Living Machines



Is Mega Man: The Series canon?
No. It is neither official nor canon. Quite frankly I consider only things created by one of Capcom’s own development teams to be “canon” and I am not one of those. If anyone tries to tell you the books are canon kindly correct them because I do not make that claim. The Series is merely my own portrayal of the Mega Man series and characters.
Where can I find copies of the books?
Try the download page. And no, the books have not been published and there is no charge for them. You just download them to disk or read them straight off the web if you’d like. Do read the disclaimers first though. Printer not included.
Where can I find copies of the comics?
There is currently no way for you to obtain copies of any of the comics I’ve drawn, except by looking at scans. Also try the Memorable Moments page. I someday hope to post a few comics in full as image files on this site, but, I can’t guarantee when that will happen as drawing comics takes a very long time for me.
Will you send me copies of the books?
No, sorry. You’ll have to download them yourself using any of the methods on the download page. I do not snail mail books to people, either as disks, printouts, or anything, so unless you’re a publisher don’t bother asking.
Can I buy them in stores?
No. The books aren’t published. You won’t find them in the stores. I drew covers and tried to make them read like a professional novella because that’s what I enjoy doing. But as of this writing, they are purely a hobby of mine, and they only exist as computer files. See the download page.
If they aren't published, why do you call them books?
Because I always have. I’ve always strived to write as if my works were actual published novels. I first began writing these Mega Man books years before ever going online, and even after I was online, I still didn’t stumble over the term “fan fiction” for several more years. My books are “books” because that’s how I’ve always viewed them in my own eyes.
Why do you call Proto Man "Break Man"?
For a technical explanation, see the Break Man VS Proto Man page. As far as The Series plot is concerned, Break Man dislikes the “Protoman” name because Dr. Wily essentially coined it (and thus it has a very unpleasant association with Wily), and Break Man doesn’t use his original name because he considers that too personal (similar to someone who prefers to be known only by his last name, rather than the more intimate first-name basis).
Why is a book listed on the Book List but not on the Download page?
Grayed out or missing links indicate books not yet available. Usually, they are works in progress. I don’t have The Series pre-planned far in advance, so I can’t preview every book that will ever come out in the future; however once I am sure that a particular book will be released, I’ll stick it on the Book List as a sort of preview of upcoming attractions, since often people ask about future books. If the book isn’t actually complete there will be no link to read it, though, sorry. You’ll have to wait until the book is finished (I don’t post partially-completed works).
Is The Series over?
Not definitively. It’s true that I haven’t written a book in years, but that doesn’t mean the urge will never strike me sometime in the future.
When is the next book coming out?
I don’t know. If I knew, I’d tell you. I don’t have a schedule or a timetable (obviously why I don’t write for a living). I write whenever I have inspiration and time. Books sometimes stall for months. I can’t even myself predict when I might finish one. You’ll just have to wait and be patient. Note: If a book is listed on the Book List, it will be posted when it’s finished, but not before then. Asking when it will be finished won’t help you, sorry.
What books are you currently working on?
Works in progress are often listed before they are completed (see the answer above). If a book isn’t listed already on the Book List, then I won’t tell you, sorry. You’ll just have to wait and be surprised later. =)
Will any future books ever feature [insert subject here]?
I don’t know. If I knew, I wouldn’t tell you. =) Seriously, I don’t have The Series mapped out in my mind, so I generally don’t know who’s going to appear when. You’ll just have to wait and see.
Why is Break Man's bandanna so important to him?
I don’t know. He hasn’t said, and I haven’t been able to find out. He tends to be really reclusive and if you asked him directly he’d probably just deny the entire thing. Maybe we’ll find out someday. Depends on if I can catch him in an off moment. ;)
Can I use characters/physics/etc. from your books in my fanfic?
Yes. You don’t have to ask me before doing so. I’d appreciate it if you’d keep new characters in character, but that’s up to you. If you have any confusion or questions about an aspect of The Series that you’d like to use, feel free to ask. Also, be careful about what you claim is official. Not everything in The Series is directly taken from the games. If you aren’t sure what’s official and what isn’t, you can check out the Introduction page which outlines the most significant details, or just ask. (Note that this answer applies only to using the characters and “world” of The Series, not the plots directly. Obviously, don’t plagiarize. Also, of course don’t claim your work to be a part of The Series when it isn’t. But other than these sorts of things, I don’t mind if you write in the “world” of The Series if you so prefer. Feel free.)
If I send you a plot idea, will you write it?
No. I do not accept submissions. The reason is because I can only write about a plot if I know it inside and out, front and back, beginning to end. Just sending me “I think this and this should happen!” isn’t enough for me to actually form a coherent book. You’d have to map out so many details that you might as well just write the thing yourself. So, requesting something isn’t going to get you anywhere. Sorry about that.
Why aren't all the games on the Book List?
At the moment the Book List only includes games that are definite—ones I know where they go in the timeline. With major games it’s usually pretty easy to determine, as you can usually go by which Robot Masters appear when. However in other games, for example the Game Boy games, there’s really nothing definite to anchor them (see the Game Boy games discussion for more details). Also some of the games, such as Mega Man Soccer, I’m not sure belong on the timeline at all. This means they did not “happen” in this continuity. Marvel VS Capcom almost definitely falls in this category.
Why do you include the Captain N shows in Mega Man: The Series?
First, let’s get one thing clear: I see my books as Mega Man books with cameo appearances of the Captain N characters, not the other way around. This means that I visualize my books differently than you would if they were Captain N books. It also means that I don’t base the books off the cartoons; instead, I base them off the games and mold the cartoons so that they don’t contradict the games. (For an idea of how I envision the books, check out the comic pages I scanned in, or examine the book covers.)

