Vile, known as VAVA (ヴァヴァ, Vava?) in Japan, is a character and recurring antagonist in the Mega Man X series of action platformer games. He first appeared in the original Mega Man X and frequently reappears as a mid-game boss in later games.
He used to be a member of the Maverick Hunters prior to the first game and was ranked S-A Class in Sigma's 17th Elite Unit prior to his commander's rebellion against humanity. Vile was playable for the first time in Maverick Hunter X, a remake of the first game for the PlayStation Portable. Next to Sigma, Vile is considered the Mega Man X series' most known boss antagonist.
Vile is adorned in basic armor with a distinct purple sheen and gold highlights. Like some Maverick Hunters, Vile wears a helmet with a T-shaped visor that conceals his face in shadow. It is unknown if this is his face or it is simply hidden by the shade as in the Mega Man X3 opening video, his Mega Man X3 artwork, the Rockman X3 manga and the Ruby-Spears cartoon, Vile is seen with a singular glowing eye. Attached to his shoulder is a cannon featuring an ammo belt arching over his back. Vile's later appearances retain the overall basic appearance but takes on different color schemes with stylized accents.
When he walks, there is something of a metallic clank with every step. Vile is heavily designed as a war machine, which was quoted by Zero after Vile escapes.
Vile is a very arrogant, violent, and rude character who has a very unstable and enraged mind. Though he used to be a member of the Maverick Hunters, he never once considered himself as one. He is a lone wolf who dislikes the thought of having friends or superiors to help him. He also had a habit of not accepting orders from anyone except himself, which often resulted in fierce arguments with his commander. Even when freed from containment by Sigma, he showed little gratitude and continued to disrespect him.
Because of an irreparable short circuit in his electronic brain, Vile developed a strange, almost sociopathic passion for hunting down Mavericks and totally annihilating them, while causing as much damage as possible on the territory. This also includes innocent bystanders and comrades alike. This passion is also what may have led to his own arrest and, inadvertently, being labelled a Maverick. His emotions often got the best of him, shown after his first defeat when he admitted to Sigma he wasn't really sure what he intended to do after invading his fortress.
In all incarnations of the character, Vile holds a deep grudge against X and looks down on him for the fact that despite X having a lower rank than him, he receives more attention. Vile is very bitter towards X and devotes his existence to destroying and humiliating him, and proving that he is the stronger one. Zero, on the other hand, has his respect for the most part and Vile acknowledges his formidable strength. He has also been a traitor to both the Maverick Hunters and the Mavericks on different occasions.
A common belief in the Mega Man community is that the character's name was changed from VAVA to Vile for the North American release of Mega Man X because Capcom USA was afraid of being sued by LucasFilm due to the character's resemblance to Boba Fett, a character from the popular Star Wars franchise. This was due to Vile's resemblance to Boba Fett's Mandalorian armor, especially the helmet with T-visor, and because his Japanese name can also be spelled "BABA" (the letters B and V are spelled and written the same way in Japanese). However, VAVA is actually based on the character Bubba Zanetti (ババ・ザネッティ Baba Zanetti?) from the 1979 film Mad Max.
The Day of SigmaEdit
Shortly before Sigma declared war on humanity, Vile was arrested by the Hunters for unknown reasons; Zero claimed that he "must have caused a ruckus again". It is presumed that he once again disobeyed orders from superior officers and/or threatened the safety of his comrades and innocent bystanders while hunting Mavericks. During the chaotic search for the perpetrator who hacked the Hunters' database (which was actually Sigma himself) and the defense of Abel City from another berserk Mechaniloid, Vile was freed by his former commander. Sigma requested his assistance in defeating X, saying that he needed a Reploid that could go Maverick of his own volition. Eventually, Sigma left Vile, alone and freed of his chains, with open access to his arsenal, so he could make the decision to join Sigma's rebellion.
In the original Mega Man X, Vile's character hadn't been expanded on yet. He was pictured as nothing more than Sigma's loyal soldier and bodyguard who led his attack teams against the humans. Vile first appeared in the Opening Stage, where he jumps from Death Rogumer using a powerful Ride Armor to attack X. X is unable to cause damage to Vile's Ride Armor, and after taking some damage, he is eventually caught by Vile's paralyzing beam, and had to be rescued by Zero, who damages Vile's Ride Armor and forces him to retreat.
