Mega Man (universe)

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Mega Man (universe)
Mega Man logo.png
MegaManSymbol.svg
Developer(s) Capcom
Inti Creates
Publisher(s) Capcom
Designer(s) Akira Kitamura
Keiji Inafune
Genre(s) Platformer
Console of origin Nintendo Entertainment System
First installment Mega Man (1987)
Latest installment Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 (2017)
Article on Wikipedia Mega Man (universe)

The Mega Man universe (originally created in Asian countries as Rockman (ロックマン) and also written as MegaMan and Megaman) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the eponymous Mega Man series by Capcom. It is a Japanese video game franchise created 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. 4.

Franchise description[edit]

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. 4.

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-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. 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.
  • Mega Man X series: Taking place a generation later (around the year 21XX), this darker-toned series centers on an "older" successor to Mega Man, Mega Man X (Rockman X in Japanese, and is commonly called simply "X"), whom the late Dr. Light has left behind to police a world where more advanced, sapient robots are integrated into human society. Despite being his greatest creation, when X was finished, Dr. Light sealed him in a capsule, as he believed that the world wasn't ready to accept X. X was discovered by Dr. Cain a century later, and he made more robots that can think on their own, like X. These robots are called Reploids, or replica androids. However, some Reploids have gone "Maverick", or violent, and started to rebel against humans. A force called the Maverick Hunters was made to counter the Mavericks. The leader of the Maverick Hunters, Sigma, eventually becomes a Maverick himself after fighting the then-Maverick, Zero, a Reploid made by Dr. Wily, the enemy of the original Mega Man. While Sigma turned more Reploids into Mavericks, Zero stopped being Maverick and joined the Maverick Hunters, and became a partner to X. Later on in the series, specifically in Mega Man X7, Axl joins the Maverick Hunters as well. Whenever there is trouble, X, Zero, or Axl are sent to fight eight Mavericks that guard certain areas. These Mavericks become the Mega Man X versions of the Robot Masters. Most of them are under orders by Sigma, but some are not affiliated with him, such as Repliforce and Red Alert from Mega Man X4 and Mega Man X7 respectively. These Mavericks are fought (and defeated) by X or Zero, who then must battle all of them once again before taking the fight to Sigma in his lair.
  • Mega Man Zero series: Transitioning from the Mega Man X series, this part starts off with a more brooding Zero reawakening after a century of slumber into an even darker version of the world. He battles for a resistance group against the governing body and "utopia", Neo Arcadia. At first, Zero had to fight against a copy of X. However, even after defeating Copy X, Zero still had to keep fighting against Neo Arcadia, since it wasn't destroyed. It was eventually revealed (specifically in Mega Man Zero 3) that the real mastermind behind Neo Arcadia is Dr. Weil. Zero defeats Weil as well, but he himself is killed as well, as the space station they were fighting in, Ragnarok, broke apart and fell down to Earth.
  • Mega Man ZX series: In this series, 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. This series is currently on hiatus.
  • Mega Man Legends series: This series that takes place thousands of years after the Mega Man ZX series, at a point where the Earth is mostly ocean and civilization is dependent on digging into the remaining islands for a power source. The player controls Mega Man Volnutt (or Rock Volnutt in Japan), a robotic Digger, who investigates ruins and does battle against air pirates named the Bonne family. In another series departure, these games focus on third-person action-adventure elements. This series, like the ZX series, is also on hiatus.
  • Mega Man Battle Network series: An alternate reality where spiritual counterparts to classic Mega Man characters (along with three from the Mega Man X series) exist not as robots, but as computer programs that navigate and do battle in cyberspace as though they were physical beings navigating a physical plane, as per the commands of real-world humans at their computers. Dr. Wily in this universe is the head of a 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), foil the WWW's cyber-schemes by deleting the "Virus" enemies it sends. 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.
  • 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. It is currently unknown if this series has ended or is on hiatus.

