Mega Man 11 and Portal* for Switch!


Every few days, a brand new game is announced for Nintendo Switch. We’ve started doing a news segment weekly and we can barely keep up! In this installment, we discuss the (blue) bombshell that Mega Man 11 is blasting his way to Switch next year, followed by the biggest surprise in a while… Portal is back?

“Exit the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Why Mega Man is Not the Main Character

Mega Man is at a weird juncture in its life.  It has been five years since the last actual game release with Street Fighter x Mega Man. But since then, there have been fan games released, a “spiritual successor” in Mighty No. 9, guest appearances in fighting games like Super Smash Bros., a cartoon series and movie announced, and a “big announcement” coming in December for his 30th anniversary, not to mention several collections for modern consoles of some of his classic adventures. I guess you could say that he is experiencing his own mid-life crisis, trying to find his identity in these unfamiliar times.

Not to alleviate that, it is my goal today to tell him that the franchise that bears his namesake is not about him. It may be rude to kick someone while they are down, but I want to bring some reality to the situation. First, I want to prove that Mega Man is NOT the central protagonist of his franchise, then present to whom I believe the spotlight has shifted.

Background

In talking about this franchise, I would like to get some terminology out of the way. First, I will be using “series” and “franchise” in very different ways. “Franchise” will refer to all things Mega Man (especially media considered “canon”), and when I use “series” I will denote the specific subdivision of the franchise to which I am referring (i.e. classic, X, Battle Network, etc.)

Also, I will be dealing primarily with the “classic” timeline. For those of you unfamiliar, the Mega Man canon is divided up into 2 main timelines. The first is what I will refer to as the classic timeline. This includes the classic series, X series, Zero series, ZX Series, and Legends series. The second timeline, in which Dr. Light pursued software solutions as opposed to robotics, contains the Battle Network and Star Force series. It is a little more complicated than that, but, as I said, I will refrain from using those sources when I can.

I will also try to refrain from boring you with storyline minutia, though some talk of story points is inevitable. Consider this a spoiler warning… If you ever cared about the Mega Man storyline being spoiled for you…

Who is “Mega Man”?

The difficulty in defining Mega Man as the star of his own franchise begins with defining who you are referring to when you refer to Mega Man. Do you mean the classic 8-bit rendition, or the reploid named X, which bears resemblance? Perhaps you are referring to Mega Man Volnutt, or maybe the persona created by the fusion of Geo and Omega-Xis?

Will the real Mega Man please stand up?

If you were to count characters commonly referred to as Mega Man (by games of fans) you would come up with no less than five, or three in the classic timeline, and possibly as many as twenty or more depending on which renditions you “count”. Even if you were to only count three, all of them are separate entities with their own origins and personalities which they do not share with any of the others. Also, no one of those characters plays a major part in all of those games or series.

The best way around this is to hold to a view that Mega Man is not a single entity, but rather an idea centered around championing peace, justice, and the color blue to a troubled world. At that point, Mega Man is no longer a character, but a loosely-defined set of characteristics that do not find themselves clearly stated in the games, but are then defined by the player. It is an entertaining thought, but hardly a basis of a character.

One champion above the others…?

Now that we are forced to chose one Mega Man, we must choose wisely. First, we should immediately eliminate Mega Man Volnutt from the equation. His series takes place thousands of years apart from the other series, holding only tangential story ties.

Next is the classic Mega Man. It was with him that the franchise began, and I think that it is safe to say that he was the original protagonist of the series. But this Mega Man does not have any direct influence after the time of the classic series end. Though nostalgia may cloud our vision, he had to pass the torch eventually.

Lastly, we have X, which I believe is the best of the Mega Man candidates. We see his origins in the classic series, created by Dr. Light as Mega Man’s successor and an experiment that one day robots might be just like humans. X’s main story begins in Mega Man X, extending through the X series. He fights in the Maverick Wars against Sigma and his underlings. X’s influence is seen through the Zero series (though not being the main protagonist) turning into a cyber elf, still fighting for the greater good, but dying-ish in Mega Man Zero 3. His soul returns in the form of Biometal Model X in the ZX series, continuing in his assistance to the current heroes.

No doubt X’s influence is felt throughout these time periods. His help in defeating Sigma countless times, as well as other threats against the earth cannot be overlooked. But even with all of these points, the developers have not ceased to draw our attention to the real star of the show.

Zero’s the Hero

Was there any doubt when you started reading this article who I would land on as the franchise’s main protagonist? Not only does Zero have a great design, killer moves, and hair that makes all the ladies jealous, but Zero is the central character of the Mega Man franchise as a whole.

First, there is the issue of presence. Of course, Zero is not clearly present in the Legends series (yet), but, once again, the Legends series is so far removed from the rest of the timeline that we must minimize its effect. Zero’s story, as X’s did, begins in the classic series with Wily’s creation of Bass as a rival to Mega Man. Though Bass failed to live up to Wily’s expectations, he studied the energy he had used to create Bass (called Bassnium, lol) to create the ultimate weapon. Here we see Zero’s sinister origins.

