#5 REQUIEM (鎮魂曲)
Rockman X (Yoshihiro Iwamoto)

Review by HF
Published on 2018/01/31
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Reports emerge that cities of the "D" Republic have been destroyed by an unknown army of wild animals equipped with powerful weaponry, and that the problem is spreading rapidly. X arrives at the area to investigate, and proceeds to seek out the enemy base behind it. Meanwhile, Sting Chameleon is enjoying his music from a phonograph as a messenger asks whether he has received Sigma's message. Chameleon says he's read it, and says that it's about X is arriving. The messenger turns the other direction, but is beheaded by Chameleon's tail, while saying he'll do as he pleases.

X walks though what he suspects to be where the armed animals came from, while mentioning how beautiful the forest is. He is interrupted as a buster shot from behind hits a tree next to him. X turns around and sees Zero, who tells him to not let his guard down in enemy territory. Zero says that this forest is one of Sigma's forward operating bases, and that in order to prevent the modified animals from spreading that he would have to burn down the entire forest. X refutes, saying that the animals are just being used and are innocent. Zero asks what X proposes to do instead, and X says that he would defeat the boss behind this. Zero says that there is no guarantee doing that would make the animals return to normal, but X continues by saying that this is a risk worth taking. Zero gives X until sunset to do things his way, but would proceed with his own plan if X does not return by then. Zero then tells X to do what he can as X runs off, commenting that X's caring personality hasn't changed.

X rushes towards a cave, but is blocked off by falling rubble. Unable to proceed, he leaves the cave and notices a path upwards from the entrance. X rushes upward but is ambushed and caught by RT-55J who throws him towards a corner. RT-55J fires one of its arms at X, who attempts to destroy it using his buster but to no avail. X falls back, but hits a wall behind him. After getting thrown against the wall again, X fires several shots at RT-55J which all bounce off, striking the surroundings instead. RT-55J jumps towards X, who manages to dodge in time and fires a shot at its head, causing some damage. X fires a barrage of shots while wall-jumping as RT-55J takes more and more damage. RT-55J launches its claw at X, but misses as X deals the final blow, destroying it. The resulting fight caused a hole in the wall for X to go through and back on his path, but is interrupted as something emerges from the ground. X aims his buster thinking it's more enemies, but lowers it after seeing what it is.

Meanwhile, Chameleon shouts in glee as he destroys a dummy copy of X in a simulation, and tells his army of armed animals that they're prepared for anything now. X arrives at Chameleon's lair, saying that Chameleon won't have his way. Chameleon says that X is standing exactly where he wants him, and activates several floodlights at X as he commands his "Army of Destruction" to destroy X. X opens his eyes and sees an army of armed animals as Chameleon orders to open fire on X. X is struck by missiles and other projectiles, but X stands his ground. As an armed deer charges at X, Chameleon asks whether X can attack while knowing that besides the weapons added to them they're all essentially blood and flesh animals. The deer knocks X backward and through a wall as Chameleon says that everything has went as planned. X emerges from the hole, saying that it's as far as it goes, surprising Chameleon. X says that there's one thing missing in the plan, and to look at his new armored body that he got from a capsule after he defeated RT-55J. Furious, Chameleon orders the deer to attack again, but X reaches out to it saying that there's no need to fight anymore. The control over the deer and the other animals is broken, and they all leave. X takes off the deer's armor, and it leaves as X is left with Chameleon, who complains that he shouldn't have relied on animals to begin with and that he should have relied on himself. X agrees as he throws down what's left of the deer's armor and destroys it with a buster shot.

Chameleon asks what does a B-Rank hunter know, as he swings himself on the ceiling causing spikes to fall down. X barely dodges but falls down as Chameleon gets the drop on him, and uses his tongue to strangle X from behind. Chameleon says that he won't kill X so soon, and that he wishes to make him die slowly to the background music of terror. X aims his buster backward and fires a shot at Chameleon, who is forced to retreat back and fires back at X with a Chameleon Sting which hits X's back directly. X mentions that even with the armor the attack still hurts quite a bit. Chameleon says that he'll play his favorite backgrounds music, saying that it's a requiem known as Silence. Chameleon camouflages himself within the walls, as X looks around unable to find him. X backs himself to a wall to avoid blind spots, but Chameleon's camouflage dissolves as he approaches right behind him.

Artwork by Yoshihiro Iwamoto


Firstly, yes I do think that the portrayal of X's compassion being capable to break unexplained mind control over animals just screams Disney Princess. While I would like to work with this and think of this as X being put in a situation with all odds against his favor and to show his ability for compassion towards all living beings, perhaps my biggest problem with this chapter was how this subplot was resolved so easily and without much explanation (was the deer the leader of the animal army or what?).

The silly sub-plot aside, the Sting Chameleon arc follows the game sequence of fighting the optional mid-boss RT-55J and obtaining the body armor upgrade. Being a major visual change to X, I did like how X's upgraded look was never shown fully until he reveals being able to take many hits from the armed animals. As for the titular boss, Sting Chameleon is portrayed as a bit of a loose cannon, from killing one of Sigma's messengers for bringing him orders to making use of living animals to do his bidding as he's aware people would think twice before harming living creatures. Following the boss pattern, Chameleon's unique trait is his attribution to everything in terms of music, including his use of an old phonograph which makes him look like a cultured character, but is in reality a psychopath. With the battle strongly in Chameleon's favor and X lacking a special weapon Chameleon is weak against, chances are that X would need to do more than just have the right weapon if he is to win this one.