New Mega Man #37 Cover with X, Plus Exclusive Destructoid Interview

New Mega Man #37 Cover with X, Plus Exclusive Destructoid Interview

Hot on the heels of this reveal, Destructoid has had the opportunity to sit down with Archie Comics writer Ian Flynn and editor Paul Kaminski to discuss their upcoming four-part crossover event, "Dawn of X", which will kick off in the 37th issue of the ongoing Mega Man comic book series.

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Destructoid Ranks Their Top 5 Mega Man Games... Twice

256882-Top5MegaManLove for Mega Man is in the air over at Destructoid, which is reason enough for Chris Carter to post what he believes are "The Five Best Mega Man Games." A solid list, to be sure, and some might even be surprised not only by his number one pick, but also some games which didn't make the cut. But wait; here comes a new challenger! TMMN collaborator Tony Ponce to post what he truly believes is "The REAL list of the Blue Bomber's greatest." This one is a little more conventional, but both lists are packed with quality titles just the same.

And really, that's always been one of the greatest things about Mega Man: You can disagree on favorites or what's the best, but even some of the Blue Bomber's worst games are still better than many other series' best.

Preview for Mega Man #22 May Warm Your Heart or Give You Chills

hookup If you've got a hankering for some Archie Mega Man, you can check out Destructoid for a preview of this month's issue, "Cold Crush." The locale may be cold, but it appears emotions are heating up nonetheless. Issue #22 goes on sale February 13th, just in time for President's Day!

Looking Back at 25 Years of Mega Man: Chris Carter

ChrisCarterAvatarTime yet again to saunter back down the 25 year long road that has been Mega Man's life. And actually, this is our last in the series - at least for now! We may still get more fond remembrances from others in a less regular fashion. But ending our week long stretch is once again a Destructoid writer! Man those guys really love Mega Man! Chris Carter is an editor for Destructoid, and enjoyed our ongoing series so much he wanted to be a part of it too! He is also taking on the task of playing every Mega Man game ever made, and to that we wish him luck - 'cause there's kind of a lot. Anyway, we really hope you've enjoyed our week long segment. When you've come so far in being a fan, it's good to look back and see what brought you here. And now we'll leave it to Chris!

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?

Funnily enough, my mother was the one who got me into Mega Man, starting with the very first game on the NES. Remember that cover that everyone despises? The entire reason why she picked it up for me was because she thought the cover looked cool (we were wrong this whole time!). From the minute I booted it up and started Cut Man's stage first, the rest was history. From then on, I wouldn't miss a Mega Man release again outside of a few in the Battle Network and Star Force series.

As for how it has factored into my work, my very first foray into game writing was in Middle School, with a fan site located at www.megamanassault.com. I started it with a friend who also loved Mega Man, and it obtained a decent amount of hits for a website started by two kids who just learned HTML. I provided regular news content and boss strategies for every single Robot Master in Mega Man 1~X4 (which was the latest release at the time). After a few years, our domain service went out of business, and deleted all of our content. Sadly, I wasn't the IT professional I am today, and as two middle school kids, we hadn't learned the value of backing up digital content.

Still, my love for Mega Man lived on, as did my burning desire to play every challenging platformer I could get my hands on. You can see my today clamoring for a review of nearly every platformer known to man, and a lot of that comes from my insatiable desire for yet another game as challenging as Mega Man.

What is your sentiment on the current standing of Mega Man, and what do you want to see for the future?

That's a pretty tough question!

I feel like Capcom has really tried in the past. People clamor for an open world "Metroidvania" style Mega Man, but they tried that with Mega Man ZX, twice -- it just didn't pan out. Others want a return to retro roots, and Mega Man 10 kind of over-saturated the micro-market despite that demand. There are also fans that want something else a bit more updated with the old school feel, but spurn Mega Man 8 every chance they get.

As for myself, I think attacking Mega Man with a two-fold plan would be Capcom's best bet. In my opinion, Street Fighter X Mega Man was an excellent homage to the Classic series. If Capcom ported that to XBLA and PSN (and the Wii U eShop) after smoothing some of the rough edges out, it could pan out really well for them. Instead of trying too hard to emulate the old series and ending up with the fairly soulless 10, Capcom could oversee development of more interesting and unique prospects like SFXMM every so often. Testing the waters for Mega Man Maverick Hunter X2 and Powered Up 2 couldn't hurt either.

