The Mega Man universe (ロックマン, Rockman) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the eponymous Mega Man (or Rockman in Japan) series by Capcom. Originating on the NES, the Mega Man franchise has spawned a multitude of video games across many platforms, as well as a variety of associated media. The series is the third such third-party franchise to contribute elements to a Smash game, with the titular Mega Man being a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
Capcom was originally known for creating arcade games and porting them to home consoles. In the mid-1980s, however, a team of only six employees developed the original Rockman for the Famicom, as part of Capcom's initial "focused" foray into the Japanese home console market. The developers strove for perfection in all aspects of the project despite the severe technical limitations of the Famicom, and incorporated designs inspired by Osamu Tezuka's manga Astro Boy. The eponymous hero of the weapon-based platformer was colored blue simply because blue had the most available shades within the Famicom's limited color palette. For the game's simultaneous release in Japan and the United States on December 17, 1987, Capcom's then-Senior Vice President Joseph Marcini renamed the localized version of the game and titular character Mega Man, believing it would have a much wider appeal to American children. Mega Man was released to favorable critical reception, but moderately low sales (around 100,000 copies sold), though they were higher than Capcom originally anticipated.
While Mega Man was not a large enough commercial accomplishment for Capcom to necessarily justify a sequel, the company allowed the development team to create a sequel as an aside to other projects. The team focused on improving the original formula with enhanced graphics and audio, more levels, and new supportive items that addressed consumer concerns over the extreme difficulty of the previous title. Mega Man 2, in stark contrast to the original, was a huge success, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide, and definitively established Mega Man as one of the industry's largest and longest-running franchises and one of Capcom's flagships, and also propelled Capcom to its present-day status as a game developer. As of 2013, over fifty Mega Man games have been released, with many populating specific "sub-series" and exploring genres outside side-scrolling platforming. Iterations of the Mega Man character himself and other related characters, meanwhile, have appeared in Capcom-involved games outside the main series such as crossover fighting games, like the Marvel vs. Capcom series that pits Capcom characters against Marvel superheroes and, more recently, Nintendo's own Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
The most iconic formula of the Mega Man series, which has remained Rockman in Japan, is a side-scrolling platform game where the player controls the blue robot Mega Man, who has a "buster" cannon grafted onto his arm, as he shoots his way through levels packed with enemy robots. Oftentimes, eight levels are immediately available to complete in any order, and at the end of each level is a boss robot with a similar level of advanced construction and power as Mega Man himself, referred to as a "Robot Master". Defeating a Robot Master gains Mega Man a special weapon corresponding to that Robot Master that he may use for the rest of the game, and this weapon is typically the weakness at least one of the other seven Robot Masters. Since one Robot Master uses a weapon that is the weakness of another Robot Master, a rock-paper-scissor mechanic between all of the Robot Masters is formulated by this. Once Mega Man has defeated all eight Robot Masters and gained their weapons, he proceeds to a final set of harder stages typically taking place in the villain's fortress lair, featuring both special, harder bosses and a room where all eight Robot Masters are defeated one in a row, before battling and defeating the villain in his latest war machine or ultimate form.
The most prolific continuities and sub-series in the Mega Man franchise are as follows, each of which has its own incarnation on the Mega Man character design:
Mega Man Classic series
The original series depicts Mega Man in his most famous incarnation, that of a young "boy" robot in a world where his allies and enemies are in a colorful children's superhero anime style. His kind-hearted inventor, Dr. Thomas Light, regularly sends Mega Man on missions to destroy the newest Robot Masters, always having names ending in "Man" (save for one notable exception named "Splash Woman" in Mega Man 9). These Robot Masters were either created or corrupted by the arch-rival to Dr. Light and Mega Man, Dr. Albert W. Wily - the very definition of the archetypal mad scientist out to take over the world. Mega Man is restricted by stilted jumping and sliding motions in his games, and in addition to the weapons he procures from Robot Masters, he must occasionally rely on specific allies to overcome stage obstacles, not the least of which is his transforming robotic dog companion, Rush.
