Mega Man 4 – Rock’in With A Charge Shot

Whew! Mega Man 3 took a long time to write since… I… I just hated playing that game. Or perhaps it was because I beat the game before getting screenshots so I basically had to beat the game again even though I didn’t want to. But here we go! Finally doing Mega Man 4! Mega Man 4 is actually one of my favorite Mega Man games! (So hopefully I’ll be able to get this article done quicker) So let’s get on with it!

Let’s boot up the game! When you boot the game up, the game goes: SEGA!!! Wait… this… this is a Sega Genesis. What… Who? WHO HOOKED A SEGA GENESIS UP TO MY TV!? WHAT?! WHO DID THIS!? I DON’T EVEN LIKE SEGA!!!

Three hours later of fiddling with wires n’ stuff.

Ugh, who would do such a thing? Okay, time to actually play Mega Man 4. We actually get a story this time! We learn that Wily isn’t evil anymore, it’s Dr. Cossack this time! So yeah, we got a new villain to go after! Also, the intro does tell us one important thing. Mega Man got his Mega Buster upgraded! If you hold down the shoot button, then Mega Man will start charging his shot! Let go of the button to shoot an extra powerful shot! Well… It’s not too powerful in Mega Man 4 actually. Anyway, let’s start! Let’s check out the 4th generation of Robot Masters! We got Toad Man, Bright Man, Pharaoh Man, Ring Man, Dust Man, Skull Man, Dive Man, and Drill Man! Pretty cool! Also, I think Mega Man 4 is the first Mega Man game to have a clear order without confusion. Toad Man is ridiculously easy so almost everyone takes him on first. And I will too!

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This generation’s Robot Master lineup!

Toad Man’s stage starts off with it raining! And it actually has wind physics too! However, these wind physics are a bit weird. As long as you’re on the ground, you’ll move at normal speed. However, if you jump you’ll be pushed back some. Thank goodness the platforming isn’t too hard. Then we go into the sewers! Yuck! Luckily it’s not raining down there… but the sewer is still yucky.

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So much water!

It even has rats in it! AND GIANT SNAILS?! WHAT?! I don’t think snails are in sewers… Anyway, boss time! For some reason, the boss health bars take a lot longer to fill up than the other games. Toad Man is ridiculously easy. His weapon is a screen clear… but as long as you keep hitting him he won’t even attack! All you need to do is keep hitting him and dodging his stupidly easy to dodge jump attacks. After you beat him like in regular Mega Man fashion, you get his weapon! It’s a screen clear alright… BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!! We get the Rush Marine Adapter! Wait isn’t that the Submarine one? I guess you could use it in Dive Man’s stage but… It’s still not too useful.

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One down, seven to go!

Up next is Bright Man! His stage is very… bright. Yeah that’s the best I could come up with. The first few screens of his stage consist of enemies that make the screen go dark, and then enemies that light the screen back up when you shoot them. They’re pretty neat and interesting and then… Crickets and Totem Poles.

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I’m not too sure why these are in the electric themed stage of the game.

But… why? They don’t fit the stage theme at all! Oh well. Let’s fight a toy capsule vending machine! Because that fits the level theme, right guys? *crickets chirp* Then some weaponized… ceiling fans…? This level’s theme is totally out of wack. And then there’s a split path. Go down to find some more gimmick platforms and keep going straight to skip them. If you choose to go along the extra route, you get an Extra Life and an E-Tank!

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These platforms are pretty fun!

His bossfight is REALLY ANNOYING! He shoots and at certain parts of his bossfight, he freezes time and usually just jumps on you so you take forced damage. It’s a very annoying bossfight. After beating him, we get the Flash Stopper. It’s a time stopper type weapon. Use it, and it freezes time for a bit and uses a good amount of weapon energy. Once activated, you can shoot normal buster shots with it.

Let’s take on Pharaoh Man next! His stage is pretty awesome and it’s probably one of my favorites. His stage starts off in a huge pool of quicksand with Sasureenus and Haehaeys.

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These scorpions never leave you alone in this beginning segment!

After that, you’ll find yourself at a hole. You actually need to jump over it. You can either use Rush or do a difficult jump, whichever you prefer. If you successfully jump over it, you’re  rewarded with the Balloon Adapter! It also sends you further into the level, skipping some of it. What does the Balloon Adapter do? You can send out a balloon that slowly rises and you can jump on. It’s a pretty cool utility to use.

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Bats! They chase you! And then they just completely ignore you. The AI on these things is pretty dumb.

Anyway, further into the stage you see the gimmicks known as Hovers. They’re little platforms that when you stand on them, move right. They will also shoot within a certain range so you’ll need to look out for that too. Why are they in a tomb? I have no idea. Let’s fight Pharaoh Man now! He sure is a spazz. Unless… you have Flash Stopper! Then you can just stop him in his tracks. Pharaoh Man is incredibly easy if you have the Flash Stopper.

Pharoah Man Is Such A Spazz
For some reason, this time he just used his energy barrier attack a lot. I’m completely fine with that but it was weird.

After beating him, you get the Pharaoh Shot. You can shoot it in multiple directions and hold the button down to charge it up and as you’re charging it up, it grows above your head and you can actually use it to hit enemies with it above your head. But… there is a bug with this weapon. If an enemy hits it above your head without you actually shooting it and you hold the button down afterwards, you can still shoot a fully charged shot.

Let’s take on Ring Man next! His stage is ANNOYING! It has minibosses for some dumb reason. Anyway, his stage starts off with a gimmick right away! These platforms close in from the right or left when stood on. And… THE most annoying enemy in the game. Meet… the Wall Blaster. It’s a cannon on the wall that is always placed in the most annoying positions. You also see some enemies called Ring Rings but they’re really like tellies except they don’t have a spawner. They’re not too bad.

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Behold! My most hated screen in the game! You can probably see why.

After the beginning of the stage, it’s time for the first miniboss. For this first boss, it’s a Hippo that shoots missiles and you need to shoot the support of his platform to shoot him. That is… if you’re only using the Mega Buster. I recommend using Rain Flush or Rush Coil to hit him.

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I’m pretty proud of this attempt.

After that annoying miniboss, it’s time for more Ring Platforms! There’s also some risky health to get if you’re careful. Time for the second miniboss! This next one is called a Whopper. (Wily must’ve went to Mc Donalds) And it’s just as annoying as the last. It fires off six rings, and while doing so, he’s left open so you can attack him. And right after him is the THIRD MINIBOSS! Another one of those hippos. This stage is super annoying really just because of how many minibosses it has! After the miniboss, there’s a ladder that leads up and another path that continues on to the stage. If you go up, you meet a new character to the Mega Man series! Meet… Eddie! He gives you a random item. Usually something dumb like Weapon Energy. However… as long as you don’t collect the item he gives… you can keep respawning him until he gives you the item you desire! So basically every Eddie location for me is a free E-Tank.

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How nice of you, Eddie!

Anyway, moving on. You’re introduced to a new gimmick called the Coil Platforms! They’re basically the Ring Platforms but they fold in from the opposite way. A little bit later, we have the FINAL MINIBOSS! THANK GOODNESS! After that miniboss, it’s time to fight the actual boss! Ring Man’s pattern is pretty easy to understand but he does SO MUCH DAMAGE! Luckily, that Pharaoh Shot glitch really helps in this bossfight. After beating him, you get the Ring Boomerang. It’s a ring you can shoot out that goes out and back in.

How about we take on Dust Man next? His stage is kinda sad actually. It’s set in a robot junk yard so it’s already pretty sad but the music also makes it more sad. Anyway, there’s a few new enemies that we haven’t seen before. There’s Shield Attackers which fly left to right within a certain range, Jumping Mets which are Mets that jump instead of run, and Up N’ Downs which are hiding in pits and jump out when you get near. Up N’ Downs actually spawned a whole new enemy group, too. Okay, enough rambling, time to get on with the stage. After another Big Eye ripoff (That’s incredibly easy to deal with) It’s time to meet one of this stage’s gimmicks. They’re these little blocks that build and you jump across them. That’s it. It’s a pretty simple gimmick.

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Jump across them carefully!

