Mega Man X5

Mega Man X5, known as Rockman X5 (ロックマンX5) in Japan, is a video game developed by Capcom. It is the fifth main installment in the Mega Man X series. It was first released for the PlayStation in Japan on November 30, 2000 and in North America and PAL territories the following year.

Mega Man X5
North American PlayStation cover art
Developer(s)Capcom Production Studio 3
Director(s)Koji Okohara
Producer(s)Tatsuya Minami
Designer(s)Toyozumi Sakai
Akiteru Naka
Artist(s)Haruki Suetsugu
Ryuji Higurashi
Composer(s)Naoto Tanaka
Naoya Kamisaka
Takuya Miyawaki
SeriesMega Man X
Platform(s)PlayStation, Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
  • KOR: August 15, 2001
Genre(s)Action, platform

Mega Man X5 is set in the 22nd century in a world where humans coexist with humanoid androids called "Reploids". Daily life is under a constant threat of these Reploids going "Maverick" and participating in dangerous and deadly crime. After the events of Mega Man X4, the Maverick leader Sigma has been revived and seeks to unlock the true power of the former Maverick Zero and destroy the hero X in the process. To make matters worse, Sigma has set the space colony Eurasia on a 16-hour collision course with Earth. It is up to X and Zero to stop Sigma once again and save the planet from destruction. Like its predecessors, Mega Man X5 is an action-platform game in which the player controls either protagonist through a series of eight, selectable stages and wins the special weapon of each stage's boss. However, the game only offers limited number of stage attempts before the player must deal with the colony.

According to Capcom producer Keiji Inafune, Mega Man X5 was originally intended to be the final game in the Mega Man X saga. Critical reception for the game was lukewarm, with many reviewers agreeing that the stale gameplay formula will only further satisfy diehard fans of the series. Mega Man X5 was ported to the Microsoft Windows as retail packages in 2002 in both Japan and North America. It was also re-released in 2006 as part of the Mega Man X Collection for the GameCube and PlayStation 2. Mega Man X5 was made available on the PlayStation Network as part of the PSOne Classics line for North America and Japan in 2014. It became available for Windows via Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch as a part of Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 on July 24, 2018 worldwide and July 26, 2018 in Japan.[6][7]


Several months have passed since the events of Mega Man X4. The series' primary antagonist, Sigma, has been revived once again, and conducts research on the origin of the "Maverick Hunter" Zero. He decides to attempt to unlock Zero's true power, hoping to destroy X in the process. Sigma attacks the Hunters directly, but intentionally loses, thus spreading the Sigma Virus across the Earth and throwing it into chaos. Meanwhile, a Reploid mercenary named Dynamo is hired by Sigma to cause a space colony, Eurasia, to collide with Earth in 16 hours. To prevent Eurasia from striking the planet, the Hunters pursue two options: fire a powerful cannon called "Enigma" at Eurasia and vaporize it, or if the Enigma fails, launch a space shuttle and pilot it into the colony, destroying it. To maximize their chances, X and Zero are dispatched to collect parts for the two devices with the aid of their new teammates Alia, Douglas, and Signas. The necessary parts to upgrade the Enigma and shuttle are held by eight Mavericks, and X and Zero must defeat them to claim the parts.[8]

Whether the Enigma and shuttle succeed or fail is randomly determined by the game. Obtaining the parts increases the chances of success, but the Enigma and shuttle can be used at any time, even before any Mavericks are defeated. The following scenarios can occur:

  • The Enigma is fired and will either succeed and completely destroy Eurasia, or fail and only destroy part of it.
    • If the Enigma succeeds, Eurasia is destroyed, but this releases the Zero Virus.
    • If the Enigma fails, Eurasia's orbit will shift slightly and its impending impact will be delayed. In this scenario, Signas will begin the space shuttle plan, and X and Zero are dispatched to recover the parts.
  • Like the Enigma, the shuttle can either succeed or fail.
    • If the shuttle succeeds, 86% of Eurasia is destroyed and Earth is no longer in danger. Zero, who pilots the shuttle, safely returns, but some remains from Eurasia still crash into Earth, devastating its ecosystems and spreading pollution all over the planet. (The events of Mega Man X6 show this is the scenario that actually occurred.)
    • If the shuttle fails, only part of Eurasia is destroyed and crashes into Earth, causing a disaster as most Reploids and humans are wiped out. Zero becomes a Maverick.
  • If time runs out, Eurasia crashes into Earth, and the planet barely survives. Zero becomes a Maverick.

Whether the Enigma and shuttle succeed or fail, a new virus appears on the Earth, dubbed the "Zero Virus" by Alia. The location of the virus' origin is discovered, and the Hunters investigate a bizarre underground fortress (if Zero became a Maverick, only X is playable for the remainder of the game). Deep inside the fortress, X and Zero cross paths, where mutual suspicion and mistrust leads to a duel between the heroes.[9]

After the duel, Sigma appears to try and take advantage of the situation, and the story diverges slightly.

