Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Everything We Know About What Happened Between Classic and X

The interim between the Mega Man classic and X series is an on-going subject of debate and speculation among fans. While Capcom have gone on record to state an official outline exists, the house that built the "Blue Bomber" prefers to leave these events up to the imagination. That's all well and good – however, there's just enough information out there to piece most of it together. Let's dig in!

This article, written by Zan, originally appeared on Rockman Perfect Memories. It has been reposted and renewed with Zan's permission. All information has been sourced and annotated from official material and resources. You are more than welcome to refer to this piece anytime!

Time Travel


Mega Man and Mega Man?

Our first glimpse of the future comes courtesy of Quint. That enigmatic robot is actually Mega Man himself [2]!

For those unfamiliar with the story of Game Boy Mega Man II (Rockman World 2), Dr. Wily once stole an experimental time machine from a time-space research lab and used it to spy on Mega Man’s future *1.

Dr. Wily arrived in a peaceful world, free of conflict, in which an older Wily had reformed and Mega Man had reverted back into a household robot [3]. By conspiring with his future self, Wily kidnapped Mega Man and turned him into Quint before returning to the present.

So what does this mean for Mega Man’s future? Will Mega Man inevitably become Quint? What happened afterward?

Rockman & Forte: Challenger From the Future, despite it's questionable status in the canon, does give us a little more insight [4]. In that game, we’re introduced to yet another time traveling foe. While many confuse him for Quint, “Mega Man Shadow” is actually another robot from Quint's future time, made in Mega Man’s image. 

 Mega Man Shadow and "The Dimensions"

When he arrived in the past and attacked Symphony City, Shadow told the following: the future Wily has not given up on his ambition of world conquest.

A lie, however. In his dying breath Shadow admits that Wily truthfully did not continue his evil ways. Though, he does reveal a bleak future in which Shadow himself became mad with power, desired to destroy the world, and faced ever stronger foes until no-one remained to stop him.

In the end, Bass and Mega Man both learn valuable lessons from Shadow’s tale. They vow not to go down this same path. Their determination gives us hope that perhaps, and only perhaps, Mega Man will not become Quint and a new future may be written.

Mega Man

Mega Man and Quint in a heated battle for the future.

The fate of our hero is officially unknown. Though it may seem destined for Mega Man to become Quint and meet a poetic demise in battle against himself, this future represents only a possibility. As changes from the past ripple onward into the future, so too might the present stray from this set path *2.

Using our imagination, limitless scenarios can serve to explain Mega Man’s absence from the X-series. While we know that Mega Man did not become Mega Man X (they're separate entities) [7] [27] [28], one other explanation in particular has acquired much infamy over the years.

As many fans have asked: did Zero kill Mega Man? And if he did, who else?

Keiji Inafune’s personal stance is that Zero did NOT in fact kill anyone. It’s not in Zero's profile [5]. Furthermore, Inafune has expressed a great distaste for excessive violence in the classic series [6]. Also let us not underestimate Mega Man in a theoretical battle against Zero.

Though Zero is a fearsome robot built by the late Dr. Wily as his most advanced creation ever, designed specifically to outclass any other robot of 20XX - including the original Mega Man [26]. Zero can still suffer defeat against an enemy with strength of heart [29] (as well as many allies). Remember, just as Wily created Zero, Light created X. As X can be considered a more advanced version of Mega Man [28] (equipped with the Mega Buster Mk. 17). Dr. Light may very well put X’s weapon and armor technology to good use if Mega Man requires such an upgrade, echoing the events of Game Boy Mega Man V (Rockman World 5).

Magnum Opus

Dr. Light is remembered in history as “the father of robotics” [8], Dr. Wily as “the legendary mad scientist” [9].

Despite their differences, Wily and Light lived the last days of their lives in clear parallel. They both completed their magnum opus in secret before passing on. Dr. Light left a program with his personality to play back messages for X (which, for all intents and purposes, is the good doctor in person), whereas Dr. Wily was brought back by the virus [10] (perchance as Serges and/or Isoc, but most certainly as the ‘Old Man’ from X5). A hundred years into the future, the two continue to deliver aid in their own unique ways.

X and Zero, parallels in every way.


Humans and Robots

X doing battle with the invincible combat robots of bygone days.

The groundwork laid by Dr. Light led to further technological developments over the course of a century. Though certain robot designs have withstood the test of time with minor changes (Mettaurs [11] and Battons [12]) others were quickly replaced, like how state-of-the-art phones become obsolete in less than a decade [13].

Still, a century later, little progress has been made in the field of humanoid robots until Cain’s creation of the Reploids. In Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, Dr. Light gives us a plausible explanation why: not only does he have no one to carry on his work, humanity is not yet ready to accept a robot as human-like as X. They fear the dangers he represents.

This should come as no surprise: not only did the world suffer great fear through Dr. Wily’s repeated attempts of world domination [14], invincible combats robots have also been used as weapons of war [15].

While Light never doubted X’s reliability for a minute, it took thirty years of ethical testing to persuade others of that fact. 

Mega Man X

What robots truly need!

The first robot granted this experimental ability is Mega Man X, whose very name (the variable “X”) represents “Limitless Potential.” Created with a much more advanced A.I., he is Mega Man's successor [27].

One little known fact is that the original Japanese manual contains an extended version of X1’s “Warning” message:

In it, Dr. Light ascribes X’s human-like A.I. to “the act of worrying”. If extended to matters that by nature must not be questioned (e.g. if robot were to harm a human deliberately) the result would be disastrous. Humankind would tremble with fear, the like of which was unknown even in the days of the Dr. Wily incidents [14].

