The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – VIII – War of the woods

Hi, everyone. First, an administrative message: Like the rest of the Internet, I’ve launched a Patreon account for the purpose of funding this site, Game Boy World, and (gasp!) Metroidvania. If you enjoy what I’ve been doing with these side projects, please consider supporting my efforts so I can afford to keep things going. Anyone who […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 - VII - The rhythm of the Heat

I keep referring to Bubble Man’s stage as the “default,” but that’s only slightly true. Unlike Mega Man, the Mega Man 2 stage select screen actually begins with the cursor in a neutral position (centered on Mega Man’s portrait in the middle square). You really aren’t pushed toward any particular selection; I call Bubble Man’s […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – VI – The quick and the dead

The more I’ve played through Mega Man 2 with a fresh, critical eye — rather than breezing through it as I have for the past 25 years — I’ve increasingly come to realize my criticism of the developers dropping Bubble Man’s stage in the “default” level select position is moot. This is an advanced platformer at […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 - V - Undefeatable

After taking the novice approach to Mega Man 2 — that is, starting in the left corner on the level select screen and working my way across and down — I think I have a better understanding of what “Airman ga taosenai” is all about. You start with Bubble Man, and it’s a kind of […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 - IV - Bubble symphony

If we assume that most newcomers to Mega Man 2 will attempt to play through the eight stages in the order in which they’re displayed (not realizing you can pick and choose your sequence at will), that means the game kicks off with Bubble Man. We also have to assume Capcom’s dev team had observed player behavior from the […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – III – Rearmed

    Leaf Shield Not every Robot Master weapon in Mega Man 2 takes the form of a gun, but even the unconventional armaments are more useful than their equivalent from the first game. The Leaf Shield comes with significant downsides — like the fact that it causes Mega Man to become completely immobilized while it’s […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – II – Gunbound

Mega Man 2 maintains many of the first game’s mechanics and design choices, including what would go on to be the essence of practically every Mega Man series save Legends: Fighting robots, then claiming their weapons as your own. And, as before, every Robot Master proves to be extremely weak to one of their comrade’s powers, and […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 - I - Remodeling

First sequels on NES have a reputation for going wildly off the rails and taking a budding series in strange directions — into a new genre, sometimes. In truth, this reputation comes from a few high-profile titles, mostly from Nintendo; two of them (Simon’s Quest and Zelda II) have spent time under the Anatomy of Games microscope. The majority of […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man | 12 | End game

Dr. Wily’s fourth and final stage doesn’t offer many threats, but the ones it does contain mean business. The opening screens feature those floating guys from early in Elec Man’s stage, who attack with the same pincher maneuvers of two sets of three hovering in from both above and below. Here, though, they attack while […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man | 11 | Sophomore slump

The second Wily stage eases up the pressure somewhat, but it’s only relatively gentle to what has come immediately before. It’s a shorter stage, with fewer minor hazards… but it also houses two major hazards that must be surmounted in sequence before you can reach a checkpoint.   Specifically, those hazards take the form of […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man | 10 | Wily ways

With the six Robot Masters down, regardless of the order in which you tackled them, the game’s final stage — or rather, set of stages — opens up to you: Dr. Wily’s castle. At this point, you have a choice of where to go next; you can dive right into Wily’s lair, or you can […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man | 9 | Bomb threat

While I’ve saved it for last, Bomb Man’s stage – the sixth and (in this listing) final of the stages in which you can kick off your odyssey in this very first Mega Man game – actually serves as an ideal stage in which to begin the game. It offers the fairest level designs, a diverse […]