List of Games in Mega Man Classic series
- Mega Man (1987, NES)
- Mega Man 2 (1988, NES)
- Mega Man 3 (1990, NES)
- Mega Man 4 (1991, NES)
- Mega Man 5 (1992, NES)
- Mega Man 6 (1993, NES)
- Mega Man: The Wily Wars (1994, Sega Genesis; 2019, Sega Genesis Mini)
- Mega Man 7 (1995, SNES)
- Mega Man 8 (1996, PlayStation, Sega Saturn)
- Mega Man & Bass (1998, SNES; 2003, Game Boy Advance)
- Mega Man 9 (2008, Nintendo Wii, PS3, Xbox 360)
- Mega Man 10 (2010, Nintendo Wii, PS3, Xbox 360)
- Mega Man 11 (2018, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Mega Man X series
Taking place a generation later (around the year 21XX), this more mature-toned series centers on an "older" successor to Mega Man, Mega Man X (Rockman X in Japanese, and is commonly called simply "X"). At the very end of the classic Mega Man series, Dr. Light, who realizes the twilight years of his life, begins his final- and greatest- project, one that would allow robots to make conscious and sentient decisions not unlike human beings, to allow robots themselves to evolve much like any living creature. With knowledge of the precautions and hypothetical dangers his creation could cause and face, Dr. Light named his new successor X, representative of the variable of potentiality, growth, and hope, for the future, and sealing him away to conduct proper tests of ethics to ready him for the people of tomorrow. Upon his discovery by the archeologist Dr. Cain, who jump starts the replication of X's dynamics into mass production robotics and creating the new generation of robots known as Reploids, faulty integration, inconsistent systems, and a dangerous CPU contaminant known as the Maverick Virus, causes many of them to exhibit unruly and disruptive behaviors, and are termed "Maverick" for their defections. As X joins the ranks of the Maverick Hunters, a force dedicated to stopping Maverick activity, even the Maverick Hunter's leader, commander, and top hunter Sigma leads a coup as he goes Maverick, and begins a campaign to wipe out humankind and establish Reploid supremacy. Joined by his mysterious but brave comrade Zero, and though reluctant to fight, X is forced to clash against not just those infected by the Maverick Virus, but to be pitted in situations against allies and those whose actions and choices as Reploids come to threaten the world. Evolving away from the bit by bit stage progression of the Classic series, the X series focuses on more agile and fluid transition action based gameplay, with the ability to wall jump, dash, and to immediately test players with new challenges and oncoming enemies through real time progression.
List of Games in Mega Man X series
- Mega Man X (1993, SNES)
- Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X (2006, PlayStation Portable)
- Mega Man X2 (1994, SNES)
- Mega Man X3 (1995, SNES)
- Mega Man X4 (1997, PlayStation, Sega Saturn)
- Mega Man X5 (2000, PlayStation)
- Mega Man Xtreme (Game Boy Color, 2001)
- Mega Man Xtreme 2 (Game Boy Color, 2001)
- Mega Man X6 (2001, PlayStation)
- Mega Man X7 (2003, PlayStation 2)
- Mega Man X8 (2004, PlayStation 2)
- Mega Man X: Command Mission (2004, PlayStation 2)
- Maverick Hunter (CANCELLED)
Mega Man Zero series
Transitioning from the Mega Man X series, this part takes off into the century of 23XX, in a disjointed world of conspiracy and desperate times. Hailed as the Legendary Red Reploid in this era, an amnesiac and brooding, but still resolved and determined Zero is the protagonist of the series. Awakened from a deep stasis regarding his own existence's enigmas, he is summoned and immediately battles for a Reploid resistance group lead by a young female prodigy scientist named Ciel against the governing body and "utopia", Neo Arcadia, whose questionable policies order the mass retirement of "maverick" civilian reploids in the order of maintaining the energy quota for the human population. Learning that the utopia had long been lead by his old comrade X since his slumber, Zero's campaign leads him to discover of X's disappearance, the installment of a defective tyrannical copy upon his absence, a long trail of revelations and history, crises worse than the energy shortage, and the return of the culprit responsible for the current future of the Mega Man world. Considered by many to be the most difficult installment of Mega Man, its demanding mission requirement ranking system, abrasive and challenging level design, and unflinching enemy tenacity is believed to uphold a new testament of Nintendo Hard into the next millennium, and to help reinforce the extreme against all odds desperation and tense atmosphere that Mega Man Zero presents.
