Dr. Wily turns from his former evil ways and begins helping Dr. Light once again. This time the two build, besides normal robots, a huge peace-keeping robot named Gamma. But their newest set of Robot Masters go berserk, and the two scientists really need eight power crystals buried deep in the robots’ domains. Mega Man is called in to fight through the hostile forces, stopping them and gaining possession of the crystals at the same time.
There is more here than meets the eye, namely—Proto Man! Mega Man’s “long lost” brother makes his reappearance in this game—the first time we as game players see him, though Dr. Light of course knows who he is. Proto Man was Mega Man’s prototype and the first robot Dr. Light built. He picked an especially confusing time in which to return, however, as Dr. Wily is rarely on the level...
Mega Man 3 introduces Mega Man’s greatly-misunderstood twin brother, Proto Man. It also features the debut of Rush, Mega Man’s robotic dog, and this is the first game in which Roll is actually named.
- Play Control:
- You can’t get much better than this. Well, you can (the slide is annoying to execute, sometimes) but close enough.
- Like Mega Man 2, this game adds more detail to the backgrounds, eliminating many of the plain color backdrops.
- Still the same.
- Although this game’s tunes were not as memorable, they were executed well enough. Gotta love Proto Man’s tune...and how you only hear half of it during normal game play...
- Sound Effects:
- The sounds were more fine-tuned in this game, though thankfully a lot of the good original ones were preserved.
- This game had a very nice plot, what with Dr. Wily’s deception and the appearance of Proto Man. However, sadly, you only learn the full plot by reading the manual; the game opens with no story scene at all.
- Difficulty: (easy)
- This game has its difficult points, but the fact that you can have nine Energy Tanks and can cheat big time cuts its difficulty to below even that of Mega Man 2.
- Replay Value:
- Nearly perfect control and lots of extra stages that aren’t fortress stages makes for a game that’s a lot of fun to play.
- The biggest changes were Rush and the slide, but as a whole the game played and felt very nice.
- Overall: 93%
- This one is another definite play. It was the last NES Mega Man game to retain that good, solid feel. In fact, for a little while it remained my favorite Mega Man game...until Mega Man IV came along and knocked it off that perch.
- + Plus:
- I like the cool stunts you can pull off by using controller two (see below).
- - Minus:
- They should have added a duck instead of (or in addition to) a slide.
There are actually two loops in this game for using Master Weapons against Robot Masters; you’re just going to have to break into each loop separately using the arm cannon or whatever else is handy. Of the final three, personally I find Snake Man easiest to beat with just the arm cannon.
Note: Use any Robot Master’s own weapon against him to defeat each one in just seven hits. I don’t, however, suggest trying this with Top Man.
Doc Man (AKA the Doc Robot) will antagonize you in the four stages that follow the initial eight. Doc Man is capable of temporarily mimicking other robots. In each stage you will fight two incarnations of him, and each time he takes on the form of a Robot Master from Mega Man 2. (Interestingly enough, often the form he mimics matches the stage in some way: for instance, Gemini Man’s stage looks somewhat similar to Flash Man’s.)
Needle Man’s stage:
- Air Man:
- Doc Man is a bit tougher than the robots he’s mimicking. Use Spark Shocks or Magnet Missiles. (Note: in the Wily Wars the Magnet Missiles fly differently, rendering them almost useless.)
- Crash Man:
- Four Hard Knuckles will do this guy in if you can hit him with them. Otherwise try the Top Spin.
- Gemini Man’s stage:
- Flash Man:
- Use Shadow Blades, Gemini Laser, or the Needle Cannon. Doc Man’s great size makes him a great pain here because you can hardly clear him with your jumps.
- Bubble Man:
- (I think the fact that the Robot Master room is underwater is a good hint as to who you will fight here...) Use the Shadow Blades or Spark Shock.
- Shadow Man’s stage:
- Wood Man:
- In Mega Man 2 you could use Crash Bombs to penetrate Wood Man’s Leaf Shield. Now you no longer have that weapon, so you’ll just have to wait until Doc Man tosses his protection away. Then pelt him with needles from the Needle Cannon or use Hard Knuckles.
