->''We've given everything we can.''
->''There are no heroes left in man!''
-> Protoman, '''The Stand (Man or Machine)'''

->''We will be heroes!''
->'''''(We will BUILD heroes!)'''''
-> Dr. Light ''(Dr. Wily)'' '''The Good Doctor'''

The Protomen are a [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters very large]] indie progressive rock band from Nashville, [=TN=], whose musical catalogue is based around a RockOpera trilogy inspired by ''[[VideoGame/MegaManClassic Mega Man]]''. ''[[InNameOnly Very loosely]]'' based off of the mythology of the classic ''Mega Man'' games, the first three in particular, it shows an Orwellian {{Dystopia}} that takes the idealistic side of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism and beats it to death with its own corpse.

It is a {{Deconstruction}} of HoldingOutForAHero, and a general examination of the psychology behind fascism.

The first album, a self-titled release also known as ''Act I'' or ''Hope Rides Alone'', was self-published in 2005, and tells the story of how Protoman and Megaman were created to fight against Dr. Wily's regime and the very different paths their lives took. It was followed in September 2009 by ''Act II: The Father of Death'', a prequel which tells the story of how Dr. Light and Wily created artificial intelligence, and how it all went so very wrong. ''Act III'' takes place sometime after ''Act I'' and is to be released an an unspecified date. A [[http://www.twitch.tv/pax/b/330672275 live]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBWGZgbaEEQ preview]] of an ''Act III'' track was heard at PAX 2012.

The group is also recording an album of '70s-'80s New Wave covers, likely to be released before ''Act III'', and in 2012 released their first live disc, a [[{{Music/Queen}} Queen]] [[CoverAlbum tribute]]. ''Act I'' has also received a remastered rerelease on vinyl, and there are plans for an ''Act II'' vinyl release. Makeup and Vanity Set's 8-bit remix of ''Act I'' is getting a release on vinyl. The Protomen also held an April 2012 music video shoot for ''Act II'' track "Light Up the Night".

The Protomen have appeared in a ZombieApocalypse webcomic, Webcomic/DeadOfSummer. Several members have other bands, including Music/CheerUpCharlieDaniels (Turbo Lover, occasionally Panther, the Gambler, and Sir Bakker in live shows), Music/AdamAndTheCouchPotatoes (Turbo Lover, with the Gambler appearing in a music video), and The Ascent Of Everest (Sir Bakker). Music/MakeupAndVanitySet is affiliated with them, having done an 8-bit chiptunes mix of ''Act I'', with plans to make one of ''Act II''. They are also affiliated with Music/{{Brentalfloss}}, Music/TheMegas, and Music/TenaciousD.

Additionally, the Protomen composed the score for ''Terminator the Second'', a theatrical piece of found art that reconstructs the plot of ''Franchise/{{Terminator}} 2'' using dialogue from the works of Creator/WilliamShakespeare. They appeared in it as the SWAT Team that takes down Dyson.

An [[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/788868065/the-official-protomen-documentary official documentary]] is in production, as is an official music video for Light Up the Night.

The main page of their website can be found [[http://www.protomen.com here]].

Tropes relating to specific songs should be placed [[Music/TheProtomenTropes here]].

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Current personnel]]
* Commander B. Hawkins: Keyboards, bass drum, electronic drums, vocals, sound effects, surprising falsetto, press release emails, Freddie Meowcury, lead vocals (Built to Last)
* Gambler [=KirkDouglas=]: Featured vocals (Emily, Act III female lead), keyboards, miscellaneous percussion, backing vocals, tambourine, vocoder/human choir
* K.I.L.R.O.Y.: Master of Ceremonies, armorer, [[DropTheHammer sledgehammer percussion]], vocals (Protoman - Sons of Fate live), tiny guitar, extremely exhuberant maracas.
