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Mega Man 3 (NES)

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Title Screen

Mega Man 3

Also known as: Rockman 3: Dr. Wily no Saigo!? (JP), Mega Man III (US)
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.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article
DCIcon.png This game has a Data Crystal page

To do:
Properly document the localization prototype. Also, bugs, like unlocking Rush Jet and Rush Marine out of sequence.

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.


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info

Debug Commands

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.

RAM address 0x0098 has some debug features associated with it. Setting bit 1 will force enable the super jump code above by setting the right D-pad input bit in RAM address 0x0017, which holds the buttons that are currently held down on controller 2. Setting bit 0 would have enabled infinite energy for Mega Man and his weapons, however the subroutine that would have done this is not called in the release versions of the game. This subroutine is located at ROM address 0x03CCF5

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. Interestingly, when the game 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.

MegaMan3 UnusedSearchSnake1.png
An unused sprite for the Search Snake, which appears to depict it turning downwards over a ledge.

MegaMan3 UnusedRushMarineSprite1.png
Sprites for Rush's head ducking down slightly. These sprites were later used in Mega Man 4.

MegaMan3 UnusedRushMarineSprites.png
Sprites for shooting whilst using Rush Marine. Though the Rush Marine can indeed shoot in the final version, its animation doesn't change. These sprites were later used in Mega Man 4.

MegaMan3 UnusedRushMarineSprite2.png
An unused bubble sprite for Rush Marine.

Proto Man / Break Man

MegaMan3 UnusedProtoManSprites1.png
Sprites for Proto Man and Break Man's idle animation. The only time an idle sprite for Proto Man is used is during the brief cutscene in Gemini Man's stage, but it isn't animated in that instance. Break Man never uses this animation in-game. Proto Man's idle sprites from Mega Man 4 onwards would have his scarf animated as intended.

MegaMan3 UnusedProtoManSprites2.png
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.

Raw Animated
MegaMan3 UnusedProtoManSprites3.png MegaMan3ProtoTransform.gif

Sprites for Proto Man (un?)equipping his Break Man mask. On the right is a mockup of how the animation might play out in game.

MegaMan3 UnusedProtoManSprites4.png
A sprite that's supposed to be used for Break Man's midair shooting animation, but goes unused due to an error:
MegaMan3 UnusedProtoManSpriteError.png
As this image shows, not only did they accidentally use Proto Man's graphics for the top half of the sprite, but they used a completely different sprite in place of the eye, a sprite which otherwise would have gone unused instead:
MegaMan3 UnusedProtoManSprites5.png

Needle Man

MegaMan3 UnusedNeedleManTiles.png
Two unused tiles for Needle Man's stage.

Magnet Man

Magnet Missile

Maybe Magnet Man wouldn't have gone berserk if he didn't have a MAGNET stuck to his HEAD.
Just like with Mega Man, Magnet Man also has an unused turning sprite for his Magnet Missiles.

Unused Tiles

Being evil doesn't mean you can ignore safety violations, Wily.
A number of unused tiles for Magnet Man's stage, including an electric current, broken platforms, and some little smiley faces.

Consider the Right&Wily alliance officially broken up.
While never constructed in the ROM's data, here's a mockup of what some of the broken platforms might have looked like in context. The wire ones in particular needed minor color corrections to fit with the stage's background palette, implying that the background itself might have looked slightly different at one point.

There's a method to the madness...
And another reconstruction of how the other metatiles could've been used, compared to their in-game counterparts above. It seems most of these background tiles would have been used for added variation (with exception of the third, which outright completes a tile that seems to be missing a corner). While it is unknown what the remaining striped metatiles were used for, they could have been prototypes for the rings on the stage's mechanical purple cylinders.

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.

Gemini Man

Ooh, pretty
This giant Saturn-esque planet is supposed to appear at the beginning of Gemini Man's stage. Despite taking up a large chunk of CHR ROM and boasting a unique animation 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 starfield background from the first screen, preventing the planet from ever 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)

Hard Man

MegaMan3 UnusedHardManTiles1.png
With countless tiles that make up the grounds, walls and ceilings of Hard Man's stage, there were bound to be some casualties.

MegaMan3 UnusedHardManTiles2.png
These unused tiles appear to be for the mountains in the exterior sections of the stage.

And near the bottom of the tileset is this piece, which fits the most closely with the metal girders found in the foreground.

Top Man

MegaMan3 UnusedTopManTiles.png

Two unused background tiles for a different spike graphic and a background detail that may have been used for pits or even in conjunction with this spike. Despite never being used in the stage, the spike's metatile is perfectly functional.

Early Background Metatiles

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

Prerelease screenshot.
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.

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.

Snake Man

Rising Shooting Sprite

MegaMan3 UnusedSnakeManSprite.png
Unused sprites for Snake Man shooting in midair whilst jumping upwards. He only ever shoots whilst falling, so this sprite is never used.

