MEGAMAN'S ROBOT MASTERS:
Welcome back to my ongoing series in which I examine the Robot Masters of the MegaMan games (one through six). This being part two, we will now take a look at the Robot Masters from MegaMan 2:
MegaMan 2 marked the beginning of a new age in the MegaMan saga. Unlike the first game, in which the Robot Masters were made to perform specific, society-benefiting functions, in this game they were just made to take over various facilities and kill MegaMan. As such, they're a very different bunch of Robot Masters than in the first game.
So let's begin. Click on the Robot Master below that you would like to learn about!
Bubbleman thinks it's awesome that he's the first underwater Robot Master in any MegaMan game. He thinks the fact that he can swim really well will help him "get chicks." He thinks the fact that his weapon is a big bubble will help him "get chicks." He thinks the fact that Dr. Wily created him will help him "get chicks." Whenever he's with the other Robot Masters, all he does is ask them if they know any good ways to "get chicks." You get the picture.
Bubbleman is the first MegaMan level to focus on underwater stuff. As a result, Capcom had to tweak the underwater play control a bit from MegaMan 1, in which the underwater parts were basically like above water, just a little slower.
The way it works now (and from now on) is that as long as you hold down the jump button, MegaMan goes up. When you let go, he stops and starts going down again. That's why Bubbleman lined his level with mines, becuase if you're not careful you'll jump right into them. Also, he thought it would help him "get chicks."
After avoiding mines and fighting giant lantern fish and frogs that spit tiny frogs at you, you get to Bubbleman's lair. Pissed that you're not a "hot chick," he attacks you. Fortunately he's not very difficult to beat.
He has two attacks: he launches a bouncing bubble at you, and also just shoots you with some sort of arm cannon. Fortunately, neither attack is particularly damaging, and you can just take them as you pound him back.
If you have Metal Blade from Metalman the strategy is the same: just pound him down as quick as you can.
Whatever you do, though, DO NOT use Bubble Lead against Bubbleman. It heals him to full health. Other than that, though, Bubbleman is a good Robot Master to go after first, because he's not too difficult, and Bubble Lead is one of the more practical weapons in the game: a bubble that acts basically like a bowling ball, rolling along the ground and down stairs and fun stuff like that.
Airman is your classic overkill incompetent. He doesn't know what he's doing up there in the clouds, and when MegaMan shows up he panicks and throws tornados all over the place, because, really, that's all he knows how to do. He thinks it's the solution to everything. Broken microwave? Throw tornados all over it! And why use just one when you can use dozens and dozens? Let's just say he's not the pick of the litter.
Airman also has a funky sense of design, filling his level with weird touches like frowning faces on all the platforms, and these giant Tiki heads with drills for ears. I guess Airman couldn't really figure out what the level of an air villain should look like. He also hired these cute chubby guys with fans in their bellies. Look at the little fatty!
Soon enough you get to Airman, who really wasn't expecting you.
Airman panicks and starts chucking tornados all over his entire lair. You really only have to worry about the ones on the very bottom. To beat Airman, just charge towards him and jump the lower tornadoes. Hammer away on him once you get past the tornados (they block your shots). He'll blow you back to the far edge of the level with his big chest fan, then the process starts again. I said he wasn't very bright.
Airman is actually weak against the Leaf Shield, although it's almost easier to use your regular gun, due to the fact that the Leaf Shield is far more likely to get blocked by the excessive amounts of tornados that Airman pours out. Airman is the Robot Master that I usually tackle first in this game.
Beating Airman gets you the Air Shooter, which shoots three tornados up at an angle ahead of you. It's good for getting flying critters, and also the big purple walkers that Sniper Joe likes to use in this game (kills them with one shot).
Quickman is like a kid with A.D.D. He just can't stop moving. It must have been Hell for Dr. Wily to build him, what with him wanting to run off and jump against walls even before all of his parts were put on. Why would anyone make a robot that destroys itself if it ever stops moving?
