The 25 Best Mega Man Robot Masters

Mega Man has faced many robot masters in the last 30 years. Here are the very best bosses in the series!

Bosses have always been an integral part of the Mega Man franchise. Stealing the abilities of one boss is usually required to beat another (or at least makes it much easier). But after 10 main series games (and an eleventh on the way), not all Mega Man bosses are created equal. Some, like Clown Man and Sheep Man, are downright ridiculous. But others, stand out as some of the most iconic bosses in gaming.

Den of Geek has picked the 25 best robot masters in the franchise’s history:

25. Tengu Man

Mega Man 8

Mega Man 8’s anime-inspired art style isn’t fondly remembered among too many fans, but it did at least give us a couple memorable bosses, including Tengu Man. Though tengus are viewed as sort of benevolent demons in Japanese folklore, the villainous Tengu Man incorporates the long-nosed mask of the legendary creature into a design that looks straight out of Voltron, making him one of the more unique robot masters in the series.

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24. Napalm Man

Mega Man 5

Mega Man 5 is viewed as one of the weaker games in the series, but it actually has some of the better enemy designs. Take Napalm Man, for example. There’s many of ways the design could have gone with a name like that, but the missiles on the hands and forehead really emphasize that this is a robot built for war. The tank treads on his feet are another nice touch.

23. Blade Man

Mega Man 10

There have been a number of robot masters over the years who have used blades or swords, but Blade Man is the best of the bunch. From the blade on his head to the sharp edges on his arms, it’s clear what this robot master is all about, yet his design never seems too over-the-top. And while the hand-drawn art really shows off how well-designed Blade Man is, his 8-bit pixel version looks damn fine, too.

22. Slash Man

Mega Man 7

Slash Man isn’t going to win a lot of points for creativity. He’s basically the robot master version of Wolverine from the X-Men, but let’s face it: that’s not a bad thing either. There’s a reason why Wolverine has been such an enduring character over the years, and it’s actually kind of cool to see Capcom’s take on a similar character.

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21. Yamato Man

Mega Man 6

It will forever remain a mystery why Capcom didn’t change Yamato Man’s name for the North American release of Mega Man 6. Though Yamato refers to a period in Japanese history, it’s not a word English speakers come across very often. Anyway, Yamato Man is basically a samurai robot with an awesome spear attack. Why Capcom didn’t just call him Samurai Man for the west, we may never know.

20. Charge Man

Mega Man 5

There are a lot of lazy robot master designs that eye-rollingly derivative of past bosses. Then there are those like Charge Man that you can’t help but love for the creativity put into them. Charge Man is what would happen if a steam engine came to life and became a person. And true to his name, he uses that power to charge at Mega Man with all his strength.

19. Pump Man

Mega Man 10

Even though Mega Man 9 and 10 are more positively viewed by fans, they don’t have many great bosses. That said, there’s a lot to like about Pump Man. It takes a lot of guts and creativity to take a simple object like a water pump and turn it into a robot that actually looks pretty cool with spigots on his hands and chest. Capcom did the impossible and made a water pump kind of intimidating. But on the other hand, were there really no better ideas for robot masters laying around Capcom HQ? There’s no Bullet Man, Laser Man, or Nuke Man – yet we somehow have a Pump Man.

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18. Astro Man

Mega Man 8

Most robot masters follow a pretty standard formula. Take a word, and make a man out of it. Astro Man mixes up that formula a bit, and is better off for it. For one, he’s one of the few robot masters without legs. Instead, he mostly floats around during his battle with Mega Man. And rather than incorporate too much of his interstellar background into his design, his roots as a planetarium robot are instead shown off by having the fight take place on a unique starry background.

17. Galaxy Man

Mega Man 9

Galaxy Man is another space-based robot master that went in a very different design direction. Galaxy Man is what would happen if a UFO became a person. His design is made even cooler by his floating attacks during the boss fight and his very cool black hole bomb power. He’s a rare flash of brilliance in a game that sadly had some of the more disappointing robot masters.

16. Centaur Man

Mega Man 6

Mega Man 6 may be the worst title in the main series, but it does have one of the coolest bosses. Capcom didn’t go crazy with the design here. You’re getting exactly what’s advertised: a big centaur robot with a giant hand cannon. The teleportation ability is also a nice touch. The thing is, even though the concept is simple, it’s rarely been done before, and it’s executed so well that it’s hard to dislike.

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15. Gyro Man

Mega Man 5

Gyro Man must have sounded kind of stupid on paper, but he actually turned out to be pretty cool. This is a helicopter robot with a propeller on his back and landing gear on his feet. His constant flying into the clouds above his arena can be a little frustrating, but at least it broke up the monotony of most robot master fights.

