Mega Man X's Armor Parts (アーマーパーツ Āmā Pātsu), also known as Armor Power-Ups (アーマーパワーアップ) and Power-Up Parts (パワーアップパーツ Powā Appu Pātsu, not to be mistaken with Power-Up Parts), are unique power ups that X can equip to enhance his abilities.
Although each armor is unique and provides a different set of enhancements, most of them share a few common themes, being generally white with details in blue, gold and red (the latter being more uncommon). Some armors are based on specific motifs, such as the Falcon Armor's birdlike features and the Shadow Armor's ninja aspect. The armors themselves are separated in four parts: Foot Parts (フットパーツ Futto Pātsu, Leg Parts in some sources), Arm Parts (アームパーツ Āmu Pātsu, Buster Parts in Mega Man X7 and X8), Body Parts (ボディパーツ Bodi Pātsu) and Head Parts (ヘッドパーツ Heddo Pātsu), each hidden away in one of Dr. Light's hidden capsules. When a capsule is discovered by X, a blue hologram of Dr. Light explains the function of the part stored before allowing X to step inside and receive it.
Usually, X can equip the part and enjoy its benefits immediately upon receiving the upgrade, but there were circumstances (in Mega Man X5 and Mega Man X6) which forced him to acquire an Armor Program (アーマープログラム) of the four parts before the full armor could be used. The fate of each armor with the end of an incident is unknown; most of them disappear completely, while others such as the Fourth Armor and Falcon Armor are damaged in action. It is possible to repair and reuse an armor, although repaired armors tend to lose some functionality depending on the situation. Some armors such as X's "Second Armor" could be even acquired from Dr. Light a second time, with minor modifications.
Generally, the Armor Parts are strictly designed for X's use; although Zero could occasionally download the Armor Programs for X, he could not use Dr. Light's power-ups himself. The only exception Zero used an armor in video games was during the Erasure Incident, where he could receive enhancements from Dr. Light's capsules, although there were no visual changes like in X's case, and a small upgrade in Mega Man X5. In the Mega Mission card series, Zero was able to equip the Energy Armor originally meant for X, although he was not able to made use of it as much as X was ultimately able to after Zero passed it onto him. However, in Mega Man X7 and X8 where two Maverick Hunters are deployed in gameplay, X must be in the team and only he (as the Hunter the player is using) can open up the Armor Capsule by going near it even if it means using the Reserve Hunter to access the capsule, as X will immediately be able to use the part inside once obtained.
When Dr. Light created X, he predicted that the world could need a new champion in the future and designed armor upgrades to assist his creation, storing each part in a capsule containing a holographic representation of himself. As if to test X, the capsules are often found very well hidden throughout the landscapes of the different areas X visits.
With the Sigma Virus and later the Nightmare rampant during the Earth Crisis and the Nightmare Incident respectively, Dr. Light would not allow X to use any of the parts until he had completed the entire set of armor for security reasons. When the data files of all four armor parts were obtained, Alia would analyze the programs and make the armor available for X. Zero could also help X by delivering any armor programs he found.
During the uprising of Giga City in 22XX, X was equipped with an armor called the X Fire as his Hyper Mode, and could uncover a new version of the Ultimate Armor hidden away in Tianna Camp. The origins of these two new armors are unknown.
Below is a list of armors.
- Foot Parts: Allows X to dash at high speeds. The dash ability was retained through the rest of the series, regardless of X's armor collection in those games. This enhancement also allows X to destroy certain blocks by wall kicking off of them. In the SNES version of Mega Man X and in Mega Man Xtreme, it is the only Armor Part that is mandatory, as it is in the way in Chill Penguin's stage and can't be avoided. This was remedied in the PSP remake, Mega Man Maverick Hunter X . In fact, all of the capsules were re-arranged, the Foot Parts appearing in Flame Mammoth's stage. As the dash is available from the beginning in Mega Man Xtreme, it improves X's wall kick instead, alongside the ability to crush certain blocks.
