The Mega Man series, known as Rockman (ロックマン Rokkuman) in Japan, often referred as the "original Mega Man" or "Classic Mega Man" series, is the first series of the Mega Man franchise of games. The first game, Mega Man, was released on December 17, 1987 on the Famicom (FC) in Japan and on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in North America and Europe.
Most of the main games in the series are known simply as "Mega Man" (or "Rockman") followed by a number (2, 3, etc.), however in Japan each numbered title, excluding the first one, has a subtitle. The ninth mainline title in the series is titled simply Mega Man & Bass, and is internally referred to as 8.5. The mainline titles following this continue the original numeration, being titled Mega Man 9, Mega Man 10 and Mega Man 11.
The basic story of the series revolves around the robot engineer Dr. Thomas Light, his robotic "children", Rock/Mega Man (a lab-assistant) and Roll (a housekeeper), and their struggle against Dr. Albert W. Wily. The series is set in the early-21st century.
Below is a list of games ordered by the timeline of the Mega Man series. See the game pages for more details of the story.
- Mega Man (Rock became Mega Man on May 25, 200X.)
- Mega Man Powered Up (remake of the first game)
- Mega Man 2 (200X, as shown in the opening. Starts in June 9, one year (and 2 weeks) after the first game.)
- Mega Man 3 (20XX, as shown in the Rockman Complete Works official site and in the back of the original Japanese box. Of note, the Wii Virtual Console manual shows the year 200X. Gamma was stolen on August 28.)
- Mega Man 4 (one year after Mega Man 3, as shown in the NES and Virtual Console manuals.)
- Mega Man 5 (20XX, as shown in the opening. About two months after Mega Man 4.)
- Mega Man 6 (one year after Mega Man 5.)
- Mega Man 7 (six months after Mega Man 6, as shown in the opening)
- Mega Man 8
- Mega Man & Bass
- Mega Man 9
- Mega Man 10
- Mega Man 11
Mega Man World series:
The exact time those games take place in the story is unknown, but they happen sometime between the games listed in parentheses due to elements present on them.
- Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge (after Mega Man 2)
- Mega Man II (after Mega Man 3)
- Mega Man III (after Mega Man 4)
- Mega Man IV (between Mega Man 5 and Mega Man 6)
- Mega Man V (20XX, between Mega Man 5 and Mega Man 6)
These games were stated to take place in a "parallel world" and are thus not part of the main timeline.
- Mega Man: The Power Battle (after Mega Man 7)
- Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters (half a year after Mega Man 8)
- Mega Man: The Wily Wars
- Wily and Right's RockBoard: That's Paradise (after Mega Man 4)
- Mega Man's Soccer (a few months after Mega Man 4)
- Super Adventure Rockman (after Mega Man 5)
- Mega Man: Battle & Chase (after Mega Man 7)
- Mega Man Pinball
- Mega Man Rush Marine
- Chokkan! Rockman
- Rockman Diver
- Rockman GP
- Rockman no Dot Art Logic
- Rockman Panic Fire
- Rockman Poker
- Rockman Slot
- Rockman Solitaire
- Rockman Space Rescue
- Rockman Tennis
- Rockman The Puzzle Battle
- Tobe! Rockman
- Mega Man Universe (Cancelled)
- Rockman VR: A Targeted Virtual World!!
Games that were licensed by Capcom. Their canon is questionable, and some may not be part of the Mega Man timeline. Rockman & Forte: Mirai Kara no Chōsensha is the only to have been referred in a later game, Mega Man ZX Advent, namely. It is also the only licensed game to be included in the book R20 Rockman & Rockman X Official Complete Works.
