Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Blues

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I think you know what I mean when I say, this spasmodic system of blogging I have going right now isn't quite working out. Nothing for weeks, then a few posts, then nothing for months.... Yeah, bad idea. It's too easy for me to just put it off or forget all about posting.

So from now on, I'm going to do things differently. Every Monday, there will be an update. Every Monday! By creating a deadline for myself, I'll hopefully start getting done all the things I created this blog to do. So, to my handful of followers, I now solemnly pledge to update at the front of every work week. Maybe if there's lots to say I'll do more than that, but for now just expect a once-a-week minimum. So now that that's settled, this Monday's topic is none other than the original robot in red and co-star of Mega Man 10, Protoman.

Read on!

This page appeared in the Capcom Friendly Club's mail magazine from Autumn, 1996. Capcom's official fan club booklet was one way Capcom of Japan interacted with their country's fans. They would announce and create a buzz for upcoming game releases and merchandise, while also featuring rare official and fan-made artwork, puzzles, character background information, and sneak peeks behind the scenes of game development.

As part of their feature on Rockman 8, this page is all about "The Secrets of Blues." You may recognize the artwork from the Mega Man Official Complete Works book, pages 57 and 129. The text is translated (using Japanese names, as usual) and reads as follows:
Newly Revealed!! The Secrets of Blues

Up until now, the secret origin of Blues has been shrouded in mystery. But here, for the first time, they will finally be divulged!

Helmet & Visor *made by Dr. Wily
Wishing to hide the fact that this was a remodeled robot of Dr. Right's, Dr. Wily crafted these.

Blues Buster *made by Dr. Wily
Although comparable to the Rock Buster in ability, the tremendous energy consumption makes it unusable for long periods of combat. Also, without some transformation mechanism like the Rock Buster's, it's unable to change freely into the form of an arm.

Brain *made by Dr. Right
Due to his near human-like capacity for thought Blues leads a greatly conflicted existence, torn between his creator Dr. Right and the man who had saved his life, Dr. Wily. Regarding his relationship with Rockman, he plays a dual role as both an older brother and a rival type figure.

Blues Shield *made by Dr. Wily
Because his body was not originally designed for combat, he suffers from weak stamina which the shield helps to compensate for.

Power Reactor *made by Dr. Wily
Initially Dr. Right had utilized his specialty, a type of solar energy based system. It was exchanged by Dr. Wily with a purely Wily designed atomic power system. This causes him some trouble when it comes to performing at his peak ability, as he is only able to battle at full power for a short time.

Blues DRNo.000
The very first humanoid robot prototype developed by Dr. Right. Although this achievement greatly exceeded his expectations on several levels, Dr. Right found there to be a critical problem with Blues' power reactor. He made plans to modify and repair the robot, but Blues absconded before Dr. Right had a chance to. His human-like mind convinced itself that the remodeling could cause him to essentially become like a different person, so he fled to protect his sense of identity. Some time after that, his power reactor began to fail and he lay collapsed and dying. He was found and saved by Dr. Wily, who modified him by changing out his power reactor on top of equipping him with a buster and combat abilities.
It was from this opportunity to remodel Blues that Dr. Wily gained the ability to manufacture robots at the same level as Dr. Right. Nevertheless, his attempt in "Rockman 1" to use Dr. Right's remodeled robots ultimately ended in failure.

Captured on film at last!! Mr. Blues removes his helmet!

Dateline 20XX. After trailing one Mr. Blues (age 15) around for weeks, this reporter has finally landed an exclusive scoop photograph!
The scene was Dr. Right's laboratory. We had already set out out for a leisurely drive around the neighborhood, when we were suddenly greeted with this unexpected sight upon our return.
The cameraman who took the photograph is still recuperating in the hospital, but we hope this delightful picture will bring him a speedy recovery.
(Article by Oolong T.)
So, there you have it. Nearly 6 years after his debut in Rockman 3, Capcom finally added some clarity to the history of Blues, his hit-and-run style of fighting, his confusing relationship with the two doctors, and what Dr. Right was talking about in Blues' ending to Rockman 2 the Power Fighters.

The article at the bottom seems to be mostly a joke at the expense of Blues' hair. While I certainly enjoy the mental image of Blues punching out a paparazzi, I figure the reporters had probably, in their scramble to get the shot, wound up in an automobile accident. Or perhaps, he was so overcome with shock that his brain simply shut down?

One thing that surprised me was the mention that Blues' arm doesn't freely transform like Rockman's does. For one, because we've seen plenty of times (on that very page even) where Blues has had two fully functional hands, and he has been portrayed like Rockman himself in the games and in official art to be able to equip his buster on either arm. Perhaps he exchanges his arm parts similar to how Roll equips her Roll Buster in MvC, by some kind of plug-in or snap-on system? Between his scarf, belt and shield I suppose he has plenty of places to carry such parts. Although the idea itself still seems awkward to me. Maybe it just means he's got an older and clunkier version than Rockman's newer one.

This page suggests that while Dr. Right's initial power reactor flaw is no longer in effect, the atomic power system (because it was not originally designed for his use) still causes Blues a similarly dire predicament. And even though he's already been remodeled and so should have dispelled the idea of losing his sense of self, he still refuses Dr. Right's offer to work on him. I don't want to speculate too much, but now that he's become a fully playable protagonist in MM10, could it be that this power issue has been improved already? Perhaps in Mega Man & Bass, when Dr. Light repaired Proto after his early battle with King? So far there hasn't really been a definitive word on Protoman's power problems after Power Fighters. But it's also not clear whether MM&B happens before or after MM2TPF, so maybe Dr. Light learned of Proto's new situation after working on him in MM&B but didn't devise a solution to the problem until a bit later? Well, either way, it seems Blues is just far too independent and self-reliant to want anyone messing with him again, if he can help it. And since that's part of what makes him so awesome, I can hardly argue.


  1. All the translations you've been doing are great. Definitely a great asset to the community. I'm very much looking forward to seeing weekly updates. Keep up the good work!

    This particular article about Blues' secrets clears up quite a lot of mysteries that were first introduced to the English fanbase through Mega Man Powered Up. Especially the last tidbit about Wily's remodeling occurring before Rockman1 very nicely validates the "what-if" scenario from that game.

  2. Thanks for your kind words! I'm glad to hear that someone is still reading this blog! [^_^]

    I was a little disappointed that they didn't say where Proto Man was during the first two games, but you make a good point! Leaving it open ended makes it a lot easier to insert him in games like Powered Up without any conflicts.

  3. I would like to point out that it says he cannot change his buster to a hand, yet that same article shows him taking of his helmet with two hands. Funny.

    All in all though, I am gald that people do translate these for me, and other fans. You translation of the MegaMissions helped me out alot, and I have to credit Zan for showing me your blog.

  4. Thank you for your comments too, VileMKII! It's great to hear that people are enjoying my work. Thanks for spreading the word, you guys!


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