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januari 24, 2014

More twin famicom nerd info


Incidentally today is a Friday, and so Famicom Friday suits well.
The good thing when you make your own videos is that you don't have to worry about them getting deleted (unless youtube deletes them for some reason).

I got a twin famicom with some loose contacts on the back. It is a common problem. In the first video I show you how I fix that. I should add that I am not a "modding guy", and this is about as advanced as my soldering gets. I have colleagues that do the modding. So don't worry, your console don't have to suffer my hands.
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Alright, then I made another video with a bunch of info about twin famicom and disk systems in general. I didn't mean to make it this long, but I started talking and got into it. It is in English. I hope you'll find it interesting.
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Then I played three Mario games on famicom to test our latest AV modded famicom.

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Weird how I have started to find the original Mario Bros game (the plumber game) playable. The first many times I found the controls to be annoying and impossible, but after having played it every now and then for 1-2 years it doesn't feel that bad.

I wonder if I in the future will feel the same way about Mega Drive and Nintendo 64.  I actually played some MD and N64 games during the week, although I didn't enjoy them much. Gameplay videos are on youtube.

januari 17, 2014

A Twin famicom restoration


Here is a non-technical article about a twin famicom I restored today.
Twin Famicoms are often easier to restore than disk systems because disk systems are often in worse condition.

This is a blog so it only mentions what I did today.  This is not a guide or how-to, just a blog. It is written in a light hearted tone and I do not claim to know the answers for how to do the calibration 100% perfectly.

If you have a problem with your twin famicom or disk system it could need other work and I don't offer technical advice here. However, we do offer restauration service if you should need it and you are located in Europe.

Also this is a short version. I don't mention every detail such as how you should unscrew things. Again, this is not a how-to.

A good looking twin famicom. The cart works, but the disk drive probably needs fixing.


Opening it up. Disk part to the left. I'll unscrew and remove it. Opening it up.


Opened it up and removed the rest of the old belt. Still some black stuff on the wheels. 
Want to get it completely away.

A useful substance.

Cleaning cleaning cleaning... This takes several minutes.


Okay done! I'll take this yellow belt and put it on this metallic thing and put it into place. The yellow belt I bought from Japan, usually they are black.


There...

Screw back the circuit board as well.


Turn this wheel all the way to the left (anti-clockwise). Or turn it right until it clicks, and then turn left...


Putting in this hex key (Or what it is called) to loosen this thing.


 Will make it parallel.


Tighten it again. 


Wow, such dirty lens. Have to clean that. 


Use cleaning/rubbing alcohol of some sort. Take another tops and give it a good rub. 


Shiny and clean. You can actually do this with lots of stuff to get them to work.


Let's measure this area. I want this thing to just barely fit into that little space. That is a good distance. Seems I am lucky, this one is good.


Usually, you need to turn this screw to make the perfect distance. If you don't have the perfect distance, the games will give error messages.


Put it back and let's do testing.

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Seems to be working. Let's try some known problem games.

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Also tested a Zelda game. It must work, people want to play Zelda. Love the intro music in the FDS version. Flip it around to make the game start automatically. Chose a save game and go.



I'm satisfied it works for now. Screw in the screws for the disk...

And now these in the bottom.


Missing one of the rubber feet. This is common. I'll take one from my own twin fami and put it  in place.

 There...

Now I have to keep on testing games on it and test the controllers carefully.

januari 13, 2014

Ninja Crusaders on famicom


For some reason, Ninja Crusaders isn't popular. It is less common than the Ninja Gaiden games and unlike Ninja Gaiden it is beatable. I have personally not tried out Ninja Gaiden yet because the reported difficulty would probably make me frustrated. Also, Ninja Gaiden doesn't need another review. Everyone knows about it and me spending 20 hours of frustration wouldn't be useful to anyone.

Lets see why people chose not to buy Ninja Crusaders then.
Released in Japan and the US in 1990. (no PAL release)

This time I will play on one of the AV modded famicoms that we sell. Looks nice, doesn't it?


