Special Weapons (特殊武器 Tokushu Buki), also known as Master Weapons or simply weapons, are weapons that some playable characters from the Mega Man series can obtain, generally by using the Variable Weapon System (武器可変システム Buki Kahen Shisutemu), also known as the Weapon Copy System. Those weapons usually are more powerful than the player's starting weapon or have additional functions, such as the ability to open paths or paralyze enemies. But unlike the character's main weapon, which has unlimited energy, Special Weapons use weapon energy. Each weapon has a limited stock of Weapon Energy, and the amount consumed with each shot tends to be proportional to the weapon's power. The weapon is not lost if its meter is depleted, but it must be refilled before it can be used again. Weapon Energy items can partially refill the bar (normally, the weapon must be equipped for this, but the Energy Balancer eliminates this necessity). It can also be refilled by other means, like Tanks.
Mega Man and Mega Man X series
In the Mega Man and Mega Man X series, the player's character (Mega Man, Proto Man, Bass, Duo, Mega Man X, and Axl) obtain a Special Weapon from the bosses (Robot Masters or Maverick Reploids) they defeat. Most games contain eight Special Weapons, each from a boss in the Stage Select Screen. The amount of weapons may vary depending of the game, from three in the DOS Mega Man game to eleven in Mega Man 10 and sixteen in Super Adventure Rockman. The Wily Tower mode from Mega Man: The Wily Wars contains all twenty-two Special Weapons compiled from the first three Mega Man games, but the player can carry only eight of them at a time. In a few games, like Mega Man 8 and Mega Man X8, it is possible to use the standard buster and a Special Weapon simultaneously, generally when the controller has enough buttons to accommodate the feature.
The way a Special Weapon is obtained varies. In the first Mega Man game and in Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters, the boss drops an item containing his weapon, the robot's "heart part" (心臓部分 shinzou bubun) and the Special Weapon Item, respectively. In games like Mega Man 2, Mega Man 7, Mega Man 11 and Mega Man & Bass, the player's character absorbs energy from his surroundings to obtain a Special Weapon. In Super Adventure Rockman, Mega Man is shown to obtain Special Weapons by taking a chip with data of the weapon from the defeated boss and equipping it in his Mega Buster. In the opening from the first Mega Man X game, it is shown that X has a Variable Weapon System in his X-Buster that allows him to obtain and use Special Weapons. In Mega Man X5 it is revealed that X obtains Special Weapons from the DNA program of defeated bosses. With the use of Arm Parts, X can also charge the attack of his weapons. Save for rare exceptions like the Atomic Fire, most Special Weapons cannot be charged.
As the weapon obtained is not being used by the original user, who is specialized on it, sometimes the weapon may be less powerful and have a few differences. Despite this and the energy limitation, the sheer versatility of the Special Weapons makes them very powerful and threatening. A user clever enough to obtain the appropriate weapon can target the next opponent's exact weakness, providing a major advantage in battle. Using a Special Weapon does not change the user's natural weaknesses, except for some bosses.
Roll also uses Special Weapons in Marvel vs. Capcom, and Mega Man was shown obtaining and using a special weapon from the Wily Machine in Mega Man II, Onslaught's Magnetic Shockwave in Marvel vs. Capcom, and using more than one Special Weapon at the same time in other media.
The armor of most users changes colors to match the Special Weapon in use, the exception being Axl and Roll. Mega Man, Proto Man, and Mega Man X also don't change color in some media, like the animated series and the fighting games Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. In the fighting games, this is possibly to avoid confusion with their alternate colors, although Mega Man's alternate color palettes in the Super Smash Bros. games represent some of the weapons present in his moveset.
Although Zero obtains techniques instead of Special Weapons, a few abilities like Dark Hold and Guard Shell are identical to X's version. The only instance Zero actually uses Special Weapons is in Rockman X Mega Mission 2. Zero upgraded his buster into the Neo Buster by combining it with broken parts of the X-Buster, which was still infected by the Limited and allowed Zero to use weapons that X had obtained in the first three games. When using weapons, Zero's normal armor doesn't change color, but the Neo Buster and the Energy Armor change.
In some games the player can't change weapons while one is in use and present in the screen, while in others it is possible, but doing so usually will make the current weapon disappear. In some cases, like Mega Man 4, pausing the game will cause the current weapon to disappear even if it isn't changed.