Search Snake

MegaMan3 UnusedSearchSnake2.png
Just like with Mega Man, Snake Man also has an unused turning sprite for his Search Snake.

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.

Tube Bottom

MegaMan3 UnusedSparkManTile1.png
It seems like the tubes seen near the end of Spark Man's stage were supposed to have a bottom piece, likely for tubes that would have come out of the ceiling.

Broken Mesh

MegaMan3 UnusedSparkManTile2.png
This tile would've been used for the background mesh seen in various parts of the Doc Robot version of this stage.

Junk Piles

MegaMan3 UnusedSparkManJunkTiles.png
Several tiles depicting broken robots and other miscellaneous machinery. There are a number of 32×32 metatiles that use these tiles, and 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.
My dignity!
This screenshot is a mockup of what the area might have looked like; the more compact-looking tiles on the right are actually the solid junk tiles used in the final game.


MegaMan3 UnusedSparkManSpikeTiles.png
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.

Wily 1

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

An early version of the Dr. Wily takeoff 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 Final
Whoa man, the moon My gosh. It's not very full of stars at all

This starry background with the moon was replaced with a simpler starfield 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 3

MegaMan3 UnusedWily3Tile.png
An unused background tile for Wily 3's boss room.

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.

Wily 5

MegaMan3 UnusedWilyMachineSprites.png
Unused sprites for the Wily Machine fight including an extra frame for his projectile, a hoop-looking thing, and what appears to be debris from when its spiky feet hit the ground.


MegaMan3 UnusedBikkySprite.png
An unused sprite for the Bikky enemy.

MegaMan3 UnusedBombFlierSprite.png
An unused sprite for the Bomb Flier enemy.

MegaMan3 UnusedCocoonSprite.png
Found near the graphics for the Have "Su" Bee and Chibee enemies is this little guy. Due to its appearance and its close proximity to these enemies, it's likely this was supposed to be the cocoon that the Chibee would have emerged out of. Perhaps the Have "Su" Bee was meant to drop these guys, and upon hitting the ground they would hatch into Chibee.

MegaMan3 UnusedJunkGolemDebrisSprite.png
An unused sprite that appears to be a piece of junk debris for the Junk Golem enemy. This would make sense, since the graphic used for Junk Golem's debris in the final game is the same one that's used for its leg.

MegaMan3 UnusedMechakkeroSprite.png
An unused sprite for the Mechakkero enemy that would've gone a long way towards making its jumping animation much smoother. A touched-up version of this sprite was later used in Mega Man: The Wily Wars

MegaMan3 UnusedCannonSprite.png
An unused cannon sprite located within the graphics for the Pickelman Bull enemy.

MegaMan3 UnusedPlatformSprite.png
An unused platform with a blinking animation. Due to its animation, as well as being located near the Bomber Pepe's graphics, it's possible that this was the original Gemini Blocker graphic.

MegaMan3 UnusedTamaPawSprite.png
An unused sprite for the Tama miniboss' paw, most likely for throwing its yarn balls which lacks an animation in the final game.


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.

Sorry Break Man, only Mega Man is allowed to have an animated mugshot!
Extra frames of animation exist for Break Man's Stage Select mugshot showing his scarf fluttering in the breeze. His scarf is static in the final game.

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.

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

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

Raw Animated
If you squint REALLY hard… (7 down, 3 right) Flappa-flappa-flap

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 on the horizon?

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Music/Sounds


1 minute and 12 seconds worth of this song plays during the ending. In addition, the song also loops. 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. The entire song is available in the Mega Man Legacy Collection Music Player, and a remixed version of the full track would later appear as Proto Man's ending theme in Mega Man: The Power Battle.

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, it instead repeats 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 it only changes the dialogue text and title logo, with everything else unchanged.

Title Screen

Japan International
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 are 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

Japan International
Rock Man III Mega Man III

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, as it was replaced with the Rockman-style logo for Rockman Mega World in Japan.

Room Change

Japan International
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. 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

Japan International
Fair play Where are you?

In the Japanese version, the Bolton and Nutton 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.

Revisional Differences

To do:
Show the title screen differences. The "III" was redrawn, and Mega Man's sprite was restored from the Japanese version.

Mega Man Anniversary Collection


Dr. Light's dialogue shortly before the Wily U.F.O. cutscene was reworded. Although the spelling of Wily's name was corrected, neither an exclamation point or period was included at the end of the sentence.

Original Mega Man Anniversary Collection
Oh no! Right after we received the last element... Wiley ran off with Gamma! My goodness!! As soon as I got the last energy from Mega Man, Wily... That Wily stole Gamma


During the ending sequence of the original game in all regions, Dr. Light was referred to as "Dr. Right", his Japanese name. This was changed in Anniversary Collection, where he is instead listed as "Dr. Light". Subsequent releases have not retained this change.