Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Mega Man X Collection Dilemma: Why It Failed to Live Up to Its Promise

As awesome as Mega Man X Collection was, it could have been a lot better. At one time, in fact, it almost was.

In mid-2005, Capcom sought fan support to create the collection, hoping to incorporate feedback on what sort of content fans would like to see. A collaborative effort between Capcom and The Mega Man Network was formed wherein readers of the fan-site were asked to submit ideas for bonus content and unlockables in Mega Man X Collection.

As expected, Capcom's inbox was flooded with requests. Due to the sheer volume of ideas, The Mega Man Network were then asked to personally handpick the good requests from the bad. This did the trick; a short time later Capcom representatives returned with the top four requested features:

  •  Remixed soundtracks for Mega Man X1 and X2.
  •  Corrected X5 Maverick names (i.e removal of Guns 'N Roses references).
  •  Revised script for X6, intended to rid title of infamous "engrish" and inconsistencies.
  •  All new English vocal tracks for X4 and X6 courtesy of Ocean Group, the team behind the acclaimed voices of Command Mission and X8.
Capcom representives informed The Mega Man Network's community that they would actively pursue these requests and put them into the game. Needless to say, everyone was pretty excited. The X Collection wasn't even out yet and already it sounded a lot better than the effort that went into the Anniversary Collection.

Unfortunately, our excitement was short-lived. As X Collection's release drew near, disheartening news began to circulate: early press copies of the game indicated that these features where "missing". Sure enough, proof of these claims were in the pudding: when the Mega Man X Collection finally released on January 10th, 2006, none of the requested content was there. What happened? Well, the answer may surprise you.

I direct you to an old editorial written by The Mega Man Network in 2005 that explained the whole conundrum in full. It's a bit long but, dammit, is it a good read:

"We've been told that all the extras promised were, in fact, completed. X1 and X2's music was remixed. X4 had the voices redubbed, and X6 had the script revised, retranslated, and was dubbed in English. So why, then, if this stuff was done, did it not make it into the Collection?

The answer is pretty simple. Keiji Inafune and Irregular Hunter X.

But how could one man and one game affect the outcome of an entire Collection? It's rather easy, especially if said man is the mastermind behind the entire X series, and in a high-up position at Capcom. Back in early November, we heard that there were problems with the MMXC - Inafune was "concerned" that the Collection's extra content for X1 would interfere with what he wanted for Irregular (Maverick) Hunter X (it was inferred that the XC would use the same remixed music that appears in IHX). When we spoke with representatives from the X Collection production team, they were able to shed a lot more light on things, and after hearing it all, I have to say I'm a little less disappointed with the MMXC than I was, and a bit excited for what might come as well.

What we've been told is that Inafune wants to retool the X series up to Mega Man X6. Irregular Hunter X2 is already on the books, we're told, and Rockman Rockman 2 is in the pre-planning stages (incidentally, we were told that if the Powered Up ports are successful, they might be remade all the way up to Mega Man 8). As for the work we did for the X Collection, the suggestions we took were examined and reviewed by the CoJ staffers, and they have been set aside to be used in consideration as each X series remake is done. The extra features that were done - remixes, dubs and script revisions - will be used for the North American versions, provided circumstances don't force revisions of the revisions already done (such is the case for X4, which, if IHX1 is any indication, will probably get a new script). CPS1 was pretty much told to keep the X Collection as close to the originals as possible, and that's why we received what we did." 

Hold on, folks. It gets better:

"We got a few explanations on why certain elements of the X Collection remained as they were, or got changed, what-have-you. Below we've compiled the list of applicable changes we asked about.

Mega Man X:
- Script revised to include "Damn!" in the intro stage. This was done while X1 was being retrofitted, and left in there after the remixes were pulled.

Mega Man X2:
- Music was remixed, but then pulled for use in IHX2.

Mega Man X4:
- Original voices were reinserted after the redubs were removed (this lends to the slightly different sound quality of the in-game voices).

Mega Man X5:
- We got no word on whether the names of the Mavericks were at any point actually changed, but our Capcom representative expressed disappointment at the fact that they remained the Guns'n'Roses names. When the time rolls around for IHX, we're told, they will be changed.

Mega Man X6:
- Oh, the horror of the Sentsuizan. There's actually an interesting story behind this one. The move, originally mapped to Up+Attack while in the air, HAD been fixed, as evidenced by the "Got weapon" screen telling you to press Down+Attack in the air. This was changed for an unknown reason in post-production when one of the programmers mistakenly remapped it to the original button combo. *sigh* 
- We're told that pulling the voices from X6 was an executive decision made by Robert Johnson. He reasoned that if the voices were left in, people would complain. If he took them out, people would complain, so he went with the choice to minimize the Japanese and removed them."

