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Franchise / Mega Man

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Mega Man's ending.

If you were looking for the first game, the one that launched this franchise, see Mega Man. For the original series, nicknamed the "classic" series, see Mega Man (Classic).

Mega Man is an insanely popular and long-running video game franchise created by Capcom in the 1980s. Known as "Rockman" in Japanese.

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,note  and starring X, the last creation of Dr. Light, and his partner Zero fighting Sigma and the Mavericks (1993);
  • Mega Man Legends (Rockman DASH in Japanese), set at least 4,400 years after the ZX series with a new, seemingly-human Mega Man, bearing the 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 fan-favorite Zero, now a freedom fighter trying to protect the last remaining Reploids from a tyrannical government; (2002)
  • Mega Man ZX, set 200 years after the Zero series, where mankind has been fully merged with Reploids. Mavericks are still a threat, although the cause for the outbreaks is entirely different this time around. 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)

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 would have been a 2½D side-scrolling action RPG. Each game has its own unique gameplay elements. Additionally, Mega Man characters have a tendency to show up in the Capcom vs. titles which tend to be fighting games with some rare exceptions.

There are also a number of mobile device spin-offs, varying in complexity and quality. Many are puzzle games, but there are a few exceptions like Rockman GO GO! (2015), an Endless Running Game featuring the cast of Powered Up. Another one is Rockman Xover (2012, pronounced "Crossover"), a Crisis Crossover RPG game for mobile devices, designed to celebrate Mega Man's 25th anniversary. Capcom pulled the plug after the game's poor performance, however, and the Western release was cancelled before its eventual discontinuation. 2020 brought Rockman X DiVE, a 2D action platformer developed by Capcom Taiwan, with a global release as MegaMan X DiVE in 2021; it is the first mobile game, not counting ports of main series games, to be released outside of Asia.

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.

On December 17, 2012, Capcom released Street Fighter X Mega Man as a Freeware game. Get it here!

Other Media

There have been several TV shows based on the games — Ruby-Spears first created a cartoon based on the Classic series, simply named Mega Man (1994). Mega Man was also featured as part of the heroic ensemble in Captain N: The Game Master (1989), although he was presented as having a Verbal Tic, saying random words with the prefix "mega-". Meanwhile, Japan's Ashi Productions made their own animated adaptation, resulting in a limited-release OVA called Mega Man: Upon a Star (1994). Despite featuring the cast from the Classic series, this one's presented as an edutainment cartoon about the Japanese culture.

Battle Network and Star Force were planned with merchandising in mind from the beginning, thus they got long-running animated series, along with other supplementary materials. The Battle Network anime was localized in English as MegaMan NT Warrior (2002), while the Star Force one retained its name, though the latter received the English dub only for some of the first season. Most recently, Man of Action Studios produced another cartoon inspired by the Classic series named Mega Man: Fully Charged (2018). Outside of borrowing some features from the series, it establishes its own continuity instead and has its own cast of humans and robots.

Various artists collaborated with Capcom to create a number of mangas and manhuas for the series, but the most famous one is Mega Man Megamix by Hitoshi Ariga. Megamix made its way into the US courtesy of Udon Entertainment. An American comic book series by Archie Comics, named simply Mega Man, was released in spring 2011, which eventually lead to a crossover with their Sonic the Hedgehog comics in Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, followed by another, larger crossover in Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Unite that sadly killed off both comics. An earlier American comic by Dreamwave was short-lived. Brazil had its own grim yet off-beat take on the character. And Fully Charged had its own comic adaption after its conclusion.

Mega Man The Board Game was funded through Kickstarter by Jasco Games.

On September 2, 2015, The Tracking Board announced that 20th Century Fox had secured the rights to do a Mega Man feature film, reports that Capcom subsequently confirmed several years later in October 2018. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman of Catfish are in talks to write and direct this one. However the project has been indefinitely shelved due to the Fox merger with Disney.

On April 28, 2021, two online gag manga series were released simultaneously. Rockman Chan is a Denser and Wackier series featuring an "innocent" Mega Man trying to keep up with Dr. Light's ridiculous demands. Rockman-san is instead a Darker and Edgier series that takes place after the retirement of Dr. Light following Dr. Wily's abandonment of his evil ways, leaving Rock and Roll to grow as adults running a dentistry together while the other Robot Masters begin to take up their intended jobs or other avenues. However, robotkind starts to clash against the humans following conflicts over the industry and workforce, and a new threat begins to crack the new age of peace...

