Friday, September 1, 2017

Mega Man X5 (Playstation, 2001)

Mega Man X5 is a game that I once considered to be the best game of the X series. ...it isn't. It's far from it. It's also far from the worst, but a number of bone-headed mistakes keep it out of the top tier. Join me as I play the final game in this vaunted seri... what's that? Capcom went behind the series creator's back and made three more after this? Huh. Well, at least they finally wrapped up the storyline with Wily and all that. What? They didn't, and the last two games completely drop the storyline in question? FUUUUUU-
 

In any case, I'm a huge, huge fan of the Mega Man X series, something that is well known to the dozens-

"and DOZENS!"

of people who have read this blog.

At the beginning you CHOOSE YOUR FIGHTER~! but it really isn't that big of a deal because it's only for one stage. After the first stage, you can pretty much change characters from stage to stage at will, unlike Mega Man X4 where you had to stay with the character you chose at the beginning. I prefer the X4 way of doing things, because dividing your powerups among multiple characters is problematic. That's right, powerups collected in this game only apply to the character that got them...for the most part.

One particular thing that is really odd about this is that Megaman X starts at "Hunter Rank B", while Zero starts at "Hunter Rank SA". Now, if I'm not mistaken, in this game the ranks go: D, C, B, A, S, SA. You gain ranking by succeeding in missions with flying colors.

Why is X's rank so much lower than Zero's, considering X has honestly accomplished a lot more in the canon, including defeating Sigma three times versus Zero's one time? Weird. (And if you played MMX4 as X, then the score goes to 4-0!)

WAR WAS BEGINNING.

An already creepy cutscene becomes even creepier when Dynamo appears to be flirting with his mysterious leader. And I thought the Zero/Iris romance was bizarre.

It's worth noting right off the bat that the cutscenes in this game are far lower-rent than the ones in Mega Man X4. Rather than poorly-voiced animation, we get a few still-shots with (still poorly) typed dialogue. The budget isn't strong with this one.

The first few seconds of the game begin with a BANG, as... what's this? Someone named Alia is interrupting the gameplay right away to bring us an important bulletin about... nothing, really.

That was weird. Well, I'm sure that was just a beginning-of-level dialogue-bit...

...no, Alia continuously patches in with unskippable dialogue to state the obvious, while you're trying to play, often causing you to get hit. Who made this design choice?

On the improvement side, we have this: While for many years he was incapable of such a feat due to his humongous, lady-pleasing balls, Mega Man can finally duck.

He also starts with every armor powerup from Mega Man X4, including the super charged shot seen here. While this makes logical sense (where do all the powerups go between games normally?) and adds quite a bit to the fun factor of this game, it... well, it makes the game way too easy. You can choose to play as standard, powerup-less X and collect new abilities as you go, but why would you? I guess that's like choosing "hard mode".

I like the somewhat Liberty-esque statue at the end of the intro level. It's creepy and sets the tone for the dystopian future this game takes place in.

Turns out that the inside of the statue contained a GIANT SEVERED SIGMA HEAD. How many forms does this guy have? I like that while nearly all of the games in this series give you a red herring villain right off the bat who later gives way to Sigma being the real big bad, this game just throws Sigma right at you. It's almost like this time HE is the red herring. That's what I thought the first time I saw this.

 
Taking a detour here to show you the training stage. Alia interrupts the game many times in this stage, like here where she warns the presumably blind player about the spikes in front of our hero. Wait a minute... if the player is blind, how will they read Alia's message? My God! Megaman! MEGAMAN!!

The boss here is Magma Dragoon, a boss from Mega Man X4. It's an extremely easy fight here due to the size of the room (and smaller life meter), and barely qualifies as a boss. This would be a good time to mention two things.

A) Having Alia interrupt the player a lot during the training stage is THE PERFECT TIME FOR ALIA TO INTERRUPT. The fact that the game HAS a training stage makes it even more baffling that the designers treated the rest of the game like a training stage.

