MEGA MAN & BASS
SYSTEM YEAR GENRE RATING SNES/GBA/WiiU 1998 Traditional 80% ALSO KNOWN AS Rockman & Forte
A robot by the name of King has stolen some of Dr. Wily’s Robot Master plans and intends to use them to take over the world. Mega Man, Proto Man, and Bass all set out separately to stop him, but only one will succeed...
Rockman & Forte was basically a strange hybrid game for the Super Nintendo (currently only released in Japan) that was later ported to the Game Boy Advance and then finally translated and released in English as Mega Man & Bass. The graphics are from Mega Man 8, the sounds from Mega Man 7, and the dual-character mode is from Mega Man X4.
This game is not Mega Man 9. Not even the Japanese version. Don’t believe all of the ROM download sites. If the game was Mega Man 9 it would say so on the box and title screen. You know, like the real Mega Man 9 does.
In this game, like in Mega Man X4, you can choose to play as either Mega Man or Bass, and you spend the entire game as that character. (Of course, Proto Man is in the plot too, but you cannot play as him. Instead he just spends the entire game getting dusted. What does Capcom have against the poor guy?)
Like in Mega Man X4, Bass plays a bit differently than Mega Man, and has lost his Mega Buster in favor of a Bass Buster. Below list the differences in his play compared to Mega Man’s (see the strategies page for details about Mega Man’s play control).
- Dash: Like X and Zero, Bass dashes instead of slides. This does not get him as low to the ground, so it is virtually useless for dodging things. It also will not get him through one-block passages that Mega Man can slide through. This is identical to X and Zero, and like them, the dash is mostly useful for speeding up Bass and making farther jumps.
- Double-Jump: Bass has a built-in double-jump: no special item is required. Press jump while in the air and Bass will jump again. He can only jump twice in one leap.
- Rapid-Fire: Bass can no longer charge his cannon. He now has automatic rapid-fire. He can also aim diagonally as well as straight up. When Bass is firing, he cannot run, although he can jump. This is so that you can press directions on the control pad to aim his shots without actually moving him from where he is standing. Bass’s shots, unlike Mega Man’s, do not go through walls, although he can have up to four of them on the screen at once. It’s significant to note that Bass’s shots are at least half the power of Mega Man’s, which is to compensate for his rapid-fire rate.
GBA vs SNES
This page basically reviews the SNES version of the game, as that was the first one released. However, generally the GBA version is identical, except that the screen is smaller. The developers did a fairly good job making the game playable even at a smaller resolution, but there are a few cases where you have to jump onto spikes in order to see if there are any down there or not...
Also, whoever translated the manual did so literally—nearly all of the names are the Japanese names, rather than the “correct” English names. See the Name Changes page or the “Also Known As” tags in the Data Base section for details on who is who. Most of the time, the in-game text is accurate, but there are still a few goofs there as well (such as Bolts being referred to as “Screws”).
- I can’t see underwater in Pirate Man’s stage; can you give me any tips?
Yes. Buy the game.
Emulators notoriously choke on the translucency effects of water in certain stages. Yes, there are ways around this—which basically involve getting your emulator to either support or disable the translucent layers—but these methods vary from emulator to emulator. I cannot guide you through the process. Try looking in the help files for your emulator...or play on a SNES or GBA, which have no troubles at all with the translucent effects.
- How do I get through Ground Man’s stage?
I get asked this a lot, so I thought I’d stick the answer here. The section in question is the part with the statue heads and the spike bars. The more heads you destroy, the closer the spikes move. So the trick is to avoid shooting heads as much as possible. Destroy the red statue heads to open the door. Try using your Master Weapons to strategically destroy heads (for example, the Magic Card can shoot straight up and can go through floors and walls; useful when you revisit the stage). In some cases, you can shoot a head and then run to get to a safe spot before the spikes get too close. Plan ahead before you shoot, and keep trying different patterns.
- What is the 100th CD?
Mega Man and Bass together. Yes, I’m fully aware there is a very old MegaGram in which we all speculate that it might have been of Zero or something like that. Note that this had been written before the game had been released long enough for anyone to prove the speculation one way or another. That was years ago. The MegaGram has long since been obsoleted, but like all of them, is still in the archives for archival sake.
- Play Control:
- The control’s a little loose, where your character (particularly Mega Man) has a bad habit of not jumping when you want him to. Otherwise it’s not too bad.
- Much like Mega Man 8, of course, but I found the graphics to be a bit less overly colorful here, which is a good thing in my view.
- Amazingly, almost just like Mega Man 8 even though on a less powerful system.
- Very few tunes really stood out for me.
- Sound Effects:
- The sounds are from Mega Man 7, so the only really good thing about them is there is no horrible squishing landing sound effect that plagued Mega Man 8.
