Wherein I review a certain recent piece of Mega Man literature.
I know we’re all excited after hearing our old friends Fan Man and Shock Man will be in the upcoming Disney XD Mega Man cartoon, and so I thought I’d take this opportunity to blurt out some of my thoughts on the upcoming series.
Namely the prospect that I’m most excited about: Mega Man is going back to school.
I’ve had over a month now to collect my thoughts on the Mega Man Legacy Collection for 3DS, but here they are still strewn about all over the place. You can observe my futile attempts at painstakingly assembling them below.
This year Rockman Unity’s April Fools celebration put up a spot-the-differences activity using the Rockman Character Collection cover art. They said there are 41 changes (for 4/1 of course) between the two images. They challenge you to see how many you can spot in 10 minutes. Ucchy says his record was 35, so see if you can top it!
The right image is full of little jokes and references for classic series fans.
When you’re finished, the answer key is here!
I missed 4 myself: The extra background line behind the L-can, Gamma’s third helmet horn, CentaurMan’s longer horns, and the island that appeared next to Japan. Some of these were really tough!
Did you find them all?
Nearing the physical release of Mega Man Legacy Collection and its Japanese counterpart Rockman Classics Collection now, and Rockman Unity’s Ucchy and Rockman Producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya have given a thorough preview of the e-Capcom Special Limited Edition box set (which has long since sold out). They also discuss some of the inspiration behind the Daily Rockman Planner:
- They wanted the preorder bonus to be something cute and stylish, but at the same time something sensible with a practical use for adults.
- Seeking to incorporate that nostalgic sense of hint book/game series encyclopedias that littered the landscape of the nineties Japanese gaming scene, they decided to fill the book with all sorts of story and character data and developer trivia.
- They wanted to give long time fans something new to enjoy as well, hence Dr. Right’s Research Journal.
- The concept for the Research Journal came from deciding that December 17th (Rockman 1’s release date) would also be the the day when Rock was transformed into Rockman, and then going back to tell the story of the year leading up to that first incident with Dr. Wily, all from Dr. Right’s perspective.
- The planning meeting where they decided on the contents of the special edition package took only about an hour, which is much faster than normal.
Tsuchiya says that he aimed for the Journal entries to fit nicely as part of the existing lore of the series, rather than being an alternative interpretation or a retcon, but he recognizes that some things might have come out a little differently than what was there before. The only thing that immediately strikes me as having been changed (from what they’ve previewed so far) is the contradiction with the dates given in the Rockman Character Collection version of the journal, where Rockman 1 took place in late June, and Rockman 2 in early July of the following year.
Some Japanese fans on Twitter have criticized Right for coming across as goofy and reckless in the teased Journal samples. As if in indirect response, Ucchy and Tsuchiya justify how the book characterizes Dr. Right. For Tsuchiya, Dr. Right is first and foremost as a 80s/90s science fiction scientist, and so he feels they were careful to craft his speech patterns and sentence structure with that archetype in mind. They also sought to explore the full range of his character, pointing out that he’s a human being whose personality contains both strengths and weaknesses. Although he is a serious scientific genius and a visionary and this central historical figure in the Rockman universe, he’s also a creative free spirit, a trusting individual, and idealistic to the point of naivety. And he’s a fun-loving guy with relatable hobbies like listening to music, singing karaoke and playing video games. Through the course of the journal he will experience highs and lows, both tragedies and triumphs, and Tsuchiya hopes that after reading the full saga that a full picture of Dr. Right will be expressed in all its many facets.
Ucchy backs him up by pointing out that even in the X series, where Right has this mysterious and solemn air about himself and his recorded messages, he still demonstrates a certain playfulness where he’ll throw on a gi and bandana and crack self-depricating jokes about having the body of a warrior. Speaking of which…
Street Fighter V is out now, though I’ve no intention of picking it up until they start rolling out Rockman alt costumes (besides Karin’s subtly Roll inspired outfit). X and Zero costumes for Ryu and Ken, anyone? Sigma costume for
Sagat dictator? If Capcom wants my purchase, they know what to do.