When X and Zero later attacked Sigma's fortress, Vile rushed to stop them. While Zero chased after him, X was left behind for a moment. During this time, Vile had jumped aboard his new Ride Armor, had imprisoned Zero in a cage, and used him to blackmail X to surrender. X fought him, however, up to a point until he was again caught by Vile's stun attack. In order to save his friend, Zero mobilized all of his power to break free and destroyed the Ride Armor by overloading his Zero Buster. Vile was then destroyed in a one-on-one battle with X.
In the remake Maverick Hunter X, Vile's persona was greatly expanded as a rogue character with a strong hatred for X and a desire for destruction. Though he joined Sigma's rebellion and helped attack the Central Highway on board Storm Eagle's Death Rogumer, he hardly followed any orders and did what he did best; causing havoc and fighting X. At first it seemed X was able to defeat him, but was captured between the fingers of Vile's Ride Armor, stating that he'll destroy him and eventually defeat Sigma as well to change the world. X was then rescued by Zero and Vile retreated. Before retreating, however, he asked Zero why he'd bother aiding a B-Class Hunter, only for the latter to rebuke Vile and coldly remind him of his Maverick status.
Vile then showed up in the Sigma Palace, having already defeated Zero like in the original game and laid him in a hallway as a bait for X. When X approaches Zero, Vile appears and catches him with his Ride Armor (though it was implied via dialogue on Vile's part that he was considering letting X go, though only because he thinks that him destroying X would be part of Sigma's plan and he doesn't like following orders). However, he had underestimated Zero, who was able to stand up and destroy the Ride Armor, as in the original Mega Man X, forcing Vile to face X without the Ride Armor. After a long battle, he was destroyed by X, with him only expressing shock and denial at losing to X.
In Maverick Hunter X's Vile Mode, an unlockable bonus mode, Vile took a different path. Instead of joining Sigma's rebellion, Vile decided to prove to Sigma that he was better and more powerful than X. After fighting X on the Central Highway, he decided to battle against Sigma's followers to gain more power and reputation. Though most of the eight main Mavericks were rather friendly to him (and offered to let him leave), he destroyed all of them and obtained their powers in order to create new weapons. Afterwards, Sigma extended an invitation to fight against him in order to prove whether he is indeed worthy. Ultimately, he infiltrated Sigma's fortress and fought his way through it until he was cornered by X and Zero. Both of them battled him at the same time, yet were defeated by him.
After defeating both of them, Vile admitted that X, whom he hated more than anyone else, had grown stronger, but was still a wimp to the very end and never had the power to change the world. He then proceeded to beat up X's already injured body by kicking it around and then stomping savagely on X's head while angrily demanding that he show him his true power. He was then attacked by a weakened Zero before he could deliver the finishing blow with his cannon, who grounded him (as well as commented that Vile's comments of changing the world was "Maverick talk") before he was hit by X's charged shot. When he awakened, he was accompanied by Sigma. Heavily damaged, he asked what was so important about X. Yet, instead of answering, Sigma asked Vile why he did all this and whether he wanted to stand before him as a Maverick Hunter or kneeling before him at his mercy. Upon this question, Vile wasn't unable to comply and started laughing, stating that he wasn't actually sure about it himself. He was then left by Sigma (though not before radioing some of his men to "retrieve Vile"). As he walked away, Vile stated that by fighting X, he proved the right of his existence, that he is Vile. But as he reached out to stop Sigma from leaving, his functions ceased, and he was left frozen in his desperate position.
Vile made a small appearance in the opening stage of the game. Said level is a digitized version of the opening stage from the original Mega Man X. He serves as the boss of this stage and is again seen riding his Ride Armor. However, this version of Vile is not the actual one but merely a data record of the character that had been stored in the archives of the Maverick Hunters' Mother Computer, and as such can be defeated and will not use his paralyzing attack. In this game, he is erroneously referred to as "VAVA", which is actually his original Japanese name. He was deleted by X.
