Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sigma. More Than the ‘Sum’ of His Parts?

It’s the Fourth of July everyone! Happy Day of Σ!

Wait. That was yesterday? Oh... Hope you all had a great time lighting fireworks in the name of Reploid independence!

Now that Sigma is finally in Rockman X DiVE, some of you may be wanting to know about the enigmatic Maverick leader. Who was he before he rebelled against humanity? Well...

"Day of Σ"
by Zan Sidera
(Special thanks to #20 for providing Japanese resources)

Sigma and the Origin of Reploids


Sigma gained renown as the Commander of the 17th Unit of Maverick Hunters[1][2] (the 17th Elite) to which X and Zero also belonged.[2] He is Dr. Cain’s masterpiece[2]: a Special A Class Hunter once called “the strongest in history” for his overpowering combat abilities, intelligence and fighting power.[1][2]

However, some say Sigma is also the very first Reploid created by Dr. Cain. Yet, when he was introduced to us in ‘The Journal of Dr. Cain’[3] he was stated to have “the highest intelligence” and “the latest circuit designs”. Surely he cannot be the very first, right?

Ian Flynn -- head writer of Archie’s ‘Mega Man’ -- certainly seemed to think so. During the 'Dawn of X’ storyline a very different character than Sigma is depicted as the first Reploid[4], because “the very first attempt at copying X, with known shortcomings, cannot logically be one of the end-all, be-all super reploids.”[5]

Similarly, the novelization (‘Irregulars Report’) introduced the character of ‘Alpha’ to fulfill the first Reploid role.[6] As his debut work, Cain had been “constantly updating” Alpha and putting him “center stage”.[7] Even so, with the creation of Cain’s masterpiece Reploid, a jealous resentment began to grow in his heart.[8] Alpha was unable to keep up with progress.

Where then did this idea come from? It seems like it started cropping up when Capcom Production Studio 3 took reigns of the series. In the ‘Rockman X Cyber Mission Complete Strategy Guide’ it is written: “Sigma whom Dr. Cain created is the No.1 Reploid”.[9] And the idea has seemingly persisted to this day, as shown in ‘Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite’. “Sigma was the first and most powerful Reploid created by reverse-engineering X.”[10]

Such statements by themselves have proven to be rather inconclusive, though. While “No.1” (第1号)[9] can definitely be read as first, depending on the context, it can also be interpreted as best and greatest, matching Sigma’s usual description. Likewise, the quote from ‘Infinite’ is better translated to: “Sigma is the strongest repliroid that was created for the first time after the analysis of X.”[10] This leaves us none the wiser.

Still, that’s not all we have to go on!

The ‘Rockman X6 Complete Strategy Guide’ paints a picture with more definitive context, courtesy of Hunter Commander Signas narrating “The Birth of Reploids” to us as part of the “History of X”[11]:

“Based on X excavated from ancient ruins, Dr. Cain succeeds in developing robots with emotions, the Reploids. The first one (第1号) is X's greatest enemy, Sigma.”[12]
“Using the data from the blue robot called X as his base, Dr. Cain manufactures Sigma. A robot born with the highest abilities, without comparison from all prior robots. The general term for that robot became known as "Reploid”.”[13]

These two quotes appear to reference an earlier entry in The Journal of Dr. Cain[14], wherein the first Reploid is described as having “unlimited strength and intelligence”. A very Sigma-like description. Perhaps this idea of Sigma being first has some merit, after all? If only different developers could come to a consensus... The detail is curiously omitted from Inti’s version of events, for example.[15]

So, what do you all think? Was Sigma truly the first Reploid, or is that just a misinterpretation? If he indeed first, then how did he manage to maintain his status as the strongest? Was he -- like Alpha -- constantly upgraded over time, or did Cain just never make a Reploid better than his first? Would this lack of progress affect Sigma’s ‘philosophy of evolution’ in any way?

Share us your thoughts!


