Mega Man X/Storyline

StorylineEdit

Dr. Thomas Light and the "Advanced Robot" project of the 21st CenturyEdit

Dr. Thomas Light, the co-father of Light Labs and modern robotics (with Dr. Albert W. Wily), was the designer of many great inventions during his lifetime. He and Dr. Wily were responsible for the creation of the Robot Masters in the 2000s, a project which created artificial, humanoid beings with advanced AI that could complete very complex tasks unlike other, more simplistic robots. Thus, these inventions became the highlight of the career of Dr. Light, though Wily would revolt by the end of the decade (circa 2008), leading to nearly a decade of fighting between robots (and in some cases humans) known as the Wily Wars. It was during this time that Dr. Light converted one of the first Robot Masters, Rock, a helpful lab assistant, into a fighting robot known as Mega Man.

In his later years, sometime most likely in the 2020s (though this is not certain, yet this would make sense as Light was born circa 1958), Dr. Light worked on a project creating a far more advanced Artificial Intelligence. This project took a great deal of work, but in the end, Light produced an AI far more advanced than anything that the world had ever seen- yet the world of the current era would not see it. This AI possessed the ability to make its own decisions in life, to forge its own destiny, and even feel emotions. Thus, the being would not have to follow the laws of robotics like other artificial beings would.

 
Mega Man X's blueprints and his specs as stored on Dr. Light's computer in the 21st century (around the 2020s).

Thomas Light did create a body for the artificial being that was somewhat similar to the original Mega Man in design, though of course quite advanced. Once the project was completed, he decided to seal it in a capsule for a period of 30 years, knowing that he would not live to finish his research on the project and to be able to determine whether or not it would be safe to introduce such an advanced being to the world. Thus, it was his hope that someone in the next half of the century would be able to unseal the being, whom he named Mega Man X, and learn from him and further continue his research.

Light included this message with X in the capsule:

  • "X" IS THE FIRST OF A NEW GENERATION OF ROBOTS WHICH CONTAIN AN INNOVATIVE NEW FEATURE - THE ABILITY TO THINK, FEEL AND MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS. HOWEVER THIS ABILITY COULD BE VERY DANGEROUS. IF "X" WERE TO BREAK THE FIRST RULE OF ROBOTICS, "A ROBOT MUST NEVER HARM A HUMAN BEING", THE RESULTS WOULD BE DISASTROUS AND I FEAR THAT NO FORCE ON EARTH COULD STOP HIM.

APPROXIMATELY 30 YEARS WILL BE REQUIRED BEFORE WE CAN SAFELY CONFIRM HIS RELIABILITY. UNFORTUNATELY I WILL NOT LIVE TO SEE THAT DAY, NOR DO I HAVE ANYONE TO CARRY ON MY WORK. THEREFORE, I HAVE DECIDED TO SEAL HIM IN THIS CAPSULE, WHICH WILL TEST HIS INTERNAL SYSTEMS UNTIL HIS RELIABILITY HAS BEEN CONFIRMED. PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB THE CAPSULE UNTIL THAT TIME. "X" POSSESSES GREAT RISKS AS WELL AS GREAT POSSIBILITIES. I CAN ONLY HOPE FOR THE BEST.

  • SEPTEMBER 18, 20XX
  • T.LIGHT

Light seals X in the capsule for an intended 30 years, but due to events unspecified by Capcom, X remains sealed in the capsule throughout the 21st century and into the early 22nd century until his discovery by an archaeologist named Dr. Cain in the ruins of Dr. Light's lab.

Dr. Albert W. Wily and the "Advanced Robot" project of the 21st CenturyEdit

It should be similarly noted that during this time, around the end of the Wily Wars and during the next decade, Dr. Wily was working on a project to create an advanced robot as well with a truly advanced AI. This robot would be considered part of his Special Wily Series, or if some wish to classify it as such, the Rockman Killer Series (as its purpose was to destroy Mega Man).