  • If Zero became a Maverick, he sacrifices himself to save X, and X continues on alone to defeat Sigma.[10]
  • If Zero did not become a Maverick, he saves X and himself from Sigma, and both have a chance to confront Sigma.[11]

The game has three possible endings:

  • If Zero became a Maverick, X defeats Sigma alone, but is badly damaged. Dr. Light appears and repairs him, but deletes all of his memories of Zero.[12]
  • If Zero did not become a Maverick, Sigma tries to make the Hunters' victory for naught by taking them both down with him. Zero manages to finish Sigma off, and the endings diverge again depending on the player character.[13]
    • If X defeats Sigma, he inherits Zero's beam saber and continues to fight as a Maverick Hunter.[14] (The events of Mega Man X6 show this is the scenario that actually occurred).
    • If Zero defeats Sigma, he reflects on his origin and life, with visions of a blurred Dr. Wily and Iris, before dying.


The main gameplay remains similar to previous installments, with some changes:

  • X and Zero can duck.
  • X and Zero's shots will not travel through walls.
  • Unlike X4, the player can freely switch between both the shooter X and the swordsman Zero when selecting a stage,[15] but the choice of character at the beginning of the game permanently affects the other character.
    • If X is chosen, Zero loses the ability to fire his Z-Buster.
    • If Zero is chosen, X loses his armor from Mega Man X4, called the "Fourth Armor" by the game.
  • There are four available armors for X—the Fourth Armor, Falcon Armor, Gaia Armor, and Ultimate Armor.
    • The Falcon and Gaia Armors must be assembled from Dr. Light's upgrade capsules in four parts, but unlike previous Mega Man X series games, X cannot wear the new armors until they are fully assembled. Zero can enter the upgrade capsules to download the data for later use by X, but cannot use the armors himself.
    • The Ultimate Armor is obtained via a cheat code entered at the beginning of the game or from a special capsule that can be found near the end of the game.
  • Zero can receive a black armor, either with the use of a cheat code at the beginning of the game (like in X4), or by entering Dr. Light's Ultimate Armor capsule. Unlike X4, in which it was purely aesthetic, the black armor in X5 will upgrade his defensive and offensive power, increase his weapon energy, and grant him the Shock Buffer, Shot Eraser, and Virus Buster parts even if not previously obtained.
  • Sigma Viruses appear in levels which can infect X and Zero:
    • If X is infected, he will enter a state where his health rapidly declines.
    • If Zero is infected, he becomes briefly invincible, with increased attack power.
  • Performance during stages will be graded based on completion time, damage taken, and mavericks destroyed, modifying X and Zero's "hunter ranks" which are initially B and SA respectively.
  • Mavericks will have a "level" based on the time remaining to destroy the Engima, hunter rank, and number of previous Mavericks defeated. Mavericks of high enough level will grant weapon and life upgrades when defeated, and Mavericks of even higher level will grant special "parts" when defeated that enhance X and Zero's abilities.


Mega Man X5 was originally meant to be the last game of the Mega Man X series. As stated by producer Keiji Inafune, "I had very little to do with X5. I just told the team to 'finish off the series with this title,' and left it at that. That's why the game itself has a real feel of finality to it."[2] However, Capcom decided to publish Mega Man X6 the following year, in which Zero survived his fight from X5, much to the dismay of Inafune.[16] Haruki Suetsugu, an artist for Mega Man X4, designed nearly all of the characters and promotional artwork for Mega Man X5. Suetsugu added various details to set the characters apart from one another.[2] X's new Falcon Armor was designed by Ryuji Higurashi, who wanted it to resemble a bird with beak-shaped chest piece, wings coming out of the back, and a talon-like arm cannon. Suetsugu designed the Gaea Armor, which was meant to resemble Sanagiman from the Inazuman manga series.[2] The Maverick bosses in the English localization of Mega Man X5 are named after members of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses.[2][17] Capcom voice actress Alyson Court, who was involved in the game's localization, came up with the new names as a tribute to her then-husband's love of the band.[18] For the Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 release, the Maverick Bosses names were changed to translations of their original Japanese names.[19]

The musical score for Mega Man X5 was composed by Naoto Tanaka, Naoya Kamisaka, and Takuya Miyawaki. The Japanese version of Mega Man X5 features one opening theme, "Monkey", and one closing theme, "Mizu no Naka" (水の中, Inside the Water), both composed and performed by Showtaro Morikubo and his band Mosquito Milk.[20] All of the game's instrumental and vocal music was compiled on the Capcom Music Generation: Rockman X1 ~ X6 soundtrack released by Suleputer in 2003.[21] The theme songs were also included on the Rockman Theme Song Collection, published by Suleputer in 2002.[22]


Aggregate score
Review scores
GamePro     [27]
OPM (US)     [30]

Mega Man X5 was generally well-received, with IGN giving the game an 8.5 out of 10. However, they added that though the game was fun to play, it was "more of the same" from Capcom, and that Mega Man, like many other series made by Capcom, was being milked for as much as it was worth.[29] GameSpot similarly commented that "Fans of the classic 2D games will no doubt find much to love in X5, while those who can't get into the aging conventions and mechanics probably won't care a great deal for it."[15] The Official UK PlayStation Magazine said that the game was "unforgivably primitive".