But to answer the question, I guess I’d have to say: they were there, so I decided to include them. I had to, really. To not do so would be to leave the plots so gutted as to be useless. But remember that I go by the games first, not any cartoon show.

Why don't you include the X series in Mega Man: The Series?
See Lands of Confusion.
Why don't you write an X series?
Because I don’t have any plots to write about. Books without plots are nonexistent books. I am not the type of person who can just sit down and write about anything. I have to personally see the plot through before I can put it down into words, and I need to personally understand the setting and its characters before I can write about a particular world. Please do not ask for X books, or any other type of books, for that matter. If I get the inspiration, I will write, but no sooner.

Living Machines

Note: Details about living machines supplied here apply only to The Series (unless otherwise stated) and may or may not apply to any other fiction which includes living machines.

Note 2: Living machines are a fictional concept. It’s just made up for the sake of telling the tale. The FAQs below give information on how the concept works in The Series; this information not meant to imply that living machines are real. Any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental, and all that.

What is a bioroid?
The Series created the phrase to mean a living machine. As it turns out the word has been used elsewhere (in a Japanese anime), but there it is applied toward a totally different thing. The Series was not only the first to apply the term “bioroid” to mean a living machine, it was also the first to apply the entire concept of living machines to the Mega Man game series.
What is a living machine?
Literally a machine (a robot generally, but not necessarily) with a life force. Because of this, living machines are quite rare.

Living machines have shown up in many forms. They are usually humanoid, but sometimes appear in forms of animals. Often living machines have intelligence similar to the organic creature they resemble, but this really depends on how they were created. Machines that are created from animals tend to act like those animals even after their transformations, whereas robots that look like animals but have human-like intelligence usually keep that intelligence after becoming alive.

Note: The Series coined the term “bioroid” but it did not create the concept of a living machine. The idea behind a machine with life has been around for quite a while, and used in everything from Pinocchio to He-Man. Being a fictional concept, the definition and qualities of living machines vary depending on the source, similar to how vampires from one piece of fiction may differ from those found in another. The Series contains many of the same aspects as living machines from other sources, but also elaborates upon them, since living machines are a rather central point (seeing as to how the main character is one).