B) The bosses in this game start out with low health and get stronger as you progress. The eighth boss you fight has roughly 2-3 times the health of the first, for instance. Their damage seems to increase, as well. X, on the other hand, largely stays the same for the whole game aside from heart tanks and the like. What this means is that the game is balanced with challenge increasing as you go, as opposed to the usual Mega Man game having all of the bosses at the same strength throughout (meaning the hardest part of the game is often the beginning as you try to overcome bosses at your starting power).

The leader of the Maverick Hunters is a guy named Signas. That's similar enough to Sigma that I expect many new players' heads spun. Not the best naming choice ever. It's like if one if one of the lesser non-Sauron villains in Lord of the Rings were named, like, "Sauronman" or something.

This here is the Enigma, the world's largest anti-aircraft weapon. Because Sigma is making a space station plummet to Earth, our heroes need to collect parts to run this giant phallic gun so we can blast it out of the sky.

Duff McWhalen? This might be a good time to talk about the renames that the bosses in this game suffered from. While the first four X games had bosses with cool and sensical names like "Flame Mammoth" and "Bubble Crab" and "Blizzard Buffalo", the bosses in this game have real people names that are based on musicians.

In the Japanese version, bosses had cool (or at least sensical) names like "Dark Necrobat", "Burn Dinorex", and "Spike Rosered". In this version, their names were changed to "Dark Dizzy", "Mattrex", and "Axle the Red" respectively. First of all, what the hell is a Mattrex? Funny thing is, the instruction booklet still has their original names, so I assume this was a last-minute mistake decision by Capcom. It sucks a lot of the cool out of the game. Lest we think it was a temporary lapse in judgment: The games that followed this one also featured progressively stupider boss names.

Metal Shark Player: "Your mom says hi!"

 I start with Grizzly Slash's stage, which has music that reminds me of Dragonball GT: Final Bout. This game has a terrific soundtrack, so I'll be doing lots of links.

Despite all the name nonsense, at the end of the day this is still a Mega Man X sequel, which means that the gameplay is off-the-wall good, literally. I like the way this game starts you off with stuff like the air dash. You're potent right out of the gate. While there's something to be said for getting more powerful as you go along (and I'd prefer that), after four games in which you go through that routine it was fine to change it up for this one and start things with a bang. Especially if this was the intended finale. So if you're already powered up, then what happened with all of the upgrade capsules?

They're still there. Matter of fact, there are two sets of them (so one capsule in every stage). They just correspond to new sets of armor, and have no effect whatsoever on X in his present state. Collect the four Falcon Armor pieces, and that completed version of X becomes available to select. Same with the Gaea Armor. Both have their own distinct sets of power. So as if being able to select between X and Zero wasn't enough, the game effectively gives you two more characters to unlock. It's pretty cool, though it does seem like armor overkill. I didn't even bother finishing either armor this go-around. The fact that the individual parts don't help you until you gather their kin is a bit underwhelming too.

Here's the fearsome Grizzly Slash, the sole "gimme boss" in this game. He might well have the worst boss A.I. found in the entire series outside of MMX3, and if you just stand still at the beginning of the fight he'll jump over you repeatedly without actually attacking. Later in the fight this doesn't work, as he changes up his attack patterns. Either way, he's the best choice for first...or would be, in any other X game. In this one, it doesn't really matter because all of the bosses are easy in the early-going due to the level up system.

This silver-haired ruffian is Dynamo, and he's the floating boss that runs interference in this game in addition to providing a bit of humor. He's very different in the story cutscenes compared to his creepy "cult member" vibe in the intro of the game. He's basically a Surfer Bro.

Next up, I take on The Skiver. The Ski-what? The hell?

For this stage I brought Zero just to demonstrate what he looks like in this game. He's definitely the star of the show in Mega Man X4, his real playable debut, but in this game he's the one who seems tacked-on. This is game seems more skewed toward X's story. At least, from my vantage point. Zero-thusiasts might go the other way. It's about their impending showdown. X more or less takes over again as lead for the rest of the series after this.

