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Mega Man

Mega Man is the hero in a series of video games made by Capcom for various Nintendo and other gaming consoles. (The character, and series, is called Rockman in Japan.) Mega Man is an android created by scientist Dr. Thomas Xavier Light and Dr. Albert Wily. Originally Mega Man was created as a lab assistant; however, following treachery on the part of Dr. Wily, he was converted into a fighting robot to defend the world from Wily's violent creations.

The character of Mega Man, his robotic dog Rush, and mentor Dr. Light appeared in the cartoon series "Captain N: The Game Master" in the United States. A later cartoon series was based completely on Mega Man and his friends and enemies, although they were distinctly different from their video game forms. Mega Man has also been featured in comics and manga in Japan.

Table of contents
1 MegaMan X series
2 Legends series
3 Battle Network series

Mega Man original series

Mega Man appeared in six platform games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, one for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, one for the Sony PlayStation, five for the Nintendo Game Boy, one for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance (which was a port of a Japan-only game for the Nintendo Super Famicom), and one for the Bandai[?] WonderSwan[?]. In addition, there was a Mega Man soccer game for the SNES, and a racing game for the PlayStation.

A game in this series generally takes the player to a stage select screen, from which he/she can select any of several (usually eight) "Robot Master" bosses. Now, upon selecting a boss, Mega Man enters a level associated with that Robot Master, and must reach the end of the level and defeat the boss. (Distinctive elements of the Mega Man series include that, in most cases, he gains new abilities from fallen bosses--for example, upon defeating the electrified Spark Man, he gains an electrical attack known as Spark Shock. Robot Masters are affected differently by different attacks, so this greatly affects gameplay and play order.) Usually, after all Robot Masters have been defeated, Mega Man proceeds to a fortress. Sometimes this fortress is inhabited by Dr. Wily; sometimes another character is at the end of the fortress, in which case a second one with Dr. Wily usually follows. In general Mega Man must fight all the game's Robot Masters again at the end of the fortress before facing the final boss.

Major characters include Mega Man, his prototype and "brother" Proto Man, his "sister" Roll (a housekeeping robot; her name is part of a pun--Mega Man's name was Rock when he was a lab assistant, making the two "Rock and Roll"), Dr. Light, Dr. Wily, and Bass (an evil robot similar to Mega Man, made by Dr. Wily in the later games to counter Mega Man). The series is set in the ambiguous year 20XX to avoid seeming dated; in Mega Man 2 this was given as 200X, but generally the transition is interpreted as a change in canon rather than an indication of time passing.

MegaMan X series Similar to the original series, the MegaMan X series features a formerly peaceful robot who, after to a disastrous betrayal, begins fighting to save the world. This robot, named "X" (hence the series name), is Dr. Light's final creation; he was the most advanced robot ever created, and the first truely sentient robot. As part of a testing procedure to prevent him from becoming dangerous, X lay dormant for thirty years, during which Dr. Light apparently died (though he lives on in the form of a sentient hologram) and the events of the original series were forgotten. In 21XX, X was discovered and awakened by a scientist named Dr. Cain, who used X's design and numerous modified versions to create a race of sentient robots known as "Reploids". However, a mysterious computer virus, apparently contracted from a Reploid-like robot named Zero, began causing Reploids to go berserk, becoming evil "Mavericks". A Reploid named Sigma, who hunted these Mavericks (a "Maverick Hunter"), managed to defeat Zero in battle, after which he was rebuilt and became a Maverick Hunter himself. Sigma himself later became a Maverick and took most of the Hunters with him, leaving X and Zero responsible for defeating the Mavericks and protecting Reploids and humans alike. It is strongly implied, though never stated, that Zero was created by Dr. Wily.

Despite the different storyline and characters, gameplay is very similar to the original series, with several exceptions (most notably, X and Zero can cling to walls, and Zero is armed with a beam saber rather than the traditional "buster" gun.) Mavericks replace the Robot Masters, and Sigma replaces Dr. Wily. There have been a total of eight MegaMan X games: three on the SNES (MegaMan X, MegaMan X2, MegaMan X3), three on the PlayStation (MegaMan X4, MegaMan X5, MegaMan X6), and two on the Nintendo Game Boy Color (the two side stories MegaMan Xtreme and MegaMan Xtreme 2). A seventh main-series game, MegaMan X7, is planned for the Sony PlayStation 2. Major characters are X, Zero, Sigma, Dr. Light, Vile (a Maverick working on his own to kill X), and Dynamo (a mercenary who plays a similar role to Bass).