Before the events of the first Mega Man X game, Zero is shown to be a maverick (read: “crazed, destructive robot”), unstoppable by any of the Maverick Hunters except Sigma, and only that due to a headache caused by the Maverick Virus, which is released from Zero’s body upon defeat. Sigma has Zero brought back to the Maverick Hunters’ base.

From this point forward, the storyline of the series follows two repeating themes. The first is Zero’s redemption. Though Zero fights for truth, justice, and all that jazz, his primary struggle is against himself. In fact, just about everyone’s struggle from this point on, for the next few hundred years, at least, can be traced back to Zero, either directly, or in the form of the Maverick Virus, or some other “chunk” of Zero that finds its way to a sinister purpose. Sigma, the main villain from the X series, turned evil because he was infected by the Maverick Virus. All of these things set the stage for Zero to not only become the primary hero of the X series (and beyond), but also the primary antagonist, as he must fight to redeem his initial purpose as a weapon of evil and his past (and recurring) destructive actions. X is a hero for good that pretty much stays good. Boring.

The second theme is sacrifice and rebirth. As you may know, Zero dies. He dies A LOT. His deaths are not just the result of his defeats, however, as he routinely sacrifices himself for the greater good (defeating Vile on MMX, Sigma in X5, etc.). But just as the evil part of him is consistently brought back to life by some wicked plot, he always seems to find his way to the land of the living as well. The cycle continues at least through the ZX series, and probably beyond.

The passing of the torch

The last thing I feel I need to address is the “when”. When did the focus shift from Mega Man to Zero? I think the easiest answer is Mega Man X4, as we see a greater, overt emphasis on Zero’s role starting there (X1-3 seem to focus on X, X4-6 focus on Zero, and X7-8 on Axl), but I think we can go back a little further.

At the beginning of the first Mega Man X game, we see X defeated by Vile, and Zero swooping in to save the day. While giving X a pep talk Zero says, “If you use all the abilities you were designed with, you should become stronger…you may even become as powerful as I am.” From this point forward in the game, whenever X gains an armor upgrade, he becomes more and more like, say it with me, Zero (this point is taken from Arin “Egoraptor” Hanson’s Mega Man X Sequelitis video. There is strong language in the video, so follow it at your own risk)! Though X is the central protagonist, becoming like Zero is his ultimate goal. What is the plot of the Second X game? Rebuilding Zero after his heroism in the first game! Even when he is not alive, Zero is given the center stage. Though the plot in X3 does not necessarily revolve around him, he is still given an increasingly important role, as he is finally a playable character, setting the stage for him to be the center of attention for the rest of the series and, after that, the franchise.

So, there you have it. All roads in the Mega Man universe lead to Zero.

 

P.S. Did I mention that he also appears in the Battle Network timeline as well?

Mega Man X – Newb Vs. Pro


In our previous Mega Man Trivia episode, we proved that Simeon is a master of Mega Man knowledge. This video, today, is here to prove that Simeon’s got just as much skill in-game as he does outside. And for your comparison pleasure, we have Scott, who will contrast Simeon’s awesomeness with pure newbishness.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Maga Man Trivia – Can We Stump the Pro?


Simeon is a bit of a Mega Man whiz. He’s a speedrunner and all-around know-it-all when it comes to the Blue Bomber. But can Scott scour the internet for obscure details about the franchise to take Simeon by surprise? Watch and see!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Future of 2D Metroid, Wii Shop, Mega Man?!


In the first-ever installment of Live Show News, we’ve got our crystal balls out to talk about the ~future~ of video games! Wii Shop Channel? Mega Man? 2D Metroid? It’s all here, and discussed by Simeon and Scott!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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If I Could Change One Thing…

We are not responsible for any first kisses that happen as a result of this episode.


#524 – If you were given the power to change one thing about a Nintendo console, which one would you pick and what would you change? Simeon and Scott are faced with many similar tough choices today – watch to see what they would decide! Comment below what you would change. Footage Credit: Super Smash Bros. Wii U Tripping – Master0fHyrule | Metroid Prime 3 Corruption SD vs HD – thepixelpress

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Top 10 Most “Batman” Pantendo Characters

BECAUSE I’M BATMAN


Proceed with caution. The footage you are about to view may scar you. You won’t walk away from this episode the same. It may well be the weirdest thing we’ve ever done (and YES, that includes our Octodad skits). Today we’re taking a look at who the most “Batman” characters are that have graced Nintendo consoles. You’ll see what we mean!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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What are the Best Games to Play in Autumn?

We missed Halloween by a few days. Oh well!


Autumn, fall, whatever YOU call it – the question is, what do you play during the season? We’ve got a list of timely games to play that might surprise you.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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#6 Mega Man IV

If only you could reverse those DARN backwards buttons!


What if Mega Man could fly? And what if he could float upward extremely slowly? Let’s answer those burning questions.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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GameStop Prank Calls!