After Eddie giving you another item, it’s time for the second gimmick, these pounder things and dust blocks. You’ll need to watch out for the pounder and try not to get squished but also deal with the breakable dust blocks and Mets. Pretty easy. The boss is pretty easy. When he fires his Dust Crusher, just be sure to jump and it won’t hit you. His other attack is just trying to suck you in and it’s extremely easy to not get hit.

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Fighting Dust Man!

After beating him, you get his weapon, the Dust Crusher. It’s basically the Mega Buster but it splits when it hits an enemy or wall.

Five down, three to go!

Time for Skull Man, probably the most intimidating Robot Master yet! I mean, HE’S CALLED SKULL MAN!!! His stage is actually pretty easy… It’s really just an endurance run of you fight’in enemies like the Blue Robot you are. There is a split path in the middle of the stage, but you basically only want to go upwards. Up there you can get an E-Tank. Really this stage doesn’t need much explaining. It’s just fighting enemies.

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Worms and Skull Mets oh my!

His bossfight is pretty tough though. He shoots really fast and he’s hard to dodge. After you beat him, you get the Skull Barrier. It’s just a barrier weapon. It goes down in one hit. It’s useless.

Let’s take on Dive Man next! His stage is a water stage. And you know what that means! Lots of death spikes! His stage is pretty tough even though it’s just fighting enemies the whole way through.

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The beginning of Dive Man’s stage! Death spikes galore!

His miniboss is annoying. He shoots super fast missiles that seem almost impossible to dodge! A little later in the stage, after the second miniboss, there’s a hole that you’ll want to go down. After a fairly easy spike drop, you get the Wire Adapter. It’s basically a grappling hook that you can only shoot straight up. It’s pretty useless.

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So many spikes! Good gosh!

A little more of enemy shoot’in and it’s time for the boss! The boss seems pretty simple but I find it pretty tough. After beating him, you get the Dive Missile! It homes onto enemies which works pretty well! (Though I don’t use it that much because my favorite weapon will forever be the Mega Buster.)

Finally we’ll take on Drill Man! His stage is also one of my favorites. His stage starts off with adorable Mets! As well as Takento’s which are one of the most annoying enemies in the game. They’re really hard to kill and deal with and really they’re just not fun to fight. His stage is fairly simple so I’ll skip to the part where it gets interesting. First, there’s Rocks that drop out of shoots that you’ll either need to be quick to slide under them or shoot them as they come out so you can get past them unharmed. Next there’s switches that you need to turn on that… solidify the ground? Drill Man likes breaking the laws of physics apparently. Then the stage combines the two gimmicks to make a pretty interesting section.

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These boulders are pretty annoying. But the switches are pretty cool!

We’re finally to the boss! He’s pretty simple to see how he works but he’s pretty hard to dodge. Specifically, when he shoots his Drill Bombs and when we runs across the screen for me. When you beat him, you get his own weapon, the Drill Bomb! It’s also the “block breaker” weapon of the game.

After beating all the Robot Masters, it’s finally time to take on Dr. Cossack and end his evil doings. Let’s travel to his Fortress- er… Citadel. For some reason, the lines drawing on the fortress screens take a long time too. Anyway, starting off on the first Cossack Stage! You start off in some deep snow! Moving through it will slow you down but sliding or jumping out of it will put you back at normal speed. You actually want to go left first to get yourself a nice shiny E-Tank. Dr. Cossack has a secret weapon… EVIL SLINKIES!!! 

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JUST LOOK AT HOW EVIL THEY ARE!!!

Well specifically, Tomboys. They’re slinkies that hurt and walk down steps. Cool. After you climb up a bit, there’s some Skeleton Joes and Up N’ Downs. This doesn’t sound like a bad combo at first, but it is pretty tricky. Time for some forced weapon usage! It’s best to use the Balloon adapter for this part but you can use the dog.

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I’ll get you Cossack!!! Just wait and see how powerful my balloons are!!!

Now, an enemy we’ve never seen before. Meet… the Ladder Press. It’s an enemy that attaches on to ladders and clamps down at set periods. They’re a pretty neat enemy, though they only appear a few times. And… boss time already? Well that was a short stage. The boss is a giant moth that shoots at you now and then but it also breaks the ground. It has a spike underneath it that extends to break a small portion of the ground you’re fighting on.

Time for the next stage! The stage starts off with a choice! The left ladder… or the right ladder… It doesn’t really change anything. Both paths meet up again right on the next screen. Some free Weapon Energy up for grabs, and a new enemy! These are Docrons which are basically skulls on wheels and only take 1 shot to kill. Though, the fact that they come from a dispenser I guess makes them a bit more tough since they keep respawning. But you can kill the dispenser anyway so I guess this enemy is just super easy. Anyway, time for some forced dog usage. You need to fly across this spike pit.

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*Insert obligatory dog usage here*

Done. Well that was super easy. And now… gimmick time! It’s a block with spikes on each side of it that change where they are at a given time. They’re pretty neat and interesting though… they only appear for two screens. That’s disappointing.

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Say hello to these blocks! And now they’re gone!

A random bat and forced do- OH YOU JUST HAVE TO USE WIRE ADAPTER INSTEAD JUST SO I COULDN’T SAY IT DIDN’T YOU?! Eh, whatever. Some health that you can get by using the Wire Adapter instead of the dog because you’re mean to me and some more bats! And then some free Weapon Energy. Wow, this fortre- Citadel is giving out a lot of goodies. But it’s not as incredibly easy as the MM3 Fortress. Even more goodies and an E-Tank behind a barrier that can only be broken with Drill Bomb, and boss time already! Say hello to Square Machine! The least menacing sounding boss in Mega Man 4! It comes in 3 pieces and you need to dodge the large pieces as you need to get inside it when it’s going slow so you can damage it. It’s a fairly simple boss and like that, we’re going onto Cossack Stage 3!

We’re outside again! Yay! And… autoscrolling? Isn’t this Mega Man? Maybe Mario came and brought his autoscrolling with him.363440_20181110100638_1 Anyway, new enemy type! Meet the Biree. It’s an invincible enemy that moves around platforms. And Pakkato 24’s. They’re annoying cannons that only open for a split second and a lot of people hate them. I don’t. Some more free Weapon Energy and more platforming. Then there’s an difficult jump with spine like enemies that you basically want to use a Robot Master weapon on. And then…. Gimmick time! And they actually appear for longer than two screens! What a miracle!

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These platforms are fun to jump on!

It’s a platform that lowers when you stand on it and raises when you jump off of it. It’s fairly simple but is pretty fun. This fort- Citadel sure is easy. Speaking of easy, have an E-Tank. You’ll need to use Balloon Adapter to get in the hole to slide through, but that’s it! Anyway, BOSS TIME!!! Time for the Cockroach Twins! They’re little bug things that walk along the walls and ceiling and they shoot once in a while so you need to be on the move. There’s also spikes on the floor so you’ll need to be careful around those, too. And like the name suggests, there’s a second one! He must’ve drank some coffee this morning because he sure is fast! Anyway, boss down. One more stage to go!

Time for Cossack Stage 4! The last one! We’re almost done!!! Ah, aren’t the stars beautiful tonight? Wait… the last stage was in the middle of the day and… this makes no sense. Some more free Weapon Energy if you hold right or left while dropping down, and more Pakkato 24’s. You can also use Drill Bomb to get a nice E-Tank if you’d like. Some more Biree’s and and a split path! Taking the non-weapon usage path, you got outside! Now with more Up N’ Downs! Get a free 1-Up, and not boss time yet, brace yourself Link. More free Weapon Energy and some annoyingly placed Shield Attackers. Another small split path which just decides whether you get Health or not, and some more goodies and… Boss Time! We’re about to finish the game! Wait… why is there no Boss Rush? Eh whatever, who needs those? Time for a crane game! Who’s up first? He’ll try to shoot a spread shot to try to hit you and try to pick you up to do damage but… there’s a weird exploit with him. If you slide, it resets whatever he’s doing at the time for whatever reason. That means if you keep sliding, he will be incredibly easy to deal with. C’mon one last shot… huh? Dr. Cossack wasn’t evil all along? Who could’ve it been?! Oh yes… it was Dr. Wily’s doing all along. Welp, gotta go to his fortress now.