Wily first experimented with this new project when he discovered a powerful element known as Bassnium, and through experimenting with what it can do with a power source, he created an accidental robot named Bass. Bass was an extremely powerful robot, who was accompanied by a robotic wolf-type robot named Treble, though in the end they never managed to defeat Mega Man.

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Zero, under construction by Albert W. Wily in the 21st century- image courtesy of Rockman 2: The Power Fighters for the Arcade, 1996.

Wily secondly created a robot known as the Robot King and sent him on a mission to take over the world, building a robotic utopia, but Bass in his arrogance to prove he was the strongest robot, joined Mega Man in toppling King, and thus King was defeated and joined Mega Man's side of the Wily Wars. Wily then revealed to Bass that King was designed in order to see whether Bass was the strongest creation or not.

Later, however, Wily does begin construction of a robot that he calls Zero, a robot infinitely more powerful than anything people had ever seen, and one that Bass describes upon seeing it as "girly." However, it is not specified by Capcom as to what happens to this robot after Wily finishes its construction, though later it is discovered in the early 22nd century.

The Greatest Archaeological Find of the 22nd Century?Edit

It is not specified what happens to Dr. Light after he seals X in the capsule in the first half of the 21st century, though given his age at the time it would stand to reason that he died probably within the next decade or so. Still, this leaves questions as to what happened to Mega Man, Roll, Proto Man, and his other creations. Did they go to "live" with Dr. Sergi Cossack, Light's colleague and good friend who was a bit younger than he was? Capcom never has given an answer as to what happens in the nearly one-hundred years between the X series and the Classic series, so some of it is left to speculation and the imagination of fans.

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Dr. Cain, premier archaeologist of the 21st and 22nd century and founder of the Reploid Race

What is known, however, is that somehow Dr. Light's lab ends up being buried underground during the mid-to-late 21st century (perhaps there is a war of some kind that destroys the city that Light Labs was located in?), and thus X, who was supposed to be reawakened within 30 years of being sealed, remains sealed up for far longer than intended.

It was then that a man by the name of Dr. Cain entered the scene. Dr. Cain was most likely born sometime in the mid-21st Century (he is depicted in the Mega Man X games as a man most likely in his mid-60s), and according to the manual of the games he was an archaeologist particularly interested in studying the Mesozoic Era. He was one of the foremost scientists of the later 21st Century (20XX), but it was not until the early 22nd Century (21XX according to the story of Mega Man X for the Super Nintendo) that Cain made the greatest discovery of his career.

Sometime shortly after the date 2114 AD, most likely 2115 AD (2105, 2109, 2114 is stated as the copyright information by the NOM Computers corporation on the computer upon which Cain is using, so his computer is most likely not brand-new but also not by any means outdated as he is a scientist, so the date 2115 is a safe bet to place the beginning events of the series), Dr. Cain comes upon the ruins of Dr. Thomas Light's lab while examining fossilized plant life from the Mesozoic Era. According to "The Journal of Dr. Cain", from April 10th to 14th of that year (21XX officially, though most likely 2115), Cain and his research/excavation team examined the ruins, and on the 14th they came across a capsule that contained an intact artificial being- Mega Man X. Cain read the research notes of Thomas Light, and after being aware of the warnings the good doctor left behind, he unsealed the capsule and activated X and held many conversations with him and was intrigued...

Mega Man X and the ReploidsEdit

According to Cain's journal, he continues to study X after he discovers him, and thus eight months after he and his crew came upon the ruins of Dr. Light's lab (December of 2115, though officially 21XX), Dr. Cain builds the first Reploid based on X's design. Reploids are artificial beings based on the design of Mega Man X, hence replications of his design. The first reploid he designed was called Sigma.

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Sigma, the first Reploid created by Dr. Cain

Sigma was the first Reploid to be created- a robot that, like X, was much more advanced than anything the world had ever seen. Sigma was based entirely on the design of X but with several modifications (essentially, Cain took the technology, such as the advanced AI, that was used to construct X, and "replicated" it to produce Sigma with variations).

