Hack Showcase: Mega Man X1-2 Zero Playable + X3 Zero Project (SNES)

 

Hack Showcases and RPG Hack Showcases are a series where I show off various game and rpg hacks. I try to stick with hacks that improve gameplay or add quality of life features, completely or partially change the plot and characters, along with additional content, dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. Non-rpgs I try to give a full run to, or at least enough for a solid review. Rpgs I will stick with titles that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, show parts later in the games where more differences appear. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream fully in the future or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to bug and content updates or me playing them and finding anything new I wish to bring up.

Mega Man X and X2 Zero Playable was designed by Programmer Peru and makes Zero instead of X the main hero using his sprites from throughout the games and some other fixes. You’ll proceed normally throughout the game to fight the Mavericks, get items and upgrades on your way to fighting Sigma normally. Skull_emperor_ is the developer behind the graphic and text fix hacks which can be attached easily to the Zero Playable hacks to make some small graphical fixes in both games, and change the dialog in the openings and endings and cutscenes to reflect Zero being the main hero instead of X. In X1 the Dr. Light capsules were changed to Dr. Wily capsules and the dialog reflects that. Future updates for the X2 hack will change Dr. light to Dr. Wily.

The Mega Man X3 Zero Project (as of this writing is version 4.4) by Justin3009 adds Zero as the main hero, with X playable too, and adds a lot more (worth noting this is different and rewritten from the ground up than their original Zero in X3 hack). Added in the Zero project is improved music and sounds, gameplay, Zero and X having their own sets of dialog through the game, and other options like a save/load system! Zero also starts with 2 mega shots and his sword attack! It’s also a bit of a pain to patch and put together.

With most romhacks, strongly suggested to check out the readme files for advice on the changes to hacks and any gameplay tips, especially with rpgs. Readme files for rpg hacks can contain additional gameplay advice, etc, and it’s worth subscribing to hacks you like on RHDN to keep up with updates for bug fixes, additional content, etc.

SO HOW IS X1 AND X2 ZERO PLAYABLE?

X with Zero Playable is a lot of fun, especially with the Text Change hack attached to change up the graphics and dialog to be related to Zero as the main hero. No other big changes to the graphics or the music, except for Zero replacing X. Zero is a few pixels taller than X, so his height can be your advantage in fighting some taller enemies like the walkers, which on the flip side can lead you to take damage from enemies you didn’t think would hit you either. It’s kinda a shame Zero’s color doesn’t really change with the enhancements or switching to a special weapon, except in the “get a weapon” screens. The Dr. Light capsules are changed to Dr. Wily and Wily’s casual look with his hands in his pockets as you get the upgrades made me smile. The Z-Saber is only obtained by getting the hadoken fireball from the hidden capsule in Armored Armadillo’s stage. Playing as Zero does change up the dialogue when you encounter X, Vile, and Sigma throughout the game.

This hack is challenging! The Mavericks hit harder and faster meaning you’ll need to change up your strategies and perhaps bring full sub-tanks to the fight than you would in vanilla. Biggest examples being Spark Mandrill doesn’t freeze when hit by the Shotgun Ice, and Armadillo doesn’t lose his armor when his with a powered up spark. Armadillo is definitely a tough fight both times. The final Sigma fights will throw you off too seeing how Sigma will send TWO DOGS after you instead of 1 before you fight him twice. In general, I do recommend X with Zero Playable.

X2 with Zero Playable was a lot of fun like the first with the Text Fixes hack! Zero’s sprite this time is based off his X3 look along with his moveset, and charging his blaster to the green level will shoot out 2 blasts and a very strong swipe with the Z-Saber! With the Text and Graphic hack attached, most of the dialog is oriented towards Zero being the main hero in this one, except the Dr Light capsules are not changed, and neither is Zero replacing X on the “get a weapon” screens. Zero already starts with his powered up Z-Buster, so holding the fire button for the green glow gives you 2 burst and swinging his Z-Sword. The Z-Sword can take out minor enemies and most mini bosses in one hit, Mavericks it takes about a quarter of damage away from them, and less with the Z-Hunters battles. Zero is still taller in this, so again you have the advantage and disadvantage of the larger sprite than X.

Worth noting in regard to the Z-Buster, the Arm Upgrade is not in this hack, so you’ll only find the legs, Body, and Helmet upgrades throughout your journey, though there didn’t seem to be much difference with the Leg upgrade seeing Zero starts with his speed dash already too. I just can’t get the air-dash to work either. There’s some graphical glitches, like your Zero sprite getting scrambled when in a Ride Armor and you get hit in Crystal Snail’s area. Aside from Zero replacing X there’s really few other graphical changes and the rocking soundtrack remains the same too. Thankfully this isn’t a hard hack like Zero in MMX, so you don’t have to worry about the bosses hitting harder or stronger this time around. This was a lot of fun to play, like MMX and do recommend.

SO HOW IS X3 ZERO PROJECT? Wow, this hack is amazing and so many changes this should be the definitive version of X3! Only big thing not changed is the difficulty of the game which is a shame since X3 in general has a lot going for it. You can use Zero right from the start and even in the intro stage, and switch him out for X if you want. Both X and Zero have some quality of life features added, and some gameplay changes, like Zero having a larger life bar, different consumption of weapon energy, and he starts with the air dash and a double jump. Zero can collect the upgrade items from Dr. Light, but he carries them around for X if/when you switch over to him. New graphics were added to the “get a weapon” screens for X and Zero too!

Zero’s sprite is still taller so same advantage and disadvantages from the other hacks apply here. The game is still quite tough, but the new save system helps a bit since you don’t have to write passwords down. Save system saves all your stats, upgrades, and your fights with Bit, Byte, and Vile. The dialogue was edited for when Zero is your playable character and some of X’s dialogue was adjusted too. Instead of the Golden Armor, Zero can get the Black Armor one of 2 ways.

In conclusion, I do recommend all 3 of these hacks. The great changes and quality of life features do out way the few negatives, though most of them can be considered part of the game itself. X1 with Zero was made more difficult, X2 is the same, and X3 is still a tough challenge for anyone.

GAMEPLAY VIDEOS:
Mega Man X with Zero:

Mega Man X2 with Zero:

Mega Man X3 Zero Project: Video coming soon.

I GIVE MEGA MAN X1 AND X2 ZERO PLAYABLE 4 OUT OF 5 SUB-TANKS!!
I GIVE MEGA MAN X3 ZERO PROJECT 4 OUT OF 5 SUB-TANKS!!

Links:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4947/ – Mega Man X Zero Playable
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4970/ – Mega Man X Zero Playable Text Fix
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4988/ – Mega Man X2 Zero Playable
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5070/ – Mega Man X2 Graphic & Text Fix
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4086/ – Mega Man X3 Zero Project 4.4

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