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The Ride Armor (ライドアーマー),, also known as Mobile Attack Armor or Robot Ride Armor, is a recurring type of item in the X era, first appearing in Mega Man X. It is a large, mechanical suit of power armor that Reploids can pilot by sitting inside the torso, granting them protection and new combat abilities in exchange for a larger size and decreased mobility.
In the Games
Mega Man X
Ride Armor debuted in Mega Man X. The Ride Armor in this game is known as Civil Engineering Ride Armor (土木作業用ライドアーマー), having been originally intended for heavy lifting and engineering work. A green version can be found in Snow Mountain Stage, while a red version can be found in Forest Stage and Sigma Stage 2. The Armor Soldier enemies in these stages also pilot Ride Armor, but if they are spotted outside their Ride Armor, X can easily destroy them and instead hijack it for himself.
This is the most basic form of Ride Armor, capable of walking across spikes, jumping, dashing, and a simple punch attack. It can take a maximum of 16 hits before it begins breaking down, signaled by it periodically flashing white. No more damage can be taken in this flashing state, giving the player an opportunity to go berserk until the Ride Armor inevitably explodes, leaving them unscathed.
Additionally, Vile pilots a powerful blue Ride Armor during his boss battle at the end of Highway Stage, rendering all of X's attacks completely ineffective. Zero blows the arm off of this one, forcing Vile to retreat. He returns with an upgraded purple Ride Armor in Sigma Stage 1, with which he captures Zero and again paralyzes X. This time, Zero self-destructs to completely destroy the Ride Armor, giving X a chance to fight and defeat Vile on foot.
Mega Man X2
In Mega Man X2, the game's Ride Armor is designated as the Ride Armor Type EG-2 Custom (ライドアーマータイプEG-2カスタム), codenamed the Rabbit (ラビット). This Ride Armor was intended for mine excavation, featuring spiked drills on its arms and a reinforced vernier thruster to improve its aerial mobility. It can be found in Dinosaur Tank Stage and Energen Crystal Stage. The Rideroid G enemies in these stages are similar to the Armor Soldiers, as X can take their Ride Armor for himself.
The Rabbit's drills improve its punching power and give it the ability to charge, causing the drills to spin before unleashing a dash punch. It can also hover through the air with its thruster, though more so for horizontal travel than vertical ascension.
This game also introduced the Ride Chaser, a similar series of mechanical vehicles.
Mega Man X3
In Mega Man X3, Ride Armor returns at its most complex. This Ride Armor is designated as the Ride Armor DRA-00 (ライドアーマータイプDRA-00), a highly-customizable general purpose model developed by the Maverick Hunters.[note 1] It is stolen by the Doppler Army and stored in the Weapons Factory Stage, where X must free it from a Hangerter in order to unlock its use. Once it has been unlocked, X can summon it from a Transfer Machine (転送機), also known as a Ride Armor Platform, which are located in most of the game's stages. Three Change Parts can also be found hidden throughout the game, which let X summon different customizations of the Ride Armor.
The Ride Armor DRA-00 has four customizations:
- The Chimera (キメラ), its default state. It functions similarly to the original Civil Engineering Ride Armor, punching with its fists.
- The Kangaroo (カンガルー), for hand-to-hand combat. It has two spiked drill fists similar to the Rabbit Ride Armor, except its charge attack instead extends a spinning drill on a chain, and it lacks the hover ability.
- The Hawk (ホーク), for airborne applications. It has two rocket launcher arms that fire missiles, along with a back-mounted vernier thruster that grants it the hover ability of the Rabbit Ride Armor.
- The Frog (フロッグ), for submarine applications. It hops like a frog instead of walking, and its arms are replaced with two torpedo launchers. On the ground, its hops are short and its torpedoes shoot horizontally before falling to the ground. When underwater, its hops are larger and its torpedoes gain a homing effect. Additionally, its dash is replaced with a long jump which can propel it through the water six times using its screw propellers.
In Doppler Stage A, the mid-boss REX-2000 is a unique Ride Armor piloted by Mad Joey. Additionally, Vile MK-II again pilots Ride Armor in both of his boss battles. In the Vile Stage, Vile first pilots a Ride Armor DRA-00 Kangaroo painted black, before fighting X on foot. In Doppler Stage B, he pilots a brand new type of Ride Armor called the Goliath, designed by Dr. Doppler expressly for combat.