Though X “worries” most of all (as said in Maverick Hunter X *5), the Reploids have in fact inherited his ability. Based on X’s data and equipped with a “suffering circuit”, as to be biased toward neither side, they are fated to continuously worry about which side in society they should stand upon [17]. This is what gives him the ability to think, reason and act totally independently [27]. Older robots, despite having a conscience, personality and emotions [18], do not possess the same ability to disobey their human masters [19].

While Dr. Light always kept a positive outlook on the future – seeing X as the world’s hope and dreaming of human-robot coexistence – he was also a cautious man. Not only did he seal X away for 30 years ethical testing and limited X’s strength whenever possible, he also anticipated X would do battle against robots infected by computer viruses. To that end, he equipped X with the perfect virus countermeasure [20] *9. The good doctor may have dabbled in very dangerous research, he understood the risks well and took every precaution to prevent the worst possible outcome.


Chronologically, Zero first appeared in Mega Man: The Power Fighters when Wily showed his design to Bass (X2 body, X3 buster, no Z-saber). However, it would be some time before Wily completed this project. It would also appear that Wily ran into some difficulties. *4

Zero (X1 body) contained a flaw in his cognitive program that made him violent and unwilling to obey instructions (like Bass). For this very reason, Dr. Wily himself sealed Zero in a capsule [21] [26] *6 *9.

In 21XX, an unknown computer virus (a subspecies of Roboenza) emerged from the capsule Zero slumbered in and began driving robots mad locally [22] *7 *9. Later Zero awoke from his capsule and wiped out Garma’s unit of Maverick Hunters before doing battle with Sigma. During this confrontation, the virus infected both of them at the same time (bypassing Zero’s imperfect virus countermeasure / antibodies through a breach in his armor). This event led to Zero’s personality changing completely. Reborn as a good Reploid, he joined the Maverick Hunters [17] [23] [26] *8 *9.

Since the above may seem contradictory. It’s important to note that the Maverick Virus serves a double purpose. First, when negated by his anti-virus systems, it empowers Zero to near invincibility. Second, through direct application (X2) or overexposure (X5), the virus awakens Zero’s true self. Thereby the Maverick Hunter is not the end product of virus infection, but rather an intermediate state born from attempted correction of the Maverick Zero. Awakened Zero (not Maverick Zero) is the strongest robot Wily envisioned, subservient to his cause.

Awakened Zero; powerful, calm, collected, and under Wily’s control.


The information presented here is considered absolute as of this writing – December, 2015. Pending new games and future comments made by Mega Man developers, this information is susceptible to change. For the time being, it is our hope this information will alleviate the many misconceptions surrounding the Mega Man lore.

It's worth mention this information is strictly about the games. Manga and comics are in a league of their own. Any attempt to tie these separate, but related entities together could result in chronic headaches.

A special thanks goes to Zan, our resident Mega Man dictionary, for putting this together!

Additional Notes 

*1 The US manual for “Rockman World 2” gives us the name Chronos Institute for the time-space research lab and “Time Skimmer” for their time machine. Wily traveled approximately 37.426 years into the future. By this figure, the future Wily would be around 90 years of age.

*2 Mega World / Wily Wars proves that time travel to the past can change the future. A temporal loop may still occur, however.

*3 Mega Man 9 introduces a law limiting the lifespan of robots. This may further explain the future absence of older model robots (humanoid or otherwise). However, we do not know if this law persisted after the incident. Furthermore, robots like Rock and Roll are clear exceptions to the law.

*4 The Power Battle occurs after Mega Man 7, before Mega Man 8. The Power Fighters occurs half a year after Mega Man 8.This puts the full production of X and Zero quite late into the timeline.

*5 The script differs between the original X1 and Maverick Hunter X, however the two versions are not incompatible. For the purpose of this text, they’re treated as complementary.

*6 Zero’s capsule was stored inside a warehouse/store in the Rocky Mountains. This is the same approximate region in which X was also found, later dubbed the “Forbidden Area”.

*7 The English version of Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works disagrees with the Japanese original on this subject [17]. The Sigma Virus does not actually originate from X’s suffering circuit (that we know of). The circuit is however mentioned as the “true form” or “true essence” of the Sigma Virus (in function, not in origin). On the old (but now defunct) Mega Man Network forums, the person tasked with the English adaptation of the book had expressed difficulty interpreting the paragraph in question.

*8 This information echoes the early concept scenario from Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works [17], though the detail of Zero being the “first” Reploid infected seems to have changed. The Idiom Dictionary of the same book, however, does mention that Zero was discovered as the source of the virus outbreak (the only one infected with the virus initially). Furthermore, Rockman Perfect Memories reckons that Zero was born with the virus already inside of him [24], whereas Keiji Inafune claims Zero passed the virus to Sigma [25]. Given his natural immunity and close proximity, it’s quite probable that Zero became a carrier of the virus long before it affected his mind.

*9 Information from the timeline section of the Rockman Zero Collection official site has been removed during the latest overhaul. While this may discredit its validity, one can still cross-reference the information with other sources to affirm its accuracy. [26], for example, recites many of the Zero-specific details.


