17th December is a big day for Capcom, as one of its top series and characters - Mega Man - celebrates its 30th birthday! The company started the party a bit early by announcing Mega Man 11, coming next year! But, it all began thirty years ago, when Capcom put forth a plan to create its first non-arcade port for the NES.

Back then Capcom had solely been converting its arcade hits, like 1942 and Commando. Bringing out a wholly original product started its shift as a top game company, as arcades - though still important - were fading out as the home market took over.

When the first Mega Man hit the streets of Japan as Rockman this week in 1987, Capcom wasn't confident enough in the game to grant a sequel, though it was later re-issued in Japan in 1988 and brought to the West as well. That surge allowed the Mega Man 1 team to work on a sequel - though only in their free time. After the popularity of Mega Man 2 the series was here to stay and the rest was history.

Since then there have been ten, soon to be eleven, games in the mainline series. The X series was spun off from the original games in 1993, followed by the Legends and Zero series and many, many more. Remakes and re-issues were also part and parcel of the Mega Man franchise. The first Mega Man has appeared on every generation of hardware since the NES in one way or another. If you counted each release and each variant, such as the Virtual Console games and endless collections, Mega Man has the most amount of playable games of any series ever!

With 30 years and literally hundreds of games to look back on, the story of The Blue Bomber is pretty impressive. The lengthy in-depth video below highlights the early years of Mega Man from his humble beginnings as an unknown new character, to his solidification as a cornerstone of gaming. Along the way you’ll learn some little known facts, such as the missing event Robot Master, Bond Man, and strange coincidences between Mega Man and other existing properties. 

If you liked this video be sure to check out GTV for more things retro, Nintendo and Japan.