The world was astounded by these new artificial beings, and thus, two months after Cain's creation of Sigma (February of 2116, officially 21XX), Dr. Cain opens the first Reploid assembly line and they start to become commonplace around the world.

However, only one month passes before Mavericks appear- those who willfully choose not to follow the laws of robotics (a condition that Dr. Light had warned about since these advanced artificial beings possessed complete and total free will). Thus, in March of 2116 (officially 21XX), Cain consented to the Council's wish and formed an elite group of military-type Reploids known as the Maverick Hunters, in order to quell the Maverick riots taking place. Cain places Sigma in charge of the Hunters one month later, in April of 2116 (officially 21XX).

At an unspecified date, Cain's team discovers the ruins of Dr. Wily's lab. The Maverick Hunters are sent to investigate, and upon entering they discover a reploid named Zero. Zero takes out many of the Hunters, so Sigma himself enters the ruins and goes to battle against the maverick, almost being defeated by him, but due to a malfunctioning crystal with a "Dr. W" logo on his head (revealed in detail in the section about Zero), Sigma overpowers and defeats him. The defeat spreads a virus to Sigma, which at first becomes known as the Sigma Virus, but later more accurately as the Zero Virus. Sigma brings Zero back to Dr. Cain at Hunter HQ and Cain repairs him and fixes him so that he will no longer go Maverick. Thus, Zero thenceforth becomes one of the leading Maverick Hunters.

The Maverick RebellionEdit

On June 4th, 2119 (4 years after X's discovery by Dr. Cain, officially 21XX), the first large-scale organized Maverick revolt occurs. The Council believes that some Reploids go "Maverick" because they freely choose to do evil (just as humans can choose to do so), thus they rebel against their human creators. However, it is suspected that Cain's replication of X's design to produce these artificial beings may have produced small quirks that causes them to malfunction. Additionally, there begins to be a hint of a computer virus infecting a few of these artificial beings, though the source of the virus is as of yet unknown.

Unfortunately, Sigma, the leader of the Maverick Hunters, goes missing and turns to lead the Mavericks! Thus, Dr. Cain turns to Zero, who had been training under Sigma's wing, and promotes him to be the leader of the Hunters. Thus, Zero takes X with him (who is reluctant to fight) and the two lead the Hunters off on a campaign as ordered by Cain and the government to stamp out the revolt before it gets out of hand and innocent lives are lost.

 
X and Zero fighting Mavericks- image courtesy of Mega Man X: Command Mission

As it turns out, Sigma was possessed by the virus that he was infected with when he encountered Zero in the ruins of Wily's lab. X, who had been training under the wing of Sigma, and Zero are dispatched by Dr. Cain to suppress the revolt and bring Sigma and his cohorts to justice. X and Zero encounter Vile, a former Hunter of the 17th Unit, and in the end, Zero self-destructs to defeat him. X ultimately brings Sigma to justice and the rebellion comes to an end.

Six months later (December of 2119, officially 21XX), while the aftermath of the first large-scale revolt is still being cleaned up, a new band of Mavericks known as the X Hunters (Agile, Serges, and Violen) appear with the mission of getting revenge on X and the Maverick Hunters. Dr. Cain sends X and the Hunters out to defeat these new rebels and their army. X reassembles Zero's parts with Cain's help and the X Hunters are defeated along with the newly resurrected Sigma.

