|Vile in Maverick Hunter X|
- "I'll make you understand! You will know that I am the one who holds the key to the future!"
- ―Vile, [Mega Man Maverick Hunter X]
Vile, or VAVA (ヴァヴァ?) in Japan, is a character of the Mega Man X series. He used to be a member of the Maverick Hunters prior to the first Mega Man X game and was ranked S-A Class in Sigma's 17th Elite Unit prior to his commander's rebellion against humanity. He appeared in multiple games of the series as a boss character and was playable for the first time in Maverick Hunter X, a remake of the first game for the PlayStation Portable.
Vile is adorned in somewhat 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. 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. Without his helmet, he has messy brown hair that covers the right side of his face in a fringe and purple eyes.
When he walks, there's 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 also had a habit of not accepting orders from anyone except himself, which often resulted in fierce arguments with his commander.
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.
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 received more attention. He is also a traitor to both the Maverick Hunters and of the Mavericks.
The Day of Sigma
Shortly before Sigma declared war on humanity, Vile was arrested by the Hunters for unknown reasons, however Zero claimed that he "must have caused a ruckus again". It is presumable that he once again disobeyed orders from superior officers and/or threatened the safety of comrades and 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 who requested his assistance in defeating X, saying that he needed a Reploid that could go Maverick on his own accord. Eventually, Sigma left Vile alone, freed of his chains and open to his arsenal, so he could decide whether or not to join his rebellion.
Mega Man X/Maverick Hunter X
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 intro stage, using a powerful Ride Armor that X found impossible to damage. X was eventually caught by Vile's stun beam, and had to be rescued by Zero. 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 net. In order to save his friend, Zero mobilized all of his power to break free and destroyed the Ride Armor by overloading his Z-Buster. Vile was then destroyed in a one-on-one battle with X.
In 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 iron 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. He then showed up in Sigma's fortress, having already defeated Zero like in the original game and laid him in a hallway as a bait for X, whom he captured (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. After a long battle, he was destroyed by X, with him only expressing shock and denial at losing to X.
However, in Maverick Hunter X's Vile Mode, an unlockable bonus mode, he 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 all of the eight main Mavericks were rather friendly to him (and offered to let him leave), he destroyed all of them and absorbed their powers in order to create new weapons. Afterwards, Sigma then 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 however, 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.
Mega Man Xtreme
Vile made a small appearance in the opening stage of the game. Said level is a digitized version of the Central Highway 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. In this game, he is erroneously referred to as "VAVA", which is actually his original Japanese name. He was deleted by X.
Mega Man X3
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.
In case 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 ingame battle. (Although it was used to defend against X's Tornado Fang in the Rockman X manga.)
Mega Man X8
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 uses a great variety of weapons hidden inside his body, but his most significant weapon is his trademark shoulder cannon, the Front Runner.
In the Maverick Hunter X remake, Vile is able to acquire 45 different weapons. These are divided into three main categories (Arm Weapons, Shoulder Weapons, and Leg Weapons), and then each are again divided into nine weapon systems, ranging from vulcans and napalms to rocket punches and flamethrowers. His standard weapons are his Front Runner, the Cherry Blast vulcan, and the Bumpity Boom napalm.
Aside from being a weapons expert, Vile is most notably recognized for his unparalleled skill in using Ride Armors as he uses both illegally modified and the latest superior models of them. Likewise in Maverick Hunter X his Ride Armors function differently then X's as his are more powerful, but come with the price of a time limit and once abandoned, explodes.
- It's a common tale amongst the Mega Man community 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 because of the character's resemblance to Boba Fett, a character from the Star Wars universe. 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).
- Vile is not to be mistaken for Dr. Weil, whose name in the Japanese version is Dr. Vile.
- Interestingly, X can actually defeat Vile in the Ride Armor in Maverick Hunter X by jumping and shooting Vile rather than the armor. In fact, this is the only way X can deal damage to Vile in this game.
