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March 4, 2016

Mega Man (B)


YELLOW DEVIL IS DOWN!

It took me all this time today, but I did it. I can move on to the next levels. I have no time to waste.

The second level has another section of platforming, after which Mega Man finds himself in a room against Cut Man. What? Oh no! The Robot Masters, again? Alright, fine, it can’t be that hard, right? The devious developers at Capcom cannot be so cruel as not to leave a healing item before each boss, right? …right?

After Cut Man is dealt with, more platforming occurs, then we fight Elec Man. Oh crap… And after Elec Man, this continues! And a nasty surprise awaits at the bottom… Mega Man gets cloned, and has to fight a clone of himself! When you switch to a different weapon, so does the clone. This is another tough fight, though you can make it easier by using the Pause glitch… which isn’t considered legal here unlike for the Yellow Devil, but fuck it, this is too hard. When the clone is defeated, we move on to the next level.

And that's one Hell of a trippy background.

Don't you hate opponents who
are bigger than you?
The third level is mostly a narrow passageway that goes down, and after a moment Mega Man finds himself dragged forward in the hall that fills with water. He gets to the boss, the Bubble Machine(s). Eh, still better than Noise Machines, I hate the "music" produced by those things. There’s actually seven Bubble Machines, they all circle around the room while shooting projectiles, are too large for Mega Man to jump over, and each time you kill one, the next is faster. A recommended strategy is to shoot to kill the first three, then use Guts Man’s power to lift the four stone blocks in the room to instantly kill the other four as they appear. Which is what I do, and though it’s still a tough fight, I manage to kill those damn machines.

Finally, we enter the final level, where we complete another platforming section, and then we get to the “boss”, or rather, a whole lot of bosses. First is Bomb Man; then it’s Fire Man. Then, Ice Man. And finally, Guts Man. You do not get healing items between each boss, you do however have access to all of your weapons, and the whole sequence boils down to “don’t get hit too much in each encounter”. Fire Man is the one who’s gonna be the most problematic in that regard.

After those four bosses are defeated, Mega Man reaches a checkpoint, after which he can refill one of his weapons, and then it’s the fight against Wily. You don’t get to regain any Hit Points before the final boss, so I hope you weren’t on your last life! Still, if you know the tricks, Wily is not that difficult. He has a few weaknesses that you can exploit, even if that means using the pause glitch to have an easier time. …Which I totally had to do, in order to win and be able to tell this to you. Soon Wily’s machine is defeated and Wily surrenders. Mega Man chooses to stay the way he is now, and decides to fight for everlasting peace.

But we all know that Wily’s comes back in Mega Man 2, with 8 robots this time. God damn it. And everlasting peace? Sorry Mega Man, you’ll never see it. I can’t blame you for trying, but… yeah… not gonna happen…

See that tiny opening to jump into where the
fire is? That's cheap platforming.
So, how’s this game? Hard. Challenging. Frustrating. But that’s not exactly a secret. The difficulty of this game can be grating at times, especially from what I consider to be cheap or unfair moves on the part of the developers. Some enemies are exactly where they’re the most annoying, and that’s when they’re not also moving to pose an even bigger threat. Platforms are located at just the right place, or low ceilings prevent Mega Man from being able to reach a higher ledge by jumping (a terrible case of this can be seen early in the first Dr. Wily stage). The first levels aren’t so bad, though still difficult, the last ones can aptly be described as “insane”. Impossible? No. Beating scores in game difficulty? Oh yes. I barely exaggerated my reaction to Yellow Devil, though it was less “Must Defeat This Thing” and more “I can’t beat this part. I give up. Oh damn, that’s right, I’m gonna have to review this someday. I’m gonna have to finish this.”

Review presented by Nicolas Hamel
through Planned All Along.
But you could have guessed that.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it was a very creative idea back then and it still is today: Combating multiple opponents, each with a weakness to another opponent’s ability, and being able to gain that ability by defeating its owner. Which creates a chain of weaknesses, and the key is to find out which Robot Master to start with. The magnet beam can help in some problematic platforming sections, though not always. Long story short, there are tricks to use in order to beat the game.

The sprite art is very detailed, and the 8-bit music’s good. Not that you’ll notice most of this considering the kind of trouble awaiting in each level… In the end, despite its great difficulty, Mega Man is a good game. However, while the sequels kept the level of difficulty, they were more merciful and ameliorated the formula, so I'd suggest another Mega Man game, maybe the second. But if you want to try this one, go ahead and have fun. I think that covers everything I had to say about this game.

Next week, a Top 12 list.

(I promise I will no more have freakouts like this. Well… I’ll try my best.)