The first thing you'll notice in the game is that you die a lot. Here is one of my first attempts at playing.



You have infinite continues, but every time you die you start from the beginning of the stage.
With the exception of the boss. That is only time that it is useful to have several lives. Luckily, the endbosses in the games aren't impossible. They may take a couple of tries but follow a simple pattern.


A gamefaq reviewer complains how the game is a memorization task more than a skill.
Once you hit level 3-2, the game becomes a task of memorizing the position of enemies. Enemies come at you so fast and are so strategically positioned, that you will never be able to react to them in time. And because one hit kills you, you will be sent back to the beginning of the stages many times until you are able to remember where everything comes from. This isn't that bad until you reach the last few levels. Every move the ninja makes must be executed perfectly, and I mean within mere millimeters of perfection. Otherwise the enemies won't line up right, or they will come from the wrong angle, and you will be taken down without any chance for avoidance. There is no margin of error.   --
http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/587487-ninja-crusaders/reviews/review-26044

He is right in one way. In another way I enjoyed playing because the levels are short but you need skill to beat them. That's how I think ninja games should be.

Here is an example of me playing to reach the boss of one level. I started off dying a lot, the gradually improved. And, as the reviewer said, a simple mistake will kill you, so you can't rely on memorization alone.



You get extra lives in a funny way: you pick up a weapon that you are already holding. This is why in the video I never seem to get game over. At every new start, I can take the weapon I am holding, that I keep in death, and get 1-up.

I am also happy to say that the game is beatable. It took me around 6 hours and I am not a hardcore gamer. The last stage, 5-2, was most difficult and took maybe 2,5 hours. Here are my first attempts. Pretty pathetic. I actually laughed out loud at how impossible it seemed while I was playing. Every new enemy is like a certain death the first few times.


It reminds me of Holy Diver on famicom that I played (or should I say "suffered") around 2 years ago. A game so brutally difficult that I feel bad thinking about it. All stages are three times as long as in Ninja Crusaders.

Anyways, here in Ninja Crusaders after 2,5 hours of 5-2, I had improved. The video shows how I beat the last stage and boss. Spoiler warning if you don't want to see it. It is funny how short the stages really are once you know them.



The end screen answers my challenge question. The game has no Japanese text.
After you have beaten the game, you can restart and the enemies are twice as hard.

As I started writing the review, I saw the review that explains you can transform into FOUR DIFFERENT ANIMALS and that this is crucial for beating the game. (wtf I didn't know that !?)
Each of the Animals is very unique and doesn't require ''ninja magic points'' or anything of that nature. This is a good thing because turning into your animal form is crucial to success in many areas. In fact, there are certain parts of the game where only one particular animal transformation will allow you to succeed. Just hold down the attack button for about 3 seconds and -POOF- you're a beastie! The animal you become depends on what weapon you have. The shuriken turns you into a tiger, the morning star turns you into a giant scorpion, the bo turns you into an eagle, and the katana turns you into a dragon.   -- http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/587487-ninja-crusaders/reviews/review-26044
I did find the tiger transformation but I found it useless. A short clip here:



I usually had the shuriken and never transformed to other animals.

Ninja Crusaders has a 2-player co-op mode. That's right, you can play 2-player co-op in this ninja game. I wonder if it doesn't just make things harder? The gamefaqs reviewers liked this option anyways. If one player transforms into a bird, the other one can ride on him.

A fun game, and the most fun I have had dying in a long time. If you appreciate a good challenge that is beatable for most (unlike Ninja Gaiden), I recommend it. A fine little game that can be beaten in a day, just as I want them. Once you are good enough, the game can probably be beaten in less than 20 minutes.


januari 11, 2014

Dracula X (Castlevania) on Sega Saturn, short review


Another tribute to the Sega Saturn? You may be surprised to find that I didn't actually like playing Dracula X on Saturn. The game has great reviews elsewhere, but I'll tell you why I didn't like it.
Sold for 448 SEK (70$, incl tax)

Castlevania (known as Symphony of the Night on playstation) is a game in Metroid-style. The main challenge of the game is to find your way around, and to buy the right weapons and items. You use spells, buy items, and transform to an animals at times. It certainly is a great game, but I was disappointed because it will be impossible to play it without a guide. It is hard enough to find where to go, and then everything is in Japanese. All items and weapons. Unless you have played the playstation version, I don't think you would be able to play through the Saturn version without a walkthrough.

