Mega Man XZ: The Maverick Hunters

Hints and tips

This section deals with hints and tips detailing various pieces of information about the game that don't really fit anywhere else. Much of this information can be considered to be spoilers, so it's advised that you use caution while reading on as certain things like game endings and hidden unlockables will be revealed here (but are presented at the bottom of the page). If you've finished the game already and want a quick overview on what else there is to do, you'll find everything here.

Differences in difficulty settings
Mega Man X8 features three difficulty settings: Easy, Normal & Hard (selected when you start a new game). Differences experienced between the three in gameplay and cutscenes are:

  • You'll have a bundle of chips already developed, and there won't be any Rare Metals to find.
  • Many chips won't ever be available to develop.
  • Enemies and mini-bosses (including the Crab Mechaniloid) are much weaker with respect to Normal mode.
  • Can't fight Cut Man in Optic Sunflower's stage.
  • Can't unlock the Ultimate Armor, Zero's Black Armor, Axl's White Armor or the Σ Blade through selecting New Game +.
  • Unlimited retries.
  • Bosses won't use Overdrives.
  • The game will end upon defeating (final) Sigma, with a teaser after the credits of the final battle against Lumine.
  • Can't bring developed chips into a New Game + session.
  • Start with no chips developed.
  • Maximum of five retries.
  • All enemies are at standard health and attack level.
  • Watch extra cutscenes after the final Vile battle and during the final Sigma battle.
  • Less maximum life and weapon energy.
  • Maximum of three retries.
  • Bosses will engage their Overdrives with half their health lost.
  • Enemies exhibit stronger attacks and defense (such as the floating turrets shooting beams rather than small energy balls).
  • The final three bosses have health bars just under the entire width of the screen.
Double character system
Much like X7 you'll have two characters to choose before tackling a mission (except the inital Noah's Park run-through). Once X recovers new armor suits, you'll have the option of using and customizing them (in the Neutral Armor's case) or sticking with normal X without armor equipped. Upon selecting your team, you'll have the option of choosing one of three navigators (or none) to see you through the mission. Alia will give general hints of stage layouts and enemy intel, while Layer primarily gives hints of enemy & boss characteristics and weaknesses, finally Pallette will give hints of alternate routes or hidden areas within stages.

Once you've unlocked the navigators as playable characters (see below) press Special Weapon (default Triangle on PS2 and S on PC) on the character select screen to view them. Note that you can't select a mission navigator when using one of them, and all dialog scenes between the Hunters and bosses will be skipped if using a navigator.

Press the Character Change button (default L2 on PS2 and F on PC) at any time to switch between characters, using it in times of need such as when caught by a hostile to break free. If you watch your health bar carefully when taking damage, you'll spot some of it turning red. If you keep your character out in the field the red health bars will slowly deplete (except with X's armor suits equipped), but if you call in your reserve character the bars will gradually turn back to green over time (speed the process up by developing the Speedy Recovery chips). Don't switch back to your recovering character before they fully heal or you'll lose any remaining red health bars. Gain combos to recover a reserve character's red health faster. Use these tricks to keep your characters alive longer.

If one character loses all their health they'll teleport out while the other takes point. The only way to recover your lost character is to build up the Double Attack energy gauge to full, upon which they'll receive a small amount of health back. If you already had the Double Attack gauge full when losing a character it'll flatline, so keep tagging back and forth between your characters to keep things rolling smoothly.
Dash button for PS2
This is a personal trick I've found to work well with the PS2's controller, so don't feel you need to use it. By default the Dash button is Circle, making it hard to dash and then jump properly. By flipping the Change Character and Dash buttons around (making Dash L2 and Character Change Circle) you can easily dash and jump comfortably along with firing your weapon (Square).
Combo hit system and mission ratings
When attacking enemies, if you manage to score multiple consecutive hits, a number will appear (and possibly rise) under your health bar. This combo meter records how many attacks you manage to string together over a short period without taking a hit. As it rises a message will appear giving you an idea of how good your combo is. Some weapons, such as Axl's Ray Gun, work wonders in racking up combos. Your highest combo will be presented on the post-mission screen and recorded in your stats. The combos and required hits are:
  • 10 - Good
  • 20 - Great
  • 30 - Super
  • 40 - Electrifying
  • 50 - X-cellent
  • 60 - Mega-Maximum
Upon completing a mission (whether you faced the boss or just ran through the stage again) you'll be presented with a mission rating. Your rank will be based upon how many enemies you defeated, the time you took to complete the stage and your highest combo scored. Purely for rating your performance, the ranks in order of lowest to highest are as follows: D, C, B, A, AA, AAA.
Double Attack system & using Double Attacks to defeat bosses
Take a look at your character's health bar. See the funky vertical bar on the left side? That represents your Double Attack gauge, and slowly fills while you defeat enemies and recover Double Attack capsules (shaped like diamonds). Topping it up promptly causes the gauge to flash red, ready for use. Pushing the Double Attack button (default R2 on PS2 & V on PC) causes your character to summon a spherical matrix around themselves.