- Body Parts: X receives only 50% of the damage normally taken. In the original version it appears in Sting Chameleon's stage, while in the remake it appears in Storm Eagle's stage. In Mega Man Xtreme it appears in Flame Stag's stage.
- Arm Parts: X can charge up to a third charge level to use the Spiral Crush Buster, and charge Special Weapons as well. Like the Foot Parts in the original version, the Arm Parts can't be avoided due to X obtaining it from Zero if he didn't get it from a capsule. The capsule appears in Flame Mammoth's stage in the original version and in Sting Chameleon's stage in the remake. In Mega Man Xtreme it appears in Spark Mandrill's stage. Damage for Vile in the introduction stage for fully-charged X-Buster shots that has those Arm Parts equipped will be automatically doubled in the PSP remake.
- Light Capsule: This version is gotten from one of Dr. Light's capsules. When X charges up to his highest level and releases, a long string of small, pink shots is fired, hitting multiple times. The PSP remake of this charge shot will fire three pink shots that can hit an enemy up to three times (taking 1 bar of life off bosses for every pink shot that hits the enemy boss, except for Sigma's final form).
- Zero Buster: This version is obtainable from Zero if X hadn't obtained the capsule version by the time he defeats Vile. In the original version, the Zero Buster is the same as the Light Capsule version. In the PSP remake, this version is vastly different, firing a single large red shot that can deal four times the damage of the Light Capsule version (dealing 4 bars of life for every shot that hits the enemy boss, regardless of the enemy boss X faces in any battle).
- Head Parts: X can destroy certain blocks by hitting them with his head. It is obtained in Storm Eagle's stage in the original version and in Mega Man Xtreme. In the PSP remake it appears in Chill Penguin's stage.
The Second Armor that Mega Man X obtains in the series.
- Head Parts: The Item Tracer is made available. X sends out a cursor, which zooms into concealed passages and items. It can be found in Crystal Snail's stage. In Mega Man Xtreme 2, the Head Parts is located in Neon Tiger's stage and grants X the ability of breaking certain blocks with his head in the same way as the First Armor.
- Body Parts: Enables the "Giga Crush" attack; as X takes damage, the Giga Crush's gauge fills. When this gauge is completely full, X can use the aforementioned attack, which damages all enemies on screen. All the energy is used after the attack, and unlike X's special weapons, it doesn't refill after completing a stage. Additionally, X receives only 50% of the damage normally taken. In Mega Man X2 it is located in Morph Moth's stage, while in Mega Man Xtreme 2 it is located in Launch Octopus' stage.
- Arm Parts: X is able to use a Double Charge Shot, and can attain three charge levels. When the third is reached, X fires out super shots from each arm cannon, though the shots cannot be crossed as they do later in Mega Man X3. It also allows him to charge special weapons. It is located in Wheel Gator's stage in Mega Man X2, and in Flame Mammoth's stage in Mega Man Xtreme 2.
- Foot Parts: X can perform an air dash technique. However, he cannot utilize both an air dash and a dash jump in the same jump. It appears in Overdrive Ostrich's stage. In Mega Man Xtreme 2, it is in Volt Catfish's stage and also allows X to dash upwards like the Third Armor's Foot Parts.
Note: This is the first Armor to begin the tradition of reducing Weapon energy usage. Completing the full set of armor grants the secret benefit of reducing X's Weapon Energy usage by half.
Mega Man X3 has the Third Armor obtained by X. In addition to the Armor Parts, X can also obtain chips that improve the abilities of the armor. However, X's system can handle only 1 of the 4 enhancement chips, being unable to equip the other chips once he installed one of them. The capsules containing the four chips can only be reached with the use of Ride Armors.
- Foot Parts: X can use the Variable Air Dash, which allows him to air dash straight forward or straight upward. It is located in Blizzard Buffalo's stage.
- Foot Chip: Allows X to use the Variable Air Dash twice, or dash jump and air dash in the same jump. It is located in Toxic Seahorse's stage.
