Things are going fine for the first annual Robot Master Expo—until Dr. Wily’s saucer flies by and remotely reprograms some of the robots in the display cases!
Mega Man happens to be visiting the expo at the time of the attack, but to Wily’s shock, the evil scientist’s new miniature Remote Controller has no effect on the blue bomber. Since Mega Man is right there to see the turmoil, he jumps right into action to stop Wily.
The game takes you through a quest to stop the reactivated Robot Masters. It also introduces Ballade, Wily’s newest creation. In the end, though, Ballade turns out to not be all that he seems...
Now the games are gettin’ good! I considered this to be the best game in the
series...until I played Mega Man V.
This game features a plot this time (somewhat of a departure from the previous Game Boy games), the opening has some awesome digitized pictures (hang out on the title screen for a bit to see it), and there are cool cut scenes throughout.
There is story throughout the game, which I personally like to see; Dr. Light actually talks to you for a change (imagine that!). Plus, there’s items, items, items! Dr. Light’s Item Replicator is good stuff! Collect P-Chips and bring them to Dr. Light and he can make some great items for you. Check out the Weapon Tanks, and definitely don’t forget the Energy Balancer (EB machine).
Also, during the game, charge up your Mega Buster somewhere where you have a bit of space and fire it off. It’s now so powerful that it has a kick to it! Be careful though; if you fire it while too close to the edge of a platform, or while in the air, Mega Man could very easily knock himself backward right into a pit. Watch out where you use it.
This game can be tricky and some of the stages seem to go on forever. There are often alternate routes you can take (so if you’re having troubles on one, try the other), and don’t forget to look for Mega Man’s ever-helpful brother hiding in secret rooms.
- Play Control:
- Most of the Mega Man games have good play control, but there are a few that have it about as perfect as you can be. This is one of them.
- The graphics are pretty standard for the Mega Man series. I like all of the production art used in the opening.
- The NES tunes were reproduced nicely and the new musics are quite memorable. I would have liked to hear more stereo effects though. (At least there are some.)
- Sound Effects:
- This game had the same sound effects as most of the other NES and GB games. I thought they are appropriate.
- What glued me to this game once I’d played it was the storyline. Unlike the previous three Game Boy games, this game has a full plotline, the characters actually have lines of dialogue, and there are numerous cut scenes to break the monotony of moving through level after level.
- Difficulty: (normal)
- I didn’t find this game very difficult, but it isn’t easy either. It’s about average.
- Replay Value:
- I couldn’t put this one down, and was constantly going back to play it again, over and over. Most of the stages have alternate paths, and I have fun gathering P-Chips. The Item Replicator is perhaps the most important aspect ever added to the Mega Man series (well, that and passwords).
- This game blew me away with its extra touches. There are lots of fun little animated cut scenes, some of which showing Mega Man in a larger, anime drawing style. Even the Mega Buster has a cute little kick to it, something they’d never bothered doing before. All in all, I was very impressed with what the team did with this game. They went all out with it...and it shows.
- Overall: 95%
- This one wowed me the second I turned it on and watched the intro sequence. Not that it was technologically spectacular or anything, but it was a giant leap over the previous three Game Boy games. I think the above ratings speak for themselves.
- + Plus:
- Creative cinema cut scenes.
- - Minus:
- Though the Mega Buster’s kick is kind of cool, it can cause you to knock yourself off a ledge if you’re careless. (Suicide recoil?)
- Toad Man (Use arm cannon and keep shooting normal shots. Don’t bother charging up.)
- Bright Man (Use Rain Flush)
- Pharaoh Man (Use Flash Stopper)
- Ring Man (Use Pharaoh Shot or your arm cannon)
- Tower (Use Pharaoh Shot or Mega Buster)
- Ballade (Use Mega Buster)
- Crystal Man (Use Ring Boomerang, Charge Kick, Crystal Eye, Mega Buster...whatever can get you by him! Don’t worry, his stage is worse than the actual battle...)
- Napalm Man (Use Crystal Eye)
- Stone Man (Use Napalm Bombs, Ballade Cracker, or Mega Buster)
- Charge Man (This guy’s a pain because Mega Man can hardly clear him with his jumps. Use Power Stone or Mega Buster)
- Ballade 2nd time:
- He’s pretty difficult to jump over. You can sometimes slide under his jumps. The easiest way to take him out is to use Beat and some Energy Tanks if you need them (you can always have Dr. Light create more afterward with his Replicator). Remember that you can still fire your arm cannon while Beat is beating up robots.
After this fight, you’ll have to escape the exploding fortress. Make judicious use of the Ballade Cracker (which can fire in all directions), plus Rush Jet to cross one of the gaps.
- “Doc” Tower:
- It’s a large machine on the right side of the screen that uses Master Weapons against you (which is why I call it the Doc Tower; see Mega Man 3). Use Ring Boomerang or Ballade Cracker and shoot it only when the white bubble shield is covering the center part. Watch out for the arm overhead that sometimes snakes down and tries to hit you. If you die to this thing, refill your weapons as needed by shooting the missiles that you encounter on the way back to the boss.
- Eye Balls:
- This is an eye that traps you between gates. Use the Pharaoh Shot, fully powered up, both times. The first time, dodge the closed eye as it bounces slowly around the room and strike it with the ball over your head. When it spawns triplet copies of itself, destroy them with the ball over your head and you won’t even use any Pharaoh Shot energy. Just hold down throughout the entire battle.