- Well, the plot isn’t bad, although Proto Man spends the entire game getting himself incapacitated and King comes off somewhat impersonal.
4(normal to hard)
- The difficulty varies depending on who you are using and where you are; Bass has an easier time navigating stages because of his double-jump and his aiming ability, but he has a harder time fighting bosses since he cannot charge up his cannon. Also Mega Man’s items tend to be slightly more useful than Bass’s.
- Replay Value:
- This game has both random Screws (Bolts) to find and CDs in specific locations, much like a blend of Mega Man 7 and Mega Man 8. This adds to the replay value; however, I find some of the levels to be poorly designed, at least when playing as Mega Man, which makes me think they were designed with Bass in mind, thus giving Mega Man the shaft. Also the fortress bosses are almost all frustrating; it’s as if the developers were trying to make them as irritating as possible.
- Nothing terribly blew me away, although the stage select screen is new and Bass steps out of Mega Man’s shadow and gets unique equipment for once.
- A decent game that showcases what the SNES is capable of doing. It’s just a shame it came out when the SNES was already dead, at least here in America.
- + Plus:
- Bass plays differently than Mega Man (aimable arm cannon, double-jump, no slide, etc.) and thus makes it worth going through the game with both of them at least once.
- - Minus:
- Most of the levels seem to have been designed with Bass in mind and thus are murder to play using Mega Man.
The stage select screen is done by paths—as you defeat Robot Masters, more paths open up. It’s a decent idea, but the problem is you are left with only three stages open from the start. At the beginning, you can choose only from Cold Man, Astro Man, and Ground Man. You must defeat one of these to challenge any others. Feel free to experiment; below is a suggestion that will work based on what paths you open while still giving you decent weapons. However, defeating Burner Man is murder and waxing Pirate Man is pretty easy even without any special weapons, so you may try doing what I do and save Burner Man for last. This will allow you to have saved up some Screws for extra items to help you in the battle.
- Cold Man (use buster, or try Lightning Bolt or Copy Vision)
- Burner Man (push him onto the spikes with the Ice Wall; make sure he’s on the screen when he hits the spikes or you might not inflict the additional damage)
- Pirate Man (use Wave Burner (believe it or not) and try to hit him with it while he’s dry... or just rapid-fire the sucker to death)
- Ground Man (use Remote Mine)
- Tengu Man (use Spread Drill and hit him with the biggest drill if you can; no, knocking him into the pit doesn’t help since he can fly)
- Magic Man (use Tengu Blade; hit with the swipe itself—not the projectile—for best damage)
- Astro Man (use Magic Card)
- Dynamo Man (use Copy Vision or buster. Meet the most annoying Robot Master in the game (Burner Man is second). You’ll probably want the Energy Saver part activated for this battle.)
There are hatches in this game; however, they don’t take you to Robot Masters, they take you to eight rooms where you must use Master Weapons to trigger gems. Each room uses precisely one of the eight Master Weapons, and no weapons are repeated. You can generally tell which weapon to use by the gem color or the room layout or both, but if you’re having troubles, the chart below will clue you in. (Note: You get 100 Screws for each gem you trigger. Since you can only do this section once, make sure you don’t go over your Screw limit, or you will waste them. If you get full, exit the stage and have Auto build things until you are out of Screws.)
The rematches against the Robot Masters happen like in Mega Man (1) and Mega Man X(1). You encounter them in a set order, with small sections of stages separating each one. The order is: Cold Man, Astro Man, Dynamo Man, Pirate Man, Burner Man, Magic Man, Ground Man, and Tengu Man.
- Station 1 of Fortress:
- Pod and Monkey:
- The Copy Vision can be useful here; plant it in front of the pod and then stand on the platform, and the monkey will tend to aim at your duplicate instead of you. Remote Mines can also be handy, but I usually just end up using charged Mega Buster shots. To hit the pod, stand on the platform until the pod rises; a little head will pop down from the bottom at this time. You want to hit the head, of course. Be extremely careful that you leap off the platform when making your final hit against the pod, or you will plunge with the platform into the lava, and no, it doesn’t count as a victory even if you defeat the pod before dying (most of the bosses in this game leave some way for you to die after you defeat the boss...).
- Station 2 of Fortress:
- I have found no conventional way to make the jump to King’s lair with Mega Man late in this station, but you can use Ice Wall or the Lightning Bolt to get yourself up there.
- There are four places to target on this thing; one you don’t have to destroy at all if you don’t want to. Basically spend your time pacing underneath the tank, climbing up only to make an attack. If you keep moving, the bombs the tank drops will not hit you, and if you stand still, his cannon will not hit you.
- Cannon (front): This is what you should aim for first, since it’s harder to hit the head until the cannon is gone. Attach a Remote Mine onto the cannon, then climb down below the tank and wait until the cannon begins to fire before setting off the bomb. (You can also use a Lightning Bolt once the cannon is firing.)
