Mega Man X5, known as Rockman X5 (ロックマンX5 Rokkuman Ekkusu Faibu) in Japan, and often shortened to MMX5, or just X5, is the fifth game in the Mega Man X series and the second X game on the PlayStation console. It was initially released in Japan on November 30, 2000, and in North America and PAL territories the following year.
Mega Man X5 was later re-released as part of the Mega Man X Collection in 2006, and again released on the PlayStation Network as part of the PSOne classics in North America on September 9, 2014. It was again included in Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 on July 24, 2018 in North America and Europe, and released two days later in Japan.
It should be noted that series creator Keiji Inafune originally intended for this to be the last title in the Mega Man X series, with Zero dying and resurrecting later in the Mega Man Zero series, but Capcom later decided to green-light Mega Man X6 without his knowledge, changing his plans.
Several months after the Repliforce war, Earth is at a peaceful time. The repair of the space colonies damaged during the war was almost complete, the only space colony remaining to be the giant colony Eurasia located in a Lagrangian point. As it was quite old, it was planned to receive an extensive renovation. However, one day someone had occupied Eurasia and took control of it, scattering a virus in the colony and using its artificial gravity systems to set it on a collision course towards Earth. Within 16 hours, Eurasia will crash and cause great destruction, in the worst case extinguishing all life from the planet. The Maverick Hunters plan on using the large particle cannon Enigma to destroy Eurasia before it happens. The Enigma cannon is somewhat old and needs to be upgraded. Signas, the Hunters' new commander, orders Mega Man X and his comrade Zero, as they race against time to collect the four parts necessary to upgrade the Enigma and stop Eurasia before it's too late. To make things worse, Sigma scattered the Sigma Virus all over the world and the parts needed are being protected by Mavericks.
From this point, the story diverges into different subplots:
- Once X and Zero have recovered the initial four items required to use the Enigma, it is fired and can either succeed in destroying the space colony or fail and only destroy part of it.
- If the Enigma succeeds, the Eurasia will be completely destroyed, but scraps from the colony will fall into the Earth. (The player proceeds to the final stages, but the last four Mavericks are still not defeated).
- If the Enigma fails, only part of Eurasia is destroyed, slightly changing its orbit and delaying the crash. Signas begins his next plan: launching a space shuttle (which is infected by the virus and the auto-pilot doesn't work) directly at the colony to destroy it. Again, four pieces must be collected to enhance it from the last four Mavericks, and after doing so the shuttle will launch with Zero as its pilot (as Zero mentions, he is the only competent pilot left).
- Like the Enigma, the space shuttle can either succeed or fail.
- If the shuttle succeeds, 86% of Eurasia is destroyed and Earth is no longer in danger. Zero contacts the Hunters from his escape pod to tell them he's okay and that he'll land soon. After Zero lands, the Hunters come to pick him up. Mega Man X6 shows that this is the scenario that happened, and however, the remains still caused large damage to Earth's surface, devastating its ecosystems and spreading pollution around the planet.
- If the shuttle fails, only part of Eurasia is destroyed and it crashes on Earth. Zero becomes a Maverick.
- If time runs out, Eurasia collides with Earth, and it barely survives. Zero becomes a Maverick.
In any scenario, Eurasia (either complete or only its remains) falls into Earth and the colony virus merges with the Sigma Virus, creating a new virus in the location of the collision in the point 11F5646. Alia detected the strange energy of the virus and dubbed it the Zero Virus due to its similarities with Zero. The Hunters go into Eurasia's remains to verify the virus. If Zero became a Maverick, X still feels as if he can save Zero, so X fights through the area to get to Zero and help him.
Upon entering the third Zero Space stage, X and Zero confront each other, the dialogue changing depending of the character currently used:
- If the player is using X, he will confront Zero about the latter's rise in power, and plead with Zero to go back to the Hunter Base to get a check-up, which Zero stubbornly denies.
- If the player is Zero, he will confront X and two Lifesavers (the Hunters' medical units) and will be labeled as a Maverick by the Lifesavers due to Zero's immunity to the Sigma Virus.
- If Zero "awakened" with the virus, X confronts the "true" Zero, whose power had grown tremendously. X narrowly defeats Zero.
Either way, both X and Zero fight in a room where Dr. Wily's mark is displayed prominently in the background, and just as the fight is ending, the opponent uses Soul Body on the player to weaken him. They lie exhausted on the ground. Sigma appears out of nowhere intending to finish X off. Zero jumps in front of X's prone body and protects him from Sigma, claiming to know everything Sigma is trying to do.