After Dr. Wily showing off his brand new fortress, it’s time to go into his… uh… sewer? I- I… think? Anyway, the start starts off with a Met! And another… Why are there so many Mets here?! They’re all over the place! Well I guess Mets are the only enemy here! Get ready for a level filled with cuteness. They are positioned in some pretty clever ways! And then… water section! Make sure you hold right because if you don’t, as you fall down the hole or you will be greeted with death spikes. And down here there are adorable swimming Mets! This is probably by far one of my most favorite stages in the classic Mega Man games. Why? Mets are cute! And this stage has tons of them! After some perilous spikes jumps underwater, it’s time for some Yoku Blocks! (One of my favorite gimmicks in Mega Man somehow.) There’s also a random saw enemy here even though this stage is filled with Mets. Make sure you kill it on every playthrough to give the Mets some peace. After just two rooms of Yoku Blocks (Or disappearing blocks if that’s what you call them.) Um… nothing much has changed. Just more Mets. And… BOSS TIME!!! The boss is a giant Met! Metall Daddy! He’s a big ol’ Met that hops around and spawns his offspring to attack you! The boss music has changed, too! It’s pretty epic! He’s actually kinda annoying to fight since sometimes it seems like you take unavoidable damage. But anyway, he’s dead! Moving onto Skull Castle Stage 2!

The stage starts off with a choice! However only one path leads you to the correct place. After going down a ladder, there’s some more of those bug copter guys. You probably want to get out of this room quickly. In the next room, there’s an E-Tank! How generous! But no one will ever top Mega Man 3 Skull Castle. That fortress just hands out E-Tanks like candy. After another split path, there’s a bit of Forced Weapon Usage! I knew you would had to have used weapons somewhere in Wily’s Fortress! After getting another E-Tank with Eddie by using the Eddie respawn glitch, it’s time for ANOTHER split path! This stage loves ’em. Under no circumstances should you take the left path though… unless you want a saw in your face. More wiggly worms and mummies that can’t seem to keep their heads on, and then the background goes dark! Hey who turned the lights off? Apparently that makes Battontons drawn here. Let’s fight some toy capsule machines! Mega Man might start a new trend here. Time for the boss! Today’s boss is Tako Trash! (And yes, you do pronounce the name like “Taco”. Pretty weird right?) He’s not exactly the most intimidating boss… Heck, there’s even a cheese to him. If you fire one Drill Bomb near his mouth, and another one into his weak point, it actually destroys his hitbox so you won’t be damaged if you go inside him. After that hilariously easy boss, it’s time for Stage 3!

Suspicious game generosity go!!! This stage literally starts off with an E-Tank, Extra Life, and two Big Weapon Energies. Sweet. After some actually kind of unfair gameplay, you know what time it is! Rematch time! There’s literally nothing to say here. Just fight the bosses again. And no break in between! You have to fight the Wily Machine right after the boss rush! Luckily the first phase is pretty easy! It almost seems like he’s not even aiming at you. For some reason, in the second phase you HAVE to use weapons or charge shots. If you don’t, you can’t hit him. Yeah it’s pretty mean. After beating him, (finally) the game’s ov- WAIT WHAT?! WILY ESCAPED?! Ugh I guess we have to go through one more stage.

There’s not a lot to this stage so I probably won’t really talk about it. It’s basically just the part leading up to the final boss. Dr. Wily made a new toy! Meet… the Wily Capsule! He even made a whole lineup! You want to use the Pharaoh Shot in this fight, since normal Mega Buster shots doesn’t even effect him. (And Pharaoh Shot is just really good for this bossfight.) He likes to teleport around the arena trying to surprise you and make this one of the most annoying bosses in the game! We finally beat him! This game is actually done! Good gosh. And… Credits! Pretty neat looking credits at that! So will Dr. Wily finally learn his lesson? Find out next time when… erm… I get around to doing another article. So, goodbye!

PlantPoweredGamers
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Mixing it Up – Resources for Making Our Own Games!

MegaMix

Educational “games” are an odd lot. Often they are little more than quizzes parading as a game and award the player with some trivial digital “prize” for completing each challenge successfully. There are a handful that I have experienced that seemed like the game portion of the educational game was given even modest attention, but one really can find a lot of value in games that were probably never intended to be exactly educational to begin with if a quick look below the surface is taken.

One of the focuses Grant and I have for his homeschooling curriculum is to delve into computer science. This includes programming/coding and he is the one that deserves the credit for finding this little gem: The Megamix Engine. The Megamix Engine is a fan-developed work which creates a very specialized version of Gamemaker Studio tailored for creating Mega Man fan games. It comes loaded with pretty much every asset one could imagine from the vast library of Mega Man games, but the code is still accessible so that would-be programmers can open it up just to inspect how things are done or even make edits and adjustments in order to alter existing tiles, characters and behaviors. I found it to be really helpful in explaining to Grant why we were spending time working on basic coding, but after he could actually see it working and found he could actually read and understand some of it I feel like he was much more willing to work on the basics of coding.

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The basic engine screen, which I see a lot of these days, in all its glory.

There is an actual gathering of user-designed levels from this engine and the group has called the resulting fan-game Make a Good Mega Man Level.  It currently has two releases and they give critique and feedback to the up-and-coming game/level designers which can be helpful in several ways. One particular benefit I have noticed is Grant’s ability to take criticism and his resilience to the often unfair opinions that some folks enjoy spewing across the internet wherever creation is happening. Seeing the potential harm in unfair and negative criticism has really helped Grant to be more gentle in his own critiques and I have seen him really pick up a lot of authority in this little circle of young artists and designers for his generally fair and honest yet constructive manner of critiquing level design, music, sprite art and all of the other things game related. If he found himself unfamiliar with something I have been delighted to watch him research on his own, study and acquaint himself with whatever the subject may be so that he is able to take part in that particular aspect of his groups activity. If only all “games” could encourage that kind of enthusiasm and study!

Another project spawned originally by this same engine is Mega Man Maker.  If you are noticing a theme here, yes Grant has meandered down the path of retro gaming and really fallen in love with the Mega Man series.  Mega Man Maker is more similar to Mario Maker in its design.  It has a “drag and drop” style menu that lets the user quickly put together some really nice designs and does all of the heavy lifting itself.  Sprites, animation, behaviors.. all of this is handled by the engine so that when a Met is plopped on a little hill in front of Mega Man, the little fella already knows he shout pop his hat up and spray bullets when Mega gets a bit too close.  Easy-peasy, right?  The only downside Grant has experienced with this comes in his exposure to the original engine and its flexibility in letting him edit specific behaviors and even tiles.  The huge bonus to this game is that it has a pretty vibrant online community with which to share games such that there is a near-endless supply of new content – which is of course where these maker-style games really shine.  One can never really exhaust the content faster than it can be produced as long as the community is active.

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Watching him work so hard at something that could be seen as simple play made me wonder about my own perceptions of what one might be able to learn while gaming. There is certainly some merit in teaching restraint, patience and careful spending in practically any game that has some sort of economy and money system. Ranging from the rupees of the Zelda series to the newer costume shops in Mario Odyssey and stretching to the near-endless means of resource gathering and crafting found in Skyrim, there is no shortage of games that teach some simple resource management if even on a superficial level. Of course wherever there is a money system there will be math and that is on full display in many of these games.

Logic puzzles are also quite commonplace in most adventure games we have played and has even found a way to creep into some of the newer platformers. A Zelda dungeon (or in the case of Breath of the Wild, a shrine) simply seems incomplete without solving all of the peculiar little logic puzzles. Breath of the Wild does a grand job of this with only the very limited supply of runes on the Sheika Slate, one must mix and match and really get creative in how to figure out how to pass many of the games more perplexing shrine challenges.

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Just gotta guide this fragile, wobbly platform suspended by inflated octorok-balloons past all of these spikey boxes.  No prob, Link.