- Heat Man:
- Hit him with a Shadow Blade or a Hard Knuckle, then get out of the way as he zooms across the screen.
- Spark Man’s stage:
- Metal Man:
- In Mega Man 2 you could finish Metal Man off with a single Metal Blade. Now you don’t have this weapon, but the Shadow Blades do the job to a lesser degree. Or you can use Hard Knuckles or Magnet Missiles.
- Quick Man:
- Now he has speed and size. And you don’t have a Time Stopper! Another unfortunate thing is that two of the hardest weapons to fight with are the ones that inflict the most damage: the Gemini Laser and the Search Snakes. Good luck.
- Fortress Bosses:
- Turtle Maker:
- Shoot the robot turtles with the Shadow Blade and the Maker will self-destruct. Don’t bother trying to hit the Maker itself because it is immune.
- Yellow Devil Take 2:
- Hit its eye with Hard Knuckles, and use the Rush Jet to avoid the “wave.”
- Triplet of Holographic Clones:
- Your shots will only affect one of the clones, and every time they go into the hatches and come back out, the computer randomly swaps them around. For best results, toss a Search Snake on each ledge as the holograms emerge. When you find which one the Snake hits, center your attacks on that one. You can try Top Spinning the real one once you uncover him, but you may want to save your Top Spin energy for Wily.
- Wily 1st time:
- Take out the cannon below the machine first with the Spark Shock, then hit the dome over Wily’s head with the Hard Knuckle. You don’t have to wait until he comes down if you use the super jump (below).
- Use Shadow Blades or Hard Knuckles (you’ll need the super jump for the latter, but only four Hard Knuckles). When the head breaks away, hit the top of the dome with Top Spin, or even better, stand underneath it and super jump straight up while spinning away. Search Snakes will also work if you can get high enough to hit with them.
This will take you to the Doc Robot (AKA Doc Man) stages.
This will take you to the Break Man mini-stage.
This will get you to Wily’s castle.
- Rush has three forms in this game:
- Rush Coil (springboard): You have this from the start.
- Rush Marine (submarine): Get it directly by defeating Shadow Man or indirectly by defeating Spark Man (see below).
- Rush Jet (jetboard): Get it directly by defeating Needle Man or indirectly by defeating Shadow Man (see below).
Mega Man 3 is full of them! (Note: Generally these work only in the original NES version of this game. Having said that, Jesse reports that they do work in the PS4 version. I wonder if that was on purpose or by accident?) Have a friend pick up the other controller (“controller two”) and try these out.
- Super jump: Hold on controller two and Mega Man’s jumps will almost touch the top of the screen!
- Slow-bo mode: Hold on controller two for slow motion. (Actually, it’s really only the animations that are slowed down.)
- Time stop: Hold and on controller two to freeze most robots in their tracks—including Mega Man. You won’t be able to move unless you jump first. But you can still fire your arm cannon, which is why this is such a useful trick. Note that robots in motion will usually continue to move, but you can use this to freeze most of the Robot Masters during at least one stage of their attack. Then you can fire away at the helpless robot for an easy victory!
- Jump/Stop combo: Hold , , and to freeze the action and give you the super jump!
- Invincibility from bottomless pits: If you happen to fall in a pit, quickly hold down on controller two and press the jump button on controller one to jump out—even after you hear the “death” sound effect! You’ll have to play the rest of the stage without music, but it’s worth it to save your skin!
- Navigate bottomless pits: Hold on controller two, then jump into a bottomless pit. Keep that button down while you move left and right using controller one. You can slide through the pit safely avoiding anything up above. When you’re ready to leave, press jump on controller one to get out. There are a couple of catches to this, though—one, if you stay down there too long, you’ll die; and two, sometimes Mega Man takes damage down there. Still, it’s a useful trick to get past those long bottomless pits without using Rush Jet.
- Zombified Mega Man: (Named after the “Zombie” effect in Final Fantasy III.) Here’s a really interesting one to try. While holding on controller two, jump into a pit. Now hang out down there until you hear the “death” sound effect and your energy meter plunges to zilch. When this happens you must jump out immediately or Mega Man will perish.
