Mega Man X6
|Mega Man X6|
North American PSX Cover art
|Developer(s)||Capcom Production Studio 3
Mega Man X6, known as Rockman X6 (ロックマンX6?) in Japan, is a video game developed by Capcom. It is the sixth main entry in the Mega Man X series. The game was first released on the PlayStation in Japan on November 29, 2001 and was later made available in both North America and Europe.
The plot of Mega Man X6 takes place during the 22nd century where humans and intelligent androids called "Reploids" live together. The game follows shortly after the events of Mega Man X5 in which planet Earth was devastated by an attack by the "Maverick" leader Sigma and the protagonist Zero sacrificed his own life to save it. As the world recovers, a Maverick known only as the "Zero Nightmare" has begun spreading chaos. Zero's comrade Mega Man X, curious of its name, seeks out this new threat. Like past games in the series, Mega Man X6 is an action-platformer in which the player tackles a series of stages and adds the unique weapon of each boss to X's arsenal.
Prominent series artist and producer Keiji Inafune was not involved in the game's production, as he had intended the fifth installment in the series to be the last with Zero's death. Critically, Mega Man X6 has received mixed to positive reviews. The game was released for the PC in different parts of Asia in 2002 and 2003. It was also re-released in 2006 as part of the North American Mega Man X Collection for the GameCube and PlayStation 2.
The story begins three weeks after Mega Man X5, with Zero missing, presumed dead and the Earth's surface rendered uninhabitable due to the fall of the colony Eurasia. X is assigned to destroy a Maverick in a zone where he briefly encounters a being reminiscent to Zero. X then meets scientist Isoc and his subordinate High Max who are in the search of the Zero-like being labeled as Nightmare. Isoc invites the Reploids to join his cause to destroy the Nightmare virus which is turning population into Mavericks.
X also goes to explore the zones to investigate the Nightmare phenomena and find Zero's doppeldanger. Across his journey X encounters Isoc's eight researchers who have actually been infected by the Nightmare and became Mavericks. During his battles, X can also encounter Zero's dopeldanger and defeat him. Following this, the real Zero reappears unaware of how he managed to survive to his battle against Sigma. Following the defeat of the eight investigators or High Max, X meets finds the lead researcher, Gate. Using a piece from Zero's damaged body, Gate created the Nightmare virus alongside the Zero Nightmare in an attempt to create his own utopia.
The Maverick Hunters go to Gate's laboratory to put to a stop to his plans. Following Gate's defeat, he reveals he has rebuilt Sigma, the leader of the Mavericks, but Sigma is not fully rebuilt. However, Sigma nearly kills Gate and challenges his old enemies. Sigma is once again defeated and the endings depend on which character defeats Sigma. If X defeats Sigma, he rescues Gate so that Alia, his previous comrade, could rebuild him. A similar ending is shown if X did not find Zero who decides not to return to fight. Should Zero defeat Sigma, he requests to be sealed in to order to remove a component from his body.
The gameplay is very similar to Mega Man X5. The player can select X with the option to outfit him with different armors offering unique abilities (most of which have to be downloaded, as always, through Dr. Light's hidden capsules.) Zero can be unlocked after finding and defeating the Zero Nightmare, bringing his own weapons and techniques to the fold, including a refined Z-Saber fighting style. Both characters can be equipped with various power-up items earned after rescuing certain reploids.
Mega Man X6 has an increased emphasis on rescuing reploids over previous titles in the series. Whereas previous games rewarded the player with health or an extra life, Mega Man X6 rewards the player with additional parts or other permanent prizes. Rescuing reploids was made more difficult in this game with the addition of the Nightmare, which makes any reploid it infects evil, thus rendering the reploid impossible to save. The parts system was altered as well. Rather than attach a certain part to a certain armor, parts are attached to the character itself. The number of parts that can be equipped at once is dependent on the player's rank.
Series producer Keiji Inafune was not involved in the development of Mega Man X6. He had originally intended for the fifth chapter in the series to be the last due to the death of Zero at that game's conclusion. "And so I’d always planned to make Zero come back to life in the Mega Man Zero series, but then X6 comes out sooner from another division and Zero comes back to life in that, and I’m like, 'What’s this!? Now my story for Zero doesn’t make sense! Zero’s been brought back to life two times!'" Inafune also felt he owed fans of the series an apology for the decision to create Mega Man X6, although the series was "starting to go in a direction out of [his] control" at that point. Artist Haruki Suetsugu, who had worked on both previous PlayStation Mega Man X games, signed on as the game's primary character designer and promotional artwork illustrator. Suetsugu stated that the development schedule of Mega Man X6 was tight. As such, he described his designs for the Maverick bosses were "relatively simple", and he took a similar approach to designing all of them. The designs for other characters also feature unique traits, including Gate as a "merging of scientists and combatants, High Max as "big and strong", and the DNA-like Nightmare.
The background music for Mega Man X6 was composed by Naoto Tanaka. The game also features the opening vocal songs "Moon Light" and "The Answer" by Showtaro Morikubo (the voice actor for X) and the ending theme "I.D.E.A" by RoST. This is one of the few X games to have the opening song appear in both the Japanese and English versions. All of the game's instrumental and vocal music was compiled on the Capcom Music Generation: Rockman X1 ~ X6 soundtrack released by Suleputer in 2003. The theme songs were also included on the Rockman Theme Song Collection, published by Suleputer in 2002.