There seem to be running jokes with this series in the form of references to Star Wars--in the first game in particular, Zero played a role similar to that of Obi-Wan Kenobi (including dying and his body disappearing) and Sigma fighting with a light saber (Zero, who returned in the second game, gained such a saber himself in the process). The most prominent resemblance is that Vile wears something very similar to Boba Fett's distinctive "T" helmet.

It should be noted that the relation of X to the original Mega Man is under dispute. Some fans believe X is an upgraded form of Mega Man; others believe he is a totally different robot who simply has a similar design. Comparisons between the two in terms of personality and technical parameters, as well as X's lack of any memories of the 20XX era, seem to indicate that the two are separate, but until Capcom makes an official statement either way, all theories will remain just that.

MegaMan Zero

After laying dormant for 100 years to permanently remove the Maverick Virus from his systems, Zero (from the X series) awakens in 22XX in a world where Reploids are being constantly accused of being Mavericks and systematically exterminated, apparently under the direction of X himself. Assisting a small resistance group lead by a human named Ciel, Zero must fight X's army, including his four generals (named Harpuia, Leviathan, Fefnir, and Phantom), to reach and stop X... who, as it turns out, is a mere imitation of the real X. Gameplay is very similar to that of the X series, although the level select screen is removed in favor of a "mission"-oriented system. Major characters are Zero, Ciel, X, and the generals. There are two games in this series.

Legends series A strange variation on the MegaMan franchise, MegaMan Legends has no known connection to the original or X series at all (although some have speculated such a connection based on misinterpreted comments in the X series, most notably the use of the word "elysium"). The player controls MegaMan Voulnut, a human teenage boy. MegaMan is a Digger, meaning he goes into underground mazes for a living, fighting ancient robots to find "refractor" power sources with help from his adopted sister Roll and their grandfather, Barrell Casket. Giving them trouble are the Bonnes, a group of pirates consisting of leader Tiesel Bonne, his sister Tron (who is, ironically, infatuated with MegaMan), the large "baby" robot Bon Bonne (known primarily for his oft-repeated line "Babu!" which has become a catchphrase among the series's fans), and the forty Servbots (which vaguely resemble Lego mini-figures). There are only two MegaMan Legends games at present (the first is available for PlayStation, N64, Sega Saturn, and PC, though the second is exclusive to the PlayStation), plus a spinoff PlayStation game called "The Misadventures of Tron Bonne" starring said character. Main characters include MegaMan, Roll, Barrell, and the Bonnes. Characters from this series also cameo in various other Capcom games, and Tron Bonne is a playable character in Marvel Versus Capcom 2. No planning has begun on a third game, which has many of the fans upset, especially due to the cliffhanger ending of the second game.

Battle Network series Known as the EXE series in Japan, the MegaMan Battle Network games are RPGs for the Game Boy Advance. The series is set in 20XX in an alternate version of the original universe in which computers, not robots, were the subject of the most research; the result was the PET (PErsonal Terminal), a small computer which is used similarly to a cellular phone or PDA and which contains a customizable artificial intelligence known as a Navi (short for Navigator). These Navis have battle capabilities for deleting viruses, but are also capable of fighting each other, thus BATTLE Network. The Battle Network series focuses on the adventures of relatively ordinary fifth-grade student Lan Hikari and his very extraordinary Navi, MegaMan.EXE. Lan and MegaMan fight primarily against the schemes of madman and failed scientist Wily, who is evidently an alternate version of the villain from the original series. This consists mostly of defeating Navis operated by Wily's henchmen. (Incidentally, most (but not all) of the Navis are named after characters from the original series, and one is named after a character from the second Legends game.) Out of battle, gameplay is typical RPG fare; in battle, they are a unique hybrid of classic MegaMan gameplay and RPG-style fights. There are two Battle Network games with a third coming out, all for Game Boy Advance; another game in the series, set between the first two, is being developed for the Nintendo GameCube. Major characters are Lan and Megaman, their friends Mayl, Roll, Dex, Gutsman, Yai and Glyde, and Wily, and his henchman Mr. Match. Other significant characters, who are not featured in the games as much, are Bass, Gospel, Serenade, and Mr. Famous.

Related links

  • Capcom (http://www.capcom.com/), the official site of the company responsible for the Mega Man games as well as many others.
  • Mega Man Home Page (http://www.mmhp.net/), featuring a complete discussion of Mega Man, including theories on connections, explanations of confusing points, and several volumes of fan fiction.
  • Warriors of the Net (http://wotn.2ya.com), a rather popular "sprite web-doujinshi" which is set in the world of the Rockman EXE (Megaman Battle Network) games.
  • Bob and George (http://www.bobandgeorge.com/), a popular online comic strip which is set in the world of the Mega Man games. Although events in the strip often contradict the games, it is nonetheless an effective way to learn to understand both the series and its fans.



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