MegaMan X6 & My 11th Birthday

MegaMan fans talking about their favorite entries in the series, there is one game that pretty much NEVER makes the list. MegaMan X6 is the black sheep of the X series, and (along with X7) is typically said to be a game you should avoid. It was created behind Inafune's back when X5 was meant to be the original end, parts of the game was rushed, the level design is filled with brutally cheap death traps, the English translation has awkward grammar errors, and it's just generally considered to not be a good game. But for me, I have a different story to share when I think of X6. One that I never tell people, and is a little bit horrifying. Let's just say, this is the one time my life actually flashed before my eyes -- something I didn't even know was actually a real. Heck as I'm typing this it's getting hard to breath, but I'll push through it! This is my story.


Getting X6

When I was turning 11 years old, there was only one thing I wanted for my birthday. MegaMan X6. I remember talking to my friends at school about X5, when my friend Keith mentioned that X6 had actually came out! I somehow had no idea this was a thing, but when he told me how it continued the story of X5, and that X now had Zero's sword (something that gets passed to him at the end of X5), I knew I had to play it. I loved X5, and I couldn't wait to play more continuing from where it left off! So I told my parents about it, and began my long wait for the day I could finally play it for myself. I still remember the day we found it at Toys R Us for sale, so it's not like I didn't know I was going to get it, it's just that my birthday wasn't until Summer... So the wait was annoying. But eventually the day came, and I was beyond excited!

I still remember walking up early in the morning, and my mom giving me the game early. I ripped open the package, ran back to my room, and popped the disc into my PS1 that was in the corner of my room. Man, that opening stage is still burned into my memory as if it were yesterday! Seeing X in his Falcon armor, being at the crash site of the space colony, having the Z-Saber, it was all just so amazing to me! The Japanese opening threw me off, sure, but I ended up loving that opening, and found myself enjoying what little time I had to play the game. My mom actually let me take my PS1 to my grandma's house though, so I'd be able to play it some more (sooner) after my party.

That year we had a swim party, and a lot of my friends and family members were there. It was a little cloudy outside, but being June it was still warm enough. I honestly can't remember everything we did that day, but I do remember there being a lot of water guns, us playing volleyball in the pool, and just having a fun time! I showed X6 off to my cousin for a little bit at one point, but that whole day was spent outside -- until something secretly happened to me.

Life Really Does Flash Before Your Eyes

I still don't know what actually happened, or why... It's kinda a blank to me, and thinking about it makes my eyes start to water... All I really remember is being underwater, sucking in... a lot... and not being able to get back up because of the rafts above me... With people on them? It's funny -- I remember thinking about a lot of different things in that moment. I was only 11, but there was so much to think back on... It felt like I was under there for hours, but what brought me back was hearing my cousin say something about moving. Next thing I know I was at the side of the pool spitting up water and pulling myself out. I think I went and threw up in the grass behind the fence, but everything going forward was a blur to me. I didn't let anyone know what happened, and I refused to get back into the pool after. I got dressed, and was "rude" sitting inside during my own party. X6 is actually what helped calm me down, but the effects of the whole thing have never gone away.

I love swimming, and still go swimming in my grandma's pool. It's one of my favorite things to do in the summer, and that hasn't changed since that day nearly 22 years ago. Being grabbed or dunked underwater on the other hand? No... I have a really hard time letting people touch me in the water. I've gotten better about it, but a part of me still has that fight or flight response and I can't really control it. When I think back to that day, I always try to remember X6 and not what happened, but both events will always be a part of me -- the good and the bad. 

I Still Love It

As for X6, I did end up liking the game despite it's flaws. I enjoyed the armor sets, the story, characters like Dynamo, and in general just had fun with it. Sure there are parts I agree aren't that great, but it's still a game I do like to return to. Heck, there's a reason I'm at the top of the leader boards for Legacy Collection 2's Platinum Trophy -- I'm one of the few people who actually like the games in it enough to get the platinum! It's for sure a game that deserves criticism, but that doesn't change the fact that I like it, nor does it change the fact that it's special to me and something that helped me get past almost drowning. It means a lot to me actually, so I don't think I can ever get myself to jump on the hate train. Thank you MegaMan X6, thank you for helping me get through that day.

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