The gameplay itself isn't actually that hard. Almost all enemies are easy enough with the upgrades you'll have when you face them. There are also many save points that restore your health.

Technically, the game has great atmosphere and music. It does suffer slowdowns at times. Personally slowdowns don't bother me, maybe because I have played so much game boy and NES/famicom, but I often read that others find slowdowns very annoying.

The start is cool, where you revisit the end of a previous game to beat Dracula (or whatever his name is), and only after that do we see the intro and get the new story going.

I recommend this game to anyone who can play it or who has lots of time. I couldn't play it and soon got stuck.

Here is a video I made with some gameplay around 15 minutes into the game (not counting the intro). I entered the shop at around 04:20 and it made me confused.

Wit's & Family Pinball on famicom


Last week I played a game called Wit's. Not very common, I think I have had it once or twice before. Unknown to most. The main problem may be the name and the label that don't say anything about the game. I had myself forgotten what it was about when I put it in the console. They should have called it Psycho Snakes or something. What is "wit's", or who is "wit"?
Around 10$ for this - 65 SEK

The game is basically a Snake clone (see wikipedia article) for two players to race against each other. In 1 player mode, you play against the computer in a campaign mode. This mode is not that difficult. It took me a few minutes to figure out a good strategy, and then I quickly made it to the last stage. I died there and had to restart, and it took me 45 minutes to get there again, but then I beat the last stage.

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A little explanation might be needed for the controls. With A you speed up. With B you make a short jump. You only get one jump, at least in 1-player mode.
My guy is the one who starts on the left side. Also I forgot to cut out the first 1:50 minutes, sorry about that.

The most difficult stage is 5, where there is ice and you glide around. The faster you go, the more you glide. Level 5-5 is the fastest. Stage 4 with the water was also difficult because when you get the faster boats on 4-4 and 4-5 there is little room to move around. If you die your lives, it is game over with no continues. You get one new life for every stage though.

This game is actually not primarily a 1-player game. It was most likely made with the intention of being a party game. You can play 2-player vs mode, or 2-player coop (probably difficult!), a 3-player vs mode if you have a famicom extension controller. Or something like a joyball which is actually more usable than you might think, and can often be found cheap because people are suspicious of it.

There is even a 4-player vs mode in Wit's for which I think you need a 4-player adapter. I have never seen a famicom 4-player adapter for sale actually so I don't know for sure how to play that mode.

I think the game is fun. The computer AI wasn't challenging but I felt good after beating it. Famicom games that are made to be multiplayer are uncommon, so it is worth trying out. Even though it is uncommon it can usually be found for a few dollars.

Second game I played was Family Pinball.
78 SEK, 12$

There's some handwritten notes with the game. Are they cheats? Passwords?

I want to mention first that pinball is one thing I don't enjoy playing, in general. I never can understand if it is luck or skill that decides the game. I also really hate whenever the ball drops! The pinball game I've enjoyed most so far in my video gaming was Necronomicon on Saturn (watch my video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkZNU8uCtBc).

Anyways, Family Pinball has a normal pinball game that is called Pac-Man. It seems to have a highscore but doesn't actually save scores. I kept on dying, and I'm not sure how to evaluate pinball games. Maybe it is a good game. I think the key is to master the hitting of the board (the "tilt"). It really makes the ball bounce when you press the buttons to hit the board left or right.
When you get the item on the right the controllers change function, which is why I kept on dying after taking it.

The second mode is a game where you play two players against each other on the board. This is original, to me at least. One of the players (you or the computer) takes the upper part, and the other player takes the lower part. Then try to make the ball drop on his side. Again I think that mastering the board hitting would be good here. A silly game but not too bad.

