All Things Mega Man

Mega Man. The Blue Bomber. Rockman. Known by many names, the series of era-defining games that is one of the staples of Capcom's company portfolio is absolutely timeless. With the Blue Bomber about to turn 30 and a charity stream featuring the Mega one's six NES adventures played consecutively, it seemed like a good idea to look back at how this amazing series came about.

The original Mega Man made it's way to US shores on December 17, 1987 and was actually Capcom's first Nintendo-only development and not an arcade port. The design team consisted of all of six people and Akira Kitamura directed the project. While it wasn't a commercial success, it was well reviewed and the design team was proud enough to commit to a sequel.

Capcom, however, wouldn't let them abandon their projects to work on a sequel to a game that wasn't a smash hit by any means. They agreed to green light the project granted it didn't interfere with anything else the design team was programming. According to Mega Man co-creator Kenji Inafune, Working on [Mega Man 2] marked my second year at this, and I even got to mentor a 'new kid', which opened up a whole new world of stress for me." The hard work paid off as Mega Man 2 became the series' iconic standard and introduced things like the password system, E-tanks (which restored the player's health) the standard Health and Weapon Health icons, 8 robot masters, and extra platform "weapons". Mega Man 2 saw the light of day December 24, 1988.

After Mega Man 2, and due to differences in opinion with Capcom brass, Akira Kitamura left the company before Mega Man 3 was in development. Due to the rush to get the game out ahead of any project Kitamura had up his sleeve, Kenji Inafune called this his least favorite Mega Man game to work on. "Inafking" as he was credited in the credits, took the helm of the series at this point and led it into the 90s with the sequels Mega Man 4 and Mega Man 5.

By the time 5 was released, the Super Nintendo was out and pressure was on Capcom to move the franchise to the next generation system. The design team, having more freedom due to the SNES hardware over the NES, designed a natural evolution of the series and one of the best games ever released for the SNES in Mega Man X. At the same time, Capcom developed a sequel to the original series on the NES, with the intention of using it to sell a few more discounted NES top-loader systems. Capcom allowed Nintendo to port it over to North America, and it was released in March 1994, after Mega Man X.

The X series spawned 2 sequels on the SNES, and 3 for the 32-bit PlayStation and Sega Saturn systems. Also Mega Man Soccer, and finally a true sequel to the Mega Man series, Mega Man 7. Mega Man 8 eventually made it's way to the PlayStation and Saturn.

Mega Man also made it's way to the Game Boy with 5 titles featuring most of the robot masters from Mega Man's NES adventures. A Game Gear title also made it's way to the market. In 2008 despite remaining ever popular, Mega Man never made a PlayStation 2 or Xbox appearance. Kenji Inafune, citing the popularity of older titles on downloadable series like the Wii Virtual Console, decided to make a Mega Man title in the old school style. Mega Man 9 was a true testament to this series popularity and the fact that it was majorly successful, as well as sequel Mega Man 10, proved just how timeless the mega Man series is.

It's 2017 and sadly, we haven't seen a new title in a very long time. However, the old games have become a huge favorite among the retrogaming community and the speedrunning community as well. Mega Man For Mega Paws isn't only a charity run, but a testament to how these favorites of ours stood the test of time. We do hope you tune in for that on Sunday.

Large portions of this article were researched on Wikipedia.

-Metallic Joe-

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