Maverick (イレギュラー, Iregyurā?, Irregular in Japan) is a term given to Reploids and Mechaniloids that are a threat to humans, which can be caused by errors, viruses, reprogramming, or even by their own free will upon deciding that humans are too weak to live (or some variation of this thought). They are usually countered by application of superior firepower to a fatal degree, and the Maverick Hunters were formed to enact this.
There is no single cause for a Reploid to act as a Maverick, but generally a Maverick will fall into one of several categories.
There were Mavericks before Zero was uncovered, and his virus was sent loose to mutate into the Maverick Virus. Though it is unknown, there is much speculation among fans that some of these Mavericks were caused by errors to their system: after all, X had not been fully analyzed, and he was working with an archaeologist, Dr. Cain, as opposed to a robotics specialist. So it makes sense that there might have been some errors to cause them to go insane. Errors which can be likened to humans with mental deficits or biological/emotional imbalance reacting to negative stress violently. Prior to X, Robots were made to provide humans with ease of living and subordinated to tasks deemed to dangerous or monotonous for humans to perform. by providing sentience and the ability to "Think and learn" These first "Maverick incidents" may simply be the Reploid equivalent of extreme dissident violence. Being as they have become essentially, a new social demographic born into autonomy to replace robots, with no previous ideology, ethical or moral code indoctrinated into them, other than specialized programming and bodies necessary for their tasks. It is Implied by Doctor Light that he intended Reploids to exist and develop their own society alongside humankind, peacefully. However since X's discovery and the proliferation of the Reploids by Dr. Cain, these incidents intensified artificially after the discovery of Zero and the spread of the real Maverick Virus.
The major cause of Mavericks is a computer virus called the Maverick Virus. The virus usually causes the infected Reploid to become very violent and irrational, though this is not always the case (such as the Maverick Sigma). Viral Mavericks lose their inhibitions and generally succumb to the belief that the human race is limiting the potential of Reploids. Viral Mavericks often deliberately try to injure or kill humans. They will also attack other Reploids that try to defend humans.
Mavericks in this category include the infamous former head of the Maverick Hunters, Sigma, and Reploid scientists Dr. Doppler and Gate.
A similar (though not directly related) effect exists in Mega Man ZX, in which former researcher Serpent was corrupted and manipulated by Model W, thus going Maverick in the same fashion. The majority of Mavericks in this game are in turn controlled by Serpent, and therefore indirectly by Model W as well.
It was not exist to the Power Rangers series.
Properties of the viruses
The Maverick Virus appears to be capable of infecting most Reploids and Mechaniloids, though some robots, most notably X, Zero, Axl, and the New Generation Reploids, seem to be immune to the effects of the virus.
In games with tangible viruses, most notably Mega Man X5 and Mega Man X6, the virus is a self-propelled airborne agent which hones onto a host. This might indicate that the Maverick Virus has wireless capabilities. In Mega Man X2 and Mega Man X3 Sigma has also existed in a tangible virus form.
For a time, it was believed that the Maverick Hunter Zero is the sole originator of the virus, and that Dr. Wily had a hand in its creation. In one of the endings of Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters (when Bass wins alone), Wily reveals a shadowed blueprint of Zero to Bass and speaks of his "other project", which was assumed to be the Virus. Later information would discredit Dr. Wily's vague statement of that project.
One possible truth is revealed by the Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works artbook: X was built with a "Suffering Circuit" program that gave him his calm attitude and ill-will towards violence. Dr. Cain copied the Suffering Circuit for the Reploids, but due to a flaw in its design, it caused some Reploids and Mechaniloids to turn violent (thus, they were the first Mavericks). Dr. Wily gave Zero a malicious personality. When Sigma defeated the homicidal Zero, Zero's murderous programming was transferred to Sigma. When Dr. Cain examined Zero, he installed his version of the Suffering Circuit, restraining him to a normal being. Meanwhile, Zero's program came into contact with Sigma's Suffering Circuit, and because of the defect, the components of X and Zero mixed and created the exact opposite of the Suffering Circuit. With the programs of X, Zero, and Sigma, the Suffering Circuit became the Virus. However, Capcom has stated in the sourcebook that this information comes from early planning stages of the Zero series, and may not be canonical.
In Mega Man X4, a flashback reveals this event, where Sigma, then leader of the Maverick Hunters, fought with Zero, who was then quite obviously Maverick, a few months before rebelling against the humans and taking most of the other Hunters with him. Sigma's hatred of humanity seems to stem from this event.