Anime and Manga
  • Mega Man: Upon a Star (1994): Based on Mega Man (Classic), but has an original plot of educating young audience about Japanese culture. Has three episodes.
  • Mega Man Megamix (1997): Hitoshi Ariga's manga adaptation of Mega Man (Classic), which originally started as a serial one-shot on Comic BomBom around 1995 before they're collected into volumes a couple years later. The original run consists of 2 volumes, and later reprints add unpublished or newly drawn chapters by the author and other contents.
  • MegaMan NT Warrior (2002): Based on the Mega Man Battle Network series, adapting the six mainline games. Continued until 2006.
  • Rockman-san (2021): A manga serialized in Young Ace. Takes place in the further future of Mega Man (Classic), featuring the grown up characters.

Comic Book

Western Animation

Given that the series is among the most popular of Capcom's stable, several Mega Man characters have crossed over with other Capcom properties.

    Crossover Games Include: 
  • Marvel vs. Capcom:
  • Onimusha Blade Warriors: Zero (in his Mega Man Zero incarnation) and MegaMan.EXE are Guest Fighters.
  • SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos: Zero (once again from Mega Man Zero) appears as a Mini-Boss.
  • Namco × Capcom: MegaMan Volnutt, Roll Caskett, Tron Bonne, and the Servbots appear as playable characters. The Horokkos, Gorobesshus, and MegaMan Juno appear as enemies.
  • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Roll and MegaMan Volnutt are playable characters. Zero (this time the Mega Man X incarnation) was added to the international release.
  • Project × Zone: X and Zero are playable characters. They return in the sequel. Vile appears as an enemy in both games, and Sigma appears as an enemy in the second game.
  • Dead Rising 3: Sigma is a costume for Chuck Greene in the game's Super Ultra Dead Rising 3' Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + Alpha arcade mode.
  • Super Smash Bros.: Mega Man appears as a Guest Fighter as of the fourth game. X, Volnutt, MegaMan.EXE, Star Force Mega Man, and as of Ultimate, Proto Man and Bass make cameos in his Final Smash. Elec Man appears as an assist trophy in Smash 4, while Zero and Dr. Wily appear as assist trophies in Ultimate. Zero, X, and Proto Man are also available as Mii Costumes for both games, while MegaMan.EXE is a Mii Costume for Ultimate only.
  • Dragalia Lost: Mega Man appears as a recruitable guest character and Dr. Wily appears as a boss in a limited event.