Q03: Has what happened in the interim between the Rockman series and the Rockman X series been decided? Or is there no canon version of what happened?
CAPCOM: Of course there is such an outline, but don’t expect an official announcement of it. Players have always enjoyed using their imaginations to come up with their own conclusions, and we wouldn’t want to take that away from them…


Q. I read that Quint is supposed to be the future Rockman who was remodeled, but does that mean that in the future Rockman loses to Dr. Wily?
A. Ah… That’s quite an inexorable situation. As we came to understand later on, in the future that “Quint” came from even Wily himself had reformed, resulting in a peaceful world that was free of conflict. As would naturally occur in such a setting, the “battle functions” had been already been removed from “Quint”. And that’s when our Wily showed up with that time machine and attacked, or so we understand.


1) Did Zero really "kill" the family between the events of the Classic Mega Man and X series?
KI: No, Zero did not kill them. According to the way I created him, Zero is not such a person--it is not in his profile.

Mega Man Complete Works
The ultimate unspoken rule about making a game that is geared toward children is that you simply cannot kill anyone.

"Our protagonist this time is X, who is of course an entirely different person from Rockman."

In this game, Dr. Right has already become a historic figure, known as the “Father of Robotics”.

Sagesse (Serges)
Leader of the 3 main Counter Hunters. Like the legendary mad scientist, he is a super genius!

KI: A large amount of time has passed between the classic series and Mega Man X. Dr. Wily had died in the interim but was brought back by the virus.

Mettool C-15
Repliroid who watches the factory. From the former series that
worked at the factory, but this time they were actually advanced
enough so as to be placed as chiefs of the factory.

Batton M-501
Bat type mechaniroid which Batton Bone is based on.
It is a very unusual mechaniroid, made over 30 years ago.

Q02: Why aren’t the robots from the original Rockman time period still around in the Rockman X time period? Especially since there are some robots with only minor changes.
CAPCOM: When you consider that state of the art mobile phones become obsolete in less than a decade, you can imagine how after 100 years you wouldn’t expect to see too many old models still remaining. There are indeed a few Metalls and Battons and such still around albeit with minor changes, so perhaps that’s because their designs are so enduring?

“X” presents many problems inconceivable in existing robots. There is a danger he may worry over or question even the absolute requirement for robots, “Do not harm a human.”
The act of worrying in “X” marks a new epoch in robotics and is the first time this experiment has succeeded, but if it extends to matters that by their nature must not be questioned, it would be disastrous. In the worst case, if a robot were to harm humans deliberately, humankind would tremble with fear the like of which was unknown even in the days of the “Dr. Wily” incidents…
I conclude that “X” is an extremely dangerous being. If I am to send “X” out into the world, he must have a verification period of 30 years at the least. However, I do not have that long to live, and regrettably there is no one who understands all my research to carry it on for me.
Therefore I seal “X” here. If by some chance there is someone who discovers this capsule, as long as “X’s” thinking has not been fully analyzed, please leave him untouched. “X” is a robot laden with both unlimited possibility and unlimited danger…
Sep. 18 AD20XX
T. Right

Old Robot
Combat robot used in wars of the past. Heavily armored, attacks were once
useless on this invincible robot, but with the end of the wars, it was turned
to scrap. Where the armor is missing in the center is its weak point.

Dr. Right: それはにんげんと同じように考え、なやむことじゃ。 ロボットのパワーを強くするだけでは、おろかなたたかいなくならない。 しこうかいろのプログラムをもっとパワーアップさせなくてはならないな。
Dr. Right: It is that robots have thinking and troubles similar to humans. If only robots' power is strengthened, foolish fights will never end. We must further power up the cognitive program.
Dr. Light: Like humans, the robot has to determine what is right and what is wrong by itself. Robots are not supposed to hurt humans. We need to research more on A.I. program.

Mega Man Zero Official Complete Works
Sigma Virus
The terrifying virus that causes a Reploid to go Maverick. The virus actually originated from one of the circuits that Dr. Light installed in X's brain. The circuits function was to keep X neutral and unbiased in matters concerning humans and Reploids. Tragically, the very same circuit condemned X to a life plagued by the philosophical question that weighed the value of humans against that of Reploids - a question to which there was no answer. Zero was the first Reploid to be infected by the virus, but as an android created solely for evil, destructive purposes by Dr. Wily, the virus affected him uniquely. Instead of going Maverick, the virus turned Zero into a warrior driven by goodness, not evil. Unfortunately, by tirelessly fulfilling his destiny as a Maverick Hunter, Zero inadvertently spread the virus throughout the world. Eventually, as the host of the virus, Zero was taken to a research facility for study.

Rockman Zero Official Complete Works
Sigma Virus
The dreadful Sigma Virus that transforms repliroid to irregular.
The true form of which, was a suffering circuit Right inserted into X during the time of his creation.
A repliroid which possesses a suffering circuit,
in regards to a society where humans and repliroids coexist,
so as to be biased towards neither side,
it is fated always to worry continuously as to which side it should stand upon.
Zero was the first repliroid to be infected with the Sigma Virus but
Zero which was developed by Wily to be a completely evil repliroid,
despite being infected by Sigma Virus isn't transformed into an irregular, [instead]
was reborn as a good repliroid.
as Zero bustled about for the sake of fulfilling his missions as an Irregular Hunter
the Sigma virus lying dormant within his own body was scattered throughout the world
inviting an ironic result.
And so Zero, having become carrier of the Sigma Virus, was admitted to the research facility.