On the second front, do something drastic. Hard Corps: Uprising for the PSN and XBLA, in my opinion, is the perfect way to handle an updated, yet oldschool 2D platformer. If Capcom gave the reigns to a talented developer like WayForward, you could have a franchise on your hands (or Arc System Works, as they did a bang up job on Hard Corps!). Finally tying Mega Man Classic and the X series is an obvious idea, or reboot the series canon entirely (like Maverick Hunter X tried to do). Something drastic like an 8-bit four player coop Mega Man game on XBLA/PSN/eShop could work out very well, especially if it had a versus mode (I'm still hoping for another Mega Man 7 fighting game Easter egg).

Either way, I'm excited to see what the future can bring for Mega Man, even if it's been a bit bleak as of late. After all this, who knows? Maybe we'll see a resurgence of Mega Man Legends 3. A man can dream!

What is your all time favorite Mega Man game (don't worry if you can't narrow it down to just one!).

Historically, I've always been a "Mega Man 3 over 2" kind of guy. I feel like while Mega Man 2 is of course a high point for the series, there are so many more interesting characterizations that make the series truly unique in Mega Man 3. For instance, the inclusion of Rush over the generic "transport" 1, 2, and 3 items makes it decidedly more "Mega Man" in nature.

Proto Man's debut certainly helps cement the series as a more colorful franchise as well, as it slowly but surely builds its repertoire of characters that would become iconic for years to come. I also prefer smaller details, like the Wily 3 final fight over the alien encounter in 2, and much more. I might also be biased because Snake Man is one of my all time favorite Masters, and his theme gives me goosebumps.

Objectively, I think 9 is close to perfect. On my first playthrough, I didn't really soak in all of the nuances the game had to offer. It wasn't until my hundreds of time trial runs that I really learned to appreciate how amazing the level design really was. There's not much I can say about 9 that hasn't' been said many times over, but if you haven't played Mega Man yet, that's a great starting point!

Looking Back on 25 Years of Mega Man: Jonathan Holmes

holmesboyWelcome to another edition of our looking back on Mega Man with the fans. Joining us today is another face from Destructoid: Jonathan Holmes! We haven't collaborated so much with Holmes personally, but I have been impressed by the guy ever since he nabbed some sneaky Mega Man Universe footage from TGS (sadly, when I got my chance to do the same, the game was Rockman Xover). And he's a pretty big fan in general; he even blogged his immediate impressions on Mega Man 10 when it came out. Anyway, we'll let Jonathan take it from here and recount his personal thoughts and memories on the Blue Bomber!

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?

At its core, Mega Man is about feeling weaker and more vulnerable than your peers, but through, you practice, perseverance, trial and error and, most importantly, learning (from your personal failures and from your peers), you will become the best ever. Mega Man was one of the first things that taught me that through getting to know people, you can absorb their "powers". Hang out with a great poet, talk to them about their technique and their creative philosophy, and you may find yourself becoming a better poet. Spend time with Elec Man, learn his patterns and decision making process, and you may your find yourself in possession of the the Elec Beam.

That's just one of the many lessons I've learned from 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?

I think Mega Man has seen better days, but this is certainly not the worst that the series has ever had it. I know that there are plenty of people at Capcom that love the franchise, maybe more so than ten years ago. There are a lot more people at the company now who grew up loving the series now than there was then. It makes sense, as there are a lot more "children of the 80's" who are old enough to rise up the ranks of the company now then there were in the late 90's, early 00's. Stuff like Street Fighter X Mega Man wouldn't exist if it weren't for the fact that there are just as many Capcom fans working for the company as there are fans trapped on the outside looking in.

That said, it's clear that Capcom isn't sure what to do with Mega Man without Inafune. Now that he's gone, the series is like head without a body. It's understandable that it's hard to get moving with no head. That wont last forever though. Van Halen had, what, three different lead singers? The same will be true for Mega Man. The series will likely never be the same without Inafune, but it will live on in a new form with a new "front man" developer.

Personally, I'd like to see WayForward take a crack at it.

What is your all time favorite Mega Man game?

