Mega Man X

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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"'X' is the first generation of robots which contain an innovative new feature--the ability to think, feel, and make their own decisions. However, this ability could be very dangerous. If 'X' were to break the first rule of robotics (A robot must never harm a human being), the results could be disastrous and I fear no force on Earth can stop him. Approximately 30 years will be required before we can safely confirm his reliability. Unfortunately, I will not live to see that day, nor do I have anyone to carry on my work. Therefore, I have sealed him inside this capsule, which will test his internal systems until his reliability has been confirmed. Please do not disturb the capsule until that time. 'X' possesses great risks as well as great possibilities. I can only hope for the best."
September 18, 21XX

T. Light
—Message from Dr. Thomas Light, intro to Mega Man X on the SNES

In the year 21XX, War Was Beginning...

Mega Man X, the Darker and Edgier Sequel Series to Capcom's Mega Man, follows the exploits of the original Blue Bomber's future successor.

As his final masterpiece, Dr. Thomas Light created Mega Man X, a robot with a special "X-factor" that allows him to think, feel, and make decisions like a human does. As the page-topping quote points out, Light sealed X sealed inside a capsule designed to run ethics testing over the course of a few decades to ensure X would not turn out evil. A century later, scientist Dr. Cain unearths X's capsule and finds himself astounded by Dr. Light's engineering miracle. He decides to mass-produce a line of robots based on X, naming them "Reploids" ("Repliroids" in Japan), but glosses over the fact that he doesn't understand all of X's systems. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Soon after their activation and deployment into the world, some of Cain's Reploids begin developing serious bugs and glitches that cause them to become extremely violent—and, in many cases, outright insane—and break the First Law of Robotics ("A robot must never harm a human being"). These malfunctioning Reploids become known as Mavericks ("Irregulars" in Japan); to combat the Maverick menace, Dr. Cain helps create the "Maverick Hunters," a group of advanced Reploids authorized to use force in apprehending or outright stopping their violent brethren.

Cain's work backfires once again when practically the entire Maverick Hunter group, including Sigma—Cain's first Reploid and the leader of the group—turn into Mavericks themselves. Why the others turned, we have no idea, but Sigma turned soon after getting into a fight with "Zero," a mysterious and insane robot of similar capability to X (but of unknown manufacture). Sigma's defection heralds the beginning of a massive war between Mavericks and humanity—and since he feels responsible for the Maverick outbreak, X decides to team up with Zero (who turned sane after his fight with Sigma) and put a stop to the war.

The series saw several sequels on the Super Nintendo, Playstation, Sega Saturn, Playstation 2, and Gameboy Color. It also spawned Mega Man Zero, its own (some might claim even Darker and Edgier) Sequel Series for the Gameboy Advance, in 2001. An anime OVA, The Day of Sigma, came with the PSP updated release of the first game (Maverick Hunter X).

Do not confuse this series with Mega Man 10, the tenth game in the original line's series (which came out well after Mega Man X did).

Two character sheets exist for this franchise: one for the main series, and one for Command Mission.

Games In The Series

Tropes used in Mega Man X include:
  • 2½D: X7 and X8. The former's gameplay jumps from 2D to 3D seamlessly without warning. The latter is a better example, with most of the gameplay being 2D with some occasional 3D moments.
  • Aborted Arc: Zero's past was all but dropped after X5, both in the Post Script Season (after X6's hint at Wily anyway) and Mega Man Zero.
    • Referred to again in, of all places, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
      • In a Meta sense the Mega Man Maverick Hunter X version of the timeline as well after poor sales killed off the chance for continuing the story.
  • Action Girl: the three Navigators in X8.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: In X5, there's a battleship that serves as an Advancing Mini Boss of Doom.
  • After the End: X6 onwards, because of the Eurasia Crisis in X5.
  • All There in the Manual: The developers decided to resolve all the plotholes and Canon Discontinuity problems with the Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works that was for the aforementioned Sequel Series. Your Mileage May Vary if they succeeded or not.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The opening of X3 has X and Zero's home base besieged by Dr. Doppler's Mavericks.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The Fortress Levels of X5 qualify.
  • Anime Theme Song: "Makenai Ai ga Kitto Aru" ("We've Definitely Got a Love that Won't Lose"), "Monkey", "Moon Light"/"The Answer", "CODE CRUSH", "WILD FANG", and "Don't Wanna Be" for X4, X5, X6, X7, X8, and Maverick Hunter X respectively.
    • And let's not leave out "One More Time" for the PS 1 version of X3.
    • And X2 brings it full-circle (or rather, begins the whole trend) in "Sekai ga owaru Toki" ("Moment When the World Ends").
  • Another Side, Another Story: Vile Mode in Maverick Hunter X.
  • Anti-Hero: Vile of Maverick Hunter X: Vile Mode. Either that or Villain Protagonist.
  • Anti-Villain: The Repliforce of X4. Arguably Dr. Doppler in X3.
  • Art Evolution: The appearances of the main characters were slightly altered in X8 (X's helmet, Zero's ponytail, Alia's upgrade of her chest, and the overall proportions are the most blatant examples). Word of God claims that it's to make them look more human.
  • Artistic License Physics: In Day of Sigma OVA, Sigma launches several large missiles, think ICBM sized, at Abel City. Several of these missiles touchdown and explode, leaving massive, smoking craters. Obviously, the shock waves from the explosions should've leveled the city outright.
    • Flame Mammoth uses the ground pound move, also used by Gutsman and Hardman, to violently shake the ground when he lands from a jump. Problem is, Flame Mammoth's weight is 719 lb; most cars and trucks available today are heavier than he is, and they just don't release that much energy when they fall from similar heights.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Sigma's final form in X1, the intro stage bosses of X2 and X3, Eregion and The General from X4, Illumina in X6, Sigma's One-Winged Angel in X5 and X6, and the intro stage bosses from X7 and X8, as well as a reappearance of said robot later in X8.
  • Automatic Level: There's a section of Sigma's first fortress that's full of springs. The springs launch you toward the ceiling when you step on them, making the section rather difficult, but if you just use the dash feature you bounce from spring to spring avoiding enemies and zooming past the lasers, landing at the end without a scratch.
  • Awesome but Impractical: A lot of X's helmet upgrades tend to fall under this. Aside from the secret armor upgrades, the SNES ones, and their Gameboy Expies, aren't much use once you memorize where they'd be useful. Play style or character preference does the same to most of the PS 1 ones as many reduce weapon energy usage (which Zero nor the Ultimate Armor really need), the Shadow Armor speeds up sword attacks, and the Gaea Armor has no stated function at all. Aversions are X4 (game play is set up so weapons are still useful), X7 (attracts power ups from further away), and X8 (a weaponized form of X1's part and a quick charge, though the Nova Strike makes weapons useless again).
  • Ax Crazy: Vile. Beyond trying to kill X to become the "strongest" (and later for revenge), he apparently destroys other Reploids for the hell of it, according to the OVA and Vile Mode in Maverick Hunter X.
    • Double, after he reveals his true intentions.
    • Zero when he is found in the cave by the Maverick Hunters.
  • Back from the Dead: Sigma is the king of this, although he has an excuse, seeing as how he's The Virus.
    • X6 gets a special mention as he's brought back as a, Robot Zombie?
    • Zero's in the running as well.
    • Vile also deserves a mention.
  • Background Boss: Rangda Bangda and Sigma's second forms in both X1 and X5; Giant Mechaniloid CF-0 in X2; Maoh the Giant in X3; the first encounter against Egregion in X4, Illumina in X6; Yadokari and Sigma's second form in X7; the second Crabz-Y encounter in X8.
  • Bad Boss: It is heavily implied that Flame Mammoth spends most of his time in his unit mocking those inferior to him in terms of strength. As an added bit of laser-guided karma, he's also the only one of the former Maverick Hunters in the first X game that defected to Sigma's side to not have any of his unit go with him, although given the setting where he is fought, he probably didn't need them anyways.
  • Badass Automaton: All other Mega Men in the franchise start as utility mechs and average humans, then get upgraded into the heroes they become. X and his crew, however, are badass warriors right off the workbench.
  • Badass Biker: Anyone who can properly use the Ride Chasers has to be.
  • Bash Brothers: X and Zero as bosses in Maverick Hunter X: Vile Mode.
    • For a playable version, in X8, you can use 2 characters in a level, essentially creating your own Bash Brothers.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Iris in X4, and sometimes X himself.
  • Big Bad: Sigma. Albeit only 4/5ths of the time. X6, X8, and Command Mission are the notable exceptions.
    • X5 might count, with the whole Dr. Wily thing...
  • Bigger Bad: Dr. Wily. Sigma may be directly responsible for most of the problems in the series, but it was Dr. Wily who created Zero in the first place, thus giving Sigma the Maverick virus.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Zero's Establishing Character Moment, doubles as a Dynamic Entry. Happens several other times:
    • In X3, either Zero or Dr. Doppler, depending on the actions made in the game, will appear to save X from (Virus) Sigma.
    • A subversion at the beginning of X5: You as the player are the one coming to the rescue of the one in distress (who was even in disrepair), when Sigma personally attacks them.
    • X8's Hard Mode: Whoever is the backup character will be captured by Vile after that Mini Boss fight, and the main player character will have to traverse the rest of the final level alone. In an awesome Gameplay and Story Segregation aversion, Sigma traps the main player halfway during the Boss fight, and, true to the trope, the backup character will return to save his partner.
  • Big Sleep: Iris's death scene in X4. Zero's reaction would have been a Tear Jerker, if not for the Narm.
  • Black Box: X and Zero. Being made by Dr Light and Dr. Wily, respectively, their technology is not fully understood and they are difficult to repair. This leads to the imperfection in Reploids that was the main cause of them going Maverick (before the virus), as well as other minor plot points, such as the Nerfed Falcon Armor that was repaired imperfectly by Alia, or the mysterious resurrections/repairing of X and Zero from their state at the end of X5. In Zero's case, it leads to (somewhat supported by the Sourcebooks) Epileptic Trees about (maybe) Serges and (more overtly) Isoc being actually Dr. Wily himself.
  • Blackout Basement: Spark Mandrill's stage in X1, especially if entered after beating Storm Eagle. In X6, some stages also qualify (where you have to use misleading lights as a guide), if the right requirements are met, and X8's "Pitch Black" stage.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: X6. Which is a shame, because beneath the awful, awful writing, there's actually a reasonably serviceable story.
    • Damn shame the same can't be said about the game play.
    • Just how bad is the translation? See if you can try to make sense out of the below exchange:

Zero: Shield Sheldon...Too bad about your previous life.[2]
Shield Sheldon: Don't be. I was new as a bodyguard. That's all.[3]
Zero: Maverick Hunters are supposed to be able to tell a Maverick from a Reploid. Our officers are not good enough... They could cost us everything.[4]
Shield Sheldon: Reploids all over the world have been needing you. I was useless as a bodyguard... And was useless to everyone else. When I accepted that fact, I accepted my fate. However, there turned out to be someone who needs me. He has given me one more chance. And therefore, I am going to fulfill my mission as a bodyguard now. I'll protect him, even if it means that I have to sacrifice my life. Come on, Zero! [5]

    • There's also this gem in Metal Shark Player's stage (which is itself a mistranslation of Prayer). When faced with a wall of spikes:

Alia: You can't jump across spiny area!