Q. Do robots like those made by Dr. Wily or Dr. Cossack have self-awareness, and can they talk? And do they run on solar energy like Rockman does?
A. I take it you’d like to know if Wily and Cossack’s robots possess “sentience”? Naturally, they each have a “consciousness”, although the level of every “cognitive circuit” embedded inside each one of them varies, producing as many different “personality” types as found in people… Just like you or I, they can speak, and have emotional responses like shyness, or anger, just as we do.
Regarding their energy systems, many of them do utilize “solar energy” in some way

Forte possess impressive AI, and for that reason he, unlike other robots, appears to be able to disobey his own master's orders. This has points of similarity to the AI of present day Repliroids.
Should nothing else come up that's contradictory to this information, this robot, with consideration to the special characteristics of his infinite Fortenium power source, has a high likelihood of being closely similar to the prototypes of this era.

Hypothesizing X could battle robots infected by viruses, he gave X the perfect virus counter-measure.

Zero was produced by Dr. Wily, who schemed at taking over the world. But he contained a flaw in his cognitive program that made him violent and unwilling to obey instructions, so Dr. Wily himself sealed Zero in a capsule.

A subspecies of the terrible computer virus from long ago is generated, and begins driving robots mad locally. The human leadership acknowledges these infected robots as Mavericks, and orders them to be disposed of. The source was found to be an unknown computer virus that had prevailed over 100 years ago emerging from the capsule Zero slumbered in.

Receiving information of Zero awakening from his capsule and causing violence, the Maverick Hunter Sigma finds and intercepts him. during this incident, Sigma is infected by the unknown computer virus leaking out from Zero's capsule, but at the same time Zero, having his armor damaged in the battle with Sigma, also becomes infected with the virus. Due to this, Zero's personality completely changed, and he would turn to working as a Maverick Hunter.

Rockman Perfect Memories:
Exactly what kinds of secrets are sleeping in Zero's past?
Zero has almost no memory of the past. However, sometimes he seems to see a person resembling Dr. Wily in his dreams. And it's also said that Zero was born with the Sigma Virus already inside of him. His creation is it actually to battle with whom? One would never think it was for justice, however...
X: He was made by Dr. Right. Will the time for his fated battle with Zero come?
Dr. Wily: The one who put the Sigma Virus in Zero is, perhaps him......

Sigma was a powerful leader of the Maverick Hunters but after Zero passed the virus to him, his allegiance changed. Circumstances can change anything, and nothing is absolute.

First 4 Figures Zero bio figurine:
"Zero is fearsome robot designed and built by the late Dr. Wily as his most advanced creation ever, designed specifically to outclass any other robot of the time, including the original Megaman. Due to an initial flaw in Zero’s programming, he proved to be a dangerous and unpredictable machine, refusing to follow his creator’s orders, leading to him being locked away. Following a brutal battle with Sigma upon reawakening, Zero was brought under control, and now fights as a formidable member of the Maverick Hunters alongside X."

First 4 Figures X figurine bio:
"X is the final and greatest creation of Dr. Thomas Light, and created as a successor to the original Mega Man. Unlike the original, X was created with a much more advanced A.I that allowed him to think, reason and act totally independently. Once created, X was initially sealed away by his creator, fearing that his incredibly complex mind and programming could endanger the planet should he choose to act with evil intentions. After eventually being discovered and having been awoken by Dr. Cain many years after his creation, X joins the Maverick Hunters to help fight off a new generation of renegade machines: The Reploids."

Compendium of Rockman X:
The setting of Rockman X is established about 100 years after the world of Rockman. It seems that after Dr. Light built Rockman, he developed X as a still more advanced version. Also, someone resembling Wily can be glimpsed in Zero’s vicinity.

Mega Man ZERO:
UnknownX: The heart is what counts. Not the body...


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  2. That was very interesting to read. I have not played all of the games yet (only all of the classic and X1-6.) Thanks for posting this Protodude and thanks to local Mega Man resident Zan as well!

    I noticed there was no mention of Super Adventure Rockman. It probably doesn't play a role with the connection of Classic and X series huh?

    1. Debatable. We do know for a fact Inafune isn't a fan. He outright cites the death of Roll and the destruction of UN choppers as inappropriate for the demographic. It bothered him

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. In addition to what Protodude said, SAR most likely takes place between R5 and R6 (Beat and Blues, but no Forte) in the game story, and before R3 in Archie's Mega Man. While it offers recollections of events far before R1, it doesn't really hold any hint about the future of the classic series.

    4. Dang honestly, I don't even remember all of that. It's been a long time. I think it's time to go back and play that one again.

  3. More articles, discussions and information like these need to happen. I'd also like to point out that Rockman XOver was literally all about time travel and no, I personally do NOT care how you feel about XOver, I really don't care at all.

    It merged all the universes together and even if you don't consider it canon, there's still the extremely interesting fact that OVER was built by Dr.Light and Dr.Cossak. He may have aswell been the actually Prototype in function for X.

    OVER did not exhibit any personality, he was most likely a reploid (Yes Reploid) on a mission. I believe that if he would have been given more appearances like in a full fledged game we could've learned a lot from him and his story.

    1. Reploids are specifically androids based on (aka replicated) the programming of X. Technically, X and Zero aren't even reploids.
      If XOver was built by light he can't be a Reploid.

    2. No. Protodude can do what he wants with his site, but we already have places like Rockman Perfect Memories, The Mega Man Network, the Reploid Lavatory, Interordi, and the Mega Man Home Page to discuss lore and pore over the old games again and again. I come here for news, not for shit I've already read elsewhere or already know. You want to discuss deep lore, there's plenty of forums for that too.