- If Zero is normal, he attacks Sigma with his Z-Buster and collapses from exhaustion.
- If Zero became a Maverick, he returns to normal and sacrifices his life to save X.
Sigma concedes defeat and vanishes for the moment, saying he will be waiting. The Hunters then prepare for the final battle against Sigma.
Once in the final chamber, Sigma reveals that his entire plan hinged on awakening Zero from his "false self" and giving him his true power by infecting him with a massive amount of the Sigma Virus, scattering it around the Earth. But, as the amount was not enough to awaken him, he used the colony as a virus and let it land on the Earth. The Hunters fight Sigma, who loses and reveals his final body; a huge, unfinished battle body. Sigma tells X of an old man he met, with a seemingly undying hatred for X. If the player is Zero, Sigma tells him of the same man, who supposedly knows enough about Zero to be his own father (at this point, it is obvious that Sigma is referencing Dr. Wily). X and Zero fight Sigma's last body and defeat him, but Sigma has one last trick up his sleeve; he self-destructs, attempting to take both of them with him.
After the explosion, the extent of the damage is shown; Zero's body lies shattered on the ground, his lower torso and left arm apparently destroyed in the blast. X kneels down to pick up Zero's broken body and pleads with him not to die, not noticing Sigma's severed head charging a blast behind him. Sigma fires an energy blast at X, catching both him and Zero in the chest and creating a hole there. This blast seemingly jars Zero from death, as he smiles and blasts Sigma's head with his Z-Buster, finishing him for good. He lies on the ground and calls for X, noting that his friend's optimism at the thought of Zero living is what lead to his death.
In Zero's ending, he reflects on his life as a vision of him in his original body fighting the original Sigma (a fight referenced in a flashback in Mega Man X4) comes up. He assumes these visions are due to his power source running out and his memory unit malfunctioning as another vision, this time of a blurred Dr. Wily, comes into view. The focus shifts from the doctor to an incomplete Zero lying on a table, where Zero notes that the old man was creating a robot destroyer. A red and faded image of Iris then flashes through his mind, while Zero apologizes to her. He then makes a remark that it would be better for him to die, so as to restore the peace. Zero then tells X goodbye and passes away.
In X's ending, he is missing his lower torso and both arms after Sigma's explosion. A mysterious glowing figure (obviously being Dr. Light) appears and tells X to rest and relax. X is then repaired and returns to the Maverick Hunters. His ending has two varieties:
- If Zero was normal, a scene three years after the final battle with Sigma is shown. Alia alerts the Maverick Hunters of a large Maverick rampaging in HORIE 2146 block, and X tells the three new Hunters nearby to move out. The final scene shows X holding Zero's Z-Saber, while one of the other Hunters remarks that X's eyes have changed and sharpened, more and more reflecting his former partner and friend, Zero. X then says that as long as he has Zero's saber, he can fight any enemy. This ending leads to Mega Man X6, which happens three weeks later instead of three years.
- If Zero became a Maverick, the glowing hologram tells X to hold on for just a little longer and to forget all of his painful memories. The scene fades. One week later, X and two other Maverick Hunters are moving some things. One of the Hunters asks X if he remembers anything about what had happened the previous week, with X firmly stating that he doesn't remember anything about the battle. The other Hunter remarks that X is now a Special-A rank Hunter, the same as Zero, and explains to X that he and Zero worked together to defeat Sigma. X comments that he didn't forget Sigma's name; he remembers it clearly, and yet he has no memory of Zero. He assumes that whoever repaired him may have accidentally deleted the data (Dr. Light erased X's memories to ease the pain of fighting Zero and leading to his death). One of the Hunters says that it's a miracle X came out of the battle at all. The scene then shifts to the control center, with Signas, Alia, and Douglas. Signas remarks that it's indeed a miracle X came back and without so much as a scratch. Douglas mentions that it's still difficult to repair X and Zero's bodies since their internal workings are still a mystery. Alia says that she's not interested in miracles, and doubts most Reploids believe in them either. Douglas asks about X's memories of Zero, and Signas admits that even he doesn't know how it happened, be it an accident or purposeful. Alia mentions that there's a protection in X's systems now; X's body won't even accept data related to Zero, and even she couldn't program a protection that complicated. The final scene shifts back to X and the two Maverick Hunters, where X says that they need to work harder to achieve peace and that his secret dream is to build Elysium, a paradise for both humans and Reploids.
