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FIGHT, MEGA MAN! FOR EVERLASTING PEACE!—Mega Man 1's ending.
There are actually a bunch of different series that share the name (in chronological order):
- The Mega Man series (sometimes called "Original" or "Classic"), which started the franchise, starring Rock, the creation of Dr. Light, fighting against the forces of Dr. Wily in the year 200X -- 20XX from the third installment on. (1987);
- Mega Man X, set 100 years after the original series, and starring X, the last creation of Dr. Light fighting Sigma and the Mavericks (1993);
- Mega Man Legends (Rockman DASH in Japan), set at least 4,400 years after the ZX series with a new, seemingly-human Mega Man, bearing the ridiculous sounding name "Mega Man Volnutt." (1998)
- Mega Man Battle Network (aka Rockman.EXE) series, which occupies an Alternate Continuity of 200X where Dr. Light (here known as Dr. Hikari, Japanese for "light")'s network research won out over Dr. Wily's robot research; (2001)
- Mega Man Zero, set 100 years after the "Elf Wars" which appears to be 100 years after the end of the X series. This stars the Ensemble Darkhorse Zero, now a freedom fighter trying to free the last remaining Reploids against a tyrannic government; (2002)
- Mega Man ZX, set 200 years after the Zero series, where mankind has been fully merged with Reploids. The problem of Mavericks is still a threat, although the cause for the outbreaks is entirely different. Otherwise normal Humanoids use Biometals to take the form and powers of heroes of old; (2006)
- Mega Man Star Force (in Japanese, Ryuusei no Rockman or Shooting Star Rockman), a series that takes place 200 years after the Battle Network games, where Cyberspace and the human world are even more intertwined via Wi-Fi radio. (2007)
- Rockman Online (Korea only, for now at least), set at an unspecified point in the future. After an era of peace, enemy robots based on Classic series Robot Masters and X series Mavericks suddenly attack. The government of this time period, the United Continent Association, responds by reproducing the heroes of these series (X, Zero, and Duo for starters) to combat the threat, which originated from a separatist organization called the Ultimate Reploid Association. (Future Release)
All of these series have the same basic style of gameplay (Mega Man moves through a level, defeating a boss at the end and gaining a new weapon), but the first three series are more Platformers, Legends is a cross between a Third-Person Shooter and an Adventure Game, Battle Network and Star Force are RPGs with a very unique combat system, and Online is a Two and a Half D side-scrolling action RPG. Each game has its own unique merits and flaws. Additionally, Mega Man characters have a tendency to show up in the Capcom vs. Whatever titles which tend to be fighting games with some rare exceptions.
There have been several TV shows based on the games - a cartoon based on the originals, an anime based on Battle Network and dubbed as Mega Man NT Warrior, and a limited-release OAV from the early 90s, also based on the original series. There was also another anime based on Star Force which has a dubbed version as well.
The Mega Man Megamix manga, also based on the original series, is finally available in the US. There's no news on whether or not the new material for the ninth and tenth games will be translated, though.
It should be noted that the various series could be Alternate Universes of one another. While there are still numerous hints that they are connected (except for Battle Network, which is definitely an Alternate Universe), there are also discrepancies.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: The Krion Conquest for the NES, made by Vic Tokai, goes so far in copying Mega Man as to use the same run cycle, similar power meter and highly similar death animation for heroine Francesca; copy several of the enemy and level appearances; and give her equivalent powers such as a Charged Attack and a Rush/Item-2 replacement in her broomstick. However, unlike Mega Man, she can duck and fire upwards. Still, it flirted dangerously close with Plagiarism.
- Apathetic Citizens: In games where humans actually appear, expect them to either believe the Big Bad or not do much to help.
- Arm Cannon: Maybe not the Trope Namer, but probably its most famous users.
- Asskicking Pose: Can't have a Boss Battle without one.
- Boss Dissonance: Can go in both ways, but generally of the Kirby Type. Sometimes they're about the same difficulty as the stages itself though.
- Boss Rush: Almost every single game, even in the RPGs. With the exceptions of Legends, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, and some of the weird side games (for instance, Soccer and The Power Fighters).
- Bottomless Pits: Evil disappearing blocks!
- Cash Cow Franchise: This is one of Capcom's Mascot series, alongside Street Fighter and Resident Evil.
- Expy: How many Mega Men and Rolls do we need?!
- Exty Years From Now: If this isn't the Trope Namer it's still a strong example.
- Flash of Pain: Enemies tend to do that when damaged.
- Flawed Prototype
- Flip Screen Scrolling
- Ledge Bats
- Left Hanging: only 3 series have ever been given proper conclusion (with the third only because of bad reception). The rest? Not counting the Gaiden Games, two currently have very blatant Sequel Hooks that have yet to be followed up, while the third sits on a depressing Cliff Hanger, and it's already been a long-Orphaned Series! With the subsequent releases of the most recent Classic games, fans are hoping that it won't be long 'til Capcom remembers the rest of the series mythology.
- The Dreamwave comic set the stage for a Mega Man/Mega Man X crossover story but Dreamwave shut down.
- Mission Pack Sequel: Closely related to its Capcom Sequel Stagnation.
- The Movie: And a fan made, at that.
- One Bullet At a Time: The side-scrolling games typically limit you to three uncharged bullets onscreen at a time. Later games sometimes include ways around this, and extra characters typically have different limits.
- Orange-Blue Contrast: Considering the main character is very blue, this is pretty much a given. More obvious in the series' artwork than the games themselves.
- Power Crystal: On several robots and later Reploids, got especially common after X.
- Random Power Ranking: In several of the games.
- Recurring Element: Quite a few; see the trope page for details.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Several, but a common one is to beat all the bosses (Including in the final levels) using only the arm cannon. Or without taking any damage.
- This becomes the basis for several in-game acheivements in 9 and 10.
- Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence
- Sound of No Damage: If an attack can't hurt an enemy you hear a metallic "ping", and in most cases the projectile ricochets off.
- Spikes of Doom: A staple of the series; in some levels, they carpet the ceiling and floor. Some bosses may even try throwing you against them as well.
- Temporary Platform: The whole franchise got quite a lot of them.
- Underwear of Power: Of the "underwear on the outside" variety.
- V-Formation Team Shot
- Video Game Lives
- Video Game Long Runners: as of 2009, the series ran for over 22 years, and there are 7 series, each of which have numerous installments on their own. The description section at the top of the page tells it all.
- It actually holds a world record for this.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A recurring theme of the entire franchise.
- When All Else Fails Go Right
- When It Rains, It Pours: Present throughout the franchise.
- A Winner Is You: In the earlier games.
- ↑ I fight for Rock Man of the peace!