    3. Do you have to be so mean Anonymous (December 18, 2015 at 7:21 AM) to Unknown?

      Like you said "Protodude can do what he wants with his site", so let he do whatever he wants to his site, be it news or whatever it might be.

    4. "Do you have to be so mean?"

      Yes. Next silly question.

      If someone comes into your house, demands you play a shitty videogame, and says, "No, I do NOT care how you feel about it, I really don't care at all", are you going to bend over and take that?

    5. Read his words in context will you? Obviously the "you" here referred to those who dislike the inclusion of XOver.

      This isn't about demanding and forcing you to play any redundant games that you hate if we go by your analogy. But the insertion of extra information, in this case XOver and see how it's fitted to the saga.

      Since Zan rewritten and explained it from the canonical and continuity perspective, then titles such as Super Adventure Rockman and XOver were omitted.

      But why do you care, right? Everything must be videogame for you even if there's no new videogame. And even if there's a new game, you're going to talk shit about it anyway.

    6. Nice forced context, but it still comes off with the same attitude.

      Do we want to pore over where Rockman: Battle and Chase or Rockboard fit into the continuity, too?

    7. ^Sure, if they are of interest. It's not to me but eh... What are you gonna do?

    8. Anonymous of December 19, 2015 at 10:39 AM, I understand about the attitude but if people didn't trashed XOver that much, I guess he didn't have to stated like that. I wonder, if he ever say something like "Please add XOver too" sans the attitude, would you still be hostile towards him?

      "Do we want to pore over where Rockman: Battle and Chase or Rockboard fit into the continuity, too?"

      Zan's older timeline included those but not merged with this MM-X interim stuff and didn't I said "from the canonical and continuity perspective" before, that's why the non-canon continuity were omitted by Zan.

    9. "I wonder, if he ever say something like "Please add XOver too" sans the attitude, would you still be hostile towards him?"


      I never gave XOver the time of day when it came out, but if you want to discuss its relevance to canon and enlighten me, be my guest. Otherwise, there's no need to use news space to pore over old news or analytical editorial pieces. TMMN already does critical game analysis, and I haven't read a single one of those articles.

    10. I understand, all that you want is a legit news. Just treated this one as a featured news, can't you?

      There's always those uninformed readers and new gamers that are not subscribed to any dedicated forums for whatever reasons. So this article served its purposed.

  4. They are my favorite series -- both of them. Sighing.

  5. Since you bolded the Zero didn't kill anyone text, I feel I need to add to it.

    I remember discussing the bridge of the Classic and X series at great lengths on the forums several years ago. I think it's probably the same thread by Zan just on the different forums. In any case, I cannot agree with what Inafune said and I feel it shouldn't be taken as gospel truth.

    The way it seemed is that Inafune didn't fully understand the question he was asked. Sure, it's a simple question of, "Did he kill them?" But it's Inafune's reply that makes me feel the inquiry wasn't fully grasped. Inafune: "No, Zero did not kill them. According to the way I created him, Zero is not such a person--it is not in his profile."

    Inafune is half-correct. The Zero that he became would never kill them. However, the Zero that he was at the time would have most certainly killed them. Zero was a WIP which was prone to violent malfunctions and obviously went on rampages. His next generation strength and abilities paired with a manic frenzy would pose a very significant threat to the classic cast. But let's take a step back.

    Would he have to kill them in a hypothetical finale/bridge? Not necessarily, but all things considered, I don't think death(s) could be fully avoided. Yes, Inafune is against any of the sort, but realistically speaking, when you're a machine, albeit with sentience, you have a limit by default. Zero would push and/or break Rock's limit, regardless of any "heart". Using Mega Man's run-in with Vile and Spark Mandrill in "Mega X" as an example, if Mega Man clashed with Zero, I believe he would have a similar insurmountable challenge. Moreover, if Zero was introduced to the world sometime in 20XX, Dr. Light couldn't develop suitable upgrades in such a short period of time (such as the Mega Buster Mk.17), nor would Light have any true motivation or intention to create X until after witnessing that which is Zero.

    The point is that the possibility of Zero killing or doing extreme damage is entirely possible despite anything anyone says until solid evidence is created otherwise. When I think of such a scenario, I envision Proto Man and even Bass fighting along Mega Man's side. One could assume Proto Man sacrifices himself via his malfunctioning core in attempt to stop Zero, but I also like to think Bass loses his life fighting his "older brother." Effectively "proving" that he is better than that "girly-looking long-haired robot", and even stronger than Mega Man for being able to accomplish it. However, Zero wouldn't be fully destroyed (obviously), he would only be neutralized and shortly thereafter, retrieved by Wily. At that point, I would imagine Wily would spend his days prepping for the future and working on Zero while Light spent his time on X with the world in a long hiatus of peace. Then, cue the intro to Mega Man X.

    In conclusion, the "cataclysm theory" shouldn't be disregarded as it's still plausible in some capacity. I think it would make for a suitably climactic bridge, but if it ever happens and the "power of the heart" comes into play, it would not be unlike a climactic Sailor Moon conflict. Might as well throw in some empowering, brave song over top of it. I wouldn't mind that, but for everyone to be more or less unscathed after such an encounter? Impossible.

    1. That is... not a good theory at all. First off what Inafune meant is he didn't want that kind of story in Zero's resume or PROFILE, it would make him too much of a villain, he's not meant to be that kind of irredeemable character, period!

