In 1998, the Playstation was at large, and Capcom decided to expand the Mega Man franchise yet again. Rather than a direct continuation of the storyline (as the Mega Man X series officially takes place at least 100 years after the original Mega Man games), Capcom created an “alternate” timeline where the Earth was almost completely covered by water, and people eked out an existence on the various islands. We’re never told exactly what year it is, but I’ll speculate more on that later.
And so we have Mega Man Legends. Enter the various treasure hunters, known as “Diggers.” One such group is the Volnutt family. Headed by the elderly Barrell Volnutt, these folks explore various ruins looking for refractors–large crystals that can be used a power source, or traded for money. Barrell’s granddaughter Roll acts as a “spotter” (communications officer), while his “grandson” Rock Volnutt (affectionately known as “Mega Man”) handles the actual exploration. Mega Man’s clad in armor and carries weapons, which come in very handy since the ruins are often filled with malicious droids called Reaverbots.
Even though the series has only 3 games to date (and MM didn’t even appear in one of them!), it’s got quite a rich history surrounding it. In the first game, MM’s treasure-hunting exploits on Kattelox Island focused on the search for the legendary Mother Lode, but expanded into much more than that. MM found Sub-Cities, the Main Gate, and other relics from the previous civilization. He dealt with the notorious Tron Bonne and her pirate siblings. He even fought against Mega Man Juno, a “Purifier Unit” who was programmed to “reinitialize” (read: exterminate) the population of Kattelox Island! But who saves the day? Mega Man’s pet monkey, Data. Yeah, you read that right. Data managed to shut down the reinitialization system, and revealed that he knew everything about MM’s past and original mission. He even used MM’s real name…”Mega Man Trigger.” Naturally, we weren’t told anything beyond that. We had to wait until the sequel came out to learn more.
And learn more we did. Mega Man Legends 2 expanded very heavily upon the original story, and over the course of the game, revealed just about everything about MM himself, as well as the new characters (Sera and Yuna), his creator (the Master), and the ancient civilization. Mega Man Trigger was a Purifier unit himself (essentially a glorified guard robot) on a manmade satellite world called “Elysium.” He was charged with protecting the Master (a perfect being, most likely human) and the System (the network that controlled everything on Elysium and Terra [Earth]). The Master helped create “carbon units” (humans) to populate the Earth, and for a time, he lived among them. As his life was finally coming to an end, he instructed Mega Man to destroy the System and let humans control their own destiny. He succeeded, but at a cost; Sera, a “Mother” unit in charge of the System on Elysium, attacked him on Terra. They sustained significant damage, so Yuna (the Mother unit in charge of Terra) reverted MM to a protoform state (a baby), and sealed him away in some ruins on Nino Island. He was found by Barrell Volnutt, who adopted him. MM also completely lost his memory. Sera ended up sealed away on the Forbidden Island (the same place where Roll’s parents were lost). She’s freed at the beginning of Legends 2, and she planned to reinitialize the entire planet and restore the Master’s civilization. Naturally, this brings her into conflict with MM yet again. Yuna shows up, too, but in the guise of Roll’s long-lost mother! MM’s heavily damaged in a battle with Sera’s assitant Geetz, but his pal Data rebuilds his memory. As it turns out, Data was originally created as a memory backup unit for MM, which explains why he knows so much about MM’s past (and how he was able to shut down the reinitialization program in the first Legends game). Assisted by Yuna (the Mother of the System on Earth), MM finally defeats Sera and restores order…but he ends up stuck on Elysium. Sera is reawakened in Yuna’s original body; if she died, the System would automatically reset and reinitialize the planet anyway. Back on Earth, Roll and Tron Bonne join forces to build a ship to bring MM back…if only they could stop arguing!
The last game in the series actually takes place before the events of Mega Man Legends, and stars the Bonne family. In The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, you take control of Tron as she uses every resource at her disposal to loot and pillage. Hey, ya gotta earn money somehow! This game will also make you respect those annoying little Servbots.
Now then. How does all of this fit into MM continuity? Officially, it doesn’t, but hints dropped in Mega Man X5 may tie things together. In one of the endings, Earth is severely damaged when the Eurasia space colony crashes into it. During reclamation efforts, X mentions that he wants to create a haven for Reploids and humans to live in peace, called…Elysium. For all we know, this could be the very same orbital station we’ve seen in Legends. As far as the planet being most covered by water, that can be explained due to the catastrophic damage the colony crashed caused, complete with some heavy global warming to boot. Since the humans in Legends were found to have been created by the Master (a “perfect” human himself?), it’s possible that sometime after the Eurasia crash, the remaining humans and Reploids on Earth built Elysium, and fled there. As their technology advanced over hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of years, they were able to completely “rebuild” Earth and its population. This is all just speculation…
Next week, forget everything you know about Mega Man, and plunge headlong into the internet, where valiant AIs do battle against nasty viruses.