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Retronauts Tackles the Mega Man Legacy (and the Mega Man Legacy Collection)

This week we talk about a series close to our hearts and get the inside dirt on the upcoming anthology for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and 3DS.

Preview by Jeremy Parish, .

A few days ago, I wondered aloud (well, "aloud") what the debut of Man of Action's new Mega Man cartoon means for the long-running but seemingly moribund game franchise. Today, Capcom gave us a sign of life: The Mega Man Legacy Collection, a digital-only compilation of the six Mega Man NES games for current platforms.

It's not a new game, but it's something. How much of a something, you may ask? This week's episode of Retronauts sheds a little light on that very question: Bob and I talk about it in fair depth with Capcom's Brett Elston and Greg Moor during the middle portion of the show.

In brief: The Legacy Collection is a Capcom USA-led project, with the heavy lifting being handled by Other Ocean [correction: The project will be handed by Digital Eclipse, a separate company that's been spun out of Other Ocean]. It consists of the six 8-bit Mega Man games and a ton of archival bonus material, available as a digital release for Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4 (a 3DS version is due this fall).

While it might seem superfluous given the availability of the NES Mega Man titles on every variant of Virtual Console under the sun, Capcom seems determined to justify the existence of this consolidated release. Besides the archival material, which includes scans of production guides...

Pantone color guide for Fire Man from the original Mega Man.

...concept art...

Level concept sketch from Mega Man 5.

...and planning illustrations by Keiji Inafune...

A chubby robot hero freaks out slightly at the sight of an early rendition of Mega Man 2's Wily Machine.

...the Legacy Collection also has the benefit of being assembled by Other Ocean, a company known to employ people who are very passionate and very particular about archiving game history. Based simply on official screenshots, it's plain to see that — unlike the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console renditions of the Mega Man games (and other NES titles) — Other Ocean is shooting for pixel-perfect fidelity.

Direct feed of the Legacy Collection rendition of Mega Man 1.

I've heard great things about the studio's NES conversion process from several different people, which means the games will likely play with as much fidelity as the visuals demonstrate. As Brett and Greg note on the podcast, all the original programming and software tics of the original games, including the Elec Beam pause trick in MM1 and MM3's super-jump controller "hack," have been carried over faithfully.

All of this suggests that the Legacy Collection will be the truest rendition of the games outside of playing on the original hardware — something the Mega Man series has been sorely lacking despite how widely it's been reissued over the years. Finally, in order to entice parsimonious gamers, Capcom has set the collection's price at $14.99, which comes to half the total cost that the six games would add up to on Virtual Console.

Hopefully there'll be some official concept artwork of Air Man's Goblins that puts to rest once and for all the ludicrous belief that the big round bit beneath their eyes is a mouth rather than a nose.
This is the bit where Indiana Jones freaks out a little.
Maybe this will finally offer Mega Man 6 the chance to find a new, appreciative audience at long last.

OK, so it's a good deal and seems likely to be a good conversion, but should you care? Ah! Well, that's what this episode of Retronauts should help clarify. Bob and I have been revisiting topics we last covered many years ago — old favorite topics, series that have gone by the wayside since Retronauts' 1UP days — and Mega Man was one of the first franchises I wanted to return to. The resulting podcast is nearly two hours of discussion centered basically around the NES Mega Man games and Mega Man Legends, my two favorite iterations of the wide-ranging series (we'll get to X and other spinoffs in a later episode). Even though I've played the games in the Legacy Collection to death at this point, I'm looking forward to revisiting them on a big screen with more faithful visuals and emulation. Plus, I want to check out more of Inafune's pudgy character sketches. Check out the episode here or on Retronauts.com and share your thoughts!

Download Links

Libsyn (1:45:37 | MP3 Download | SoundCloud

Episode Description

Jeremy and Bob are joined by Capcom's Brett Elston and Greg Moore to revisit a topic near to everyone's heart: the Mega Man legacy. (And also the Mega Man Legacy Collection, due later this year.)

Thanks to Brett and Greg (and Capcom) for joining us this week and making our show about 25-year-old video games surprisingly topical and timely. You can check out their work at Capcom Unity. And! As always, Retronauts continues to exist as an independent project funded through Patreon — please consider supporting us so we can ramble on for several hours at a time about other old games we love (or want the excuse to learn more about). Thanks for listening!

