Monday, January 5, 2009

The X6 That Never Was *UPDATED*

It's no mystery that Rockman X6 is an utter mess. To put it bluntly, X6 remains an unfinished product plagued with terrible stage layouts and awful game mechanics, rushed to retail in order to make a quick buck. However, at one point, X6 might have been something much grander: based on "rumored" preliminary information, X6 might have contain a few aspects that never made it to retail, aspects that might have made the game a lot more enjoyable.

-The original Nightmare System: In its current form, the Nightmare System is nothing more than a gimmick aimed to frustrate the player to no end, but the original concept seemed a lot broader. The intended system called for randomized stage layouts that reflected your performance as a Hunter; no two stages would ever look alike, things always varied. Capcom hoped the Nightmare System would create an immense replay value, attracting players to play X6 over and over again in order to experience new challenges. Indeed, the Nightmare System remains intact in the final product, but it is very broken and not so random. Ground Scaravich's stage is a pretty good example of the original Nightmare System as it is constantly rearranging itself.

-Stage Connections: Depending on your actions (specifically the order in which Mavericks are defeated), the cosmetics of stages would vary ala X1. This system intended to show the stages were somehow interconnected with each other. This too remains absent from the finished product.

-Returning Mavericks: a 2001 press release stated X6 would contain five returning Mavericks presumably from X1~X5. The press release seemed to imply the returning Maverick would appear in random stages as bosses (via the Nightmare System). This may or may not have been referring to Metal Shark Player's "summoning" attack in which he briefly revives fallen Mavericks from previous X games.

-Rumored Animated Cutscenes: Instead of still pictures, X6 was previously stated to contain animated cutscenes reminiscent to RMX4. Reeve of the former MMX Online supposedly confirmed the presence of custcenes back in late 2001. However, due to a lack of Reeve's source, I've marked this as a rumor.

UPDATED: After speaking with a few "friends", we've come to the conclusion that the above information may or may not have been actual content intended to appear in the game. It's quite possible the sources of said information might have misinterpreted official X6 announcements, blowing them out of proportion. That said, the article has been edited slightly to accommodate recent speculation.

Sources: 1,2,3,4,5


  1. Mega Man X6... what an unfortunate abomination of a MMX game. Really, Capcom should have left it alone and let the story end at X5 like Inafune meant to. Except for the surprising revival that was X8, nothing good has come out of the X series since X5.

    But hey, if X8 was any indication, Capcom still has it in them to make good X games. Let's hope X9, if/when it happens and regardless of whether or not they go the SNES/16-bit style route, is just as good or better.

  2. Yet somehow I'm not surprised. This is Capcom, after all. Lazinuess on Capcom's part isn't exactly anything new.

    Considering that X6 was originally not even meant to be made, I'm surprised so much was planned for it. I wonder how much of it being rushed was the eagerness of the suits upstairs and how much of it was other factors.

  3. Indeed.
    The Nightmare Stage is truly a Nightmare, you also need a specific character to go through the stage.
    Take like the first stage for example, to get through the horrendous spikes Stage, you need X, Shadow Armor.

    And I really hate Metal Shark Player stage and Blizzard Werewolf too, as well as the Zero soul attacker and random Meteor Balls shooting at you. It's really frustrating.

    In the end, the game is indeed a epic fail. I wish they could remake all over again and threw the original out. If it made better, I would've still play it today.

  4. Everyone rags endlessly on this poor game. I played them endlessly, and I never saw a huge difference between them. It was harder because of it's alleged bad level design, but I LIKED that. Plus, no interruptions in gameplay, like X5. Alia really made X5 a pain to replay.

    X6 was smoother to get through in that regard and I found the bosses more interesting. The only level I actually found frustrating was Metal Shark's. Oh man.

    9999 points for the last upgrade slot was a brutal deal, and some of the stranded reploids were placed where you had to be really fast and flawless to reach in time, but hey, that's what we liked about the Zero series.

    I don't think it's perfect, but you aren't rushed through it and stalled every other screen for a message either. I don't think this game gets enough credit where it's due.

  5. I'm unsure about GS stage being "random". As far as I know, it works much like the present endless system in Rockman9 - a couple of random rooms.

    I suspect the "unfinished" means a director voice over the project, as "cut that... and that... and that...". The disaster starts at X6 and comes up to the present days, or am I wrong? ;)

  6. You know, as dreadful as X6 is.. especially it's plot among other thing, i honestly do think that these little extra touch-ups and additives could've made X6 a much better game to play. The 'improved' Nightmare system sounds very interesting. They kinda did have stage connections via the nightmare, ie. rain, meteors, black floodlights... but having it done like in X1 would've been good. The returning mavericks and anime cutscenes really could've gone either way. They could've been a nice touch, but i'm thinking of the awful dub voices in MM8 and X4. I really could go on and on, but i do think that X6 could've been better with these things in it.

