MEGA MAN: POWERED UP
SYSTEM YEAR GENRE RATING PSP 2006 Traditional 77% ALSO KNOWN AS Rockman Rockman
This is a remake of Mega Man 1 with 3-D graphics and new features. The biggest change is probably the addition of two new Robot Masters, Time Man and Oil Man, bringing the grand total to the traditional eight instead of the original six. But another interesting feature is you can actually play through the stages as any one of the eight Robot Masters. Finally, this game has a level edit feature, a challenges mode, and more things to find during the stages.
There are two main modes to this game: “old style” and “new style.” Old style attempts to mimic the original game as much as possible while still using the new 3-D graphics. New style has all of the altered stages and additions to the game play. If you’re playing old style you won’t see most of the new features.
This page generally covers the “new style” game, unless otherwise stated, so things may be different in “old style” mode. If you’re playing old style, you’re better off looking at the original game’s Game Hints page.
- You can now exit a stage at any time, even if you haven’t completed it.
- You get the benefit of the Energy Balancer in this game without having to obtain it as an actual item.
- Your weapons are refilled every time you die.
- Your extra lives are refilled to 2 whenever you exit a stage, if you had less than 2. (Equivalent to having the Spare Charger part.)
- Your normal shots don’t go through walls here (but, conversely, neither do the shots of many enemies). Some special weapons can still go through walls.
- Continue points are now visible as flags that you must touch to activate them.
- There is now an intro stage, which you can revisit just like any of the other stages.
- The “new style” stages are very similar to the originals, but not completely the same. There are also a number of new alternate paths.
- If you hit an enemy and fall onto spikes while still invincible from the blow, you don’t die to the spikes. This is like most Mega Man games but unlike the original Mega Man 1, which is why I mention it.
- The game has plot sequences—unlike the original—and, of course, lots of new dialogue.
- There are three difficulty modes. You can select a new difficulty mode per stage. (See below for more details.)
- The game doesn’t offer for you to save after stages. You have to remember to do it yourself on the stage select screen (go to the options screen).
- In the finest tradition of Capcom inconsistency, this game puts a space in “Mega Man” but not in any of the Robot Masters’ names. Why can’t they even be consistent within a single game?
- Play Control:
- Because of the zoomed in state of new style mode, Mega Man seems to jump pretty high compared to his diminutive size, but it’s an optical illusion only: he still stands and jumps just as many blocks high here as in the original. Overall the play control is really not all that bad, although Mega Man does have a bit of a delay when he’s standing still to when he starts moving.
- The background graphics aren’t that bad in and of themselves, although some of the far backdrops are very pixelated. However, generally the backgrounds are very repetitive and rather plain. Worse, the object placement tends to look haphazard, as if the backgrounds were put together randomly, which means they don’t really flow together or look like real environments either.
- I don’t really care for the drawing style of this game, but if you like super-deformed characters, I suppose the character models are well done considering the art style that was demanded. I have to give them credit for making Mega Man look the same way whether he’s facing left or right, rather than turning his back to the camera when he turns around like in virtually every other game of this style. Also, the “skid” animation when Mega Man slips on ice is quite cute (a good cute, not a painful one).
- The songs are all remixes in new style mode, and done fairly well. I like how the boss tunes play just the background beats during the dialogue, then the melody kicks in (complete with the intro riff) only after everyone is done talking. This is clever and a step above having two completely different tunes like the X series games tend to do.
- Sound Effects:
- Some of the sound effects are straight out of Mega Man 8. Naturally, all of the sounds are very “cutesy” here, with Mega Man sounding like a squeaky toy and such. (Anything else wouldn’t fit the art style.) The voice acting isn’t that bad, but the voices largely don’t really seem to fit their characters (or, perhaps I should say the characters’ personalities don’t really fit their characters), which is a shame.
- Aside from tons of continuity errors, a few plot holes, and corny dialogue, the plot isn’t bad. (...Uh. Do I want to qualify that any more?) Okay, I’ll admit, some of the conversations between the various Robot Masters (when you’re playing a Robot Master yourself) are amusing. And there are a few other funny cut scenes scattered here and there throughout the game as well. But still...