  • Blob Monster: The infamous Yellow Devil from the classic series comes back in X5's fortress bosses, now black-colored and named Shadow Devil.
  • Blood Knight:
    • While generally overlooked, Magma Dragoon is probably the biggest example of this trope in the franchise. To wit, he causes a civil war and very nearly The End of the World as We Know It just so he could fight the protagonists!
    • More than a few Reploids in X5 seem more interested in fighting the protagonists than they are about doing something to help save the world. Many of them (especially Duff McWhalen and Grizzly Slash) say that they've been infected by the Virus and want to fight the heroes and die with dignity. Some, like Squid Adler, do actually give X and Zero what they need, only for the Virus to choose that moment to take over their minds and force them to fight.
      • Each X5 boss seems to have different reasons for fighting, and oddly enough, the reasons can change depending on which plan to stop the Colony Drop is active. And if the colony has already been destroyed/crashed, some bosses will already have been seized by the virus.
  • Bonus Boss: There's a Bonus Mini Boss in the first game, guarding one of the Light capsules. The term got murky during X3 and X6.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: In X8, the navigators, Alia, Palette, and Layer, are unlockable as playable characters. They are basically clones of X, Axl, and Zero, respectively; however due to Gameplay and Story Integration, Alia cannot get X's capsule upgrades, Palette cannot copy enemies, and Layer gets a nice aversion by only being unable to use the Zero Armor. You also have to purchase all of X, Axl, and Zero's purchasable upgrades a second time in order to access them on Alia, Palette, and Layer. Additionally, using even one of them when running a stage will forbid you from choosing a navigator for that stage. Level Grinding the Navigators at least gives you something to do on your New Game+, and fully powering them up changes, of all things, the Capcom logo screen, which is pretty cool.
  • Boobs of Steel: Puns aside, Layer and Iris are fairly well-endowed for Reploids. The strength part is not too emphasized though, but in the case of Layer, it does make a good contrast with her melee attacks, compared to Alia's and Palette's long-ranged attacks.
  • Book Ends: The Zero series reveals that this series "ended" with the main characters sealing themselves for different purposes, which is the same state they are found in at the beginning of this series.
    • During X4, we learn that before the events of the first game, Sigma had smashed Zero's head crystal, thus transferring the Maverick Virus. At the end of X8, Lumine smashes Axl's head crystal.
  • Boss-Only Level: The duel against Colonel in X4, if you're playing as X.
  • Boss Rush: Every single game.
    • X1 is the only one to intersperse boss fights throughout Sigma's Fortress. The other games lock you in a room with 8 doors.
    • The PSP remake of the first game has X realize that Sigma had the bodies of the eight bosses repaired, but not the personalities, when he starts having the rematches.
    • Justified in X8: the Bosses in the Boss Rush are new generation Reploids copying the data of the Boss.
      • There's a variation in the second half of the final level: most of the enemies are now using their abilities to morph into weaker versions of the Sigma fought a level earlier, now a Disc One Final Boss.
  • Boss Subtitles: Mimicking the original Mega Man.
  • Bottomless Pits
  • Bounty Hunter: Red Alert starts off as something like this.
  • Boxing Kangaroo: Vanishing Gungaroo in X7.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: What the effect the Maverick Virus seems to have on Reploids is. Their personalities are often altered and they become violent and homicidal, sometimes to the extent that they lose all sense of themselves and go insane. Most also join Sigma's forces after infection, though whether it's forced or willing depends on the Maverick.
    • The only one completely immune to the effects of the Virus is X, who nevertheless takes damage from it when he's infected. It doesn't stop him worrying about the possibility of going Maverick, but that's for other possible reasons. He is effectively immune from the Virus.
    • Zero also appears to be immune, and is actually strengthened by being infected. The path to X5's bad ending as well as Zero's origin in X4 reveals that Zero actually isn't quite immune...
  • Broad Strokes: In order to not confuse the fans, Inafune started the Zero series off with the title character sealed instead of dead, the latter of which was the original concept (how X5 ended, that is). Still leaves Capcom to make more X games.
  • Brought to You by The Letter "S": A stylized Greek Letter Sigma (Σ) for the Mavericks, and Zero's own stylized "Z". It's a surprise that X himself doesn't have one.
    • He arguably does have one in his X8 design, but it's in the side of the helmet and might just be a screw or something.
  • Butterfly of Transformation: This trope is part of Morph Moth's gimmick. He starts the fight in a cocoon that's suspended on a thread, after taking enough damage, he metamorphoses into an adult robot moth.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Zero with his Command Arts; bonus points for calling them mostly in their Japanese names. Especially of note would be X8, where X, Axl, and several of the bosses join in the act as well, with X always doing it in English for good measure. Magma Dragoon, an otherwise normal boss in X4, also does this with Street Fighter-based attacks.
  • Camera Screw: One of the many reputed problems regarding X7.
  • Camp Gay: Tornado Tonion, of X7.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: When it began is a subject of much debate, but X6 and X7 were widely panned. X8, however, is regarded more favorably by comparison.
  • Captain Ersatz: Does Vile remind you of anyone? His original Japanese name is VAVA, for cripes' sakes!
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Nightmare Inspectors, Red Alert and most of Sigma's minions.
  • Character Development: It's hard to tell through the awful writing, but in X6, X actually seems more confident and decisive about situations, best displayed by his Badass Boast to Sigma:

X: I have to work for the reconstruction of the world... I have no time to waste on you... If you show up, I'll defeat you.

    • A speech which actually has shades of Zero's personality to it.
  • Character Select Forcing: X6 was horrible about this; choosing the wrong armor set made the game very hard in the fortress. A variant also existed in X8, where most of the main stages required the X/Axl team to collect all or most of the items hidden throughout—effectively benching the most popular character in the series!
  • Characterization Marches On: Not applied to only one character, but the concept as whole for the series. In the beginning X was said to be special, not only for being the origin to all Reploids but for being to most humane out of the bunch, his emotions and potential for growth can be compared to that of any human; in turn other Reploids, and even Zero the other Super Prototype himself, commented on how they couldn't (or considered a waste to) feel and express themselves like X did. A few games later, this concept seems to be all but abandoned, pretty much all other Reploids and Zero are Ridiculously-Human Robots, they express themselves and have distinctive personalities like any other human; X now is more of a outspoken pacifist, as opposed to someone who worries because he was the only one who could.
  • Charged Attack: Shouldn't need elaboration. Also applies to the Z-saber in X3 and X6 (when used by X).
    • That's Type B. Giga Attacks sometimes fall into this category, as Type A.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Axl's Copy ability. In X7, it's revealed to be part of Sigma's Excuse Plot in the game. Then, in X8, Axl is revealed to be a prototype to the New Generation Reploids, with everyone in the line apparently having the same ability. Again, it comprises the plot of the Big Bad in the game. Then it comes back again in Command Mission, with final boss Redips and his officers in the far east Hunter division being the products of secretly restarted copy chip manufacturing.
  • Christmas Rushed: The most likely reason that X6 failed to reach its potential. Not only did it come out just a few months after X5, but the North American version hit the stores mere days after the Japanese version! (December 4, 2001 and November 29, 2001; respectively. We all know how that turned out...)
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Almost every game features an ally turning on you, with Sigma's revolt in the first game being the most notable.
  • Clear My Name: The plot in X6 starts with a Palette Swap of Zero, called the Zero Nightmare, wreaking havoc. X decides to investigate the Zero Nightmare to clear Zero's name. For some reason, this is not part of the plot entirely, since defeating the Zero Nightmare is optional. And guess what? A Secret Character (not that Capcom was fooling anyone...) will be unlocked upon defeating it.
  • Color-Coded Timestop: The Dark Hold ability from X5.
  • Continuity Nod: X5 is chock full of these. There's also a prime example in X6, where the plot is driven by the Big Bad getting infected by the The Virus from Zero's piece that he took in the crash site of the Colony Drop.
    • In X's bad ending in X5, he states his dream is to create a paradise where humans and Reploids peacefully coexist. The name of that paradise? Elysium.
      • Given that X5 was meant to be the lead-in to Mega Man Zero, this might also refer to Neo Arcadia, albeit with a name change.
    • After Gate is defeated in X6, X sees Isoc's lifeless body, which Alia says is similar to the Erasure phenomenon from Xtreme 2.
    • X8 contains some of these. Sigma makes a reference to Zero's virus infecting him in their first battle, and the colony virus is brought up by X.
  • Continuity Snarl: Zero. That is all. Determining which parts of Maverick Hunter X count seems to be tricky for the fanbase as well.
  • Cool Airship: Storm Eagle had his personal airship, called the Death Rogumer. After his defeat, it crashed on Spark Mandrill's power plant, causing the power to fail. In X2 Wheel Gator commanded the Dinosaur Tank.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: Many large bosses and minibosses (as well as Sigma's One-Winged Angel forms) can only be damaged in the head.
  • Cultural Translation + Punny Name: In the North American version of X5, the bosses' names were plays on current and former members of Guns N' Roses.
  • Cute Bruiser: All of the female playable characters to some extent.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Various Mechaniloids.
  • Dark Side: Sigma's Evil Plan in X5 entails mixing a Virus set in a falling Colony with the Sigma Virus, which he spread across the Earth with a little help from X and Zero by blowing up his dummy body, which was full of the virus. Supposedly, the two Viruses will merge, making a new more potent virus to make Zero evil.
    • If you fail to stop the colony, it works.
  • Darker and Edgier: Naturally, Your Mileage May Vary, but in general, the early entries in this series are an excellent example of this trope being used well, without dumping on the original series.
    • X2, for example, shows a very violent way to kill a maverick; if you kill Wire Sponge using his weakness, the poor dude gets sliced in half.
  • Deadly Euphemism: "Retirement".
  • Degraded Boss: A Boss that has been degraded so much, he was turned into a Mook (an Elite Mook, but still)! And he's Sigma of the previous games! See Boss Rush above.
  • Disc One Final Boss: The X-Hunters, Dr. Doppler, General, Dynamo, Gate, Red, and, ironically, Sigma himself in X8, not once, but TWICE! Capcom is in love with this trope.
  • Disc One Nuke: See one of the gamebreakers below. Also, through a cheat code, the Ultimate and Zero Armors can be available at the very start of some of the games (X5, X6).
    • The first game gives us a double-dose. Chill Penguin's stage, which has the mandatory Leg Capsule. There's also the fact that the aforementioned Boss is a Warmup Boss, meaning that defeating him would be a good start for the game!
    • It's tricky, but far from impossible in X1 to beat Storm Eagle first (without the ability to dash against his wind) so long as you know where and when to start running. The reward, Storm Tornado, rips through stages like nothing.
  • Distaff Counterpart: In X8, Alia, Layer, and Pallette are counterparts to X, Zero, and Axl, respectively.
  • Distant Finale: Zero's ending in X6 (where Zero seals himself to get rid of the virus within him) is stated to happen long after the end of the whole Mega Man X series.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: X can run while using his normal weapons, but Easter Eggs (like the Street Fighter moves he gets in a couple of games) are another story.
    • Zero is the one who really takes it on the chin here; in several of the games, he puts away his Z-Saber after each attack or combo, and you can't move until he does this. (You also can't move until his ponytail finishes falling.) The PlayStation 2 X games fix this by having him keep the saber out at all times, which looks silly but makes practical sense. In his own series, Zero has a much smoother combat system that never pins him down.
    • Much like Bass from Mega Man and Bass, Axl in X8' can fire in multiple directions (including diagonally), but he can't run while doing so.
    • Also Vile from Maverick Hunter X's Vile Mode.
  • Doppleganger Attack: From X4 onwards, there would be a Boss that specializes in creating at least one copy of himself, whether or not his Boss Weapon was based on this ability.
  • Double Knockout: Happens to X and Zero.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole:
    • When obtaining the Zero/Black Armor in X5; Dr. Light, of all people, was the one who gave it to Zero! And he (Light) made it just for him (Zero)?!
      • Light specifically states that he couldn't make a compatible armor, but he could boost Zero's power.
      • In the Japanese version, Light talks about about releasing the power that sleeps in Zero.
        • Those who receive the bad ending will have to wonder why in God's name Light thought this was a good idea.
    • In the same game (but a different capsule), Zero asks Dr. Light if the latter knew who created him (strangely enough, Zero was talking to what may just be a recording). Dr. Light claims he does not know; whether he's hiding the truth from Zero, or he genuinely doesn't know, tortured many a mind to no end.
    • The conversation between Dr. Light and Zero (starting at around 5:50) is more or less the same here as in the Japanese version, one of the parts where the translation is decent.
    • And of course, the big one from X3:

"Unknown to X, his destiny has already been decided. To save mankind, he must destroy Zero. But only time will tell, when and why..." -- X3 Ending
"In his memory, he knows his destiny is fixed to do battle with Zero. And beyond this point, what will they see?" -- Rockman X3 ending.

    • In X5, Squid Adler/Volt Kraken talks about how X killed Octopardo. Yes, it was a tragedy what happened to poor—wait, who's Octopardo? Turns out he's referring to Launch Octopus, using a mistransliteration of his Japanese name: Launcher Octopuld.
  • Dub Name Change: Most of the Mavericks (Icy Penguigo to Chill Penguin, Storm Eagleed to Storm Eagle, etc). The name of the rogue Maverick from the first, third, and eighth games got his name changed from VAVA (which would be pronounced roughly like "Boba", as in Boba Fett, who he is an Expy of, in Japanese) to Vile (in fact, the reason they couldn't just call him "Boba" outright was because of trademark issues, so they had to spell it VAVA).
    • And in fact, the term "Maverick." They were called "Irregulars" in Japan, though this is probably because the noun "irregular" in English refers to non-conventional or private military forces of the type usually employed by governments (which might be a good description of the organization to which the heroes belong), something wholly unlike what the Japanese name was supposed to mean.
  • Dummied Out: X8 might have been planned to have X, Zero, and Axl to be Navigators like their Distaff Counterpart. In the 2nd PC CD of it, you could find a folder of Japanese Voice Actors' sound data, including the main characters' voices as Navigators(!). The idea seemed to be scrapped out because it would involve further scripting and scenarios. It's amusing to find that Axl feels very, very bored to have his job as a Navigator in his line.
  • Dying as Yourself: Iris in X4. Many of the bosses in X5 that are infected by The Virus also challenge X/Zero for this reason.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Zero's special armor can be seen as early as X2, in the canon ending, even, although it officially debuts in X4. Some of Zero's signature attacks also debut in the same game in the other ending, although there's little difference, before becoming officially playable himself, also in X4.
    • Again in X2 and X3, Sigma's One-Winged Angel, a virus, seems insignificant at first (the battle is fought inside a computer, falsely justifying the form), until it was revealed one game later as Sigma's "true" form.
    • Zero also has one in Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters, in Bass's ending, in which he's shown in a blueprint.
  • Easter Egg: The Hadoken and Shoryuken, of course, plus there's also unlocking the three Navigators as playable characters in X8.
  • Easy Mode Mockery: The True Final Boss below.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Per the previous series, everyone's weak to something; you just have to figure out what.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter: Toxic Seahorse in Mega Man X 3 can turn into acid. How a robot does this is anyone's guess.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: In the 2nd X vs. Vile battle in the first game, after Zero's Heroic Sacrifice to destroy Vile's Ride Armor, all of X's energy is restored for some reason, ready to fight Vile on equal footing now. This was even Lampshaded:

Vile: What the-? Where did that energy come from?!