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Dr. Doppler, the Reploid Scientist

At an unspecified date, most likely the early-2120s (officially 21XX), Dr. Cain creates a Reploid scientist named Dr. Doppler with the goals that Doppler will be able to create an antidote for the Sigma Virus, suppress further Maverick rebellion, and be able to build a utopian society where humans and Reploids can live together in peace. However, after Doppler builds what is known as Dopplertown, he distributes a placebo virus and many of the Reploids begin to turn Maverick once again. Reploids start to join the Doppler Army with the intention of forming a Reploid-only utopian society. Thus, war starts to rage, and Hunter HQ itself is attacked. A distress call is sent out to X and Zero, and they are called to the scene. Working together, they take out Doppler's forces, and with Dr. Cain's assistance, they find his hidden lab/base and bring him to his senses. Cain and Doppler work together to form an anti-virus to destroy Sigma, and thus, they hoped he was gone for good.

The Reploid Wars of the 22nd and 23rd CenturiesEdit

At an unknown date, most likely the mid-2120s (officially 21XX), Cain Labs, Dr. Cain's scientific research institution, creates a Reploid Army to work together in complement with the Maverick Hunters, known as the Repliforce, to compensate for the failures of the Sigma and Doppler projects as well as uphold Reploid sciences. Colonel, General, and Iris are created by Dr. Cain to head up this new army. Zero starts to have feelings for Iris and they have a bond with each other.

Sometime after the creation of the Repliforce in the mid-2120s (officially 21XX), the Sky Lagoon, a city that floats above the ground, has its power source destroyed by Mavericks and comes crashing to the earth below and destroys the city below, killing millions of people. Repliforce immediately rushes to the city to help the survivors, but as they are the ones on the scene, some hostiles brand Repliforce as traitors and as the cause of the Sky Lagoon's plummet. Thus, reluctantly, the Maverick Hunter's and the Council have no choice but to declare the Repliforce to be Maverick, and as a result, the Repliforce gives many speeches throughout the world to the reploids about their unjust treatment from their human creators and their sympathists and receive a huge following. Many reploids agree, and what results is a full scale uprising that results in the beginning of what is known as the the "Reploid Wars."

As a result of the battle between the Maverick Hunters and the Repliforce, the Hunters defeat the forces of the Repliforce and in the end, Colonel, General, and Iris are all destroyed with Zero being emotionally hurt by Iris' death. Sigma is revealed to have been pulling the strings behind the whole fiasco and X and Zero put an end to him before he can use a giant satellite to fire upon the Earth, but though Repliforce is no longer considered to be Maverick, reploids continue to revolt and go Maverick, so the Reploid Wars that started with this incident continue throughout the century and into the following century.

In the late-2120s (officially 21XX), Dr. Cain, the father of the Reploids and the "leader" of the Maverick Hunters retires. Cain felt very guilty for the failure of the Sigma and Doppler project fiascos, and more importantly, the fact that many of the members of the Reploid race that he fathered were going maverick. Additionally, it should be noted that by this time Dr. Cain was getting up there in age (though his birthdate is never specified by Capcom, he is depicted as being in his mid-60s in the early Mega Man X games, so it is most likely sometime around 2050).

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Signas, the new leader of the Maverick Hunters

Around the year 2130 (officially 21XX), following the retirement of Dr. Cain, a reploid general named Signas is assigned command of the Maverick Hunters. Signas, created by Dr. Cain to assume command of the Hunters upon his retirement, has the most precise CPU of all existing reploids, though his fighting techniques have not yet reached their peak upon his placement in command of the Hunters. Still, Signas proves his worth as a commander, being very loyal to the Hunters and following Cain's legacy, trying to maintain peace for both humans and reploids.

In the early-2130s (officially 21XX), Signas aquaints himself with the Maverick Hunters and quickly asserts himself as a strong and able leader. He organizes them into several teams, two of which are headed by X and Zero. Thus, the Hunters under Signas, X, and Zero work to quell further uprisings at the hands of Maverick groups and peace is attained for a few years.

Several years after the Maverick Hunters quell the threat of the Repliforce and the rebelling mavericks for a while, humans begin to once again think about once again turning their efforts toward space as they did in the 20th and 21st centuries. Thus, in the mid-to-late-2130s (officially 21XX), humans invest large amounts of money in space stations to be built orbiting the Earth. With the rising population of the earth in the 22nd century, there comes the need for building larger colonies in places other than Earth, and thus, large colonies such as Eurasia, emerge out in space.