- Generally the difficulty is around normal, far less than the original Mega Man 1, at least in “new style” mode. But remember you can always modify the difficulty level if you are finding the game too easy or too hard.
- Replay Value:
- Considering you have to play the game as every character, on every difficulty level, in order to get a “100% complete” rating, you’ll certainly be playing this for a while if you are a completeist. Also, there is a ton of stuff to unlock here. Having said that, it really depends on whether you actually want to go through all of the stages 36 times...
- I have to admit I have no real comments or complaints in this department. The game seems polished well enough, generally speaking.
- Ironically, much like how Mega Man 7 was overshadowed by the original Mega Man X, Powered Up is overshadowed by the remake of Mega Man X—Maverick Hunter X—which came out shortly before this one. Maverick Hunter X is everything this game could have been...and isn’t. If you like games that are sickly-sweet, you may well enjoy this title, but personally I would have preferred a remake of Mega Man 1 that was more along the lines of the graphical, audio, and storyline style of Maverick Hunter X than the super painfully-cute style that they used for Powered Up instead. Now don’t get me wrong: some amount of cuteness is fine by me, and there are definitely some redeeming qualities here, but I wish this game at least took itself seriously.
- + Plus:
- Practically everyone and his sister is an unlockable player character in this game (quite literally).
- - Minus:
- There’s an annoying delay when you defeat an enemy until he actually blows up which can cause you to waste ammo continuing to shoot him (or waste time attempting to dodge) when he’s already dead.
First of all, be aware that the Damage Data from the original game is no longer accurate for “new style” mode. Weapons do not do anywhere near as much damage to the Robot Masters anymore (but, conversely, their weapons don’t hurt you nearly as badly either). So it’s really not as critical here that you use the “correct” weapon against a particular Robot Master. And this means you’re more open to simply doing the stages in whatever order you feel like (particularly if you are trying to pick up all of the Robot Masters on your first pass through).
- Bomb Man (Use Rolling Cutter)
- Ice Man (Use Hyper Bomb)
- Fire Man (Use Ice Slasher)
- Oil Man (Use Fire Storm)
- Cut Man (Use Super Arm or Fire Storm)
- Elec Man (Use Rolling Cutter or Ice Slasher; he’s technically weak against Oil Slider, but I find that too difficult to use)
- Time Man (Use Thunder Beam)
- Guts Man (Use Time Slow and Hyper Bomb)
The hatches are found in the third station of the fortress. Note that if you lose all your lives to the clone at the end of the stage, you have to fight all of the Robot Masters all over again. I would suggest coming into this stage with as many lives as possible. Also, don’t forget to tag the continue flag before you enter one of the hatches!
Screen shots from Nikolai
These boss descriptions apply to the “new style” game. Also, unless otherwise stated, they apply to the normal difficulty mode. And mostly these strategies assume you are playing as Mega Man as he has the most variety of arsenal to choose from.
- Yellow Devil:
- This battle would be painfully unfair except for one redeeming aspect: the bricks always fly across the room in the exact same pattern. Once you have the pattern memorized, the Yellow Devil is toast. The pattern on normal mode is this: stand under the first brick, then alternate jumping them (jump the second, stand under the third, and so on) while counting until you hit 10. Stand under 10 and 11, and jump 12. Then stand under two more, and jump the 15th. (You can jump 10 too, thus keeping the alternating pattern going for a bit longer, but it’s easier to stand under it.) When the Yellow Devil opens its eye to attack, hit it with a Fire Storm, and don’t forget to jump its attack. (If it shoots a laser, you have to dodge it first by moving away from it, then hit the Yellow Devil after it’s done.)
