Dr. Wily takes off on a safari hunt to track down a strange object he and Dr. Light had discovered months ago. The said object turns out to be a gigantic supercomputer with a mind of its own. It recreates for Dr. Wily the scientist’s second two sets of Robot Masters (from Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3) and emits radiation that causes machines all around the world to go wacko.
Roll goes down and Rock vows to save her by taking out the problem at its source. Dr. Light shields Rockman, Beat, and Rush from the radiation (no word yet on why the Robot Masters and Blues were not affected) and these three head out to the location of the supercomputer.
This three-disc game is almost pure FMV. Basically you watch anime and influence the story’s outcome similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure book. There are generally three things to do here; in normal mode the animation stops periodically and you are presented a textual prompt to pick between two choices (things like “go left” or “use Rush”). Occasionally, however, arrows will flash on the borders of the movie screen indicating that something is about to hit Rockman; you have to press the control pad in the direction of one of the arrows to dodge in time. When Rock is attacked the screen shifts to the third mode which is a first-person shooter style mini-game where you have a targeting cursor that you move around and aim and fire at things attacking you. Rockman can even charge up, although you unfortunately don’t really see your own shots, just enemy reactions to them.
Except for the cover, the artwork is rather traditional in this game,
although the animation seems to have borrowed some aspects of the Mega Shows like Rush acting like an idiot. Still, it’s a good watch, although don’t expect to be able to follow the story if you can’t read and understand Japanese.
I think the strangest thing about the plot is the fact that the game ends when Roll dies, not when Rockman does. You can get poor Rock tossed into a bottomless pit or blown to atoms (there’s one cute scene where Shadow Man grows an arm cannon from somewhere and vaporizes Rock, then stands next to the resulting pillar of smoke laughing)...yet Rockman always comes mysteriously back to life just in time to stand in Dr. Light’s lab and watch Roll die. Truly bizarre.
- Metal Man:
- Charge up and you’ll do about 5% of his total health with each shot. Your super-shots can also go right through Metal Blades he tosses and hit him at the same time.
- Bubble Man:
- Use Metal Blades and you can even cut through his bubble shield. Don’t fire too quickly however since he seems to be invulnerable for a moment after you hit him.
- Heat Man:
- If you fight Bubble Man, you won’t encounter Heat Man, and vice versa. (You get the exact same scene with Guts Man and Beat however; just over different backdrops.) Use the Bubble Lead (that Guts Man just gave you) and you shouldn’t have any troubles.
- Flash Man:
- Metal Blades do the best damage, but only fire one at a time because Flash Man vanishes after each hit, so any more shots will be wasted.
- Quick Man:
- You only have to get him down to about 1/3 life remaining. You can also skip this battle altogether by choosing not to fight him when the game prompts (second option). The end result is the same either way.
- Shadow Man:
- For the first part of the battle, the Shadow Men will rotate throwing Shadow Blades until you hit the real one. In the second half, hitting the real Shadow Man will cause the rest to disappear; until you do that, Shadow Man will keep firing Blades at you. Basically firing a quick line across the ranks of Shadow Men should nail the real one before any of them fire. Charge up during the second half of the battle, but don’t bother for the first half.
- Wood Man:
Like with the Quick Man battle, you’re offered a choice here of whether to fight or not. But this time you have to fight. If you refuse once, Wood Man will beat up on Rockman for a while; then Rock will have a flashback remembering what Quick Man said. The game then asks again if you want to fight. If you refuse a second time, Blues comes in and saves your sorry tail, then gives you a lecture and walks away to leave you to your (abysmal) fate. (Interestingly, this is one of the only endings I’ve seen where Roll doesn’t die...)
- Air Man:
- I just used the Blues Shield and blasted away. Sometimes you can destroy his air bursts and hit him at the same time.
- Crash Man:
- Crash Man begins by firing Crash Bombs, then he shoots multiple orange spheres, then finally he shoots a large bomb which, when you hit it, will split into a circle of bombs which you must then shoot. Basically blast the large bomb then fire in a circular sweep. You might hit Crash Man as well in the process.
- Snake Man:
- He keeps jumping underground. I find a fire weapon to work best here. You can even destroy the rocks he hides behind. Using the Crash Bomber you can hit both Snake Man and his snakes with one shot.
- Needle Man:
- I just used the Blues Shield for this battle, since all of the weapons were doing only 1% damage. If you rapid-fire Needle Man while he is trying to use the spikes on his head, you’ll push the spikes away and they won’t hit you.
