Sigma attacks the Maverick Hunters base, then explodes, somehow managing to cover the entire planet with his virus with that one simple explosion (where’s the Maverick Hunter base again?). The virus causes most robots to go Maverick and sets the space colony known as Eurasia on a collision-course with Earth. The only way to stop it is to blow up the colony, either by building a powerful laser cannon to fire at it, or by building a shuttle and sending it on a kamikaze trip to crash into the colony.
What happened to the humans? If there are no humans left who is building Reploids? If there are humans left, what happened to Dr. Cain? (He was never useful for anything anyway...) Are X and Zero really centuries old? How could the Reploid Wars have been going on for centuries and it’s still only 21XX? How could DNA be retrieved from robots? How could a robot mutate? Why do the Maverick Hunters need a specific ocean to get hydrogen? Why would Zero think it’s odd that you can’t “trust Sigma”? Why are all the good-guy Reploids human-like, whereas all the ones which go Maverick are almost invariably animaloid? Why do the Mavericks insist on fighting you when they haven’t yet gone Maverick? Why is Grizzly an arms dealer if he disagrees with fighting and destruction? What does he expect people to do with the stuff he sells? Why are minor robots in the stages referred to as “Reploids”? I thought only robots created based on X’s design are Reploids (although how a mushroom or a whale are anything like X’s design is anyone’s guess...).
There are a number of things in this game new to the series:
- X and Zero can duck.
- Like Mega Man X4, you can choose to play as either X or Zero. However here you can make a new selection before each stage; you aren’t stuck with one character for the entire game. That’s a slight improvement over Mega Man X4 where you went through the entire game as one character, and the other sort of camped out and ate donuts or something while you were risking your neck on your own. Note: There are no major plot differences related to who you choose; however who you pick at the very beginning does determine what kind of capabilities X and Zero have.
- You get armors as entire sets rather than equipping them in pieces. Each suit of armor has specific properties and drawbacks as a whole, similar to the Rush suit Adapters in the original series.
- If you start the game using X, he begins the game with the entire armor set from the previous game (!). He even has the Plasma Shot upgrade.
- Unlike nearly every Mega Man game ever made, X’s shots cannot go through walls in this game. So you have to think differently about how to defeat certain enemies. Note that you can alter the height of your shots by attacking while ducking.
- There are ropes, both vertical and horizontal, which Zero and X can grab. The horizontal ones can significantly alter a stage strategy but the vertical ones really didn’t need to be included since X and Zero can already climb up walls and ladders...
- Choosing “Continue” after you lose all your lives places you at the same place where you would have ended up had you still had a life left (!). This means you essentially have unlimited lives (and makes the EX Tank useless). Your weapons get refilled with every life as well.
- You don’t necessarily have to clear all eight initial stages. In fact it’s theoretically possible to beat the game without entering any of the Mavericks’ stages. (Although of course you’d have no items or weapons to use on the fortress...)
- Unlike passwords, saved games remember what station of the “fortress” you were at when you saved. So if you save right before the final station (the one with the teleporting hatches and Sigma) you can restart there, thereby skipping the previous stages. Very nice.
- Zero not only has his saber as in the previous game, but he can also fire his arm cannon here as well. Unfortunately though the control for the buster makes it less than useful. You have to be standing on the ground to use it and you cannot be moving while you fire. Additionally it takes Zero a few seconds to charge up and actually fire, so if something hits him before he gets the shot off, you lose the shot altogether. (Note: The Z-Buster is fired using the special weapon button, but doesn’t require any energy.) Zero can’t use the buster if you started the game with X (I guess Sigma destroyed his arm cannon).
- There are “viruses” in this game which can cause X to lose health steadily, similar to a poison. Zero, on the other hand, turns invincible when he catches a virus. (Note: Viruses don’t actually have any affect on your character until your indicator in the lower left reaches the “Virus” stage. “Caution” and “Danger” just indicate how close you are to “Virus.” You get worse stages by touching viruses, and your stage recovers to “Normal” after a virus wears off or when you leave the area or die, or enter one of Dr. Light’s capsules.)
