Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fan Game Breathes New Life Into Mega Man Mania

When Capcom fails to deliver, leave it to the Mega Man faithful to pick up the slack. NMario is hard at work remaking Mega Man Mania, the ill-fated GameBoy Advance collection of the five Game Boy Mega Man titles. Dubbed "Mega Man World", the fan game runs on a custom engine designed to replicate the look and feel of Mania. It's an admirable effort, to say the least.

"Since Capcom originally lost the source code to release Mega Man Mania/Anniversary for the GBA, they had no choice but to cancel it. So in response, as the fans of the series franchise, we can make this happen," says NMario. "This fan game mimics the style of Capcom's unreleased Mega Man Mania. It will feature 4 previous robot masters, one from each Game Boy game."

The above video depicts an early work-in-progress version of the game, evidently fulfilling the cancelled collection's promise of full color graphics. The current version also boasts proper Game Boy sound, enhanced physics and tweaked gameplay. The convergence of those elements will hopefully give rise to one of the most unique Game Boy Mega Man-inspired projects yet.

But, really, what's the fun in watching the game when you could experience it? Those interested can find a demo of the game's engine at NMario's website. You can either play it in-browser or download an application.  Mind you it's a VERY early build, so things will probably be a bit different in the final version.

I, for one, am looking forward to playing the finished product. It's definitely something to look forward too! Best of luck to NMario and his team.

Thanks for the tip, Kyle!


  1. Paying attention, Legends fans? This is how you handle loss - you take the future into your own hands and forge the path forward. Enough of the petty namecalling - stand up and move forward!

  2. I don't think I buy the bologna that they lost the source. Any serious company has off-site backups, and game development companies have so much version control, it's nuts.

  3. That is SO surreal, seeing Mega Man walk OUT OF THE BOSS ROOM!!

    I think I need to sit down for a minute...

  4. I'm sure it involves significantly more work, but it would be amazing if this were compiled into a GBA ROM so it could be played on the actual GBA via flash carts.

  5. @Role: You do realize that not every fan can rebuild Legends 3, right? And the biggest difference between Mega Man Mania and Legends 3 was that Mega Man Mania was essentially a remake of earlier titles. Anyone can make a remake of an existing thing, but it's different when Legends 3 was supposed to be a new game, a new game that we don't know fully about beyond what was provided to us in the Dev Rooms.

    Fans could technically rebuild the demo since we know a little more about it, but the actual game? I don't think so.

  6. Role:
    Let's not get ahead of ourselves - unfortunately, there's always the chance that Capcom could come along and slap 'em with a cease and desist. And as for Legends fans (well, let's be honest: Mega Man fans in general) have every reason in the world to be upset over how their beloved franchise is presently being treated.

    If everything we've heard from Capcom lately is true (that they still love Mega Man, that they have upcoming plans or whatever), then they should want to take any and all opportunities to sooth the aching fanbase. I mean, if I had any say in the matter, I'd be trying to get more games rereleased for digital distribution (e.g. Wii Virtual Console, Playstation Network) - I'd be working on getting Mega Man: The Wily Wars, MMX2, MMX3, MM6, MM7 and, heck, even MM Soccer rated and released for the Wii. On the PSN side, I'd be tirelessly working on MMX3, X4, X5, X6, Rockman V and Rockman VI all released for PS1 Classics. And hey, what about the 3DS: I'd be working on getting at least two more of the Game Boy MM titles primed and ready (II and III would be the next logical step even though Game Boy MMII is generally regarded as a low point in the series).

    And I know, I know - X2 is rated and was just rereleased in Europe. I'm talking States-side - when I see MMX2 in the Nintendo Download press release, I'll believe it.


