While most people are talking about the fate of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, I think it's a good idea to switch gears and explore the idea of a whole new frontier. Hideo Kojima is no longer shackled to pumping out MGS games, where does he go now?
How To Continue Each of Mega Man’s 7 Series
It’s no secret that I’m a huge Blue Bomber fanboy. Not just a fan… a fanboy. I’ll be the first to admit it.
With the date for Mega Man’s 25th Anniversary come and gone and the mixed reaction to Street Fighter x Mega Man over with, everyone is back to wonder what the hell Capcom is up with this franchise.
Although we keep getting the same “we have things in store!”, I can’t help but wonder if maybe Capcom needs some help with some game ideas. Just about every series was left on some type of cliffhanger or is missing a true ending. In fact, the only series I can safely say was started and actually finished is Battle Network (EXE in Japan).
Let’s go over each of the 7 series and see how Capcom can continue them all.
Mega Man franchise spoilers ahead!
Mega Man 11
While the story in Classic really takes the backseat when it comes to the gameplay, there’s still something we need to witness: Zero’s activation.
We already know thanks to Power Battles 2 that Dr. Wily creates Zero and we knew from Mega Man X1 that Dr. Light created (but didn’t finish) X. So the logical step to finally close out the Classic series is for Wily to use the activation of Zero as a threat upon the world. He could have his 8 Robot Masters spread across the world in an attempt to find the last pieces of Zero.
To show that Mega Man failed in stopping Zero’s activation, after the player beats four Robot Masters, just like in Mega Man 9 there’s a halfway stage where Mega Man is chasing the last four robots to Wily’s island fortress. Mega Man fails to catch them and in order to infiltrate Wily’s fortress he must hunt the last four bosses that are on four different areas of the island.
After they are defeated, Mega Man goes through the fortress and sees that Wily is close to completing Zero. The battle between Wily and Mega Man starts and after you beat the doctor Zero activates. Mega Man tries to stop Zero in a battle but is unable to no matter how hard he tries. Zero destroys the island and proceeds to attack every robot he finds, razing cities in his path.
At the end we cut to Dr. Light who is putting the X prototype in a capsule and hoping that one day he is completed and can finally give the world the peace it deserves.
Enter: the X series.
Mega Man X9 and X10
At the end of Mega Man X8, we see Sigma finally destroyed and the threat of the Sigma Virus gone. We stopped the plans of Lumine and the orbital elevator is safe. The moon can now be colonized by the humans leaving the planet for the robots.
However, we also saw Axel get infected with something, perhaps the last of the Sigma Virus. So obviously Axel will become a weapon for an enemy.
In my opinion I feel that Capcom had in mind to turn Axel into Sigma’s vessel, therefore keeping the traditional X series villain “alive’ and in the next game. I also think this should be part one of the last two X games. This series was originally planned to end at X5 with Zero’s self exile and deactivation therefore beginning the Zero series. However, plans changed and Zero is still awake in X8.
The only possible excuse Capcom can come up to fully explain that is to begin the Cyber Elf War in X9 and finish it in X10.
With that said, I believe the story of X9 should be that a few years after the Lunar event in X8 the tech for the next generation after the humans migrate the moon is being developed. The ELF systems are being created and they are promised to usher in a utopia for Reploids.
Sigma finally takes over Axel’s mind and uses him to corrupt the main Elf prototype, entitled Mother Elf, with the last of the Sigma Virus. This begins a chain reaction in which a Dark Elf is created from the corruption and separates from Mother Elf.
The evil Elves begin to infect Reploids creating new types of Mavericks that X and Zero can’t seem to harm. While Zero decides that in order to combat the threat he must be upgraded with Elf-tech, X uses a new prototype weapon set and armor to try and hold back the Dark Elf.
X9 would end with X nearly destroyed by the Dark Elf uses an enhanced Axel chassis but with Zero’s new Omega upgrade saving the day. The two will look on at the devastation and prepare to end the war in X10.
After that begins the Zero series.
Mega Man Zero 5
I’ll be honest, I did not like Zero 4. The first three games were excellent and the final game was such a letdown. I didn’t care for the enemy, which might have to do with me thinking Dr. Weil was a dumb character and a crappy attempt at recreating Dr. Wily. I also thought Kraft was just a brainless High Max-wannabe.
