Proto Man has turned evil? Well, actually, it’s not him—it’s a clone of him created by Dr. Wily to frame Mega Man’s red-clad brother. But the plan goes well for a while—even Mega Man is convinced that his own brother has turned against him for some unknown reason. That is, until the real Proto Man escapes and manages to reveal to Mega Man his clone’s true identity!
Capcom’s last few Mega Man games have fallen to the deceptive side, and this one is no exception. I believe this game is the one greatest at fault for everyone’s misconception that Mega Man’s brother is evil...
- Play Control:
- The play control was about the same in this game; the Mega Buster responded better than before, but unfortunately the “Lose Charge” stat was introduced here.
- The backgrounds were about as top-notch as possible on the NES...they even included some parallax.
- Same as always.
- I didn’t find myself noticing many of the tunes at all, except for the opening and Wave Man’s music (it sounds so much like Slash Man’s...).
- Sound Effects:
- Same as always...the lower whistle for the fake Proto Man was cute.
- This plot drove me up the wall at first because I refused to read a magazine and give it away to myself before I’d played the game through, and I was going nuts wondering if Proto Man was really evil. A sign of a good plot I suppose, although a lot of people in the industry (like the ones who made the Mega Shows) don’t seem to have gotten it and still think Proto Man is evil to this day.
- Difficulty: (medium to hard)
- I rank this one a bit higher because Proto Man’s fortress is such a pain. Otherwise, the difficulty is about average.
- Replay Value:
- Some of the stages, such as Star Man’s and Gravity Man’s, are quite unique, making it more interesting to play. However the two fortresses just don’t seem to be quite as fun.
- Beat is cute, and there were other effects tossed in, but the game seemed more like a continuation of the previous one. Not that I’m complaining or anything...
- Overall: 79%
- I liked this game when it first came out, and it’s still a good one, don’t get me wrong. But it is overshadowed by some of the other titles.
Dark Man appears multiple times in various incarnations in the first fortress. You can use Beat on all of his incarnations with equal effect.
- Dark Man 1:
- A tank form that moves constantly toward you, shooting small shots from his cannon at periodic intervals. When you jump over him, he turns around. This doesn’t disrupt the timing of his shots, though, which means you have to time your jump just right or he might clip your feet as you come down. You can use the Charge Kick to easily get through him (jumping him can be problematic because of his size) but the Water Wave does better damage. As he gets lower on health, he starts going faster.
- Dark Man 2:
- A humanoid form with a force field that rotates around him and can reflect some of your shots. He doesn’t shoot, but just walks up to your location, stops, and stands there for a few moments, then moves again toward your new location. Try shooting a Crystal Eye at the wall and letting it bounce around; multiple pieces sometimes can hit him depending on his position on the screen, potentially doing multiple hits of damage. Or, you can hit him with Napalm Bombs or just the Mega Buster. To dodge him, of course, wait until he gets close, then jump over him and run across the room and repeat. You can shoot a Crystal Eye toward the wall as you run away from him and still hit him because of the way it bounces back. This lets you focus more on dodging.
- Dark Man 3:
- The most vicious one so far; this is a purple form with a large cannon for one arm. He likes to freeze you with a ring attack, then jump into the air and shoot at you, and then land on you if you weren’t knocked out of his paralysis by his shots. The Gyro Attack does decent damage and has the benefit that it can hit him in the air (press Up to aim it upward). However, Danny reminded me of a nifty trick—if you get yourself frozen while you are using the Charge Kick, you are invulnerable to his shots and you’ll damage him if he lands on you or walks into you while you’re frozen. So while the Charge Kick doesn’t do a significant amount of damage per hit, this is something worth trying.
- Proto Man:
- This is a joke on my part because you don’t ever fight Proto Man; the real one shows up and destroys the fake’s disguise, revealing it to be Wily’s Dark Man robot. Anyway, Dark Man 4 is, as you might expect, something of a combination of the others. He has large dual force fields that rotate around him and also shoot outward, and he fires multiple shots from his cannon. The easiest way to deal with him is to use Beat and let the little bird do the attacking while you dodge. The Power Stone is also somewhat easy to use.
- 1st boss in Wily’s Castle:
- Shoot the lower platform, jump on it, shoot the upper one, jump on it, switch weapons to the Crystal Eye if you want, hope the little heads don’t get in your way, and shoot the head at the top of the tower. You can also blast the little heads out of the air, although if you’re using the Crystal Eye, it’s somewhat of a waste of energy.
- 2nd boss:
- This robot has a circular frame that deflects your shots, but at times it will open two doors on either side that you can shoot through. There are also two platforms on the floor that you can use to give yourself some added height if need be (they move when you stand on them). Use the Gyro Attack for best damage, tossing the blades through the open doors on the sides. You really only have to get in the general vicinity of the doors to do damage; the collision detection is rather generous here.