The third mode is something I call "pachinko" mode. The ball goes up and then it drops down, hopefully into one of the holes. I saw in the manual that you are supposed to form patters of the holes the ball enters to get a good score. Such as a square. The number 1 has something to do with the score too.

The fourth mode was hilarious form of air hockey, or maybe shufflepuck. It was silly but I had fun with it. With A you make the paddle turn one way, and with B it turns the other way. And: You can't move the paddle while you turn it. It is harder than you might think, but I did manage to score a few goals. I suppose this might be fun 2-player against each other.

Here is a video of me trying out the different modes. In the vs modes I am red, the one who is always losing.
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A few silly game, but nothing wrong with that. You could possibly play an entire 3-set of Hockey before a modern console booted up, opened the game, shown all intros, logged in you, downloaded upgrades, shown more info screens, etc. This game made me smile anyways, even if it didn't make much sense. The game can usually be found cheap, complete in box.

januari 09, 2014

Magic Carpet on Sega Saturn


When I was young my friend had a game called Magic Carpet on his PC. The game was released in 1994, and I think I played it around 1995. I remember we had a lot of work installing it.

The game was made by Bullfrog, a company that made several highly original games. With unique ideas and gameplay they were a true innovator. Their titles were primarily for PC, although they were also released on many other consoles: Populous, Syndicate (I have written about that game earlier), Dungeon Keeper, Theme Hospital (Very humorous, my sister loved it) and Theme Park (I played this for hours, very fun!) are still enjoyable today. In fact I know that people still play them and they are talked about.

Magic Carpet was never was a big hit on the PC or any other console. I think it was marketed as an action-paced shooter, while in my opinion the gameplay is more of a strategy/puzzle game with action elements. Most of the time it's about collecting the Mana you need to get to the next level.

I have now found out that Magic Carpet was released on the Saturn, and got a hold of the Japanese version.


See, it has support for the analogue Saturn controller ("3D controller") too.

I've played about 20-30 hours during the Christmas holiday but only made the first 15 levels. It takes such a long time to beat each level. According to Wikipedia (Magic Carpet), there are 50 levels, so I have decided to focus on other games instead. Also, although I was fascinated by it when I was 14 years old, I have to admit that it is tiring.

The purpose of the game is to collect enough mana on each level to get to the next. The needed amount is shown as two white marks next to the castle icon. You store mana in the castle you build and have to upgrade the castle when it gets full.

You have a primary and a secondary spell you can throw. When you kill enemies, mana blobs will appear, and you have to mark them with your color. Then your balloon will leave your castle to collect them. Usually you have to compete with other wizards for the mana. The game supports multiplayer too, but in this video the wizards are AI controlled.

When you have killed all enemies on a stage, the mana is running out and you have to attack enemy castles to get the rest of the mana you need. When a castle explodes, it releases a bunch of mana all around that you can collect.

Here is a video of me playing level 10.



I died twice in the beginning. Third time begins at 02:10. I also cut away the rest of the video because it got long. In the end I had to attack the enemy castle to take his mana, and after I had enough I could exit the level. Some things you need to know to play this game:
  • Press L+R to see the map. In the map, press C to see all character stats.
  • DO NOT press X or you will destroy your own castle one level.
  • When your castle is full of mana, you have to upgrade it.
  • At 15:40 I picked up a jar with the useful lightning spell.
  • If you die without a castle you have to restart the level. If you die with a castle you simply respawn at your castle. In the castle you will regain health and mana power.

The main problems with the game are:
  • It is slow. If things moved faster and the levels were shorter it would have been more fun.
  • The 3D graphics look old. You can't see enemies until they're close, and everything looks blocky.
  • The balloon thing is fun, but it is boring to have to wait for the balloons to arrive. They could have moved two or three times as fast.
If they ever remake this game, fixing these things would make an excellent game. Maybe they could add better music too.

januari 08, 2014

Phelios and Curse on Mega Drive


My previous Mega Drive experience as blogged about wasn't succesful but I have many more games that I can try out. I have to give the Mega Drive the respect it probably deserves, it was popular after all. In Japan it never got more than a few percent market share (far behind Super Famicom and Pc Engine), but in the US it almost had 50% market share. Not sure about Europe.