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 is basically a Mega Man homage with magic instead of robots (for the most part).
    • Also counts as a Spiritual Successor, Mighty No. 9.
    • Edmund McMillen's upcoming sequel to Time Fcuk is very blatantly one of these, as Edmund always wanted to make a Mega Man game.
  • Alternate Universe: The Battle Network series was originally positioned as an Alternate History where Dr. Light won a grant for network technology that changed the course of that universe, but developments in the years that followed have weakened that connection.
    • Battle Network 3 introduced an alternate version of Dr. Cossack with a slightly different design than his classic counterpart, and then Battle Network 4 introduced a character from space with a radically different design, which makes no sense because the only changes should have occured on Earth.
    • Mega Man 11 has introduced new designs for young Doctors Light and Wily that differ from the designs used in the Battle Network series, the latter of which were also used in the NT Warrior anime and the well-known Mega Man Megamix series.
  • Apathetic Citizens: In games where humans actually appear, expect them to either believe the Big Bad or not do much to help. This eventually reaches it's breaking point in Mega Man Zero 4 when Zero calls out the rest of the Human Caravan who hate reploids for turning their backs on their leader Neige when she was abducted and didn't care just because she had a past relationship with the reploid Craft.
  • Arc Number: Almost all of the main series games have eight main bosses, sometimes supplemented by something in a group of four.note 
  • 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 non-construction-themed levels, in multiple variations like snorkel-wearing or giant versions, and in massive numbers to the point that Metool variants are the most common enemy encountered.
  • Ass-Kicking Pose: Can't have a Boss Battle without one (the Robot Masters from Mega Man 6 avert this, as they descend from the ceiling in place while Dramatic Thunder covers the room).
  • 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 2 has the alien Final Boss take places against a backdrop of stars although the whole set-up including both the boss and the arena are revealed as just a hologram created by Dr. Wily, Mega Man 10 saves its very last stage for this trope, right after the usual four stages of a traditional endgame castle. Mega Man X8 uses this for a fight on the moon, Mega Man Zero 4's final level is on a space station, and Mega Man Star Force uses this in its first and third games. Mega Man Legends second game has the final battle take place in Elysium all the way in space where the last true humans lived for centuries until they went extinct with the death of "The Master" and Sera, Yuna and Mega Man Volnutt remain trapped due to the death of Gats.
  • Astro Clone: As Mega Man was originally going to be a Licensed Game of Astro Boy before Capcom lost the license to use Tezuka's characters, the eponymous hero's original design and powers are deliberately based off of Astro, with the only differences being his mostly-blue color scheme, his Arm Cannon, and his iconic blue helmet. His creator Dr. Light is also inspired by the kindly Professor Ochanomizu in both design and personality, while his "sister" Roll is based on Uran. Big Bad Dr. Wily in turn resembles Dr. Tenma, but only in terms of the latter's antagonistic role.
  • Bell-Bottom-Limbed Bots: This is more notable in artwork than in games but it's there in both. In some cases his lower legs and forearms might be twice as thick as the arms attached, which usually look like blue tights.
  • Beware the Skull Base: Following Mega Man 2 Dr. Wily's fortress tends to feature a large skull as part of the design.
  • Blue Means Cold: Zigzagged. Some icy bosses use blue as part of their outfits, but not all. Additionally, many bosses use blue but don't use ice.
  • Boots of Toughness: A recurring element in character designs. Designs from Classic and X tend to have round and clunky boots, while Zero and ZX had sleeker and streamlined boots (reflecting the shift in artstyle).
  • Boss Rush: A franchise staple and tradition. With the exception of Legends 1, possibly XOver, and a few spin-offs, every Mega Man has to face down all of the already conquered bosses during the finale. In the Robot timeline, they even go so far as to collect the bosses into single rooms all at once for you to clear.
  • Bottomless Pits: A staple of the platformers, even Mega Man Network Transmission.
  • Broad Strokes: While the various games in the original continuity (from Classic to Legends) take place in the same universe, there are numerous differences between tone and aesthetic, along with certain plot details that don't really gel with events later in the chronology, leaving this trope in effect.
  • Continuity Snarl: Taken from the Broad Strokes above, though an attempt was made to place all series in a fine timeline that on the surface makes sense, closer detail examination creates problems, to put it gently.note  The current team in charge of the franchise has gone on record stating that they view the various chronologically-succeeding series as "possible" futures, rather than strictly-occurring ones, freeing up individual entries from needing to necessarily tie into the one to come after.