- You can find and rescue damaged Reploids in certain stages. Touching one gives you life energy and a 1-Up. However if you die, any Reploids you rescued during that stage become “un-rescued” as if you’d never touched them. (This would make it hilariously simple to gather lots of 1-Ups quickly, but, since 1-Ups are rather useless in this game, it’s not really worth the effort.)
- The game times and scores you as you navigate stages. You have a preset number of hours to complete the game; selecting a stage on the stage select screen consumes an hour.
- A character named Alia keeps giving you hints throughout stages, whether you want her to or not. However she will shut up about a particular stage after you’ve revisited it enough times.
- There is a training level available on the title screen where Alia will explain some of the mechanics of the game. You even fight a boss at the end that is a cameo appearance from another game.
- The weapons screen offers a short description of whatever weapon/item you have highlighted.
- Some enemies don’t scroll easily back onto the screen—you defeat them, walk away, and come back, and they’re still gone. Others come back immediately like normal.
- You have to press the jump button to select a weapon on the subscreen; hitting the fire button doesn’t do anything.
- There are three difficulty modes, accessed via the options menu:
Easy: Enemies seem to inflict less damage; also there are less enemies in the stages. Most bosses are level 1 which means you cannot get Parts from them.
Xtreme: The reverse of Easy. Enemies inflict more damage and there are more of them in the stages, usually placed cunningly in annoying places.
- The opening/title music is a mix of Zero’s “speaking” tune in Mega Man X1...and the Got Weapon theme in Mega Man 3! (As a side note, Zero gets a lot more prominence in the plot than any other character, including X. Refresh my memory again: is this “Mega Man X5” or “Zero 5”?)
One oddity about this game is that the Mavericks have completely different names in the manual than they do in the actual game. Although normally it is my policy to go by the game first if a game contradicts its manual, I’m hereby making an exception in this case. I’m sorry, but I am not referencing the Mavericks by their Guns N’ Roses names. I list those names in the Mavericks section, but on this game hints page I will be using their original names instead. Thus, if you have a question about who is who, please reference the Mavericks section or your X5 manual. Thanks.
- How many endings are there and how do I get them?
Three. One for Zero and two for X. X has two variations of his ending depending on whether or not Zero went evil during the game. The reason Zero has only one ending is because you cannot beat the game with Zero if he goes Maverick.
- How do I get evil Zero?
Zero turns Maverick whenever you fail to blow up the Eurasia colony. If you want to get the evil Zero scenario on purpose, probably the easiest way is to launch the shuttle without gathering any parts. It’s random, so you do still have a small chance of succeeding, but you can keep resetting until you get the outcome you desire.
- Did you know that Tidal Whale’s music is the same as Bubble Crab’s?
Yes, as I point out in the Review section under the “Music” rating: A lot of the songs in this game are remixes of music from other games, so you’ll likely hear several tunes you recognize. Tidal Whale, Dr. Light’s music, the Black Devil theme, Sigma’s battle music... And so on. This isn’t really all that unusual and many Mega Man games have done something of this sort in the past (though usually not going so far as to reuse music from one Robot Master for another Robot Master’s stage...).
- Play Control:
- The control can be sluggish and unresponsive, especially for Zero. Unfortunately, your character’s previous animations have to play completely out before you can duck or do certain other things...which means if Zero’s hair is still falling after running, you can’t duck until it finishes. Very lame.
- Very impressive, especially in certain areas, although the perspective of a lot of objects doesn’t match (some objects are a straight side-view, some are slightly overhead, some are drastically overhead, etc.). Also, while I like the transparent terrain in the “fortress” stages, the psychedelic backdrops are enough to give anyone eyesore.
- While the sprites are more or less straight from Mega Man X4, I find some of the animations to be even more odd here.
- The soundtrack to this game is certainly...diverse. Still, the music is pretty decent; the opening medley is interesting, and most of the tunes are appropriate. A lot of the tunes are remixes of songs from other games, so you’ll likely hear several musics you recognize.
- Sound Effects:
- X finally gets a male-sounding voice...
- The plot involves more than just Sigma making Reploids go Maverick (although there’s plenty of that, too). There is also a lot of story during the game which I like to see. However some of the plot isn’t terribly clear and a lot is just plain senseless.
