The story of the single-player mode of the game takes place one year after the events of Mega Man 6. The player is not Mega Man, but rather Maestro, a "tournament robot" of customizable name and appearance that serves no purpose but to police the tournament. In fact, Mega Man even appears as an enemy in some stages.
After Mega Man defeated Dr. Wily for the sixth time, the real Mr. X was found and rescued. In celebration of his heroic efforts, Mr. X hosted the second annual robot master tournament with new rules and arenas. With permission from Dr. Light, each robot would have to be reprogrammed use the weapon swapping abilities of Mega Man to keep the competition fair.
During the final announcement of the second tournament, Mega Man and Dr. Light's television is interrupted by Dr. Wily. He states that the tournament is a great idea, and that he wishes to prove his genius by entering all his robots to prove once and for all that Dr. Wily is superior to Dr. Light. With no leads on where Dr. Wily could be hiding, or what he could be plotting, Dr. Light decides to enter Mega Man and his other creations to the tournament to ensure Dr. Wily doesn't have anything hidden up his sleeves.
The Tournament Begins
At the end of the first round, Cut Man and Oil Man remind Maestro to look out for Dr. Wily. As soon as they leave, a hidden figure speaks to Maestro, offering to unlock his/her true potential and give him/her anything he/she desires. When Maestro refuses, the figure drops Maestro down a hidden pit, where the Yellow Devil attacks.
Guts Man's Disappearance
Returning to the lab, Maestro is informed by Dr. Light that Guts Man disappeared before the Oil Man arena match and is asked to find him before entering the second round of the tournament. At the end of the last match of the round, Maestro finds a passageway behind a wall destroyed by Crash Man during an argument, and finds Guts Man within. During their escape, they are ambushed by the Guts Tank, only to be saved by Bomb Man and Elec Man, who realized something was going on when Maestro hadn't returned from the tournament.
Dr. Wily's Plan
Back home, Dr. Light suspects that Dr. Wily might be plotting something far greater than winning the tournament, instructing Maestro that the next time he/she sets foot in a arena set in a Wily Castle, he/she should investigate the area after the match. At the end of the third round, Maestro spies on Spark Man rerouting one of the teleporters in the third castle, and follows him to the lower laboratories, where he/she once again finds the hidden figure, who is revealed to be Dr. Wily recovering his old plans for Gamma from the master computer. When Shadow Man alerts Dr. Wily to Maestro's presence, Wily tells him/her that he's no longer going to try persuading him/her to join his side. Maestro tries to go after Dr. Wily, only to be ambushed by the Doc Robots.
The Fate of Dr. Cossack
Now that Wily's true plans of world domination have been discovered, Dr. Light decides he needs the help of Dr. Cossack's robots to capture him. However, Ice Man informs him that they already talked to the Cossack robots between matches, only to learn that they are under Dr. Wily's service now, and don't know where he is. Dr. Light, now worried about Dr. Cossack, asks Maestro to look for him at Dr. Cossack's Citadel.
After the final match of round four of the tournament, Maestro is informed by Ring Man and Drill Man that Dr. Cossack is nowhere to be found. Ring Man elaborates that despite having his name cleared by Dr. Light, Dr. Cossack was forced to permanently work for the Russian government as punishment for the damages done by his robots, leaving his robots behind to work for Wily again. Suddenly, an army of robots arrives and announces that Dr. Wily has ordered Maestro to be destroyed. Drill Man and Ring Man attack Maestro, sending him/her down to a trash compactor where, after a battle against the Cossack Catcher and the Metall Daddy, he/she recovers a mysterious data disc.
Proto Man's Appearance
Maestro hands the disc over to Dr. Light, who analyzes it and discovers an email from Dr. Wily under a pseudonym. The email gives away Wily's hideout in New Metropolis, so Mega Man drops out of the tournament to go capture him and bring him to justice, while Maestro continues participating.
Following the conclusion of the fifth round, Maestro nearly gets shot by a mysterious robot. Tracking it down to its quarters, the robot appears to be Proto Man, who at first assumes Maestro to be Mega Man and declares his intent to destroy him/her in the name of Dr. Wily. Upon realizing he wasn't confronting Mega Man, the robot sheds his disguise, revealing himself as Dark Man 4. After a while of battling, Dark Man 4 summons the other Dark Man robots in a simultaneous attack, only for the real Proto Man to intervene and team up with Maestro to destroy them. After the battle, Proto Man declares the tournament to be a sham and predicts that whatever Dr. Wily's planning will soon be revealed. Before leaving, he tells Maestro they will meet again.
The Return of Gamma
Returning to the lab once again, Maestro finds Dr. Light and his robots watching a news report confirming that Mega Man has captured Dr. Wily and sent him to jail. Dr. Light assures Maestro that they don't have to worry about Wily anymore for the rest of the tournament.
