Video Game: Mega Man IV

The fourth of the five Mega Man outings on the Game Boy, Mega Man IV for the most part follows the formula of its three predecessors, but this time around takes things a couple of steps further.

The city is holding a robot expo one day, when Dr. Wily's saucer appears in the sky and transmits a signal that causes all the robots to go nuts. Worse still, Wily has rebuilt eight of his previous Robot Masters, and has evidently decided that third time is the charm for the Mega Man Killer series, which this time is represented by Ballade. Fortunately for Mega Man, Dr. Light has gotten tired of sitting ineffectually on the sidelines, and has equipped his lab with the ability to produce upgrades and items for Mega Man, so long as he can find enough P-Chips to make the upgrades.

This sequel continued to expand the series, mostly through the shop mechanic, though also adds a greater emphasis on the storyline (which is a little less of an Excuse Plot this time around) and makes the game even longer than in the previous entry. The overall gameplay is broadly similar to that of Mega Man 5, with Beat being introduced, though this game doesn't incorporate 5 NES's "lose your Charge Shot when you get hit" mechanic, instead including a recoil for when you fully charge up your Mega Buster.

Robot Masters from Mega Man 4:

Robot Masters from Mega Man 5:

The remaining Robot Masters from 5 NES... weren't held over for the following outing, which took the Game Boy subseries in a totally different direction.

New for this game:


  • All There in the Manual: This time around, the only detail not explained in the game is that Wily is attacking a Robot Expo. Everything else is explained in the cutscenes that this game introduces to the series.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Aside from Mega Man himself, an unnamed boss on the outside of the Wily Battleship will use the Ring Boomerang, Napalm Bomb, Power Stone and Ballade Cracker as attacks.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If one gets enough Game Overs, Dr. Light will upgrade the Mega Buster to let it charge up quicker.
  • Boss Rush: For the first time in the Game Boy sub-series, you have to face off against all eight Robot Masters before you can fight Wily.
  • Collapsing Lair: Twice. Firstly, the Wily Station, the lair of the Mega Man 5 Robot Masters, starts blowing up after the second battle with Ballade, forcing you to escape. Then, the Wily Battleship starts to explode after the final battle, though this time Mega Man escapes in a cutscene.
  • Collection Sidequest: The first four stages have an optional sidequest to collect the letters "B E A T" to gain access to Beat. With the Wily Station stages however, collecting the letters "W I L Y" is required in order to access the second battle with Ballade.
  • Cool Spaceship: The Wily Battleship.
  • Degraded Boss: Press'n, miniature versions of the Wily Machine from the previous Game Boy game, appear in the final stage as a Smash Mook-type enemy.
  • Escape Sequence: After defeating Ballade for the second time, the Wily Station begins to collapse, prompting one of these to happen.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Ballade realises he was wrong to fight Mega Man, and sacrifices himself to save him. But if later games are any indication, it doesn't stick.note 
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ballade comes to repent working for Dr. Wily, and blows himself up in the game's climax to allow Mega Man to escape Wily's exploding spaceship.
  • Humongous Mecha: Instead of a Wily Machine, Wily fights you using the "Wily Robo Iron Golem", one of these - built in his own image, of course.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: The Super Mega Buster averts this - unlike in Mega Man 5 (or indeed any past or future game with a chargeable Mega Buster), firing off a Charge Shot in IV will push Mega Man back a few pixels, making it somewhat more riskier to use.
  • Mega Man Is Charging Up And Firing At You!: At the end of the intro cutscene.
  • Me's a Crowd: The two Hunters onboard the Wily Battleship have the ability to create more of themselves (but in the first one's case, the copies are far weaker).
  • One-Winged Angel: Ballade uses a transformation in his second battle, granting him upturned horns and Cool Shades. He also starts using the Ballade Cracker with it.
  • Rearrange the Song: As per tradition, the Robot Master stages and boss fights use rearranged versions of the corresponding music from their games (though the Mega Man 4 boss theme is heavily rearranged and barely recognisible). Unlike the previous three gamesnote  however, Ballade and Dr. Wily have their own boss battle themes.
  • Sequel Escalation: In a pretty big way. There's more of an emphasis on storyline, purchasable upgrades, cutscenes, many more levels, the series' traditional teleporter room Boss Rush, Beat, and even Proto Man makes an appearance. This is especially notable as the main console games didn't have most of these until Mega Man 7, released around two years later.
  • Tank Goodness: The Wily Station makes a fourth appearance, though this time it is now a giant mobile tank.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Ballade appears onboard the Wily Battleship heavily damaged, but alive. Bear in mind that he had completely exploded before then.
  • Videogame Settings: