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In the future city of Monsteropolis, the use of robot labour has helped civilization grow more than ever before. At the forefront of this technology is Dr. Light and his assistant Dr. Wily, who are commissioned to build six robots to handle a variety of specific tasks. They are named Bombman, Gutsman, Iceman, Cutman, Elecman, and Fireman in reference to their individual prime functions. Dr. Wily, however, has bigger plans and chooses to take control of the robots and let loose destruction in a bid for world control. Dr. Light fights back with the best tool he has, an experimental human-like robot, Rock aka Mega Man, who had been tested to perform cleaning duties. Now properly armed, it's up to Mega Man to take on the maverick robots, fight his way into Dr. Wily's castle, and end this madness.

Mega Man is a side-scrolling platformer. Mega Man has the ability to jump and fire his weapon. He must travel to the levels of the six robot masters and defeat them in combat. By doing so, Mega Man is able to acquire their power for his own. These powers can then be used interchangeably with his main weapon and target the weaknesses of specific enemy bosses. Additionally, some hidden areas of the levels can only be accessed by using certain captured robot weapons. A special Magnet Beam ability can also be found which can be used to create steps.

Travelling throughout these levels, Mega Man is confronted by an army of lesser robot creations. Destroying these usually yields energy capsules (for refilling Mega Man's Energy), weapon capsules (for refilling Mega Man's special robot weapons), and extra lives shaped like Mega Man's head.


Mega Man NES Japanese title screen
Mega Man NES Gutsman's stage
Mega Man NES Cutman's stage
Mega Man NES Weapon selection screen. So far I have collected Gutsman and Cutman's guns.

Promo Images

Mega Man Screenshot
Mega Man Screenshot
Mega Man Screenshot
Mega Man Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "Rockman" -- Japanese title
  • "ロックマン" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

What a classic! NES Jonathan Hollas (25)
A delightful game—if you play it in the right frame of mind. NES PCGamer77 (3229)
Possibly most innovative game ever NES Bregalad (969)
Another Side-scrolling, jumping adventure. It's classic, though! Definitely worth playing! NES J. David Taylor (28)

Critic Reviews

Complete Guide to Consoles NES Oct, 1989 92 out of 100 92
Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library NES 2016 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Quebec Gamers NES Apr 15, 2013 8.6 out of 10 86
Lens of Truth NES Jun 10, 2009 8.5 out of 10 85 NES Sep 07, 2008 8 out of 10 80
VideoGame NES Jul, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
IGN Wii Aug 18, 2008 8 out of 10 80
The Video Game Critic NES Jul 27, 2002 B 75
Digitally Downloaded Wii U Dec 13, 2013 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) NES Jun 20, 2013 6 out of 10 60


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Cover art

The American NES cover for this game has been ridiculed for having no resemblance to the game at all. Gamespy has placed it as number 1 for the Top Ten Worst Covers list.


One of the bosses in the game that utilizes rocks as a weapon is named Gutsman -- not Rockman -- due to that being the original Japanese name for Mega Man. In Japan, "guts" is a phrase commonly associated with strength and vigor.


The manual claims that you can crouch by pressing down, but Mega Man can not duck in this or any subsequent game.

Mega Man 1 differences from the rest of the series

The original Megaman game has a huge amount of significant differences between all its sequels, especially around boss battles:
  • It is the only Megaman game where you score points (since you don't get extra lives when the score increases as in most games, the score is totally useless).
  • It is the only Megaman game where you have 6 robots to fight instead of 8.
  • The word "Ready" doesn't blink when you start a stage.
  • You sometimes enter to the boss room from the top (Bomban stage, Dr Willy stage 2) or from the bottom (Elecman stage). In all other Megaman games, you always enter from the left.
  • When approaching boss rooms, instead of having one gate that opens and one gate that close, there is one double-gate that opens and it doesn't close after you enter.
  • You have enemies between the last gate and the boss. This allows for the possibility to lose health before actually beginning the battle, and it increases the challenge.
  • When entering in boss room, first the music starts and the bosses lifebar show up, then the gate closes.
  • When the boss is defeated, it doesn't make the same noise as if Megaman is defeated.
  • After the boss is defeated, you have to take a ball to exit the level.
  • After that, you don't get a bonus screen or anything. Your bonuses pops up directly on the screen.
  • This is the only entry in the series that doesn't tell you the names of the weapons you acquire (though subsequent re-releases such as Mega Man: The Wily Wars give the names).
  • When you revisit a stage, the Robot Master at the end will be back, whereas the games that followed had the room empty when you revisited the stage.
  • Water does not make Mega Man buoyant here (he doesn't jump any higher underwater than on dry land). Again, this is the only game in the series that has this feature.
  • Mega Man is invincible for a few moments after he takes damage, but this invincibility does not apply toward spikes, unlike in the later games.


This game has been remade five times, that's more than any other game in the Mega Man series.

Yellow Devil

The Yellow Devil (who's in the first Wily stage) was renamed the "Rock Monster" for the original U.S. release of Mega Man (this also applies to Mega Man 3). The reason behind this was Nintendo of America's being squeamish about the use of the word "Devil" in its games. The PS2 and Xbox versions of Mega Man Anniversary Collection (also Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters), however, refers to the Yellow Devil by its original name.


  • EMAP Image's Golden Joystick
    • April 1991: Best Console Game - 8 Bit
Information also contributed by Andrew Shepard, Bregalad, and MegamanX64

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Contributed to by Shoddyan (14354), Michael Cassidy (21110), CrankyStorming (3002), Sciere (779279), Kabushi (257593) and gamewarrior (5042)
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