  • Enemy Chatter: Starting from X4.
  • Energy Being: The Sigma Virus's true form is this, and it is actually the precursor to the Cyber Elves from the Zero series. Another example seems to be Dr. Light, as revealed by his ability to hold conversations, heal X, and edit his memories even outside of his capsule. Of course, he probably was only able to so because Cyberspace had partially merged with the ordinary world thanks to the Zero Virus's influence.
  • Evasive Fight Thread Episode: X5.
  • Everything Is Better With Penguins: Chill Penguin from X.
  • Everything's Better with Chickens: Burn Rooster from X8.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Spark Mandrill from X and Soldier Stonekong from X7.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: In most of the games where he's playable (both in this series and Mega Man Zero), one of the skills Zero learns is a rising slash. In X8, he instead gets a spinning rising slash, similar to Link's Spin Attack in Super Smash Bros..
    • He has the spinning slash since X4, after you beat Split Mushroom. It has been one of his staple techniques through this and the Zero series.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: Launch Octopus from X and Squid Adler from X5. Though they are anything but squishy...
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: Grizzly Slash (Crescent Grizzly) from X5. Subverted when Monstrosity Equals Weakness comes into play, seeing as he's the easiest Boss in the game.
    • X8 featured Bamboo Pandemonium, the single largest boss in the game. Pandas may not actually be ursine per se, but they still conjure up the image quite nicely. That said, his face is still very cute. And he can kill you with one hit of his Desperation Attack.
      • Actually, giant pandas are ursine, as was discovered through genetic research several decades ago. However, he is still an interesting case in that, when people think of bears making things worse, pandas aren't exactly the first bears they think of (though in real life, they can still do some damage when angry).
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: Blast Hornet of X3.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Metal Shark Player from X6.
  • Expy:
    • Apart from the obvious example (X is based on the original Mega Man), there's also Lumine's One-Winged Angel, which, in terms of production dates, is preceded by Copy X's own One-Winged Angel from Mega Man Zero as well as Colonel Redips' God-Emperor form from Command Mission.
    • Zero is pretty much entirely Bass. Note that this does not make Axl Proto Man.
      • Well, not entirely. Zero seems to evoke Proto Man in his early appearance (both are red, have a powerful buster, are Big Brother Mentors to Mega Man/X, and voiced by the same person), and in Command Mission, his Hyper Mode resembles Bass with Treble Boost equipped. Axl, especially in X8, pretty much evokes Bass as well, with the color black, having multidirectional spammable attacks, being very mobile compared to the others, and being Blood Knights.
    • Signas is essentially a (much) more reasonable Colonel, and Redips is an Expy of either of them.
    • Avalanche Yeti seems specifically based on Frost Man. Several Mavericks borrow from earlier Robot Masters, in fact: Ride Boarski is like Turbo Man and may have partially inspired Nitro Man, Dark Necrobat looks quite a bit like Shade Man, Commander Yanmark looks almost exactly like Gyro Man, Launch Octopus is based on Napalm Man right down to the missile launcher shoulders, Boomer Kuwanger is a mixture of Cut Man and Quick Man, Flame Hyenard borrows from Burner Man...
    • Vile is a pretty obvious Shout-Out to /Expy of Boba Fett. His name in Japanese (VAVA, which would be pronounced like "Boba" in Japanese) even reflects this.
  • Fake Difficulty: X6. It gets particularly Egregious in Metal Shark Player's stage, where there's a ceiling trying to crush you, instant death spikes, and ice all on the same screen.
    • Gate's fortress is even worse. Three words. Spikes of Doom. No, Capcom, coating virtually every surface with them does not constitute as difficulty.
  • Fake Longevity: The Central Museum in X6, if you're trying to save all the Reploids. It requires multiple runs to get into all the rooms, each of which has at least one Reploid.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Subversion: the current Steel Massimo wasn't the real hero of the same name, but he does grow to be one as the story progresses.
  • Fighting Your Friend: The penultimate boss fight of X5...
  • Final Boss Preview
  • Finishing Move: For X8, there's the tag-team attack, which, if inflicted as the final blow for the boss, nets the highest rank.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Some of the games have Mavericks who use these;
    • X: Flame Mammoth (fire), Chill Penguin (ice), and Spark Mandrill (lightning). Interestingly enough, Fire beat Ice which beat Lightning, completely opposite of what happened in the original Mega Man.
    • X4: Magma Dragoon (fire), Frost Walrus (ice), and Web Spider (lightning).
    • X5: MattRex (fire), Duff McWhalen (ice), and Squid Adler (lightning).
    • X8: Burn Rooster (fire), Avalanche Yeti (ice), and Gigabolt Man-O-War (lightning). Here, lightning beat ice which beat fire.
  • Five-Bad Band: In X6:
  • Flanderization: Especially because Executive Meddling forced the series to go beyond the creator's planned ending, X5.[6]
    • X goes from being a reluctant, yet willing fighter to become more whiny as the series goes. This becomes prominent in X7, where he pulls out a Ten-Minute Retirement, so you started playing a Mega Man X game without playing as him.
    • Sigma goes from being a intelligent schemer who nearly destroys the world several times to a robot zombie.
    • Even the term "Maverick" isn't safe; originally used to describe out-of-control Reploids (mostly viral infected, though the viral infection wasn't realized until the third game), then it became a warped political tool to refer to any designated target starting with the Repliforce (though the Repliforce's complete idiocy in handling the situation that got them declared Maverick in the first place would have necessitated their disbanding anyway) that escalated to the point it became a convenient tool to refer to anyone that needed disposing of, even non-harmful Reploids trying to stay alive during an energy crisis like in the Zero series.
  • Floating Continent: Sky Lagoon in X4.
  • Flunky Boss/Me's a Crowd: Flame Hyenard is the worst offender here. You're riding on a Mechaniloid that's trying to shoot you down with missiles! And if that's not enough, he makes two copies of himself as well!
  • Foregone Conclusion: The Day of Sigma. That is all.
  • Foreshadowing: In his ending of X4, X begins to have doubts over his commitment to being a Maverick Hunter, telling Zero that he fears that one day, he could become so obsessed with destroying Mavericks that he would become little better than them. Enter Copy X...
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: X loses his memories of Zero in the bad ending of X5.
  • Franchise Zombie: Series creator Keiji Inafune wanted to stop the series after X5, but Executive Meddling forced three more games out of the series, and quality suffered as a result.
    • One could make the argument that the better move on Inafune's part would have been to take control to make sure the games went in the direction he wanted to build up better to Mega Man Zero.
  • Freudian Trio: The heroes don't technically become one at least until the final stages of X7.
    • Superego: X, the Martial Pacifist who really cares about his enemies.
    • Ego: Zero, who is considered a senior by the other two.
    • Id: Axl, who likes to get into X and Zero's nerves.
  • Full Boar Action: Hellride Boarski, a mohawked motorcycle-based gang leader.
  • Game Breaker: The Nova Strike of the Ultimate Armor, especially the X8 variation.
    • Another Game Breaker from the same game: Zero Armor + Sigma's BFS = instant Guard breaks plus instant kills to most enemies (Bosses are also taken down easily). Of course, they can be used together.
    • The C-Sword from X5. It gives Zero a double jump and an incredibly powerful spinning slash. Zero already tears bosses to pieces in X5. You do the math. To make it even more powerful, you get it from Grizzly Slash/Crescent Grizzly, the weakest boss in the game. What's funny is that getting it actually makes Grizzly marginally harder in the Boss Rush, as it replaces your jumping slash and he's immune to his own power. Of course, by this point, you'll have the power he's weak against, so it balances out.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Being infected by The Virus in X5 causes X to constantly take damage for a time. Zero becomes invulnerable.
    • Convoluted example in the same game: At the start, the player has to choose which character to use for the first level: either X or Zero. Choosing one will have a bonus in that character's abilities (the Force/Fourth Armor or the Z-buster, respectively). The other bonus will not be available for the rest of the game, on account of being severely damaged by Sigma prior to the first Boss battle.
    • And again in X5: fail to stop the Colony Drop, and Zero will "awaken", and will be unavailable for the rest of the game.
  • Giant Spider: Bospider from X, and Web Spider from X4
  • Good Is Not Dumb: X, a Reluctant Warrior who lives in an increasingly Crapsack World infested with The Virus, capable of turning even his best friend against him. Often referred to as 'too trusting' in-universe and 'emo' outside of it because he doesn't like killing people.
  • Good Old Robot: X and Zero are this, as they aren't technically Reploids ("Replicated Androids"), but rather the original articles all Reploids are based from. Not just that, they are immune to The Virus because of this status. Though they're just referred to as Reploids altogether (in-story) to avoid confusion because of their basically similar mental capacities.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Axl and Sigma both have scars as part of their signature appearances. Red as well.
  • Grand Finale: X5. Callbacks to the earlier series and the rest of the X series, a Climax Boss foreshadowed by all four of the previous games, the return of a classic villain, and a potentially apocalyptic plot. A fitting end to the series...Too bad they had to keep making more games.
    • At least X8 didn't suck. That's good, right? Right?
  • Grasp the Sun: Lumine does this to the Earth before the Final Battle.
  • Gratuitous English: The original Japanese names of the Mavericks. X6 and beyond used these for all translations, leading to such oddities as Metal Shark Player (?), Vanishing Gungaroo, and Tornado Tonion (no, we don't know what a Tonion is either. But the boss is a giant onion).
    • "Tonion" is an attempted Woolseyism on "Debunion" (debu/"fat" and onion). Vanishing Gungaroo's name is a portmanteau of "gun" and "kangaroo". In general, many Mavericks' Japanese names are a corruption of the English name for whatever animal they resemble—Wheel Gator's Japanese name is Wheel Alligates, for instance. It's just that in X6, they stopped changing them to make sense for the English version.
    • Metal Shark Player's bizarre name comes from a mistranslation of "Prayer", as in praying. Suitably, he has an ability to resurrect old bosses using the scrap metal nearby.
    • In one case, Magna Centipede, this was actually sort of averted. It was thought that Japanese kids wouldn't know the English word "centipede", so the developers spent a lot of time trying to think of a better name before settling on "Hyakulegger", "hyaku" meaning "a hundred."
    • And in the cases of Boomer Kuwanger and Infinity Mijinion, the names are only partially in English—leaving English speakers baffled as to what a "Kuwanger" is.[7]
  • Gravity Master: Gravity Beetle of X3 and Gravity Antonion of X8.
  • Gravity Screw: Cyber Peacock's stage in X4, Dark Dizzy's stage in X5, and Gravity Antonion's stage in X8.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: As the series went on, the lines separating who's the good guys and the baddies became increasingly blurred. X4 showed how the label of "Maverick" can be tossed around indiscriminately and how this can have tragic consequences, X6's plot only happened because Gate was betrayed and cast out of a society simply because he took risks no one else would (aside from his creations being too strong), and Lumine in X8 genuinely believed that his force-evolution plot would end the wars.
  • Guide Dang It: A minor, yet mandatory, example in X6: High Max (as the second fortress Boss) requires a certain combination of attacks to beat.
    • The Hadouken upgrade in the original, and most of the special unlockable powers in the following installments.
    • An optional version is the method for unlocking Axl's special armor in X8 (you have to deal the final blow to the boss with him as well as pick up all of his upgrades), but you might well end up doing it without even knowing it.