- The weird bubble thing (don’t jump the continue flag!). The Super Arm is no longer your saving grace here (just like how the Thunder Beam no longer hands you a quick victory with the Yellow Devil), but it’s not bad, either. You have to destroy the bubble surrounding the device before you can damage it. You can freeze it in place briefly with the Thunder Beam if it has its bubble. The device will circle the room (stand in the corner to avoid it), then go to the center, shoot a beam upward that drops blocks down into the room, then shoot the beam downward in a sweeping motion. Pick up the blocks if you can and throw them at it. Otherwise, try rapid-firing it or using the Fire Storm (believe it or not). (Note: Like most bosses, in easy mode its attack pattern has changed; stand on a block and jump its shots, shooting at it rapid-fire.)
- Copy Robot:
- The clone of Mega Man isn’t limited to just using whatever weapon you’re using this time, so you can’t influence what he uses that way. He can still use special weapons; it’s just that he gets to choose what to use when. Take a note at what color he is and try to use that Robot Master’s weakness against him if you can. Just beware that if you lose all your lives to this guy, you have to go through the irritating stage again and fight all of the Robot Masters all over again, so try not to die. (Since Capcom was blowing away continuity anyway, why couldn’t they have given us some Energy Tanks?) Note that if you’re playing as a Robot Master here, you get a clone of yourself. This means there’s really not much I can say here: you just dodge his attacks and dish out your own. Since virtually all of the Robot Masters are relatively strong against their own weapons, neither of you will be doing much damage to each other.
- Wily 1st time:
- You need to hit the orange windshield in front of Wily’s face. Dr. Wily uses Master Weapons against you, but like the Copy Robot, he also takes on the weakness of the Robot Master he’s emulating. So, if you hit him with the weapon that he’s currently weak against, you’ll do more damage and his machine will reel. Otherwise, all weapons do only about 1 or 2 units of damage (hard to tell with the way they do the energy meters).
- Wily 2nd time:
- Same thing here, only he’s flying. Aim at Wily and use weapons that he’s weak against for the best results, and hope for the best. Really, winning this battle using a Robot Master is largely a matter of luck, depending on what attacks he decides to use when. If he charges up his purple cannon, try to jump just as he fires it off, and it should angle upward and go over your head.
Provided you always use “Continue” and not “New Game,” a “new style” saved game keeps track of all of your progress on all of your characters. When you change characters (by pressing R on the stage select screen), you start the game over from the beginning, but the progress you made using the previous character is not lost. When you switch back to the character, all of the stages you’d cleared with him will still be cleared. So you don’t need to keep separate save files if you don’t want to. (You may still wish to keep backup saves, just in case.)
You need to clear all of the stages on all three difficulty levels using all of the characters to get the 100% complete on the save game screen. (You can see that each time you clear a stage for the first time on any difficulty level using anyone, the number increases.)
- Visually, super-deformed Mega Man stands barely over a block in height. However, anything below 2 blocks will hit him while he’s standing. This means many things that look like they are going to go over his head will kill him even if they just graze the top of his helmet. This is something to beware.
- Playing through the challenges mode is a good way to learn about each Robot Master’s unique abilities and weaknesses. Try out a few of them each time you unlock a new Robot Master.
- Since you can save your extra lives, try keeping a save file with 9 lives (there’s a 1-Up early on in Fire Man’s stage that’s easy to get to if you have the Ice Slasher—just pick it up, exit out, and repeat). Then, if you lose all your lives and have to continue, reload the game to save yourself some time.
- There are three difficulty levels:
- Easy: This mode places special “+” blocks in various spots to offer you additional footholds over pits and spikes. Also, enemies are slower and sometimes their attack patterns change. There are more continue points in this mode as well. You cannot find construction packs on easy mode.
- Normal: The default. Generally this page covers normal mode unless otherwise stated.
- Hard: Enemies are a lot faster in this mode and their attack patterns may be more fierce. Also, there are often additional environmental hazards, and the bosses tend to use their special attacks a lot more often.
Unlocking Hidden Characters
I have confirmed that the following hidden player characters exist in this game. Thanks to Brady and others.
- Robot Masters: To unlock a Robot Master, you must defeat him using only Mega Man’s arm cannon. If you use any special weapons at any time during the fight, even for just one hit, the Robot Master will be destroyed instead of liberated. (Having said that, you only need to unlock each Robot Master once. When you fight him again later, you can feel free to use whatever weapons you want.)