The Skiver is basically THE RETURN OF STORM EAGLE! HELL YEAH! Look at him go! I like when these games send throwbacks your way like this. Makes sense too, since a lot of these reploids were designed the same way and would follow similar routines in battle. ...Which may explain why half the bosses in Mega Man X3 only attack by dashing back and forth.

After every completed level, Alia drones on about DNA data and how you're collecting it from defeated foes. This whole DNA thing? Yeah, weird. It seems like Capcom couldn't decide if the characters in the game were full-on machines or hybrids like the guy from Terminator Salvation.

After completing two levels, you're forced to fight Dynamo. It happens again after six levels. Luckily, he isn't too difficult to defeat, and as far as forced battles go he is far from the roadblock that Bit/Byte were in X3.

This guy has a SWEET energy sword attack. I wish you could play as him somehow.

Dynamo with a sick energy boomerang! Wait a minute...notice how the bosses in this game have a skull icon on their life meters? The skull also has a weird purple "collar". It's different from the usual Sigma icon, which is used for most of the series. Before now, the only time boss life meters didn't have the Sigma icon (or the Maverick one) was in X4 when most of them had a Repliforce icon. Thus, the icon is more significant than you'd think in these games. Why a skull now? Kinda reminds me of something...


Huh, yeah, that skull on his belt (and castle, and creations, and...) that's the thing I'm thinking of. Well, it's probably nothing. Not like Dr. Wily has a monopoly on using the skull as an icon, or anything.

Mattrex! What does his name mean? No one knows. I'm assuming there's a rock and roll frontman named Matt somewhere, though.

Capcom Exec: "Man, we're so with the times! These boss names we just spent a half hour five minutes changing from their original Japanese versions are HILARIOUS!"

Capcom Jr. Exec: "The kids will love it!"

Still, Mattrex is probably my favorite boss in this game. His stage begins with a rad lens flare, and this music is exactly what I'd expect for a futuristic techno-ruin in flames.

Alia lets me know not to jump into a pit, and her interruption grounds my dash jump so that I can get hit by a giant green fly. Great, thanks. Best thing about these Alia messages? The text scrolling emits an obnoxious sound effect. They even manage to mess with your enjoyment of the music! About the only thing they do right is that you can at least speed the text up a bit. Their unaltered speed is "awful night to have a curse" level.

WHAT ROCK, ALIA? WHAT ROCK? Wrestling superstar renowned actor The Rock?

I guess she meant this. Great, interrupt the gameplay to tell me something that I'M ABOUT TO FIGURE OUT ON MY OWN IF THE GAME WOULD LET ME! GAH!

The observatory is one of the cooler stages visually because it's full of galaxies and stars and whatnot in the background. Just edge forward cautiously, because you never know when Alia is going to bust through the screen to tell you that the best way to defeat an enemy is to shoot it.

................SILENCE!!

At this point I take on the star of the game, Big DMW. Aw yeah! Too bad Capcom missed a perfect opportunity to give one of the bosses in this game a harpoon special weapon.

"Are you a bad enough dude to take on Duff McWhalen?"

The water in this level actually consists of my tears from the previous level when Alia just wouldn't let me play. Something noteworthy here is that the stage music is a remix from Mega Man X2. I personally think that this is pretty cool and liked it, but a lot of people were all "WTF CAPCOM IS LAZY THEY REUSED MUSIC THIS GAME SUCKS"

Save your rage for things that matter, like that goddamn Alia.

DUFF MCWHALEN~! is a complete psychopath, and tries to murder X by crushing him against spike walls.

Signas? Sigma? ::head spins:: ...Saddam? SO CONFUSED.

YEAH! RAD JET BIKE STAGE! ::immediately dies:: ...well, this is the requisite rail stage (at least, every X game from X4 on seemed to have one, and they all suck). It's probably the least fun level in the game, but it has great music that you spend a lot of time listening to the first few seconds of. Seriously, this music is possibly the best track in the game, even if it isn't my favorite.

