Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Top Ten Robot Masters

Hey y'all.  So I figure I'd go ahead and tell everyone what my favorite Mega Man robot masters are, while my Top Ten Top Ten for them is still being compiled.  These are the ones that meant to me the most when I was a kid, or caught my attention as an adult, or in some way distinguished themselves from all the rest.

Though, keep in mind that I like almost all of the robot masters.  Each one is unique, interesting, and has a lot of potential to become an interesting character based on what little information we know about them.  The only ones I mildly dislike are Search Man (his level is hideous and his music is the only robot master song I hate) and Tengu Man (I don't like his origins or attitude), but even those two can be interesting on their own. I came up with a backstory for Tengu Man that I really like when I made my Mega Man quintology.

Shameless plug!

Yeah, I'm a huge nerd.  I'm still proud of that story, though, and I developed most of my favorites from it. Also, writing the robot masters not on this list gave me a better appreciation for them.  That's the thing about robot masters -- despite being so little developed as characters, there's still wonderful potential for them, as we get to see who they are through the places they inhabit, and the data discs provided in the Mega Man and Bass game.

Speaking of which, note that I'm not counting Mega Man, Bass, or Roll as robot masters for the purpose of this list.  Also, none of my picks will count as votes toward the Top Ten Top Ten that I will write.  Not that it would have too much impact on the overall votes, but that just wouldn't be fair.

----- Top Ten Favorite Robot Masters -----

10.  Charge Man.

by Bluestrike 01

This guy's design just speaks to me.  The train aesthetic is simple, and orange isn't the obvious color choice. His theme just sounds like a musical adventure of running away on a train.  I love it.  Besides, he makes really amazing "choo" noises when you fight him.  Those make me lol.  Besides, this is the first robot master I've ever beaten, and that gives him a special place in my heart.  He doesn't do much in my fanfiction, but oh well.

9. Gravity Man.

Gravity Man is perhaps the most striking of all the robot masters, visually (to me, anyway).  His cover art on the Mega Man V cartridge when we first purchased the game years ago mesmerized me, what with him being such a giant on it.  I stared at that thing so much.  It helps that his in-game level is unique and fun, especially when you get to fight him and are never on the same level as him at any time.  His color scheme is also really nice.

I never got a chance to do much with him in my story, but I made him a researcher and technician in reference to his like of physics in the data disc information.  He was also first to die when I wrote the robot apocalypse.  Hee hee...being a writer means that your favorites never stay safe.

8. Galaxy Man

by Joshyartist

Mega Man 9 didn't have a lot of robot masters that I favored.  Sure, they were alright, and Hornet Man had a great weapon, but the only ones I really liked were Splash Woman, Tornado Man, and Galaxy Man. Galaxy Man not only had great music, but also a fun design.  And he changed colors!  He's so much fun. For my story, I imagined him as a prankster.  Not that I did much with him, but as a flavor character, he's great.

7. Burner Man

by Msipher

While Burner Man might not be too fun to defeat in Mega Man and Bass, I like his personality.  The very idea of someone being tricked into thinking he has to destroy all the world's forests or die speaks volumes about the person that believes the trick.  Burner Man is clearly not very smart, but he makes up for it with his enthusiastic grin and passion for setting stuff on fire.  He's just so funny that I had to like him.

He gets a nice, happily ever after ending in my story, where he finds new passion in becoming a sushi chef. Sure, he's not all that safe to be around, but I couldn't help it.  He's just too fun.

6. Skull Man

by Tradd Moore

When I was a kid, I wasn't all that into Skull Man.  For some inexplicable reason, I disliked his level music.  Don't worry, I got over that.  Especially when it came time to write my quintology.  I looked up Skull Man to see if he had any interesting details about himself, so that I could give him a job that doesn't apply to being a fighter.  And it turns out that he's "only good for fighting."

This makes him automatically more interesting, especially given that the skull is Wily's symbol.  So of course his backstory became that he's what Wily forced Dr. Cossack to make.  I even have a short story in my head of how he convinced Dr. Cossack not to leave him in the robot museum, which I have to write up at some point.  That'd be cute, don't you think?

5. Top Man

I don't know who did this one.  That's the trouble with tumblr. 

Say all you want about Top Man being lame and having a level that doesn't make any sense.  His level looks great (I love the plant theme) and despite his weapon being weak, it makes Mega Man spin around like a ballerina.  That's just too dang adorable. Plus his Ruby-Spears portrayal is probably the least insulting of any character who ever appeared on that cartoon.

Top Man being weak doesn't mean he isn't a workable character.  Looking at his entry in the Mega Man wiki; he's appeared in an assortment games, comics, and cartoons.  The guy is clearly funny.  In my story, he was primarily the butt of several jokes about how weak he is and easy to defeat.  Which is kinda sad, but I still always liked him.

4. Fire Man

Again, artist unknown.

Fire Man is my original favorite.  That is, he was the character from the first game that I liked the most.  His music was amazing (and the Game Genie glitch made sound even better), his level was amazing, and Fire Man had a wide array of powers that made him both hard to fight and worth getting a weapon from.  He seemed like a really tough, aggressive guy -- which made his redneckish portrayal in Mega Man Powered Up grate on my nerves (though it's fun in its own alternate universe way).  I don't generally count the Powered Up version as canon anyway.  Which is why my version of him is stoic and straightforward.