Mega Man 2 is my favorite game in the series, and perhaps my favorite game ever made. The music, the level design, the character design, and that "twist" at the end are all about as perfect as it gets. That said, the series has grown and evolved in so many interesting directions since then. Mega Man Zero 2, Mega Man X 2, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, and Mega Man 9 are all very special in their own ways. And that Wily Castle in Mega Man 10? Pure genius.

If I could, I'd take all the best parts of every Mega Man title, slap them on to Mega Man 2, and Frankenstien myself the greatest videogame of all time. Maybe I'll have to force myself into a job at Capcom and do just that.

Looking Back on 25 Years of Mega Man: Tony Ponce

poncemanWelcome to the next installment of seeking thoughts on Mega Man from notable people around the community. Today we speak to Tony Ponce of Destructoid. I think it goes without saying Tony is one avid Mega Man fan. We're often trading cool stories back and forth, and you might have per chance seen the awesome collaboration between Destructoid and TMMN the other day. He's also an extremely big aficionado on game music, which alone awards him a big place in my heart. Anyway, we'll let Tony take it from here!

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?

Ahhh, where do I begin? I remember waking up the day after my dad returned from a trip to Japan to find a copy of Rockman 4 on my night stand. I remember sleeping over at a childhood friend's house and getting my first taste of Mega Man X. And I'll never forget the Monday I was downsized from my IT job, since it happened to be the same day Mega Man 9 dropped -- I was consoling myself with pizza and a little pew pew pew that very evening!

The Mega Man series is like comfort food, there for me when I'm on top of the world or when I'm feeling down. Not a day goes by that it doesn't cross my mind in some fashion, even if it's just humming a few bars from a game track in the shower.

I've established myself the resident Mega Man nut over on Destructoid, posting an inordinate amount of Mega Man-related stories week in and week out. I'm glad no one seems to mind, because Mega Man is such a big part or who I am. I love having long discussions with site readers and fellow editors about the games, the music, the comics... you name it! I find it easy to connect with others when you wear your passion right on your sleeve.

What is your sentiment on the current standing of Mega Man, and what do you want to see for the future?

It's obvious that Capcom has no clue what to do with the franchise anymore, which admittedly had been in deep decline for years. With a multitude of sub-series that pulled further away from the simplicity Mega Man was once known for, it was only a matter of time before consumers simply gave up.

I appreciate the attempts to recapture the original fans with Powered Up, Maverick Hunter X, and the 8-bit revivals, but if the series is to have any kind of resurgence, Capcom needs to throw some serious muscle behind a massive home console reboot. Scrap all the branching sub-series, return to basics with a lone robot fighting other rampaging robots, but also make a concerted effort to bring the gameplay out of the retro ghetto -- and this is coming from a guy for whom 2D side-scrollers are like digital crack!

As crappy as many Sonic games this past decade have been, at least Sega TRIES to keep the hedgehog relevant. Unless Capcom is willing to go big for the sake of one of its oldest, most popular icons, Mega Man will rot forever.

What is your all time favorite Mega Man game?

Mega Man 2, easily. Yeah, total cop-out answer, I know.

I've been with the series since the beginning, introduced to the original at a friend's home, but the first Mega Man I actually owned was the sequel. It shaped my expectations of what video games could be and ignited my lifelong love affair with the little blue dude.

I certainly consider later games to be "better" -- I can't praise Mega Man 6 and Mega Man X enough -- but Mega Man 2 will always occupy the warmest spot in my heart.

Tony Ponce is an associate editor for Destructoid. He's in charge of the site's offbeat culture content, which includes fan videos, toys, art, music, and everything in between.

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Many thanks for giving us your thoughts, Tony! Stay tuned to see who we harassed next in our quest for opinions on Mega Man!

The 25 Most Memorable Mega Man Moments - TMMN Ver.

logo8bitHappy 25th anniversary, everyone! To celebrate, we've collaborated with Tony Ponce of Destructoid to come up with 25 of the most memorable Mega Man video game moments we could think of-- that's one moment for every year of the Blue Bomber's history, and a task big enough for two people, no doubt. Admittedly, the list is a little bit noncommittal, as they're in no particular order-- that might have taken us another quarter-century, and it took us long enough to narrow it down to these, never mind actually ranking them.