Quickman's level is by far the most difficult level in MM2 for one very simple reason: For about half of the level, if you make one mistake you get all blowed up. In other words, you have to be quick. But for some reason Quickman's level also deals with light and dark. Those firepot guys (above) light up a section in the middle of the level, and when you blow them up you're immersed in darkness.
Then you have to deal with the death laser things. These big beams start filling the screen, and unless you drop out of the bottom before one of them touches you, you equal dead. It just takes a lot of trial-and-error and blowing up before you can figure out the pattern. If you have the Time Stopper, you can freeze time right before the death laser section starts, and they won't be able to appear. But then you won't have any Time Stopper leftover for Quickman himself.
Anyway, if you survive, you get to Quickman. He's pretty damned hard to hit, due to the fact that he never stops moving (unless he accidentally gets himself stuck up against a wallthen he just comically runs in place.
If you have the Time Stopper, though, just freeze time as soon as the fight starts (NOT before! Otherwise the Time Stopper will freeze time before he appears, then run out, and then Quickman will appear and you'll have wasted your Time Stopper). You'll drain half his life, becuase Quickman is so fast that he damages himself if he's not moving. Once he's down to half, Crash Bomber does a good amount of damage on him if you have it (it's also a good one to use if you've already used up your Time Stopper). Soon he will explode.
Quickman gives you the Quick Boomerang, which is a rapid-fire weapon, useful if you don't have a controller with rapid-fire capabilities. Otherwise, not so useful. It does have a wider spread than your regular blaster, so it's easier to hit really tiny enemies, but it has a very short range. It also uses so little energy that it's practically impossible to run out of it.
Heatman is just a big cigarette lighter, complete with flip-top head. It's hard for him to take part in discussions with the other Robot Masters because they keep flipping him shut and blowing out his flame. He's kind of bitter because of it, like that little weenie in school who you just know is gonna snap someday.
Heatman set up shop in the lava tubes underground, probably in order to avoid all the torment he would receive above ground. His level is pretty underrated, and it holds one of the more difficult sequence of disappearing/reappearing blocks in any MegaMan game.
Difficult, that is, unless you happen to have Item #2, in which case you just hop on and bypass the whole section.
Soon you confront Heatman, who is pissed that his solitude has been broken and finally snaps, overheating and lashing out blindly at you.
Basically the way Heatman works is that he lobs three firebombs at you, which make big pillars of fire on the floor where they hit. There isn't really any way to avoid them easily, so you just kind of have to take your lumps.
As soon as you hit Heatman he becomes so enraged that he actually turns into a ball of fire and flies at you. All you have to do is jump over him, turn around as soon as he lands, and start firing again. If you have Bubble Lead, he goes down in three hits, and probably won't be able to get more than one shot of those firebombs off.
After you put him out of his misery, you are rewarded with Atomic Fire, a first-of-its kind weapon. The longer you hold down the fire button, the more powerful Atomic Fire gets. Eventually (in MM4) this would actually be incorporated into your regular gun, the Mega Buster. But still, the fully charged Atomic Fire is pretty spectacular, as the shot is bigger than MegaMan's body!
Woodman is kind of the big bruiser of this game, taking over from Gutsman. Aside from constant ribbing about erections, Woodman gets probably the most props of any Robot Master in this game, due to the fact that it's damn near impossible to hurt him. They leave him alone, and he likes it that way.
Woodman hides out in a mechanical forest, filled with mechanical animals like bats and rabbits that shoot razor-sharp, deadly carrots at you.
After fighting through the woods for a short while, you actually enter into one of the trees. Therein you'll find enormous dogs that breathe fire. There are a few options. You can kill them with one shot if you can charge up Atomic Fire all the way. You can just fight it out with your regular gun or some other weapon. Or you can use the Time Stopper to freeze time right before you meet the first one, and then as you run past where they would appear if time weren't frozen, you'll only have to fight one of them.
