👾 Mega Man X, tragic hero.

X is the rare example of a tragic video game hero, one who is deeply opposed to the actions you take in playing the game. A pacifist at heart, he joins the Maverick Hunters keenly aware that he is committing acts of violence, and knows there are no guarantees that his actions will lead to anything other than more violence. Unlike the previous Mega Man series, every enemy X defeats is a life taken.

As the player of the game, meanwhile, speeding through levels and eliminating enemies is second nature. Every boss defeated adds to your arsenal of weapons, giving you new tools to explore, uncover secret power-ups, and exploit enemy weaknesses. There’s no hesitation to the atrocities committed, in other words. The fast, smooth action is extremely rewarding, and the fun of combat is an exceptional motivator to continue playing. And it’s completely antithetical to the being X wants to be.

Tyler Hellard @poploser