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

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! Jonathan Hollas (25) unrated
A delightful game—if you play it in the right frame of mind. PCGamer77 (3225) 3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars
Possibly most innovative game ever Bregalad (969) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Another Side-scrolling, jumping adventure. It's classic, though! Definitely worth playing! J. David Taylor (28) unrated

Critic Reviews

Nintendo Land 2003 91 out of 100 91
Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library 2016 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Quebec Gamers Apr 15, 2013 8.6 out of 10 86
Lens of Truth Jun 10, 2009 8.5 out of 10 85
VideoGame Jul, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Retro Archives Oct 21, 2018 16 out of 20 80 Sep 07, 2008 8 out of 10 80
Tilt May, 1990 15 out of 20 75
Power Play May, 1990 72 out of 100 72
Retro Game Reviews Aug 23, 2014 6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars 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

Related Web Sites

Shoddyan (14396) added Mega Man (NES) on Apr 10, 2004
Other platforms contributed by Michael Cassidy (21110), CrankyStorming (3002), Sciere (779511), Kabushi (257593) and gamewarrior (5042)
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