Your Mega Man Holiday Gift Guide

If you're still out looking for holiday gifts for pals, truth be told you're hitting crunch time pretty quick here. And truth be told, shopping online becomes something of a gamble now as we approach Christmas. But if you're willing to take a risk, or you have friends who won't take a belated gift personally, then check after the break. We've organized a nice selection of goods sure to please the Mega Man fan in your life. While time may be short, be sure to do your research! Some of these items are exclusive to specific retailers, but others you may be able to find and multiple shops, and multiple prices! And additionally, if you have your own suggestions for great Mega Man themed gifts, leave them in the comments! Just be sure it's something relatively affordable, and able to acquire quickly. I may even add it to the list!

GAMES

Of course, games are the most obvious choice! Truth be told this wasn't a terribly staggering year for Mega Man game releases (although it was for announcements), but you still have a few options. Not to mention, a lot of the more recent DS titles from the Star Force and ZX series you probably still ought to be able to pick up at local stores or online shops.

Mega Man Zero Collection ($30): A pretty good value for this Nintendo DS title, containing four well received action games in one package, plus some extras. It seems the Zero Collection was released in a fairly limited production, and you might have trouble finding it at retail stores now. However, Amazon still has you covered.

Where to buy: Amazon, Toys R Us

Mega Man 9/10 ($10 each): If you and your friend have an internet enabled Wii, and exchanged friend codes, you can always buy a copy of Mega Man 9 or Mega Man 10 to gift to them. Both are great action games. Of course, they are available on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 as well. Truth be told, whatever system you friend has, you might just want to get them a points card instead. If there's something from the online shop they really want, they can always put it towards that as well.

Where to buy: At respective console networks. However, game point cards can be purchased at Amazon, GameStop, etc.

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom ($30): Ok, not strictly a Mega Man game, but it DOES have Roll, Zero and Mega Man Volnutt. It's also pretty highly regarded as a fighting game, and definitely one of the best you can get on the Wii.

Where to buy: Amazon, Capcom Store

BOOKS

Oh man. Thanks to UDON you have PLENTY to choose from this year! All of these books are currently available through Amazon, with even the pricier Official Complete Works titles at good discount prices. However, you might also be able to still find them at your local comic book store, at least some of the more recent releases.

Mega Man Megamix ($12.95 per vol.): A three part series from renowned manga artist Hitoshi Ariga. Very popular for his own unique stance on the characteristics and designs of the Mega Man universe while also following the game canon pretty closely. The manga westerners have begged for over a decade long!

Where to buy: Amazon (volume 1, volume 2, volume 3)

Mega Man ZX ($12.95 per vol.): The two part manga series covering Mega Man ZX. Truth be told I am not personally familiar with this manga. However, Matt Moylan at UDON has in the past commented the artwork is incredibly gorgeous. Personally, I would also imagine the ZX storyline lends itself to manga quite well.

Where to buy: Amazon (volume 1, volume 2)

Mega Man Official Complete Works ($39.99): The all-time greatest Mega Man art book to ever be released! 200 pages of artwork spanning over 20 years of the Mega Man series. Also contains plenty of commentary from series founder Keiji Inafune and other artists who have worked on the series. A little pricy, though Amazon currently has it for a third off of its original price!

Where to buy: Amazon

Mega Man X Official Complete Works ($39.99): Like the above mentioned book, this enormous tome covers the entire Mega Man X series. Chock full of art and commentary. Sad to say, if your friend is a big Mega Man X fan, he probably already owns this! Again, available for a third off at Amazon.

Where to buy: Amazon

TOYS

Truth be told, there's not too much in the way of toys and figures that doesn't require importing, which is both costly and time consuming. However, I did come up with a few things of interest. Of course, you can always try your hand at searching Amazon if you're determined. They do still have some older toys, such as the Jazwares Retro Roto figures, offered by third party sellers.