List of Games in Mega Man Zero series
- Mega Man Zero (2002, Game Boy Advance)
- Mega Man Zero 2 (2003, Game Boy Advance)
- Mega Man Zero 3 (2004, Game Boy Advance)
- Mega Man Zero 4 (2005, Game Boy Advance)
Mega Man ZX series
In this short-lived series, this installment takes place more than two centuries after the events of Mega Man Zero. The player takes control of either a male or female character who can merge with Biometals, artifacts that can absorb the traits of a human or Reploid, to obtain forms and abilities derived from other characters, including those from the earlier subseries. In all three series, the player-character has more fluid movements, such as acceleration along the ground and jumping up along and clinging to walls. With disputes and conflicts between humans and reploids dissolved upon the agreement of blurring the lines between each other as races, the world outside of the settlements of civilization is seen as a frontier of exploration and adventure, where Mavericks populate both the wilderness and the ruins of the old world. A combination of Metroidvania and gameplay level features from X and Zero, ZX promotes exploration and expands upon this progression as the player moves ahead with every Maverick they face off against.
List of Games in Mega Man ZX series
- Mega Man ZX (2006, Nintendo DS)
- Mega Man ZX Advent (2007, Nintendo DS)
Mega Man Legends series
A shorter-lived series that takes place thousands of years after the Mega Man ZX series, at a point where the Earth is mostly ocean. In this far off future, human civilization exists on the scarce landmasses, reliant on machines built of the manner known as Holon Technology, and the excavating adventuring activity known as Digging, in search of many things, be it treasure, relics uncovering the shrouded past, power sources known as Refractors, and ultimately, the legendary find of the Mother Lode, said to be a power source so indescribably great, that the world need not to digout for Refractors and would make its finder incredibly rich. The player controls Mega Man Volnutt (or Rock Volnutt in Japan), a novice but gifted Digger, who travels and explores the adventurous world alongside his adoptive family, the Caskets. Facing whatever dangers that come his way in his explorations, be it the aggressive drones known as Reaverbots that inhabit the ruins of the world, or the criminal thieves and brigands called Air Pirates that plague society, his discoveries and triumphs with the Caskets come to be legendary, and even world changing in their accord. In another series departure, these games focus on third-person action-adventure elements.
List of Games in Mega Man Legends series
- Mega Man Legends (1997, PlayStation, Nintendo 64)
- The Misadventures of Tron Bonne (1999, PlayStation)
- Mega Man Legends 2 (2000, PlayStation)
- Mega Man Legends 3 (Nintendo 3DS, CANCELLED)
Mega Man Battle Network series
An alternate reality where instead of robotics being the emphasis of societal development, integrated computers and the internet are the focus, to where nearly every electronic device is outfitted with its own CPU and network, and where cyberspace has advanced to the point to where it is as tangible as its own physical plane. With software taking the lead into this future world of Megaman, advanced computer programs known as Net Navis exist, and complimenting many of them are their real-world human owners, each of them specialized for different functions and capabilities specific to that individual, and so exists spiritual counterparts to the original Mega Man universe characters through these intelligent sentient programs. Much like in any Megaman installment, evil and wrongdoing still finds a way to plague the world, this time in the form of devastating living computer viruses and bugs, and active criminal hackers and malign independent Net Navis. Dr. Wily in this universe is the head of the world's foremost wanted net-crime organization called the WWW ("World Three"), and the main human protagonist, Lan Hikari (光熱斗 Hikari Netto), has his "NetNavi" and the main player character, MegaMan.EXE (Rockman.EXE in Japanese), eventually cross paths in the WWW's acts of cyber terrorism. The gameplay of the primary Battle Network series is an enormous departure from the side-scrolling platforming of the other games in that it operates similar to an action JRPG.