- Difficulty: (normal to hard)
- If you start as X, you get the Force (Fourth) Armor (or heck, the Ultimate, which cuts the difficulty in half) and the going isn’t so bad. Heaven help you if you try to play through as (red) Zero—enemy attacks inflict way too much damage on anyone not wearing armor.
- Replay Value:
- The level design for some sections is hideous. Giving you a countdown timer discourages exploration and experimentation. All this combined with the sluggish control makes a person less than eager to pick the game back up again. While the game does get more entertaining after you’ve played through it a couple of times, first impressions are still important. For a game coming from Capcom it’s really a shame.
- They finally began adding significantly new things to the series rather than just rehashes of things from the original series (aside from using Zero in Mega Man X4 of course). Unfortunately though most of the new features are never sufficiently explained, either in the manual or in the game, leaving you to sit there scratching your head trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
- Overall: 79%
- This game has lots of really nifty ideas (as well as a lot of blatant clones of things from previous games). Unfortunately, though, the new ideas tend to get overshadowed by the game’s downsides. I would have loved to have seen some of this title’s features in a game that wasn’t quite as irritating to play.
- + Plus:
- The duck.
- - Minus:
- The Guns N’ Roses names.
You can use either character for any stage, and beating the Maverick nets you the weapon and technique for both X and Zero. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you defeat a boss with Zero; X will still get that boss’s weapon too, and vice versa. So do the stages with whomever you want; unlike in Mega Man X4, here Zero has a technique or weapon that will counter every Maverick, so the only real difference in who you use is how you have to execute the required attack (most of Zero’s attacks require you to get Zero right up next to the Maverick which means you may trade hits; most of X’s weapons allow him to attack from a distance). The following is just one possible order.
Note: Depending on whether (and when) you destroy the Eurasia, you might not have to do all of these. Also Dynamo will keep popping in to battle you, and occasionally you get other cut scenes as well.
The teleporting hatch room is unusually wide in this game. The psychedelic background doesn’t make for very much ease in splicing together screen shots, but hopefully this will do.
Note: The beams in the Black Devil’s stage (which are reminiscent of Quick Man’s stage) kill you instantly; however they can be frozen with the Dark Hold, just like in Mega Man 2. Depending on what parts you have, you may need to have the Weapon Sub-Tank to refill the Dark Hold so that it doesn’t run out of energy until you’re through the entire beams section. (Observation: This type of section is a heck of a lot easier when your character doesn’t stick to walls....)
- Black Devil:
- Ugh, what can I say? They use the Mega Man 1 battle music here, and the duck will make your day, but otherwise, this is likely to be a very long and tedious battle, since the Devil is only vulnerable for a brief time. The Tri-Thunder isn’t quite as good as the Thunder Beam, but it does decent damage and will hit most of the eye’s locations without much effort. It is possible to dodge the bricks using the Falcon Armor and staying at the very top of the screen (keep pressing up) but it takes timing since you can’t stay in the air forever. Alternately duck the entire time, pressing jump while still holding down so that your character ducks immediately upon landing (otherwise he’s likely to get smacked in the face by the next block). Note: The Ultimate Armor’s Giga Attack does good damage but sometimes as you ’Strike through the Black Devil, you’ll mysteriously take damage—and a lot of it—so use with caution.
- Wall Eyes:
- You can avoid damage from the green eye’s bullets by flying (using the Falcon Armor) or by rapidly firing (or just dodge). All others you must dodge, but they attack in a very consistent manner (according to eye color) so you shouldn’t have a lot of troubles with them. I would suggest you not destroy the fireball until you’ve destroyed the other eyes (feel free to whittle down on its life a bit though) because once the fireball is gone, the walls remain closed (of course if you have the Gaea Armor you shouldn’t have as much of a problem with this, although dodging the eyes is a lot harder with so little space).