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 38

  • Avatar for scarritt #1 scarritt 3 years ago
    I love that artwork from 2. This is really tempting, especially since I never beat the first two games.
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  • Avatar for mobichan #2 mobichan 3 years ago
    I am very curious if the artwork will consist of 99% of stuff published in Udon books and 1% simple sketches we have never seen before. Even so, I can't see the reason for not including all the way up to MM10 at this point. This just looks like a tactic to slow Mighty Number 9's hype train. :/
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  • Avatar for detten17 #3 detten17 3 years ago
    wow what a shame they're not gonna port this to Vita
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  • Avatar for NinjaMic #4 NinjaMic 3 years ago
    @detten agreed... guess Capcom's logic is "why sell them a comprehensive collection for a fair, single price, when we can sell them the Rockman imports individually, make them pay more to get less games and deal with jank"

    If SNK can give me 3 different ways to play and own the Metal Slug games on the same platform, and not consider it a conflict of interest, Capcom can do the same.
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  • Avatar for Kadrom #5 Kadrom 3 years ago
    The Mega Man Anniversary collection is almost 10 years old and has more games in it than this. I understand it's an 8 bit collection and it has some cool extras but it does feel like a jaded attempt to compete with MN9.
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  • Avatar for GaijinD #6 GaijinD 3 years ago
    Not sure how I feel about this. The bonus content certainly sounds interesting, but I still have my copy of the Mega Man Collection. I'm not sure if this adds enough to justify rebuying 3/4 the games. Sounds great for people who don't already have the NES games, though.
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  • Avatar for jeremyparish #7 jeremyparish 3 years ago
    @NinjaMic I think Capcom's logic is, "Well, Sony sure did publicly declare that platform dead."

    As for the PS2 MM collection... yeah, it exists, but unless you still have a launch PS3 that somehow didn't die, PS2 games look like poop on HDTVs (and the MM collection rescaled and resized the NES graphics badly anyway). This looks like a much better approach to me, and it's reasonably priced, so I'm cool with it.
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  • Avatar for CK20XX #8 CK20XX 3 years ago
    If any system is going to get something like this, it ought to be the Wii-U. Nintendo has definitely played an important role in keeping Mega Man relevant nowadays.

    What would definitely sell me on this collection would be an Endless Attack mode for every individual game, or even all six combined. Endless Attack is probably the best new feature that Mega Man 9 and 10 brought to the franchise.
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  • Avatar for docexe #9 docexe 3 years ago
    I’m only glad this collection exists because it shows Capcom (or at least its American branch) cares about the brand a little. Now, if only they actually announced a new game...Edited June 2015 by docexe
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  • Avatar for docexe #10 docexe 3 years ago
    @jeremyparish Yes, talking about that, which one is the most plausible reason for the lack of a Wii U version: The small install base or not cannibalizing the sales of the NES games on the VC?
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  • Avatar for Thad #11 Thad 3 years ago
    @mobichan Yeah, I'd really like to see a more comprehensive collection. The US has never gotten The Wily Wars except on the Sega Channel, for example. It's sure got its share of flaws but it's definitely interesting as a historical artifact.
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  • Avatar for Sturat #12 Sturat 3 years ago
    I'm very frustrated by this announcement. For a while now I've felt the future of retro gaming would painstaking recreations of old games that include extra features like professionally made rom hacks, such as M2's work on the Sega 3D classics or if Indieszero applied the skill behind the remixed stages in NES Remix to a port of a full game. I think this type of treatment would be perfect for the Mega Man series, but I do not trust Digital Eclipse or Blue Ocean or whoever it is to make such a product. I don't totally understand all the mergers and acquisitions, but it sounds like they have close ties with Backbone Entertainment, one of the developers responsible for killing off retro-inspired sequels like Mega Man 9 and Contra Rebirth by flooding the market with junk like 1942 Joint Strike and Commando 3. I want to show Capcom and other publishers that there is a market for Mega Man games and re-releases of classics with remixed modes, but I don't want them unless they're made by the right developer. Authorship matters.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #13 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @docexe I dunno. Skipping Vita I get. Skipping Wii U seems less defensible. That's where the fans for these games ARE. I'd say Virtual Console makes it moot, but... 3DS.
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  • Avatar for Xemus80 #14 Xemus80 3 years ago
    $15 for six games, plus artwork and challenge modes? Sold. The only disappointing thing about this news was the lack of release date.
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  • Avatar for docexe #15 docexe 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Especially odd considering as a Capcom fan you are already pretty much conditioned to buy several iterations of the same game.
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  • Avatar for NukaColaClassic #16 NukaColaClassic 3 years ago
    @docexe That argument would be silly since there's a 3DS version coming out. After that's out, what's the point of buying MM1-6 on the 3DS Virtual Console?
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  • Avatar for NukaColaClassic #17 NukaColaClassic 3 years ago
    @Sturat Backbone Entertainment also made lots of great ports, like Symphony of the Night on XBLA, Simpsons Arcade, X-Men, TMNT, Sonic 1 & 2...your accusation that they killed off "retro-inspired sequels" doesn't make much sense to me. Mega Man 9 sold pretty well and Contra ReBirth was on WiiWare...which is a death knell in of itself.
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  • Avatar for paraclete-pizza #18 paraclete-pizza 3 years ago
    @Sturat So you're writing them off because, in your mind, you have a vague, suspected connection to some other company that you disapprove of for also vague reasons?

