With Mega Man 4 finished and done, it’s time to move on to Mega Man 5!
Mega Man 5’s plot is quite a step up from the plot of the last game. Turns out Proto Man was evil. He has a robot army of his own and kidnaps Dr. Light. This plot alone got me to play this game the first time. I really wanted to know why Proto Man would do that. You still have the Slide and Charge Shot, but the Charge Shot is more powerful now. It charges up quicker and it’s larger. Since I’m not that good at fighting Star Man, then I usually grab some goodies from Stone Man’s stage first before taking on Star Man. Anyway, time to get on with Stone Man’s stage!
Do you like long levels with barely any gimmicks and almost all enemy challenges? Well this stage is for you! At least the enemies in this stage are pretty cool because there are adorable Mets! Later you might find a Letter. There’s one in each Robot Master stage and you can collect them all to get something! Or rather… someone! (foreshadowing) FINALLY GIMMICK TIME! The gimmick here is these rotating platforms that go to a certain spot, and then drop. They’re pretty interesting but sometimes it’s a bit scary since it doesn’t tell you where they’re going. You can probably see why I do this stage first. There’s so many goodies to grab! The boss, (Stone Man) is like Toad Man in that all he really does is hop around. After beating him you get… Power Stone. The worst weapon in this game unfortunately. Stones twirl around you and make you question your life choices. Oh and they also don’t ever hit anything.
Star Man is actually the first space themed Robot Master! (I think that’s pretty obvious actually) And with a space theme, comes low gravity. And yes, there are still tons of spikes like a water stage. You also have robots that violently slam themselves on the ground! Because… that’s intimidating?Around the end of the stage is my least favorite part of it. …Blocks that move up and down… with nothing else done with them except having you fight enemies on them… this part is extremely boring. Oh and Star Man is a spazz. I’m not that good at quick reflex boss battles so I struggle with this fight. The weapon you get from him is Star Crash! It’s kinda like Skull Barrier but you can fire it off. It’s not too good unfortunately. At least you get Super Arrow which acts like Item 2 except it can damage enemies, stick onto walls, and you can have 3 on screen at a time.
Gravity Man’s stage is next! (Can you guess what his gimmick is?) It’s arrows! …that flip gravity. Yeah this stage is already awesome. Sadly not much is done with the gravity flipping gimmick. It would’ve been awesome to see a different gimmick used with it to create a neat platforming section. Oh well, at least it combines enemies with it. The boss is pretty easy actually. You flip gravity before the fight so you’re not on the same level as him, and this makes actually shooting him tough. Though, all he really does is hop around the arena and occasionally shoot 1 shot. The weapon you get from him is Gravity Hold, which accomplishes all of your screen-clearing needs! It also sends the enemies on a (painful) tour to outer space! Isn’t that nice?
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s just Gyro Man. Time to go on an elevator ride! Awesome! Now I can relive my phobia of elevators! His stage has to be one of my favorites. It’s just a fun stage to fly through. There’s also chickens in it! …Why are there chickens in it? It makes no sense at all. Why are they here. It’s time to fight the man himself… Gyro Man! He likes to play hide-and-seek! Gravity Hold kills him very quickly though, so sadly we can’t play for too long. We get the Gyro Attack and Rush Jet! The Gyro Attack is sort of a controllable weapon that shoots straight forward like the buster, but can be controlled to go up or down. It’s actually very useful, especially in the later stages.
Crystal Man’s stage is home of a lot of weird enemy names! There’s also an enemy called Camon that literally just moves forward. Come on Camon! Try harder! His stage also has a pretty irritating gimmick. These Crystal Droppers that seem to drop crystal at completely random times! It’s as fun as it sounds. Crystal Man is one of the more annoying bosses of this game. He shoots so many shots that it’s hard to not get hit. After beating him, you get Crystal Eye. It’s a big crystal that when shot, splits into 4 mini crystals that bounce around. It’s sort of situational though.