Here's the nefarious Volt Kraken Squid Adler. One of the nastier bosses in the game, and an intense battle because of the lightning in the room.

Capcom Exec: "Volt Kraken? Americans don't know what a kraken is."

Capcom Jr. Exec: "They probably think it's a reference to the butt, sir."

Capcom Exec: "For the American version, we'll name the boss after the sea creature responsible for pleasuring our young women, as well as rocker Steven Adler!"

Capcom Jr. Exec: "The kids will love it!"

Dynamo Fight 2. He's so cool and wise that I'll use this moment to show off some of Zero's moves in this game.

Zero's ice element weapon in this game is his dash. It actually damages foes, but since you're also running Zero into them, it isn't all that useful.

The downward slash is fire-element, which is cool in a way but I prefer the upward fire slash from the previous game.

 The upward slash in this game is electric-themed. Again, nowhere near as cool as the upward fire slash. Interesting to note that in the Mega Man Zero series, elemental attacks are a massive part of the gameplay. That probably started here.

Izzy Glow / Shining Hotarunicus is another intense boss to fight. This may be a good time to link the boss theme in this game, which is total musical chaos. It's probably my favorite standard boss theme in the entire Mega Man series, though.

After finishing the Enigma, our heroes fire it at the runaway space station. (remember that?)

This is such a minor part of the game that I wish they had left it out entirely. In any case, after fast forwarding through a bunch of cutscenes, we learn that the Enigma didn't do anything to stop the fall of the station. That's usually what will happen in this game. If it actually DOES stop the fall of the station, then you get access to the final stages right here and now without having to go through the remainder of the original eight bosses. If it doesn't, then our heroes go to plan B. No, not the morning after pill, though that would be logical given that the giant phallic gun just went off.

Plan B is a space shuttle. Alia fears that it will fail, but at least she doesn't hope that it fails just to make Obama look bad.

One boss left. This guy got a name change from Spike Rosered, and as usual it's a downgrade. No relation to Axl, the new character introduced in later X games for no reason as nothing continued to happen. Coming Soon!

"KAMEHAME...HA!" says X when reached for comment.

The boss is a nefarious plant who can split into multiple images, not unlike Split Mushroom in MMX4. Definitely one of the trickier bosses since he can drain your health via vine-entrapment.

The space shuttle is completed, and Zero volunteers to pilot it. Can't we just send Alia instead?

It's random whether or not this works, just like the Enigma. Again, if you succeed, you go on to the final stages. If you fail... well, there are no more bosses to fight, so you still go on to the final stages. The difference is that the station crashes to the Earth, causing mass devastation. This seems like the "canon" version of how things are supposed to go... sort of.

The Mega Man Zero series follows this game and picks up the story as if the colony fell. Meanwhile, X6, X7, and X8 follow the story as if it didn't and everyone is peachy. Thing is, Inafune went on to do the Zero series after this, while Capcom basically did more X games without his input, and the result is a bit confusing. Like they split the timeline in two without even connecting the timeline to the previous timeline concretely and auuugh.

Zero emerges from the colony devastation, only now he's... Majin Zero! Here's the worst part: If you played as Zero up to this point, you lose him and have to play as X. Since you started with Zero, X won't have his Falcon armor, nor will he have all the powerups you gained as Zero. So you're essentially screwed. Great game design. You can keep Zero if you succeed in stopping the colony, so be sure to reset until you get that result. Save after the colony falls and you're totally screwed out of playing as Zero anymore. I think.

The final stages are a creepy underworld that seems to be made out of data. No fortress here... just the abyss.

The nightmare-inducing Quick Man beams make a long-unawaited return here, as we see our hero about to take one directly to the face. Luckily, this game has a time stopper ability. This is the one place where you'll really need to use your Weapon Energy Tank. Pop that when the time-stopper is almost out of energy and keep moving. If you're lucky, you'll get to the end of the beam section before time resumes.