  • Dancing Mook Credits: The franchise generally had the bosses of the game come on screen, do a pose, and disappear, as part of the credits sequence.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Due to the enemies are all robots, they tend to explode after being defeated, even if the weapon used against them will logically not causing any explosion. As for the heroic main characters with some exceptions, when their Life Meter got depleted (or touching Spikes of Doom) they will explode into energy orbs rather than ball of flames.
  • Distant Sequel: The franchise loves this trope.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Downplayed. No matter what the outlook at the end of an individual series or game is, almost every series in the robotics timeline is Darker and Edgier than the last. The classic series takes place in a generally peaceful time interrupted by Wily's periodic attacks, but the X series is constantly on the brink of warfare against either willing or Brainwashed terrorists, and the Zero series takes place during a Dystopian age. ZX shows some more hope than these last two, but Legends, despite being even cheerier than ZX, takes place After the End — way, way After the End.
    • Averted with both Battle Network and Star Force, which both end on peaceful notes with more than a little technological optimism.
  • Dub Name Change: For whatever reason, Capcom's English divisions seem to have trouble grasping the use of "Rock" for both the Classic and Legends protagonists as not being short for "Rockman", but being the character's preexisting given name. This is especially egregious in the latter, as it required a complete story rewrite to force in the use of "Mega Man".note  Oddly enough, all major adaptations of the Classic series into other media have understood the difference perfectly fine, as the Ruby-Spears cartoon and both comics all use the given name of Rock with the alias of Mega Man, as well as even the Fully Charged cartoon which even used a different given name.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Generally, the bosses are harder than the stages. Sometimes they're about the same difficulty as the stages themselves, though.
  • Exactly Exty Years Ago: The games really seem to like the one-century timespan. Classic and Battle Network both take place in 20XX, X in 21XX, and Zero and Star Force in 22XX, and refer to one another in single century units.
  • Expy: How many Mega Men and Rolls do we need?! (There are technically three Mega Man-Roll pairs, in the Classic series, the Battle Network series, and Legends series; past that, however, there's a number of blondes running around in red or pink outfits, like Alia and Harp Note).
    • One of the submitted designs for Aile from the developmental stages of Mega Man Legends 3 (by Keiji Inafune himself, no less) was of yet another Roll Expy, though admittedly one far more masculine than any other version.
  • Extinct in the Future: Implied. In the future world where robots are aplenty, many of the bosses are robots themed after animals, which may imply that many animals have gone extinct. This eventually happens to humans by the time of the Legends series as they're replaced by the Suspiciously Similar Substitute known as Carbons, though this point is downplayed for most of the game.
  • Faceless Goons: A recurring enemy type in the franchise consists of low-grade, mass-produced humanoids, usually Evil Knockoffs of a major series character, distinguished by having loads of Underground Monkeys adapted for various jobs. Most are so robotic that their only facial features are Glowing Mechanical Eyes—often only one. Examples include:
    • The Sniper Joe and its various Joe brethren from Mega Man (Classic), Evil Knockoffs of Proto Man. These boys set the template for the franchise, so almost everything in this list is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for them.
    • The Armor Soldiers of Mega Man X pick up the Sniper Joes' slack by piloting heavy-duty Ride Armor.
    • The Hoganmar series, also of Mega Man X, are the most obvious heirs of the Sniper Joes, sharing both their green armor and their alternating shield-and-attack strategy, albeit it with maces rather than Arm Cannons.
    • Disk Boy 08 models from X2 are Suspiciously Similar Substitutes for the Hoganmars, also using shields and attacking with spiked weapons at a distance.
    • The Knot Beret in Mega Man X4 are run-of-the-mill Repliforce soldiers that appear as rather rotund humanoids, coming in three varieties — the brown ones throw grenades, the green ones fire guns, and a stage-exclusive variant skis on vanishing ice platforms. Unlike most of these examples, they have two eyes. There are also other Repliforce soldiers on Hornet Ride Chasers that more closely resemble Sniper Joes.
    • The mass-produced, general-purpose Guardroids of Mega Man X8 are also duplicates of the Sniper Joe series with similar heavy green coloration. Most guardroid variations come with different weapons and assignments depending on the stage, but there are also other "-roid" series robots like the Sphereroids and Skyroids.
    • The Gorubesshu of Mega Man Legends weighs in with its single red eye, its Arm Cannon on one hand, and its shield on the other, but in keeping with the aesthetic of the other ruin guardians it looks much less human than its forebears.
    • The Mega Man Battle Network series doesn't have a true Sniper Joe clone, but it does have some faceless goons—the Catack, Gunner, and Fighter Plane viruses are all military craft piloted by the same little black humanoids with distinctive helmets and goggles.
