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.
- How do I get up to the ladder in Wily’s fortress?
Use the Item-1. It’s important to note that you can have up to three platforms on the screen at once. So fire one, jump on it, fire another, jump on that, fire a third, jump on that. If necessary, wait for the first one to disappear, and fire a fourth. This should usually be sufficient. You may have to wait for each of the platforms to rise a bit before firing off the next one, in order to get the necessary height.
- Play Control:
- Although the play control is good (far better than many other games of its time), Mega Man does slide a bit in this game, though less than in his previous one. It can be enough to throw you off however.
- The graphics were a bit more detailed than this game’s predecessor, particularly in the far backgrounds, though there were still a lot of flat colors.
- Not much has changed from the first game.
- The tunes here are very memorable, and just about anyone who knows anything about Mega Man can recognize at least one of this game’s songs. Also, this game was the first to feature Mega Man’s theme song, and its opening not only carries over from Mega Man 1’s ending...it also carries into its own ending.
- Sound Effects:
- The new sounds were decent, but still a bit tingey.
- This game didn’t have much of a plot—just Dr. Wily and his revenge—though Dr. Light contacting you during the game was a nice touch.
- Difficulty: (easy)
- If you’re looking for a challenge, you won’t find it here. Even on “Difficult” mode, this game is easier than most of the others.
- Replay Value:
- Great playability and lots of charm. Probably the only real disadvantage in the replay department is you cannot revisit stages, so if you use a password you are limited in where you can go.
- The addition of E-Tanks and passwords were a big factor in the replay value of this and future games. The little touches such as the miniature Bomb Birds during the Robot Master demo screen were cute.
- Overall: 90%
- A true classic. I definitely recommend this one as a first Mega Man game for beginners to the series.
- + Plus:
- The music from Mega Man 1 carries over to here, and the music in the opening carries over to the ending.
- - Minus:
- When you press in a direction there is a delay before Mega Man starts moving which can really throw you off (ledges).
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.)
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.
- 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!)
- Mecha Dragon:
- Use Quick Boomerang. Try to stay on the right-most blocks, hopping closer only to hit with the boomerangs. If you keep carefully jumping between two blocks at two different heights, you should be able to dodge the dragon’s fireballs without too much trouble.
- Detachable Walls:
- Use Metal Blade. (Remember you can aim in any of eight directions!) Jerry suggests using Bubble Lead on hard mode, as it does better damage though it’s a tad harder to aim. If you go this route, just remember to refill the Bubble Lead later or you’ll be up the proverbial river with no paddle.
- Guts Dozer:
- Use Quick Boomerang or Bubble Lead (don’t forget to refill it!). You can safely stand on the front end.
- Orb Room:
- Use Crash Bombs. Be careful; if you blow all the walls away you won’t have enough Crash Bomb energy to take care of the orbs. You can only afford to take out the two walls that directly block the orbs (use the Items to reach the rest), and even then you must enter the room with the Crash Bomber fully charged. You can, however, take out some or all of the walls, kill yourself, then recharge the Crash Bomber and come back to take care of the orbs. (The orbs will come back; the walls won’t.) Also, if you’re having a hard time dodging their shots, try hitting START rapidly right before they connect, and they’ll go right through you!
- Wily 1st time:
- Use Metal Blade or your arm cannon, or Crash Bombs if you have any left.
- Wily 2nd time:
- Use Bubble Lead; it’s the only thing that does any damage at all. Whatever you do, don’t make contact with the alien; doing so will hack off about half of your energy. Notice the pattern in which the creature moves (it’s the same pattern that its holographic projector makes after you defeat it, of course, since the alien was just a hologram). It’s moving in a figure 8. Keep this in mind and you should escape with hardly a scratch.
Takes you to Wily’s Skull Castle.
Mega Man 2’s password crack can be found here.
The manual tells you about these, but if you rented the game without a manual, here’s how to find them:
- Item-1 (platforms): Obtained by defeating Heat Man. Press Fire to create rising platforms. Up to three can be on the screen at once.
- Item-2 (jet sled): Get it from Air Man. Press Fire to place the sled; you have about two seconds to jump on before it starts moving. You cannot control its flight; it always goes in a straight line.
- Item-3 (wall walker): Flash Man has it. Press Fire near to a wall and it will attach and start climbing. Jump on to ride up; jump off and it will begin to go back down.
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:
- 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 tress. 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.