Some of you may be wondering why 4?
Why not the first one?
Megaman fans may be wondering why not 2 or 3 often considered the best of the classic series?
It is because 4 is the one that is probably the most typical of a classic NES Megaman game (and it’s the one I own).
This is the point – Megaman games are extremely formulaic, a villain threatens the world with 8 robot masters. When you defeat one you get a new weapon that is strong against one of the others, once all 8 are dead you go through the villains lair stages and face him at the end, only for it to be revealed Dr Wily was the real villain all along and
- you go through his castle
- beat all 8 robot masters again
- face a Wily machine and finally his UFO
- before a short cut scene
- and he runs off after groveling for a minute
(5 and 6 are the exact same though 6 ends with him being “captured”)
So anyway Dr Cossack (pretty sure he’s Russian… what with the name and massive amount of Russian imagery in the background) has unleashed 8 robot masters, you beat them and face off against him, kick his ass, Wily is revealed to be behind everything and you go kick his ass ( for 5 and 6 replace Cossack with Protoman and MR X and you have their plots). So as you see, extremely formulaic.
But that’s not where Megaman’s fun comes from.
Megaman is all about the bosses, and levels. All of which have character to them. Each level also comes with its own music that has been remixed again and again and each boss just oozes character, even though they are on the screen for maybe a minute once you know how to kill them. Studying the levels is key, knowing when to jump, knowing what powers to use, what tricks to exploit to get though all these different levels that no 2 are the same and each styled towards the associated robot master.
As mentioned when you beat a boss his weapon will drop (and some times you get an upgrade for your robot dog) which is powerful against one of the other robot masters. While you may be struggling to defeat Pharoman with just your Megabuster he’s suddenly much more better handled when using the flash stopper from Brightman. If you’re winging it and didn’t look it up, then it can be a thrill to find that one robot master’s weakness. (and if not here’s a quick guide for you)
- Toadman first, he’s pathetic just shoot him and move while he jumps
- Diveman and finally
The levels may take some time to learn, as this is a NES game your controls are limited, primarily – move, jump and shoot (which with the Megabuster can now be charged for a larger more powerful shot) and also a slide. Enemies will spawn when the camera moves to them, so a pixel by pixel memory of a stage helps a lot, as does stocking up on things like the sub tanks you can find in some levels to help you in the more difficult fights later. The Bosses as well take time to memorize their attack patterns, just having the weapon they are weak to doesn’t hit the ‘I win’ button, and this becomes more evident when you have to face them all again before the final boss.
If you want to try out classic NES Megaman this is the game for you, and a good war up for 2 and 3.