Still, the ending did leave us all on a cliffhanger. The problem with continuing the Zero series is that because we are led to believe that Zero died in the Ragnarok crash, how can they bring him back and get him set up to become the being known as “The Master” in the Legends series?
Yes, I believe that The Master, who is referenced in the Legends series, is Zero. I think that Zero finally felt that the best way to end all the heartache and terrible things going on in the world was to just start over. I also think that this doesn’t begin until after the ZX series, which comes after Zero 4.
If Zero 5 was to be a real project, I think it would be the most challenging of the 7 series to continue.
In my opinion, the only thing that seems logical would be to make it set right after the crash of Ragnarok where Zero is trapped on the moon. He was able to get off of Ragnarok and jettison himself outward towards the Moon. He lost his helmet in the event, which would explain it being seen in the wreckage.
On the moon, Zero comes across an old base owned by Sigma. His memories begin to flow back in and when inside, he somehow activates the base unleashing powerful Mavericks infused with a mutated strain of Sigma Virus. Basically, Zero needs to stop the Mavericks from leaving the Lunar Base and reaching human colonies.
At the end of the mission, Zero finds himself embraced by humans for saving them and he finds himself living with them. Time moves on and eventually the humans move on to other worlds but Zero stays behind to protect the Reploid-filled planet. He begins trying to figure out ways to help the Reploids improve and eventually erase the threat of the Mavericks.
In his new mission he finds that the wreckage built up over years of fighting and wars has left the world in a ruined state. Zero begins an initiative to start over by flooding the surface world leaving minimal landmasses and removing vital programming from the surviving robots leaving them husks under his control (Reverbots).
Zero begins a new with a new type of world, one where he can keep an eye on them and make sure the threat of rogue robots can never happen again. In order to simulate what life would be like with the humans back on the planet, Zero creates the Carbons and populates the world with them and new robots and tech.
Thus begins the Legends series. However, before that and Zero’s plans, the ZX series came about.
Mega Man ZX3
This series was not needed. That isn’t a knock on its quality or anything. It just wasn’t needed. If anything, all it does is serve to tell a story of how Reploids lived on the planet after the humans left for the Moon. Zero is already gone and Ciel is no where to be found. However, the most confusing part of ZX is how the consciousness and collective abilities, experience, and skills of the past heroes can be obtained by the characters in ZX.
If Zero is on the Moon, X is gone, Axl was destroyed during the Cyber Elf War, and the four Neo Arcadia guardians were long since destroyed, then how can their consciousness be used by someone else?
It really makes no sense other than making a really cool gameplay mechanics.
ZX didn’t have the greatest story or purpose but they were fun games. Honestly, Capcom could tell any story for ZX 3 and it will be fine to play. Perhaps this time we can use the models for Vile, Bit, Byte, Colonel, High Max, and Dynamo. Using the souls of the mid-game bosses from the X series seems to fall in line with using past heroes and bosses. Plus, Bit and Byte need more spotlight.
As for story, it really doesn’t matter with ZX. The story was so-so and had no meaning in the overall Mega Man timeline. It’s just a fun little side adventure before Zero floods the world and begins the Legends era.
Perhaps the models of the mid-game bosses I listed above were stolen and are highly dangerous. A falsely accused Maverick is being transported to a prison but whoever stole the models crashes with the envoy and the prisoner is able to get out of his shackles. The models, perhaps the Vile one first, attaches itself to this prisoner and he then saves the guards from the robbers. The prisoner then has to escaped because the guards still want to detain him. He takes the Vile model with him and has to clear his name by obtaining the other models and stopping the criminals.
Mega Man Legends 3
Now, Legends 3 was already in the making. However, we only know that we had to help Mega Man Trigger get off the Moon. After that, the story was unknown.
I think that Mega Man Legends 3 was going to focus on The Master, Zero, coming from the Moon to the planet to activate another reboot of the planet due to Trigger’s defiance.
Roll and Tron succeed in building a rocket and getting Mega off the Moon but when they come back, they see Reverbots invading and The Master’s huge vessel hovering in the sky.
Mega Man Legends 3 is about Trigger doing this best to stop Zero from rebooting the world again, promising that he’ll protect the Carbons and keep the peace. Zero sees how close Trigger resembles his old friend and promises to spare the world and also leave it in Trigger’s hands.
Zero finally departs from the planet to look for his human friends and live in peace.
