The third of the five Mega Man
entries on the Game Boy, Mega Man III
(known as Rockman World 3
in Japan) gets things back on track after the oddness of Mega Man II
. It helped that Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge
developer Minakuchi Engineering was reinstated as the Game Boy series' developer for this and the subsequent two outings.
Dr. Wily's latest scheme has seen him convert an abandoned oil rig into his latest Wily Station, and he intends to use the drilling equipment to harness the energy of the Earth's core. Mega Man is Genre Savvy
enough to know that Dr. Wily likely hasn't taken up an interest in environmentally friendly energy, and sets out to stop him. In his way are eight rebuilt Robot Masters, along with Wily's second attempt at creating a Mega Man Killer, Punk.Mega Man III
combines the expanded campaign from Mega Man II
with the polish, execution and difficulty of Dr. Wily's Revenge
, and as such is generally regarded as a better game than both of its two predecessors, albeit not quite up to the standards of the two following entries. The gameplay is pretty much identical to the NES Mega Man 4
, meaning that the Charge Shot is added to Mega Man's repertoire for this outing.
Robot Masters from Mega Man 3
Robot Masters from Mega Man 4
The remaining Robot Masters from 4
NES were held over until the following Game Boy outing.
New for this game:
- All There in the Manual: None of the storyline is really explained in the game, with Wily's base being at sea the only thing to suggest his particular scheme this time around.
- Astral Finale: Averted. This is the only game in the Game Boy series in which Mega Man doesn't go to space at any point.
- Dem Bones: Skull Man, his stage and the Skeleton Joe enemies.
- Difficulty Spike: The levels for the Mega Man 4 Robot Masters are somewhat harder than those of their Mega Man 3 counterparts (especially Dive Man and Dust Man's), but at least your weapons are recharged between the levels unlike in the preceding or succeeding game.
- Giant Mook: Although the regular kind are absent, Giant Suzy acts as a giant version of the Adhering Suzy (or Octopus Battery) enemy from the first game (and Dr. Wily's Revenge).
- Long Song, Short Scene: Punk's Leitmotif ends abruptly when Mega Man enters the room they fight in, before it could loop.
- Marathon Level: The Wily Station stage is far and away the longest stage in the game, with no breaks to be found at all.
- Nintendo Hard: Oh yes. Though the Mega Man series is this in general, III is often considered to be the hardest game in the Game Boy series, if not the franchise itself. It's usually considered a toss-up between this game, which has extremely tough level design bordering on outright Platform Hell in the second half, and Dr. Wily's Revenge, which is shorter and has slightly easier levels, but no Charge Shot, no energy tanks, very few item drops, and no Rush equivalent until you get to the first Wily stage.
- Rearrange the Song: After the mixed (to say the least) reception of the previous game's almost entirely original soundtrack, this game went back to the Dr. Wily's Revenge approach and mostly reused music from the NES entries, with a few new original themes along the way.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: Granted, anything would have been harder than the previous game, but it's still very difficult all the same, even by Mega Man standards.
- Sequel Escalation: Actually a little less than in the previous game, but there is a proper boss select screen for the Mega Man 4 Robot Masters, instead of the teleporting hatches in the previous game. This, incidentally, makes Mega Man III the only one of the Game Boy entries not to have a teleporter room.
- Strictly Formula: By now the Game Boy sub-series was settling into a pretty recognisable format (despite the lack of an Astral Finale that was present in the other games), though the following game would shake it up a little (and Mega Man V would shake it up a lot).
- Unique Enemy: In Wily Station, a Neo Metall from Mega Man 2 and an original Metall from Mega Man appear. Those two are the only ones of their respective kind in the game.