When word reached the shores that a game entitled Mega Man X was in the works, everyone assumed it was a 10th installment of Mega Man, finally linking the Game Boy titles, 4 at the time, and NES titles, 5 at the time. However, it was later revealed that the X was just that—an "X." It would be a futuristic Mega Man game, adding new life to the series but keeping the same tried-and-true formula that made Mega Man a success.
No one knows whether or not the Mega Man X games are true sequels to the original series, though it's strongly hinted in Mega Man X4 that Zero was a creation of Dr. Wily. Others insist that they are true sequels, but they don't know if the star of this series, X, is the same Mega Man that was given life back on the 8-bit NES. Whether or not they are true sequels, they certainly play the same. However, the Mega Man X games rely more on exploring worlds and finding secrets, which makes them a lot more fun to play. The only other difference are the bosses, who are patterned after animals rather than given a name like [name of element] Man.
So here is the story of Mega Man X.
[Green = SNES] [Brown = PSX]
It was the year 20XX. The world was at peace. Technology was advancing rapidly, leading to a computer age that was bereft of robots. It wasn't that people were afraid of making robots, it's that they didn't know how, as knowledge of producing robots was lost over time. The robots they were able to create were useless. But it is in this time-period that a certain doctor finds something truly remarkable—something that will shape the future of the entire world.
Mega Man X
Dr. Cain was a peaceful man. He loved studying history, participating in archaeological digs whenever he could. While on an expedition searching for Mesozoic plant life, at location E-46, he noticed something metallic buried underground. Digging deeper and deeper, he found the remains of a laboratory. Further inspection of files and logs revealed that he had found the lab of Dr. Thomas Light. Light's notes, detailing what sounded like a major breakthrough, kept referring to "the capsule."
Three days later, Dr. Cain found the capsule that the notes referred to. A warning had been placed on it, insisting that the capsule not be disturbed for 30 years upon being sealed. The capsule's indicators flashed green, signaling that it was safe to open.
Inside the capsule was X, Dr. Thomas Light's final contribution to robotics before his death. Upon meeting X, Dr. Cain was fascinated to find that X wasn't simply a robot, for he had the ability to think and make decisions, making him seem more like a man than a machine.
Reading over Light's notes, discovering his genius, Dr. Cain believed that he could replicate Light's designs and integrate them into a new generation of robots. He decided to move X and most of Light's equipment over to his own lab.
Within 7 months, with X's help, Dr. Cain created the first reploid. Learning that his creation's strength and intelligence seemed limitless, he began to further understand what Light was onto.
Two months later, Cain had created an assembly line that created reploids by the dozens. The reploids were able to adapt to even the hardest jobs, working side-by-side with humans. Overall, the humans accepted the reploids in the workplace.
During the next month, three reploids went "maverick," inuring two people before they were stopped. It wasn't the first time it had happened; in fact, there were three instances where reploids began behaving defiantly. It spawned talk that the assembly line would be shut down by the council, but nothing became of it. Instead, the council set up a group of hunters to destroy any maverick before it could cause injury. The reploid named "Sigma" was assigned to lead of the maverick hunters, since he was among Cain's most intelligent reploids, containing Cain's latest circuit designs.
Under Sigma's control, the Maverick Hunters were able to prevent any further injury to the population. Order was slowly being restored. However, things were different for X, as he spent most of the time feeling unsure of his place in life—unsure of what Dr. Light had planned for him.
|Months later, Dr. Cain's worst fear was realized: Sigma, himself, went maverick, taking most of the other hunters with him. Sigma had decided that humans were inferior and were limiting the growth of the reploids; furthermore, he decided that all humans should be eradicated.||
Most of the population fled the city, as Sigma's forces launched a fierce attack. Had Dr. Cain built the reploids too well? While Dr. Cain was in fear of the situation, X took it very personally. X made it known that he wanted to join Zero, the new leader of the Maverick Hunters, when he would go after Sigma. Though doubtful of their chances, Dr. Cain did nothing to stop X.