- If you’re playing as X, you fight Zero as a boss, and if you’re playing as Zero, you’ll fight X. (Note: it doesn’t matter who you began the game with. It only matters who you’re using when you come to this stage.) I actually called this one...anyone who remembers the Mega Man X4 commentary I wrote a while back will recall that I predicted this one on the money. At any rate...your opponent will be slightly more (*ahem*) beefed up than when you control him, and will go as far as to use special weapons on you. (Naturally, your special weapons just ting off him...) Heck, X will even use the Ultimate Armor against you, heh heh. However you shouldn’t really have any troubles with this battle, unless you’re not wearing armor. (If you just got the Ultimate Armor from the black armor capsule (see below), just die and choose “Stage Select” and come back here with it.)
- Sigma 1st time:
- I personally recommend you bring the Falcon Armor here if you’re playing as X, because then you can dodge nearly all of Sigma’s attacks effortlessly (just fly through or over them). The only thing you can’t fly through are the large blue arc beams he fires through the air; those you have to duck or jump over. At any rate, it is of course possible to dodge without flying, once you get his pattern down (which you’ll have to for Zero naturally since Zero can’t fly). Sigma’s energy balls can be avoided by standing right next to him (or you can jump them). Note that his purple trails hurt you when he is dashing back and forth across the floor, but not when he’s going diagonally. As X, use the Tri-Thunder and he’ll spark; it doesn’t do a huge amount of damage, but it’s pretty easy to hit with—any time he’s near a wall you can hit him, since the Tri-Thunder orbs travel along the floor and walls. I would recommend you practice until you can get through this battle without using a Sub-Tank. You’ll need them later.
- Sigma 2nd time:
- You have to hit the gem in his forehead. Only fully-powered super-shots will work if you’re using X (here’s where the Ultimate Buster comes in handy). Zero doesn’t have to worry about this, naturally, since he can’t charge up anyway. Sigma’s hands can be destroyed, but they aren’t much of a threat, particularly if you hang out on the upper left wall. The blue spheres can be dodged by circling the room; if you keep moving and don’t trap yourself, they should miss. The initial purple block can’t really be dodged, but the rest can with very careful maneuvering. (If you’re lucky, he won’t pull the purple block attack at all...)
Note: As usual, you have to do all of the Sigmas in one life; if you die at Sigma 2 you begin again at Sigma 1 (at least he doesn’t give you speeches more than once in this game). If you use a Sub-Tank at any time and then die, note that there is one energy capsule before the gate you can use to fill it back up...but it takes at least four capsules to completely fill a Sub-Tank which means you have to die four times to refill one Sub-Tank. So don’t use Sub-Tanks unless you think you have a shot at winning.
As expected this game makes use of save files, so there are no passwords I can post. On the bright side you can save lots of files in a single block of the memory card.
Note: You can earn “Life Up” items by choosing “Weapons&Life” when the game gives you the opportunity. You earn “Energy Up” by choosing “Weapons&Energy.” These are built for you automatically, but require a stage before they are completed.
Falcon Armor Parts
Gaea Armor Parts
- Legs Part: In Grizzly’s stage, in the ceiling immediately after the truck section (when you land in the cave). Need a double-jump or Jumper part, or a dash-jump off the wall (harder to do). I suggest you get this capsule using Zero at least once.
- Arms Part: In Firefly’s stage, in the section with the cannons which shoot plasma balls that Alia tells you that you can destroy with the right weapon, there is a passage in the ceiling that X can just barely reach even without a double-jump or flying. Climb up, destroy the cannon with the Crescent Shot/Sword, and go left.
- Helmet Part: In Volt Kraken’s stage. Ride the hoverbike and gather the little energy balls you see (they make a sound when you pick them up). You need eight to open the door.
- Body Part: In Whale’s stage, in plain sight behind a wooden wall. Use the Goo Shaver to break the device sitting to the right of the capsule.
- Legs Part: In Rosered’s stage. In the section with multiple yellow ropes spanning a bottomless pit, there is a passage in the ceiling you can fly up using the Falcon Armor.
- Arms Part: Dinorex’s stage. When Alia tells you that the level is branching, take the lower branch through the sea of lava in the ride armor. Keep walking along the bottom and you’ll find a passage going underneath another ledge, and to the right. If you can manage to climb the Ride Armor up to the surface and jump out without plunging into the lava (you have to jump the walker, then eject), you can make it to the capsule to the right. Note: With the Falcon Armor you can also take the other route, and then fly over here, by flying right where the diagonal ropes are at the end of the stage.