    Well, let's be honest - the newest MM series (ZX) didn't seem exactly light the MM world on fire. Oh, it's good gaming, to be sure - I highly enjoyed both ZX and ZX Advent - but if you can't produce something new for the fans or if they're doubting your ability to put out *new* quality titles (MM10 didn't get quite the same praise that 9 did, MMUniverse looked interesting but not really the next big thing in the MM world and, well, MMLegends 3 got the ax), then channel your energies into putting out the titles that put MM on top of the world in the first place. Some might call that a cop out but if you can't please all of the people all of the time (and, let's face it, you can't), then at least try to please some of the people. And I'm certainly not expecting every one of those games to be released one right after the other, but I'd be working out a release schedule - maybe every two or three months, hit us with some more games? Enough time to digest what we've been given and get us excited about the next set of releases, y'know?

    Anyways, I'm getting ahead of myself. TL; DR: I hope Capcom lets this project live because it's looking great.

  7. Post-Script:

    Just as food for thought, consider this editorial by Nathaniel Hoover (he who does those excellent Mega Man playthroughs on YouTube under the username GeminiLaser) regarding the cancellation of 'Mega Man Universe'. His thoughts on the Mega Man series in general are more or less in line with mine - basically that the way things are going, MM is heading towards (or, some would argue, is already in) stagnation as it appears that Capcom is more than happy to ignore several games worth of development in favor of making every new MM title more like Mega Man 2. To quote Nathaniel:

    "As best as I can tell, Capcom has all but abandoned over two decades of continuity and gameplay development to remake and rehash the first two games of the series as many times as possible, because they’re apparently the only games the fans ever liked. Gee, we fans must’ve been pretty foolish to spend the last twenty years buying every new Mega Man sequel because we hoped that maybe this one would be like Mega Man 2. Now that we fans are finally getting what we apparently want, there’s no telling how much money we’ll be willing to give Capcom to keep photocopying the most popular game in a series that’s already heavily criticized for repeating itself! It’s a good thing they’ve done away with logical character development and plot references to previous games, or else we might start to care about these new sequels more than Mega Man 2!

    When you announce that the Next Big Thing will be a level editor for a game from the Reagan administration, your series is already dead.

    So, indeed, I think Capcom can most certainly do better and, yes, Mega Man fans in general are allowed to have grievences with them. While the world may not have ended with the cancellation of MM Legends 3, I think they can do better than they have lately.

    I mean, really: they lost the source code for Mega Man Mania? Or were we supposed to believe the other story that floated around at that time, that the project went over budget?

    And for crying out loud, they put their company logo (arguably their seal of approval) on the GameCube Mega Man Anniversary Collection with the Jump and Shoot buttons swapped and no way to remap them. You can point out that it was Atomic Planet who handled the coding but take five seconds and glance at the cover art for the GCN version of MMAC - the Capcom logo sits front and center. Somebody from Capcom theoretically had to play the GCN version and then say, "Yep, seems fine to me"

  8. Wait, what? I didn't know this was newsworthy... Hell, I should've tossed this at Protodude back when the video was released...

    Fun fact: I pitch-corrected the music for the demo. :B

  9. It's also worth mentioning that the demo has almost perfectly replicated the Mega Man V engine. I say "almost" because three things are just a hair off at this point in the engine:
    - Rock jumps 46 pixels high. In the Game Boy games, he jumps 48 pixels high. However, Rock jumps and lands at the same time as in the games.
    - The "keep forward momentum" code for jumping is a little funky right now, being a little too responsive, but accurate otherwise.
    - The jump controls are a lot more responsive than they were in Mega Man III-V, being that you can jump as high as you want rather than being forced to jump a minimum height.

    Other than that? Spot. On. Same moving speed, same sliding distance, same weapon limits. Very, very nice.

  10. @k0n-4: He is right though.

    Look at every single Megaman title before Zero and BN came out with the exception of 9 and 10 and the Legends series.

    8 selectable bosses in any order. Then endgame area.

    A trend started in the original with 6, then expanded to 8 in 2.

