While traditional Mega Man games took a bit of a break for a while, another series stepped up to help fill the Blue Bombers’ shoes. In fact, this new IP’s hero was even a similar shade of blue! Inti Creates picked up where Capcom decided to leave off with Gunvolt, an original character who participated in rather familiar adventures. With the eighth Gunvolt-adjacent game appearing, now is the perfect time to go over who this hero is and why people should be playing his games.
How is Gunvolt connected to Mega Man?
Given how similar the Gunvolt games may feel to the Mega Man Zero and ZX series, people might find themselves wondering what is going on. Well, true fans of Mega Man will make the connection immediately. Inti Creates was behind all of them. From Mega Man Zero to ZX Advent, this developer was there. (It also even helped with Mega Man 9 and 10.)
There’s more to it than that. Inti Creates was founded by former members of Capcom. Both Takuya Aizu and Yoshihisa Tsuda both were a part of the company. Aizu even began his career there working on Mega Man X2. The two of them left Capcom with nine people they enjoyed working with and founded Inti Creates. But, even after they all left, the new developer ended up working on Mega Man games again after pitching Mega Man Zero to Keiji Inafune and Capcom.
So, what about Gunvolt? Well, as Tsuda told USGamer, the idea was to make a title that wasn’t just another Mega Man Zero-like, but would be a similar sort of action game that anyone could beat and enjoy. Specifically, Tsuda said, “My image for the game was that people who can play halfway through Super Mario Bros. could clear this game. That’s the difficult level I was shooting for. However, I also wanted skilled players to be satisfied, so that was a secondary goal.”
How many Gunvolt games are there in the main series?
This might shock you, but there are actually only two major entries in the Gunvolt line. Most of the installments are spin-offs. So, if someone enjoyed Mega Man Zero and ZX games, these are the ones to look into.
Azure Striker Gunvolt (3DS, 2014)
Azure Striker Gunvolt introduces Gunvolt, a young man who is a special sort of individual known as an Adept. This means he is one of a group of people with supernatural Septimal abilities. (Namely, he controls electricity.) As a former agent of QUILL, a resistance group fighting against a supposedly peaceful corporation known as a the Sumeragi Group, Gunvolt gets pulled back into the fray after taking on missions to fight against some of Sumeragi’s minions. However, as a result of his actions, a young woman named Joule that he saved from Sumeragi is kidnapped. What follows is a 2D adventure where you tag enemies to electrocute them and dash through various stages.
While Azure Striker Gunvolt was originally a 3DS game, it was ported to the PC in 2015 and Switch in 2017. (On the Switch, it is a part of the Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack.)
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 (3DS, 2016)
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 picks up where the original left off. Even though Gunvolt took out Sumeragi’s leader and dealt with other issues, it turns out there are still other threats in the world. Surprise! Both he and Copen, a human who can use the powers of bosses he defeats, end up facing a new group of dangerous Adepts who are a part of a cult called Eden. People can go through Gunvolt and Copen’s paths, and indeed should to discover the game’s true ending.
While it first appeared on the 3DS, it appeared on the Switch in 2017 in the Striker Pack.
What about Gunvolt spin-offs?
The spin-offs are where the Gunvolt series gets interesting. Inti Creates gets a little more creative with these installments. That means you can have ones that are more like the traditional Mega Man games or that star secondary characters.
Mighty Gunvolt (3DS, 2014)
Mighty Gunvolt is Inti Creates’ take on classic Mega Man games with characters from its other series. Azure Striker Gunvolt’s Gunvolt, Galgun’s Ekoro and Mighty No. 9’s Beck are trying to bring love back into the world after the Sumeragi Group decided to experiment on female students. Players choose one of the three, each with their own skills, and go through levels to save the day.
Mighty Gunvolt is available on far more platforms than the original Azure Striker Gunvolt. It showed up on the PlayStation 4, Vita and PC in 2015. On PlayStation platforms, it is known as Gal Gunvolt.
Mighty Gunvolt Burst (3DS and Switch, 2017)
In Mighty Gunvolt Burst, Beck, Gunvolt and Ekoro find themselves in a virtual world. They have to fight their way through to prove their might and return home. While it plays similarly to the original game, it also allows you to create original energy “bullets” for your characters to use.
Just like Mighty Gunvolt, Mighty Gunvolt Burst eventually appeared on the PS4, Vita and PC a few years later. It also appeared under the “Galgun” name on PlayStation platforms, going by Gal Gunvolt Burst.
Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX (Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC, 2019)
This latest spin-off is a chance for Copen, who previously was an antagonist or antihero, to step into the spotlight. While previous Gunvolt games had Adepts fighting to find peace, this installment involves the new Sumeragi Institute of Human Evolution as it attempts to exterminate all ordinary humans. Copen is fighting to protect humankind with the same abilities people used in Azure Striker Gunvolt 2.