If the sphere touches an enemy, the screen will change to a huge green matrix-esque background while your reserve character teleports in. Both your characters will then mercilessly tear into their target(s) delivering a massive world of hurt. Regular enemies won't stand a chance, but you'll want to reserve the attack's use for bosses.

By using the Double Attack to finish off a boss, instead of the usual green background it'll become orange, signifying your secured win. On the post-mission screen a new icon will appear with the letters "EXF".
Breaking through enemy barriers
Some enemies can effortlessly block your shots with special barriers. Each Hunter can break through these barriers a number of ways:
  • X: Standard X-Buster charged shot, or single hit with Ultimate Armor's Nova Strike.
  • Zero: Three Z-Saber swings, or a single hit with the Juuhazan, Youdantotsu, T Breaker, K Knunkle's Ganzanha or the Σ Blade.
  • Axl: Five burts from the Axl Bullet, or a single hit with the Blast Launcher or Plasma Gun.
New Game +
Familiar to players of games like Chrono Trigger & Final Fantasy X-2, X8 allows you to restart the game upon completing it with all your gear still in hand (save for the special weapons & techniques). All your developed chips will remain in your possession, along with any Dr. Light capsule upgrades for X. To unlock the navigators as playable characters and the Hunter's special armor suits you'll first need to start up a new game via New Game + (except if you completed the game previously in Easy mode).
Unlocking playable navigator characters
Beat the game either on Normal or Hard mode and fire up a New Game + session. Use each navigator a few times in any stage and eventually a single weapon for each will become available in the R&D Lab's "All" category. Each individual navigator costs a whopping 40,000 Metals (36,000 if you have the Metal Discount) to unlock, so you'll need deep pockets.

Check the chips page for more details. To actually use the navigators, press Special Weapon on the character select screen prior to entering a stage to view your available navigators. Also press Special Weapon in the R&D Lab's Chip Development screen to view chip upgrades for the navigators. You can also instantly unlock each navigator via special codes shown below.
Fight Cut Man in Troia Base
Right before Optic Sunflower's room (see stage guides for more info) you'll find a long empty hallway. For PS2 players, if you have a save game file from Mega Man X: Command Mission on the same card you're using for X8, a teleporter will be standing the center of the hallway. Step inside to fight none other than the 8-bit Cut Man! If you don't have the extra CM save, check below for a code to unlock the teleporter.
Codes to unlock various goodies
Input the following codes on the title screen with the "Press Start" message on-screen to unlock various items (successful input is notified by the announcer saying "Mega Man X8"). The codes will affect whichever save file you choose to load, or when starting a new game:
  • X's Ultimate Armor: Left, Left, Left, Right, Right, Right, Left, Left, Left, Left, Right, Right, Right, Right
  • Zero's Black Armor: L1, L1, R1, R1, L1, L1, L1, L1
  • Axl's White Armor: L2, L2, L2, R2, R2, R2, L2, L2, L2, R2
  • Fight Cut Man in Troia Base: Left, Circle, Up, Triangle, Down, X, Right, Square, L1, R1, L2, R2
  • Unlock the Σ Blade: L3, L3, R3, L3, L3, R3, L3, L3, R3, L3, L3, R3
  • Unlock Alia: Down, R1, Up, L1, Square, X, Triangle, Circle
  • Unlock Layer: Square, Square, Right, X, R1
  • Unlock Pallette: R1, X, Left, Square, Square
Game Introductions and Endings
The funky intro screen with the Capcom logo will change as you complete the game on different settings. Upon playing the game initially you'll be treated to a blue splash screen with the Capcom logo and silhouettes of X, Axl & Zero. A combo of all three voices will shout "Capcom!" X will also announce the Mega Man X8 name on the title screen.

Beat the game on Normal mode to turn the splash screen red and have Layer's voice announce the name (with Zero announcing the game's name). Finally, beating the game on Hard mode (or Normal mode from a New Game +) yields a combo of the three navigator's voices announcing the Capcom brand with Axl announcing the game's title. The silhouettes of the Hunters will also change to those of the navigators once you've unlocked and leveled them all to 100%.

You'll unlock a slightly different ending based on which character you use when dealing the final blow to Lumine. X wonders what Lumine's "evolution" speech was all about and what destiny lies in store for Reploids, while Zero considers what his life would be like if Sigma were to be truly defeated. Axl's gives a possible hint of what's in store for the Hunters in the future (seen after the credits roll), as he remains unconscious while a tiny purple glint emanates from his forehead gem where Lumine belted him with his weird whip-cable.