X fought through the robot-filled city, buying time for the fleeing citizens. At the edge of the city, a ship flew in from overhead; emerging from the bottom-most flap, in custom-made robot ride armor, was Vile. Vile, a war machine, attacked X, overpowering him easily; X was no match for this foe. As Vile used his armor to pick up X, ready to crush him, a blast came out of nowhere, knocking the arm off of Vile's ride armor. Coming to X's rescue was Zero. Vile quickly retreated.
Zero encouraged X, telling him that he needed to become more powerful before he could battle Sigma on even terms. X would continue on to take out the mavericks—Chill Penguin, Spark Mandrill, Launch Octopus, Sting Chameleon, Storm Eagle, Armored Armadillo, Flame Mammoth and Boomer Kuwanger—each having built their own hideout, while Zero would scout the area.
While exploring Chill Penguin's hideout, X came across a capsule. Dr. Light's spirit, revealing itself in human form via holographic imaging, appeared inside. X listened closely as Light spoke the words he had waited to hear. Light explained that he created X, giving him the ability to think and make decisions, so that he might lead a peaceful life, but, instead, it seemed that he was destined to fight. He then told X that the capsule contained a power-up for his system and that he had hidden more of them all over the world for X to find.
X became stronger, defeating the 8 mavericks in question, acquiring their powers in the process. Having done so, he and Zero were able to locate Sigma's fortress. Zero would go ahead and neutralize the main defense while X cleared the area.
Upon entering the fortress, they ran into Vile again. Zero went in first, urging X to stay behind and wait. Blasts and explosions urged X to follow. Zero had been captured, encased in a bubble of pure energy. Vile then set his sight on X, and again had his way with him. Vile, celebrating his victory over X and his "ancient" weapons prematurely, was shocked at what happened next; Zero used his remaining strength to break free from the bubble, clinging on to Vile's armor; he then sacrificed himself to take out the armor, leaving Vile to fend for himself.
Without the armor, X was able to defeat Vile. X then consoled his fallen friend, but Zero insisted that X go on, furthermore giving X his more powerful Mega-buster. With it, X continued on, defeating more of the maverick leaders, including clones of the first 8, before reaching the final chamber of Sigma's fortress.
At the very top of the tower, Sigma awaited X. Deeming X too weak, he had his robotic canine friend do the honors. X made quick work of the canine, impressing Sigma. However, Sigma produced a beam sword and launched a fierce attack on X. X, using his wall-clinging ability, dueled with the maverick leader, defeating him in combat. Sigma wasn't done, though. He transferred into a new body, attacking X in his new giant form. X, using the weapons he acquired from the mavericks, somehow defeated Sigma's new body.
"Why, X?" Sigma asked. Shocked at his own defeat, not understanding how X could defeat him, Sigma eerily vowed to return.
The fortress began to crumble. X escaped before it did, watching from a mountain cliff as it fell to the ground. Standing there, he pondered life—how many had to be sacrificed to end this battle, them never being able to return. He wondered why he chose to fight and how long he would have to fight. He knew he'd have to fight the mavericks again before he would find the answer.
With those questions in mind, he began the long journey home.
Mega Man X2
Even though X defeated the Mavericks and their leader, many more remained. Those that remained had broken away from the control center, invading an abandoned production factory. Almost six months later, they struck again, and Dr. Cain was able to confirm their every move.
A special group of Maverick Hunters was assembled and mobilized to the production factory. Only one of them was able to penetrate the heavy artillery outside the factory—X. X's main intention was to locate and destroy the leader of this new maverick uprising.
While the leader was unknown, 8 specific Mavericks bosses stood in X's way. They were the following: Bubble Crab, Crystal Snail, Flame Stag, Magna Centipede, Morph Moth, Overdrive Ostrich, Wheel Gator and Wire Sponge.
X easily defeated the first 2 he encountered. But meanwhile, somewhere in Maverick territory, the three so-called leaders of the uprising—Agile, Violen and Serges—watched on, understanding how X was able to defeat Sigma. They decided that the Maverick bosses wouldn't last long, so they would intervene and stop X from going any further. They had a plan.
X continued on, becoming more powerful. He found more of the capsules that Dr. Light had hidden, upgrading his armor.
