Mega Man (game)
Mega Man 1 box artwork The North American boxart for Mega Man 1, featuring Bad Boxart Mega Man.
Developer(s) Capcom
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) NES
Release date(s) 1987
Genre(s) Action-platformer
Players 1 player
Rating(s) E
Media Nintendo Entertainment System Game Pak
Input NES Controller
Predecessor None
Successor Mega Man 2
Mega Man, known as Rockman (ロックマン Rokkuman) in Japan, was the first Rockman/Mega Man game made. It was co-created by Keiji Inafune of Capcom in 1987 and debuted on the Famicom in Japan, and was localized for North America in December 1987 and for Europe in May 1990.


North American Instruction ManualEdit

"It's Mega Man versus the powerful leaders and fighting forces of Monsteropolis - that strange multi-faceted land of robot-like Humanoids."

Brilliant scientist Dr. Light conceived the construction of fully-operational human-like experimental robots to perform specific everyday duties. Dr. Light, and his assistant Dr. Wily, encouraged by their very first near-human robot - Mega Man - proceeded to develop six additional Humanoids, all programmed to perform prescribed rituals:

(the six industrial robots are shown)

But, with the exception of Mega Man, all of Dr. Light's near-human robot experimentation went awry. Assistant Dr. Wily turned disloyal, re-programming Dr. Light's Humanoids, now bent on destroying opposition so Dr. Wily could control the world and its resources.

Resisting re-programming, Mega Man is chosen as the defender of the universe and its inhabitants. Mega Man dares to single-handedly penetrate seven separate empires of Monsteropolis, eliminating the leaders and followers of these sovereignties."

Note: Several elements in the NES manual were invented by the Capcom of America localization team and are not officially in the series continuity. These things include Dr. Light and Dr. Wily being partners, as well as the city of Monsteropolis, ignoring the Rock and Roll backstory completely, and Wily attempting to reprogram Rock / Mega Man and meeting resistance.

Actual StoryEdit


To understand the story of Mega Man, one must look back at the events which occur before the game takes place, and to do so, one can look to sources such as Rockman Perfect Memories and the first 4 issues of the Mega Man comic series by Archie Comics, which have taken the time to document the information reported by Capcom over the years in regards to the series:

The story of the Mega Man universe begins in the mid-20th century with the birth of Thomas Light and Albert
Mega Man NES pal

The PAL version of the Mega Man boxart.

W. Wily. These men would attend the same university, the Robert Institute of Technology, studying the field of electronics and eventually receiving PhDs. Some years later, Dr. Light formed a laboratory with the ambition to use computer and electronic technology to benefit mankind in the coming era. Dr. Wily, meanwhile, tired of being one step behind Dr. Light, constructed a secret robot factory in the Pacific and began to plot a way to conquer the world.

Dr. Light made his first leaps in the field of robotics, creating various robots to benefit mankind. Light realized the potential of his projects. He wanted to create robots that were human-like. He wanted to build robots that contained artificial intelligence within them. Thus, Dr. Light produced the first one of such robots - Proto Man. Proto Man was the base design of the Sniper Joe robots, but was instilled with an artificial intelligence unlike anything the world had ever seen. Yet, Proto Man possessed a true sense of independence, one that made him much like true human beings. When it came to light that Proto Man had a faulty power generator, Proto Man misunderstood his creator's intentions, thinking that repairing him would take away his individuality. Because of this he ran from the lab. (In the remake Mega Man Powered Up, Proto Man also seems to resent Dr. Light.)

Still, Light did not give up. Later he set to work on building a pair of robots, thinking that two would work together and overcome the independence issue. It was thus that Rock and Roll were born. Rock became the lab's new assistant and Roll became a housekeeper. With the success of this project, the good doctor went on to create six more robots, each for industrial assistance purposes: Cut Man, Guts Man, Ice Man, Bomb Man, Fire Man, and the prized Elec Man. (In Mega Man Powered Up, Oil Man and Time Man were added, although their canonicity is questionable.)

