Dr. Wily's goal is usually world domination and he constructs robots to carry out his plans. As the rival of Dr. Light, he constantly tries to defeat him and Mega Man by stealing his ideas and designs, and working them into his own robots. In various games, Wily disguises his intentions by blackmailing Russian scientist Dr. Cossack, framing Proto Man, impersonating a tournament sponsor (as Mr. X), having an alien attempt to conquer the world, or making cover with a fake invasion leader robot.
After failing this plan several times, Wily builds a new robot based on Mega Man in Mega Man 7: Bass. As powerful as Mega Man, Bass confronts the former several times, only to lose each time. Wily is also responsible for creating Zero, one of the main protagonists of the Mega Man X series, and the main character of the Mega Man Zero series. Wily recognizes that Bass is too unstable and difficult to control, so he decides to build Zero, using the most powerful energy in the world. This energy, Bassnium, is first used to create Bass, and is refined even more for Zero.
Though Wily makes no concrete appearance in the Mega Man X series, other than Mega Man X4 in which he appears in Zero's dream ordering him to destroy his nemesis, he is still linked to many of the events which occur, most notably the creation of Zero and the Maverick Virus.
Sigma also references speaking with "An old man who knows Zero almost as if he were his father." Sigma later claims the same man built the body used in the final battle of Mega Man X5, which bears a striking resemblance to Gamma, the final robot Wily used to fight Mega Man in Mega Man 3.
A Wily Machine is the name of the machine that Dr. Wily uses at the end of most Mega Man classic games. As of this writing, there have been 18 of them. Most have Wily seated in a protective bubble in the front or at the top and have two forms of attack, with the second form's weak point being Dr. Wily himself. Although they did not start out this way, they gradually resembled giant flying skulls.
- Dr. Wily has a cameo appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes.
- Chuck Greene is able to dress as Wily in the DLC game Dead Rising 2: Case West.
- Wily's vehicle of choice in Mega Man Battle & Chase is the Skull Machine.
For more of this character, see their gallery.