* [[Franchise/RoboCop Murphy Weller]]: Bass, bass drum, synth bass, maracas, tambourine, backing vocals, public relations
* Raul Panther: Lead vocals (Mega Man, Protoman, Dr. Light, Joe), keyboards, keytar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, press release emails
* Reanimator Lovejoy: Drums, not getting down from there
* Ringo Segundo: Guitar, backing vocals, vocals (Under Pressure)
* Sir Robert Bakker: Lead guitar, violin
* Turbo Lover: Featured vocals (Dr. Wily), bass drum, electric guitar, bass guitar
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Former members]]
* Annabel: Featured vocals
* Cobra T. Washington: Guitar
* Crusher: Backing vocals
* Demon Barber: Drums
* Doug Fetterman: Acoustic guitar, tambourine, vocals
* The Dragon: Drums
* [[Film/StreetsOfFire Ellen Aim]]: Featured vocals (Emily), backing vocals
* The Gunslinger: Guitar
* Heath Who Hath No Name: Guitar, backing vocals
* The Keeper: Keyboards, backing vocals
* The Keymaster: Drums
* Lazer: Backing vocals
* Master Blaster: Trumpet (Nashville-area live performances)
* The Merchant: Featured vocals (Emily), backing vocals
* Nightwalker T. Ranger: Trumpet, cymbals, backing vocals
* Panda: Guest vocals
* The Repeater: Backing vocals
* The Replicant: Trumpet, backing vocals
* The Ringer: Keyboards
* Robobot: Third guitar
* Scartoe Gleason: Guitar, backing vocals
* Sector: Backing vocals
* Steve: Lead vocals (Mega Man)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Discography]]
* ''The Protomen'', a.k.a. ''Act I'', ''Hope Rides Alone'' (2005)
* ''Act II: The Father of Death'' (2009)
* ''The Protomen Present: A Night of Queen'' (2012)
* ''The Cover Up'' (Cover CD, TBA)
* ''Act III'' (TBA)
[[/folder]]

----

!!Tropes Used All Throughout Both Albums:

* AdaptationExpansion: Dr. Light is given a much fuller backstory than he ever had in the games, including the creation of Emily Stanton, an original character.
* AdaptationalVillainy: Wily was always a bad guy, but the game canon has him as LaughablyEvil in the Classic series. This incarnation takes his evil UpToEleven; he's a fascistic dictator who got where he is by having the Sniper murder his best friend's lover in cold blood, then framed said friend for it.
* AerithAndBob: The band members' names run from fantastical, like Scartoe and Panther, to ordinary names like Doug.
* AllThereInTheManual: Aside from the first track of Act I, there is no narration; much of the stage direction and plot details can only be found in the albums' liner notes.
* AllThereInTheScript: Megaman is never referred to by name in the lyrics of Act I. In Act II, Dr. Light is only referred to in the lyrics as "Tom" and "Thomas", and Joe is only named after he dies.
* AlterEgoActing: The members of the Protomen present themselves as being [[{{Kayfabe}} actual dissidents living in the society described in their music]], with ''noms de guerre'' such as "Panther" or "Heath Who Hath No Name", and represent themselves as living together in a bunker called "The Thundercon".
** The fandom does this as well, calling themselves "The Resistance". Individual clubs or groups of fans might take squad names. Of particular note are the Chamethrawer Squadron, the LIGHT Brigade, and "Protofans."
*** Also the Brotomen. Though that is more of a loose association.
* AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent: The band took a break from their rock opera to perform at Whiskerino, creating an [[http://www.protomen.com/BeardsGoingNowhere/ epic song about beards]].
** It actually manages to subvert the trope as well as playing it straight: It's not a part of the canon, but reading the lyrics give the impression that it's written from the view of a pre-Act II Light. Beard's Going Nowhere could also be the ''happy'' ending, where Light and Emily escaped the ruined City.
** The band often performs covers of various '80s songs during their encores, including "Silent Running" by Mike and the Mechanics, "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins, and a face-meltingly awesome rendition of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with the Gambler on lead vocals.
** On December 10th, 2010, they performed a Queen covers concert to show support for Evil Bebos, a band they're friends with. The covers are also on CD.
** At [=MAGFest=] 2013, the band reconvened in Jamspace, after their main stage show was cut short, to play Due Vendetta on a meowing plastic cat keyboard christened "Freddie Meowcury".
** An [[http://billosopher.tumblr.com/post/59846728478/mp3-of-the-new-new-act-iii-song-from-the-pax original song]] was heard at PAX 2013. It was later revealed to be titled "Built to Last," and was part of two official Mega Man tribute albums alongside Breaking Out and a remastered version of The Will of One--though, like "Beard's Going Nowhere," it's also in their canon.
* AnonymousBand: Those codenames up there are all you'd get from them.
* ApatheticCitizens: Seen across both Acts, particularly in Act I, and viciously deconstructed.
* ArcWords: Several phrases appear in songs other than their own as a sort of foreshadowing; "Hope rides alone", "We are the dead", and "Even now there is hope for man".
** "Don't turn your back on the City" are the arc words for Act II; to the point that when Wily's finally in unquestioned control, Emily's letter to Dr. Light causes the suicidal doctor to tell Joe that "When you see Emily, tell her to wait for me, 'cause I still have work to do."
*** "Light" and "fire" are predominant arc words of Act II, appearing in nearly every song with lyrics. Also, referring to the city as a machine itself.
* ArtShift: The Act I booklet's art, the music video's art, and Act II booklet's art are very different.
* AscendedExtra: In the games, Sniper Joe was an annoying enemy Mega Man encounters by the dozen. In the albums, the prototype robot is a significant player in the story, and the name is given to an original character who becomes one of Act II's protagonists.
* AscendedFanboy: The Ringer and Steve are two fans who were called up by KILROY to play keyboard for the Stand and to sing as Mega Man in Vengeance, respectively. Another fan also took the stage at a North Carolina show.
* AscendedMeme: Panther agreed to do an all Wood Man Due Vendetta at the 8/23 2012 West Hollywood show. He ended up doing a ''mostly'' Wood Man show and saved the all Wood Man show for another time.
* TheAtoner: Dr. Light throughout both Acts.
* AwesomeAnachronisticApparel: Panther wears Western-style clothing, has CoolShades, and an NES Zapper Gun in his holster.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Every band member, as well as the characters.
* TheBadGuyWins: This has happened with both Acts so far, with the heroes either dead or demoralized and Wily retaining his power.
* BadassBoast: This awesome quote from an early news mailer.
-->They loaded the battle wagon at dusk.\\
They were ten and five in number.\\
Behind them were the charred ruins of a burning city.\\
Before them lay nothing but endless battles.\\
Their destination?\\
West.
** From the Act I song ''Vengeance'':
-->'''Megaman''': All you wounded! Those of you who can, pick yourselves off the ground, hurry back, tell you leader, ''[[OneManArmy you'll need more men!]]''
* BookEnds: Act II's action begins and ends with Dr. Light's thoughts on the kind of man his father would have wanted him to be.
** Act I begins and ends with a failed assault on Wily's fortress and [[spoiler: Protoman dying]].
* BringIt: Megaman speaks to the robot army this way in ''Vengeance'' and Joe does likewise to the Sniper in ''Keep Quiet''.
* BystanderSyndrome: Act I is a deconstruction of HoldingOutForAHero, with this as an accompanying theme. Protoman is built to liberate an oppressed city from Dr. Wily and his robot army, but after a protracted battle through the streets, he's killed by Wily's robots while a crowd of citizens look on, none of them willing to risk themselves to save "their hero."
* CallForward: "We will BUILD heroes!" Said by Wily, in what seems like irony until you realize that he's ''right'' - even Light chooses to "create a man to save the world" rather than risking his own hide. This idea that people will always search for others to build up as heroes rather than rising to the challenge themselves is the backbone of the first album's plot.
** "Unrest in the House of Light" is a musical CallForward. It's the only Act I song from Dr. Light's perspective and has a very different style from the rest of the album. It's closer to the style of music heard in the first half of Act II, which focuses almost entirely on Light.
* ChainsawGood: One of the main "squads" among the fandom is the Chamethrawer squadron, who are said to wield the most intimidating weapon of all time: [[RuleOfCool chainsaws with underslung flamethrowers]].
* TheChessmaster: Dr. Wily, who always stays one step ahead of the HotBlooded heroes.
* CityNoir: The City.
* CityWithNoName: The setting is only ever called "the city", and the world outside it is never referred to.
* CloudCuckooLander: The band's email "press releases" are rambling affairs which take several paragraphs before actually mentioning anything having to do with the band. Their announcement of the release date for Act II, for instance, opened with a paean to Shark Week on the Discovery Channel (including a picture of a shark with Tom Selleck's face), and included a 48-second "preview" of the album which was every track played ''at once'' to the point of being unintelligible.