    • Nearly all generic, uncustomized Netnavis are mouthless, robotic, and have glowing eyes, but the only true Faceless Goons among the Normal Navis and Heel Navis usually tend to be among the latter—Mega Man Battle Network 4 is the first and only installment in the Battle Network series to let you fight them; Battle Network 4 also features Navi Black and Navi Shadow viruses in the Bonus Dungeon, which are Normal Navis and Heel Navis that have fully succumbed to The Corruption.
    • The Pantheon series of Mega Man Zero, Evil Knockoffs of X, which come in over a dozen variations, some of which even get to have their own Boss Battles.
    • The Variants, Evil Knockoffs of the Evil Knockoff Pantheon series in Mega Man Zero 4, used by aspiring conqueror Dr. Weil as his shock-troops. Notably, while many of the Faceless Goons with variants are implied to do various jobs in addition to combat, the Variants are all explicitly combat robots distinguished by their weapon or fighting style—there's also much less variety among them than among their predecessors, the Pantheon.
    • The Galleon of Mega Man ZX are mass-produced mavericks of unknown origin that serve other, higher-ranking mavericks. Their single eye and wide variety make them Suspiciously Similar Substitutes for the Pantheon series, but they also have some traits of the Variants.
    • The first Mega Man Star Force game features the Jammers, Elite Mooks more dangerous than normal viruses. Unlike most Joe clones, these nasties have no shield—they'll shoot you with one arm and punch you with the other.
    • Mega Man Star Force 2 has the Murians, living statues that take the place of the Jammers as the Elite Mooks d'jour; they have the shield of the Sniper Joes, but attack with swords instead.
    • The Noise Wizards of Mega Man Star Force 3 have more of an actual face than most of these examples—they have a mouth at least. They appear when normal Wizards are mutated by excessive quantities of Noise. They use both the cannon and the swords of their predecessors.
    • The Mal Wizards, also of Mega Man Star Force 3, are the heirs of the Battle Network Heel Navis, with the same mouthless heads and fierce eyes. Uniquely, they attack with Lightning Lashes.
    • The Mad Joey series of Mega Man X DiVE, which resurrects the Cyber Cyclops single-eye look from the O.G. Sniper Joes (admittedly the first one to appear was the unnamed pilot of the REX-2000 in Mega Man X3).
  • Flash of Pain: Enemies tend to do that when damaged.
  • Frozen Foe Platform:
    • Mega Man Powered Up: Ice Man can use the Ice Slasher to hold enemies in place momentarily, and unlike Mega Man, he can stand on them while they're frozen.
    • Mega Man X2: Crystal Snail's weapon, Crystal Hunter, allows X to freeze enemies in crystal blocks and use them as platforms.
  • The Gimmick: Nearly every boss in the franchise has their own, especially the classic Robot Masters and Battle Network's NetNavis, who are all just oozing their own schtick. The sequel series complexify this with Animal Themed Super Being.
  • 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. Even the Classic series itself started doing this in later games such as 9 and 11.
  • Hammy Villain, Serious Hero: The protagonist is a robot with the mindset of a young boy devoted to protecting others and promoting everlasting peace. While off the clock, he's polite, task-oriented, and kind. His Arch-Enemy is Dr. Wily, a bombastic Card-Carrying Villain who loves to create giant fortresses and loudly proclaim himself the greatest roboticist in the world while constantly trying to one-up Mega Man's creator, Dr. Light.
  • High School AU: Dreamwave Comics, Battle Network, Star Force & Fully Charged all take the franchise in this direction with all their own unique takes on the subject, from Henshin Hero (Star Force) to making Mega Man not the lead protagonist (Battle Network).
  • Iconic Outfit: A distinctive blue helmet paired with a blue-on-light-blue outfit makes each Mega Man very recognizable. The red armor, long hair, and sword combination modeled by Zero is almost as famous.
  • 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 Cliffhanger, 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: Most sequels within any given series, especially platforming sequels, rely on the same basic engine with only variations in available weapons and stages, so this is closely related to its Capcom Sequel Stagnation. Downplayed with Battle Network, which experimented pretty liberally with its combat mechanics between installments.
  • The Movie: 20th Century Fox had secured the rights to do a Mega Man feature film, though time will tell if they actually do.
  • 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).
  • No Ontological Inertia: Generally speaking, if you fire a Robot Master's/Maverick's special weapon and then quickly attempt to switch to a different weapon by entering the in-game menu, the projectile/beam you previously fired off will have disappeared when you return.
  • 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. Capcom has been giving the series much more attention recently, however, releasing the Mega Man Legacy Collection and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 in 2015 and 2017, respectively, and the classic series received its first game in 8 years with Mega Man 11.
    • In the games themselves there's several examples of the protagonist that are not the Rock/Mega man of their era or if they are their era's Rock/Mega man, it's not the main identity of the character. These include the Zero, XZ, EXE/Battle Network & Shooting Star/Star Force game series.