What is a living machine in The Series?
There are two aspects of a living machine in The Series. The first is the body, which operates much like one of an organic creature. It runs itself without needing outside aid, repairs itself, sends signals to its brain via an electrical nervous system, and so forth. The body is very often structured much in the same way as that of an organic creature, with functions that, though mechanical, are greatly similar to various organic organs such as the heart and liver. The material that makes up the living machine is also unique, being living matter in itself that can mold and stretch itself into shapes that could not be duplicated by human hands. I’ve never seen living machines grow, but I have seen them adapt in amazing ways.

The second aspect is the “soul” itself (spirit, spark of life, whatever). This is what gives the living machine its personality, and in the case of a humanoid machine, its human-like mind. Without this spark of life, the living machine is like a plant—or at best, a rudimentary animal—without emotion or personality. It takes the soul to give the machine its true life; otherwise it’s just a self-sufficent husk of matter.

The soul aspect is the key element that prevents living machines from being created purposefully by humans. The reason being that we cannot even detect a soul much less create or grab one and stick it into a body. How a soul ends up in a body is still unknown; however, the effects of it are easily apparent, and living machines without souls very often merely fade away and die, even if uninjured.

Are the robots living machines in Capcom's games?
No. I made it up.
But can't robots in the games feel emotions and stuff?
Yep. But they aren’t technically living machines.

It’s true that all robots in Capcom’s works, from the humanoid ones like Bass and Robot Masters, to the minor stage enemies, are treated like human beings. They have free wills, can think, feel emotions, feel pain, eat, drink, sleep, dream, breed, cry, and die. In fact, they’re basically exactly like humans save for name only. But Capcom never uses the concept of a living machine to explain this. This is just the way all robots are in all of their works.

Astute observers will notice that this blows a huge hole in the plot of the X series. In the game Mega Man X, Dr. Light writes that X is of a “new” series of robots that can “think, feel, and make their own decisions.” However, all of the robots in all Capcom games, even in the original series, can do all of this anyway. So this completely invalidates the entire premise of the X games.

In The Series, because only a select few characters are living machines, and because living machines are not, by definition, ordinary robots, this leaves a perfectly reasonable reason for why Dr. Light would write that X is a totally new type of robot. After all, he’s saying X is a new type of robot, not that he is a living machine. Although, the living machine concept does lend itself well to the X series as well, as the old X dream shows.

