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Mega Man, also known as Rockman (Japanese: ロックマン) in Japan, is a successful video games series created by the video game company Capcom. The game features an incantation of a robot named Mega Man (aka the Blue Bomber), who utilizes his Mega Buster to fight various forms of evil including Dr. Wily and Sigma. Since it’s release in 1987, the series has sold over 29 million copies worldwide, spawning multiple spinoffs across various gaming platforms, and gained a strong presence on the internet.
Mega Man (Original Series)
The first Mega Man series began with the release of Mega Man for the NES on 17th December, 1987. The games feature the original Mega Man, who must fight 6 robots (8 in later installments) known as ‘Robot Masters’ that are being controlled by the main villain of the series, Dr. Wily. After defeating all the Robot Masters, Mega Man enters Dr. Wily’s castle. There, he faces off against huge bosses, rematches all the Robot Masters, and engages in a final showdown with Dr. Wily.
The first game is known for its strange box art, which bears very little.
The games include a then-revolutionary ability for the player to choose which order they played the stages in. They also feature a mechanic similar to ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ where by defeating a Robot Master, Mega Man acquires it’s weapon and can then use it against a certain other Robot Master to make the fight easier.
The series yielded 11 games with the Mega Man 1-6 on the NES, Mega Man 7 on the SNES, Mega Man 8 on the Playstation and Sega Saturn, Mega Man & Bass on the SNES (Japan only) and Game Boy Advance, and Mega Man 9-10 on downloadable gaming services for the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360.
In addition, an remake of the first Mega Man game titled Mega Man Powered Up was released for the PSP in 2006.
Mega Man X
Mega Man X is the first spinoff series, debuting in 1993 with Mega Man X on the SNES. The series takes place approximately 100 after the events of the first series. Mega Man X introduces Reploids, who are robots possessing the ability to think, feel, and make their own decisions.
The player controls a new incarnation of Mega Man named X. X is a member of a group called the Maverick Hunters and must eliminate 8 animal-like Reploids who have gone rogue (and been dubbed ‘Mavericks’) before squaring off against the series main antagonist, Sigma.
Similar to how the original Mega Man can take the powers of defeated Robot Masters, X has the ability to take the powers of defeated Mavericks and add them to his arsenal. The ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ mechanic and the ability to choose which order you play the stages in also carry over.
In addition to X, the series also introduced a saber-wielding robot called Zero and a gunslinging Reploid called Axl. Zero first appears in X1 and is playable character from X3 onwards, whereas Axl first appears and becomes playable in X7. Zero became a popular character amongst fans and has appeared in many Capcom fighting games.
The series yielded 8 games with X1-X3 on the SNES, X4-X6 on the PS1, and X7-X8 on the PS2.
In addition, an RPG titled Mega Man X: Command Mission was released for the Gamecube and PS2 in 2004 and a remake of X1 titled Mega Man Maverick Hunter X was released for the PSP in 2006.
Mega Man Legends
Mega Man Legends is the third series in the franchise and differs widely in gameplay. Instead of being a side-scrolling shooter like the games of the previous two series, the Mega Man Legends games are 3D action role-playing games.
Taking place in sometime in the 9th millennium, the protagonist controls a teenager named MegaMan/Rock Volnutt who searches through ruins for energy sources. With help from his adopted sister Roll Caskett, Rock works to obtain this sources from the Bonnes, a group of pirates along with their Servbots. The series spawned 2 games and a spinoff featuring Tron Bonne, all for the Playstation.
A third game was announced for the 3DS, but was cancelled shortly after production of the prototype was created, yielding a massive fan backlash towards Capcom along with a fan-driven campaign to resurrect the game, though Capcom has not yielded to the feedback.
Mega Man Battle Network
Mega Man Battle Network takes place in an alternate universe where people use programs called NetNavis to navigate through cyberspace. The protagonist is a preteen named Lan Hikari, who uses his NetNavi MegaMan.EXE (Rockman.EXE in Japan) to battle various evils, including Lord Wily (no relation with Dr. Wily) and his organization ‘WWW’ (World Three). The gameplay also differs as Battle Network relies heavily on RPG elements. Battles are fought on grids and MegaMan.EXE can use battle chips to perform attacks and improve his stats.
The series was primarily on the Game Boy Advance and spawned 6 titles, though some titles had different versions (similar to Pokemon). In addition, a game titled Megaman Network Transmission was released for the GameCube.
The series also spawned an anime series MegaMan NT Warrior which followed the video game series but had major differences in the plot and characters. The anime ran from 2001 to 2006.
Mega Man Zero
Mega Man Zero can be seen as a sequel to the Mega Man X series. The Zero series focus on the Reploid Zero (now with a new design), approximately one century after the events of the X series. Zero joins a group of Reploids in battling the forces of Neo Arcadia. Similar to the X series, the Zero series requires defeating enemies by using different weapons. The series has been known to be vastly more difficult than it’s predecessors.
The series saw 4 releases on the Game Boy Advance with the first game (Mega Man Zero) seeing it’s release in 2002.
Mega Man Star Force
Mega Man Star Force is a series that take place 200 years after Mega Man Battle network and returns to the RPG styled gameplay as seen in Battle Network, with a slight change in gameplay. The Star Force series spawned 3 titles on the Nintendo DS, and stars a 5th grade boy named Geo Stelar, became Mega Man with the help of the alien fugitive Omega-xis.
Mega Man ZX
Mega Man ZX is the sequel to the Zero series and takes place 200 years after it.
