Mega Man (classic series)/General Gameplay/
The original 1987 release of Mega Man (NES) surprised the world of video-gamers with its strikingly non-linear gameplay. Instead of having its action progress from stage-to-stage (i.e. stage 1 to stage 2), players were given the ability to select the stages they wished to play. The original game gave players six Robot Masters to choose from (possibly because Rock and Roll were considered part of the first set of eight) though Mega Man 2 (NES, 1988) set the series standard with eight Robot Masters. The action itself is 2D platforming action, with Mega Man and friends (i.e. Bass) making their way through stages, collecting power-ups and items, and ultimately reaching the showdown with Robot Masters to collect their powers if victorious. Once defeated, they would proceed to the next set of stages. This formula has been used in all the games, though Mega Man 4 (NES, 1991) introduced more plot-twists into the story.