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Video Game / Mega Man 3

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After the runaway success of Mega Man 2, Capcom realized they had 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 Japanese) in 1990.

The story is centered some time after Mega Man 2; Dr. Wily seemingly manages to reform 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 planets. 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 (in info only shown to the audience) is Mega Man's long lost, aloof older brother. Also... 

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 slide move. On top of that, 3 is the longest game in the entire NES Mega Man series, with a whopping 18 stages total! Unfortunately, Keiji Inafune claimed that 3 was his least favorite Mega Man game, due to the 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 Mega Man and Mega Man 2, 3 would later receive a 16-bit upgrade as part of the Europe and Japan-only Mega Man: The Wily Wars / Rockman Megaworld cartridge for the Sega Genesis note . It would also receive a Japan-only 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 PS2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox, and it is now available on Virtual Console and as part of Mega Man Legacy Collection.

Robot Masters:

  • DWN-017: Needle Man, weak to Gemini Laser, gives the Needle Cannon.
  • DWN-018: Magnet Man, weak to Shadow Blade / Spark Shock, gives the Magnet Missile.
  • DWN-019: Gemini Man, weak to Search Snake, gives the Gemini Laser.
  • DWN-020: Hard Man, weak to Hard Knuckle / Magnet Missile, gives the Hard Knuckle.
  • DWN-021: Top Man, weak to Hard Knuckle, gives the Top Spin.
  • DWN-022: Snake Man, weak to Search Snake / Needle Cannon, gives the Search Snake.
  • DWN-023: Spark Man, weak to Spark Shock / Shadow Blade, gives the Spark Shock.
  • DWN-024: Shadow Man, weak to Top Spin, gives the Shadow Blade.


