Break Man VS Proto Man

At one time there seemed to be a common misconsception that Proto Man was evil (which was later picked up by the Mega Man cartoon show). That, however, seems to have died down a little (even the Mega Man 8 manual uses the word “good” in Proto Man’s description twice, and “evil” zero times), but I still need to explain my naming conventions. After all, you’ve probably noticed by now that I use the name “Break Man” in the books.

I originally thought the “Proto Man” name when it first appeared in Mega Man 3 was a translation goof; Capcom had been alternating between using Dr. Wright/Dr. Light, and Dr. Wiley/Dr. Wily, and such so much that I was just used to them randomly pulling out alternate names for the same characters. The fact that “Break Man” was used in the game itself, and “Proto Man” only during the ending, caused me to think the “Break Man” name must be the correct one (being the more visible one). I came up with a plot device to explain the name difference and went on happily writing books.

Of course, by now it’s clear that his official English name is Proto Man. So why don’t I just use find-and-replace to alter the books to match? There are quite a few reasons for this, including but not limited to:

  1. I’m used to it. Okay, so this isn’t really a good reason, but when you use a name in this many books for this many years, it sorta starts to stick. Also, “Mega Man and Break Man” go together well, whereas “Mega Man and Proto Man” is a tongue-twister.
  2. Personally, every time I hear the name “Proto Man” I can’t help but think of the evil guy in the cartoons, so it doesn’t work in my mind to apply that same name to a totally different character.
  3. “Break Man” is closer to the original Japanese name “Blues” than is “Proto Man.” Unlike “Proto Man,” the name “Break Man” could also be considered a musical term, which fits in more with the other musically-related names. Besides which, “Break Man” was used in the Japanese games as well as the English ones, whereas “Proto Man” never was.
  4. But most importantly, the books would have to be severely rewritten to accomodate a change from “Break Man” to “Proto Man.” It’s not just a simple find-and-replace. This is because Break Man’s clone (Dark Man) used the name “Proto Man” in Mega Man 5—and in the books Dr. Wily still uses the name to remind Break Man of the incident (which incidently Break Man hates). All those jabs and jokes on the name wouldn’t make any sense if he was already called Proto Man.

Speaking of good and evil versions, I guess it doesn’t help that this guy has three names (in Japan he’s called “Blues”) and three personalities. There seems to be three major, common renderings of his character:

EvilThis is used primarily in the cartoon shows, and by people writing works based off the cartoons. While I admit that in the cartoons, Proto Man was an awesome character device, it’s a shame that they used Proto Man for that character (too bad they didn’t use Bass, but then, Mega Man 7 might not have been out at the time the shows were being made).

GoodThe games portray him as on Mega Man’s side, which places him on the “good” side. There are varying degrees to this—in my books, I will admit he tends to see a lot more action and involvement than in the games, but either way, he mostly spends his time popping in mysteriously to give Mega Man a hand, then popping back out when he’s served his purpose.

NeutralI’ve seen this one, curiously enough, mostly in Rockman fanfics. Some people play Proto Man out to be totally neutral—a guy who will serve either side, even Dr. Wily’s, if he sees fit. While an interesting idea, I have found no substantiation for this view in the games, at least the English versions. For although Proto Man will sometimes duel with Mega Man, he is doing it for his own purposes, not Dr. Wily’s. Never once in the games does he do anything to intentionally help Dr. Wily—in fact, for the most part, he’s coming in to help Mega Man instead.


Either way, note that on this subsite, I’ll be using “Proto Man” and “Break Man” interchangably as it suits the location or my mood...so if you prefer another name (some like Proto Man, some even prefer Blues) just substitute that name in your mind whenever you see whatever I use. Because when it gets right down to it, no matter what name I used, there would be people out there who wouldn’t like it.

“You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”



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Copyright © 2007 Miranda Paugh. All Rights Reserved.
Last update: August 14, 2007