      Also that Bass scenario is sooooo outlandish, A. You are trying to explain what happened to the classic cast with a jank theory that it is entirely possible that they got murdered by Zero, then turn around and have a member of the classic cast be the solution to Zero. Then where is that solution now? Did he just go to another planet with Duo? Is he in hiding this whole time, and has completely become irreverent to the causes of his surroundings for the last 500 or so years, including the resurrection and long standing feats of the so called "girly-looking long-haired robot" that he is supposedly stronger than? It's just... JANK, and full of suppositions. Also I find it hard to believe that Bass over came what Rock couldn't at that specific instance, when he couldn't even hang with Rock at a handicap, where Rock not only defeated him but other bosses without a break between them. Let alone Zero, a guy that survived nukes, a space colony collision, beating reploids and machines centuries ahead of his creation, as well as his own self and other copies of himself with what would seem like equivalent or superior builds multiple times, a catastrophic entity infused into another catastrophic entity, another colony space explosion that he probably STILL survived. Sorry it just doesn't add up. Also the whole point of Bass is to rival Rock, but never could, he is super cocky but doesn't have anything to back it up with.

    2. Regardless if Inafune understood the question or not, his statement does hold true: neither Irregular Zero nor Hunter Zero have anything about such an cataclysmic event in their profile. Zero (by flaw and later by free will) cannot be commanded to do the deed, leaving Wily to seal him away. This was stated on the Rockman Zero Official Site timeline [21], and Zero's First 4 Figures bio [26]. In my mind, a scenario in which Zero kills Rock before being sealed away is therefore a bit of a stretch. Though Zero may certainly have been sent out (if his Zero's dreams in X4 are anything to go by), ask yourself: why did such not lead into Wily's ultimate victory? What stopped Wily's plans for world domination?

      Either way, Inafune's dismissal of excessive violence in classic would normally be the final nail in the coffin of the Cataclysm Theory. However, since his departure many things may very well have changed. I'll concede that there's no guarantee others shall uphold his vision. Still, as similar arguments from Capcom (for the sake of X6, a non-Inafune title) have led to Copy-X replacing the original X as final boss of ZERO1, I'd like to think that future developers would honor the Blue Bomber: he's a hero after all.

      Last but not least, I'd like to remind that conceptualization of X started as early as The Power Battle (which coincides with Zero). Between X4, X5 and the Rockman Zero Complete Works, we also have plenty of implication that X himself influenced Zero's developement.

    3. It's okay if you don't agree with me, Anon, but maybe I need to elaborate to better explain what I'm saying.

      First of all, I never said that Rock outright gets killed. Nor did I say Zero ultimately murders the entire cast. My version of the theory is nowhere near a massacre. What I'm saying is that if Zero were to awaken, escape Wily's lab, or some such occurrence, that the classic heroes will have a very difficult time surmounting the threat that is Zero. However, since he is incomplete, after an intense battle with some probable losses, the heroes will prevail. But I digress, let me address some things.

      Anon, the theory is not "jank", it's being grounded and real. Again, never once did I say everyone got murdered, but an encounter with a crazed Zero is going to be dangerous. I'm also not sure who you're referring to about going off with Duo? Went in to hiding? If you're talking about Bass, I clearly stated that he loses his life fighting Zero. His final push essentially neutralizes Zero, but in doing so, kills him, but he dies content knowing that he defeated his successor (in Wily's eyes) while being the one to do it and not his rival, Rock. (surely you can throw Bass that bone.) If you're talking about Rock, then he's probably transformed back into a regular robot like the future shown in "World 2". Wily is gone, and the world is at peace. Where does Rock ultimately end up? Your guess is as good as mine. He could have went with Duo, he could have eventually been deactivated for whatever reason. What matters is that no, I don't think Mega Man himself was killed by Zero.

      I don't see how Bass delivering the final blow is so outlandish, and I'm not saying they fully destroy Zero. After an intense battle, Zero has surely been worn down and again, he is incomplete and not at full power anyway. All those future events you cited aren't considered at this point. If you have a more reasonable idea about the fate of Bass, please share, but this seems like a fitting and somewhat bittersweet way to resolve the fate of Bass. He, a creation for evil, ironically helped save the world (and it wouldn't be the first time.) Echoes the eventual feats of Zero. Although I'm not 100% fond of the cliche power-of-the-heart John Cena-esque victory resolution, I think you're not giving the classic cast enough credit.

      Zan: In 20XX, I don't think Wily outright commanded Zero to attack the classic cast or go on a rampage. I believe during his development and testing, Zero goes berserk and escapes Wily's lab. This is how Zero's presence is made known and how he encounters the classic heroes. After Zero's eventual loss, Wily retrieves an unconscious Zero and returns to work for an unspecified amount of time. Presumably until his death (or lack thereof.) What stopped Wily's victory was an inability to control Zero at the time and the efforts of the classic cast.

      You're right about X's concept in the Power Battle, but it was basically a sentiment shared by Light. There's no indication that he was already developing X at that time. So if Zero came without warning, I still doubt Light could create an effective counter-measure so soon. That is to say, if X isn't in a capsule in a basement level with readily available weaponry to modify for Rock.

      In the end, this article is about the bridge between the two series. Should a bridge like this happen in official canon, I don't think an outcome where everyone is okay is realistic. If so, though incomplete and not at full power, you'd be discrediting Zero's strength, and for the classic fighters to defeat Zero clean would be overestimating their abilities.