Time for Napalm Man! His stage is set in a Jungle which I love! It does have tigers you need to watch out for, though. His stage is also home to one of the most annoying enemies in this game… the Apache Joe. They have a lot of health and fly towards you. They’re really hard to avoid. Sadly this stage switches to a different setting later on. This stage has some easy goodies to grab, too! Napalm Man’s actual bossfight is pretty hectic, but doable. You have to be really fast to dodge his attacks. When you beat him, you get Napalm Bomb! It’s a bomb which you drop right under you and moves along the ground slowly. The catch is, it does a lot of damage.
Normally you’d do Stone Man next, but due to my weird weakness order then I’m going ahead and doing… Charge Man. Let’s just say that Charge Man’s bossfight isn’t too fun… His stage is really easy and is basically just all enemy challenge, but oh boy Charge Man… He runs to the right and left of the arena and shoots four flaming coals out from the top of the ceiling. That doesn’t seem too bad, does it? Well… His hitbox is big so it’s hard to jump over him, he moves very quickly and turns fast so it’s hard to react, and he hits like a truck. His weakness is also Power Stone which is a very unreliable weapon. This boss is pretty irritating. When you beat him, you get the Charge Kick. When you have it selected and slide, your slide does damage. It’s not too great of a weapon. At least it’s a bit better than Power Stone since it’s actually reliable. That said, you can only use it on enemies you can kill in one hit or you’re taking damage.
Wave Man time! This stage actually has no Water Physics. I guess since Star Man has water type physics then they didn’t want to do two stages with the same physics. In the middle of the stage, we see the first vehicle section in the classic Mega Man series! You ride a bike across the water and dodge enemies! It’s pretty fun but it kinda drags on… Time for Wave Man himself! His weakness, Charge Kick is kind of annoying to use against him. You usually just end up getting hurt when trying to use it. When beating him, you get Water Wave! It’s a simple projectile that goes along the ground and can fall down blocks.
If you’ve gotten all the letters then you unlock Beat! He’s a helpful bird that will follow you around and beat up the enemies that come your way. He is also the weakness to some of the fortress bosses.
It’s also time to take down Proto Man! He has a rather goofy looking castle. It has his big ol’ head right above the entrance gate. Anyway, let’s get on with Stage 1!
Proto Man’s Castle, Stage 1
Stage 1 looks really cool. It’s a castle setting with lots of purple! One of my favorite colors! I really like this stage because of how simple it is, while still being fun. It’s mostly just enemy challenge but it does do some neat things with the enemies in this stage. Before the boss, we see a enemy which flies towards you and circles around you… Magnificent. The boss has incredible AI. You could even say he’s a work of art. Get this: He walks towards you! Isn’t that amazing?! This guy should win the award for best boss in a Mega Man game!!!
Proto Man’s Castle, Stage 2
Stage 2 is less pretty but still looks neat. It’s made up of gray bricks and some purple as well. This stage is pretty simple since all you’re really going to be doing is fighting enemies. It does have a conveyor belt section in the middle of the stage. It’s pretty neat since it combines the conveyor belts with different enemies. This stage also has those enemies that slam their heads on the ground. The boss of this stage is basically like the last. It doesn’t quite feel like a real fortress boss.
Proto Man’s Castle, Stage 3
Stage 3 is a bit harder! This is also a good looking stage. The pretty golden bricks look very nice. Sadly Apache Joes have to ruin the fun. This stage definitely has some tougher enemy setups. It also has a totally new gimmick as well! Snake Blocks! (Wait I’m playing Mega Man, right?) Sadly the level doesn’t use the Snake Blocks in very interesting ways. They’re mostly just used as a time limit. The boss is still basically the same design, just edited a bit. I find this pretty lazy.
