Author Topic: X's characterization  (Read 4557 times)

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Offline Waifu

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X's characterization
« on: May 21, 2012, 08:49:08 PM »
X's character has changed over the years from a gung ho type hero to a Gundam esque hero. In the first few games, X wasn't necessarily an idealist but he nevertheless wanted to stop Sigma from destroying the world and avenge hs fallen comrade Zero. Mega Man X wasn't really a peace loving robot hero in the first few games but he was somewhat pragmatic and he was a capable commander in X2. From X4 onwards, X started to become something of a pacifist who didn't like fighting but had to do in order to protect innocent lives. Unfortunately, that was also when the developers started to focus most of the character development on Zero leaving X in the dust.  X was at his lowest point during X7 where he started to become somewhat disillusioned and started to complain about the previous wars. In Command Mission, X somewhat more or less gung ho and behaved like an action hero in the game. X's character developed throughout the series but which characterization do you prefer? X, the action hero who is willing to get the job done or the pacifistic warrior who doesn't like fighting?

Offline Soultrigger

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 12:38:12 AM »
Honestly, I think X7 is probably the only real characterization of X that I extremely hate. Given the time placement in the series and his past developments, it just didn't make any sense, and was just a poor excuse to make him an unlockable/force Axl on players. X4 had that whole bad voice acting, but that was simply the result of reusing the MM8 voice actor.

Any other lack of development for X was either a result of:
-giving focus on Zero or Axl
-having little plot to begin with
-giving all the obvious moments to X

There is another thing that extremely annoys me, and is that there are WAY too many instances where bosses make X out to be a stupid, inexperienced pushover. The guy's design is the source of all freaking Reploids, which makes him older than everyone except possibly Zero. AND, he's a hero who has stopped multiple wars. And yet the writers constantly forget this when writing terrible boss dialogue.

I guess the Zero series did him justice when he finally became wiser. He was very cryptic, but that was for pacing of the plot.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 09:46:33 AM by Soultrigger »


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Offline Hypershell

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 02:15:12 AM »
In the game epilogues, X has pretty much always questioned whether or not violence was the answer, ever since X1, but throughout the main body of the SNES games he has too little dialogue for it to show (X3's manual also references this, IIRC).  X4 was the first time this properly showed in game dialogue, and coincidentally a character of his type takes fighting former allies hard (ie, Dragoon and Double), plus the whole voice acting thing, made it all appear a little more heavy than it was probably meant to.

It's hard to justify X7 as anything but giving people a reason they have to play as Axl.  In gameplay I don't mind so much because X is powerful enough to justify his late entry, but in storyline it makes very little sense.  X is halfway ready to throw Axl to the sharks at the beginning of the game, and he is not supposed to be THAT naive.

Command Mission represents what X's typical character should probably be: He believes in what he is doing but some part of him can't help but wonder why the enemy would instigate the level of violence that they have.  A person's motivation seems to be where X focuses his attention when it comes to judging character.  While it's not particularly difficult to win his trust, he doesn't easily forgive betrayal, and he recognizes a simple lust for power when he sees it.

X6 is perhaps X at his strongest.  One of the few times the battle was personal for him, X shows almost no sign of hesitation, no matter what the enemy's reasons or how great their power.  Rarely do we see him that determined, yet he still holds onto his compassion in the end.

In addition to his big heart, I think it's also because X is so old that his enemies tend to underestimate him, but around Xtreme2's timeframe the more competent villains began to realize what a mistake that was.  Since then, a villain's take on X tends to be a good indicator of how simple-minded the villain is.  If they're just full of themselves, they won't take the little softie too seriously, but an intelligent opponent knows that X is a force to be reckoned with, and a constantly growing one, at that.

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Offline Sigma Zero X

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 06:15:41 AM »
I like both characterizations, but I like X as a pacifist who does not like fighting.  Although X7 did take it a bit far, I did like the way X7 showed X's reluctance in fighting.  Once something or someone is destroyed, there is really no turning back and one has to move on.  I can relate to X on that level.  In terms of how one approaches aversion to violence, X is not Iori Yagami for crying out loud.
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Offline Waifu

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2012, 10:54:15 PM »
I like both characterizations, but I like X as a pacifist who does not like fighting.  Although X7 did take it a bit far, I did like the way X7 showed X's reluctance in fighting.  Once something or someone is destroyed, there is really no turning back and one has to move on.  I can relate to X on that level.  In terms of how one approaches aversion to violence, X is not Iori Yagami for crying out loud.