The boss of this stage is Dark Moon / The Rock Monster / The Black Devil, possibly Dr. Wily's most feared creation in most of the original series games. It's probably the hardest fight in this game, but then I've always been awful at fighting this thing in any form.

It gets better, though, as towards the end of the fight it morphs into the shape of Wily's Skull Tank from Mega Man 6. At this point in the fight it gets extremely aggressive out of desperation. The creepiness factor here is pretty high.

Yep, that's the Skull Tank.

Next boss: the return of that weird wall face from Mega Man X. This is another frustrating battle because it can make instant-death spikes materialize at random. LAME. Cool boss in concept, though. I also liked the wall face bosses in Secret of Mana, and the wall face even shows up in games like Skyblazer and Link's Awakening. Yep, the wall face boss has a storied history.

Hey kids! Do you like instant-death spikes? Then you'll love the third castle stage. Luckily, Mega Man X is one of the most agile characters in videogame history.

 Time for X Vs. Awakened Zero, i.e. Zero in his original evil form. A huge W materializes in the room, and I wonder if Dr. Wily is looking over the battle proudly as his ultimate creation finally turns to the dark side.

...yes, that's Wily's W. Awww shit!

This battle is intense and features amazing music. The whole series pretty much built to this; even though they fought in X2, in that game Zero was a victim of some temporary mind control. This time around, he's fully aware of his actions and truly believes that his purpose is to destroy X.

This battle is way too short and way too easy given how incredibly badass and significant it is. Especially considering that the previous couple of bosses took myriad tries to take down. In any case, X is forced to defeat Zero, and both combatants collapse.

Zero may want to fight X, but he hasn't forgotten who the real bad guy is. When Sigma shows up, Zero refuses Sigma's offer of joining forces and prevents Sigma from attacking X while he's down. Unfortunately, this is at the cost of Zero taking a hit for X.

While Zero is effectively taken out of the picture, X continues on.

Shades of X1 here, as a smirking Sigma face heralds the entry point to the final stage. This is your standard Mega Man final stage, in which you have to fight all eight bosses again. However, in this stage, the background absolutely causes you to trip balls while rockin' synth music pounds through the speakers.

Because I missed getting shots of them before, here's Dark Necrobat Dark Dizzy and...

 ...Mattrex. These guys have MUCH longer life meters than they did in the original stages, and these fights take a looooong time. Wouldn't surprise me if they have triple the life meters they had the first time around. For this reason, the final stage can get pretty tedious.

Sigma's room contains two broken pods that seem to correspond to X and Zero. What does this mean? And why are these pods so creepy? It's almost like whatever they contained has already hatched. Was he trying to make clones here? Who knows.

Sigma arrives, and this is the first time since the original Mega Man X that he actually looks... whole. Seems to be complete and in good shape. For three games in the interim he looked patched up but never complete.

He utilizes the same zig-zag attack pattern as in the original game, and like that game he's vulnerable to electricity. This game has one of the more difficult Sigma battles in the series, because both this form and his next form have one particularly hard to avoid attack that does massive damage. Also noteworthy: The Sigma icon finally returns here for his life meter. Does this mean Sigma is his own man, and doesn't need Wily?

YE GODS! After losing, Sigma immediately returns in an absolutely massive new body. This body is clearly inspired by Gamma, the final boss of Mega Man 3. Dr Wily influence again.

 Sigma says that he has acquired a new partner, said partner hates Mega Man, said partner has built numerous robots, and said partner has been building this body for him. It's all present-tense, too. Is Dr. Wily somehow still around or not? The whole game seems to have been alluding to it. But where is he? If you get here as Zero, Sigma talks about how his new partner is Zero's "father", which all but seals it being Wily. Too bad they didn't expand on this at all. The first time I played this game, I really did expect a mechanized Wily to be the final boss.

Gamma 2.0 is a very frustrating battle because he can defeat you in a couple of hits; if you aren't careful, you'll suddenly be dead and then it's all the way back to before the previous fight. The hands are attackable and the big bad himself (damaged by hitting his third eye) actually loses health quickly if you stay on the offensive. Still, this took me numerous tries.