Kotobukiya Rockman Figure Kit (roughly $36): It's an import, but this is one of the coolest Rockman figures to ever be released. Sadly, Roll and Blues won't make it in time for the holidays, though I suppose they are options as well if your friend doesn't mind it being as much as a month late! A handful of online importers ought to have these. Of the two I use most frequently, Hobby Link Japan does still have some stock, and is currently offering them at 20% off.

Where to buy: Hobby Link Japan

Mega Man Kubrick Figure ($39.95): This one is a bit pricey, but it's surely one of the most unique Mega Man figures you'll ever see. Only 500 of these English edition figures were made. Comes with a clear "Bearbrick" figure with the Mega Man 1-Up emblem.

Where to buy: Capcom Store

Proto Man Kubrick Figure ($39.95): Yep, just like the above figure, but this one of Proto Man. If you buy both figures together, you can save $10! But it's still pretty expensive...

Where to buy: Capcom Store

Servbot Bobble Budd (LOL Face) ($9.95): Surprise! You may have thought these were out of stock. The original version is, but the LOL version unveiled at PAX is still being carried by Capcom. And it's a much more affordable price! Definitely a cool and unique toy; this bobble head packs up into itself!

Where to buy: Capcom Store

APPAREL

If your Mega Man loving friend or relative seems to have all the goods, then you can opt to let him express his fandom instead. Some interesting Mega Man themed clothing has released in recent months. Hot Topic has also carried various Mega Man themed shirts before, though currently their website does not list any Mega Man related products. However, here is some cool stuff you can get.

8-Bit Mega Man T-Shirt ($17.95): This is without a doubt the most plain Mega Man shirt you could buy. And that's all there really is to say about that!

Where to buy: Capcom Store

Mega Man 9 T-Shirt ($17.95): A much cooler shirt, this one featuring the faux retro Mega Man 9 cover art! Word of caution though, Capcom only has XS and XXL sizes available. So, hopefully the receiver is considerably small or considerably large!

Where to buy: Capcom Store

Mega Man Zero Collection T-Shirt ($19.95): A pretty cool shirt. The design was chosen as a winner from a contest held on Capcom Unity earlier this year. Unfortunately only the XL size is available at this time.

Where to buy: Capcom Store

Mega Mistake T-Shirt (starts at $18.95): A very uniquely designed shirt, and a personal favorite of mine. Any long time Mega Man fan knows the feeling that this short portrays!

Where to buy: Split Reason Clothing

Super Fighting Robot T-Shirt (starts at $17.95): Another pretty unique and stylish shirt. This would be a good shirt for the fan who wants to keep it a little toned down and modest.

Where to buy: Level Up Studios, Shark Robot

El Hombre de Proto T-Shirt (starts at $17.95): A very pronounced and striking red shirt. Great for the Proto Man fan who's feeling a bit revolutionary. Proto Man usually keeps a lower profile than this, but still a very cool shirt.

Where to buy: Shark Robot

MISCELLANEOUS

And finally, here are just some other odds and ends that your giftee may appreciate.

E-Mug ($28): Ok, this one sort of doesn't count. Because of the huge demand for these, current pre-orders won't be shipped until next month! However it is still quite a cool gift, even if it comes late. With its huge size, that morning coffee will count! And it also comes with a custom designed coaster.

Where to buy: Fangamer

E is for Energy Tank Mug ($8.99): Or, if you can't wait, you can buy this E Tank themed mug instead. A bit more of a traditional mug shape and size, but also a bit more affordable. Actually have to wonder if this is a new product, I haven't seen it before!

Where yo buy: Think Geek

Mega Man 9 Original Soundtrack ($24.95): Ok, so technically it's the Rockman 9 soundtrack. Semantics schmemantics! While not terribly new, this is a great gift for the Mega Man fan or video game music lover. Over 30 tracks of delicious Mega Man 9 chiptune music!

