100 years after Sigma’s defeat at the hands of X (and Zero), Reploids have been more or less banned by humans who have finally decided that maybe Reploids are so potentially dangerous that they shouldn’t be running the show. A small resistance force has been created as a shelter for Reploids who have been wrongly accused of being Mavericks. One human, a female scientist named Ciel, has joined with the resistance force and searches to uncover the legendary Reploid named Zero, who helped save the world so long ago. With his aid, she’s sure the resistance force will be able to overcome the new threat that now endangers them, one that also takes the form of a resurrected Reploid from the past...

[Image of a Reploid ’R’ mark.]
Where have I seen that mark before...?
Unfortunately, this game is marred by a rather mundane manual that fails to explain basic game play mechanics such as how to talk to people (press Up). Therefore, as you might expect, I’m going to have to go into a discourse here on how to play the game.
[Image of Ciel saying to Zero, ’You have hibernation sickness.’]
Uhh... right.
Note: The press release for this game claims it is for “hardcore” gamers, then goes on to say that the Cyber-elf system still makes the game accessible to “casual” players. While this might have been the intent of the game’s designers, they failed miserably. In order to use elves, unfortunately one must first find and raise them—and of course, the more useful and powerful elves are tougher to get. The elves are also limited, so once all of a particular type are used up, the player can’t get that effect ever again. It would be more accurate to say that “hardcore” gamers would be the only ones who could find all of the elves, not that “casual” gamers can depend on them. So is this game even feasible for casual gamers? Perhaps, but only if you have a huge store of patience in supply. Get and use what elves that you can (try to get at least one Sub-Tank elf), spend a lot of time running back and forth through areas you have already completed to gather crystals to raise the elves, and save often. Very often. Because you never know when you’ll accidently fall on those spikes that were just off the bottom of the screen and instantly lose everything you did since the previous save.
Play Control: 4
Pretty good, particularly if you change your configuration settings in the options. If the manual did a better job at explaining how to play the game, probably the play control would feel more intuitive, but once you get used to the quirks, it works quite well.
Graphics: 3
Generally pretty crisp. There are a few instances of ambiguity, and some of the graphics look like scanned sketches, but otherwise the backgrounds are well done.
Animation: 5
Impressive. Zero has a very solid feel to his movements, and most of the enemies are animated quite well. There are even some animations that are very detailed for being used all of once or twice in the game.
Music: 3
Average. There’s nothing significantly wonderful or horrible about the music, though the instruments are sometimes a bit scratchy and why isn’t any of it in stereo? Interestingly enough, they use Zero’s other theme music from Mega Man X1 here, rather than the tune that other games have been using so often. (Yes, Zero is so cool that he gets two theme songs.)
Sound Effects: 4
Everything has a sound effect in this game. Even Zero walking or climbing a ladder—although you won’t hear some of these softer sounds in a lot of cases since they get drowned out by others.
Plot: 3
I’ve already bashed Capcom elsewhere for the plot holes, so I won’t repeat all that here. As far as plot execution, this game does a pretty good job at its storytelling. Every mission has a plot and a goal, not to mention often something specific to do aside from just navigate from point A to point B, which I appreciate. Placing the player in the game as Zero, who has lost his memory, and is considered to be a “legendary” warrior by everyone else, is immersive. My biggest gripe with the plot overall is that you can’t skip most of the story scenes. (I wouldn’t normally complain about this, but the fact that you have to redo stages from the beginning—plot and all—every time you die exacerbates this problem.)
Difficulty: 5 (insane)
(AKA “1-Ups? What are those?”)
The marketing for this game claims this is the “most challenging Mega Man game to date.” While it doesn’t quite win that mantle, it sure tries its best. Anyone looking for a nice relaxing game should stay far away from this one.
Replay Value: 2
You do get different plot depending on whether you succeed or fail at missions, which warrants playing through the game at least twice. However there is just a touch too much replaying of stages during just a single play through of the game, not only because of the lack of 1-Ups, but also because many missions reuse old stages. This can bring in fatigue of the game prematurely and retard replay value.
Polish: 3
There are some nifty touches, such as if you defeat an enemy with a saber-type weapon, usually it will split into two as part of its death animation. Even the little pieces falling to the ground have sound effects. I also like how you can simply walk to most of the stages from the Resistance Base. Also, the elves which follow you around are lots of fun, but they are so limited that you will almost never get to enjoy them.
Overall: 79%
It’s a pretty high-quality game spoiled by the fact that you have to replay missions from the very beginning every time you die if you don’t want to either (a) fail them, or (b) lose one of your precious continues. This gets old extremely fast. Couple that with fault-intolerant later levels that often force you to have to restart all the way from the beginning after a single slip of a finger, and you have a game which had high potential, but ends up more irritating than fun.

+ Plus:
You can charge up your weapon and sub-weapon at the same time, and use one while charging the other.
- Minus:
1-Ups are finite, which makes using them relatively pointless since you can quickly burn through them.
There really isn’t a suggested order as in most Mega Man games, because there is no real sequence of using weapons against other bosses. Here’s a list of the possible missions, and what you get from them. What order you should tackle the stages really depends on which bosses you find the easiest. Also personally I would wait a little while to do the “Retrieve Data” mission; although you get the Triple Rod from it, you also lose one of the best sources of energy-gathering in the game. (If you want lots of life energy for your Sub-Tanks or crystals to raise elves, stand near one of the hives and just whack the bugs that come out over and over. This will also raise your weapon levels like crazy.)

Submitted by a reader, here’s a list of the sequence of the above levels. (If you “give up” on any of the missions in a chain, the chain is broken and you can’t do any of the rest of the levels that come after it. Thus, as an interesting feature, you can actually skip entire missions, including the Mechaniloid one, if you use the “give up” option.)

For reference, here’s a quick list of the locations you can go to, according to the Trans Server. Not all of these areas will be accessible to you at any given point during the game, depending on what missions you have/haven’t done.

In each teleport hatch room (well, they aren’t really hatches, they’re just doors, but the name has sort of stuck), you get one large energy capsule and one small energy pellet after each battle. You can be a little intelligent about how you pick these up; if you used some of a Sub-Tank but have nearly full health, pick up the small one first, and if that was enough to fill your meter, the large one can go into the Tank. And so forth.

Top: Anubis Necromancess, Blizzack Staggroff; Bottom: Herculious Anchortus, Maha Ganeshariff
Top: Harpuia, Fefnir; Bottom: Phantom, Leviathan

The major named bosses are covered in the Data Base page, so this section merely covers all of the more generic guys.

[Image of Ciel saying to Zero, ’You are exactly like what you used to be.’]
Um, not exactly. Are you blind?
Golem (Intro stage boss)
Aim at its head. Don’t slash Ciel. When it fires the laser downward, climb the wall and hang out in the upper corner. When it fires the laser upward, stand just to the left of its fist, and the falling blocks shouldn’t hit you. Once you get the Z-Saber, stand on the blocks or hang out on the wall until the Golem charges you, then swipe at its head. If you hit its head with the Z-Saber, you’ll kill it instantly.
Ball and Mace (“Destroy Train” mini-boss)
Blast the pointy head with a charged shot or the Z-Saber (anything which does a decent amount of damage) to cause the robot to keel over, then attack the sphere at its base while it is vulnerable. You can also damage it while it is firing. If you attack the thing while it is shielded, you won’t damage it, but you will push it backward slightly, which can be useful if it begins to get too close to you.
Engine Chamber (“Destroy Train” boss)
Avoid the fire on the front; after a few moments it will shoot nearly all the way across the screen, so you’ll want to be standing on the far left to avoid taking damage. While the engine is shooting fire is when you want to make the most of every shot; charge up and fire only when the Joe isn’t flashing. Once the engine is done using its fire attack, the parts of the floor will begin rising toward spikes on the ceiling. Try to move carefully so that you don’t trap yourself (while still firing at the engine of course). It reacts to Lightning.