Last week I made a second, serious attempt. I first plugged in my RGB cable, to get a decent picture, both for the playing experience and for the video quality. I started up Curse, a shooter that seemed decent and not too difficult.

The first problem soon appeared. My controller didn't work properly. I googled around and cleaning Mega Drive controllers seems to be one of the things every Mega Drive player needs to learn. Alright, I cleaned every single part of the controller and tried again. Now all the buttons worked well, but it still seemed like it had a will of its own. I tried a couple more controllers and cleaned them, with the same result. I have to conclude that Mega Drive controllers are more sensitive than other controllers I play with (Super Famicom, Famicom, Game Boy, and Saturn). Strangely, I seem to be the only one who has this problem. Could be that my hands have gotten so used to the other controllers.

The problem is that when I press up, the controllers often moves left-up. When I press down, it often moves left-down or right-down. Annoying, but hopefully I can get used to it and adjust.

As long as I don't have to move around much I could play Curse decently. If you get upgrades in Curse, the game seems easy. However, when you die and lose the upgrades, the game becomes impossible. I have read this being referred to as the Gradius-style.

However, in Gradius the level design is very well thought out. Every enemy and upgrade is there on purpose. It is like a harmonious symphony.

In Curse enemies and projectiles are simply thrown at you. Others may like it but to me the game feels uninspired. Below is a video I recorded with some gameplay from the first few stages. They are simple enough. My objective was to try and beat the game, but if you die on stage four like I did, you might as well reset.I tried a couple of times and made it a bit further each time before I died and practically had to restart.  I restarted at around 12:30, played all the way there again, and continued the recording.


The second game is Phelios. Another shooter game. I have tried it out before just to test it and I sort of knew what to expect. With this game, things went better. I also switched to a six button controller I found. It did work a little bit better but it still felt flimsy and the character didn't move the way I wanted it to at all times. Hopefully, I'll get used it.



It reminds me a little of Dragon Spirit, which i have played on the Pc Engine. I also played it on Famicom ( you can see my comparison video here ). I actually prefer Phelios to Dragon Spirit. In Dragon Spirit, you move slower and the stages are very long. In Phelios, the stages are short and not too hard.

But this is another game with limited continues. If you have followed my blog, you may know that I don't like games with limited continues. Games with limited continues often rely on cheap tricks to kill you the first times you play an area, and they become a test of your patience more than of your skill.
This is a video of my second attempt. I had learnt the early stages by now, but had particular problem when all the horses attacked from behind (around 15 minutes into the video).


I don't think it's a particularly sophisticated game. The enemies are often just there to be shot down like a firing range, and you almost always start with the Option and two Speed Upgrades. They could have just given you that without upgrades. The game itself isn't too bad however.  I wouldn't mind playing this more if I had to.

If you are a Mega Drive fan and you are thinking "what is wrong with this guy?", don't worry. I guess it will just take some time for me to get used to this console. I will try out more games soon. Have put aside Rambo III, Crack Down and Strider Hirou.

januari 05, 2014

Jackie Chan on famicom


I think I should stop making Famicom Friday because it will slow down the blogging if I only post famicom games on Fridays. I am a high energy blogger. "More talk, less smileys." Here is a blog post about Jackie Chan that I wrote almost a week ago.

If you have played the original Kung Fu on NES, or The Kung Fu on Pc Engine, you may not be interested in another Kung Fu platformer.  However, Jackie Chan is an excellent game.

As is my new years promise, I decided to see if I could beat it. I haven't played it before. The challenge is to beat it without looking at info, walkthroughs or youtube videos.

The first feeling one gets is how difficult the controls are. Jumping on the clouds should normally not be a problem, but here it requires some skill to do. However, it doesn't take long to learn the controls and they aren't bad per se, just a bit unusual.

Here is a gameplay video I made of the first few stages.

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The game is not very difficult, but since you are likely to die several times on the last end bosses, you'll probably get some game overs and need to restart the game.

