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 in Japanmarker, is a video game character, created by Akira Kitamura and designed by Keiji Inafune and is the title character of what has been referred to as the original Mega Man series developed by Capcom since 1987. Since then, he has become one of the company's primary original characters and continues to be one of the video game industry's most recognizable icons. Having appeared on many gaming systems since the Nintendo Entertainment System, Mega Man has had a wide gaming audience, and his games continue to evolve with the ever-changing hardware demands of modern gaming systems. Mega Man's fictional universe can be divided into seven categories, each featuring different variations and incarnations of a robotic boy hero. Although "Mega Man", or "Rockman", is usually the name used to describe only the original Mega Man from the classic series, it can also be used less specifically to describe the Mega Man series of fictional works, or the group of adherently named main characters within.


The several spin-off series that have emerged over the past years, each one continuing the Mega Man mythos in some unique way, includes but is not limited to the Mega Man X, Mega Man Legends, Mega Man Battle Network, and Mega Man Star Force series. A resulting animated series was also produced originally in Japan as well as a number of toys, comics, and collectables available both in and outside of Japanmarker.

Mega Man's role in the original story is to battle the mad scientist Dr. Wily and his ever-growing army of robots, and stop them from taking over the planet by using their own special abilities against them. Utilizing his special Mega Blaster arm cannon (becomes the Mega Buster starting with Mega Man IV), and his ability to copy a defeated robot's special weapon. Mega Man must travel the world and traverse harsh environments in order to bring Wily's menace to an end. With the help of his creator Dr. Light and his assorted robotic companions, Mega Man's eventual goal is to one day achieve "everlasting peace".

Conception and design

Although originally the names "Mighty Kid" and "Knuckle Kid" were proposed, Capcom eventually settled on "Rockman" as Mega Man's Japanese moniker. The name "Rainbow Man" was also proposed, due to his ability to change color. The word "Rock" in Rockman is a reference to the music genre rock and roll, and is meant to work in tandem with his "sister" robot, Roll. However, because of the absence of Roll in North American releases of the game and Capcom Consumer Products Division president Joe Morici's belief that the name would have little meaning to those audiences, the character was renamed Mega Man. Such music-themed naming conventions are present in a number of Keiji Inafune's other character designs, such as Blues. In addition, the original Mega Man titles intentionally incorporated a "Rock, Paper, Scissors" gameplay mechanic into defeating certain enemies.

Appearances

In Mega Man video games



His most notable appearances have been within his own self-titled games, beginning with Rockman for the Nintendo Famicom in 1987. This, and all future Mega Man games released in North America and Europe, would bear the title "Mega Man" due to Capcom USA's early decision to change the name. Prior to decision on the name "Mega Man" which was proposed by Joseph Morici, Capcom had even considered the name "Rainbow Man" as a possible title due to the nature of Mega Man's color change when using different Robot Master weapons.

Nearly all of the classic series Mega Man titles have been two-dimensional sidescroller involving horizontal movement through various levels. This mechanic continues even on titles developed for high performance platforms, such as the Sony PSP release of Mega Man Powered Up, which features 3D graphics, yet movement to both the background and foreground is restricted. The main series on both the NES and Nintendo Game Boy would follow this approach in the design of every game developed on those systems, and set the standard for all platformer Mega Man games to come. Mega Man himself has evolved very little cosmetically since his initial release, but has often been given new techniques in each game. The Mega Buster, for instance, which was introduced in Mega Man 4, allowed him to charge up a shot. The slide was introduced in Mega Man 3. It was thesewhich were needed in order to help him exceed any new challenges added by the level designers.

Capcom, regarding Mega Man as a versatile character, has placed him in several different video game genres outside of his usual series. He has since been seen as a sports star in the Super Nintendo game Mega Man Soccer, a race car driver in Mega Man Battle & Chase, and a board game piece in Wily and Right's RockBoard. A limited release arcade fighting game series containing Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters pitted Mega Man against several boss characters from his original series.