- Helmet Part: In Dark Necrobat’s stage. Drop down the hole in the floor right before the gate to the Maverick. You have to guide a Firefly pod through the narrow passage and into the blue panel to the right of the capsule in order to break the wall and get access to the capsule.
- Body Part: In Pegasus’s stage. In the section with the platform on treads that goes upward at an angle, use the Falcon Armor to fly up and left.
- Grizzly Stage: It’s on top of the trucks that have green spiked roof tops. You can either get up there using the Gaea Armor, or fly using the Falcon (and probably immediately die, but...).
- Whale Stage: After the water drains, you will find a passage in the ceiling surrounded by spikes. You have to fly up there with the Falcon Armor. Be careful; you’re not immune to spikes even while flying.
- Kraken Stage: Go up through the yellow door to the left near the end of the stage; need the Gaea Armor to walk on spikes and break blocks.
- Firefly Stage: At the beginning you shoot a bridge to cause it to lower. Jump down the pit that’s below the bridge; you’ll find a Reploid on the left side, and a Heart Tank on the right. Beware, there are spikes down there.
- Pegasus Stage: In the vertical tunnel with the platform that is moving upward (where you aren’t allowed to climb the walls), you will find the Heart Tank behind one of the rescuable Reploids on one of the ledges.
- Necrobat Stage: On spikes during the gravity section, blocked off by pink blocks. Get it by touching the gravity-switching thing twice, so that the heart is up on a ledge instead of sitting on the spikes. This gets rid of the pink blocks; you still have to worry about the spikes. Either bring the Gaea Armor, or take damage just before you jump up, so that you’re invincible to the spikes.
- Rosered Stage: Blast through the “V” blocks you encounter. At the end, the way to reach the Heart Tank is to push a block (using the dash) over to the edge of the pit, then dash-jump off it.
- Dinorex Stage: In the section with lava that flares across the screen (where Alia tells you to wait before jumping down). When you drop down, go left instead of right. You’ll find a passage in the floor. There is a 1-Up and a Heart Tank down there. You will probably die to the lava but that’s what the 1-Up is for and anyway the Heart Tank is worth it.
- Sub-Tank: Grizzly’s stage, on one of the trucks that is already blowing up by the time you get to it (when you have 9 seconds to get off it). It’s on the very front under the blue gem.
- Sub-Tank: Dark Necrobat’s stage. After the unstable floating platform with the morphing constellations part, the Tank is clearly visible on a high ledge. You will probably need some sort of jumping or flying part to get it.
- Weapon Sub-Tank: Spiral Pegasus’s stage. In the section where the large platform slowly moves downward, jump off the platform and drop to the ledges below. On one of them is the Weapon Tank. If the moving platform destroys the block where the Tank rests before you get it, you lose your chance to snag it, so move quickly.
- EX Tank: In Firefly’s stage, in the section with spike-bottomed platforms on chains (ala Mega Man 2). You have to break through wooden blocks using the Ground Fire.
These are constructed similar to the Life Up and Energy Up parts, except that they require two stages to be completed. You only get the chance to build these if the game gives you a “+” at the end of the option (“Weapons&Life+” or “Weapons&Energy+”). Whether you choose Life or Energy determines which part you get. Note that you have to equip these manually on the stage select screen (hit L1) in order for them to take effect.
General hints and tips:
- Duck a lot. Never forget your duck—they’ve built a lot of places into this game where it’s useful. Not only can you avoid a lot of attacks by ducking (including ones that by all rights should take your head off), but you can also hit low enemies by firing while ducking.
- For beginners to this game, I recommend starting the game as X, not Zero. This way you get the Force Armor right from the start—and trust me you’ll need it. Don’t worry, you can still use Zero as much as you want, so no loss there.
- When I first read that X is invincible while flying around with the Falcon Armor, I thought it was too good to be true. But...it’s true. So hey, since Capcom stuck it in the game, feel free to exploit it. You can use X’s flying ability to make yourself invincible to literally any enemy sprite in the game—even bosses. Try this when fighting Mavericks (Pegasus’s swooping attacks are a cinch to dodge with the Falcon Armor: just hover and he’ll pass harmlessly through you). The flying invincibility will even block certain enemy shots (but not all of them, so make sure you know which ones to dodge).