Returning to the subject of tools and software that make it easier for players and users to create their own content, what an amazing artistic outlet this can become. Grant and his fellow Mega-makers really take this whole design aspect quite seriously, going so far as to actually look up resources, tutorials, videos and the like on the subject of good game design. Games such as Mario Maker for the WiiU are even more accessible, making it easy to simply pop in a disk and start making authentic-seeming Super Mario levels of one’s own. This is a trend that I hope to see continue.. and not just a little selfishly. Would I ever love to have a “Zelda-maker” game. I suspect someone will soon venture into the 3d-creator realm with a good entry as well and who knows where all of the new VR will take us. It’s certainly an exiting time for both designers and players alike.

If you are interested in checking out the Make a Good Mega Man Level fangames, Mega Man Maker or try your hand at crafting a game of any kind from the old abandonware check out the links and give it a shot.  The games are quite fun and it is interesting to see for oneself some of the upper-level challenges presented to a game designer.  Grant has finished MaGMML 2, as it is affectionately referred to (that’s pronounced “mag-mammal 2”, just in case) and I was surprised at the quality of this little fangame.  The hub-world is made to be like a little fairgrounds with loads of characters from the series strolling about and running things.  All of them are at least somewhat interactive with clever things to say and even a costume shop a-la Mario Odyssey.  I really cannot recommend it enough.

Thanks for reading!

PlantPoweredGamers
Grow Strong. Game On.

Niki: the Best Cat I Ever Had

One day, my mom heard that they had adoptions put up at a pet store. We got there and there were around 14 cats. We looked at them a bit but couldn’t really do anything with them since they were in cages. We decided to leave, but before we left, one of the ladies there told us about a cat haven somewhere. They also told us of a cat named Lady Gaga? They said she was really sweet and sassy. Since we didn’t really have much else to do that day, we decided to go. When we got to the Kitty Cat Haven, we were immediately discovered by some of the cats there. They came to us and demanded petting and playing. After petting them for a while, we went to another room with a bunch of kittens. They were all so cute and small! I tried to play with some of them but they didn’t really seem interested. After more cat pett’in, me and my dad decided to go to a porch where a lot of cats were. Some of them were playing, some of them were laying down, and even some of them were asleep. We tried petting some but none of them were that willing. They also had quite the setup back here. They had a giant staircase thingy that the cats could climb on. We sat down on some stools there but a gray and very furry cat came there and demanded our attention. She was really sweet and we actually petted her for a long while. Finally my dad checked the name tag and to our surprise, this was the cat they were talking about at the pet store. We weren’t planning to get a cat today since we already had two cats but, I wanted her so much! She was super kind and sweet. My mom finally obliged and let us get her. As we took her home, she just sat there in the cat carrier completely fine that she was in a car. We named her Niki because we already had another cat that was named Niko. When we got back home, we put her in one of the bathrooms so she could get used to the house. She was really supposed to stay in there until about a week but she ended up being ready to come out very early. She instantly began getting attached to me. It kinda worked out too, since my dad had Cricket, (Our dog.) and my mom had Niko, (One of our cats.) She would demand petting just about every day. She almost always stays with me and keeps me company. We love her so much and we still have her to this day.

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Mega Man 3 – A Slide Powered Threequel

After Mega Man 2’s great success, Capcom wanted to rush out with a new Mega Man game! However, in doing that, this game was kinda bad. There’s some graphical glitches, the gameplay is not the best, and there’s some bad slowdown issues. They did introduce a few new and cool ideas to the Mega Man series though! Such as Mega Man having an assistant, Rush the Robot Dog and being able to slide along the ground! However, the design is a little weird.

When you boot the game up, you’re taken to the title screen. And… uh… where’s the story? Were they seriously lazy enough to not even put a story in the game!? Mega Man 2 even did it for crying out loud!!! Eh, guess I’ll have to go searching on the internet to find the story.

1 hour of research later…

So, from what I can gather, Dr Wily and Dr. Light work together to make a giant Peace-Keeping robot named Gamma. With their research almost complete, all they needed to do is combine 8 Energy Elements that were scattered around uncharted planets and give them to gamma. For some reason, the newest Robot Masters created by both doctors to find the energy elements have suddenly gone crazy. Dr. Light needs the energy elements to finish Gamma so Mega Man sets out with Rush to get them back! So that’s the story! Pretty complex, right?

Anyway, let’s see what the robot master lineup is this time! Snake Man, Hard Man, Magnet Man, Spark Man, Shadow Man, Gemini Man, Top Man, and Needle Man. Pretty cool!

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The third generation of Robot Masters!

But what’s not cool is a little graphics glitch over Shadow Man’s mugshot. Seriously, how much effort did they put into this game!? I know it’s a pretty good and fun Mega Man game but still, it’s not as good as some of the others. But! Don’t select a stage yet! Go to password and put one blue dot on the right top corner. And… bam! 9 E-Tanks! Use this to your advantage if you like.

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Here’s a picture of what I was talking about.

Let’s take on Snake Man first! Snake Man’s stage is mostly an endurance run of you smashing enemies along the way. There’s a new type of pickup as well! Surprise Cans. Shoot them and they’ll spit out a random item. Oh you drop a small weapon energy!? WOW THANKS SO MUCH!!! (Sarcasm) The only real platforming in the stage is at the end where there’s these little smokestacks that spit out cloud platforms that raise into the sky.

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Climbing up the ladder to the sky themed part of the stage.

 

(Which are pretty buggy.) His bossfight is actually pretty hard until you realize that high ground is key. You’ll need to jump over him as he moves from left to right and you can only really do this if you have the high ground.

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Fighting Snake Man.

After beating him, you get the Search Snake. You can shoot one of these out and they’ll go along the floor and climb up walls!

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The new weapon get screen in all it’s glory.

Next up is Gemini Man! Wait… what do crystals have to do with his stage!? This stage’s theme is completely weird! After the first section you meet Break Man while he’s on some kinda of platform. The platform blows up. You continue. That was very undramatic. Near the end of the stage there’s… wait… how do you get up here? Hm… I wonder if Rush can help me out… Let’s pull him out! So he goes on the ground and… does he do anything? Maybe if I jump on him… ZOOM! Woah! He bounces you up! Now this is cool!

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Using rush to spring up to high places!

Sadly you HAVE to use him in some places. And it kinda sucks for perfect runners who only want to use the Mega Buster but have to use rush to progress. Right after that forced Rush usage there’s probably the worst section in this stage. You hopping on small blocks while trying to avoid TWO different enemies one at the bottom and one at the top. It sounds a lot easier than it is but because if you get hit you take knockback damage… Those enemies can make you plummet right into the water. Where you WILL die.

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Two different annoying enemies both trying to kill you!? AWESOME!

So this section is really hard. After that crazy of a section you’ll have to deal with a badly positioned Bikky. Which is just another Big Eye wannabe.

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Pick a better spot to attack from ya idiot!

Gemini Man’s bossfight is pretty neat! It’s actually one of the only multiphase bossfights in the classic mega man series. For the first phase he splits into two versions of himself and both of them run around the room and as you shoot, they shoot. The second phase has Gemini Man turn back into one and run around the room as he shoots his Gemini Laser which bounces off walls. After beating him you get the Gemini Laser! It’s a laser that bounces off walls AND LAGS THE GAME TREMENDOUSLY! Don’t use it unless you wanna use weaknesses because it’s just so laggy.

Up next is Needle Man! His stage takes place on a harbor… I think… His stage is kinda all over the place. You start out in a city, go to a harbor like setting and then you go inside a building…? It’s pretty confusing. At the start of the stage, you’ll find one of my least favorite enemies in the Mega Man Classic Series. Hari Hari. This enemy shoots spines and then curls up in a ball and rolls around which he’s invincible at that time. It’s just so hard to avoid him. Luckily there aren’t many in the game. A little later into the stage you encounter the Needle Presses. These needles go in and out as you dodge them.

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Ouch. These things are hard to avoid.

Really the rest of his stage is just fighting enemies. His bossfight is… VERY SPAMMY! Oh my gosh it’s hard to dodge him.

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This screenshot doesn’t reflect it, but it really is hard to avoid being hit.