    • The power weakness order can be a Guide Dang It, especially to the uninitiated. Each boss is weak to a certain power, but there is hardly any hint as to what power. If you've played previous installments, there's a bit of logic to it—wind blows out fire, fire tends to burn plants or melt ice, etc. -- but you're otherwise playing a guessing game. Moreover, the game usually has a preset pattern which allows you to defeat every boss with the least amount of trouble, not to mention taking advantage of the weaknesses of any of the special bosses along the way. Again, there's not a hint on what this is. The games do tend to lean towards Monstrosity Equals Weakness, but this isn't a universal truth.
      • The special bosses are even worse about this. While regular bosses have an obvious reaction to the power they're weak against, most special bosses don't, so the only way to tell if you're doing it right is to check the amount of damage you do. This is particularly important in X3, as defeating the special bosses with the right weapon is essential to getting the Z-Saber upgrade for X.
  • Guns Akimbo: Axl's weaponry is generally this.
    • There's also X's buster upgrades in X2 and X3. The former can fire two buster shots one after the other, and the latter can combine the buster shots into one, more powerful shot.
  • The Gwen Stacy: Iris' death in X4. Zero's final memory before he apparently dies in X5 is of her face, to which he apologizes.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Maverick Hunter X features this as the Final Boss battle if you play as Vile. Beat X and Zero, and the following cutscene shows them seriously damaged. Then they pull themselves together, stomp you with one shot, and leave you to die. Great reward.
    • When you play as X, the intro-stage battle with Vile has been changed from a Hopeless Boss Fight to one of these. You have to do a certain amount of damage, but then Vile will simply waste you; Zero's entrance then proceeds on schedule.
    • In X5, X vs Zero -- No matter what character you use and Zero's condition (being Maverick or not), your fight will end in a draw.
  • Heart Container: Heart Tanks.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Subverted -- X prefers an Arm Cannon. It's Zero who prefers swords (more specifically, a Laser Blade).
    • X actually acquires a Laser Blade (specifically, Zero's) in X6, but he can't use it as well as Zero does. His armors in the game amplify its powers, though.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the original game, Zero sacrifices himself in the first game to destroy the Hopeless Boss Fight and give X his BFG if he doesn't have it already. Zero clung to the back of the mech, where there were no weapons, no way for the arms to reach him, and Vile's exposed head is in front of him. The manga adaptation of this scene shows X trying to attack Vile's exposed body, but stopped by a force field. The SNES version has X paralyzed after being over powered by Vile, and the PSP remake has Vile grab X while the latter is distracted seeing a downed Zero. However the effect is lessened when you realize neither game explains why shooting Vile isn't an option. The PSP version even shows that it wouldn't be too difficult for Zero to aim just a little higher.
    • Here's a subversion of the usual terms of the Heroic Sacrifice, concerning both X and Zero. They both sacrificed their physical bodies (Zero sealing his own while X used his to seal something) for the good of everyone they care for. That doesn't mean they're dead, though. Zero's now a Sealed Good in a Can, while X has become a cyber-elf to guide the future generation of heroes.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: X and Zero, until Axl shows up. At one point in X5, X claims Zero is not only his best friend, but his only friend.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Sigma is incredibly good at this: the X-Hunters in X2, Dr. Doppler in X3, the Repliforce in X4 (although this was Lampshaded by one of the bosses, and Sigma's involvement is strongly hinted at as early as the cutscene right after the intro stage), Gate in X6, and the Red Alert Syndicate in X7. Surprisingly, this doesn't happen in X5 and X8; X5 has Sigma possibly acting out a plan made by Wily, which could mean he was Hijacked By Wily, and in X8 Sigma is Hijacked By Lumine.
    • Sigma refers to Wily as his partner in X5, so it's likely that the two were working as equals.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Happens to Gate in X6, where he resurrects Sigma, only for the latter to nearly destroy him (the ending is ambiguous as to whether or not Alia chose to repair him), and deny his (Gate's) role in his resurrection.
  • Honor Before Reason: Repliforce. If they weren't so obstinate at the beginning of X4, we might have avoided the resulting war.]]
    • Maverick Hunter X has the pre-fight dialogue with several of the Mavericks point out that they're followers of this logic. X specifically points out that their actions will have them classified as Mavericks, and they don't deny it, but believe that what they're fighting for is right. The one exception is Storm Eagle, who doesn't deny the Maverick classification, but seems genuinely remorseful about the fact that he'll be considered a psycho and have to fight X as a result.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Vile and High Max, the first times you fight them in X and X6, respectively.
    • In Maverick Hunter X, the first time you fight Vile, you're required to beat him (by shooting him in the head rather than the ride armor). Failure means that he just plain kills you. This changes the meaning of the fight entirely (X is no longer considered underpowered, just stupid for approaching the damaged ride armor before confirming the kill).
  • Hot Scientist: Alia. Just see her X8 design.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Gigantic Mechaniloid series of bosses.
    • Some of the Mavericks themselves (particularly General) could count as these on their own.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Here are all of Zero's weapons in X7 and X8:
  • An Ice Person: Chill Penguin, Blizzard Buffalo, Frost Walrus, Duff McWhalen, Blizzard Wolfang, Avalanche Yeti.
  • The Immune: Played with. Most Reploids will become the chaotic, rampaging Mavericks upon The Virus's infection. But X, with his Suffering Circuit inside him, will instead get hurt upon infection, as the circuit's trying to prevent him from being rampaging and genocidal. The only one who's seemingly immune is Zero, and he even becomes stronger the more the virus infects him, as shown in the gameplay. It has to do with Zero being not only the original source of the virus itself, but he is actually made to be able to use it as a power source.
    • In X's case, he actually has perfect virus countermeasures, created by Dr. Light because he foresaw X would deal with viruses in the future, due to the Roboenza incident in Mega Man 10. That, or the Evil Energy from 8.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: The Dr. Light capsules, in all games. A popular Epileptic Tree for it is that all of them are actually one, single capsule.
    • Just to give the most bizarre example, there's a capsule in the Dinosaur Tank, a place that is flying all the time and did not exist in Light's time.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: So many...
    • X: Hadouken and Zero's Z-Buster. Subverted in the latter's case, as it requires you not to complete the Sidequest.
    • X2: Shoryuken.
    • X3: The Hyper Max Armor chip and Zero's Z-saber.
    • X5: Ultimate and Zero/Black Armors; both armors exist as infinity plus one armors since their first appearance, with the exception of X7.
    • X8: Sigma's BFS. This game also marked the first (and so far, only) appearance of Axl's "White Armor".
  • Informed Attribute: Of the setting itself. Just how well do humans and Reploids get along? It'd be nice to know, but the one recurring human has been retconned out of the series recently. Becomes fairly ridiculous when Lumine mentions that said relationship has irrevocably changed and manages to confound the heroes. Do they know either?
    • Also, given how much personality the Robot Masters had in the Mega Man series in games where they had dialog as well as the various mangas and adaptations, what makes Reploids so different aside from overall power?
  • Inherently Funny Words: Metal Shark Player.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Magma Dragoon from X4, definitely. He's one of the few "standard 8" bosses who has a larger connection with the story, and he's the only one who actually talks to you after getting defeated. Oh, and his appearance and moveset are definitely based off Akuma...
    • Egregion, the opening stage boss in X4, is a gigantic dragon Mechaniloid.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: Variable X, the theme that symbolizes X's growth and Zero's trust in him. It was this at first, but later the theme became more attached to dramatic scenes mostly involving Zero's death or any sacrifice he makes for X. That said, the theme still follows both warriors, zigzagging to which one it truly represents, leading to the conclusion it belongs to both of them.
  • Japanese Beetle Brothers: Boomer Kuwanger (Kuwagatamushi) and Gravity Beetle (Kabutomushi). They actually are brothers, too.
  • Jerkass Facade: Zero. Despite his tough-guy (and occasionally smart-alecy) attitude, he repeatedly shows throughout the series that he is actually a nice guy who cares very deeply for his friends and allies.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: Compare The Final Countdown and Infinity Mijinion's stage music, or Neon Tiger's stage music and "My Michelle" by Guns n' Roses.
  • Joke Character: CutMan, 8-bit in graphics, music, and appearance, is a Bonus Boss in X8. His sprite animation may be a Shout-Out to Paper Mario.
  • Jossed: After years of fan speculation that Zero killed the original cast of the old series, Keiji Inafune casually stated in a question and answer session that this was not true and "was not a part of Zero's character."
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner/Knight Templar: The Maverick Hunters were forced into this trope more often than not due to both extreme circumstances and the complete unwillingness of their targets to cooperate. Needless to say, X was very unhappy about this fact.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Red Alert in X7, Lumine in X8.
  • Just Think of the Potential: Dr. Light, seeing that the "X" stands for a variable that represents unlimited potential, and thus, a connotation of danger, averts this trope by sealing him in a capsule for 30 years for morality testing to assure that he'll do what's right (or alternately, because The World Is Not Ready to accept him as a living, sapient being on par with humans). Dr. Cain, on the other hand...
    • And the End of X8, stating the production of Copy Chips was restarted later, though enabling Reploids to go Maverick at will.
  • Kill All Humans: Suddenly Reploids, thanks to their advanced programming that allows them to enjoy a personality, can malfunction and end up wanting to exterminate and not care about humans, aptly named Mavericks. Thanks to the circuit that makes X "worry" about the value of humans and Reploids not being perfect in other Reploids, and thus extremely vulnerable to the virus, which exploits the cracks.
    • This is also at times implied to be an inherent part of the Reploid's free will: Just as a human can freely choose the Dark Side, Reploids can do the same. The flaw simply makes them more vulnerable to physical and external influences on their behavior.
  • Kill Sat: The Final Weapon in X4. The entire Repliforce War turns out to be a Kansas City Shuffle by Sigma to take control of it. Optic Sunflower also seems to use one as his desperation attack.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Though this wouldn't be the first time, Sigma (finally!!) has been stated to have been killed at the end of the last released game. The next game, chronologically, as well as the next series, somewhat proves this, since he doesn't appear in them at all.
    • X5 supposedly has this happen to Zero as well, to end the series. Of course, Capcom didn't make it stick...
  • Knight, Knave, and Squire: X, Zero and Axl respectively.
  • Laser Blade: Zero's Beam Saber is the most famous, but Sigma has one of those first.
  • Last Breath Bullet: In X5, Sigma starts it by shooting X and Zero at the same time with a back attack. Zero has enough power left to give a parting counterattack as he fades away, finishing Sigma off.
    • Lumine also does the same thing to Axl, with a tentacle-like appendage from his body.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: "Stay back X! I'll take him on!"