    4. Is it OK if I don't read the gigantic wall of text? I mean I will if I have to, but if I misunderstood what you wrote, I'm fine just putting my last comment aside as a misunderstanding.

      About your writing, the part were you said "losing his life" I really didn't understand that, especially with the follow-up of "and even stronger than Mega Man for being able to accomplish it". Accomplish what, suicide? Did Mega Man run away or something, what?

      Anyway OK now I have it that you were saying two of the cast died in sacrifice, and the others lose but are not completely destroyed? In that case where are they? If your explanation is that they EVENTUALLY died due to that event or in part by it, that's basically the same thing as before. And if they didn't die what happened to all of them, the theory would fail to explain its entire reason for being?

      Again if you've already explain this in the post above just comment saying just that and I will.... sigh, read the whole thing...

    5. If you don't want to read, you don't have to, but I can't very well explain and answer questions on a detailed subject in only a few words or sentences. Is it really such a chore to read? It's like a page or two in a book. lol

      As for Bass' demise, I wouldn't necessarily call it suicide. It's more of a sacrifice. In that particular instance, I would imagine Mega Man would be nearly spent and Bass goes for broke and finishes the job. There are four factors why I think this event would make for good storytelling. 1: It proves to Wily that Bass isn't obsolete and that he was able to overcome his successor Zero (albeit with some help, but Bass is egotistical like that.) 2: He was the one to finish Zero, and not Mega Man, feeding his ego that he was able to do something Mega could not. 3: In a stroke of irony, the finality of Bass' life would be a last positive action. 4: It would provide a closing chapter to the character of Bass making way for the X Series.

      If Proto Man gave his life via his malfunctioning core in attempt to stop Zero, that would solve his absence in the X series. As for the other characters, the only one we know still exists is Auto, as seen in Volt Catfish's introduction sequence. He's apparently in hiding, living out the years. As for the others, I gave a couple thoughts as to what could have become of them. I do not believe anyone died as a result of damage caused by Zero. Do keep in mind that this is merely speculation stemmed from the notion that Zero did or did not encounter the classic cast.

      This is just filling in the gaps in the most climactic, pivotal finale that I could imagine while keeping losses to a minimum, providing closure to a few characters, and not having it be a bloody murder-fest like a lot of people assume it'd be. I feel that eventually, the innocence of the classic series will be challenged in a prologue to the X series. If an official, peaceful bridge does get bestowed upon us one day, then I'd fully accept that too. I just hope that they do wrap it up nicely, whatever and whenever it may be.

    6. I appreciate the headcanon for making good use of Bass and giving his character closure. I'd say the same for Proto Man, but in the interest of keeping the deaths to a minimum, I'd keep him alive. It's not like he has an actor or VA who wants him dead, like Harrison Ford in Star Wars.

      The bit about the "suffering circuit" in the original Japanese game is interesting, though I still can't help but wonder what Light hoped to accomplish with that. Yeah, he wanted robots to coexist with humans, but why? Because robots can go where and do what humans can't? Why not just have robots and leave the issues with playing God in God's domain?

    7. @MegaMac: I think your thoughts for Bass' thematic progression, are spot on. I just don't think we specifically need Zero for it, although he's definitely the best candidate what with him being the 'Strongest Robot' and all.

      Blues I'd prefer to give a quiet passing. Maybe far away from Robot Society, surrounded by nature.

      As for Rock; my own preference goes with 'join Duo and leave Earth', befitting Mega Man's Astroboy inspirations. I preferred to keep such theories out of the article, though.

      Also I'm glad that we're in agreement on how the "Zero Theory" could never fully explain everybody's absence. It makes for a strong climatic arc (much like Ariga's World5), but ultimately it should never be a true "Cataclysm".

      From Rockman Online:
      The birth of robots who look like humans, who think like humans, who feel emotions like humans…
      Why did humanity create robots that resemble human beings?
      One of their two creators, Dr. Light said, “Humanoids are the descendants of humanity. They are friends that will work together with us to create a more prosperous way of life.”
      Their other creator, Dr. Wily said, “As god made man in his image, the birth of humanoids is simply humanity’s first step to becoming gods.”
      The wars started from the two creators’ differences in ideals. Nobody ever expected them to rage on for the length of centuries without end.
      Now, a new chapter begins in the history of these long wars, surpassing eras and generations!

    8. You're describing opposing visions and ideals of the future regarding humans and robotics, but no explanation as to why, at least for Light. With Wily it's a typical megalomaniacal or transhumanist motivation: to become god-like and surpass mortality. With Light it's more about cooperation and coexistence, but it seems more vague and more prone to problems, which are what we see in the X series going into the Zero series. At least with Wily, you could say he wanted to use them to better humans, but with Light, he wanted them to be friends, which is not necessarily what anyone asked for. The unrest and distrust that we see in the X series between humans and Reploids speaks to this issue. Even the explanation in the Archie comics seems more sentimental than reasonable.

    9. The reason 'why' is 'because they had a dream'. Science shouldn't stagnate, and this is the direction they wanted to take their science in, whether anyone else wanted it or not. Both Wily and Light shared the belief that robots should acquire a soul: complete free will and all. Ariga's Gigamix V2 touched deeply on this subject as well.

