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Mega Man (1987)

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I'm sure you can help them sort it out, Dunban.
― Fiora, Xenoblade Chronicles
This article is about original 1987 NES game.
You may be looking for 1995 Game Gear game with the same name.


Mega Man
Megamanbox.jpg

Rockman-Cover.jpg
Mega-Man-EU-Art.jpg

The Blue Bomber's humble beginnings.
Protagonist(s): Mega Man/Rockman
Genre(s): Platformer
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Genesis
PlayStation
PlayStation 2
Nintendo GameCube
Xbox
Wii
Wii U
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Nintendo Switch
Nintendo 3DS
Mobile
iOS
Android
Release: Famicom/NES
JP: December 17, 1987
NA: December 29, 1987
EU: December 13, 1989

PlayStation
JP: August 5, 1999
Mobile
NA: September 20, 2004
JP: June 1, 2007

Android & iOS
WW: January 5, 2017
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Country: Japan
Series: Mega Man
Successor: Mega Man 2


Mega Man, known as Rockman (ロックマン Rokkuman) in Japan, is an 1987 run and gun action-platform video game developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It is the first game of the Mega Man franchise and original video game series.

Plot

In the early 21st century, there lived two scientists named Dr. Thomas Light and Dr. Albert Wily. Dr. Light created six industrial robots to help with everyday life, in addition, he created two humanoid robots to help him with his own chores, Rock, a lab assistant and Roll, who would help do chores around his house. Dr. Wily on the other hand, seemingly disappeared.

Dr. Wily's seeming absence didn't last long as he then returned and has stolen and reprogrammed all of Dr. Light's industrial robots. However, unwisely, he missed Rock and his "sister," Roll, as the helper robots did not suit his needs. Dr. Light soon discovered that his former colleague was to blame. With Wily on the loose with an army of intelligent and powerful robots, Dr. Light knew that the world's police forces and armies weren't ready to deal with this new challenge.

It was thus that Rock, the lab assistant, volunteered to be converted into a fighting robot. Rock had a strong sense of justice and couldn't sit by and watch his "father's" work be destroyed before his very eyes. As such, on May 25, 200X, Light reluctantly converted the former lab assistant into a robot of unimaginable potential. Equipped with Ceratanium armor and the Mega Buster, Rock became known as the super robot Mega Man and set out for Wily's fortress to stop Wily from taking over the world.

After defeating Dr. Wily for the very first time, Mega Man then strolls home through forested mountains, a seaside, before finally reaching Dr. Light's home city. By the time Mega Man finally reached the city, the sun has already set as he approaches Dr. Light's house, where his "family" is waiting for him.

Why It's A Super Fighting Robot

  1. Nonlinear gameplay that lets the player choose the order in which to complete its initial six stages.
  2. Once a boss is defeated, Mega Man can obtain their abilities in which they can keep forever but have limited ammunition:
    • Thunder Beam: A weapon that shoots three lighting projectiles in 3 directions that kill many enemies with one hit, and it's arguably the most useful weapon in the game
    • Fire Storm: Creates temporary fire circles around you that damage enemies and shoots a fire projectile. It also counts as the best weapon in the game.
    • Rolling Cutter: Shoots a scissor that acts like a boomerang and deals massive damage to the enemies, although it's not as easy to use.
    • Ice Slasher: Doesn’t damage enemies but freezes them for a good amount of time and you can change weapons to destroy them easily. In Fire Man it can freeze the rising fire and use it as a platform. It cannot freeze the bosses but it damages Fire Man since it's his weakness.
  3. Each boss has a weakness to exploit, which adds for some strategy. The weaknesses also have pretty clever explanations (Cut man is weak to Super arm since rocks beat scissors, Ice man is weak to electricity due to ice being made of water).
  4. Cleared levels can be revisited.
  5. Smart level design teaches players how mechanics work without needing tutorials.
  6. Some of the glitches can actually be fun such as the infamous pause glitch, which can be used to your advantage to beat bosses quickly and easily because when you shoot a projectile at the boss and it hits him and you pause it and when you unpause it, it hits them again. Rapidly pressing the pause button will make the bosses a piece of cake and are good for speedrunning.
  7. High-quality graphics for its time especially with Mega Man's sprite being very iconic.
  8. Very good soundtrack, with most of the series' signature themes right there from the start such as Elec Man's Stage Theme, Cut Man's Stage Theme, Fire Man's Stage Theme or Willy Fortress 1 Stage Theme.
  9. Spawned various sequels, subseries and spin-offs, including Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero, Mega Man ZX, Mega Man Legends, Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Star Force.
  10. The Magnet Beam is a fun little ability that lets you create platforms. Sadly, it has never returned since.