Sigma is destroyed, but takes Zero down with him. X is caught in the crossfire, and lays defeated in the middle of a wasteland. And then... He appears. Who? It looks like Dr. Light...and he's looking very real. And then... the game just kinda ends. It's clear that Dr. Light saved X and rebuilt him, so one way or another...

...Dr. Light ain't dead either.

Indeed, it seems pretty clear that Wily and Light both still exist in some way, but unfortunately Capcom decided not to ever expand on this in the later X games... or do anything with it, really. Inafune may have been planning to continue the Wily Reborn stuff in the Mega Man Zero series, which actually follows this game, but for whatever reason he didn't. The villain in that series is "Dr. Weil" who we don't even see until the fourth game, and by then he was revealed to be Not-Wily (plz don't sue).

I got the bad ending of this game (probably due to taking an excessively long time to finish the game). Never seen the bad ending before. It has an amnesiac (yet recovered otherwise) X barking orders as he heelishly talks about how he's going to build a utopia. This is actually a direct setup for Mega Man Zero, where X is the villain (sort of) and the head of a corrupt utopia.

Before this post concludes, I gotta wonder aloud what Wily would have looked like in the X series had he shown up physically at some point. Most likely he's part of the Maverick Virus and travels from body to body, the same way Sigma does. But what did he have for a body? Sigma was definitely talking about meeting him physically and working with him, which wouldn't be the case if Wily were nothing more than a virus.


Some people have theorized that we actually DID see him in the X series, as Serges (the leader of the X-Hunters in Mega Man X2). Serges was interested in re-assembling Zero; matter of fact, that seemed to be his sole purpose. He also looks like Wily and pilots large machines. That hat could be a disguise for his Android 20 brain-case.

Others point out that he could be Isoc in Mega Man X6 as well. He also has a brain-case. While it does indeed seem that Isoc is Wily (he has the same voice actor as Wily, he loves Zero and hates X, he claims to be Zero's master who knows everything about him, he advises Sigma), I don't exactly count X6 onward as canon. To me, the story ends with X5 and begins again in the MMZ series. Besides that, it isn't like Capcom did anything with Isoc. He appears in like four scenes and is never seen again. Not like you even get to fight him. At the end you find his body with the power still on but "no soul within", meaning Wily at that point had traveled elsewhere.


Capcom did some Wily concept art at some point for either the X series, Zero series, or that weirdass Star Force series. He's got a crystal eye just like Serges, and there's that skull again. If Wily had a legitimate physical form in X5, I'd expect it to be something like this.

Which brings me to the eerie Mega Man 9 boxart. While this picture is just meant to be a throwback to the era of terrible boxart, I find it interesting that Wily is represented as part-machine... with one crystal eye and a strong resemblance to the above picture. It really does seem to me that an element within Capcom was pushing for a darker tone to the series and the debut of a frightening modern Wily.

Wow, that was a real tangent I just went on. I guess Capcom did too after 2001.


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10 comments:

  1. Those gigantic life bars are really intimidating. Thanks for the reminder of what an insanely good soundtrack this game has even with all of its faults.

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  2. I absolutely LOVE this blog. I was an unspoken fan for a very long time. Don't stop writing these!

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    1. Thanks, it's much appreciated! Keep commenting, we need more of that around here.

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  3. I've followed you figuring out the Mega Man plot for a long time, and I think this is the best interpretation you've had so far: the corporates killed the plan. You did a great job of showing all the good and bad of this title, though.
    Sad that X and Zero fought and creeeeeeepy to see X's severed head there.
    Weird that some parts of the story are randomly decided; it'd be better if they depended on your performance.
    Most importantly, great job showing both the good and bad of the game.

