After the events of Mega Man 5, Wily is nowhere to be found! Where did he go?! Let’s just hope that he isn’t doing anything evil. At least there’s a new Robot Tournament being held! 8 of the world’s most powerful robots are in it as well. Sounds exciting! But… Mr. X, (who totally isn’t Dr. Wily) takes control of the robots and begins to take over the world!!! A fairly simple story. I like it. Not as much as Mega Man 5’s though.
With the story out of the way, it’s time to see the weakness route we’ll be taking! My preferred weakness order is Flame Man, Blizzard Man, Plant Man, Tomahawk Man, Yamato Man, Knight Man, Centaur Man, and Wind Man! One neat thing is that the stage intro screen has a lot more info now. It tells things like attack, height, weight, where they’re located and more! You still have your Charge Shot, but it’s a different size. You also still have your slide, however… you can’t jump out of a slide anymore. It’s very irritating since you could do that in all of the previous games but not in this one. You also don’t start with any utilities this time around. No Rush Coil. However, you can get some later… With that all out of the way, it’s finally time to get on with Flame Man’s stage!
Flame Man’s stage looks very good! The music is also really good so that doesn’t hurt. Plus, the stage starts off with Mets! It also has oil which limits your movement. The stage then introduces an enemy that can set the oil on fire. If the oil is set on fire, then it basically turns into a death spike. There’s also an enemy which becomes a platform you can ride if you fling it into the oil or flames. After some risky jumps and an E-Tank, it’s boss time! Flame Man is pretty fun to fight since he’s so fair. The weapon you get when beating him is Flame Blast! …It’s not much of a blast. You shoot a pellet that when hitting the ground, erupts into a flame. It’s not super good, but it’s okay at least. You also get the Power Adaptor. (that’s not a misspell on my part, that’s what the game actually calls it.) The Power Adapter is the first utility we’ll get! It lets you do a small punch, but when charged it can do a stronger punch which can break cracked blocks! The best part is, it has a cooldown instead of limited Weapon Energy! The cooldown is so small it’s like having infinite ammo. Though, you can’t slide or shoot regular bullets while wearing it so I guess there’s a tradeoff.
Even though it seems like Plant Man would be weak to Flame Blast, it’s Blizzard Man who’s next. His stage has Seals! They also shoot snowballs at you because… that’s apparently a thing that they do…? There’s also Count Bombs which when touched on a certain side, count down to 0 and then explode. This is a gimmick which is actually used in a lot of other Mega Man games. His stage also contains a huge submarine that moves up and down. (Why the heck is there a submarine in a cave?) It’s sorta like the Star Man platforms that move up and down except it’s actually used well. Blizzard Man battles you on skis as he throws snowflakes at you and tries to charge you. His weapon, the Blizzard Storm, spawns 4 snowflakes that go forward in different directions. It seems like it would be unwieldy, and that’s exactly the case. Oh well, at least it works for Plant Man’s weakness.
Plant Man’s stage is fairly straightforward. The enemies in his stage are really simple like a grasshopper that jumps along the ground or a bug type enemy that flies towards you or across the screen in a straight line. …Yeah, very simple. However, this stage does have two pretty neat gimmicks. Springs which bounce you up a bit normally but holding the jump button will make you bounce higher and platforms that open when you shoot. I LOVE how these two gimmicks are combined to make one final platforming challenge. It really makes a good ending for the stage. This is probably one of my favorite stages as well, along with Flame Man. Plant Man just hops around the arena and throws his Plant Barrier every so often. His weapon basically acts just like Skull Shield. It goes down in one hit. Still, not super useful. Though, you do get the second utility! Jet Adaptor! And oh boy this thing is OP… You can fly for a short time. Doesn’t sound too broken right? But… it basically has infinite ammo, and it lets you fly for a long enough time that you can actually SKIP some platforming sections. …Yeah, this thing is powerful. Still, same with the Power Adaptor though you can still shoot normal shots, just not charged ones.
Flowers… against tomahawks? Well this weakness is certainly weird. His stage has a pretty neat theme of Wild West. Sadly, this stage is pretty boring. The majority of the stage is just enemy challenge. (with somewhat uninteresting enemies as well) At least Mets are here. But they just don’t make up for it unfortunately. Though, there are a lot of split paths. One leads to some goodies, another one leads to an item called the Energy Balancer which automatically refills the weapon that needs Weapon Energy the most when you pick some up. So basically, you don’t have to swap through menus just to fill up a certain weapon anymore! Hooray! (Why couldn’t I have gotten it right when I started the game?) And another path you can take that leads to a separate boss gate? Well, beating the boss through that gate rewards you with a BEAT letter. Yep, Beat is back! After beating Tomahawk Man, you get the Silver Tomahawk, which simply curves upwards when you fire it. It’s a pretty nice weapon, kind of just because the large hitbox.
