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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.
_

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.

_

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.

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