Mega Man X5, known as Rockman X5 (ロックマンX5) in Japan, is a video game developed by Capcom. It is the fifth main installment in the Mega Man X series. It was first released for the PlayStation in Japan on November 30, 2000 and in North America and PAL territories the following year.
Mega Man X5 is set in the 22nd century in a world where humans coexist with humanoid androids called “Reploids”. Daily life is under a constant threat of these Reploids going “Maverick” and participating in dangerous and deadly crime. After the events of Mega Man X4, the Maverick leader Sigma has been revived and seeks to unlock the true power of the former Maverick Zero and destroy the hero X in the process. To make matters worse, Sigma has set the space colony Eurasia on a 16-hour collision course with Earth. It is up to X and Zero to stop Sigma once again and save the planet from destruction. Like its predecessors, Mega Man X5 is an action-platform game in which the player controls either protagonist through a series of eight, selectable stages and wins the special weapon of each stage’s boss. However, the game only offers limited number of stage attempts before the player must deal with the colony.
According to Capcom producer Keiji Inafune, Mega Man X5 was originally intended to be the final game in the Mega Man X saga. Critical reception for the game was lukewarm, with many reviewers agreeing that the stale gameplay formula will only further satisfy diehard fans of the series. Mega Man X5 was ported to the Microsoft Windows as retail packages in 2002 in both Japan and North America. It was also re-released in 2006 as part of the Mega Man X Collection for the GameCube and PlayStation 2. Mega Man X5 was made available on the PlayStation Network as part of the PSOne Classics line for North America and Japan in 2014. It became available for Windows via Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch as a part of Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 on July 24, 2018 worldwide and July 26, 2018 in Japan.
The main gameplay remains similar to previous installments. Unlike X4, the player can freely switch between both the shooter X and the swordsman Zero while playing through the game. Depending on which character the player uses to start it, the other one will be affected negatively with X losing his X4 armor and Zero losing his buster. There are four armors for X—his Ultimate Armor, the upgraded armor from Mega Man X4, and two others that must be assembled from capsules. However, X cannot wear parts of these armors separately. X can also no longer shoot his buster through walls, and each character has the ability to duck. Zero is able to find and enter Dr. Light’s capsules, however, he cannot use the armor parts given, instead retaining the part to bring to X. However, if Zero reaches the capsule that contains X’s Ultimate Armor, Dr. Light will offer the “Black Zero” Armor instead of the Ultimate Armor that enhances his abilities. Besides regular enemies and bosses, X and Zero can be chased by a phantom virus that will try to infect the characters. If X is sufficiently infected by enough viruses, he will enter a state where his health rapidly declines. However, if Zero is sufficiently infected, he becomes briefly invincible, with increased attack power. At any point between levels, the player has the option of firing the Enigma at the Eurasia. If the Enigma misses, then the player has the option of launching the shuttle. Whether the crash is prevented or not is determined by random chance. If the crash is not prevented, the course of the story is changed. Due to the nature of the storyline, there are multiple endings. Whether X or Zero is used to defeat the last boss also affects which ending is seen.