- If you were looking for the first game, the one that launched this franchise, see Mega Man 1. For the original, nicknamed, the "classic" series, see Mega Man Classic.
and long-running video game franchise
created by Capcom
in the 1980's. Known as "Rockman" in Japan.
There are actually a bunch of different series that share the name (in chronological order):
- The Mega Man series (sometimes called "Original" or "Classic"), which started the franchise, starring Rock, the creation of Dr. Light, fighting against the forces of Dr. Wily in the year 200X — 20XX from the third installment on. (1987);
- Mega Man X, set 100 years after the original series, and starring X, the last creation of Dr. Light fighting Sigma and the Mavericks (1993);
- Mega Man Legends (Rockman DASH in Japan), set at least 4,400 years after the ZX series with a new, seemingly-human Mega Man, bearing the ridiculous sounding name "Mega Man Volnutt." (1998)
- Mega Man Battle Network (aka Rockman.EXE) series, which occupies an Alternate Continuity of 200X where Dr. Light (here known as Dr. Hikari, Japanese for "light")'s network research won out over Dr. Wily's robot research; (2001)
- Mega Man Zero, set 100 years after the "Elf Wars" which appears to be 100 years after the end of the X series. This stars the Ensemble Darkhorse Zero, now a freedom fighter trying to free the last remaining Reploids against a tyrannic government; (2002)
- Mega Man ZX, set 200 years after the Zero series, where mankind has been fully merged with Reploids. The problem of Mavericks is still a threat, although the cause for the outbreaks is entirely different. Otherwise normal Humanoids use Biometals to take the form and powers of heroes of old; (2006)
- Mega Man Star Force (in Japanese, Ryuusei no Rockman or Shooting Star Rockman), a series that takes place 200 years after the Battle Network games, where Cyberspace and the human world are even more intertwined via Wi-Fi radio; (2007)
- Rockman Xover (pronounced "Crossover"), a Crisis Crossover RPG game for mobile devices, designed to celebrate Mega Man's 25th anniversary; (2012)
- Rockman Online (Korea only, for now at least), set at an unspecified point in the future. After an era of peace, enemy robots based on Classic series Robot Masters and X series Mavericks suddenly attack. The government of this time period, the United Continent Association, responds by reproducing the heroes of these series (X, Zero, and Duo for starters) to combat the threat, which originated from a separatist organization called the Ultimate Reploid Association. The team behind it disbanded, and it was confirmed to be cancelled.
All of these series have the same basic style of gameplay (Mega Man moves through a level, defeating a boss at the end and gaining a new weapon), but the first three series are more Platformers
, Legends is a cross between a Third-Person Shooter
and an Adventure Game
, Battle Network and Star Force are RPGs
with a very unique combat system, and Online is a 2˝D side-scrolling
action RPG. Each game has its own unique merits and flaws. Additionally, Mega Man characters have a tendency to show up in the Capcom vs. Whatever
titles which tend to be fighting games with some rare exceptions.
There have been several TV shows based on the games — a cartoon based on the originals
, an anime based on Battle Network and dubbed as Mega Man NT Warrior
, and a limited-release OAV
from the early 90s, also based on the original
series. There was also another anime based on Star Force which has a dubbed version as well.
Mega Man was also featured as part of the heroic ensemble in Captain N: The Game Master
, although he was presented as having a Verbal Tic
, saying random words with the prefix "mega-".
The Mega Man Megamix
manga, also based on the original series, is finally available in the US. There's no news on whether or not the new material for the ninth and tenth games
will be translated, though.
It should be noted that the various series could
be Alternate Universes
of one another. While there are still numerous hints that they are connected (except for Battle Network, which is definitely an Alternate Universe
), there are also discrepancies.
A live-action, no-budget, full-length fan movie has been released
to the trailer have been promising.
A comic book series
by Archie Comics
was released in spring 2011, which eventually lead to a crossover with the Sonic the Hedgehog comics
in Sonic The Hedgehog Mega Man Worlds Collide
On December 17, 2012, Capcom released Street Fighter X Mega Man
as a Freeware
game. Get it here!
Mega Man will appear as a guest character in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros.
series on the Wii U and 3DS.
On August 31, 2013, Comcept, a new development team under Keiji Inafune's wing, launched a Kickstarter
for Mighty No. 9
, a Spiritual Successor
to the Mega Man
series. It took the project less than two days to raise the initial goal of 900,000 USD, and Mighty No. 9 has begun production.
This franchise provides examples of:
- Alternate Company Equivalent: The Krion Conquest for the NES, made by Vic Tokai, goes so far in copying Mega Man as to use the same run cycle, similar power meter and highly similar death animation for heroine Francesca; copy several of the enemy and level appearances; and give her equivalent powers such as a Charged Attack and a Rush/Item-2 replacement in her broomstick. However, unlike Mega Man, she can duck and fire upwards. Still, it flirted dangerously close with Plagiarism.
- Capcom DID use the "Alert" sequence from that game during later Mega Man games when you are entering a boss battle (see Krion Conquest's trope page). You know that "Warning" sequence that takes place that started with Mega Man X4 on (and even appeared in Mega Man Powered Up, the first time it appeared in a "classic" Mega Man game)? Krion Conquest actually did that first.
- RosenkreuzStilette, 'nuff said.