Mega Man Legends series
In the Mega Man Legends series, Roll Caskett can develop Special Weapons for MegaMan Volnutt's right arm by using objects he find in his adventures. MegaMan Volnutt can carry only one Special Weapon with him at a time, so he must talk with Roll to change his current weapon.
Roll can also improve the five abilities of each Special Weapon (Attack, Energy, Range, Rapid and Special) with the use of Zenny, strong weapons like the Active Buster and Shining Laser causing a greater amount of damage than it originally did or gaining infinite energy.
In Archie Comics' Mega Man comic series, Mega Man Megamix, Ruby-Spears' Mega Man animated series, and Mega Man: Upon a Star, Mega Man, Proto Man and X obtain Special Weapons by touching the target to download data of his weapon.
In the Rockman manga series, Mega Man obtains weapons by taking a chip from the opponent and installing it on himself. He was also seen attacking with multiple weapons in some occasions. Similarly, in the Rockman X manga and Irregular Hunter Rockman X, X obtains weapons by taking weapon chips from other Reploids. In Rockman X Mega Mission, the Limited allows X to use weapons he had obtained in the past even without their chips equipped in his buster.
Mega Man (Ruby-Spears)
Mega Man has an internal weapons converter that allows him to steal a Robot Master's power by touching him. The robot will be unable to use his weapon after this, and many of them attempt to run away from Mega Man if they are still functional, with only a few (Pharaoh Man and Crystal Man) attempting to fight without their power. Proto Man and Mega Man X also used this ability once to obtain the Super Arm and Search Snake, respectively. As a more advanced model, X's version turns out to be much more powerful than the original, as a single shot ravaged a cannon in a matter of seconds.
Mega Man often obtains at least one weapon during a climatic battle to solve an immediate crisis. His most prominent use of an obtained weapon occurs when Dr. Wily terrorizes the seas: Mega Man stops this scheme by taking the weapons of every Wily robot on-board Dr. Wily's floating fortress, including Proto Man's, in order to build up enough plasma energy to overload the engines. He also makes a creative use of his ability to copy the schematics of Robo-Spider's energy-draining electronic web at Dr. Light's request.
Besides the weapons that can be obtained in the games, Mega Man also got the powers of Proto Man, Dark Man and the Mummy Bot, and once he used two Special Weapons (Gyro Attack and Spark Shock) at the same time.
Unlike the games, the character's armor don't change color when using a Special Weapon in the series. This is because it was believed the color change effect would have been too visually confusing in animation, instead adding an animated effect of Mega Man absorbing his opponent's power.
Mega Man (Archie Comics)
Mega Man has a Copy Chip that allows him to take information found within other robots' data chips, and emulate their special abilities. However, as the system works to adapt them to Mega Man's own limitations, not all weapon emulation is a perfect reproduction of the original abilities. Mega Man can gain the weapon by direct interface with the defeated Robot Master, namely via touch. A side-effect appears when Mega Man emulates a weapon. The specialized radiation emitted from the weapons provides a strange reaction with the Light Ceramical Titanium armor, leading to it appearing to change color. A drawback, however, was that when Mega Man utilizes the Special Weapon, it disables his Mega Buster to allow use of the selected Special Weapon, as only one weapon can be used at a time.
When Mega Man copies the weapon data from a robot, he may also copy other types of data. In the story arc Let the Games Begin!, Dr. Light was able to find Dr. Wily's hideout by analyzing the data Mega Man obtained from the Robot Masters. In The Return of Dr. Wily, Dr. Wily made sure that when his eight Robot Masters had their weapons copied by Mega Man, he would also copy a virus into him. After downloading the virus from some Robot Masters, Dr. Light noticed Mega Man was acting strange and created an anti-virus as a precaution and started to install it from Light Labs. However, the installation was interrupted after Mega Man defeated the last Robot Master, which made him fall under Dr. Wily's control and teleported him to his Wily Castle. He is later freed with the help of Dr. Light's Robot Masters, who hold him and finish installing the anti-virus. In issue 47, Mega Man also proceeded to used the special weapon system to locate where Gamma and Wily were after taking out a decoy. In addition, Mega Man can also copy multiple Special Weapons simultaneously, as evidenced by his copying weapons from Dr. Light's robots in issue 7 and all eight of the Wily Robot Masters' Special Weapons from Doc Robot in issue 47.
During the Worlds Collide crossover arc, Mega Man also attempted to use his weapon copy system to find out information regarding Tails Man, although it instead resulted in the Roboticized Master turning back to the true identity of Miles "Tails" Prower.