And so, the rest is history. Irregular Hunter X/Maverick Hunter X was a commercial failure, thereby spelling the end to future Mega Man X remakes and squandering any chance of enjoying the "shelved" X Collection content. At the time of this writing, Capcom have no plans of resuming the MHX remakes as indicated by Inafune himself.

All in all, the X Collection could have turned out to be something fantastic – a true example of a fan influenced production. It is my wholehearted hope that Capcom, in the future, will re-release an updated X Collection, one that will contain all the removed extras.

Oh, and before I forget, it appears a bit of conflicting information has recently come to light:

TMMN's writeup indicated that redubs for X4 and X6 were recorded (presumably by Ocean Group). However, according to Lucas Gilbertson, the voice of Ocean Group's Zero, no such recording took place:

"As far as I know nothing was recorded for X4/6. But the actors are pretty much the last people to get filled in. I first learned of the possibility of those rerecordings through you guys on the internet! You bastards got me all excited and then....... nothing."

It's possible Ocean Group was not hired for the redubs, but that would seem a little inconsistent considering the fact that Capcom continued to use the team for future Mega Man related dubbing afterwards. We may never know.


  1. MaverickHunterAshMay 13, 2009 at 2:27 AM

    Yeah, I remember reading about this entire tragedy. It still stings.

  2. Am I the only one in the universe that thinks TMMN made all of this up? I never heard a single word directly from Capcom on this. I call BS.

  3. Capcom. The never ending masters of indecision, laziness, and disappointment. I said it before and I'll say it again. Why oh why do I like them so much?

  4. i'm not that upset about the guns n roses references. i mean, i think they're cool, and after all. he IS called "rock" man x.

    also, protodude, here's something you might want to look into. some people say that some music in X6 sounds a little bit different than in the original X6's did. if this is true, then it's possible that capcom either forgot, or just didn't pull all of the remixed music. i think people over at the gamefaqs boards and/or people over at the boards have mentioned this.

  5. No offense or anything, but I'm kind of not sure what the point of posting this now was. Other than the Gilbertson bit at the end, it doesn't really tell us anything we didn't already know and kind of reopens fan wounds from these promises never being delivered.

    When I first started reading this entry, I was getting my hopes up that Capcom had decided to redo the X Collection with the extra content or something to ameliorate the situation. =(

  6. Wow, reading that made me extremely depressed. Even though I consider myself a hardcore fanboy of MM, I never even knew about all this stuff. All I knew was that there weren't any more voices in X6 and I was a little disappointed. Now I'll never be able to play X Collection without thinking of what could've been :[

  7. Thanks for the information...
    I hope they would make a collection of the battle network series.

  8. @Rew:
    It's merely informative, an editorial

  9. It's very sad that they cut all of that material out, and probably won't ever make an IXH2-6 unless, in the event of an X9 that sells incredibly well, they decide to revisit that (which is unlikely). Still, the purpose of IHX (and any subsequent ones) was to revamp the games, so they could have put some brand-new material in IHX2-6, rather than being lazy and reusing stuff that COULD have been in MMXC...

    I don't think we need another X Collection, though, unless they completely revamp the games a la IHX or something.

  10. I remember this... it was a BIG BIG LIE from the MMN. Even Robert Johnson (from Capcom Usa), said this was invented by Jaxel and the others....

  11. I used to be a regular at TMMN, so I remember this fondly. I remember some were boycotting MHX because of this. Despite being such a great remake, I am glad it failed.

  12. I died a little after reading this. I remember reading that they promised these things but never found out why. Now I know.

  13. to those of you that call foul here, there is some proof to this. i have played and own the gamecube version of MMXC, and it was my first outing with X4 and X6, so when i played them, i didn't notice any differences from them and the originals. then i watched a youtube video showing some scenes from X6 on the PS1. it had japanese voices in it to my surprise. the MMXC version DOESN'T HAVE 'EM! they are gone save for the sounds that the characters make and when they say something at the start of a fight. lie? hardly. i believe this to be truth. and i'm also going to look up info on the so called music swap from X6 as well. some seem to think the music sounds different in the MMXC version of X6 in some areas.

  14. Capcom still has plenty of ways. The reason it failed was because Nintendo was in control of the handheld market, and still is, so PSP was really in a hole at that point, but if MHX came out as a console game, then we would quite possibly already have all six games remade. The whole console thing is my just my opinion, but the games might also have worked if they were downloadable games like MM9 was, and I expressed this idea on Protodude's post of his ExplodeMan article about a month back.