Soon, Dr. Albert W. Wily had finally had enough of living in the shadow of his colleague, Thomas Light. Light's reception of the Nobel Prize, as well as his winning the LIT Manual Design Contest drove him over the edge. Wily realized the potential of robots built with true A.I. - they could be used for other means.

Mega ManEdit

Dr. Wily stole 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, in May 25, 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.


Before Mega Man, Capcom primarily made arcade games, and their console releases were mostly ports of these titles. In the mid-1980s, Capcom made plans to develop Mega Man specifically for the Japanese home console market. They decided to bring in fresh, young talent for the small team, including artist Keiji Inafune, a recent college graduate who started on the Street Fighter team. Inafune recalled that the Mega Man development team worked extremely hard to complete the final product, with a project supervisor and lead designer who sought perfection in every possible aspect of the game. The development team for Mega Man consisted of only six people. Inafune (credited as "Infaking") designed and illustrated nearly all of the game's characters and enemies, as well as the Japanese Rockman logo, box art, and instruction manual. He was also responsible for rendering these designs into graphical sprite form. "We didn’t have [a lot of] people, so after drawing character designs, I was actually doing the dotting for the Nintendo," Inafune stated. "Back then, people weren’t specialized and we had to do a lot of different things because there was so few people, so I really ended up doing all the characters." Inafune was influenced by the eponymous protagonist of Osamu Tezuka's manga Astro Boy in his Mega Man designs. Mega Man is colored blue due to the NES console's technical limitations: the color has the most shades in the console's limited 56-color palette, and the expanded selection was used to enhance Mega Man's detail. Although he is often credited for designing the character, Inafune insists that he "only did half of the job in creating him", as his mentor developed the basic character concept before Inafune's arrival. The basic sprites for Roll and Dr. Light were created before Inafune joined the project, and the designs for Cut Man, Ice Man, Fire Man, and Guts Man were in process. Aside from normal enemies, Inafune's first character was Elec Man, inspired by American comic book characters. The artist has commented that Elec Man has always been his favorite design. The designs for Dr. Light and Dr. Wily were based on Santa Claus and Albert Einstein, respectively; the latter character was meant to represent an archetypal "mad scientist". The team decided to incorporate anime elements for the game's animation. Inafune explained, "[Mega Man's] hand transforms into a gun and you can actually see it come out of his arm. We wanted to make sure that the animation and the motion was realistic and actually made sense. So with Mega Man, we had this perfect blending of game character with animation ideas." The gameplay for Mega Man was inspired by the game rock-paper-scissors. The project supervisor wanted a simple system that offered "deep gameplay". Each weapon deals a large amount of damage to one specific Robot Master, others have little to no effect against them, and there is no single weapon that dominates all the others. Mega Man was originally able to crouch, but the team decided against it since it made players' ability to determine the height of onscreen projectiles more difficult. Naoya Tomita (credited as "Tom Pon") began work on the Mega Man's scenic backgrounds immediately after his Capcom training. Tomita proved himself amongst his peers by overcoming the challenges of the console's limited power through maximizing the use of background elements. Mega Man was scored by Manami Matsumae (credited as "Chanchacorin Manami"), who composed the music, created the sound effects, and programmed the data in three months. The musical notes were translated one by one into the computer language. Matsumae was challenged by the creative limits of three notes available at any one time, and when she was unable to write songs, she created the sound effects. The production team chose a music motif when naming characters in Mega Man due to the worldwide recognition of music. They began with the main characters: the protagonist's original name is Rock and his sister's name is Roll, a play on the term "rock and roll". This type of naming would later extended to many characters throughout the series. Before finalizing the name, Capcom had considered names such as "Mighty Kid", "Knuckle Kid", and "Rainbow Man". When the game was localized for distribution in America, Capcom changed the title of the game from Rockman to Mega Man. This moniker was created by Capcom's then-Senior Vice President Joseph Marici, who claimed it was changed merely because he did not like the original name. "That title was horrible," Marici said. "So I came up with Mega Man, and they liked it enough to keep using it for the U.S. games."'s Nadia Oxford attributed this change to Capcom's belief that American children would be more interested in a game with the latter title.