  • Perfect Play A.I.: Downplayed in the Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection. The ZZ-rank ghosts are very nearly perfect runs through the stage, blazing through levels as fast as possible, but they still make incredibly minor mistakes so that dedicated players can still outrun their opponents.
  • Power Copying: A staple of the series, to the point where the trope used to be called "Mega Manning".
    • In Mega Man (Classic) and X, alternate weapons are unlocked by beating bosses.
    • Mega Man Zero brings over Zero's style of Power Copying from X where he can copy Z-Saber techniques from defeated bosses by defeating them in specific conditions. Instead of switching between weapons, specific button inputs let him do different moves. The fourth game also has the inclusion of the Z-Knuckle, which allows Zero to steal limited use weapons from basic enemies. Curiously however, the first Zero game is also the only 2D main series game that doesn't feature power copying at all.
    • In the first ZX game, the eight Pseudoroid bosses give you half of a Biometal each. Having one allows the player character to take the form of previous characters from Zero, while collecting the second half allows for a stronger Overdrive mode. In the second, Model A has the capability of taking the forms of almost every defeated boss and a good chunk of their moveset.
    • In the Battle Network games, virus battles give battlechip data to MegaMan.EXE to use, while boss Navis drop much stronger Mega chips that feature them being summoned for the duration of the attack. The latter half of the series also has Double Soul and Cross Fusion, which work like more traditional Power Copying (defeat bosses, get alternate form based off of boss).
  • Power Crystal: On several robots and later Reploids, got especially common after X.
  • Precursors: Usually of the Abusive sort. Amusingly, the fact that the series' timeline branches split only a few decades before 200X means that both the Robots timeline and the Network timeline should have all the same Precursors.
  • Random Power Ranking: In several of the games.
    • In the Mega Man X series, X is a B-class hunter, while Zero is S (or Special A). Over the course of the series, X, who is just as powerful as Zero, loses his hesitation and gains the willpower necessary to match the latter's rank.
    • Mega Man Legends uses these for Digger licenses (higher license means you can access better dungeons). The S-Class license doesn't actually give you any special access, which is good, since the test to get it is a pain in the butt.
    • Mega Man Battle Network 2 also has City Netbattler licenses that authorize civilians to access restricted parts of the web. Lan is technically capable of achieving Rank SSS, even though the plot doesn't care after he reaches Rank A.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Robots become more and more like this as the series goes on. X and the Reploids based on him are made without Three Laws Compliance, giving them unfettered free will (and all the moral quandaries that come with it,) Reploids are given limited lifespans by the time of Mega Man ZX and their bodies have less obvious mechanical bits, and by Mega Man Legends humans have been extinct for a long, long time and the Earth is now populated by Artificial Humans that are almost indistinguishable from actual humans.
  • Robot Hair: Most humanoid robots from the series (although Mega Man and X hide their under their helmets most of the time). Mega Man ZX justifies the trope by explicitly saying it was an attempt to "making humans and reploids closer to each other to make better peace":
    • Classic Mega has some standard black hat hair, but Roll sports golden locks neatly tied up with a ribbon, whereas Plum (from Rockman Battle & Chase) has pink hair. Blues has a positively theatric pompadour-thing.
    • Most famously, Zero's long blonde ponytail from Mega Man X. X and even Vile have hair in manga adaptations, but haven't been depicted without them in the games.
    • Mega Man Zero with its perfectly humanoid Reploids has not only robot hair but robot mustaches and beards. Notable examples include Elpizo (blond), Omega (a pinkish/fuchsia ponytail sprouting out from the top of his helmet), and Kraft (dark spiky hair which appears to also form Go Nagai Sideburns), among others. Seeing as Omega's body is a shell/Power Limiter for Zero's original body, this means that Omega also shares Zero's infamous long hair.
    • Mega Man ZX: Promotheus and Pandora, the former of whom actually utilizes it in battle. This is more easily noticeable when the player sees a glimpse of the siblings in the past (as detailed by Master Albert's Cipher report) until they were permanently fused to a piece Model W and stuck in their Megamerged states. Reploids Girouette, Prairie (heavily implied to be Alouette from Mega Man Zero), Serpent, Grey, Thetis, and Siarnaq also sport human-like hair.
    • Splash Woman (from Mega Man 9) and Fairy Leviathan fall into the "Mechanical Facsimile" category: their helmets frame their faces in a manner that resembles hair (specifically, a Sci-Fi Bob Haircut, with a few extra bangs in front in Leviathan's case). A few other robots, such as Bomb Man (a synthetic punk mohawk) and General (a stainless steel mustache) also have this facsimile going on.
  • Robotic Undead:
    • Mega Man 7: Shade Man's stage is a kind of tribute to Ghosts 'n Goblins, so the Mecha Mooks appearing in the stage are basically robot zombies that conveniently come from the ground to attack Mega Man. Shade Man himself is modeled after a Classical Movie Vampire.
