This is a very interesting relic of gaming's past. I really have to bring you back in time to really appreciate the book. Back then there was no internet. Gaming magazines were limited to two: Game Pro and Nintendo Power. And they were very hard to come by. You never really knew what went on in the games you played; not really. All that info was given by the game's manuals and the back of the boxes.
So The Official Guide to Mega Man was probably every little boy's #1 source of MM info when it came out. And it definitely influenced the early MM community, filling it with all sorts of fanon.
The book itself contains illustrations, primarily from the manuals. It's obvious that Mega Man 3 was the game they wanted to advertise most because the best illustrations are for that game; and they're illustrations we wouldn't see in North america until the release of very ambitious Megaman pages on the net (and some not until R20 showed us every enemy in the entire classic series). It's also obvious that they wanted to advertise the upcoming Megaman game for the Gameboy, because it was mentioned in the end. The Gameboy was just coming out back then, so it's not surprising.
The book itself reminds me of Ender's Game in the way that it uses letters to preface each chapter. It also reminds me of very old robot stories in it's use of jargon. Although Megaman 3 is used in the title it becomes obvious that the Megaman they're picturing is the adult on the cover of Megaman 1 or 2 when you read the book.
The story and ideas in the book, while endorsed by Capcom, would not continue past the first Gameboy game as Megaman 4's introduction directly contradicts many ideas presented in the book. Especially in introducing Roll, who isn't even mentioned in the book (at this point she only appears at the end of MM1 and is named only at the end of MM3). The story is heavily influenced, naturally, by box and manual stories, but I'd say the influence is distinctly one-way.
Rockman fans may look sideways at this book, as may younger MM fans, but NES fans will find it a treasure trove of retro gaming information and style. The original art is lousy, and it features some early computer-generated art to reproduce level structure. However both of these points only add to the book's charm in my eyes. Because of it's many differences from what we would later find out about MM, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to any retro gaming fan and MM fan.
The Great Gonzo helped with compiling points. However, if you're interested in this book, I suggest you don't read the points at all, but buy the book and be pleasantly amused by it. I go into great detail. Still, even if you do read the points the overall style of the book makes up for it.
The wars take place in mining colonies. MM1-3 and MM1 GB are all historical simulations of the Great Mining Wars. Can you do as well as Mega Man did?
Robot Masters are always referred to as "super robots", in MM1 and beyond. Another thing that carries over from the MM1 coverage is the maps; they look like they were drawn on a computer running ASCII.
Mega Man's default weapon is called the "Plasma Cannon".
S. Schwartz is the Chairman of the Galactic Council (at the Ministry of Interplanetary Defense)(Later Director General of the Galactic Council).
K. Watson is Commander General (Later the president of Earth).
S. Smith works at the Ministry of Interplanetary Development.
G Howell works at the Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
The book was written in December 17, 2055.
Dr. Xavier Wright works for the Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
Although there's been great success at charting and colonizing new planets there isn't much success in mining the "strange and precious minerals" because of lack of familiarity and the danger of the terrain. The Ministry of Interplanetary Developments wants to mine things quickly before other members of the Galactic Council beat them to the punch.
March 18, 2035 - Dr. Wright was commissioned earlier in the year to build a group of mining androids who excel at one particular mining job.
In addition to their abilities, each robot can act as foreman to other robots with similar duties.
Bombman can create his own bombs out of a special plastique he carries in his chest cavity. He can create a near limitless supply of bombs.
When fully powered Elecman can power a city like Monsteropolis for 25 "Earth years". Until nuclear planets can be built, Elecman will be the primary source of power for each colony he is assigned to.
Gutsman was created to clear away boulders. He weighs 500 pounds.
Iceman uses a new type of motion stabilizer to move confidently on ice. When he uses his ice ray he can reduce the temperature to anything he hits to absolute zero.
Cutman is also known as "Clipper Head".
Fireman is more sophisticated than the other robots. He can generate three ranges of heat.
Wright`s assistant, Dr. Jerome Wily, was apparently turned evil by a chemical explosion in his basement laboratory. It notes that if his "strange attitude" continues he is to be terminated from the Institution.
It's implied that Megaman was made last (while, in the games, he is DLN 001).
MM1 takes place on April 2, 2035.
Dr Wily used his position as Wright's assistant as a cover to reprogram Write's robots to obey him.
The robots went on to conquer the city of Monsteropolis and all humans were evacuated from the surrounding area. Wily has positioned a different robot into a different sector of the city.
It has been their policy for the last "dozen years" to never send humans into battle.
Megaman was made under the "Mega Man Project". He was intended to oversee mining operations. Dr Wily (I assume that`s a typo) changed him into a fighting robot.