The last boss was difficult. After you beat the first end boss, who is our arch-nemesis of the game, you leave her castle. But then on the way down, a freak spider appears out of nowhere. If you die on the spider, you also have to replay the end boss and the dragons before her.

After a while I decided to get some help on how to find the bonus bells for extra lives.
Thank you Selmiak's website: http://selmiak.bplaced.net/games/nes/index.php?lang=eng&game=Jackie-Chans-Action-Kung-Fu
I had no idea on even how to locate them, since I don't have the manual.
With the help of this, I end up with around 15 lives before the endboss. I still had to do this 3 times before I on my third attempt with 15 lives was able to beat the game.

You can play through the earlier stages in around 30 minutes so it isn't too bad. In fact it is fun. I was also happy about how quickly the bosses could be defeated. I hate ridiculously long boss battles.

The bonus stages are fun too. I made a video with the ones I encountered during the last play through. The one with bubbles is the most interesting, I could play a game like that for hours if there is one (does anyone know if there is one?).

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I read walkthroughs too on gamefaqs. They don't actually tell you how to beat the game, but I learnt that there is a "psycho wave", a special weapon you active by holding B. That was somewhat useful.

Here is a video of my last attempts. I turned off the recorded when I played the spider actually because I was sure I would die and have to restart. But it turned out that the spider is quite easy when you realize that you move much faster left/right than up/down, and that will make it easy to avoid the boomerang. Too bad to have a cut video but I still feel satisfied with my accomplishment. 

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The game is a bit like Kung Fu Master that I had as a kid on Game Boy. It is quite easy and can quickly be beaten but still gives you some satisfaction. You can give yourselves mini challenges such as beating the game as quickly as possible, or with as many lives remaining as possible. Also, if you don't know about the bonus bells it is actually a hard game that would probably take a week or more to beat.

There is the especially long water rafting stage that will eat away your lives if you don't find the bonus stages. The developers were probably kind to put in extra bonus stages on that stage.

As mentioned, the controls feel weird the first time.
When it comes to attack, you have the normal jump-kicking and punching. There is also the unnecessary special attack that you activate by pressing Up+B. This thing is just not useful. You get the special attacks randomly, you often activate them by mistake when you jump and they just don't have any purpose.

There is a secondary special attack too! Hold B to create a "psycho wave". It is useful against a few enemies.

I think the music is very nice and cheerful, the graphics are better than average for the NES, and I liked how coloful and fun all enemies looked. You might compare the game to Duck Tales on NES. It is well worth the 50 SEK (9$) this game often is sold for.

Next blog post will be about two Mega Drive games and then I have prepared one about two unusual famicom games.

januari 03, 2014

Famicom friday: Rockman 3 / Mega man


My Famicom Friday is about me taking a game I am curious of, and playing it to see what I think. Recently I have also decided to play it to the end, or at least as much of it as I can stand. This week I decided to have a go at Rockman 3, also known as Mega Man 3.

Why did they change the name from Rockman to Mega Man? Could be that they felt Rockman doesn't sound cool. Or could be a trademark reason. In this blog post, I will refer to this specific game as Rockman, but I also refer to the general series as Mega Man.


I thought I should break my NES/Famicom Rockman virginity, because I haven't beaten any of them. I have actually beaten the first three Mega Man games on Game Boy. The first one was super hard, the second very easy, and the third a little more difficult.

I once made it far into Rockman 2, where I played against a dragon. I had to quit then, and as so often I then never picked it up again. There were other games and beating games were not a priority at that time.
The reason why I now chose Rockman 3 is because I don't have the first and second game currently, and because I think Rockman 3 is shorter than Rockman 4 and Rockman 5. The later they got in the series, the more complex and long the games got.

However beating famicom games is now my new years promise. In my Rockman 3 challenge I have two goals:
  • Determine how much Japanese text the game has
  • Beat the game, not using guides unless necessary.