- Also counts as a Spiritual Successor, Mighty No. 9.
- Apathetic Citizens: In games where humans actually appear, expect them to either believe the Big Bad or not do much to help.
- Arm Cannon: Maybe its most famous users.
- Artifact Mook: The infamous Metools. In the original Mega Man game the little hard hat guys appeared only on Guts Man's stage, which had the look of a quarry/construction site. (Guts Man himself appears to wear a hard hat) however they have since appeared in every Mega Man game on multiple levels and in massive numbers to the point that they are the most common enemy encountered.
- Asskicking Pose: Can't have a Boss Battle without one.
- Astral Finale: Most of the Game Boy series have their final levels take place in space (the fifth game does not count due to half the boss roster residing in space levels, and the only game to completely avert the space setting is the third one). As for the main games, Mega Man 10 saves its very last stage for this trope, right after the usual four stages of a traditional endgame castle.
- Awesome McCoolname: They are everywhere.
- Boss Rush: Almost every single game, even in the RPGs. With the exceptions of Legends, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, and some of the weird side games (for instance, Soccer and The Power Fighters).
- Bottomless Pits: Evil disappearing blocks!
- Cash Cow Franchise: This is one of Capcom's mascot series, alongside Street Fighter and Resident Evil.
- Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Generally, the bosses are harder than the stages. Sometimes they're about the same difficulty as the stages themselves, though.
- Expy: How many Mega Men and Rolls do we need?!
- Exty Years from Now
- Flash of Pain: Enemies tend to do that when damaged.
- Flawed Prototype
- Flip Screen Scrolling
- Graying Morality: In the main timeline of the franchise, each sequel series gradually gives us less and less obviously "good" protagonists and many villains who aren't the Big Bad turn out to be Well-Intentioned Extremist types.
- Ledge Bats
- Left Hanging: Only 3 series have ever been given a proper conclusionnote (with the third only because of bad reception). The rest? Not counting the Gaiden Games, twonote currently have very blatant Sequel Hooks that have yet to be followed up, while the thirdnote sits on a depressing Cliff Hanger, and it's already been a long-Orphaned Series! With the subsequent releases of the most recent Classic games, fans are hoping that it won't be long 'til Capcom remembers the rest of the series mythology.
- The Dreamwave comic set the stage for a Mega Man/Mega Man X crossover story, but Dreamwave shut down.
- Mission Pack Sequel: Closely related to its Capcom Sequel Stagnation.
- The Movie: And a fan made one, at that.
- Nintendo Hard: The whole franchise has a reputation for putting out very difficult games. The classic and Zero series especially stand out.
- Not Me This Time: Meta-example. After Mega Man Universe and Legends 3 were cancelled, the iOS port of Mega Man X, and Rockman XOver, when Rockman Online was cancelled, fans jumped to the conclusion that Capcom was continuing their anti-Blue Bomber antics. It turns out that the troubles likely were on the part of NeoWiz, behind Rockman Online. (The game had been in Development Hell really since it was announced). Not that the fans care about it...
- One Bullet at a Time: The side-scrolling games typically limit you to three uncharged bullets onscreen at a time. Later games sometimes include ways around this, and extra characters typically have different limits.
- Orange/Blue Contrast: Considering the main character is very blue, this is pretty much a given. More obvious in the series' artwork than the games themselves.
- Out of Focus: With Keiji Inafune having left Capcom, the entire Mega Man franchise has become borderline non-existent. Street Fighter and Resident Evil have been pushed as the new "crown jewels" of the company, with Ryu supplanting Mega Man as the new Capcom Mascot.
- Power Crystal: On several robots and later Reploids, got especially common after X.
- Power Copying: Mega Man has the ability to copy a major enemy's power, usually when it gets destroyed.
- Random Power Ranking: In several of the games.
- Recurring Element: Quite a few; see the trope page for details.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Several, but a common one is to beat all the bosses (Including in the final levels) using only the arm cannon. Or without taking any damage.
- This becomes the basis for several in-game acheivements in 9 and 10.
- Single Use Shield: the Spike-Barrier/Shock-Step/whatever-it's-called, which protects you once from the instant-death spikes. But you have to jump to safety before the Mercy Invincibility wears off, or....
- Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: The pecking order from top to bottom goes thusly:
- Reploid: Identical to humans in ability to make decisions.
- Robot Master: Has limited ability to make decisions, but still needs a human supervisor.
- Mechaniloid: Always takes orders from a more intelligent unit or human.
- Sound of No Damage: If an attack can't hurt an enemy, you hear a metallic "ping", and in most cases the projectile ricochets off.
- Spikes of Doom: A staple of the series; in some levels, they carpet the ceiling and floor. Some bosses may even try throwing you against them as well.
- Temporary Platform: The whole franchise got quite a lot of them.
- Underwear of Power: Of the "underwear on the outside" variety.
- V Formation Team Shot
- Video Game Lives
- Video Game Long Runners: as of 2009, the series ran for over 22 years, and there are 7 series, each of which have numerous installments on their own. The description section at the top of the page tells it all.
- It actually holds a world record for this.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A recurring theme of the entire franchise.
- When All Else Fails, Go Right
- When It Rains, It Pours: Present throughout the franchise.
- A Winner Is You: In the earlier games.
- X Meets Y: Neo Human Casshern meets Mazinger Z.