Eventually you emerge into the branches of the tree, where mechanical gorillas await to pounce on you. After ducking back into another tree for a brief fight with some more rabbits, you emerge back into the forest, where a hoard of mechanical roosters await to try to jump on your head. The trick to getting by them is absurdly simple: As soon as one appears, just stand still and the dumbass thing will jump right over your head. After that, you finally get to where the big bruiser Woodman lives.
After pounding his chest to show his superiority to MegaMan, Woodman immediately activates the Leaf Shield, making him pretty damned hard to hit.
He attacks by shooting four giant leaves into the ceiling, which come floating slowly back down. As they float down, he actually launches his entire Leaf Shield at you. As you can see, the shield itself is much bigger than MegaMan, so it takes some good timing to jump it.
He'll be shieldless for just a couple moments, so you have to blast away at him at this time, all the while avoiding the leaves falling from the ceiling. However, if you have enough energy in your Atomic Fire to charge it up full, all it takes is ONE SHOT to blow Woodman int twigs. Of course, since a fully-charged Atomic Fire shot is so huge, it's pretty easy for it to get accidentally blocked by a leaf.
If you don't have enough Atomic Fire, Crashman's weapon also works pretty well. If you do turn him into charcoal, you get the Leaf Shield. The way it works is you activate it and it starts spinning around you, making you pretty durned invulnerable to most enemies. As soon as you push the joystick in any direction, the Leaf Shield flies off in that direction, barreling through any enemies in its way. It's very powerful, but very limited, and uses up a good chunk of weapon energy with each throw.
Metalman is a big asshole, but he doesn't care. He has the best weapon of any Robot Master in any MegaMan game, and he knows it. He spends most of his time laughing at the Robot Masters with useless weapons that cost more than 1/3 of a pip on the weapon meter, like Waveman from MM5. Most of the other Robot Masters want to get their hands on a Metal Bladejust one, because that's all it takes to shut Metalman up.
Metalman has taken over a factory of some sort, and it's up to MegaMan to free it before it can be used to make more robots for Dr. Wily. I assume. Basically this level is covered with conveyer belts and big smashing spikes that fall out of the ceiling and little drill bits that come out of the floor and celing (that give you a ton of energy as you kill them).
For some reason there are also clowns that ride on giant gears. I guess Metalman likes clowns. Who knew? Just goes to show there are hidden depths to everybody, even evil Robot Masters. It's actually one of the easier levels. But once you get to Metalman is when the funtimes start!
Here's a pretty common sight during your fight with Metalman: Getting sliced up good by one of his Metal Blades. There's no real trick to dodging them, just good timing. You'll notice the floor of the room is also a conveyer belt, upping the challenge level a little more.
If you have quick boomerang, you have to get close enough to use it, and that usually makes Metalman pissed that you would dare invade his personal space. He then jumps to the other side of the room, forcing you to chase after him some more.
However, if you already have Metal Blades (i.e., if you're fighting him for the second time in Dr. Wily's level) just hit him ONCE with it and he'll be all blowed up.
Dr. Wily gave Flashman the ability to stop time. Unfortunately Wily didn't program in the knowledge that he has this ability. As such, Flashman randomly stops time whenever he's with other Robot Masters, and then gets confused waiting for the robots to start moving again and wanders off, only to freeze time again at some other inapproapriate momentlike right when someone is about to tell him something important.
Flashman's level is a big, flashy ice maze. The ice in MegaMan's games is a lot of fun, becuse it doesn't behave quite like any other video game ice, launching you suddenly in different directions with no regards to the laws of momentum.
Because the level is a maze, you can find shortcuts and easier parts. The last section of the level you can either end up on the top half or bottom half of the screen. The top half is a series of icy jumps that requires some good timing. Unless you have item #2. Then, like in Heatman's level, you can just float across the difficult part. Then, if you have the Crash Bomber you can shoot out the final wall and bypass all the big enemies below you, collecting some goodies for your effort.
Flashman's lair has some funky terrain, making the battle a little bit more difficult than usual. Flashman is a strange, confused boss.
