[[caption-width-right:350: ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL30lU26egw "I am Mega Man.]]'' ''[[Music/BrentalFloss I'm blue and cyan..."]]'']]

After the runaway success of ''VideoGame/MegaMan2'', Creator/{{Capcom}} realized they had [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic a hit franchise]] on their hands, and it was only natural for them to soon follow up with ''Mega Man 3'' (''Rockman 3: The End of Dr. Wily!?'' in Japan) in 1990.

The story is centered some time after ''VideoGame/MegaMan2'', where Dr. Wily has seemingly reformed after his previous two defeats, and is now working alongside Dr. Light to build a peacekeeping robot called Gamma. However, the Robot Masters they developed together go berserk and start wreaking havoc, stealing the Energy Elements they were in charge of mining on eight uncharted plants. Naturally, Mega Man is sent off to stop the rogue robots, this time with the help of his new canine companion, Rush! Along his journey, he encounters a mysterious being called Break Man, who keeps fighting him, as if to test him...

Eventually, it turns out Dr. Wily was behind the whole scheme, tricking Mega Man into a wild goose chase so he could steal Gamma once it was finished and use it for his own evil ends. After a climatic battle, Gamma is destroyed and Wily surrenders again... Only for both him and Mega Man to be crushed under the rubble of his collapsing castle. Fortunately, Mega Man is rescued by Break Man, who drops him off at Dr. Light's lab and hastily departs. Dr. Light reveals to Mega Man that Break Man's real identity is Proto Man, who ([[InternalReveal in info only shown to the audience]][[note]]on the other hand, Dr. Light could have just told him at some point[[/note]]) is Mega Man's long lost, aloof older brother. [[labelnote:Also...]]A certain blue UFO flies away, its inhabitant alive and well, and plotting his next scheme...[[/labelnote]]

All in all, ''Mega Man 3'' was another hit in the series, selling over a million copies and receiving excellent critical reception, although not quite on par with ''2''. The refined gameplay of ''2'' was expanded upon further, with the "Items" turned into the far more flexible Rush vehicles, a much higher limit on how many E-Tanks you could carry (9 instead of 4), and a new [[SlideAttack slide move]]. On top of that, ''3'' is the longest game in the entire [[UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]] Mega Man series, with a whopping 18 stages total! Unfortunately, Keiji Inafune claimed that ''3'' was his [[CreatorBacklash least favorite Mega Man game]], due to the [[ExecutiveMeddling strained development of the game]] keeping it from reaching its full potential in his eyes, as well as losing the simplicity of the previous two games.

As with ''[[VideoGame/MegaMan1 Mega Man]]'' and ''VideoGame/MegaMan2'', ''3'' would later receive a [[UpdatedRerelease 16-bit upgrade]] as part of the [[NoExportForYou Europe and Japan-only]] ''Mega Man: The Wily Wars'' / ''Rockman Megaworld'' cartridge for the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis [[note]]Aside from being a Sega Channel exclusive for a brief time, and an eventual local release as a bundle with other Sega games in the Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Player -- [[BadExportForYou but without the save feature and extra Wily Tower game]][[/note]]. It would also receive a Japan-only [[UsefulNotes/PlayStation PS1]] re-release as ''Rockman 3: Complete Works'', complete with remixed music and bonus content. The game would eventually get a major re-release as part of ''Anniversary Collection'' for [[UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 PS2]], UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube, and UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}}, and it is now available on UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole and as part of ''Mega Man Legacy Collection''.

Robot Masters:
* DWN-017: Needle Man, weak to Gemini Laser, gives the [[SpikeShooter Needle Cannon]].
* DWN-018: Magnet Man, weak to Shadow Blade / Spark Shock, gives the [[SelectiveMagnetism Magnet Missile]].
* DWN-019: Gemini Man, weak to Search Snake, gives the [[ReflectingLaser Gemini Laser]].
* DWN-020: Hard Man, weak to Hard Knuckle / Magnet Missile, gives the [[RocketPunch Hard Knuckle]].
* DWN-021: Top Man, weak to Hard Knuckle, gives the [[SpinAttack Top Spin]].
* DWN-022: Snake Man, weak to Search Snake / Needle Cannon, gives the [[WallCrawl Search Snake]].
* DWN-023: Spark Man, weak to Spark Shock / Shadow Blade, gives the [[StaticStunGun Spark Shock]].
* DWN-024: Shadow Man, weak to Top Spin, gives the [[GratuitousNinja Shadow Blade]].

