Ex-Metroid Prime Developers Were Making A Gritty Mega Man X FPS

By Ishaan . April 9, 2013 . 10:03am

Well, what do you know. A gritty Mega Man FPS is something people tend to joke about a whole lot, but guess what—it was actually being developed at one point.



Polygon reports that the game was in development at Armature Studio, the developer founded by a team of leads that worked on the Metroid Prime games. Story-wise, it was based on the Mega Man X series and was codenamed “Maverick Hunter”. It was intended to be a more mature take on Mega Man and had the blessing of series creator, Keiji Inafune.


Then, Inafune left Capcom and the project got cancelled. While it was in development, however, Maverick Hunter was playable and aimed to replicate all that’s recognizable about Mega Man’s gameplay—including the slide, wall jump and ability to absorb his enemies’ powers—in first-person. That sounds awfully reminiscent of what Metroid Prime did for the Metroid series.


Capcom and Armature had planned Maverick Hunter as a trilogy of games that would culminate in the third and final game, with the player taking control of Zero. His job would be to destroy a Mega Man who had grown powerful and intelligent over the course of the previous two games.


"If you look at Zero’s backstory, even back in the day, he’s considered to be like a virus," a source familiar with the proposed story explained to Polygon. "The only reason he exists is that he has some trait that allows him to defeat Mega Man. So he’s like the virus that can stop Mega Man’s power ultimately."

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  • $36598391

    oh man, this would have been great if it was completed

  • Taylor Greene

    What on earth..

  • Wake

    No no no. This reminds me too much of Bomberman: Act Zero.

  • DesmaX

    I’ll be honest, I would play this. It really looked promising…

    If this wasn’t a Megaman game, of course

    • Omegajak


  • Neophoton

    I would’ve given this a shot.

  • zed grim

    there goes my megaman evolution dna cyborg theory.

    • Vash bane

      go on

      • zed grim

        it would of been a cel shaded bio cyber punk that came after mml and its just a theory.

    • Testsubject909

      Is it related to Transformers, or more specifically Beast Wars/Beast Machines/Beasties

  • Go2hell66

    Hell no

    • Haseyo

      This is why we can’t have nice things Mega Man related. New idea? Fans = “Nope.”

      • Byas

        Man, if this at least resembled Megaman in any way it could have been cool (just look at Megaman Deathmatch for an example of nice Megaman FPS). But they simply made the most generic FPS possible and gave it a blue main character. What you’re doing is like getting mad at bomberman fans because they think Bomberman Act Zero was crap when it actually was even worse than crap.

        • But it does.

          • Testsubject909

            Surface wise.

            It’s sort of sad but… if you would’ve. Say. Taken a clip of… say… Halo and recolored the gun to look like Megaman X’s Blaster, it would’ve been similar to this in some ways. Or a clip of Mass Effect and given Shep a skin of Megaman.

            I’m not against a Megaman FPS. It just felt like what they provided needed a bit more…. time cooking… and maybe a look at the recipe to make sure they didn’t screw an ingredient or two.

          • Surface wise? For all its narrative bluster, the idea of a trilogy where Zero has to kill X and the two characters shuffle their interactions together based on thematic and actual gameplay elements from previous games in a design that mirrors the Mega Man Zero aesthetic a little more closely than I think anyone is willing to admit… this wasn’t some surface idea at least based on their selling point. Which is more than I can say for a certain other Capcom re-imagining.

            You’re calling things that were proof of concepts with shocking accuracy to the source material, efforts that only rate up as “surface wise.” An art style that seems fearfully symmetrical to Mega Man Zero, for all of Adi Granov’s talents, not that I find the design in the proof of concept particularly enjoyable… You’re insisting to me that a development team that took the time to render a scenario that mimics “Day of Sigma” and takes, wholesale, elements that Inti-Creates, the team that made Mega Man 9 and 10 ever so faithfully to Mega Man 2 blueprint, are only doing so in the most crass, digital form of soft focus for the sake of cash.

            We get the games we deserve. I don’t think anyone has to respect, or even like, the direction or style of this non-game. This thing that isn’t going to happen. But don’t try to sell your ire for something it isn’t.

            Don’t be simple. Surely you deserve better than you’re willing to give to others, but don’t take my word for it.

  • I would’ve definitely give this a shot. I mean Retro did a fantastic job converting Metroid to first-person. If the same creative heads were behind this is could’ve turned out great.

  • Alos88

    This looks extremely polished, I wonder if its cancellation was the straw that broke the camels back for Inafune, or it was cancelled BECAUSE he left?

    • Solomon_Kano

      Article says it was cancelled following Inafune leaving.

  • Brimfyre

    Let me get this straight.

    They quit Retro because they were sick of making Metroid games… then they go and make a Metroid game with a Megaman skin….

    If people weren’t convinced that Retro ran out of ideas around Metroid Prime 3, this should be more than enough proof.

    • Armane

      They also went and made Halo 4.

  • Solomon_Kano

    My only issue is how it looks. A Metroid Prime-style Mega Man X game from the heads behind Metroid Prime? I’d definitely have played that. It just didn’t look like Mega Man.

    Also, I don’t really see the point in changing X’s Buster into a gun… I mean, it’s already a projectile weapon.

    • Worked in Mega Man Zero!

      • Solomon_Kano

        True, true. They also had guns in ZX, now that I think about it.

        • s07195

          Well, that was a biometal, right? IDK, but there were differences in appearance anyways, so perhaps it came with the change in appearance?

      • s07195

        That was sort of justified (picked it off a dead body and continued to use it), though it didn’t explain where Zero’s built in buster went. Wasn’t seen on Omega, either.

        • The Pantheon’s have clips coming out of their busters, the fire of the resistance troops that get killed are also gun like. And justified? Just stop.

          • s07195

            Well, that’s how I saw it the first time I played Zero 1. Zero didn’t even have the Z-Saber, and his buster was really just a gun (which miraculously could charge up :P).

            I meant justified as in that it seemed like there was a logical reason for it (soldiers, most likely with a sidearm, killed in the prior cutscene, y’know). I assumed Zero picked it off a dead body.

            I guess if Zero had picked up a machinegun, it would have ended up more like the reboot above. :S

            For the enemies, I have no idea. :S

        • natchu96

          While Omega they probably just didn’t bother and wound up recoloring Zero a bit and were done with it, Zero’s body wasn’t . . . you know, THAT one. Very thin excuse, but there.

          • s07195

            Makes me wonder how epic the Omega battle would be if Omega was put into Zero’s body with the design from X. With Cannonball playing in the background.

  • With close to 10 years of Mega Man and Mega Man X titles, I’m open to the idea of a reinterpretation if its grounds for something new where there wasn’t a possibility prior. It’s unfortunate this game is more than likely not going to happen, but it’s sadly ironic given what has slipped through the gates comparative to this situation. Of all the games to get stuck, really. But with Inafune on his way out, it’s to be expected.

  • Armature is one of the tragedies of this gen. That studio should have blown up. They just can’t catch a break.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Maybe they have caught their break now, with WBIE getting them to handle Arkham Origins Blackgate on 3DS and Vita. Not the biggest title, no, but the Arkham series does have good name value.

      The only unfortunate thing there is that it’s releasing the same day as the console version, so it’ll definitely be overshadowed — most severely by WB themselves, who aren’t likely to market the portable version as heavily. Then again, Assassin’s Creed: Liberation did pretty well for itself despite its proximity to AC3 (though a lot of that was due to the Vita bundle, which found itself on sale come Black Friday).

  • Eilanzer

    why almost every game today have to be fps? god…Where is the good ol AAA platform…Side action genre? Ghouls’n Ghosts…Metroid…Mega Man…Castlevania…Donkey Kong…

    • Solomon_Kano

      The genre doesn’t make the kind of money to justify a AAA budget. Not just side-scrolling action games, but side-scrollers period, from platformers to shooting games.

      Outside of Mario, what side-scrolling franchise has kept up it’s popularity to this day? Donkey Kong made a comeback with DKCR, but that’s about it.

      • Eilanzer

        if the industry go on like this…All the games in the future will be call of duty clones because that is the easy formula to make money…Wait is already quite like this =.=”
        The problem is talent and will to try something…

        • Just Tim

          …and watch FPS be toppled by zombie games by 2019 and beyond. >_>;

        • Solomon_Kano

          Come on now, that’s exaggerating. For as many FPSs as there are, they aren’t all like COD. Just like in the 90s there were tons of platformers and they weren’t all like Mario, tons of fighters that weren’t all like Street Fighter, and so on.

          It’s not a matter of there not being originality in the industry, it’s a matter of knowing where to look. Will the original games always be AAA? No, but who cares about that?

        • Testsubject909

          Technically speaking… Bioshock Infinite is an FPS.

      • Nicholas Gatewood

        I think platformers aren’t as profitable these days because developers and publishers aren’t investing as much into them. If we got a $30-million sidescrolling game with nice marketing, I’m certain it’d make as much money as any FPS game with just as much marketing and critical acclaim. It’s just that publishers aren’t interested.

        In fact, there being so little competition in the modern AAA-platformer genre these days means you’d probably be more likely to see success, assuming your game’s any good.

        • Solomon_Kano

          That’s the thing though. Platformers used to be the king of the hill. They used to be those big budget games. Once they stopped selling companies stopped making them. They had their time in the sun, people got over them. I could speak on why I don’t think they’ll make a mainstream comeback, but I’m sure you probably wouldn’t be interested in hearing that.

          Spending more on a game doesn’t mean they’ll make more. People don’t pick Call of Duty over Sonic because Activision spent more to make it. Marketing is another thing. Good marketing certainly does help, but even that isn’t a guarantee for success. We see it happen with movies all the time.

          • Omegajak

            DO tell us why people keep buying Call of Duty. I’m interested in hearing THAT.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Not sure if you’re being sarcastic (not that I can see any reason for you to be), but sure I’ll give why I believe COD sells.

            For all the bluster about its presentation, 60 fps, a ZOMG SO EPIC story, Call of Duty is popular because it’s the definitive pick up and play title of the generation.

            It’s a game that anybody cn pick up and just get to playing. No complex mechanics, no learning curve. It’s the prime example of simple but deep. The gameplay itself provides the simplicity, all of the unlockables, the different modes, and what have you — there’s the depth. It’s like any other FPS to come before it, just polished to a modern sheen. That’s what got COD4 recognition overthe pprevious games, that’s where it starts.

            Modern Warfare brought the series to where it is by putting its setting on its ear, providing a more “engaging” story, and redefining online play for consoles. Activision spent big bucks to put the game on a larger platform than it had prior. While Call of Duty was popular on PS2/Xbox/Gamecube, it wasn’t a household name. So Activision took the most refined Call of Duty they’d yet made and coupled it with marketing as yet unseen in the world of video games.

            Once Modern Warfare was a hit critically and commercially, they took the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach that many series do. The same people who bought into Modern Warfare brought more people for WAW, brought more people for MW2, and so on and so forth. Now that the series has hit the mainstream like it has, it just gets bigger with each game as it’s further embedded in pop culture.

            They found a winning formula, then they added marketing money. Boom. It’s much the same way Microsoft made Halo a hit before COD4 put the series on its current level.

            That’s how I see it, anyway. Some people say it’s bug because the series is just that good, because consumers are mindless, because people like a good bandwagon, etc. Maybe it’s any of those, but this is how I see it as an outside observer.

          • Omegajak

            You hit it right on the nose.

  • Staffan Blonde

    Doesn’t look like mega man at all in all honestly. The only way it even resembles anything mega man is that the MC is blue. Even the poor way to represent the way you “steal” your enemies weapons is only used like some kind of finisher and the megabuster just look like a f machine gun and the enemies just look like generic robots.

    Even if you look at Metroid Prime series you’ll clearly see that they are very much metroid games in how the levels are constructed, the music and the enemy/level design. I guess it isn’t as obvious how you make a 2D sidescroller into a FPS, but still,

    Maybe it was for the best that this project was axed.

    • Testsubject909

      The problem isn’t a conversion of gameplay from a 2D platformer to a 3D FPS.

      The problem is in the conversion of themes and substance.

      Yes, some of the themes of Megaman X games could convert into a gritty dark FPS game.

      Not all of it…

      • Omegajak

        Maybe for you it’s not the conversion of gameplay.

  • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

    What’s the point of redesigning MegaMan if you are never going to see him?

    Well the making of this game wouldn’t have stopped the production of the original series unlike DmC right?

    • Solomon_Kano

      It would’ve. It was a reboot of X, not a new series or a remake like Maverick Hunter X. Inafune was the person who approved this and DmC, so the situations aren’t any different — apart from one getting cancelled, that is.

      • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

        Well that’s a reason to praise Capcom. The Maverick Hunter for the PSP was an amazing remake of the original MMX but sadly they didn’t make sequels.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Yea, it’s unfortunate how that turned out. Inafune said he wanted to continue remaking the X series with story tweaks if MHX had been successful enough. Guess it wasn’t.

          • Testsubject909

            Wasn’t it originally supposed to end in Megaman X5 though? I keep hearing all that behind the scene stuff about Megaman X6… And none of it is positive.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Yep, he intended to end it at X5. That’s likely where he’d have stopped the remakes. Since he was changing the story up, it probably would’ve given us his definitive conclusion.

          • My problem here is this: We don’t get Maverick Hunter X2. We don’t get Maverick Hunter. I didn’t even like Maverick Hunter X outside of Vile Mode. I thought it lacked the look and feel of cohesiveness that the original SNES version had, but I’m open to the idea that folks feel differently and I don’t care to disagree… all I can say is that, we get neither. We all lose.

          • Solomon_Kano

            I’ll be honest: I still haven’t bothered to finish MHX. I don’t really feel any desire to do so. I’d simply have liked to see Inafune continue the remakes for the sole purpose of seeing how he wanted the series to end.

            I’d have given Maverick Hunter a shot had it been released. Like you said though, we all lose.

          • It’d have been nice to not know Capcom was this close to something I would have really liked to have played. I did like some of the narrative changes from Maverick Hunter X, and the idea of Inafune at least managing to get his voice in without Capcom getting in the way was nice… until Capcom got in the way! But man, I can’t say this was a bullet dodged so much as a lost opportunity.

            I really can’t express, to my satisfaction, just how absurd I think it is to hear the idea that between Mega Mans 1-10 and Mega Man X through X8 and Mega Man Zero to Zero 4 and all that that people just haven’t gotten their fill of those ideas. That there just isn’t enough there. Maybe they came late, but it’s not like those games are going anywhere or aren’t available in some form or another.

            And if it’s about closure, I can all but guarantee you that Capcom ain’t about that. Well, the rhetorical “you.”

          • Solomon_Kano

            Yea, I don’t really get the desire for more of the same. I’m not saying I don’t want more Mega Man unless it’s Mega Man Karting, not so drastically different, but we’ve had enough games in that style. They did Battle Network and gave us something different that was still Mega Man, we’ve had enough in that style. I think Maverick Hunter would’ve been a suitable departure, but hey.

            But what do we matter? We’re not “real fans”, because we don’t just want more of what we’ve been getting for 26 years.

          • I think the low hanging fruit that I keep reading is what bothers me most. This game really does have an air to it like the Mega Man Zero games had. I mean, it’s ripping mechanics and ideas and aesthetic from those games pretty wholesale. I get why folks would make the conclusions they do, so I can at least be happy that they’re not getting more of the same, cause I’m definitely happy that at least I don’t have to watch Capcom cart out Mega Man like the catatonic family member that has to still make appearances just to embarrass themselves.

  • ZekeFreek

    Forgive me. But this doesn’t seem like a bad idea if done right. Nobody thought 3D First-Person Metroid would work, but it did. I would’ve loved to see an reinterpretation of Megaman like that.

    • Testsubject909

      It’d certainly be interesting, but there’s a slight mental image whiplash that’ll be present with a dark gritty Megaman FPS comparatively speaking to one of Metroid.

      Visual themes plays a role, but also that humor and camp value in Megaman X that’ll just not help a transition into a realm that’ll feel relatively alien in some way, spiritually at least.

      Even so… Considering what we just saw. Imagine if there was a Maverick called *Tadaduduuudun duduudun duduudaa da daaaa… Whhuauaaaa!* HEAT BEATNIX!

      Yeah… That’ll be jarring with the world they’re presenting. It’s relatively minor, yes, but it’s those Devil is in the Detail sort of thing that’s going to get in the way of making a smooth transition.

  • Valtiel Ikari

    Capcom: hey look, it’s megaman but gritty!!! you like this stuff, just like DmC, he is angsty and gritty and dark, you like this, you will love this”

    Me:…. ok this one I’m good with you cancelling it.

  • Raikado

    noooooo! other Shooter nooooo!!!

  • smashbrolink

    I don’t like their plot for the reboot, so I’m glad it didn’t happen for that reason.
    Still, something MUST be done with Mega Man, and soon.
    As it is now, the series is decaying in Capcom’s hands because they refuse to do anything substantial and new with it.

    • Testsubject909

      It would’ve been somewhat interesting but…

      There’s a big difference between Metroid making a jump into a serious FPS and Megaman jumping into a serious FPS.

      Metroid was always very dark, gritty, mature… Megaman… had a lot of camp in it and humor interspaced everywhere. It’s hard to distance yourself from that image despite whatever heavy themes might be within it’s story…

      Maybe a Megaman Zero would’ve faired a better gritty adaptation to an FPS, but not Megaman X and definitely not Megaman… And probably not Megaman ZX either… And definitely not Megaman.Exe or Card Battle… Or Soccer, or Racing…

      Edit: And definitely not Megaman Legends.

  • TheExile285

    This… IS MADNESS

    • PoweredByHentai
      • Testsubject909

        Why you have to be so Hatoful?

        • PoweredByHentai

          I’m not, I’m pigeon-holing them.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            That’s one awful damn small pigeon.

      • TheExile285

        lol, I was hoping for a reply like that. nice

  • Ni

    “It was intended to be a more mature take on Mega Man and had the blessing of series creator, Keiji Inafune.
    Then, Inafune left Capcom and the project got cancelled.”

    I loled

  • RoxasTheUnknown1

    I’d of played this. Looks neat. Like the idea of a build up by playing as the character you eventually have to stop.

  • CirnoLakes

    When I was looking at this article a few hours ago, this article was closed for new comments.

    And my initial reaction was:

    “Eh… yup.”
    “This wouldn’t have ended well.”
    This is equally a bad idea as DmC. What an awful, terrible idea.

    I’m very sad at how Mega Man games basically stopped being made when Inafune left. But this is one Mega Man game I can do without. As much as I thought “I would give anything for a new Mega Man game”. I think that between not having a Mega Man game, and having something like this, I would rather Mega Man have a peaceful and honorable death.

    Capcom, please give us Mega Man back. But whatever you do, don’t un-cancel this project.

  • Mecha_the_Hedgehog

    Honestly it was probably a good thing this got cancelled this doesn’t look like a direction MegaMan reeks to much like Bomberman Act Zero. I’m not opposed to the idea of a darker megaman series especially set in a X or Zero era but a Westerner FPS is not the right idea.

    Damn shame Legends 3 and Online got cancelled now those were titles that should have gotten made.

  • Lester Paredes

    I was quite wary of this and wanted to hate it, even though it was cancelled, as a gut reaction. It’s the same reaction I had when I heard of the Metroid FPS. That was until I read that it was actually being handled by former Retro Studios people. *sigh* If anyone could turn a game into an FPS and remain true to the original source material, it’d have been these guys. Too bad. I like where they were going with the story. Kind of a combination of Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero, a trilogy where X becomes so powerful and dominating, that in the final game, you played as Zero in an attempt to save the world by destroying X.

  • Uso Ewin

    Megaman X 128-bit deathmatch?

  • Uso Ewin

    Megaman X 128-bit deathmatch?

  • Omegajak

    Hah, see here’s the rub: some people think Prime was an amazing jump to 3D That is of course until you look at Other M without getting into it’s story. Just because something can translate to FPS doesn’t it should be. Oh, and before people start writing essays about Other M I know the story sucks doesn’t change how I feel about moments where people weren’t talking in the game.

  • zed grim


  • Brandon Domingo

    Hah! Looks like CAPCOM is desperate attracting CoD Fans to play this BS FPS game. Good thing it got cancelled.

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