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The Mega Man Game We Deserve (But Probably Won’t Get)
I would be pretty shocked if Capcom didn’t come out with a new Mega Man game before the next generation kicks off. Despite there being no known Mega Man games actually in development, the Mega Man franchise is one of Capcom’s oldest and most profitable game franchises. More recently though with the release of Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10, Capcom was “modestly pleased with how 9 and 10 did,” so why not make at least more?
Are they afraid to move forward with Mega Man now that Kenji Inafune, the man who had guided the series since its inception, has now left Capcom? Clearly not if Mega Man appearing as a guest character in Street Fighter X Tekken is any indication.
So now what kind of Mega Man game should they come out with next? It should be something great, something that reignites interest in Mega Man as a character and the entire Mega Man series going forward… Something like Mega Man 11. Yeah, seems like a no brainer right? But this should be unlike any Mega Man game that came before it. This should finally conclude the “classic” Mega Man series, and it should do so with style.
I’ve been following the plot of the Mega Man and Mega Man X games for quite a while, and some things about the Mega Man universe really irks me. Specifically, how they never mentioned or explained what happened to the cast of the original Mega Man games. Where did they go? Sure, Mega Man X takes place roughly 100 years after the original series, but so what? They’re freakin’ robots, it isn’t like they died of old age.
I remember playing Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters on the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, and after beating it with Bass seeing something pretty crazy during the ending cutscene:
So finally, we had confirmation in the classic series that Dr. Wily did in fact create Zero. Of course that had been strongly hinted at in several of the Mega Man X games, specifically Mega Man X4, but never touched on in the classic series.
Of course, both Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters and Mega Man X4 were made in the mid-90’s, so Zero being a Wilybot is nothing new. However Capcom dropped another big milestone on the road to Mega Man X within Mega Man 10 when Wily used a virus called “Roboenza” to turn everyday friendly robots into killing machines.
Sound familiar? Because it should. The Maverick Virus is what caused everyday reploids in the Mega Man X games to “become violent and try to and take over the world” time and time again, which is why the Maverick Hunters were formed. Whether Roboenza and the Maverick Virus are the same exact thing, or Roboenza was simply a precursor virus, we’ll likely never know. Either way, the fact that the Maverick Virus, regardless of its current form or state, now also exists within the classic Mega Man universe alongside Zero tells me that there is only one more game to make, one more thing to do.
They have to kill Mega Man.
And probably all of his cute robotic friends, too.
That seems like a drastic step, but I don’t see any other way the Mega Man games could actually “end.” Wily has all he needs to put forth his final master plan to destroy Mega Man and Dr. Light, so why wouldn’t he? The writing is on the walls, this is the day Wily wins… sorta. I mean, I half expect Zero to kill Wily while he’s at it. Might as well, right? After this Wily really has no reason to exist, since he surely didn’t end up conquering the world.
Besides the game ending with Mega Man losing, Mega Man 11 should be the same Mega Man formula that gamers have grown to expect throughout the years. Mega Man should still end up fighting eight Robot Masters, with the rock-paper-scissors styled boss fights we all know and love. Only after they’re defeated the game should take a dark unexpected turn.
Mega Man returns home to find his family has been slaughtered by Zero, it turns out the Robot Masters were just a distraction. Wily of course knew Mega Man would jump right out and stop the Robot Masters first, leaving Dr. Light’s house unguarded and and everyone blind to the real threat.
The boss battle that follows should be relatively quick, and totally futile. It should parallel the end of the first Mega Man X stage where X is pitted against Vile in a fight he couldn’t help but lose, and only survives because of Zero’s timely intervention.
Mega Man will not be so lucky, and despite his (and the players) best efforts, Mega Man falls. Right before Zero is able to deliver the final blow, Mega Man manages to start the lab’s self destruct sequence, to make sure Zero doesn’t escape and cause more damage.
The next scene should show Dr. Light’s lab exploding, much like how Dr. Wily’s fortress always ends up blowing up at the games conclusion. We see that Dr. Light hid Mega Man X somewhere, just waiting to be discovered in the future. There is still hope for the future. Roll credits.
From there it’s easy to piece together that Dr. Light’s lab is in fact the caved in area where Sigma ends up fighting Zero for the first time in the flashback cutscene from Mega Man X4. Sigma contracts the Maverick Virus, goes crazy and becomes evil, and thus the events of the Mega Man X series play out as they always have.
Unfortunately I sincerely doubt that this is a game we will ever see. Besides the extremely different tone the game would have to take, no company wants to seed away the future potential for sequels and the like. Master Chief lived, Commander Shepard lived (depending on which bad ending you went with,) Isaac Clarke lived, Captain Price lived, an elderly-biological-ticking-time-bomb Solid Snake lived, wouldn’t it be nice to finally end a franchise with some dignity, the way Capcom knows it has to end? If they did do something this drastic it would reignite interest in both the original Mega Man and Mega Man X series, and leaves the door open for (another) reboot of the classic series down the line. The potential for market growth is enormous.
Killing off your main title character isn’t really as crazy as it sounds. Just look at Superman, his death was the best thing to ever happen him. The original Blue Bomber has had a damn fine run, he should go out with a bang.