And of course, this isn't meant to the be-all, end-all of Mega Man moments-- there are just too many of those to list, so consider this a look at some of our favorites; a sampler platter of the Blue Bomber's best which stood out to us for one reason or another. Plus, you'll notice that this is only about half of the list-- for the rest, be sure to go over to Destructoid!

Hadouken and Shoryuken - Mega Man X / Mega Man X2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr3unpTjl64

Fake game codes and tips were fairly commonplace in the early 90s, with magazines such as EGM throwing in with their own faux discoveries designed to trick anyone who didn't read the month of "April" on the cover. As a result, all sorts of speculation ran rampant, from Simon Belmont in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game to Ryu and Ken's sensei, Sheng Long, being in Street Fighter II, and nude tricks for just about everything in-between.

So naturally, the very notion that Mega Man X could learn how to throw a Street Fighter II-styled "Hadouken" fireball from a Dr. Light hologram clad in garb like Ken and Ryu in his first game just seemed too absurd to be true. And yet, those who followed the instructions-- a rather odd set that one would seemingly be unlikely to stumble upon under normal circumstances-- were greatly rewarded for their troubles as X emerged from the capsule. In his one sound byte of the entire game (or even the entire Super NES era), X shared his newfound ability by shouting "Hadouken!" to the world as he unleashed the deceptively powerful projectile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7a0q8RFA98

That such a thing actually took place meant that when the flaming "Shoryuken" uppercut was discovered in the sequel, there was little skepticism left as players set out to master the art of the Dragon Punch. Those hoping for a second encore in Mega Man X3 were left disappointed, however, as instead of a Hurricane Kick, they only got the tricked-out golden armor. However, X would later get to use both arts together in the Game Boy title Mega Man Xtreme.

The sight of X performing moves from another of Capcom's series was funny/cool enough at the time, but what really takes the cake is just how much better than Ken, Ryu, and even Akuma that X is at these moves. While they use the arts frequently, mastering them to modest effect, X picks them up instantly and is able to kill just about anything in one or two shots, so long as his life meter is full.

In fact, fans who have been upset at X's exclusion from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 should probably take solace in this fact-- the reason he was probably left out isn't because Capcom hates him, but because he's take everyone out in a single shot. X is basically oldschool Street Fighter 1 style, and no one else in the game can handle that. --LBD "Nytetrayn"

"What the F#%k, You're an Alien!?" - Mega Man 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IV0T-qK3ZA

After storming the compound exterior, annihilating the monstrous guardians, and dispatching the Robot Masters a second time, Mega Man finally comes face to face with the evil doctor's final weapon-- the Wily Machine. After penetrating the protective shell and landing few well-placed shots to the cockpit bubble, Wily is finally defeated.

At least, that's how it all went down in the first game.

This time, the floor crumbles beneath Mega's feet, dropping him into the caverns deep below the castle. There, Dr. Wily casts off his human disguise and reveals that he was an alien all along! "The Mystery of Dr. Wily," indeed!

In that brief instant, players caught a flash of impending extraterrestrial invasion. I mean, what if Wily was just the start? Who knows what powerful new villain lurked in the depths of space! Alas, the "alien" turned out to be a hologram, kicking off a pattern of deception that persists to this day. --Tony Ponce

docrobotDoc Robot: First Encounter - Mega Man 3

At first, everything seems like business as usual: You've defeated the eight Robot Masters, and you're ready to move on. But instead of proceeding to Dr. Wily's fortress (for he's good now, you see), four mysterious shadows take over four of the slots on the stage select screen. Who are these mysterious characters? And are they friend or foe? It's up to Mega Man (and you) to find out!

The answer is most definitely foe. It doesn't matter which one you pick, as the story is the same no matter where you start as you revisit a previously conquered stage, only to find the place has seemingly been ransacked and made all the worse for wear, presumably by this mysterious new force. As you reach the midpoint of the stage, that's when you see it.

A tall, formidable-looking robot with a robotic skull-like face stands before you, but that's not what gets your attention. Descending ominously from above is the image of one of the Robot Masters you defeated in Mega Man 2, and upon merging with the robot body, its energy meter strikes and you realize you're in for one heck of a battle. Lucky for you, you're sporting a fully-loaded arsenal and some new tricks of your own.