This is further corroborated in Mega Man X5, where Sigma claims that the Maverick Virus purifies Zero’s body and alludes to a "father" of Zero who advised Sigma to spread the virus with the hopes of "awakening" Zero to his "true self".
In Mega Man X8, when Zero meets with Sigma in the final stage, Sigma speaks of Zero's virus having infected him as being the catalyst for the world's destruction, thus verifying that it was indeed through Zero that Sigma was infected (this knowledge was only an assumption in previous games). In the same game, it is revealed by Lumine that New Generation Reploids can "go Maverick at will," perhaps referring to an ability to disable their Suffering Circuits, but the existence of Suffering Circuits has yet to be confirmed.
In Power Rangers series, however, Mavericks are not evil and do not have a Reploid host. These Mavericks were not involved from the viruses, but the datas of the preserved speciemen were evolved.
There seems to be no single "Maverick Virus", but rather many similar viruses which produce the same basic effect.
The Zero Virus
This is the virus which Sigma had hoped would "awaken" Zero to his "original purpose". If infected, Zero becomes much stronger and temporarily regains his lost memory, but otherwise retains his personality and memories. This virus form is more powerful than either the Sigma or Colony Viruses, and therefore, yields much more power. It appears after the fusion and will show a purple silhouette of Zero, rather than a head of Sigma.
This is the original, pure version of the Maverick Virus, carried by Zero before he infected Sigma.
The Maverick Virus
The most common form of the virus is simply called the Maverick Virus. This form causes the majority of Reploids to go Maverick, especially during the first 4 games. Its effect causes Reploids and Mechaniloids to go berserk and attack Reploids and humans indiscriminately. It was first discovered by a Reploid scientist, Dr. Doppler, who also created the first antivirus programs. This virus is a weak version of the Zero virus.
The Sigma Virus
The Sigma Virus is a modified form of Sigma's own viral code, created by the fusion between Sigma's programming and the Zero Virus, and is capable of infecting large numbers of Reploids and Mechaniloids alike, making them irrational and aggressive. This form of the virus is many times more potent than the original Maverick Virus. Sigma has this virus spread across the Earth in Mega Man X5 to cause chaos and confusion in order to mask his true purpose: the Colony Virus. In the same game, the Sigma virus is displayed as a floating Sigma head, which when it touches X or Zero, will infect them.
The Colony Virus
The Colony Virus was used to cause the failure and subsequent crash of the Space Colony Eurasia, hence its name. Little is actually revealed about this virus, except that when it came into contact with the Sigma Virus, the two merged and became the Zero Virus.
The Nightmare Virus
This virus appeared in Mega Man X6. Gate, a researcher and primary antagonist in the game found a piece of Zero after he was destroyed. Using this piece, he reconstructed a virus and dubbed it the "Nightmare". This virus is odd because it actually takes a physical, destructible form- a head possibly made to resemble a decaying Reploid, and a body made of tentacles resembling DNA strands, hinting at its DNA-based structure. This virus latches onto Reploids and infects them. When destroyed, it will drop a nightmare 'soul'. Gate's destroyed Reploids were apparently resurrected with the Nightmare Virus.
There are many other viruses in the Mega Man X storyline, but they all seem to share some commonality: they infect previously deceased Reploids and alter their capabilities significantly, but act more as a brainwashing or mind control tool than a cause of irrational aggression. Examples of these viruses can be seen in Mega Man X6 (called Nightmare), Mega Man Xtreme 2, and Rockman X Megamissions (called Limited).
Some (though relatively few) Mavericks are called such because they actively choose to go against the will of the humans. They usually are petty criminals or rebels against the government. These Mavericks usually act a little more rationally than viral Mavericks.
A potential example of free-will Mavericks would be all of the new generation Reploids, as Lumine reveals in Mega Man X8 that they can go Maverick at will, because their copy chip contains Sigma's DNA - though technically, all Reploids in existence are able to go Maverick at will due to their ability of free will, so new-generation Reploids who haven't gone Maverick can't truly be considered here. Other examples include Vile, Shadow, and the more extreme example of Colonel Redips, all ex-Maverick Hunters that turned evil to become more powerful - though Vile is questionable, as the reason behind his turn is an irreparable break in his programming.
Another notable example of a free-will Maverick would be Boomerang Kuwanger in Maverick Hunter X for the Playstation Portable. The game manual states that Kuwanger sided with Sigma after looking over the facts rationally. Additionally, Kuwanger's brother Gravity Beetle defected from the Maverick Hunters to side with Doppler's Army to obtain vengeance against X for the death of Kuwanger in the first game.
