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
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.
- 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, Wily's tank, the setting for the Mega Man 5 Robot masters, starts blowing up after the second battle with Ballade, forcing you to escape. Then, Wily's spaceship starts to explode after the final battle, though this time Mega Man escapes in a cutscene.
- Collection Sidequest: The Mega Man 4 stages have an optional sidequest to collect the letters "B E A T" to gain access to Beat. With the Mega Man 5 stages however, collecting the letters "W I L Y" is required in order to access the second battle with Ballade.
- Degraded Boss: Miniature versions of the final Wily Machine from the previous Game Boy game appear in the final stage as a Smash Mook-type enemy.
- 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 ship.
- 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.
- Mega Man Is Charging Up And Firing!: At the end of the Intro trailer
- 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.