** An explanation for delays in shipping had Panther stating that the [[ThePowerOfRock AWESOME POWER]] of Act II had caused the CD maker to overload and explode, followed by the sheepish admission that the label glue press had broken down.
** A 2010 mailing list email said that their bus, Jesse Christine, was destroyed by a vengeance-crazed rodent. The picture they provided was of [[Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles Splinter]] with his head replaced with Mickey Mouse's.
** At one concert, the band proclaimed that at a fierce battle in Panther's home city, the enraged public chased them away with fireballs and stole Panther's growl, leading Turbo Lover to have to sing all of Panther's lines.
** On their Twitter account, the band responded to a question about Doug Fetterman by saying a shark ate him for a week, and that's how Shark Week began.
** The group's 2010 west coast tour is officially called "Super Awesome Tour Part [=III=]: [[WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail Fievel Goes West]]". During one show on this tour, in which the bands' instruments overloaded the venue's electrical hookup and caused a brief blackout, Panther claimed that such a thing had only happened once before - and it resulted in ''the fans burning the venue to the ground''.
* CodeName: Every band member has one.
* TheCoverChangesTheGender: The Protomen cover "Because the Night" as a duet, with Panther singing Bruce Springsteen's original lyrics on the verse, and Gambler singing Patti Smith's rewritten lyrics on the chorus.
** Their cover of Queen's "Scandal" is sung by The Gambler.
* CrapsackWorld: Played straight in Acts I and III. Act II shows how it got to be that way.
** It was a crapsack in Act II as well, it's just a shinier crapsack after Wily's takeover.
* CrossOver: In May 2011, the Protomen were set to appear on a double bill in Nashville with none other than ''Tiffany'' of '80s pop star fame. However, [[spoiler: due to a family tragedy]] the band couldn't make it.
* CurbStompBattle: Delivered to Protoman in the latter half of "Hope Rides Alone". Megaman gives one back to the robot army in "Vengeance".
* {{Cyberpunk}}: This is ''the'' cyberpunk band. It's heavily {{Steampunk}} in Act II, fitting with the latter's prequel setting, although a cyberpunk (or at least late-1980s) influence remains in the music.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Wily, across both acts.
* DarkFic: Of ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic''. In RockOpera form no less.
* DarkReprise: Not exactly, but lyrics from The Will Of One are repeated in a much darker context in The Sons Of Fate; at first they are Mega Man talking about fighting against Wily the same way his brother Protoman did, but the second time [[spoiler: they indicate Mega Man's disgust with humanity after killing Protoman, taking up his brother's nihilistic point of view himself]].
-->''As I live, there is no evil that will stand. And I will finish what was started: the fight of Protoman.''
** The guitar part at the end of "The Stand" is the same as the riff at the beginning of Hope Rides Alone, but in a different key and with an accompaniment that makes it sound ''very'' ominous instead of heroically badass.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Than the Mega Man games.
* DarkestHour: November of 2007 was a dark time for the Protomen. First they were attacked by Killer Robots, forced to barricade inside their bus to survive. Then they were attacked by [[Film/BackToTheFuture the Libyan Death Squad]]; only the fury of the warriors of Greenville saved them. Finally, after crashing their plane in a ShoutOut to ''Film/TopGun'', the band lost their beards. Also, Doug Fetterman fell around this time.
** About a year later, Demon Barber and the [[ElaborateUndergroundBase Thundercon]] fell, with the base burning down.
** Their 2010 tour headed this way, with the bus breaking down, and them forced to tour in a [=UHaul=], followed by them having to cancel a show for the first time ever. However, there was hope: They returned in August.
** In-universe, the end of Act II.
* DeathByOriginStory: According to "The Good Doctor," the reason Dr. Light got into robotics in the first place was because his father worked himself to death in a mine.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Every single aspect.
* {{Determinator}}: Dr. Light refuses to give up in Act II, and spends 12 ''years'' building Protoman in Act I.
** The band itself qualifies, given that they have only canceled a show ''twice'', and even then after mounting every conceivable effort, including an email plea to their fans for replacement auto parts, to make it. Recent canceled shows weren't their fault, but the fact that no venues in the cities would book them. Even then, they quickly made arrangements for shows elsewhere.