Though Capcom owns the rights to all Mega Man games and has been responsible for the development of all of his console titles, it has in the past licensed the Mega Man character to other companies for PC releases. Mega Man and Mega Man III (with no relation to the NES games of the same name) were developed by the US-based Hi Tech Expressions, and the Mega Man game published on the Game Gear by Sega, and Rockman Strategy was developed and released exclusively in Chinamarker by AcerTWP. Neither title has since been regarded by Capcom as an official Mega Man series game.

In other games

Mega Man has made appearances in several game projects outside of his original series. He appears as a playable character in the Marvel vs. Capcom fighting game series alongside other prominent Capcom characters such as Ryu, Strider Hiryu, and Captain Commando. He has also been featured in the 3D shooter Cannon Spike and the collectible card game simulators SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash and Card Fighter 2: Expand Edition. Non-playable cameo appearances by Mega Man occur most often in other Capcom licensed games, and he is often seen as a background character. Such appearances include Capcom World 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Pocket Fighter, Mighty Final Fight, Power Stone 2, Boktai, Boktai 2, Lunar Knights, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Onimusha Blade Warriors, and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars. Animated incarnations of Mega Man were common in the early 1990s, particularly in North America.also starred in Captain N.

In other media

His first animated appearance was as a main character in the series Captain N: The Game Master, which features a myriad of characters that had appeared on Nintendo consoles up until that time. They all aid the title character, Captain N, in his quest to save the world of Videoland, encountering many villains, including Mega Man's own enemy Dr. Wily. Mega Man is voiced in this series by Doug Parker, and his character had a tendency to add the word "mega" in front of words for emphasis.

A three-episode Japanese anime OVA titled Rockman was produced in 1993 in an attempt to help spread information on Japanese culture. In it, Mega Man crosses paths with his adversary, Dr. Wily, while learning various facts about Japanese society, and receiving occasional help from Proto Man. He also appeared in the animated Mega Man TV series.

The story of Mega Man's origin and his bittersweet victory over the robotic forces of Dr. Wily has been adapted by The Protomen, a band from Tennessee who perform an original dystopian rock opera based on the dynamic between Mega Man and Protoman. During the show, the band members wear costumes inspired by their take on the series, including motorcycle helmets with built-in microphones fashioned to look like those of Mega Man and Protoman, and the iconic arm-blaster.

The Megas, a Los Angeles rock band, also perform songs based on the Mega Man series as well as covering music directly from the games.

MegaRan performs a number of rap songs about Mega Man.

The show MegaMan NT Warrior, also known as Rockman.EXE, features him as does the 25 minute OVA The Day of Σ (alternatively spelled 'The Day of Sigma').

The version of Mega Man from the Battle Network series has briefly appeared in the first two games in the Mega Man Star Force series to give the main character a rapid fire weapon called the Battle Network Blaster or BN Blaster.

Character

Fictional history

Sometime during the 21st century, robotics genius Dr. Thomas Light worked to create a humanoid robot (though in some direct translations he is referred to as a cyborg). This robot would demonstrate an advanced artificial intelligence program that would allow it to make decisions for itself based on stimulus and basic directions. He called the robot project "Robot Master", because the resulting robot would be able to supervise the work of other, less intelligent machines.

Before Dr. Light ever constructed what would eventually become Mega Man, he first designed the Robot Master known as "Proto Man" ("Blues" in Japan), named due to the fact that it was a prototype of his future creations. Proto Man had the ability to lead a small squad of other robots in military applications. However, before Dr. Light could begin testing the true potential of his AI, the robot went rogue, escaped, and was thought to have been destroyed.

Because of the disappearance of Proto Man, Light decided to create another robot. Dr. Light, fearing that the disappearance of Proto Man was due to the fact that he didn't have a peer, created two other robots at around the same time to work as a pair. These robots were called "Rock" (ロック) (Mega in the Powered Up remake) and "Roll". Rock was created as Dr. Light's lab assistant. His purpose was a general-purpose tool user. Simply by studying how a tool was used, he could mimic its use using a Variable Tool System, thus making him the ideal lab assistant. His "sister" (though not actually a sister, but a robot partner), Roll, was designed for housekeeping.

