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Mega Man 3 (NES)

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This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.

Title Screen

Mega Man 3

Also known as: Rockman 3: Dr. Wily no Saigo! (JP)
Developer: Capcom
Publishers: Capcom (JP/US), Nintendo (EU/AU)
Platform: NES
Released in JP: September 28, 1990
Released in US: November 1, 1990
Released in EU: February 20, 1992

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Mega Man 3 is an epic tale about...uh...fighting robots and spring-loaded dogs? The game really could've used some sort of intro.

Commands on Controller 2

While well-known, the commands for controller 2 are very likely not built-in cheat codes, but rather debugging features that the developers forgot to remove from the game. The European version has these cheats completely removed.

  • Hold Right to give Mega Man a super jump. This also allows you to jump out of pits.
  • Hold Up to slow down the animations.
  • Hold Up + A to freeze the logic timer for some animations, including the player hit animation and some explosions. This will cause bosses and some enemies to freeze in place.

Unused Graphics

Mega Man

No Insane Clown Posse quote here. None! Move along!

A turning sprite for the Magnet Missile. In the finished game, the missiles change direction immediately, so this isn't used. Interestingly, when MM3 was remade as part of Mega Man: The Wily Wars, this sprite did make the cut, suggesting that the programmers either didn't notice it was unused or just thought it was a good idea.

That's a good way to take in water

What looks like a shooting animation for the Rush Marine. Though the Rush Marine can indeed shoot in the final version, its animation does not change. This animation was put to use in Mega Man 4.

Break Man

The true identity of Break Man REVEALED!

Graphics found in the Break Man stage that show Proto Man unmasking himself from his Break Man facade.

Shoot Break! Shoot Proto!

Both Proto Man and Break Man have graphics for shooting while on the ground. In the final game he only fires while in the air.

Gemini Man

Ooh, pretty

This giant planet is supposed to appear at the beginning of Gemini Man's stage. Despite taking up a large chunk of CHR ROM and using two of the four background palettes, it's never actually seen. The planet's background tiles are placed on the second screen of both versions of Gemini Man's stage, however the stage uses a parallax scrolling technique that only uses the star field background from the first screen, preventing the planet from being seen. The planet uses background palette 2, while the rings use background palette 1, with the exception of one metatile which mistakenly uses palette 1 in the normal version of the stage.

Squint, you'll see it

Multiple planets can be seen in early shots of Gemini Man's stage.

(Screenshot: Chris Covell)

Magnet Man

Unused Tiles

Being evil doesn't mean you can ignore safety violations, Wily

A number of unused tiles for Magnet Man's stage, including electric current, broken platforms, and a little smiley face.

It should also be noted that with some of the tiles being broken, there exists a possibility that Magnet Man's stage was once intended to have been reused as a Doc Robot stage instead of Spark Man's. Doc Robot stages tend to have a destruction/decay theme to them, as can be observed in Spark Man's Doc Robot stage.

Magnet Turning

Maybe Magnet Man wouldn't have gone berserk if he didn't have a MAGNET stuck to his HEAD.

Magnet Man also has an unused turning sprite for his Magnet Missiles.

Snake Man

Beam Platform


A construction beam-like platform, defined as block 66 in the game. It's a simple solid tile that uses the fourth stage palette.

Palette 4 might have changed at some point in development; as it is now, one of the colors is used for the animated cloud effect, and that color is also used on this block, creating an unintended transparency effect.

Unknown Blocks

In-Game Hex Values
MM3SnakemanBlocksUsed.png MM3SnakemanBlocks.png

These eight 16×16 blocks in Snake Man's stage are unused. The original graphics for these blocks were overwritten by the Proto Man stopper used in Gemini Man's stage.

The four blocks on the first row, 46-47 and 4E-4F use Palette 4. The blocks on the second row, 56-57 and 5E-5F, use Palette 2. All eight blocks are defined as solid foreground pieces.

Spark Man

Broken Ladders


Despite their appearance, these 16×16 metatiles actually function as a ladder. The upper tile is the top of a ladder, while the lower tile is a standard ladder. They were probably drawn for the destroyed version of the stage, but aren't used in any of the 32×32 metatiles.

Junk Piles

My dignity!

There are a number of 32×32 metatiles depicting large piles of broken electronics. Interestingly, they are the only tiles in the stage that Mega Man can walk behind! It's safe to assume that these were originally placed at the bottom of the long, vertical shaft midway through the stage, in the hallway with the garbage chutes, and Mega Man had to find his way out of the pile.

