As Mega Man reaches his 25th anniversary tomorrow, what better time to look back over the career of an old hero from the NES era. From his NES debut in 1987 to his nails WiiWare outings, here's everything you need to know about the blue bot.
The rock n roll roots of Mega Man
What happens when you ask one of the creators of Street Fighter to hop genres and create a platformer? You get Mega Man, of course! Street Fighter guru Keiji Inafune was originally asked to design a game starring Japanese anime legend Astro Boy, but when licensing talks broke down Capcom dreamed up its very own cutesy robot boy. Names like Knuckles Kid, Mighty Kid and Rainbow Man were bandied about before the team settled on Rockman (Mega Man's Japanese name). Inafune drew the name from 'rock 'n' roll', and has reportedly never been happy with the 'Mega Man' moniker.
There was just one hitch when it came to Mega Man's debut: the game that the team delivered - 1987's NES Mega Man - was a flop. Inafune-san pleaded for time to work on an improved sequel between coding duties on a title Capcom believed was much more important - Professional Baseball Murder Mystery. It paid off: Mega Man 2 was a smash, and the franchise went from strength to strength, helped by an annual competition in Japan and the US where fan-designed bosses were chosen to appear in the next game.
It's odd that the fan-art idea wasn't extended to the games' boxes: the first two Mega Man games have the ugliest cover images ever. Official!