!! Tropes:

* ActuallyADoombot: The pilot of Wily Machine 3 is a fake Wily, the real one operating Gamma.
* AllThereInTheManual: The only way to learn about the story, since the game's rushed production didn't afford it the luxury of having an ''intro cutscene''.
* CheckpointStarvation:
** Unusually for a ''Mega Man'' game, the second Wily Castle stage completely lacks checkpoints; you die to the boss (who just so happens to be the Yellow Devil MK-II), you go back to the beginning of the level. Mercifully, however, it's very short -- taking a minute and a half at most to reach the boss's lair.
** The Doc Robot stages can be pretty bad about this. Despite facing two bosses in each stage, dying to the first one won't put you at the BossCorridor, but rather all the way back to the beginning of the stage, with the checkpoint not registering until after leaving the room. In Spark Man's stage, even ''that's'' not good enough -- one must fall down a spike-filled shaft before you're given a checkpoint. Die falling through it, and it's back to the start you go (and you have to fight the first Doc Robot again!).
* ContinuityNod:
** The eight Doc Robots download the attack patterns of the eight Robot Masters from ''VideoGame/MegaMan2'', and the ending scene displaying all of Dr. Light's Robot Masters shows the six bosses from [[VideoGame/MegaMan1 the original game]].
** While probably a happy coincidence, this game's Wily Castle bosses and those from [[VideoGame/MegaMan1 the first game's]] robot factory share a Yellow Devil, a Copy Robot, and a series of aquatic robots that increase in speed as each member is destroyed.
* CrateExpectations: A form of this appears as canisters with a "?" on them. Shooting them gets you a random item, from a small energy refill to a 1-Up to an [[EmergencyEnergyTank E-Tank]]. They're exclusive to this game; however, the mechanic was modified into Eddie in later games.
* DiscOneFinalBoss: Wily Machine 3. As soon as it's destroyed and Dr. Wily starts begging for mercy, "his" head pops off, revealing that he's a [[ActuallyADoombot robotic fake]].
* DoppelgangerAttack: Gemini Man's specialty, along with FrickinLaserBeams. The Holograph Mega Mans [''sic''] in Wily Castle are also a variant.
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: A staple of the series, but a truly bizarre variant of this appears; Snake Man [[note]]weak to Needle Cannon[[/note]], Gemini Man [[note]]weak to Search Snake[[/note]], and Needle Man [[note]]weak to Gemini Laser[[/note]] are weak to each other's weapons, creating two weakness loops as opposed to one.
* EternalEngine: Spark Man's stage.
* EverythingIsBetterWithSpinning: The Top Spin weapon. However, it's [[JokeWeapon not very effective most of the time]] ([[LethalJokeWeapon unless you do know how to use it well]]), and may require MercyInvincibility to work on bosses.
* FinalBoss: Gamma.
* GiantMook: The Giant Metalls in the remastered Needle Man Stage.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: The Doc Robots. They simply just appear after the Robot Masters are defeated, and are then not mentioned or even referenced in later games. Heck, even on the stage select screen, they simply appear as mysterious silhouettes, and the usual boss intro screen simply displays a question mark symbol and nothing else.
* GratuitousNinja: Shadow Man.
* HijackedByGanon: Dr. Wily does the first instance of many in the series. A bit of a Downplayed example, though, as the game never mentions its own story, so [[AllThereInTheManual without the manual]], you have little to no indication that there's even a RedHerring in the first place. Subverted with the Japanese version of the game, where the subtitle outright spoils that Wily is the villain yet again.
* HitboxDissonance: Aside from ''VideoGame/MegaManII'' on the UsefulNotes/GameBoy, probably the worst offender in the series for this trope. It becomes doubly problematic when you consider that every Robot Master in this game seems to treat throwing themselves into Mega Man as their primary method of attack, while just firing their weapons whenever they want to add a little variety to the proceedings.
* HollywoodMagnetism: Magnet Man is able to pull Mega Man in towards himself whenever he activates his magnetic field. It'll pull Mega Man in at the same speed regardless of your location on the screen.
* HomingProjectile: The Magnet Missiles are a variation, since they simply fly up or down depending on where an enemy happens to be as they fly ahead.
* HumongousMecha: Gamma, whose torso takes up an entire screen.