- During the section where you are being timed (so many hours to collision), if you lose all your lives, restore from a save file rather than using the “Stage Select” option. Otherwise you lose an hour (do this enough times and the collision will be unavoidable...remember that every time you select a stage you lose an hour, regardless of whether you succeed or fail (although if you perform well enough during a stage, sometimes you can earn the hour back when you complete it)).
- Press Select while on the subscreen to get an option to quit the game and return to the title screen. You can use this to exit a stage even if you haven’t completed it; just choose “continue” on the title screen, then “use current data” and you’ll be back at the stage select screen just prior to having picked the stage where you had been.
- Dying on spikes (or other instant-death obstacles) counts as a full meter of energy in the “Damage Received” section of the Mission Report screen. The report includes all of the lives that you used to conquer that stage, not just the one in which you succeeded. So if you’re wondering why your damage received value is so huge, you probably died a few times. (As a side note, X and Zero begin the game with 32 units of energy in this game, as reported by the Mission Report screen, although you can’t tell by looking at their energy meters.)
- I haven’t yet figured out how exactly the game determines whether you succeed in destroying the Eurasia; even if you have all of the parts to the laser/shuttle you don’t always succeed. While it may be based on your performance to an extent, I’ve noticed it is also somewhat random. I had a save file saved right before the event scene where they were going to launch the shuttle at the Eurasia; the first time I’d played, the launch had failed, but when I reloaded the save file, the launch succeeded. So all I can say is: if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. (Or just play through the “failed” scenario; the plot is somewhat different if you don’t blow up the Eurasia in time.)
- Force (Fourth) Armor: You can only get this by starting a game as X. It’s basically the armor you get in Mega Man X4, except you do not get the benefits of the Helmet part. On the bright side, you get increased defense, the Plasma Shot, the Hover Boots, and the ability to charge special weapons...all from the start of the game!
- Falcon Armor: X can fly by double-jumping; he is invincible to enemies (similar to the Nova Strike) while flying, but not to things like spikes and lasers. X’s super-shots are smaller when he’s wearing this armor than with the Force Armor (although they do go through walls), and he cannot charge special weapons. He also cannot air-dash (not that you should need to with the ability to fly). The Falcon Armor’s Giga Attack is a full-screen effect which rains down plasma shots.
- Gaea Armor: This is an interesting one that is invulnerable to spikes (!). When wearing this armor, you cannot use any special weapons whatsoever, and your arm cannon shots don’t go completely across the screen. They seem to be slightly more powerful however. The Gaea Armor can dash but cannot air-dash. Curiously, it does not slide down walls; it merely sticks to them. The Gaea Armor can be used to break “V” blocks found during stages (hit them with a charged-up shot). You can also push them by dashing into them (but only if there isn’t anything behind them of course). This armor’s Giga Attack is like Chun-Li’s fireball super: X charges up for a second and surrounds his hands with a large but brief sphere of green energy. Note that the Gaea Armor cannot equip any parts (the ones you equip using L1 on the stage select screen).
- Ultimate Armor: Same as in Mega Man X4 essentially. This armor is more or less identical to the Force Armor except X can use the “Giga Attack” (the Nova Strike air-dash from Mega Man X4) infinitely. Note: The Giga Attack is powerful, not only in terms of damage but because you are almost invincible while you are pulling it off. Naturally, you can use the Giga Attack to wipe out every boss in the game with relative ease. Therefore I don’t bother mentioning this in each one of the Maverick and Boss descriptions above, since it can be assumed.
- Black Zero: This isn’t technically an armor, as you cannot unequip it the way you can with X’s armors, and it isn’t even named by the game. However it does increase Zero’s defense and enhances his saber.
Note: When punching in armor codes, you must press the exact sequence given below. Even after you hear the tone, if you press any button but ones which start the game, you will cancel the code. So if the code doesn’t work, try again and be careful what you press.
- X: On the initial character select screen, highlight X, press Up twice, then Down nine times. You should hear a tone. Start the game.