  • Actually a Doombot: The pilot of Wily Machine 3 is a fake Wily, the real one is operating Gamma.
  • All There in the Manual: The only way to learn about the story is to read the instruction manual, since the game contains no cutscenes until after all of the Doc Robots are defeated.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Doc Robot's name in Japanese is ドクロボット ("dokurobotto"), which is meant to be a combination of dokuro (skull) and robotto (robot), meaning "Skull Robot" or "Skullbot" (fitting with Dr. Wily's skull motif). The translation missed this, resulting in a Non-Indicative Name.
  • Checkpoint Starvation:
    • 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 lack checkpoints until after the first Doc Robot is defeated, so losing to the first Doc Robot will result in Mega Man being sent to the beginning of the stage. 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!). The Wily Wars remake was at least kind enough to move the checkpoint to right after you battle the Doc Robot.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The eight Doc Robots download the attack patterns of the eight Robot Masters from Mega Man 2, and the ending scene displaying all of Dr. Light's Robot Masters shows the six bosses from the original game.
    • While probably a happy coincidence, this game's Wily Castle bosses and those from 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.
  • Crate Expectations: 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 E-Tank. They're exclusive to this game; however, the mechanic was modified into Eddie in later games.
  • Darker and Edgier: For a game in the classic series, the tone feels more tense with more dramatic music in the stages, the boss fight music sounding like Mega Man is having the fight of his life, and the enigmatic Doc Robots mysteriously appearing to challenge Mega Man and never being mentioned again after their defeat. Dr. Wily's castle themes also sound more emotional than before.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: 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 robotic fake.
  • Doppelgänger Attack:
    • Gemini Man starts his battle by splitting into two copies of himself. Both copies move in a circle around the room and can attack Mega Man. Gemini Man takes damage regardless of which one Mega Man shoots, and the second one disappears once he's down to half of his health.
    • The Holograph Mega Mans [sic] in Wily Castle stage 3 are three copies of Mega Man that come out of three teleporters before attacking the real one in unison. Unlike Gemini Man, only one of the Mega Man copies can take damage each time they appear, so Mega Man must find which one he can attack before they disappear again.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Some of the series elements introduced in this game have quirks that would be changed in subsequent appearances:
    • Rush Jet is a platform that can be controlled in all directions and is so useful that it can be used to bypass numerous platforming challenges. To make it less "broken" and to ensure that it wouldn't render the other Rush items obsolete, later games would change the Rush Jet to only be able to move in the direction the player is facing upon summoning it and only allowing the player to control its movement vertically.
    • Mega Man cannot slide through boss gates — he will always stop just short of them if he attempts to do so and he can only walk or jump through them.
    • After the "absorbing the boss's energy" animation that plays after defeating the Robot Master (which did not occur in the first two games but would become a staple of the classic series), the weapons menu automatically opens up and shows the new weapon's energy meter filling up before Mega Man teleports out. Later games would skip this latter part.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: A staple of the series, but a truly bizarre variant of this appears; Snake Man note , Gemini Man note , and Needle Man note  are weak to each other's weapons, creating two weakness loops as opposed to one.
    • Magnet Man is weak to both the Shadow Blade and the Spark Shock. What's interesting is that Spark Man, who gives the Spark Shock, is also weak to the Shadow Blade.
  • Eternal Engine: Spark Man's stage takes place in an electrical power plant with a variety of machines generating electricity.
  • Final Boss: For the final battle, Dr. Wily has redesigned Gamma into a humongous battle machine, and controls him to attack Mega Man.
  • Foreshadowing: The tops of the Giant Metalls in the Doc Robot version of Needle Man's stage are visible in the original version of the stage as background elements.
  • Game Mod: Of particular note is Mega Man 3 Revamped, which fixes nearly all of the issues plaguing the official release, such as rebalancing stages and boss fights, fixing most of the bugs, and actually adding an intro cutscene, making the game feel much less like an Obvious Beta and more like how it was likely intended to be all along.
  • Giant Mook:
    • The second Needle Man stage has Giant Metalls as mini-bosses, which are giant versions of the Metall enemies.
    • The Giant Springer enemies are bigger versions of an enemy from Mega Man 2. While much slower than their smaller counterpart, they can fire homing missiles from their tops.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: 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 elsenote .
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Shadow Man's backstory suggests him to have been either created by an alien civilization or from alien technology. Why is he a ninja? Who knows.
  • Hard Mode Filler: After the first eight levels are cleared, the player must re-visit Spark Man, Needle Man, Gemini Man and Shadow Man's stages to destroy the Doc Robots, bosses whose attack patterns are copied from the previous game's Robot Masters. Though the stage hazards and enemies remain largely unchanged, their placement is more devious and requires tighter platforming and clever use of Rush to be overcome.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: For the first time in the series, Dr. Wily turns out to have programmed to Robot Masters to go berserk so that he could steal Gamma while Mega Man was distracted.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Aside from Mega Man II on the Game Boy, 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.
  • Hollywood Magnetism: 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.
  • Homing Projectile:
    • The Magnet Missiles used by Magnet Man will change their direction to fly down towards Mega Man after they fly over his head. When Mega Man himself uses them, they work similarly, changing direction to chase enemies above or below them.
    • Hard Man's Hard Knuckle attack changes its direction mid-flight to chase after Mega Man. The version Mega Man uses doesn't have this feature, however.
  • Humongous Mecha: Gamma's torso takes up an entire screen.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: Due to the huge number of Pole enemies (the strange eggs that if shot at, spawn tadpole robots) in Gemini Man's stage (both the initial and Doc Robot runs), there's a good chance that you'll be bagging a good amount of lives if you intentionally shoot at every single egg. Note that your maximum number of lives is 9.
  • Interface Spoiler: Dr. Wily is supposed to be pretending innocence at the start of this game up until you reach his fortress stages (although it's All There in the Manual), but in the Complete Works and Anniversary Collection enhanced re-releases, the bosses' lifebars in Navi Mode have his logo before the "reveal".
  • Just Think of the Potential!: Why did they build Gamma? Dr. Wily wanted to Take Over the World, duh. But Dr. Light thought this would be a peacekeeping robot?
  • Lethal Joke Item: 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 One-Hit Kill 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 Final Boss, which it downs in one hit.note .
