- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- Some have interpreted Light as being just as much a coward as the citizens he condemns, noting specifically how he builds robots instead of doing heroic things himself. Similarly, Act II only lends further credit to this interpretation, as, unlike the others, where you could at least argue What Measure Is a Non-Human?, Joe is very human and Light still sends him off on a mission he knows may very well kill him.
- This interpretation takes the idea of not only Joe but also Light being The Alcoholic and runs with it the whole way through, to a hilarious extent.
- Invoked in The Sons of Fate, where many lines are interchangeable between Mega Man and Proto Man when performed live, most notably the "You will never have another hero!" rant (Spoken by Proto on the official album) and "Kill them all!" which is not spoken at all on the album, but is changed between Mega Man and Proto Man live.
- Complete Monster: Dr. Albert Wily, once the partner of the brilliant Dr. Thomas Light, decided to take Light's revolutionary idea of robotic labor and twist it to his own ends. As "The Hounds" shows, Dr. Wily destroys his former colleague by having Light's love, Emily, murdered, and pinning it on him, even gleefully waxing that any chance for him to go back on his monstrous deeds has been passed up and forgotten by him. In the present day, Wily has absolutely taken over the city, purging all "undesirables" and having anyone who speaks up shot by his one-eyed sniper, even naming later models of it after Light's fallen friend Joe simply to spite their attempt at rebellion. In "Sons of Fate", after Light's final attempt to topple Wily ends with his champion Protoman seemingly killed, Wily reveals to Light's other son Mega Man that he converted a broken Protoman to his side, seeing Mega Man kill Protoman to destroy his will—and once he succeeds, orders the large crowd of people amassed to see the fight utterly massacred by his robotic army. Wily is a monster who revels in every single moment of his treachery, never even buying into the rhetoric he uses to control the masses and simply glorying in his status as the untoppled ruler of all there is.
- Contested Sequel: Although both acts are agreed to be good, opinions are split over which one is better. Act I is liked for its balls-out rocking, and Act II is liked for flowing better.
- Crazy Awesome: Joe. No sane person attacks a base by flying in with a motorcycle armed with bombs.
- Creepy Awesome:
- The rebuilt Proto Man, who is nightmarishly evil and tragic, but correct in his assertions and extremely charismatic. Notably, he tends to get massive cheers, despite being who the audience is about to condemn to death.
- Turbo Lover as Dr. Wily in live performances of The Hounds, who presents wide-eyed insanity and evil with a manic grin.
- The Sniper/Light's Monster, who keeps the entire city terrified and under Wily's thumb, and is able to keep up with a motorcycle. He never says a word of his own, only copying his foes.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Murphy, Turbo Lover, Heath Who, the Keymaster, and Cobra T. Washington. The latter two are notable as they had short tenures with the band.
- Evil Is Cool:
- Evil Is Sexy: Turbo Lover is an attractive man with an appealing voice, who plays Dr. Wily onstage. Notably, he is considered the Mr. Fanservice of the band, even blowing a kiss to the audience before "The Hounds" at PAX 2013's concert.
- Face of the Band:
- Panther is the lead singer and voices everyone but Emily. (And Protoman in live versions of the Sons of Fate, for obvious reasons.)
- KILROY is seen in most promotional pictures and some posters.
- Fandom Rivalry: There's a friendly rivalry with The Megas, as they're both Mega Man themed rock bands that involve lyrics (with little else in common). Jokingly brought up by the Protomen when their site was hacked, as they joked that it was the Megas' fault. Over time they became Friendly Fandoms, especially as the bands began to affiliate more with each other.
- Foe Yay:
- Some between Light and Wily, especially in live shows.
- Ditto for Megaman and Protoman.
- Harsher in Hindsight:
Light notices a tear streaming down the dorsum of his hand and feels a breathtaking weight in his chest. What is this? Frustration? Humiliation? Hatred? Certainly, these are there too.
- The entire song "Funeral For A Son" in light of Act II. In particular, this excerpt from the liner notes:
But no, this is more than that. These emotions are his life. He has lived with them for so long that they no longer affect him. Over the years he has learned to fight them, then to ignore them, and finally channel them into his work, his creation, his machine, his son.
- Light's impassioned "You are all that I have left", from 'Unrest in the House Of Light', in light of Act II, becomes even more chilling, as does "They have chosen their own end."