* DoNotCallMePaul: According to one interview, even Commander B. Hawkins's ''mother'' calls him "Commander" these days.
** At the Act II release show, his parents were only referred to as "Commander's Mom" and "Commander's Dad", with those names on the backs of their shirts.
* TheDragon: The Sniper was this to Dr. Wily before Light and Joe took it out.
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: Wily's broadcast tower.
* FanOfThePast: All of the Protomen are this to some extent, as is affiliate Music/MakeupAndVanitySet.
* ForegoneConclusion: Act II. Since it's a prequel, the audience knows that Light and Joe will fail and the City will turn into the dystopia of Act I, and that the work Light sets out to do at the end, Protoman, will also fail.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The introduction to "Hope Rides Alone" ends by describing Protoman as "ready, willing, prepared to fight." In "Vengeance," Megaman uses the same phrase to describe both himself and [[spoiler:the unseen commander of the robot forces, revealed at the end of the song to be Protoman.]]
* GatlingGood: Megaman and Protoman have gatling guns for arms in Act I's artwork, instead of plasma cannons like in the games. In concert, Protoman has a Gatling gun arm, while Mega Man's gun is replaced by the [=NES=] Zapper Panther wears on his hip.
* GreekChorus: The crowd, in quite a few songs.
** Emily, posthumously.
* GreenEyedMonster: It's implied that Wily was extremely jealous of Light when they were friends. When Emily picks Light over him, Wily has the Sniper kill her.
* HappinessInSlavery: By about halfway through Act II, mankind is more than content to be ruled by Dr. Wily because of the convenience he's brought into their lives. By the time of Act I this is codified in the state's slogan, "We have control, we keep you safe, we are your hope."
* HeroicSacrifice: Joe. And Protoman. [[spoiler: Sort of.]]
* HilarityEnsues: In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr1ZNuX5o5M this]] video, the crowd gets a little... ''too'' into the Sons of Fate. Two words: Nerf gun.
* HobbesWasRight: Wily's position on humanity, as illustrated in "The Good Doctor".
* HolidayMode: Sometimes the band does special things for holidays, particularly Halloween and Christmas.
* HotBlooded: One every Act so far. Also, the band members themselves.
* IWantSong: The Will of One from Act I; Breaking Out from Act II. Both double as [[IAmBecomingSong I Am Becoming Songs]], as Mega and Joe want things to change and work towards achieving their goals.
* InNameOnly: By the Protomen's own admission, the opera has little connection to the admittedly thin plot of the early ''Mega Man'' games that inspired it.
* IronicEcho: In "The Good Doctor", Dr. Wily remarks, "If you replace the working parts, you get a different machine" and "The man who turns the wheel, they will follow anywhere he leads". Later, in "Light Up The Night," Dr. Light (who is now working to bring down Wily's regime) recalls Wily's statement and ponders, "Now the wheels are spinning out of control, what would they do if we held them still?" then remarks that "If you destroy the working parts, what you get is a broken machine."
** Again in "The Good Doctor", this time paired with "The Hounds":
--> '''Dr. Light:''' I never said that men should bow. I never said that men should break.
--> '''Dr. Wily:''' 'Cause you and I, Tom, we are men. And we can bend and we can break.
* ItsAllMyFault: ''Cause I made the man who put his hands on you!'' Yeah, Dr. Light suffers from a bad case of being TheAtoner throughout most of Act II.
** He also blames himself for sending Joe and Protoman to their deaths.
* KillerRobot: The Sniper in Act II, the Robot Army and Robot Masters in Act I.
* [[LastOfHisKind Last Of Her Kind]]: The band's primary tour vehicle is Jesse Christine, The Last of the V8 Interceptors.
** Sadly, Jesse Christine has more or less passed away. She was engulfed by a Graboid from Film/{{Tremors}}, losing her back end and the brakes. According to the news posts, the group salvaged the remnants of the vehicle to craft its successor, The Skyhammer, The Last of the Super V8 Interceptors.