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Characters[edit]

  • MegaManIcon(SSB4-U).png
    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. 4, 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.

Stage Hazard[edit]

  • Yellow Devil Kirby.jpg
    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 its body and various beams, and must be defeated by attacking its eye, the only vulnerable place on its body. The Yellow Devil explodes upon defeat, acting as an attack for the player who lands the defeating blow on the boss.

Assist Trophy[edit]

  • 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.

Common enemy[edit]

  • Mettaur: A small enemy based off a Japanese style hard hat.

Mii Fighter Costumes[edit]

  • X Costume: Based off of the main character of the Mega Man X series. Includes an X outfit for Mii Gunners and X's Helmet.
  • Proto Man Costume: Based off of Mega Man's rival/prototype/brother. Includes a Proto Man outfit for Mii Gunners and Proto Man's Helmet.
  • Zero Costume: Based off of X's friend in the Mega Man X series and also main character of his own Mega Man Zero series.

Other[edit]

  • Mega Man's robotic dog Rush is used in his Rush Coil move and his robotic bird Beat is used in a custom recovery.
  • Mega Man X, MegaMan.EXE, Mega Man Volnutt, and Geo Stelar (as Star Force Mega Man) all appear and assist the classic playable Mega Man in his final smash.

Stage[edit]

  • WilyCastleIconSSB4-U.png
    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.

Music[edit]

  • Cut Man Stage: This theme plays in Cut Man's stage in 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: This is a remix of the Air Man stage theme from Mega Man 2.
  • Quick Man Stage: This remix is a medley of both Quick Man and Heat Man 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.
  • Spark Man Stage: This theme plays in Spark Man's stage in Mega Man 3.
  • Shadow Man Stage: This theme plays in Shadow Man's stage in 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 composed 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.

Trophies[edit]

  • Mega Man
  • Mega Man (Alt.)
  • Rush Coil
  • Beat
  • Mega Man X
  • MegaMan Volnutt
  • MegaMan.EXE
  • Star Force Mega Man
  • Elec Man
  • Yellow Devil
  • Mettaur
  • Dr. Wily
  • Energy Tank
  • Mega Legends (Wii U Only)
  • Dr. Light (Wii U Only)
  • Roll (Wii U Only)
  • Proto Man (Wii U Only)
  • Eddie (Wii U Only)
  • Zero (Wii U Only)
  • Bass and Treble (Wii U Only)

Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Mega Man[edit]

The game that introduced Mega Man as well as the Yellow Devil. Elec Man, a Robot Master boss, appears as an Assist Trophy. The rails that appear in Wily Castle carrying a moving platform debuted in Guts Man's stage, and later Wily's Castle. The enemy Mettaur appears in Smash Run. Trophies of Dr. Light, and Roll are exclusive to the Wii U version. Two music tracks are based from this game, Cut Man Stage and Mega Man Retro Medley. The following moves debuted in this game:

  • Neutral attack/Forward tilt/Neutral aerial: Mega Buster
  • Grab: Super Arm (obtained from Guts Man)
  • Custom Neutral special 1: Hyper Bomb (obtained from Bomb Man)
  • Custom Side special 1: Ice Slasher (obtained from Ice Man)

Mega Man 2[edit]

Main article: Mega Man 2

The design of Dr. Wily's Castle comes from this game. Four music tracks are based from this game, Mega Man 2 Medley (containing remixes of the Mega Man 2 Title Theme and the iconic Dr. Wily Castle Stages 1 and 2 Theme), Air Man Stage, Quick Man Stage, and Mega Man 2 Retro Medley. A trophy of the E-Tank appears in both versions of Smash 4. Mega Man 2 is also a masterpiece.

