We Now Know How To Properly Pronounce Mega Man’s Worst Weapon

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Is the main character from Street Fighter Ree-you or Rye-you? Do you pronounce the water level from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Hydrocity (like velocity) or Hydro City? It may seem silly to non-gamers but these are the kind of details that fans of classic video games love to argue over. Thankfully, one classic gaming mystery has recently been solved: Mega Man’s worst weapon, Bubble Lead, is actually pronounced “Bubble Leed.”

The Bubble Lead Mystery

For anyone not familiar with the character, Mega Man (Rock Man in Japan) is a little blue robot whose job is to hunt down and destroy other evil robots. These evil robots are all themed—Fire Man, Air Man, Wood Man, etc.—and, when defeated, leave behind their signature weapon for Mega Man to add to his arsenal. Many of these weapons are extremely useful, such as the spinning saw blades Mega Man acquires after defeating Metal Man. Then there’s Bubble Lead…

It’s widely agreed that the best Mega Man game is Mega Man 2 (1988) for the NES. It’s the game that put the Blue Bomber on the map. Sadly, it also happens to feature Mega Man’s worst weapon, Bubble Lead.

After Dozens Of Games It’s Still The Worst

Bubble Lead is acquired by defeating the incredibly lame Bubble Man. We’re not saying that bubbles themselves are inherently lame, but if you’re going to share a video game with bosses like Metal Man, Crash Man, and a giant Mechanical Dragon, you need a better gimmick than poppable orbs made of soap and water. Bubble Man looks like a chubby Snork with swim goggles, and his signature weapon is just as dumb.

A Mystery For Decades

Bubble Lead allows Mega Man to fire bubbles that immediately sink to the ground like lead balloons. These heavy spheres’ penchant for dropping to the floor rather than flying straight into whatever enemy Mega Man is facing led most fans to quickly declare Bubble Man’s weapon the worst weapon in the game—if not the whole series. It’s also the reason kids in the ’90s assumed the weapon was pronounced Bubble “Led” as in Zepplin.

But they assumed wrong.

Bubble Lead Is A Guide

X user @Protodude set the record straight earlier this month when he posted a tweet from Mega Man creator Akira Kitamura, who said beyond a shadow of a doubt that the sup-par projectile was meant to be pronounced “Leed.”

Kitamura’s translated tweet reads: “Lead” means to guide. It is a weapon that crawls along the ground and senses danger ahead. It is not made of lead.” For anyone who grew up playing Mega Man 2, this may or may not be a revelation—it depends on which side of the debate you were on originally—but at least now the retro gaming community has a concrete answer on how the weapon is pronounced

Now Mega Man Fans Can Argue About Anything Else

Mega Man movie

Now, whenever anyone wants to talk about how Bubble Lead is Mega Man’s worst weapon, they call it by the right name.

A second X user asked Kitamura what Bubble Lead was made of, if not lead, and got an answer that basically amounted to “IDK.” Apparently, even in niche fandoms like retro gaming, there are nerds who are just too nerdy for the other “normal,” nerds.