- With revelations from Mega Man 11, the "We will be heroes/We will build heroes" bit from "The Good Doctor" isn't far off from actual canon.
- Jerkass Woobie: While Protoman worked under Wily to help placate the City and had no problme fighting his brother, the City watched him die trying to save them, did nothing to help him, and when he told them to stand for themselves they ordered him dead.
- Magnificent Bastard: Act II: The Father of Death: Dr. Albert Wily is the former comrade of Thomas Light who manipulates Light into activating his machines. He kills Light's girlfriend Emily Stanton and uses his charisma and knowledge of the city to convince the city to convict Light for her murder. After Light is out of the picture, Wily slowly makes the city reliant on his machines for even their most basic functions. Light and his new protege Joe attempt to defeat Wily by destroying his radio transmitter, and Wily simply reveals that he has another, before declaring martial law to stop the "terrorists", effortlessly conquering the city without lifting a single finger.
- Memetic Mutation:
- "Light Up The Night" is almost synonymous with the "Stu Makes Chocolate Pudding at 4 A.M." meme. It's also become synonymous with Guts getting off the boat.
- HOW ABOUT I LIGHT UP YOUR NIGHT? was an image macro of David the Gnome looking ready to fight someone.
- The phrase "There are no heroes left in man" is usually used in several Image Boards across the net.
- "Even now there is hope for man!" is similarly used.
- "WOOD MAN!" This one came from Panther saying "Wood Man" a lot in live performances of Due Vendetta.
- After a rather snarky show notice described there being a "general lack of interest" in the band, the fandom picked up the phrase and ran with it.
- Get down from there, Reanimator.
- Misaimed Fandom: Many fans, particularly those who prefer Act I, think that Proto Man was completely right about everything, and that his hatred of humanity was justified due to their apathy. While he has a point, much of Act II and especially Hold Back the Night are dedicated entirely to disproving that all of mankind are cowards.
- Moral Event Horizon:
Megaman: You are the dead.
- The crowd gets one in Act I for making Megaman kill his brother, right after he tells them all to grow a pair and fight back. Then, after Protoman is killed, the crowd asks Megaman why he's crying for his death and then proclaim that "You are our hero!". Notably, this disgusts Megaman so much that he throws it back in their faces afterward and abandons them to a gruesome fate at the hands of Wily's robots.
Wily: "If there ever was a time, if there ever was a chance, to undo the things I've done and wash these bloodstains from my hands, it has past and been forgotten."
- It seems like Wily crosses it in Act I when he orders the deaths of hundreds of his citizens just for watching. However, Act II establishes that he actually crossed it years before: he ordered the machine that he built to kill Emily, watching her die simply because she chose Light over him. As if this wasn't enough, Wily further cements his status as an irredeemable villain by pinning Emily's murder on Light, and taunting him for his inability to escape his fate. He even admits there's no turning back in The Hounds.
- Narm Charm: A reckless teenager suddenly trusting a homeless middle-aged man and plotting to save a city sounds like something that should be ridiculous. It isn't. It's awesome.
- Older Than They Think: According to an interview with a former member, Due Vendetta was created and recorded before the band was even formed.
- Signature Song: "Light Up The Night" and "The Stand".
- Suspiciously Similar Song: The band never quotes music from the original games note-for-note, but certain melodies are very similar.
- They did quote a few riffs from the games, most notably Wood Man's stage's drumline in "Hope Rides Alone," and a segment of Flash Man's stage theme in "The Will Of One."
- The second album features "Breaking Out", which has an opening similar to the title-screen music of Mega Man 2. Its piano breakdown is reminiscent of Elec Man's stage from Mega Man as well.
- Too Cool to Live: Joe and Protoman.
- Values Resonance: The themes of opposing a corrupt system that many are willing to abide by resonates with many protesters against injustice. The band's Twitter actually noted this when stating their support for the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
- The Woobie: Dr. Light. Seriously, after listening to Act II, one can get a sense that, useless as it may be, the old man needs a hug. He's been betrayed twice so far in the story (Wily framing him for murder, Protoman joining Wily), lost his girlfriend, his city, and at least one son, with many songs emphasizing his grief and reactions to the tragedies he goes through. At least one member of the official forums pointed out that with the way things have gone for him, the next bowl of cereal he pours will probably just burst into flames.
YMMV / The Protomen