This is your typical revenge story. (I suppose every series has to have one!) Dr. Wily, ticked that Mega Man—formerly a small tool-user named Rock—bested him, creates eight of his own robots to wipe out his rival and take over the land. The game does not tell us how Dr. Wily got out of the custody that resulted from his capture at the hands of Mega Man. Rumor has it Wily was pardoned from jail (he pleaded “temporary insanity” perhaps?).
This game was a breakthrough and I hear it was the one that really launched Mega Man’s popularity. It introduces many features that continue throughout the rest of the games. It is also, in my opinion, one of the easiest games in the series, which makes it a great one with which to start. Also, Mega Man 2 contains the only Robot Masters I have ever found that can be defeated with but a single hit. Read on.
It’s hard to suggest an order because unlike most of the games in the series, this one has no real pattern of “Use this weapon on this robot and use that robot’s weapon on the next robot...
” on and on down the line.
In Mega Man 2
there are tons of ways you can complete the levels and still have the weapon you need for the next battle. Here’s just one of those ways. (Beginners might want to start with Air Man instead—the manual has a walkthrough of his stage. Others might wish to wait to do Air Man and Crash Man until after they have the Leaf Shield.)
- Metal Man (Use arm cannon or Quick Boomerang)
- Air Man (Use arm cannon or Leaf Shield; try standing behind him)
- Crash Man (Use Air Shooter)
- Bubble Man (Use Metal Blade)
- Heat Man (Use Bubble Lead)
- Wood Man (Use Atomic Fire (fully charged) or Crash Bombs)
- Flash Man (Use Metal Blade)
- Quick Man (Use Crash Bombs and/or the Time Stopper. Try firing a Crash Bomb at a wall and standing right below it. Quick Man will come for you and instead land on the explosion!)
Note: Lots of people have sent me other orders. I freely admit this one is weird but I chose it not only for the weapons but also the items (it’s useful to have the Item-2 for Heat Man’s stage, so I forgo getting the Leaf Shield for the Air Man battle). Actually, I personally consider it a good thing about this game that there is no preset order that you absolutely have to follow if you want to have any reasonable chance against the bosses. Here, you have much more freedom, and it’s much more fun that way. On the other hand, that fact does mean that any order I post, people are going to disagree with, so just make up your own if you don’t like this one. That’s where half the fun of the game comes in, after all.
Takes you to Wily’s Skull Castle.
Mega Man 2’s password crack can be found here.
One Hit Wonders
- There are two difficulty modes; Difficult increases the number of times you have to hit many robots to defeat them.
- When you hit START to go to your weapons screen, Mega Man “faintwarps.” When he is phased, he cannot be damaged. By hitting START repeatedly, you can get some of the faster shots to go right through you. This trick is especially useful when fighting the orbs in Wily’s fortress. Also, faintwarping will reset Mega Man’s velocity. In other words, even if he is currently in midair when you hit START, he will come out of the faintwarp as if he was standing still. Use this to slow him down while falling down long shafts.
- You can get infinite ammo for any weapon that doesn’t use a full unit of energy per shot (like the Metal Blade). This is due to the fact that you don’t actually see your energy meter decrease until after you have fired a set number of shots. So shoot a few times, then open and close your subscreen (press START), and the game will “forget” about the fractional part of energy that you consumed, and you can basically keep drawing from the same unit of energy infinitely. (Thanks to Gulch for reminding me of this.)
- This trick doesn’t help you at all but it’s quite amusing. When selecting a Robot Master stage hold down A as you hit START, and the stars in the background will be replaced with miniature birds.
Mega Man 2 contains several Robot Masters that can be defeated with one hit (or more technically, one shot, since some shots do multiple hits of damage). Note that these may not work on Difficult mode due to the fact that Robot Masters effectively have twice the size of an energy meter in that mode. Also certain remakes and variations, such as the Wily Wars, may or may not maintain these. But here they are:
Come on, fire, I dare you.
- Metal Man. This one needs no further discourse. A single Metal Blade will finish him. I’m sure Capcom stuck it in the game for fun.
- Wood Man. There are actually two tricks to this one. The first was most likely intentionally programmed into the game: fully charge the Atomic Fire and you’ll defeat him with one hit. The second requires a bit more work: if you manage to detonate a Crash Bomb on his shield, rather than on Wood Man himself, it will explode and strike Wood Man for multiple hits. If all of the explosions take damage they can be enough to whittle away all of Wood Man’s energy with just one Bomb.
- Crash Man. Technically speaking you need to hit Crash Man two to three times with the Air Shooter to defeat him. However the Shooter fires three tornados with each press of the button, and when you initially fire, they are all stacked on top of each other. If you can manage to hit Crash Man with all three tornados (it helps to let him jump, then come up underneath him and fire), they will all take damage even though they’re all hitting at roughly the same moment, and Crash Man will go poof with one shot.
- Quick Man. Likewise, a reader reports demolishing Quick Man with but a single Crash Bomb. I don’t recall ever having personally done this, but given the sheer amount of damage the bomb inflicts on him, I could definitely see it happening.
The ending begins when the starry background of the final battle disappears at the defeat of the alien, revealing an ordinary room in Dr. Wily’s fortress. The scientist himself is behind some controls, and a holographic projector is moving in the exact formation as the alien had. The alien wasn’t real; Dr. Wily was using an illusion. The projector falls to the floor, disabled, and Wily jumps down and starts begging.
Then the scene shifts. The screen shows Mega Man walking on a black background, and in the corner is a small picture of a valley and a small village. As Mega Man walks, the seasons change, as reflected not only in the small picture but also by precipitation that covers the screen and also represents one of Mega Man’s current weapons. For instance, for fall you see leaves from the Leaf Shield slowly drifting downward. For winter, white Metal Blades that look like snow flakes. Spring: pink Quick Boomerangs that look like petals of flowers falling from blooming trees. And summer is rain—arm cannon shots that drop fast and steadily.
Then Mega Man stops. He looks up suddenly at the image in the corner of the screen. Then the image widens to include the entire screen, but Mega Man is no longer standing there. Only his helmet remains. He’d pulled it off and tossed it to the ground as he ran down the hill...to his home.