The second time, hit the eye that is open, and avoid the other one. (If you strike the closed one, it shoots at you.) If the open eye is on the floor, fire off the Pharaoh Shot to hit if you need to, but otherwise, try to strike it with the ball over your head. The eyes switch places at times, also causing the room itself to change layout, so stay on your toes.
- Wily 1st time:
- Use Power Stone—you want to hit the glowing gem that’s right above your head. If you stand directly below the gem and fire while standing on the ground, one of the Power Stone blocks will hit it—assuming it doesn’t move in the process—but if you jump, you can shorten the time it takes the stones to strike and sometimes hit with two rocks instead of just one. Be careful because sometimes the screen will slide sideways slightly as a fist slams in, occasionally knocking loose girders and other debris. The gem itself can also fire at you. Let loose with a Power Stone and focus on dodging until the stones are all off the screen.
- Wily 2nd time:
- Make a short hop and toss a Ballade Cracker into its mouth when it opens it. (Talk about mega heartburn!) Sometimes the antenna on its head will shoot multiple sparkly shots. Keep moving, pacing back and forth, jumping as needed, and they should miss you. If the robot backs up, it’s about to charge you; stand against the far right of the screen, switch to the arm cannon, and blast it repeatedly to keep it from hitting you. (Your shots will bounce off, but the machine’s charge will slow down.) Wily seems to cycle between these three attacks, so at least you usually know what is coming next.
- Wily 3rd time:
- Use Ballade Cracker again, because you need to aim upward at his saucer. When he disappears, stand in a location where you don’t mind the floor getting destroyed, wait for him to appear, take a couple of steps forward to avoid the bomb he drops, and shoot him if you can (if not, you’ll have a chance later). The second time he appears, move right to dodge his bomb and then start shooting straight up at him as he moves to the right. Beware that his bombs will deflect your Crackers. Also be mindful as to where the bombs create holes in the floor because eventually the screen will scroll right and you will have to jump any gaps that are in the way. While Wily is moving and tossing bouncing balls, dodge the balls and fling Ballade Crackers at him at every opportunity.
Talk about complicated passwords! These will remember all your items and how many P-Chips you had! (Press the button to assign a letter. Press to switch letters, and to confirm the password.)
This takes you to the second battle with Ballade (as far as you can go—sorry!) with all the items, 9 lives, and 999 P-Chips. (Thanks to Richard Bunnell for the full P-Chips part.)
Another website has created a password generator for Mega Man IV. I haven’t personally tested the passwords it creates, but it’s worth checking out!
There are tons of items in this game, though most can only be obtained by collecting P-Chips and taking them to Dr. Light. Spell out “BEAT” and you’ll be able to use the cute little attack bird. Spell out “WILY” to continue through the game. (Generally finding these is not difficult as most are in plain sight.)
- B: It’s in Toad Man’s stage.
- E: Find it in Bright Man’s stage.
- A: Pharaoh Man’s stage. You can drop Rush Coil onto one of the blocks as you jump across, or Criedel suggests using the Ring Boomerang.
- T: It’s in Ring Man’s stage.
- W: Visit Crystal Man’s stage.
- I: Search Napalm Man’s stage.
- L: It’s in Stone Man’s stage.
- Y: Check out Charge Man’s stage.
- Rush Coil: Obtained by defeating Toad Man.
- Rush Jet: Get it by defeating Charge Man.
- Some locations of Proto Man:
- Use Rain Flush to douse the fire in Napalm Man’s stage. Climb the ladder.
- Wily’s space fort: Look for glowing blocks in the wall. There are two. Use the Charge Kick to break into secret rooms. Handy deep in the fortress!
- ... (I forget the rest! Oh well...)
- Hold down the button constantly when using the Pharaoh Shot, and you’ll never use up any energy. Just hit things with the ball over Mega Man’s head, and as long as you continue holding , the weapon will begin charging all over again automatically. When you’re done, open the subscreen before releasing so you don’t have to waste any energy.
- Watch the ending closely: not only do they play Mega Man’s theme song, but notice what he’s using against the Robot Masters. Sometimes he acts dumb—just standing there—but other times he shows true skill. He manages to fight Crystal Man without taking a hit, and check out how he deals with Stone Man. He tosses a Napalm Bomb behind him, and Stone Man jumps over him and lands on the bomb!
- Press on the stage select screen to flip between the two sets of Robot Masters (only applicable once you’ve defeated the first four).
- Press while on a stage select screen, and you can go to Dr. Light’s lab.
- Lose all your lives and continue four times in a row and Dr. Light will upgrade Mega Man’s arm cannon! (It’s not any more powerful that I can tell, but the shots fly faster, which does make a difference.)
The ending begins with Dr. Wily falling to the ground wearing a backpack, which he uses to help him escape. The place starts to blow up, so Mega Man tries to flee it. He escapes the space fort with Ballade’s help, and then the game goes to cut scenes showing Mega Man fighting the Robot Masters in this game. It’s fun to watch the quick bits—you just have to see what he does to Stone Man! Another cool thing is they play Mega Man’s theme song, but as in Mega Man 4’s ending, it’s slowed down a lot and they don’t play the entire thing. Oh well.
Once the demo is over, the music changes and you see the old-style drawing of Mega Man (the one used in Mega Man I and Mega Man II) standing (once again) on stars. Then the background fades in to reveal an open field with mountains in the background and a setting sun.