Mega Man X: From Comic to Apocalyptic

, Comment regular icon0 comments

While Mega Man continued to be a series with childish, comical and purposefully exaggerated graphics and stories, Mega Man X brought a much darker and deeper scenario to the franchise with more drama, suspense and plot twists.

Writer image

translated by Meline Hoch

Writer image

revised by Romeu

Edit Article

Recently, UmGamer brought the chronology of the games in the classic Mega Man serieslink outside website, when the scientist Thomas Light creates him to combat the attempts at world domination by the evil Dr. Wily. The games, which continued to be released between the NES and Super Nintendo, ended up having their last titles from the 90s released after a pleasant new feature: Mega Man X.

The classic series had 6 entries, and fans of the first titles began to grow up and become interested in less juvenile and humorist themes. The plots in Mega Man started to get slightly deeper, but with the launch of the X series, players immediately started to theorize about what had happened in the interval of almost a hundred years between the adventures of the small blue robot and the appearance of the new, even more futuristic hero.


Image content of the Website

Let's review this very engaging story which became a hundred times better in this saga, remembering some of the best moments and characters that were part of a plot about philosophy, freedom and the apocalypse.

Rockman X / Mega Man X

Image content of the Website

  • Release Year: 1993

  • Console: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)

    In this first part, we will cover everything that was revealed not only in the original title, but also in the remake released in 2005 for the PSP, Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X. We’ll start off by talking about what the initial game reveals, adding extra information revealed in the second version as it becomes relevant.

    The ‘93 game begins with a sequence of cutscenes showing a computer screen having its system accessed by someone called Dr. Cain. This system reveals data about the construction and creation of an advanced robot called Mega Man X, closing with text stating that this was the first model in a new series of robots, capable of not only rational thought, but of feeling and making their own decisions - and that if X decided to revolt against humanity, the damage would be irreversible. For these reasons, he needed to spend at least another 30 years in a testing capsule for his advanced artificial intelligence. At the end of the message, the signature is from “T. Light.”

    Image content of the Website

    We jump in time, to about a hundred years after the events of the Classic series, to the era known as the years “21XX”. Dr. Cain, the scientist who discovered X's capsule and woke him up, studied his already complete systems to start a new production line for the new model of super-sentient robots: the Reploids. And to combat the Reploids and other machines that may malfunction and cause some type of destruction, the so-called Mavericks (or Irregulars in the original), the organization of the Maverick Hunters (Irregular Hunters) was created.

    Mysteriously, the leader of the Maverick Hunters, Commander Sigma, rebels and decides to start a true machine revolution, calling several other powerful Reploids to his side and wanting to prove the superiority of the new robots through oppression against humans. That's where the first phase of Mega Man X begins, in a frantic adventure through Abel City to capture a former criminal Hunter who was working for Sigma: Vile.

    For the first time in the classic series, the game introduces you to two protagonists right away: X and Zero, a red Reploid with long blond hair and powerful abilities that placed him in a higher ranking in the Hunter hierarchy. Although it’s not possible to play as Zero in this game, the character appears several times to save or help the player, including in the first phase to defeat the first villain, who ends up escaping.


    Just like the final villain, the eight Robot Masters -now simply the eight Mavericks - are former Hunters who rebelled against their commander due to starting to think in the same way as him. We no longer have names like “Elec Man”, but rather combinations between some power/element and an animal:

  • Chill Penguin

  • Spark Mandrill

  • Armored Armadillo

  • Launch Octopus

  • Boomer Kuwanger

  • Sting Chameleon

  • Storm Eagle

  • Flame Mammoth

    Image content of the Website

    With a soundtrack among the most acclaimed in history, a shocking rhythm which the SNES internal systems could barely keep up with, and unique stages with very well animated and detailed graphics, Mega Man X also brought several new features to the exploration of each stage and acquired weapons. Among the collectibles during the phases were Energy Tanks, to regenerate your life when used; the Heart Tanks, which gave X a longer max HP bar as they were collected, there existing 8 in total, on top of the big new feature in the series: The parts of a new armor.

    Image content of the Website

    Separated in four capsules in different stages, the game's special armor parts guarantee essential abilities for the development of the game and of the story. Dash, for example, is acquired with the leg parts and becomes an inherent ability for the character in subsequent games, as it proved to be that important to the gameplay. All these capsules, before releasing the part of the armor they contain, show a kind of hologram of Dr. Light telling a little about X, his creation and the importance of his upgrades.

