Among the unique features of 1991’s Rockman Character Collection, the booklet included the stories of the first 3 Rockman titles as told from the perspective of none other than Rockman’s creator, Dr. Thomas Right. The good doctor laments the use of his robots as tools of war, the madness taken root in the great scientist he once knew, and the mysterious reappearance of his long lost robot son, Blues. On top of that, dates and months (though not years) are included with each entry, which means…
…a more in-depth Rockman series timeline, and maybe a few new fan holidays (or more reasons to celebrate existing ones).
2XXX A.D. May 25th
The unthinkable has happened…
It would seem that the industrial robots I myself created have suddenly begun behaving riotously out of control. So far all attempts at restraining robots No.003~008 have been futile, and I fear I have built them too well. They are all my finest robots, my Numbers… My sons…
To investigate this incident, we’ve decided that “Rock” will go out and try to return the 6 robots home. Words cannot express the pain in my heart at having to convert “Rock”, a household robot by nature, into a combat-ready battle robot, but “Rock”…. No, “Rockman”! Right now, you and you alone possess the power to stand against this monstrous shadow of evil that has descended over us.
…That’s right! In all the world there’s only one man with the technological prowess to have remodeled my robots and turned them into servants of darkness! Dr. Wily!!
ROCKMAN 2 MYSTERY OF DR. WILY
2XXX A.D. June 9th
We’ve received a written challenge from none other than Dr. Wily, whom we believed to have been utterly defeated after that last battle. It seems he’s somehow managed to complete 8 of his own combat robots, designed specifically for destroying Rockman.
Wily, my old friend… We used to study together, conduct tireless research day and night, side by side…! How is it you could have gone so wrong…
ROCKMAN 3 END OF DR. WILY!?
2XXX A.D. August 28th
With Wily reformed, the world enjoyed a brief period of peace. Alas, brief it was indeed…
My lifelong dream project, the giant peace-keeping robot “Gamma”, has been stolen by Wily. He plans to use it to challenge me–or should I say “Rock”–for a third time. What’s more, could that really be Blues who’s been appearing and disappearing in and around Wily’s shadowy activities!? Design No.000 Blues, design No.001 Rock. Could this be some cosmic joke? The two of you are so closely related that if you were humans you could well be called brothers, and yet you stand at odds… All I can do now is wait, and hope. Rock, I believe in you, and that through your efforts my sons will one day get to experience the true bond and blessings of family, just as humans can…
Dr. Right often seems like a jolly, naive, happy-go-lucky do-gooder. These passages portray another side to his personality–how deeply wounded and conflicted he is by the betrayal of an old friend, the corruption of his “children” and his life’s work, and his struggle to hold onto his ideals in a less than ideal world. Is he so often deceived by Wily because he is just that gullible and soft on crime, or because he chooses to believe in mankind’s capacity for redemption? Is he standing up and living his life for a set of principles that he holds himself to even against all challenges and adversity? To do what is right, despite when such actions torture him inside? Not because he trusts Dr. Wily or even thinks that he deserves all the second chances he is given, but because Dr. Right is a man who extends forgiveness and makes the difficult choice to place his faith in the goodness of his fellow man, just to hold his head up high and face himself in the mirror? I’ll leave that for you to decide.
For now, let’s talk timelines! From the text above we can say with certainty that 5/25 is the day that Rock was reborn as Rockman and sent out on his very first adventure. The date you might say that Rockman was really created. And thanks to our previous Rockman 2 information, we can say that his second adventure occurs a year later–or a year and 2 weeks later, to be somewhat more precise. And that date–6/9–does it look familiar? That’s right, it’s the day that Japanese fans (and recently worldwide fans too) are already celebrating as “Rokku Day“! All this time, it had also been the story-canon anniversary of Rockman 2. Could it be a coincidence, or is R2 somehow the underlying cosmic nexus of all of Rockman? Truthfully, the game developers might have chosen that date for the same Japanese phonetic pun reasons that fans in recent times have done. Whatever the cause, that’s one more reason for fans to celebrate the 9th of June.
Next up, Rockman 3. This one is a bit trickier. The August 28 is 80 days after June 9, but did the two happen the same year? A year apart? Even longer? Many fans have judged the change from 200X to 20XX as a change of year or change of decade, even though not all Rockman 3 sources agree about the 20XX, and that “X” could also easily have represented a 0 in the first place. (X, 0… sounds like we’re talking about the X series now.) Considering the trend that there was a year between 1 and 2, and between 3 and 4, one might say that another year separation seems reasonable, particularly if you want to squeeze the Rockman World adventure in the span between. But on the other hand, Dr. Right did mention what a brief peace it was, and the time between 4 and 5 is about 2 months (very similar to what 80 days could amount to), then between 5 and 6 over a year again… was there a repeating pattern like 12-2-12-2? Hard to tell. The only thing I will say is that it seems like making it over 2 years seems like quite a bit longer of a stretch than it needs to be. At any rate, if you believe a year to the day from the destruction of Gamma for the next game, you might imagine that Rockman 4 could take place in late august or early September, and then 5 perhaps in November….
The Rockman Character Collection is full of fun little surprises, so don’t you be too surprised if I pull it out again before the month is over. We’re still celebrating an anniversary here, after all!