#3 DIGNITY (誇り)
Rockman X (Yoshihiro Iwamoto)

Review by HF
Published on 2018/01/17
Click to switch desired localization.

Chill Penguin lets go of the ceiling pulley, laughing as he lands on the ground to confront X. Penguin arrogantly mocks X's B Rank status and that he's a Special A Rank, declaring that X has no chance of winning. Rock angrily fires several shots, only to miss as Penguin continues berating X's weak as he proceeds to fire ice blocks at X. X gets hit in the face and chest, and is sent flying against the wall. Penguin condescendingly says Rock's pretty good to be still standing after taking several hits from him. X fires another shot straight at Penguin, only to have the attack bounce off him as Penguin coats himself with an ice armor. Penguin then launches himself at X, hitting him. X gets back on his feet and fires a shot but is blocked by penguin ice sculptures. Penguin boasts that this is another of his artistic attacks as he creates more penguin sculptures from his breath. X fires several shots but is unable to keep up as Penguin jumps upward grabbing the ceiling pulley causing a blizzard. The ice penguin sculptures are sent sliding towards X, knocking him down. X fires several more shots, but realizes that he is completely outclassed. Penguin walks towards X, and says that he's too late to realize this fact as he encases X in an ice block. As X is being frozen, he hears a voice calling his name. X remembers a time when Marth taught him that things such as "Rank" and "Body" (physical size) do not determine one's "Strength", but rather it is one's "Honor" (or Dignity, as the title says) that decides the battle. In other words, to believe in one's own self is a Hunter's greatest weapon.

Chill Penguin laughs at X's foolishness as a B Rank Hunter, boasting how he's strong for being able to capture both X and Marth. X forcefully breaks out of his ice block, shattering it with a buster shot which shoots off Penguin's right shoulder plate. A shocked Penguin shouts in denial that this is impossible. Panicking, Penguin fires a wave of ice at X, who dodges with a boosted dash and scales the wall behind. Penguin shouts in disbelief that a B-Rank hunter can be so strong, but is interrupted as X fires a barrage of shots from above, tearing Penguin's armor apart while saying Penguin's obsession with "Rank" has clouded his judgment, and that his strength comes from "Dignity". X lands in front of Penguin, who says to cease the avalanches and to come with him to fight Sigma together. Penguin agrees, but as X lets his guard down Penguin fires an ice blast at X's face and kicks him down before running towards Marth. X recovers, only to see Penguin threaten to destroy Marth if X makes any moves. Penguin fires an ice blast at X's buster, encasing it in ice. The fourth earthquake begins as Penguin said that this is the last one that will cause a massive avalanche that will engulf Alaska, and boasts that the earthquake kill switch is inside his body. Suddenly a voice says that it's what he wanted to know. Penguin looks around confused, but is caught by Marth who breaks out of the ice, saying defeating Penguin would protect Alaska. X is relieved to see Marth still active, saying that the earthquakes caused his auxiliary systems to activate. Marth shouts to X to shoot and decide it with one blow. X hesitates, saying he can't as the attack would kill Marth as well. Marth says to hurry before his body falls apart, as Penguin arrogantly says X is incapable of taking that shot. Marth says that X can do it, if it's for the sake of their "Honor". X breaks the ice surrounding his buster and fires a charged shot destroying them both. Marth says his last words, saying X's strength would make him capable of taking on any foe, and that he shouldn't feel sorrow for it was thanks to X that he was able to keep his honor. Thanking X one last time, Marth dies. Later on, X buries Marth's remains in the mountains of Alaska, allowing him to sleep within the land he protected with his life.

Meanwhile out in the ocean, a vessel struggles with communications and radar due to interference, and crashes into an iceberg causing it to sink. During this, "A" Country "S" State's electricity systems go offline, causing control systems to fail resulting in failures to all forms of transportation. Due to the massive blackouts, affected cities are shown in disarray. In the city, a woman trips over a dead body and screams before being attacked by a Reploid. X shouts for her to get away, and fires a shot at the Reploid, destroying it. X turns around, and determines the cause of the blackouts to be where all the lights are coming from. X makes his way to the power plant, which is marked with a holographic flag with Sigma's insignia. X destroys the door and rushes inside, only to discover the lights are out. A Hotarion flies above X, lighting up a path revealing two Gun Volts which fire missiles at X. X is knocked down, and an electric bolt passing through the floor hits his leg, shocking him. Seeing more missiles heading his way, X dashes forward, and destroys the Gun Volts. X rushes forward, unaware that he is being tracked as Spark Mandrill watches X's actions on camera, saying that he's gotten a little stronger but would be unable to defeat his "pet" up ahead.

Artwork by Yoshihiro Iwamoto


This chapter covers the Chill Penguin boss fight and what looks like the first half of Spark Mandrill's stage, with each sequence showcasing some parts from the games including attacks, stage elements and the enemies encountered. I found it interesting that an explanation for Chill Penguin's ability to negate damage right before his slide is given, and his use of ice breath as a means of direct attacking and not just for creating penguin ice sculptures. Chill Penguin is written as an arrogant jerk with a hint of some complex, and his dialogue reminds me of Danny DeVito's performance as The Penguin (fittingly so). Because of that, it was great to see Penguin get what's coming to him as it was his own arrogance that done him in even before X dealt the final blow that also ended with Marth's sacrifice. As guessed, Marth was not meant to be a staying character, but serves as a moral sample for X to carry on his sense of honor.

More of Sigma's Army's activities and their consequences are further elaborated on in the second half, starting with taking down communications causing human transport such as aircraft and ships to become inoperable, followed by blackouts which I would presume have caused mass panic among the public (though nothing amounting to that is shown). Interestingly, Spark Mandrill refers to the Thunder Slimer as his "pet" at the end of this chapter. Whether there's some story behind this or it's just Mandrill's sick sense of humor is yet to be seen. Overall, this Spark Mandrill story arc starts out relatively self-contained, so we'll see how things connect together at the end (if at all).