    With an admirable sequence, the final stages guarantee action and story: Zero sacrifices himself to save X from Vile once again, giving the protagonist the chance to defeat him by destroying his Mech Suit. Without his best companion, X climbs Sigma's tower and defeats him, bringing a certain period of peace to the city and the world.

    Image content of the Website

    Rockman X2 / Mega Man X2

    Image content of the Website

  • Release Year: 1994

  • Console: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)

    The sequel to Mega Man X was released shortly after, in the following year, and brought fans even more action and a slightly higher difficulty level, in addition to taking extra care when implementing the “RPG Aspects” the team already liked adding to their games.

    Image content of the Website

    Six months after the end of Sigma's rebellion, X and the Hunter team discover an old factory that was simply producing new Mavericks. Upon destroying it, a trio calling themselves X-Hunters (literally the Hunters of X) challenge the protagonist to recover the rescued parts of his deceased friend Zero. Depending on how many X-Hunters you defeat during the campaign, the ending can be changed between saving Zero or even him becoming an enemy in one of the final stages.


    To defeat the X-Hunters and get his partner back, X embarks in another adventure against eight great Mavericks, this time being:

  • Wheel Gator

  • Bubble Crab

  • Flame Stag

  • Morph Moth

  • Magna Centipede

  • Crystal Snail

  • Overdrive Ostrich

  • Wire Sponge

    Image content of the Website

    The soundtrack isn't as impeccable as the first game's, but it still has impactful songs and does its job properly. The stages continue to increase their difficulty levels, and the graphics and scenario interactions get better and better.

    After recovering Zero's parts, defeating the eight Mavericks and putting an end to the X-Hunters, X discovers that Sigma has somehow returned and continues his rebellion.

    Going deeper into the enemy base, if the player has not recovered all of Zero's parts, the enemy will be the same. However, if he has recovered them, he is the one who appears to help X. When they defeat Sigma again, the heroes have to fight him once more, but now in the form of a dangerous Virus.

    Image content of the Website

    Dissipating the virus, Sigma looked defeated once again and, this time, X returned home alongside his best friend.

    Rockman X3 / Mega Man X3

    Image content of the Website

  • Release Year: 1995

  • Console: SNES / PlayStation

    Again just a year after the last title, Mega Man X3 showed up not only on the SNES, but on the PlayStation shortly after with an adaptation that left its graphics basically untouched, but also left its soundtrack more realistic and sounding less 16-bit and added anime cutscenes to several scenes, such as an epic opening and all of Mavericks' introduction sequences.

    In this game, the player has the chance to play as Zero for the first time in the franchise, although only for limited periods of time, without being able to face bosses and, if his life bar went down to zero, he could no longer be selected by the rest. of the game.

    Image content of the Website

    Although Sigma's rebellion was ended by X, Zero and the Maverick Hunters, there were still criminal Reploid activities taking place supporting the same cause. A Reploid scientist, Dr. Doppler, announces that this must be the action of a possible Sigma Virus, and claims to have found a vaccine that could resolve it.

    With the help of Doppler and his cure, Maverick's activities diminished more and more, making the scientist a new mentor for several Reploids who began to surround him, forming Dopple Town, a utopian community with the famous Doctor leading it.

    It didn't take that long until Dr. Doppler revealed himself to be the real cause of everything and, now, all the residents of Dopple Town have basically become Mavericks for his purposes.

    With a new rival in the form of Mac as one of the big villains, Mega Man X3 brings its new cast of Mavericks in the form of:


  • Blast Hornet

  • Blizzard Buffalo

  • Toxic Seahorse

  • Tunnel Rhino

  • Volt Catfish

  • Crush Crawfish

  • Neon Tiger

  • Gravity Beetle

    Image content of the Website

    Battles are often either fought quickly or take a long time due to some attack patterns in this game. The pace varies a lot, but the game's difficulty is fair and usually provides hours of fun during the gameplay.

    Image content of the Website

    Upon defeating Doppler's army, which included several of those previously “cured” by his vaccine, X and Zero discover that the scientist himself was infected by the Sigma Virus - that had somehow survived.

    Having to face the materialization of the virus, the person who ends up coming to the rescue is Doppler himself, who had, in fact, created a really effective cure, thus destroying the Sigma Virus and collapsing Dopple Town.

    Rockman X4 / Mega Man X4

    Image content of the Website

  • Release Year: 1997

  • Console: PlayStation / Sega Saturn

    The first game to arrive fully on the new generation of consoles also became objectively one of the best in the entire franchise. Mega Man X4 finally brings players the possibility of playing an entire campaign with X or Zero, this time even giving the stylish red robot abilities acquired from bosses in the form of combinations of special commands to form new combos with his beam saber.

