Mega Man December continues: Mega Man X2 was released in Japan on this date, December 16, 1994. Today is the 20th Anniversary of X2!
Mega Man X2: Into The Underworld
Coming off the heels of the very well received Mega Man X, X2 deepens the franchise story by creating an urgent quest for players and making it personal for X, the series main character. The game is significantly darker than its predecessor, with X struggling through an array of gritty factories, caves and dangerous facilities littered with hanging Reploid bodies to reach his goal. Mega Man X6 has the most depressing plot elements and dialogues, but Mega Man X2 looks and feels low, airless, grimy and gloomy, like a hard slog through Hades, in every way matching its morbid theme of gathering body parts from scavengers.
Zero, X’s partner and best friend, died near the end of Mega Man X1, killed during the uprising by blowing himself up to defeat a greater enemy. In Mega Man X2, Mavericks have stolen his body and you, as X, have to get it back. X faces off against a new set of vicious Mavericks to rescue his best friend from death and keep Zero’s power from falling into Maverick lord Sigma’s clutches.
What Was New Or Different About This Game?
The X-Hunters – a group of three powerful Mavericks who each take a piece of Zero’s body and run off with it. This isn’t the first time in the Mega Man series that sub bosses and boss characters appear, but this is the first time that they’re elevated to positions of plot significance. Each of the X-Hunters has a separate stage to fight X in, and they move around the map each time the player enters a stage. Each stage has a special hidden area that only is accessible when the X-Hunter in question is present. Because of this, and to properly collect the many available Ride Armors and upgrades, players often have to enter levels several times.
Wireframe graphics – Mega Man X2 and its sequel Mega Man X3 are programmed to take advantage of a rarely chip in the Super Nintendo called a Cx4 or C4. This allows low-res vector graphics to be created, and in X2 and X3 the chip is used to create mini bosses and sub characters, as well as occasional graphical effects. It wasn’t really used to its full capacity, so this is more of an advertising gimmick, but it still marks out X2 as an interesting oddity in the SNES world.
Green Biker Dude – In the opening scrawl X leads a small group of Hunters toward a Reploid factory taken over by Mavericks. One of the nameless background characters pops a wheelie on his bike and is promptly blown to bits. The fandom adopted this nameless character as “Green Biker Dude” and he’s been an Internet meme ever since.
Where Can I Find It?
The original game was released for the SNES and can be found occasionally on eBay or in other resellers. Mega Man X2 can also be found included on the Mega Man X Collection for PS2 or Gamecube and, for modern systems, can be purchased through the Virtual Console for Wii.
Mega Man December is an ongoing celebration all month of the Mega Man series. You can contribute too! Join the Queen of Robots Facebook Page or post to QoR on Twitter and let us know your favorite game, series or memory of Mega Man!