- Mega Man (PC)
- Mega Man 3 (PC)
- Mega Man (Game Gear)
- Rockman & Forte: Mirai Kara no Chōsensha
- Rockman Strategy
- Rockman no Huángjīn Dìguó
- Rockman IQ Xuànfēng
- Street Fighter X Mega Man
- The first games take place in the ambiguous years of "200X" (the first decade of the 21st century), which is shown in the opening scenes of Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 4. Mega Man 5 was the first game to directly reference the more ambiguous year of "20XX", which is used in later games. The Mega Man Battle Network series also take place in "200X" in early games, and later takes place in "20XX".
- It has never been directly stated whether the transition from 200X to 20XX was meant to show a transition in time or to provide for more ambiguity. However, events that have been retconned to 20XX can still take place in the 200X time period, as 20XX simply means somewhere between 2000 and 2099.
- The year of Mega Man Powered Up, the remake of the first game, is listed as 20XX, but the narrator pronounces it as "200X".
- Although Mega Man 4 uses 200X in the opening scene, the scene is mentioning the events of previous games, so it is possible it could take place in either 200X or 20XX.
- The year of Rockman & Forte: Mirai Kara no Chōsensha is listed as 200X.
- The opening of Mega Man 4 states that Mega Man had defeated Wily three times before the game, but it is mentioning only the previous three games, ignoring other entries. Similarly, Mega Man V says Wily's fourth attempt to conquer the world has failed thanks to Mega Man, but this only includes the previous Game Boy games.
- Capcom has as of yet not revealed what happened to the characters between the classic and X series.
- A popular theory among some fans was that Zero killed the main cast when he was activated, which originated from the webcomic Bob and George. In an interview with Ryan Scott of 1Up.com, Capcom's Hironobu Takeshita said that the idea of Zero activating and fighting and/or killing Mega Man and company "seems like a rumor that goes around in certain circles, but it is not official. Certainly, the two series are set in different time periods, but they share the same spectacular world. There might be a bridge for the chronological gap someday, but I don't think it's time yet." Keiji Inafune stated that Zero didn't do this. However, Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters reveals that Wily did at least originally intend to use Zero to destroy both Mega Man and Bass.
- Other common theories are that Mega Man and company live normally until the end of their lives (which is supported by Auto's cameo appearance in the CD versions of Mega Man X3, although it could be only a gameplay extra), or they were deactivated and sent to a robot museum after an unknown time. Mega Man could also have been captured by Wily and turned into Quint. Proto Man probably succumbed to the lethal breakdown of his nuclear reactor, unless he was finally repaired by Dr. Light. However, all of these are only speculations.
- Capcom has revealed that they do have an outline for the gap between the Classic and X series, but currently have no plans to share it because they enjoy seeing players using their imaginations to come up with their own conclusions and wouldn’t want to take that away.
- It is unknown exactly when X was sealed by Dr. Light, as the only date given is the time Light wrote his message September 18, 20XX. X was initially meant to be sealed for 30 years, but apparently he ended up being sealed away for a longer time. He was unsealed by Dr. Cain in 21XX.
- Interestingly enough, the classic series is the longest running series, despite being the first series created.
- Source books and instruction manuals
- G4-The History of Mega Man.
- Rockman Perfect Memories forum - Mega Man Chronology Discussion
- The Mega Man Network Community - Timeline of Classic
- The Reploid Research Lavatory: From the Journal of Thomas Right, from Rockman Character Collection.
- The Reploid Research Lavatory: Like A Boss (Family Computer Magazine 1988 #14)
- Rockman Complete Works (PSone Books) official site (archive)
- Mega Man 3 on GameFAQs
- In Mega Man 9's ending, Mega Man shows Wily nine of his previous defeats, eight of them being from the previous games and one from Mega Man & Bass.
- Slash Man is based on Pluto, and Wily was in jail between Mega Man 6 and Mega Man 7, leaving no room for another game between these two games.
- The Reploid Research Lavatory-Ultimate Justice on Parallel Earths
- Mega Man: Official Complete Works. Udon Entertainment. January 6, 2010. p. 83.
- Capcom-Unity: Inafune-san Answers Your Questions!