    The graphics renewed the series and brought it into a new era. Although the art style established itself based on the sequels, the more modern sprites with animations and anime-style scenes that fit much better on new generation hardware gave fans a deeper taste for the Reploids universe, in addition to enriching the plot even further.

    Image content of the Website

    The game begins with a terrorist attack taking place on the floating city of Sky Lagoon, causing it to begin collapsing against another city on the ground. At the scene of destruction, Colonel, the Colonel of Repliforce - an army entirely consisting of Reploids - refuses to collaborate with the Hunters and starts a true civil war between the two institutions.

    If you chose X, the cutscenes only show the Repliforce General negotiating with a mysterious shadowy figure, in addition to the army organization stating that they would not kneel under any circumstances and accepted the challenge against the Hunters.

    If you chose Zero, the game becomes more interesting. One of the cutscenes reveals Zero being woken up from his capsule by the clear silhouette of Dr. Albert Wily, the villain of the classic series, telling him to destroy his enemy's creation once and for all. When he actually wakes up, Zero realizes that it was just a dream - or a previously blocked memory - and heads off to the mission in Sky Lagoon.

    In this game, we are introduced to the concept of Operators, assistants who work from within the Hunters' base offering information directly to the protagonists - and, therefore, to the player. X’s Operator is Double, a friendly Reploid who seems to have a lot of knowledge; and for Zero, Iris, Colonel's sister who works for the Hunters, trying to mediate and reduce the damage from the conflict.


    The eight Mavericks - which this time are divided into real followers of Sigma, members of Repliforce and even another former hunter in the case of Magma Dragoon - are:

  • Web Spider

  • Split Mushroom

  • Cyber Peacock

  • Storm Owl

  • Magma Dragoon

  • Frost Walrus

  • Jet Stingray

  • Slash Beast

    Image content of the Website

    Although the dialogues against bosses reveal a little about the history and function of each one, only Magma Dragoon's really tells us something more: the former hunter accepted the proposal of a great enemy to strengthen himself and fight on equal terms against X or Zero; that after all, he had been responsible for the attack on Sky Lagoon.

    After defeating the eight strong opponents, the player is sent to a Repliforce air base that is being used to send soldiers to a space station called Final Weapon, since by taking control of such power, they would win the civil war. X or Zero, depending on the player's choice, defeats Colonel once and for all, but Repliforce refuses to stop their plans.

    Character development continues when, within Final Weapon - the true final phase sequence of this game - X is confronted right away by Double, his fellow operator. He turns out to be just a double agent commanded by none other than Sigma.

    At the same time, Zero faces Iris, who swears revenge on her brother's death. With the help of a mysterious crystal that gives her combat armor, Iris is one of the most complex bosses to defeat if you are a beginner player. Upon being defeated, one of the most moving scenes in the series takes place with Zero holding the body of his former operator and possible romantic interest in his arms, which unfortunately ended up becoming a meme in the West due to the bad dubbing of the game.

    Image content of the Website

    If you thought seeing for the first time that these machines can not only think for themselves and feel, but also fall in love, suffer and even dream wasn't enough of a twist, this is where we got the real big reveal about Zero’s past.

    After defeating the Repliforce General, he reveals that it’s already too late, as there is someone above him orchestrating everything - and that the weapon was about to fire at the Earth. That's when Sigma reveals himself to be the shadowy figure from the opening scene, with a completely reconstructed and powerful body. But the battle doesn't come before the game's coolest cutscene.

    If you play as Zero, Sigma triggers a cutscene before the final fight about how Zero was found. The then commander of the Hunters was infiltrating an old abandoned factory, as some Maverick was causing destruction upon everything and everyone. The Maverick in question was Zero himself, completely violent and out of control, who fought a battle with Sigma.

    At the moment of his final blow, the red robot is stopped by a sort of sharp pain in his head as a W flashes in his crystal. Taking advantage of his moment of weakness, Sigma broke the crystal in Zero's helmet and ended the battle, taking him back to the base to be reprogrammed into one of the Hunters.


    Image content of the Website

    This reveals that Zero had actually been Wily's final creation, and also the reason why Sigma had become a Maverick. Despite currently being on the right side, it was due to the impact against his crystal that the Virus began to exist, eventually evolving into the Sigma Virus.