The screenshot on the left is what the area might have looked like; the more compact-looking tiles on the right are actually solid and can be walked on.



The graphics and individual 16×16 metatiles are all that remain of these spikes; however, they do still work as intended. Pop!


Danger danger! High voltage!

A ball of static that appears in Spark Man's graphics. It's placed after the small diamond-shaped spark balls. It's possible that the small sparks once paralyzed Mega Man, instead of harming him.

Note that this uses different graphics than Spark Shock's static ball.

Top Man

Early Background Metatiles

Prerelease screenshot.
In-Game Hex Values Recreations
MM3-TopManEarlyBGTiles.png MM3-TopManEarlyBGHex.png MM3-TopManEarlyBGRec.png

An early screenshot of Top Man's stage shows it using a very different background: There is a fence at the top of the screen and a city with towers at the bottom. The 16×16 metatiles for this background are actually still defined, but the individual 8×8 tiles that comprise them have been replaced with square placeholders. The cycling palette used by the light panels in the background was likely a darker blue originally.

(Source: Chris Covell (Scan), Dragonsbrethren (8×8 tile recreations))
In-Game Hex Values
MM3-TopManCircleTiles.png MM3-TopManCircleHex.png

In addition to these, there are also 16×16 metatiles for background structures not seen in any shots: Something circular, which has been partially overwritten by tiles used in the final stage, and a standing structure of sorts with one of its tiles still present.



This 16×16 spike metatile is functional, but never used in the stage. It has a black background, unlike the thorny spikes that are actually used in the stage, which have a blue background.

Unseen Palette

$0F $27 $17 $00

This palette is loaded after descending the first ladder: It replaces the fourth BG palette, which is used by the light panels, the Tama minibosses, and the early 16×16 metatiles mentioned above. It is only loaded for three screens, and doesn't really fit any of the final graphics it's applied to.

Wily 1

Early Takeoff Final Takeoff
Red alert City on the Edge of a Black Hole

An early version of the Dr. Wily scene still exists in the ROM. The city seen here is a stark contrast to the emptiness of the final version. Notice also that the early version has a large black box at the bottom, presumably for dialogue.

To see this layout in-game, use Game Genie code EAXAAAAA ELXAPAOL before the scene begins.

Early Sky Final Sky
Whoa man, the moon My gosh. It's not very full of stars at all

This starry background with moon was replaced with a simpler star field in the final version. Probably done because Wily flies to the left during this scene, and they wanted the background to scroll.

To see this layout in-game, use Game Genie code AGXAAAAA ELXAPAOL before the scene begins.

Too revolutionary, wait a couple of years

These horizontal shutter tiles should have been used to lock the boss arena from the top. It's properly set up as block 0D, with the same definitions as the normal shutter. Interestingly, horizontal shutters appeared in Elec Man and Bomb Man's stages in the first game.

Wily 4

Early Final
Mega Man 3 Wily4 Alternative Rematch Room.PNG MM3-WilyBossRematchFinal.png

Screen preset 18 is an earlier version of the boss rematch room. The final room was shrunk horizontally, the platforms were moved, and an animated background was added.


Huh? Did you say something?

A picture of Mega Man from behind. This is found in the same graphics bank as the Mega Man from the Get Weapon screen. Its intended use is unknown.


Some kanji characters are used in the Rockman 3 robot information screen (the one with the Robot Masters from Rockman 1), but about half of them aren't used. Interestingly, all but one of these kanji are used in the backstory found in the Japanese manual, which strongly suggests (alongside the unusually long opening music) that this game was supposed to have an intro sequence.

The only kanji not used in the manual or the game is 犬, "dog", definitely referring to Rush. Perhaps Rush was supposed to have an entry in the ending?

(Source: Lavacopter (manual), divingkataetheweirdo (Kanji translation))


These eight letters are also found in the same bank as the unused kanji. They're styled differently from the standard font used everywhere else, and judging from their arrangement, once spelled out "YOU GOT" and "AND".

Get equipped with hiragana

It's possible that the weapon acquisition sequence once used Japanese text for the weapon and Rush adapter names. This is a mockup image of how that would look.

Full Border In-Game Border
Now no one can escape Getting cut off is one of my

Part of the weapons menu border is cut off by the edges of the screen, so some of the border tiles are "unused".


If you squint REALLY hard… (7 down, 3 right)

Some silhouetted birds can be seen in the ending tileset right beside Wily's UFO a "fat bluebird".

An arrangement of five of these is hidden in the animation data for the game (seen right). Were they supposed to be flying in the horizon?

