Megaman1 is a videogame series developed by Japan-based software company Capcom. Keiji Inafune created the Megaman character shortly after he was hired by Capcom. The games in the Megaman Classic series are two-dimensional side-scrolling platformers. In fact, the Megaman Classic Series is thought by many to be among the hardest platformers ever made. The original series has branched out into several series; for example there is the Classic Megaman series, the 'X' series, and the Battle Network Series. This entry deals exclusively with the Classic Series.
The Classic Megaman video game series deals with Megaman and his frequent2 clashes with the evil mad scientist Dr Wily. The first Megaman game, though featuring some awful box art, was very innovative for its time in that you could choose your own path through the game. Most other games of that time were very linear. Additionally, upon beating a boss3, Megaman would gain his weapon. Unfortunately, Megaman 1 had no password or save system. However, a password system was added in the second game.
Megaman - The star of the series. He was originally a laboratory assistant before Dr Light reprogrammed him to fight Dr Wily. His default weapon is the Megabuster.
Roll - Megaman's sister. First seen in Megaman 1. Not very important except in Megaman 8 where she runs the shop.
Rush, Tango, Beat - Megaman's animal assistants. Rush first appeared in Megaman 3, Beat first appeared in Megaman 5, and Tango only appeared in Megaman V.
Bass - Megaman's rival. His ultimate goal is to defeat Megaman and prove himself to be the strongest robot. First appeared in Megaman 7.
Protoman - Megaman's brother and the prototype on which all other robots are based. Plays an important role in the series. First appeared in Megaman 3.
Dr Light and Dr Wily - Robotic engineers who built the first robots. Dr Wily, however, turned evil and tried to take over the world on multiple occasions.
Duo - A robot from space that seeks to destroy the so-called 'Evil Energy'. First appeared in Megaman 8.
Auto - A green robot. First appeared in Megaman 7 as the manager of the item shop. Changed to a summonable assistant in Megaman 8.
Eddie - A red rubbish-bin style robot. First appeared in Megaman 4. Appears in set places and gives Megaman power-up items.
The first game featured six Robot Masters4: Cutman, Elecman, Iceman, Fireman, Bombman, and Gutsman. After fighting them three more bosses had to be fought in the fortress before getting to Wily including a clone of Megaman. Right before Wily could be confronted, Megaman had to first fight the six bosses over again, a series innovation that has stuck with it even in the branch series. The basic plot is that Dr Light and Dr Wily have built eight robots together. Wily reprograms the robots to help him take over the world and only Rock is able to resist the reprogramming. Dr Light upgrades him into a combat robot to fight Wily.
Megaman 2 (1989)
Megaman 2 marked the point where the popularity of the series soared. It offered several innovations such as a password save system, eight bosses instead of six, and a chargeable boss weapon. This time Wily built eight robots of his own, all of which were programmed to destroy Megaman. The bosses are: Metalman, Bubbleman, Flashman, Quickman, Heatman (his weapon is the one that is chargeable), Woodman, Airman, and Crashman5. One strange thing that occurred in this game that didn't occur in later games is that the bosses' weaknesses don't loop completely around. Crashman's Crash bomb doesn't affect Metalman. Strangely, Metalman is weak to his own weapon.
Megaman 3 (1990)
In this game, Megaman was given a support unit, a robotic dog named Rush. Rush helped Megaman traverse the dangerous levels of the third game by transforming into a jet, a submarine, and a spring. Another innovation of this game is that it was the first game that Wily hid his evil plans behind someone else. In this case it was Breakman, aka Megaman's brother Protoman. Also, this game was longer than the others because the player had to play four levels over again to fight Doc Robot who was copying the bosses of Megaman 2. The bosses for this game are Magnetman, Hardman, Topman, Shadowman, Sparkman, Snakeman, Geminiman, and Needleman. In the end Wily apparently dies6 and Protoman rescues Megaman from the exploding fortress.
Megaman 4 (1991)
In Megaman 4 the villain appears to be Russian roboticist Dr Cossack at first but it turns out to be another trick from Dr Wily. The bosses are Toadman, Brightman, Pharoahman, Ringman, Dustman, Skullman, Diveman, and Drillman. This game is the first to have two fortresses: Dr Cossack's and Dr Wily's. This game also has two secret items: the balloon and wire adapt, which helps you traverse the levels. In addition, Megaman gains the ability to charge up his blaster to deal more damage. Protoman and Rush make a triumphant return in this game. A new character to this game is Eddie7, who appears in some stages to give you an random item.
Megaman 5 (1992)
In this game, it seems that Protoman has somehow built eight new robots: Starman, Gravityman, Gyroman, Crystalman, Napalman, Stoneman, Chargeman, and Waveman. In addition Protoman is alleged to have kidnapped Dr Light and built a fortress. This - surprisingly - turns out to be yet another of Wily's schemes. New additions to this game include the Super Arrow and Beat. The Super Arrow is similar to Rush Jet except that it also sticks to walls. Beat is a bird built by Dr Cossack, as a way of saying sorry for his deeds in the previous game, which would attack enemies when you summon it. To get it you have to collect the letters in 'MEGAMAN V'. This game also has two fortresses to go through. Protoman returns to clear his name after you do all the work and Rush returns as well, though some veterans to the series cringed at the new look of his Rush Coil ability in this game.
