Most games have two pages: a game hints page, and a database. The game hints side is generally devoted to quick bits of information to help you in playing the game. The database is more in-depth and detailed information on the game’s enemies, items, and quirks.
Pages are divided into sections. Some of the sections are quite self-explanatory, but others may be confusing to new-time viewers. Note that not all games will have all of the following sections, and some pages have sections not listed here.
At the top of each page lists some statistics about the game, including the system(s) it is for, its genre, year, and rating (if applicable). Note that explanations of the abbreviations used for game systems can be found in the Glossary.
Just a quick description of the general plot of the game. Usually I mention only what is known at the beginning and middle of the game so as not to give too much away. If you want to know how a game ends, see the Ending section at the bottom.
This is basically my general comment area. I also mention things that are unique about this game in particular.
When I get asked the same question repeatedly about a game, I’ll stick it and its answer here in the FAQ section. Obviously not all games will have a FAQ, but it’s always a good idea to check here first if you have any issues regarding a specific game.
A brief opinion on the quality of the game. Not all games have a review here, and some have only a few pluses and minuses or a general comment.
Note that ratings take into account the system the game is on. I don’t expect the graphics, music, sound, and so forth to be better than the system is capable of handling. So, as an example, an NES game can score high for graphics even though they are only 16 colors, simply because that’s all the NES can handle so they couldn’t physically be any better.
- Generally a category which lands this rating impressed me in some way.
- High quality, but either possessing some minor flaw, or just not necessarily “blow away” quality.
- Average. The item meets my expectations without exceeding them.
- Below standard, either possessing major flaws or just not quite as good as it could have been.
- Overall poorly done, but possessing some quality of redeeming value.
- Unrated, or so poor there’s nothing worth rating.
Note: When a game has appeared on multiple systems, generally the review applies only to the system that the game debuted on.
- Play Control: How well the character responds to the controls. Extremely important for a good action game.
- Graphics: Rates the background art.
- Animation: Rates the sprite art and animation.
- Music: The music played throughout the game, including title screens, endings, etc.
- Sound Effects: The quality and appropriateness of the sound effects used.
- Plot: Was the plot executed well during the game, or do you only find it out by reading the manual?
- Difficulty: (child’s play/easy/normal/hard/insane) Rates on a scale how difficult the game is to beat. A higher value here indicates a higher difficulty. (Note: Difficulty ratings only apply to a game’s default or “Normal” difficulty mode. Games which have variable difficulty modes will obviously be easier or harder than the stated difficulty depending on what mode you are in.)
- Replay Value: This is basically the “irritation” rating. Is the game fun to play or does it annoy the player to death?
- Polish: This rates generally how much effort and extra touches went into the game. I can often tell how much pride the creators had with their creation based on the little touches. Did the developers actually care about what they were doing, or were they just cranking out another game?
- Overall: That overalls are not mathematical averages of the other ratings. They are merely my personal scores when I consider the games as a whole, rather than as individual parts. (For example, if a game is fun enough, I can ignore things like bad graphics, and thus a game may get a high overall rating even if it has low scores in some areas.)
Mega Man games are famous for the fact that you can choose which order to play the stages instead of always having to play them in the same order. They are also famous for the ability to grab the weapons from their defeated foes and use them on other foes. Since some Robot Masters/Mavericks are weak against certain weapons, having the right arsenal does help. The “Suggested Order” is usually the easiest way to complete all the levels with as little backtracking as possible. However, keep in mind that a suggested order is just that—a suggestion. By no means do you have to use the order listed. Tackle the stages in whatever order you see fit.
Note that the suggested weapon to use on a boss is not always the one that he is weakest against. I try to list the easiest weapon to use on him—the one that will tend to produce best results in battle. Sometimes the weapon that the boss is supposedly “weak” against is actually one of the more difficult ones to use on him, due to factors such as the weapon’s range and the boss’s movement pattern. Therefore, I may recommend using something else instead.
Note that if I mention “use arm cannon” or “rapid-fire” I mean don’t charge up (sometimes this is significant). If I say use Mega Buster or X-Buster, or mention “charge” or “super-shots,” charge up.
In most of the traditional Mega Man games there are these things called “teleporting hatches” which, when you enter them, take you somewhere else in the same fortress. Most of the time they take you to rehash battles with the Robot Masters/Mavericks of that game. Usually you will come to a big room with a certain number of teleporting hatches, and each hatch leads to a fight. Since you can’t leave the room until you’ve entered all the hatches, you must therefore cream all of the Robot Masters/Mavericks all over again. Since the same teleporting hatches always lead to the same robots, I’ve listed who’s lurking behind each one so you can be prepared for each battle.