  • Level Map Display: In X3, the head upgrade gives X access to a (very rudimentary) map of the level, dividing it into small sectors, and showcasing the special items of the level.
  • Levels Take Flight: The stages for Storm Eagle (X), Storm Owl (X4), The Skiver/Spiral Pegacion (X5), and Wind Crowrang (X7) all involve (in some way) their personal armadas, with the actual battle against these Mavericks usually taking place on their personal aircraft/flagship.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: Shield Sheldon's stage in X6.
  • Limit Break: Giga Attacks. Also, each boss, starting with the third game, will unleash a more powerful attack starting at 50% health, but only once (it either is very difficult to avoid, or has a lingering effect).
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Zero and X respectively, in a way. Zero, as a prominent Z-saber user, is stronger than X at first, but when X is fully upgraded with the weapons from bosses as well as Powered Armors, X becomes an all-powerful warrior in his own right.
  • Lip Lock: This is the reason for Zero's infamous "WHAT-AM-I-FIGHTING FOOOOOOOOOOR!" line in X4, since his lip movements have his mouth open wide when he says it.
  • Lost Forever: In X6, there are Reploids scattered throughout the levels waiting around to be rescued. God help you if a nightmare virus infects one of them, because they will be lost forever, taking the items they give with them.
  • Luck-Based Mission: X5 and the cannon. The cannon will only successfully fire half the time, no matter how well you do.
    • Also, the shuttle can in fact fail to destroy the colony even if you do gather all the parts. Conversely, you can fire the cannon right off the bat and it actually has a decent chance of destroying the colony.
    • The success of the shuttle seems tied to which character you've been giving preference to. For instance, a playthrough focused on building up Zero will usually have a successful Shuttle Operation, for obvious reasons.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Happens literally (the massacre part, that is) in the climax of the OVA.
  • Magma Man: Magma Dragoon from X4.
  • The Maverick Hunters
  • Meaningful Name: Aside from the obvious examples (see Theme Naming below), let's take a look at X4's mole. In addition to the aforementioned reveal as a double agent, he also has two forms to go along with his role, and he's weak to the Double Cyclone.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: Ride Armors.
  • Mechanical Evolution: Done rather uniquely; all Reploids are 'replica androids' derived from the titular X, who was designed with 'limitless potential,' the capability to evolve to (hopefully) overcome any obstacle he was presented with. As X is forced to fight and evolve, more and more powerful Reploids can be made based on him, allowing the species itself to evolve over time.
  • Mega Manning: X's Variable Weapons, Zero's Command Arts, and Axl's Special Arms.
  • Minecart Madness: Armored Armadillo's stage in X1. The minecarts themselves travel very fast, mow down nearby Mooks in an instant, and are in fact required to cross the large chasm connecting the end of the mine to the entrance of the Boss Room.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Ride Armors seen in most of the games, available for use to the playable characters. Vile more than often uses them in his appearances as well.
  • The Mole: Double in X4.
  • Monstrosity Equals Weakness
  • Moral Dissonance: In the bad ending of X5, Doctor Light erases all memories of Zero from X's mind and installs a program that rejects any further data about him, thus essentially removing all traces of Zero from X's life. The fact that Doctor Light would do something so incredibly unethical to spare X's feelings is mindboggling.
    • Arguably, much of the series centers around this, given what Maverick Hunters actually do. This issue is occasionally addressed, albeit very mildly, and nothing ever changes regardless. However, it does lead into the Zero series....
  • More Dakka: Axl in X8, where he got multiple arsenals from the bosses. One of them, in particular, is the Ice Gatling. Very cool, isn't it?
  • More Hero Than Thou: In X5, in order to stop the Colony Drop, one of the heroes has to maneuver a shuttle into crashing into it. Zero volunteered himself, as he stated that, whether or not he (Zero) survives the crash, the world is still in danger, and X is needed more than he is.
  • Motive Decay: Sigma was once a (probably) charismatic revolutionary. Upon turning Maverick, his initial goal was for the Reploids to reign over mankind (akin to Magneto) before he became obsessed with the defeat of the heroes.
  • Multiple Endings: Subversion in X2 and X3. Gathering all of Zero's parts and keeping the same character alive, respectively, definitely changes things in the final battles, but they only slightly affect the ending. Played straight in later games, though.
  • Multipurpose Tongue: Sting Chameleon from X1 is all about this trope. He uses his tongue as his primary attack, and can hang from the ceiling to rain damaging spikes down from the ceiling.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups: In X3, in addition to the Powered Armor, you can get an upgrade chip from the capsule that will upgrade one of the parts. Once you select one (by accepting Dr. Light's offer to add the chip to the respective part), you can't have the others, but you can still get the other armor parts. However, there's a secret way to get all of them at once, and with a nice touch of gold color!
  • Named After Somebody Famous: The Maverick bosses in X5 are named after the members (and ex-members) of Guns N' Roses. As far as can be told, this was primarily inspired by one of them being a rose and having a stage littered with, well...
  • Never Trust a Title: X isn't the main character of X7.
  • New Game+: Xtreme 1 and 2 allowed this, particularly with the latter's parts system. X8, which features the most item collection in the series, lets you cut loose with all your prizes—indeed, it's the only way to unlock each character's special armor.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The 1st part of the Evil Plan in X5, where Sigma baits X and Zero into fighting and defeating him at the beginning of the game, spreading The Virus all over the Earth. One should know that it's a trap, since your Arch Enemy wouldn't have let himself get beaten that easily.
    • In a bizarre twist earlier in the series, Sigma's battle with Zero pre-X. Sigma's actually The Hero in this scenario, and the whole battle (possibly when Sigma punches Zero's helmet crystal) was the cause of The Virus passing onto him, triggering his Face Heel Turn and, in turn, Zero's Heel Face Turn.
      • Although, it could be that Sigma as a Maverick would be preferable to Zero remaining a Maverick.
  • Nintendo Hard: X6, thanks to the endless array of instant death spikes.
    • Combined with every other instant-kill trap, utilized in the most sadistic way possible.
  • No Damage Run: Kind of in X5. Completing the first four stages without using a single continue will allow the Cannon to completely destroy Eurasia, making the remaining four stages entirely optional (with new dialogue to accommodate this), as well as giving slightly more exposition on the Zero Virus during the intro to Sigma's fortress.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Averted in X6; just because you blew up the space colony doesn't solve the problem of the debris crashing and causing havoc.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Many instances. For one, X wouldn't be harmed by spikes if he stands on them right after he defeats a boss.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Played with in Maverick Zero and Sigma's battle in X4's flashback cutscene. It seems like Sigma is controlling the fight, but Zero just keeps getting up, laughing, and finally winning a Single-Stroke Battle, fist to Beam Saber, and then turns the tables completely. Zero is only beaten when his head crystal glows, causing him a headache, and then Sigma punches it, making his opponent unconscious.
  • The Obi-Wan: Dr. Light, to X. Strangely enough, he also serves as an adviser to Zero in X5 and X6. The latter fact was dropped in subsequent games, possibly to remove confusion.
    • Or because he simply had no more advice to offer.
  • Obvious Beta: X6 definitely has shades of this. With the lazy level design, the unspeakably bad translation that was completely impossible to make out at times, and several missing tracks from the sound test (including Zero's own freakin' theme music, which is also one of the best tracks in the game.), it's pretty clear that Capcom rushed this out as soon as possible to squeeze one last bit of money out of the PS 1 before it faded away completely (the game came out in late 2001).
  • OC Stand-In: Dr. Cain often gets this treatment from fans.
    • Not just that, humanity itself sometimes also gets this treatment, since they're oddly never seen (not even in the cutscenes!).
  • Odd Friendship: A Technical Pacifist and a warrior? Hmm... Especially when they were destined to kill each other.
  • One Hundred Percent Completion: Collecting all the items in X8 and upgrading the three/later six playable characters, which even has a percentage counter for each character. Fully upgrading (100%) each of the male characters is the only way to obtain his infinity plus one armor without the use of codes.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Hadouken and the Shoryuken from the first and second games, respectively. For something "weaker", there is the Z-saber from X3, and the Nova Strike from X8, both of which inflict two-hit kills.
    • Also from X8, regardless of how much energy the players still have, the Final Boss's Paradise Lost attack will always result in instant death if the timer runs out.
    • From X5 comes one in the form of Genmurei, an attack Awakenening Zero uses if the battle progresses too long. True to the trope, it covers up the entire area in front, leaving no chance to escape or survive. Here's a video of the Genmurei, time set to when Zero does it.
  • One-Man Army: In X7, Zero comes close to literally being one, after X retires, until at least he was joined by the "volunteer" Axl.
    • In fact, most of the legwork of the Maverick Hunters seem to rely only on X, Zero, and (later) Axl. It's only in The Movie Day of Sigma that other Maverick Hunters are actually shown fighting (and, even then, just briefly).
    • This is played with, since the Mavericks always seem to rely on a mere 8 bosses, suggesting that both sides deploy forces against each other beyond what we see.
  • One-Winged Angel: Sigma abuses the hell out of this trope.
    • He's also a dumbass at this trope. According to the sourcebooks, none of the fortress bosses from the first game were working right, and his battle body wasn't finished. In X3, aside from just barely finishing the Kaiser body before starting the war, he didn't use it in a place where he could use the speed. In X5, he even says his giant body isn't finished. Finally, in X7, he never bothers to just smash the platforms you're on.
    • Lumine in X8 not only grows angel wings, but the background suddenly becomes cloudy and sunny... despite your fighting on the moon.
  • The Other Darrin: Considering his expanded role in future series, Zero has had the most voice actors in the series at 4 (5 if one counts his Zero voice actor, since there was no English audio). X and Sigma won't be left behind either, having 3 actors each.
    • X deserves special mention for changing Japanese voice actors mid-series, unlike most other characters who have one per series.
  • Outside the Box Tactic: While many bosses have Logical Weaknesses, the Launch Octopus has one of these - the boomerang attack can cut off its tentacles and prevent it from using its homing attack.
  • OVA: Day of Sigma, available after finishing the first game's remake. It's a prequel to events in the series; however, it retcons certain aspects of the series canon (eg. Sigma's motivations, Dr. Cain's death [he was shown/mentioned in games up to X4; especially in X2, where it was he who rebuilt Zero from the parts X stole from the X-Hunters], etc.).
    • It should be noted that Maverick Hunter X was intended to use Inafune's originally intended plot for the X series, so maybe Dr. Cain wasn't supposed to be around for that long.
  • Panthera Awesome: Neon Tiger from X3 and Slash Beast from X4.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: Sigma.
    • Also Repliforce, considering they're dubbed "the strongest army on Earth" and they want to seclude themselves from humans to create their own society...
  • Password Save: In the first three games.
  • The Phoenix: Blaze Heatnix of X6.
  • Physical God: Arguably, but X is hinted to be one. The endings of the first three games have pictures of the bosses, along with power and speed calculations, capping at 25600 for the final bosses. X (and Zero) has his power and speed as ???.