Bad Qualities

  1. Addressing the elephant in the room, the North American box art is widely infamous for being laughably awful, especially with the titular character's realistic face, blue and yellow suit and a gun, when the real Mega Man had a cartoony face, an all-blue suit and his arm cannon. Because of the infamy of the box art, it was heavily blamed for weak sales.
    • When it was re-released on the Nintendo 3DS via Virtual Console its page used unofficial art of Mega Man and a bunch of random robots. It is the only Mega Man game on the Virtual Console store to have its cover art replaced with unofficial cover art.
  2. Unless you play this game on the Wii, Wii U or the Mega Man Legacy Collection, there are no passwords or save system, forcing players to complete the whole game in a single sitting, this is complimented by the game's short length since there are only ten levels in the game (six Robot Master levels and four Wily levels).
  3. Mega Man's jumping and movement physics feel a little off compared to later entries in the series. An example is that if you walk on the edge of a moving platform or magnet beam, you will fall at a fast speed, or that ladder climbing in this game is pretty slow.
  4. While most of the Mega Man's weapons are good, The Hyper Bomb is a very poorly-functioned weapon as it only hits enemies when the bomb explodes, which you have to wait for it to do so. What's the point of waiting for explosion damage from this weapon, when other weapons fire projectiles that do damage instantly?!
    • The Super Arm, despite not being a terrible weapon itself, it only works if you are near specific bricks (the weapon grabs specific bricks and throws them to the enemies in order to defeat them), which isn't very reliable.
  5. There are some unfair level designs and game design choices.
    • The fire droppers from Fire Man's stage is one of the most difficult sections to pass through without taking a hit if you don't have the magnet beam, your timing has to be so precise to make it through the falling fires without taking damage.
    • Ice Man's stage in the second half has lots of flying platforms robots (Foot Holders) and their flight patterns are erratic and randomly shoot bullets on their sides, even more harder is flying penguins (Pepe) that fly in a hard to hit wave pattern continuously spawning.
    • There is an area in Dr. Wily Stage 1 where you need the Magnet Beam in order to progress, if you don't collect the Magnet Beam in Elec Man's Stage, you're basically screwed.
    • A large and troublesome enemy that appears usually at the end of a stage Big Eye, this enemy can deal HEAVY damage and has high health but even worse has a pattern that is luck based, it alternates between a low jump or a high jump. The low jump can cover a bit of distance and it jumps again as soon as it lands, there is no indication on what jump they will choose making them harder to predict the pattern.
    • Even if you are invincible when you get hit by enemies, you still will die instantly to spikes which is something the sequels corrected easing the difficulty of the stages.
    • The most infamous difficulty spike is the Yellow Devil who moves from side to side by turning into multiple blocks which requires perfect jumps and trial and error in order to avoid them and you have very little time to hit him while dodging a fast bullet when he is vulnerable, which resorted to many people using glitches to beat it. Thankfully, the Yellow Devil returned in Mega Man 3 with an easier attack pattern and the ability to slide.

Trivia

  1. This was Capcom's first ever direct-to-console game that did not start its life in the arcades and was meant to be played at home in your own time instead of a machine designed to rip as much money from your pockets as possible.
  2. This is the only game in the series to have a score bar, as the sequels dropped it.

Reception

Critics praised Mega Man for its overall design and consider Mega Man to have established many of the gameplay, story and graphical conventions that define the ensuing sequels, sub-series and spin-offs. Later on, it became one of Capcom's well known properties, as well as appearing in other games.

Videos

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