A 2011 Rockman Maniax interview between Mega Man creator Akira Kitamura and Hitoshi Ariga has been translated courtesy of Shmuplations. It's a delightful read brimming with untold Mega Man development secrets. Seriously! There's so much in here we've never heard before.
Here's my personal favorite bit:
Kitamura: In the beginning, I imagined a character like Mega Man equipped with some kind of weapon, but when you transformed, your whole appearance would change. You know that little protrusion on the top-front of Mega Man’s helmet? When you changed weapons, it was supposed to change like the Ninja Captor character’s helmets, and show a little symbol depending on the weapon’s element (fire, water, lightning, etc).
Ariga: Ah! So that was the idea behind the helmet design…!
Kitamura: Unfortunately, for various reasons, we weren’t going to be allowed to use those symbols like that. 1 But that design element was super important to me—it wasn’t really up for compromise. As I sat there fretting, Matsushita came over and said, “How about this?” What he showed me was the color change mechanic.
As you'll come to read, Ninja Captor (pictured above) is one of many specific Tokusatsu properties that influenced the original Mega Man design plan. Of course, there's a lot more history to it than that.
Other interesting tidbits dropped include Mega Man's ability to turn himself off (when he no longer feels needed), Cut Man as a protagonist, Mega Man's armor was almost white, Roll almost had curls, and oh-so much more. It's crazy, people.
Check out the full interview here and be enlightened!