- Body Parts: Damage is reduced by half. When X is struck by an enemy's attack, a blue Defense Shield is generated and additional damage is reduced. The amount of damage reduced with the blue force field active is 25% (approx. 62.5% total damage reduction). The force field vanishes as soon as X takes another hit, or after 5 seconds. It is located in Volt Catfish's stage.
- Body Chip: In addition to a 50% reduction in damage, an orange Defense Shield is projected rather than a blue one. Additional damage is reduced even further. The amount of damage reduced with the force field active is 50% (approx. 75% total damage reduction). This force field remains active for the full 5 seconds, no matter how many times X is hit during its protection. It is located in Crush Crawfish's stage.
- Arm Parts: X can charge up to four charge levels, being able to use the Cross Charge Shot. At the fourth, X can fire out a crossover shot by shooting both arm cannons in rapid succession. When the Max Armor is fully assembled, X uses half the weapon energy for his Special Weapons, including the Hyper Charge if he has it. Located in Neon Tiger's stage.
- Arm Chip: Gives X access to the Hyper Charge, which enables unlimited charge attacks as long as it has weapon energy. Located in Gravity Beetle's stage.
- Head Parts: X gains a ground-penetrating Item Radar that upgrades his head sensor. When X enters a stage, a map of the stage will appear and highlight the location of Life Ups, Sub Tanks, Ride Armors, and Armor Parts based on satellite readings. These items are also indicated on the stage select screen, color-coded to show which ones have not been found yet. Located in Tunnel Rhino's stage.
- Head Chip: X can stand still and regenerate energy at a slow rate. This can also be used to fill Sub Tanks. Energy recovers at a rate of 1 bar after the first 5 seconds of standing still, then 1 bar every 3 seconds onward. Located in Blast Hornet's stage.
- Hyper Chip: A chip hidden in Doppler Stage A that only appears if X didn't get any of the four enhancement chips. With this, the armor gains a golden color and all the abilities of the four chips.
Mega Man X4 is the first game from the Mega Man X series to have two armors, the Fourth Armor (フォースアーマー Fōsu Āmā, named "Force Armor" in some sources) and the Ultimate Armor (アルティメットアーマー Arutimetto Āmā). The Ultimate Armor is also the first armor to be obtained as a whole instead of by separated parts.
The Fourth Armor is an all-around armor that can be found in capsules hidden in the stages like previous games, but differs in that it has two Arm Parts that can be traded anytime.
Fourth Armor's Armor Parts:
- Foot Parts: X can perform an air dash, and hover for a limited time by pressing the jump button while in the air. X can move while hovering, but the amount of time he will stay airborne is reduced. Located in Web Spider's stage.
- Arm Parts: There are two Arm Parts located side by side in Storm Owl's stage, each of them changing X's standard charge shot. Both of them allows X to charge special weapons.
- Stock Charge Shot: X can charge up and store up to four charged shots. These shots aren't like X's original, being smaller and blue.
- Plasma Charge Shot: X can charge up to fire a massive shot. When this shot strikes an enemy, an orb of plasma is generated and causes continuous damage.
- Body Parts: Allows X to use the Nova Strike, a rushing, invincible, damage-inducing attack, with limited energy that is restored over time. Also, the damage X receives is halved, and taken damage is absorbed to replenish the Nova Strike's energy. Located in Magma Dragoon's stage.
- Head Parts: Increases X's special weapons capacity, allowing him to fire endless uncharged special weapons and use less energy when firing charged weapons. Located in Cyber Peacock's stage.
The Ultimate Armor is a secret armor that is only available by the use of a code before starting the game, replacing the Fourth Armor. It has the same abilities as the Fourth Armor with the Plasma Charge Shot Arm Parts, but with infinite use of the Nova Strike.