He basically just runs and jumps at you as you shoot him. He knows he's supposed to stop you, so he'll try to run headlong into you, which is actually surprisingly hard to dodge.
Then periodically he'll accidentally freeze time for a second. Confused as to why you've stopped moving, he'll launch a machine-gunload of bullets at you to try to get you moving again. You get a split-second warning before he time freezes (if you watch Flashman carefully), so just make sure you're way high up in the air and he'll shoot blindly under you before time restarts.
It's actually easier to avoid this attack than it is to avoid Flashman just running into you in his confused stupor as to why you periodically stop moving. Being confused, Flashman is SUPPOSED to be weak against the Crash Bomber. And he is, especially against the explosions.
But it's actually easier to beat Flashman using an old standby: The Metal Blades. They do as much damage as just shooting him with a Crash Bomb, and since they're fast and go through walls, they chew the hell out of Flashman before he can really do much.
Flashman give you the Time Stopper. It's a very unique weapon. Once it's activated, it freezes time and starts draining your weapons energy meter. You can't shut it off or change weapons until it's drained the entire meter, which takes a few seconds. So you can really only use it once a level, unless you collect some weapon energy recharge items.
Crasman is noteworthy for having one of the most damaging weapons and for being able to be killed in two shots. All the other Robot Masters don't like Crashman becuase they're worried that he's gonna bump his elbow on something and explode. He tries really hard, though, and has the kind of plucky optimism that makes it so the other Robot Masters are actually sorry when he blows up within the first point-six seconds of his fight with MegaMan.
Crashman's level is a hodge-podge of different ideas (how do you theme around an enemy who is "Crash"?). It seems to take place at some sort of a plant that needs a lot of pipes, like a steam or water plant. But it's not clear, and the pipes never really come into play. The first part of the level centers around these little platforms that follow convoluted tracks.
Then as you climb higher (it's a vertical level), you seem to actually climb out of the atmosphere and into space. Either that or it just becomes night really fast. Here's a hint: once it starts getting dark, choose the LEFT ladder to climb up. You get an E-tank and an extra MegaMan.
Crashman's level is remarkable for one thing, though, and any true MegaMan fan knows this: It has the best music of any MegaMan level ever. In fact The Crazy Boy Floyds have done a cover of it, and you can download it. Click here: Crashman's Theme Song
Anyway, you soon enough get to Crashman himself. Look at how determined he is not to die this time! It's so plucky.
If you don't have the Air Shooter, you're gonna have a bitch of a time, because Crashman's Crash Bomber does a heaping helping load of damage to MegaMan. It's also pretty hard to hit him because he's always jumping around whenever you fire. It's actually probably the hardest boss fight in MM2 if you use your regular gun.
But with Air Shooter, you just have to shoot twice. Since the tornados from the Air Shooter go up, and Crashman jumps whever you fire... Soon MegaMan stands over the shattered remains, and admires the drive and determination of his fallen adversary, saluting him and thinking, "It was an honor to know him for the point-six seconds it took to kill him."
Crashman gives you the Crash Bomber, which shoots out explosives that stick to walls, then blow up a second or so later. The explosion does a large amount of damage to anythign it hits (more than just shooting someone directly with the bomb). It is most useful for being able to destroy some walls, and there's a boss in the Wily stages that can only be killed by Crash Bombs.
And there you have it. MegaMan 2 is one of my favorite sequels (it's tied with #4). Although in this game it seems for the most part it's even easier to beat the Robot Masters with their designed weapons than it was in MegaMan 1. Many people complain that this one is too easy, but that's why it has a difficulty setting! I think it has the best graphical and musical style of any of them, and most all of the weapons are very useful in everyday level playing, even if they're not terribly balanced. I mean, you can pretty much play through the entire game with just Metal Blade, periodically switching to Air Shooter or Bubble Lead. I love it, though. It was the first video game that I ever beat on the first day I got itwithin five hours of opening the box!
Coming soon: MegaMan's Robot Masters: Part 3!