Mega Man X5 goes on to expand on the gameplay engine of the previous game. Like before, the player can choose to play through the game as either Mega Man X or Zero, traversing through perilous terrain and defeating a legion of enemies along the way with a variety of weapons. Both characters have changed somewhat considerably as well. Unlike previous games, not only can the player switch between both characters before starting a stage, X now starts out with a special armor known as the Fourth Armor, which gives him Ultimate Armor-esque abilities including an air dash and the ability to hover if the player should choose to start the game as X, as well as a Charge Shot that leaves behind a damaging energy orb. The player can choose whether or not to use this armor at the Maverick select screen. Zero's saber attacks are somewhat slowed down but he gains the ability to use his Z-Buster again, albeit very limited in its use as Zero needs to charge the weapon and has to be on the ground and even then, the blast is only as strong as a level 2 charge shot. This function can only be used if the player starts the game as Zero. This is also the first game where Zero also starts out with the ability to Air Dash (and also the only game where it can be powered up by collecting the F-Splasher technique). Zero also has the ability to do a back attack with the second swing of his Z-Saber by pressing on the opposite direction in which Zero is doing his saber attack. This game also added the crouch ability. The FMV sequences, seen in Mega Man X3 and Mega Man X4 (with the exception of the game's opening), have been replaced with still screens and text.
Due to the situation presented in the storyline, the game has a countdown to 16 hours until the space colony Eurasia crashes into the Earth and each stage venture spends one hour. To prevent the crash, the player must collect four essential parts for one of two options: intercept the colony by using the Enigma cannon or kamikaze into it with a space shuttle. One half of the Mavericks possess the pieces for the Enigma and the other for the shuttle. There is a chance that either plan may fail which can change the ending and boss battles, providing for a non-linear progression throughout the game. Dynamo will also show up through predetermined intervals to battle X and Zero, though these battles are to simply stall for time.
As with previous games, cheat codes can be entered for enhancement armors for both X and Zero. As usual, X can gain the Ultimate Armor and Zero can get his black sheen. Unlike the previous game though, Zero's armor is no longer a facelift as it upgrades his stats, enhancing his defense and powering up his Z-Saber to a state similar to Tenkuuha although its projectile-destroying ability has been enhanced.
Each of the eight main Mavericks' English names were initially based on the name of a member from the rock band Guns N' Roses. This name localization was brought about by Alyson Court (voice of Claire Redfield from Resident Evil, another Capcom franchise), in tribute to her then-husband, Erik Suzuki, who was a fan of said band. However, for the Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 release, their names are changed to be more similar to their original Japanese names, thereby restoring the Maverick naming convention seen in the first four X games that the original American release had strayed away from.  Names from the Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 re-release go first, followed by the names from the original English PlayStation release and Mega Man X Collection.
Opening Stage boss:
Stage Select Screen bosses:
|Runaway Truck||Crescent Grizzly
|C-Shot||C-Sword||Spike Ball||Twin Dream|
|Deep-Sea Submarine||Tidal Whale
|Super-Electromagnetic Lab||Volt Kraken
|Laser Institute||Shining Firefly
|Reploid Air Force||Spiral Pegasus
|Wing Spiral||W-Shredder||Dark Hold|
|Ground Fire||Quake Blazer||Wing Spiral||W-Shredder|
(Axle the Red)
|Spike Ball||Twin Dream||Ground Fire||Quake Blazer|
Zero Space bosses:
- Fourth Armor - If X is chosen at the beginning without using a code to get the Ultimate Armor, he begins with this armor. The Nova Strike and Head Part's effect from Mega Man X4 are absent, however.
- Falcon Armor - Flight and maneuverability-based armor.
- Gaea Armor - Defense and power-based armor.
- Ultimate Armor - Replaces the Fourth Armor when a code is used or can be found in a capsule in Zero Space Stage 3.
- Black Zero - Accessible through a code or can be found in Zero Space Stage 3.
- If X is chosen at the beginning, Zero begins the game without the Z-Buster.
- If Zero is chosen, however, X will start the game without the Fourth Armor; instead, he'll use his normal armor.
- If X is chosen at the beginning of the game with the special code that allows him to wear the Ultimate Armor, the Fourth Armor will not be available, with the Ultimate Armor permanently replacing it.
- If Zero is chosen at the beginning of the game with the special code that allows him to wear his Black Zero armor at the beginning, or if the player obtains the Black Zero armor in Zero Space Stage 3, it will permanently replace his normal armor for the remainder of the game.
- Mega Man X5 walkthrough
- List of Mega Man X5 enemies
- Parts Guide
- Mega Man X5 Damage Data Chart (X)
- Mega Man X5 Damage Data Chart (Zero)
- Mega Man X5 Script (X's story)
- Mega Man X5 Script (Zero's story)
For this subject's image gallery, see Mega Man X5/Gallery
The story of Mega Man X5 was adapted into a 12-chapter manhua by Wu Heyi with a more humorous tone. It is now out of print.