    If "authorship matters," then consider the fact the Frank Cifaldi, of Lost Levels fame, is on the team for this project. You know, one of the medium's most dedicated preservationists with a proven track record of uncovering, preserving, and distributing obscure and discarded video game artifacts. Despite owning all of these games on their original cartridges, I'm interested in this announcement precisely because of who is involved (and because I feel like the time is ripe to show Capcom that MegaMan is still a franchise with legs).
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  • Avatar for Sturat #19 Sturat 3 years ago
    @paraclete-pizza I like Frank Cifaldi's writing about games, but being able to write about games and make games are two totally different skills. I also like Tomm Hulett's writing about games, but his Rocket Knight sequel sucked and belongs right next to Commando 3.

    I am a huge Mega Man fan and I would love to play a new set of challenges based around the NES Mega Man games, but you can't possibly look at the page on Digital Eclipse's website listing their output and think "This is the best developer to make new Mega Man content. This couldn't possibly go badly."
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  • Avatar for Sturat #20 Sturat 3 years ago
    Deleted June 2015 by Sturat
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  • Avatar for Sturat #21 Sturat 3 years ago
    Deleted June 2015 by Sturat
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  • Avatar for Granbar #22 Granbar 3 years ago
    @detten They're probably interested in selling copies.
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  • Avatar for orient #23 orient 3 years ago
    I bought MM2 on 3DS Virtual Console and found the emulation to be subpar; there's some sort of scaling issue -- either too many vertical lines or too few -- and it makes the input feel off. If this collection fixes that sort of thing then I'm all for it. Also, Mike Mika from Digital Eclipse knows his stuff when it comes to re-releasing and preserving retro games. I trust them.

    Here's an unpopular aside: I'm so tired of the "where's the Vita version? Wah!" comments for every single game released, ever. Find a new hill to die on ffs -- it's over. I own a Vita. It's good police. Nice hardware. But all the Vita babies out there make me want to toss it in a river.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #24 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @orient I'm there with you. Vita is an amazing piece of hardware and one of my favorite handhelds ever, but Sony squandered its potential from the beginning and lacked the wherewithal to turn its fortunes around the way Nintendo did with 3DS. A real waste. Port-begging is the definition of losing battle.
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  • Avatar for Da_Beerman #25 Da_Beerman 3 years ago
    I want to buy this just to support a classic game criterion collection alike, Maybe we'll get some oddities published like criterions Exclipse series that puts out everything from Japanese noir films to forgotten soviet union films.
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  • Avatar for clearancesticker17 #26 clearancesticker17 3 years ago
    You know, when I first saw this box art

    I was perplexed. There was just so much going on that my young brain could hardly comprehend the madness. So much yellow, random palm trees, and cybernetic anger. As well, the depictions on the back didn't match the rampant nonsense that was going on in the front at all.