What might make this encounter extra-memorable for some is that at least one magazine at the time the game was released touted that it was actually the ghosts of the MM2 Robot Masters taking over the Doc Robot bodies, adding a supernatural twist to the proceedings as the idea that your past was coming back to haunt you from beyond the grave was planted in your brain.

But robot ghosts? While the idea does sound a bit absurd when you say it out loud, the idea didn't seem so farfetched to a kid who grew up in the 80s to see Starscream return in a spectral form to haunt Autobots and Decepticons alike. And as it would turn out, Capcom wasn't exactly against the idea, as games such as those in the Mega Man Zero series would later show. --LBD "Nytetrayn"

Enter Zero / Zero's Death - Mega Man X

From the moment you pressed start, everything about Mega Man X was cooler than the NES series that preceded it. The music was heavier, the action was faster, and the enemies were stronger. But before we could conquer the new challenges, we had to be humbled a bit.

At the end of the opening stage, X encounters Vile, a foe who is impossible to beat. After a fruitless struggle, Vile grabs the motionless X in one hand and...

What's that noise off-screen? What the...!? The arm of Vile's Ride Armor was shot clean off! Who is that!? It's Zero! He prepares a second blast, but Vile knows when he's outclassed and makes a hasty retreat. And just like that, every kid was like, "X who?"

Zero's death was every bit as glorious as his entrance. When X faces Vile again in Sigma's fortress, Zero has already been incapacitated. X still lacks the power needed to triumph, so in a last ditch effort, Zero breaks out of his holding cell and sacrifices himself to destroy Vile's armor, giving X the opportunity to deal the finishing blow. But before he dies, Zero bestows upon X his buster cannon, a symbolic passing of the torch from the veteran to the rookie.

Naturally, Zero was back in one piece by X2. --Tony Ponce

"I AM MORE THAN A ROBOT!! DIE WILY!!" - Mega Man 7

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDJQ2viRPoI

While the line was fudged a little in localization, most players didn't know that back in 1995, when the "world wide web" was still on its hands and knees and drinking 1's and 0's from a baby bottle (actually, most babies associated with the internet at the time were of the dancing sort, but let's not get into that). What we knew is that Mega Man wasn't saying "The Wily," and what we thought we were seeing was the ties which would bind the original Classic Mega Man series and the X series.

Clearly, Mega Man had enough of Wily's crap by the time the mad scientist's self-named capsule went up in pulsating circles (a sentiment no doubt shared by the player). It was time to put an end to this once and for all, and through broken English, Mega Man raised his Buster, charging energy to do just that.

But wait! Wily reminded him of what he is, echoing the message Dr. Light left with X's capsule in the first game of that series: According to the First Law, a robot such as Mega Man could not harm a human! And Mega Man?

He just didn't care.

Mega Man lowered his weapon in a way that almost felt more defiant than when he first raised it against Wily, telling him "I am more than a robot!! Die Wily!!"

Of course, before Mega Man can get back to administering a solar-powered aspirin for his headache, Wily's fortress begins to do what Wily fortresses tend to do, and starts falling apart, the mad scientist getting buried in the rubble and being rescued by Bass and Treble.

Looking back at the grand scheme of things, the moment ultimately proved rather insignificant. But at the time, when many thought that Mega Man and Mega Man X were the same guy, the moment felt like the breakthrough we'd all been waiting for, like the ties that would bind the old and the new. Alas, it was not to be, but for those who were there at the time-- and perhaps even some gamers today-- it was truly memorable. --LBD "Nytetrayn"

"Zero, My Masterpiece..." - Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters / Mega Man X4

During the epilogue of Mega Man X3, we learn that X and Zero are destined to fight one another for the fate of mankind. No, not Zero! He's the best! How can this be!?

The truth came to light in Bass' ending from Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. Tired of his creation's pompous attitude, Dr. Wily reveals that Bass was but a byproduct on the path to Wily's greatest creation of all. The screen pans to reveal...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-byDNFnfak

Whoa. Mind blown.

Of course, most Western players probably never so much as saw a Power Fighters arcade cabinet, thus the opening FMV of Zero's mode in Mega Man X4 served as our source of revelation. In his dreams, Zero sees a shadowy figure with a very distinctive hairstyle who commands him to destroy his nemesis. Gee, wonder who that could be?