What was left of Vile after his destruction at the hands of X in the first game was salvaged by a Reploid scientist named Dr. Doppler, who was infected with the Sigma Virus and controlled by Sigma himself. Doppler created a new body for him and upgraded his weapons to be more powerful. However, the influence of the Sigma Virus around him turned him insane, and the only thing he could think of was to get revenge on X, who had previously killed him. Instead of assisting Doppler in creating a new body for Sigma, he left Doppler's lab on his own accord. He lured X into an abandoned factory which was set up to self-destruct and tried to hinder X from escaping by fighting him in his new Ride Armor. He is an optional secret boss where if he is defeated with both of his weaknesses (Spinning Blade on his Ride Armor and Ray Splasher without his Ride Armor) the option to obtain Zero's Z-Saber in Doppler's Lab Stage 2 is unlocked.
If X didn't use the Ray Splasher or Spinning Blade (Vile's weaknesses) on him, he would flee the scene. He would then reappear at Doppler's lab as one of the final bosses, riding an upgraded version of his Goliath Ride Armor. Eventually, he was destroyed by X, but not before swearing to haunt him until the day he died.
In addition to his original shoulder cannon and knee-mounted napalm launcher, Vile gained a missile launcher on his left shoulder in this form. He also acquired a shield bearing his personal V-insignia worn over his back, although this was never used during his in-game battle, although it was used to defend against X's Tornado Fang in the Rockman X3 manga.
X, Axl, and Zero are sent on a mission near the Jakob Orbital Elevator to investigate a unique crab-like Mechaniloid. They manage to defeat it, but are then interrupted by a hail of missiles from Vile, who has apparently been resurrected from his earlier defeat in Mega Man X3. Vile had kidnapped the Jakob Space Elevator project leader, Lumine, for unknown reasons and it becomes the Maverick Hunters' mission to rescue him. Oddly, while Axl was dazed when he heard his name (which is understandable, since he didn't really know him, or even his existence, until now), Zero and X weren't completely shocked to see him alive (as X was with Vile MK-2 in X3), calling him a 'wanted' criminal as if he's been revived for quite a while. He will sometimes appear as a mini-boss in certain rooms in stages, rather than doing the 'puzzle' of that room (this can be very useful on hard mode, especially in Gravity Antonion's spiked block room). He also appears as the boss of the Jakob Orbital Elevator stage, but isn't destroyed. Rather, he teleports away.
Vile in this game is likely a New Generation Reploid with a Copy Chip installed inside him, although he never used that ability as he keeps talking about trying to create a new world that seems to include only New Generation Reploids only. Vile in this incarnation has been upgraded in terms of weaponry as well as adding flight capabilities, flying around the stage most of the time. In addition, his shoulder cannon can now fire rapid-fire sparks as well as flames in later parts, while his missile pod allows him to rapid-fire missiles. Both weapons are noted for being removed from his actual shoulders and relocated to his backpack, a redesign that would be later applied to his original form in Maverick Hunter X. In times of extreme stress, he demonstrated the ability to discharge high voltage electricity from his body. His main color scheme is changed from the original purple and blue to green and yellow.
In the final stage, Sigma Palace, Vile reappears as a mini-boss, this time in his trademark Devil Bear Ride Armor. Unlike before, Vile demonstrates a remote link with the Ride Armor, controlling it without manipulating the controls in the cockpit. He has to be knocked off it with a Guard Break before being fought one on one, preferably with his weakness, the Drift Diamond, Hyouryuushou, or Ice Gatling. On Easy or Normal mode, Vile explodes upon victory, but on Hard, he comes back and attacks the reserve character, forcing the remaining character to go through the rest of the stage alone until the two are reunited during the Sigma fight. His ultimate fate is unknown, but it is implied that the other character destroyed him.
Vile appears in Rockman ×over as a World 1 boss, accessible only after defeating the other bosses in the same world at least once each. He also appears in Battle Memory.
- Vile is the first antagonist in the X series to become a playable character.
- It is unknown as to why his Japanese name VAVA is capitalized.
- Vile's personality and role in the series are similar to Bass from the original Mega Man series. Both are their respective series' most known boss antoganists after Sigma and Dr. Wily, and they have similar relationships to the respective protagonists, X and the original Mega Man.
- Vile's overall appearance bears some resemblance to a Sniper Joe. The similarities are further highlighted in the Rockman X3 manga, where at one point Vile Mk II has a glowing eye in the center of his visor while dueling with X just like Sniper Joe.
- Interestingly, in Mega Man Maverick Hunter X's "Vile Mode", Vile doesn't speak to his opponent(s) unless spoken to.
For more of this character, see their gallery.