The Fourth Armor and Ultimate Armor from the previous game return with some changes, and two new armors are available: The Falcon Armor (ファルコンアーマー Farukon Āmā) and the Gaea Armor (ガイアアーマー Gaia Āmā). However, due to the circumstances, Dr. Light gave the Armor Parts as programs, enabling X to use the armor only when all four data files are obtained and it is complete.
If X is chosen at the Character Select screen at the start of a new game, he will begin the game with the Fourth Armor equipped. If Zero is selected, the armor will be damaged and unusable for the rest of the game. The Plasma Charge Shot ability is in effect, but it will generate a plasma orb only for the first enemy it hits. Also, the effects of the Head Parts and the Nova Strike are unavailable.
The Ultimate Armor can be obtained without the use of a code in this game (thus, retaining the Force Armor as well) by going to the third Rei Space stage without an armor and entering the capsule hidden in the area. X also uses this armor during his battle against Zero in the same stage.
The Falcon Armor is a light weight armor that focuses on mobility. Its Foot Parts allow X to air dash and move freely in the air for a limited time. While in flight, X is invulnerable to everything except for instant-kill objects such as lasers. The Body Parts reduce the amount of damage received and enables the Giga Attack. The Head Parts reduce the amount of energy used by special weapons. The Arm Parts allow X to use the Spear Charge Shot, a small, fast-moving shot that can pierce through any surface. X can't charge special weapons with this armor. Dr. Light gives this armor's Foot Program in Grizzly Slash's stage, the Arm Program in Izzy Glow's stage, the Body Program in Duff McWhalen's stage, and the Head Program in Squid Adler's stage.
The Gaea Armor is a heavy armor that sacrifices maneuverability and special weapons in exchange for both greater offensive and defensive strength. The armor grants X complete immunity to spikes at all times, as well as mitigating the damage he receives. Additionally, X can use the Gaea Shot and a Giga Attack. It is surrounded by a green field which pushes back blocks with a tell-tale "V" on them when he dashes, and his grabbing strength is increased, allowing him to hang onto walls without sliding indefinitely.
The Falcon Armor is available from the beginning, but as it was damaged in the previous game, its flight ability is now limited to a damaging air dash, and the Spear Charge Shot lost its piercing properties, but now X is able to charge special weapons with this armor. Like Mega Man X4, the Ultimate Armor can be obtained only with the use of a code. It is the same as it was in Mega Man X5, except that its colors changed.
The Blade Armor is an armor focused on mobility and using the Z-Saber (which is physically adapted into X's buster, rather than a separate entity). The most significant feature is an upgraded air-dash. If the jump or dash buttons are pressed while X is airborne, X will freeze mid-air until the button is released. After this, he will perform a quick air dash that covers a lot of distance. X can air-dash vertically or horizontally like the Third Armor, and he can also air-dash down.
The Shadow Armor is similar to the Gaea Armor from Mega Man X5. It keeps many of the main features of the Gaea Armor, including invulnerability to instant-kill spikes, being able to hold on to walls without sliding down them, and the lack of an air dash. The Shadow Armor sacrifices the Gaea Armor's ability to push V-Blocks while dashing for a ninja-like maneuver. The X-Buster has been heavily modified for the Shadow Armor. X's normal shot fires shurikens, and behaves similar to the C-Shot from Mega Man X5.
Mega Man X7 contains the Glide Armor (グライドアーマー Guraido Āmā). Like the first four games from the series, the Glide Armor can be collected one piece at a time, slowly getting stronger with every part, in contrast to Mega Man X5 and X6 in which all parts of the armors must be collected to be functional. Also, X can remove the armor and go to missions without it once it has been fully assembled. It is a fairly all-around armor, as it is the only armor in the game.
- Foot Parts: Allows X to use the Glide Dash. Activated by jumping in the air, X will glide while losing altitude slowly. The Foot Parts is located in Soldier Stonekong's stage.
- Buster Parts: Add three homing shots after X fires his regular Charge Shot that deals bonus damage. He can also charge his special weapons. Located in Flame Hyenard's stage.