When you use this code, X begins the game with the Ultimate Armor rather than the Force Armor (see above).
- Zero: On the initial character select screen, highlight Zero, press Down twice, then Up nine times. You should hear a tone. Start the game.
Zero will be black instead of red (see above). I recommend using this for any game in which you start with Zero; otherwise you’re stuck with two characters who have no armor and it’s a severe handicap.
Armor Codes (PC version):
(Thanks to Satoshi Kunsai for the PC codes.)
- X: On the initial character select screen, highlight X, press Up twice, then Down eleven times. You should hear a tone. Start the game.
- Zero: On the initial character select screen, highlight Zero, press Down twice, then Up eleven times. You should hear a tone. Start the game.
Black Armor Capsule:
There is a Dr. Light capsule in the third station of the “fortress” (the stage which ends with a battle with X or Zero, depending on who you are using). If you get this capsule, whatever character you are using will get the same armor as the armor codes listed above. Note that of course if you already have the black armor, this capsule won’t appear. Also X cannot be wearing any armor whatsoever (he has to be just plain ol’ “X”) or the capsule simply won’t show up.
(Strangely, Zero gets the black armor immediately upon entering the capsule, but X does not. As X you have to exit the stage and equip the armor like normal (after choosing a stage) in order to actually get it...which means unless you lose all your lives and choose “Stage Select” you have to complete this stage without armor.)
At any rate, finding the capsule is relatively simple. Partway through the stage, after a bout of platforms over spikes, you will come to a pit with a stationary platform floating on the left side. Slide down the right wall of this pit and you’ll find the room with the capsule. See the paragraph above if the capsule doesn’t appear; having a full energy meter has nothing to do with it in this game (unlike previous titles).
There are several variations of the ending depending on who you were using and other circumstances. (Again, it doesn’t matter who you started the game with, only who you were using when you beat the game.)
Essentially, when Sigma is defeated he vows to take the other character (Zero if you’re using X, X if you’re using Zero) down with him. Of course your character doesn’t like this one bit, but can’t seem to stop it as Sigma explodes.
If Zero didn’t turn evil earlier in the game, the next scene shows a very battered Zero (regardless of who you were using) lying on the ground, with a somewhat healthy-looking X over him. X starts to pick Zero up, when he hears a voice from a melted skull-like face behind him. The face fires a laser which cuts clean through the chests of both X and Zero. As X collapses and Zero falls back to the ground, Zero sticks out his arm cannon, comments, “How persistent you are, Sigma,” and blasts the face. After that, the two are left lying on the ground. Zero murmurs to himself that X’s optimism led to his own demise, and that X should live.
If you’re playing as Zero, you never do find out what happened to X, and in that way the game implies X kicked the bucket. The ending focuses on Zero, who remembers scenes from the past (and sketchy images of “that old man” that’s been talked about through the game) and decides he finally understands that, in order for there to be peace, he (Zero) must die.
X’s endings (either with or without Zero) show X’s now-battered body also lying on the ground. Suddenly Dr. Light’s holographic form appears beside him. Dr. Light murmurs, “Not yet... Hold on, X, just a few more moments...” (Side note: this guy definitely ain’t dead.) After that, the scene cuts to a later point in time, where X is fully recovered and is leading the Maverick Hunters as usual. If Zero went evil during the game, you discover that all of X’s memories of Zero were erased somehow, and that he returned to the Maverick Hunters already fully repaired, without a scratch. Otherwise, X still remembers Zero, and carries Zero’s beam saber around with him wherever he goes. He feels always close to Zero, as long as he has the saber.
Now, I have just two problems with these endings as a collective whole. (“Only two?” Well, okay, more than two, but I’ll just cover two for now.) One, why is it that X, despite his condition (which was identical to Zero’s incidentally), was able to be repaired, yet Zero wasn’t? Not withstanding that, Zero’s already been offed before and yet he always comes back. Why hasn’t anyone rebuilt him yet? It’s not only silly, it’s inconsistent, with their own series.
Needless to say, if Capcom wants Zero back in the next game, he’ll be back, and probably without explanation, just like before. Trust me on this one; you can take it to the bank. Capcom does, after all, have a very long track record regarding this...and not just with the X series.