* {{Leitmotif}}: The theme in "Funeral for a Son", symbolizing Protoman's death, is repeated throughout the first album: it is whistled at the beginning and end of "Unrest," the synthesizer subtly plays it underneath the guitar solo in "Will of One" (while Mega Man looks at Protoman's grave, symbolizing his motivation to avenge his brother's death), and the choir sings it at the end of "Sons of Fate" (alternating between the Leitmotif and "We are The Dead") after Mega Man kills Protoman.
** That same motif is also repeated in Act II, when Light and Wily activate their machines ("The Good Doctor").
** Also, the chord progression at the beginning of "Hope Rides Alone" is repeated in the middle of "The Stand" as Protoman prepares to fight with Mega Man.
*** ''The Stand'' also features a slightly modified version of the snare drum pattern from "Funeral for a Son."
** The guitar theme established in "Intermission" is repeated in "Give Us The Rope."
** The orchestra's theme in "How the World Fell Under Darkness" is given words in "Here Comes The Arm."
*** "The Hounds" ends with a [[SoundtrackDissonance surprisingly jazzed-up version]] of the same theme.
** "This City!" from "Here Comes The Arm" is the same tune as "Destroy him!" from "The Sons of Fate."
*** The guitar riff behind it is very reminiscent of the end of Joe's song "Keep Quiet."
** The piano theme as Emily narrates the letter in "Here Comes the Arm" was first heard on guitar at the very beginning of "Hope Rides Alone." Same tune, different instrument.
** Each of the major characters of Act II has their own musical style. Dr. Light croons over orchestral music reminiscent of an Music/EnnioMorricone score, Emily has soft instruments like a music box and piano, Joe's songs remind one of Music/BruceSpringsteen, and Dr. Wily's VillainSong is heavily influenced by swing music.
** In some of the live playings of the so far only previewed song from Act III, they add an intro to the song that sounds the same as the end part of ''The Sons of Fate'', immediately after the human chorus has died down, except that instead of slowly fading down and disappearing in the wind, it gets more intense and optimistic until finally leading into the new song. This in itself makes sense, since Act III is supposed to take place sometime after Act I and this song is the only song known from the album at that point.
* [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters Loads And Loads of Band Members]]: The group consists of ''nine people'' when performing live, and still there are more former members than there are current members. The Protomen go through so many band members even the fans get confused. Only four of the band's current members (Panther, Commander, KILROY, and Murphy Weller) were involved with the recording of Act I, and since the recording of Act II the group has gone through three guitarists and three drummers. And then there's "semi-members" like Master Blaster, who performs at the band's Nashville shows but seldom goes on tour.
** The was {{lampshaded}} at their 2011 Halloween show, where every band member was dressed like a former band member. And it ''still'' wasn't all of them.
* LastStand: "Hope Rides Alone" in Act I.
** "The Fall" in Act II ends up being this for Joe.
* LightIsGood: The fact of Thomas's last name might tip people off that this trope comes into play. Meanwhile, DarkIsEvil, symbolizing Wily's control. Hence, the Act II song wherein Thomas and Joe plot the destruction of Wily's regime is called "Light up the Night".
* LyricalDissonance: "The Hounds" is extremely catchy and upbeat sounding... even though it's Wily's VillainSong in which he gloats about framing Dr. Light for murder.
* MeaningfulName: Dr. Light, by way of Dr. Wily and his influence being referred to as "darkness" or "the shadow."
* MilestoneCelebration: The band's 10th Anniversary Show, featuring "Beard's Going Nowhere," "Separate Ways," a pinata shaped like Doug Fetterman, and [[spoiler:the return of Heath Who Hath No Name]].
* {{Mondegreen}}: During "The Sons of Fate," many listeners mistakenly hear Dr. Light (or a random member of the mob, depending on who you ask) crying out "Stop!" when the crowd is urging Megaman to kill his brother. It's actually part of the crowd saying "You're our only ''hope''."
** Commander, upon being asked about this by a fan, stated that whether it was 'stop' or 'hope' is up to fan interpretation. However, he in fact did imply that 'stop' is a mishearing of the intended lyric.
* {{Minimalism}}: The only real characters are Megaman, Protoman, Light, Wily, Joe, Emily, and the Sniper. Details about the city and setting are rarely spoken of through the songs or WordOfGod aside from the fact that Wily controls everything and how he came to control everything.
** The robot masters ''do'' appear in the songs as well, but they aren't treated as major characters in the canon. Aside from their mentions and appearance in the music video for ''Hope Rides Alone'', they have yet to appear in other songs.
