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Ensemble Darkhorse: Mega Man
  • Zero from the Mega Man X series was originally intended to be just in the first game, hence his death; however, he turned out to be so popular that he was revived in the second game. He even got his own critically acclaimed series of games later on.
    • Keiji Inafune, the producer of the Mega Man series, originally designed Zero to be the main character in Mega Man X. Believing that players wouldn't be able to accept Zero as the new Mega Man, since he was radically different from the original one, he instead redesigned Mega Man X to give him a greater resemblance to the original blue bomber and used X's original design for Zero, a supporting character. Inafune actually admits that Zero was a bit of a Canon Sue, since he gave Zero some of the more important scenes in the game (source).
    • Later, Zero was going to be written out of the X series by having him die for good in X5 (Intended to be the end by creator Keiji Inafune) and wake up with no memory in Mega Man Zero. X6 revived him yet again, putting him in a pod for 100 years to come out in Zero. However, they wanted to use him in the X timeline again, so this scene (Zero's ending in X6) was declared to be a "bonus ending" taking place after the rest of the series.
    • Zero may have been involved with a lot of girls, but one girl stand out as the ultimate Darkhorse ladies: Iris from X4. Aside of being utterly adorable and one of the girls that Zero truly loved, her tragic death (albeit a little ruined thanks to the Narmy dub) is considered one of the most powerful moments of Zero's life and won her a lot of fans. Capcom has been compensating to make her get more screentime by featuring her in the GB game Megaman Xtreme 2, which is a prequel... and years later, puts her along with Zero in the crossover Project X Zone. She's not playable, of course, but considering that Bandai Namco, the company behind Super Robot Wars (known for preventing tragic canon deaths) is probably on the head development...
  • From Mega Man X2, the Green Biker Dude who dies in the beginning of the first level has attained meme status.
  • Harpuia became a huge Ensemble Darkhorse during the run of the Mega Man Zero series because he was likable Anti-Villain that ultimately showed himself to be a Hero Antagonist ( later full blown hero), and Girouette was almost one for the Mega Man ZX series until it turned out he was a Sacrificial Lamb. Come to think of it, he might be one anyway. The Zero series spawned a few minor/temporary ones, like Chilldre Inarabitta.
  • Omega. This Ax-Crazy psychopath was popular enough that he came back as a bonus boss in ZX.
  • Colonel.EXE, Protoman.EXE, Tomahawkman.EXE, Searchman.EXE, and Bass.EXE—freaking INCREDIBLY popular from the Mega Man Battle Network game/Mega Man NT Warrior anime-manga series.
  • And what about Tron Bonne and the Bonne family from Mega Man Legends? Seriously, they got their own spin-off game!
    • They automatically lose out to Tron's Servbots. Their popularity led to one being a joke character in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes, and one of Tron's super combos is summoning all 40 Servbots (sans the one following her) to Zerg Rush her opponent.
  • Hyde became somewhat subject to this to those who watched the Tribe season of the Mega Man Star Force anime, as he was changed from a sycophant quasi-Dragon in the game to an out-there, comic relief artist in the anime. It didn't hurt that his crowning moment of villainy was kidnapping the hero's mother and throwing her off buildings and bridges Green Goblin-style just for the lulz.
  • Eventually, both Tron Bonne and Zero found their way onto the Capcom Vs. Fighting Game series. Tron and Servbot in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Tron returns in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Zero in the Updated Re-release of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom (Ultimate All-Stars) and Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Zero also appears as a secret character in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos. Both of them also appear in the Turn-Based Strategy Project X Zone.
  • Another ZX example comes in the form of the villainous Brother-Sister Team known as Prometheus and Pandora. A Red Oni, Blue Oni Evil Duo consisting of a Badass Ax Crazy Awesome Grim Reaper and his emotionless Dark Magical Girl of a sister, the fandom has been warming up to these two from day one. They've garnered even more of a fanbase since they've been revealed as Woobies, Destroyers of Worlds due to their horrendous childhood. The stellar music that accompanies their multiple appearances also helps. How much do the fans like them? So that much that there was an outcry when Master Albert, the Magnificent Bastard of the series, owned them. Fans are hoping that the ambiguous nature of their "death" can allow for a reappearance in the future.
    • That, and Pandora is ADORABLE.
  • In the original series, we have Sheep Man who was once The Scrappy when Mega Man 10 was announced, but he ultimately became this when the game came out.
  • Many robot masters from the NES era still have a solid fan base, including but not limited to Metal Man (due to his design and overblown weapon), Shadow Man (design and difficulty), Skull Man, and Pharaoh Man (both looking Badass).
  • And of course, there's the original Proto Man.
  • Roll became a Lethal Joke Character in multiple fighting games and Splash Woman from Mega Man 9 who has a huge fan base and has made many players robosexual, which made her a Memetic Sex God.
  • Enker, Punk, and Ballade, the Rockman Killers, a group of Robot Masters created for the sole purpose of offing the Blue Bomber. Making their debut in the Game Boy titles (Rockman World in Japan), they subsequently reappeared in Mega Man V for one final battle with Mega Man (alongside Quint)... and then resurfaced years later in 10 as DLC Bonus Bosses. You can obtain their weapons.
  • Bass is popular in some circles. Although his largest fanbase is still his .EXE incarnation, which fans, literately, seek out ways to play as him or use a soul of his more than any other character despite his lack of availability, barring one game, and consider him to be the undisputed strongest character in the battle network games, barring certain events.
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