Mega Man X3, known as Rockman X3 (ロックマンX3 Rokkuman Ekkusu Surī) in Japan, and often shortened to MMX3, or just X3 by fans, is the third game in the Mega Man X series and the final Mega Man X game to appear on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, released in 1995. Like Mega Man X2, X3 uses Capcom's custom "Cx4" graphics chip in the cartridge to have pseudo-3D graphics and transparencies.
The game was later remixed and re-released on discs for the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation in Japan and Europe in 1996, and for the PC in 1997, featuring additional FMV sequences and a newly synthesized soundtrack. This disc version was later rereleased in North America as part of the Mega Man X Collection, while the original SNES version was rereleased worldwide as part of the Mega Man X Legacy Collection.
Mega Man X3 is notable for being the first time Zero is a playable character (albeit in a limited capacity), which would become a staple in the X series.
In the year 21XX, Sigma's rebellion had finally been crushed, and all Mavericks were neutralized thanks to the efforts of a Reploid scientist named Dr. Doppler. Using his advanced Neuro Computer, Doppler was able to create a "vaccine" to suppress any abnormal behavior in the Reploids and prevent them from going berserk. This brought about an era of peace. Many advanced Reploids and reformed Mavericks gathered near their new mentor and founded "Dopple Town" in his honor, a perfect utopian community. With Dr. Doppler guiding them, the world seemed ready to enter a new golden age...
A few months later, the Mavericks who were supposed to have been neutralized by Dr. Doppler's vaccine began to riot. All the Maverick Hunters' intelligence indicated that Dr. Doppler was the mastermind behind the chaos, and soon he declared war on the world and put Dopple Town under martial law. The call went out to X and Zero to infiltrate Dopple Town, destroy the rioting Mavericks, and bring Dr. Doppler to justice.
A few hours later, however, an emergency contact was made by Hunter Base, revealing they were under direct attack from Doppler's forces. X and Zero returned to the headquarters to immediately to stop them, where X was betrayed and kidnapped by their former ally Mac. Fortunately, Zero was able to destroy Mac and free X, and together they stopped the siege on Hunter Base.
With Hunter Base secured, X and Zero returned to Dopple Town to carry out the mission. While they fought the eight Mavericks, Dr. Doppler sent his Nightmare Police to capture X dead or alive, and a mysterious Maverick laid teleporter traps in an attempt to get his revenge. X was able to defeat the Nightmare Police, and also escape the ambush planned by the resurrected Vile.
After analyzing the memory chips of the defeated eight Mavericks, Dr. Cain discovered that Dr. Doppler was collecting the specs from the latest models of Reploids to create a powerful new battle body for someone. Dr. Cain also pinpointed the location of Dr. Doppler's Laboratory, which was hidden underground at Point D. X and Zero infiltrated the lab to put an end to the chaos.
When X confronted and defeated Dr. Doppler, he found out that the mad scientist was not fully responsible for the revolt - Sigma was. Doppler had been infected by the Sigma Virus and was manipulated into building the new body for Sigma against his will. Fortunately, X was able to find Sigma before he could reveal himself and destroyed his battle body. In a last ditch attempt to survive, Sigma entered his viral form, chasing X and cornering him in an attempt to possess his body.
There are two endings to the game. They both show that Dr. Doppler completed a true anti-virus. One ending shows that Zero obtained the anti-virus and used it with his Z-Saber, dropping down and dealing a fatal blow to Sigma. In the other ending, which occurs if Zero is defeated and undergoing repairs, Dr. Doppler himself comes to the rescue, sacrificing himself to use the anti-virus to defeat Sigma. Either way, the Sigma Virus fades away while X and Zero rendezvous outside the ruins of Doppler's Laboratory.
Mega Man X3 closely follows its predecessors in terms of gameplay. Players still control X whilst battling Mavericks and managing through obstacles and tough terrain. Once a boss is defeated, X will copy the Special Weapon of the defeated boss. However, this game also debuts the first playable appearance of Zero, a previous NPC who appeared during cutscenes to assist the player. Zero is first playable in the Opening Stage and can be called upon at any time with Zero Change for one use per stage. He possesses a stronger variant of the X-Buster, the Zero Buster, which is capable of four level charges. The fourth level charge fires two fully charged Zero Buster shots followed by a slash from the Z-Saber, the most powerful weapon in the game. He also always starts out with a fully upgraded HP gauge as well. However, Zero is unable to do combat with bosses (with one exception) and automatically leaves and switches places with X again upon nearing the boss door and thus cannot gain new weapons.