  7. Oh quit blowing things out of proportion. :P X6 was truly not that bad.

    A 16-bit X9 is not the way to go.

  8. I've frequently complained about the change of the Nightmare System myself, citing the game as incomplete. The animated cutscene part is new to me, however; where was that mentioned?

    I had hoped Maverick Hunter X would be successful enough that we could get a good X6 and 7 out of it...

    Oren> If the game didn't throw you into a variety of literally impossible, no-win situations, it might have been more acceptable.

    --LBD "Nytetrayn"

  9. ...Mega Man X6 is one of my favorites in the X series, next to X8 =(

  10. I guess I remember hearing that there would be three (not five) returning mavericks in the game, and I thought they "achieved that" through Metal Shark Player's resurrection ability (He could resurrect Sting Chameleon, Magna Centipede, or Blast Hornet). It's definitely a cop out... but I guess I thought that's what they meant by returning mavericks.

  11. @Dave:
    Former MegaMan X Online admin, Reeve, confirmed anime sequences were a go back in late 2001. I believe That info came from the first source.

  12. It's sad. When I first found out about Megaman, I was so pumped about getting X6, because of all the stuff you could supposedly do (walking on the ceiling, X using the Z-saber, the Nightmare System, etc.), but it turned out to be... well... bad. If I wanted to, even I could probably have made a better game than that! Still, it did show the potential for being a lot better, if only more work had been put into it. And it was still kind of fun to play; X's armors were all pretty sweet, and the music was really good. If it had been worked on just a little bit (or maybe a lot) more, it would have been awesome! I honestly think that they should do a Maverick Hunter X-style 3D remake of it for the PSP, but with totally different levels, re-designed enemies and mechanics, and all the stuff mentioned here (fighting old bosses in the Nightmare levels instead of Highmax would have been cool). It would be a COMPLETELY different game, but it would be a GOOD game.

  13. I always though X6 was just level add-ons to X5, those games felt the exact same to me.

  14. Hmmm... the old nightmare system is sort of like Scaravitch but with the whole stage? wow. thats cool.
    to bad about it though. I actually liked the game, but it was still frustrating.

  15. "-Returning Mavericks: a 2001 press release stated X6 would contain five returning Mavericks presumably from X1~X5. The press release seemed to imply the returning Maverick would appear in random stages as bosses (via the Nightmare System)."

    Interesting, but why not just have the sigmas returning instead? Surely that would be more of a nightmare to X than some measly mavericks?

  16. The three bosses that Metal Shark Player brings back are: Sting Chameleon, Storm Eagle and Blast Hornet.

    Someone could hack the game to find some unused data.

  17. bawwwwww X6's the shittiestttt

    whine moar, kids. enjoy your alia making levels unplaybale taken for the X series' citizen kane (what a joke).

    btw I NEVER heard such a claim that the game would have all around anime cutscenes again. reeve never was the be all end all source of mmx info around and that's just further bull on his behalf if he said that. all everybody saw for their own eyes is that there could be AN INTRO MOVIE when the first trailer was released.

    as for the promised nightmare system, well, we're dealing with capcom of america's press materials here, the same that promised 8 playable characters in command mission AND 2P action in x7.

  18. ^Well, somebody's touchy

  19. Reeve? Reeve is mentioned no where in the sources. If you meant Zero X Phoenix, then yes, I totally agree.

    But for your claim on CoA, I think it's better to assume that they were passed along this info and told to use it rather than looking at the game for a little while and making stuff up.

  20. @Syl:

    I was pretty sure I had the Reeve source in there. Well, regardless it can be found here:

    I've edited the article to accommodate a few things.

  21. X6 isn't that bad. The level design is fine most of the time. The powerups were actually useful and the manner in aquiring them much better. Its music is top notch. It's not by any means broken. People just have to suck less.

    To the person who said the Shadow Armor was required to get past the spikes in Gate stage 1, you're wrong. Every character can make it through that room. That's where the upgrades come in. Jumper, D. Barrier, and/or Ice Burst are the only things you need. Zero doesn't need any upgrades at all to get through there.

    In fact, every bonus in the game can be gotten with every character. You just need to know how to properly implement the parts, boss weapons, and stage connections.

    On to the article itself, the idea of randomly generated stages sounds very unappealing. That kind of thing could work for dungeon crawlers, but not for a Mega Man game. It's bad enough in Ground Scaravich's stage.

    Finally, and most importantly, I have a correction that needs to be pointed out. The stage connections are still in the game, in full force, even. Each of the 8 stages can have two different effects depending on what stage was visited before then. In Metal Shark Player's stage, for example, if you visited Ground Scaravich beforehand, there would be dynamite blocks strewn throughout the stage. Or, if you visited Blizzard Wolfang prior, parts of the ground would be covered in ice.


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