Sigma was at one time the Commander of the Irregular Hunter 17th Unit. A Special A Class Hunter, he was called the strongest in history due to his overpowering combat abilities, and gained the confidence and respect of his fellow repliroids. However, on a certain day, he suffered a defeat in battle by an unidentified unknown red irregular (Zero) that tore at his proud ego. At that time he was infected by some manner of virus that facilitates irregularity, germinating wickedness in his heart. Several months later, Sigma was completely enslaved by the evil virus, and used his overwhelming strength and genius intellect to subdue many repliroids into joining him in a revolt against humanity.
- Rockman X4 X to Z Kouryaku File
(translated by marshmallow man)

The commanding officer of the 17th special forces of which X and Zero belong, called Dr. Smith's masterpiece, his intelligence and fighting power are the greatest of all Repliroids in history. He is the leader of the evil plan to kill off the human race.
Capcom Sound Series Rockman X1
(translated by FireMan)

February 16th
The council has now decided to set up a group of "Hunters" to destroy any maverick before it can cause injury. The reploid named Sigma has assigned to lead the Hunters. Sigma is one of the most intelligent reploids I've created and contains my latest circuit designs. His systems should be immune to any problems."
At last the council has settled on a countermeasure.
They’ve decided to establish a “Hunter” group, and destroy Repliroids that have gone Irregular before they can inflict harm on a human.
A Repliroid called Sigma has been appointed as the leader of the Hunters.
Sigma is a Repliroid of the highest intelligence, with the latest circuit designs.
Sigma has the talent to cope with any problem.
- Mega Man X / Rockman X
(translated by Rockman Elysium)

Ian Flynn: Which makes absolutely no sense and contradicts some of the other material.
No, that reploid being assembled is neither Vile nor Sigma.

Ian Flynn: Part of it is Sigma coming after X, as folks have already pointed out. The underlying "flaw" of the entire reploid line is that Cain couldn't perfectly replicate Dr. Light's work on X. The very first attempt at copying X, with known shortcomings, cannot logically be one of the end-all, be-all super reploids.

Secondly, Sigma was built to be the ultimate answer to the Maverick issue. He was built to be smart enough and powerful enough to lead the Hunters and defeat anything that went Maverick. How could he built to do all that before there were reploids/Mavericks/Hunters?

I was able to supplement the “black box” thinking program of X with something I developed on my own, and finally developed the very 1st of the new age thinking robots, to then showcase it to the whole world. I named him “Alpha”, based on how X meant the unknown number. “Alpha” had a “human-likeness” beyond that of what I’d expected, and overwhelmed people across the world, and the replicant thinking robots which imitate humans, usually called “Reploids”, were accepted as partners of a new age, and this day marked the beginning of competitions between scientists across the world to develop Reploids.
- Rockman X The Novel Irregulars Report
(translated by Sidier)

Alpha is my debut work so I’ve been constantly updating him while making him be the center stage
- Rockman X The Novel Irregulars Report
(translated by Sidier)

“Well then, why!? Why did you say that Sigma was your masterpiece!?”
“While it’s true that Sigma is a masterpiece, there’s no superiority or inferiority between you and him!”
“Don’t lie! Who’d believe such words!?”
- Rockman X The Novel Irregulars Report
(translated by Sidier)

If you exclude X and Zero as Repliroids, Sigma whom Dr. Cain created is the No.1 Repliroid.
He was called the strongest in history and was the captain of the 17th Unit of Irregular Hunters
- Rockman X Cyber Mission Kanzen Kouryaku Guide

Sigma was the first and most powerful Reploid created by reverse-engineering X.
Sigma is the strongest repliroid that was created for the first time after the analysis of X. 
- Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite

Signas: Let me show you the various data I have prepared. I would like you to know the history and various things up to 21XX
シグナス: 私の用意したさまざまなデータをお見せしよう。21XX年までの歴史や諸事などを知っていただきたい
- Rockman X6 Kanzen Kouryaku Guide

Birth of Repliroids
Based on X excavated from ancient ruins, Dr. Cain succeeds in developing robots with emotions, the Repliroids. The first one is X's greatest enemy, Sigma.
- Rockman X6 Kanzen Kouryaku Guide

Sigma completed
Birth of Repliroids
Using the data from the blue robot called X as his base, Dr. Cain manufactures Sigma. A robot born with the highest abilities, without comparison from all prior robots. The general term for that robot became known as "Repliroid."
- Rockman X6 Kanzen Kouryaku Guide

November 22nd   
With X's help I have completed my first "Reploid." Although I don't completely understand how all of Dr. Light's systems works, I was able to make some minor modifications and the reploid seems to be functioning perfectly. His strength and intelligence seem limitless and he is fully able to make his own decisions. In fact, we got into our first argument. How intriguing!
With Rockman X as a reference, I’ve completed the first robot “Repliroid.”
It doesn’t mean I completely understand how the system Dr. Light built operates.
I tried making a few small revisions to the system.
Thereupon, the Repliroid became fully functional.
The Repliroid has unlimited strength and intelligence, and seems fully able to make decisions.
The Repliroid can even debate.
I actually debated it.
What a splendid robot it is.
- Mega Man X / Rockman X
(translated by Rockman Elysium)

1XX years ago
The birth of Reploids
Dr. Cain carried out his research of X, and using this created highly advanced robots called "Reploids."