* InternalReveal: The robot list revealing Proto Man's status as Mega Man's brother would appear to be something known only to the audience (and Dr. Light), since various games and Japanese [[AllThereInTheManual materials]] have Mega Man unaware of their connection. Not that this stopped the [[WesternAnimation/MegaMan Ruby-Spears cartoon]], the English translation of ''VideoGame/MegaMan7'', and the [[ComicBook/MegaMan Archie comic]] from having them both be aware that they're brothers.
* JustThinkOfThePotential: Why did they build Gamma? Dr. Wily wanted to TakeOverTheWorld, duh. But [[ActualPacifist Dr. Light]] thought this would be a peacekeeping robot? [[labelnote:*]]The [[ComicBook/MegaMan Archie Comics adaptation]] got around this by claiming Gamma was more of a "handle natural disasters" robot.[[/labelnote]]
* LethalJokeWeapon: The Top Spin is often ridiculed as the worst weapon in the series when it's actually quite potent in the right hands. It's a OneHitKill on any non-boss enemy except Hammer Joes. It is also the weakness of Shadow Man and no less than ''three'' bosses in the Wily stages, including the FinalBoss, which it downs in ''one hit.''
* LoadBearingBoss: The first usage of this trope in the series, although it's not clear whether the explosion of Gamma causes Wily's entire fortress to collapse, or just brings down the ceiling in the room where you fight him.
* LongSongShortScene: A few tunes, like the Wily Castle intermission theme and Proto Man's theme in the cast roll, never played in their entirety. And thanks to the lack of an opening, you're unlikely to pay attention to the main theme of this game when first playing it.
* LosingHorns: Type C. The "Game Over!" theme is very jolly and seems to be so to rub your nose in your failure.
* MagnetismManipulation: Magnet Man's gimmick is magnetism; he can either fire homing Magnet Missiles or pulling Mega Man towards him with magnetic force. ''VideoGame/MegaManAndBass'' expands on this -- he's also been known for sleeping on ceilings by attaching himself on them and likes magnetic therapy, but he has to avoid floppy disks and other sensitive electronics because his magnetic field can affect them.
* MercyInvincibility: As in all ''Mega Man'' games, but also the only way to use Top Spin on stronger enemies.
* MultiMookMelee: The Kamegoro Maker invokes this.
* {{Nerf}}: The Shadow Blade is a weakened version of the Metal Blade from ''[[VideoGame/MegaMan2 2]]''. Despite its lower range and higher energy cost, it's still an incredibly useful weapon, which goes to show just how broken the Metal Blade was.
* NotCompletelyUseless: The Top Spin. Widely considered to be one of the worst weapons in the entire series, it's the weakness of one of the most difficult bosses (Shadow Man), and the final boss. Actually, it can be [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPYHstNYOSM quite useful]] for players who actually take the time to learn how to use it.
* ObviousBeta: Doc Robot has not been balanced properly, with three of the battles giving him a way to do eight points against you in a single hit, while you have along the lines of 28 HP. His body is also much larger than the bosses of ''Mega Man 2'', making the matter of dodging him a complete chore. Add to that the sticky controls, the battle against Gemini Man being a prime place to see this (if you try to do too much at once, he'll shoot a countershot at you without you actually having fired to begin with), the Top Spin draining energy for each frame it's in contact with an enemy (which is why it can all be drained at once if you mess up slightly with it), and not justifying itself by protecting you from damage when it expects you to ram into an enemy to hurt them, and the hilarity of the Rush Jet only draining energy when you're actually standing on it. It's pretty clear that some more work could've gone into this one.
** Keiji Inafune has gone on record stating that the game was released unfinished due to a rushed development cycle (hence why it's his least favorite of the Classic series). For instance, the infamous Controller 2 cheats were actually debug utilities that were supposed to have been removed from the final game, but were inadvertently left in when the game had to be rushed onto store shelves.
* OneHitKill: All it takes to defeat Gamma's second form is one Top Spin.
* PuzzleBoss: The Holograph Mega Mans is composed of one Copy Robot and two holograms. Shots will go through the holograms and deal no damage, so you'd better find the Copy Robot before the trio switch places!
* RecognizableBySound: Dr. Light recognizes Proto Man's identity after hearing his whistle.