Where to buy: Capcom Store

Mega Man Star Force 3 DS Protection Kit ($14.95): For the avid DS player, this kit will give you a protective shell for your handheld. Comes with replaceable face images themed after Mega Man Star Force 3. Also comes with three game cases, a stylus, and an 8-bit Mega Man screen cleaner. Comes in both DS Lite and DSi version.

Where to buy: Capcom Store (DS Lite version, DSi version)

Mega Man Re-Stik ($50): Hau-kay, wow. This is definitely for only the most cravenly hardcore Mega Man fans. And for the cost you'd better like them a lot! These are specially designed, restickable Mega Man sprite wall stickers. These stickers will greatly Megafy any room or office.

Where to buy: Blik, Capcom Store

More on Ariga in Toronto, Plus the Megavent

Recently, we brought you news of Mega Man Megamix creator Hitoshi Ariga making an appearance at this month's FanExpo Canada. Today, our friends at UDON have passed along the official word regarding the event, as well as another taking place in Toronto for those who cannot make it to the convention. First, in addition to the aforementioned Q&A panel on Sunday, August 29th, from 4pm to 5pm in room #203D, Ariga will also be at the UDON booth signing autographs throughout the rest of the show.

However, if for some reason you're in Toronto and can't make it to FanExpo (tickets aren't exactly cheap), there is still good news.

UDON Entertainment, the Japan Foundation, The Beguiling, and A&C Games are teaming together to present an event known as “Mega Man! Megamix! Megavent!” It will be held in Ariga's honor at the Japan Foundation prior to FanExpo at 7pm on Thursday, August 26th, and will be free to attend. However, space is limited to 100 people, thus necessitating RSVP.

The Japan Foundation is located on the second floor at 131 Bloor Street West, and you can RSVP your desire to attend by calling (416) 966-1600 ext. 103, or by doing so online here.

At this event, they will debut the newest volume of Mega Man Megamix, with the first volume available as well.

“We’re truly honoured to welcome Ariga-San to Toronto,” said event organizer and The Beguiling manager, Christopher Butcher, in a press release. “His work is very energetic and passionate, and it’s fantastic to see the games I remember investing so many hours into brought to comics! I think both fans of Mr. Ariga’s work on the MEGA MAN MEGAMIX manga, and fans of the Mega Man video games in general, are very fortunate to be able to meet him and will enjoy the event.”

While the doors open at 7pm, the event proper will begin at 7:30pm, during which Ariga will give a speech (in Japanese, via an English interpreter). Following that, he will take questions from the audience, as well as sign autographs for all of those in attendance.

And, in addition to the Megamix manga and its creator, Mega Man video games will be available to play and purchase, courtesy of A&C Games.

With that said, we at The Mega Man Network would just like to welcome Mr. Ariga to Toronto and North America, and we look forward to the event!

Canon, Continuity, and the Mega Man Franchise

1. can·on - a basis for judgment; a standard or criterion 2. con·ti·nu·i·ty - an uninterrupted connection, succession, or union

A canon, in terms of a fictional universe, is a body of material that is considered to be "genuine" or "official." The use of the word "canon" in reference to a set of texts derives from Biblical canon, the set of books which are regarded as scripture. When Reeve created The Mega Man Network, he set forth a canon analysis meant to describe how we would interpret information from Capcom in analyzing the timeline of the Mega Man franchise.

Now, almost a decade later, we have a franchise splintered apart over seven distinct sub-series, source books/publications, manga/anime, and various other mediums. Canon, therefore, is not what we need to examine. Succinctly put, if it is made by Capcom, it is canon; if it is officially licensed by Capcom, it is also canon. In this regard, everything made or licensed by Capcom - whether it be the Ruby Spears animated series, the NT Warrior anime, the Ariga mangas, the Dreamwave comic, or even the Captain N cartoon - it is all irrevocably canon.

