Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mega Man 5 Developer Notes Reveal Unused Boss Ideas (Crystal Lady?)

A few pages from Mega Man 5's pre-production notes have appeared online courtesy of Ichiro Mihara. The former Mega Man producer shared the pages on Twitter, revealing the names and concepts of a few unused Robot Masters. Chief among those, "Crystal Lady" - the would-be first female Robot Master!

A special thanks to Sensei Hanzou for the translation:

"The commercial for Mario Maker made me remember how back when I was working on Rockman 6 for the Famicom, I placed the enemies with a tool that ran on top of the game. These days things like that are normal, but back in the day we had to use graph paper etc. Enemy placement went very quickly due to that tool that Mr. F made for me."

"...Was there a game called Rockman Wars?"

"Looking back at this old Rockman idea notebook I had is starting to jog some memories. Memories of bosses I had thought up, like Card Man and Crystal Lady. I had an idea for Climb Man where you would fight him while falling down a cliff." [Probably talking about the second image in that tweet. The first image has a list of boss name ideas, three of which he mentioned. Also on the list are Stardust Man, Train Man, Graviton Man, and Aqua Man (can't quite make out the first name). The word that's circled at the end is the "Lady" of "Crystal Lady".]

"Man, I really just drew whatever popped into my head, haha. For the minor enemies I would just draw the general image I had; there might be some enemies that were based off of these."

There's a couple cool takeaways from this:
  • "Rockman Wars" could allude to an unproduced title. A spin-off perhaps?
  • As far back as Mega Man 5 Capcom noodled the concept of female Robot Masters. Had she been realized, Crystal Lady would have preceded Splash Woman by sixteen years.

Climb Man sounded interesting, too. I'm not entirely sure how fighting a Robot Master while falling would have worked. Maybe something along the lines of a certain mid-boss? Coincidentally, that boss is found in Aqua Man's stage (Mega Man 8).

Well, here's hoping Mr. Mihara will share more goodies from his notebook. I love stuff like this!

UPDATE: Hitoshi Ariga - author of Megamix - points out these notes are likely from Mega Man 5, not 6. He specifically pointed out early versions of Space Metall from Star Man's stage, and Taban from Stone Man's. Not to mention most of the name concept correlate with bosses from MM5. This post has been amended. Thanks for the heads up, rab!


  1. Hehe, when Protodude mentioned "a certain mid-boss", I knew exactly which he was talking about before clicking : )
    I do like "Lady" more than "Woman", I have to say. "SplashLady" would have been cool.
    StardustMan seems too much like StarMan, and TrainMan like ChargeMan, both who were just in the previous game, MM5 (also CrystalMan and CrystalLady).
    RockMan Wars might possibly be Wily Wars, for Genesis, no?
    Anyway, great stuff. Hope there's more : )

    1. Nah... Maybe Stardust Man and Train Man can be so different from Charge Man and Star Man if they want to. Keep your mind open.

  2. Crystal Lady sounds like a 80s-90s diva, like Jem from the eponymous animated series...

    I never understood the gender thing in Robot Masters, I always thought of them as a combination of anatomical representations of man (as in mankind-humans not literal men) in robotics, and slight satire on the super hero/sentai and other popular shonen tropes, and perhaps a jab at Astro Boy. The only time I thought of manliness with association to Mega Man names was X's action man status in the Ruby Spears cartoon and that fat ass from SFxT.

    Anyway I never like the (insert thing) woman kinda naming, it seems very forced and ... tacky (for lack of a better word). It's almost there just for the sake of gender. If they have to make female-like robots representing "women", I'd rather them go the traditional Mega Man way and just name them, like Roll, Ring.EXE, Iris, Harp Note etc etc. Splash Woman I guess was cute with the whole "gender" thing, but I'd much rather call her Splash or somehing.

    That said Crystal Lady sounds a lot better to me, that's just how I feel, maybe cause it's fresh, maybe cause it is easy to conjunct the two words (Crystalady) and sound cool, I don't know.

    1. But we already have Crystal Man on Mega Man 5. If there would be a Crystal Lady, she would renamed like Gem Lady or something..

    2. @Anonymous October 7, 2015 at 2:02 AM
      Given your logic, we'd have to remove the "Man" suffix from each Robot Master and replace it with "Bro" or "Dude" or something similar... or would that be too forced and tacky for you? I mean, it's cute and fresh, right?!

    3. @Anon:12:41: If you think that, you either don't understand logic, have the worst reading comprehension I've seen in a while or you are plain slow.

      But to simplify the opinions in my comment. Follow these next three statements.

      1.Tablet Man = Good. Why? Seems like a simple reference to humans, comic book tropes and shonen.

      2.Tablet Woman = Bad. Why? Nothing but gender. Bringing up gender feels forced and tacky (eventually). And in my opinion doesn't work as good as the simple man affix, or just leaving the first part of the name alone.

      3.Tablet Lady = Bad. /Crystal Lady = Good. Confused? I'll explain. I only said I liked Crystal Lady, I even gave a likely reason why I liked it.

      Did I in any part of my comment applaud the idea of using the Lady add on on every single Robot Master referencing females? No? Well that's because I don't want Lady used on every single Robot Master referencing females. I even stated exactly how I would prefer robots referencing human females to be named. So tell me again why from that logic would it indicate that I would want a suffix replacement for every Robot Master to be renamed from ending with Man to Bro or Dude?