Once you are out of the pit, you can journey on with absolutely no energy. No robots will be able to damage you. The disadvantage is you can’t fire your arm cannons (Mega Man no longer has enough energy to do that!), but you are allowed to fire all the Master Weapons you’ve obtained (which run off their own energy supply)—including Rush—which means you’ll be able to defeat the stage boss with no problem, assuming you don’t run out of weapon energy.
One final note on this trick: any energy you pick up will cure Mega Man’s “zombie” state by restoring some of his health. He will be able to fire again, but he will also be able to die. An Energy Tank will also do this to him, in case you need to be able to fire again. Weapon energy will not, so you can safely charge up your weapons like normal and still be “zombified.”
- Turn a weapon energy capsule into Rush Jet/Marine: Having problems getting past the pink lifts in Spark Man’s stage, or the underground lake in Gemini Man’s stage? Would Rush really come in handy but you haven’t beaten the robot necessary to get the correct form?
Then this trick is for you. First, find a weapon energy pellet or capsule (a capsule would be better as you’ll get more energy for it.) Now, go to your sub screen. If you want Rush Marine, point to the Spark Shooter; if you need Rush Jet point to the Shadow Blades. (You therefore must have these weapons for this trick to work.) Now press right. Rush will appear, wagging his tail. Press or . Pick up the energy capsule.
Although the chosen mode won’t appear on your weapons list until you either use it or get it for real, you can now use Rush in this new form. Also, you’ll have to fill up its energy before it will be of much use, but this can get you out of some tight spots!
- Sustained Rush Jet: This one’s covered in the Data Base section.
- Whacked-Out Level: (Submitted by too many people to name.) Use the super jump listed above to enter the screen in Gemini Man’s level where Proto Man appears. If you position yourself correctly, you will fall straight through the block that Proto Man lands on, before he even blows it up. I hear this will cause his whistle to extend and goof up the graphics for the rest of the level, although I’ve not tried it myself.
- Longer Whistle: (Submitted by too many people to name.) I’m told that if you open the subscreen with just the right timing when Proto Man is making an appearance, you can hear more of his whistle than what plays normally. I haven’t tried this, but my guess is this extended whistle is identical to the one which plays during the ending.
- Invincibility: Go to the weapons screen, then hold and on controller two as you exit the subscreen. Mega Man will get frozen in his faint-warp state and cannot be harmed! This isn’t always useful because you can’t do anything while phased, but it’s a pretty neat trick. (Try it while fighting the Yellow Devil!) Its greatest asset is its use in the trick below...
- Longer ending: After beating the game, hold and on controller two during the time that Dr. Light is telling Mega Man, “I discovered you lying here when I came in. I wonder who...” Then, keep holding these buttons down! The ending will continue like normal until Mega Man tries to teleport out of the lab. At this point, because you are holding down the freeze buttons, he will get stuck in his teleport stance and nothing will happen. The music will continue to play, and you can sit there and listen to it as long as you keep those buttons held down. (Thanks to Metool for telling me about this.) Try this, as the ending music is actually about two times longer than what you normally hear—and it gets pretty wild too!
Mega Man defeats Gamma and Dr. Wily falls to the ground, begging for mercy. (I guess I don’t have to mention that part all the time...) But Gamma was a huge robot, and its destruction pretty much destroys the lab. The ceiling falls on both Mega Man and Wily (though this scene is a little generic—the blocks are shaped perfectly and they just happen to fall right on their targets...oh well...). Then a shadowy form (like we can’t guess who it is) drops down, freeing Mega Man. “Where’s Dr. Wily?” he asks the dusty air. Had the scientist escaped, leaving Mega Man for the dead? “Oh no, too late....”
When Mega Man comes to, he’s back in the lab and Dr. Light is leaning over him. “I found you lying here when I came in,” the scientist explains. “I wonder who—” He breaks off as Proto Man’s characteristic whistle rings through the air. Yep, Mega Man’s rescuer was that mysterious red guy.
We then see Mega Man walking outside the lab. We also see Dr. Light’s old invention notebook, which reveals that he created Proto Man and that the two are brothers. Mega Man stops and looks up; there’s an image of Proto Man in the sky. There’s also this weird eye flying by a tree. I think it’s supposed to be Wily’s saucer, proclaiming ahead of time that he actually survived...