As X returned to Dr. Cain's lab, the 3 leaders appeared on the monitor, taunting X with the Zero's parts, the parts collected after Zero sacrificed his body to defeat Vile. Furthermore, if X didn't come to fight them, they would destroy the pieces so that Zero could never be reconstructed. X had no choice.
X encountered each of the 3 leaders, gaining short victories over them, making them retreat; he also retrieved all of Zero's parts—this as he finished off the last of the Maverick bosses. Having done so, the Maverick's new base was located.
He entered their base, once again running into Agile, Serges and Violen; only this time, they were more powerful than before. As he defeated each one, they revealed that none of them were the true leader, and that "he" still remained. Still inside, X faced and defeated clones of the 8 Maverick bosses. After he did, a familiar voice could be heard; the true leader revealed himself —Sigma was back! Sigma beckoned X to continue on.
X entered the final level of the complex. At the midway point, X and Sigma came face to face. While Sigma wanted nothing more than to destroy X, he decided he'd let another of the Mavericks do it; he decided to let the newly constructed Zero do it! It wasn't meant to be, though, as the real Zero, reconstructed by Dr. Cain, showed up just in time. "You must have read the blueprints wrong, Sigma. There's only one Zero," the real Zero said, as he blasted away Sigma's phony Zero. Sigma was surprised, as, knowing Zero's true past, he felt Zero would side with him as he was destined to do. "Maybe," Zero said, "But that doesn't mean I have to like you."
Sigma retreated to below. Zero opened up the way, urging X to hurry downward and finish the job. X hurried down, and he was greeted by Sigma in his new body. The two dueled as they had before, and X was able to win again. However, Sigma then abandoned his new body and attacked in NEO form. NEO Sigma crowded X, attacking while creating lesser reploids. Fighting with all his might, and the strike weapon he retrieved from Wire Sponge, he defeated Sigma once again.
Defeated again, Sigma promised that he'd never die—that he'd keep returning over and over until he defeated X and the reploid race ruled over all. Sigma took solace in that each battle was only bringing X closer to his true destiny. "But Zero," he said, questioning why Zero would not side with the Mavericks. "He was the last of the doctor's creations..." The Maverick fortress began to crumble, X and Zero escaping just in time.
X and Zero watched the destruction of the fortress from a mountain cliff. While watching, X wondered if Dr. Light's idea of a world where humans could live peacefully with robots was only a dream. He also pondered which "doctor" Sigma was referring to in regard to Zero's creation. He realized that peace came at a high price—that the battle is eternal. With many thoughts still racing through his mind, he and Zero headed home.
Mega Man X3
One of most important reploids, in terms of eliminating the Mavericks, was Dr. Doppler, a research reploid. He created a Maverick anti-virus that could very well have ended the Maverick cause. However, in the appropriately named Doppler Town, the Maverick virus broke through the anti-virus, causing another Maverick rebellion. The strange thing was, the Maverick virus broke through the anti-virus thanks to Dr. Doppler!
Doppler Town was overrun with Mavericks; Utopia had ended before it could start. With the virus spreading quickly, the outburst got bigger. Dr. Cain's laboratory was being infiltrated, and X received the call.
Inside, X ran into Mac, a fellow Maverick Hunter. X was happy to see him, but, unfortunately, Mac was infected with the reploid virus and attacked X instead, capturing him. Once again, Zero came to X's rescue, destroying Mac.
Having secured the laboratory, 8 Maverick bosses stood in the way of finding Dr. Doppler—Blast Hornet, Blizzard Buffalo, Gravity Beetle, Toxic Seahorse, Volt Catfish, Crush Crawfish, Tunnel Rhino and Neon Tiger.