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Music/Sounds


1 minute and 12 seconds worth of this song plays during the ending. A whopping 55 seconds of this track is cut during normal play, but it can be heard in-game by holding Up + A on Controller 2 as Mega Man teleports. It even loops! The whole of the song is available in the Mega Man Legacy Collection Music Player.

Proto Man Whistle

Proto Man's trademark whistle is actually about four times longer than what you normally hear in the game, matching the whistle heard in the intro of the ending theme, but with the last note held long. You can hear the full sound by pausing the game at the start of a Proto Man battle, before the regular stage music resumes.

Wily Castle Map

Due to the brevity of map navigation, about four seconds of this Wily Castle map theme is actually used, leaving about 14 seconds completely unheard. It may be possible that the Wily Castle Map intro was meant to be longer than the actual length of the intro in the final version, but due to rushed development the scene was cut short.

Oddly, while the intro of the Wily Castle Map in Mega Man 3 of Mega Man: The Wily Wars is longer than the NES version, it doesn't use the complete theme, instead repeating the four-second portion used in the NES game.

Unused Sound #1

Just some beeps.

Unused Sound #2

Sounds like some kind of explosion or eruption.

Unused Sound #3

Technically, this sound is used in-game. It's supposed to play when you get a new weapon, but it's interrupted by the menu pop-up sound. In the Rockman Complete Works and Mega Man Anniversary Collection versions, this sound is used and audible.

It also should be noted that in the Capcom Music Generation Famicom Music Complete Works Rockman 1~6 album, the above two songs are recorded in their full glory, and all three unused sound effects can be heard on the 25th track of the second disk that contains all of the sound effects in the game.

A similar sound effect is used in Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge and Mega Man V for Enker's Mirror Buster attack.

Regional Differences

Some changes were made to the game when it was released overseas. The version present in Mega Man Anniversary Collection is based on the PlayStation port of Rockman 3 and does not have these changes, with the exception of the title logo.

Title Screen

Rockman 3 Mega Man 3
RM3Title.png Mega Man 3-title.png

Aside from the usual logo change, the Japanese title screen features Mega Man's "you got..." sprite on it, the copyright date by Capcom, and a trademark symbol next to the logo.

US Europe
MM3-Copyright.png MM3-CopyrightPAL.png

In the international versions, the trademark, copyright, and licensing info is on a separate screen, which fades in first before the title screen. While the US version specifies being licensed by Nintendo of America, the European version simply states "Licensed by Nintendo".

Stage Select

Rockman 3 Mega Man 3
RM3-StageSel.png MM3-StageSel.png

Curiously, Rockman 3 uses the Mega Man-style logo as its stage select background. In Mega Man: The Wily Wars this wasn't the case and it used the Rockman style logo for Rockman Mega World in Japan.

Room Change

Rockman 3 Mega Man 3
Over your head Up on the shelf

Near the end of Wily stage 1, the Japanese version has a broad platform situated in the top-center of the screen, on which the two large weapon capsules sit. The international versions move them to a smaller, lower one above the door, which forces the player to switch weapons mid-air if they don't want to refill Rush Coil or Rush Jet. The Mega Man Anniversary Collection version of the game re-instates the platforms. They were probably removed due to a glitch caused by failing to defeat the following boss that would cause the player to respawn inside the blocks and therefore become unable to move.

Enemy Behavior

Rockman 3 Mega Man 3
Fair play Where are you?

In the Japanese version, the bolt and nut enemy in this room in Top Man's stage appears as you're falling from the room above. In the international versions, it doesn't appear until you move to the left half of the platform you land on.

Also, before being assembled, the stationary part of these enemies flickers in the international versions.

Doc Robot Glitch

In the original Japanese version, the Doc Robot that copies the characteristics of Flash Man only shoots one bullet instead of a bullet spread, and the duration of his Time Stopper is also extremely brief. You can clearly see him being capable of shooting more than one bullet at a time in case you happen to die against him (in the short time frame before a restart or game over).

Water Glitch

For reasons unknown, in the Gemini Man Doc Robot stage, the water in the corridor leading to the second boss room was removed in the international versions, though the water graphics are still there. This causes a water splash and accompanying sound effect to occur when Mega Man enters the water-filled boss room. This was restored to its original Japanese state in the European revision 1 ROM.


Unlike in the Japanese version, bringing up the pause menu resets Mega Man's invincibility frames in the US version. The length of Mega Man's animation after coming out of the menu is also increased in the Japanese version if he was standing still in the firing pose before going into the pause menu.