MM is covered with a new Titanium alloy Wright invented. It is extremely resilient and can withstand attacks and is "breathable", like human skin. He absorbs weapon and energy capsules directly through this material; not through his mouth. MM doesn't speak, but he could be made to "if we desire".
MM has an on-board computer with 1 million gigs of storage and 1000 gigs of dynamic RAM which allows him to be completely self sufficient. Other than a lack of emotions MM can think on par of a human. S. Smith, to General K. Watson, notes that Megaman is "superior" to humans in many aspects because he acts on pure logic and never doubts himself. And he makes decisions instantly.
MM's eyes have inferred sensors so he can see heat. To allow him to see enemies in total darkness. He can see for 1.53 miles, the maximum range his weapons can fire.
Megaman has two arms (most industrial robots only have one) and two hands. These are called "end effectors" in the robot world. His left "end effector" is permanent and he uses it to switch out his right "end effector" with various weapons.
MM's plasma shots are super heated. He must wait approximately .932 seconds between three rounds of firing.
Megaman has a WCS (Weapon Copy System). After defeating a Super Robot MM analyzes it's weaponry and duplicates it.
Robots usually have between 2 and 8 ways they can move. These are refereed to as degrees of freedom. Megaman has 360 degrees of freedom. Doesn't explain why he can't duck.
When MM is destroyed he can grab an Extra Life capsule to get back into the fight.
Weapon are as follows: Bombs, Elecbeam, Boulder Toss, Ice Ray, Clippers, Fireballs
All artwork comes from the MM1 manual.
Although they've used the MM1 manual as a reference, the short bios have been altered to be more concise,
The guide mentions that points are pointless.
The guide explains MM1's famous pause trick.
Their recommended order (and Capcom's) is Cut, Guts, Elec, Ice, Fire, and Bomb.
The Yellow Devil is called the Cyclops here.
Defeating the final boss is described as "destroy[ing] his spaceship and then Dr. Wily himself". So much for the Three Laws.
Wily was banished from "his beloved Monsteropolis" (and the planet itself). Dr. Wright, after Wily groveled a bit, sent him some robot parts out of sympathy. Derp derp, Dr. Wright, derp derp.
The resulting assembly robot apparently built from those parts and the remains of Wily's super robots. Its capabilities were "crude", but over time Wily refined it; during one winter, it constructed the MM2 RMs. (could be the GutsDozer, since Mets spew from it's chest and because of it's size).
Wily returns to Monsteropolis and stations his castle in the middle of it. MM2 takes place completely in monsteropolis, which has expanded to include the new levels.
MM is upgraded to be able to copy items "other than weapons" (Dr. Wright apparently forgot about the Magnet Beam from the previous game in this statement).
E-Tanks are "Energy Crystals".
The Items are (in order) the Levitation Platform, the Jet Sled, and the Elevator. This is taken directly from the MM2 manual.
The weapons are as follows: Atomic Fireballs, Air Shooter, Leaf Shield, Bubble Lead, Quick Boomerang, Time Stopper, Metal Blades, and Crash Bombers. Metalman's weapon is called the "Metal Gear" on the following page of the book. Heh heh.
Suggested order is Air, Metal, Bubble, Heat, Wood, Crash, Flash, and Quick. Sounds about right.
Air Tiki's horns are electrically charged.
Enemies not in the manual are renamed. They are: Flying Fish (Pipi), Squiggle Cannon (Scworm), Drop Spike (Press), Stalactite / Stalagmite Screws (Mole), Wheel Rider (Pierobot), Metal caterpillar (Blocky), Slinky (Springer), Mechano Snail (Crabbot, actually was in the MM2 manual), Silver Watcher (Telly), Robot Rider (Sniper Armor), Red Robot (Crazy Cannon aka Shotman, mentioned in the MM2 manual), the Block Phoenix (PicoPico-kun), the Shooting Bubbles (BooBeam Trap), and the Dropping Acid. It refers to the Alien as just "Dr. Wily".
The Mechadragon scared the crap out of the author; Guts-Dozer is "one of the most amazing creatures you'll meet".
MM3 begins on January 2, 2043.
Pics from MM3 are used to preface 3 of the 4 chapters.
Dr. Wily was sentenced to life imprisonment on the farm colony of Agri 4 after MM2. He underwent Neurotransmitter Therapy while there, which of course worked SO well. K Watson put him back into his position as Light's assistant. Gamma was built to make sure the past robot problems would never be repeated. As the "peacekeeping project" neared completion the mining robots rebelled. S. Schwartz can't prove it, but believes it's the work of Wily, who has reprogrammed their "entire fleet" of mining robots.
Resources such as oil and timber have fallen low, and Megaman's job is to destroy robots that hoard/steal them. Evidently, not only are the peacekeeping robot's elements stolen, but also fuel and other resources as well.