As X took care of the first two Mavericks, Zero scouted the area, helping X every now and then. Meanwhile, Dr. Doppler looked on, concerned about the resilient X. He deployed 2 of his creations, Bit and Byte, to interfere and destroy X. They weren't alone, however, as Vile, rebuilt by Doppler and wanting revenge on X, insisted on finding X himself, despite it being against Doppler's wishes.
|Undaunted, X defeated the remaining Maverick bosses, Bit, Byte and Vile—all this while becoming more powerful and finding more of Light's hidden capsules. The way to Doppler's hideout was then open.||
Inside, X ran into Bit and Byte again, this time merged into one powerful robot. Vile returned, too, but none of them were a match for X. After defeating 8 clones of the Maverick bosses, only Dr. Doppler remained. Doppler, using his energy-regaining ability, pushed X to the limit, but X, ever-willing, triumphed.
Doppler then came to his senses. It turned out that he was under the control of someone or something. And there was no doubt that it was Sigma. Though Dr. Doppler was free from his control, it was too late—he had already completed making the ultimate body for Sigma.
X climbed to the top of the hideout, where Sigma was waiting. Sigma greeted his foe, launching a fire attack, blocking all of X's attacks with his shield. After defeating Sigma in that form, he transferred into his "ultimate body." X barely survived, eking out the victory.
Sigma still wasn't done; he reemerged in NEO form, making lava rise from the floor. X had to climb quickly while avoiding Sigma's attack. Once at the very top, X ran into a dead-end, Sigma cornering him. Sigma was about to strike the final blow when Zero broke through the ceiling, injecting Sigma with an anti-virus made by Dr. Doppler, wiping out his existence. Zero revealed that Sigma was a virus and that this was the only way to truly stop him.
X and Zero escaped from the destroyed hideout, watching from afar as it crumbled to the ground. X searched his mind for answers; a cold chill overcame him as he glanced at Zero, while his friend was staring into the fiery remnants. X then realized the cold truth: One day he would have to destroy Zero. Looking down, he chose to no longer think about it. The two headed home.
Mega Man X4
Somewhere deep in the headquarters of the Repliforce—an army of reploids assembled to protect the humans—a mysterious hooded figure was having a meeting with the General. The mysterious man was doing all he could to urge the the General to have the Repliforce eliminate the Maverick Hunters, as they posed a threat in their never-ending quest to please the humans. The General, sympathetic to his human creators, dismissed the man, angry that he would propose such a scenario. The mysterious man laughed as he walked off, promising that the General would change his mind soon.
Not soon after, X and Zero were alerted to a Maverick riot somewhere in the city. With the Repliforce having failed to control the Maverick outbreak, X and Zero, spearheading their own separate Maverick Hunter groups, would have to compensate by addressing it on their own.
Upon arriving at the latest point of disturbance, the Sky Lagoon, X found that it was overrun by Mavericks. X ran into fellow hunter Magma Dragoon, who alerted X to the fact that the Sky Lagoon was going to blow, insisting that X escape immediately. "It'll crash into the city; many people will perish," X said, racing to the city below.
X was too late; the Sky Lagoon had crashed, laying waste to the city and many lives with it. A Repliforce official, the Colonel, appeared before X. "What are you doing here?" X asked, with a tone that implied that the Colonel was behind the destruction. "What are you talking about?" the Colonel, shocked, asked. "I just came here to save my sister." Wanting to believe the Colonel, X asked him to put down his weapons and come quietly back to Maverick H.Q. The Colonel, upholding Repliforce's honor, refused to lower his weapons. "Then you will be considered a Maverick," X explained. Not liking the stereotype, the Colonel made his exit.
Repliforce held a meeting soon after, addressing the fact that they were wrongfully accused as Mavericks. As the most powerful army in history, they vowed to fight for their own independence, building their own nation of reploids while not bringing harm to their human creators. The Colonel echoed the sentiments vehemently. To get the job done, they would move into space and create a super weapon for their own protection.
Somewhere else—hidden deep inside a building—that mysterious hooded figure looked on. "HAHAHA, the General has taken action," he boasted. "And now, my Maverick Hunters, what will you do? I'll be watching closely from here on out! HAHAHAHA!"
