Mega Man X8 (ロックマンX8, Rokkuman Ekkusu Eito?, Rockman X8 in Japan) is a platform shooter video game developed and published by Capcom Co., Ltd in 2005. It is the eighth and most recent game in the Mega Man X video game series.
The game plot focuses on the abduction of a "next-generation" reploid from the construction site of a space elevator, and the subsequent pursuit of his captors. During the course of game play the motivations of these captors comes into focus, and it is up to the heroes, led by Mega Man X, to stop them.
Like its predecessors in the Mega Man X series, the newest installment 'Mega Man X8 has several modes of gameplay: the game screen, a menu screen, and a stage select screen. New to the X series is the laboratory, where players can obtain upgrades (such as improved armor) in exchange for "metals" found within the game stages. Generally, a player will select the stage he wishes to go to on the stage select screen, and play through it on the game and menu screens.
After an introductory stage to familiarize the player with the game mechanics, Mega Man X8 presents the player with a choice of 8 stages, with an Maverick robot serving as the stage boss. After defeating the 8 bosses, a series of fortress stages open up for the player to complete in linear progression until the final boss is defeated. This general format is the template of all X series games.
X, Axl, and Zero have character-specific attributes to assist them in navigating the terrain and defeating enemies:
* Axl has the ability to fire his gun in any direction, glide horizontally for short distances, and stick in place on a wall as long as he is firing (similar to Bass in Mega Man & Bass). He also has a 'copy shot' which allows him to assimilate the DNA of certain enemy reploids and take their forms and abilities for a short time. By defeating bosses, Axl gains new types of guns which have unlimited ammo. He's faster than X and Zero, but his attacks are weaker as well.
* X has the most reliable and strongest shot in the game, as well as being the most balanced of the three characters. X can find and equip individual body parts, obtained from capsules hidden by Dr. Light He can equip any combination of previously obtained armors to a "Neutral Armor," a new addition to this game. As X defeats bosses, he gets special weapons which have a limited supply of ammo, just as in previous games in the series. Unlike X7, X can only fire his shot in a straight line. This was perhaps done to provide more differentiation between his and Axl's characters.
* Zero is a powerful fighter with his short range weapons. He uses many different weapons that will increase/decrease his range and power and can even use the powerful "Sigma Blade." He is also the only character that can double-jump. Zero learns new attack techniques by defeating bosses, and some of them change depending on which weapon he has equipped. He's the slowest of the three, as his dash doesn't go as far as X or Axl.
:It is the year 21XX. The Reploid rebellions across the past years continue, seemingly with no possible solution despite the Maverick Hunters' best efforts.
Seeing this as a completely unnecessary worry, mankind has begun the next generation of research and development by constructing an orbital elevator able to take equipment and handwork to the moon where they seek to expand their horizons to space. This operation is labeled as "Jakob Project", with the orbital elevator bearing its name.
As another part of the project, a highly advanced new generation of Reploids is dispatched to the moon surface in order to work on the plans of the project. Everything seems to be running smoothly until one of the personnel transport carts explodes off the spiral track of the elevator and crashes down near the elevator site.
X, who was tracking around the area, is the first to arrive. After requesting a rescue squad, a rising figure from the debris draws his attention. As the many bog bodies come out of the fire, X's face changes into one of deep shock and fear. A vision of a nightmare appears in front of his very own eyes: an army of Sigmas climbing out of the crimson fire.
A single young Reploid who was being protected by the Sigmas is revealed, as he explains the situation. The Sigmas within the transport are really some of the New Generation Reploids, able to use DNA data to change their shapes. They are the perfect workers because they can change their shape according to a task. Claiming that their new systems makes them immune to all viruses, X relaxes as he asks the identity of the young Reploid. He introduces himself as Lumine, the director in charge of the Orbital Elevator, and the Jakob Project itself.
A few hours after the crash, a Maverick riot near the elevator site in the Galapagos calls for X, Axl, and Zero in order to stop a unique crab-like Mechaniloid. They manage to defeat it, but are then interrupted by a hail of missiles from Vile, who has apparently been resurrected from his earlier defeat in Mega Man X3. Vile has kidnapped Lumine for unknown reasons, and it becomes the Maverick Hunters' mission to rescue him.
However, what the Hunters do not know is that Sigma has returned once again, this time with his most ambitious plot yet. In Mega Man X7, it was revealed that Axl is the first of his kind, a prototype next-generation Reploid that has the ability to copy other reploids' DNA via a copy chip. In addition, these new Reploids have subroutines built in to prevent them from going Maverick. In X8, these next-generation robots have begun rolling off the assembly lines to work on the Jakob Project because they can copy strong Reploids, presumably at a lower cost than building the stronger Reploid itself.
Sigma's plan is simple. Contained on every single copy chip in these robots is Sigma's own DNA, meaning that the next-generation 'Maverick-Proof' reploids are in fact able to go Maverick at will. He seeks to scorch Earth to remove the "old generation" and repopulate it with his "children," a much more efficient method of domination than his previous attempts. What he did not count on was Lumine. When Sigma is inevitably defeated in his palace, Lumine steps in to take the entire operation over and kill the Maverick Hunters (it can be assumed he would have eventually tried this without the Maverick Hunters anyway). Lumine gloats to the Hunters that, in order for evolution to take its course, he and his fellow new-generation Reploids must destroy all that remains of the old world, both humans and "obsolete" Reploids alike. After a massive struggle, Lumine is defeated. When Axl walks up to Lumine's empty shell of a body, however, he is shocked as a tentacle springs from it and damages the crystal on his head.
As the three different characters ride back down the Jakob Elevator, Zero wonders if he no longer has to fight now that Sigma is dead for good, while X ponders Lumine's words on evolution. Axl is borderline conscious, but his shattered crystal can be seen glowing eerily with a tiny fragment of a mysterious purple crystal shard.
Main article: List of Mega Man X characters
Unlike his sharp character deviation in X7, X seems to have a much stronger resolve for fighting when it needs to be done. He also trusts Axl on a personal level now, and maintains a solid relationship with Zero as well. He retains his strong will to fight the enemy for the sake of peace, and to accomplish the mission through non-violent matters if possible. Just like his two friends, he is a Class S Hunter. His physical design has been modified somewhat for X8— his helmet now shoots straight backwards after slanting upwards, and his X-Buster and legs have been slimmed down, possibly to give him a more human appearance. X is voiced by Mark Gatha in the English version and by Takahiro Sakurai in the Japanese version.
Zero's character has taken a cocky turn in X8. His rationale for fighting is that it simply needs to be done. He also gains the ability to use different weapons besides his beam saber - fans, knuckles, a hammer, a spear, and even Sigma's blade (normal and hard difficulties only). Now with a more trusting attitude towards Axl, he also maintains the solid and unbreakable relationship with his best friend X. His new attitude is partially caused by the angst he suffers from recent events, especially his involvement as a tool to spawn a lethal virus during the events of Mega Man X5. Zero's appearance has also changed somewhat as his ponytail is now slimmer and the peaks of his helmet are considerably smaller in X8. Zero is voiced by Lucas Gilbertson in the English version and Ryotaro Okiayu in the Japanese version.
Axl returns in X8 with his abilities heavily modified. He can now store enemy DNA for future use, aim while firing (but he cannot move), and gets a new gun with infinite weapon ammo upon the defeat of a boss. With the new rise of the New Generation Reploids, Axl is branded as a traitor by them, being a New Generation Prototype who sides with Old Generation Reploids. Amidst all this, his promise to X and his duty as a Maverick Hunter keep him from siding with others of his kind. Axl is voiced by Jeffrey Watson in the English version and by Minami Takayama in the Japanese version.
Alia continues the role she's had since Mega Man X5 as X's Navigator, although with a new makeover. She assists the player in navigating the best route to take in a level. As a playable character, she is X's female counterpart, but cannot use his armor. She is voiced by Mariette Sluyter in the English version and by Rumi Kasahara in Japanese version.
The scantily-clad Navigator introduced in this game. She's in love with Zero, but he is apparently oblivious to this. Her expertise is in boss strategy, and can give the player hints as to how to defeat them. As a playable character, she is Zero's female counterpart, and can pretty much do everything he can (by using a rapier, although her rapier has a slighty longer reach than Zero's Z-Saber). She is voiced by Meredith Taylor-Perry in the English version and Sonoko Kawata in the Japanese version.
The young Navigator introduced in this game. She knows about a stage's secret capsules and rare metal locations. She also runs things in the R&D lab by making items for X, Zero and Axl out of Metals. As a playable character, she is Axl's female counterpart, although she can't use the Copy Shot. She is voiced by Chris Simms in the English version and Haruna Mima in the Japanese version.
Leader of the new-generation Reploids and director of the Jakob space elevator, Lumine is a new generation-type Reploid like Axl, but far more advanced. Part of the New-Generation Reploid model line, he is the penultimate version with very powerful shape-changing abilities and the power to copy Reploids' most powerful attacks. He is kidnapped by Vile in the initial mission and is unseen (though often referenced) until the later stages of the game, when he steps out from the shadows and reveals his intent to rule in Sigma's place. When defeated, he explains that the New-Generation Reploids can go Maverick at will because of Sigma's data, and that it is not an infection but a choice. Lumine is defeated and ultimately destroyed, but not before he strikes a critical blow to Axl. In the English version, Lumine is voiced by Elinor Holt.
