Mega Man II is an action platforming game released for the NES in 1989, retaining the basic gameplay of the first title which launched the franchise. Players challenge nine stages of 2D side-scrolling action in order to defeat eight new Robot Masters created by the evil Dr. Wily:
- Air Man
- Bubble Man
- Crash Man
- Flash Man
- Heat Man
- Metal Man
- Quick Man
- Wood Man
Mega Man will earn a special weapon based on the Robot Master's signature ability upon defeating him, which can then be used to target the weakness of another boss. So gameplay encourages players to find the optimal order in beating the Robot Masters.
While Mega Man II would eventually become the the most successful entry in the series at 1.5 million units sold worldwide, Capcom originally saw no immediate need to produce a sequel following unimpressive sales of the first title. According to series artist Keiji Inafune, Mega Man II basically had to be produced as a side project by the game's development team over a period of 3-4 months while members worked on other titles considered more essential business-wise.
Inafune would later remark that in spite of the obvious hardship of this schedule, his time on Mega Man II would be amongst some of his fondest memories of working at Capcom due to the whole team working toward a single goal of their own accord.
Mega Man II was the first title to accept fan submissions for the designs of the eight Robot Masters, tweaked slightly for the final game by Inafune when necessary.