List of Games in Mega Man Battle Network series
- Mega Man Battle Network (2001, Game Boy Advance)
- Mega Man Battle Network 2 (2001, Game Boy Advance)
- Mega Man Battle Network 3: White/Blue (2002, Game Boy Advance)
- Mega Man Network Transmission (2003, Nintendo GameCube)
- Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun/Blue Moon (2003, Game Boy Advance)
- Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team ProtoMan/Colonel (2004, Game Boy Advance)
- Mega Man Battle Netowrk 6: Cybeast Falzar/Gregar (2005, Game Boy Advance)
Mega Man Star Force series
A series of over-the-shoulder action RPGs set 200 years later in the future of the Battle Network continuity. It stars a human boy named Geo Stelar (星河スバル Subaru Hoshikawa) who regularly merges with an electromagnetic alien named Omega-Xis (Warrock in Japanese) to become a blue-suited "Mega Man" of his own and fight enemies in an invisible electromagnetic plane overlaid with the real world
List of Games in Mega Man Star Force series
- Mega Man Star Force: Pegasus/Leo/Dragon (2006, Nintendo DS)
- Mega Man Star Force 2: Zerker X Saurion/Ninja (2007, Nintendo DS)
- Mega Man Star Force 3: Black Ace/Red Joker (2008, Nintendo DS)
Other Spinoff games
- Mega Man Soccer (1994, SNES)
- Mega Man: The Power Battle (1995, Arcade)
- Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters (1996, Arcade)
- Mega Man: Battle & Chase (1997, PlayStation)
- Super Adventure Rockman (1998, PlayStation, Sega Saturn) (JAPAN ONLY)
- Rockman & Forte: Mirai kara no Chōsensha (1999, WonderSwan) (JAPAN ONLY)
- Rockman Battle & Fighters (2000, Neo Geo Pocket Color) (JAPAN ONLY)
- Mega Man Universe (CANCELLED)
- Street Fighter X Mega Man (2012, PC)
- Mega Man: (or Rockman in Japan): The eponymous star of his series, Mega Man, like Sonic, was a heavily requested and anticipated third-party guest character. Mega Man appears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, being confirmed in the reveal trailer of the game. Mega Man uses very few physical attacks, instead relying on his own arsenal of weapons and those obtained from defeated Robot Masters. Mega Man's Final Smash is Mega Legends, which has him joined by Mega Man X, MegaMan.EXE, Mega Man Volnutt, and Geo Stelar.
- Yellow Devil: A recurring boss character in the Mega Man series, the Yellow Devil appears as a stage hazard on the Wily Castle stage. The Yellow Devil attacks players using it's body and various beams, and must be defeated by attacking it's eye, the only vulnerable place on it's body. The Yellow Devil explodes upon defeat, acting as an attack for the player who lands the defeating blow on the boss.
- Elec Man: One of the Robot Masters from the first Mega Man game appears as an Assist Trophy, unleashing his Thunder Beam to attack opponents.
- Rush: Rush is Mega Man's faithful dog introduced in Mega Man 3. Rush appears in Rush Coil, Mega Man's default Up Special Move.
- Beat: Beat is Mega Man's bird built by Dr.Cossack and introduced in Mega Man 5. Beat appear as one of Mega Man's Up Special Moves that can be used via Customization.
- Mega Man X: The protagonist from the Mega Man X series. He is Dr. Light's greatest creation, being found by Dr. Cain in the year 21XX and used as a template for the creation of advanced robots known as Reploids. He is one of the four characters that joins the original Mega Man in his Final Smash.
- Mega Man Volnutt: The protagonist from the Mega Man Legends series, who appears in Mega Man's Final Smash. He is a young Digger that explores ruins in search of ancient technology and valuables.
- MegaMan.EXE: The protagonist from the Mega Man Battle Network series, who appears in Mega Man's Final Smash. He is Lan Hikari's NetNavi, a type of intelligent personal program that navigates the internet and combats viruses.
- Star Force Mega Man: The protagonist from the Mega Man Star Force series, who appears in Mega Man's Final Smash. He is the combination of the human Geo Stelar and the EM alien Omega-Xis.
- Wily Castle: A stage that appears to be standing in front of Dr. Wily's Skull Castle from Mega Man 2. The Yellow Devil appears on this stage as a mini-boss and hazard for players. The stage appears in both versions, being set at night in the Wii U version and in the daytime in the 3DS version.
- Cut Man Stage: A remix of Cut Man's stage from Mega Man.
- Mega Man Retro Medley: A medley of various music tracks from Mega Man, starting with the song that plays before a stage begins, going on to include the themes of every Robot Master from the game, in this order: Elec Man, Bomb Man, Cut Man, Guts Man, Fire Man, and Ice Man.
- Mega Man 2 Medley: A medley of various music tracks from Mega Man 2. Tracks featured include the title theme, the "stage selected" theme, and Dr. Wily's Castle theme.
- Air Man Stage: A remix of the Air Man's stage theme from Mega Man 2.
- Quick Man Stage: This remix is a medley of both Quick Man's and Heat Man's stages and the victory theme from Mega Man 2.
- Mega Man 2 Retro Medley: A medley of music taken directly from Mega Man 2, including the themes of Air Man, Wood Man, Quick Man, Flash Man, Crash Man, Metal Man, and Dr. Wily 1/2. This is the alternate music for the Wily's Castle stage in the 3DS version of the game.
- Spark Man Stage: A remix of the Spark Man's stage theme from Mega Man 3.
- Shadow Man Stage: A remix of the Shadow Man's stage theme from Mega Man 3.
