Betcha can hear the title music just by looking at this. If you can't, then listen anyway.
In The Year Of 200X, a super robot named Mega Man was created. Dr. Light created Mega Man to stop the evil desires of Dr. Wily. However, after his defeat, Dr. Wily created eight of his own robots to counter Mega Man.Mega Man 2
(Rockman 2: The Mystery Of Dr. Wily
in Japan) is a run and gun Platformer Video Game
, released by Capcom
for the NES
in 1989 (1988 in Japan).
The core gameplay from the previous game remains largely the same: you, as Mega Man, go around beating bosses in a non-linear order while acquiring their weapons
to use against another boss in a rock-paper-scissors
strategy. The developers made numerous changes, however, to make the gameplay more flexible and accessible to gamers: Mega Man 2
offers two difficulty settings, a new password function, three special items, and energy-refilling E-Tanks to make the game more forgiving in difficulty. The boss roster received two extra slots (eight robots rather than six) and the stage designs are much improved over the previous game's. The presentation also received some extra love courtesy of those well-designed stages, better spritework, a cartoony plethora of enemies cribbed from design contests, and a load of energetic 8-bit tunes
to complete the picture. Capcom also dropped the score system from the original, but nobody really missed it.
In other words: Mega Man 2
manages to top the original in damn near every way imaginable.
While the original game
was only a modest hit, this sequel became the best-selling game in the entire series (over 1.5 million copies). To this day, critics and fans alike consider Mega Man 2
not only one of the best NES
one of the best games (if not the
best game) in the entire series, but also one of the greatest video games of all time
. Even Keiji Inafune himself calls this one his favorite game in the series
The game later received a 16-bit upgrade
for the Sega Genesis
as part of the Europe and Japan only Mega Man: The Wily Wars
cartridge (as well as the Japan-only Rockman 2: Complete Works PS1
port). The game eventually saw a major rerelease as part of Anniversary Collection
. The NES version has received a Virtual Console
re-release on the Wii
, with the latter including a save state
ability. The Wily Wars
port eventually saw a US release, albiet as a bundle with many other games in a portable Sega Genesis
re-release (the Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Player
The game's roster of Robot Masters includes:
Don't confuse this game with Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters
- DWN-009: Metal Man, weak to Metal Blade/Quick Boomerang, gives Metal Blade
- DWN-010: Air Man, weak to Leaf Shield, gives Air Shooter
- DWN-011: Bubble Man, weak to Metal Blade, gives Bubble Lead
- DWN-012: Quick Man, weak to Time Stopper, gives Quick Boomerang
- DWN-013: Crash Man, weak to Air Shooter, gives Crash Bomb
- DWN-014: Flash Man, weak to Metal Blade, gives the Time Stopper
- DWN-015: Heat Man, weak to Bubble Lead, gives the Atomic Fire
- DWN-016: Wood Man, weak to Atomic Fire/Air Shooter, gives the Leaf Shield
for the Arcade or Mega Man II
for the Game Boy
(the latter of which is a companion title to the NES version).
Mega Man 2 contains examples of the following tropes:
- Abnormal Ammo:
- Mega Man himself gets to use bubbles, leaves, and mini-tornadoes.
- Many of the game's enemies use thematic ammo: Robbits fire carrots, Pipis drop eggs that spawn small robotic birds, Kerogs fire small frogs and Kaminari Goros throw lightning bolts (not actual bolts of lightning, mind you, but javelin-like projectiles that look like lightning bolts).
- Advancing Boss of Doom: The Mecha Dragon in Wily Castle 1 pulls double-duty as both this and an Advancing Wall of Doom (since touching him has exactly the same effect as spikes or kill-beams).
- Airborne Mook: Air Man and Crash Man's stages in particular are full of these.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: The US boxart features adult-sized musclemen dressed up as Mega Man, Quick Man, and Crash Man in a airbrushed futuristic setting. While cheesy, it's nowhere near as infamous as the first game's box art, mainly because it at least bears some resemblence to the actual game. And that is nothing compared to the downright nightmarish Nintendo Power cover of Mega Man 2; clay figure Dr. Wily looks downright terrifying!
- Animal Mecha: The robot bats, dogs/wolves, gorillas, rabbits and roadrunners in Wood Man's stage
- Anime Hair: Mega Man in the opening.
- Angry Guard Dog: The Frienders in Wood Man's stage.
- Art Evolution: The game's art started to become more anime-influenced than the previous game, and the spritework is more refined.