I will say however that I respect their adoption of a more Smash Bros 4 styled business model, by which I mean developing and releasing updates over time in place of the version-sequel chains and disc-locked DLC experienced with several of their past fighting games. I don’t know whether releasing SFV “early” in its current state of non-polish to allow tournament players preparation time was pure genius or utter recklessness, but it has already dovetailed into this delightfully shameless bit of cross-promotion:
Anyway, when it comes to taking breaks, I find that enjoying a good fighting game is best! When said how I wanted to master the Hadou-ken and Shouryuu-ken myself one day, Roll burst out laughing…
Don’t worry Doc, we all know how that one turns out. I expect the date for this entry will probably coincide with SFV’s release or one of the game’s scheduled tournament events like the Capcom Pro Tour or Evo 2016.
The realms of Rockman and Street Fighter have crossed over countless times before, so much so in fact that this isn’t even the first time the “Street Fighter V” title has appeared in the world of Rockman. There’s a billboard on the CAPCOM building advertising Street Fighter V’ that stands in Rockman’s futuristic city in the image below. Technically that’s Street Fighter V “DASH”, DASH being the Japanese label for Street Fighter II’s Champion Edition. Perhaps they didn’t stop making those version-up sequels in Rockman’s universe?
On top of everything else, the Street Fighter gang are meeting with Rockman series characters for the umpteenth time in the recently released Project X Zone 2, but I feel like I’ve written enough about crossovers for one day.
Two new pages have been added to the top menu: a “Servbot Art” and an “Ask” page.
Servbot Art is a collection of commissions I was fortunate enough to receive from many talented artists in and around the Mega Man community. They still load randomly on the right side of the page, but now you can also look at them whenever you like. I’ve also tried to link to their pages if you’d like to view their portfolios or commission them yourselves. Many thanks once again to all of the artists!
Ask is the official place for asking me questions or making requests, in the hopes that they will no longer get buried in old blog posts and forgotten. If you requested something that I never addressed, please feel free to ask again there. You can request anything you like, but remember that this site is a hobby done in my spare time, for no money, and only when the motivation strikes. So don’t expect the moon (sigh) and the stars, and we’ll get along just fine.
Thanks for reading, see ya in 2016!
Capcom Japan was unusually active for Rockman’s 28th birthday this year, complete with its own hub page.
There’s a simple icon pack you can download, with more packs on the way between now and the release of Rockman Classics Collection.
A twitter retweet campaign to win some rare backstock out-of-production goods.
There’s also a Worst Rockman Trauma Contest, where they want to hear what your old war stories about which stages from Rockman 1~6 are the most difficult of all time. You can include all your most hair-pulling, controller-throwing, tantrum-inducing levels via the official submission form, or by tweeting @ROCKMAN_UNITY using the hashtag #ロックマントラウマ (which means #RockmanTrauma).
They have announced an art contest over at Nico Nico Douga to start in mid-January, seems rather similar to the art contest held on Capcom Unity for Mega Man Legacy Collection a while back. Not sure what luck you’ll have if you try resubmitting, since Ucchy and Tsucchie were already judges for that contest too.
Cap-Bar, Capcom’s restaurant enterprise, is also serving specialty menu items this week, including Rockman-themed birthday cakes as well as a blue “Rockbuster” drink that comes in both alcohol and non-alcoholic forms.
Capcom also wants to remind everyone that there’s plenty of Rockman goodies to dig into on their CapCam mobile app, where you can take insert Capcom pitures and characters into your selfies and photos.
Most aligned with my interests, the Rockman Unity blog has posted an interview with original Rockman 1 & 2 programmer Nobuyuki “H.M.D.” Matsushima. It turned out to be pretty much the same as the H.M.D. interview that ran in Famitsu magazine some weeks ago, but with a few more fun facts and anecdotes thrown in for good measure.
Finally, there’s a new sneak peek at the upcoming Rockman Classics Collection and special limited edition planner, complete with commentary and Q&A from Rockman Classics producer Kazuhiro “Tsucchie” Tsuchiya. They’ve included another handful of samples from Dr. Right’s Journal as well, one of which divulges that Cut Man’s birthday (or completion date) is April 29 at 8:23 pm. How appropriate that we should learn this during the year of Cutman!
With all this and the Rockman stage show later this week at Jump Festa, this has been a surprisingly wide and multi-faceted celebration for an anniversary year that isn’t really even one of the big seminal intervals.