Returning to Maverick Hunter H.Q., X met Double, a rookie hunter and Dr. Cain's latest creation. Careless and zealous, Double was there to assist X and Zero in any way he could. Having located some of Repliforce's soldiers' locations, he relayed them to X. The Repliforce territories located were being guarded by 8 soldiers in particular: Storm Owl, Web Spider, Slash Beast, Frost Walrus, Split Mushroom, Jet Stingray, Cyber Peacock, and that very same Magma Dragoon. X had to stop Repliforce before they could assemble and begin their revolution.
||Upon locating the first 2 soldiers, their attitude was the same: They were angered at being labeled Mavericks and would fight X to defend their honor. Defeating them, X again became more powerful. Helping him, littered throughout the world, were more power-ups and Dr. Light capsules for X to find; Light spoke to X, sad to see that the reploids had begun fighting each other. "Why must they fight?" he asked, hoping that X could somehow stop the tragic war.|
Slowly, X eliminated the next 5 before approaching the the traitor, Magma Dragoon, who was responsible for the Sky Lagoon crashing down into the Earth. Dragoon had always wanted to fight X—to test his skills against X's—so he was goaded into joining Repliforce by "him," a person who promised that he would give Dragoon that chance.
After defeating all the soldiers, X returned to Maverick H.Q. Double informed X that Repliforce had already begun assembling. Teleporting out, following their ships closely from behind, X located the Colonel. "I'll stop anyone who tries to interfere with our independence!" the Colonel said profoundly. Having been defeated, the Colonel explained that it was too late—that Repliforce already left for space.
Double urged X not to venture any further, as it was too dangerous. Regardless, X had to do his job. After X teleported out, Double exited into the Maverick Hunter Hangar Bay, where he was heckled by the usual group of hunters. Double, his eyes glaring, transformed into a huge monstrosity, killing the hunters for their comments. "What's wrong, Double?" X could be heard over Double's transmitter. "Nothing to worry about," Double said as X broke contact. "And now, X will be my next target! Hee hee hee!"
Further into Repliforce's transporter ships, X was surprised to see Double already there."Double, what are you doing here?" X asked. Double responded: "HA! The Mavericks, Hunters and Repliforce... Idiots, all of them. They're making my job too easy!" "What are you saying?" X, stunned, inquired. Answered Double, now transforming back into monstrous form: "Think it over in heaven! Die, X!"
X had won, leaving Double to explain why he did what he did. "You're so naive, X," he explained. "I was sent as a spy from the very beginning to keep an eye on you!" Declaring that X's naiveness would be his own downfall, Double was laid to rest. X wondered who exactly Double was a spy for.
Moving on, X ran into the General. Explaining to X Repliforce's plan to build their own nation, the General would fight for unjustifiably being called a "Maverick." As X defeated the General, something of dire consequence was happening. "It can't be," the General said. "The weapon is malfunctioning. Someone else must be controlling it." He continued, "You must hurry, X. The Earth is in danger!"
He would be stalled, however, as 8 capsules containing clones of Repliforce's soldiers stood in his way. Finally gaining access to the area containing the ultimate weapon, that mysterious hooded figure, more or less resembling the Grim Reaper, appeared right in front of X. The voice was undeniable; it was indeed...Sigma! "This is amusing," he said. "It really is, X," explaining that it was his plan to frame Repliforce, making it look like they were the cause of the destruction—as to keep the Maverick Hunters and Repliforce at each other's throats. He also explained that Double was his spy, sent to keep tabs on everything X was doing. Furthermore, he was going to use the ultimate weapon Repliforce made to destroy Earth, inviting X for a battle if he dared.
X and Sigma, forever enemies, battled once again. Eliminating his Reaper incarnation, X fought Sigma in 2 more separate bodies. X won, again, seemingly ruining another of Sigma's plots. Sigma just laughed, as it was too late—the weapon was already aimed at Earth. "Good-bye, X," Zero continued, laughing at the imminent destruction about to become of Earth.
X scurried forward, trying to figure out what to do. Just then, the General reappeared, damaged and beaten. The General would use his body to stop the weapon. Said X: "But then you'll--" The General cut him off, explaining that it was too late, as there was no other choice. "X, please forgive our foolishness...," he uttered, before sacrificing himself.