This is a chart which lists how many units of damage (on the energy meter) each weapon inflicts on each boss. Note that unless otherwise specified, each boss has 28 units to an energy meter, which means, for instance, if a listing says “14” you only need to hit the boss twice with that weapon to defeat him. If the listing claims “28” you need hit him only once (this is rare, but does occur).
Traditional Mega Man games are a lot alike, but they are also very different. I’ve discovered some curious differences in game play, some which change strategies, and some which make the game more or less annoying. Here’s a lowdown of the different stats and what they mean:
- Open Menu: When the game is introducing a boss and filling up his energy meter, are you allowed to open your weapons screen? If so, you can see who you’re up against and switch to the proper weapon while your foe is showing off. If you can’t, you’ll have to have switched weapons before entering the battle, or give up your initiative. This is especially annoying with teleporting hatches (which is why I tell you the order ahead of time!).
- Charge Up: Again, during a boss introduction, are you allowed to charge up your arm cannon? If so, you can start the battle with a fully-charged shot all prepared and ready. If not, you’ll want to charge up before entering the battle. (With some teleporting hatches this cannot be done, so again, if you can’t charge up during the intro you lose your initiative.)
- Lose Charge: Do you lose the charge on your arm cannon if you receive a blow from an enemy while charging up? This is especially annoying when you are in the heat of battle and desperately trying to charge up, and yet you keep getting hit in the process.
- Horizontal Recoil: This lists how many game tiles (square blocks) the character typically bounces back whenever he is hit. If this number is over 1, you have to be extra careful to avoid being knocked off the ledge you are on and into spikes or a pit!
- Vertical Recoil: Assume you are climbing up a multi-screen ladder. You get hit. This rating lists how far the character will fall before you are allowed to grab onto the ladder again and halt your decent. This usually increases in proportion to the horizontal rating. (Later games have been eliminating long vertical sections with ladders so this rating tends to disappear.)
- Shots On Screen: Can you open your menu while one of your shots is still on the screen? If not, you’ll have to watch out when using the menu in order to pause the game, or worse—when using a pause/resume trick!
- Fall Off Ladder: In early Mega Man games, if you were on a ladder when you opened your weapons screen, when you closed the menu Mega Man would instantly start to fall. This has been taken out of later games, mostly ones in which the screen changes to the menu as opposed to it popping up onto the game screen.
- Paused Refills: Traditionally, whenever you pick up an energy pellet or capsule (and your meter isn’t already full), the game pauses while the meter refills one unit at a time. This can throw off people who are new to the series, and has been removed from some of the later games.
Passwords in the Mega Man games primarily store what weapons you have gained (which also means the respective stages will be cleared) as well as what special items (Adapters, Sub-Tanks, etc.) you have picked up. Keep in mind that if you put in a password to give yourself a particular weapon, you won’t find the cooresponding Robot Master/Maverick in his stage (because that stage is considered cleared). There are a couple of exceptions to this (such as Mega Man 1 where the bosses come back every time), but this is generally the rule. Also in some games you cannot revisit stages at all which means once you put in a password to “clear” that stage, you can’t go back to it.
When you put in a password that gives you all of the weapons, the game will typically proceed to the first fortress of the game—most of the time, it is impossible to skip fortress stages using a password because the password does not store that type of information. Additionally most Mega Man game passwords do not store things like how many lives or Energy Tanks you possessed (there are a few that do, but they are rare). Also, in the X series your Sub-Tanks will always be empty when you put in a password regardless of what levels they were at when you originally obtained the password.
I usually only list the most important passwords. In other words, I won’t give you the passwords to every single stage in the game, just ones that take you to the end (or as close to the end as you can get).
I have compiled lists of all the weapons obtained during the game, what they do when used, and special tricks concerning each. Typically this only includes weapons obtained from major boss robots; items such as Rush are listed in the Items section, even if they can be used to attack.
On the database page, one or more of the following statistics may be listed:
- Uses: This notes how much energy the weapon requires to fire (if “units” are specified), or how many shots you get total with a full stock of energy. In some games, different items can raise or lower these numbers, so multiple numbers may be listed.
- Obtained From: The robot or source from which you acquire the weapon.