I know X isn't Iori but I can understand where you are coming from. X7 was really the lowest point for X, why did derail his character to that?

In the game epilogues, X has pretty much always questioned whether or not violence was the answer, ever since X1, but throughout the main body of the SNES games he has too little dialogue for it to show (X3's manual also references this, IIRC).  X4 was the first time this properly showed in game dialogue, and coincidentally a character of his type takes fighting former allies hard (ie, Dragoon and Double), plus the whole voice acting thing, made it all appear a little more heavy than it was probably meant to.

It's hard to justify X7 as anything but giving people a reason they have to play as Axl.  In gameplay I don't mind so much because X is powerful enough to justify his late entry, but in storyline it makes very little sense.  X is halfway ready to throw Axl to the sharks at the beginning of the game, and he is not supposed to be THAT naive.

Command Mission represents what X's typical character should probably be: He believes in what he is doing but some part of him can't help but wonder why the enemy would instigate the level of violence that they have.  A person's motivation seems to be where X focuses his attention when it comes to judging character.  While it's not particularly difficult to win his trust, he doesn't easily forgive betrayal, and he recognizes a simple lust for power when he sees it.

X6 is perhaps X at his strongest.  One of the few times the battle was personal for him, X shows almost no sign of hesitation, no matter what the enemy's reasons or how great their power.  Rarely do we see him that determined, yet he still holds onto his compassion in the end.

In addition to his big heart, I think it's also because X is so old that his enemies tend to underestimate him, but around Xtreme2's timeframe the more competent villains began to realize what a mistake that was.  Since then, a villain's take on X tends to be a good indicator of how simple-minded the villain is.  If they're just full of themselves, they won't take the little softie too seriously, but an intelligent opponent knows that X is a force to be reckoned with, and a constantly growing one, at that.

I really like this post but I really hate how X got derailed in X7, he did nothing but angst and it made him look terribly bad. Command Mission was where X was at his most mature, he was still reluctant warrior who questioned wheer or not violence was the answer but he wasn't angsty teenager that he was in X7. That should had been the logical progression of his character after X6 even if he didn't agree with Axl's "methods", he was being somewhat unreasonable in X7.

Offline Treleus

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2012, 08:48:04 AM »
Command Mission represents what X's typical character should probably be: He believes in what he is doing but some part of him can't help but wonder why the enemy would instigate the level of violence that they have.  A person's motivation seems to be where X focuses his attention when it comes to judging character.  While it's not particularly difficult to win his trust, he doesn't easily forgive betrayal, and he recognizes a simple lust for power when he sees it.

Good observation. It's really easy for me to forget personality details like that because, to me, it comes across as corny in performance--like I can't take the writing or the actor seriously--and its an overdone occurrence. Let's make a list of all the people that have betrayed X, either directly or by association with the Maverick Hunters:

1) Sigma
2) Every Maverick from X1
3) Vile
4) Mac
5) Double
6) Dragoon
7) Shadow
8) Spider

It's quite a recurring gag. Not an unbelievable reality, but I kinda stopped caring about that plot device after seeing it used like it was a disposable. Maybe if these strings of betrayals actually built up to something, like X developing into a xenophobe or coming to distrust Zero, then that's something worth exploring. Otherwise it's not a terribly remarkable or distinct character trait, and it's one easily shared by Zero. Hell, he's the one who starts sounding really jaded about trusting people near the end of Command Mission. It really is easy for X to trust people.

As for that bit about recognizing power lust, it's another good observation about his character, but his motive for fighting Mavericks seems more along the lines of right vs wrong, good vs evil rather than a more pragmatic socio-psychological understanding of the opposition. "Mavericks are pure evil!", "You're insane, Sigma!", that sort of thing. He's not wrong, but when someone questions these basic assertions, X balks. He hasn't really thought that much farther than being a good guy fighting the bad guys, it seems.

X6 is perhaps X at his strongest.  One of the few times the battle was personal for him, X shows almost no sign of hesitation, no matter what the enemy's reasons or how great their power.  Rarely do we see him that determined, yet he still holds onto his compassion in the end.

It's the kind of basic determination to duty that we see in the less verbose of the X games, where X is very certain of his efforts and yet still recognizes (or feels) the value of mercy. It's when his duty and his desire for mercy come at odds with each other that we see X's development come to a real standstill: in X7 he abandons his old confidence in his duty and puts a lot of weight into what he wants: to not kill. This was handled poorly and abruptly in X7, but then it never happened earlier on in his career, so we've never seen him weigh the value of what he wants versus what he should do until that game. In the epilogue scrolls, it's only ever been asked how long he will keep fighting, not whether or not he should stop. The reason X decides to join the fray again, at least, made sense in X7's context: looking at Zero and Axl saving Reploids in the field helps him realize his own usefulness as a Maverick Hunter. Considering the entire context of the X series, though, this should've been fairly obvious to him.