Also during this time, the Hunters grow in numbers and add new members, such as Alia, a computer analysis expert, Douglas, an expert Reploid mechanic, and Lifesavor, a Reploid medic.

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The Eurasia Space Colony built after the defeat of the Repliforce

However, in the 2140s (officially 21XX), when the threat of maverick activity had all but escaped the minds of the Hunters and the Council, a new form of Sigma emerged and sent the largest space colony, Eurasia, on a collision course with Earth. The colony was traveling at a velocity so that within a mere 18 hours the colony would smash into the Earth, not only doing tremendous damage, but unleashing a new form of the Sigma virus throughout the world! Thus, once again, X and Zero are called into action by the Maverick Hunters, under the guidance of Signas, their new leader, to put a stop to the madness. First, they seek to rebuild the Enigma, a laser cannon used to quell the Repliforce's armies, having to get the parts from former friends turned maverick by Sigma's virus, but when they rebuild the laser and fire it, it only destroys roughly half of the colony! Next, they seek the parts to a 21st century style space shuttle, hoping that if they rebuild it they will be able to crash it into the colony and smash it before it collides or deter its course. Zero is the only one able to pilot the shuttle and who is not infected by the Sigma Virus, so he volunteers to go, yet Lifesavor meets with Signas and discuss Zero's condition- he is worried that Zero does not seem to be affected by the virus. Who is he? What are his true origins? Regardless, the shuttle goes up with Zero at the helm and, with baited breath they all wait, but this time the colony is destroyed, saving the Earth. However...The remains of the colony that fall to Earth with Zero bring with it a terrible virus to Earth, so in the end, Sigma gets his wish, and Alia picks up a strong viral surge at point 11F5646, and when Lifesavor brings Zero back to the lab the virus stays with him, so is he part of the virus? They begin to believe he is part of the virus' original origin, and eventually the virus becomes to be known as the Zero Virus. Once repaired, Zero heads back to that point and deep in the caverns searches for clues, and when X confronts him he duels him saying that X will not interfere with his desire to understand the truth, and in the end Sigma attempts to show him that Dr. Wily, the 21st century mad-scientist was the one who created him. In the end, the two manage to locate and fight Sigma, though Zero is fatally wounded in the battle, and when Sigma's head (which is all that is left after the fight) fires through both their bodies, Zero uses what remains of his energy to destroy Sigma (hopefully once and for all)...X and the Hunters are overwhelmed by his loss, but they are glad to see Sigma destroyed at last, though the virus is unlike anything they've ever seen.

Now a young Reploid researcher named Gate enters the story. Gate was a colleague of Alia and served on the Reploid Research Team with pinpoint precision in the creation of new reploids. However, taking a note from X and Zero, Gate decided that the most advanced reploids should not be able to be studied, and thus, all of the reploids that he created were so advanced that none of them were able to have their code analyzed. However, his reploids began to act hastily and his reputation began to fall into chaos. As a result, the leader of the Reploid Research Team decided to have his reploids eliminated and each was eliminated in separate ways, each looking like an accident. Alia did participate in some of these incidents, though she felt extremely guilty. She felt that some of Gate's creations were difficult to deal with, but certainly not evil. Gate, in essence, didn't follow the rules. Thus, as a result, he left the team and vowed revenge on those that did not see the genious of his ways.