  15. If those little bits had been in the X Collection, it could've been better.... not that i'm knocking the X Collection though. I would've liked the remixed music for X2 and the real maverick names in X5... and i definitely would've loved them to fix up Sentsuizan in X6 and better/added voices in X4-6. Oh well.

  16. I remember being super-disappointed when the X collection came out because I was looking forward to all this new stuff. Actually, I was looking forward to the X4 redub more than anything (because I can't stand the voices at all). If fact, if the X4 voices were redone and that was it, I would've been happy. But no, Capcom is ok with releasing a game a second time with horrible unfit voice acting.

  17. Uh huh. where's MM:PU2 and IHX2, hmm? Put it on the DS and the PSP.

  18. We would have Maverick Hunter X2 and MHX3 by now if Capcom was smart enough to have released MHX on the PS2/Game Cube instead of the PSP...

  19. @bowsersenemy: Here's something you might be interested in. In the original USA version of X6, the Intro Stage music has one extra guitar riff that plays during the music track. The Japanese version of the song doesn't.

  20. @Pdude:
    It still got my hopes up. =(

  21. No kidding. We wanted one awesome collection, and all we got were two crappy games. Thanks, Inafking.

    By the way, why was it so quiet? The sound through the whole collection was muffled. I think they could have fixed that easily...

  22. We wanted one awesome collection, and all we got were two crappy games. Thanks so much, Inafking.

    By the way, why was the collection so quiet? They could have fixed that easily...

  23. My heart. It's crushed. Thanks Crapcum.

  24. Thanks Inafune for removing content to support your cancelled MHX series and thanks Capcom for your amazing fan support of always taking everything away from us mega man related. Although this content was cut I still would have been a little disappointed because only X4 and X6 was getting voice acting. I mean seriously what happened to X5 that game had no voice acting at all. So why didn't anyone ask for voice acting to be put in X5? It would have been weird and annoying only hearing redubs for X4 and X6 but not X5. However completely removing the original X6 voice acting all together is stupid. Instead of getting more we got less. Thanks Robert Johnson because less is more and more is less.

    1. Nobody outside USA cares about english dub.

    2. Well megaman fans aren't nobodies. They are the reason why we have any new mega man games at all and I think that most of the megaman community cares about having good voice acting in their games.

  25. With all the buzz about a new collection, I just knew I had to look up this scandal again. It looks like it's pretty much rubbed from the current site, so I guess they didn't get the memo that the internet never forgets. I don't remember the aftermath or if it merely fizzled out, though I think I recall there being a few staunch deniers because Inafune was Inafking back then and could do no wrong. Did this turn out to be a legit collaboration that fell through or a faked wishlist that never happened? If the latter, it's pretty convincing since it points to evidence from the ports.

    1. "so I guess they didn't get the memo that the internet never forgets." Exactly! Since Capcom is releasing the X series on new gen consoles some people are hoping that they will add this content in the new versions of these games. But with Capcom's recent track record of releasing games in their "original version" I don't see that happening at all. I would love for Capcom to release a X collection with new content but they didn't even include the remixed music for Mega man 1-6 or the saturn version of Mega man 8 in the legacy collections.

  26. You know I saw an article saying that the mega man x collection from 2006 was a cash grab for not having the snes version of x3 and bonus content despite it being about $20 to $30 with seven games or something like that. But here we are having people singing the praises of the mega man x legacy collection 1 only having four games with no extra music or redubbed voice acting and being called the good collection meanwhile the second collection being called the bad collection. The standards for mega man fans have fallen. Smh

  27. Oh ye gods, I remember this shittaki storm when it went down. I remember reading Lucas's interview and that he didn't know.

    As if I needed any reminders on how and why I hate Inafune.. (aside highjacking the entire X series into Zero's series and trying to kill the main character off for eons)... ugh.

    I swear, as much as I'm upset X collection didn't do well, in retrospect? I'm now glad it didn't. I wouldn't want to see Inafune's revisioned X series and what he would do to X in order to shove Zero even further into the limelight than he already was... ugh. (Sorry. Very salty X fangirl. I am very much looking forward to an Inafune-less Capcom. T_T

    I mean he had good intentions, but really? Trashing a collection for a smaller game, that's a terrible decision. This is proof that he is a terrible business man(along other decisions like making the 2009 Bionic Commando semi sequel/reboot which didn't sell even though people at Capcom told him it was a bad idea.). I hope Capcom tries to re-implement this as an update to Legacy/Anniversary Collection. The only reasons I got the newer collection were to support a possible X9 and the X Challenge. I'll keep playing the games on emulators instead.


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