Proto Man’s Castle, Stage 4
Stage 4 consists of breaking blocks to make a tower fall. And… it’s super short. It’s mostly just the bossfight where we find out that someone was disguised as Proto Man the whole time! The real Proto Man reveals their disguise and you fight the fake one! The fake Proto Man kinda has all of the attacks from the previous fortress stage bosses. This one is actually pretty tough.
After beating Dark Man, which was who the fake Proto Man turned out to be, we hear that Wily has a Fortress as well. Guess we need to go through another fortress!
Dr. Wily’s Skull Fortress, Stage 1
Stage 1 of Wily’s Skull Fortress starts off with a nasty spike drop that will probably kill you one or two times. This stage really likes cannons and flying enemies for some reason. It’s pretty weird. After that spike drop, the stage gets easier. Most of the stage is just fighting enemies. It’s actually sort of boring. The boss is really fun, though. When you shoot the sections of his body, they fly out and you can use them as platforms to hit him.
Dr. Wily’s Skull Fortress, Stage 2
Stage 2 is fairly simple as well. It’s mostly just fighting enemies. It does have a section in between where you need to do some tight jumps on conveyor belts and around Swim Mets. And around the end there’s also some very annoyingly placed Power Musclers. Other than those things, this stage is really easy. The boss is pretty weird, though. It’s a head type thing that has a shield that opens once in a while and you have to activate the platforms on the side to hit it as it shoots lob shots at you. This thing is weird.
Dr. Wily’s Skull Fortress, Stage 3
Guess what time it is! Rematch Time! Isn’t fighting every boss again with no change fun?! I’m not too fond of rematch stages. At least it does have an E-Tank before the actual rematches. One interesting thing, though is that the bosses still have their original arenas. After beating the bosses again, get ready for an underwhelming fight with Wily. Seriously, this fight after the rematches is way too easy. Oh nooo Wily got away. Who could’ve guessed…
Dr. Wily’s Skull Fortress, Stage 4
A super short and easy stage, and it’s time to actually beat Wily. Phase 1 is kinda tough if you’re not using the weakness, which is Super Arrow (why a foam bullet is the weakness of a tank I have no clue.) For Phase 2, Wily escapes his giant skull tank thingy and… The Wily Capsule is back. This Wily Capsule is actually not too bad. It is sort of tough to dodge his attacks but really, it isn’t as bad as some of the other Wily Capsules. But… if you’re only using the Buster then good luck hitting him. He almost never goes low enough for you to actually be able to hit him with the Buster. The weakness of it is… Beat! (so apparently a plasma shot from Mega Man’s Buster hitting the machine is weaker than a bird pecking the machine) After you beat him, he gets away. AGAIN!!! When will Mega Man ever actually stop Wily? I guess we’ll have to see what Mega Man 6 holds. Oh no the fortress is collapsing!!! And uhhh… Proto Man blew up some of the ceiling so Mega Man could… make the ceiling stop falling…? This does not make sense at all. At least Mega Man and Dr. Light (oh yeah Mega Man rescued Dr. Light) get away. And… CREDITS!
In conclusion, Mega Man 5 was a pretty good, but not amazing like MM4. Most of the Robot Master stages are nice and fun, but I feel like the game got a bit lazy at the fortress stages. It started reusing sprites for the Dark Man bosses, (which is who the fake Proto Man turned out to be) The Wily Machine fights don’t seem that interesting at all, and overall the design for the fortress stages isn’t that fun. It’s sort of boring actually. I think the fortress stages actually having a theme other than the main theme for the fortress would help. For example, what if Wily Stage 1 had sort of a freezer setting? I think that could be neat. But one thing I did really like was the controls. They felt very good! The Charge Shot was also a lot more useful since it isn’t just a bit bigger than your normal shot like in 4. In Mega Man 5, it’s ginormous! It’s also a lot more satisfying to use. I’d say this is a good game to start with if you’re just now getting into Mega Man. It’s not too hard. But it’s still a good game to play and always delivers something fun.
Thanks for reading!