With the success of these two test-type robots, Light designed and built six production-type robots, mainly to be used in the construction and maintenance of public works. These robots were Cut Man, a timber felling robot; Guts Man, a construction and excavation robot; Ice Man, a robot designed for exploration in extreme freezing temperatures; Bomb Man, a land reclamation robot; Fire Man, designed for waste management; and Elec Man, designed to oversee and control atomic energy power plant. The enhanced remake Mega Man Powered Up has also retcon into existence Oil Man, designed for maintenance by generating oil for machinery and firing it through his arm cannon, and Time Man, designed to research time travel with his ability to slow down time, though was incomplete. Each of these robots had full use of the Robot Master's intelligence and reasoning potential. However, little did Dr. Light know that all of these robots including the missing Proto Man would later serve as the key to unlocking Rock's destiny.

The time finally came for Dr. Light to be recognized by the world for his brilliant contributions to science. Dr. Albert W. Wily, a colleague at that time and future rival, grew jealous when his unique research, which he studied with Dr. Light, was utterly overshadowed by his partner. He stumbled upon Proto Man one day, who was dying when his energy system was malfunctioning. He repaired him, using his specifications to create the police robot, Sniper Joe. He discovered while analyzing Proto Man that he had found a way to reprogram Light's robots. He decided that he could use these new robots to exact revenge. When Dr. Wily arrived at Dr. Light's laboratory soon after announcing his plans for world domination, he failed to realize Rock and Roll's potential, so he went to the lab without them, claiming that helper robots are as good as scrap metal to him. He took and reprogrammed the six (eight in Mega Man Powered Up) construction robots so they were misled and forced under his rule. With his new followers, Wily seized control of the city and demanded recognition. This string of events, set in motion, what would later become the purpose for Mega Man's existence.

Realizing that it would be very difficult for the armies to stop Wily without harming the city, Dr. Light knew something had to be done. Due to his programmed sense of right and wrong, Rock volunteered to be converted from his current state as a lab assistant into a fighting robot. Thus, from that day forth, he became known as "Mega Man" (Rockman in Japan).

From that day forward Mega Man volunteered himself for action against crime and serving to support and protect humankind's existence and coexistence with robots within society. Mega Man along with help from his friends, thwarted the evil plans of Dr. Wily and other such villains numerous times, while saving lives and inspiring justice in the hearts of others. Throughout his many adventures, Mega Man has encountered several enemies that have appeared to be too powerful for him to overcome on his own, yet in typical heroic fashion, Mega Man's pure intentions and strong will tend to be the determining factor in his steadfast battle for everlasting peace.

Personality and themes

Mega Man's personality seems to stem from his creator, Dr. Light, whose intention may have been to design Rock based on his own interpretation of a real boy as if it were his very own son. Rock, who would later be upgraded into the fighting robot known as Mega Man, demonstrates a wide range of emotions. In most instances, Mega Man's attitude is fixed on maturity and justice, which is not typical of other robots, thus making him unique.

References

  1. New Bionic Commando Podcast With Keiji Inafune
  2. Mega Man History "Introduction" section Capcom.com. URL Accessed October 29, 2006.
  3. Interview with Kenji Inafune Mega. Man.Network (Originally published in Play magazine, volume 3, issue 4 (April 2004)). Archived from the original on December 15, 2005. URL Accessed May 4, 2006.
  4. Mega Man History "Classic series" section Capcom.com. URL Accessed October 29, 2006.
  5. Quote from the English-language ending scene of Mega Man.
  6. Pulpexplosion: Mega Man
  7. Mega Man Powered Up review Gamespot. URL Accessed October 29, 2006.
  8. GameSpy Interview with Keiji Inafune and Tatsuya Kitabayashi Mega Man Neoseeker. URL Accessed October 29, 2006.
  9. The Killer List of Video Games > Rockman the Power Battle KLOV.com. URL Accessed October 29, 2006.
  10. Mega Man (PC) Gamespot.com. URL Accessed October 29, 2006.
  11. Rockman Strategy Mechanical Maniacs. URL Accessed October 29, 2006.
  12. http://www.protomen.com
  13. http://web.mac.com/themegas/The_Megas/about.html



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