Sigma makes his tenth appearance as the leader of eight Mavericks guarding key points for the successful building of the Jakob tower. The first fight with Sigma seemingly takes place after the traditional teleporter room, but it is quickly revealed to be a New Generation Reploid copying his D.N.A. The real Sigma is found later on the moon, in a body seemingly composed of nothing more than scraps of metal held together by his viral form. Once again, Sigma is defeated, but Lumine surprises the Hunters by revealing that, this time, Sigma's death is permanent. Given the actions of Lumine and the lack of traditional Reploids on Luna to infect with his Virus, it seems very unlikely that Sigma will return in any future installment (chronologically) of the X series.
Vile (Vava in the Japanese version), who was first seen in the first Mega Man X game and has not been seen since X3, returns in X8. He is once again in Sigma's employ, and his character serves as little more than a lackey this time around. He will fight you as a miniboss in some stages, as the main boss at the top of Jakob, and once more with his ride armor at Sigma's Palace. His fighting style is reminiscent of his appearances in previous X games.
Main article: List of Mavericks
English name Japanese name Form Stage Copied weapon (X) Learned technique (Zero) Special arms (Axl) Weakness (X/Zero/Axl)
Optic Sunflower Optic Sunfloward Sunflower Troia Base Shining Ray Tenshouha Ray Gun Green Spinner/Youdantotsu/Blast Launcher
Gravity Antonion Gravitate Ant-Onion Ant Primrose Squeeze Bomb Juuhazan, Ganzanha (T), Dairettsui (K) Spiral Magnum Shadow Runner/Rasetsusen/Black Arrow
Dark Mantis Darkneid Kamakil Praying mantis Pitch Black Shadow Runner Rasetsusen, Senpuukyaku (K) Black Arrow Shining Ray/Tenshouha/Ray Gun
Gigavolt Man-O-War Gigabolt Dokragen Portuguese Man o' War Dynasty Thunder Dancer Raikousen, Raijinken (K) Plasma Gun Crystal Wall/Rekkyoudan/Bound Blaster
Burn Rooster Burn Kokekokker Rooster Inferno (Drop Dead in the Japanese version) Melt Creeper Enkoujin, Enkoukyaku (K) Flame Burner Drift Diamond/Hyouryuushou/Ice Gatling
Avalanche Yeti Ice-Snow Yetinger Yeti Central White Drift Diamond Hyouryuushou, Shouryuuken (K) Ice Gatling Thunder Dancer/Raikousen/Plasma Gun
Earthrock Trilobyte Earthrock Torirovich Trilobite Metal Valley Crystal Wall Rekkyoudan, Zekkyoudan (B) Bound Blaster Squeeze Bomb/Juuhazan/Spiral Magnum
Bamboo Pandamonium Bamboo Pandemonium Panda Booster Forest Green Spinner Youdantotsu, Renyoudan (D) Blast Launcher Melt Creeper/Enkoujin/Flame Burner
The port of this game features everything from PlayStation 2 version. In addition, it also featuring the keyboard, window size and over 8 languages, which can change the language from the main menu or after starting the game the first time.
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* Cut Man makes an appearance in a hidden fight near the end of Optic Sunflower's stage. Accessing it requires having a Mega Man X: Command Mission save on the memory card, or by entering a special button password on the title screen. For the PC version, top ranks must be earned in the level scenarios. He appears in his sprite form from the original Mega Man, with unaltered music. The only changes are that sound effects are a bit updated, the room is now viewed at a slightly different angle as to not be so flat, Cut Man can throw his Rolling Cutter higher to reach walls and ceiling where your character might be, and Cut Man himself displays a very Paper Mario-esque effect when turning around.
* One of Optic Sunflower's attacks is the Tenshouha, a laser beam. In the background, the Final Weapon from Mega Man X4 is shown, implying that it was the source of the laser beam attack, even though the Final Weapon was destroyed at the end of X4.
* The game includes several biblical references.
* Noah's Park is named after Noah's Ark.
* The orbital elevator of the Jakob Project is named after Jacob's Ladder.
* Lumine's name is similar to Lucifer.
* Lumine's ultimate attack, Paradise Lost is also the name of John Milton's poem that deals with the fall of Lucifer in Christianity. The name "Paradise Lost" is also used in the game's title, as it appears in the ending credits.
* Lumine's role in the game also somewhat mirrors Lucifer's; being subservient to his superior, then emerging in his true nature to seize control and act upon his desires.
* The name of Sigma's form, Belial Sigma, also comes from Paradise Lost; Belial was one of Lucifer's lieutenants in Hell, ironically the one who had the most pacifistic stance.
* Bamboo Pandamonium's name might also be a reference to the poem, as Lucifer's court in Paradise Lost was named "Pandemonium."
The Opening Theme music of Rockman X8 is called "WILD FANG" by Janne Da Arc.
The voice-overs were done by Ocean Group, a Canadian based voice-over studio that, incidentally, also voiced the American Mega Man cartoon created by Ruby-Spears ten years prior.
1. ^ The ending varies depending on who inflicted the finishing blow on Lumine, in which case the ending will be in the perspective of the victor.