Hello and welcome back to Adam’s big Mega Man redesign journal! Today I’m starting the Evil Robot Masters from Mega Man 1!
To begin with, I had a very specific set of design notes I wanted to stick to with all the MM1 bad guys:
- They aren’t really “bad guys.” They were built by Dr. Light to be good robots and serve important functions for the public. So these designs had to work equally well as villains and as heroes. Therefore: Don’t make them look too (inherently) evil!
- Since they were built by the same guy who built Mega Man, they have to share some of his design language. I wanted to find some forms from his armor and reuse them to create cohesion between all the MM1 robots.
- At the same time, Mega Man’s armor was built last as a way of combatting these guys, so it is the most advanced. I would therefore work on each MM1 robot master in order and they would start a little more crude and robot-like and get progressively more sleek and “human” looking as they went along.
So, with those three notes as my starting point, let’s begin with Dr. Light’s first Robot Master – Cut Man!
Cut Man was built for forestry work, and in the game he jumps around a ton and throws those scissor blades on his head like super-dangerous boomerangs. Finally, his design was used as Dr. Wily’s starting point when he builds Metal Man in Mega Man 2. How do these things work together? Well, I started with his legs, giving him a reverse-articulated design that could be really springy, and toes that could dig into tree trunks for pruning high branches. I wanted him to feel really fast, and one way to make that work in a design is to go big on the top and sleek/slender on the bottom. When he’s moving forward, all that upper-body mass gives a sense of increased momentum, and his smaller legs look like lightning bolts shooting behind him.
His cutting “blades” actually open to create an energy fan that can cut nearly anything (including Mega Man *dun dun DUNNN!!!*). His armor is more piecemeal with more of his internal cables showing, and he’s got a lot of them. He’s pretty strong for being the smallest of the robot masters. The armor would get less plate-like and sparse as we get further into the Robot Master designs. His face has more seams because I imagine the material of his synthetic skin is a little more rubbery and less natural. It can look really creepy when angry, but he could still smile and get silly and break that fearsome illusion pretty quickly.
At the same time I was working on him, I was working on how Mega Man incorporates his weapon, the Rolling Cutter, into his design. For anybody who doesn’t know, the whole hook for the game is that Mega Man gets the powers of the bosses he defeats, so (for my design) after beating Cut Man, his gauntlets can transform and create those laser field cutting blades. I didn’t use the traditional Mega Man alternate color schemes for a couple reasons. First, I thought his colors should reflect the robot master he’s copying, and some of those just did not work (Bomb Man is orange, black, and yellow, but Mega Man turns green and white when he uses his power). Second, I wanted to start early with the idea that no color scheme would be duplicated across any of the games in the series. The more unique each scheme was to the villain he’s copying, the less likely there would be problems of repetition in the future.
So that’s Cut Man! A fun, nasty little guy who would be a pain to defeat, but also a fun ally to have once Wily’s corrupt programming was wiped from his system.
Tune in Thursday for the next (and the biggest) Robot Master: Guts Man!