Protoman is introduced as a peacekeeping robot and it's unknown (to Schwartz) if he's working with them or Dr. Wily. Protoman is only refereed to as such in the introductory letter.
The book states that Breakman is training Megaman.
Rush was made to help Megaman. Rush has a modified version of Megaman's Weapon Copy system which will analyze a transportation system (if a Super Robot has one) to use for MM. Rush's only power at the beginning is the Rush Coil.
Doc Robot vanishes from Dr. Wright's lab on 1/6/2043; it's presumed to be the leader of the MM3 RMs.
Megaman's slide is described as a "Strider-style" move. Who knew that Megaman once trained under Strider Hiryu, eh?
Wily spent a lot of time with the deactivated MM2 Super Robots before MM3 and they are now missing.
Doc Robot is a robot with the ability to absorb the powers of other robots and it's noted that he has disappeared. He was also made for mining; to be able to take over the functions of a disabled robot.
Super Robots are refereed to as Robot Masters in the text for the first time in this section.
Energy Crystals are refereed to as energy Tanks this chapter. The drawings are also from the manual, not hand drawn like in the previous chapter.
Rush Marine is known as "Rush Submarine" in the book. Oddly, all other weapon names are the same.
Suggested order is Top, Shadow, Spark, Magnet, Hard, Gemini, Needle, and Snake.
Enemy's names are pretty accurately translated form the japanese names ... most of the time. Nut & Bolt (Bolton and Nutton), Frog (Mecha Kero), Spinning Top (Top Fiend), Pickle Bulldozer (Picket Man Bull), Met (Metall DX), Bobcat (Tabby), New Shotman (New Shotman), Petaky (Peterchy), Walking Time Bomb (Walking bomb), Dragonfly (Yambow), Parachutes (Parasyu), Electric Thumbtack (Electric Gabyoll), Magnetic Fly (Magfly), Giant Spring (Giant Springer), Big Bee (Have "Su" Bee), Little Bee (Chibee), Wanan (Wanaan), Monkey King (Returning Monking), Tadpole (Pole), Nitron (Nitron), Bomber Penguin (Bomber Pepe), Penguin Maker (Penpen Maker), Little Duck (Penpen), Torpedo Fish (Fish Sub), Biggy (Bikky), Needle Harry (Hari Harry), Battery (Houndai / Cannon), Needle Press (Needle Press), Dada (Dada), Little Snakey (Petit Snakey), Big Snake (Big Snakey), Poton (Bomb Flyer), Bubu Kan (Bubukan), Germ (Jamashy), Giant Met (Giant Metall), Hologram (Hologram), Cyclops (Yellow Devil Mk. 2),
No mention is made of the Breakman stage before Wily's stages.
Gamma is never referred to by name.
Megaman 1 Gameboy
K. Watson is now the President of Earth.
Wily was banished after MM3.
Game takes place on July 26, 2052.
There's an Industrial Museum which Wily stole the MM1 and 2 robots from (similar to MM7 it seems).
The RMs are attacking Monsteropolis again (explains returning stages). The areas overtaken by the first set of RMs are a shopping center, an amusement park, "buildings", and a factory.
The Carry platform is known as the Transporter here.
Wily was once director of the Industrial Museum, and he had the foresight to build a base underneath it.
Each time a robot from MM2 is defeated a weapon he obtained earlier is "improved".
Enker is simply "Mega Man Hunter" here. Poor bastard didn't even get a proper name. He wasn't named in the manual either. He's equipped with "Mirror Busters".
Based on the screens at the end the author was playing an early beta version of this game.
The Cutting Wheel is known as the Sawblade here. It notes that Bubble Lead can destroy it, while the author is playing Cutman's level. This is because the author is playing a prototype of the game.
There are no illustrations for this chapter of the book; it's more of an advertisement than a real tips chapter.
End of Book Interview
They got around Megaman's lack of vocal chords by hooking Megaman to a video terminal from his left "end effector" which connects directly to his CPU. (Guess they never "desired" to give him the ability to speak).
When Dr. Wily stole the other MM1 RMs, Megaman was getting a tune-up and oil change. Lucky him. (He jokes about hiding in a broom closet instead)
Rush was built so that Megaman could more easily traverse the various mining areas. The interview says that Rush's brain was modeled after that of a Malamute puppy (and that he caught a buried a mail truck once).
Megaman admits that Rush isn't as bright as he hoped.
Megaman had the chance to see rough drafts of The Official Guide to Megaman.
MM drinks WD-40 coolers, oil, and uses Turtle Wax as sunblock.
Dr Wright developed a chip to give him a human-like personality. Now he has the personality of an adult male.
When he isn't fighting robots Megaman monitors the mining planets and "sleeps" by going on a pedestal in Wright's lab and recharges through holes on his feet.