- Gemini Man:
- A very vicious battle; Gemini Man doesn’t stop at merely doubling himself—he triples and quadruples. Probably the best idea is to aim primarily at his lasers and if you keep rapid-firing you’ll also hit Gemini Man in the process.
- Magnet Man:
- Blast the magnet circling over his head to break his shield so you can damage him. Shooting him with the Time Stopper while his shield is down is a good way to land lots of easy free hits on him. (Remember, only fire the Time Stopper once, then switch to another weapon.) Later in the battle he’ll start chucking rocks that break into bits when you shoot them, so you have to fire at all the pieces as well.
- Hard Man:
- Hit him with a Magnet Missile and he will freeze into place; switch to another weapon and blast away. (The Magnet Missile uses too much energy to fire constantly.)
- Top Man:
- The Hard Knuckle does decent damage but since you also have to shoot at the tops if you want to live, you’ll probably run out of Hard Knuckle energy. In that case use Blues’s Shield and rapid-fire like there’s no tomorrow. Try to shoot all of his tops as he’s firing them since they are close together then and are easier to hit; once they spread out, one or more are likely to get to you before you have a chance to move the cursor around and shoot them all.
- Spark Man:
- This is a tough battle and there is a lot to shoot. Again Magnet Missiles freeze him for a brief moment; or you can rapid-fire him. (Side note: In the scene after this battle some arrows will show on the screen; if you don’t dodge, Spark Man zaps Rock from the floor. If you do dodge, Rock just collapses for no apparent reason. I think the electrocution makes a little more sense...)
- Final Boss 1:
- Fires lots of different types of plasma shots. The large purple ones require several hits to destroy. Try using the Spark Shock on him.
- Final Boss 2: (Dark Moon thing)
- Most of its shots take several hits to destroy. You’ll probably want the Shield active for this battle.
Most of the weapons operate pretty identically to each other in this game; you can rapid-fire all of them just like your normal Buster. Basically the only difference between the weapons is the type of damage they do (some robots are more vulnerable to certain weapons than others). Also some of the weapons’ shots are a tad bigger than others. The only one real exception is the Time Stopper which freezes the action for a brief moment, so you’ll want to fire it once, then quickly switch to another weapon to blast away.
On the final subscreen the weapons are listed in the following order (they shift around some, but you can compare the following chart with the screen shot above to see what’s where):
- Energy Tanks: You can use these off your subscreen during battle to refill your life meter. Be careful that you don’t hit this by accident; it’s very easy in this game to waste Tanks.
- Weapon Tanks: Can be used to refill special weapons; equip a weapon, then select the Weapon Tank to refill it.
- Blues’s Shield: At the beginning of Disc 2, after Blues saves Rock and Rockman is heading through the opening in the wall, right before you get there some arrows will flash on the sides of the screen. Hit right then left and Rockman will find an item box and then the shield that Blues left behind while he was saving Rock. You can use this shield like a replacement to your Buster; it basically reduces the damage you take.
- If you can’t understand Japanese, you’ll generally be fine choosing the top option all of the time. You won’t see a lot of the more humorous scenes, but you also won’t die as often either. Once you have save files where you want them, go back and choose the second option everywhere and see where they take you. Warning: a lot of them spell “Game Over” so make sure you save.
- Another fun thing to do, once you’ve played through once and made save games, is to purposefully not dodge things. The arrows give you more than plenty of time to respond, but some of the scenes of Rock getting hit are rather humorous (if but a tad tragic). Remember of course that failing to dodge will usually cost you either energy or your life, so be prepared.
- For even more kicks, lose battles a lot. Most of the time when you lose a battle the game ends; however, sometimes you’re saved by one of the Robot Masters from Mega Man 1 or other funny things happen.
- Sometimes which way you dodge makes a difference.
- Damage percentages seem to be related to the target’s remaining hit points, not his total. In other words, your damage percentages will continue to increase as your target gets lower in health (thus why your final hit always does 100% damage). Likewise, damages against you will show higher percentages as your own bar wears down too. So don’t worry and think that enemies are suddenly doing more damage to you—they aren’t, the game’s just rating percentages based on your current (diminishing) energy supply.
Rockman transforms both arms into cannons and fires them both at once, producing a gigantic super-shot which puts the supercomputer Lamoon out of commission. The entire temple collapses.
With the demise of the supercomputer, power returns to the world, and Roll wakes up, much to the delight of Dr. Light.
Meanwhile, when Rock comes to he’s back outside the destroyed temple, surrounded by Beat, Rush, the Mega Man 1 Robot Masters, and Blues. While they all discuss their victory, Dr. Wily discreetly gets away. But everyone just laughs it off, because after all...they won.