- Auto-Scrolling Level: The final part of Wily Stage 1.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Atomic Fire is very powerful and looks cool when fully charged, but it chews up so much ammo that it's best used sparingly, and otherwise its normal shot is so pathetically weak that it's all but useless. The Time Stopper is also only really useful in certain situations, as it consumes ammo quickly and Mega Man can't attack or change weapons while using it.
- Battle Boomerang: Quick Man's Quick Boomerang.
- Beneath the Earth: Just before the actual final boss.
- Bittersweet Ending: Though there is no text narration in the ending cutscene, the somber tone of the soundtrack suggests that Mega Man feels quite alone and confused, having shouldered the task of fighting his own kind "for everlasting peace". Then again, your guess is about as good as anyone's...
- Blow You Away: The main attack of Air Man, as well as the Matasaburo mooks throughout his stage.
- Bootstrapped Theme: The famous title screen music is generally regarded as Mega Man's main theme song. So is the Wily Stage 1 music.
- Boring Yet Practical: The Mega Buster, due in part to its quick firing, infinite ammo and being able to kill some enemies that are immune to the Metal Blade, and the 3 "Items", which are essential for beating the game.
- Boss Rush: Just before the fake final boss. And for the first time, the boss doors are all in one room, rather than one after the other.
- Bottomless Pits: All over the place - notably in Air Man's stage and the Wily Castle stages.
- Bubble Gun: Bubble Man's Bubble Lead.
- Bullfight Boss:
- Heat Man charges towards you after being hit.
- Quick Man mostly hurts you via Collision Damage.
- Charged Attack: The Atomic Fire weapon predates the charging Mega Buster first introduced in Mega Man 4.
- Collision Damage
- Continuing Is Painful: The game zig-zags this trope — a continue will refill all of your weapon energy, but cost you all of your E-Tanks.
- Convection Schmonvection: Heat Man's level, naturally, but also the fact that you can run under a ceiling full of lava, which defies other laws of physics, too...
- Cool Helmet
- Cores and Turrets Boss: The boss of Wily Castle 4, the Boobeam Trap.
- Deadly Disc: Metal Man's weapon of choice, a series of flying buzzsaws.
- Denial of Diagonal Attack: Every weapon that isn't the Metal Blade or Quick Boomerang.
- Difficulty By Region: The Japanese and Wily Wars releases are much harder than the US release, the latter of which included a "Normal" mode which doubled how much damage you did to bosses.
- Disc One Final Boss: Wily Machine 2.
- Disc One Nuke:
- The Metal Blade is the most powerful weapon in the game — and one of the most powerful in the entire series. It delivers high damage, cuts through multiple mooks at a time, has a machine gun rate of fire, travels fast and long, can be shot in eight directions, has a cool appearance, and comes with an ammo capacity so large (112 shots) that it takes a conscious effort to deplete it. On top of all that, besides Metal Man being very easy to beat (meaning you can get the weapon right at the start of the game), the Metal Blade is a major weakness for four of the robot masters, the second-to-last boss, and Metal Man himself. If it weren't for several enemies and some of the bosses being immune to the Metal Blade note , it would make the Mega Buster all but obsolete.
- The Quick Boomerang isn't as impressive as the Metal Blade, but it isn't a bad substitute: it also has a ton of ammo and travels in an arc that makes hitting things above and below the level of the Mega Buster much easier. (It doesn't have the range of the Metal Blade, though.) The original release of the game also gave Quick Boomerangs an extra bit of utility thanks to a bug that was not caught before it shipped: the weapon would damage any stage enemy (but not necessarily the bosses) without fail — including some enemies that are otherwise invincible. (Capcom fixed that bug in Wily Wars.)
- Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Air Man's weapon is a Spread Shot of mini-tornadoes.
- Dramatic Thunder: On the Wily Castle map screen, though it's just flashing with no sound effects.
- Dub Name Change: Some of the minor enemies were renamed in the English manual (Friender became Hot Dog, Shotman became Crazy Cannon, the Guts Tank became the Guts-Dozer etc.) and "Clash Man" became "Crash Man".
- Dungeon Bypass: The numbered items. Item-2 in particular can be used to bypass several tricky obstacles. The Time Stopper can also function as one, as it can (among other things) be used to freeze the lasers in Quick Man's stage and skip some of the Frienders in Wood Man's stage.
- Easter Egg: Holding B when you select a boss will cause the stars on the bosses intro screen to turn into birds.
- Easy Level Trick: On the very last stage, hold right and keep going. You will be ahead of all the lava/acid drips that you don't need to time your movements.
- Elemental Barrier: Wood Man's Leaf Shield.
- Elemental Powers: This game (almost) has the five Chinese elements (Fire, Water, Wood, Metal) and the four classical elements (Fire, Water, Wind).
