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The copy chip is an internal component of a Reploid and therefore it is not physically seen. However, its effects are well documented, and are all related to DNA manipulation.
The copy chip can store the DNA of multiple Reploids, alloying the new generation Reploids to copy their forms. The transformation causes the Reploid's body to glow brightly as it changes into the new form.
In Mega Man X7 and Mega Man X8, Axl is limited to copying Reploids of his own size. However, this limitation does not exist in the new generation Reploids, who can even copy dangerous Reploids such as Sigma. In Mega Man X: Command Mission, Axl's copy ability is no longer limited to size.
Another difference between Axl and the New Generation is that Axl must use the Copy Shot to acquire the crystallized DNA Core of other Reploids, while the new generation already has the data of numerous old Reploids included in their copy chips. Axl can only store the DNA of one Reploid at a time, but he is also the only Reploid known to have the Copy Shot.
In the games, Axl's transformations consume Weapon Energy and he returns to his original form when the bar is depleted. New generation Reploids do not seem to have this restriction, but they still revert to their original forms when they are destroyed. The power new generation Reploids gain from transforming seems to vary between models, as there is a major difference of strength between the Copy Sigma boss from Mega Man X8 and the ones appearing as stage enemies in Sigma Palace. All New Generation Reploids (including Axl) can cancel the transformation at will.
The copy chip is notorious for making the Reploid completely immune to electronic viruses, including the Sigma Virus. This immunity is a result of the copy chip's ability to change DNA. Therefore, New Generation Reploids do not suffer the effects of infection. However, it is revealed in Mega Man X8 that New Generation Reploids can still turn Maverick.
Mega Man X Series
The copy chip is first introduced as the source of Axl's special ability in Mega Man X7. Since Axl has no memory of his past, the origins of the copy chip remain a mystery. Axl's ability draws the attention of Sigma, who takes over Axl's faction, the Red Alert Syndicate, in an effort to use Axl to obtain the DNA of X, but the plan is foiled when Axl defects to the Maverick Hunters.
In Mega Man X8, Axl becomes the prototype for the new generation Reploids manufactured for the Jakob Project, an attempt from humankind to colonize the moon. However, the project is taken over by Sigma, who inserts his DNA on the new generation's copy chips and attempts an insurrection. The incident is quelled by Axl, X and Zero, who defeat the new generation along with Sigma himself and the project director Lumine, who secretly masterminded the uprising.
The news of Lumine turning Maverick causes the government to cancel development of any Reploids with copy chips still in production, as well as terminate all manufacture and use of copy chips. However, the new space race keeps demand strong for these advanced Reploids and production of copy chips is resumed years after the incident.
In Mega Man X: Command Mission, Axl investigates the Ulfat Factory after hearing rumors that his copy ability might have been invented there. The investigation leads nowhere, but Marino later reveals that Spider once went to a place that researched copy abilities. It is revealed in the final battle that Colonel Redips has a copy chip, which he used to masquerade as Spider and manipulate the Rebellion in Giga City. However, his plan to take over the world is stopped by the Maverick Hunters.
Notes and Trivia
- The A-Trans from Mega Man ZX Advent functions in exactly the same manner as the Copy Chip. It is the special ability of Biometal Model A, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Axl.
- Although the Copy Chip is supposed to make the bearer immune to viruses, Axl is still susceptible to the "Virus" status effect from Mega Man X: Command Mission.
- ↑ Alia: I've completed the analysis of the Maverick data acquired so far. What makes new generation Reploids resistant to viruses is their copy chip. The copy chip can actually change a Reploid's DNA.
--Mega Man X8
- ↑ Marino: Well, goodbye, X. This was all pretty swell. By the way... I've been checking on that chameleon ability... And I found out that a long time ago, Spider was at a place where they researched copy abilities. Guess he wanted to become a shape-changing bounty hunter, right? The ol' fool...
--Mega Man X: Command Mission