Mega Man: The Series Plot

I think Mega Man has done some neat stuff over the lifetime of its plot. I wrote about the generational storytelling of megaman on my blog but we're just gonna go ahead and retell it here and add some details

Mega Man: The Original Series

When I think of the original Mega Man I think of clear blue skies:

Mega Man 1



Mega Man 7


source: ign i guess!

Mega Man is a new creation, a new technology, fighting against those who use the same technology for evil. The comically-evil bad guy always goes to jail at the end, even if he breaks out in the next game.

Mega Man X

But when we get to Mega Man X the sky is stormy, or polluted, or.... something.

Mega Man X


source: also ign?

The palette is completely different. No mention is made of the world previous to this one, except for Dr. Light's ghostly hologram. X is a bright character in dark world. He literally glows with energy, and his armor upgrades turn him towards pure white, even as the highway collapses in ruins under his feet.

X is lost technology rediscovered by Dr. Cain. Cain clones the technology he finds from X create Reploids, revolutionizing industries across the world. However, the Sigma virus rewrites this poorly understood technology and destroys the earth just as the new automation has finished building it. The future is grim. X sees a future with constant warfare and wonders at the futility of his goal. Does he have to fight forever?

SIDEBAR: A lot of the connections between the original Mega Man and X are revealed in the arcade game Mega Man Power Fighters 2, from "Who made Zero" (Dr Wily) to why Light wants to create X. It's not neccessary information but just kind of interesting that this is how some fairly important questions, especially around Zero's origins, get answered!

However there was also an OVA which shows the day the Sigma Virus was unleashed which shows X working with the robot masters before they turn on him.

Mega Man Zero

Mega Man Zero


ok i think i got this one from steam but i dont remember where sorry :(

Mega Man Zero


crediting screenshots is important but i just got confused putting this site together

I find it a lot harder to honestly characterize Zero in terms of screenshots. The desert is beautiful and the skies are clear, but the ruins are still present. Rain pours down over an abandoned and wrecked cityscape, but you can still find vibrancy and greenery in some places.

The X series goes on too long due to behind-the-scenes corporate decisions that overrides creative input. Zero is a fresh reboot that revels in brutality: Zero's up-close sword attacks that split enemies in half, showing their circuitry. A ranking system that push you towards a remorseless guerilla combat where you need to move quick, exploit the terrain, and engage quickly and definitively when neccessary. Your allies are nomads who travel in caravans, raiding remote desert bases.

Mega Man Zero takes place a century after the Elf Wars [a bloody series of battles wiping out 90% of Reploids and 60% of all humans]. Ciel and the Resistance seek the legendary hero Zero, but are pursued by Neo Arcadian forces. They find the ruins where Zero is sealed and awaken him. Zero is disturbed to learn that Reploids suffer horrific oppression at the hands of a maniacal ruler, who is none other than his former partner: X (source)

The plot is about the hopelessness of confronting an entrenched technology waging open bloody war. The final and complete betrayal of the last piece of technology we thought we could trust. Of course the "true soul" of X still lives on and so hope stays alive. Which is great, because there are more games coming!

Mega Man ZX

I don't like ZX and I don't think many other people did, either. It had ambition and some cool stuff going for it, but it tried for an open-world design that just didn't play to the strengths of the series.

Zero (now "Z") and X have become 'biometals', merged with a human, and their collective angst has been toned down. You explore cities and wilderness meshed together in an open world. It illustrates the tension between this happy safe world of technology but also the wilderness of unchecked Reploids. However, the game is also about the influence of the past. You collect the remnants of the last series' Big Bads, and their ghosts guide you. Technology has been tamed again, but will the ghosts of years past let it sleep peacefully? Where will this world be in another 100 years?

Parallel Universes

Ok! That was the "mainline" series. But also, there's Battle Network. It takes place in the same timeperiod as the Mega Man games but in a world much closer to our own... Kind of. Essentially, instead of Dr Wily inventing robots (...kind of, he stole them from Dr Light, depending), which leads to the mainline Mega Man games, Dr Light invents the Internet. This leads to a parallel world where everyone connects to the internet with Avatars who just happen to be Mega Man characters. Now to create trouble, Dr Wily leads a Dark Web hacking syndicate.

It's fun! It's a neat little "what if" scenario spun out into, uh, six games

This is continued in "Star Force" but I never played it. Whoops!

(I also never played Legends, which is another spinoff that is deeply beloved! double whoops!)

back to the main page!!!!