If ever the Mega Man series had a Darth Vader "I am your father" moment, this was it. --Tony Ponce

mmlwilyWily! - Mega Man Legends

This one may take some explaining: When Mega Man Legends came out, it had been established that Dr. Wily was pretty much the perennial Mega Man villain, as not only was he behind every single Classic series game to that point, but had also started overlapping with Mega Man X-- there was simply no getting away from the guy, it seemed. But maybe Legends would be different; after all, we weren't even sure at the time whether it was in the same timeline as the other games.

Then you get to the boat shop... Wily's boat shop. In addition to the high jinks of the Bonne family and dealing with Reaverbots underground, you had to wonder: Was this guy going to try something, too? It was just enough to put a guy on edge.

Contrary to his namesake, as it turns out, he seemed to be a nice guy. But still, when he climbs aboard the boat while Roll is working on it and just gives this... this look to MegaMan... it was enough to creep a guy out at first.

Even listening to him talk now... it's enough to give us the creeps. Yeah, this may not be the Dr. Wily, but when you've been trained to have your guard up at the first sign of a bald head with a gray mustache... the whole thing kind of sticks with you. --LBD "Nytetrayn"

MegaMan's True Identity - Mega Man Legends

Aside from the knowledge that the Legends series takes place many millennia following every other Mega Man title, we knew nothing of its connection with previous games at the start. For first-time players, Mega Man Legends was just a charming action-adventure starring a boy in blue armor, his adoptive family, and a band of endearing pirates.

But the world of Legends holds a secret darker than anything we could have expected.

When MegaMan awakens MegaMan Juno, Juno reveals that our hero is actually a bio android officially designated a "Purifier Unit," the Legends series equivalent of a Maverick Hunter. On top of that, all the people you've met on your journey are artificial humans known as "Carbons," and the population must be regularly purged upon reaching a certain size-- like in Gurren Lagann!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfgdWw59zi4

What does this mean? Despite the valiant efforts of Mega Men throughout the ages, the human race was eventually wiped out, and the beings that currently reside on the planet are part of grand cultivation experiment of which they are completely unaware.

But look at Data the robo-monkey do his little dance! D'awww! Isn't he just the cutest!? --Tony Ponce

The Servbots in "Hello, Neighbor!" - The Misadventures of Tron Bonne

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57Tr0oHJPgA

Not everyone has had a chance to play The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, not even all Mega Man Legends fans; perhaps Capcom will one day find a way to rectify this injustice, but for now, those who have know that it carries all the same heart, spirit, and personality of the other games in the series.

One of our favorite moments is very brief, yet encapsulates what makes the Servbots so much fun. In one of the opening missions, Tron is out to rob a bank, but gets dropped off in the wrong town. While waiting for a pick-up, she makes the most of the time and decides to steal from everyone around her.

Launching a Beacon Bomb into one of the nearby houses, you're treated to a one-time only cutscene (click here to skip right to it) of the Servbots invading the homestead. In addition to ransacking the house, they decide to make themselves at home for a few moments while out of the watchful eye of Tron. Checking the drawers, raiding the fridge, and napping in a chair to lullaby music are all cute, but the best part is when one turns on the television and sits on the floor to watch an 8-bit sprite of the original Mega Man running around.

Of course, there are many, many memorable Servbot quotes and moments-- too many to name here, and we could probably even make them their own list. But this one just manages to stick out for being especially quirky, and with a cameo by the original Mega Man, seemed like a good fit for this particular list. --LBD "Nytetrayn"

X Out, Axl In - Mega Man X7

When Mega Man X6 turned out to be somewhat of a bust -- you should have stopped at X5 as Inafune intended, guys! -- Capcom decided to take the series in a wild new direction for its debut on the PlayStation 2. Changes included moving the gameplay into 3D, introducing a new playable character, and completely removing series protagonist X from combat.

Wait... what!?!?

The dude whose picture is plastered right on the front of the box was taken off the active roster and given a nice corner office away from the battlefield. Because that's exactly what we expect from a game called Mega Man friggin' X!

megamanx7box rockmanx7box The Japanese box art was actually rather telling and less deceitful than the North American version in this regard.