- Body Parts: The damage X takes are halved and supplies him with the full-screen Giga Crash attack. Located in Wind Crowrang's stage.
- Head Parts: X is able to absorb Life and Weapon Energy items from a farther distance. Located in Snipe Anteator's stage.
Even though in Mega Man X8 there in fact was only one armor as the basis, at least three different armor systems have been created from it, with the exception of the last one which parts can't be exchanged.
The Neutral Armor gives X no enhancements on its own. However, it has the ability to mix and match parts of the other two armors to give a customized group of abilities. Having a complete suit will unlock the Giga ability of that armor. It will, upon completing a set, glow more brightly, compared to a dull glow as an incomplete armor. Standard Neutral Armor parts are gray in color and is bestowed to X upon entering the first Armor Capsule he finds in the game together with the Armor Part that comes with it, subsequent parts he obtains will be automatically added into the Armor itself and will replace the previous part that he already has (for example, if X has the Buster Parts I when he enters the Armor Capsule that has the Buster Parts H, the Buster Parts H will replace the current part that he has, in which he can enter other stages with 2 Buster Parts to choose from after he has completed the stage).
The Icarus Armor is an armor system that focuses on attack power and aerial advantage capabilities. When the armor set is complete, X can use the Giga Crash that is similar to the Second Armor in Mega Man X2 and the Glide Armor in Mega Man X7. Once the Giga Crash is performed, his weapon gauge will automatically refill itself over time unlike in previous games where X has to obtain energy capsules or take damage to fill up the gauge used for this attack. The Parts are colored red.
The Hermes Armor is an Armor system that focuses on movement speed and mobility. When the armor set is complete, X can use the X-Drive which further enhances X's movement speed and mobility. X will have blue energy flowing throughout his body while this ability is in effect. The weapon energy will drain itself while the X-Drive is in effect until the energy runs out or if he switches with his reserve Hunter, in which the energy will recharge itself over time. The Parts are colored blue.
The Ultimate Armor from Mega Man X8 is designed to be using similar color tones to the Ultimate Armor in Mega Man X6 but using the Neutral Armor as its design base fused with a purple glow on its parts. It is a separate option within the Neutral Armor selection, and thus cannot mix its parts with those of the Hermes and Icarus Armor. The most probable reason that a purple glow is used is that this Ultimate Armor combines certain abilities of his two Armor Systems, Icarus and Hermes, into one single Part. This is most notable in the Foot Part of the Ultimate Armor which is essentially the abilities of both his Foot Parts fused into one. It also grants X the Shouryuuken technique that was first seen with the Second Armor in Mega Man X2 but with reduced attack power but can be executed as easily. This Armor's Nova Strike is the most devastating Nova Strike throughout the X Series for the fact that it is so powerful it can almost wipe out a Maverick Boss or reduce its life energy drastically in just one single attack, making defeating Maverick bosses in this game a quick affair. Although the Nova Strike cannot be executed indefinitely like previous incarnations, the recharge rate for successive usage is the quickest among the three Armor Systems, so quick that it takes mere seconds to the Weapon Gauge to be fully charged for repeated attacks.
Mega Man X: Command Mission has armors explicitly designed for the game that possess a vast arsenal of weapons, mostly enable combat capabilities without less special ones.
X's standard body armor is called New Armor in the game. It allows X to equip the Booster Parts he finds in the Gimialla Mine, as well as multiple Busters. It is a stockier armor than X's original. The most notable difference are the openings in the back, which, while X is moving, produce energy trails referred to in-game as a "scarf" ("Beam Muffler" in Japan). While this armor isn't traditionally exchangeable (excluding X Fire and Ultimate Armor), the scarf's color can be replaced with different colors.