A one-shot manga titled "Rockman X5 IF" by Iwamoto Yoshihiro was released through the Rockman X 25th Anniversary Memorial Carddass Edition in Japan on 22 November 2018. It's considered to be Iwamoto's alternate ending to Mega Man X5.
Mega Man X5 was met with generally positive reviews, with most of the praise going for the graphics, gameplay and soundtrack.
However, the game also received some criticism with this being mostly targeted at Alia's transmissions during stages, the backtracking for optional items being more exigent than previous games, and the removal of animated cutscenes (and to some extent voice acting) like the ones in X4.
According to vgchartz, Mega Man X5 has sold 750 000 units worldwide.
- Regardless of the gameplay progress (whether the player stops Eurasia or not) or selecting a character for the mission, the battle in the third stage of Zero Space will always be between X and Zero.
- Without counting copies, this is the first Mega Man game where the player can fight against the main character, X.
- Zero regains the use of the Z-Buster in this title, although it does not function the same way as it did in Mega Man X3. The Z-Buster can only be used while stationary on the ground, has a brief "charge up" period before being fired, can only fire Charge Shots (with damage equal to a mid-charged shot of X's X-Buster), cannot be fired in succession, and has very limited range. The Z-Buster cannot be canceled once activated, leaving Zero frozen in place until the attack has finished.
- When fighting X in the third Zero Space stage, he uses some of his Special Weapons from Mega Man X4: an enhanced version of the Soul Body (where he launches many images at a time) and charged versions of Frost Tower and Double Cyclone.
- In the same battle, X also dons his Ultimate Armor, making the battle the first (and so far, only, not counting Copy-X's Ultimate Armor) canonical appearance of the secret armor.
- This is also the first time in the franchise's history the main protagonist of a series is fought as a boss.
- This is the only game in which Sigma is not only fought as the final boss; he is fought as the opening stage boss as well.
- This makes Mega Man X5 one of the two Mega Man games which the opening boss is also the final boss. The other is Mega Man Zero 3.
- Along with the removal of animated cutscenes, the game also features greatly reduced voice acting compared to the previous game, Mega Man X4. The Japanese release of the game only featured recorded dialogue introducing the bosses, as well as attack names and lines by Dynamo. X, Zero and Dynamo make grunts of exertion during gameplay as well. For the English release, the boss name announcements as well as Dynamo's dialogue were removed, and the remaining voice recordings were not redubbed as was the case in X4.
- In an earlier prototype build, Sigma (Head) and Magma Dragoon feature voice acting from Mega Man X4; Tidal Whale uses voice clips of Frost Walrus from X4. It is possible that the removal of voice acting from most bosses was not even intended, but it could also be mere remnant of data files from the previous game.
- Though indirectly, Mega Man X5 is referenced in Mega Man Zero 4, as the game's main setting, Area Zero, is revealed to be where the Eurasia colony crashed. By that time, centuries after X5, nature had returned to Area Zero. That certain aspect also forms part of Dr. Weil's plot.
- The first Zero Space stage is a remake of Quick Man's level in Mega Man 2 and the second stage is a remake of the first Sigma Fortress stage from Mega Man X.
- These two stages have boss fights against enhanced versions of Yellow Devil and Rangda Bangda respectively.
- Many music tracks were re-used from previous games:
- Tidal Whale's stage music is a remix of Bubble Crab's stage in Mega Man X2. Although an entirely new track was recorded during development progress, the final release still used Bubble Crab stage theme instead.
- The boss music from fighting Shadow Devil is a remix of Mega Man 1's Wily Boss.
- The boss music from fighting Rangda Bangda W is a remix of the music used when fighting the original Rangda Bangda in Mega Man X (also used on a few of X1's other villains, including Vile).
- The international opening theme is a remix of "Variable X" from Mega Man X and the Get Weapon theme from Mega Man 3.
- The music for the final stage appears to be a heavily remixed version of Quick Man's stage in Mega Man 2.
- The first half of the Dynamo battle theme is based on the first two X-Hunter Stages' theme from Mega Man X2. The second half may be a heavily remixed version of the third X-Hunter Stage's music.
- A truncated version of Magma Dragoon appears as the boss of the training stage.
- The last part of the final boss music is somewhat similar to the song "The Final Countdown" by Europe. For that matter, Infinity Mijinion's stage music from Mega Man X6 also bears a thematic similarity to The Final Countdown.