Once you beat him you get the Needle Cannon. This weapon is just kinda a rapid-fire Mega Buster. It doesn’t really do anything else. But you do get the Rush Jet from him! The Rush Jet is super OP. Unlike the future Mega Man games, you can just fly around wherever you want to. And if you master this little trick, you basically get infinite energy for it. Since energy for it only drains while you’re actually on the thing, and because Rush always stays right under you, you can keep jumping to barely use any energy! (Note that you still need to be on rush to go upwards though)

Next I’ll take on Top Man, the least menacing sounding robot master in this game. His stage takes place in a greenhouse. (I think) I really don’t know where the heck his stage takes place.

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That’s just grass, I swear!

His stage is just kinda bleh. It doesn’t really have anything interesting going for it. At the end it just kinda has a little platforming segment that really doesn’t add anything. His bossfight is surprisingly easy since his pattern is so simple.

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Ooooh tops! So sca- OW! THOSE THINGS DO A LOT OF DAMAGE!!!

After you beat him you get the worst weapon in the game. The Top Spin. It lets you jump on enemies and if the enemy doesn’t die in one hit, you take damage. It really stinks.

Since Ninjas are allergic to tops for some reason it’d only be logical to take on Shadow Man next. And… What the heck does lava have to do with ninjas? They really need to work on the theme inside stages in this game.

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Some sources say that the lava is actually wine.

His stage is mostly just an endurance run of enemy attacks. But there’s one really neat idea in his stage. This one enemy called a Hologran. While it’s on screen, it makes everything but enemies and you invisible.

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Better be careful because the lights could go out at any moment!

Shadow Man’s bossfight is nothing special. He just kinda jumps and slides around the room as you fumble with the stupid Top Spin. After beating him you get the Shadow Blade, basically the Metal Blade but not OP. It’s kinda useful. After beating Shadow Man, you get the Rush Marine! It’s useless! You only have to use it in one section of the game and even then you could just use Rush Jet.

Up next is Spark Man. Hah! The weakness of Spark Man actually makes sense! His stage is pretty neat but do you know what isn’t neat? HARD TO DODGE ENEMIES OVER DEATH PITS! AHHHHH!!!

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These platforms rise up to try to slam you in the spikes.

Oh yeah I have Rush Jet. Problem solved! His bossfight is actually one of my favorites. He has a very telegraphed pattern so he’s fun to fight. After beating him, you get the Spark Shock. It stuns enemies. It really only works well at a few moments.

How about we take on Magnet Man next? When you start off there’s these flies who are carrying magnets. They can pick you up and carry you too!

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Let’s go for a ride!

After the first section you meet Break Man. Whoa why does he want to fight me!? Ummmmmm… okay? Anyway when you beat him the path opens up and you continue on your way. A little bit further into the stage, you meet these Magnets that pull you in. They’re pretty annoying ESPECIALLY when the game decides to throw Yoku Blocks in the mix too! You know those disappearing reappearing blocks that are very hard to get right?

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Doesn’t this look like fun?!

His bossfight is pretty simple but I have trouble with it somehow. His weapon is a pretty good one actually! You shoot it and as soon as an enemy gets within it’s Y coordinates, it goes towards the enemy.

Finally, we’ll deal with Hard Man! He has a neat gimmick called Wanaans. They’re little platforms that have a claw to try to grab you and make you take damage. His stage is pretty simple as well and is really just a straight shot to the finish. Near the end you fight Break Man again. Okay? His bossfight is really annoying. He’s VERY hard to dodge. After beating him you get the Hard Knuckle. It sucks! After beating him you… wait… more robot masters? No… it can’t be…

29836 hours of research later…

They’re called Doc Robots… and they stink. Let’s get this over with. So how this works is, we need to go back to four of the robot master stages but this time there’s two Doc Robots in each stage you need to fight. One in the middle and one at the end. What’s kinda neat about them is that they take on the battle moves of the robot masters from Mega Man 2. What’s not cool though is how their hitboxes are larger so it makes dodging them SO much harder.

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Time to do 4 of the stages over again! To be fair, it’s pretty neat to go along the same path but for the contents of the stage to be different.

Let’s do the Needle Man Doc Robot first. His stage is in nighttime now! Yay! After some needle dodging, there’s a 1-Up and E-Tank out for grabs! How nice!

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Whoa! That was close!

And then we have… Doc Air. A copy of Air Man. Sliding makes it easier to dodge the tornadoes he shoots. He’s weak to the Spark Shock. After beating him, you get a flying segment with Rush! Dang it some enemies ruin Mega Man and Rush’s flight! How annoying!

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Just leave me alone!

After even more forced weapon usage, we get to fight a Giant Metall! Well… it’s not really like a normal metall. It just kinda flies and shoots three bullets once in a while.

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I don’t think that’s a Met…

After that miniboss we get introduced to a new type of Met! Metall DX! They’ve learned to fly! And they’re really annoying too…

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I don’t want hugs today! Get away!

After you get past the rush of them trying to give you a pain filled hug, there’s ANOTHER Giant Metall! How many freakin bosses are there!? Let’s go fight Doc Crash now. He takes on the form of Crash Man which I hate. He’s weak to Hard Knuckle. Not much to say here. Just fighting Crash Man again. That’s really the problem with recycling the bosses. Not much is changed and it’s just kinda boring. I would’ve liked it more if there were only 4 Doc Robots and each had their very own attack pattern.

Oh well, beat the boss now so let’s go to Shadow Man’s place. His stage doesn’t have any lava anymore! What, why? Well I don’t know maybe the Doc Robots didn’t like lava so they threw it out!

And then the lava comes back… wot. After some actually kind of boring gameplay, you see one of the most annoying gimmicks in the game! Meet the drop platforms. Shortly after standing on them, they’ll drop you. You’d think that they wouldn’t be that annoying but hoooo boy you’re wrong. Since they drop so fast, it’s hard to get a good jump positioning. After that, time to fight Doc Wood! Remember how I said since the hitboxes are larger, the fights are harder… yeah… since the Doc Robot is bigger, the leaf shield he throws is bigger! Not a good thing. It’s VERY hard to jump over it. This Doc Robot’s weakness is the Needle Cannon. Yeah so I guess the Needle Cannon is useful after all… After beating Doc Wood let’s go and take a LONG breather……….

Ok I think that was long enough. The rest of the stage is just fighting enemies. After that VERY short second half, it’s time to fight Doc Heat. He’s weak to the Shadow Blade. Well okay. It’s just fighting Heat Man again. That’s kinda the problem with the Doc Robots. Since they’re just kinda clones of the Robot Masters from MM2, there really isn’t much to talk about them.

After beating Doc Heat, let’s go after Gemini Man revisited next. Coming back, we see that some of the ground is gone! Oh no! When we near the place that Break Man blew up for us to get inside, the hole is still there. After a short segment, we’re faced with Doc Flash. He’s weak to the Needle Cannon. Like I said, the Doc Robots have larger hitboxes so it’s harder to dodge him. After beating him, there’s some forced weapon usage! Yay! You’ll have to use Rush Marine or Rush Jet to get by it. Time to fight Doc Bubble! This fellow is weak to the Shadow Blade! Beat him. Done.

Time for Doc Spark! The ladder at the start of his stage has disappeared so we’ll have to use the assistance of… A dog! Up next are these conveyor belts! You’ll need to jump on them to get by. By the way, this is actually one of my favorite gimmicks in this game! I don’t know why, it’s only a conveyor belt so it doesn’t really make sense but, I like it. After that short section, let’s fight Doc Metal! He’s weak to the Magnet Missile which makes this fight super easy! After that fight there’s… Seriously? A spike drop? Think up something better Capcom. After some more kinda boring level, there’s Doc Quick. Why oh why… Quick Man is easily one of the hardest bosses if not THE hardest in Mega Man 2. And it only gets worse here. He’s weak to Gemini Laser.

After ALL OF THAT, let’s go beat up Break Man again! Won’t that be fun?!

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He just has the same pattern from the last 2 times I fought him. What the heck?

After mindlessly beating him up again, let’s head to Wahwee Fortress!

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Pretty cool fortress you got there, Wily!

Right at the start of the first Fortress Stage, there’s a free 1-Up! After beating some enemies, there’s a free E-Tank! Wot. Why is the game being so generous? Let’s head into the sewer because won’t that be fun!? A little bit later into the stage, you’ll see another 1-Up behind a barrier that can only be broken with Hard Knuckle.

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Gettin to high places with Rush!