    Ignoring intro/mid stages, the rest of the Classic and X series followed this trend, sometimes restricting the number to 4 before the next 4 show up to throw us off or reusing bosses to make it seem bigger(Doc Robot comes to mind here).

    Even Megaman Zero followed this trend, although it did it differently as story was more mixed in between intervals of bosses.

    It's not just Capcom's fault that they feel MM2 can be milked to death, it's our fault too.

  11. Wait, wasn't this supposed to have Linkin Park music?

  12. People here are right. It is technically us fans who made MM2 popular. I suppose for many it could be a nostalgia thing, but while the other four games expanded onto the formula in some way (3 introduced sliding and charge shots, 4 introduced the trend of having 2 endgame areas instead of just a single Wily Castle, so on), fans still kept onto MM2. And obviously in Capcom's eyes, it makes it seem like MM2 was "Fine where it was and didn't need expanding". Hence why Mega Man no longer slides or has charged shots in 9 and 10, and why there are no mid-levels or a castle after the first castle.

    Thankfully, people are now starting to let go of MM2 and are wanting the series to evolve again, but it's kind of a little too late now since Capcom is still convinced that only MM2's formula works.

    Frankly, I don't think that MM2 influencing everything is the main problem here, obviously. The main problem is that Capcom thinks that the franchise as a whole is no longer worthwhile to invest in.

  13. "I don't think I buy the bologna that they lost the source. Any serious company has off-site backups, and game development companies have so much version control, it's nuts."

    Numerous other companies no longer posses source code for their older games. SEGA is another example. They lack the source code for a majority of their SEGA Genesis titles.

  14. @Anonymous:
    I completely agreed with Nathaniel but I think you're agreeing in a different way than I am. I'm agreeing that MM2 is being photocopied to death in the sense that Mega Man 9 was a serious, legitimate effort at making a new Mega Man 2. Kind of like how there's Final Fantasy X-2? They wanted to make Mega Man II-2. And that's, more or less, what MM9 was. They did away with the slide and the buster, save for Proto Man and when they gave those abilities to him, they made him almost entirely unfun to play as. I mean, if you *really* love a challenge, then Proto Man in MM9 will certainly give you one but that's beside the point. They largely ignored any sort of developments from MM3 onward (aside from Rush and the Shop feature) in favor of making a new Mega Man 2.

    Mega Man Universe? By and large inspired by Mega Man 2.

    Mega Man 10? Mega Man II-3, but they added Bass and an Easy Mode. Awesome.

    As for whether or not the fans are to blame, that's a little trickier. Capcom made games based on what the gamers wanted (i.e. what we were willing to pay money for). If we were buying Mega Man games at the time, that's what continued to make - new Mega Man games at a rate of one new game every one to two years. And while the core formula for those games was from Mega Man 2 (8 robot masters, then Wily Castle), each sequel at least tried to mix up the experience a little bit by adding or taking something away.

    I mean, to me, that's the appeal of Mega Man games - how you approach the game. Do you take on the robot masters the same way each time you play? Do you try to up the difficulty by using a weapon *other than* the weapon that any given robot master is weak against? Can you get by without using E-Tanks? All of these things are what make MM games great - the experience can be subtly tweaked and modified every time. I'm still doing the same thing - 8 robot masters and then Wily Castle or the fake villain of the day fortress or whatever but it's *how* I do it that makes the experience worthwhile.

    Taking away the slide and the buster and the various Rush utilities that have been introduced over the years in order to give me something closer to MM2 feels like a slight mis-step on the part of Capcom / Inticreates - I would have left those things in the game and let the player decide whether or not they wanted to use them, not take them out of the game outright or only let the otherwise crippled Proto Man use them because, well, just because.

  15. Regarding the fangame, the usual complaint: too much hype for so little actually acomplished. Godspeed, see you in two years when it's 50% done.

    And man oh man, the old "MM must evolve" discussion is still going on? Look outside of the Classic NES library for Classic gameplay evolution:

    -MM7, with that stage interaction.