After winning the finals, Mr. X holds a ceremony declaring Maestro the champion of the tournament. However, the ceremony is interrupted by Dr. Wily, who is mysteriously free from jail. Wily announces that the robots who entered the tournament will be joining his army, revealing that he has already reprogrammed Guts Man (who captures Mega Man and threatens to crush him in order to persuade the other robots to obey) during the period he was captured. Left with no choice, the remaining Light robots and the robots of the first tournament allow themselves to be reprogrammed, while Dr. Wily tells Dr. Light he will be arriving soon with the last project they worked on together. When Dr. Wily attempts to reprogram Maestro, however, Mega Man copies Guts Man's Super Arm and throws him at Dr. Wily's reprogramming device, destroying it. Dr. Wily reveals the rest of his army has arrived, and declares that the new era of robots will begin with the destruction of Mr. X's building. Dr. Light announces they must retreat to the lab for repairs and planning against the army, but Maestro is determined to stop Dr. Wily, with Mega Man encouraging him/her.
Maestro journeys through Mr. X's building, re-battling the Robot Masters up to Mega Man 6 (including Time and Oil Man), before the restored Gamma arrives and destroys it. With the eventual help of Proto Man, Maestro destroys Gamma. Before Wily is captured again, however, he is rescued by Bass and Treble, with Bass reluctantly sparing Maestro due to the latter being in no condition to battle. In the aftermath of the battle, the robots are recovered and sent to Dr. Light's lab for repairs, and Mr. X is determined not to let Maestro be forgotten by the world for his/her heroics.
Dr. Wily continues attempting to conquer the world in a series of bonus chapters, based on the events of Mega Man 7 and 8. After fighting off Bass and engaging in a brief duel with Duo, Maestro is in the middle of fighting 8's Robot Masters within Wily Tower when Trio (the Evil Robot) breaks in, catching the attention of the robots. Maestro watches in the background as the Robot Masters argue with Trio and eventually attempt to battle him, resulting in the latter snatching their powers and flying off into space. Maestro finds Duo behind a structure, and bravely agrees to go after Trio alone in outer space, taking along Duo's Energy Fist. After a difficult fight, Maestro defeats Trio and returns to Earth.
A scene shows Dr. Wily fuming about Trio turning on him in his laboratory. He the reveals that he managed to salvage the Evil Energy from him, and as he prepares to research it, he declares that in the meantime, a King that robots will look up to will appear.
Dr. Light's robots and other forces searched the Wily Tower that Trio broke into, but could not find a trace of the evil doctor anywhere. A year later, Dr. Light sees a news report reporting a new controversial law being brought into place in which robots would be assigned arbitrary expiration dates; however, the transmission is suddenly hijacked by King, asking robots to join his army and fight for their freedom. Dr. Light at first tells Mega Man that King's heart is in the right place, but that something is off, and sends him to ensure no hostilities take place. Elsewhere, Bass hears of King, and sets off to fight his forces, claiming that he hasn't had any action in a while.
Dr. Light sends Maestro out to fight King's forces alongside Mega Man and Bass. Eventually, they fight their way to King's Palace, but Mega Man and Bass both end up being incapacitated, leaving Maestro to face King alone. Maestro defeats King, who then realizes the former's courage and strength to defend humankind. He attempts to stop the war that he started, but then the Genesis Unit suddenly smashes through the window into the room, incapacitating both King and Maestro. Buster Rod G insults King, stating that "what dumb king bows before his subjects", and that Mega Water S reveals that the war needs to go on for their master, and that they would take over since he would feel that King was not up to it. Hyper Storm H proceeds to throw King out the window to his (presumed) death, before they all leave.
Dr. Light sends Cut Man and the other Light Numbers to recover Maestro, Mega Man, and Bass. Maestro then sets off to continue fighting Wily's robots along with the Light Numbers whilst repairs are made on Mega Man and Bass. After fighting Wily's army, as well as defeating each of the Genesis Unit one by one, Maestro reaches Wily Tower, where Dr. Wily reveals that Trio was in his lab, and that he had some "fun things" planned had it not have broken out. He also explains that he still has samples of the Evil Energy and that it's stored in another castle, and that Maestro would not live to see the plan in action and join King in the scrap heap. He sends the Genesis Unit united to fight Maestro, but they end up defeated. He then tricks Maestro into picking up an explosive grenade in the shape of a score ball item from the first Mega Man game, and appears before them in a battle suit. However, Maestro uses their Mega Buster to destroy Wily's suit with one hit, prompting them to chase Wily out of the exploding tower and through a field. Wily eventually trips up, but is then rescued by his saucer, which then flies off.
Several weeks later, it is revealed that King had survived, and is seen conversing with Dr. Light, trusting him with money to repair damage from his war, and that he declines the offer to become allies with Light and that he would carve his own path.