    The final battle takes place in three parts, as usual, and when finally defeated, Sigma reveals that the final sequence for firing the Weapon at Earth had already begun. The Repliforce General returns, this time sacrificing his immense body to stop the shot and implode the entire station. This gives X or Zero the chance to evacuate and return to base, with a final cutscene showing a conversation in which they question what would happen if they became a Maverick.

    Rockman X5 / Mega Man X5

    Image content of the Website

  • Release Year: 2000

  • Console: PlayStation

    As mentioned previously, the iconic graphic art of Mega Man established itself in this title, with slightly sleeker and more detailed visuals and a less childish, more serious style of writing both for the characters and the development of the story. While many games and franchises were moving into the 3D era and even thinking about their PS2 versions, Mega Man X5 followed the same line of pixel art and well-animated sprites as the previous title, with some small changes like a stiffer saber to Zero instead of the fluid beam he previously used.

    The game also introduces the concept of two armors available as collectibles for X, although both could only have their parts used if they were completed and selected before a phase started. To counterbalance, the player starts with access to a slightly weaker version of the armor from the previous game, Fourth Armor.

    Image content of the Website

    With the explosion of the Final Weapon, several space stations and colonies were damaged. After a brief period of peace, the only colony that still needed to be repaired was the gigantic Eurasia, which was mysteriously hijacked and had its course altered to crash into Earth.

    With only sixteen hours before the apocalyptic collision takes place, the Maverick Hunters decide to collect the parts of Enigma, a cannon that could destroy Eurasia before impact; and also a space shuttle to be launched against the colony if Enigma failed. Protecting these parts and equipment, are the eight big enemies of this game:

  • Crescent Grizzly

  • Tidal Whale

  • Volt Kraken

  • Shining Firefly

  • Dark Necrobat

  • Spiral Pegasus

  • Burn Dinorex

  • Spike Rosered

    Image content of the Website

    If the names sound strange to you who played the title, western translations brought the Mavericks with new names based on members of the band Guns'n'Roses: Grizzly Slash, Duff McWhalen, Squid Adler, Izzy Glow, Dark Dizzy, The Skiver, Marrex and Axle the Red.


    Mega Man X5 is another title in which the ending can be changed depending on the player's actions, although the canonical ending is the same. After collecting the four parts of the Enigma, the shot can destroy Eurasia - which will cause only pieces of it to fall and reduce the damage caused. The final stages are released, but the player has not yet defeated four of the bosses.

    Image content of the Website

    If the colony is not destroyed (canonical), the player needs to go to the remaining four phases, collect the space shuttle equipment and try again. Once again, the attempt could succeed or fail, and Zero would be the mission's pilot.

    If successful, 86% of Eurasia is destroyed and Zero survives in his escape pod. In case of failure or if the sixteen-hour timer runs out without any attempt being made, the colony crashes against Earth and Zero becomes a Maverick infected by the virus that infested the huge station.

    Image content of the Website

    This sequence of events only changes some of the game's dialogues, which may be different depending on whether Zero has become an enemy or not. In any case, he and X end up having the first big fight between the two best friends, either due to the virus or to protect the red robot from being infected. Also in this sequence of final stages, the player can gain access to Ultimate Armor, a powerful armor introduced in the previous title, but that only here became canonical because it’s available without the need for Cheat Codes.

    As expected, Sigma was behind all the evil plans involving Eurasia. His objective was exactly to infect Zero with a large amount of the Sigma Virus and “bring him back”. The Earth, after the gigantic impact, was ruined and the culprit should be held accountable. After the final battle, regardless of the player's choices, Sigma is defeated, but launches a final attack with his last strength, completely killing Zero who was protecting X with his own body.

    Is This the End of the Story?

    Mega Man X5 was supposed to be the canonical ending of the series - with Dr. Wily's last creation sacrificing himself to protect Dr. Light's last creation, instead of the other way around. The game's final scene shows X carrying Zero's saber and using it on his missions to maintain peace in what was left of a world whose population had been 60% decimated.

    Image content of the Website

    The success that the X series made, however, caused the Capcom development team to work on a sequel title against the wishes of the original creator, Keiji Inafune. So yes, games from X6 to X8 are canon, although they are not without controversy and are not the most acclaimed by critics or fans.

    We, here at UmGamer, will stop here for now. After all, there is so much that happens in the lore of this game about a little blue robot who shoots and, believe me, there are many people who have no idea. The events from X6 onwards tell the story of an even greater evolution in the characters of X and Zero, introduce another protagonist, and prepare the already post-apocalyptic world for something even more dystopian.


    Image content of the Website

    And you? Which Mega Man game made you most curious to learn about its history? Tell us in the comments and, next time, we'll continue with more!