    -MM&Bass, with lots of collectives that add extra replay value.

    -MMX1, because level design.

    MM2's tight, yes. But MM4's even more tight. It's just that the MM2 paradigm was most successful because it is a huge step forward compared to MM1, so it stuck. But it's still pretty primitive.

    MM4 is the pinnacle of Classic NES gameplay, and MM9 should've been based on that AND as well as MM2.

    MM10 should've been based on MM4, MM9, MM7 and MM&Bass. Instead, it was based on MM9 and MM:PU.

    -If there is something the franchise must evolve is in keeping the core gameplay the same, while adding new features that enrich and extend the experience, but won't affect the core gameplay. This is what MM7 (stage interaction) and MM&Bass (collectibles) did.

    -Special weapon mechanics such as ammo consumption and gimmick must be taken into consideration during the whole development process for a tighter, enjoyable and balanced gameplay. This is what MM4 did.

    -Levels must be designed in such way that players can learn how to play and how their weapons work (this would require to up the difficulty by making the default weapon less effective on certain situations) while keeping them alert on enemies and traps (which should be plenty, but never overwhelming). This is what MMX1 did.

  16. @Musashi:
    I think you're lump-summing me in with other folks who have had a similar discussion before.

    I'm not here to say Mega Man *MUST* evolve. I'm saying I think Capcom can do better and to ignore the last several games in favor of making "Mega Man II-2", if you will, is selling the fanbase short; it implies that all we ever wanted was another MM2. I"m sure that's indicative of some of us but certainly not all of us. I loves me some Mega Man 4 and, heck, I've been known to enjoy breezing through MM5 these days just because.

    I agree with you on some points - I would love to see the gameplay of 4 or 5, perhaps the gameplay of MMX and even the "Using Robot Master weapons in more than just the usual way" from MM8 see a return. It's not a slam against The Untoppable Awesomeness That Is Mega Man 2 - I love MM2, certainly - it's just I like a little more flavor in my MM experience, the kinds of flavor that *other* MM titles brought to the table and the newer games, while still lots of fun, could stand to borrow some things from the later MM (and, sure, MMX) games.

  17. You can make your own megaman from sprites and your own pixelart enemies and bosses. Youtube have tutorial for that and you need Game Maker Program. Thats all. :)

  18. You know, seeing this post reminded me of that suggestion by Heat Man from MMN about a 3DS compilation (and basically a remake and enhanced game) on the Game Boy Mega Man games. To me, since Capcom did release the GB games on Nintendo's eShop, an official remake based on Heat Man's concept would kick ASS. Like, seriously.

    Now about Mega Man evolving: I really think Mega Man has evolved. Look at Legends. Look at Zero. They basically very good examples of the name Mega Man moving forward. They did something new, or if they didn't, presented it in a new and fun way that Classic didn't.

    But what you need to understand is that we shouldn't be fighting over the legacy of the games. What we should be fighting for is the campaign that the next games need to be new. They need to move forward a little more. THAT'S what we need to fight over. WE need to tell Capcom that we want NEW games that innovate. Not just rehashes of games.

  19. @MusashiAA You're too sceptic about N64Mario :) It's not the his first project for classic MM universe so he has skills to do his work. Also, the project doesn't require anything new to add: levels, enemies, sound/music - everything can be (and should) taken from gbx titles. The only issues are coloring (but color patterns are known so it's not a big deal), AI of enemies and game engine itself (N64Mario has experience in that). So, it's quite possible for him to finish it within one year.

  20. Thank you for the support, everyone! Wow, what a debate we've started here. Its ironic that this particular discussion has started in the comments, as thats one of the many inspirations for making this engine with NMario.

