by Joel Fernandez
After years of waiting, Megaman fans are going to get a proper sequel to the blue bomber’s saga in the 4th quarter of 2018. But as much as we all love the titanium titan, today we are going to talk about Megaman’s futuristic successor, Megaman X. This spin-off series takes everything from the original series and turns it up to 11 in terms of pacing and level traversal. Now that Capcom has finally answered the call for a new Megaman game, today we will discuss why they should consider doing the same for Megaman X.
The premise of the Megaman X series is similar to that of the original Megaman, except for a few key differences. For starters, the story takes place in the distant future after Dr. Light (Megaman and Megaman X’s creator) passes away. Before he died, Dr. Light sealed X away in a capsule because the world at the time was not ready for a robot that could think for itself. Centuries later he was discovered by Dr. Cain, who then reverse engineered X’s design and created reploids (robots) that functioned in a similar manner except for one detail. The new reploids did not have a conscience and thus their potential was limited, unlike X.
At some point, a virus that drove reploids crazy started to spread. Those that were driven to madness were labeled “mavericks”, which is another way of saying robot terrorist. In response to the maverick threat, a group of reploids called the maverick hunters was formed. As the nomenclature would suggest, their job was to hunt down and destroy mavericks.
At first, X’s ability to feel the full range of human emotion caused him to hesitate. Unlike the others, X was capable of feeling remorse for his actions. To that end, he had to organically develop a sense of justice in order to justify the extreme levels of violence that he had to use as a means to destroy other reploids. As it turns out, the fact that he had a conscience made X’s potential unlimited.
As if that wasn’t interesting enough, Dr. Wily (Dr. Light’s archenemy), created a futuristic robot of his own that was designed to be the opposite of X. That robot’s name was Zero. He was enjoying his role of wreaking havoc on all of humanity and robot-kind as the original maverick until he was defeated by Sigma, the leader of the maverick hunters. Zero was about to kill Sigma until a W appeared on his helmet that gave him a robot migraine which allowed the maverick hunter leader to crack his helmet open and knock him unconscious. Zero was later reprogrammed to be good while Sigma was infected by the maverick virus, which compelled him to become the leader of the mavericks.
Together, X and Zero lead the charge against Sigma and the maverick threat time and time again for years on end. The X series introduced upgrades that are added to the arsenal of either X or Zero by way of capsules that were left behind by Dr. Light before he passed away. The ability to climb walls added vertical movement that made level traversal that much more interesting. At the end of each game, it was very refreshing to see that even synthetic organisms can experience conflicting emotions and face the struggle to find meaning in life, even if it was just an impressive work of science fiction.
Including spin-offs, the Megaman X series lasted for eleven games with the last release being the Megaman X collection that was released in 2006. After 12 years, another Megaman X game would be greatly appreciated by the Megaman fan base as a whole. But the fact that the X series is a spin-off gives the developers a lot more freedom to be creative. They could even take the series into the realm of 3D without the fan base yelling sacrilege like they would for the original Megaman series. Because just like X and Zero, we should all believe that a future that includes modern Megaman X games is a future that is worth fighting for.
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