Since Legends is technically the end of the Mega Man timeline due to Battle Network and Star Force being a different timeline, I guess you could say this would end the Mega Man story. The 5 interconnected series would be done with Mega Man 11, Mega Man X9 and 10, Zero 5, ZX 3 (not needed), and Legends 3 closes the book with the final chapter.
It’s funny that Zero’s activation concludes the original, Classic series and his depature/second exile is the final chapter to the Blue Bomber’s long timeline. While this article is about how to continue Mega Man’s series, it seems that the end is inevitable.
There’s only one tale to tell in the Classic series and that’s Zero’s activation and rebellion. The X series needs to see the Cyber Elf War and Zero’s transformation and rebuilding. The Zero series needs to show how Zero becomes The Master and begins his plans to reboot the world. The ZX series is just… there. The Legends series needs to close everything out by having Zero realize that his want to make the world as peaceful as possible turned sour and it was the rebirth of his old friend that made him realize it. Then the saga of Mega Man can close.
Mega Man Battle Network 7
I know I may be in a minority here but I loved the Battle Network series. It was a series that my friends at the time were into as well and we just had so much fun collecting Battle Chips, figuring out the right buster upgrades and netcodes to use in our Megaman.EXE’s, and having netbattles through link cables. We even hosted a local N1 Grand Prix.
That all said, this series was actually finished. Capcom actually ended a Mega Man series. The problem is, it’s missed immensely and we all want to see Lan and Mega head to high school, become premier Net Agents, and finally get together with Mayl and cease the subtle hints and nudges.
Since things were wrapped up so well in Battle Network 6, there needs to be a reason to bring back the series. Battle Network 7 would have to see the FMians invade and basically be a battle between alien technology and aging technology. Lan will have to utilize Megaman.EXE to his fullest extent to battle the FMians and stop their invasion.
This could be the explanation as to why EM waves took over as the leading technology over internet connections and cyber worlds. Perhaps after the FMian invasion, Lan and his dad begin to experiment on the FM technology left over from the battles and they slowly begin research on creating the EM wave tech for the future.
This would basically be justification for the Star Force series which begins with Geo Stelar’s journey 200 years after Battle Network.
So Lan and Mega have to fight once again but this time against aliens that use waves and can inhabit humans as hosts. Lan’s dad has to figure out how to get Lan and Mega to fight against the actual FMians and stop them for good. This all leads to huge technological advances and in 200 years time we finally meet Geo Stelar.
Mega Man Star Force 4
As I said, Star Force takes place 200 years in the future after Lan’s long journey with Megaman.EXE. In Star Force, the FMians make a return and one of them befriends Geo, the series’ main character. Omega-Xis, the FMian, allows Geo to transform and help people. Geo in this form begins to be called Mega Man.
I’ll be honest here, I wasn’t a fan of Star Force. I could care less if this series continues or not but there still is one story left to be told here: the Black Hole Server.
There’s enough to make a fourth game but honestly, if there was news of a new Battle Network coming out then I really can’t see anyone saying “oh boy, I sure hope that means Star Force 4 is right around the corner!”
I would stack everything I have in betting that Star Force is the least liked of the 7 series. Still, this article is about continuing the series so…
Although Geo helped Omega-Xis reunite with Kelvin and defeat the Crimson Dragon, the Black Hole Server still exists and is distorting the Noise which begins to affect the FMians. They start going berserk and launch an invasion of Geo’s planet. Geo and Xis have to infiltrate the Black Hole Server and find out what is the cause of the distortion.
You’re welcome, Capcom
There you have it, seven series with seven new game ideas to continue the franchise. This isn’t rocket science, Capcom. The fans have waited long enough. If you truly want to end the Mega Man franchise then do it the right way and end the stories either just like or similar to what I just wrote here.
I love Mega Man and I desperately want to see some new titles but I also wouldn’t mind the franchise closing for good as long as it was worthwhile. What I wrote is basically a ton of fan fiction but it is the most logical and probably of the timeline continuations. Everything series flows into another. You have Classic flowing into X. Then X flows into the Zero series. After Zero we have the side story of the models and ZX. Long after that we begin to witness Trigger’s journey in Legends. Battle Network is basically the Classic series except Dr. Light figured out how to use the internet and its cyber worlds instead of just robotics. Star Force shows the advancement of the Battle Network formula.
The flow works nice enough. We just need actual Capcom confirmation on it all and to see how the tale ends.