X Fire (Cross Fire) is X's Hyper Mode. It is a special armor system that focuses on melee combat and is Fire-elemental. In this state, X's LE and attack increase by 50%, his speed and WE gain increase by 25% and he takes half damage from attacks. X's buster is replaced with a tri-pronged attachment called the "X Collider" that stuns with electricity, much like a taser, and can be charged with his Action Trigger to use the "Charge Collider". X's sub weapons are replaced by a Power Charge and a Shell Buster. It however, cannot be used indefinitely and has a cooldown phase, reverting X back to normal after some turns. It presumably does not have long range combat capabilities.X can also obtain a second Hyper Mode, the Ultimate Armor, by defeating Rafflesian. A stark change in appearance from previous Ultimate Armors in terms of design, but the color-scheme is back to the white, blue, red, and yellow detailing.
In the cancelled game Rockman Online, the X Type Reploids were planned to use armors.
The Rockman X manga series by Yoshihiro Iwamoto follow the game locations of the armor parts for the most part, although they do not necessarily come from the capsules. Some examples would be the helmet of his first armor, which Zero found and presents to X after his defeat of Storm Eagle, claiming it to be a "medal" from Eagle to X. Or in cases such as his Third Armor, of which X did not collect any parts himself; instead, the program chips are obtained by the cured Doppel Town Mavericks and delivered by the pirate Marty. During his battle against Kaiser Sigma, X is completely obliterated, but the circular core gem of X's armor survives and regenerates him in his gold variation of the armor. At the very end of the X4 series, the Ultimate Armor obtained by X dispels from his body, revealing the Fourth Armor underneath.
X has obtained unusual armors of varying origins during the Limited incidents from the Rockman X Mega Mission carddass series.
The first power up was the Clear Armor, an armor forged by the Limited substance after X was contaminated with it in his fight against the Limited revived Wire Sponge. Although the armor was powerful, increasing his abilities and allowing him to use all Special Weapons he had used in the past, it threatened to take over X's body, initially infecting his arm and later spreading to his body and legs, forcing him to take advantage of his enemy's power to destroy the armor.
The second armor was the Giga Armor, the final form of the Energy Armor given to Zero by Dr. Light. Zero passed on the armor to X after freeing him from the control of a Limited device, Replicapture, and X who used the Giga Armor's stored energy to destroy Tackione with a Giga Crush.
During the final Limited incident, X and Zero received unexpected help from their former enemy Return X, who merged with them to create the X Armor in order to fight the Hyper Limited Mavericks. When Zero was defeated by Sigma Limited, his half of the X Armor combined with X's to create the All X Armor, which X used to defeat the enemy with the Double X Buster. The All X Armor melted away from energy depletion, although Return X regenerated later.
- The idea of armor parts was thought of in a time RPGs were popular in the market, along with the concept of characters gaining experience points and new powers as they reached higher levels. Reflecting on this fact, the staff working on the first Mega Man X game decided on armor power ups to stand out in this trend. Hayato Kaji joked about the headbutt ability of X's first armor.
- The armor from the first Mega Man X game is sometimes referred to as the "Light Armor" by fans, due to it being the first special armor created by Dr. Light; setting the standard for nearly every armor afterwards.
- Similarly, the Mega Man X2 armor is sometimes called the "Giga Armor" in reference to the Giga Crush provided by the Body Part. However, this conflicts with the Giga Armor from the Mega Mission 2 carddass story.
- Bandai's line of Rockman model kits refer to the Mega Man X3 armor as the "Max Armor", and referred to the Golden version as the "Hyper Max Armor."
|Mega Man X Series Armors and Power-ups|
|"First Armor" • "Second Armor" • "Third Armor" • Fourth Armor • Falcon Armor • Gaea Armor • Blade Armor • Shadow Armor • Glide Armor • Neutral Armor (Icarus Armor • Hermes Armor) • Ultimate Armor|
|Black Zero • White Axl|
|Rockman X Mega Mission armors|
|Clear Armor • Replicapture • Energy Armor • Neo Armor • Giga Armor • X Armor • All X Armor|
|X's armors • Zero's Forms • Hyper Mode|