Rockman © 1987 Capcom Company, Limited.
Action-platform video game. The game begins the struggle of the humanoid robot and player-character Mega Man against the mad scientist Dr. Wily and the six Robot Masters under his control. Mega Man's nonlinear gameplay lets the player choose the order in which to complete its initial six stages. Each culminates in a "Robot Master" boss battle that awards the player-character a unique weapon. Part of the strategy of the game consists of choosing the order to tackle the stages in order to earn the weapons that will be most useful for future stages.
Region: NTSC JAPAN
Cartridge ID: CAP-RX
Cartridge color: Blue
Rockman was released on December 17, 1987 in Japan. Retail price: 5300 Yen.
Before Rockman, Capcom primarily made arcade games, and their console releases were mostly ports of these titles. In the mid-1980s, Capcom made plans to develop Rockman specifically for the Japanese home console market. They decided to bring in fresh, young talent for the small team, including artist Keiji Inafune, a recent college graduate. Inafune recalled that the Mega Man development team worked extremely hard to complete the final product, with a project supervisor and lead designer who sought perfection in every possible aspect of the game.
The development team for Rockman consisted of only six people. Inafune designed and illustrated nearly all of the game's characters and enemies, as well as the Japanese Rockman logo, box art, and instruction manual. He was also responsible for rendering these designs into graphical sprite form. Inafune was influenced by the eponymous protagonist of Osamu Tezuka's manga Astro Boy in his Rockman designs. Rockman is colored blue because it seemed that the color had the most shades in the console's 56-color palette (cyan included), and that selection was used to enhance Rockman's detail. Although he is often credited for designing the character, Inafune insists that he only did half of the job in creating him, as his mentor developed the basic character concept before Inafune's arrival. The basic sprites for Roll and Dr. Light were created before Inafune joined the project, and the designs for Cut Man, Ice Man, Fire Man, and Guts Man were in process. Aside from normal enemies, Inafune's first character was Elec Man, inspired by American comic book characters. The artist has commented that Elec Man has always been his favorite design.
The designs for Dr. Light and Dr. Wily were based on Santa Claus and Albert Einstein, respectively; the latter character was meant to represent an archetypal mad scientist.
The team had initially considered names such as Mighty Kid, Knuckle Kid, and Rainbow Man before settling on their final decisions. The name Rainbow name was considered because the character could change into seven colors based on the weapon selected.
The production team chose a music motif when naming the main characters in Rockman. The protagonist's original name is Rock and his sister's name is Roll, a play on the term Rock and Roll. One of the original storylines considered by the team but not used in the final game was to have Roll be kidnapped, and Rock had to rescue her. Another idea had included a boss fight against a giant Roll near the end of the game.
The team decided to incorporate anime elements for the game's animation. Inafune explained, Rockman's hand transforms into a gun and you can actually see it come out of his arm. We wanted to make sure that the animation and the motion was realistic and actually made sense. So with Rockman, we had this perfect blending of game character with animation ideas.
The gameplay for Rockman was inspired by the game rock paper scissors. The project supervisor wanted a simple system that offered deep gameplay. Each weapon deals a large amount of damage to one specific Robot Master, others have little to no effect against them, and there is no single weapon that dominates all the others.
Rock was originally able to crouch, but the team decided against it since it made players' ability to determine the height of onscreen projectiles more difficult.
Naoya Tomita began work on the Rockman's scenic backgrounds immediately after his Capcom training. Tomita proved himself amongst his peers by overcoming the challenges of the console's limited power through maximizing the use of background elements.
Rockman was scored by Manami Matsumae who composed the music, created the sound effects, and programmed the data in three months, using a sound driver programmed by Yoshihiro Sakaguchi. The musical notes were translated one by one into the computer language. Matsumae was challenged by the creative limits of three notes available at any one time, and when she was unable to write songs, she created the sound effects
The Elec Man stage music theme was certainly inspired by Journey's "Faithfully" (1983).
Known export releases:
"Mega Man [Model NES-MN-USA]" (1987)
"Mega Man [Model NES-MN-EEC]" (1989)
"Mega Man [Model NES-MN-FRG]" (1991)
1. Rockman [Model CAP-RX] (1987, FC)
2. Rockman 2 - Dr. Wily no Nazo [Model CAP-XR] (1988, FC)
3. Rockman 3 - Dr. Wily no Saigo!? [Model CAP-XU] (1990, FC)
4. Rockman 4 - Aratanaru Yabou!! [Model CAP-4V] (1991, FC)
5. Rockman 5 - Blues no Wana!? [Model CAP-5V] (1992, FC)
6. Rockman 6 - Shijou Saidai no Tatakai!! [Model CAP-6V] (1993, FC)
7. Rockman 7 - Shukumei no Taiketsu! [Model SHVC-A7RJ-JPN] (1995, SFC)
8. Rockman 8 - Metal Heroes [Model SLPS-00630] (1996, PSX)
9. Rockman 9 - Yabou no Fukkatsu!! (2008, WiiWare)
10. Rockman 10 (2010, WiiWare)
11. Rockman 11 (2018, Switch)
1. Rockman X [Model SHVC-RX] (1993, SFC)
2. Rockman X2 [Model SHVC-ARXJ-JPN] (1994, SFC)
3. Rockman X3 [Model SHVC-AR3J-JPN] (1995, SFC)
4. Rockman X4 [Model SLPS-00902] (1997, PSX)
5. Rockman X5 [Model SLPM-86666] (2000, PSX)
6. Rockman X6 [Model SLPM-86959] (2001, PSX)
7. Rockman X7 [Model SLPM-65331] (2003, PS2)
8. Rockman X8 [Model SLPM-65730] (2005, PS2)
1. Rockman Zero [Model AGB-ARZJ-JPN] (2002, GBA)
2. Rockman Zero 2 [Model AGB-A62J-JPN] (2003, GBA)
3. Rockman Zero 3 [Model AGB-BZ3J-JPN] (2004, GBA)
4. Rockman Zero 4 [Model AGB-B4ZJ-JPN] (2005, GBA)