So, this is more of a personal kinda thing than anything. Just felt I should relate two things: Proto Man, mysterious brother of Mega Man, and why he befuddles the everloving crap out of me. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy, but I've had an easier time convincing my parents that tattoos are a good idea than getting right down to what makes this guy tick. Ah, I can hear you say, "But Blue! They spell out who he is and everything!" That's true. But imagine, being six, and seeing this:

Most intense battle of my youth.

Being six and having, for all intensive purposes, the attention span of a goldfish, that image was amazing. Mind-boggling. Simply astonishing. Why? Because I'm used to playing as blue-spandex-whats-his-face. Then all of a sudden the red baron and his aviators pops the @$#& up and rocks my world. Who was he? What is he doing? I pondered such questions for days. Or until I was presented with something shiny. Even worse, his allegiance seemed to switch from game to game,adding to the mystery. THATS the real point of this post. To point out why Proto Man rules. He's the Shadow to Mega Man's Sonic. The Batman to Mega's Superman. Thats why he's cool. Design aside, we knew nothing about him, and they showed him juuuust enough to get you interested.

Perhaps the fact that his eyes were hidden made it so intruiging. He was a loner, showing every now and again. And it was badass! Did he always stay that way? Of course not!! But we'll get to that soon enough. That aside, they made several design choices that made him far more interesting, and made Mega Man....plain, by comparison. Shades, a scarf, a shield and a haunting melody every time he draws near. He was what really defined Mega Man 3 through 5. Note that every one of those game's plot focuses almost entirely around him. People (NOT me) gravitate to the overused, repetitive, insipid and quite frankly forced villainy of Bass, but when's the last time Bass was the focal point of three games in a row? Exactly. Proto Man also did well staying out of attempts at cheap money-grabs.

I...take that back.

Now, let's take a moment to focus on why ol' Proto went down the toilet. I like to think it started when the Mega Man cartoon was unleashed upon the innocent eyes of youngsters back in 1994. Proto Man was voiced by a whiny Scott McNeil, and was Dr. Wily's right hand man. The fact that he speaks an annoying tone...out in the friggin' open all the kinda defeats the "mysterious" aspect of the character, doesn't it? See, at that point he loses the charm of what made him so special to see to begin with. And trust me...its pretty much been downhill from there. With so many misrepresentations of the character, its easy to forget what made him cool (looking at you, battle network series). Thankfully, Proto Man (at least to some degree) was brought back to his roots with Mega Man 9. Yeah, 9, not 10. Because 10 is bad. You heard me. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. You just switched tabs to try and find a hitman for cheap, didn't you? It's ok, I'll wait.

"I'll stand here like this until you notice me"

All in all, Proto Man was a great character, with great design and story that was certainly capitalized on, but in the wrong way. He could have been so much more and even more of a pivotal character. But, as Capcom has proven time and time again, they are terrible at managing their own series'.

Mm, sassy!