3. Snake Man

by RobDuenas

To me, everything about Snake Man represents Mega Man games as they were when I was as a child.  His level is perfectly designed, his music is the pinky off the teacup, and his design is insanely interesting.  I also loved his appearance in the old Ruby-Spears cartoon where he switched bodies with Mega Man.  That was pretty creepy.  Snake Man is probably everyone's favorite, but he deserves to be.  He's fun, not too difficult, and in one of the best Mega Man games to ever come out.

I just had to give him a happy ending, just like Burner Man.  He's in Australia, protecting animals from poachers.  And he has a really cool role during the apocalypse, which I won't spoil.

2. Dust Man

by Marioshi64

Ah, Dust Man.  Everything about him is sad, melodramatic, and creepy.  Even his face evokes depression. It doesn't even look like he has a mouth.  Sure, he's not the hardest boss ever, but he's sure got style.  He always served a passive role in my stories, but he had one really good kill in during the apocalypse, at least. As a character, he serves more of an environmental/setting function rather than a deep or plot-driven function.  Which is just fine.

 Before we get to my number one, here's some honorable mentions.  These are the robot masters that I really like, but simply didn't have enough room in the list for.

- Gyro Man.  I gained an appreciation for Gyro when I was writing my story, and he became sort of the "odd bot out" of the Team 5 robots, as he felt he was better than them for the longest time.  I ended up having Gyro be the guy who desperately wants to be comparable to Mega Man and Bass, despite the fact he really isn't good enough.
- Star Man.  This guy sparks my imagination.  I love his level, and his music is very nice and weird.  I also love that he's a brown robot.  That's not a common color for robot masters, making it unique.
- Commando Man.  This guy has an amazing theme, and the more I wrote about him in my fanfiction, the more I liked him.  Since he's so comparable to Napalm Man, I made them BFFs.  Why not?

1. Crystal Man

by Saturniidae

Yeah, you probably guessed this one.  He was in my top ten favorite video game characters, after all.  I still love him, and even designed an original character after him.  His personality is rather like Dust Man's, in the sense that he adds flavor to a story rather than driving it.  But that's okay, because Crystal Man is amazing, shiny, and has a great level and music -- the level involves pink and blue, my two favorite colors.  Honestly, his level is my favorite of all robot masters ever (though Gemini Man's does come pretty close).  It also makes sense that my top two favorite robots were designed by the same guy: Yusuke Murata.

Crystal Man's main personality trait is that he doesn't like scientists, as they have a far too pragmatic view of life and look down on the divination that he practices.  I really like this, too.  Certain people have that kind of attitude, where they feel that just because an event can be explained away pragmatically, that it only happened for that reason, because "science says so." The irony here is that science is a field that often brings up more questions than answers.

Huh...Crystal Man shouldn't be offended by real scientists so much as people who think they're scientific but really aren't.  Most people who study in an actual science field understand the iffy nature of knowing all the answers.  Wasn't there a quote somewhere that goes "the more you know, the more you realize you know nothing"?  I can't remember exactly how it went.

But that's too ranty for a top ten list.  Ultimately, Crystal Man is  a childhood favorite.  I remember writing down lines in a book so that I would remember his theme over the years.  Youtube is such a nice thing to have, isn't it?

Oh, by the way, I found this really amazing article on the weirdest robot masters ever, and check out what it said about Crystal Man.

8. Crystal Man: Crystal Man is sad...Dr. Wily created him from experiments with artificial gemstones in hopes of financing his evil schemes. Considering that things like synthetic diamonds are equal to natural ones in every way and have the bonus of not being fueled by child labor, here was Wily clearly acting from the moral high ground. Yet his plan of breaking the hold of the diamond industry on the world was thwarted by the good guy. I really don't need this sort of an ethical conflict in a damned Mega Man game.

You have to wonder how serious the writer was about this, but that's still funny as mess.  Check out the rest of the article here:

by Mooncalfe

You may have noticed that most of my choices appeared to hinge not on the characters themselves, but rather my perceptions of them and what I did with them in a story.  Thing is, that's the beauty of the robot masters.  They can be what a player perceives them to be, so long as that perception doesn't contradict personality traits on their data discs and implied by their level design.  A writer can go any number of different directions and create characters that are both interesting and consistent.

As a writer type, and not a gamer type, this is the sort of thing which makes me like one robot master over another.  Others might pick their favorites based more on music, or on which were more fun to play.  Well, given that there are so many great robot masters, I don't really mind too much comes in what position for the top ten top ten.  Speaking of which, I'm not going to delay it to next Saturday.  It'll go up on Wednesday, when it'll be ready.

Oh, before I let out, I just wanted to mention a livejournal.  I found some Mega Man related art for this blog and the next, and I wanted to mention it because it's adorable.

See you next time!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Snake man and Crystal man are my favorites too!(I drawn crystal man a little time ago), and I'm a little like you, I don't like the Robot masters because of the Fire power, but because of their personality. I particularly love Snake man more because he was the first Robot Master I've meet.(And I love serpents💗🐍).