About a week ago, Heat Man came to me and said "you know, it's going to be the year 20XX soon. You should write something reflecting that." And then he went and wrote his own article, so now you get two of these things. With that said, let us take a look back on the decade that was, and all of the many wonderful and bizarre turns of events which took place.
The Robot Revolution
The new millennium got off to an amazing start, as in the year of 200X, roboticist Dr. Thomas Light kick-started the robot revolution, advancing the practice a thousandfold and creating robots to help assist mankind throughout their everyday lives. In addition to robots designed to fulfill nearly every purpose you could think of, he also created a series of six special "Robot Masters" which would lead other robots in fields such as demolitions, antarctic exploration, and more.
Reports state that there were originally eight of these mechanical marvels, but that the last two had been recalled due to issues of ethics, including some allegations of racism. Dr. Light denied any malevolent intent on his part in the designing of any of his robots, shortly before the ill-timed appearance of Roll, his housekeeping robot, who was designed to resemble a pre-pubescent schoolgirl.
Such controversy would have to be put aside, however, as in the year 200X, one Dr. Albert Wily took control of the Robot Masters and the many legions of robots that had made themselves a part of our everyday lives, and threatened to use their combined might to take over the world. The American press made attempts to paint Wily and Light as partners, though this would later be refuted as it was revealed the two doctors in fact shared in a longstanding rivalry, one in which Light was said to always come out on top in.
As such, the rivalry would continue as Dr. Light would repurpose his robotic lab assistant. Giving DLN-001 "Rock" a suit of body armor, a helmet, and an arm-cannon capable of launching compact balls of plasma at high speeds over great distances, Dr. Light christened his champion as "Mega Man," and sent him straight into the heart of the invaded territories to bring down Wily's armies.
Amazingly, the plan worked, as Mega Man was able to infiltrate and defeat the six robotic overlords and their master, who hid away in his multi-leveled fortress of terror. Some say he would not have found success without the ability Dr. Light gave him to obtain the abilities of his fallen foes. The fighting was over, but the peace was not to last.
Some would blame the revolving-door nature of our prison system, while others would point the finger squarely at the administration in charge of the government at the time. Regardless of the cause, Dr. Wily found himself a free man in the year 200X, and began his effort to rule the world once again in earnest. This time, he created eight war machines of his own design and sent them out into the world. And once more, Dr. Light deployed his "super fighting robot," Mega Man, to combat the threat.
The battles were long and difficult, but Mega Man triumphed once again in what many would say was his greatest conflict as he brought Wily's empire to its knees once again.
In an astounding turn of events, the year 200X would see Dr. Light and Dr. Wily make peace at long last as the two decided to collaborate on an enormous peace-keeping robot known as "Gamma," which would be energized by crystals obtained from eight mining colonies. How such a creation would actually manage to keep the peace was never fully-disclosed, as a new robot revolt would occur on the mining colonies.
Once more, Mega Man was sent to quell the revolutionaries and retrieve the energy crystals necessary to power Gamma. Upon putting an end to the final Robot Master and sending back the last of the crystals, eight new overlords appeared to wreck the mining colonies, leading to Mega Man taking further action to put an end to the conflict. It was during this time that Dr. Wily would reveal his true colors as the mastermind behind the revolt, turning on Dr. Light and stealing Gamma away to a newly-constructed fortress.
Once finished with his business in the mining colonies, Mega Man would give chase and hunt Wily to the depths of the villainous Skull Castle, where Wily would turn the full force of Gamma on Mega Man himself. Mega Man would persevere and triumph in the end, though wreckage containing robot parts and what some believe to be recycle-friendly video game cases rained down, crushing the mad scientist once and for all.
A tragic end, but at least the world may finally know peace from robotic terror.
The Dot-EXE Boom
While the internet has existed since 19XX, it is in 200X that it began to take the world by storm, as networks connecting people, places, and information would come to criss-cross the globe, making communication easier than ever. Unfortunately, the World Three (aka "WWW"), a fiendish terrorist organization determined to rule the world, began to use the networks as a way of committing their various NetCrimes as they worked toward a greater plot known as the "EndGame."
The Official NetBattlers, a body established to help quell such crimes as those committed by the World Three, refused to disclose publicly how the full scenario played out. One Official NetBattle, Eugene Chaud, did make a remark to the effect of "@#$ing kids," however.