- Vile's original body was slightly redesigned for Maverick Hunter X. These changes are mostly proportion-based, although the most noticeable changes being the Maverick symbol on his helmet replaced with his signature V-insignia (first seen in his Mk. 2 incarnation) and his shoulder cannon being attached to his backpack instead of being directly mounted on his right shoulder armor.
- When playing in X mode, Vile's in-game model displays the Maverick symbol on his helmet. However, both his bust shots and in-game model in Vile mode use the V-insignia.
- Vile Mk-II had a model kit in the Mega Armor series (originally released as a conversion kit and later as its own model kit), and the original Vile in the D-Arts line. Vile also had small miniatures of him.
- There are two missing versions of Vile that have seemingly passed by, as he went from Mk-2 in Mega Man X3 to 5 in Mega Man X8 (his official notation in X8, according to sourcebooks, is "VAVA Pente," meaning "5"). It is unknown if those two versions will ever make an appearance.
- Vile and Sigma share the same Japanese voice actor in Mega Man X8, Mugihito. Vile's voice has a noticeably mechanical and insane-sounding echo in the Japanese audio of X8, which is not found in his English voice.
- In Maverick Hunter X, Vile is very weak to Zero's buster parts. If X uses Zero's buster parts (not Dr. Light's buster parts) on Vile after the game has been completed, X can make short work of him with two correctly aimed shots at full charge. Using Dr. Light's Buster Parts at full charge will only do up to half the damage as compared to Zero's Buster Parts.
- The phrase "Not a CHARGED SHOT!" in Vile's ending in Mega Man Maverick Hunter X could perhaps be a reference to Vile's damage data in the original version of Mega Man X, where he is the only boss to be weakest against a charged X-Buster compared to the rest of the bosses' damage data against it.
- Interestingly, in Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, in battles that involve Vile, Vile doesn't speak to his opponent(s) unless spoken to.
- Vile is the second major recurring boss character in the Mega Man X series, next to Sigma.
- Vile is the first antagonist in the X series to become a playable character.
- Vile's weakness in Mega Man X and Mega Man Maverick Hunter X is the same as Velguarder Sigma's primary weakness from the first Mega Man X game: Rolling Shield. After which, there will be different types of weaknesses against Vile in the concurrent games.
- 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.
- Vile's personality in the Rockman X manga is depicted much differently than the games. In the manga, Vile is seen as calculative, cunning, and calm, and can easily catch X off guard. When X encounters him at the abandoned saloon after the battle with Armored Armadillo, Vile mentions to X that he will hunt down all those who bear the name "Rockman" after he finishes him off once and for all, but he leaves while giving X the coordinates of the next Dr. Light capsule. X tries to shoot Vile as he is leaving, but is stunned with a sense of fear.
- The D-Arts Vile figure comes with a glass of Bourbon, an homage to his appearance in the manga. After Armored Armadillo's death, X finds Vile in a bar holding a glass. Vile tells X it would not matter if the glass is filled with Bourbon or mud as Reploids can't tell the difference between them, and breaks the glass. (Curiously, this is contradicted later on as X, Zero and other Reploids are shown enjoying beverages, X in particular vomiting from the taste of Dr. Cain's mixed drink.) Later in Sigma's fortress, Vile asks X if he wants a glass of Bourbon before dying, making a reference to their previous encounter.
- It is unknown as to why VAVA is capitalized.
- In Project X Zone, it is noted in Chapter 37 by the main protagonist of Tales of Vesperia, Yuri Lowell, that Vile would meet his end the same way his own nemesis Zagi did. Zagi and Vile share similar parallels in that they are both single-minded in the pursuit of their goal and their existence can only truly be defined when they beat their respective rival (Yuri and X).
- Vile's relationship to X is similar to that of Bass's towards Mega Man.
- In Vile's Storyline in Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, Vile defeats X and Zero without his Ride Armor so Zero never sacrifices himself to help X defeat Vile.
- His Mega Man X8 color scheme closely resembles Boba Fett's.