“Mega Man” is the name of a video game character, and the games in which he stars. These games (with a few exceptions) are of an action platformer genre, mostly 2-D side-scrollers. They were created by the company Capcom. The series actually originated in Japanese under the name “Rockman” and was later ported to English as “Mega Man.”
The first Mega Man game was released on Nintendo’s home console entertainment system (NES). It possessed graphics superior in detail compared to other NES games at the time, unmatched play control, and a unique twist on the usual side-scrolling action genre. Not only could you choose what levels to tackle in what order (instead of having to play them in a predetermined order like most games), Mega Man games also allowed the player to acquire an enemy’s weapon by defeating him. With the inclusion of passwords in the second game, the player could also save his game and pick up about where he’d left off, instead of having to play the entire game from the beginning each time.
As Mega Man gained in popularity, Capcom decided to branch out and began creating games of other genres, such as sports and racing. As time went by they also created several spin-off series, all of which have “Mega Man” in their title but all of which actually have very little to do with the original Mega Man. Some of the series are related to each other, however, as described below.
|The Original Series - As discussed above, this was the first series. These games began on the NES, then branched to the Game Boy (GB) and finally the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and beyond.|
|The X Series - The first spin-off series; this one has the best connection with the original, not only because it ostensibly takes place in the future of the Mega Man series, but also because it shares the same basic traditional side-scrolling engine (with a few modifications of course).|
|The Zero Series - The X series spawned a sort of sub-series, the Zero series, which involves the same characters and timeline but has a drastically different drawing style. The game play is very similar here to the X series, but naturally has some changes.|
|The ZX Series - Likewise, the Zero series spawned a continuation in the ZX series, which is virtually identical to the Zero series except that it takes place years later and, thus, includes a new cast of characters.|
|The Legends Series - When Capcom decided to take Mega Man into the third dimension, they created the Legends series. Although the plot for this series doesn’t even claim to have anything to do with the original Mega Man, it’s still a good series of games on its own. The Legends series games are 3-D action/adventures.|
|The Battle Network Series - Also referred to as “EXE” or “NT Warrior,” this series borrows some character ideas from the other series but is otherwise totally unrelated to the original Mega Man. The EXE games contain a completely unique engine that is probably best described as a cross between an RPG and a trading card game.|
|The Star Force Series - The Battle Network series was deliberately ended so that the Star Force series could begin. The game play of Star Force is similar to Battle Network, and the plot takes place in the future of the Battle Network world, but, like the X series, has little to do with Battle Network directly.|
Each of these has (or will have) a separate section on MMHP; for more details about a particular series please see its section.