X hurried out of the area, getting into his ship and blasting off into space. Contacting Zero, he informed his friend that he was indeed safe. Taking Zero by surprise, X lay forth a question: "But, Zero... What if I become one of the mavericks?" "Don't be silly," Zero replied, urging X to go home and rest. "I'm serious," X said, asking the same question again. "If I do," continued X, "if I become a Maverick, you have to take care of me (finish me off)." "Don't be ridiculous," Zero said. "Now hurry back." "Promise me, Zero...," X said, as Zero broke transmission.
The battle had ended, but X didn't feel quite right. He wondered what was making all the robots turn into Mavericks. And whatever it was, would it happen to him? Was it his destiny? It was a mystery that X would one day have to solve.
Mega Man X5
Centuries had passed. The many battles between machines that comprised the Reploid Wars had raged on, and it seemed as though the wars would never end as long as Sigma existed and Reploids had the potential to become Mavericks. In the ever-increasing expansion of technology, colonies were built as such that they orbited the moon itself. The largest of those was Eurasia, a massive colony that was under extensive renovation to make it the largest, most colossal and most advanced of all of the orbiting outposts.
One day, an unknown force possessed the Eurasia and sabotaged its gravity device. The colony began to spin out of control, heading in what would surely be a collision course with Earth. When this was detected by Maverick Hunter Headquarters, they calculated that the colony would crash into the Earth within hours. There was only one hope--to deploy the Enigma, an ancient particle cannon left over from the Reploid Wars, to intercept and destroy Eurasia before it entered Earth's atmosphere But there was a problem: Parts needed to rebuild the Enigma were scattered throughout the planet, and they would need to be collected in order to assure that Enigma would launch correctly and reach its target.
While this was going on, two mysterious Reploids—one of which was named Dynamo, and the other being the force behind Eurasia's destruction—were planning their next move. Dynamo was once hired by an unknown agency as a special unit's Hunter, but now he had a new boss, with new orders: He was instructed to head toward Maverick Hunter Headquarters for some reason.
Not soon after, there was a disturbance in the city. X transported to the streets, the scene of a Maverick outbreak. Being led by the transmission of Alia—the Hunters' engineer researcher, navigator, and programming language expert—X raced to the top of a certain building, the origin of the disturbance. Upon reaching the destination, X found Zero injured; Zero was attacked by Sigma and badly damaged. Right then, Sigma occupied a large statue in the distance and immediately attacked X. Without much effort, X was able to destroy Sigma in that form. The awful truth was revealed to them at that point: Sigma purposely lost—he knew that his destruction would spread the Sigma virus all over the Earth. Within hours, all Reploids and other mechanical structures would become Mavericks. X and Zero quickly headed back to Headquarters.
Back at Headquarters, Signas, the general of the Maverick Hunters, brought X and Zero up to speed. Douglas, the Hunters' main mechanic and weapons' maintainer, calculated that Eurasia would crash into the Earth within 16 hours. It was up to X to locate 4 certain Reploids—Grizzly Slash, Squid Adler, Izzy Glow and Duff McWhale—and retrieve 4 essential pieces to repairing the Enigma. Each of those Reploids, unfortunately, had either refused to comply—to part with their possessions—or had already been infected with the Sigma virus. X had no choice but to destroy them all.
X had plenty of help from Alia in managing the parts he received, and he collected Reploid DNA that was used to make stronger weapons and enhancement items. X also located more of the capsules hidden by Dr. Light. This time, Dr. Light supplied X with armor pieces that could be used to create Falcon and Gaia Armor, increasing his odds of overcoming a worldwide infestation of Mavericks.
While X was away, Lifesavor, a maintenance Reploid, continued studying Zero's internal system. Zero has always reacted strangely to the Sigma virus vaccine, and Lifesavor was suspicious of that reaction. He brought this to Signas' attention, but it was beyond their understanding; they both agreed, though, that Zero had to have been originally created for a higher purpose.
X's mission wasn't over yet, though, as there was another objective; there was a backup plan in place if the Enigma were to fail: Someone would have to fly a shuttle toward Enigma and crash into it, surely killing his or herself in the process. Either way, a sacrifice would have to be made. Of course, 4 certain Reploids—The Skiver, Axle the Red, Dark Dizzy and Mattrex—who were in possession of essential shuttle parts had to be confronted. They, too, wouldn't comply for one reason or another, and X was forced to destroy them, as well.