Not all Mavericks try to harm humans or the government. Because the distinction of who is or is not Maverick is decided by the Maverick Hunters, sometimes a group will be unjustly called Maverick for political reasons or misunderstandings, such in Mega Man X4.
Most notably, this happened with the Repliforce, a Reploid army which was crushed by the Hunters. After realizing the mistake, the leader of the Maverick Hunters resigned, appointing Signas in his place. The Red Alert is also another example, though they have been manipulated by Sigma.
The Rebellion Army led by Epsilon in Mega Man X: Command Mission is another prime example, as Epsilon only wanted to create a place where Reploids could live free of world politics, but his plan to induce Reploid evolution through Supra-Force Metal, not to mention some of his Cadre's questionable tactics, was interpreted as Maverick activity by the authorities. However, after learning of Epsilon's true motives as well as the betrayal of the Far East HQ Hunter Commander, Colonel Redips (who, having somehow deduced himself as the destined ruler of all Reploids, is a perfect example of a free-will Maverick himself), the authorities chose to defer the "Maverick" status from Epsilon, although the Hunters had already destroyed him by that time.
Yet another excellent example would be the Resistance in the Mega Man Zero series; these Reploids do not seek to harm humanity in any way (with the notable exception of Elpizo, who is a classic example of a free-will Maverick), not to mention the fact that this organization is actually led by the human pacifist Ciel, but are designated as Mavericks due to their defiance of the Neo Arcadian regime and its constant "retiring" of Reploids falsely accused of becoming Mavericks.
Mechaniloids are true robots. They follow orders given by both humans and Reploids. In a way, Mechaniloids are to Reploids as work animals are to humans. Each mechaniloid has a basic AI and programming to make it obedient. Mechaniloids, like Reploids, can be infected and carry a Maverick virus, usually with the intent of spreading it onto a network (it can be assumed that this is the reason why entire mining sites are taken over by Maverick mining units).
Problems caused by Mavericks
Mavericks present a large problem to the governments in the Mega Man X series. They actively fight against the governments and the Maverick Hunters, causing large amounts of collateral damage during their attacks.
Mavericks are usually the most destructive when they group together. This is usually hard for viral Mavericks to accomplish, but numerous times Sigma has been able to use them for his elaborate schemes against the Maverick Hunters.
Respondents to Mavericks
- Main article: Maverick Hunters
Due to the many problems posed by Mavericks, the Maverick Hunters were formed by Dr. Cain. The Hunters enlist Reploid soldiers to fight the Mavericks and perform rescue operations on their victims. On numerous occasions, this organization has stopped Maverick attacks on human cities, but it has also failed to prevent some large-scale damage, such as the destruction of Dopple Town, the Sky Lagoon, and the space colony Eurasia.
Also combating the Maverick threat are various mercenary groups, most notably the Red Alert Syndicate (who became infected with the Sigma virus themselves) and solo mercenaries like Dynamo. The mercenaries and their organizations tend to be illegal and are also targeted by the Maverick Hunters. Some mercenaries have even been known to work for the Mavericks, making them all the more dangerous to the Hunters.
In the Mega Man Zero series, the government of Neo Arcadia has strict anti-Reploid laws designed to protect the human populace from Mavericks. This results in much oppression of Reploid workers who are often executed for petty crimes or other false pretenses. A so-called "Maverick" group known as the Resistance, led by the human Ciel, forms a safe haven for such Reploids who are otherwise doomed to "retirement." It should be noted that during this time period, the term "Maverick" has been redefined to simply mean anybody who fights against Neo Arcadia. In fact, the only reploids remaining who have the original definition of "Maverick" placed onto them are Copy X (for antagonizing Ciel, as well as being directly responsible for the missile strike of Area Z-3079 that resulted in the deaths of countless human bystanders, while actually serving as Neo Arcadia's figurehead leader, showing the level of corruption involved with the ruling regime at the time) and Elpizo (for wanting to establish a Reploid-only civilization and eliminate humans [ala Sigma]).
The Guardians were introduced in Mega Man ZX, as an organization which travels around the world protecting the civilians and investigating the cause behind the Maverick outbreaks. While not outright stated, it's revealed through flashbacks that the creator and first commander of the Guardians was Ciel, so it's most likely that the Resistance in the Mega Man Zero series evolved into the Guardians. The current commander of the Guardians is Prairie (who is heavily hinted to be Alouette). Serpent, the main antagonist was a member of the Guardians until he was infected and corrupted by Model W, which caused him to wipe out his unit and run away with the Biometal. Giro stated that he was also a member of the Guardians. In Mega Man ZX Advent, Vent and Aile have become full-time members of the Guardians.