Mega Man X4
In Mega Man X4, two models of Ride Armor appear, both developed by Repliforce. Repliforce's weapons development division felt the combat potential of engineering Ride Armor models were too limited, and thus set out to create models designed purely for battle.
- The Raiden (ライデン), a melee combat model. It was originally an experimental model, but due to the prototype's excellent performance in simulations, it was mass-produced. It is equipped with a beam blade on its forearm for punching and slashing, which can destroy certain obstacles and can be charged for a dash attack. It also has a jet booster on its back for jumping and dashing. It can be found in Volcano and Military Train.
- The Eagle (イーグル), an aerial combat model. It can Air Dash and has a stronger hover ability than previous Ride Armor, letting it freely ascend or descend almost indefinitely. It is equipped with a beam cannon, which can be charged to fire three homing energy shots. While charging it cannot walk, but it can still hover. It can be found in Air Force and Final Weapon 2.
There are enemies simply called Raiden, which are mass-produced Repliforce soldiers piloting Ride Armor Raiden. Additionally, the form Iris enters for her boss battle heavily resembles a modified Ride Armor Eagle.
Mega Man Xtreme
Mega Man X5
In Mega Man X5, the Ride Armor Raiden from Mega Man X4 returns with the same abilities. One can be found in Magma Stage, likely because Burn Dinorex is a former Repliforce employee, along with some of the Raiden enemies as well. Additionally, the Eagle G enemy in Zero Space Stage 1: Origin is a manifestation of a Repliforce soldier piloting a modified Ride Armor Eagle.
Mega Man Xtreme 2
In Mega Man Xtreme 2, the Ride Armor Rabbit returns again with the same abilities. It can be found in Jungle Stage and Underground Stage, where there are also enemies simply called Ride Armor who pilot Hawk-like Ride Armor models that fire missiles. Additionally, Sigma's final form, Sigma Beast, is described as a giant type of Ride Armor.
Mega Man X6
In Mega Man X6, the Ride Armor Raiden from Mega Man X4 returns again. They can be found in Recycle Lab, possibly left there for disposal, where they display the unique property of preventing the Nightmare Press from crushing the player character.
Mega Man X7
- The Raiden II (ライデンII), a new model based on the Raiden from Mega Man X4. It has four legs and a drill on one arm, increasing its grounded mobility and punching power.
- The Gouden (ゴウデン), a long-range combat model. It is equipped with a machine gun cannon on its left arm, and has two missile launchers mounted on its back.
The Proto Ride enemy is a green, Gouden-like Ride Armor piloted by a Runnerbomb. Vanishing Gungaroo also pilots his own personal Ride Armor modeled after a mother kangaroo, called the Kangaroo Ride (カンガルーライド).
Mega Man X8
- The Cyclops (サイクロプス), a blue model used to control electronic disasters in large facilities. It can punch with its fists, and has a shoulder-mounted "electric napalm gun" that can disable the EMC of electronics, briefly paralyzing enemies. It can also hover for a short time, and can destroy enemies and obstacles with its weight by landing on top of them.
- The Golem (ゴーレム), a green model that acts as a downgrade of the Cyclops. It has a claw on its left hand and a drill on its right hand, but no electric napalm gun. It is normally piloted by a Guardroid, but there is a small chance that defeating one will only destroy the Guardroid, allowing the player to hijack the Ride Armor for themselves.
Metal Valley has non-interactive Ride Armors working in the background, and a miniature Ride Armor called a Dice (ダイス) that is only piloted by the Metall Ride enemies. Finally, Vile V remotely pilots a black Golem called the Devil Bear (デビルベア) for his battle in the Sigma Palace. The Devil Bear itself is indestructible, and Vile must be knocked off it using Guard Break attacks to damage him.
- The English game manual for Mega Man X3 gives the conflicting information that Dr. Light created this Ride Armor.
- Compendium of Rockman X. 2005.
- English game manual, Mega Man X2. 1994.
- English game manual, Mega Man X3. 1996.
- Kodansha Manga Hyakka #6: Rockman & Rockman X Daizukan. November 1994.
- Kodansha Manga Hyakka #24: Rockman & Rockman X Himitsu Daihyakka. April 1995.
- Game manual, Mega Man X3. 1996.
- Comic BomBom Special #116: Rockman X4 Saikyou Daizukan. October 1997.
- (Archived) Capcom Japan official website, Rockman X7. 2003. (http://www.capcom.co.jp/rockmanx7/)
- Mega Man X8 Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames Publishing. 2004.
- Rockman X8 Kyūkyoku Complete Guide. Capcom. 2005.