- Head (top): Use the same technique as with the cannon: attach a bomb on the head, then wait below until the head lifts to drop bombs.
- Treads (bottom): You don’t have to destroy these, but if you do, the tank’s cute charge attack is disabled. You must hit the treads from the front; try using mines.
- Hatch (back): Aim for the hatch on the tank’s rear (right side). You can only hit it when it is open, while discharging robots. I like using Magic Card or Bass’s shoot-through-walls enhancement and firing from underneath; this way the tank cannot harm you.
- This is one of the most frustrating bosses simply because if you make a single mess-up, you have to start all over again. The only good side is the guaranteed 1-Up you find in a chest during the stage (try using the Magic Card to snare it), which means you can retry the boss as many times as your tolerance level will allow.
- With Mega Man I found Remote Mines to work best, although you’ll probably run out of energy, and at any rate, experiment a bit. Lightning Bolts and even Copy Vision can be handy as long as their energy lasts, simply because you can use them without having to worry about aiming too much (since you’ll probably be focusing all of your attention on where you’re putting your feet). With Bass, just hold down the fire button and plaster the thing with his normal rapid-fire shots while you concentrate on jumping (the super-shot enhancement helps here). Either way, you want to hit the dome on top, although sidetrack to destroy the red cannon when it begins glowing. Hit bubbles from the lower left to snag items from them. The exception are the ones with the glowing white pods; these break on contact with the bubble and cause the screen to go white for a second. Try to avoid these; however, your biggest threat are the fists, which can break platforms out from under you, leaving you no time to adjust. Fists can be destroyed, but prepare to dodge them anyway. You can clear the jump over a destroyed platform, but not if you hit a fist in midair, or if your timing is off.
- King 1st time:
- Have Mega Man use Beat and Bass use Treble, and make sure your Energy Saver is activated.
- King 2nd time:
- After Proto Man bites the dust, use Lightning Bolt. Stand in the center of the screen, jump, and activate it in midair just as King charges you. If you time it right, he will constantly dash right underneath you, back and forth, clearing the way so that you don’t fall on top of him after your Lightning Bolt fades. Don’t let up once you have the pattern down, and he should fall easily.
- King 3rd time: (yes, all these bosses are in a single fortress stage!)
- This is basically a conglomeration of all of the other bosses in this stage. As Danny notes, with the correct weapon you can still destroy the tank treads here, though honestly the charge attack is really the least of your worries. (In fact, because it’s so easy to avoid, you’ll do better if King wastes time charging often, so you’re almost shooting yourself in the foot to take that attack out of his arsenal.) Anyway, to damage King, stand on the platform (Mega Man has to time his jump just right to reach it; stand to the right of it and jump up and around it) and fire super-shots at the dome where King’s head is. (The aim for this is somewhat fickle; if you hit too low, it’ll bounce off the front.) Bass should stand his ground and fire diagonally any time he is not dodging. Try using the Super Armor part here, or Bass’s super-shot enhancement. You can divert the small circular homing shots with a Copy Vision. As with the ship boss, destroy the cannon in the middle of the boss with a Remote Mine or something whenever it starts charging to prevent it from firing that screen-engulfing laser at you.
- Station 3 of Fortress:
- You have to re-fight all of the Robot Masters here in predetermined order: Cold Man, Astro Man, Dynamo Man, Pirate Man, Burner Man, Magic Man, Ground Man, and Tengu Man.
- Wily 1st time:
- Try Remote Mines, or just super-shot Wily’s face. If you’re quick enough, you won’t have to worry about dodging much. Keep jumping for best results. Mega Man can slide under Wily’s charge; Bass has to double-jump it.
- Wily 2nd time:
- (I think we can give up hope on Wily ever using any other attack in any future Mega Man game besides the appearing and disappearing saucer routine...)
- Use super-shots or Magic Card. Mega Man seems to do decent with charged-up Mega Buster shots; Bass doesn’t have this luxury so have him use the Magic Card or the super-shot enhancement. You’ll have to get good at Wily’s first form and get to the second with fairly high energy to have a chance. While it is possible to dodge all of Wily’s attacks, you’ll probably have to settle with trading hits. Just make sure you get that final hit in before he does!
There are no passwords, as this game uses saved games instead. You can have up to four games saved on the cartridge, plus a resume data that is automatically saved for you, and can only be used once. The resume data will put you back in the location where the auto-save took place. All other saves made anywhere in King’s fortress or in Wily’s fortress will put you back at the very beginning of King’s fortress.
CDs, on the other hand, are not tied to any one particular save, but are recorded globally on your cartridge whenever you pick one up. Press L+R+SELECT+START together while on the save screen to erase your CD database.