- Mega Man 3 Retro Medley: A medley of music taken directly from Mega Man 3, including the themes of Top Man, Shadow Man, Spark Man, Snake Man, and Hard Man.
- Mega Man 4-6 Retro Medley: A medley comprised of Dive Man and Skull Man's themes from Mega Man 4, Dark Man's Castle from Mega Man 5, and Flame Man's theme from Mega Man 6.
- Victory! Mega Man Series: A short remix of the beginning of the title screen music from Mega Man 2.
- Mega Man
- Mega Man (Alt.)
- Rush Coil
- X / Mega Man X
- MegaMan Volnutt
- Star Force Mega Man
- Elec Man
- Yellow Devil
- Dr. Wily
- E-Tank / Energy Tank
Wii U Version
- Mega Legends
- Dr. Light
- Proto Man
- Zero (Mega Man)
- Bass and Treble
- Mega Man 2 (NES)
- Air Man
- Cut Man
- Dr. Light
- Dr. Wily
- Fire Man
- Galaxy Man
- Gravity Man (Master)
- Guts Man
- Mega Man Model X
- Metal Man
- Napalm Man
- Proto Man
- Shadow Man
- Skull Man
- Sword Man
- Flash Man Stage
- Mega Man 4 Medley
Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series
Mega Man (game)
This is the first game that stars the Blue Bomber, who has now joined the Smash Bros. series. Also, Mega Man's posture and attacks have been added into the new Smash Bros. game, keeping his original style from the six NES games he's appeared in. For instance, his Mega Buster is his normal combo. His running style is similar to his running style in each of the six NES games. Similar to his running style, his jumping style is similar as well. He can use the Super Arm to grab his enemies in batttle, he can also use the Hyper Bomb as one of his custom Neutral Special Moves ,and the Ice Slasher as one of his custom Side Special Moves. In addition, Elec Man appears as an Assist Trophy; Mettaurs appear as enemies in Smash Run, Dr. Wily, the main antagonist of the Mega Man series, appears as a Trophy, and the Yellow Devil also makes an appearance on the Wily Castle stage, although said stage is from the second NES game.
Mega Man 2
Three of Mega Man's weapons gained from various Robot Masters in this game appear as his special attacks, namely, the Crash Bomber, Leaf Shield, and Metal Blade. The Air Shooter is one of his aerial attacks. Also to note, Wily Castle is one of stages in both versions of the new game.
Mega Man 3
The sliding maneuver first appears in this game, and is Mega Man's crouch attack. The Top Spin is Mega Man's dash attack, the Hard Knuckle is Mega Man's down aerial attack, and the Spark Shock is Mega Man's up smash. Mega Man's faithful dog, Rush, can perform the Rush Coil as Mega Man's Up Special Move, the Shadow Blade is one of his custom Neutral Special Moves.
Mega Man 4
Mega Man 5
Beat, who first appeared in this game after getting all 8 plates scattered through all the Robot Master levels, appears as one of Mega Man's custom Up Special Moves. Also, the ability to damage opponents with the slide first appeared in this game after beating Charge Man.
Mega Man 6
The Flame Blast, which Mega Man gains from Flame Man, can be used as Mega Man's down smash. Plant Barrier is also one of Mega Man's custom Down Special Moves.
Mega Man 7
Mega Man 8
Mega Man 9
During his Final Smash, Mega Man uses the Black Hole Bomb to capture opponents.
Super Adventure Rockman
In the battle with Ra Moon, Mega Man is shown using both of his busters, creating an immense and powerful shot that causes him to overheat. Similarly, Mega Man uses both of his busters to perform Spark Shock and Flame Blast, and vents his arms since he overheats.
Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters
Mega Man's Mega Upper made its first appearance in Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters.
Marvel vs. Capcom
Coincidentally, during the Super Smash Bros. Direct, Mega Man's Mega Upper was mentioned as its appearance from Marvel vs. Capcom.
Mega Man X
This is the first game to star Mega Man X, who appears in Mega Man's Final Smash.
Mega Man Legends
Mega Man Volnutt, who makes his appearance in this game, appears alongside Mega Man in his Final Smash.
Mega Man Battle Network
MegaMan.EXE, Lan Hikari's NetNavi, joins the others in Mega Man's Final Smash.
Mega Man Star Force
When Geo Stelar and Omega-Xis combine, they form Mega Man. This Mega Man also appears in Mega Man's Final Smash.
- Mega Man and Final Fantasy are the only third-party universes that originated on a Nintendo system. They both originated on the NES. The former debuted one day before the latter.