In his stead is Axl, a hip young cadet with an attitude who most likely tested well with focus group kiddies. When you start a new file, he's the guy you first command. He plays nothing like X at all-- he's got a lock-on system that never seems to target the enemy you want, and he has the ability to mimic the appearance and weapons of regular stage enemies, which is decent in some instances but absolutely useless in others.

But you are able to play as X eventually, after you beat all eight boss Mavericks or rescue about half the Reploids stranded throughout the world. You know, right around the time the game is over.

What a steaming load. --Tony Ponce

"We May Be Pirates, But We're Not Barbarians..." - Mega Man Legends 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpH7UMdltxY

Much like the Servbots, the Bonne family has had their fair share of zany lines and wacky moments throughout the short span of the Mega Man Legends series, and could probably have their own list themselves. But one of our favorites remains this simple exchange between Teisel and the Servbots accompanying him on a raid of a local town.

Part of what helps this moment stand out is how it seems to perfectly represent what the Bonnes are all about: They're scoundrels who will lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want, make no mistake about it; but deep down, they aren't all bad, and occasionally tend to show these flashes of conscience-- of doing the right thing, despite who they are-- that somehow manages to make them endearing. They've even tried to go legit, but as it turns out, they just aren't very good at it.

Naturally, this one line somehow manages to sum everything up perfectly as it shows that while they'll take what they want to get what they need, they aren't cruel just for the sake of being evil. --LBD "Nytetrayn"

SplashWomanSplash... Woman!? - Mega Man 9

The rogues gallery of Robot Masters is the very definition of a sausage fest-- if we assume these robots are anatomically correct, of course. When was a woman going to grace us with her alluring presence? There have been female villains in other Mega Man sub-series, but it's just not the same, you know?

So here comes Mega Man 9 and... hey now! Who is that I spy in the corner of the stage select screen? Splash "Woman"? Am I reading that correctly? Well, I'll be! Who says Dr. Light can't be progressive? She turns out to be the weakest of the bunch, so I guess he's not that progressive!

We almost had a "Honey Woman" instead of Hornet Man as well, but two female Robot Masters might have been too much for our chauvinistic minds to handle! Baby steps, guys! Baby steps! --Tony Ponce

Zero's Awakening - Mega Man Zero

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBtvnArEDXc

Mega Man Zero was an interesting reveal, and one we didn't know what to make of at first. The art was unlike anything the series had seen to that point, and until more information became available, we weren't even sure how it related to the rest of the franchise-- was this a prequel of some sort, such as in the case of Resident Evil 0? Or did "Zero" literally mean the character? And if it was the latter, why did he look so different?

We would soon learn that yes, this was indeed the same Zero we knew and loved from the Mega Man X series (well, mostly), and get a couple of different, sometimes flimsy excuses for the new look (a different style? Please; these are full-blown design changes).

When playing the game for the first time, however, we were treated to cutscenes of a group on the run from robots who mysteriously looked like our old friend, X. Eventually, a few members come across the body of Zero... or at least, that's who they hope it is; much like the player, the identity and full scope of what was happening was still a mystery to Ciel, who would prove to be the sole survivor of this expedition.

After using the power of her Cyber-Elf friend, Passy, she revives the falled Reploid they had found, and then it all clicks: The music (or a remix, anyway) of the classic theme of Zero from the original Mega Man X starts up and the camera pans up an image of the now-revived deadpan Reploid. We may have seen the art before, but everything comes together in such a way that there is no doubting who stands before you... and you're about to take control of him.

With Zero's anthem-- memorable in its own right-- following you through the intro stage, we had no idea what we were in for, but nonetheless felt like we would be ready to take it on. Of course, the game's often-crushing difficulty would soon prove otherwise, but for those opening moments, nothing was going to stop you. --LBD "Nytetrayn"

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We hope you've enjoyed reliving some of these moments, but don't forget: This is only half the story! For the rest, be sure to visit Destructoid, and share your own favorites in the comments below!

Happy 25th anniversary, Mega Man!

