The world depicted in The Protomen appears bright and gleaming on the surface, but in reality is an absolute hell. While we don't see the setting beyond the unnamed City, it is implied that by the time of Protoman and his brother Mega Man, Dr. Wily had extended his reach much farther. Before the world fell under darkness, however, the City was but a small mining town. One day, one of the many workers died in an accident, leaving his wife and son alone in the world. The boy's name was Thomas Light.
This moved him into pursuing the study of robotics, in order to replace human workers for more dangerous and taxing tasks. In his research, Dr. Light teamed up with a colleague named Dr. Albert Wily. Wily had put his full support into working together with Light in order to develop what they called the Geological Unmanned Terraforming System, a robot designed to replace human workers in the mines. However, Wily had ulterior motives. As he stated to Light, "if you replace the working parts, you get a different machine".
He began altering their designs, giving them a more modular form of construction--a generic chassis that when, fitted with different parts, could be a construction drone, a firefighting machine, a street cleaner, a house servant, anything you could possibly imagine. It soon went further, as he won control of the city's law enforcement this way. He murdered Light's lover, Emily Stanton, using one of their prototypes called only the Sniper, framing Light for it in the process.
He proceeded in a massive smear campaign against Light with the ensuing media storm, erecting a massive telescreen in the center of the city with which to broadcast his message. Light was found several days later at Emily's funeral, being the only one who attended. Light was brought in and tried, being found innocent due to a lack of evidence.
However, the people were out for blood. Light's exoneration had convinced them of what Wily had been telling them all along and what they had been murmuring to themselves, that the current system was corrupt and would simply let "monsters" like Light free. Wily had gladly allowed hearsay to run rampant during his smear campaign, letting the mob be ruled by its own fears about the situation. As Wily had said, "When I say he was a monster, when I set fire to his name, it does not matter where you hear it from, whether truth or lies, it gets said all the same. Whatever's on the table plays!"
Light managed to escape the lynch mob, leaving the City on the last train out. Wily wrested away control of the City, building himself up in a massive tower in the heart of the city, with the telescreen atop it. 18 years passed, and the City was transformed from a small town to a glittering megalopis of the future. The children did not remember the old days of toil and anguish, but the parents did. They felt it was unnecessary to tell their children of how the world around them used to be. They were afraid that if they acted ungrateful in any way, this could all be pulled out from under them and they would be back to how things used to be. They were kept in line by this, as well as by whispers of what was called "Light's Monster"--a lone machine that killed dissidents. This robot was, in fact, the Sniper robot who was used to murder Emily.
Some children, however, grew up detesting the shackles of the city. One was named Joe. He finally made a resolution one night to leave the City, for better or for worse. At the outskirts of the City, Joe stopped, realizing he had been watched the entire time. Dr. Light stepped out from the shadows, now a gray old man. He motioned for Joe to look behind him, as the red eye of the Sniper stared from the shadows. had been running to pace with a motorcycle at top speed for an hour, and yet wasn't fatigued at all. Joe made a stand, managing to down the Sniper. Light finished it himself, as an act of both revenge and penance.
Joe and Light began formulating a plan to take out the transmitter and release Wily's hold on the city. Joe would take a bag of explosives to the top of the tower, and in the confusion Light would enter the city undetected and kill Wily. With the omnipresent broadcasts silenced, the people could then take control, or so the plan would go.
The plan itself worked. Joe managed to destroy the transmitter, although he himself was killed in the process, knocked away by the shockwave and sent falling to the streets below. Screens across the city blew out in a blaze. However, to Light's horror, a light blinked on in the distance. There was a backup transmitter. The screens that remained intact began broadcasting once more, including the central screen atop Wily's tower. Wily announced that there had been a terrorist attack, but urged everyone to remain calm. The state had control. To Light's horror, at that moment, thousands of uniform green robots, all with the same red eye and blast shield visor, marched out in step. It was an army of sniper units. Wily had been waiting for this, and in fact counting on it. He had an excuse to declare martial law and take complete control over the city.
Light, in desperation, placed himself in front of the oncoming army, deciding to be trampled underneath them. He knew that there was nothing to be done. The last hero of man was dead. It was at that point, however, that he finally read a letter that Emily had left for him years before. It brought him to the conclusion that the City needed him. He stole away to the edge of the city, saying, "Joe, when you see Emily, tell her to wait for me, 'cause I've still got work to do." The construction of Protoman had begun.
Twelve years passed. The City had become darker than ever, with martial law still in effect, though it was still, on the surface, a shining megacity. Telescreens and loudspeakers broadcast his message constantly, as before. The people, however, had become even more dissociated from typical human nature. Still ruled by fear, they had become a people who refused to make a stand, who refused to fight for themselves. Light, however, understood none of this, believing they only needed someone to lead the way.
So, on a cold night in the year 200X, Protoman was finally completed. "A perfect man, an unbeatable machine. Hell-bent on destroying every evil standing between man and freedom. Built for one purpose, to destroy Wily's army of evil robots. Ready, willing, prepared to fight." He stormed Wily's fortress, tearing through the robots with ease, dealing death without remorse. However, he was only one machine. He knew on some level that he couldn't continue this forever, the crowd certainly knew as well. Protoman was heavily damaged and low on power. Wily's six leaders for the field, the Robot Masters Bombman, Fireman, Iceman, Cutman, Gutsman, and Elecman, had their orders.
The death of Protoman.