Megaman 6 (1993)
Megaman 6 was the last Megaman game on the NES8. The next Megaman game released would be on the Super NES. Wily's plans once again involve him pretending somebody else is evil, which once again means two fortresses. The bosses this time are: Flameman, Blizzardman, Plantman, Tomahokman, Yamotoman, Knightman, Centaurman, and Windman. There were many new innovations in this game from multiple paths to the bosses, the famous Rush adapts9, and finally Dr Wily being caught and taken to jail. Beat returns but once again you have to collect letters to get him.
Megaman 7 (1995)
Megaman returns to the Classic series after a detour in the new X series10. In this game all the key players return. Protoman returns and gives out advice and a secret weapon if you find him in three locations. Roll appears in the beginning but doesn't do much. Eddie has his own store now where items can be bought. Rush is back and so is a limited form of the Rush Adapt. In this game, Dr Wily escapes prison with the help of four robots he built prior to being captured. Of course Megaman has to fight him again. MM 7 also adds a twist. A robot named Bass who has his own robotic dog who professes to be your friend. The boss order is a little messed up because you fight them in two groups of four instead of being able to choose from eight to begin with. The bosses are: Burstman, Cloudman, Junkman and Freezeman. Then you have to fight a giant clown in a museum. Then back to the bosses. Slashman, Springman, Shademan, and finally Turboman. The bosses are easy if you use their weakness weapon but Wily's final machine is hard. Bring all the Energy Tanks, Weapon Tanks, and Special Tanks that you can carry.
Megaman 8 (1997)
This game appeared on the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. Megaman 8 has a nice anime intro that references the first seven games. Several old charecters reappear: Protoman, Roll, Eddie, Auto (from Megaman 7), and Rush. However, not all is well - Rush's new powers aren't as useful as his old ones. In fact, the only time Rush Jet can be used is during annoying flying levels. The Rush adapt is gone; Protoman's appearances are short and few; there are annoying snowboarding levels; and to top it off the rubbish weapon they give Megaman, the Megaball11, is actually necessary to defeat a boss. The bosses in this game are: Tenguman, Clownman, Grenademan, Frostman, Astroman, Aquaman, Swordman and Searchman. This game had a deeper story than the previous games and parts of the story are often told through anime cut-scenes. The basic story is that Wily gets his hands on something called 'evil energy' and tries to use it to take over the world. In this game the shop, now run by Roll, helps players to more customise the way they play with more diversity.
Megaman and Bass (1998)
This game is often thought of as Megaman 9 which makes people think Megaman X is Megaman 10. This isn't the case. Anyway, this game appeared on the SNES right before the system's death. It used Megaman 8 graphics and two recycled Megaman 8 bosses. It was the first time that Bass was a playable character12. The story is interesting also. A robot named King is trying to take over the world for his fellow robots. The bosses are Coldman, Burnerman, Pirateman, Groundman, Tenguman, Magicman, Astroman, and Dynamoman. There is once again a shop and upgrades for Megaman and Bass can be bought but only one upgrade can be equipped at a time. Bass is changed to make him unique from Megaman in this game. Bass can double jump, dash, and has a machine gun like weapon that can shoot in multiple directions, unlike Megaman who can only shoot forward. Megaman can slide, charge his weapon, and can shoot while moving. The story is the same no matter who you play as but the dialogue will change depending on who the character is.
The Gameboy Remakes
There were five Megaman games for Gameboy that were released between 1991 and 1994. They usually recycled bosses from the NES games rather than come up with new ones but they had innovation in form of the Megaman Hunters: Enker, Quint, Punk, and Ballade.
Megaman: Dr Wily's Revenge - 1991. Featured four bosses from Megaman 1 and four from Megaman 2. Also featured the Megaman hunter Enker.
Megaman II and Megaman III - 1992. These two came out in the same year. MM II featured bosses from Megaman 2 and from Megaman 3. The Megaman Hunter was Quint, who was alledged to be the future form of Megaman that Dr Wily reprogrammed. MM III used Megaman 3 bosses and Megaman 4 bosses and featured the original boss, Punk.
Megaman IV - 1993. This game featured bosses from Megaman 4 and 5. The Megaman Hunter in this game was Ballade.
Megaman V - 1994. This game featured a surprising amount of innovations. First of all there are eight new robot masters named after the planets and called Stardroids. There is another Megaman Hunter called Terra13. Also the final boss is a ancient robot named Sunstar, not Wily, although he is involved. Furthermore, Megaman gets a cat support unit to complement Rush, his dog. Additionally, Megaman's charge shot is replaced with a Fist Rocket, an idea that returns in Megaman 7 as the weapon of the Special Rush Adapt.
Megaman: In the Arcades
Please note that these two arcade games came out in few locations in the United States. However, the two arcade games were included in the Megaman Collection released for Gamecube, PlayStation 2, and X-box.
Megaman: The Power Battle and Megaman 2: The Power Fighters were released in 1995 and 1996 respectively. The important thing to note is that the two arcade games reused several bosses from the first seven Megaman games and featured different paths to play on. In Power Battle Megaman, Protoman, and Bass are playable characters. In Power Fighters the space robot Duo is added as a playable character. It's also important to note that the gameplay consisted entirely of fighting the bosses. The levels were simply not there.