Cyber Peacock: His potential... is limitless?! Not possible.

    • Also Maverick Zero, according to, in Sigma's words, an "old man" (Possibly referring to Dr. Wily).

"Zero is the most powerful thing in the universe, when purified by The Virus."

  • Pietà Plagiarism: Zero does this in X4.
  • Platform Battle: A few bosses, most notably the rematch against Serges in X2 (set on floating platforms above a bed of lethal spikes) as well as Gate's boss fight in X6 (this time above Bottomless Pits).
  • Platform Hell: Gate's stages in X6, which often approach I Wanna Be the Guy levels of frustration and difficulty.
  • Playing the Victim Card: Some of the bosses do this to you. They're not necessarily wrong, either.
  • Playing with Fire: Flame Mammoth, Flame Stag, Magma Dragoon, Mattrex, Blaze Heatnix, Flame Hyenard, Burn Rooster, from X1-X2, X4-X8 respectively. Strangely, X3 is the only game without a fire-themed maverick.
  • Polygon Ceiling: X7 is just short of Bubsy 3D.
  • Post Script Season: X5 was meant to cap off the series and segue into the Zero series, but stuff happened and Capcom threw together four more installments that didn't really involve Inafune's input.
  • Power Armor: The Mini-Mecha mentioned above, complete with a separate health reservoir, speed dash, and titan punches. X3 introduced a few variants, including one with Spikes of Doom and an anphibious one with Super Not-Drowning Skills.
    • X's various armors from Dr. Light's capsules is a more standard version.
  • Power Crystal: Many Reploids have these. In particular, most of the humanoid ones have at least one on their forehead.
    • Special mentions goes to Zero's Booblights.
    • In particular, X's head crystal starts to glow when he's in his critical health.
  • Power Glows: In the first three games, X will glow with a different color as he charges his Buster to the next charge level. Zero also does this, but only in X3.
  • Power Levels: In X3, the images were combined with ratings for strength and speed. Most of the bosses topped at about 10,000 for one or the other, Sigma made it up to 16,000 both, and Battle Body Sigma reached 25,600 for both (despite the fact that he was slower than dirt). Interestingly, X and Zero both had ratings of "?", which is confirmed in X4 when Cyber Peacock proclaims that X's potential is limitless (though he immediately tries to discredit his readings by claiming it's not possible).
  • Pre-Explosion Glow: Starting from X4 onwards, all of the bosses does this after being defeated (sans Dynamo, who isn't dead).
  • Promoted to Unlockable: Zero in X3. And by "unlockable", we mean "push the L button on the pause screen".
    • Vile in Maverick Hunter X's Vile Mode.
    • Inverted with X in X7; he's Demoted To Unlockable.
  • Properly Paranoid: In X6, the Inspectors are labeled Mavericks on a whim. The Inspectors turned out to actually be willingly working for someone evil.
  • Put on a Bus: Axl's copy-chip powers were meant to herald a new age of Reploids, so much so that an entire line had been manufactured. Cut to the Zero series, and there's not a single mention of either Axl's eventual fate or the technology itself.
    • Given the debacle caused during X8, it's probable that the project was simply canceled. Command Mission references several characters being products of the program being illegally restarted.
  • Racing the Train: Slash Beast of X4 shows up to the Traintop Battle by running parallel up to, then jumping onto the train car used as his boss room.
  • Rank Inflation: X5 goes for B, A, SA, GA, PA, and MH ranking scales. X6 goes D, C, B, A, SA, GA, PA, UH.
  • Real Time Weapon Change: Since the series started on the SNES, the shoulder buttons were used as an alternative to pausing for the weapons.
  • Recurring Boss: Dynamo, High Max, the Nightmare Police, and Vile.
  • The Reveal: Zero's X4 opening cutscene. A silhouette of an old man (obviously Dr. Wily) lecturing Zero to destroy his nemesis, Mega Man X.
  • Rhino Rampage: Tunnel Rhino of X3.
  • Right-Hand-Cat: Sigma's first in-game appearance in X1 is in the final level, alongside a "pet" robotic wolf named Velguarder that serves as the level's first boss fight. Sigma implies that the player should be able to defeat it easily.
  • Robo-Family: X is considered to be a 'brother' to Mega Man, considering that he was also made by Doctor Light and carries on his legacy.
    • Iris and Colonel call each other brother and sister because they were supposed to be the same reploid, but were split into two.
    • Also Techno and Midi, who shared the same CPU.
    • And that makes X pretty much everyone's father except for Zero. It's not expanded on much.
    • Axl and Lumine are also technically related, since Axl is Lumine's prototype.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: From the first game: "YOU GET HORMING TORPEDO". They didn't bother correcting it in the English version, it seems.
  • Schematized Prop: You can see X's full blueprint in the opening cutscene in X1.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: In X4, Zero and X have a identical yet separate storyline. X never shows up in Zero's story, while Zero only appears once in X's story, when he's flying to Earth after destroying the Final Weapon.
  • Screaming Warrior: The title character in later entries into the series (in particular, those with voiced pre-boss dialogue). Reaches Large Ham territory introducing the Sigma fight in Maverick Hunter X.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • Zero's capsule sealed The Virus. He was infected by it during his fight with Sigma, having his armor breached during the battle. He is still the only carrier of it besides Sigma, though.
    • Arguably, in a related case, Zero himself was a sealed evil, with the Maverick Hunters temporarily containing him in the lab he woke up in, right before the above events came to pass.
  • Secret AI Moves: Any time you fight Zero, he'll start using moves he most certainly did not have when using him, such as his signature buster-buster-Sword Beam combo from X2 before he was playable. X is guilty too. Regardless of whether or not you obtained the Ultimate Armor, he'll use it. He also uses moves from the previous installment in the series, which do not carry over from game to game.
  • Secret AI Moves: X5 is pretty bad about this. When you end up challenging either X or Zero, the character gets moves you cannot (or no longer can) use. X can use several powers from the previous game, which he can use a lot better than he ever could in that game, while Zero gets a huge upgrade to his ranged attack abilities. The latter might have been excusable if only Maverick Zero could do it (instead he he's just cheaper and gets a one-hit kill attack on top), but Zero can use these powers regardless of the circumstance.
  • Secret Character: Zero in X6. Also, see Easter Egg above.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Some of the Mavericks fall under this (how many of you knew what Infinity Mijinon was supposed to be before reading the page?)
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: A common one among players is to defeat all of the stage bosses using only the X Buster. Others inlcude beating the game with no damage or beating it without upgrades or hearts.
    • YouTube let's player HideofBeast takes this to downright masochistic levels, having done a minimalist, no damage speed run of X4-6 on Extreme Mode. This is especially painful when you take into account the horrid level design of X6 and how much of a pain in the ass it is just to beat it normally.
  • Sequel Hook: X8 ends with one, where Lumine, in his last breath, knocks Axl comatose, and leaves a strange fragment on his helmet. It gets no mention in Command Mission, which might or might not be the next chronological game.
  • Shades of Conflict: The games can vary tremendously. In the first through third games, you are heroically trying to put down a murderous revolution mostly caused by an army of infected replies. In the fourth game, you're a bit more trigger happy, dealing with wrongfully accused people doing everything in their power to justify your need to take them down. The games just get more ambiguous from there.
  • Shock and Awe: Spark Mandrill, Volt Catfish, Web Spider, Squid Adler, Tornado Tonion, Gigavolt Man-O'-War.
  • Shotoclone:
    • There are hidden special attacks for X in the first two games that mimic Ryu and Ken's signature attacks from Street Fighter. X's Shoryuken returns in X4 (charged Rising Fire) and X8 (comes with the Ultimate Armor).
    • Magma Dragoon is an utterly blatant Shotoclone, complete with Akuma's topknot and magatama.
    • In X8 as well, two of Zero's techniques change into the Shoryuken and the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku when he's equipped with the K-Knuckle.
  • Shoulder Cannon: Vile/Vava.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrug of God: Inafune himself says that whether or not Serges is really Dr. Wily is for the player to decide.
    • The makers of X6 wouldn't tell people for certain whether Isoc is Dr. Wily or not either.
  • Skippable Boss/Sequence Breaking: In X5, you can skip the 8 Maverick stages by immediately using the Enigma Cannon and/or the Shuttle, and then you can access the fortress stages.
    • Likewise, the three X Hunters from X-2 move randomly from stage to stage, and appear only in designated rooms within the stages, sometimes off the stage's main path. There is also an additional boss in the final stage, depending on whether or not you defeated all three X-Hunters while battling the eight Mavericks.
    • Vile's reappearance in X-3 is completely optional, depending on whether or not the player finished that stage before he appeared on the map.
    • In X6, if you beat Nightmare Zero and High Max in the secret areas, Gate's secret lab becomes accessible.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Blaze Heatnix's level. His stage music is one of the fastest paced and intense songs in the series. The level itself, on the other hand, is one of the slowest paced in the series, comprised almost entirely of battles against the same mini boss.
  • Space Elevator: The Jacob's Tower.
  • Species Surname
  • Speed Echoes: Whenever X/Zero dashes, they leave a trail of holograms of themselves. This is carried over to the Zero and ZX series.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Liberion or Rebellion? Hmmm...
    • And then there is Axl...
    • There's also Pallette.
    • There's also some confusion between "Fourth Armor" and "Force Armor". Its name actually is Fourth. Force is a mistranslation derived from both words being the same in Japanese.
  • Spikes of Doom: Par for the course for a Mega Man game, but this got really bad in X6.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Sigma added these to his armor after his Face Heel Turn. They often adorn it in his later incarnations.
  • Stealth Pun: X6 having Metal Shark Player (the jumping part can also be done literally, considering one of Shark Player's attacks) and Zombie Sigma.
    • The ice-themed armor being named Absolute Zero? (That doubles as Genius Bonus as well.)
  • The Stool Pigeon: Lifesaver defies Signas's orders to remain quiet on Zero's mysterious virus readings and snitches to X, causing their fateful showdown and nearly getting them both killed. It's not that surpising that Lifesaver has never been seen since.
  • Stop Helping Me!: Alia constantly interrupts you in X5 to give you tips that are almost always Captain Obvious statements. It thankfully became optional in X6.
  • Strictly Formula: If there's some new Reploids introduced, chance are they're evil or just want to backstab people. Most of the time, Sigma is behind all of these.
    • It then becomes a plot twist when it turns out in X8 that Sigma is not the Big Bad and the Final Boss of the game.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Many fans said that that's what make them love this series (especially true to the boss' cinematic explosions). You know why.
  • Super Prototype: Both X and Zero, but (arguably) subverted with Axl, who is a prototype to the New Generation Reploids.
    • Justified, given the poorer 'mass production models' of which X was supposedly the prototype (Reploids) were more akin to crappy knock-offs made by a significantly less gifted scientist; it took centuries just to completely fix all the problems with them. Not to mention it can also be seen as an aversion if you call Mega Man the prototype and X the finished model.
  • Superhero: What, you think that they're not this?
  • Surprisingly Good English: Dr. Light's warning in Mega Man X's intro is written in 100% fluent English in both the Japanese and overseas releases of the game.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: X basically is one of these, thanks to the massively upgraded Variable Tools System originally used by Mega Man (now called the Variable Weapon System). Zero's Z-saber is a more literal version, sort of...
  • Sword Beam: The Z-Saber in X3, but only when X uses it, and even then only if he has one of the Buster Upgrades.
    • The same Z-Saber in X2 and X5, when Zero uses it against X.
  • Sword Lines: Everytime the Z-Saber is swung, it creates these.
  • Sword Sparks: In this video, where Colonel and Zero fight, their Laser Blades create electric sparks.
  • Synchronization: In the spinoff, Mega Man Xtreme, the characters Techno and Middy share the same CPU despite being in different bodies.
  • Tagalong Kid: Axl in X7. Neither Zero nor the rest of the Hunters want to send him out into battle, but he insisted, seeing the game's crisis was started over him. Later, X8 and Command Mission depict him as having "grown up", becoming an accepted member of the Hunters.
  • Take Up My Sword: In X1, if the player hasn't acquired the upgraded Arm Cannon before entering Sigma's fortress, X receives Zero's arm cannon after defeating Vile. In said game, it doesn't make any difference from getting the real Arm Cannon from the capsule, but in Maverick Hunter X, Zero's Buster gives off a huge Red single hit blast charge shot instead of the one from the capsule [8]
  • Taking You with Me: The X series supposedly ends when Gamma Sigma, in his last breath, tries to take both X and Zero with him, twice in a row. The first time wasn't a success, but the second time? Zero actually dies, but X survives.
    • Don't forget Zero's Heroic Sacrifice in X1, where he blows himself up to destroy Vile's nigh-invulnerable Ride Armor. Maverick Hunter X changes it from blowing himself up to taking the brunt of the explosion when he destroys Vile's Ride Armor.
  • Team Shot: An awesome one is pulled off near the end of X8, as the three heroes prepare to take on Lumine.
  • Technicolor Death: Everytime a boss is defeated.
  • Technology Marches On: Zero started having dreams where he sees Dr. Wily's silhouette in X4, which came out in the late 90's. With the introduction of online resources like Google and wikipedia, it's a little baffling why Zero doesn't spend some time on the internet looking through historical databases of old robotics experts.
  • Thanking the Viewer: Capcom games love to do this, and this series is no exception.
  • Theme Naming: the main three characters of the series (X, Zero and Sigma) are all named after symbols from various "alphabets" (zero's a number, but you know what I mean).
    • The name X represents the infinite possibility as stated by his creator, Thomas Light. He even has a theme song that is named Variable X.
    • In particular, in Sigma's and Zero's case, Keiji Inafune says that Sigma and Zero basically represent the idea that nothing is absolute. Sigma was a powerful leader of the Maverick Hunters but after Zero passed the virus to him, his allegiance changed. Circumstances can change anything, and nothing is absolute.
    • Zero's name is a reference to the number, which is unique among numbers. Like X, Zero represents limitless potential, just in a different way.
  • This Cannot Be!: Several villains are quite fond of using this trope when they're defeated, such as Vile in Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X when he is defeated by X in Sigma Stage 1 and he screams "Noooo... I can't lose to X...!" before exploding.
    • Also, Sigma's last words in Mega Man X8:

Sigma: (being defeated) Impossible! You couldn't... destroy... old world... new age... Hrrgh! Argh! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo!!!!! (then he blows up)

  • This Is a Drill: In Maverick Hunter X, the remake of the first game, Spark Mandrill gets a drill for a right hand as a pun on his name.
    • Also Tunnel Rhino of X3 and Grizzly Slash of X5 (although we don't get the drill weapon from the latter).
  • Title Drop: Mega Man X8: Paradise Lost. Guess what's the final boss' attack name?
    • In Maverick Hunter X, after Zero sacrificed himself to destroy Vile's mech:

X: Zero! Hang in there, buddy!
Zero: X... I'm always telling you... to be more careful... but now look at me...
X: Don't waste your energy talking, Zero. We've gotta fix you up.
Zero: There's... no time for that... Sigma is close... Very close...
X: Zero...
Zero: Go now... Maverick Hunter X...