    I'm glad you guys offered your opinions on what you felt when you first saw it, because I literally can remember that summer evening at Video Village with the smell of sweet mildew, a smudged up box of artistic stupidity, and my choice of renting this or Athena.
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  • Avatar for docexe #27 docexe 3 years ago
    @NukaColaClassic I was referring to Capcom’s historical tendency of releasing several iterations of the same game and how as a fan you have been… well, “conditioned” so to speak, to buy the next one even if you already own the previous one. So not porting the collection to the Wii U seems odd, even assuming they are not making a port because the NES games are already on the VC. It’s even odder considering they are porting it to the 3DS, or that, for example, all the SNES versions of Street Fighter II exist on the VC.
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  • Avatar for hxlf-nxxsx #28 hxlf-nxxsx 3 years ago
    I'm sitting here, in Denmark, it doesn't really matter that much, but... The quote is actually from Apocalypse Now, not Full Metal Jacket. That said, I really loved the pc, I'm a huge Mega Man-fan, though I'm european, so it's quite expensive.
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  • Avatar for hal9k #29 hal9k 3 years ago
    Yeah, it would be nice to have more games included and it's hard not to see the collection as a response to Mighty No. 9. But on the bright side, this release could be mutually beneficial. Maybe new players who get into Mighty because of the hype might be interested in checking out the series that inspired it, and people checking out the Mega Man games for the first time might want to follow up with the latest from Inafune.

    Anyway, I'm glad that Capcom is trying to capitalize on Mighty instead of threatening to file suit. Contrast this situation with the behavior of "Atari" towards "not-Tempest."
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  • Avatar for boatie #30 boatie 3 years ago
    Deleted June 2015 by boatie
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  • Avatar for econmara #31 econmara 3 years ago
    I sat in a meditative pose while I listened to this podcast. When it was finished my legs were sore and my ass was numb. Thanks.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #32 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
  • Avatar for bobservo #33 bobservo 3 years ago
    @econmara Please listen to Retronauts responsibly.
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  • Avatar for greenspecial #34 greenspecial 3 years ago
    I imagine you guys get this a lot, but great podcast as usual. I have only played Megaman 2 and 3, so listening to this podcast has inspired to try the others. For shame, I know. Will keep an eye out for the collection in the future.
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  • Avatar for econmara #35 econmara 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish I also felt enlightened. Great episode.
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  • Avatar for NinjaMic #36 NinjaMic 3 years ago
    Deleted June 2015 by NinjaMic
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  • Avatar for NinjaMic #37 NinjaMic 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish@orient no need to get all clique'd up and NeoGAF about it. Mega Man fans are on all sorts of platforms, and I'm sure WiiU owners can just play it on 3DS right? I'm going to take the high road, though, and agree that this collection should be on WiiU as well. I hope you enjoy Bloodstained's WiiU tier as much as I enjoy the Vita tier.

    ...but, just so you know, Vita owners got a metric truckload of games and products that we wanted and wouldn't have had otherwise, from actually asking for them. From unlikely indie obscurities, to PSN title parity within reason and crossbuy/play/save, to physical copies and localizations that don't quit, to PSOne compatibility + the full drop in SCEA + more PSOne/PSP titles added, to 64GB cards... and so on. Call it Operation Rainfall if you want to see it in a light that makes it easier to relate to.Edited June 2015 by NinjaMic
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  • Avatar for Mikki-Saturn #38 Mikki-Saturn 3 years ago
    I was so glad to hear someone defend Mega Man 4 for once. I've always loved 4 - I think 4 and 6 are my actual favorites, although I acknowledge that 2 and 3 are the more ground breaking games.
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  • Avatar for ronaldaugust28 #39 ronaldaugust28 3 years ago
    @jeremyperish What are the odds of bringing a couple of Square Enix employees and having them open up in the same way about Square Enix's logic regarding Dragon Quest?Edited June 2015 by ronaldaugust28
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  • Avatar for ronaldaugust28 #40 ronaldaugust28 3 years ago
    Deleted June 2015 by ronaldaugust28
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  • Avatar for ronaldaugust28 #41 ronaldaugust28 3 years ago
    Deleted June 2015 by ronaldaugust28
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  • Avatar for aros #42 aros 3 years ago
    3DS and not Vita. No Vita no buy.
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  • Avatar for rajuma #43 rajuma A year ago
    very nice man go for it gmail.com
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