We’ve got all the pieces, now let’s put it all together!
Here’s what the SP cards look like all lined up next to each other.
Couldn’t get them to line up exactly perfect, but they still make a nice complete picture.
There’s one thing we have been neglecting to show you however, and that’s the back of the cards! We’ll be looking at them today. They tell the backstory of X1 and X2, and much of the text is adapted from some of the other cards from the regular Rockman X and Rockman X2 card backs. There are also some interesting discrepancies and differences from the games, which we’ll talk about as well.
( Rockman X  )
In the year 21XX A.D., the planet has undergone a drastic change, to a world where humans and the robots called “REPLIROIDS” live in coexistence. Different from the industrial robots and the robots created to assist mankind in the past, a “REPLIROID” is a robot with the complete capability of human reasoning.
……Although a society based on equality between man and “REPLIROID” has been established, incidents have begun all over the world where robots who somehow acquire defects in their control chips start raging out of control, becoming “IRREGULARS”…
SP-1 tells a condensed version of the story that appears in Rockman X Carddas cards 2-4, while SP-2 below recaps cards 4-5.
( Rockman X  )
“X” is a member of Unit 17 of what is called the “IRREGULAR HUNTERS”, “REPLIROIDS” whose duty is to detect and delete any “REPLIROID” who goes irregular. The Commander of X’s 17th Unit, “SIGMA”, has instigated the “REPLIROIDS” into initiating an uprising against humanity… “X” decides to join his compatriot “ZERO” in the fight against “SIGMA”. In opposing “SIGMA” who is renown as history’s mightiest repliroid, what will be the fate of “X”!?
Next, SP-3 summarizes the story from Carddas’ Rockman X2 cards 44-45. By they way, I apologize for the annoying overuse of quotation marks and capitalization in these. I decided to leave the notation similar to what the cards used, even though it looks a little awkward. At least it’s authentic awkwardness.
( Rockman X2  )
Half a year has passed since the battle with “SIGMA”, and while the number of “IRREGULAR” incidents has decreased since then, there has recently been a drastic upsurge in cases of “REPLIROIDS” going “IRREGULAR”. “IRREGULAR” converted “REPLIROIDS” have been attacking the Hunter Organization in various strategic locations, pushing them to the brink of annihilation. A special chip was discovered from inside the bodies of the captured “REPLIROIDS”, carrying the mark of “SIGMA”. “X” and the “IRREGULAR HUNTERS” have begun an investigation into finding the manufacturers of this chip…
Finally, SP-4 contains the story that appears on card 48 of the regular X2 line. While SP-4 may contain a glaring error unique to itself, both cards are noteworthy for being at odds with what occurs within the game Rockman X2.
( Rockman X2  )
“X” returned to Hunter HQ after neutralizing the secret manufacturing facility of the “IRREGULAR HUNTERS”, only to discover that the headquarters had been ruthlessly invaded. Narrowly surviving the attack, “DR. CAIN” was able to inform him that a group calling themselves the “COUNTER HUNTERS” were the one behind the mysterious raids, and had stolen the control chip of “ZERO”. Believing that “Sigma” must somehow be connected to these incidents, “X” is determined to fight and recover “ZERO”‘s control chip. The next battle between “X” and “SIGMA” begins!!
The first questionable item in this passage was calling the factory a secret Irregular Hunter facility. This was not something that was said in the initial cards, or anywhere else that I know of. Many fans believe this to be a writing error, and that was either meant to say “IRREGULAR” or “COUNTER HUNTER”. On the other hand, to those who appreciate elaborate fan theories, there are some who suggest that Sigma may have had the factory built for his own evil purposes while he was still a Hunter leader, and classified the project so that practically no one in the organization knew about it; thus making it a secret Irregular Hunter manufacturing facility that produces Irregulars. There’s little to support or debunk the claim, so why not decide for yourself which explanation you find most suitable.
The other oddity from this passage, which was also found on Rockman X2 card 48, was the part about the Counter Hunter attack occurring while X is fighting at the factory, and the Counter Hunters taking Zero’s control chip this early in the story.
You may remember that in the game, the Counter Hunters (or X-Hunters) don’t directly contact X until after he’s beaten two of the Irregular (or Maverick) bosses, then informing him that they have Zero’s body parts. At that point, Cain assures X that Zero’s control chip is still held at the HQ. It is only if X fails to acquire all of Zero’s parts from the Counter Hunters that the base is attacked and the control chip is stolen.
So, why the disparity? When the X2 cards first came out, some fans believed that this could have been a story element that was changed in development between when the cards were made and the game was finalized, assuming that the cards were in production at the same time as the game, and miscommunications may occur.
Others have suggested that they actually meant to say Zero’s body parts were what were stolen at this time, but Cain had managed to save the control chip from their clutches. That could explain how body and mind became separated and how the bad guys only managed to acquire half of the package, a subject that came up on this blog a while back. But the fact that this information stayed congruent with the Rockman X Revival Special cards had cast increasing doubt over whether it was really a mistake. Then again, the same card also had that Irregular Hunter oddity mentioned above…
As still others have noted, the event described in the cards does match pretty closely the scene that occurs in the game, just not at the right time. It could be that because the cards are providing only a loose summary of events, they might have skipped around to tell only the most important story facts. In other words, X fights the factory battle, and the other stage battles, and only later does he return and that scene plays out. It’s only condensed for the sake of being a recap.
And then there’s yet another take on this: that the Carddas series is an entirely different version of the Rockman X story that’s heavily based on but not related to the games, and that everything therein should be considered its own separate continuity. In this case, the Carddas Rockman X saga ended on a cliffhanger in Mega Mission 3, and it’s unknown if the events of the Xtreme games or X4 onward ever occurred in their universe. That might explain some of the other issues that Mega Mission has with the story, but on that note many fans also don’t feel that the presence of a few minor inconsistencies is enough to merit casting the whole thing out, so to speak.
I’ll defer the determination of Carddas’ canonicity to you readers: I’m happy enough just enjoying the artwork. Hope you guys enjoyed Free X Pic Weekend! The next several pages of Rock’n Game Boy will be up on Wednesday, and the final part will be up next week. If you’re sick of those already, at least there’s still Fridays to look forward to. They’re always such a surprise, even I don’t know what I’ll be posting!
(Really. I have no idea. I should go try and figure that out.)