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Fanfic / Rockman The Robot War

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"Atop the ramparts of Skull Castle, a vision of madness stood..."

Rockman: The Robot War is a novelization of the original Mega Man game, written by Ben "Maelgrim" Roberts. A stellar example of Adaptation Expansion done right.

After the Third World War, Dr. Light and Dr. Wily decide to create "androbots" to do the jobs human can't or won't do. However, Wily eventually decides that humans would be better without them...

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The fic can be found here.

A sequel is currently being written adapting the second game. It can be found here.

This fic provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Also has a bit of decay, since Rock and Roll and Blues as they learn, have mental abilities akin to their youngest brother.
  • Broad Strokes: The second story brings in some of the Legacy Of Metal characters, albeit with some alterations. As Erico's and Magus' work (especially the latter, more so early on) drew so much from the original, it's quite fitting.
  • Corrupt Church - The Human Supremacy League.
    • James Walken could easily be considered a Knight Templar. His religious paranoia was such that he considered robots a sin, as well as homosexuals and working mothers, to the point neither of which he allowed in his army.
    • We learn that James' dad was a minister and terrorist. When his dad is killed while resisting arrest, from robots, James refuses to believe the charges listed, thinking the robot made a mistake.
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  • Combat Pragmatist - In the Iceman fight, Rock uses the Rolling Cutter to decapitate Iceman.
  • Continuity Cameo - The sequel mentions plans for two undeveloped prototype masters, Kronos and Hades. Their description makes it clear that they are Time Man and Oil Man of Mega Man Powered Up.
  • Cruel Mercy - Rockman spares Docman's life, condemning him to a slow and painful death.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Roll has certainly been blessed with a talent for sarcasm.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Rock isn't dead per se, but during his long sleep Dr. Light and Roll rig up a duplicate in the name of propping up world morale. Note to future generations: do not try this at home. Thankfully, they were smart enough not to give it free will or its own personality.
  • Deconstruction:
    • Many tropes from the actual games are explored and you come to realize just how bad things need to be so that humanity needs to build robots like the Robot Masters in the first place as well as why the world would need a little blue robot to save the world.
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    • The sequel is covering the fallout of the previous war. Dr. Light is on trial for supposed involvement with Dr. Wily's antics.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Aside from the chapter-opening quotes from Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero characters, the main supporting players have had a habit of appearing before their time. Of particular note is Docman being used in place of the Copy Robot.
    • While not named, both the first and second stories have introduced models of robots that will become future Robot Masters. Thus far, we've gotten references to Gemini Man, either Metal Man or Shadow Man, and Tengu Man.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite differing opinions on robotics, Dr. Wily and Walken are willing to work together to prevent people from becoming over-reliant on robots. Of course, they plan to betray and kill the other to Take Over the World for themselves afterwards.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • When James Walken is killed, Dr. Wily says a less than flattering farewell for the person that was arguably more twisted than himself.
    • Walken recognizes that not everyone working with robotics would want to, but to feed themselves and/or their families. He also rationalizes that if such people die in an HSL attack, they'll go to heaven.
  • Evil Luddite: The Human Supremacy League hates robots, although James Walken is far more extreme. They don't seem to have problems with other kinds of technology, although given the state of the planet, they may not have a choice.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Laser weapons are used occasionally. Unlike their depictions in the games, the story states that lasers are invisible.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Wily's actions are due to his paranoia of humanity becoming too reliant on machines.
    • Walken's hatred of robots stems from the childhood murder of his father. Said dad, George Walken, was a minister who had a similar but less extreme hatred for robots, was killed by robots that were originally sent to arrest him for illegal weapons sales, treason, and several other charges.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Iceman's virus.
  • Hallucinations - Wily suffers from these, as does Rockman When The Virus takes hold.
  • Heroic BSoD - Rockman, on multiple occasions due to the various traumas he's forced to endure and The Virus.
