However in his later years Mega Man could be found on PlayStation and perhaps more surprisingly during the 16 bit era he even had a one night stand with Sega. But how did Capcom's forgotten mascot fare on the Mega Drive?
Indeed in this list of the 100 greatest games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Capcom is the third most prolific developer, behind Konami and Nintendo themselves. Clearly, the marriage of Capcom games and Nintendo machines was commercially and critically very successful. So much so in fact, that Capcom Japan famously laughed at Joe Morici (head of marketing for Capcom America) when he suggest the developer should consider creating content for Sega Platforms. At the time, in 1989, the Mega Drive was hardly selling at all in Japan. Capcom simply didn't see why it was worth risking a fruitful business relationship with Nintendo. As a compromise Capcom Japan agreed that Sega could license a number of games including 'Ghouls and Ghosts' 'Forgotten Worlds' and 'Mega Twins' but no new or exclusive titles would be developed specifically for a Sega Machine. By 1993 though the popularity of the Sega Genesis in North America and the Mega Drive in Europe could not be ignored. Morici's pleas were finally heard and Capcom decided to dance with Sega.
The ‘Special Champion Edition' version of the game would be exclusive to the Mega Drive, which was quite a coup for Sega. However while this understandably got the gaming press excited, it was the promotional art for this event that really caught the attention of the gaming community. It featured Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog shaking hands with Capcom's Mega Man. Fans of the Blue Bomber were convinced that he was about to make his Sega debut, even though this wasn’t announced at the press conference.
But while the game grinds to a near halt when bosses like Mecha Dragon are on screen the reality is that anyone playing the 'The Wily wars' on a cart has to play every game slowly even when there's no enemies on screen at all. This is because every cartridge officially released was Pal format. Due to refresh rates, PAL games play almost a third slower than their NTSC counterparts, unless of course developers modify the game speed, something few did. Normally players aren't comparing the regions so no one notices. However, when you are used to the NES game play, and (more noticeably) the NES music, the slow refresh rate is very obvious. It doesn't ruin the game by any means; it just makes 'The Wily Wars' less frantic.