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Mega Man X9, known as Rockman X9 in Japan, is the ninth entry to the Mega Man X series that is set to be released in 20XX for the Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC (via Steam) and Xbox 360. The game will mark the series' return after Mega Man X8 was released for the Playstation 2 in 2004. It is the first Mega Man X game to be released on the Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox 360 (excluding re-releases/ports), and the third game to use 3D graphics, after Mega Man X7 and X8.
A Reploid scientist named "Zeta" discovers a capsule in some ruins that contains a Reploid who whose structure is remarkably close to Sigma's. Looking at the side of the capsule, this Reploid is called "Enigma", and the schematics and blueprints reveal that he was the supposed brother of Sigma, set to be released as the vice-commander of the Maverick Hunters, though he was kept in a stasis pod after Sigma himself went Maverick. Zeta promptly releases Enigma, who tells him about his origins, and that his brother Sigma was destroyed by the Maverick Hunters. Before he could explain why they did it, Enigma declares a war against the hunters. Meanwhile, Zeta thinks this would be a great chance to do something.
A large Mechaniloid later attacks the Hunter Base, which is later revealed to be created by Zeta as a means of being able to take a glowing fragment from the headquarters. This fragment was what remains of Lumine, and was originally intended to take control of Axl (which was implanted in his now-broken forehead crystal) and slowly give him the powers of the New Generation Reploids. This fragment was removed before it could fully control Axl, and was being inspected by Reploid scientists. Mega Man X, Zero and Axl manage to destroy the Mechaniloid, though the base was heavily destroyed, many sudden Maverick attacks break out across the world due a new virus called the "Lumine Virus" was released upon the world, infecting Reploids and turning them Maverick so they can serve Enigma.
While X, Zero and Axl deal with the Mavericks, Zeta creates two Reploids called Jazz and Cyberpunk to deal with them. He was also going to finish another Reploid, but he went rogue before he was complete, severely wounding Zeta and leaving his secret lab in rubble. He then went on to infiltrate the Hunter Base, killing many Maverick Hunters. The three hunters come back to the headquarters, which is filled with dead Maverick Hunters. They later find out that the volatile Maverick is in the base, slaughtering all the hunters inside, by a Reploid via radio communication. X, Zero and Axl encounter this Maverick, who goes by the name "Synchro", and claims that he is their "worst nightmare" before fighting them. Synchro absorbs all the damage dealt to him, and critically damages X, Zero and Axl. However, he stops functioning and is left in a suspended animation before he could finish the three off.
The gameplay of Mega Man X9 is left unchanged from the past games, though most gameplay elements from Mega Man X8 return here like the "enemy guard" and "guard break" attacks. The player controls Mega Man X (who uses his X-Buster to fire pellets and charge up a more powerful shot), Zero (who uses his Z-Saber to slice up enemies up-close, and can air dash and double jump) and Axl (who uses his Axl Bullets to fire off shots in multiple directions, can hover in the air for a few seconds, and copy Reploid DNA using the Copy Shot), being able to make them traverse across stages, destroying enemies along the way and reaching the end, where they must face off against the stage's Maverick. The player can bring two of the three characters into a stage, and can manually switch out from the two at any time, however if the current character dies, the player will fail the whole mission.
Metal is the main currency of the game, with Blue Metal costing one Metal, Yellow costing ten Metals, Red costing fifty Metals, and Purple costing a whopping one-hundred Metal. Blue and Yellow Metal can be dropped by weaker enemies, while Red Metals sometimes can be dropped by bigger enemies and given by completing certain objectives. Rare Metal also returns, being hidden and found in out-of-the-way places, usually requiring the use of a certain characters abilities and/or Special Weapon to collect them. These Metals can be spent in the shop to acquire Chips forged by Rare Metal.
Every time the player destroys a Maverick, they will obtain a new Special Weapon/Arm for Mega Man X and Axl, and a new technique for Zero. These can be used in other stages to make things easier for them or even open up new pathways that may lead the player to hidden items, and can also be used as the weakness of that stage's Maverick, giving them an advantage in the battle. X can also achieve two new armors from Dr. Light Capsules; the Booster Armor and the Guardian Armor. X can also buy the armors from past games since Mega Man X4 in the shop for a fairly high Metal cost. Zero can also obtain new weapons like the D Glaive, K Knuckle, T Breaker, B Fan and N Raipers.
Enemies now have a health bar above their heads that slowly come into view once the player approaches them or starts attacking them. This shows how much damage they can take before they are destroyed. Enemies still drop Energy and Weapon Capsules, Extra Lives, and different types of Metals.
