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. 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.Stardroids:
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.
Everything except the Stardroids' origins: they were made a long time ago by an ancient alien civilisation and were found by Dr. Wily in the present day.
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.
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. Then again, according to the futuregames in the series, Sunstar was absolutely right.
And then it ends on a lighthearted note when Dr. Wily shows up and tries to shoot Mega Man, but his barely-functioning UFO dies on him and breaks apart. After the usual mercy-begging, Wily runs off in a comical panic as Mega Man chases him.
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.
To some extent, Uranus is affected by this. It's possible (but tricky) to use the Deep Digger when refighting him to dig a hole underneath him, causing him to fall into a bottomless pit and die instantly.
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.
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.
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 entire game itself is this to the series - while the other four games lift many elements from one console game, many elements from the succeeding console game, one original boss and weapon and maybe a few unique music tracks and enemies, for V, everything - the bosses, the music, the weapons, the enemies etc.- is 100% original.
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.