- Roll: Download her using the online mode (accessed via the construction mode). She has a bunch of different outfits, so you’ll actually download her multiple times.
- Mega Man S: This is a Mega Man who can slide. Actually, I took one look at the layout of the “new style” stages and knew this must be in the game. Beat all of the stages using regular Mega Man on easy mode for this.
- Mega Man C: A Mega Man who can slide and has a Mega Buster. Essentially, he has the same capabilities as the “evil” Mega Man that you fight when you’re using a Robot Master, but without the new graphics. Unlock him by clearing all of the stages using Mega Man on normal difficulty.
- Mega: Mega Man in “Rock” form that you use briefly at the very beginning of the game. Clear all of the stages on hard using regular Mega Man to unlock him.
- Proto Man: Since they’ve already thrown out continuity, why not, right? The consensus seems to be that you unlock him by clearing all 100 of the challenges. Or, download him via the online mode.
- Bomb Man: “Bombs!”
- Bomb Man’s only method of attack is to chuck bombs, but unlike Mega Man, he can have more than one on the screen at once. Also, you can aim the bombs by pressing on the control pad while tossing them: press up to make them arc upward higher than normal, press down to drop a bomb at your feet, and press forward to hurl one a farther distance than normal. The biggest issue with using Bomb Man is aiming his bombs properly; they bounce off obstacles, which can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help.
- Guts Man: “I got it covered.”
- Guts Man can pick up blocks like Mega Man, but he can also lift them from under his feet by pressing down while hitting the fire button. His main feature, however, is that he can create blocks at any time by simply pressing the fire button while he’s standing on the ground. You can use the blocks he creates as stepping stones to other locations, or pick them up and hurl them, or use them to block enemies. Get creative. Guts Man’s main weakness is the time it takes him to create a block, pick it up, and throw it. He can’t just fire off shots rapidly like many other characters.
- Cut Man: “You’ve become a bad robot!”
- Cut Man uses his Rolling Cutter, and he can have two of them on the screen at once (even though he’s only got one on his head). He can also perform a wall jump. Jump up against a wall, and he’ll “stick” to it ever so briefly. Press jump again and he’ll leap off in the opposite direction. You can use this to scale narrow passages. The biggest challenge with Cut Man is trying to aim his Rolling Cutters.
- Fire Man: “My flames of justice burn bright!”
- Fire Man torches things in front of him with his Fire Storm. It also rotates around him, just like when Mega Man uses it. Fire Man is invulnerable to fire-based environmental traps (but he can still be hurt by fire-based enemy attacks). If he touches water (but not ice), the flame on his head will go out, and then all he can do is surround himself with his shield; he can’t shoot fireballs. Touch something fiery in the environment to re-ignite his head. Note that, although Fire Man is not immune to slipping on oil, you really should never encounter oil as him because you can burn it all away. Fire Man is one of the easier Robot Masters to use because his flame has such wide reach.
- Ice Man: “Stop and freeze!”
- Ice Man’s Ice Slasher freezes most enemies into blocks of ice. Unlike when Mega Man uses the weapon, with Ice Man you can safely stand on the ice blocks. This is generally a boon, but sometimes it’s a bit of a pain, because the Ice Slasher does very little actual damage to most robots (this is deliberate, actually), which means if you need to destroy one to get it out of your way, you have to keep shooting it over and over until it blows up. Still, with creative use of the ice blocks, you can do some interesting things with Ice Man. As an added bonus, the Ice Slasher travels through walls. Ice Man is immune to slipping on ice.
- Elec Man: “Electrifying!”
- Like the Master Weapon, but unlike when he uses his own weapon against you as an enemy, Elec Man’s Thunder Beam fires in three directions at once: forward, up, and down. Elec Man is a rather straightforward character; his only gimmick is the ability to move certain blocks using his Thunder Beam. His weapon is fairly powerful, however, and covers a good range.
- Time Man: “Am I on time?”
