Since so many of you were interested in the last article about the Ultimate Armor, I thought you guys might enjoy this. From CAP! Volume 4 comes this rare glimpse at how the Ultimate Armor was conceived. And as a special bonus… want to see what Zero’s X4 Ultimate Armor would have looked like?
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It’s coming your way at last, the fourth entry to the series “Rockman X4” will be released this summer! This time, Zero himself will appear as a playable character! Not only that, X and Zero will even have different storylines. How exciting! And that’s not all, there will be a Special Limited Pack on sale at the same time, including an “X4 exclusive model” for the popular Mega Armor line. In this issue, we’ll be getting a behind the scenes look at this Mega Armor. We’ll also receive some information on a mysterious new character, and last but not least, we’ll be welcoming our special guest Hitoshi Ariga in our spectacular feature report!
X4 Original Mega Armor: The Untold Story
The creation of what is called the Ultimate Armor!!
“From the man who designed this Mega Armor”
When I was assigned to the Mega Armor design, I was told I had to come up with the gimmick for the parts, the design and everything to present in just 4 days. I had just completed my design for the X4 parts, when I was told “Arthur, go back and try again.” I remember I was feeling totally dejected after that. I couldn’t go back and change the existing armor structure! As I was groaning to myself and wondering what I should do, I happened to be playing with the X3 Mega Armor parts, attaching them in random ways until I noticed they had taken on a form that looked a bit like an airplane. “That’s it!” I knew I was on to something, and I started on the design right away. But I wondered, could they really make a figure like this work? However, before I knew it, the X4 Limited Edition Mega Armor had recaptured the design flawlessly. “Bandai is truly amazing!” I said to myself. In the end everything worked out great, but I must say though, if another difficult assignment like this gets dumped on me, the next thing they’ll see is me running away at full speed in my strawberry trunks! (If you know what I mean.)
“From the man who did a little of the planning”
X4, the latest entry to the Rockman X saga, is just incredible! And can you believe there’s going to be this ultra-limited edition Mega Armor included with it! The only way to get your hands on this completely original item is through X4, making this the ultimate rare Mega Armor! What’s that? You want to know what I was doing planning Mega Armor? You think that’s Bandai’s job? Shouldn’t I be sticking to making decisions about game materials? I wondered all these things myself, while planning the toy. At first I admit I was a bit overwhelmed; getting to work on a project outside of just games was a little like a dream (surreal even). Even though it wasn’t for very long, it was so different from what I normally do, it turned out to be a lot of fun. I’m really glad to have had such an experience.
This is the finished product!!
*The figure in this image was decorated for photography purposes.
“Perfection! The Ultimate Mega Armor”
So, here’s the completed version of this transforming Mega Armor. This time, the main feature is definitely the wing parts located on the back. You can connect the wing parts to all the shoulder parts and feet parts and everything, and presto! The parts combine and in no time they’ve changed into a flying craft mecha! You’ve never seen a Mega Armor that could do that before, now have you? Check it out, when X is riding atop this mecha, he has total freedom of mobility while in the air! Variable air dash and hovering have nothing on this! The ultimate perfect body for X has been born!
The truth is, Zero was going to have a Mega Armor, too. For various circumstances, we wound up with just X this time. You want to know what his Mega Armor would have been like? Well, it has to do with Zero’s connection to W… actually, I’m not allowed to say any more than that. But, at least I can show you the rough design. I hope that sometime it will see the light of day. That’s all for now! Enjoy Rockman X4!
Here’s the picture cropped to just Zero’s Mega Armor, to get an easier look at it:
This armor sported a face guard and a central fin on the top of the head, along with a claw-like beam blade emitted from each arm and an overall spikier design. And are those wings in the back? The note pointing to them reads “these parts connect to his hair portion (the hair transforms)”. Transforming hair? Interesting! Could this have been what fans were so often craving, an armor bestowed upon Zero by his father, Dr. Wily? Not that black Zero isn’t awesome, but it’s a little sad to think we could have had this in X4, and instead got a recolor that played exactly the same. It’s a blast to compare this design with Command Mission‘s Absolute Zero.
