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nilcam avatar 12:58 PM on 02.02.2009  (server time)
What Mega Man means to me

This blog is dedicated to the Red Comet himself, Char Aznable. He asked why i chose Zero for my arcade stick art and this question got me thinking about one of the most important characters to me, Mega Man.

I have played a ton of Mega Man games. Almost all of them, in fact. Here's the list, if you're interested:

Mega Man X, X2 and X3
Mega Man 7

Gameboy Color
Mega Man Xtreme 1 and 2

Mega Man and Bass
Mega Man Zero 1, 2, 3 and 4 - Fun fact: I played 4 on my honeymoon
Mega Man Battle Network 1 and 4

Mega Man Network Transmission
Mega Man Anniversary Collection
Mega Man X Collection
Mega Man X Command Mission

Mega Man Battle Network 5 Double Team
Mega Man ZX and ZX Advent

Mega Man 9

Mega Man X Maverick Hunter - currently playing
Mega Man Powered Up

That's a ton of Mega Man. When most people were lamenting the tidal wave of the blue bomber, I was enjoying the side-scrolling goodness. Let's look back at my history with Mega Man and my attitude toward him.

My first MM game was X on the SNES. I was hesitant at first since it was a platforming game and I sucked at them but I was convinced when I learned about X's wall jumping ability. This made the game much more accessible to me. From the opening run down the crumbling highway to the showdown with Vile and the rescue by Zero, this game had found its way into my heart. The cinematic nature of the opening was breathtaking. I instantly loved that the hero of the game was a second-string player. He wasn't the best; he was the other guy. But he didn't quit and that's where my love for the little guy began.

I instantly identified with X. He wasn't that great at what he did but he never gave up. There were a lot of parallels between that and my childhood. Neither of us gave up, no matter the odds and that was a very powerful bond that I felt to a collection of pixels. I spent years playing that game. I spent the time mastering the game, exploring the levels and enjoying the challenges presented. I could not afford X2 when it was released so I kept playing X. Eventually, I found X2, X3 and MM7 on sale at a local rental store for $6 each. So I bought them. I really enjoyed 7, but the X series is where my heart is. I didn't play any of the X games after X3 until I got the collection on the Gamecube.

When the series made the jump to the GBA, I was extremely excited. Initially, I loved the art but was somewhat unhappy that X was no longer the protagonist. Once I got the first game, that changed. The world had passed by Zero. He was no longer the great hero; instead, he was a piece of junk in a scrapyard. Over the 4 games in the Zero series, I have become a big fan. Just like X, Zero's greatest strength is his tenacity.

To address the title of this post: Mega Man represents determination and the will to struggle against all odds. For some reason, I have assigned a motto to the character: It's not how many times you get knocked down, it's how many times you get back up. And those are words to live by.

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