As used here, the word “pirate” means an unauthorized game. Usually pirates are just illegitimate copies of existing games (I don’t bother listing them here because there is a pirate copy of virtually every game in existence), but sometimes the pirates get clever and make minor or even major changes to the games first before selling them. And a few unauthorized games are actually entirely new creations, yet not properly licensed for the trademarked characters they employ.
As these are not licensed, I don’t suggest purchasing any of them. I am listing them mostly so you know to be on the lookout for them, so you won’t be fooled by their apparent relationship to Mega Man. (More hints on how to recognize pirates are below.)
Note: Because these are not authorized games, I don’t really have an interest in playing and reviewing them. So you will not find a full Game Hints page for any unauthorized game, even the original creations. But I do give brief descriptions of them below. You can probably find more details on other sites.
These are the ROM hacks and unauthorized games that I’m aware of right now. There are probably others out there. (Note: I’m not bothering to list pirate copies or collections of official games, because they are so plentiful. See the section below for some hints on how to recognize a pirate copy of a legitimate game.)
- Rocman X
StriderSkorpion states that this is an unlicensed game by a company called Sachen. From what he says and I can tell, it has nothing to do with Mega Man except for the rather pathetically copied title screen and cartridge art.
- Rockman 5
This is a ROM hack of Darkwing Duck that puts Mega Man as the playable character. L_P_Fer reports that this was basically done as a way to sell the game in certain countries that have high rates of piracy...and also necessitated renaming the real Rockman 5 to “Rockman 6,” and Rockman 6 to “Rockman 7,” and so on (see below) in those same countries.
- Rockman X3 (MegaDrive/Genesis)
Another unauthorized pirate game as far as I can tell, which is something of a port of Mega Man X3 to the Genesis. Thanks to Danny. Sean reports that it looks something like a homebrew tech demo, because the game is effectively unplayable in many places, and there are no extra lives.
- Rock Man X3 (GBC)
This one is written in Chinese. Despite the name, it’s not really a port of any version of Mega Man X3. It’s more of an original game that blatantly borrows ideas from the original and X series games. As far as I can tell it’s unlicensed. Thanks to Danny and Sean.
- Mega Man 5 (GBA)
As far as I can tell, this one is another unlicensed port like the ones mentioned above, this time of Mega Man 5 to the GBA. Thanks to Dan.
- Rockman 7 (NES)
A copy of Rockman 6 edited to display “Rockman 7” on the title screen. This game is not a real version of Rockman 7; it is merely a pirated ROM hack. (Note: This is a different game than the fan-made port of Rockman 7 to the NES.)
- Rockman 8 (GB)
An unlicensed (and pretty badly made) port of Rockman 8 to the Game Boy. Thanks to Thad for first bringing this to my attention.
How do you tell a pirate when you see one? It’s not always possible, but here are a few clues you can look for...
- Licensed games always have logos and trademark information on the box for the company that holds the trademarks (in this case, Capcom). Also, Nintendo games will have a Nintendo seal, and other systems will have the logo and trademarks of their systems. If you don’t see any identifying logos, or if all of the logos are of companies you’ve never heard of, it’s probably an unauthorized game. Furthermore, look for trademark information in fine print. It should say “trademark” not just “copyright.”
- Package quality can sometimes be a clue. Often pirates have poorly printed boxes and labels on the cartridges. Look for signs that the label was printed on somebody’s laser printer.
- Within the game itself, look for logos when you turn the game on. Nintendo games will say “Licensed by Nintendo” before the game starts, and all Mega Man games should have Capcom’s logo during the boot sequence. A conspicuous lack of logos indicates an unlicensed game.
- Multi-game cartridges (more than one game on a single cart) are rarely authorized. Note that official multi-game discs (CDs, DVDs, etc.) are far more common—the Anniversary Collection is one example of a legitimate collection. If you see a cartridge (such as for the NES, SNES, or Game Boy) that has multiple games on it, it’s probably illegitimate, but for game systems that use discs, you’ll need to use the clues above to help you decide whether the game is actually valid.