Mega Man was the first Nintendo game I ever bought, and the series remains one of my favorites. The premise is simple: Robots built to aid in human tasks go rogue and must be taken out by Mega Man. Unfortunately, some of those "human tasks" were just beyond contrived and ridiculous. Today we salute you, ridiculous robots conceived with vague intent in order to look cool, because that's what an American does!
10. Gemini Man: Gemini Man has the ability to clone himself into two identical parts, and likes to admire himself in the mirror. Apparently, people working in advanced robotics thought it would be a good idea to create an artificial intelligence that can both self-replicate and be capable of egomania to boot. I know Mega Man is basically the Saturday morning cartoon version of a robot apocalypse, but man, do they go out of their way to deserve that apocalypse sometimes.
9. Blade Man: You know how we all have that friend who thinks that the answer to every problem is more guns? Well, imagine that guy with swords and you get Blade Man. The poor guy was a tour guide in a castle where the lord had a sword obsession, and the result is both his head and hands are made of swords. It's Edward Scissorhands, but instead of his biggest threat being Anthony Michael Hall, it's an entire world armed with lasers...which beat swords in every movie besides Star Wars.
8. Crystal Man: Crystal Man is sad...Dr. Wily created him from experiments with artificial gemstones in hopes of financing his evil schemes. Considering that things like synthetic diamonds are equal to natural ones in every way and have the bonus of not being fueled by child labor, here was Wily clearly acting from the moral high ground. Yet his plan of breaking the hold of the diamond industry on the world was thwarted by the good guy. I really don't need this sort of an ethical conflict in a damned Mega Man game.
7. Pharaoh Man: Mega Man, along with Punch-Out, is one of the few places in video games it's perfectly okay to just throw out every single regional stereotype you have and absolutely no one will call you on it. Pharaoh Man was designed by Dr. Cossack (See?) to explore pyramids. He is heavily armored to resist traps, can see in total darkness, has been designed to resemble a pharaoh himself and has a solar-powered hand cannon as an homage to Ra. That's right, his weapon is completely useless inside the lightless tombs he is supposed to explore as his primary purpose, all because Capcom had to go just a bit too far in their Egyptmania.
6. Cold Man: On the surface, Cold Man sounds awesome. His entire life is dedicated to preserving dinosaur DNA inside himself at absolute zero! It probably took five minutes after the high-fiving ended before someone realized that all they did was make a freezer sentient, mobile and in a very odd way pregnant forever with giant thunder lizards. I can see this in no way causing an existential crisis.
5. Sheep Man: Sheep Man has to be a dare. There is simply no other explanation for his existence. Despite resembling an animal we use as the perfect example of mindless complacency, he actually does have kind of a cool story. Built for herding, he changed jobs when he noticed static electricity on his wool and got into electrical engineering. That would be an American success story of a great inventor if we could get past the fact that someone had built a bloody sheepbot!
4. Shadow Man: Further proof that everyone in the Mega Man universe deserves a painful death from their new robot overlords. Shadow Man was found deactivated and made of an unknown, possibly alien, metal and carrying a giant, poison-covered pointy thing. So of course the first thing Doctor Wily did was reactivate him. This is meant to explain all of the parts of human history that have been on fire.
3. Solar Man: The Mega Man series has a bigger hard-on for solar energy than Barack Obama and Al Gore having lunch at Whole Foods, but at least they understand the premise. You use sunlight to power things. Well, Solar Man's logic is that you can best use the sun as a power source if you attach it to your head. This sounds suspiciously like something that came about whenever someone said the robot equivalent of, "Hold my beer and watch this."
2. Strike Man: The idea of the automatic pitching machine goes back to a gunpowder-powered (read: Holy shit, that's cool!) model developed in 1897. The main approach has changed little since then. Behold Strike Man, built to be the first baseball that knows you're hitting it. Come on, guys, you already have robots that are essentially just pumps, Zippo lighters and trains. Let the pitching machine have legs and a face, not the ball. It's less sad than a being whose entire existence consists of desperately hoping you miss it with a baseball bat like some kind of Lifetime Network version of Wall-E.
1. Top Man: Easily the most inexplicable robot master is Top Man. Back when Dr. Light and Dr. Wily were partners, Top Man was designed to explore alien worlds...using his ability to spin fast until he gets dizzy. My three-year-old can do that. Since as far as I know NASA does not use dreidels to power the Mars rover, the reason Top Man would be used for space travel was probably that he was the shittiest, most expendable robot.
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