The Armor collecting from the first and second games return, but has further emphasis. In addition to the armor, the player may collect Enhancement Chips which further upgrade the armor parts, giving X a wider range of abilities. However, if the player collects all of the armor parts but none of the enhancement chips, it is possible to obtain the Hyper Chip, which provides a gold palette swap for the armor and all of the enhancement powers. Finally, if certain conditions are met, X can obtain the Z-Saber from Zero, but at that point, he can no longer be summoned to help anymore for the rest of the game.
Opening Stage boss:
Stage Select Screen bosses:
Doppler Stage bosses:
This is the first and only game in the series with enhancement chips in addition to Armor Parts. These chips are optional upgrades found in pink Light Capsules hidden throughout the stages, acting as boosters for X's Armor Parts. Only one chip can be equipped at a time (with exception of the Hyper Chip, which is detailed below).
- Foot Parts - In Blizzard Buffalo's stage. Allows X to dash straight forward or straight upward while midair.
- Foot Chip - In Toxic Seahorse's stage. Allows X to dash midair twice, or dash jump and air dash in the same jump.
- Body Parts - In Volt Catfish's stage. Damage is reduced 50%. When X is struck by an enemy's attack, a blue Defense Shield is generated to reduce further damage by 25%.
- Body Chip - In Crush Crawfish's stage. Generates a red Defense Shield that reduces damage by 50% instead.
- Arm Parts - In Neon Tiger's stage. Allows X to charge his X-Buster to four levels. At the fourth, X can combine the two shots into a Cross Charge Shot by shooting both in rapid succession. When the armor is fully assembled, X uses half the weapon energy for his Special Weapons and can also charge them up. It also makes X climb ladders faster.
- Arm Chip - In Gravity Beetle's stage. Gives X access to the Hyper Charge function, which enables unlimited Charge Shots as long as it has Weapon Energy.
- Head Parts - In Tunnel Rhino's stage. X gains an Item Radar that shows a map when X first beams into each of the eight stages. Uncollected Life Ups, Sub Tanks, Ride Armors, and Light Capsules are highlighted. These are also indicated on the Stage Select screen, color-coded to show which ones have not been found yet.
- Head Chip - In Blast Hornet's stage. X will regenerate energy at a slow rate while standing still, even filling Sub Tanks.
- Hyper Chip - A combination of all four enhancement Chips in one, obtainable in a Capsule hidden in Doppler Stage 1 if X took none of the four optional chips and possesses all other upgrades in the game.
- Z-Saber - Zero's signature Z-Saber, automatically lent to X if Zero is damaged by the fight with Mosquitus in Doppler Stage 2.
- In the boss rematch room in Doppler Stage 3, there is a pod in the middle of the room which can be shot for item pickups (Life Energy and Weapon Energy). If X slashes the pod with the Z-Saber, it will blow up and a 1UP will appear on top of it. This can be done after each rematch, since the pod is restored between battles.
Mega Man X3 was met with mostly positive reviews by review outlets. Reviewers praised X3's tried-and-true Mega Man X series gameplay, graphics, and the option to play as Zero, stating that the game was "a solid send-off for the 16-bit era." However, criticisms included the game feeling too similar to the previous installments, sluggish level designs, and so many secrets and power-ups that they overshadowed the main game itself.
Mega Man X3 is considered one of the more difficult X games by some fans for numerous reasons. For one thing, many standard enemies are designed to be approached strategically or with caution, with many having defenses, counterattacks, or other behaviors that prevent the player from just charging in with the buster blazing. For example, the Drimole-W enemy in Tunnel Rhino's stage launches drills that block shots, and when it's destroyed, those drills automatically fire as a last ditch effort. There's also the Walk Blaster, which is programmed to dodge the player's shots by lying down to fire as soon as the attack button is pressed. Additionally, many bosses have attacks that take off huge chunks of X's health bar, especially before the body armor is obtained.
- List of Mega Man X3 enemies
- Mega Man X3 walkthrough
- Mega Man X3 Damage Data Chart
- Mega Man X3 Script
- The Mega Man Homepage's Password Generator for Mega Man X3
- As shown in the trailer above, Mega Man X3 was planned to be released for the 3DO, though the port was never completed.
- Neon Tiger's stage music bears a strong resemblance to Guns N' Roses' My Michelle.
- Crush Crawfish's stage music early segment sounds very similar to the NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles title screen demo music.
- This is the only game in the Mega Man X series without a fire-elemental Maverick, although Dr. Doppler, Vile, and Sigma all use fire attacks.
- This is also the only game in the Mega Man X series that doesn't feature any Mets, as X2 has the Garakuta Robot which is made of Mets.
- In the CD versions, during Volt Catfish's intro, a robot very similar to Auto can be seen.
- This is the first game that allows the player to control Zero, although in a very limited capacity.
- At the end of Mega Man X3, the text says: "To save mankind, [X] must destroy Zero". This came to pass in Mega Man X5, with a duel between the two of them in Sigma's lair in Zero Space, though it was not actually X who destroyed Zero, but rather Sigma. It should be noted, however, that the Japanese version of the line above never mentions anything about destroying Zero, just that he has to fight him.