Introduction to Rockman/Mega Man gameplay

If you have played rockman/mega man before you can skip this section.
To play Mega Man you need to know the following:
  • You can play the stages in any order. At the end of the stage there is a boss. If you beat the boss, you get his special weapon. 
  • Equip the special weapon by pressing Start and select the weapon you want to use. This will use up the special energy of the weapon. To fill up the energy, equip the weapon when you see an energy capsule. 
  • Every boss is especially weak against a certain weapon. To beat the more difficult boss, beat the easier bosses and get their special weapons, and then try it on the difficult boss. 
  • The Mega Man games are sometimes referred to as being very difficult. However, they are only hard in one way. Most of the difficulty can be overcome by learning where the enemies are and learning the boss movement. As such, the games are definitely beatable for most gamers if they spend enough time with it. Mega Man games also have infinite continues, although you'll have to replay the stage you are on.

Playing

I rather quickly beat the first three bosses I attempted. Here is a video of my first time playing. I died a lot and I once got game over but it wasn't too hard and this video is almost uncut.

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I don't want to spoil the game for you so this will be my only gameplay video.

After that, one of the later bosses was very difficult. After some 2 hours on his stage I beat every other boss and then got back to him. Turns our he was vulnerable against the Tornado attack.

After the initial 8 bosses are done, you get to play 4 of them again with harder levels. Some of them are quite difficult, especially the one in the lower-right corner. This was probably the most difficult part of the game for me. After that, you'll see some text and will go to Dr. Wily's castle to play the Dr. Wily stages.
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The bosses here are of a different type and are more tricky. The stages themselves are however not that difficult. On one of them, I used a trick to stack up on Energy Tanks by picking them up, getting game over on purpose. Then you get to keep the energy tank and can pick up more again.

After the Wily stages are done you have to play all the bosses again. This time you have all the special weapons and with some trial and error you can write down which boss is vulnerable against which weapon. Unless you want to beat them with your normal blaster, this section is more about clever strategy than being a hard core action player.

Finally, you'll get to play against Dr. Wily himself. Luckily, if you are game over on Dr Wily you don't have to replay the bosses. And after Dr Wily, you'll have to play Dr. Wily again in another machine. As earlier, beating him is more about finding the proper attack than button mashing.

Here is a video of the cut scenes on the end stages. It doesn't contain any gameplay, so don't worry about spoilers in case you want to beat the game on your own.

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Conclusion

Playing Mega Man games is not something I enjoy that much. It is a frustration of playing every stage so many times, and also knowing that you have no way around it. It is like "sigh, boss 1 beaten. Have 7 left, then extra bosses, Wily Stages, Wily, and whatever else". Most of the difficulty comes from not knowing how to beat a boss, and this takes time and feels frustrating. I spent 2 hours on Dr. Wily until I discovered there was a way to beat him with no hardship. If I told you, you would beat him the first time.

However, I also feel a great satisfaction at having beaten it. A couple of days later I still feel truly happy that I accomplished it, all on my own. I didn't use any guides and no previous knowledge of it, with the exception of heaving played Rockman 2 and the first three Game Boy games.

It took played for 2 days and an estimated 15 hours. Would have been shorter if I hadn't made the mistakes I mentioned earlier. Could also have been longer. It is a matter of luck sometimes, if you pick the right weapon the first time or have to replay until you do.

Having played most stages during a period of several hours in the night, I don't remember that much about each specifically. After a while, they all feel the same. A bit tedious, but still rewarding once it is done. That's why I have mixed feelings about the Mega Man series. Not something I love in the way many other gamers do. A classic series none the less that holds a special place in most NES/famicom gamers hearts.

Bonus

Here is a video from a Swedish collector that may have the worlds most impressive Mega Man collection. Including many sealed and graded games for all kinds of consoles.
_ (video by http://www.gaminggrannar.se/ )

She actually inspired me to give the games another chance. I know she prefers the first Mega Man game on NES because it is the shortest, and that part 6 is her least favorite because it is the longest. I'm glad that even she thinks the games feel too long sometimes.

Thanks for reading! Next week's famicom friday game will be: Jackie Chan.