You can save after clearing stages, and on the “Game Over” screen. (Incidentally, on the “Game Over” screen “Retry” means “Continue” and “Continue” means “Stage Select.”)
The following are made using Screws. Bass gets slightly different items than Mega Man as detailed below.
Note: There is no limit to how many items you can make (other than that you can possess only one of most of them), and there is no limit to how many Screws you can find in the stages. So don’t hesitate to build items. It won’t take long before you possess every item in the game. After that, spend Screws on extra lives and Shock Guards and Item Presents.
Items that appear in the top row on the second page of your weapons screen activate automatically. Items in the second row must be selected before their effects are enabled, and you can only select one of them at a time. The two items in the lower left corner are used by selecting them, and their effects are instantaneous. Pet items, such as Rush and Treble, show up as weapons on the first page of your weapons screen. They are activated by equipping them like a normal weapon and pressing the fire button.
- Spare Body (50 Screws)
- Energy Balancer (120 Screws)
- Exit Unit (50 Screws)
- Shock Guard (10 Screws)
- Com System (100 Screws)
- Item Present (60 Screws)
- Enemy Analyzer (50 Screws)
- Super Recover (200 Screws)
- Cost Attack (200 Screws)
- Auto Charger (50 Screws) [Mega Man only]
- High-Speed Dash (100 Screws) [Bass only]
- Eddie (100 Screws) [Mega Man only]
- Step Booster (100 Screws) [Bass only]
- Rush Search (100 Screws) [Mega Man only]
- Treble Boost (200 Screws) [Bass only]
- Energy Saver (200 Screws)
- Damage Absorber (300 Screws)
- Super Armor (200 Screws)
- Auto Recover (450 Screws) [Mega Man only]
- Super Blast (300 Screws) [Bass only]
- High-Speed Charge (150 Screws) [Mega Man only]
- Hyper Blast (300 Screws) [Bass only]
- Beat (300 Screws) [Mega Man only]
- CD Counter (100 Screws)
- CD Finder (300 Screws) [Mega Man only]
Thanks to DocLight for working with me to figure out the purpose of a couple of the items.
Some general hints and tips for winning...
- Your weapons aren’t always refilled between stages, so remember to go refill them before tackling the next stage. (And grab some extra lives while you’re at it!)
- To gather Screws and 1-Ups quickly, reenter the intro stage and use the Magic Card on the drill-like Mole enemies you find near the beginning. If you shoot them with just your arm cannon, they seem to only drop energy, but if you blast them with the Magic Card, this changes in a hurry and they tend to drop all kinds of nifty stuff.
- If you’re playing as Bass, stand underneath worm dispensers and fire straight up. Tape the buttons down on your controller and go eat dinner. The power-ups will fall directly onto Bass, so you don’t even have to move. This is the fastest way to refill Bass’s energy.
- Try equipping Mega Man’s Auto-Charge item before entering a boss battle.
- To defeat a Sniper Joe easily, stand right next to him and fire so that your arm goes through his shield, and your shots will hit him instead of his shield even though he tries to block.
- Make good use of your items. Switch to the Super Recover before picking up energy capsules, and use the Energy Saver whenever you’re using a Master Weapon. It takes a bit of time to constantly open your subscreen and switch parts, but it’s time well worth it, since you don’t have Energy Tanks or anything to pull yourself out of jams.
- Whenever Mega Man finds a quiet area and is missing any energy at all, equip the Auto-Recharge and stand still for a while. Gates right before boss battles are usually quiet. Need I say more?
- Mega Man can use the Auto-Recharge even during a battle, but it won’t refill as fast if you are constantly moving around. In battles such as against the tank where you have the opportunity to stand still for even a few seconds at a time, don’t waste it.
- Some of the levels are poorly designed when playing as Mega Man, but remember you can use the Ice Wall to increase both the height and the width of your jumps. It won’t get you as high as Bass’s double-jump, but you can jump on top of the Ice Wall to reach higher areas. Also push the Ice Wall before jumping onto it, and you can ride it across spikes or use it to cross wide gaps (jump off the Ice Wall as it falls).
Mega Man’s Ending
Mega Man goes home dejected that he had to destroy King, but when he arrives, he discovers a letter that King sent him. In the letter, King states that he is still active and has turned away from evil for good.
Bass’s ending features Wily talking about creating a King II to replace the King that Bass destroyed. But Proto Man shows up and blows the plans to smithereens. Bass, who is annoyed at Wily for building King to begin with, doesn’t try to stop him. Wily rants at this, but can’t do much about it. Proto Man tells Bass that Bass will never defeat Mega Man because he is fighting only for himself, whereas Mega Man fights to protect the people who are important to him. (This comes up in the Power Fighters as well.) Then Proto Man tosses a “see you” and vanishes.
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Last update: July 17, 2009