    I've always been fond of Mega Man V on Gameboy, it seemed to go that little step further to evolving the classic gameplay. With a little bit more of a plot, an actual stake in winning, surviving against the powerful stardroids that Mega Man couldn't initially harm. It felt a little deeper and darker than any Mega Man game previous. Plus expanding on some of the mechanics, adding new power-ups, support items, platform physics that add more to the "already perfect" formula. The Gameboy games never stayed the same, they kept adding more and more, its just a shame there were only 5 of them.

    Mega Man Network did a fine editorial on how the Gameboy games changed the classic series formula:

    Editorial - The Game that changed the Classic Series

    Alot of what is said in that article ran true with my own thoughts and I just wished the gameboy games had continued so they could take advantage of the direction the games had been going in... Alas, they never did. So with some convincing with NMario, the Mega Man World Project was born from that desire!

    Development on the engine is going alot quicker than you might think. Once we get the bulk of the physics and gimmicks coded, the rest of the game will be completed in no time!

    Another reason I wanted to make this engine was to replicate the feel of the Gameboy games as accurately as possible. Kudos, to my old friend Joseph Collins for pointing out those tinsy little tweaks that need doing. We'll get right on those! Plus I finally wanted an engine that'll be user friendly and easy for fans to make their own games from too. Mega Man World is going to be like a template of sorts for the engine.

    I love the uniqueness of this project too, apart from the Star Man fangame from Blyka, I think this is the only Gameboy related Mega Man fangame project out there. Its cool that we've managed to give it so much flexibility and options too, you could make your fangame from the engine in whatever style you choose, with the original Gameboy pallete, Super Gameboy Pallete or GBA Pallete.

    And this is only the beginning, this is the start of something more ambitious. This engine was made for my real project. Once the engine is complete, we'll begin work on a proper new epic fangame, totally original material, new enemies and story and gimmicks, etc. We're even going to be using some original stereo Gameboy chiptune music from the LSDJ program.

    If any of you guys want to help contribute or catch up on the development, we have a thread at Rockman Perfect Memories.


    @Anonymous #2: Konami lost the source code for the Silent Hill games, which is why the compilation we got was crap.

  22. @Anon regarding source code: They may not have the source for their older projects, but a company certainly doesn't lose code for an in-progress game unless their staff is grossly incompetent. For them to get rid of it, they would have had to cancel it first.

    It's not like it's cutting-edge software that couldn't be rebuilt quickly anyway.

  23. Anyone else notice that just about every post lately has been fangame stuff?

    I think that's a bad sign...

  24. @ZeroX_Syaoran:
    You're absolutely correct - Capcom did try other things in other Mega Man games.

    But we're not talking about those games.

    When Mega Man 9 was in development, Capcom / Inticreates was in a position to reignite the Legacy MM series in the hearts of fans everywhere. And, I'd argue, they did - they used a very solid MM title as the core (MM2) with very few elements from other MM games (e.g. you can revisit stages (MM1, MM4 onward), Rush (MM3)) and keeping the core gameplay (run / jump / shoot) from the original. Later additions (Buster charging, sliding) were only included for Proto Man and they handicapped the heck out of him, so that using those abilities is at the cost of playing a substantially more difficult experience.

    What I'm getting at is this:
    between the last Legacy MM title (MM8 or MM and Bass, depending on your frame of reference) and MM9 there's been numerous MMX, MMZ, MML and MMZX titles and, thus, tons of experimentation. What I was hoping Capcom / Inticreates would do with MM9 (and, afterwards, MM10) was implement *some* of that experimentaion into the core gameplay (e.g. sliding, buster charging, perhaps using Robot Master weapons in ways *other* than as just weapons (think MM8)) and then craft challenges *around* them. What we got was still good, but it was as if they only wanted to replicate the MM9 experience (which, for the most part, was replicating the MM2 experience but with very few nods to other games).

    Again, it's six of one, half dozen of the other. MM9 and 10 are fine, solid enough games; I just with they had done more with 'em.

  25. I wonder if this will continue... The official page ( is dead.
    Here's some info left:


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