Perhaps where we erred was our application of the definition of canon - perhaps what we needed to do instead was understand the fundamental difference "canon" and "continuity." Continuity, by the above definition, defines a set of events that occur within a timeline. To understand the continuity of the Mega Man franchise requires analysis of the timeline of events established within the games themselves, as well as the gaps that occur between the primary series (Classic, X, Zero, ZX, and Legends) and the secondary series (Battle Network and Star Force).

The primary series occurs in one timeline, and the secondary series occurs in another - an "alternate universe" if you will. The problem we run into here is that over time, even Capcom's own interpretation of events has varied considerably. Events established in new games contradict previously-established scenarios (such as Dr. Cain's apparent fate in Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X), some publications make mention of things that are completely ignored by the games themselves (the explanation of X's "suffering circuit" from Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works), and events mentioned in source books are even retracted in later publications (Capcom's original explanations for the location of the Guardians in Mega Man Zero 4 versus the Official Complete Works).

What we have now is a Mega Man franchise that has been outsourced to different companies over the years, and which has generated a timeline of events that has become nearly impossible to sort out. Continuity in the realm of Mega Man is almost a non-issue now; take the origins of the Mega Man Zero series, for example. It was designed by Keiji Inafune to follow the events of Mega Man X5. When Capcom made Mega Man X6, story events of Mega Man Zero 2 had to be altered somewhat. When all was said and done, there was a convoluted sequence of events following the untold end of the Mega Man X series that left the Mega Man Zero series that much harder to understand.

Trying to theorize how events from one series impact another is fruitless. It is not up to us as fans of the series to make such judgments. Our role is to interpret events as they happen, and make our best guess as to how they integrate into the overall timeline.

So what is it that we're trying to say here? Nothing different, really. We're modifying our definition of canon and how we've used it in the past, and separating canon from continuity. Canon is just the official elements that comprise the overall framework of the franchise.

Continuity, on the other hand, defines the storyline events that occur from game to game and from series to series. Continuity is something that is open to interpretation, and is something no one website can claim authority over. Therefore, as we cannot predict with any certainty what directions Capcom will take the storyline, the policy of The Mega Man Network is simply to present the facts of the games and merchandise, and let the best educated minds sort everything else out.

It really makes things a lot easier this way, when you look at it in perspective. Trying to piece together a definitive continuity nearly fractured the Star Wars fanbase, and there is no point in doing the same thing to the Mega Man fanbase. Just remember, Mega Man is a little robot that runs around in blue underwear. You wouldn't take that too seriously if you saw it, now would you? Neither do we. So what we're trying to say, if we're saying anything at all, is just relax and enjoy the games.

Tim is a longtime member of the Mega Man fan community and The Mega Man Network. Once site administrator, he now acts as a part-time adviser for the site, trying ever so hard to improve the legacy of analysis, guides, and other content he has contributed to The Mega Man Network over the years.

Mega Man Megamix Arrives Wednesday; Final Preview Page Emerges

Now that this battle station is fully-armed and operational once again, we can now bring you the final preview page of UDON's Mega Man Megamix Volume 1, which will be available in comic shops everywhere this Wednesday. This last preview page gives us details of a fan-favorite Robot Master whose past is more mysterious than many of us at first thought:

Click to enlarge.

UDON Managing Editor Matt Moylan informs us that while comic shops will have the book, other retailers such as Amazon should be shipping the book "any time" as well.

And for those skeptical that this is really it, Mr. Moylan offers the following image as proof of the finished book's existence:

Click to enlarge.

You might notice that Megamix does not sit alone here; in fact, arriving at comic shops this Wednesday will also be the first issue of UDON's Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, and I'm sure they would love it if you all would give that a shot as well. After all, you never know when some of the artists might decide to sneak in something of interest.

Your Latest Mega Man Megamix Robot Master Profile

The first volume of UDON's Mega Man Megamix is only one week away from release, and as promised, they have passed along another preview page from the book's profile section:

Click to enlarge.

Did any of you guess correctly?

