Mega Man 3, known as "Rockman 3 End of Dr. Wily!?") in Japan, is a video game that is a part of the Mega Man Classic series. For the Game Boy game, see: Mega Man III. The image of Mega Man used in this game's boxart (with a slight touchup) was used as the basis for the boxart of both the North American version of Mega Man in Dr. Wily's Revenge and for the DOS version of Mega Man as well. However, the surrounding landscape and robot masters have been cropped out of the picture.
In the year 200X Dr. Wily claims to have reformed and works with Dr. Light on a project to build a peace-keeping robot named "Gamma." However, the eight Robot Masters that the two scientists had designed in order to help maintain peace go berserk and make off with the eight power crystals. Once again, Mega Man is called into action, but this time with a trusty canine companion named "Rush," to go after them and retrieve the crystals, located on various mining planets in space. Proto Man (DRN-000; known as "Blues" in Japan), Dr. Light's first creation, also finally returns after a year in hiding to "train" Mega Man by dueling him in various locations throughout the blue-bomber's (Rockman's American nickname) journey, but if Mega Man comes out the winner, he will open up the path forward to him. Proto Man disguises himself as "Break Man" prior to the Dr. Wily Stages (otherwise he is undisguised). Upon defeating the main Robot Masters, four new levels open up, which are new versions of the levels they replace. Overall, these new levels are similar to the levels they replace, except much harder, for instance the new Spark Man level, features a fall down a spike-lined shaft. In these levels, Mega Man is confronted by new robots called Doc Robots (one about half-way through the level, the other at the end), which take on the abilities of the Robot Masters of Mega Man 2. After Mega Man is victorious over the eight Robot Masters and the Doc Robots, he confronts and battles "Break Man". After the duel, he teleports out and returns to the lab, where Dr. Light tells him that Wily has stolen Gamma and, of course, that Mega Man must pursue him immediately before he can wreak havoc with the massive war machine. Mega Man goes to Wily's new Skull Compound and, after defeating some new foes (including several clones of himself), he faces Gamma, who is under the control of Dr. Wily. Upon defeating him, the fortress begins to destabilize. Parts of the ceiling fall on Mega Man and Wily, but a red figure descends through the dust and rescues Mega Man. Wily has seemingly met his demise. When he awakes, he finds himself in Dr. Light's lab. Dr. Light explains that he found Mega Man lying there when he came in. He then wonders aloud who brought Mega Man there, but before he has even finished his third word, a whistle splits the air, leaving no doubt in either Mega Man or Dr. Light's mind who was responsible for saving Mega Man. It appears that Proto Man is not evil after all. Dr. Light takes Mega Man to a work table where he shows him a notebook that is filled with designs of Proto Man, confirming that Proto Man was the prototype master robot, and Mega Man's "brother", so to speak.
Mega Man 3 is a platform and action game. The player controls Mega Man as he traverses eight stages to defeat the bosses: Magnet Man, Hard Man, Top Man, Shadow Man, Spark Man, Snake Man, Gemini Man, and Needle Man. Each Robot Master features a unique weapon and stage related to the weapon's power. After defeating a boss, their signature weapon is added to Mega Man's arsenal. The Robot Masters have weaknesses to the weapons of certain other Robot Masters; therefore, choosing the order in which the levels are played is a vital component of the gameplay. After completing certain stages, Mega Man can access new abilities in his robot dog companion, Rush. After defeating the eight Robot Masters, the player must revisit four of the Robot Master stages. The stages' layouts are changed, and the player must defeat two Doc Robot bosses (dokuroboto, literally "skull robot"), which take on the abilities of the Robot Masters of Mega Man 2. Throughout the various stages, the player encounters Proto Man, a mini-boss. Mega Man has a final battle with Proto Man (as Break Man) immediately after defeating the eight Doc Robot bosses. After the battle with Break Man, Mega Man proceeds to Dr. Wily's fortress, which consists of six levels that are played linearly. A password system is used to allow the player to return to the game at a later time. This is the first Mega Man game to feature the ability to slide, an important ability in most later installments. This is also the first game to feature Rush, Mega Man's canine companion, who replaces the special movement tools from Mega Man 2.
Beginning with Mega Man 2, the development team had begun accepting design ideas from fans for the creation of each game's Robot Masters. For Mega Man 3, the team received around 50,000 design submissions, only eight of which were used in the game. Artist Keiji Inafune considered Mega Man 3 as one of his least favorite entries in the series due to "[...] what went into the game and what was behind the release of the game." He also stated that the team was forced to put the game out before they thought it was ready and during the game's production, the developers lost the main planner, so Inafune had to take over that job for completing the game. Inafune concluded, "I knew that if we had more time to polish it, we could do a lot of things better, make it a better game, but the company said that we needed to release it. The whole environment behind what went into the production of the game is what I least favored. Numbers one and two – I really wanted to make the games; I was so excited about them. Number three – it just turned very different." In addition to the Marine and Coil modes, Rush was originally intended to have a "Drill" mode that would allow Mega Man to tunnel underground. However, it was apparently replaced with the Jet mode in the final version of the game. Capcom's North American division decided to change the name Blues to Proto Man despite the protests from the character's designer Inafune. They did this not only to be consistent with Mega Man's English name, but because they felt the name Blues made no sense. Keiji Inafune attempted to defend it due to the name's musical connotation to the series.
Reception and legacy
Since its 1990 release, Mega Man 3 has sold over one million copies worldwide. Edward J. Semrad, an editor for Electronic Gaming Monthly and columnist for The Milwaukee Journal, gave Mega Man 3 a perfect score, noting good graphics and challenging gameplay. Nintendo Power listed it as the 11th best Nintendo Entertainment System video game, praising it for taking mechanics from earlier games and enhancing them. The game was reviewed in 1991 in Dragon #168 by Patricia Hartley and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 3 out of 5 stars. Mega Man 3 has been listed as the third-greatest 8-bit video game of all time by GamePro. IGN listed it at number 16 on its "Top 100 NES Games of All Time".
Shortly after its release, Mega Man 3 was included as part of Nintendo's PlayChoice-10 arcade systems. Mega Man 3 was re-released alongside its two predecessors on Sega Mega Drive game Mega Man: The Wily Wars and featured updated graphics and sound. Mega Man 3 was released on the Sony PlayStation in the Rockman Complete Works line in 1999, which featured remixed music and added features. The game was also a part of a compilation of ten titles in the series called Mega Man Anniversary Collection, which was released for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube in 2004, and the Xbox in 2005. In 2008, Mega Man 3 was re-released by Capcom on mobile phones in North America and on the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console worldwide.
|Spark Man||Spark Shock||Shadow Blade|
|Snake Man||Search Snake||Needle Cannon|
|Needle Man||Needle Cannon||Gemini Laser|
|Hard Man||Hard Knuckle||Magnet Missile|
|Top Man||Top Spin||Hard Knuckle|
|Gemini Man||Gemini Laser||Search Snake|
|Magnet Man||Magnet Missile||Spark Shock|
|Shadow Man||Shadow Blade||Top Spin|
Second-Round Robot Masters
After beating all the robot masters, and an extra fight with Proto Man (name given as Break Man in the game), the player must face modified versions of four of the initial eight stages where at the halfway point, and at the end, a strange-looking robot with the powers of one of the robot masters from Mega Man 2. The "spirit" of the robot master appears merges with the strange robot just prior to the battle.
- Mega Man 3 at the Killer List of Videogames