* MoodWhiplash: The Protomen's out of universe jokes and antics on tour provide some... ''interesting'' transitions from the RockOperaPlot itself.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Dr. Light deeply regrets when he does wrong, or when his creations have something bad happen to them.
* MythologyGag: Regardless of whether Bass appears in the rock opera, Turbo Lover--Dr. Wily--plays bass guitar and drum.
** Protoman being based off the Sniper's designs is opposite to the games, where Sniper Joes were mass-produced copies of Protoman.
* NewEraSpeech: While we don't hear the contents, in ''Act II'' Dr. Wily gives such speeches in "The Hounds" as he takes control of the City and in "Give Us The Rope" as he tells the populace that their justice system has failed them.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: At a 2008 Greenville show, the fans built their own Mega Buster, which Panther used to kill Protoman. After the killing blow, he said this.
-->'''Panther:''' ... You built the weapon that destroyed your hope. Way to go, Greenville.
* NightmareFuel: The Sniper is an in-universe example; ''one'' robot placated an entire city.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: What the Robot Masters do to Protoman early in Act I.
* NonActionBigBad: Dr. Wily. It's {{lampshaded}} in Act I:
-->''Wily has no power on a field of battle.''
* NonIndicativeName: Wily's enforcer in Act II might be called "the Sniper", but it sure doesn't do a lot of long-range killing. In all its appearances, it favors a knife instead.
* OffTheRails: In-Universe Joe's whole motivation is to break off the rails set by Wily. Out of universe, a performance of "Sons Of Fate" took a turn for the hilarious near the end when Proto Man accidentally [[GroinAttack took a keytar to the nuts]].
* OriginalCharacter: Emily Stanton and Joe.
* PietaPlagiarism: Light cradles Emily's body on the Act II cover and some posters.
* PlaceWorseThanDeath: The City is regarded as this even in Act II; by the time of Act I, [[FromBadToWorse it gets worse]].
* ThePowerOfRock: The Protomen's music has been noted to rout armies of killer robots and save doomed cities. If they can't quite handle the job, their fans have been known to help.
* {{Prequel}}: Act II is the backstory of Doctors Light and Wily and how it all went so very wrong.
* PunnyName: Act II's "Father of Death" plays on Dr. Light's surname, referring to Wily's influence as darkness and Light's as light.
* RailroadToHorizon: Joe tries to follow the railway out of the City.
* RealSoonNow: The band has put out two story albums, two vinyl records, two singles, and one cover album in ten years. According to Turbo Lover, Act III should be out "sometime before you die".
* {{Retraux}}: More pronounced on Act 1, but several songs have 8-bit {{chiptune}}s in them.
** The latter half of Act 2 is heavy on 80s-style synths.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: Megaman is capable of crying, and the liner notes tell of his heart hurting under the weight of what he'd been told.
** The band member KILROY acts so human you'd swear he was wearing a mask.
* RockOpera: Both of which end in the most depressing way possible. In the end of Act I, [[spoiler: Humanity is still enslaved, two heroes have been broken and one suffered two 'deaths': Figurative and literal.]] In the end of Act II, the world is just becoming enslaved, one hero [[spoiler: has died pointlessly,]] and the other sets out on a task [[DramaticIrony which the audience already knows is doomed to fail.]]
** Despite this, Act II ends on a high note compared to Act I. The final act of the album [[spoiler: details Joe's rebellion and attack on Wily's control tower. And following his death]], Thomas Light reads [[spoiler: the dead]] Emily's letter and realizes "This city needs [him] now," he then begins building Protoman.
*** Also, Act II ends on a high note if you consider that [[spoiler: Protoman's belief that all men are cowards who would rather die to fight back was proven wrong, not so long ago. There was still at least one man that had the courage to fight back.]]
* RockOperaPlot
* RooftopConcert: The band once held a rooftop concert, much to the dismay of then-drummer Demon Barber, who was terrified of heights.
* ShoutOut: To ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' by way of the line "We are the dead", spoken therein by Winston Smith, and by extension to the poem ''In Flanders Fields'' from which Orwell got the line.
** The group's handwritten name logo on the Act I cover, and related merchandise, is directly based on a similar logo used by Music/DaftPunk.
