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Reploid

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X5Reploids

Maverick Hunter Reploids from Mega Man X5

A Reploid, or Repliroid (レプリロイド Repuriroido?, a combination of the words replica and android) in the original Japanese games, from the science fiction video game series Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX, is an android with complete free will and thought processes comparable to that of humans.

Characteristics

Reploids can be thought of as the next evolutionary step of the robots from the classic series. For all intents and purposes, Reploids are the same as humans on a mental level; they think and feel, giving them the ability to make their own decisions and develop unique personalities. Although Reploids undergo major physical changes throughout the series, they generally retain this one trait with the exception of mentally degraded Reploids such as the Pantheons.

Prototype Reploids

"Reploids... created by human beings... yet possessing abilities far beyond our own."
Dr. Cain, The Day of Σ
MMZ4ReploidDevPapers

Reploid development papers seen in the introduction sequence of Mega Man Zero 4.

Reploids are humanoids, and may appear either male or female. They usually have a human face (and sometimes, hair), as well as bulging armor around the forelimbs and upper body. However, many are built to actually resemble robotic animals with humanoid traits. These particular Reploids tend to be designed for very specific tasks; for example, a heavy duty Reploid may be large and bulky, whereas a marine Reploid may be based on a fish. There is no limit to the tasks Reploids can perform with the right design.

It is eventually revealed in the series that Reploids have a form of DNA; Iris even mentions that a Reploid's DNA is similar to a human's soul, calling it a DNA Soul. However, DNA was shown to integrate the actual body as well when Gate used a piece of Zero to carry out his plans. DNA can be manipulated for several purposes, such as Reploid resurrection (said to be illegal in Mega Man X6) and even cloning.

As machines, Reploids do not age, although they still require rest and maintenance to remain functional. The Maverick Hunters have capsules which X and Zero used to recover, although cybernetic beds were also used by Reploids in Giga City.

Although Reploids are never explicitly shown consuming food or beverages in-game, the series states that they use Energy Crystals to maintain themselves. In other media, Vile stated in the Rockman X manga that Reploids lack taste, being unable to tell if they were drinking a glass of bourbon or mud. It is later contradicted in the beginning of the Rockman X4 manga, which portrays Reploids, X and Zero included, casually enjoying drinks. This later culminates in X vomiting from trying Dr. Cain's specially mixed oil drink, with X declaring it tasted disgusting. However, as X has human-like qualities that other Reploids lack, such as being able to cry, he may have taste as well. In the Rockman Zero manga, Zero is shown to have taste, but is unable to consume human food, finding it disgusting and requiring Energy Crystals instead. Years later, the new Zero consumes several cola bottles, but he temporarily goes out of control.

Advanced Reploids

By the time of the Mega Man Zero series, Reploids have become much more human in appearance. Due to this progression, they can now wear regular clothing, making it harder to distinguish them from humans save for a pair of bionic plates for ears. Only battle Reploids such as Zero and the Four Guardians were seen with armor, which is slimmed and reshaped to fit their human appearance. E-Crystals appear to be the main energy source for Reploids in the series, leading to the energy crisis that results in their persecution by Neo Arcadia.

In Mega Man Zero 3, it is revealed that the program data of deceased Reploids drifts to Cyberspace, which is where Phantom is allowed to have a rematch with Zero after his destruction in Mega Man Zero. Reploid souls may also roam the world as Cyber-elves under special circumstances, as was the case with the original X and Elpizo. The term "Cyber-elf" has also been used in reference to the Reploid's personality program.[1]

In Mega Man Zero, Alouette implicates that Reploids are unable to shed tears (although they can still display emotions associated with the gesture, such as sadness).[2] In the drama track Alouette's Good Day, Andrew mentions that Reploid children learn much faster than humans, but any attempt at singing comes off as a recording as they can only replay voice data.

Pseudo-Bio Reploid

By the time of the Mega Man ZX series, Reploids retain the same general appearance from the Mega Man Zero series, but now they can be identified by the mark of a red triangle on the center of their foreheads. The major changes are internal: Reploids now have limited lifespans, given by Legion in an effort to bring equality to humans and Reploids. There is also an indication that Reploids may be able to eat organic food, as Grey can replendish his lifebar with items such as oranges.

Although living Mutos Reploids have not appeared in the series, counterparts known as Pseudoroids have a similar role.

History

Mega Man X

"The Reploids were well designed. Perhaps too well. Their humanity began to sow the seeds of rebellion."
―Neige, Mega Man Zero 4

In 21XX, some 100 years after the events of the original Mega Man series and the apparent death of Doctor Thomas Light, an archaeologist named Doctor Cain excavated one of Doctor Light's laboratories and discovered a capsule which contained the highly advanced robot named "X". X represented a substantial jump in robotics technology, prompting Cain to reproduce X's technology from Light's original work and notes. Being unable to reproduce the technology perfectly, Cain was forced to invent alternative solutions. All robotic designs based on X's technology have been referred to as "Reploids," since they are imperfect "replicas" of the original X. Despite being the original, X is often referred to as a Reploid, and refers to himself as such.

From then on, Reploids were mass-produced to live among humans on Earth. However, some Reploids started to rebel against their creators, and would harm those they did not agree with. These reploids were labeled as Mavericks. A council decided to create a group of reploids that would rise to the occasion of Maverick outbreaks. This group was dubbed the Maverick Hunters.

However, a few of these Maverick Hunters would also break away from their original programming and cause, after the climax of Sigma's first encounter with a rogue Zero. From then on, a mysterious virus (that would be later be known as the infamous Sigma Virus) would infect this Reploid, who would cause mass destruction and trigger the Maverick Wars; for decades, the conflict divided the Reploids between those who fought for the humans and those who opposed them; either because of viral infection, rejection of their status as tools of the humans or other reasons.

Elf Wars

Main article: Elf Wars

Prior to the events of the Mega Man Zero series, Zero is discovered to be the original host of the Sigma Virus and put on stasis for research. The result of fifty years of study is the Mother Elf, which X uses to delete the Sigma Virus and return Mavericks to their original state, drastically reducing their numbers. Cyber-elves are also created to assist Reploids in their functions.

However, a researcher named Dr. Weil corrupts the Mother Elf, turning her into the Dark Elf and starting the Elf Wars, creating clones named Baby Elves to make Reploids go Maverick in a large scale. He also creates a Reploid named Omega from Zero's body, who proceeds to slay countless humans and Reploids. Although X and Zero (in a new body) join forces to bring an end to four years of conflict, no less than 90% of all Reploids in the world are destroyed in the worst war in history.

Fearful of his potential as a threat, Zero returns to stasis while X gathers the survivors under his leadership in Neo Arcadia. Dr. Weil is exiled for his crimes while Omega is banished to space in the Forbidden Ark.

Mega Man Zero

One century after the Elf Wars, the peace and stability brought by Neo Arcadia begin to fall apart when X vanishes after sacrificing his body to seal the Dark Elf in Yggdrasil. As Neo Arcadia starts to suffer from a serious energy shortage, a clone of X created as a replacement decides to deal with the crisis by terminating the Reploids under pretenses of Maverick behavior. Feeling guilty for her role in creating the copy, a young human named Ciel founds the Resistance to rally and protect the Reploids while also researching alternate sources of energy.

However, when faced with Neo Arcadia's superior military force, Ciel desperately begins to search for Zero, eventually locating him in the Forgotten Laboratory. Although Zero suffers from memory loss, he agrees to protect the Resistance from Neo Arcadia, even defeating the Four Guardians and destroying Copy X himself.

Ciel eventually succeeds in developing a substitute energy in the Ciel System and notifies Neo Arcadia in hopes of ending the conflict, but a vengeful Dr. Weil returns with Omega and takes over Neo Arcadia by manipulating a revived Copy X. Although Omega himself is destroyed, Dr. Weil extends Neo Arcadia's oppression to the humans, putting them on the same level as the Reploids. Zero, Ciel and a mobile segment of the Resistance protect a human caravan from Dr. Weil's forces in Area Zero, the only habitable place outside of Neo Arcadia. Though the humans initially blame the Reploids for their misfortunes, Zero's persistent efforts to defend Area Zero and his harsh criticism of the humans begin to change their opinion. However, Neo Arcadia itself falls in the conflict as the space station Ragnarok is hijacked by Craft, who defects from Neo Arcadia and blasts the center with Ragnarok's cannon, resulting in the death of millions. Zero eventually defeats Craft and later saves Area Zero by sacrificing himself to defeat Dr. Weil and destroy Ragnarok.

In Vile's Incident, set two years after the events of the series, human and Reploid survivors are shown to have started a new life in Area Zero.

Mega Man ZX Series

As the world rebuilds, a new coalition government named Legion is founded with the Sage Trinity at the helm. Seeking equality between humans and Reploids, the Sage Trinity passes new laws which give lifespans to Reploids, which are programmed into them; in order to carry it out, Reploids are required to visit Legion to check their lifespan settings. Reploids and humans have eventually become one and the same. However, it is implied that Masters Albert and Thomas had their own ulterior motives for implementing these new laws relating to the Mega Men.

With humans now receiving cybernetic implants, humans and Reploids are finally able to live on equal standing. This has blurred the lines between humans and Reploids so much that the entire race (both humans and Reploids) is now known as Humanoids. Nevertheless, Reploids have triangles on their foreheads to make a distinction between them and humans. However, as time goes on, both are involved in a new conflict which becomes known as the Game of Destiny, where select individuals become Mega Men and fight each other to claim Biometal Model W.

Advanced types of Reploids

Other than the default characteristics of the widely-produced Reploids out there, many and more generation as well as development of Reploids have been made throughout the series.

Robots Backbone

Main article: Robot Master

In 200X-20XX, robots such as Mega Man were not entirely capable of free will. For example, Dr. Wily's Robot Masters were capable of limited thought and moral decisions which lead to such things as hobbies and preferences, though these aspects were already set in their programming, giving the programmer some kind of status as a god. Wily usually abused this aspect and mostly programmed or reprogrammed his robots to feel extreme hatred for Mega Man.

Reploids, on the other hand, do not possess a similar structure in their AI, giving them absolute free will to the same extent as human beings have, which allows them to exist as civilians. This however has led to some Reploids becoming criminals or rebels, which leads to the classification of "Mavericks" ("Irregulars" in the original Japanese versions).

X8Reploids

Lumine with some new generation Reploids.

New Generation Reploids

First appearing in Mega Man X8, the New Generation Reploids were created from the prototype Axl. Their main purpose is to serve as workers for a space elevator project, known as "Jakob". These Reploids are fitted with a chip that grants immunity from all viruses known at the time, and also permits these Reploids to change the shape of their bodies (like Axl). Also, Axl and the New Generation Reploids can copy the form of other Reploids by adding their DNA to their Copy Chips.However, this ends in failure, as the advanced chip also incorporates data from the Maverick Sigma, causing the Reploids to go Maverick at will.

Lumine, the main supervisor of Jakob, believed himself and all new-generation Reploids to be superior to even the original Reploids, and plotted to destroy both humans and old-generation Reploids alike. Lumine ultimately fails, and the production of the new generation Reploid line was discontinued after the news of Lumine's Maverick status was revealed. The use and manufacture of copy chips was also terminated; however, with space development in full swing, there was still a demand for the advanced new generation Reploids and "years later" copy chip production resumed.

Mutos Reploids

Main article: Mutos Reploid

Mutos Reploid are a type of Reploid in the Mega Man Zero series created by Neo Arcadia as the protectors of the sole humans race. Their designs are based on mythological beings. They stand out for their completely mechanical appearance, and they usually possess skills and weapons not available to ordinary Reploids. The appearance and abilities of each Mutos Reploid are generally related to the tasks they are created for, allowing for an unlimited variety of Mutos Reploids.

Pseudoroids

Main article: Pseudoroid

Pseudoroid are physically similar to the Mutos Reploids of the Mega Man Zero series. Instead of a human appearance, Pseudoroids resemble mechanical animals (or plants) with humanoid traits. Despite this, Pseudoroids are unique for the fact that Biometals (or fragments thereof) are used in their construction. Certain lines from a few Pseudoroids suggest that at least some of them were not actually born as Pseudoroids, although their actual origins were never revealed.

Trivia

  • Despite their overwhelming global presence in the series, no Reploid gained a playable role up until Mega Man X7 with the introduction of Axl.
  • There are only three "Reploids" based on Zero's architecture instead of X's: the copy of Zero from Mega Man X2, the Zero Nightmare, and Zero's newer body from the Mega Man Zero series.
    • Although not fully based on his design, High Max from Mega Man X6 was constructed by the Reploid scientist Gate using Zero's DNA while Omega was created by Doctor Weil using Zero's own body as a template.
  • The resemblance between 20XX robots and Reploids is highlighted in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, when Zero calls Roll a "housekeeping Reploid".[3]
  • In Mega Man's ending in Mega Man: The Power Battle, Dr. Light mentions that for there to be peace, robots need the ability to decide what is right and what is wrong by themselves, and should research more on A. I. program.[4] This may be a hint towards the difference between robots and Reploids, implying that a robots remain bound to their programming while Reploids may change based on their experiences. X (and thus every reploid) is said to have the ability to mature in Compendium of Rockman X.
  • In MegaMan Battle Network 5, there is a secret mega chip with a silhouette image of Zero (from Mega Man Zero) called "Z Saver" ("Saver" is spelled incorrectly and should be "Saber") and the description says "Repliroid swrd cuts 3 times", Repliroid being the original term for Reploid.

References

  1. Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero TELOS
  2. Alouette: Zero, they say that a human would shed tears over a situation like this... -- Mega Man Zero
  3. Zero: What are you doing here? You're just a housekeeping Reploid... You should get home immediately before you malfunction. -- Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
  4. Mega Man: What exactly do we robots need?
    Dr. Light: Like humans, the robot has to determine what is right and what is wrong by itself. Robots are not suppose to hurt humans. We need to research more on A.I.program. -- Mega Man: The Power Battle

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