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  4. Wily is supposedly merged with the virus. I recall reading a comment by someone saying that Inafune said that he somehow merged with the virus. the virus is likely a modified version of the evil energy from MM8 He would likely appear like a purple evil energy essence version of the Dr. Light hologram 'spirit' or an AI (the died and now reside in cyberspace like a cyber elf maybe but can interact with the real world). I was able to find only one fan pic so far of an essence of wily that would be closest to how I imagine Wily's form would be here: http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/039/2/9/megaman_x_zero_and_willy_by_ivan_zero09-d4p2vq8.jpg

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  5. right here more specifically: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Megaman-X-Zero-and-Willy-283989536

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    1. Thanks for writing. It'd make sense if Wily were the Maverick virus or something along those lines.

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    2. No problem...

      Wily's consciousness may be a portion of the virus (only a small portion) as Sigma is too. But it is mostly evil energy with a program embedded. The sigma conscious portion of it is like a cyber elf ( a cyber elf is described as a sentient program or AI energy being). It can possesses reploids, in in the Elf Wars. The Mother Elf and cyber elves were created after Zero sealed himself up at the end of the X series and was studied by Weil and an ancestor or Ceil. The studies allowed them to develop cyber elf tech and the Mother Elf, and the Mother Elf was used to wipe out the virus. Maybe part of the reason it was corrupted into the Dark Elf was because of the virus taking over the Mother Elf because the it wasn't able to keep it at bay within it after Weil tampered with the Mother Elf.

      I think the bad ending of X5 was actually intended to connect the Legend's series considering the continents were fragmented into islands on the stage selection globe and X talked about creating 'Elysium' at the end. The X6 ending with Zero might have been intended for a branch off into the Zero series at first, but it is now confirmed that the sealing took place after the X series. He is actually sealed twice. Once before the creation of Mother Elf and again after the Elf Wars.

      I think it is possible that awakened Zero is possessed by Wily. X says something like 'whatever you are, get out of Zero'. Youtube videos exists of the dialog. Gamma Sigma is likely both Wily and Sigma within that body (he says 'feel our combined rage' as if they are two in one within that particular body). And after his defeat, the head is like a skull and says 'drop dead' but the name of who is saying it is '???'. Maybe it was Wily saying 'drop dead'?

      Also it is pretty obvious Wily possessed Isoc (is Isoc) like a shell made for Wily since you see him laying on the ground deleted and Zero hears a voice saying 'Go Zero, you are the strongest robot'. I get the impression it was an entity nearby but invisible. Isoc's body laying on the ground with his once red eyes empty and transparent. Maybe that redness was part of the energy form incased in him.

      Perhaps Wily was also along with Sigma in X7 since they called him 'the professor'. Maybe they were in the same Sigma body this time too? I do think it would have been neat if they continued with the Wily story and you fought an energy form of him. If one could contact Inafune, it could confirm speculation if he comes out and says it.

      As for the reason why the Sigma portion of the virus was destroyed in X8. I think it is because Sigma spread his viral self so thing by embedding it into all the copy chips, that there wasn't enough to live on after the destruction of his body. That tentacle coming out of Lumine was obviously a highly concentered solid form of the virus too.

      Actually the X series goes all the way to Command Mission in 22XX, Elf Wars sometime in that century, then in 23XX you have the Zero series and ZX is 200 years after that (maybe 25XX). Legends is supposed to take place thousands of years later. Some speculate in 8XXX. so they are all connected, though maybe in the past, they were supposed toe be branches from the alternate ended in X5 and X6.

      Oh ,and you can use an emulator to play them too. I play ZX+ ZXA or MM Zero Collection on my computer using a PS2 controller, for example ;)

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    3. Good stuff. I didn't think about the 'drop dead' line, but it's really weird that it's "???"

      Also didn't think about the "combined rage" line. Now I'm wondering if Sigma and Wily are fused.

      I really need to cover the Mega Man Zero series. Think I'll do that in the near future.

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    4. I think they are separate but sometimes occupy the same body. They usually act separate. Sigma didn't know who the Dr. really was, so this indicates they are not completely fused. I think in X8 and especially X6 and pre X5 games, they are not even in the same body. In X5, maybe towards the end they are, but maybe not at the beginning of X5.

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