14. Flash Man

Mega Man 2

With his darker blue armor and larger size, Flash Man comes across as sort of an evil Mega Man. That’s where the similarities end, though. His main ability is the power to stop time, which can be super annoying when you’re fighting against him, but becomes extremely useful when you steal this power for yourself.

13. Elec Man

Mega Man

Elec Man is one of the most difficult robot masters in the original Mega Man. His thunder beam is downright brutal if you’re not prepared for it, but it’s also one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal when you head to Dr. Wily’s castle, especially against the Yellow Demon. And while his design may not be the most complex, it gets across what Elec Man’s powers are without becoming a stereotypical superhero/villain uniform.

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12. Star Man

Mega Man 5

At first glance, it’s not hard to guess the theme of Star Man’s abilities. While his armor might be flashy, it’s never quite tacky, and it actually fits pretty well when he activates his Star Crash barrier. It’s a shame that Mega Man 5’s gameplay didn’t quite live up to its predecessors, because it really does have some of the best robot masters in the series.

11. Shade Man

Mega Man 7

Another unique robot master from one of the more maligned games in the series, Shade Man is a vampire-inspired robot residing in a Gothic castle stage. With his wings and darker design, Shade Man actually looks like he belongs in Capcom’s Darkstalkers series, but his uniqueness also makes him stand out as one of the better bosses in the Mega Man franchise.

10. Splash Woman

Mega Man 9

Somehow, after 10 main series games, Splash Woman is the only female robot master. Apparently Dr. Light and Dr. Wily aren’t real big on feminism. It’s a shame because even though her mermaid-inspired design is a little derivative, it really stands out in the Mega Man series, and made for one of the best boss fights in the two most recent Mega Man games.

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9. Pharaoh Man

Mega Man 4

Pharaoh Man has one of the coolest stages in the Mega Man franchise. You actually start off in a desert and then descend into a tomb filled with mummy robots before coming face-to-face with the robot master. The design doesn’t break a ton of new ground, though. It’s just an awesome take on a slightly futuristic looking Egyptian pharaoh. This guy looks equally at home in 1000 BC or 20XX.

8. Fire Man

Mega Man

Many Mega Man games have had flame-based robot masters, but none have matched the original Fire Man. This robot master may very well have the best weapon in the original Mega Man, not mention an awesome and extremely challenging stage that has long made him a fan favorite.

7. Gemini Man

Mega Man 3

With more than a little bit of a passing resemblance to Quicksilver from the SilverHawks, Gemini Man doesn’t get a ton of points for originality, but he does have a sleek design that fits his theme and stage well. Plus, the ability to copy himself mid-fight is just plain cool and something that hadn’t yet been done in the series.

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6. Snake Man

Mega Man 3

Hailing from the best robot master stage in Mega Man 3, Snake Man’s design shows off his serpentine nature without going too overboard with the snake theme. He looks like a cunning and sneaky robot, but ultimately he’s one of the biggest pushovers in the whole series.

5. Guts Man

Mega Man

The name Guts Man admittedly doesn’t make much sense. He’s actually a construction robot. Capcom has sort of explained his name over the years as “he’s got guts.” Regardless, Guts Man’s intimidating design has been a favorite since his appearance in the very first Mega Man, and he’s actually shown up in quite a few sequels and spin-offs since then. Who knows? Maybe he’ll even turn up in Mega Man 11 in some form.

4. Metal Man

Mega Man 2

A lot of robot masters have a “softer” design to make them look a little bit more kid-friendly, and they often emulate an anime aesthetic. Metal Man is an exception to this rule. He’s all business, covered in razor saws that he happily throws at Mega Man as well. Fun fact: once you obtain his Metal Blade in Mega Man 2, you can use it to take him out in just one or two hits.

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3. Shadow Man

Mega Man 3

Not to be confused with the character from Acclaim’s defunct video game series, this is a mysterious ninja-inspired robot master who attacks with a giant shuriken. If you read up on his official backstory, Capcom actually hints that he’s a re-tooled extraterrestrial robot, though the games don’t really delve into this.

2. Quick Man

Mega Man 2

Quite possibly the fastest robot master in the entire series, Quick Man more than lives up to his name. He’s kind of a pain to take down unless you use Time Stopper to drain him of his health, and then he’s almost laughably easy. And while his design is reminiscent of the Flash from DC Comics, there are enough differences – such as his trademark boomerangs – that make him unique and iconic in his own right.

1. Skull Man

Mega Man 4

Boasting a macabre, disturbing theme for his design and stage, there’s no other robot master quite like Skull Man. While he may not be the most interesting boss to fight, he’s easily the most awesome robot master to look at, sort of like Capcom’s take on a Mad Max character. The developer actually had another stage planned for Skull Man (who was a fan submitted creation), but scrapped it and started all over again because they were so impressed by the design. That’s how awesome Skull Man is.