Yamato Man’s stage has a nice mountain background! It really looks nice. And… Tanukis that shoot balls. Don’t think about it too much. Like Tomahawk Man, this stage has a lot of branching paths. Make sure to go to the topmost path when you reach the second split. Well, if you want a BEAT letter that is. The bottom path is a bit more hectic since it has a lot of enemies and spikes. Yamato Man jumps around the arena and shoots some shots downwards when he jumps and shoots some shots straight forward as well. A pretty simple boss. The weapon you get from him, the Yamato Spear, is basically just a Buster Replacement type weapon. It’s sorta useless sadly.
Some capital of Science eh? This is a stage with really good aesthetics, but the gameplay doesn’t really strike me as amazing. I’m actually kinda sad about that because I really like this level’s theme. There are these little wheels that spin and basically act like conveyor belts… for two rooms. And that’s it. At least they’re used a bit in Yamato Man’s stage too? They’re neat gimmicks but they aren’t used a lot. D: There’s also bumpers that bounce you all over the place… because that’s a thing every castle needs? If you have Power Adaptor then you can break some blocks to get to the secret boss. Knight Man’s fight is actually pretty neat. I like it, though it’s not my favorite. He has his shield up most of the fight so you have to sneak in shots while it’s down. His weapon which is the Knight Crusher, is a mace ball that curves back to you in a weird arc, but can also be aimed to hit some hard to reach enemies.
Centaur Man’s stage is pretty neat! It has cool enemies and an awesome theme! I quite like this stage, though not as much as some of the others. This stage is mostly enemy challenge but does have a water section in between. As well as… antigravity water? What the heck? Squidon also comes back from Blizzard Man’s stage for some reason. Centaur Man shoots normal shots that explode into a bunch of bullets when they hit walls and freezes time. The best strategy is to stay in the center of the room since he can freeze you in place while he shoots and you can dodge his shots if you’re in the center. Centaur Man’s weapon the Centaur Flash does… something? I really have no idea what it does. At least it beats Wind Man quickly.
His stage has Pandas! And that makes it great.
Okay fine I’ll do a full review of it. His stage has fans that blow you into the air and one of the most annoying enemies in this game! Cannonpellars! They’re cannons that fly up and down and shoot lob shots. They don’t sound too bad but in the stage, they’re used in incredibly irritating ways. His stage also has platforms that flip to the other side when stood on. They’re pretty neat. Wind Man tries to suck you in and blow you away, while also firing propeller type shots at you. He really isn’t too hard, though still tricky. His weapon, the Wind Storm is almost exactly like the Bubble Lead. You shoot it and it goes along the ground. Like Yamato Spear, it’s kinda useless. Mostly because Flame Burst is a much better option.
Mr. X’s Fortress
With all the Robot Masters beaten and Beat (hopefully) gotten, it’s time to take down Mr. X! His fortress has Mario Warp Pipes surrounding it! Because that’s a thing every villain needs around their fortress. But to be fair, it’s probably one of the coolest ones yet.
Mr. X’s Fortress, Stage 1
Stage 1 is pretty good looking! Maybe just because I like the color blue. There’s some forced Adaptor usage but unlike being forced to use weapons, you won’t run out of energy for them! There’s also a split path so you’ll have to choose whether you want to go right or up. Going right, you can potentially get a lot of Weapon Energy and 4 Extra Lives, but going up rewards you with an E-Tank. Whichever path works for you. The boss is kind of two things that move on rails and occasionally drop bombs. Oh and they also have no invincibility frames. Nice. They aren’t too tough.
Mr. X’s Fortress, Stage 2
We’re in space!!! …For some reason. Why exactly did we go from a normal fortress to being in space? Anyway, this stage has a lot of tight hallways that makes the enemies in them hard to deal with. Also falling blocks. That single bridge of them added a lot to the stage. This stage really isn’t too bad. And now for the boss. The boss of this stage is Power Piston. A thingy on a wall that moves up and down as it shoots shots and rocks fall down from the ceiling with each one having their own explosion noise. Wow, this boss is hectic. However, since you’re kinda meant to use Silver Tomahawk to hit the thing, then this is a nightmare for perfect runners. It’s a super tedious boss if you’re only using the Buster. So please, just use Silver Tomahawk.