Three months later, the absence of the World Three would give rise to a new organization that would strike fear into the hearts of web-denizens, the NetMafia Gospel. This organization would prove itself to be short-lived, but unfortunately, the following month would also see the return of the World Three. It was not long after staging a fake NetBattle tournament that the organization would once more be put to rest.
Things took a turn for the worst five months later, as it was discovered that a meteor was on a trajectory with the Earth. A new NetCriminal organization known as the Nebula Crime Syndicate would attempt to interfere as officials sought out a capable NetBattler to infiltrate the bizarrely-composed meteor and stop it before it could strike the planet, causing untold devastation. Fortunately, they failed in their efforts, but the syndicate's ringleader, Dr. Regal, may have escaped after a faked suicide attempt in which no body was found.
More Games and Merchandise Than You Can Shake a Stick At
In addition to all of the excitement of the past decade, many video games were made to celebrate the adventures of the Blue Bomber. They are listed as follows:
- The Misadventures of Tron Bonne (200X)
- MegaMan Legends 2 (200X)
- Mega Man Xtreme (200X)
- Mega Man X5 (200X)
- Mega Man X6 (200X)
- Mega Man Xtreme 2 (200X)
- Mega Man X7 (200X)
- Mega Man X: Command Mission (200X)
- Mega Man X8 (200X)
- Mega Man X Collection (200X)
- Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X (200X)
- MegaMan Battle Network (200X)
- MegaMan Battle Network 2 (200X)
- MegaMan Network Transmission (200X)
- MegaMan Battle Network 3: Blue/White (200X)
- MegaMan Battle Chip Challenge (200X)
- MegaMan Battle Network 4: Red Sun/Blue Moon (200X)
- MegaMan Battle Network 5: Team Protoman/Team Colonel (200X)
- MegaMan Battle Network 5: Double Team DS (200X)
- MegaMan Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar/Cybeast Falzar (200X)
- Mega Man Zero (200X)
- Mega Man Zero 2 (200X)
- Mega Man Zero 3 (200X)
- Mega Man Zero 4 (200X)
- MegaMan Star Force: Leo/Pegasus/Dragon (200X)
- MegaMan Star Force 2: Zerker x Saurian/Zerker x Ninja (200X)
- MegaMan Star Force 3: Black Ace/Red Joker (200X)
- Mega Man ZX (200X)
- Mega Man ZX Advent (200X)
- Mega Man & Bass (200X)
- Mega Man Anniversary Collection (200X)
- Mega Man Powered Up (200X)
- Mega Man 9 (200X)
And these are just the American releases!
200X was also a special year for some super heroes to get back to their roots; for Spider-man of Marvel Comics fame, this meant pawning off his marriage to the devil in order to return to a 40-year old status quo. But for Mega Man, it simply meant dialing back things to 8-bit and getting back to basics in graphics, sound, and gameplay. Both were bold moves, but time will tell as to which one pays the greater dividends.
In addition to a plethora of games throughout the past decade, there has also been a ton of merchandise made, including (but not limited to):
- Action figures from Jazwares based on the Classic, X, and Zero series.
- Action figures, PETs, Battle Chips, and other toys from Mattel based on NT Warrior, the Viz licensed version of Battle Network.
- NT Warrior anime, DVDs, and manga by Viz.
- Trading cards based on the Classic, X, Zero, and Legends series by Artbox.
- A four-issue comic book series based on the Classic and X series by Dreamwave.
- DVDs of the Classic-based Ruby-Spears animated series from ADV.
- The Mega Man: Upon a Star DVD from ADV.
- "Official Complete Works" art books based on the Zero, Classic, and X series by UDON Entertainment (with the last two arriving in just the nick of time).
Plus, as the decade closes out, we know that 20XX will kick off with a bang, as Mega Man 10 has been announced for March, plus not one but two manga series are in the pipeline for an early 20XX release from UDON: Hitoshi Ariga's Mega Man Megamix and Shin Ogino's Mega Man ZX. And if that wasn't enough, there is also a triple-threat cameo of Zero, Roll, and MegaMan Volnutt in January's Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars.
All in all, the years of 200X to 200X have been pretty good to fans of Mega Man, and with any luck, 20XX will be just as good-- maybe even better. After all, there's a lot more 20XX to work with.