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Gate, the Reploid Scientist formerly of the Reploid Research Team

Meanwhile, just three weeks since the Eurasia space colony incident, the world had become polluted with the virus and debris and humans were forced to live underground for a little while as reploids were sent to rebuild the Earth. Since the latest confrontation, Zero, who was destroyed, was never recovered. Meanwhile, Gate went to observe the crash site and found a small, mysterious fragment. This, somehow, drove him insane and he used the fragment to create the "Zero Nightmare", a reproduction of the then-missing Zero. This copy was to be used to bring Zero out of hiding (if he was rebuilt, which is what Gate believed), and additionally, Gate built High Max, an extremely powerful reploid, as well as the Nightmares, tentacled creatures that would latch onto and control the "brains" of reploids. Meanwhile, X misses Zero at Hunter base when Alia calls in a Mechaniloid attack on one of the cities, and when X goes to fight the robot, the Zero Nightmare finishes it off and High Max claims that the incident was the doing of Zero. When X attempts to defend the reputation of Zero, he cannot stand up to the awesome power of High Max. Isoc, a powerful and convincing speaker, claims that High Max is head of a team of eight researchers that are attempting to get to the bottom of the Nightmare incident. Ultimately, X sets out to confront these investigators, finding that they have "Nightmare Souls." Upon investigating these, Alia reveals that these "investigators" are nothing more than Gate's old creations revived. X, confronts the Zero Nightmare and destroys it in a mysterious arctic area, and then Zero himself comes out and reveals himself to be alive, having been repaired by an unknown entity (this shall be discussed later). X is elated, though he does not understand how Zero was repaired, and Zero is willing to once again join X's fight against the mavericks. X and Zero together manage to defeat High Max, though Isoc escapes from them, freezing Zero in place (Zero wonders why only he is affected by Isoc's power). Upon the defeat of the investigators and High Max, Gate reveals himself as the mastermind behind the uprising, saying that the colonies' collapse was the golden opportunity he needed, as with humans underground he could take over the world and build the perfect utopian society. X and Zero are opposed to this, saying that humans and reploids must learn to co-exist, so Gate invites them to his laboratory. X and Zero lose contact with Alia, and they eventually confront Gate, who explains that the piece he found was a part of Zero's DNA, which he used to create High Max and the Nightmares. Gate transforms into a frightful battle body that was created using the DNA of Zero, but he too is defeated, though he admits to unfortunately having revived the evil Sigma. Thus, the two go to the depths of Gate's lab and confront the evil Sigma, though along the way they find the empty "shell" of Isoc (which Alia says reminds her of the Erasure incident), and the two easily defeat Sigma since he was as of yet incomplete. X and Zero exit the laboratory, X dragging along the battered body of Gate. Zero questions why, and X replies that he was Alia's colleague, and he is all too familiar with the feeling of losing someone in such a way. Signas, Alia, and Douglas show up, and Alia notices the body of Gate laying on the ground. X asks if he went too far in his action. Alia says that he didn't, and thanks him for his kindness. She decides she will do her best to repair him, and to create a program resistant to all viruses to honor her fallen friend's wish. The Hunters agree that their work has just begun, and rebuilding the Earth will not be easy. However, they agree, this is the path to a true Utopia: one in which Reploids and humans live together in peace.

As a side note, it should be noted that the repairs of Zero and X after the Eurasia incident leave several questions in many gamers' minds. X was reportedly repaired by Dr. Light's sentient holographic incarnation, which found him after he was nearly destroyed by Sigma. As for Zero, when X asked him what happened to him after he was "killed" by Sigma, Zero says he did not know. However, he awakened in a cave fully repaired, though he tells X that he repaired himself, and when Zero talks to Dr. Light he asks him who it was that repaired him in the cave to which Dr. Light gives him a strange look but does not answer. Some speculate that, as X was repaired by Light, Zero may have been repaired by Wily (see the following paragraph).

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Isoc, Dr. Wily "living" on in the future?