** Act II directly calls the surveillance screens "telescreens."
** The Act II cover art is based on the poster for Film/StreetsOfFire, and the woman who sang on the 7" vinyl single of ''Father of Death'' was credited as "Ellen Aim."
*** And "Light up the Night" is incredibly similar to Diane Lane/Ellen Aim/Fire Inc's ballad from that film, "Nowhere Fast."
** Several of the band members' stage names are shout outs as well.
*** K.I.L.R.O.Y. is a reference to the album "Kilroy Was Here" by Music/{{Styx}}.
*** "Reanimator Lovejoy" is a nod to the movie ''Film/ReAnimator'' and to ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''.
*** Turbo Lover derives his name from a song by Music/JudasPriest.
*** The Gambler takes her name from the song of the same name by Music/KennyRogers.
*** Sir Robert Bakker is named for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_T._Bakker the paleontologist of the same name]], who revolutionized the study of dinosaurs in the later 20th century and served as scientific advisor during the filming of ''Franchise/JurassicPark''.
*** Murphy Weller's name combines the main character of ''Franchise/RoboCop'' (Alex Murphy) with the actor who played him (Peter Weller).
** The Sniper's knife in the Act II booklet is taken from Sylvester Stallone action movie ''Film/{{Cobra}}''.
** And of course there are Shout Outs by way of their tour names. "Super Awesome Tour Part [=III=]: [[WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail Fievel Goes West]]", and after that, "[[WesternAnimation/CatsDontDance Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now]]".
** The LIGHT Brigade street team is a reference to the famous poem, "Charge of the Light Brigade".
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: In-story: There is only one major female character, and even she [[DeathByOriginStory gets killed right at the beginning]]. The band's current line-up also features only one female member out of nine.
** Act III features a female lead, though to what capacity remains to be seen.
* SongOfCourage: 'The Will of One' and 'Vengeance' in Act I, 'Breaking Out,', 'Keep Quiet', 'Light Up the Night', and 'The Fall' in Act II.
* SpontaneousCrowdFormation: Crowds form ''a lot'' in their songs. It's {{lampshaded}} a couple times in Act II.
--> '''Light:''' Emily... a crowd has gathered here...
* SteamPunk: The descriptions of the early machines make them sound like this. It shifts over to CyberPunk once Wily takes over.
* StylisticSuck: According to [[WordOfGod Our Heroes]], Act I is ''supposed'' to sound destroyed because it's a ruined future. [[TropesAreNotBad This isn't to say Act I sucks, though]]. Since Act II is largely before things have gone bad, the sound is polished and cleaner.
* TenorBoy: Megaman in Act I. Joe in Act II.
* TerminallyDependentSociety: The humans in Act II are so dependent on the robots that they don't work ''at all''.
* TitleDrop: Subverted in a couple of songs which drop the title one of the ''previous'' songs on the album. "The Hounds" plays it straight.
* TragicHero: Most of the heroes fall under this, particularly Dr. Light. His passion and desire for helping people (and later saving the city) not only makes things worse, but empowers Wily. His creations seem to share this flaw, though their reactions to everything differ wildly.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Act I is set in the year 200X, a ShoutOut to the setting of the games. Act II opens thirty years prior. ([[AlternateHistory 197X]], perhaps?)
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: In both albums, the listener knows what Megaman/Protoman/Joe/Light are going to do to end Wily's tyranny. [[spoiler:It doesn't work either time.]]
* VillainSong: "The Hounds" is this for Wily, and "The Stand (Man or Machine)" subverts this for Protoman - he's a villain, but wants his beliefs to be proven ''wrong''.
** "I Want It All" from the Queen album can function as a second one for Wily, as it's sung by Turbo Lover.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Wily in Act II.
* VoiceOfTheResistance: The band itself out of universe; Joe, Dr. Light, and Megaman in-universe.
* WhenItAllBegan: Act II details how Dr. Wily took over, setting up the events of Act I.
* XanatosGambit: Dr. Wily's murdering of Emily to get Light exiled. It's implied Wily rigged Light being let off the hook. He painted Light to be a horrible murderer, and when the justice system "failed" to put him away, Wily seized the opportunity to usurp the justice system and place himself above it.
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