Mr. X’s Fortress, Stage 3
This stage is sorta ugly looking to me. The dark green and red don’t really mix well. Going to the left ladder at the start of the stage will reward you with an E-Tank if you want that, as well as an Extra Life down below if you’re brave enough to sneak around the spine type enemies down there. This stage actually has a new gimmick! These lifts kind of act like seesaws in that if you stand on one end then the other goes up. They’re pretty interesting gimmicks. And the boss? The best thing ever. It’s a Met… (already god-like) IN A BIG OL MECH!!! (WAY PAST GOD-LIKE) This boss is freaking amazing. He moves towards you as the screen scrolls and you need to dodge the bouncy balls he shoots out. Ow, I guess Mega Man isn’t too fond of those. The only problem with this boss is just that I don’t wanna kill it! The Met seems so content!
Mr. X’s Fortress, Stage 4
This stage is probably the least interesting of the 4 stages in Mr. X’s Fortress. It’s mostly just you fighting enemies a whole bunch. I guess this stage does have a split path though. There are blocks that move when you hit them with Power Adaptor so they block pipes that enemies spawn out of. Mr. X’s big mech is… a ball on a chain. That swings back and forth. It’s incredibly easy to beat. …Okay then. What’s this?! Mr. X was Dr. Wily all along?! Who could’ve guessed?!?! It was actually pretty obvious.
Dr. Wily’s Skull Fortress
Dr. Wily has a really neat looking fortress this time around! I quite like the design of it. Anyway, heading onto Wily’s Skull Fortress!
Dr. Wily’s Skull Fortress, Stage 1
Stage 1 definitely has a lot of forced adaptor usage. It also has the fans from Wind Man’s stage! 😀 This stage is actually pretty dang irritating. It has a lot of tight platforming, an unforgiving spike drop, and annoying enemies. This boss looks super cool, but sadly it’s a pretty irritating one. This dinosaur spawns platforms that go upwards so you can hit his head which is the only place he’s vulnerable. However, the way he shoots can make this fight pretty rough.
Dr. Wily’s Skull Fortress, Stage 2
Looks like Mega Man wanted to check out what was in Dr. Wily’s freezer. Yep, it’s Ice Stage time. I really like this level’s aesthetic, actually. It’s neat to see a Fortress Stage with an actual theme. Sadly the actual gameplay isn’t so good. It also has Yoku Blocks! …For a single screen that is. Sadly, some sections of this stage just seem like filler. They’re incredibly basic and actually sort of boring. I guess it’s pretty short though so it isn’t too bad. The boss is pretty simple. It’s a cannon that shoots lob shots and bubbles that explode. But… it’s constantly moving towards you so you need to shoot the body to move it back. This boss can actually get pretty hectic.
Dr. Wily’s Skull Fortress, Stage 3
Do you know what time it is? REMATCH TIIIIIME!!! Oh yeah there’s a bit of stage before the rematches with a good bit of Weapon Energy if you need any. When you beat all of the Robot Masters (again), the final teleporter opens. You better be ready for what’s about to come… Be ready for the terror you’re about to face! That is… the map screen. Level’s done I guess.
Dr. Wily’s Skull Fortress, Stage 4
Before the final boss, be sure to refill all of the weapons that you’ve gotten and get equipped with a cute Met from the Met Dispenser. For this boss is the one… the only… WILY MACHINE 6!!! This first phase isn’t too bad, but you do definitely have to be on your toes. He jumps around the room trying to crush you and shoots circling shots. The second phase is a bit harder though. His jump distance is randomized now so it’s a bit tougher. He also shoots shots still but only one at a time. BUT! WE’RE STILL NOT DONE! One more phase to go. I’d say this one is the hardest of the phases. …But that doesn’t mean that it’s super challenging. He teleports around the room and shoots the same shot formation every time. And… that’s the game. Sort of an anti-climax there.
With Dr. Wily beaten and actually arrested this time, the world is at peace once again! I really like how they did the credits. The Robot Masters are just kinda doing their thing while the credits roll. It’s quite nice. As for the game itself… it’s just alright. I personally prefer Mega Man 4 and 5 over this one. The level design in those games is pretty interesting and I quite like it. However, the level design in this one seems a bit… boring? Most of the Robot Master stages seem to have really good sections that feel fun and unique, but then there are also sections that feel sort of dull. For example, the inside portion of Plant Man’s stage is just really flat and the enemies in that section aren’t really used in very interesting ways. Luckily, the rest of the level steps it up and provides some really fun gameplay. Also how they used the gimmicks is a bit weird. Most of them are barely used and there’s some gimmicks that only come up in like a single room! The slide is also kinda messed up which isn’t that cool. It still is a good game, just not really the best in the Mega Man series in my opinion.
Next time we won’t actually be doing an official Mega Man game… but rather, a romhack! I’m really looking forward to the next article since I really love the game I’ll be covering. Thanks for reading and see you then!