* RecurringBoss: Break Man (a.k.a. Proto Man). The Yellow Devil and the Copy Robot return from [[VideoGame/MegaMan1 the first game]] (the former as the Yellow Devil MK-II, the latter as part of the Holograph Mega Mans), and the eight Doc Robots use the patterns of the ''VideoGame/MegaMan2'' Robot Masters.
* ReflectingLaser: The Gemini Laser bounces off of walls. However, to avoid it being useless or having plenty of incredibly obvious "use it here" sections, it breaks the normal "angle of reflection equals angle of incidence" rule of physics, and the first bounce will always be a 45 degree upward angle. Subsequent bounces will follow the rule.
* RemixedLevel: After beating all 8 Robot Masters, you don't go directly to a fortress like in most games. Instead, Spark Man, Needle Man, Gemini Man, and Shadow Man's stages open back up. They have drastically different layouts; each one has 2 Doc Robot bosses, which mimic the Robot Masters from ''VideoGame/MegaMan2''.
* RocketPunch: The Hard Knuckle fires off the user's lower arm to deliver a powerful punch.
* SelfDisposingVillain: Dr. Wily seems to be killed by falling debris at the end of the game. However, his ship can be seen flying away just before the credits.
* SequelDifficultySpike: Averted for the most part -- the levels are about as challenging as those of the previous game in its "difficult" mode, and still generally easier than those of the first game -- but played straight with the Robot Master battles. This time around, it's practically a requirement to take on the Robot Masters in some sort of order, otherwise you'll find yourself having to slowly chip away at each and every one of their health points with the Mega Buster, while they whale on you with their own weapons... or if they want to ''really'' beat up on you, they'll just throw themselves at you non-stop and let their HitboxDissonance and insane amounts of collision damage finish you off even quicker.
* SequelHook: Though it seems Wily is crushed by the debris from his collapsing fortress, you can see his saucer floating away in the distance as Mega Man is gazing up at the sky during the ending.
* SkyFace: In the ending, Proto Man's face can be seen in the sky.
* SpaceEpisode: Though it's not clear outside of Gemini Man's stage, all the Robot Masters have taken over mining stations on uncharted alien worlds.
** A DummiedOut background for Gemini Man's level includes a planet that looks very much like Saturn. It's reasonable to deduce the mining stations are on moons of the outer planets in our solar system.
* SpikeShooter: The Needle Cannon, which can be rapidly fired.
* SpinAttack: The Top Spin makes Mega Man (and Top Man) spin while using it.
* SpinToDeflectStuff: Top Man does this when using the Top Spin. You, unfortunately, can't.
* SpoilerTitle: The subtitle of the Japanese version of the game, "The End of Dr. Wily?!", outright spoils the twist of Dr. Wily being the villain again, as well as his supposed "death" at the end of the game (unless you interpret it to mean Wily supposedly giving up his evil ways).
* StaticStunGun: The Spark Shock behaves like this when Mega Man uses it. It deals no direct damage (except to bosses), and instead incapacitates the enemy for a few seconds if it's vulnerable to it.
* SuspiciousVideoGameGenerosity: The second Wily Castle stage is fairly short, doesn't have many enemies, and comes with two Energy Tanks. Then it throws the Yellow Devil MK-II at you.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: The [[FuumaShuriken Shadow Blade]] is basically a {{nerf}}ed version of the [[VideoGame/MegaMan2 Metal Blade]].
* TwistEnding: While [[ItWasHisSled a very, very well-known one nowadays,]] the end reveals that Proto Man is DLN-000, making him Mega Man's brother.
* UpdatedRerelease: The ''Wily Wars'' remake, and to a lesser degree, the ''Complete Works'' PSX port and the ''Anniversary Collection'' GCN, [=PS2=], and Xbox ports.
* UpgradeVsPrototypeFight: The game has Mega Man face off against his "older brother" Proto Man (a.k.a. Break Man) a few times.
* UtilityWeapon: The Hard Knuckle is the only weapon that can destroy hard walls in the Wily Castle.
* VillainsWantMercy: Both the robotic Wily impostor and the real one in the ending.
* WallCrawl: The Search Snake can crawl both down and up walls.
* WeaksauceWeakness: Shadow Man, one of the toughest Robot Masters in the game, is weak to the Top Spin (which requires ''close contact'', no less). Same goes for Gamma once Wily takes control.
* WhamShot: During the ending:
--> No. 000 Proto Man
--> New robot prototype, [[LukeIAmYourFather brother of Mega Man]].