Dr. Thomas Light was the first to create a convincing, life-like humanoid robot. Using these plans, he built himself a small lab assistant which he named Rock, and a housekeeping robot named Roll (and I’m sure the pun was intentional).
Dr. Light had an assistant named Dr. Wily, and the two created six Master Robots, designed to oversee less intelligent robots in tasks too dangerous or tedious for humans. All was going well until Dr. Wily mysteriously reprogrammed the new robots and took off with them. The next thing anyone knew, he was using the stolen robots in a massive takeover of the entire planet.
Rock, having resisted the reprogramming, volunteered to go after Wily. He was thus converted by Dr. Light into the warrior robot named Mega Man. This is the story of Mega Man (1).
When Dr. Wily was creamed by Mega Man he didn’t take the defeat lightly. Instead he constructed eight of his own Robot Masters, these designed purely to fight. He sent these out to continue his previous invasion attempt as well as to destroy Mega Man. The blue bomber went back to it again, and all this is the tale of Mega Man 2.
After his second defeat Dr. Wily gave up his evil ways and went back to working with Dr. Light. Together the two began work constructing more Robot Masters as well as a giant peace-keeping robot named Gamma. This would (supposedly) prevent the events of the past from ever happening again.
However, some of the mining Robot Masters went berserk and began driving out all humans. Since Dr. Light and Dr. Wily needed special crystals from those mines to complete Gamma, Mega Man was sent to retrieve them, accompanied by his new robotic dog named Rush. As it turned out, Dr. Wily was (of course) behind it all, and as soon as he had all of the crystals he stole Gamma and tried to use it to conquer the land.
Mega Man’s fight to stop Wily, as well as Proto Man’s first appearance, are all chronicled in Mega Man 3.
The destruction of Gamma caused the room to cave in on Mega Man and Dr. Wily, crushing them both. Mega Man was saved by his brother Proto Man, but Wily was assumed to be dead. Now that the evil scientist was gone, a year was able to pass in peace. But this ended when a new scientist by the name of Dr. Cossack entered the scene, coming in to fill the gap left by Dr. Wily’s demise. He had built his own Robot Masters, ones he claimed were superior to anything Dr. Light ever constructed.
As usual, things weren’t what they seemed and it turns out Dr. Wily had survived. This was revealed when Proto Man rescued Dr. Cossack’s daughter, Kalinka, who had been Wily’s bargaining chip. Without the threat to the safety of his daughter hanging over his head, Dr. Cossack promptly switched sides, and Mega Man took on Wily, who, in the end, escaped his doomed fortress in his saucer. This is shown in Mega Man 4.
The next foe Mega Man faced was not another evil scientist but his own brother, Proto Man. Mega Man 5 pits brother against brother as Proto Man gathered a force of Robot Masters and went after Mega Man. However, it turned out to be a farce; Dr. Wily had been framing Proto Man the entire time with a holographic robot named Dark Man. This was taken out by Mega Man, with a bit of help from his real brother, and Wily was once again defeated.
Sometime later, a Robot Master design contest was held where participants could design or even construct their own robots to compete in a series of duels. The entire contest had been a set-up by its sponsor Mr. X, however, who had used it to find and obtain the most powerful Robot Masters to date—which he promptly sent after Mega Man. Any doubts that Mr. X was actually Dr. Wily were wiped away halfway through Mega Man 6 when the evil scientist revealed himself. At the end of this game Mega Man actually managed to catch Dr. Wily, and once again the scientist landed in jail.
After six months, a strange, seemingly unprovoked rampage of robots attracted Mega Man’s attention. He rushed out to put a stop to them and encountered a new robot by the name of Bass, who was apparently doing the same thing as Mega Man. In the midst of it all, though, Dr. Wily used the distraction to break out of jail and fly away in his little saucer. This is the story of Mega Man 7.
Bass turned out to be not all that he appeared, and though he helped Mega Man for a time, it was only to get the blue bomber’s trust so he could get access into Dr. Light’s lab. Once there he stole plans for the Super Adapter and took them back to his creator, Dr. Wily, who used them to enhance Bass and his robotic dog named Treble. Although Mega Man managed to defeat both Bass and Wily that day, he was never able to destroy Bass or capture Wily, as both of them escaped.
Mega Man 8 tells the tale of a robot named Duo who quests to rid the universe of a force he calls dark or “evil” energy. Mega Man and Duo were at odds for a time until they realized they were both on the same side; in the meantime, Dr. Wily was finding that this dark energy was a delightful energy source to use to power his robots. Together Mega Man and Duo set out to stop him, with a little help from Proto Man along the way.
Although Duo left when the battle was won, he travels the universe and may occasionally return. Dr. Wily, as usual, escaped, so who knows how many more times he will threaten the world before he’s finally put away for good (is there any prison that will hold him?)
For more information, check out the various game hint pages for details about the plots that this history lacks.