In addition, there have been numerous side-story games, such as the sports game Mega Man Soccer for the Super NES and the racing game Mega Man: Battle & Chase on the PlayStation (Japan and PAL territories only). Many of the games were ported to or remade for newer consoles, most notably the six Famicom games being re-released in Japan with remixed music and unlockable bonus features on the PlayStation and the previously Japan-only Super Famicom game, Mega Man & Bass, being re-released worldwide for the Game Boy Advance.
In 2004, the Mega Man Anniversary Collection was released for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2, containing Mega Man 1-8, as well as Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters, two arcade games rarely seen outside of Japan. A version for the Xbox was released in March 2005. Each version had a special unlockable; the PS2 version has an episode from the 1995 Mega Man cartoon and the GameCube version has a special on cable gaming network G4 about Mega Man with an interview with the creator of Mega Man. The Xbox version included the interview but replaced the cartoon episode with an episode of MegaMan NT Warrior instead.
At the end of the level, Mega Man duels the boss one-on-one. When the boss is defeated, Mega Man gains a new weapon or ability related to the attacks used by that Robot Master. Each Robot Master is affected differently by the copied weapons: taking extra damage from some, being immune to others, or changing attack pattern when hit; this feature defines the unique gameplay of the series. Generally every Robot Master is weak to another's weapon. According to series creator Keiji Inafune, this game mechanic was inspired by the children's game rock-paper-scissors.
When all Robot Masters are defeated, Mega Man proceeds to Dr. Wily's fortress, where he will travel through a few more levels. Near the end of the fortress, Mega Man will fight each of the game's Robot Masters once again before finally facing Wily.
Mega Man (NES) had only six Robot Masters, instead of the series standard eight, and is the only Mega Man Classic game to include a scoring system. The power-ups also look different. Roll and Dr. Light were first shown at the end of the credits.
Mega Man 2 introduced the Items system, a set of mobile platforms which the player could use to reach high areas (the special "Magnet Beam" item which appeared in the first game and created platforms that Mega Man can walk on is a predecessor to these items). These are also the predecessors to the Rush system.
Mega Man 2 also introduced E-Tanks that could refill Mega Man's energy when the player needed, a password feature to save progress, and the teleporter room in Dr. Wily's fortress, where Mega Man would face all of the Robot Masters one after the other by going through the various teleporter pads in whatever order Mega Man chose. Both the E-Tanks and the teleporter room became staples in subsequent Mega Man games.
In Mega Man 3, Mega Man gained the ability to slide a short distance at a slightly greater speed, enabling him to gain access to special areas and avoid enemy attacks. The slide has been a staple feature of all the subsequent Mega Man games except 9, and was the predecessor to the dash in the Mega Man X series.
Mega Man 3 and later games replaced the Items from Mega Man 2 with Rush, a shape-changing mechanical canine who could be temporarily summoned to provide Mega Man with increased mobility. In most appearances, Rush provides three functions:
Mega Man 3 also introduced the character Proto Man, Mega Man's older brother. Mega Man encounters Proto Man at some point in the Magnet Man, Hard Man, Shadow Man, and Gemini Man stages, where, after a whistle-like intro sound-bite, he fights you (except in Gemini Man's stage). After you damage him enough, he teleports from the stage and opens the path forward deeper into that stage.
After the four "repeat" Mega Man 2 boss stages, the stage select screen changes the center square (previously housing a "follow-the-select-cursor-with-my-eyeballs" headshot of the Blue Bomber) with Proto Man, who, wearing an even-more-concealing face plate is identified as "Break Man" (His true identity is revealed as Proto Man in the game's end sequence). Once "Break Man" is selected, you face-off with him one last time in a Hard Man stage-like backdrop. After fending him off (and a cut scene in Dr. Light's Lab), Mega Man goes on to confront Dr. Wily (and his fortress) for the finale.
Mega Man 4 introduced the Charge Shot, an ability that allowed Mega Man to charge his primary weapon, the Mega Buster, and release a blast much stronger than his normal attack and could sometimes go through multiple enemies. This innovation was carried on to all Mega Man games released afterwards. Also, the game introduced two fortresses to play through near the end of the game: one for the presumed villain Dr. Cossack, and one for Dr. Wily.