Summary of in-series significance
Mega Man X series
Originally, the term Maverick is used for a Reploid that goes berserk, violent, and insane, normally due to being infected by the Sigma Virus or other type of virus. They were the only enemies that would be in the levels.
Mega Man X4 brought the most attention to the existance of non-infected Reploids when the Repliforce are branded Mavericks in their attempts to gain independence from humanity.
In Mega Man X8, it's revealed by Lumine that the New Generation Reploids can become Maverick at will, without the need of being forced by viruses or other means.
It is interesting to note that the events of Mega Man X4 seem to indicate that the first Mavericks were NOT caused by the Sigma/Zero/Wily Virus. According to the cutscene showing Zero's origin. Sigma was the commander of the Maverick Hunters when he encountered Zero and broke the crystal on his helmet, apparently exposing himself and the rest of the world to the virus. However, there would be no need for Maverick Hunters if the virus had not been released yet. There are only two possibilities. The first Mavericks were caused by something else, such as a mechanical malfunction, flaws in Dr. Cain's redesign, or a decision to rebel against humans. The other possibility is that though Zero and the majority of the virus were contained in Dr. Wily's capsule, some traces of the virus may have been somehow spread throughout the world prior to Zero's discovery.
Mega Man Zero series
In the Mega Man Zero series, the term Maverick is used for any Reploid who opposes Neo Arcadia (more specifically, the human population of Neo Arcadia). Ciel created a Resistance to protect innocent Reploids labelled as Mavericks, although the only reploid characters who have the original definition of Maverick applied to them are Elpizo and Copy X, since they tried to harm humans; Elpizo wanted to make a Reploid-only nation and eliminate humans (mirroring Sigma), and Copy X, aside from antagonizing Ciel, was also responsible for ordering the missile strike on the human residential place Area-3079, which resulted in the deaths of several humans.
In Mega Man Zero 4, Dr. Weil takes control of Neo Arcadia after Copy X's death, and similarly to his figurehead predecessor, any who opposes him, human or Reploid, is considered a Maverick. However, for wishing for humans and Reploids to either accept his rule or be destroyed, this makes him a Maverick himself, which Zero declared. This ended with Dr. Weil's death.
Mega Man ZX series
In the Mega Man ZX series, there are still Maverick attacks. Model W's ability to corrupt machines also turns Mechaniloids Mavericks, making them act outside their program parameters and attack anyone nearby.
Mavericks also play a major part in the creation of Mega Men, as most of the Mega Men are survivors of Maverick Raids, and it's implied that the Mavericks involved deliberately leave survivors in their wake so that they'll become Mega Men and partake in the Game of Destiny. It's unknown exactly how becoming a Maverick Raid Survivor results in becoming a Mega Men, though Serpent's dying words to Aile in Mega Man ZX, Aeolus' Cypher from Mega Man ZX Advent, as well as Prometheus and Pandora's rant after being defeated by Grey/Ashe implies that Master Albert's blood has a substance that has similar properties to Biometals, due to mentioning a mandatory Blood Donation from himself to Maverick Survivors that he created.
Ironically, when Vent/Aile are in the city (Area C) in Mega Man ZX Mega-Merged, the citizens react as if he/she is a Maverick, considering the Biometals are based on the most ardent Maverick hunters. in Vent's story, before Serpent's death, he declares Vent to be a Maverick, for blocking his progress.
Power Rangers/Super Sentai series
In this series on Power Rangers: Maverick Force, after Samuel Nakaoka befriend an wild, unusally strange Slash Chameleo.
The direct sequel to Power Rangers: Maverick Force and the side-story of Singular Rider S: Pretty Cure Max Heart where they continues in episode 15.
Power Rangers: Universe Awakening
In this series, Mavericks were
- They are referred to as their original name, "Irregulars" in the Mega Man Xtreme 2 English manual.
- The term "Irregular" is also used in the western version of Mega Man X4, in Magma Dragoon's intro screen.
- Mavericks are often called Heretics (Heretic, Heretics) by Lord C and all in his command.
- Also, Lord C and his armies often call their actions "Heresy" , as Lord C stated they offend the Reploid Society, especially Sigma, who is called "Heretic Leader" By Lord C.
- In Power Rangers series, Mavericks were highly evolved data beings and non-Reploid host.