Mega Man, known as Rockman (ロックマン Rokkuman?, from the phrase "Rock 'n Roll") in Japan, also known as Mega or Rock in his original form, is the title character of what has been referred to as the "Classic" Mega Man series developed by Capcom since 1987. The pixel art for Mega Man was created by the designer of the original game in the series, Akira Kitamura (credited under the pseudonym "A.K"), and later turned into a refined illustration by Keiji Inafune. Since then, he has become one of the company's primary original characters and continues to be one of the video game industry's most recognizable icons. Having appeared on many gaming systems since the Nintendo Entertainment System, Mega Man has had a wide gaming audience, and his games continue to evolve with the ever-changing hardware demands of modern gaming systems. Mega Man's fictional universe can be divided into seven categories, each featuring different variations and incarnations of the same blue hero. Although "Mega Man," or "Rockman," is usually the name used to describe only the original Mega Man from the classic series, it can also be used less specifically to describe the Mega Man series of fictional works, or the group of adherently named main characters within.
Several spin-off series have emerged over the past few years, each one continuing the Mega Man mythos in some unique way, including but not limited to the Mega Man X, Mega Man Legends, and Mega Man Battle Network. A resulting animated series was also produced originally in the United States as well as a number of toys, comics, and collectibles available both in and outside of Japan.
Mega Man's role in the original story is to battle the mad scientist Dr. Wily and his ever-growing army of robots, and stop them from taking over Earth by using their own special abilities against them. Utilizing his special Mega Buster arm cannon, and his ability to copy a defeated robot's Special Weapon, Mega Man must travel the world and traverse harsh environments in order to bring Wily's menace to an end. With the help of his creator Dr. Light and his assorted robotic companions, Mega Man's eventual goal is to one day achieve "everlasting peace".