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Artwork from Mega Man 9.
|1994 animated series info|
Roll is a major character of the Classic era. She is a female housekeeping robot and one of Dr. Light's first creations, being built alongside Rock, who was upgraded into Mega Man. Regarded as Mega Man's "sister", she appears in a supporting role especially in later Classic era games, though she has less presence in the early series and sometimes does not appear at all.
Roll usually has the appearance of a young girl, with blonde hair, a ponytail, and a red dress. However, details of her outfit and general appearance change throughout the games, notably adding a green hair ribbon and more elaborate dress designs in later games. Rarely, she is also shown with a somewhat older appearance and entirely different outfits, especially when appearing in non-Mega Man games and in the 1994 animated series.
In the Games
Roll debuts in the original Mega Man, where according to the game's backstory she was built alongside Rock as an assistant to Dr. Light. When Dr. Wily steals Dr. Light's other robots and he upgrades Rock into Mega Man, Roll receives no such upgrades and remains at the lab with him. As such, she does not appear for most of the game, being seen for the first time alongside Dr. Light in the ending.
Mega Man 3
In Mega Man 3, despite the inside of Dr. Light's lab being shown in a cutscene, Roll does not appear and is not mentioned by the manual. She does however show up on an info card in the ending, alongside Dr. Light's other humanoid robots introduced up to that point.
In a promotional image associated with the game (later digitised for Mega Man: The Wily Wars, Roll appears in a group shot sitting on Guts Man's shoulder. She is shown with her green hair ribbon here, though it did not yet appear in the games or earlier artwork.
Mega Man 4
Similarly to the first game, Roll is once again relegated to an ending appearance in Mega Man 4, waiting for Mega Man along with Rush as he returns by train from Siberia. Her sprite here is similar to the first game's, but with slightly more refined spritework and more saturated colours. It would be her final in-game appearance in an NES game, with later games largely omitting her until Mega Man 7.
Mega Man 7
Roll reappears in Mega Man 7 with a slightly updated appearance, sporting her green hair ribbon in her in-game sprite for the first time. She accompanies Mega Man and Auto in Auto's Half-Track as they check on the chaos wrecked by Dr. Wily's robots in the Opening stage. However, when the state of the road becomes too bad to continue, she stays behind with Auto while Mega Man continues on foot. In the NA and PAL versions of the game, she does not reappear after this point until the ending, where she celebrates Mega Man's victory over Dr. Wily along with Mega Man's other allies at Dr. Light's lab.
In the Japanese version, Roll plays a more significant role, sometimes appearing instead of Dr. Light when Mega Man returns to the lab after defeating one of the game's Robot Masters. Just like Dr. Light, she has a short conversation with Mega Man to help him understand how his newly acquired weapon works. In international releases, only Dr. Light appears at the lab, and none of Roll's dialogue has been translated, reducing her presence greatly.
Mega Man 8
In Mega Man 8, Roll's design is updated yet again, adding white details and black buttons to the upper part of her dress, as well as black sleeves, and she also appears taller. She operates the Shop at Dr. Light's lab, welcoming Mega Man whenever he returns there and selling him parts in exchange for Bolts.
Mega Man Battle & Chase
Roll appears as a selectable racer in Mega Man Battle & Chase, wearing a red racing outfit and driving the Pop 'N Beat, a racecar fashioned after the robot bird Beat. Her car has a maximum speed of 488, but slows down to 440 when in first place, making her better at catching up than remaining in the lead. She also does not slow down on dirt.
Her abilities include Jump, which makes the Pop 'N Beat jump into the air and avoid track features, and the Spin Attack, a spinning jump that can destroy obstacles or knock other racers away.
Mega Man & Bass
In Mega Man & Bass, if Mega Man or Bass has purchased a Transceiver (or "Com System") from Auto, he can call Roll on the phone during the stages. By default, Roll provides specific advice for each stage, usually explaining a gimmick inside the stage. However, upgrading the Transceiver with the E. Analyze item also allows her to provide information about the boss's weakness, while the CD Counter upgrade lets her detect and reveal the specific number of data CDs still remaining in the stage (though not their locations). When purchasing the Transceiver, Auto will urge the player character to avoid "marathon phone conversations" no matter which character has been selected, implying that both Mega Man and Bass enjoy talking to Roll.
In addition to giving advice, Roll appears as the icon for the CD Data Base, which is referred to as "Roll's CD collection" in the game's manual. According to the manual section, Roll maintained the collection until King stole the CDs from her, though she oddly does not appear on the Data Base interface screen, which shows Dr. Light talking to the player character instead.
In the game's ending, Roll once again welcomes Mega Man back home, who is downcast because he believes he could not save King during their battle earlier in the game. Roll however shows him a letter from King and reads it together with her brother, finding out that King survived and is ready to change his ways.
1994 animated series
In the 1994 animated series, Roll appears as one of the show's main characters. Unlike the games, she takes a much more active and central role, often fighting Dr. Wily's robots alongside Mega Man or by herself. She has an older appearance and wears a sort of battle suit similar to Mega Man's, with a vacuum cleaner-like tool as her weapon of choice instead of a buster, referencing her duties as a housekeeping robot.
Mega Man 3 info card
In Mega Man 3, all humanoid robots known to have been created by Dr. Light at the time are shown on info cards in the game's ending.
Mega Man & Bass CD
- Early plans for the original Mega Man would have seen Roll as a central character, being kidnapped by Dr. Wily and converted into a giant robot to act as the final boss. None of these concepts were ever realised, however.
- Mega Man & Bass English Instruction Booklet
- Think About Your Troubles | The Reploid Research Lavatory, covering information from the Rockman Character Collection booklet.