- Unlike X, Zero can air dash from the beginning of the game.
- This is the first Mega Man X game to include a training mode, possibly because of the new abilities to duck and hold on to ropes.
- Like in Mega Man X4, the game has a minor glitch that can cause it to crash on the Warning Signal at the beginning of boss battles on the PlayStation version, forcing the player to reset the game.
- The PAL version contains a glitch not present in the NTSC/American version. If the player finishes a mission when the timer is between 00'50"00-00'59"99, 01'50"00-01'59"99 (the intervals from this point does not follow the same pattern), the timer will remove 50 seconds from that, thus giving the impression that the player completed the mission faster than they actually did. This, however, will not help in Hunter Rank progression, as the minutes' value must change for the rank reward to change.
- Mega Man X5 is currently the last X game that features an underwater level.
- Mega Man X5 is the first X game where the player can't shoot through walls.
- This game along with Mega Man X6 are the only ones in the series that utilize a unique "Leveling System" for bosses. This can determine the bosses' patterns as to how to match the player in the current setting.
- The battle with Zero as a Maverick in this game has been ridiculed by fans by having the most predictable A.I, which is a possible throwback to Zero's A.I in Mega Man X2 if he's fought.
- If the player leaves the game idle at the Final Results Screen for 5–10 minutes, an image of Black Zero will appear and will leave the cheat codes for X's Ultimate Armor, and Black Zero.
- Very oddly, if X was chosen at the beginning of the game, Zero loses his buster. However, if Zero was used to get the eight electric spheres in Volt Kraken's stage, he will use his buster, which was supposed to be broken and unusable for the rest of the game, to break the door with the eight electric spheres to get to the Dr. Light capsule.
- He'll also use it if fought as a boss regardless.
- Additionally, he will use it during the cutscene that occurs after his fight with X (if the Eurasia Colony was destroyed).
- As with the first Sigma battle in Mega Man X4, the player can get right in front of Sigma to damage him without getting damaged themselves to score a number of free hits. However, this is much more recommended to do this with X than Zero, since X does not have a double jump compared to Zero to avoid his electric ball attacks, and can use the Tri-Thunder to damage him since Zero's Denjin will cause him to make contact with Sigma.
- Mega Man X5 is the first game in the series to use an armor featured in a previous game, though with the loss of an important ability. This trend would continue with the Falcon Armor in Mega Man X6.
- The game's opening cinematic depicts moments from the first four X-series titles. Among those is Zero challenging Sigma in his X2 form as well as his copy from that game, implying that canonically, X was able to retrieve all of Zero's parts from the X-Hunters.
- Mega Man X5 is the first and only game in the series where the player can skip all bosses from the stage select screen if the Enigma successfully destroys Eurasia, and continue to Zero Space.
- There is a non-zero possibility (5%) that the Enigma can succeed at first opportunity, as soon as the opening stage is completed and the stage select is available: the RNG rolls for it upon reaching the results screen after defeating Sigma Head.
- Mega Man X6 shares a similar concept. Likewise, it is possible to fail on several missions in Mega Man Zero.
- The North American instruction manual of the original release and PlayStation 2 Mega Man X Collection still claims Eurasia will hit the Earth in 24 hours instead of 16 - a strange case that publishers won't get a chance to update information from prototype value to final one.
- X will hold the Z-Saber during the "Thanks for Playing" screen, regardless of the ending.
- This is the first game in the Mega Man X series to have all the levels occur in specific distant locales in-game, as in X1, X2, X3, and X4, the levels were depicted as being located within close proximity to each other on the world map (with the possible exception of the X-Hunter base in X2).
- Acer TWP: Rockman X5 (archive)
- "I had very little to do with 'X5.' I just told the team to 'finish off the series with this title,' and left it at that. That's why the game itself has a real feel of finality to it." -Keiji Inafune, Mega Man X Official Complete Works, UDON Entertainment Corp. 2009. pg.48. Retrieved on July 13, 2011.
- "I had honestly planned to for 'X5' to be the last title in the series, but somehow I found myself with 'X6.' I feel like I owe the fans an apology, but I have to admit the series was starting to go in a direction that was out of my control. I plan to reexamine the situation and be more careful with how I handle the Mega Man name from now on." -Keiji Inafune, Mega Man X Official Complete Works, UDON Entertainment Corp. 2009. pg.56. Retrieved on July 13, 2011.
- Protodude's Rockman Corner: Alyson Court Talks Mega Man X5 Guns N' Roses References
- GameSpot: Mega Man Undoes One Of Its Weirdest Choices With New X Collection