Wow, can’t believe how slow I am on this…
I just noticed, in all the coverage of X8… it looks like you don’t have to rescue Reploids anymore.
This both thrills me, and disappoints me.
It thrills me because frankly, ever since they went the MMZ1 route of “get the job done the first time, or don’t get it done, period” in X6, it’s been more frustrating than it’s worth. Especially when it came to improving your arsenal, which it seems they felt was better done this way than by defeating bosses.
It seems that the purpose served by rescuing Reploids is now better served by gathering metals(which seem to be different from Force Metals, believe it or not), to “purchase” your upgrades.
However, the loss of the “rescue” mentality actually saddens me more. I always liked the general idea, I just felt the execution was lacking. And maybe I’m biased, because this is one of those ideas I had before Capcom did, though I admit I hardly originated the idea in itself; I got the idea from a combination of the Super NES game Blackthorne(sp), and Maelgrim’s fanfiction “The Robot War,” in which one of the first things Rock did upon touching down in the compound Cut Man had taken over was to rescue a man and his two young daughters, who managed to survive the initial onslaught of Wily’s takeover.
Of course, they’d still give you items now and again, but at the very least, they didn’t die forever in my version.
Besides giving stages a sense of replay value in X6, as opposed to X5 where the Reploids just came back, rescuing them gave the game a greater sense of war, I feel, in that there were finally innocents involved out there in the battleground that had always been previously absent. Before it was just X(and Zero), the Mechaniloids, and the boss.
Unfortunately, though, I always felt part of the problem was in the theme. In other words, I think that rescuing Reploids was a real load of crap. We play as Maverick Hunters, who strive to protect the humans from the forces of the Mavericks. That’s how the story goes, and that’s what the games have for the longest time been missing… humans. And personally, I feel there was no better way to actually implement humans into the X series than by way of the rescue system. Finally give them a true role in the conflict of the games. Maybe use the humans to, well, give the games a sense of humanity, such as it is.
If anyone’s read the translated X manga over at Dr. Neko’s, you can even see humans present there.
It’s sort of ironic, in a way. On the one hand, there’s the TransFormers, a series about two factions of warring robots, that 9 times out of 10, involves humans in some way, shape, or form, whether the fans want them or not. Then we have Mega Man X, in which humans are always mentioned in the plot, usually as a catalyst, but we never see any.
Maybe they want to avoid the backlash of sorts that follows with every set of Armada Kids or something. But really, I doubt that thought has ever even entered their minds.
So, if the rescue system really is gone from the X series, I do feel that it’s really too bad, because I think that it would have been of great benefit to the series… had they used it to build on another weakness of the series.