During the Worlds Unite crossover arc, Mega Man, while he was M'egga Man, had access to eight Special Weapons. Similarly, Sonic Man, the Roboticized version of Sonic the Hedgehog, also had access to the same amount. A joke version of a Special Weapon called the Mama Beam was also utilized by Mega Man in the Off-Panel for Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 275, in a failed attempt to liven up an otherwise bombed 275th issue celebration with himself, Sonic, and the Sonic Boom counterpart to the latter.
The Special Weapons system can also copy information from machines other than Robot Masters, as was demonstrated when he traced Gamma's location from Wily Machine 3's remains.
This Mega Man uses a replication beam that allows him to download a robot's schematics into his systems, granting him free use of the copied weapon. When using a weapon, he not only changes color, but his physical form also alters to more closely resemble the robot he took it from. Unlike in other media, Mega Man doesn't discard the weapon after using it and has free access to it for an indefinite period of time. As a side effect, he also takes on aspects of the Robot Master's personality when using their schematics. For example, using Fire Man's schematics makes him aggressive and easy to anger, while Air Man's schematics makes him egotistical and vain.
A weakness to Aki's Special Weapons not seen in other Mega Men is that he can only carry three at a time, requiring him to offload some of them on data cartridges when not in use. When he attempted to carry all of them, as shown in "Too Much Is Never Enough", his systems overload, causing his Mega Buster to fire at random and rapid shifts between the copied Robot Master personalities. If used in conjuction with the Mega Key, however, Mega Man can achieve his full potential and overcome this weakness.
In the trailer "Mega Man Joins the Battle", midway through the trailer, Mega Man after being knocked back proceeds to unleash his Special Weapons on his opponents before finishing them off with Flame Blast. The trailer seems to imply that he accesses the Special Weapons via his central processing unit.
- See also: Special Weapon/Gallery
- Special Weapons in the classic series
- X's weaponry
- Axl's weaponry
- MegaMan Volnutt's equipment
- Energy Balancer
- Weapons Archive
Other main weapons
- Zero's weaponry
- Vile's weaponry
- List of Mega Man X: Command Mission items
- Battle Chip
- Battle Card
- After defeating the Wily Capsule in the end of the Mega Man game for Game Gear, Mega Man acts in the same way he does when copying a weapon from a boss. However, unlike Mega Man II and Marvel vs. Capcom, he does not use any weapon afterwards.
- In the first game and Super Adventure Rockman, it appears that an important part of the boss is required to obtain his Special Weapon, meaning that the boss can't function without it. However, this doesn't seen to be the case as a severely damaged Ballade is still functional in Mega Man IV after Mega Man defeated him and obtained his weapon.
- In the Mega Man X series, New Generation Reploid are able to copy the characteristics of any Reploid, they are also able to obtain Special Weapons. In Mega Man X8, Lumine uses the Special Weapons of all the eight bosses in his first form.
- Also, the boss rematches have Guardroids instead of the original bosses. However, it is unknown if Guardroids are able to use Special Weapons in any form or only when they fully copy the character's form.
- Similarly, in the original series, Copy Robot can use any weapon, but he only uses the same as the robot he is copying. For instance, if Mega Man equips the Thunder Beam, the Copy Robot will also use it.
- Doc Robot from Mega Man 3 can use the eight Special Weapons of the bosses from Mega Man 2. In the Archie Comics Doc Robot is a single robot with eight weapons, while in Mega Man Gigamix eight Doc Robots exist, each equipped with a weapon.
- X does not use Special Weapons in Mega Man X: Command Mission, although he can equip elemental variants of the X-Buster for similar effect, and Scarface show some awareness of X's copy ability by noting that he can grow stronger.
- The concept of Bass.EXE's Get Ability seems to be based on the ability to obtain Special Weapons.
- First used in the Mega Man II and Mega Man 5 instruction manuals.
- Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge instruction manual
- X's specifications
- The Official Guide to Mega Man
- Rockman Virtual Console site and Rockman 3 instruction manual
- Rockman X Mega Mission 2 card no. 52. Translation from The Reploid Research Laboratory.
- Sipher Says Stuff, Joe Ruby on the American Mega Man cartoon!
- Archie Comics Mega Man blog: Making the Man "Mega," part 5: Arms, Hands, and Mega Busters (Dead link) Retrieved September 2011.
- Mega Man #2
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