The first Mega Man
, the one that started it all! As a kid, I think I always knew of Mega Man, though I'm unsure how, since I was born in 1994 and was thus "too young" for much of the series, not really playing any
video games until 2000. A little later, I would watch the NT Warrior
anime on Kids' WB, not realizing the story was actually based on games, and so getting into Mega Man Battle Network 3 White
somewhat late as well. I would play through four or five games of that sub-series before finally getting to "Classic" Mega Man
with Mega Man Anniversary Collection
, a game I was so proud to purchase, due to love of Mega Man Battle Network [ロックマンエグゼ]
, that I recall (cringing as I do so) having used the word "ecstatic" to describe my feeling of buying the compilation. I would learn half an hour later that the original games were way
too hard for me...! I would try my best to play through the various games, occasionally "cheating" with passwords to get to Wily stages to at least check out the Robot Master boss-rushes that always happen, but otherwise the only actual RM stages I could beat were to be found in Mega Man 6 [Rockman 6 史上最大の戦い!!]
and Mega Man 8 [ロックマン8 メタルヒーローズ]
. Mega Man 1
was practically impossible for me, and so I would hold off from playing these older games too much, later getting an idea to try ROMs and abuse savestates, which I never ended up doing, and ultimately grabbing Mega Man Legacy Collection
on Switch, making far
too much use of its rewind feature.
Despite the fact that I couldn't first beat this without rewinding all my deaths and most of my damage received (I usually died from poor jump-landings rather than actually getting hit by foes), I had enough fun that I immediately replayed the game upon my first completion (still abusing the rewind...). It takes less than half an hour, I think, and so I will likely continue replaying until I gitgud, hopefully to the point of being able to avoid rewinding, if not still abusing the "pause trick," and anyway Mega Man Legacy Collection 2
doesn't have rewind and apparently the final boss of Mega Man 7 [Rockman 7 宿命の対決!]
is hard, so I need to develop skill sometime
Unfortunately, two playthroughs was not enough for me to remember the actual stages very well, other than the dropping conveyors of Gutsman's stage and I think the fire pillars in Fireman's that you can freeze. Hopefully I'll become more familiar with them as I continue replaying, but at the very least I was surprised by how "short" they all were, perhaps because of the small team who built the game, perhaps because the overall difficulty made it so the designers felt it would be too sadistic to make players linger too long among the various threats to young Rock.
I've always felt the selling-point of the franchise was in its boss battles, what with Mega's ability to use boss weapons upon their defeat, or my greater familiarity with overusing Navi Chips in MMBN
, which function somewhat similarly, or Souls/Crosses, which are perhaps a much better comparison. Regardless, I think I enjoyed this game mostly for its bosses, even if I cheesed them like a punk ass bitch.
I went for Bombman first, probably not for any particular reason, but he seems very easy to kill with the Mega Buster. I'm most ashamed of using the rewind feature against him, as his attacks seem really easy to read. He would throw a bomb at my location, and toss another at my new spot after I move to dodge the first. I would always, without fail, eat the second bomb, and so rewind to place myself elsewhere in the middle of the second bomb's arc. It shouldn't be too hard to learn how to stop fucking up as I have. He's otherwise weak to Fireman's weapon, which I do use in the Wily Stage rematch.
I hate Gutsman, as he makes me hate myself. I can never seem to judge when to properly jump to avoid the stun of his buttslam-earthquake, even if dodging his Super Arm block-throw. Aiming Bombman's Hyper Bomb to hit Gutsman is also fucking awful, though luckily it only takes three hits, and I can reliably use the pause trick to make one explosion count for two. I feel it may be easier to use the Buster, but have yet to try.
Cutman is piss-easy, which is funny because his NetNavi version wrecked my shit as a lad playing Mega Man Battle Network 2 [バトルネットワーク ロックマンエグゼ2]
. His weakness is Super Arm, there are two blocks in his arena to throw at him, and each takes 50% away from his health bar. I can't recall if I've bothered using the pause trick to kill him in one attack, but it probably would work.
Elecman is pretty scary, as his Thunder Beam does big-dick damage. Too many times have I eaten the attack as soon as the fight starts (by which I mean "twice," since I never have the problem in the Wily Stage rematch, and otherwise only played his own stage twice...). He seems to die in three Rolling Cutter hits, which is good because they come out fast, and they're boomerangs so you only need
to launch two. The dude's pretty much a "glass cannon," and it just feels "mean" to use the pause trick, if it would even work for an attack so small as the Cutter. True to the Robot Master's own power, the Thunder Beam you get from him is insanely powerful, or at least the beam itself has a big sprite making it ideal for pause-spam.
I actually don't know what Iceman does, as I always kill him with one Thunder Beam, pause-spamming it....
Fireman... I also pause-spam with Ice Slasher. But it takes like two shots for me to do it, usually.
The Yellow Devil is notoriously bullshit, but I always cheat with pause-trick Thunder Beam. I can
somewhat-reliably dodge his blobs when he's first forming, so I probably could
fight him legitimately in the future, but... I don't know, it seems everyone uses the pause trick on him anyway, so maybe I'll wait until my twelfth play of the game to try fighting him like a man.
Copy Mega is actually the hardest boss for me. Dude's fast as fuck. I think I'm actually too scared
of his own Thunder Beams to have ever braved using it with the pause-trick against him (I have
used Thunder Beam against him, but his attacks come out so fast they make me shit my pants and I don't want to risk it), so I use Fire Storm and mostly try to clip him with the spinning shield.
I actually have no idea what the fuck is going on with CWU-01P, and I hate it. The "boss" is actually a series of seven machines with a bubble shield, who get increasingly faster as they spawn in. The strategy it seems a lot of people agree upon is to kill the first three with Buster or something, and reserve Super Arm for the last four (there are four blocks in the center of the stage). My problem is I can't dodge these things. Perhaps there's a way to trick them to spawn from the top or left, have them move to the center, then down and clockwise, so I can hide in the righthand corner while shooting? I don't know. What trips me up most is actually that the lifebar only goes down by the defeat of each machine, rather than ticking down progressively as you damage them. I've yet to try Thunder Beam pause-trick, as I think I just assumed it wouldn't work without seeing the damage tick down, but that's probably nonsense, and it may work....
Wily Machine 1 is okay. I've never not
used Thunder Beam pause-trick, even in the Challenge in Legacy Collection
, which I've played several times for shits and giggles. The similar Challenge for Wily Machine 2 required me to actually learn how to dodge its attacks, so I may as well fight the first Machine more fairly when replaying this game, but we'll see.
It seems this game is usually seen as inferior to a number of its sequels, but I loved it. Mostly because I cheated, and I doubt I'd like the game much if I didn't
have the rewind feature, which I used as a crutch, but which I hope I may use more as "training wheels," to help me learn how to play more legitimately, rather than tapping out as I did with Anniversary Collection
. The only "downside" I see is that the rock-paper-scissors of Robot Master weapons gets a little wonky with Rolling Cutter versus Elecman, which felt like a "leap" when I was younger, but which I'll now pretend has something to do with like "you cut the electrical wires" or something. Otherwise, fire ignites bombs, bombs demolish blocks, blocks crush scissors, and lightning electrocutes ice/water, and ice/water extinguishes fire. The weakness-cycle gets more nonsensical in future games, imo.
I think the second game onward just primes people for a different type of challenge. The platforming in this one is actually platforming, but in the grand scheme of hard NES platformers, it still isn't that hard.