- Characteristics: None, one, or more of the following characteristics are listed:
- Multidirectional - fires in more than one direction with each shot
- Aimable - can be aimed (with the control pad) in directions besides left and right
- Homing - will automatically try to seek out enemies
- Chargeable - can be charged like the Mega Buster (not listed for X series games; all of X’s weapons can be charged given the proper enhancement)
- Rapid-fire - fires continuously as long as you hold down the button
- Boomerangs - flies out, then comes back to the user
- Full-screen - affects entire screen
- Invulnerability - makes user invincible while in use
- Non-firing - weapon is not fired normally but is instead activated another way (i.e., through sliding or jumping)
- Burns - can set objects on fire
- Freezes - paralyzes targets or encases them in ice
- (Element) - some games have elements, such as Fire, Aqua, Wood, and so forth.
- Motion: Many of Zero’s techniques require certain controller motions to perform.
- Color Scheme: Just for fun, this lists the colors the weapon user changes to while equipped with the weapon. The first color is the dark or primary color (for Mega Man, the color of his helmet, hands, and boots), and the second color is the secondary color (arms, legs, torso).
- Similar To: Lists weapons that are similar in action to this one.
- Appears In: A list of every game where the weapon is detailed here on MMHP. This might not list every game where the weapon can be found. For the most part, only games which have database pages are listed here, so if the item hasn’t been covered on MMHP yet, it might not be listed in the appearances section for that particular game either, even if it does in fact appear in the game in question.
The database side of a page will list detailed information on the items in the game. However on the game hints side, I list only special items such as adapters and enhancements, and the information generally involves where to find them, not how to use them. Please see the database for details on item use.
This section lists the major characters and some interesting information about them. Often bosses will also be listed here, particularly if they play a part in the plot.
A database on the enemies you encounter during the game. Sometimes called “minor” enemies, these are basically anything but bosses. The following stats are given:
- Name: This is the official English name if one is known, Japanese name otherwise; and if neither is known, a common name is used here.
- Also Known As: This lists the Japanese name if it is known and is different from the English name. Sometimes common names (unofficial names that most people would better recognize) are also listed here.
- HP: Hit points, measured by how many normal (uncharged arm cannon) shots are required to defeat the enemy. In the event the arm cannon does not work on the foe, its HP value is somewhat invented. Enemies which are invincible have no HP value listed.
- AT: How much damage the enemy does, in units, to your player character. There may be multiple numbers here for enemies who can attack in multiple ways (for example, shooting a cannon versus direct contact).
- Weakness: The weapon or other type of attack which does the best job against the enemy in question. Note that many of these are taken from the Complete Works and haven’t been verified. So don’t bother arguing at me over how illogical the choice may seem; complain to Capcom instead.
- Characteristics: If the enemy is of a particular element or has another special characteristic, that is listed here.
- Chip: In Battle Network, this lists the Battle Chip(s) you can earn from the enemy.
- Appears In: A list of every game where the enemy is detailed here on MMHP. This might not list every game where the enemy can be found. For the most part, only games which have database pages are listed here, so if the enemy hasn’t been covered on MMHP yet, it might not be listed in the appearances section for that particular game either, even if it does in fact appear in the game in question.
This database details the Robot Masters / Mavericks / NetNavi in the game (other types of bosses are listed in the “Bosses” or “Characters” sections). The details given are much the same as for the minor enemies. Additionally...
- Operator: The Navi’s operator in the Battle Network series.
- Number: Serial number of the robot if known.
- Weapon: The boss’s main weapon. This is the weapon you acquire from him when you defeat him.
This section describes some suggestions for defeating the game’s bosses. Usually this includes only the bosses you will encounter in the fortress(es). However, every once in a while I list other annoying creations too, like stage mini-bosses.
Note that the suggested weapon to use on a boss is not always the one that he is weakest against. I try to list the easiest weapon to use on him—the one that will tend to produce best results. Sometimes the weapon that the boss is supposedly “weak” against is actually one of the more difficult ones to use on him, due to factors such as the weapon’s range and the boss’s movement pattern. Therefore, I may recommend something else instead.
On the database side, this explains the boss’s attack pattern much like the Masters section.
This is my all-purpose hints and cool-tricks area. Sometimes I simply list secret stuff, sometimes I offer interesting tidbits of information or things to try, and sometimes I give hints, strategies, or secret codes.
A description of the ending of the game: the plot, the visuals, the music played, and anything else that struck my fancy about it. Clearly, this can involve major spoilers, which is why it is placed at the very bottom of the game hints page. Do not read this if you haven’t beaten the game in question, unless you want to spoil it for yourself.