- Mega Man X: One of the three playable characters. Mega Man X, or just shortened to X, is the successor of the original Mega Man and Dr. Light's greatest creation. X can shoot pellets from his X-Buster and dash. X can gain different armors that can enhance his abilities or give him the ability to perform a Giga Attack if he has the full set (if he tries to mix and match different parts of the armors, the Giga Attack will be unavailable to use).
- Zero: One of the three playable characters. Zero was once a Maverick, but after the Maverick Virus reprogrammed him, he turns to the good side and fights alongside his fellow Maverick Hunter, X. Zero is more of a close-ranged fighter, using his Z-Saber to perform quick slashes to deal with enemies. Zero can also air dash and double jump, and unlock other weapons to use, like the D Glaive and K Knuckle.
- Axl: One of the three playable characters. Axl used to be a member of Red Alert before becoming a Maverick Hunter. He utilizes the Axl Bullets, which allows him to rapid-fire faster than X, and allows him to aim in multiple directions. Axl can also dash, hover in the air for a few seconds, and use the A-Trans to copy characteristics of enemies or straight up copy them entirely after defeating them with the Copy Shot.
- The Navigators, Alia, Layer and Pallette: The Navigators specialize in providing information regarding their current location, surrounding enemies, and general data to the Maverick Hunters. Alia specializes in providing information on objectives, recent developments, and spotted Mavericks, Layer specializes in providing enemy strengths and weaknesses, and Pallette specializes in providing layout analysis and processing Rare Metals found on missions into Chip upgrades.
- : Zeta is a Reploid who was one of the researchers on the crystal fragment that was implanted on Axl's forehead after the events of Mega Man X8. He tried to make a vaccine for Mavericks using this fragment, all the while giving them the powers of New Generation Reploids, though this "vaccine" corrupted him when he tried to test it on himself, and he used the "vaccine" to create even more Mavericks. He also discovered the "Enigma" project beforehand, and releases "Enigma" from his capsule. Together, they orchestrate a new Maverick War, enlisting Mavericks all over the world to their army.
- : Enigma was supposed brother of Sigma, meant to be the vice-commander of the Maverick Hunters, however he was kept in his capsule when Sigma unexpectedly went Maverick. Enigma was later discovered by Zeta, and was told that Sigma was destroyed by the Maverick Hunters, so he has the means of destroying them. Together with Zeta, they orchestrate a new Maverick War, enlisting Mavericks all over the world to their army.
- : Jazz is a female Maverick created by Zeta alongside Cyberpunk to keep the Maverick Hunters at bay. She is known for her flirtatious attitude, especially to Cyberpunk (much to his dismay), though she will get serious if needed. Jazz attacks by throwing bolts of energy and ensnaring her foes in place with her energy. She also boasts high speed, though she lacks in physical strength and defense.
- : Cyberpunk is a male, punk-designed Maverick created by Zeta alongside Jazz. Cyberpunk's great physical strength, brute force and high damage resistance makes him a great threat to the Maverick Hunters. He is very slow, however, though the jets built with his body helps him keep up with Jazz.
- : Synchro is an unfinished, rogue Maverick created by Zeta, supposedly created to help out Jazz and Cyberpunk, though Synchro went haywire during the making, causing him to disobey his creator's instructions. Synchro can absorb attacks and use absorbed attacks to power himself up. He can even overload his circuits for offensive means, making him a deadly opponent. However, he is prone to malfunctioning and outright shutting down easily as he is an incomplete project.
- Silversnow Swan: A swan-based, ice-themed Maverick who was a part of the Maverick Hunters's 13th Polar Region Unit, though he later retired after Sigma went Maverick. He was later enlisted to Zeta and Enigma's army after being infected with the Lumine Virus. Silversnow Swan attacks by swooping across the screen or down at the player, shooting icy feather-shaped projectiles from his wings, shooting ice rocks from his beak, and creating ice stalagmites from the ground. He can also create a gust of wind to blow the player back while firing icy projectiles at them.
- Venomsting Scorpion: A scorpion-based Maverick. He was a member of the 0th Shinobi Maverick Hunter Unit, though the toxins within him corrupted his programming, causing him to become increasingly aggressive and being branded as a Maverick. These toxins nullified the Lumine Virus, preventing him from being infected. He was later recruited by Zeta and Enigma. He uses his stinger tail to implant toxins in the player character's system, causing them to gradually lose health. He also uses the tip of his tail to shoot acid blasts, his pedipalp hands to slash the player as well, which has the same effects as the tail stab, and crawling up the ceiling to shoot acid from his tail.
- Burrowing Moledigger: A mole-based Maverick, who uses his claws as a means of burrowing into the ground and releasing a wave cutting projectile, the Wave Crescent. He was a former member of the Repliforce, though he later retired after the Sky Lagoon incident so nobody would have to label him as a Maverick. Moledigger was later infected with the Lumine Virus, joining Zeta and Enigma's forces for what the Maverick Hunters have done to the Repliforce. He was stationed at underground cavern in a forest. Moledigger also uses rocks that he cuts up to toss at his enemies, and does a drilling rush attack that renders him invulnerable to all forms of damage until the move ends.