Additionally, the character of Isoc presents some more interesting questions along the same lines. Isoc's obsession with Zero seems to draw an obvious connection to the famed Dr. Wily. Since the X Hunter incident, Wily has been hinted at, and those hints grew more concrete with the Eurasia incident, where Sigma spoke freely about an old man, obsessed with Zero and thinking of him as a son, an old man who appears in Zero's dreams. The logical assumption was, of course, Albert Wily from the original Mega Man games: the creator of Robot Masters, arch-rival of the original Mega Man, and creator of Zero as a final project. Immediately after we're introduced to Isoc, a powerful speaker obsessed with finding Zero's body. Isoc laughs, seemingly proud, when Zero displays his ability to defeat High Max, and then is able to control Zero's body remotely, saying that he knows Zero's internal systems. Later, when Isoc is discovered as a hollow shell (similar to the Erasure incident), Zero hears a mysterious voice telling him to go defeat Sigma, as he is the "strongest robot." All of these are traits commonly associated with Dr. Wily's character, and it seems odd that Isoc was simply erased with no explanation. However, no connection is ever drawn between Isoc and Sigma to further the "partner" thread started with the events of the Eurasia incident. Could Sigma's partner have been Isoc all along? Did Dr. Wily, or a sentient program of Dr. Wily (comparable to Dr. Light's Light Capsules) somehow occupy Isoc's body? As with most questions raised in the X series, only time will tell.

At an unspecified length of time in the future, following the events of the Nightmare Outbreak (one can assume that several years have passed since the world is once again livable for humans and now humans and reploids coexist again), humans have returned to the surface and have rebuilt society along with the reploids. In the early-2160s (after many years of hard work to rebuild the Earth by reploids, though officially the year 21XX), society has been largely rebuilt, crime runs rampant throughout society. Mavericks have once again surfaced and are threatening the fragile peace of the new civilization. Since Sigma himself seems to have been completely destroyed, having been out of the picture for nearly two decades, X (originally programmed with a sense of pacifism) retires from the Maverick Hunters and now serves more as a mentor and in a "desk job." The retirement of X deals the Hunters a damaging blow, and into this gap enters a new army to fight the mavericks known as "Red Alert." However, Red Alert uses unorthodox fighting methods to counter the mavericks, and it isn't long before the two organizations begin to clash with one another.

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Axl, the young reploid from Red Alert who defects to the Hunters

Axl, a young reploid and member of the Red Alert army, defects and ends up defecting to the Maverick Hunters. This incident causes a bitter clash between the two organizations, with Red, leader of Red Alert, orchestrating a "challenge" of sorts between the two groups. His eight generals lead the army against the Maverick Hunters, and X eventually comes out of retirement in order to prevent further destruction. Ultimately they defeat the eight generals and discover that Red had fallen victim of Sigma's manipulation, and so once they defeat him and bring him to his senses, X, Zero, and Axl put a stop to Sigma, who has fully recovered since his defeat over two decades ago, once again.

In the next decade, sometime in the early-2170s (officially 21XX), after the Maverick Huners had cleaned up the mess that Red Alert had created and officially reinstated themselves as the dominant force when it came to dealing with the oppression of maverick uprisings and further maverick rebellion had been quelled, the population of the Earth had reached a rather large level and humans were considering other options. Their first consideration was building a colony on the moon, and with its success, they would start to explore space to further degrees. In order to make travel to and from space far easier, the construction of the giant "Orbital Elevator," known as the "Jakob Project," was begun. This gigantic tower stretched all the way from the earth up to outer space! This new era also brought about a new age of Reploid Engineering, with the so-called "New Generation Reploids", which are based on the design of Axl (a new-generation prototype himself), having a shape-changing ability. This ability to "shape-shift" makes them extremely adaptable to environments and as thus suitable to space exploration. Yet, one day, an accident aboard an elevator on the tower sends a car careening down towards the Earth and X is sent to investigate. Upon his arrival, he finds that a group of Copy Reploids had used their ability to copy Sigma's DNA in order to survive the elevator crash. This sets off a whole new riot, mavericks begin to appear, and once again, X, Zero, and Axl are sent to investigate.