If you were wondering what strawberry trunks had to do with anything, you must not know Arthur. And what about the rest that was promised, the new character and Hitoshi Ariga’s corner? For another time, my friends.
*soars away on his flying mecha*
14 Comments to "The Making of the Ultimate Armor"
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Now THAT is awesome.
Zero almost had an Ultimate Armour? Bummer…
(That “new character” bit reminds me. One magazine–forgot which, but it’s at The Mega Man Library–theorized that Double would be playable.
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That is seriously crazy, and great job on the post – but I have to nay-say on the actual design- I think it’s far too busy, with elements that seem to have no clear purpose other than to be pointy bits. (I do like CM’s Absolute Zero armor quite a lot for Zero, but even it has its busy frills in spots) Some of those bits and bobs would be terrible in melee combat… yeah, I know, the hair is a huge problem in this respect in his normal form too, but I imagine those extended wrist-spikes, sharpened back-end gauntlets and double-extended shoulders snagging on things.
Then again, I think 95% of the armors in the X games are needlessly overworked and reek of Gundam envy, so… ;D
@Flame: Glad you like!
@RAD: Hey, how did you know that the character introduction would be Double? XD Maybe not how you’d expect though. But I also totally remember that magazine!
@Luciano: Olá!! It’s cool to know I have a reader or two in Brazil. Nice to meet you, and thanks for dropping by! Keep on blogging!
@Cass: LOL@Gundam envy! That’s an excellent way to put it. Naturally it’s just personal preference, but I dig many of those extra form-over-function touches. Like this Zero armor here, when I see a thick reinforced looking spikes on his shoulders I think “ramming dash attack” rather than “I bet he has a hard time getting through doors.” Spiky elbow/knee/toe attacks, same deal. I have a thing for armors with face masks too, both for the style and because I think it helps avoid the whole Robocop “just shoot him in the mouth!” quandary. The fin on the head is a bit strange at first glance (a flight stabilizer, a mean cleaver-type headbutt, or just for show?), but I like that it’s distinctive and immediately sets this Zero armor apart from all the other Carddas ones that never altered his helmet at all. It looks like there are quite a few people on other sites that reposted this who agree with you though: that this armor is better off unborn. Not to worry, it’s been over 13 years, after all. This armor’s probably not going to see the light of day from Capcom.
I meant to pose the question earlier, but what color do you guys imagine it to be? I would like a dark red. CAPKobun did an interesting version with black and bronze too:
Extra fan art:
I Imagine the spike on the head is simply to match with the Ultimate armor that has spikes on the helmet. but since Zero’s own helmet “horns” pass as spikes, they just added a central one.
(So that’s where the odd Zero in that first bit of fanart came from…)
I thought “purple and blue”, myself.
“For various circumstances, we wound up with just X this time.”
“I’m not allowed to say any more than that. But, at least I can show you the rough design. I hope that sometime it will see the light of day.”
Who is the person writing this? They said they hope it will see the light of day. It sounds like a member of the development team. Is it Inafune? Or another staff member?
I wonder if it was decided against based on game design reasons, or based on the time it would take to draw and code the sprites?
Unfortunately most comments like these by Capcom members were done semi-anonymously. Quite the mystery.
@#20: Is it true that X can blow up planets with the Nova Strike?
Um, I haven’t seen him do that yet.
I’m not sure he’d want to do that in most cases, really. But, just thinking whether or not he could… Hmm, maybe small ones?
@#20: I think this info is presented in some Japanese databooks (like Rockman X4 Saikyou Daizukan) if I recall correctly.
I just got finished checking that book for you, but I didn’t come across anything that talks about blowing up entire planets. Sorry!