As this was going on, Dynamo showed up at least twice at Maverick Hunter Headquarters, demanding to see X. When X confronted the now-Maverick, Dynamo laughed with glee, enjoying his mission: To stall X—wasting precious hours—while Eurasia continued its path of destruction toward Earth. Dynamo retreated after the first battle, fearing X's strength, but he was defeated for good the second time. Regardless, he achieved his goal. It wasn't in vain, though: X had learned that Dynamo was under the control of Sigma, who just happened to be responsible for the destruction of Eurasia's gravity device. Time was of the essence.
With the pieces collected, they launched the Enigma. The result was negative; the Enigma only managed to damage at most 60% of Eurasia, only slowing it down. They had to resort to plan B. Zero volunteered to fly the shuttle, even if it meant his own life. X wanted to do it, instead, but Zero convinced him otherwise; he promised to eject before collision, coming home in one piece. Zero blasted off, hurtling toward Eurasia; right before the big crash, Zero ejected, but his transmission was lost. His goal was achieved, though, as Eurasia was destroyed. Transmission was restored, however, and wherever Zero was, he was safe, a strange glowing property becoming of him. Zero couldn't believe it, but it appeared that the Sigma virus, which he was infected with upon impact, was actually making him stronger.
Back at Hunter base, they managed to locate where Sigma was hiding out. X transported to a cosmic-type area where he was ambushed by infected Mavericks. Sigma knew what he was doing, and he would stall X at any cost, having created such monstrosities as an eerily-familiar Rock Monster and an attacking room. Deep into the complex, X entered a large chamber. There was Zero, hovering about with an intense glow. In the background stood an ominous design—a giant "W." X didn't know what it could have possibly meant. Zero tried to explain the power he was feeling, but X believed that he was talking gibberish. X tried to smooth things over by suggesting that they head back to the Hunter base, but Zero took it as mistrust. In fact, he believed that X may have been infected with the virus; X suspected the same of Zero.
With no way to trust each other, there was only one solution—something they had both feared for the longest time; longtime friends would have to fight each other, finally, as destiny had dictated. They both took deep breaths as they knew what was to come—the fight of their lives. The battle was great, as the two best Hunters the world had ever seen were forced to come to blows. In the end, though, one of them had to prevail, and, on this day, it was X. X, accepting his fate, mourned the loss of his friend, vowing to fight on in Zero's name. An overlooking foe, Sigma, however, was delighted to have witnessed their battle—he took pleasure in X's pain. X, enraged, demanded that Sigma show himself, but it would not be, as X would have to pass the final obstacle, 8 clones of the Mavericks he had defeated before, to avenge his friend.
When X finally emerged into the heart of the complex, Sigma taunted him further; he mentioned to X that an "old man" had told him all about him—what made him tick. X wanted none of it, and the battle was on. Sigma's original form was defeated, but, as always, he was ready with another body—the largest body he had ever possessed, rivaling Gamma, an attempt at a peacekeeping robot made hundreds of years earlier by Dr. Light and his former assistant. Whoever that "old man" that Sigma spoke of earlier had helped him build it. But that was all moot, since, as he did many times in the past, X defeated Sigma again. Sigma had some parting words, but it was the same as always. The complex began rattling; X had to escape. X jumped into a shuttle and sped off just as the complex exploded; damaged, the ship crashed all the way to Earth. As soon as they located the point of impact, several Hunters found the ship in ruins with X badly damaged inside. They picked up his remains and carried them back to Headquarters. With his memory damaged and many internal injuries, X would need a lot of work.
Before long, X was repaired. He and the other Hunters began to repair the damage, hoping to one day return the Earth to normal. When a fellow Hunter mentioned the name "Zero," X's vague memory could recall Zero, his good friend. Even though they had to fight, Zero would always be with him. And it was the memory of Zero that would encourage X to fight on against the forces of evil—it would encourage him to fight for everlasting peace!