Mega Man 4 features the origin and back story of Mega Man in the sequence before the title screen.
Mega Man 5 marks the first appearance of Beat, a robotic bird that helps out Mega Man after the player collects eight parts of the name of the title: M, E, G, A, M, A, N, and V. In the "Mega Man Anniversary Collection" and "Complete Works," the "V" is changed to a "5" like it was in the original Japanese version.
Mega Man 6 changed the Rush system from riding platforms into armored Adapters for Mega Man. Jet Mega Man has a jet-pack with limited fuel that lets Mega Man fly. Power Mega Man can charge up a punch attack to damage enemies or break through fake walls. Mega Man changes from blue to red when wearing an adapter. Mega Man 6's cover art predominantly displays this new found ability and was marketed as one of the major selling points of the game.
Mega Man 6 also introduced the concept of fake bosses. In each of the levels for Tomahawk Man, Yamato Man, Knight Man, and Centaur Man, two separate boss chambers appear, one more difficult to reach than the other. If the player succeeds in reaching the more difficult of the two boss chambers, he receives, in addition to the Robot Master's weapon, a set of "Beat parts," representing the letters B, E, A, and T.
Mega Man 7 was the first (and only US released) classic Mega Man game for the SNES. Many features from previous Mega Man games were combined along with brand new features. The player begins at an introductory level where you meet new characters Bass and Treble. Then the player is given access to 4 of the 8 Robot Masters levels. After the 4th level is complete, an Intermission level is played, and then the remaining 4 Robot Master levels appear so the player has access to all 8.
The Rush system in Mega Man 7 includes the Rush Jet, and Rush Coil modes from Mega Man 3-5, as well as Rush Search, a new mode where Rush would dig up secret items from the ground. Also hidden throughout the game are four letter tiles, R-U-S-H, which when completed access the Super Adapter, a combination of the Jet and Power Adapters from Mega Man 6. The punch attack for the Super Adapter can be upgraded.
Also new to Mega Man 7 are bolts. Throughout the game the player can collect metal bolts which act as currency, allowing the player to buy special items from Auto, Dr. Light's mechanic and Mega Man's ally. The cost of items is reduced when the player finds a "super-bolt" that fits into Auto's head.
Proto Man and Beat also make appearances in Mega Man 7, hidden in certain levels. Beat becomes available when he is rescued from a cage. Proto Man is hidden in certain locations, giving Mega Man clues throughout the game, and finally challenges Mega Man to a duel. If Mega Man wins the duel, Proto Man gives Mega Man his Proto Shield.
Mega Man 8 was the debut of the classic series on the Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn. Mega Man has retained all of his previous primary abilities from Mega Man 7, and can even swim. He is also bestowed the "Mega Ball", which he uses like a soccer ball, and kick it, destroying many enemies upon hitting them. However, the Super Adaptor function is gone in this game. Instead Rush's abilities are gained from defeating mini-bosses found in Clown Man, Grenade Man, Aqua Man, and Sword Man's stage. Also, Mega Man now has the ability to equip a special weapon and his Mega Buster essentially at the same time, instead of one weapon at a time.
The bolt system is still in this game, yet they are now hidden, and special items are worth fewer bolts then before. Also, Eddie, Auto, Beat,and Rush can also assist Mega Man while in the flying portion of Tengu Man's stage and the second stage of Wily's Tower Fortress.
Note: In the Sega Saturn edition of Mega Man 8, two old Robot Master bosses, Cutman and Woodman appear in the game for mini-boss battles.
Mega Man & Bass was released as part of the original series for the SNES, but not a direct sequel to Mega Man 8 (Later changed when it was rereleased for the GBA). Unlike the other Mega Man games, Mega Man & Bass allowed for an option between Mega man or Bass to be played.
Mega Man 9 was released 12 years after Mega Man 8, and is a game that is designed to emulate the style of Mega Man 2, going back to the roots of the original Mega Man games, and thus, the game is created in 8-bit graphics. The slide and charge shot have been eliminated, though the bolt system remains. Beat and Eddie retain their abilities given to them in Mega Man 7 and Mega Man and Bass, respectively. Also, a time attack mode and additional downloadable content (to be released at a later date) have been added to take advantage of the new consoles' networking capabilities.