The crowd simply stood by and watched in terror, not making a move despite having previously cheered him on and calling him their hero. They did nothing to help him, only watching him die. The people dispersed after this, enshrining his helmet--all that was left of him. The people went back to their everyday lives. Light, in his anger and sorrow at realizing he had sent a man--his own son--to die, attempted to mangle his hands and destroy his workshop in order to ruin his means of creation and never repeat his prior mistakes. However, in a frenzy, he found himself building once more. He was creating something in the form of his grief, the form of his son. Mega Man was born.
Behind the scenes, Wily had repaired Protoman. Protoman had joined Wily of his own volition after what had happened, believing that mankind didn't deserve freedom unless it was willing to make a stand for itself.
Years passed, and Light finally explained to Mega Man what had happened to Protoman. Mega Man, in righteous fury, left Light and stormed towards the fortress in a repetition of what had occurred once before, again forming a crowd of people behind him. Mega Man acted as Protoman once had, destroying the foes thrown at him without mercy. Protoman finally showed himself, talking down to the crowd and goading them to do something, anything. He wanted them to make a move, to prove him wrong. He wore Mega Man down, getting him to admit that he knows mankind will never fight. The crowd shouted for him to kill Protoman, again showing their nature as a group who would rather make a hero fight for them than make any kind of stand.
Protoman is...intense, to say the least. He will always stand his ground on a subject, and is always willing to fight for something he believes in. He has very negative views on humans due to his experience, but that is likely to change in due course here. Despite everything that has happened, Protoman still has the heart of a hero, and was ultimately acting in the interest of the people by working for Wily. He felt that if he could get them angry enough at his betrayal, they might finally act. He's something of a natural cynic from everything that has happened to him, but beyond all of this he still yearns for the ideal of a free world. In short, much like Joe, he has a heavy mix of anger and sympathy towards the people of the City.
He's got a great deal of courage. He's never afraid to fight, and will always rise to a challenge placed in front of him. If someone's having trouble and can't handle it alone, he'll offer his help. He's slow to trust people--particularly humans--after all that's happened, but if they can give him a reason, he'll be willing to try to get to know them. He has a strong sense of justice, though he likely won't admit it. He's also a very strong fatalist after all that has happened to him, but he desperately wants his philosophy to be proven wrong. Up until this point, his view of the world has only been reinforced.
All of the above, however, only matters when there's a serious problem to deal with, and he's not always some "tortured robotic anti-hero". When combat/struggles of any kind aren't a factor, he's fairly relaxed, and will often be seen walking the streets of Sacrosanct whistling and playing a guitar. He's relatively carefree if there's no harm being done to someone. Even if there is, if he believes they can handle it themselves, he'll generally let it pass. He's a decent motorcyclist, having cultivated the skill during darker points in his existence for patrols.
He has little patience for the trappings of human life, and while he'll view leisure activities and creature comforts with some interest, he won't waste much time on them. He's always interested in exploring new things and places, something he had very little chance to do in the City, with its uniformity of thought, huddled masses, and sterile aesthetic. As a result, the variety of cultures and beings aboard Sacrosanct, and the world below, will be a constant source of fascination for him. Despite his intensity in battle or when it's time to get serious, Protoman can appear somewhat flighty at times due to his usually carefree nature. He cultivates this image, in an effort to catch people off guard when it's time to fight.
He makes no effort to forget all that happened in the City--it happened, nothing can change it, and for better or worse those years made him into who he is--but all the same, he prefers to not dwell on it, because as far as he can tell, none of it matters here. Sacrosanct is his chance to move past all of that and live a more relaxed existence, despite how its resemblance to the City--with a very literal cage in place of the metaphorical one provided by the City--continues to unnerve him.
Protoman has more of a heart than he is willing to admit. His years in the City and under Wily's command may have twisted him, and he may have done things he wasn't proud of, but it was all in the name of encouraging the people to stand for themselves. Humans in the City showed him time and time again that they couldn't be saved and were complete wastes, and left him with a very negative opinion of the species as a whole. His misanthropy is going to take quite some time to beat, and possibly never will go away, so his take on humans is very much working on a stringent case-by-case basis.
It's not hard to gain Protoman's trust, you simply have to be willing to work for it. He's more like a human than he's comfortable with, which has him willing to believe that there may be worthwhile humans. Meanwhile, robotic/non-human characters, which he can more comfortably empathize with, won't have much trouble at all getting on his good side. He cultivates the image of a cynic, and has shades of cynicism throughout his character, but he ultimately tends to assume people have no ulterior motives--that is, non-human people. If you prove his impression of you wrong in a very big way, or just start causing trouble for someone who can't defend themselves, he's not going to let that slide.
Abilities: Enhanced physical attributes(strength, speed, endurance, senses, reflexes). He's a strong fighter, comfortable with both melee and ranged combat, as shown during his fights at the beginning and end of the album. No pain: He's a robot. Pain isn't exactly something he'd have to concern himself with. Weaknesses: Standard electronic weaknesses. An electromagnetic pulse could throw him offline for quite some time, and prolonged exposure to large quantities of water may render him inoperable until his circuits dry out. Compulsion: He wears his shades. Always. Even behind his helmet. Misanthropy: He does not like humans. A human could earn his trust without much difficulty if they really tried, though.'
'Recklessness: He's already died twice, and it's not as though repairs aren't an option. As a result, he doesn't have much regard for his own well-being.'