- He fires two arrow-shaped clock hands simultaneously with each shot: a big hand upward and a little hand down. If you charge up and release, he uses a Time Slow. His shots do decent damage; they can take out an Octopus Battery in no time flat, for example. (I think I made a punny.) His main weakness is his lack of ability to hit things directly in front of him.
- Oil Man: “Hey! Fire’s not allowed here!”
- Oil Man is basically Mega Man with one weapon available: the Oil Slider. As such, he’s the hardest Robot Master to use. If you hit things with the glob of oil, it does relatively pathetic damage, and if you slide into things with the Oil Slider, you tend to damage yourself too. Not only that, but Oil Man can only have one blob of oil on the screen at once, so if you shoot one at something and miss, you have to either slide on it to get it to go away, or stand around waiting for it to vanish on its own, before you can shoot again. (Funny, as an enemy Robot Master he doesn’t have this problem...) Oil Man doesn’t skid and fall over when he walks on oil.
- Roll: “Our friends are in trouble!”
- Roll attacks with a broom, which is kind of delightfully ironic and scary all at the same time. Anyway, she plays a lot like Zero, believe it or not, so you can use her largely the same way. The collision on her broom is a little off at times, though, going straight through enemies sometimes without hurting them when visually it struck them. Just something to be wary of.
- Mega Man S/C: “All right!”
- The slide is from Mega Man 3, and the Mega Buster was introduced in Mega Man 4. If you’ve played any of the recent Mega Man games you should be fairly used to them. Note, though, that the Mega Buster is a little different here. First of all, its charged shots are considered to be guard-breaks in this game, similar to Proto Man’s shots. You don’t even have to charge all the way up for this; even a partially-charged shot will work, plus Mega Man can still fire his arm cannon while he has a charged shot on the screen, so in this way he’s actually better than Proto Man. Not to mention his charged shots go through walls, and Proto Man’s don’t. Use this strategically to destroy enemies before they can reach you.
- Mega: “Take this!”
- He attacks using a kick. Actually, it does fairly good damage and can hit things slightly below him when he’s standing, but it has a really short range, so he’s actually harder to use than Roll, if you can believe that.
- Proto Man: “Sorry. It had to be.”
- This guy jumps like nobody’s business and fires fully-powered super-shots with every shot he fires. This is a surprise, considering he’s supposed to be the same basic specs as Mega Man. Not to mention, why does he lose these upgrades later? At any rate, his shots count as guard-breaks, meaning they can get through Sniper Joe shields and closed Beaks and so forth. But he can only have one shot on the screen at once, so you are somewhat limited in how quickly you can rapid-fire. He does in fact carry a functional shield in this game, although he has a hard time hanging onto it; if the shield blocks a hit for you, Proto Man will drop it, and you have to go back over and touch it to pick it up again. Oddly enough, Proto Man can’t gain Master Weapons (even though we know from other games that he’s supposed to be able to use them) but you don’t really need them, because his Proto Strike hits a weakness to everything.
Not part of the ending, but amusingly, when you defeat Wily 1,
the machine collapses and he tries to get it to work, but it just falls apart underneath him. So Wily says “wait a minute” and starts hammering away, creating the Wily 2 machine out of the debris of the first one. And your character stands there and lets him do it...
At any rate, when you defeat the second machine, Dr. Wily falls to the ground in a burned and tattered condition, deciding to make a strategic retreat. But when he turns around, he finds your character standing there barring his way. So he starts to beg for mercy instead.
The actual ending sequence is just text on a starry night background, saying that the hero was victorious and Dr. Wily even seemed to have changed his ways...for now. Then images of the Robot Masters are displayed while the credits are being shown. Your character runs along the bottom of the screen. Night turns into day, and at the end wait Dr. Light, Roll, and the rest of the cast.
Incidentally, Proto Man is the only character I have found so far that features an ending which is different from this. In his variation, no one is there when he reaches the end, and he just pauses there for a second before teleporting out. “Mega” wanders onscreen a moment later and looks around as if in confusion. Also, Proto Man’s whistle sounds on the “Thanks for Playing” screen. Other than these things, his ending is basically the same as the others.
Thanks to Colin for the screen shots.
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Last update: June 6, 2014