Mega Man 5: Proto Man’s Trap!? (stylized as Mega Man V on title screen) is an action-platform video game developed by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the fifth game in the original Mega Man series and was released in Japan on December 4, 1992. It saw a release during the same month in North America and in 1993 in Europe.
Taking place after the events of Mega Man 4, Mega Man’s brother and ally Proto Man leads a group of menacing robots in attacks on the world and kidnaps his creator Dr. Light, forcing Mega Man to fight against his brother. Mega Man 5 carries over the same graphical style and action-platforming gameplay as the four preceding chapters in the series. The game introduces a new character, Beat, a robotic bird that the player can use as a weapon once a series of eight collectible letters are found. Artist Keiji Inafune had to re-illustrate the bosses several times but described his work as fun.
Mega Man 5 was met with a positive critical reception for its graphics and music, while receiving criticism for its lack of innovation in its plot or gameplay. Like other NES games in the series, Mega Man 5 has been re-released in Japan on the PlayStation, PlayStation Network, and mobile phones; in North America as part of the Mega Man Anniversary Collection; and in both regions on the Wii Virtual Console. It has also been released in North America, Europe, and Japan on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console.
Mega Man 5 is an action-platform game that is very similar to previous titles in the series. Gameplay revolves around the player using the central character Mega Man to run, jump, and shoot his way through a set of stages. If the player takes damage, Mega Man’s life meter can be refilled by picking up energy capsules scattered about each level or from fallen enemies. Mega Man’s default Mega Buster arm cannon can be fired an unlimited number of times. The Mega Buster’s charge feature, introduced in Mega Man 4, has been upgraded to allow its powerful, charged shots to encompass a slightly wider area. Each stage ends with a boss battle with a Robot Master; destroying that Robot Master lets the player copy its special “Master Weapon”, which can be toggled and used throughout the remainder of the game. Unlike the Mega Buster, Master Weapons require weapon energy to use and must be replenished if it is depleted in the same selected stage. Other power-ups including extra lives, “Energy Tanks”, and a new “Mystery Tank”, which fully refills health and all item power, can be picked up as well.
After completing certain stages, the player can call on Mega Man’s faithful dog Rush to reach higher platforms or cross large gaps using his “Coil” and “Jet” transformations. These abilities require refills with the same weapon energy that Master Weapons use. Some of the level designs in Mega Man 5 are different from earlier games in the series. For example, in Gravity Man’s stage, the gravitation is reversed from the floor to the ceiling, while in Wave Man’s stage, the player drives a water craft from the halfway point to the boss room. Hidden within each of the eight Robot Master stages is a collectible circuit board. Gathering all eight of these boards (spelling “M-E-G-A-M-A-N-V” in English versions or “R-O-C-K-M-A-N-5” in the Japanese version) gives the player access to a robot-bird friend by the name of Beat. The player can then call on Beat to attack any onscreen enemies.