According to the Japanese publication Famitsu, Mega Man X5 was the third best-selling video game in Japan during its release week at 46,033 copies sold.[32] It placed at number eight the following week with an additional 22,963 copies sold.[33] Media Create sales information showed that the game was 96th best-selling video game in Japan during 2000.[34] Dengeki Online reported that Mega Man X5 sold a total of 215,687 copies in Japan by the end of 2001, listing it as the 132nd best-selling game of the year in the region.[35] The game was eventually re-released as part of Sony's PlayStation The Best for Family range of budget titles in Japan.[36] Toy Retail Sales Tracking (TRST) sales data showed that Mega Man X5 was the fifth best-selling PlayStation game in North America for the month of February 2001.[37] The game was included on the North American Mega Man X Collection for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 in 2006.[38]


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  7. ^ Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2 launch July 24th Archived 2018-04-11 at the Wayback Machine -Capcom Unity
  8. ^ Capcom (January 2001). Mega Man X5 (Sony PlayStation). Capcom. Alia: We have no choice... For the sake of the world, we must destroy the Colony! ... But the only weapon we have in the Hunter Base that still works is... ... The Enigma... And it's very old. We also have a space shuttle. But, it's been affected by the Virus, and the Auto-Pilot function doesn't work... So we need someone to fly it to the Colony and let it collide... It's almost certain death, but we have no other choice. / Signas: How's the condition of the Enigma? / Douglas: Far from perfect... In order to use the Enigma, we need to build it up with some devices. The Enigma doesn't work as is. / Signas: Under the influence of the Sigma Virus, a lot of Maverick Hunters have become Mavericks, and only a few hunters remain normal. Let's join forces with the rest of our brothers and complete the Enigma!
  9. ^ Capcom (January 2001). Mega Man X5 (Sony PlayStation). Capcom. X: Why weren't you damaged even though you have been infected by the virus? In fact, you have become more powerful with the infection?! Why?! This isn't the time to fight when we have a mission to accomplish, but... I'll bring you back by any means. / Zero: You say you'll bring me back to the base even if you have to fight me? X, you can't dare to fight me. Your big heart. That is your kindness and your weakness. I'm okay...Trust me. / X: Zero... I don't want to lose you... I'm really worried about you...... and I do trust you...That's why I have to fight you here to bring you back.
  10. ^ Capcom (January 2001). Mega Man X5 (Sony PlayStation). Capcom. Sigma: You'd almost fully evolved to your true self... It's a shame you didn't quite make it, Zero. You had so much potential. Oh well, farewell!'s only you now, X... I will let you live this time. But I won't be so kind next time, and there WILL be a next time! See you soon! You... The strongest Reploid! Bwah ha ha!
  11. ^ Sigma: Blast! I haven't completed you... I will retreat for now... Somehow I know you two will come again. I'll be waiting for you, ha ha ha... / Zero: Wait! Sigmaaaa! ...I WILL defeat you ... without fail!!. Mega Man X5.
  12. ^ Capcom (January 2001). Mega Man X5 (Sony PlayStation). Capcom. Hunter B: ...You see? Captain Zero and Captain X are both special A level Hunters for all to see. You worked together and solved a lot of problems. / X: I remember Sigma. His name doesn't leave me... But I don't have any memory of Zero. Maybe whoever repaired me deleted the data by mistake.
  13. ^ Capcom (January 2001). Mega Man X5 (Sony PlayStation). Capcom. Sigma: Gha ha ha ha ha! X seems to be somewhere close... The three of us can die together... You won't feel lonely if X is with you... / Zero: No! Leave X out of this! / Sigma: Time to go! Say goodbye, Zero! Ghaa ha ha ha ha ha!!
  14. ^ Capcom (January 2001). Mega Man X5 (Sony PlayStation). Capcom. X: I can face any enemy now... I will feel this way... as long as I have this Saber... I'll do it today, Zero... with you...! Forever...We'll be together...Zero...
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  17. ^ Hoffman, Chris (January 2008). "Mega Man 20/20". Nintendo Power. No. 224. Future Publishing. p. 63.
  18. ^ Goulter, Tom (May 2, 2011). "Guns 'n' Roses/Mega Man X5 mystery solved by... Claire Redfield". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  19. ^ Mega Man Undoes One Of Its Weirdest Choices With New X Collection Archived 2018-06-28 at the Wayback Machine -Gamespot
  20. ^ "モスキート・ミルク「Monkey/水の中」" (in Japanese). Suleputer. Archived from the original on 2003-08-04. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  21. ^ "カプコン ミュージック ジェネレーション ロックマンX1~6 オリジナル・サウンドトラック" (in Japanese). Suleputer. Archived from the original on 2003-12-14. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  22. ^ ロックマンテーマソング集<ロックマン15周年記念> [Rockman Theme Song Collection <Rockman 15th Anniversary>] (in Japanese). Suleputer. Archived from the original on August 10, 2003. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
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