Scott does his very best unintentional Obama impression.


We’ve played a few pranks on Nintendo Customer Service before, but today we’re branching out to see if the folks at GameStop can give us help finding some gaming-related products!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Mighty No. 9 Apology

Seriously, though, Countershade’s stage is absolute genius.


A while back Simeon reviewed Mighty No. 9 and gave it a 6. Now he’s had a change of heart!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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The Boy and the Knight (A Poem)

The fighter breathed in slowly in the darkened locker room.
His eyes drew to the hallway down which the arena loomed.
He’d trained for this very moment for innumerable days.
He let his breath out slowly as he also dropped his gaze.
His past had come to haunt him; or rather, his father’s did.
It was in the old man’s shadow that up ‘til now he hid.
He rose from the wooden bench as he slammed the locker door.
His mind was clear and focused as he slowly crossed the floor.

His father was a great man; one of the best there’d ever been.
He’d proudly held the people’s flag for years and years on end.
The women and children’s love he kept, the men’s respect he’d earned.
But even a champion’s fire burns out; a lesson he finally learned.
And now his boy had come of age, his turn had come at last
To earn the title for himself, to honor his father’s past.
Any time he’d walk the street the people called his name.
They smiled as they recalled his dad and said “You’ll do the same!”

He heard them calling for him as he traveled down the hall.
His pace was slow and steady as cheers echoed off the walls.
But as he plodded down the corridor that led down to the ring,
The distance to his destination got further, so it seemed.
He started to jog faster ‘til he ran as if he fled.
The image of his father was burned into his head.
As he neared the final door that led to the battleground,
He’d realized he could no longer hear the cheering of the crowd.

He swung the door wide open and he stepped into the light.
Instead of the cheering fans expected he saw a very different sight.
The crowd was filled with anger, spitefulness, and scorn.
The faces that used to smile at him now a scowl wore.
The booing increased with every step as he approached the field.
He looked across at his opponent who rose up from his kneel.
The enemy wore full armor and a horned helmet on his head.
He lifted his oddly-shaped sword. “I’ve looked forward to this”, he said.

The warrior that stood before him was the one who’d succeeded his Pa.
The boy took his battle stance, he set his eyes and jaw.
“I’ll prove them wrong,” he determined, “Today’s my day to shine!”
The crowed fell deadly silent ‘til they heard the air horn whine.
The boy immediately charged the knight, his weapon flashed to life.
The knight was ready for the attack and deflected with his knife.
“Is that all you have?” The knight laughed. “I expected more from you.”
The knight lunged with his weapon aloft, the boy’s head which to hew.

The boy quickly dodged the strike with blindingly quick speed.
“One thing you didn’t count on: my Pa wasn’t quick like me!”
He continued to rush around the ring, too fast to keep track,
Until the knight took a well-aimed swing that knocked him on his back.
Light was all that he could see as he lay there on the floor.
The knight drew near and placed his blade upon the boy’s core.
He kneeled down next to him, and with a look of sadness in his eyes,
He said, “I’m… disappointed.” And then began to rise.

The air was still in the Colosseum and the knight just turned and walked.
The seats were slowly emptied. No one dared to talk.
The boy just lay there on the mat. He knew everybody’d left.
One word stuck in his heart, and like a foil it cleft.

“Disappointed”.

Mighty No. 9 Review

Poor Simeon. I don’t think Kickstarter issues refunds in instances like these…


It’s finally here… Inafune’s pet project, Mega Man’s spiritual successor: Mighty No. 9. How is the game? Take it from a Mega Man expert!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Top 10 Games with 1 Glaring Flaw

Okami, Star Fox Assault, and Tatsunoko vs Capcom get frequent mention miles from us.


Ever play a game and think, “Hey, this game would be perfect if they just changed X”? Well, we have, and these are our top 10!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Simeon Is the Mega Man Master

The puns are strong with this one.


Just HOW good is Simeon at Mega Man? Just HOW much can Scott humiliate himself in comparison? Let’s see!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Is Mega Man Dead?

Poor poor poor poor Rock. Rollin’ in his grave.


Has Capcom succeeded in killing off the Blue Bomber (while continuing to make money on merchandise)? We discuss!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Mega Man 2 Vs. 3

I love te smell of Youtube comment trolling in the morning.


It’s the grand-daddy of all Mega Man debates: Which is superior; Mega Man 2 or 3? It’s time to put granddaddy to rest!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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What Makes A Mega Man Game?

Oh! I forgot to mention potentially culturally insensitive stereotypes under boss design!


Welcome to Mega Man week! A full week of talking about everyone’s favorite fighting robot! But just what made Mega Man the franchise we love?

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Maverick Hunter – Mega Man FPS

R.I.P. Iron Mega Man.


With all of the Mega Man games cancelled, Maverick Hunter was the one we were most excited for. What was it? What happened? Can it return? Hardy Boys: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=hardy+boys

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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