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In retrospect, it's kinda sad how the Mega Man series has faded in relevance over the years. I say this not out of admiration for the games' quality, but because compared to other major platformers, Mega Man shares strong connections with its contemporary political climate. This essay is my attempt to dig into that. More specifically, it's a longform critical analysis of the Mega Man series up through Zero, looking at the parallels it traces with modern politics: from the Cold War to the War on Terror and through the recent rise of fascism. (You can probably guess what event convinced me to write about this.) I also spend a lot of time considering what answers the game sees emerging from this situation and where they might lead.

I should emphasize that while my analysis touches on the pre-Zero Mega Man games (with a few nods to Mighty No. 9 as an alternative to Mega Man), that's only to set up context. What I spend the bulk of these essays analyzing are the Zero games and the ideas they explore.

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Death and Rebirth of the Hero.pdf 235 kB