The Mega Man ZX games look and play similarly to the Mega Man Zero games. It is the first (and currently only) Mega Man series which lets the player choose between a male or female main protagonist. Unlike the protagonists of previous series, the protagonists of the ZX series have no powers of their own, and must instead merge with Biometals (small capsules that contain the soul of a deceased Reploid or human) to become powerful.
The series has only had two entries, Mega Man ZX and Mega Man ZX Advent, both for Nintendo DS. However, the secret ending to ZX Advent implies that the series may continue.
Rockman ×over is a crossover video game released on the Apple iOS system. The game was released in 2012 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Mega Man franchise. The game features a new protagonist who battles villains from all Mega Man series to date. The release of the game generated a negative backlash from fans.
Street Fighter X Mega Man
Street Fighter X Mega Man is a crossover video game originally starting as a fan game from a Singaporean fan developer before being published by Capcom. The game features the original Mega Man battle various Street Fighter characters including Ryu and Chun-Li. Street Fighter X Mega Man was made as a free download from Capcom-Unity on December 17, 2012. The gameplay and graphics are in vein with the original Mega Man series, including 8-bit graphics. Various Street Fighter music themes were “mashed-up” with Mega Man themes. On Friday January 16th, 2013 the game received a patch that fixes numerous bugs and added a password system similar to the original games.
Marvel Vs. Capcom
When Marvel asked Capcom to make an arcade fighting game featuring the X men in 1994, it laid the foundation for Marvel Vs. Capcom first releasing in 1998. Since then, Mega Man had appeared first as his original carnation alongside his sister Roll as a secret character. Later on, he was later replaced with Volnutt in Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom and finally in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Mega Man himself was not playable but rather Mega Man X’s comrade Zero and Tron Bonne, causing major backlash by fans.
Mega Man Cartoon
The original Mega Man series spawned a cartoon of the same name that ran from September 11, 1994 and ended on December 10, 1995 on syndicated television, spawning 27 episodes during it’s run. The cartoon loosely followed the plot of the original series, with the only major difference being that Proto Man was a villain. Despite taking in high ratings during it’s run, budget constraints caused the cartoon to be cancelled after 2 seasons.
Though the official series presence online is limited, the official Facebook page was set up and accumulated over 150,000 likes as of April 2013, and the official @MegaMan Twitter account was created on November 20, 2012 has gained of 5,000 followers as of April 2013.
The series has managed to develop an early presence on the net. The earliest Mega Man fansite was the Mega Man Homepage, which was launched in 1994. The site’s main goal is to provide a source of information within the series and franchise. It is also dedicated to providing news info within series, and providing links to site about fan fiction, art, music, etc. in it’s ’Fan Community" section.
Four years later, The Mega Man Network, formerly known as Mega Man X Online, was created by Reeve and DarkMoogle, and opened August 2000. The site’s original focus was to provide information about the Mega Man X series, but due to the growing popularity of the site, the site change their name to The Mega Man Network in 2002, providing news and information to the rest of the series.
The wikia site “Mega Man Knowledge Base” was created on May 2005, as a comprehensive database for the franchise, ranging from video games, characters, and merchandises. As of April 2013, the site has complied more then 3,400 articles.
On FanFiction.net, over 5,300 stories have been submitted, as of April 2013.
Gutsman’s Ass is a YouTube Poop fad which utilizes a scene from episode 2-25: Bad Day at Peril Park of the animated series Mega Man. In the original scene, Rush, Mega Man’s robot dog sidekick, tore off the the tail of a Kangaroo disguise, revealing the posterior of the Robot Master Gutsman. The fad initially sparked after Youtuber Kajetokun uploaded the scene to the site.
Rejected Mega Man Villains
Rejected Mega Man Villains refer to a YTMND fad which features a series of fan-created characters that portray as villains from from the series. The characters often feature unconventional designs and names, to appear as if they were turned down by the video game company Capcom.
What am I Fighting For!
“What am I Fighting For!” is a catchphrase first said by main character Zero during a cut scene from the video game Mega Man X4, first released on the Sony Playstation on 1997. Zero said the phrase after having his love interest, Iris, die in his arms. Since then, the quote became notorious with Mega Man fans, with the phrase becoming a subject of parody and remix.
Can’t Beat Air Man!
Can’t Beat Air Man! (エアーマンが倒せない , Air Man ga Taosenai) is a doujin song based around the frustration the player feels when trying to defeat Air Man, one of Dr. Wily’s evil minions and a boss character, who first appeared on Mega Man 2. The song has been remixed and covered after being uploaded to the Japanese video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga on 2007.
110 Million Memories! / Okkusenman!
Omoide wa Okusenman! (思い出は億千万, lit. 110 Million Memories!), or Okkusenman! (おっくせんまん), is a Japanese song inspired by the theme of Dr. Wily Castle Stage, first appearing in Mega Man 2. The song rose to popularity on Nico Nico Douga, after a series of vocal covers were uploaded to the site on 2007, inspiring a slew of remixes and musical tributes.
Green Biker Dude
Green Biker Dude (often abbreviated to GBD) is an unnamed Maverick Hunter who was featured only in Mega Man X2. He is mainly green and is only ever seen riding a hover bike, hence his name. In the game’s intro cutscene, GBD is seen riding his bike alongside X and gets destroyed by an enemy attack before the stage actually begins. Over the years, fans created images and videos of Green Biker Dude and even some videos about him as he gained popularity. There has also been a fanmade motorbike game featuring GBD. The GBD can be seen as being similar to the use of Red Shirts in the Star Trek series.
You Got Mega Man
You Got Mega Man is an exploitable that first appered on 4chan in 2008. However, the phrase ‘You Got’ first appeared in a Mega Man game with the release of Mega Man 3 in 1990.