Next up on this merry-go-round of fun we're having for the 25th anniversary of Mega Man is Lucas M. Thomas, who you may recognize from IGN's family of Nintendo-based sub-sites. Furthermore, he's just announced Nintendo Force magazine, a spiritual successor to Nintendo Power. Go check it out-- you'll probably spot some familiar names and/or faces among the contributors... or at least the affiliated website of one individual. As with the others we sent the mini-questionnaire requests out to, we are happy to present to you the reflections on the impact Mega Man has had on the life and career of Mr. Thomas.
What are some notable memories you've had getting into, and otherwise playing Mega Man? Alternatively, what ways has Mega Man factored into your work?
Mega Man's bad box art has been discussed to death, but my first memory of the series actually is seeing that first game's abomination of a package and having it catch my eye among a whole array of other NES titles. I remember the moment distinctly – I and my family had just left a movie theater after catching an afternoon matinee, and because this particular theater was in another town a fair distance away from our house, my mom decided we needed to take full advantage of being in "the big city" before making the drive home. That amounted to a trip right across the street from the cinemaplex, to a Hills department store.
Hills isn't even active any more– the company folded years ago. But I still remember exactly how that one was laid out, how I walked myself straight to the electronics section and how I first locked eyes with the decrepit old cyborg gunslinger who was supposed to be Mega Man. I didn't buy the game that day– I was only about seven years old– but that box and name stuck in my mind. Roughly another year later, then, Captain N: The Game Master debuted and I and my brothers fell in love with it– so when my mom asked what a good present would be for my little brother's upcoming birthday, I suggested a game starring his favorite character from the show (which, of course, was really more of a present for me). We made a return trip to that very same store, I carved a path straight to that same shelf of games and I came home with...
Mega Man 2. It was out by then, so Bad Box Mega Man 1 got ignored in favor of its slightly better packaged sequel (turns out that was the right choice, too, as if I'd given the brutal first Mega Man to my little brother, just turning five, we might all have been turned off from the series). Yes, it was only years later that a much older version of myself finally came to own that first game in the franchise, as I came to love the entire Mega Man series. But, though it's been joked about, parodied profusely and discussed to death, that first game's terrible box art really was my first step into the Mega Man series.
What is your sentiment on the current standing of Mega Man, and what do you want to see for the future?
Speaking as a Nintendo fan first and foremost, I'd love to see Nintendo step up and come alongside Capcom to guide Mega Man into his next chapter. We've got some historical precedent for it, as Mega Man 6 never would have seen release in the States without NOA's intervention, and today we're getting all kinds of interesting announcements like Bayonetta 2 becoming a Wii U exclusive. Why? Because the project was in trouble, and Nintendo stepped in to help, so Bayonetta has now become Nintendo-only.
I'd love to see the same thing happen with Mega Man. He's been multiplatform for years, but he's one of those characters who's still associated with Nintendo systems more strongly than any other. If Nintendo and Capcom could partner together– again, not unprecedented, just look at Flagship's Zelda games– then the Blue Bomber could make his way out of the recent rut he's been stuck in to be reborn on 3DS, Wii U, or both.
(Now, full disclaimer on everything I just said: All of that happening is really just my master plan for making Mega Man becoming a playable fighter in "Super Smash Bros. 4" more of a possibility. Because that is truly what I want to see in the future.)
What is your all time favorite Mega Man game (don't worry if you can't narrow it down to just one!).
I could tell you another story of how I came to own it, but I'll cut straight to it– Mega Man 5. I'm not entirely sure why. Something about 5 just flows right to me– it's still the Classic series game I'll go back to more than any other. Flipping upside-down and walking on the ceiling in Gravity Man's level is still ingrained in my mind as one of the "Oh my gosh! This is so cool!" moments of my childhood.
Also, Mega Man II on Game Boy. That game gets a bad rap, but it was the one GB Mega Man cartridge I owned and I played the heck out of it on long road trips. Shout-out to the Sakugarne.
And a shout-out to Lucas for taking part in our celebration! Stay tuned, we'll have more to come soon!