Why don't you make all robots in The Series living machines?
There are three main reasons:
  1. Living machines, for the most part, cannot be built. They are an accidental occurrence. Explaining all those robots just “accidentally” becoming living machines would very quickly become extremely absurd.
  2. I wouldn’t feel right having Mega Man destroy robots if they were alive. It’d be killing a life. Not to mention the robot wouldn’t be able to be rebuilt, at least not as the living machine that it was once. So once destroyed the robot would be out of the story forever. Mega Man would also never be able to acquire any weapons because he has to defeat (kill) the Robot Master in question first to get it, and he either wouldn’t be able to do that, or he’d only be able to do it once (after that the robot is dead and gone from the series).
  3. I personally think The Series is more interesting when Mega Man and a few select others are the lone living machines—if they are unique and special, rather than just being more of the same. I like dealing with all of the personal issues—good and bad—that crop up from Mega Man being such a unique thing. If every robot were a living machine, that uniqueness would be gone, and so would all those touching plot points.
  4. I said there were three reasons, but the concept also conveniently helps fix a plot hole in the X series, as discussed above. Having all of the robots in Mega Man’s age feel emotions and what-not, no matter what the explanation (living machine or otherwise) completely destroys the current premise of the X series—that is, that X is a new robot, unusual because he can think, feel, and make his own decisions. If all robots could always do this even from the time of Mega Man, then X wouldn’t be special, Dr. Cain wouldn’t have gone ga-ga over his discovery of X, and the Reploids wouldn’t have been created. (This is of course assuming that the X series is the future of the original, which is under debate.)
Why don't you make Roll a living machine?
I have nothing against the idea of Roll being a living machine, but it just hasn’t happened yet. It may in the future. Just wait and see.
Can living machines reproduce?
Technically, no. While it is certainly possible and makes sense in many cases for living machines to claim family relations (such as Mega Man being Dr. Light’s “son”), this isn’t technically true reproduction. In other words, living machines can’t make other living machines, except by the same methods that humans use. This is unlike organic creatures, which can without outside aid create more of themselves (reproduce).
Can living machines be built?
In The Series, no. At least not fully. While it is theoretically possible to “grow” living machine matter by cultivating material gathered from existing bioroids and then using that to build a new living machine, the end result would not necessarily have a soul (see above) and therefore would not be a complete living machine. The soul or the spark of life is the key hindrance here. No one but a god could create a life; the closest humans can come is to influence how existing life grows. Therefore, true creation of living machines by human beings is impossible.
Then how do living machines come into existence?
There are basically two ways: Either a non-living entity (a robot typically) is transformed into a living machine, or the body of an organic creature (animal or human) is metabolized into a metallic equivalent. The latter is actually somewhat easier to accomplish as the necessary spark of life is already existent in the original creature; the only trick is to transform the creature’s physical form. Turning a non-living robot into a living machine requires getting a soul from somewhere, which currently only happens through unexplained chance (in other words, it appears random) and is uncontrollable by mortals. As mentioned above it is possible in The Series to build a living machine by “growing” it, thus removing chance from the picture, but again this is not guaranteed to result in a full-fledged life. Most likely, the best you’ll end up with is the mechanical equivalent to a plant.
Is Bass a living machine in The Series?
Strictly speaking, yes. However, whether or not he is fully a living machine is still to be seen. The story goes like this:

In Lands of Confusion Dr. Wily obtains a sample of the metal MIRA from Signal. He doesn’t know it is called MIRA on Signal’s world so he dubs it “Bassnium” (reference: Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters). On Signal’s planet MIRA is something of a mystery, but Dr. Wily correctly identifies it for what it really is: living machine matter.

For some time the scientist examines this material and discovers that he can duplicate it, to create more of it out of a specific kind of energy, using the proper catalyst. Amazing! Eventually Dr. Wily comes to the realization that what he is holding is essentially a piece of Mega Man himself, since Mega Man is also a living machine.

Now Dr. Wily had never been terribly fond of living machines. They are notorious for being defiant and letting their emotions and pain get the best of them. The fact that Wily’s nemesis is himself a living machine is probably icing on the cake. However, by the same token, Dr. Wily was also beginning to realize that no matter what robots he built, they just couldn’t seem to prevail against Mega Man. At first Wily thought it simply something Dr. Light built into the blue bomber that set him apart. Eventually, the evil scientist began to wonder if it did have something to do with Mega Man being alive.

So here Wily is, having duplicated more of this Bassnium material, pondering the fact that it’s part of a living machine. Dr. Wily gets the inspiration to duplicate Mega Man in every way possible, right down to the metal. To create Mega Man’s equal, so to speak.

He builds Bass.

Bass was created from the MIRA samples, which since the metal is not explicitly from Mega Man, does not exactly react in the same manner. Also, Bass was built, put together by a man’s hands, so while his body possesses living characteristics, it is not known at this time whether or not he ever obtained a soul. Bass does exhibit free-willed tendencies and some rudimentary emotions such as anger, but Reploids also possess these traits and it is unknown whether they are alive either. Likewise, Bass seems quite different from living machines in many ways, for example his apparent refusal to feel pain, but living machines vary from one to the next as drastically as organic creatures, so this is not conclusive in itself.

In short, Bass appears to be an early prototype of X (or more accurately Zero), like a cross between a living machine and a Reploid-style robot (he is not a Reploid specifically because only robots created by Cain based off X’s design are Reploids, but I hope you understand what I mean). Essentially, Bass is a bioroid/Reploid hybrid.

Talk about your bridges to the twenty-second century.