What do you do if an enemy is too well armed? You chop its arms off!
Maha Ganeshariff (“Retrieve Data” boss)
Note: Once you win the battle, the place will self-destruct and you’ll have to race it out. Start dashing and don’t stop. The doors will all slam shut just as you reach them so be prepared to whack them to pieces with your Z-Saber or whatever weapon you have that is the most powerful. Also make sure you’ve taken care of all of your business in the underground lab before you start this mission, because you can’t go back once it self-destructs.
Serpent Spider (“Occupy Factory” boss)
The machine’s arms will generate various heads which attack you. Attack the gem in the center to damage it. You can only harm it when it’s open (when the arms are attacking). What attacks the machine uses depends on what heads it’s using at the time (the patterns are pretty obvious). You can destroy arms by attacking them while they are in head form, although they will be replaced in time. Also notice that the machine always follows you, so you can use this to lure it to where you want it.
Giant Mechaniloid (Save base event)
Keep following it and attack the missile in the back (it will flash when you hit it). Then shoot the part on the top to destroy the tank. You actually may want to wait a little while before finishing it off, because as the tank moves it will open up new passages that you couldn’t access previously.
Air Statues (Neo Acadia Shrine mini-boss)
These twin purple flying suits (no BGC jokes please) don’t have an energy meter so you can’t tell how far you’ve whittled them down. Also they can’t be frozen by the Thunder or Ice chips. They shouldn’t be very difficult though; I’d stand still on one platform and just jump straight up over their shots (and them, if they’re too low).
[Image of Zero saying, ’You are too big to be a slug.’]
Razor wit at its finest.
Multi-Armed Statue (Neo Acadia Shrine sub-boss)
This ugly-looking thing will throw its swords at you, and they boomerang, so be careful. You can avoid them effortlessly by staying on the wall until the swords return to it. It’ll also act like a very deadly top (no Beyblade jokes please) but you can avoid this by being on a wall as well, or knock it out of it with a charged saber attack. This boss reacts to Lightning—that is, if it doesn’t block your hit with its little shield.
Rainbow Devil (Neo Acadia Tower boss)
It’s the Green Devil! Erm, sort of. It may resemble Mega Man’s old adversary to a degree, but it doesn’t fight anything like it. This is a nicely-animated boss who will leave you on your toes. When it bounces around the room you can cause it to split early by firing at the chunks, thus getting it to reform sooner and stop bouncing around. When it slides across the floor, do not stay on the wall over it, but instead jump over it and run across the room. Aim for the head, of course, to do damage.
Copy X 1st time (falcon armor form)
He seems to be able to use Master Weapons, interestingly enough. He moves around enough that it’s hard to get him into a pattern, although generally everything he does gives you enough warning that you can dodge, as long as you’re on your toes.
[Image of Copy X saying, ’I am a perfect copy of the original X.’]
Um, not exactly. Are you blind?
Use charged shots when possible, of course. It may be that he’s weak against various Elements based on what weapon he’s using, although I haven’t yet been able to verify this (typically, he switches weapons as fast as I switch Elements, so...).
Copy X 2nd time
There are certain constants in the universe. Like multiple final boss forms. And, in the finest X series tradition, the final boss is screen-sized while the first was humanoid. At least there’s only one of him, though.

This one is tricky because of the pits and the fact that he’s often not within your reach. Note that the fire he causes on the platform is his most damaging attack (not counting falling into the pit). You will want to learn the noise he makes right before he uses that fire laser, and immediately jump against one of the floating platforms and hang out there until the fire dies away. Do not stay on the floating platforms because the bands which bind you will throw you into the pit with no recourse if they catch you there. Note that the bands come down where you were standing as they were fired, so keep moving and you can dodge them. If you get caught, just press the buttons rapidly and you should escape before Copy X can attack you again. I believe Copy X is weak against Ice.

The way I win this battle is using the Triple Rod, because when it’s not charged, you can jump up underneath Copy X and fire it straight up and hit X almost regardless how high he is. Z-Saber slashes will hit him from underneath if Copy X is low enough, but I personally found the Triple Rod to be easiest. Note that the small yellow lasers Copy X fires generally will not hit you if you stand right under his head (which is what you have to hit to damage him, of course) so you can usually safely ignore those. Keep jumping and hitting him and dodging the fire and bands and you should have this battle won.

Naturally, if you die to the second form of Copy X and you have a Continue left, you have to start over with the first one (and all the plot as well).

This game uses saved game data. There are three save slots on each cartridge. Talk to Ciel to save or load your game.
Weapons and Elements
[Image of Zero telling Copy X, ’X was not as naive as you are.’]
Are you sure about that?
Copy X complains about how he was supposed to be a perfect copy of X—a hero. Then the fortress self-destructs; Zero manages to get out just in time, although he ends up lying unconscious in the desert.

This is when the real X appears in ghostly form, commenting about how he had fought Mavericks for nearly a hundred years before Zero reappeared. X asks that he be allowed to rest in peace, at least for a little while.
[Image of X telling Zero, ’I’ll leave this world to you.’]
You do that, X. Zero was always more popular than you were anyway.
For no obvious reason, Zero replies, “That’s why we’re the best partners.” Why? Because you let your partner die? Ah well.

At any rate, Zero then vows to continue the battle where X left off, and he goes back to fighting enemies. And that’s the end of the ending.

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Last update: March 14, 2012