The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – XVI – Xenophobia

Whatever crimes of redundant visual representations the interior of Wily’s castle may have committed, you can levy no such complaints against this final chamber, in which you face off one last time against the game’s bosses. I mean, check this out. Those screens! In case you ever doubted Mega Man’s anime influence, here are some straight-up […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – XV – Passive threats

Several people have complained in the comments of this series (and elsewhere) about the repetitive nature of the Wily stages in Mega Man 2. Specifically, the fact that the levels are constructed of the same bulkhead panel tile, repeated over and over again in different color schemes. Interestingly, I never hear those criticisms voiced for the […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – XIV – So much larger than life

The background music changes for the third leg of Dr. Wily’s castle, from the majestic theme of the previous two stages to a more muted loop that constantly builds to a crescendo, rising in pitch and intensity, but never quite breaks. Instead, it drops right as it seems like it’s reaching a climax and begins the […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – XIII – The descent

If the Dr. Wily stages exist to recompile elements of the Robot Master stages into more devious configurations, Mega Man 2‘s second Wily sequence consists primarily of Flash Man and Metal Man’s levels. Taste them again, for the first time, and all that. Aesthetically, the interior of Wily’s fortress has a much more austere, utilitarian look […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – XII – Draconic

Once Mega Man destroys all eight of the Robot Masters in his tireless, violent fight for everlasting peace, Dr. Wily makes his appearance, hailing his usual flying saucer to spirit him away to his evil lair. Said evil lair got a very stylish upgrade this time around: You have to respect a man who dedicated […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – XI – Crash clash crush

And finally — last and least — it’s Crash Man’s stage. Or Clash Man. Or Crush Man. There was some confusion back in the day. Maybe “least” isn’t entirely fair; it’s not an awful stage in terms of layout or mechanics by any means. However, it’s by far the most visually unexciting level in the […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – X – In a flash

In case there was ever any doubt that Mega Man 2’s designers took the failures of the original game to heart, let Flash Man’s stage put those uncertainties to rest. Flash Man makes use of the icy, slippery floor mechanic that appeared in Ice Man’s stage — but here, it’s used far less abusively. Even though […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man 2 – IX – Igni ferroque

If you enjoy this site (and the other game history projects I run on the side), please consider supporting it on Patreon. Or don’t. Your call. Thanks for reading!   It’s taken us quite a while to get to Metal Man’s stage in the left-to-right, top-to-bottom approach to exploring Mega Man 2‘s stages. In practice, though, […]

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 […]