Eventually, the Robot Masters from Mega Man 9 are due to be scrapped, but they suddenly rebel against the law. Dr. Light summons Maestro to stop them and return them to his laboratory, where it was discovered that Dr. Wily had tampered with them. Dr. Light locates Wily's base and sends Maestro, Tornado Man, and Splash Woman to infiltrate it. Maestro eventually catches Dr. Wily on his downtime, but Wily realizes that Maestro is unaware of a bigger crisis in progress at New Metropolis. Maestro is shown a live news cast reporting that robots are malfunctioning and attacking everything in sight, with Proto Man being among those affected. Since Dr. Wily can't go to jail with the city under attack, Maestro has no choice but to side with Wily, and heads into New Metropolis, where they are attacked by police robots.
Maestro eventually tracks down Proto Man and battles him. After being incapacitated, Proto Man tells Maestro to finish him off before it's too late. Mega Man appears and asks what was going on, when the Mega Mech Shark flies over their heads. Proto Man reveals that the robot is spreading a virus before fainting. At this point, Mega Man and Maestro split up to carry out separate tasks — one of them goes out to destroy the Mega Mech Shark, while the other escorts Proto Man back to Dr. Light's lab to cure him.
If Mega Man and Rush go to defeat the shark robot, leaving Maestro to protect Proto Man, Auto (through the game's dialogue states him as "???") appears to him, and decides to help him carry Proto Man with his car. But soon they are chased by the police robots, and after an lengthy chase, and after Maestro defeats one of the robots: Fake Man, Maestro and Auto are soon cornered by the robots, but suddenly, they soon receive an emergency call that makes them leave and let Maestro and Auto escape, though Auto wonders what happened to New Metropolis, and if Mega Man has already defeated the shark robot yet.
If Mega Man decides to get Proto Man to Dr. Light's lab by teleportation (but not before sneezing, hinting that he has somehow getting infected too), leaving Maestro and Rush to defeat the shark robot, they together fly to the robot, and after an lengthy battle to destroy each parts of the robot's body, they are able to defeat the robot. But, to their horror, they hopeless watch as the robot's remains fall to the city, and the virus spreads very fast as before, and they soon escape the city before they get infected too, leaving the city's robots get infected and breaking havoc.
Either scenario, the shark is eventually destroyed (by Mega Man, or Maestro), but the virus continues to spread. Dr. Wily, watching it all unfold on the news, gloats that his plans are working, and that Maestro and their friends will soon become mindless killing machines. Elsewhere, Dr. Cossack and Ring Man have reunited, with Ring Man confirming that the virus has been engineered through Evil Energy. Dr. Cossack orders Ring Man to return with his fellow robots before resuming his work repairing a certain robot while discussing the Roboenza epidemic with another figure, theorizing that it might bring an end to both robots and humans, and that Duo may be the key to stopping it.
Back at the lab, Dr. Light is busy in the basement, for Mega Man and Proto Man are both infected, and every attempt to cure them causes the virus to adapt. Meanwhile, Galaxy Man detects a space-time anomaly near the lab and asks Maestro to investigate. It is discovered that the source of the anomaly is Quint, who claims he's supposed to be the hero, but the timeline is all wrong, and Maestro must be erased in order to fix it. After a lengthy battle across time, Quint is eventually destroyed by Maestro, with is shattered helmet being placed in Dr. Light's lab as a trophy in a room (which is connected to the room where the infected Mega Man and Proto Man are).
Long after the events of the game, after Maestro's expiration date has passed, he/she is refitted with gold compartments due to his/her heroic efforts and displayed in the Robot Master Museum for centuries to come, with new heroes looking back at the past to remember the heroic tournament robot's efforts.
The gameplay is similar to classic Doom deathmatch modes, particularly to that of Zandronum. Weapons are found in the various levels, but each level contains a different set. There are over 50 levels, which consist of 8-bit textures & sprites based on past Robot Master's stages. Actions taken place will behave exactly the same as they do in the classic Mega Man games, but in a 3D perspective (with some minor exceptions). The player may opt to play as Mega Man, Roll, Proto Man, Bass, Duo, Bad Box Art Mega Man, the Mega Man Killers, the Genesis Unit and any Robot Master from the first nine Mega Man titles (including Powered Up and Mega Man & Bass). Players may also download custom skins and apply them to emulate playing as certain characters. Differences regarding abilities and weaknesses are not added, meaning all players are balanced in terms of skill and do not use their respective weaponry except the common Buster unless they pick up a new weapon on the battlefield.
In Version 4, in the chapter based off of Mega Man & Bass, the player teams up with Mega Man and Bass to fight against King's army in several team-based deathmatches as opposed to the usual free-for-all deathmatch format. Likewise, in the following chapter based off of Wily Tower from Mega Man: The Wily Wars, the player is teamed up with two of the Light Numbers per match against several of Wily's robots.
This is the trailer of Mega Man 8-bit Deathmatch, showing off more levels, gameplay, modes of play, singleplayer bosses and more.
Mega Man 8-bit Deathmatch was released on October 8, 2010. Available for download here.
- Nearly every stage features a Yashichi hidden somewhere, usually in a tiny hidden alcove or in an out-of-reach location. The Yashichi is purely for aesthetic purposes and does nothing; if the player uses cheats or other methods to reach the Yashichi, it cannot be picked up.