Let’s keep heading on. Wait… what? There’s ANOTHER E-Tank! WHY IS THE GAME BEING SO FREAKING GENEROUS!? After some Yoku Blocks, we’re already at the boss! This boss is named the Kamegoro Maker. It makes turtles. Kill them. Win. Well that was an easy boss!

You start off on the second Wily Stage on a Drop Platform! Ugh, these again? Luckily they really aren’t used that much in the stage.

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These things are annoying. They’re so buggy!

After some free Weapon Energy and a 1-Up, there’s more Wanaans as well as BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!! Man I hate this enemy. It originally appeared in Hard Man’s stage where my main way of dealing with them is just to scroll them off the screen so they’ll disappear, but it’s a little harder to do that here. After the bees, let’s get more free items! Won’t that be fun!? After getting literally two free E-Tanks it’s time to fight the boss! Maybe they thought that since Mega Man 3 is a little harder than 2, they should make it a little easier by giving you so many items in the Wily Stages. Anyway, the boss is a Yellow Devil clone. Why. He’s allergic to the Hard Knuckle but it’s actually kinda hard to hit him with it. When he gets to the other side of the room, he blinks his eye as he shoots rapid shots, but the catch is… You can only hit him when his eye is open. So it’s actually pretty tough to actually hit him with his weakness.

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This guy again?! Why?!

Moving onto Wily Stage 3! And a badly positioned New Shotman right at the start! Great! Get some more Weapon Energy and have a another E-Tank! Why not!? After some more Holograns, let’s beat up some more Bikkys! Or you can just slide under them… okay? This stage actually has a gimmick! The gimmick is blocks that wrap around the screen going from one side to the next. There’s only two screens of em. Aw. Time for the boss of this stage! Time for the Hologram Mega Mans! They’re three Mega Mans that run around platforms and shoot. Their weakness is literally the Mega Buster. Beat them. Win. Now that was a relief after having to deal with the Yellow Devil clone!

Let’s start Wily Stage 4! And a unique enemy appearing in the fortress stages? Cool! Actually… not cool. They’re REALLY hard to deal with and you’ll probably see what I mean if you get here. After dealing with them a bit, let’s fight all the Robot Masters again! Why not!? I might need to take a break to regain my sanity because I am SUPER tired of Mega Man 3. Though I might argue that MEGA MAN 10 is my most hated Mega Man game. Some people might not agree that it’s bad but I just can’t find it fun. I hate it so much I might not even do a article on it just because I don’t wanna beat it again. I hated it. Okay, back to Mega Man 3. After beating ALL THE ROBOT MASTERS AGAIN, the level ends. No Wily Boss straight after? GOOD! We’ll just go to another level for that.

Get some Weapon Energy and some useless Surprise Cans. Now let’s beat a boss! Time for an utterly hilarious bossfight! The first phase consists of you shooting a cannon on the underside of the giant goofy machine. The first phase is super easy. The cannon has no invincibility frames so you can just shoot away at it! In the second phase, use the Shadow Blade. Trust me. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand done! Well that was a short stage! In the next stage… have some more free items! Let’s fight Gamma now! This boss is actually invulnerable to the Mega Buster. You need Robot Master weapons to hit Gamma in the first phase anyway. The second phase, is… just hilarious. Get on top of Gamma’s fist, jump on the platform and… equip Top Spin? And then jump on Wily? And… bossfight’s over. Yep. Top spin defeats Gamma in ONE HIT. This will forever be one of my favorite moments in Mega Man along with Metal Man being severely weak to his own weapon, and the pause trick with the Yellow Devil in Mega Man 1. So I guess… game’s done? It’s finally over!? YES!!!! Well, it’s not that bad, it’s just that Mega Man 3 is not as good as the other Mega Man games. And… oh no! The castle is collapsing! Will there be an escape sequence? Nope. Awwwwwww… Break Man comes and rescues Mega Man and brings him back to Dr. Light’s Lab. After Dr. Light talking for a bit, he reveals that Break Man was Proto Man all along! And then the game ends. There isn’t even a satisfying ending? What is with this game!? And…. Credits. And it turns out that Proto Man is the brother of Mega Man! I hope Dr. Wily learns his lesson…

Looks onto the she-

Oh wait I don’t have a shelf anymore. Oops.

Looks onto Mega Man Legacy Collection

I guess there’s Mega Man 4 so that probably means that Dr. Wily didn’t learn his lesson. Dang it!

Feel free to stop by and watch me play some games on my Twitch Channel!

PlantPoweredGamers
Grow Strong. Game On.

Mega Man 2 – An Amazing Sequel

Every villian has to try again sometime, but with Dr. Wily it didn’t seem like he would. After getting mediocre results on Mega Man 1, Capcom hasn’t given the Blue Bomber a sequel yet. But after a while, they decided to make a sequel. And It’s good that they did because Mega Man 2 popularized Mega Man with it’s better level design and more content. When you boot the game up, there’s actually music and a story! This game is actually a lot easier than most Mega Man games, so maybe that’s why so many people liked it. Anyway, the story is as follows, straight from the game: In the year of 200X, a super robot named Mega Man was created. Dr. Light created Mega Man to stop the evil desires of Dr. Wily.

However, after his defeat, Dr. Wily created eight of his own robots to counter Mega Man. So, that’s the story. See anything wrong? Yeah, for some reason, the story for Mega Man 1 in Japan is different from the one for the U.S. I have no idea why that is, but it explains why the story is a little messed up for Mega Man 2. Anyway, there’s two difficulties to play the game on. Normal and difficult. Most people play on difficult mode because it’s more in line to other Mega Man games, but I prefer normal mode so that’s what mode the screenshots and videos were taken with. Anyway, when you select the mode it brings you to a menu saying stage select or password. Luckily in Mega Man 2 and onwards there’s actually a way to save. Thank goodness. At the stage select screen, you’ll see that this time, there are eight evil robots, not just six.

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The eight robot masters in all of their glory.

Nice, now I can die more! Actually this is kinda off-topic but I have a joke to tell to somebody who plays Mega Man. Ask them, what robot have you killed the most in Mega Man? And tell them the robot you have killed the most is Mega Man when they get it wrong. Anyway, back on topic. The robo butt I usually start with is Air Man but for newcomers I’d recommend starting with Metal Man because his stage is easier. Here’s my usual order: Air Man, Metal Man, Bubble Man, Heat Man, Wood Man, Crash Man, Flash Man, then finally Quick Man. Anyway, I’ll be going through the game as if you’re doing my order, okay? Lets go!

Air Man’s stage is actually pretty tough for a first stage to tackle but trust me, you want to take him on first. Air Man’s stage contains Kaminari Goro’s which are little guys in thunder clouds that you can shoot to take their sweet ride and Goblins which have raising and lowering spikes on their head and produce smaller versions which home in on you and are annoying as well.

A lot of people struggle with Air Man’s fight for some reason but I find him to be one of the easiest bosses in the game. He shoots little tornadoes but the catch is, if you don’t get lucky, he will shoot an array of impossible to dodge tornadoes which makes no- damage running his stage a pain in the butt. After you beat his stage, in true Mega Man fashion, you get the robot master’s weapon! In this case it being the Air Shooter. But, what’s this? A message from Dr. Light? He informs you that you get the Item 2… What the heck is that? Well, you know how Mega Man 1 had the Magnet Beam? Well, in Mega Man 2, instead of finding the assist items inside the stage, you get them for completing certain stages. More on that later.

Air Man’s fight is almost entirely luck-based when it comes to no damage running him.

Up next on the chopping block is Metal Man. Metal Man’s main gimmick is the conveyor belts which (of course) pull you in different directions based on which way the arrows are pointing. But, what’s this? There’s a little blue object with and E on it. Well, for anyone who wants to know, COLLECT. THEM. ALL. They refill all your health so they’re very handy to have and with the order I’m using, you will be able to get them all. You can only hold four and there’s more than four in the entire game so you might not need them so I skip out on some.

Up next are these presses that do a lot of damage and, ignoring all logic, the chain hurts you. Yep. There’s also little drills called Moles that are a good way to grind after those crushers but doing a no-damage run is super hard on this stage as well because of them.