The Angry Video Game Nerd Reads Mega Man 2

Indeed, you did not misread that headline; James Rolfe, aka the Angry Video Game Nerd, known for his vulgar and sometimes grotesque (albeit humorously so) reviews of some of the worst games the hobby has to offer, is not performing his regular run-of-the-mill duties for the Capcom franchise's best-selling hit. Rather, he is reading the Scholastic "Worlds of Power" novelization of Mega Man 2, without his usual brand of commentary, as the game's music plays softly in the background. So unless I've missed something, this is safe for work, and only recommended for someone who has not read the original publication. The only other point of interest is at the start of the first video, where Rolfe briefly covers the concept of games in print:

Here is an admission: way back when the book was published in 1990, there was virtually nothing else in the way of media for Mega Man. Well, except Captain N: The Game Master, which I'm sure many will agree doesn't quite cut it. I got this book and, in lieu of anything else, was a big fan as I was amazed at the stuff not seen in the games.

"Oh, so Mega Man is a robot that was turned into a human?" Yeah, I was pretty accepting. I even remember being upset with magazines of the day which continued to refer to him as a robot. Moreover, I was upset there was never a novelization for Mega Man 3, or the original Mega Man, for that matter.

Of course, things have changed quite a bit in the intervening years, with the Ruby-Spears cartoon and other things waking me up to the Blue Bomber still being a blue bot. I would also come across far better fiction from fans, and after that, find out there was a lot of stuff that Capcom had been holding out on us in Japan.

At least today, it's easier for someone to get into the franchise and find out new facts about everything. And of course, we will continue our work (with your help) to make sure those facts are readily available to anyone who needs them.

News Credit: Cinemassacre, Mega Man Maniacs, RyanThunder in the Community, Pureauthor of the Penny Arcade forums, and probably some other places.

Rockman.EXE Official Complete Works Cover Art

Rockman.EXE Official Complete Works CoverartWell, it looks like E-Capcom has finally let the cat out of the bag as far as the Rockman.EXE Official Complete Works cover art is concerned. While the contents of the book seem very promising, the cover feels a bit underwhelming; especially when compared to the covers of all the previous Official Complete Works books. Why they went with such a plain design when there is so much great existing art from the series to work with is anyone's guess.

Regardless, you can preorder the book (dropping on December 21st) at Play Asia right now for $36.90. For more details on the book's contents, take a gander at our previous post.

News Credit: Protodude's Rockman Corner

Mega Man: Complete History Canceled

Mega Man: Complete History CanceledWe have some bad news. It looks like the "Mega Man: Complete History" book we posted about back in July has been canceled. Here's the official word:

"Unfortunately this book will not be published, but we are coming out with a Street Fighter book. I let the person who worked on this book know and she is going to make sure that the information gets taken off the website. Thank you for your concern."

As somebody who was looking forward to this book (and had it on preorder), this news is pretty disappointing. Well, at least we still have some other books to look forward to.

News Credit: GoNintendo, via Protodude's Rockman Corner

Mega Man Megamix Pre-Order on Amazon

Mega Man Megamix Pre-Order on AmazonNot even letting the dust settle from the pre-order announcement of "Mega Man: Complete History", we have another piece of bad news for your wallet. Get ready to throw your hands up in celebration. Hitoshi Ariga's "Rockman Megamix" manga is finally coming to the U.S. as "Mega Man Megamix" thanks to Udon. You can actually place your pre-order for the first volume right now on Amazon for the price of $12.95. February 13th, 2010 can't come soon enough!

News Credit: Protodude's Rockman Corner

"Mega Man: Complete History" Available for Pre-Order

Have you ever wanted to know all about the history of Mega Man? Would you like to read about the series' conception and how one little blue robot became a videogame icon in extreme detail? Well, you're in luck! Right now, Barnes & Noble is taking pre-orders for "Mega Man: Complete History". This paperback history lesson, published by Chronicle Books LLC, is said to release on October 1st of this year.