According to the Japanese magazine Famitsu, Mega Man X6 was the seventh best-selling game in Japan during its week of release at 39,318 units sold. Dengeki Online reported that Mega Man X6 sold a total of 106,980 units in Japan by the end of 2001, marking it as the 109th best-selling game of the year in the region. The game eventually saw a re-release as part of the PlayStation the Best range of budget titles. Mega Man X6 was also included on the North American Mega Man X Collection for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 in 2006.
Mega Man X6 received mixed to positive reviews, with an average score of 69% on Game Rankings. GameSpot gave the game a 7 out of 10, saying that the game is "a disappointing effort. The nightmare system and item collecting add variety and longevity to the game, but... The graphics aren't really even up to the standards set by older games in the series, and while the music is good, there aren't any tracks that particularly stand out. Despite these shortcomings, it's still Mega Man, and the gameplay is still entertaining, making X6 an attractive package for hard-core Mega Man fans." IGN gave a more positive review, an 8 out 10, stating "It's an all-new Mega Man game, yet it's still pretty much the same. There's nothing wrong with that"; they praised the soundtrack and replay value. Among the most negative reviews, Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game a 3.5 out of 10, saying "I thought I’d sooner see Sasquatch ride a Chimera bareback through the streets than a bland series like Mega Man X last through six installments."
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- Capcom (December 2001). Mega Man X6. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Isoc: Now, I'd like to call on volunteers! Unite with us, and help our cause! Work for these eight investigators!! Our goal is to wipe out the Nightmare... and to delete Zero's ghost! Come together for our future!! This High Max will lead the mission. We guarantee your safety if you join us. Both Maverick Hunters and Reploids now suffer. Let's preserve our future together! We're waiting for you! Everyone!"
- Capcom (December 2001). Mega Man X6. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "X: ... Zero? Zero! You're alive?! / Zero: Huh. So, X is alive, is he? Seems Sigma didn't defeat me after all. / X: But I searched all over for your parts, your signal, but I found nothing, so... / Zero: That is most unfortunate. I hid myself while I tried to repair myself. I had to wait until I was healed. Well, it's been an emotional reunion... But now we must face the Nightmare."
- Note: While in the English version Zero claims he managed to repair his own damaged body, the Japanese version has him without any knowledge of what helped him survive. While talking with a Dr. Light hologram, Zero is still unsure in both English and Japanese versions.
- Capcom (December 2001). Mega Man X6. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Gate: I'm Gate. The new leader of Reploids. I aim for an ideal nation of Reploids only. I'm eliminating low Reploids for that. Hee hee hee. / X: You!! Do you realize what you're doing? The Earth can't be fixed without Reploids! / Gate: I know. So this is the perfect time! I can bring a new age just for Reploids. This is my dream. I've been waiting for this... I won't let anybody get in the way. X, I'll give you a special treat since you proved your worth and ability defeating my investigators. I'll invite you to my laboratory. Fu fu fu. No more hiding. I'm sure you'll come even if you know you'll die. I'm waiting for you at my laboratory. Fu fu fu. Bwa ha ha ha ha!"
- Capcom (December 2001). Mega Man X6. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Gate: Kugh. I lost even though I used Zero's DNA... No... Ugh... I should've... analyzed it more... Wa... was there a... fault in the program...? But... ack... this is not the end. I don't... ack... give up so easily... I prepared for this just in case. Ha ha. I really... don't want to use this... I might be destroyed as well, but... I brought back the evil... Si... Sigma... / Sigma: Oh please. I did not die. Nor did I need your help! Now get lost! / Gate: GhaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAA!! / Sigma: HA! N... now it's... just y... you, ha ha! I'm waiting for you! Y... You're finished! / X: Drat! He's back! But he hasn't been restored perfectly. I've gotta go no"
- Capcom (December 2001). Mega Man X6. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Alia: X... Why did you bring Gate? / X: He was your colleague, right? It is an old story, though. Furthermore I don't want to lose any more Reploids. / Alia: I see. ... Gate may not recover but... I believe he can sense your feelings. I'd like to thank you for Gate. X."
- Capcom (December 2001). Mega Man X6. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Zero: Ha! Right. I won't get beaten by Sigma. The peace will last for a while. There's something I should do now... X, I'll leave the hunting to you for the time being. I'll return when I can. Until then, X."
- Capcom (December 2001). Mega Man X6. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Mystery Scientist: ... I see. It'll take a while to get rid of this. Even with the latest technology, it's hard to succeed... I'm not really sure if I can fix this completely... / Zero: Don't worry. I must do it before it's too late. / Mystery Scientist: But you haven't had any problems yet... You'll be fine as you are, won't you? It's none of my business, but what will we do in a crisis without you? / Zero: Ha. I'm sorry, but don't worry... There's a superior Maverick Hunter. But I'm scared that I may become a disturbing presence."
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- Official website (Japanese)