  1. I prefer to believe Sigma as the first Reploid. Not only would it make logical sense for the rest of the Reploid line to get funded (by getting military funding to build a combat machine), but symbolically as well, mirroring Adam and Eve.

  2. Gotta agree with Ian flynn and the novelisation writer here, it would be strange for the first reploid to be dr.Caïn's magnum opus. Even taking in account reploids ability to evolve, Aside from X, mechanical limitation would eventually catch up to them.
    I Always thought Sigma was created after the few firsts Maverick outbreaks, when Caïn realised there would be a need for a peacekeeping forces with a super strong leader.

    1. Yeah, I agree. It doesn't make sense that Sigma would be the first. More like, he is the greatest of the 1st generation, perhaps. Or the 1st of the Irregular Hunters.

      Guess it will always be one of those canon curiosities.

  3. Honestly, the only explanation i coukd see for Sigma really being the first reploid created by Cain, and remaining the strongest until his defection would be that the body he has in X1 was already not his first one, but that would create various plot-holes.

    1. That's an interesting proposal, at least.

  4. I don't like the idea of Sigma being the first of Cain's reploids. It seems to just follow the idea that older robots are just better in the X series. While X and Zero have a fair justification for that, being the last ones made by true genius robotic pioneers: Sigma wouldn't. Even if it's argued Sigma is a prototype, thus had more resources dedicated to him: and serendipity just had Cain get it so right on his first try? Well my problem would shift to being he didn't become a standard template for other reploids.

    Not that I don't believe Sigma being the first reploid couldn't work with more layers of detail behind it. Like introducing Sigma as an example of a reploid determining his own path in life and doing the same thing X does later. Join the Hunters and become the ultimate Hunter rather than just being created as it. Still: when I have to write my own fanfiction to make sense of a conflicted lore detail? I'd just as soon ignore it.

  5. Why would the first Reploid be named after the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet? Even if you go by mathematic meanings, like X representing an unknown, Sigma is the sum of a sequence of numbers. If I wrote...


    then that would mean that you'd start at x and go up to the number placed above Σ. 1+2+3+4+5=Σ

    There's a lot of other things to do with sigma, too, but the point is that, if you look at the meaning of it and its placement in the alphabet, it doesn't really make sense to use as the name for the *first* Reploid.

    Also, considering that Cain built the first Reploid with X's help, I'd expect more angst from X at having a hand in his greatest enemy's creation. That'd make Sigma something like his son, if he helped design and built the 'bot.

  6. Huh. Never noticed RiCO was wearing karai pantsu, before now…

    Anyway. All I have to say on the matter is, if Sigma was the "first Reploid," then where did all those other Reploids that had to be hunted down and destroy come from? I mean, Dr. Cain wouldn't have any reason to form the Maverick Hunters unless there were Mavericks to hunt, but if Sigma was his "best-and-brightest," why would he bother making more, inferior models?

    So, yeah. Multi-Reploid Theory, over here~

    1. A mass-produced workforce would have been required either way.

    2. Okay, but why would they have to be self-aware? Why not just make simple machines with limited, reactive AI? It makes absolutely no sense to have a whole population of fully-sentient artificial humans where one and a bunch of "dumb machines" would work just as well.

    3. They already had those machines. Cain wanted smarter ones.

  7. I can think of a compromise: Sigma was the first "combat" Reploid created by Dr. Cain. Problem solved.

    1. I honestly think that's what was initially meant. Like "When mavericks outbreaks starteed hapening, Cain realised there would be a need for law-enforcement force and designed the would-be leader of said force as the first Maverick Hunter"

    2. Sigma's completion is listed alongside the birth of Repliroids. Cain's Journal also implies Sigma is an existing Reploid by the time the Hunters are founded.


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