  • Heroic RRoD: Subverted. In his final attack on Wily's machine, Rock has no choice but to fire both Rockbusters. Even if one of his arms wasn't broken, the strain on his power systems alone would kill him. It takes him a while to realize that he even survived, let alone what happened, but by sheer luck his remaining special weapon energy somehow shifted to power the other shot. That said, with all the damage he's taken took from fighting through Wily's fortress and Wily himself, he's at less than 1% power.
  • Just a Machine: Most of the world agrees; Dr. Light, of course, does not, but then he has the privilege of living with the two most Ridiculously Human Robots in existence.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Why Roll doesn't have armor herself, see Stay in the Kitchen.
    • As Rock realizes when he's storming Wily's fortress, the teleporters he's using in each part of the Boss Rush could take him anywhere in fortress, meaning it could take days before he reaches Dr. Wily.
  • Mad Scientist - Dr. Wily
  • Mythology Gag:
    • At various points, the story notes various characters having auto-repair systems. Though not in the original Japanese, Zero mentions his own such systems can't save him in Mega Man X1.
    • As mentioned in Early-Bird Cameo, robot models that would become future Robot Masters are referenced. Space travel, which is a major plot element of Mega Man 3 is also mentioned in this part of the story.
    • Bubble Lead is used by the third boss in Wily's fortress. During said fight, Rock fires an "overcharged plasma blast" referencing the Charge Shot mechanic from later games.
    • In the penultimate chapter, what may be Iceman hints that Wily backed up the personalities of his generals and loaded them into new bodies, similar to how characters in X and Zero series are revived.
    • In the epilogue, when Skull Fortress is destroyed by nuclear warheads, General Mears seemingly sees a skull face in the mushroom cloud. Various games do that as a gag, though here it's portrayed quite seriously.
    • Dr. Wily, being a little twisted, orders Docman to masquerade as Blues at one point. Docman, who in the epilogue is barely alive and wanting revenge on Rock and Wily, will put this idea get put to greater use in Mega Man 5.
    • Rock's about as thrilled with those platforms in Gutsman and the final level's stages as the players are.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Ziggzagged. On one hand, the Energy Jamming Net goes down when Gutsman is destroyed. One the other hand, teleporters from the Boss Rush reactivate when the associated Robot Master is destroyed.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: Averted. Wily does not have the resources to launch the game's events on his own, hence why he teamed up with the Human Supremacy League. Though as the second Skull Fortress is being built, his alliance justifies the trope for future games.
  • Power Copying - The trope itself goes without saying, but it should be noted that the story actually subverts this twice. It isn't until Rock is dealing with Iceman, the third boss, that he actually gets his weapon copy ability. Also, the "Super Arm" Rock gets is just an upgrade to his hydraulics, not a weapon. So in all, he gets five weapons in the story.
  • Psycho Electro - Elecman.
  • Pyromaniac - Fireman.
  • Stay in the Kitchen:
    • Lampshaded by Roll. She thinks Dr. Light wants to upgrade Rock and not her because she's a girl. Dr. Light replies they're both robots, but she has more damage to repair from the League's bombing attack on top of the upgrades, so Rock was just the smarter choice. She was going to receive them too, but her armor was stolen before that could happen.
    • Played straight with Walken, who doesn't allow working mothers in the League.
  • Theme Naming - The Robot Masters' original names, as well as a few other robot names, come from Greek Mythology.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: The Laws come up again and again. Their effect on Rock is explored throughout the first, while the sequel has so far placed focus on their frustration of Roll and Docman.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses - Many of the literal mythology gags and a lot of the diction require much knowledge.
  • What Have I Done:
    • Poor Rock gets hit with this multiple times: the Robot Masters were his friends, as well as nearly beating Docman to death in a virus-induced berserker rage.
    • After his defeat, Wily begins to contemplate the enormity of his actions. Than, perhaps due to his delusions or a genuine comping mechanism, he justifies himself as I Did What I Had to Do.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist - Dr. Wily first wanted to prove that humans were becoming too reliant on robots, so he joined the League to get the resources he needed.
  • World War III - Happened long before the events of the story, as Dr. Light remembers serving at that time. It's described as being short lived, and ended when the nuclear fallout, combined with mass deforestation and pollution, killed 98% of all plant life. The fallout has also rendered the South Pole as the only place with drinkable water. Combined with all the radioactive rubble, human workers just aren't able to work effectively which is why Dr. Light invented the robot masters.
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