For detailed information about this series, visit the Mega Man Knowledge Base.
Mega Man is one of the longest running video game franchises of all time and once a household name in the gamer community. For much of Capcom's life, the series served as the company's mascot, but the sharp criticism received for games such as the fourth Battle Network game and declining sales led to a steep decline for the series before the company stopped producing the series entirely in favor of other long-running titles like Street Fighter and Resident Evil. Regardless, it remains a long-time favorite of classic console owners for their difficulty and surprisingly in-depth story for a series that began on the NES.
However, with the release of Mega Man 11 and various collections, both having sold well, Capcom has shown renewed interest in the series. Time will tell if this leads to a revival of the brand as a whole.
There are two major continuities, the Robot (began with the original NES series) and the Network series (which began with the Battle Network series). Both are focused around the advanced cybernetics technology created by Doctor Thomas Light, a brilliant scientist whose inventions revolutionized tech for centuries. In the Classic series, his specialty was robotics, creating the eponymous character as an assistant and a son. In the Network continuity, he invented the Internet and NetNavis which soon sprawled into an entire other universe called the Cyber World. In both series his rival and former friend, Doctor Albert Wily, was jealous of Light and began a crusade against everything Light stands for, forcing the hero Mega Man to stop him.
Power of the Verse
For a series that began on the NES the franchise is surprisingly powerful, with the main characters in the Classic and X continuities ranging from Dwarf Star to Solar System busting level along with Massively FTL+ combat speed and even faster travel speed along with a variety of hax such as invulnerability, black hole generation, time stopping, and other abilities.
The Battle Network series is even more powerful, with the title character hitting Low Multiverse level at his peak and exponentially higher combat speed. The Mega Man of the Star Force continuity possesses similar speeds, intangibility, and Solar System busting power.
Robot Masters: Robot Masters are a series of robots originally devised by Dr. Light (with Dr. Wily's assistance). They possess specs that far outstrip normal robots and their thought patterns are virtually indistinguishable from humans aside from the fact that they must abide by Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics unless they're explicitly reprogrammed (as is the case for many of the Mega Man games). True to their title, they are able to command lesser robots in any way they desire for as long as their orders do not conflict with the aforementioned three laws. Mega Man is by far the most famous Robot Master, along with his brother Proto Man and his rival, Bass.
Reploids: A series of robots that were based on X's blueprints. Unlike Robot Masters, they have complete free will and are able to develop their own personalities and do as they please. However, Dr. Cain was not able to replicate X's antivirus programs or moral conditioning programs due to their sheer complexity, which means that any Reploid could go on a rampage if they are infected or see the need to do so. Contrary to popular belief, X and Zero are not Reploids since they predate them by several hundred years, with the former being the basis for all Reploids, effectively rendering him "The Father of All Reploids". The most infamous of all Reploids is Sigma, the leader of the first Reploid Rebellion and the fallen leader of the Maverick Hunters.
- Maverick Hunter: When a Reploid goes rogue and starts threatening innocent lives, they are labeled as a Maverick and are marked for deactivation or destruction. Maverick Hunters are Reploids who are designed or willingly joined up with the organization designated to defeat and pacify Mavericks wherever they may appear. However, even Maverick Hunters can go rogue from time to time, which leads them to be designated as Mavericks themselves. The most famous Maverick Hunters are X, Zero, and Axl.
NetNavis: An abbreviation for, "Network Navigators", NetNavis are sentient AI that are designed to help their Operators (human partners) surf the Internet and complete daily tasks as necessary due to the ever-expanding nature of the Net. All NetNavis are armed with various generic weapons (most frequently an arm cannon) to ward off viruses they may come across in a process known as Virus Busting. In addition, Operators can assist their NetNavis in combat through the use of Battle Chips, data chips that hold weapon data that the NetNavis can use in combat. The generic NetNavis are the most frequently seen on the Net, but heavily customized NetNavis often prove to be far more powerful and versatile. The most famous NetNavis are MegaMan.EXE, ProtoMan.EXE, and Bass.EXE.
EM Wave Beings: As their name implies, EM Wave Beings are lifeforms composed entirely of EM Waves. This offers them various advantages in combat, including the ability to move at speeds approaching or exceeding the speed of light, the ability to become invisible by modifying one's wavelength to one outside of human perception, the ability to enter and hack any device based on electromagnetic technology, the ability to phase through most physical objects, and other abilities. The majority of EM Wave Beings in the series come from the far off cosmos on worlds such as Planet FM. However, some EM Wave Beings are native to Earth, and humans have started manufacturing artificial EM Wave Beings to serve tasks similar to the NetNavis of the past, called Wizards.
- EM Wave Human: Many EM Wave Beings have the ability to merge with a human to achieve a more powerful form, resulting in an EM Wave Human. When done forcibly, the EM Wave Being is usually the one in control, effectively making the host body a puppet for its desires. However, when done willingly, the resulting EM Wave Human retains their human shape while receiving many, if not all of the benefits of being an EM Wave Being. The most famous EM Wave Humans are Mega Man and Harp Note. In rare cases, a human is able to become an EM Wave Human on their own, as demonstrated by Rogue, who manages to do so through his Murian heritage.
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