Look Back at 25 Years of Mega Man

MegaManGameHistoryV2-Teaser1-620xWhat is this strange image, you ask? Why, it's the entire history of a gaming phenomenon. This info graphic is the Mega Man Game History Ver 2, created by Destructoid's Tony Ponce. It covers 25 years of Mega Man games, from the original December 17th, 1987 NES classic to the just announced December 17th, 2012 Street Fighter x Mega Man, and everything in between. That even means updated ports, mobile games and LCD toys. We can't even begin to show you this 9000 x 7000 pixel labor of love, so you'll have to head over to Destructoid to view the 1:1 scale image. I think I'm going to have to ask Mr. Ponce for a poster version of this wonderfully organized history of our Blue Bomber's feats!

Many thanks, Tony, and happy 25th!

Destructoid Delivers Two-Hit Combo of Street Fighter X Mega Man

Following this past weekend's reveal of Street Fighter X Mega Man and the subsequent article from IGN, Destructoid has gone on the offensive by delivering a one-two punch of features about the upcoming clash between the World Warriors and the Blue Bomber. The first article is a hands-on preview which reveals all sorts of tantalizing tidbits about the game. Among the info disclosed are who Mega Man will face, how the levels are set up, the return of the Charge Shot and slide, and what role Dan will play in the title. There's also a fun bit explaining how Street Fighter's Super Moves are implemented, and how strategy in this game is not unlike what you would use in Street Fighter IV.

The other piece explores how this project came to be in the first place, and offers a bit of hope for what is to come in the year ahead. "In my head, we were in the middle of our 25th anniversary celebration of Street Fighter," Capcom USA Vice President Christian Svensson explained. "We had started planning the Mega Man stuff a couple of months earlier, but we didn't have a good opener."

In addition, "There were four levels available at the time," Senior Community Manager Brett "Brelston" Elston said of his first time playing. "I played through and I only got maybe halfway through the first stage I played, which was Blanka at the time, and even halfway through I was just like, this is great. It feels right, the philosophy of the level design is right. The physics, the jumping -- everything feels just like it should. I immediately said go for it."

The article gets into more detail, explaining Capcom's part in the project, the length of time it took to make it happen, and even why you should make sure you download it from Capcom themselves, rather than some other source. "I would argue that if anything," Svensson says, "if we get a million downloads of [Street Fighter X Mega Man], and certainly I think that's the floor I hope to see -- it's free, it should hopefully do more than that! -- that just helps raise awareness for the brand across the board and creates fertile ground for things to happen regardless of which direction that it kind of comes in."

And for those wondering why it's being offered for free?

The shaky grounds of the Mega Man franchise over the last two years is one of the main reasons the crossover title will be free. "We would hope this is, on our end could sort of make good [to fans]," Brett explained. "Making it free, making it available to as many people as possible, helps us get back on the right track with the brand. This is just the beginning of the 25th anniversary of Mega Man, this isn't the end-all, be-all that we have to say. We're hoping the free status of the game shows that we're listening and that we care. We want to get this character, this brand, back alive."

There's plenty more to the article, so be sure to check it out!

Check Out Destructoid's Preview for Mega Man #16

If you're following Archie's Mega Man comic series, you know that the current "Spiritus ex Machina" arch is heading for its exciting conclusion. Those who don't mind spoilers can see how that conclusion sets off over at Destructoid. How will Mega Man resolve this dangerous twist in Emerald Spears' terrorist attack? And what will Dr. Wily do with his new found "ally"? If you don't mind some initial story giveaways, check out Tony's rundown! Incidentally, the compendium The Return of Dr. Wily, covering Mega Man #9 through #12, also comes out this August - great for those who haven't been keeping up with the series on a monthly basis! Personally I really liked this arch. I mean, it has Heat Man and everything!

Destructoid Previews Mega Man #15, Ponders Issue's Take on Robot Ethics

Our friends over at Destructoid have just gotten their hands on the latest Mega Man preview from Archie Comics, this one showing the opening moments of issue #15, which is part three of the "Spirit ex Machina" story arc. In addition, Tony Ponce recalls an article he wrote some 14 months ago about the logic of granting robots personalities, and notes that the issue-- while not taking it on from the perspective of Dr. Wily as he had-- still manages to cover many of the same points. "It's a very deep debate," he offers, "and I'm stunned that the comic is handling it so eloquently."

You can check out the full five-page preview for yourself, live and in color, right here.