  6. I don't care about anything inafune had to say. He was a producer, not a story writter. Zero was clearly insane when he was first made. How was it not in his nature to demolish everything around him? He could have easily destroyed Mega Man if Zero got caught in the same room as him. Also, X could absolutely contain Rock's heart, the part that made him a hero. It wouldn't make them the same character, it would be more of a tie in to what he once was. Also, don't forget that inafune like to say one thing, and then turn around and do something completely different. I'm going with what makes the most sense. Because Capcom isn't going to make a game that bridges the gap, and inafune isn't a source that matters any longer.

    1. Inafune may have been Producer, but he wasn't totally clueless about the games' stories. He was very aware about everything related to Zero for example. He's openly stated that he was very involved with anything having to do with that character. Also, when he says "It's not in his profile" he doesn't mean "He wouldn't do that." By "profile" he means any official documents relating to Zero. (His backstory, etc.)

    2. Zero was never finished. Serges complete his construccion in X2. There is probe of that in the Carddass X2 profile for Zero, Neo Sigma and Serges, still not translated when this article was posted. So, Zero was sleep in the classic and X gap.

    3. Mega Man was literally Inafune's series he worked on for years, you don't have to like the man, but its really ignorant to disregard what he said about a series that was pretty much his baby.

  7. While it's totally legit to include World 2, I really doubt that Capcom would ever have that be the real way Classic MM goes out. Way too dark. It's really the only official word, and it makes sense, but it's so dark for MM to become Quint and have the world torn apart by RM Shadow afterwards.

  8. One question remains, something I have never understood. Zero being Awakened in X2 is a non-canon scenario, but regardless, when it happens, X is able to put Zero back in his Hunter state by defeating him in battle. The same thing happens in X5: after battling Awakened Zero, X is unconscious and Sigma attempts to kill him. Zero throws his body in front of the blast to protect X, having been brought back to his Hunter state. What exactly causes Zero to revert from his Awakened form? X's virus counter-measures? Or is it something else?

    1. The whims of the producer. I don't think he put much thought into it. He just wanted Zero to be the cool guy and anti-hero.

      In the X4 flashback, it was a punch to the gem. In X5, it was basically the same thing. X2's no different. That's just the fantasy he wanted for the character; it's probably based on any one of the classic Japanese animes he watched growing up as a kid, like Astro Boy or Casshern.


      ^This article gives us a bit of a hint.

      I'd like to think of it as a combination of "reaching out to Zero's inner Hunter self", "the virus dies with its host", "exposure to X's virus counter-measures" and "destroying the virus chip in Zero's helmet gem", depending on the exact circumstances. In X5 in particular, it greatly helps that everyone's equipped with antivirus weaponry.

    3. Pathetic schlock, but then that's been a hallmark of Mega Man storytelling. I stopped reading after the line, "X poured his entire soul into one shot that penetrated right through Zero. Zero collapsed…… But then was returned to his former heroic self."

      But let's talk more about the vague mechanics. What exactly are X's virus counter-measures, and how could Zero plausibly be "exposed" to them? Also, is the virus constrained to a chip, or is it a wireless code vapor? The only plausible explanation is "the virus dies with its host", but then Zero never really died. Lastly, the anti-virus weaponry, which I'm presuming was developed by Lifesaver the same way Doppler developed an anti-body. In both cases it's vague and referred to in biological disease parlance.

  9. When it comes to the Storytelling of both Mega Man (robot universe) and Street Fighter,Capcom is shit. Period.

  10. Great read. Although it feels good to not actually have an official fill in this gap, I'd love to eventually see it in game form in an epic, emotional and intelligently constructed manner. (Part of me really wants the part where Zero goes berserk and obliterates mega man and his allies to be real, that'd be daaaaarrk maaaaaan).

  11. Always loved the irony of mega man turning into a a-hole in the future (Quint)

  12. Entertaining read, but I feel a few creative liberties are taken here and there that should not be mistaken for series canon, such as the "unknown virus" leaking out of Zero's capsule "being a subspecies of Roboenza." Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe Roboenza's connection to the X series (or, more likely, lack thereof) is ever officially stated anywhere.

    It's easy and convenient to come to the conclusion that Roboenza and the Maverick Virus are related because Mega Man 10 is chronologically the closest we have come to that infamous "blind period" between the Classic and X series, but that has never been officially canonized anywhere (again, that I am aware of) and should not be passed off like it has.

    Still, this is a great read and there's a lot of good research and fact-checking going on here. Well done!

    1. That information all comes from the Rockman Zero Collection site. The references are [20~23], with footnote *9 and all. The recent release of [26] validates those as proper canon.

      Roboenza is "the threat from outer space" (as in the game's subtitle). Evil Energy is not unconnected, though, but that's a whole other article onto itself. Let's put it this way: there's a strong theoretical connection between aliens (of Duo's kind), and the emergence of Cyber Elves (like the Sigma Virus).

    2. Just in case: Archived permalinks to Zero's and X's First 4 Figures biographies



  13. The possible Megaman Classic ultimately killing himself in battle against himself is all well and dandy on it's own, but also the robot expiration date thing established in like 9 is pretty good too. And I'm guessing Blues eventually dies of his unstable core, but this leaves Bass pretty much at large still. There's no reason for Wily to have programmed him with the robot expiration date, and he's way too strong to be killed off normally by anything not Light created, so what happened there? any theories?

    1. For bass either he was captured or killed in a battle before the x series started or was used for another robot there have been many theories regarding basses outcome. The one ive seen that most appeals to me is that he was used in part for Zeros creation mainly due to zeros arm cannon looking very similar to basses

  14. I really liked this very good read

  15. Care to restore those images, Protodude?


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