A little video of Metal Man’s stage. Apparently you can’t go through the chains on the presses.

Compared to the other stages, Metal Man’s stage doesn’t have many enemies. Why did I want you to do Air Man’s stage first though? Item 2 functions as a jet board to get you over gaps and what-not, so you can use it to get an extra life (or an extra guy if you prefer the old version) as well as an extra E-Tank! Metal Man isn’t too hard so he’s a good first boss to tackle if you don’t care for E-Tanks or Extra Lives. From him you get… THE MOST BROKEN WEAPON IN THE ENTIRETY OF MEGA MAN. The Metal Blade. The Power Pellets are basically useless now because you can fire the Metal Blades in all eight directions, use barely any weapon energy, and can pierce through multiple enemies. (I personally like to call it the Broken Blade because it’s just so dang over powered.)

Avoiding damage in this fight is pretty hard because of Metal Man’s fast throwing speed.

Up next is Bubble Man’s stage. The first real water level in the Mega Man series! Yay, lots of death spikes! The water changes Mega Man’s physics to make him more floaty and able to jump higher. Bubble Man is allergic to the Metal Blade… Wait hang on a second…

Notes:

Robot Weaknesses:

Air Man- Leaf Shield

Metal Man- Metal Blade

Bubble Man- Metal Blade

Heat Man- Bubble Lead

Wood Man- Atomic Fire and Metal Blade

Crash Man- Air Shooter

Flash Man- Metal Blade

Quick Man- Flash Stopper and Crash Bombs

Freak’in four bosses are weak to Metal Blade! The most over powered weapon in the game! What the heck!? I guess even the designers realized that the Metal Blade was too over powered and just made a bunch of weaknesses to be the Metal Blade. Wow. Anyway, after beating Bubble Man, you get the Bubble Lead. Don’t even bother using it except for the one time you have to and to beat Heat Man, the next boss, super easily. Oh yeah, fun fact, hold down the jump button when selecting a level. Then, little bird- like enemies called Pi Pis fly across the screen instead of stars. Anyway, select Heat Man next to take him on with your newfound ability… To create bubbles… His stage’s main gimmick is- DWOOOOOOP! Wait what’s that sound… IT’S THE SOUND OF PAIN AND TORTURE. Yep. Yuko Blocks. Yippee… They’re disappearing and reappearing blocks so you have to time your jumps or you’ll fall down. Sometimes into a death pit, spikes, or lava! They were used a little bit in Ice Man’s stage but there’s more where that came from in Heat Man’s… There’s a really long section of them near the end of the level. DON’T TRY IT YOU WILL DIE! Just use Item 2 to fly over the pit. Piece of cake. Don’t go for the extra life. I’ve died there many times trying to get it. After beating this actually pretty hard boss, you get the Atomic Fire. One interesting thing about this is, it is actually the first chargeable weapon in the Mega Man series! It’s not too good though…

No-damaging Heat Man is pretty hard, but if you get him into a pattern like I did he’s a lot easier.

Next up is Wood Man who literally looks like a big tree stump. His stage is pretty easy with it really just being a straight path with lots of enemies and not too much platforming. There was actually a scrapped version of this stage where if you use Atomic Fire in his stage, the trees would burn and start a forest fire. Sadly, this was scrapped due to time limitations. But this idea did get used in Mega Man 7! If you use the fire weapon in the forest section of Slash Man’s stage, the trees will burn away and a ladder will be revealed that hides a secret! Anyway, once you beat him you get the Leaf Shield which is meh. There’s only really one place in the game I use it.

A lot of people struggle with Wood Man’s fight. There’s a lot of things to watch out for! Oh, by the way, if you get into his personal space, you can shoot through his Leaf Shield somehow. Don’t ask me why.

Time to take on Crash Man who’s allergic to air. How does he breathe!? Oh yeah, he’s a robot never mind. His stage is a really long climb up with all the most annoying enemies… Tellies, Pi Pis, and Fly Boys! This stage really isn’t too difficult. His bossfight I find is actually really hard! He jumps when you shoot so you have to plan it out carefully if you’re going for a buster-only run. His weapon, the Crash Bomber seems pretty useless at first until you realize you can open certain barriers with it.

In Flash Man’s stage, you can get a lot of stuff with it! Flash Man’s stage is pretty straightforward. His stage has ice physics which are pretty annoying. His tileset looks like it’s flashing lights but really, I think that they were trying to make it look like ice but due to the limitations of the NES, all it looks like is flashing lights. Use the Crash Bomber to get some extra goodies! As long as you spam Metal Blades, his bossfight is pretty easy! Not much to talk about in his stage. After you beat him you get the worst utility item in the game. Item 3. All it does is climb up walls so it’s basically just useless because Item 1 can already do that. Heck, you can beat the game without using Item 3 at all!

Alas, I was not able to no damage Flash Man so please enjoy this video of a bit of his stage.

Up next is… Probably the hardest Robot Master in this game- Quick Man. His stage’s main gimmick is the Quick Beams. Man a lot of people hate these. But with Flash Man’s weapon- The Flash Stopper you can skip some of it. Don’t use it at the first set of the Quick Beams though! Later in the level there’s another set which is a lot harder. His bossfight is hard too! He’s very spazzy and hard to avoid. He’s allergic to the Flash Stopper so if you want to try and beat the Quick Beam section without it, you can use it on the boss. But he is pretty weak to the Mega Buster so I usually just use the Mega Buster to beat him. After beating him you get the Quick Boomerang. It’s actually a pretty useful weapon but I barely use it because I just defeat everything with the Mega Buster.

Man, the stupid Quick Beams are super tough to dodge. I was able to do them without the Flash Stopper though!

In true Mega Man fashion, once you beat all the Robot Masters it’s time for Dr. Wily! Dr. Wily flies by in his saucer and wiggles his eyebrows and brags to Mega Man that he has a brand-spankin’ new castle this time.

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Woah, Dr. Wily has a pretty cool castle!

In his first stage, you climb his tower and awaiting you at the top is a giant Mecha-Dragon! Funnily enough, he’s allergic to the boomerangs. Don’t ask me why. His second stage starts off with you using Item 2 to fly over a huge spike pit. If you’re brave enough to stay on and see what’s beyond the first ladder, you’ll get an E-Tank! And another E-Tank. And an Extra Life. So, if you didn’t go that path, the next few screens are basically there to rub it in that you can’t get those E-Tanks and Extra Life! The boss of this stage is.. The Room. Like literally it’s just the room attacking you. Pretty creative.

Oh no! The room is attacking you! Totally not ripped off by A Link To The Past! (Coming soon… maybe.)

Anyway, moving onto Wily Stage 3 which takes place in the sewers. Yuck! After passing some large fish, there’s a spike drop! Yay, everybody likes those! I actually don’t find it too hard. This stage is actually really short now that I think about it. The boss of this stage is a giant Guts Man Tank! Wow, Dr. Wily must really like Guts Man. I guess they’re friends or something. Anyway, his weakness is the Quick Boomerang. Again.

Guts Tank

The next stage is pretty weird. We have these fake blocks that make this stage super annoying! Use Bubble Lead to find where the holes are but if you don’t even trust Bubble Lead, just use Item 2 to zip by. The boss of this stage is my least favorite one in this game. There’s these little bubbles that can only be defeated with the Crash Bomber as well as several barriers. But the catch is, you can’t break every single barrier or else you won’t have enough weapon energy left. This boss is super tedious and annoying.

Boobeam Trap

After beating that boss, time to re-fight every Robot Master in this game again. There’s not really much to mention about this. The folks at Capcom must be running out of ideas. It’s just- here fight all these bosses again. That’s it. Except… when you get to Metal Man, use the Metal Blade on him. See what happens for yourself. With all the Robot Masters defeated again, time to take on Dr. Wahwee. He just shoots at you in his jet.

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After beating him, you beat the game! Actually no, there’s another level!? You walk down a long hallway filled with Acid Droplets that try to damage you. By the way, hold right when you’re falling down the hole at the start to make your timing a lot easier. Just walk right and keep moving and they will never hit you.

Final Boss Tension

If you want to experience the ending for yourself, go right now! Play the game for yourself and once you’ve beaten it, come back so I won’t spoil the ending for you. Or you could just stay if you don’t care about spoilers. Your choice.