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The Orbital Elevator, also known as the "Jakob's Tower"

Why is there a revolt going on in the 2170s? The "next generation reploids" are supposed to be "Maverick Proof" due to a chip that was built within them, however, Sigma has once again returned and has put a bit of his DNA within them as they make their way right off of the assembly line. Sigma wishes to "scorch the Earth" to rid it of the "old generation" and to repopulate it with his "children." However, what he does not count on is Lumine, the leader of the next-generation reploids. When the Maverick Hunters take down Sigma on the moon, Lumine himself steps out of the shadows and finishes Sigma off, challenging the Hunters to a duel. Lumine proves to be one of the most difficult beings they have yet to fight, but X, Zero, and Axl finally manage to defeat this extremely powerful next-gen being, and thus the war is finally over, it seems.

Sigma's defeat on the moon leaves the question to whether he will ever be seen again...There were no reploids for him to infect and Lumine did seem to utterly destroy him along with his DNA, so it is doubtful that Sigma shall ever return again.

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Mega Man X in the 23rd Century

Capcom has yet to specify what happens between the events of the Jakob Project and the early 23rd century, though it would be expected that space travel continues with human exploration thanks to the assistance of the next-generation reploids. The Jakob's Tower definitely made it easier for humans and reploids to reach space and therefore launch their ships into orbit and out into space, and thus, upon return to dock and head down to Earth. Reploid Science seems to advance quite a bit, since by the beginning of the next century even X and Zero seem to have advanced quite a bit in their technology and appearance.

In the year 2202 (officially 22XX), an unheard-of mineral substance known as Force Metal was extracted from the debris of the small planet 2202XA8. Almost immediately, Force Metal technology revolutionized the field of Reploid Engineering. On the artificial island of Gigantis, a massive facility was constructed for the purpose of mining Force Metal. Everything seemed to be in working order until a few years later when a a band of renegade Reploids equipped themselves with weapons and instigated a revolt in one sector of the island. The government branded Epsilon, the mastermind of the revolt, as a Maverick and dispatched a Maverick Hunter team to Gigantis. Thus, X, Zero, and Shadow, a rookie Maverick Hunter, were called to action by the Hunters, under the guidance of Colonel Redips, to the scene to look into the situation.

 
Gigantis Island as seen from above in the 23rd century- screenshot complements of Capcom's Mega Man X: Command Mission

When X, Zero, and Shadow arrive at the Lagrano Ruins on the outskirts of Gigantis, they end up being separated, though X and Zero are reunited near the top floor of the ruins. Upon exploration, they discover that several new "next-generation reploids" have been created in the Lagrano Labs, among them Epsilon (whose testing was not complete and was deemed unstable), though they had broken out of their capsules or had been released. X and Zero make their way to the top of the ruins only to find that Shadow was an agent in Epsilon's army and that an all-new rebellion is forming under the wing of Epsilon, who their weapons are useless against. X gets separated from Zero and wakes up at the Resistance Headquarters of New Hope, a new army that has been formed to oppose Epsilon and his mavericks. Ultimately, X explores the world, working with the Resistance and their leader, Chief R, whom he saves from Epsilon's cronies, to bring down Epsilon's men. X eventually meets up with Zero and meets many new friends along the way (who are mentioned in the "Reploids Section"). Ultimately, X and his team defeats Epsilon and his group, though as it turns out one of his teammates, Spider, was Colonel Redips in disguise, who was a next-generation Reploid that possessed the "copy" ability and was using it to spy on them. He had been manipulating Epsilon to gain possession of the Supra-Force Metal, so he comes to put an end to the Resistance and X, who he deems a traitor. In the end, X and the gang defeat Redips as well, who cannot see eye-to-eye with X. Redips believes that Reploids will stagnate if they do not constantly strive to increase their abilities while X disagrees. Still, this proves to be a moot point as they were in an orbital space station which is heading to Earth, so the Supra-Force Metal is disposed of and the team abandons the station, ending up in the ocean below on the surface of the Earth...

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