Controller Classics: ‘Mega Man X’

todayDecember 18, 2014 33

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Mega Man X cover (SNES)
Mega Man X cover (SNES)
By Adam M. Cook

Web Editor

Game: Mega Man X
Release Date: Dec. 17, 1993
Developers: Capcom
Publishers: Capcom

Platform(s): Super Nintendo (SNES)

It is up to a robot with human emotions, the multi-functional cannon built into his arm and his determination to save the future of the human race from an organization of deadly, demolishing droids. The futuristic, side-scroller classic “Mega Man X” is an underdog story of revenge about a skilled, but naive, robot known as “X” who is equipped with not only extraordinary mechanical capabilities, but human-like abilities as well.

Dr. Light had a vision to create a robot that could understand human morality and the intricacy of the human mind. This robot known as Mega Man, or “X,” is so advanced that he can comprehend human intelligence, thoughts and emotions. Not only that, but he also grasps the concept of free will. After being buried during a 100 year diagnostic program, Dr. Cain, a human archaeologist, stumbled upon X in the rubble that was once Dr. Light’s robotics research facility. Cain studied X and eventually mass produced these robots, or droids. Consequently, with the knowledge of free will, some of these replicated droids, or “reploids,” engaged in criminal activity. These outlaws came to be known as “Mavericks.” Under the advice of Dr. Cain, the government creates a special team of reploids known as “Maverick Hunters” to debilitate the reploids that intend to harm humans. Cain assigns one of the more superior reploids known as Sigma to lead the group of justice seekers, that is, until Sigma himself becomes a Maverick. Sigma then takes control of a small island, forcing humans to flee. Thinking that humans will interfere with the progression of the reploid kind, Sigma gathers his own team of Mavericks in an effort to exterminate all humans. Because X is consumed with guilt for being part of the creation of such a deadly race of machines, he joins forces with the only remaining Maverick Hunter known as “Zero” to bring down Sigma and his organization by standing toe-to-toe with some mean muggin’ machines.

Mega Man X - Select Stage screen
Stage Select screen

Each level has its own music that always seemed to get me so pumped up! Try to picture speed metal combined with the average arcade music and you’ll get the energizing beat that makes up the Mega Man X Soundtrack. And no, it’s not your typical techno, house music.

How to make X harder, better, faster, stronger:

Throughout the stages there are five capsules that contain upgrades to X’s computer. The leg upgrade will allow you to dash or slide for a short distance. The next upgrade is the helmet upgrade, which gives you the ability to break (headbutt) through certain blocks with your helmet. Then you should go find the body upgrade. The “buster upgrade” (or super charge) will then be available and gives you the power to charge up any move to the point where a much heavier blast will fire. In other words, it’s like a souped up, more intense and powerful version of the move. Apparently there is even a “Hadouken” upgrade. I didn’t even know this one existed! Some of these capsules are in plain sight and some can take some snooping, so look around everywhere and don’t just assume that the screen will end there. Keep going and explore! (*Remember: like the stages, the upgrade capsules must be done in a particular order.) Locate the pink hearts called “heart tanks” to expand the capacity of the health meter. (*TIP: The more of these you find, the easier it will be to conquer bosses and their stages.)

(The first) Bosses:
After completing the intro level, there will be eight bosses that reside in their own place on Sigma’s island. Make it through the level and you’ll make it to the boss of that stage. The bosses must be fought in a specific order because once a boss is defeated that boss’ special power/move is programmed into X’s arm. The special power of one boss will be the weakness of another. So you beat a boss, get their special power and use that to defeat the next boss. If you didn’t get this order down there’s a good chance you saw this as an EXTREMELY difficult game. Chill Penguin is the first one to target. Take him down and obtain his “shotgun ice,” which shoots a block of ice that will break into pieces and ricochet in three different directions. Use the freeze blast to defeat Spark Mandrill to get his “electric spark,” which shoots a ball of electricity that will split and go in opposite directions upon making contact with whatever is hit. Blast Armored Armadillo with the electric spark and he will be electrocuted, causing him to lose his protective armor. Use Armored Armadillo’s “rolling shield,” which is a  sphere that can break Launch Octopus‘s buoyancy system in the underwater stage. Once you get Launch’s “homing torpedoes,” you can use the enemy-seeking bombs to conquer Boomer Kuwanger. Beat Boomer to get his “boomerang cutter” power. Take these bad boys and throw them at Sting Chameleon. Watch out because Sting Chameleon can blend into the background and strike you from a distance with a tongue that would put Gene Simmons’ to shame. After attaining Sting’s “chameleon sting”(I guess they were lazy in coming up with this power’s name), use it against Storm Eagle. Storm will slowly fly up to where you can’t see him and swoop down diagonally, aiming directly at you, so use your “dash” move to juke him out. Once you get his “storm tornado,” use the spiraling gust against the flame-throwing, ground shaking, mechanical elephant Flame Mammoth to achieve the “fire wave,” which is a flamethrower that is added to X’s arsenal. Then you will have made it to the next set of levels that will eventually lead you to the head of the Mavericks: Sigma.
Why I love this game:
The amount of imagination in this game is apparent, especially with how the game incorporates the elements (water, fire, wind, etc.) with futuristic technology. How can it not be with robots that can harness the power of elements and register and express human emotions. The creativeness behind the powers, the backgrounds and the design of the characters is brilliant. The visuals are mesmerizing with the colors and the explosions “and the GLAYVIN” (Professor Frink from “The Simpsons”).

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