    • Mega Man X: Sigma is the Big Bad of the franchise who dies at the end of each game only to come back again, becoming more and more deformed with each revival until he looks like a skeletal demon. Not only that, but it's established that Sigma came to be this way because of the Maverick virus infecting him when he first met Zero, resulting in the original Commander Sigma being overwritten into the monster that he became.
    • Mega Man Zero: In the first and third games, the boss Anubis Necromances can summon reanimated broken robots from the desert to harass Zero. In the fourth game, in Fenri Lunaedge's stage, there are broken robots lying around that can be reanimated if special enemies called "Scrap Elves" inhabit their bodies.
    • Mega Man ZX: Advent has Vulturon the Condoroid, a robotic vulture rock guitarist that can resurrect nearby robots from nearby junk with his guitar.
  • Series Fauxnale:
    • Classic was supposed to end with 6, hence the ending having Mega Man arresting Wily, but 7 was released anyway and opened with Wily breaking out of prison. For a while, 8 became the new fauxnale due to being the last Classic series game and having a direct Call-Forward to the next series in the form of the Evil Energy being likened to the Maverick Virus, but 9 still came out. 10 was also a fauxnale for the same reasons as 8, but it didn't stop 11 from being released.
    • Inafune intended for X to end with X5, but after he left the series got three more games and a Gaiden Game, the former taking Sigma's Joker Immunity to ridiculous lengths.
    • Battle Network was intended to end with 3, and the game certainly has all the marks of a finale, but Capcom insisted on continuing to ride the series' popularity, resulting in Battle Network 4 (generally considered to be the worst of the series); after the series officially ended with Battle Network 6, Capcom decided to spawn the Sequel Series Star Force.
  • Shout-Out: There have tended to be a few to Humongous Mecha series, especially where Classic Mega Man is concerned. In Marvel vs. Capcom, a Limit Break Mega Man can use is to transform into Hyper Mega Man, a direct shout out to Mazinger Z. Proto Man has a special move called Big Bang Blast, which is a direct shout out to Getter Robo.
  • 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....
  • The Singularity: The main timeline chronicles the advancement of robotics from advanced but still mentally limited robots, to even more advanced Reploids with unfettered free will, to synthetic life-forms and cybernetically enhanced humans blurring the line between man and machine, to Ambiguous Robots replacing humans entirely.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: The pecking order from top to bottom goes thusly:
    1. Reploid: Identical to humans in ability to make decisions.
    2. SoloNetNavi: Able to make their own decisions much like Reploids, but are confined to the Cyber World and thus reliant on machines to effect the Real World.
    3. Robot Master: Mostly able to make their own decisions, but are bound by Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics and thus need a human supervisor.
    4. NetNavi: Reploid-level intelligence, but partnered with specific humans in their role as servants along with the same limitations as their Solo counterparts.
    5. 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.
  • Spell My Name With An S: "Mega Man" vs. "MegaMan" vs. "Megaman" (and much the same applies for the original "Rock Man").
    • The yellow-helmeted Waddling Head robots had their names translated various ways throughout the series: simply "Met" in the first Mega Man manual, "Metall" in the Game Boy games, "Mettool" in the first Mega Man X and Mega Man Battle Network, and then standardized as "Mettaur" from 2002 to 2014. What is it supposed to be? Turns out "Metall" is the intended translation, as it comes from the phrase "all (hel)met", and was reinstated in the series as of Mega Man Legacy Collection.
  • 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.
  • Tank-Tread Mecha: Tank tread mechas and robots have shown up in several installment of the franchise:
    • Guts Tank, aka Guts-Dozer, is a boss in Mega Man 2's Wily Castle. He is essentially a giant version of Guts Man from the first Mega Man with his legs replaced with tank treads. A comparatively smaller version appears in later games.
    • The first Dark Man-type boss of Proto Man's Castle stage is similarly a torso on treads. This version of the Dark Man shows up in the background of the Mega Man-themed Marvel vs. Capcom stages.
  • Temporary Platform: The platforming games have quite a lot of them. The Classic series' disappearing blocks are renowned.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The classic series uses [Motif]-Man for the name of most of its robots, with very few exceptions. The Battle Network series inherits this.
    • Starting with Mega Man X, the bosses usually involve some combination of theme and animal names; its successor series, Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX exagerrate this by creating portmanteaus of mythological and technological names.
    • In Zero, almost every heroic ally carries a French name. ZX inherits this.
    • Mega Man Star Force employs a scheme similar to the X series, placing the character's source name before its motif (i.e. Taurus Fire).
    • The classic series used a musical theme in naming the protagonist robots: Rock and Roll, Blues (Rock's predecessor), and Bass and Treble (Forte and Gospel in Japanese). A few of these names were inherited by successor series.
  • Transhuman: Most obvious in the robotics timeline, where the method of resolving centuries of war was to reduce the difference between human and robot. Downplayed in the network timeline, though the premise of The Movie from MegaMan NT Warrior is a result of Tadashi Hikari's noodling around with the concept.
  • Underwear of Power: Of the "underwear on the outside" variety. Averted with the streamlined bodysuits of MegaMan.EXE and Mega Man Geo-Omega.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: In Classic and X series, defeating one Robot Master can make the rest of the game substantially easier if you know the weaknesses of the other Robot Masters.
    • Dying during a boss fight can lead to this if you were fighting it with its weakness. Since dying does not refill your Weapon Energy, you have less ammunition for the boss' weakness on the second attempt.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: For the most part, classic Mega Man gameplay involves obtaining a boss' Signature Move after defeating him in battle. In Mega Man Battle Network (and Star Force by extension), the Battle Chip and Card mechanics allow Mega Man (or his allies) to use a copy of almost any enemy's attack or technique, not just the bosses. In Mega Man Zero, the EX skills mechanic allows Zero to use the techniques of the bosses if he defeats them with enough style; Zero 4 took the concept to its logical conclusion by introducing the Z-Knuckle weapon, which allowed Zero to use an enemy's weapon by simply ripping it out while the Mook is still standing there. And Advent took it the full way by letting Grey/Ashe turn into bosses with their movesets after copying their DNA. Legends, however, mostly avoids this, though your weaponry can be built from components found from defeating enemies and bosses.
  • Video-Game Lives: In every series platformer, including the Mega Man Battle Network Gaiden Games, which ignore the main games' rule that MegaMan.EXE can't die, ever.
  • Video Game Long-Runners: As of 2018, the series ran for over 30 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.
  • Villainous Legacy: This comes up a lot, as Dr. Wily rivals the Trope Namer as a master of Hijacked by Ganon.
    • In the X series, it is discovered that The Virus that turns Reploids into Mavericks originated from Zero, and both were Wily's final creations before he died long before the X series. The Big Bad of the X series, Sigma, merges with the Maverick Virus and transforms it into the Sigma Virus.
    • In the Zero series that comes after the X series, Dr. Weil (no connection to Dr. Wily) creates Omega as a Dark Messiah to exterminate all Reploids. Omega's consciousness inhabits Zero's original body since Zero's mind was extracted after the X series. The Mother Elf, who becomes the Dark Elf, another major antagonist, was created by Ciel's ancestor by studying the Maverick Virus and trying to create an antibody.
    • In the ZX series, all the Biometals with the exception of Model O are created from studying the original Biometal Model W, created from the ruins of the Ragnarok satellite that Weil fused with at the end of Zero 4. Said Biometals also all contain the souls of past characters from the X and Zero series with the exception of Model A.
    • Averted in Battle Network; though he has quite a lot to do in the franchise itself, Wily has no influence on the Star Force sequel series.
  • Virtual Sidekick:
    • In Mega Man Battle Network, NetNavis are sentient virtual assistants who have become ubiquitous and essential to everyday life. In addition to being walking antivirus programs, they are often responsible for helping Mr. Progs run everything from TVs to cars to life support equipment. Almost everyone carries a PET to house their personal NetNavi and jack them into appliances for when they need to access the internet. NetNavis and their Operators also pit themselves against each other for sport in NetBattles.
    • In Mega Man Star Force, NetNavis are replaced in the third game by Wizards, EM beings who do many of the same things their predecessors did in the new EM Wave-technology centered world. Unlike them, they can spontaneously manifest themselves in the real world, and EM Wave Beings can be converted into Wizards via program update.
  • Water Is Womanly:
    • Splash Woman, the only female Robot Master, in Mega Man (Classic) is a robotic mermaid associated with water.
    • Downplayed in Mega Man Battle Network, which has a pair of recurring female Operators with Aqua element Navis—Hot Scoop Ribitta (the Operator of ToadMan) and Cute Clumsy Girl Shuko Kido (the Operator of AquaMan).
    • Mega Man Zero has Fairy Leviathan, the only female among the Four Guardians. She is known as the "Ocean Goddess of the Blue Sea" and has a water theme.
    • Lurerre the Abysroid in Mega Man ZX can form a whirlpool and looks like a mermaid when her real body is actually a giant anglerfish robot. She acts like an innocent girl but is in truth violent and aggressive.
    • Queen Tia in Mega Man Star Force. She's cold and aloof, and as the partner of Virgo she has water powers to contrast with her brother Jack's fire powers. She can become Queen Virgo, wielding water attacks in an armored dress.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A recurring theme of the entire franchise.
  • A Winner Is You: In the earlier games.


Video Example(s):


Maverick Virus Symptoms

A Reploid infected with a Maverick virus will show delirious and violent behavior. If the virus progresses too far, the Reploid will be put down.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / VirusVictimSymptoms

Media sources: