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Megaman X Command Mission. Let's discuss! [spoilers inside]

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I have to admit that I was not able to finish my playthrough of this game. I was, however, interested in what happened next and went to good ol' youtube in hopes of finding something... more than what contributed to me giving up in the first place.

I am sorry to say that I did not like what I saw. My general impression could be summed up as 'half-baked mess of plot threads that don't go anywhere more often than not'. As pointless the usual mental exercise of 'let's theorycraft ways the plot could've been made better' is, there is not much to work with here even for that.

Not that it had ever stopped anyone around here though, right? Razz

XXX

Let's hit some of the story's highlights that have some meat on them to chew on and see what happens.



The intro (from the beginning to about the 00:03:00 mark) besides doing the usual 'spoiling the apperance of a hefty chunk of the cast' thing also shows some glimpses of insertion methods used by Maverick response teams, complete with the briefing they receive for the situation at hand.

It is much more vague than I'd like it to be, but given how the only other game that even attempts to delve into this is MMX's remake (the OVA that comes with it, specifically), even this much makes me glad. T_T

Anyhow, it appears that this is what constitutes 'stealthy' teleportation and that deployment of X and Zero into a hotspot at the same time is right below 'we bomb the shit out of it all' as far as levels of escalation go.

XXX

~00:09:27:

Whatever this city-state (a blatant assumption on my part, but I'm not sure how could I call it otherwise) has for government declares this attempt at covert deployment of Maverick Hunters a hostile action from another state.

Was this a deliberate omission on their part in order to help ensure the populace's cooperation? To present them as some kind of saboteurs, a threat to everyone's wellbeing? Or... Maverick Hunters' authority is not universally recognized and thus the statement is legally correct?

While the antagonists come off as creepy cult folks at first and, as we later discover, are cooking up some superweapon equivalent in their basement, there is no indication of Sigma being actually involved I could find. And there is the guy in the scene right after this. 'I am not a supporter of Epsilon, but shouldn't you, as a reploid yourself, be behind the idea of our independence anyway?'

What X is even here for? While it is made clear near the tail end of the game that the briefing excluded some information the Colonel that was giving it was aware of, this whole scenario starts looking more and more like Maverick Hunters got sicced on a group of secessionists.

Which, unlike in MMX4, had yet to mass-bomb population centers and infrastructure before trying to get away with a strategic reserve of space-faring vessels, military ones included (as far as we know, at least). Another critical communication failure in a time of extreme crisis like in MMX5 then?

I didn't see any of the textbox-only conversations past the point I've played, so I may have just missed it, but, from what I've seen, X doesn't seem to doubt the circumstances much, if at all.

Is it indicative of him approaching the mindset he was planned to have in MMZ? Do Maverick Hunters treat any unclear case (the random reploid's comment above suggests Epsilon doesn't want any humans in his city, which does sound similar to previous cases of Sigma) with extreme prejudice in the post-MMX5 world? Did X simply suffer from either the JRPG protagnist chronic cluelessness or/and the incomplete state of the game?

XXX

Directly after that, a guy introduces themselves to X as a bounty hunter of all things. It is probably just my personal interpretation speaking, but I think that, given the context and his previous experience with Dynamo, X would be inclined to exterminate this cocky shit first and ask questions never.

But he doesn't because, apparently, X is not allowed to be either fast or powerful or think with his head or show character traits besides 'all mavericks must be shot' and 'I am obsessed with Zero' in the cutscenes. Especially if it were to interfere with something happening.

Which leads me to believe that the correct answers to some of the questions posed above are 'half-complete game' and 'bad writing'.

XXX

~00:22:00:

The great Steel Massimo is here! Or 'Massimo' is anyway.

I... honestly don't have much to bitch about in regards to him. There just should've been more of the dude. His arc ends rather quickly and then he doesn't do much of anything for the rest of the game. Kind of a shame.

I wonder how what he did was possible. It's not like 'personal armor' means the same thing for reploids as it does for humans.

My headcanon is that the change was grisly and irreversible. I think I would've added a scene where after a one worf barrage too many X finds himself retooling Massimo's chassis with his technical know-how and helping the mind with his experience and strength of character somewhere later as well.

XXX

Nana is introduced in the next segment. What she says to X right after meeting him for the first time could be more or less accurately summed up as 'please don't kill me!'

What makes this worse is that (if I remember right) she worked with Maverick Hunters before, thus likely had an idea of how they operate from personal experience instead of whatever impression of their modus operandi any random person on the street may have formed from second-hand information.

X's non-reaction is... debatable here, but I would've liked to get something more out of him rather than flat acceptance or simply not paying attention.

XXX

Next section has a lot of stuff happen which then culminates at the ~00:40:50 mark with what seems a very deliberate reference to a similar scene between Thomas and Rock that started it all off way back when. Which may or may not have been echoed in some form when Thomas made X years later.

I understand that X wasn't really there for both of those unless we choose to bend past events more strongly in our pursuit of fun, but I found it disappointing for him not reacting to it in any way.

Marino, IMHO, has a similar reaction to being recruited in the party as Nana does after the excitement dies down, although I am perhaps stretching it here.

XXX

~00:44:10 marks Axl's appearance.

Apparently, he happens to be searching for clues about his origin in the area. Which raises some questions about how he got here in the first place.

Was he assigned to this hotspot as well and just decided to combine his job with his personal goal? Did he, somehow, got himself some leave and used it to inflitrate a combat zone in his spare time? Was he simply not inducted into service yet?

True, he mentions 'the three S-rank hunters being united again' not long after, but, well, this is Axl, so I wouldn't rule out him just plain talking crap.

Oh, and that thing with searching for his origins? Nothing ever comes out of this. Bollocks.

XXX

~00:51:40

Zero's being salty, re: risk of everybody in the room besides Zero, X and Axl liable to go maverick at a drop of a hat, presumably reinforced because Shadow earlier was described as familiar with the area (and thus being from the city, I assume) and then went all betrayer on them.

If taken in a vacuum, it even kinda sorta makes sense.

The first problem I see with that is that exactly this kind of thing happened way back in MMX1. And kept happening after that, repeatedly. This game happens sometime after MMX7 and most likely before MMX8. Did it bother him that way every single time it happened? Did he react like a hot-blooded mecha anime protagonist with too much emotion to leave enough space in the skull for the brain to work?

I wouldn't call any of his iterations 'personable', but I have trouble imagining Zero going all 'you are a security risk, bitch, I ain't gonna work with ya to give you an opportunity to backstab me' to, say, Alia.

Did something cause to compound the problem, like, a fear of their team's resistance finally failing acting up perhaps? Or did Zero forget things (again) after his most recent 'death'?

I dunno, maybe it is just my personal interpretation, but I can't see Zero compromising both the mission's and X's security by venturing forth alone, stranded in hostile territory because the issue they've been fighting for years made itself obvious again. The dude himself may or may not have suicidal tendencies, but I just... don't agree with this being in character.

There is also that little detail about the Sigma problem having nothing to do with this at all. Which, granted, they might not know at this point in time - most likely because they simply forgot to check for it.

And, hey, someone with free will could always choose to screw you over without the help of any mind-altering mojo anyway because, well, free will, duh.

Idiot.

XXX

~01:26:30

I am not going to assume if you were surprised by what happens here or not. I will, however, insist on this sequence being awesome.

Simply by having the gall to go here, to have X and company face fire from a vessel that was supposed to relieve them -

not because of Sigma or some other kind of technical fault in the mental process of anyone involved or extreme failure of communication, possessing a critical overload of pride and grabbing idiot ball all around, but because someone up the chain of command decided it was time for X and Zero to die, issued the order and this order was simply followed

- this story has done more than any single MMX title (and the ones after that as well) did, in my opinion.

Shame that it (or any of the other games) hadn't had the protagonists stop and think hard about whether maybe there was some problem with the system, especially now that they've had the catch-all term 'maverick' slapped onto them just because their commanding officer wanted to remove all possible witnesses to his crime and all, but oh well.

I'd say that none of the horrible shite a certain Dr. Weil pulled, nor X's genocidal tendencies towards reploids fueled by repeated incidents of violent madness MMZ was planned around, nor even the miracle-working cyber elves were really necessary though. IMHO, just pulling the thread of the events right here could've generated enough conflict to support at least two consequent 'eras' easily.

Oh, and mad props for this all not being all about Sigma again. I dislike the ending's setup being basically like how Sigma was featured since MMX4 or so, but still.

XXX

And it's too damn late to do anything but go to sleep. I will probably be adding some thoughts to this sometime later.

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One more thing I wanted to add to this story-wise:

There appears to be some white-washing of the game's antagonist crew going on, both before and after the Colonel Evil reveal. I completely fail to understand why.

Is there some kind of tidbit I've missed (or that didn't get into the game) that says these guys were doing a false flag operation under Colonel's orders, unkowingly for the personal benefit of said Colonel instead of any operational necessity? In that case, this would make sense. Otherwise...

No mind control, no coercion from outside sources, no design faults resulting in acute paranoia, no crazy mojo - no nothing to alleviate the weight of what they've done and what they've almost done until X and company stopped them. Yeah, no, death row for all of them.

Wait! I have a better idea. I'd make at least one of them survive and get a nice and proper resocialization course done. No deja vu, or sudden memory restoration sometime down the line either, just an effective mind wipe. Explore the consequences of it later. Show people being biased against them just because they know what these characters did before, when they were a different person.

Why would anyone do that instead of just shooting the bastards though? It's not like it is sometime around MMX3 - when people were maybe still interested in knowing what was going on instead of just shooting everything that looked like it could be a problem.

Hmm... There was still some serious research and development work done on advancing reploids, yes? MMX8, at least, shows so. So let this be a part of that, an experiment using subjects that were all slated for death anyway.

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