The following moves debuted in this game:

Mega Man 3[edit]

Proto Man also debuted in this game. His armor and helmet are available as DLC for Mii Fighters (the outfit is specific to the Mii Gunners). Three music tracks are based from this game, Spark Man Stage, Shadow Man Stage, and Mega Man 3 Retro Medley. The following moves debuted in this game:

  • Down tilt: Sliding
  • Dash attack: Top Spin (obtained from Top Man)
  • Up smash: Spark Shock (obtained from Spark Man)
  • Down aerial: Hard Knuckle (obtained from Hard Man)
  • Custom neutral special 1: Shadow Blade (obtained from Shadow Man)
  • Up special: Rush Coil

Mega Man 4[edit]

The platforms that move along curved tracks when a fighter lands on them, and the vertical conveyor belt platforms at the 3DS version of Wily Castle come from Bright Man's stage and the room where the boss Tako Trash is fought A trophy of Eddie is exclusive to the Wii U version. Two themes from this game are included as part as the Mega Man 4-6 Retro Medley track. The following moves debuted in this game:

  • Forward smash: Charge Shot
  • Custom down special 1: Skull Barrier (obtained from Skull Man)

Mega Man 5[edit]

Beat debuted in this game. Dark Man's Castle theme is included as part of the Mega Man 4-6 Retro Medley track. Mega Man's down tilt being able to damage opponents could be a reference to Charge Man's power Charge Kick, which was the first weapon that allowed Mega Man to weaponize his sliding ability to attack targets on the ground.

Mega Man 6[edit]

Flame Man's theme is included as part of the Mega Man 4-6 Retro Medley track. The following abilities come from this game:

  • Down smash: Flame Blast (obtained from Flame Man)
  • Custom down special 2: Plant Barrier (obtained from Plant Man)

Mega Man 7[edit]

A trophy of Bass and Treble are exclusive to the Wii U version. The following abilities debuted in this game:

  • Back aerial: Slash Claw (obtained from Slash Man)
  • Custom side special l: Danger Wrap (obtained from Burst Man)
  • Custom up special 2: Beat Call

Mega Man 8[edit]

The following powers debuted in this game:

  • Forward aerial: Flame Sword (obtained from Sword Man)
  • Custom up special: Tornado Hold (obtained from Tengu Man)

Mega Man 9[edit]

Mega Man's final smash opens with Galaxy Man's Black Hole Bomb, which originated in this game.

Super Adventure Rockman[edit]

An obscure title that never saw release outside of Japan. Mega Man's need to vent his Mega Busters after using an attack that involves both (up and down smashes) is a reference to the game's climax where Mega Man takes down the Evil Ra Moon with a double charge shot, despite Wily warning that doing so could overheat his systems and destroy him.

Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters[edit]

The following moves debuted in this game:

  • Up tilt: While Sakurai notes that the Mega Upper is used in Marvel vs. Capcom, it originates in this arcade game.

Mega Man X[edit]

Mega Man X is one of the five Mega Men to fire in Mega Man's Final Smash. His armor and helmet are available as DLC for Mii Fighters, with the outfit being exclusive to the Mii Gunners, while Zero's helmet and armor are available for Mii Swordfighters. A trophy of Zero is exclusive to the Wii U version. Mega Man's ability to wall jump also comes from X.

Mega Man X2[edit]

The design used for the Zero Mii costume, including the Z-Saber first appeared in this sequel.

Mega Man Legends (Mega Man 64)[edit]

Mega Man Volnutt is one of the five Mega Men to fire in Mega Man's Final Smash.

Mega Man Battle Network[edit]

MegaMan.EXE is one of the five Mega Men to fire in Mega Man's Final Smash, and his headgear and outfit appear as Mii Costumes.

Mega Man Star Force[edit]

Geo Stelar (as Mega Man) is one of the five Mega Men to fire in Mega Man's Final Smash.

Trivia[edit]

  • The Mega Man series is the first third party series to have an image on Nintendo's StreetPass Plaza.
  • Final Fantasy and Mega Man are the only third-party universes to have debuted in a Nintendo system. Coincidentally, both universes debuted on the NES in 1987 with Mega Man being released the day before Final Fantasy launched.


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