Mega Man X3

Mega Man X3
Game title:
Mega Man X3
Action, Platform
Tokuro Fujiwara, Keiji Inafune, Hayato Kaji
Kinuyo Yamashita
Game manual:
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Mega Man X3, known as Rockman X3 in Japan, is a video game released by Capcom for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The game was originally released in Japan on December 1, 1995 and later in North American and PAL regions in 1996. It is the third game in the Mega Man X series and the last to appear on the SNES. Mega Man X3 takes place in a fictional future in which the world is populated by humans and intelligent robots called 'Reploids'. Like their human creators, some Reploids involve themselves in destructive crime and are labelled as 'Mavericks'. After twice defeating the Maverick leader Sigma, the heroes Mega Man X and Zero must battle a Reploid scientist named Dr. Doppler and his utopia of Maverick followers.

Mega Man X3 follows in the tradition of both the original Mega Man series and the Mega Man X series as a standard action-platform game. The player traverses a series of eight stages in any order while gaining various power-ups and taking the special weapon of each stage's end boss. Mega Man X3 is the first game in the series in which Zero is a playable character (albeit in limited form) in addition to X. Like its predecessor, Mega Man X2, X3 features the 'Cx4' chip to allow for some limited 3D vector graphics and transparency effects.

A 32-bit version of Mega Man X3 was released on the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Windows in various countries. This version was included on the North American Mega Man X Collection in 2006. The game was also ported to Japanese mobile phones in 2010. Critical reception for Mega Man X3 has been above average. However, the game, particularly the 32-bit version, has received miscellaneous criticism from reviewers for its lack of improvements to the series.

The story of Mega Man X3 is set during the 22nd century (the year '21XX'), in which after Mega Man X2 humans coexist with intelligent robots called 'Reploids' (replicant androids). Due to their free will, some Reploids are prone to criminal activity and are said to go 'Maverick'. Dr. Cain, the inventor of the Reploids, establishes a military taskforce called the 'Maverick Hunters' to prevent it. Even after two successful efforts by the Hunters Mega Man X and Zero to stop a Maverick leader named Sigma from attempting to exterminate the human race, Maverick activity seems to continue. However, the threat of the Mavericks is later neutralized thanks to the technology of the Reploid scientist Dr. Doppler, which prevents the Mavericks from going berserk. The reformed Reploids form a utopia near their new mentor called 'Dopple Town'. It seemed that all is well until the former Reploids suddenly revert and once again begin causing trouble, even going so far as to attack Hunter headquarters. Doppler is held accountable, and X and Zero are sent out to contain the new threat.

Once the two heroes defeat Doppler and the forces that have sworn allegiance to him, the scientist comes to his senses and realizes all the damage that he has done. He explains that Sigma is alive as a computer virus, and that Doppler was corrupted in order to create a new body for Sigma. X seeks out Sigma, and after an intense battle, the Sigma Virus in its pure form chases X in an attempt to infect and possess him. Once X finds himself at a deadend, one of two things may happen. In one of the game's endings, Zero takes Doppler's true antivirus software and uploads it onto his sabre offscreen. He rushes in to save X just in time and causes Sigma to explode, destroying the lab as they evacuate. However, if Zero is injured during the game, Doppler instead uses his own body as the antivirus and sacrifices himself for the greater good.

Mega Man X3 adopts the gameplay of Mega Man X and Mega Man X2, an expansion of the gameplay model of the original Mega Man series. These action-platform games involve taking control of the protagonist X and completing a series of eight, selectable stages. Each stage has a variety of obstacles, traps, and enemy robots to fight. The stage terminates in a Maverick boss fight; defeating this boss will add a new special weapon to the player's arsenal. Each boss is particularly weak to one special weapon, so the player may complete the stages in an order that best exploits these weaknesses. The player character X retains certain abilities from past games. Namely, he is able to run, jump, dash, cling to and scale most walls, and fire his chargeable 'X-Buster' arm cannon and special weapons. The player can further upgrade X's abilities by collecting armor parts (head, body, legs, and X-Buster) found within capsules in some levels. Capsules containing special chips add new abilities as well. X is generally only able to benefit from one chip at a time, allowing the player to customize the character as needed.

Like the two previous Mega Man X games, the player can locate power-ups such as 'Heart Tanks' for extending the maximum life energy and 'Sub-Tanks' for storing energy for later use. Also returning are powerful 'Ride Armor' vehicles that can be piloted in some of the stages. Items hidden within certain levels can be collected which allow the player to summon vehicles at any time. Mega Man X3 is the first game in the series which allows the player to play as X's ally Zero, although his playability is more limited compared to later games in the series. Zero can be called to take X's place during nearly any stage, but he cannot collect any of X's armor parts or power-ups, and cannot fight mid-stage or end-stage bosses, with only one exception that grants access to a secret weapon for X. If Zero is ever defeated in battle, he will be unable to be called upon for the rest of the game.

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