Offline Zan

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2012, 01:16:41 PM »
Quote
Maybe if these strings of betrayals actually built up to something, like X developing into a xenophobe or coming to distrust Zero,

They did that for Zero.

Quote
here is another thing that extremely annoys me, and is that there are WAY too many instances where bosses make X out to be a stupid, inexperienced pushover. The guy's design is the source of all freaking Reploids, which makes him older than everyone except possibly Zero. AND, he's a hero who has stopped multiple wars. And yet the writers constantly forget this when writing terrible boss dialogue.

That's only in the first game. All later games treat him as someone not to be underestimated.

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2012, 05:43:46 PM »
X (and Zero) also has a fear of uncertainty that has been expressed several times. After fighting Mavericks for so long, they ask each other if they too will go maverick one day. It would seem that they don't know how Reploids become Mavericks.

Offline Treleus

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 09:15:22 PM »
They did that for Zero.

You mean in X5, where X and Zero fight each other, or the Zero series where (Copy) X becomes a tyrant distant from the people he's supposed to rule and protect without bias?

Offline Waifu

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2012, 05:29:14 AM »
X (and Zero) also has a fear of uncertainty that has been expressed several times. After fighting Mavericks for so long, they ask each other if they too will go maverick one day. It would seem that they don't know how Reploids become Mavericks.

You mean in X5, where X and Zero fight each other, or the Zero series where (Copy) X becomes a tyrant distant from the people he's supposed to rule and protect without bias?

X and Zero are always dealing with the fear that they themselves would become Mavericks. They fear that they are going to become the very Mavericks that they fight agianst. They did come dangerously close but they really stayed in the dark side for long. Unfortunatley, X's dedication to justice is what is leading him to become even worse than any of thgem although it was the Copy X who took things too far.


Offline Treleus

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2012, 08:06:21 AM »
No no. My question was more about if X becomes a xenophobe and ends up distrusting Zero, since almost everyone else he's known has betrayed him. Then Zan said "They did that for Zero" and I didn't get it at first, but now I realize he means that Zero becomes the xenophobe who doesn't trust anybody. Except X, but even that trust gets strained now and then.

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2012, 01:09:33 PM »
You mean in X5, where X and Zero fight each other, or the Zero series where (Copy) X becomes a tyrant distant from the people he's supposed to rule and protect without bias?

No, I mean in Command Mission where Zero's trust in others is severely compromised by Shadow.

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Offline Waifu

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2012, 05:58:50 PM »
No, I mean in Command Mission where Zero's trust in others is severely compromised by Shadow.

Zero did seem apprehensive towards Massimo, Spider, Marino and Cinnamon. He didn't really trust them for the same reason is because they might go Maverick.

Offline Flame

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2012, 08:57:28 AM »
Spider sort of proved him right too, in a way...
...When Larry the reploid accountant goes maverick of his own accord, he's certainly formidable during tax season, but he isn't going to provide X the challenge needed to make him grow as a warrior and reach his potential.

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2012, 10:25:13 PM »
To be fair, spider didn't really show his true colors until the end of the game. Spider is the mole.

Offline Treleus

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2012, 02:44:58 AM »
Speaking of Spider, didn't his reveal to be Repids feel like it made no sense? Maybe it's me, but it seems like the writers for the X games have this massive hard-on for traitors and whatnot. Problem is it never builds up to anything. It's always a one-off that just happens for the hell of it, and is then quickly forgotten.

Offline Flame

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2012, 04:46:32 AM »
How does it never build up to anything?

Spider turned out to be their commanding officer, a Colonel in the Maverick Hunters who they were answering to directly, and who turned out to be a New Generation Maverick who hung out with them in order to keep tabs on them, and who in the end only USED them in order to obtain two highly powerful and highly dangerous mineral fragments which literally made him invincible, in order to rule the Earth as a God.

That's not building up to nothing.

The mole, the traitor, your "ally" turned out to be the big bad, the final boss, the puppet master.
...When Larry the reploid accountant goes maverick of his own accord, he's certainly formidable during tax season, but he isn't going to provide X the challenge needed to make him grow as a warrior and reach his potential.