One last thing I wanted to mention, while Rockman Unity became a hotbed of announcements earlier this week, it was confirmed that Rockman Classics Collection is going to include several “new” pieces missing from Legacy Collection in its Museum, most noticeably the U.S. Mega Man boxes. To my delight, they appear to be of better quality than the scans I took and uploaded a while back. You remember, that post where I was complaining about things that were absent from the Museum. And it looks like they’ve upped the ante with some scans of the Japanese game manuals as well.
Touche, Capcom. Well played.
Capcom and Rockman Unity‘s Takekuni Uchida recently announced that there will be a Rockman stage show at Jump Festa ’16 from around 1:10 to 1:40 pm on December 20th to promote the Rockman Classics Collection. Kazuhiro Tsuhiya, said on Capcom Unity to be a Producer for Mega Man Legacy Collection (although I didn’t see his name in the MMLC credits, so perhaps he’s more involved with the Japan side of things), will be at the event as well.
Tsuchiya is probably most famous for his role as Producer on 2012’s Asura’s Wrath, which was a 3D beat-em up, a shooter-on-wheels, a quicktime event ballet, and a season’s worth of action-driven religious-themed DBZ-styled space opera anime all melted down into one. That’s not to say he had no previous interaction with Rockman however, since he actually did some debugging work for Rockman 5 and was credited under “TSUCCHIE” as a Programmer in Rockman 7. He’s also contributed as a Capcom-side content Supervisor to several popular cross-over games, including Project X Zone and Super Smash Bros for 3DS/WiiU, both of which featured Rockman characters. As a matter of fact, even Asura featured a quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Rockman cameo towards the very end of the DLC. You actually have to pause the cinematic stills of the epilogue and pan the screen around to the right to catch it!
The stage event will probably consist of an interview/presentation with Ucchy, and some promo video or possibly live gameplay. With any luck will be recorded and uploaded to the vast internet, just in case any interesting tidbits happen to come out of it. While I’m asking for things, I also hope they bring out some of those classic Rockman stage costumes from the 90s, if it’s not too much trouble.
Several new sample pages from the Rockman Classics Collection Limited Edition pocket planner went up on e-Capcom today.
Quick facts for the book:
- Dimensional size A6, 464 pages total
- mini calendar for 2016 and 2017 (1 page each)
- monthly planner section for February 2016 to April 2017 (2 pages per month)
- daily diary/notes (2 days on a page for February 2016, 1 entire page for each remaining day through March 31, 2017)
- contacts pages for friends’ email addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, etc.
- Rockman art, dot/sprites and trivia interspersed throughout (short story synopses by game, character data, development “secrets”)
The sample pages contain a good idea of what you’ll find in the pocket book, including several sections of Dr. Right’s Research Journal, all of which are translated below.
Be warned, your opinion of Dr. Right could change based on some of these.
As I and the rest of the internet have been falling in love with Ryuji Higurashi’s comics-inspired, nostalgia-inducing Rockman Classics Collection cover art, I was reminded of another piece of his that appeared in one of Capcom’s official artbooks early this year.
Higurashi was already a huge fan of Rockman even before starting at Capcom at the end of the 90s. He first caught the company’s attention by submitting his fan art to Capcom’s fan club magazine CAP! that was published 2 to 3 times a year in Japan. You can view these early submissions here:    .
Once Higurashi had been officially hired on, Capcom put his youthful enthusiasm to good use by putting his talents to work on the commercial illustrations for the Rockman Complete Works series of games which ported the first 6 Rockman Famicom titles for individual releases on to the Playstation between August and December of 1999. He’s been a huge contributor to Rockman series art ever since, particularly when they want to achieve that “classic” Rockman style. He did the lion’s share of promotional art when Capcom brought the early 90’s 8-bit look back for Rockman 9, as image above clearly attests to. At the same time, he’s also capable of pushing the envelope, which is why Capcom put him in charge of overseeing Mega Man’s new look for Super Smash Bros 4. And here he is now, 16 years passed from where he started, working on the cover for another Rockman 1-6 collection — just like how it all began.
As he has proven once again, he’s certainly the right artist for the job.