"From napkin-scrawled idea to production to million-selling success, both series’ histories will be told in extreme detail in original text and interviews with the developers, animators, and other industry folks. We’re going to pack in tons of art, too–early concept stuff as well as memorable character sprites. My favorite part may be the package itself, though–these are going to be paperbacks, but they’ll come in a partial slipcase that looks like an original Nintendo cartridge sleeve. "

This looks to be an exciting addition to any Mega Man fan's collection of books. You'll be able to take home this bad boy for under fifteen dollars in only a few more months.

News Credit: Protodude's Rockman Corner

Ariga's Rockman Megamix Reprints Coming 5/26

Coming on May 26th to Japan will be the second reprints of the first two volumes from the Rockman Megamix manga by artist Hitoshi Ariga. Preorders are now being taken on Amazon of Japan for these 1,600 Yen (approximately $15) books. For collectors, the big draw here is the new covers made for the books by Ariga himself. You can compare them to the previous covers shown in the link above.

Curiously, there has yet to be a reprint of the Rockman Remix manga that I'm aware of; I think some of the contents were taken for the new versions of Megamix, but the Rockman X Megamissions manga has not been among them, from what I've heard.

With any luck, Udon's recent announcement of bringing Rockman manga to America will yield these tomes. And if so, hopefully we'll get the whole lot of stories, both old and new, Classic and X.

It would also be nice if they had some sort of cover galleries as well. Or even all-new covers by Ariga, but that might be asking a bit much. That said, does anyone have a preference of covers for these stories?

Source: Protodude's Rockman Corner

Udon splitting R20?

A peek over at Udon Entertainment's schedule shows something very interesting. As we know, Udon announced at their Otakon panel that they had just signed the paperwork to translate and publish R20, a huge art book containing classic and X series art. So, here we are months later, and finally we get a peek at what they're up to. What's on their site?

Mega Man: Official Complete Works slated for release on September 09. Mega Man X: Official Complete Works. slated for release on November 09.

It's probably a safe bet this is R20, only being split up for it's English release.

RnROCW: The look you've been waiting for

Ryuusei no Rockman Official Complete Works is out. People are buying it. And if you've been wanting to check out what the book holds, we've got some exclusive photos of the contents to show you. The book is pretty standard as far as the Official Complete Works series goes. It may be understandable why, when the book was first announced, it was tentatively named Ryuusei no Rockman 3 Official Complete Works - pretty much the first two thirds of the book are dedicated to that one title. Numerous pages are devoted to not just showing artwork, but slices of various levels of detail of that artwork. There's also plenty of unused stuff, such as Pirate and Angel Tribe forms.

But, you're probably just impatient for the goods. Below are 12 photographs from the book. Don't want to get too in depth for people planning on buying the book, and since Star Force 3 still isn't out yet, but I managed to still get some pretty cool contents. Enjoy!

A little look at RnR Official Complete Works

After having just put up preorders yesterday, Capcom's Ryuusei no Rockman 3 site now has a page for the Ryuusei no Rockman Official Complete Works book. While only a small preview, this should give a pretty good idea of what's to fill the book's 170+ pages. The detail is pretty amazing. rnrocwpreview

Very sweet. Additionally there's also a page for another Capcom book releasing at the same time, the Ryuusei no Rockman 3 Ultimate Guide: Battle Block Box. This book will cover all of Ryuusei no Rockman 3's secrets and such. The book also comes with a Noised Card for the game's final boss.

Ryuusei no Rockman Official Complete Works details

A Japanese online shop has some details about the forthcoming Ryuusei no Rockman (Mega Man Star Force) Official Complete Works. Most important, it has a specified release day of April 1st (hopefully not a joke). It will be 176 pages and A4 format, the same jumbo size as the OCW books for Zero and R20, and cost ¥2100 (a little over $23 US with the current exchange). As for the contents, it's pretty much what you can imagine: loads of official and conceptual artwork. This includes never-before-seen created specifically for the book. There will also be plenty of staff comments. I'm certainly looking forward to this book! News Credit: Gyroman Black