Offline Sigma Zero X

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2012, 06:49:05 AM »
Speaking of Spider, didn't his reveal to be Repids feel like it made no sense? Maybe it's me, but it seems like the writers for the X games have this massive hard-on for traitors and whatnot. Problem is it never builds up to anything. It's always a one-off that just happens for the hell of it, and is then quickly forgotten.

As far as Spider goes, to add on what Flame said, consider the following:

1.  Every time Spider said "I did not do that for you", he meant every word of it.

2.  Spider started off bad, then good, and acted strange every now and then.

3.  Wild Jango, Silver Horn, Mad Nautilus, Mach Jentra, and Incentas were bosses who Spider fought with the Hunters.  Ironically, they seemed to be revived and ended up fighting for Spider/Redips near the end.  Each of the respective bosses had their respective hunters acknowledging their revival and existence through the pre-fight dialouges.  For those who don't know what I am talking about, here is the breakdown of which hunter had dialogue acknowledging the revived boss:

X - Wild Jango

Massimo - Silver Horn

Marino and Cinnamon - Mad Nautilus

Axl - Mach Jentra (especially this one considering what Axl suppossedly said about Jango)

Zero - Incentas
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Offline Soultrigger

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2012, 09:56:35 AM »
That's only in the first game. All later games treat him as someone not to be underestimated.

Looking back, I guess the few examples I thought of were actually bosses intended to look simple-minded/foolish like what Hypershell said. MHX is the only game that exemplifies my statement, and it rightfully does so, being the first entry.

You mean in X5, where X and Zero fight each other, or the Zero series where (Copy) X becomes a tyrant distant from the people he's supposed to rule and protect without bias?

Ugh, X vs Zero...another example of [acid burst] poor writing. All that buildup from X2 to X4...poof! D:


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Offline Treleus

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2012, 03:32:37 PM »
I meant X and Zero seem quick to forget about these sort of betrayals across several games, which reflects how much the writers put into that plot device, or the story in general. They never seem to be wary of people within their own ranks, and so whenever the next Vile/Mac/Double/Shadow shows up, they act like they totally didn't expect that. With Command Mission, I just didn't get the sudden reveal. Maybe I need to play it again, but it just didn't come off right to me. I think it might've been the pacing. Or maybe not enough foreshadowing. Or maybe it was just a complete waste of Spider's character and development up to that point.

I guess I'm just missing some key slivers of foreshadowing that should've tipped me off about Spider, but his reveal didn't seem like it should've happened. It would've made more sense to me if Spider was Repids' agent rather than Repids himself. At least then Spider has the chance to rebel or redeem himself.

That aside, what was the point of Spider/Repids' character? To prove Zero right? In that case, that would lead either Zero or X to become such a xenophobe that they, I dunno, quit being a Maverick Hunter and go solo or into hiding.

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2012, 07:14:58 PM »
The point of Spider was so he could use X and Zero to gain what he wanted. In the end, they were only his tools.
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Offline Flame

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2012, 03:55:32 AM »
The point of Spider was to be a plot twist, and to make the final boss.
...When Larry the reploid accountant goes maverick of his own accord, he's certainly formidable during tax season, but he isn't going to provide X the challenge needed to make him grow as a warrior and reach his potential.

Offline Treleus

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2012, 05:25:37 AM »
I guess I shouldn't be expecting much more depth from an X game. :/

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2012, 11:55:53 PM »
I don't think most 2D sidescrolling gamers would be observant enough to catch more depth than that anyway...

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Re: X's characterization
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2012, 03:57:44 AM »
Yeah, but the thing is, I just don't see how that kind of plot twist is supposed to be deep or mean anything. It's just another betrayal resolved the same way: the good guys kill him and that's it. One of them momentarily reflects on it, but then nothing's said of it at the end. You have Ferham make an unnecessary sacrifice, watch X yell his rage into space, and then they all get back safe and sound. The subtext seems pretty simple--you can't trust anyone anymore--but there's never a sound conclusion or resolution to that.

My question wasn't really "what was the point of Spider's betrayal" but rather "what was the point of Spider being Repids"? I'll admit it's pretty clever, factoring in the New Generation reploids from X8 into the plot, but it felt like there wasn't enough build up to it, it happened way too late into the game, and it just didn't feel right. I got the impression that Spider was being developed into his own character for the grand duration of the game, getting the players invested into the character, only to be wasted with that whiplash of a plot twist. It feels like a misplaced plot twist relative to the game itself.