- Thorny Porcupine: A New World porcupine-based Maverick who was a former member of the Maverick Hunters's 15th Agile Unit prior to being infected with the Lumine Virus, thinking he was not fit for the 17th Elite Unit. He is usually referred to as the "Needlemouse Speedster" by other hunters. His most common attack is turning his back to the player character, firing quills from his back. He can also curl up into a ball and dash into the player while occasionally firing quills at them, and spin in the air to do the same thing. He also runs around the arena at high speeds, trying to ram into the player for damage.
- Diamond Crocodile: A crocodile-based Maverick who used to live in the sewers before being recruited by Zeta and Enigma in their Maverick army after hearing about the death of Wheel Gator, one of his friends. He later took over an underground mine to gather metal ore for his superiors. Crocodile can generate crystals as a means of both defense and offense, reflecting projectiles using the Crystal Barrier and sending out reflective Diamond Lasers. He can also create a holographic clone of himself (though the player can easily recognize the clone as it is more shiny and clear).
- Shade Metahopper: A grasshopper-based Maverick who joined Zeta and Enigma's army so that he can avenge the death of Dark Mantis. Metahopper changes color depending on the darkness level, and is a very dangerous opponent in total darkness. He uses his Shade Boomerangs and tries to drain the player's energy by dashing into them. He can also hop across the arena, shooting a volley of dark projectiles in a spread-out manner at the player.
- Arsenal Lobster: A lobster-based, walking arsenal Maverick. Arsenal Lobster is a weapons enthusiast who works at the weapons factory for Zeta and Enigma. Said factory has many missiles ready to be aimed at the Maverick Hunter's headquarters, though X, Zero and Axl manage to stop these missiles from firing. Arsenal Lobster then comes out to face the infiltrating hunters himself, using an array of weapons like the Search Striker and Napalm Launcher. He will also drop mines on the ground, and try to use his pincers to grab the player, crush them and toss them away.
- Plasma Cuttlefish: A cuttlefish-based, thunder-elemental Maverick. Plasma Cuttlefish was a friend of Gigabolt Man-O-War and joined Zeta and Enigma's Maverick army to avenge his death. Cuttlefish later took over an abandoned power plant to send energy to Zeta's laboratory. He releases his Dynamo Pulses that explode after a few moments of being fired or split into four smaller plasma spheres that run along surfaces when it hits a surface. He can also release a wave of electricity from his body, which also sends out multiple damaging sparks.
- Silversnow Swan: Chill Feather (Mega Man X), Blizzard Smash (Zero), Freeze Ray (Axl)
- An uncharged Chill Feather makes X fire off feather-shaped ice projectiles either straight forward, slightly up, or slightly down depending on what direction was inputted. A charged Chill Feather makes X fire off a spinning ice projectile that flies forward a short distance before completely stopping.
- The Blizzard Smash causes Zero to smash the ground, creating a large icicle stalagmite surrounded by a bed of ice spikes, and launching nine icicles in a fanned out manner. This icicle lingers for a moment before breaking apart, though the spikes will stay for much longer.
- The Freeze Ray is a weapon that fires out a frost laser that freezes defeated enemies. This laser deals considerable amounts of damage to enemies not immediately frozen by the weapon.
- Venomsting Scorpion: Venom Blast (Mega Man X), Toxin Sting (Zero), Acid Streamer (Axl)
- An uncharged Venom Blast is an acid blast that leaves a pool of acid once it hits the ground, gradually damaging enemies. A charged Venom Blast create an even bigger blast that leaves a larger acid pool which lingers for much longer.
- The Toxin Sting makes Zero perform a forward thrust with his Z-Saber, releasing toxin globs from it in an upward arc. The saber thrust deals multiple hits.
- The Acid Streamer is a weapon designed like a flamethrower, which projects a long stream of acid forward. This stream can be angled upwards or downwards, and deals multiple hits to enemies.
- Burrowing Moledigger: Wave Cutter (Mega Man X), Drill Rush (Zero), Quake Torpedo (Axl)
- An uncharged Wave Cutter makes X swing his arm to generate a crescent-shaped beam of energy straight forward, deal considerable amounts of damage to a single enemy it hits. A charged Wave Cutter makes X fire off four crescent-shaped beams of energy in an outward manner.
- The Drill Rush makes Zero rush forward in a drill-like manner with his Z-Saber outstretched. This acts like an air dash, and can be followed up after using an air dash, and cancelled with a midair jump.
