into negative values. Picking any Metal while in the negative will skyrocket your Metals to its maximum of 9,999,999, effectively axing Metal Grinding out of the game. This was fixed in Japanese PlayStation 2 release, the original PC version, and in the Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 version.
    • Pressing both the down and up directions while using Zero's Rasetsusen will cause him to fly. However, this was also fixed in Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Dark Mantis is fought at the end of a stealth-based level, just like Psycho Mantis.
  • It Was His Sled: Lumine is the Final Boss. His second form's battle theme tends to be the first thing new players think of nowadays when they think of X8.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Listen to meeeeee!!"
  • Polished Port:
    • Unlike Mega Man X7's disastrous Korean-only PC port, Mega Man X8's PC was programmed much better. On top of being playable on modern operating systems, it has higher resolutions (up to 1280×1024, although hacks can make it higher but comes with some side-effects), mouse support for the menus, gamepad support, and rebindable keys. It also changes the mouse cursor to look like X from the SNES games. The version of the game included in Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 also cleans the game's visuals up to HD standards, giving the game much crisper and sharper look than ever before (although the 2D assets haven't been updated), and drastically cuts down on the loading times as well.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Inverted. Because players were getting tired of the games being Hijacked by Ganon, Lumine being the game's final boss was a welcome change in pace.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
  • Superlative Dubbing: After three disastrous attempts, this, along with Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, had some of the best voice acting in the series. Lucas Gilbertson as Zero in particular has been considered the definitive voice for him.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The poor aftertaste of X7 meant fans weren't expecting much of X8. The game was praised for bringing Mega Man X to 3D well, and having tight gameplay on its own.
  • That One Attack:
    • Bamboo Pandemonium's Desperation Attack is a screen filling lunge that deals a ton of damage and will destroy any Ride Armor you are using. Also, he'll keep the lunge in place until you move out of the way, so it may deal additional damage over time.
    • Earthrock Trilobyte's desperation attack erects several crystal walls and turns the arena into a Death Course/Advancing Wall of Doom. Unfortunately it is easily navigated, killing the tension and wasting a lot of time, the bane of speedrunners everywhere. And worse, the Final-Exam Boss has this as his regular attack, i.e. the one he uses the most.
    • Optic Sunflower's desperation attack involves Death from Above via Kill Sat that requires extremely precise timing to get out of the way in time, especially for Zero due to his shortened dashing distance.
  • That One Level: Burn Rooster's stage starts out with a slow fall down some tricky platforms (where if you fall too quickly it's instant death,) than another descent down a shaft full of Spikes of Doom, then another slow fall down some tricky platforms, then the boss, and then the level keeps going as you need to flee back up the platforms you came in on while being chased by rising lava.
    • Gigavolt Man-O-War's stage is easily the most reviled in the game, due to the Unexpected Gameplay Change to a 3D Rail Shooter where you need to give chase after the boss in a Ride Chaser and shoot them down before you get killed by some arbitrary timer. It doesn't help that it's deceptively hard to actually hit the boss unless you've managed to boost until you're 5 feet away from them, and boosting for some reason expends weapon energy, forcing you to collect weapon energy pick-ups along the way just to keep up (as opposed to Avalanche Yeti's Ride Chaser level where you can boost whenever you want.) With X8 being a return to form and even Avalance Yeti's Ride Chaser level being divisive at worst, Man-O-War's stage feels like a backslide into everything fans hated about X7.
  • That One Puzzle: In Gravity Antonion's level, one room involves avoiding being crushed to death by spiked cubes that keep going up and down several times, and there's no indication when it will even stop. Many players would actually prefer a Vile encounter in the same room than go through this obstacle.
  • That One Sidequest: Getting that particular Rare Metal in Bamboo Pandamonium's level. It requires you to keep your Ride Armor intact for the entire level, something that is way easier said than done and will result in a lot of trial-and-error on your part, assuming that you know what to do in the first place.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • The entire plot hinges on the fact that no one bothered to check that there was Sigma's viral DNA inside of the New-Gen chips. Even if Sigma was secretly behind the Jakob Project all along, you'd think someone would delete it anyway since immunity to the virus was one of the entire points of the project.
    • A text epilogue at the ending says that despite the New-Gen Reploids being extremely dangerous due to having Sigma's viral DNA inside of them, the human government demanded that production of them be resumed anyway. Gee, do you want Sigma to come back or something?
  • Win Back the Crowd: This game was back to form after the incredibly divisive X6 and universally despised X7. Unfortunately, low sales rendered it the final X game as of this writing.

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