The fifth and final Mega Man
entry for the Game Boy
, Mega Man V
takes the sub-series in a completely different direction.
Rock and Roll are talking a walk through a field one day, probably wondering whether Dr. Wily will ever get around to putting the remaining Mega Man 5
NES Robot Masters into action, when the two are suddenly confronted by a strange robot named Terra, who announces his intention to conquer the world and challenges Mega Man to combat. Rock obliges and transforms into Mega Man... and experiences a total, absolute ass-whooping, with Roll having to drag his unconscious form back to Dr. Light's workshop for repairs. In the meantime, four more "Stardroids" attack Earth and begin taking over important installations, with another four taking over research facilities in the outer reaches of the Sol System. Realising that even his purchasable upgrades won't give Mega Man the victory alone, Light replaces the Mega Buster with a new Mega Arm, which combines the existing low power shots with a Rocket Punch
effect. For added measure, he also teams up Mega Man with his latest robotic animal, Tango the cat.
The development team went all out for the Game Boy subseries' grand finale, expanding the scope of the game even further and bringing in an all-new set of antagonists in the form of the Stardroids. Of course, Dr. Wily is really behind everything
, but you probably already knew that, right? The gameplay is much the same as in Mega Man IV
, though with Tango replacing Beat (and being less overpowered, albeit available from the very start of the game) and the Mega Arm replacing the Mega Buster. The fully charged version of the Mega Arm will only travel halfway across the screen (normal shots still travel the full distance of the screen), though makes up for this by adding a boomerang effect, making it possible to hit an enemy twice, and up to five times with an add-on.
- SRN-001: Terra, weak to Deep Digger, gives Spark Chaser
- SRN-002: Mercury, weak to Black Hole, gives Grab Buster
- SRN-003: Venus, weak to Photon Missile, gives Bubble Bomb
- SRN-004: Mars, weak to Salt Water, gives Photon Missile
- SRN-005: Jupiter, weak to Bubble Bomb, gives Electric Shock
- SRN-006: Saturn, weak to Electric Shock, gives Black Hole
- SRN-007: Uranus, weak to Break Dash, gives Deep Digger
- SRN-008: Pluto, weak to Grab Buster, gives Break Dash
- SRN-009: Neptune, weak to Spark Chaser, gives Salt Water
Like the previous four games, you face the Stardroids in two sets of four, with Terra filling the same role that the Mega Man Killers did. This means that the first set is Mercury, Venus, Mars and Neptune, then the second set is Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, followed by a battle with Terra.
- All There in the Manual: Totally averted. Everything is fully explained in the game itself this time around.
- Anti-Air: Bubble Bomb moves upwards in a waving manner. It does deal good damage though.
- Artificial Stupidity: Tango can quite often miss an enemy entirely and end up jumping into a Bottomless Pit. Fortunately there's no real consequence for that other than you having to summon him again, but it can get a little annoying if he does it in a difficult situation with lots of enemies and places to fall to your death.
- Awesome yet Practical: The Grab Buster not only damages enemies, but turns that damage into a small energy container and brings it right back to you. This is incredibly useful to have early in the game, and in large part why Mercury is almost always the Stardroid who players take on first (though he is pretty much the easiest Stardroid anyway).
- Bittersweet Ending: The day is saved, and Dr. Wily is defeated, but there's a certain air of sadness about the ending, particularly the fact that Sunstar was never able to discover whether or not robots can ever truly live in peace.
- Boss Arena Idiocy: Terra would be a lot harder to defeat if he didn't choose to confront Mega Man on a moon/asteroid covered with rocks that Mega Man can pick up with the Deep Digger.
- Boss Rush: This game gives us two! Firstly you have to face off against the Mega Man Killers (and Quint), then after a couple more bosses you come upon the series' traditional teleporter room.
- Continuity Nod: Mega Man being affected by recoil upon firing a charged shot during the opening.
- Demoted to Extra: Tango never appears in any significant capacity after this game. If he does appear, it's usually as a minor cameo.
- Disc One Final Boss: Terra.
- Giant Hands of Doom: One of the Wily stage bosses, before you fight Wily himself.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The final boss isn't Terra, or even Dr. Wily, but rather an ultra-powerful robot named Sunstar, who was apparently the original template for the Stardroids.
- Hijacked By Dr. Wily: Come on, is it really any surprise?
- Marathon Level: This game's set of Wily Castle levels are played back-to-back without the usual map screen.
- No OSHA Compliance: Neptune's submarine isn't in the best condition, and there are cracked pipes which if shot, will release either a jet of steam that'll damage you if you touch it, or even worse, a flurry of water which can sweep you into a conveniently placed Bottomless Pit.
- No Sell: Mega Man's charged shot bounces off Terra in the opening.
- Sequel Escalation: Taken Up to Eleven with a new main weapon, a new furry sidekick, a completely new set of antagonists, and even Super Game Boy enhancements.
- Shout-Out: The final level, the Wily Star is no moon, it's a space station!
- Smart Bomb: Black Hole is pretty much this, instakilling all weaker enemies on the screen and dealing big damage to the stronger ones. Of course, this comes with a MASSIVE power cost.
- So Last Season: The Mega Buster's charged shot fails to even scratch Terra in the opening, and it gets upgraded into the Mega Arm afterwards.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
- Tango fills a very similar function to Beat, though he uses energy much faster and can only attack enemies that Mega Man himself can reach (or get reasonably close to), making him a lot less overpowered.
- Dark Moon, the boss in-between the first and second set of Stardroids is pretty much identical to the Yellow Devils of Mega Man 1 and Mega Man 3, though thankfully much easier than either incarnation.
- Uranus has a very similar design and a near-identical weapon to Guts Man, probably as a way of making up to fans who were pissed off that he got left out of Dr. Wily's Revenge.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The only Game Boy Mega Man game to have an Arabic numeral on the box instead of a Roman numeral (the game itself doesn't reflect this).
- Unexpected Shmup Level: The game gives us one between the battle with Terra and the Wily Star. This was included in part because developers Minakuchi Engineering had designed a number of Shoot 'em Up games (in particular, Solar Striker) early in the Game Boy's lifecycle.
- Weaksauce Weakness: An unusual variation occurs in this game, since you don't have the weapons that Mercury and Neptune are weak against (the Black Hole and the Spark Chaser respectively) during the initial set of four Stardroids, meaning that you have to use the Mega Arm to defeat them. Fortunately, you have your full complement of weapons during the rematch near the end of the game.