- The Sega Saturn version of the game has vertical borders along the sides of the screen in order to maintain the aspect ratio. These borders change depending on the area of play in the game.
- In the opening of the PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions, the scene where Zero prevents the X-Hunters from going after X features Zero's design from the first Mega Man X game using the Z-Saber; however, in that game he did not have the Z-Saber.
- In the U.S. release of Mega Man X Collection, the European version for the Sony PlayStation was used instead of the U.S. SNES version. However, the Capcom USA copyright was added in said version, despite the "enhanced" version of Mega Man X3 being previously only released on PC in that region.
- In the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation versions, the traditional Robot Master stage intro music is used near the end of the Mavericks' introduction FMVs. This tune is also used in the first Mega Man X game (as well as its remake Maverick Hunter X).
- In the international PC and Mega Man X Collection versions, the ending credits theme has an uncanny resemblance to the ending theme heard in Resident Evil, another game made by Capcom which was released a month prior to the Saturn/PSX ports of Mega Man X3. Makoto Tomozawa, one of the composers for Resident Evil, also helped compose the CD arrangement for this version of the game. It should also be noted that the game's producer (though uncredited), Tokuro Fujiwara, was also the general producer for Resident Evil.
- This game marks the first instance of X using the Z-Saber when conditions are met; the second and last instance is Mega Man X6, where X has the Z-Saber by default.
- Although Mega Man X3 has Mavericks based on marine animals, all are fought on dry land.
- This game was the first to allow alternate boss battles, as seen with Press Disposal, Godkarmachine O' Inary, Volt Kruageil, and Vile MK II.
- Due to a computer chip shortage and the SNES nearing the end of its life, the US SNES version of Mega Man X3 is considered one of the rarer versions of the game.
- An unofficial port of the game was created by pirates for the Sega Genesis and released on unofficial cartridges through the internet. The port is of very poor quality, containing many bugs, glitchy graphics, and a greatly reduced low-quality soundtrack. X is only playable from the beginning using his armor from Mega Man X, though with the abilities of the Third Armor. Zero is not playable nor featured, and Blast Hornet and Toxic Seahorse are omitted from the game. The opening stage is also made a selectable stage, with Maoh the Giant being replaced by a recolored Blizzard Buffalo.
- Because of time constraints caused by Capcom's transitioning from developing on 16-bit consoles to the new 32-bit consoles, much of the game's development was outsourced to Minakuchi Engineering, who previously developed Mega Man: The Wily Wars and the Game Boy Mega Man games. This would be the last Mega Man title the company worked on.
- In the CD versions of the game, because the ending credits are in FMV, the credits always assume that X obtains all the upgrade parts (but not the Hyper Chip) and that Zero's power generator is not damaged by Mosquitus.
- The Windows port of the CD versions added an additional easy mode, but the only noticeable difference is the player's damage received from enemies being halved. This easy mode is only present in the Windows version of the game.
- In Japanese mobile phone version, Zero can fight against eight bosses limitedly.
- This is the second Mega Man game to feature swearing by one of the characters (as X says "damn" in the ending when learning he's run into a dead end as the Sigma Virus was on his tail), the first being the original release of Mega Man 7.
- The epilogue's revelation that X knows that he'll ultimately have to fight and possibly destroy Zero in order to save humanity may have been referenced in the Elf Wars radio drama in the Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero Telos CD, when he tells Omega "Farewell, my destiny!" just before he and Zero utilize Final Strike on him.
- Rockman X3 (PC version) at Capcom's site (archive)
- Rockman X3 (mobile version) at Keitai Capcom (archive)
- Rockman X3 Wii U Virtual Console page
|Mega Man X3|
|Toxic Seahorse • Tunnel Rhino • Volt Catfish • Crush Crawfish • Neon Tiger • Gravity Beetle • Blast Hornet • Blizzard Buffalo|
|Maoh the Giant • Vile MK-II • Bit • Byte • Godkarmachine O Inary • Press Disposer • Volt Kurageil • Dr. Doppler • Sigma|
|Mega Man X's Special Weapons|
|Acid Burst • Tornado Fang • Triad Thunder • Spinning Blade • Ray Splasher • Gravity Well • Parasitic Bomb • Frost Shield|
- Other -
|Hunter Base • Giant Dam Stage • Quarry Stage • Power Control Center Stage • Shipyard Stage • Safari Park Stage • Airborne Aircraft Carrier Stage • Weapons Factory Stage • Frozen Town Stage • Vile Stage • Dr. Doppler's Laboratory|
|Armor Parts • Walkthrough • List of Mega Man X3 enemies • Damage Data Chart • Game Script|