    • Storm Eagle also calls X by his full title, but only on the second playthrough.
  • Title Scream: In X4.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: Probably done for Rule of Cool, all of Zero's (or Layer's) moves were left untranslated in X4, X6, X7 and X8.
    • This is also the case of Boomerang Kuwanger, from the first game. Kuwagata means "stag beetle" in Japan. Though they have good reason for doing this, as another beetle (Gravity Beetle) comes in the third game.
    • As well as Infinity Mijinion in X6. Mijinko means "daphnia" (aka water flea).
  • Tragic Monster: Some Maverick Bosses are actually innocent individuals (e.g. Blizzard Buffalo), or have sympathetic backstories (e.g. most X6 Investigators) before being infected; and then there are other Mavericks who are only termed as such by the government (most of the Bosses in X4 (though granted, their army was acting treasonously) as well as Command Mission's Rebellion army). The most tragic one of all, is, of course, Zero's girlfriend Iris.
  • Trippy Finale Syndrome: X5, to the max. It is caused by the concentration of the Zero virus being so strong that it caused the formation of a "Zero Space", in which Cyberspace and the ordinary world merge. This is similar to Omega's power causing doors to Cyberspace to appear in Zero 3. He is, after all, the original Zero.
  • True Final Boss: Lumine in X8's Normal and Hard Modes. On Easy, it's just Sigma.
  • Turns Red: In contrast to the NES originals, bosses start becoming more dangerous when low on HP. In X1, this was limited to two of the Sigma fortress bosses simply moving faster, but in X2, the Mavericks began unleashing new and more powerful attacks after their HP hits 50%.
    • In X2, Morph Moth starts the battle in a larval stage and doesn't reveal his true form until low on HP. Meanwhile, Flame Stag doesn't reveal much in the way of new attacks, but the color of his fire upgrades from red to blue (in the rematch against him, he already starts out blue).
    • In X8, every boss will turn invincible and pull out a Desperation Attack at 25% health. It becomes quite annoying once you avoid it and are waiting for the Mercy Invincibility to wear off...
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex: Mattrex, complete with fire breath. Justified, as he's a robot.
  • Unconscious Objector: On the Maverick Hunter X OVA, X gets impaled with a light saber and given a Hannibal Lecture, he has a flashback, finds some courage to keep fighting , and reacts for a brief moment, enough to pass through Sigma's Saber and cause him his signature Scar (at least in this version); when Sigma reacts and is going to attack, he notices X is now immobile (he kind of stabbed him right into his energy generator or something like that) so he retires, satisfied as he witnessed the Hidden Potential Dr. Cain talked about.
  • Unique Enemy: The Mega Man era Bubble Bat in Armored Armadillo's stage. Relatively easy to miss, as you're supposed to be on a speeding trolley when you go past him.
  • Updated Rerelease: X3 got a Playstation/Saturn rerelease with a revamped soundtrack and a full video opening and unique openings for each Maverick. It was only released outside Japan on PC until the release of Mega Man X Collection, as it was the version of X3 included.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Shades of this appear in later games; the Maverick Hunters dutifully destroy any Reploid that goes "Maverick", according to their standards... which would be fine, if those standards were limited to those Reploids actively infected with The Virus or deliberately causing grievous harm to humanity and/or Reploidkind. Unfortunately, it seems to encompass any form of resistance against the natural order of things, including otherwise non-hostile acts like peacefully exiling themselves to their own space colony (Repliforce and the Rebellion Army; though there are reasons for both of those, albeit not entirely concrete justifications) or merely having traits that could potentially cause problems with controlling them (Nightmare Investigators). In fact, it's revealed in X5 that the (unseen) Maverick Hunter commander in charge during X4 retired in disgrace for misapplying the label of "Maverick" on Repliforce, and thus causing the deaths of hundreds or thousands of relatively innocent Reploids. Furthermore, the commander who labels the Rebellion "Maverick" in Command Mission was a Manipulative Bastard who fancied himself a god. Doesn't stop X or Zero from blowing away their Designated Villain targets, though.
    • While Repliforce and NI are both sympathetic in one way or another ([9] and [10]), they do have their own faults ([11] and [12])
  • Victory Pose: All of the heroes has one each after defeating a boss.
  • Video Game Remake: Maverick Hunter X to X1, which serves as a Continuity Reboot.
  • Villain by Default: All of the villains in this series (and also ZX series) are called Mavericks, ranging from the virus-infected ones, wrongly-accused ones or just the plain criminals with free will.
    • Mega Man Zero playes this from the different side, as La Résistance who is composed of innocent Reploids are judged Mavericks just because of energy shortage.
  • Villain Decay:
  • The Virus: The Maverick Virus; not counting an Early-Bird Cameo as the Final Boss in X2, its role becomes prominent in the series from X3 onwards. There are other variations, like the Nightmare Virus in X6 and of course the Sigma Virus. X8 gives us Sigma's very DNA, allegedly encrypted into all the data of the New Generation Reploids.
  • Wall Jump: This game is the king of this trope. Combined with Jump Physics, the players can climb a single wall with this. This is later carried over to Zero and ZX series.
  • Warmup Boss: The bosses of any introductory stage (excluding Vile in X1, who was a Hopeless Boss Fight).
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: General in X4.
    • Sigma from Maverick Hunter X might count as well. He never outright said he hated humans, but that they were a necessary sacrifice so that Reploids could evolve, feeling that humans were holding Reploids back.
  • Wham! Episode: X4; well, most of it anyway. Mavericks that have more to do with politics instead of The Virus (as was established two games earlier), Iris' death, and X wondering if he can keep doing the same thing over and over (although the last one was subverted). The whole thing even started off with a WHAM:Dr. Wily appearing for the first time, and to Zero, no less! Thus supplementing the trope directly below...

Sigma: Zero... He is... last... of the doctor's creations...

      • Which at the time could have been taken to mean the last of Light's creations.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: The boss intro screens in X8.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Pretty much all of X8, though Maverick Hunter X seems to indicate that this was what the series was trying for the whole time.
  • When All Else Fails Go Right
    • Played with in Mega Man X 6; as the second part of the Infinity Mijinion level opens, you do have to go right to progress. But directly to the left of the starting point (Behind the Black) is one of the game's upgrade capsules, which most players would miss because of this trope.
    • There's also some variations in other games in the X series: The heart tank for Storm Eagle's level is directly above the player, unreachable from the start point, so you have to go right, then left when you get high enough. In Armored Armadillo's stage, you need to go right to get away from a death machine, then go back left to get a sub tank. In fact, from the very first game, the X series has delighted in hiding things from the player that assumes forward is right.
    • The general case applies as well, starting from the original Mega Man days and carrying forward from there; most levels (if not all) start you at the left end and send you to the right.
  • Where It All Began: A subversion: in X2, Sigma is fought in an earlier Maverick stage, but not necessarily the first stage.
    • Plus, the map shows that the stage is located in a different place, implying that the Computer Core was duplicated for the North Pole facility.
    • Subtly implied in X5 when X or Zero goes to fight Sigma. In the background of the first fight are two dilapidated capsules, one red and one blue...
  • White Gloves: Many characters to count, starting from X and Zero.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Zero's copy in X2 (and the Black Zero armor that is based on said copy), and Dynamo.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Gate. The unlucky bastard may have been a prick beforehand, but the guy got infected by the Zero Virus. Anything that makes you crazy enough to think resurrecting Sigma is a good idea has got to be nasty. Also, the Investigators were his creations that he resurrected after they were killed off by his old bosses instead of being reassigned.
  • World Half Empty: Especially after the Colony Drop.
  • Writer Revolt: Played oddly. Inafune's original plot for the Zero series is that having X as the Big Bad who has gotten Knight Templar over all his stress, and Zero is the hero. It's good that Executive Meddling are not always bad - that's what prevents X's character from being derailed too heavily in said series. We get Copy-X instead.
  • X Marks the Hero: This is a very odd example, because it involves all three of the main heroes. Axl has an X-shaped scar centered on the bridge of his nose, Zero has a stylized X-above-Z emblem on his left shoulder, and X is, uh, named X.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz
  • You Can't Fight Fate: No matter what happens in X5, Zero and Mega Man X will always have their destined battle.
    • However, Zero is still more or less the master of Screw Destiny, since Dr. Wily programmed him to be a weapon of mass destruction; technically, Zero is one, but he doesn't use his abilities for the evil purposes Wily wanted him to.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: In X5, your initial defeat of Sigma is part of his plan, setting in motion a Colony Drop. You then spend most of the game building machines to prevent the crash — but no matter how good your luck is, you can't stop it completely. What's more, the second thing you try may turn Zero evil, and this was also part of Sigma's plan. (Even if Zero's okay, he and X will end up fighting, leaving just one hero to stop Sigma.)
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: X8's "Gateway" (never mind the title!) level is the standard Mega Man X formula for the final level: shorter than most levels, the Boss Rush initiated halfway, and confronting Sigma as the Boss. However, this Sigma is not even the real one. The final level is on the moon afterward.
  • You're Insane!: Maverick Hunter X has the titular Azure Hunter pointing out that Sigma has completely lost it to his subordinates. None of them deny it, but rather believe that Sigma, despite his insanity, has a good point, and people would rather ignore it than deal with the implications.

Sigma: Our potential is limitless!
X: You think you have potential?! You're insane, Sigma!

  • Zeerust: The first game's pre-title intro is done as a computer read-out on X's data and Dr. Light's warning about his abilities, prefaced by a boot-up sequence. Despite the OS being as advanced as 2114 (with RAM to match: all told, the system's packing 40,960 terabytes of memory) asides from the blue typeface it's a clear knockoff of DOS.
  1. In Korea only
  2. Sorry about what happened before...
  3. It's not your fault. I was inexperienced and foolish at the time, unused to my job as a bodyguard. It was no excuse.
  4. We're supposed to be able to tell a Maverick from a normal Reploid, and we failed in that duty. We failed you, and it cost you everything.
  5. Maverick Hunters have always been needed to protect Reploids. I wasn't any good as a bodyguard, couldn't even protect the people I was supposed to. Once I knew that I was useless, I knew there was no point in resisting any further. But now, there's someone that needs me, someone that I can protect. I'm going to perform the duty I failed at before, even if doing so means I'll die! Come on, Zero!
  6. Except Inafune actually had no involvement with X5. He left his position as Mega Man X executive producer, simply leaving his team to finish the series. He should have expected Capcom to keep wanting sequels.
  7. For the record, "Kuwanger" comes from "kuwagata" (stag beetle) and "Mijinion" comes from "mijinko" (daphnia).
  8. it has the original Pink swirly multi-hit Charge shot.
  9. They are framed, and some of its members (especially Double) are actually moles working under Sigma, and it's Magma Dragoon who brought down the Sky Lagoon.
  10. They were accused Mavericks because they're hard to handle and their DNA datas are unreadable - pretty petty reasons.
  11. They refused to resign in for interrogation and instead they go to their Kill Sat; they want peace and seclusion out of Earth, it's just that they're breaking the law.
  12. The Hunters saw through the ruse created by the NI the moment Isoc started calling for Reploids to volunteer to help destroy a "ghost" of Zero gone bad. Not just that, said "ghost" are actually Gate's own creation.