Mega Man, known as Rockman in Japan, is an action-platform video game developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The first game of the Mega Man franchise and original video game series, it was released on December 17, 1987 in Japan, and localized for North America in December 1987 and Europe in May 1990, respectively. Mega Man was produced by a small team specifically for the home console market, a first for Capcom, who previously focused on arcade titles.
The game begins the struggle of the humanoid robot and player-character Mega Man against the mad scientist Dr. Wily and the six Robot Masters under his control. Mega Man's nonlinear gameplay lets the player choose the order in which to complete its initial six stages. Each culminates in a 'Robot Master' boss battle that awards the player-character a unique weapon.
Critics praised Mega Man for its overall design, though the game was not a commercial success. Mega Man established many of the gameplay, story, and graphical conventions that define the ensuing sequels, subseries, and spin-offs. It is also known for its high difficulty. The game has since been included in game compilations and rereleased on mobile phones, console emulation services, and PlayStation Portable (PSP).
The genius Dr. Light and his assistant, Dr. Wily, co-create the humanoid robot Mega Man alongside six other advanced robots: Cut Man, Guts Man, Ice Man, Bomb Man, Fire Man, and Elec Man. These robots were designed to perform industrial tasks including construction, demolition, logging, electrical operations, or labor in extreme temperatures, for the benefit of Monsteropolis's citizens. Dr. Wily grows disloyal of his partner and reprograms these six robots to aid himself in taking control of the world. Dr. Light sends Mega Man to defeat his fellow creations and stop Dr. Wily. After succeeding, Mega Man returns home to his robot sister Roll and their creator, Dr. Light.
Mega Man consists of six side-scrolling platformer levels freely chosen by the player. In each level, the player-character, Mega Man, fights through various enemies and obstacles before facing a 'Robot Master' boss at the level's end. Upon defeating the boss, the player assimilates the Robot Master's signature attack, or 'Master Weapon', into Mega Man's arsenal for the rest of the game. Unlike the standard blaster, the Robot Master powers have limited ammunition replenished by collecting ammunition cells dropped by defeated enemies at random. Enemies also drop energy cells that replenish Mega Man's health gauge. While the player is free to proceed through the game in any order, each Robot Master is especially vulnerable to a specific weapon, which encourages the player to complete certain stages before others. The player can also revisit cleared levels.
Besides the weapons taken from the Robot Masters, the player is able to pick up a platform generator item known as the 'Magnet Beam' in Elec Man's stage. Mega Man also features a scoring system where players score points for defeating enemies, and earn extra points for collecting power-ups from fallen enemies and for clearing each stage. When all six Robot Master stages are completed, the seventh and last stage appears in the middle of the stage select menu. This stage, known as the 'Wily Fortress', is a chain of four regular stages linked together, each containing at least one new boss. During these final stages, the six Robot Masters must also be fought again in a predetermined order before the final confrontation against Dr. Wily.
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