      And by the way just as an FYI, I personally like deviating from the norm occasionally. If Proto Man was actually named Protodude/Proto Dude/or especially Proto Bro (that would work on so many levels) I wouldn't have a single problem with that. And no that does not mean I want every Robot ending with Dude or Bro in case you forgot what I just stated one line up.

    4. On subject of super heroes/comics, as you gave brief mention to yourself, Spider-Woman, Super Woman, Invisible Woman, etc all have the "Woman" affix to differentiate these characters from men. Similarly, Spider-Man, Super Man, Iron Man, etc all have the "Man" affix to differentiate these characters from women. We'll never have a Spider Human, Super Human, Iron Human, Spider Mankind, Invisible Mankind, etc comics because the terminology is too ambiguous for obvious anatomical sexual characteristics.

      ...and yet you somehow think that Tablet Man doesn't invoke reference to gender? It only becomes a matter of gender when it's Tablet Woman? By your own admission, you don't like the "Woman" affix because it's your opinion that it feels forced and tacky. Female fans of Mega Man may feel otherwise. I've been playing Mega Man since the 1980's and have always seen Robot Masters as being of male design given their affix of "Man", and I have absolutely no problem with that. Finally battling a Robot Master of female design with "Woman" affix after 20 years? Now, that's fresh.

      "Woman" is the only logical affix for Robot Masters of female design, just as "Man" is appropriate for male design. This naming/gender convention has already been officially established by CAPCOM (ala Splash Woman); There's no need to change it because some ancient (but rather awesome) development notes got the dust blown off and publicly reviewed. Furthermore, Robot Master of female design shouldn't have to be given a cute affix, such as "Lady", just because sounds cool.

      Look, I get it, I really do; deviating from the norm is a very wonderful thing that I actually support... but you must remember that these characters have always been rather generic, so it's only fitting to give them generic affixes. If CAPCOM wanted to change the convention and start using BOTH "Dude" and "Lady", awesome! ...but it's unlikely to happen. So, let's just stick to the basic, unbroken formula.

    5. You are not reading my comments....

      Look close *I DO NOT WANT TO REPLACE WOMAN WITH LADY* where are you getting this from? I AM ONLY SAYING I LIKE CRYSTAL LADY SPECIFICALLY...........

      As for your comic book comparison/analysis, it doesn't work because in that case it is specifically about gender, when Spider Man calls himself Spider Man he is literally talking about a Man as in a grown human male not mankind or something. That is his name he his not a tool or artificial creation that is suppose to reflect a species, all Spider Man is is literally a conjuction of a literal man and a literal spider same with Iron Man etc, it is a completely broken comparison that just doesn't work.

      If I said that Mega Man reflected the naming found in super hero comics, then yeah rip my arument apart. But I didn't say that did I? I said I felt it was partly a slight parody of that trope, if you took that to mean that Mega Man's naming style had its foundational roots in super hero comics for some reason, let me clear up right now that that is not what I meant or implied.

  3. Disappointment, really.. Why ? No Robot Masters pics such as Climb Man, Crystal Woman, Train Man, Charge Man, Stardust Man, Card Man and Graviton Man. :-(

    1. He's a producer, not an artist. He probably never passed that idea to the artists.

    2. I know. I just wish they did. :)

    3. Actually, he was the game designer and director of Rockman 5 and also did some of the design for Rockman 6.

  4. Hitoshi Ariga pointed out in a reply to the last tweet that these are more likely notes for Rockman 5. He specifically pointed out what look like early versions of Space Metall from Star Man's stage, and Taban from Stone Man's.

    Also, as mentioned in the previous comment here, a lot of those boss names line up with ones that were used in Rockman 5.

  5. I've heard that the Chinese licensed title Rockman Strategy was also known as Megaman War.

  6. Interesting stuff!
    By the way, the first name in the list appears to be Sock Man (ソーック) or Sonic Man (ソニックマン)

    Other names:
    スターダストマン (Stardust Man)
    グラビトンマン (Graviton Man)
    ? (I assume this is Train Man?)
    クライムマン (Climb Man / Crime Man)
    アクアマン (Aqua Man)
    クリスタルレディー (Crystal Lady)

    Not in page but mentioned by him: トランプマン (Trump Man) (Translated as Card Man above)

    And hey, in one page are enemies from MM5!

    36:A-10 is this enemy:

    39:N-14 (or N-19) is the grenade enemy:

    And enemy 37:A-09 resembles Turban.

  7. True that MM8 has a mini-boss that uses an idea similar to Climb Man, but no one really remembered that the idea was used way before in Mega Man: The Wily Wars? Buster Rod G (2nd match) is also fought in a falling arena in the 3rd Wily Tower stage.

    Design-wise, I wonder who Climb Man became...

    Stardust Man = Star Man
    Graviton Man = Gravity Man
    Train Man = Charge Man
    Aqua Man = Wave Man (not the MM8 Aqua Man. If I remember right, the idea for a robot named Aqua Man was present since MM2 for Bubble Man)
    Crystal Lady = Crystal Man

    Guess Stone Man is more fitting to him, unless Gyro Man was a climber instead of a flyer. Or Napalm Man? *shrug*

    I'll leave Trump Man to Dark Man, as he is kinda like Wily's "trump". More fitting than the "Card Man" translation.

  8. Another one, Wily Stage map:

  9. Another one, MM5's Wily Stage map:

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