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September 21, 2004

Mega Man X: Command Mission

These days, it seems as if Capcom officials determine the nature of “Mega Man” games by chucking darts -- blindfolded and behind the back -- at a dartboard. Or by way of a KidCatcher (that folded-paper, thumb- and index finger-operated “game”).

How else to explain Mega Man X: Command Mission?



Make no mistake, Mega Man X: Command Mission is not the latest side-scrolling adventure starring X. Command Mission is, in Capcom’s vernacular, a “role-playing adventure.”

While the cel-shaded title features many of the characteristics befit a role-playing game (RPG), the setup contains a few twists.

As one guides X about Giga City Island (note that, regardless of party size, X is the only character to appear on-screen in the adventure mode), one may interact with non-playable reploids (NPRs?), gaining information and, in some instances, helpful items. It is in the battle scenes, however, that Command Mission differentiates itself from other RPGs.

Initially, the setup seemed complex and confusing, but these traits dissipated as I spent more time with the game.

At the bottom of the screen, next to each character’s name, are two sets of numbers: one for “LE” (presumably, Life Energy) and one for “WE” (presumably, Weapon Energy).

Underneath these figures is a meter that is tied to WE. For example, when Zero’s WE is at 50%, his meter is half-full. Likewise, when his WE is at 25%, the first quarter of his meter is full. In the version that I played, each character’s WE was displayed as a percentage; yet, I have seen screenshots that display WE as a raw number. I presume, and I hope, that an option exists that allows the player to determine the way in which WE reads, for having WE appear as a percentage needlessly duplicates the information provided by the meter.

This data takes up the left half of the bottom of the screen. The right half consists of eight numbered vertical bars (“1” is at the center of the screen and “8” is at the far right side) that conveys the order of attack. Thus, the character whose face appears on “1” is up, the character whose face appears on “2” is next to attack, etc. When the character on “1” finishes attacking, his/her face moves to the end of the line and the face on “2” moves up to “1.”

The battles themselves, meanwhile, call for increased player participation, particularly when launching an attack. For instance, when controlling Zero, one may initiate a special attack. The key to successfully executing the attack, though, is to press certain buttons in a certain order.

(By the way, did you know that Capcom has dedicated 2004 to celebrating the 15th birthday of the Street Fighter franchise?)

Regardless of the attack initiated, the visuals associated with an attack sequence are impressive, as more appears on-screen than just a damage figure above the head of the wounded.

word on the street

Famitsu Weekly, Japan’s premier gaming magazine, scored Rockman X: Command Mission (the Japanese version of Mega Man X: Command Mission) 32/40, a tally that earned the title a Gold Award.

Hopefully, not much gets lost in translation.

press release notes

Mega Man X: Command Mission takes the blue bomber franchise in a whole new direction by introducing it to the RPG genre and producing an exciting new title set within the Mega Man X universe. With fundamental Mega Man characteristics, cel-shaded characters and true 3-D stylized environments, Mega Man X: Command Mission is sure to please fans and gamers new to the franchise. The Mega Man franchise, celebrating more than 15 years of entertaining kids of all ages, has sold over 20 million units worldwide.

In Mega Man X: Command Mission, Mega Man must infiltrate Giga City Island to thwart the evil plans of the Liberion Army who have initiated a riot on the isle. By choosing from a selection of seven different playable characters, gamers can construct a three-member attack force using Mega Man, Zero, Axl, or characters new to the Mega Man universe, to help bring peace to the region once and for all. It is up to gamers, to create a dream team of Mega Man’s allies and reploid friends to stop the destructive battle that has begun to wage itself on Giga City Island.

Mega Man X: Command Mission features exciting action RPG-style combat and a revolutionary "Cross Order System" that allows flawless execution of special and finishing attack moves on enemies. Character building is a crucial aspect of the game. Super-energy metals called “Force Metals,” weapons, abilities, and attack moves can be upgraded, vastly improving the overall performance of characters.


  • The first RPG in the Mega Man universe – Mega Man X: Command Mission features RPG-style combat and action elements to create a unique blue bomber experience.
  • An all-star cast – Mega Man will not be alone in his fight. Joining him will be Axl and Zero, as well as a cast of characters new to the Mega Man Universe.
  • New heroes join the Mega Man series, each with their own unique ability or weapon: Cinnamon has healing abilities, Marino specializes in ninja tactics, Masimo wields an ax, and Spider carries playing cards.
  • "Cross Order System" – This new system interface displays the turn order and health. With a little luck, gamers can steal the enemy’s energy and finish them with a deadly "final strike" attack combo.


One should hope that the final, localized version of Mega Man X: Command Mission does not differ too dramatically from either the Japanese version or the unfinished version on display at E3.

Staff Avatar Brett Fulesday
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"Knowledge is the key to success."

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