- Wily 1st time:
- He stays at the top of the screen for several moments, sliding back and forth quickly, then he moves downward and tries to land on you. This is his only method of attack. Stand near the center of the room (near the pit) to coax him out into the center of the room and wait there until Wily’s machine pauses right before it drops, then quickly run or slide toward the edge of the screen so that you avoid him. Once you’re clear, jump and hit him with either a Star Crash (shoot it at him with B) or your Mega Buster. You have to hit the dome at the top; for the Star Crash, you have to shoot at the very top of your jump, or it’ll bounce off. For this reason, the Mega Buster is easier to use though it does slightly less damage.
- Wily 2nd time:
- He starts out in a tank. You can actually use the Super Arrow against him; you want to shoot the cannon in the skull’s mouth. When it uses a magnet against you, just run or slide to the left to get away from it. It also shoots pink missiles and tosses a bouncing blue ball at you. Ironically, because the Super Arrow pauses before it shoots forward, it’s easily possible to kill Wily after you yourself die, which is kind of tragic (and no, it doesn’t count).
- Wily 3rd time:
- Since Wily disappears and reappears, the easiest way to take care of him is to use Beat, because Beat can detect Wily even when he’s invisible. When Beat flies over and starts to circle tightly in a certain location, you know Wily will appear there, so move away from that location and get ready to dodge. Just try not to die to this final Wily (use Energy Tanks if you have to), because if you run out of energy for Beat, you have to resort to the Gyro Attack or something to hit Wily in all of his locations.
Thanks to Danny for aid in fleshing out this section.
This will get you to Proto Man’s terror of a castle. Create any other passwords you might want using the password crack or password generator. Even with this you still can’t, however, skip Proto Man’s fortress. Sorry.
Collect letters to spell “MEGAMANV” and Beat will be added to your arsenal. Most of the letters are easy to find; it’s getting them that is difficult.
- M: Gravity Man’s stage. You need to time your jump just right...
- E: Wave Man’s stage. It’s during the jet-ski ride, after the Octoboss.
- G: Stone Man’s stage. This is the hardest one to find because it’s actually hidden. Near the beginning of the stage, look for a row of blocks in a wall on the right edge of the screen. The blocks will look different than the rest of the wall. Blast them with your arm cannon and slide through the gap you create.
- A: Gyro Man’s stage. You might have to drop for it!
- M: Star Man’s stage. If you keep hitting the spikes, try this: allow yourself to be hit by the cannon to your right first...then use your temporary invincibility to grab the letter.
- A: Charge Man’s stage. Rush Coil is the easiest way to get to it.
- N: Napalm Man’s stage. Can’t miss seeing it. You can, however, miss landing on the ledge it’s on!
- V: Crystal Man’s stage. It’s in the spike-lined pit. Hold left.
- Rush Coil: Luckily you have this from the start.
- Rush Jet: Get it by defeating Gyro Man.
- Super Arrow: You get this when you defeat Star Man. Try standing on it.
- The Super Arrow can be used to make steps up a wall, but it can also act as an Item-2. Fire an Arrow then quickly hop on before it starts moving, and you can ride it. The Arrow drains energy as it travels, but an interesting glitch (feature?) is it will not stop or vanish or anything when it runs out of energy. This means as long as you have enough energy to fire one, it will continue to travel until it goes off the screen or hits something. This means you can ride an Arrow as far as you can fly one. Try using it in place of Rush.
- Try using Beat in Proto Man’s (AKA Dark Man’s) castle, or any other places you find particularly annoying. The little attack bird is particularly useful when trying to navigate precarious jumps and obstacles.
- Use a Mega Tank when you have full energy and weapons, and when you exit the menu, all of the enemies on the screen will be transformed into 1-Ups! If there are no enemies on the screen when you attempt this trick, you will gain one life. (Thanks to DocLight for this one.)
After Wily’s defeat, the entire ceiling (not just pieces this time) falls down, almost crushing Mega Man, Dr. Light, and Dr. Wily in one smooth blow. But Mega Man catches the entire thing and holds it up. Dr. Wily grabs his chance and escapes. Mega Man can’t move, and Dr. Light is stuck behind him.
A whistle comes.
Proto Man doesn’t actually appear, but you can tell he’s done something because part of the ceiling blows away, giving Mega Man and his creator just enough time and space to get out of there. The next scene shows them standing outside, watching as the castle crumbles to nothingness. Curiously enough, you can see Proto Man’s helmet in the corner of the screen—he’s standing with them. But right before the screen fades, he simply drops off the corner of the screen...