- The Quake Torpedo is one gigantic drill and two mini-drills fired out of a cannon. The larger drill is fired straight forwards that goes through most enemies and can be used to destroy cracked surfaces, opening up new pathways, though only one drill can be active on-screen at a time. The two mini-drills are fired diagonally upwards and downwards, and explode once they hit anything.
- Thorny Porcupine: Prickle Spear (Mega Man X), Pinning Needle (Zero), Quill Harpoon (Axl)
- An uncharged Prickle Spear is three quills that are fired out of X's buster cannon that pin onto surfaces, acting as a trap. A charged Prickle Spear replaces these quills with an even larger quill that travels through enemies an deals even more damage.
- The Pinning Needle makes Zero perform a downwards stab with his Z-Saber, which turns into a giant needle.
- The Quill Harpoon is a harpoon fired out of a gun that allows Axl to grab items from spaces that are otherwise unreachable. It also can be used to instantly grab dropped items from defeated enemies and bring them back to Axl.
- Diamond Crocodile: Crystal Barrier (Mega Man X), Mirror Slash (Zero), Diamond Laser (Axl)
- An uncharged Crystal Barrier summons a crystalline barrier that surrounds X for a few moments, protecting him from damage and reflecting enemy projectiles back, before splitting into eight crystal shards. A charged Crystal Barrier allows the crystalline barrier to be remotely split.
- The Mirror Slash causes Zero to create a holographic clone of himself that either slashes forward (when performed on the ground) or does an air dashing slash (when performed in the air).
- The Diamond Laser is a laser fired out of a gun that reflects off of surfaces four times before dissipating. It instantly disappears once it hits anything that is not a surface.
- Shade Metahopper: Shade Cutterang (Mega Man X), Shadow Counter (Zero), Dark Splasher (Axl)
- An uncharged Shade Cutterang makes X fire off a dark boomerang that quickly moves in an arc before returning back to X. These boomerangs instantly cut through waves of enemies, though it disappears once it hits a surface. X recovers any Weapon Energy used from any Shade Cutterangs that return without being destroyed. A charged Shade Cutterang makes X dash forward with a dark crescent slash, instantly cutting through waves of enemies.
- The Shadow Counter causes Zero disappear in a shadowy aura when hit by enemy attacks, reappearing to where the enemy who tried to damage is to stab them with his Z-Saber. He cannot counter-attack enemies that are far away/off-screen.
- The Dark Splasher is a quick volley of dark projectiles that are fired out of a weapon in a spread formation.
- Arsenal Lobster: Search Striker (Mega Man X), Steel Upperslash (Zero), Napalm Launcher (Axl)
- An uncharged Search Striker makes X lock on enemies and fire off quick-moving, heat-seeking missiles at them. These missiles do a decent amount of damage to enemies. A charged Search Striker makes X shoot out a giant missile upwards that explodes in the air, releasing smaller missiles that decimate all enemies on-screen.
- The Steel Upperslash causes Zero's Z-Saber to turn into a steel blade. Zero then performs a rising slash with his Z-Saber, dealing multiple hits to weaker enemies.
- The Napalm Launcher is a bomb that bounces about on the ground three times before exploding or when it hits an enemy. The blast radius itself is very huge and deals a considerable amount of damage.
- Plasma Cuttlefish: Dynamo Pulse (Mega Man X), Shock Aura (Zero), Spark Cannon (Axl)
- An uncharged Dynamo Pulse makes X shoot out a plasma ball that stops in its tracks a few moments after it is fired, exploding in an electrifying explosion, and leaving behind four smaller plasma balls that fly out in a fanned out manner. If the large plasma ball hits a surface, the smaller plasma balls will run across said surfaces. A charged Dynamo Pulse makes X shoot out a plasma ball that can be controlled and remotely detonated, leaving behind an additional four smaller plasma balls.
- The Shock Aura causes Zero to release an electrifying aura that deals multiple hits to enemies and releases sparks. The aura lasts for two seconds before it disappears, and it has a cooldown.
- The Spark Cannon is a cannon that shoots out plasma balls that split into two smaller plasma balls once it hits anything and goes up walls.
- A cheetah-based, fire-themed Maverick (Scorcher Cheetah) and a vampire-based Maverick (Vlad Shadebat) were conceived during development, however they were scrapped. The latter was most likely scrapped due to there already being a vampire (bat)-based Maverick, Dark Necrobat.
- Diamond Crocodile was also called "Spewage Sewercroc" during development as well, and his stage was originally set in the sewers, where he would spit spewage balls at the player during his boss fight.
- This is the second Mega Man X game where Sigma is not directly involved, after Mega Man X: Command Mission.
- Thorny Porcupine may be a reference to Sonic the Hedgehog.
s denotes a sysop approved project.