………..

……………………………….

Are they gone yet? I think they are… Okay, so here’s the ending. Turns out Dr. Wily is an alien!

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A very easy to kill alien at that. You HAVE to use Bubble Lead on this boss. If you use a weapon that’s not Bubble Lead, It will just completely refill his health again. After beating him, turns out he’s not an alien after all! It was just a hologram! Silly Dr. Wily!

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With Dr. Wily begging for mercy and the world saved, this quest has come to an end. Hopefully Dr. Wily will actually learn his lesson this time and not be evil again!

*Looks on shelf and sees Mega Man 3. Welp, guess not.

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Homeschooling – Level 1

Our first official month of homeschooling is in the books. The way is twisted and full of tricky steps, but so far we are weathering the transition as best we know how at this time. I found Khan Academy to be my anchor as it provided a very simple platform from which to set up both math and computer science studies. They offer so much more that we may eventually look into, but we are taking it slow for now. We are using  Crash Course and Extra Credits for a lot of our history and social studies and if you have never given those two a look then I cannot recommend it enough. They really do a great job of making learning fun and entertaining – as it should be. We tried a few Ted Talks and although I personally love them Grant thought they were a little less engaging and preferred the other two, so I suppose we will stick with that for now.

Creative writing is one of the areas we really hoped to focus on. Currently the main project is writing some articles for Plant Powered Gamers, mostly game reviews and musings on video game material in general. Don’t be surprised to see our blossoming little writer posting quite a few times this year. Please encourage him if you have a chance and leave him a note of anything you’d like him to try out, review or ponder!
For Foreign Language studies he decided to try learning Japanese and we are using Duolingo, Japanese from Zero! and Japanesepod101 as well as some simple printable sheets I have found on the web to work on the lettering system. I have some experience with this language and though I’m far from fluent I think we will likely make great progress working together. Eventually I will look into some of the English-Japanese speaking connection programs and apps out there. When I last studied Skype was the only option but I know this has expanded.

We have a fresh sketchbook which Grant has begun working in already and I’ve encouraged him to pretty much doodle anything he likes in it. So far he has designed a few game layouts and of late that is his favorite subject to draw and create. We are also working on sketching some of his favorite enemies and characters from games he likes. We both agreed this would be great to work on so that he would be able to better put his ideas to paper when he is designing things for games. We are working on ideas for a little comic strip as well which we may finish up and use as a web comic. I’ve always wanted to give that a try anyway, so it’ll be a fun project. Painting is a hard sell with Grant. I really hope to work on it through the year and perhaps as he becomes more familiar it will become more enjoyable. He currently struggles with frustration but aren’t all things a little frustrating in the beginning?

Grant is also tackling several chores around the house to help out. This is one of the places I feel like homeschooling really shines – to teach basic life skills. We are pretty light on the chores for now but I really hope to emphasize a lot of these as we go forward. He hopes to learn to cook several basic meals and help with a lot of the house cleaning by the end of the year.

There has been a lot of focus of course on game design, which was one of the things Grant was most excited about adding to his school day. We have only touched on some fundamental computer science and programming but I really hope to bring the percentage of work in that area up pretty high. He is currently working his way through the basics of Java and HTML and we agreed that when he has finished those initial courses we could look into Game Maker Studio 2. We already have and use Construct 2 but it seems that while Construct 2 is good for simpler “mobile-style” games that the Game Maker Studio would be more appropriate for larger scaled PC or Console games. We shall see and perhaps we can even do a comparison/contrast article for the benefit of others who might be headed down this road after us.

Wish us luck as we continue forward!

Mega Man – A Truly Hard Game

The Mega Man Series tends to be harder than most other games. But none of the other games in the main series get as hard as Mega Man 1.

When you start up the game, there`s no story at all. There`s no music or movement either. Just the title and “press start”. For story you`ll have to look in the manual of the game. The story is as follows: Dr. Wright and Dr. Wily make the very first near- human robot, Mega Man along with Roll, A housekeeping robot. Encouraged by their results, Dr. Wright and Dr. Wily make six additional robots to perform everyday tasks. But Dr. Wily reprograms the six helper robots to make them evil. With Mega Man still functioning correctly, Mega Man sets out to defeat the six evil robots.

When you press start, you are brought to a stage select screen highlighted over the robot named Cut Man. A lot of first time players do this stage first because you usually don`t know which robot to take on first. The levels of this game are run and gun sections ending with a hard bossfight. One of the best additions to Mega Man games is the ability to get the weapon of the robot master you beat. But don`t go taking on the coolest robot master you see, some of them are actually really hard. There`s a weakness order of which robots to fight first. My personal order is Bomb Man, Guts Man, Cut Man, Elec Man, Ice Man, then finally Fire Man. Mega Man isn`t super powerful at first. All he can do is jump and shoot. But the later games add more options, such as a slide and a charge shot. But we`ll talk about those later when we get to them.

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These are all of the robot masters on the stage select screen.

As you go off on your crazy adventure, there are enemies and platforming challenges that serve as obstacles. But don`t think it will be a cake walk! The controls are a little bit slippery so it almost feels like Mega Man`s always on ice. And those platforming sections are pretty hard! Either the enemies shoot a bunch of bullets or they are placed so it`s easy to get hit by them and fall into a pit or spikes. (Which is instant death.) So you better be ready to do these stages over… and over… and over… and over again. Feel like you need a break from video games?

Well TOO BAD because there`s no way to save in Mega Man 1. (Unless you have savestates which weren`t in the original.) So, you probably get it now… This game is HARD! I`m not fooling around when it`s probably the hardest game in the main series.

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Some of the bosses in this really hard game.  Bombman, Gutsman and Elecman.

One of the game`s strongest points is the level design. Since you could potentially begin with any stage first, the level design has to accommodate that. But! The tutorials is where the game shines… Instead of Roll popping out all like: Mega Man! Mega Man! Those blocks disappear and reappear so you better time your jumps! No! That`s not how the game does it! Instead… It teaches you with gameplay. It shows an easier challenge first. Then, It gets harder. That`s how the game does tutorials. Smart.

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Lots of variety in level design.

Once you beat all the robot masters… Oh! You thought the game was over after that!? Well too bad! Cause now you have to go through Wily`s Castle! There are four more stages you need to do, each with their own hard boss… yay…

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Dr. Wily makes his appearance.

So, you start off the first stage with one of the most annoying enemies in the game! Big Eyes! These stupid little things jump around and do A WHOLE BUNCH OF DAMAGE! After that you use one of the robot master`s powers to break some rocks. One of my favorite things about the Wily stages is that you usually use the powers you got on your quest to beat them since you`re at least supposed to have all the weapons in the game now. You go through the first stage peacefully until… Wait what? There`s just a bunch of walls you can`t get over. Nothing helps. Nothing works. And here`s where the game throws a sucker punch. There`s a little thing in Elec Man`s stage which gives you a super awesome weapon. But if you didn`t have Guts Man`s power when you got to that stage well… You have to go back to it a second time. And yes, you can actually replay stages unlike some of the other Mega Man games. If you get this little… ummmm… I don`t even know what the sprite is supposed to be… Some kind of gun I suppose? Anyway, once you get that, you`re set. The Magnet Beam is actually pretty useful. It lets you make some sections easier. The boss of the first Wily Stage is infamous… The Yellow Devil. But… if you use the glitch to beat him by shooting the elec beam and pausing a couple of times, you can beat him pretty easily. (You can`t do this on the legacy collection version.)

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The Yellow Devil, the hardest boss in the game.  He disassembles and reassembles throughout the battle!

After that, It`s just basically more of the same until you get to the last stage that is… You have to beat the six robot masters again… Two in the second Wily Stage then the rest in Wily Stage four. After you beat all of `em again, you finally get to fight the final boss… And let`s just say… It`s underwhelming… Wily flies in his ship thingy and shoots at you… That`s it. With all the robots defeated and Wily in prison,the land is restored to peace once again… Or at least until Mega Man 2.

Like my article?  Come check out my YouTube channel: LinkPlaysGames

You can also find me on Twitch, streaming live! LinkPlaysGames206

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