  • Load-Bearing Boss: 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.
  • Long Song, Short Scene:
    • A few tunes, like the Wily Castle intermission theme and Proto Man's theme in the cast roll get interrupted before they can finish.
    • Thanks to the lack of an opening cutscene, you're unlikely to pay attention to the title screen theme of this game when first playing it.
  • Losing Horns: Type C. The "Game Over!" theme is very jolly and seems to be so to rub your nose in your failure.
  • Magnetism Manipulation: Magnet Man's gimmick is magnetism; he can either fire homing Magnet Missiles or pulling Mega Man towards him with magnetic force. Mega Man & Bass 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.
  • Meaningful Background Event: At the very end of the credits, you can distantly see Dr. Wily's flying saucer-like ship floating through the clouds.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The Kamegoro Maker boss cannot be attacked directly. Instead, Mega Man must defeat the Kamegoros it creates one-by-one. Once all the Kamegoros have been defeated, the Kamegoro Maker itself will explode.
  • Nerf: The Shadow Blade is a weakened version of the Metal Blade from 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.
  • Not Completely Useless: 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 quite useful for players who actually take the time to learn how to use it.
  • Obvious Beta: Keiji Inafune has called MM3 his least favorite of the Classic games, saying it was released unfinished thanks to a rushed development cycle. It shows in many ways:
    • Doc Robot has not been properly balanced. Three of his boss fights give him attacks that hack eight HP off Mega Man's total of 28, and his body is much larger than any of Mega Man 2, so he's really hard to dodge. This is especially noticeable in his version of the Wood Man fight, where the Leaf Shield has been scaled up to match his size. This makes it virtually impossible to avoid without absolute pixel-perfect timing, since the projectile is barely smaller than your jump height.
    • The controls are sticky and respond strangely; if you try to do too much at once in the fight against Gemini Man, he'll fire a countershot even when you didn't fire anything.
    • The Top Spin drains energy for every frame it's in contact with an enemy, and doesn't protect you from damage should you ram into an enemy with it.
    • In Snake Man's stage, if you're standing on one of the platforms that flying spinning-tops emerge from when you're at their edge, you can instantly be catapulted to your death off the side of the platform.
    • The Rush Jet only drains energy when you're actually standing on it.
    • The game is plagued with Schizophrenic Difficulty. In particular, the Doc Robot stages are considered to be the hardest in the game, whereas the Wily Castle stages that immediately follow are actually among the easiest thanks to an overabundance of extra lives and E-Tanks.
    • The game lacks any kind of introduction, even though the previous game has one. Despite this, the title screen features a fairly long music track, suggesting it was supposed to be played over a cutscene.
    • Several stages seem oddly off-theme for their Robot Master, including Top Man (who has two top-themed enemies but otherwise seems to have more of a nature/greenhouse theme), Needle Man (has a total of one needle-themed enemy in his stage), Snake Man (starts out going all-in on the snake theme but transitions into a cloud theme), and Shadow Man (a smelting facility whose only on-topic element is the Hologram enemies). This arises from the stages having been cobbled together from cut stages, including an early attempt to give the Doc Robots levels based on their Robot Master.
    • The infamous Controller 2 cheats were debug tools that were supposed to be Dummied Out before release.
  • One-Hit Kill: All it takes to defeat Gamma's second form is one Top Spin.
  • Puzzle Boss: 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!
  • Recognizable by Sound: Dr. Light recognizes Proto Man's identity after hearing his whistle.
  • Recurring Boss: Break Man (a.k.a. Proto Man). The Yellow Devil and the Copy Robot return from 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 Mega Man 2 Robot Masters.
  • Reflecting Laser: The Gemini Laser bounces off of walls. The first bounce will always be a 45 degree upward angle. Subsequent bounces will follow the "angle of reflection equals angle of incidence" rule of physics.
  • Remixed Level: 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 Mega Man 2.
  • Rocket Punch: The Hard Knuckle fires off the user's lower arm to deliver a powerful punch.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: 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.
  • Sequel Hook: 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.
  • Sky Face: In the ending, Mega Man looks up in the sky and sees an image of Proto Man's face in the clouds.
  • Space Episode: Though it's not clear outside of Gemini Man's stage, all the Robot Masters have taken over mining stations on uncharted alien worlds.
  • Spike Shooter: The Needle Cannon, as the name suggests, is a rapid fire weapon that shoots needles.
  • Spin Attack: The Top Spin makes Mega Man (and Top Man) spin while using it, during which they can damage enemies by spinning into them.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: When Top Man uses the Top Spin, Mega Man's shots will bounce right off of him. Unfortunately, the version Mega Man gets doesn't have the same ability.
  • Spoiler Title: 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).
  • Static Stun Gun: 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.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: 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.
  • Twist Ending: The end reveals that Proto Man is DLN-000, making him Mega Man's brother.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: In the second Gemini Man stage, the first Doc Robot fight is immediately followed by a wall that cannot be jumped over without using either Rush Coil or Rush Jet. If Mega Man is out of energy for both, there is no way to get any more, and no way to take damage or lose a life, leaving him trapped. The only escape is to reset the game and start the stage over from scratch. note 
  • Updated Re-release: The Wily Wars remake, and to a lesser degree, the Complete Works PSX port and the Anniversary Collection GCN, PS2, and Xbox ports.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: The game has Mega Man face off against his "older brother" Proto Man (a.k.a. Break Man) a few times.
  • Utility Weapon: The Hard Knuckle is the only weapon that can destroy certain hard walls in the Wily Castle.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Both the robotic Wily impostor and the real one in the ending bow down to Mega Man and beg for mercy after being defeated.
  • Wall Crawl: The Search Snake can crawl both down and up walls.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: 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.
  • Weapon of Peace: Gamma was built to be a "peacekeeping robot." How a four-story tall robot is supposed to "keep peace" is not explained in-game, but the comic adaptation explains it was designed to resist major natural disasters (such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes) so it can lead rescue and supply/relief efforts.
  • Wham Shot: During the ending, the mysterious robot who has been fighting Mega Man throughout the game is revealed to be none other than Proto Man, brother of Mega Man.


Video Example(s):


Spark Man

Spark Man is one of the eight robot masters from the third Mega Man game. His special weapon is Spark Shock, sparks of electricity that can stun opponents. Defeating him gives Mega Man his weapon. (Gameplay done by NafrielX) (

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Example of:

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