Just as a side note, while I was doing some online shopping for Christmas gifts, Amazon’s website decided to list for me a whole bunch of new Mega Man merchandise, some of which I hadn’t seen before. (Gee, I can’t imagine why it would do that.) I’ve briefly updated the Toys section accordingly, but man, there’s just no way to list everything. There was once a time when I could pretty much scan examples of and list every type of toy available, but now...I can barely scratch the surface. This is a good thing...except it does mean the Toys page will likely never again be complete.
On to the good, I really love the art style of this game which feels like a cartoon come to life, something which they were moving closer to on 8 and then backtracked from on 9 and 10. The design of everything is just spot on and I really love the creativity on display as well as the fact that this feels like it has an actual story (something the X games aimed for but the core series usually lacked). The controls are smooth and responsive as they should be in any good Mega Man game and this helps to offset the difficulty of some levels (as does the store which has a lot of helpful items to allow the game to be as hard or easy as you choose to make it).
Mega Man X received criticism from some publications as well. Ed Semrad, Danyon Carpenter, and Al Manuel of the EGM review panel all noted that the game may have too low a difficulty level; Semrad disliked the introductory stage and felt that the game was too short as well. Super Play editor Zy Nicholson lowered his review score of the game because he found the levels were neither large nor challenging. "A few elementary tricks like repeating easy sections to recoup energy and weapon power will see you through the harder bits," Nicholson explained. "Within the level you'll also find restart points, extra lives, and no harsh time limit to put pressure on your performance. Couple this with a password system that records your level completion, status and weapon accumulation and you'll see we're not looking at a lasting challenge for the experienced player." Nintendo Power criticized how little the game had changed stating that "the theme remains the same as the Game Boy and NES Mega Man titles." The game's title initially proved a source of some confusion; the gaming media reported that many gamers mistook the "X" for the roman numeral 10.
Link rescues Zelda and takes her into the Sanctuary, where she remains under the protection of the Loyal Sage for part of the game. After Link retrieves the Master Sword from the Lost Woods, Zelda is kidnapped by Agahnim's henchmen and sent to the Dark World in his final ritual, breaking the seal. She is not seen again until she is rescued by Link from Turtle Rock. Saving her and the other six maidens opens the entrance to Ganon's Tower, the final dungeon of the game. Zelda is last seen together with her revived father in the end credits sequence. It is hinted in the Oracle games and A Link Between Worlds that this Zelda became intimate with Link later on.
Because of graphical limitations, the first games on the NES feature small sprite representations of the leading party members on the main world screen. Battle screens use more detailed, full versions of characters in a side-view perspective. This practice was used until Final Fantasy VI, which uses detailed versions for both screens. The NES sprites are 26 pixels high and use a color palette of 4 colors. 6 frames of animation are used to depict different character statuses like "healthy" and "fatigued". The SNES installments use updated graphics and effects, as well as higher quality audio than in previous games, but are otherwise similar to their predecessors in basic design. The SNES sprites are 2 pixels shorter, but have larger palettes and feature more animation frames: 11 colors and 40 frames respectively. The upgrade allowed designers to have characters be more detailed in appearance and express more emotions. The first game includes non-player characters (NPCs) the player could interact with, but they are mostly static in-game objects. Beginning with the second game, Square used predetermined pathways for NPCs to create more dynamic scenes that include comedy and drama.
According to the in-game backstories, the world of Hyrule was created by the three golden goddesses: Din, Farore, and Nayru. Before departing, the goddesses left a sacred artifact called the Triforce, which could grant powers to the user. It physically manifests itself as three golden triangles in which each embodies one of the goddesses' virtues: Power, Courage, and Wisdom. However, because the Triforce has no will of its own and it could not judge between good and evil, it would grant any wish indiscriminately. Because of this, it was placed within an alternate world called the "Sacred Realm" or the "Golden Land" until one worthy of its power and has balanced virtues of Power, Wisdom, and Courage in their heart could obtain it, in its entirety. If a person is not of a balanced heart, the triforce part that the user mostly believes in will stay with that person and the remainder will seek out others. In order to master and control the triforce as a whole, the user must get the other parts found in other individuals and bring them together to reunite them. The Sacred Realm can itself be affected by the heart of those who enters it: those who are pure will make it a paradise, while those who are evil will transform it into a dark realm.