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: This game toys with the trope. While there is a clear circular line of weakness, most of the bosses have at least one other weapon (typically the Metal Blade) that they're weak against. This is one of the few Mega Man games where it can be considered open-ended.
- Emergency Energy Tank: This was the first game in the series to give you E-Tanks, which can instantly refill your health on the go, and were essential to toning down the difficulty of the original game.
- Epileptic Flashing Lights: The Wily Castle bosses in paticular; when fighting the Mecha Dragon, Guts Tank, Wily Machine 2, and the Alien, the whole screen flashes white every time they take damage. After defeating them, the screen continues to rapidly flash while they fade out. The screen does not flash while fighting the Picopico-kun and Boobeam Trap, although it still rapidly flashes after they're defeated. The 3DS Virtual Console version tones down the screen flashing, though this is likely because of different screen refresh rates.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: The Monking robots from Wood Man's stage.
- Exty Years from Now: As mentioned into the intro.
- Excuse Plot: Dr. Wily is back for revenge with a batch of his own robots to counter Mega Man. Go at it!
- Fan Fare: The iconic Mega Man theme at the title screen, as well as the "Boss Selected" music. Finally, there's the triumphant victory theme after defeating the final boss.
- Fatal Flaw:
- Why does Quick Man keep running into the wall? His sight sensors can't keep up with his speed.
- Why does the Time Stopper hurt him? All of Wily's robots have devices that protect them from it... but Quick Man's is faulty.
- Apparently the reason why Metal Man is allergic to his own weapon is that he's lightly armored.
- Flash of Pain: The minor enemies briefly flash white when being hit. The Robot Masters and Mega Man himself also blink in and out during Mercy Invincibility. See also Epileptic Flashing Lights above.
- Flight: Wily's alien form is capable of this by virtue of being a floating holosphere.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Quick Man's boomerang pokes out of his mugshot frame on the stage select. He's also one of the hardest Robot Masters in the game.
- Fragile Speedster: Quick Man takes double damage from the Mega Buster.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Quick Man's stage has several vertical corridors where you have to outrun giant laser beams that insta-kill Mega Man if they touch him.
- Game Mod: More ROM hacks exist of 2 than of any other game in the series (and possibly more than all of the other games combined).
- Glass Cannon: Wood Man. His leaves do a lot of damage, but he has the most weaknesses of all the Robot Masters and takes a lot of damage from all of them. He is still rather resistant to the Mega Buster, only taking 1 bar of damage per shot.
- Green Thumb: Wood Man's ability is to use a ring of leaves as shields and weapons.
- Hair-Raising Hare: The Robbits from Wood Man's stage, although their only means of attack is shooting carrots at you.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Metal Man is killed in one hit by his own weapon (two on Difficult).
- Hollywood Acid: Presumbly what is dripping from the ceiling in the very final level, judging by the high damage it inflicts on Mega Man.
- Humongous Mecha: The Guts Tank in Wily Stage 3.
- Improbable Weapon User: Bubble Man (shoots bubbles) and the robot rabbits from Wood Man's stage (carrots).
- Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: Notably in Metal Man's stage, AND in his boss room.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: The boss of the first Wily Stage, the Mecha Dragon.
- Invincible Minor Minion: Mets and Springers. Unless you use the Bubble Lead on said Springers.
- Joke Weapon: The Bubble Lead, which is only useful for beating Heat Man, one of the Wily Castle bosses, and the final, final boss. It's also useful in detecting the fake floor traps in Wily Stage 4.
- Lethal Joke Weapon: And for defeating Robbits in Wood Man's stage. And for defeating Springers. And for defeating most enemies generally below you. Truth be told, the Bubble Lead isn't a terrible weapon. It just suffers from the same issues that most of the weapons in 2 do: whatever it can do, the Metal Blade can usually do better.
- Kill It with Fire: Wood Man's biggest weakness is against the Atomic Fire, with a fully charged shot able to one-shot him on American difficulty.
- Kill It with Water: Heat Man's weakness, as well as the weakness of the actual final boss.
- Laser Hallway: Taken Up to Eleven in Quick Man's stage, where the bulk of the stage has Mega Man evading giant, instant-kill laser beams.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Quick Man's stage select icon is different in that the crescent on his head sticks out of the border instead of being inside of it. Keiji Inafune wanted Quick Man to have this unique feature as a not-so-obvious-way of saying This Is Going To Suck.
- Lava Pit: In Heat Man's stage, although that may actually be super heated water, due to the setting being a sewer.
- Logical Weakness: Wood Man, despite being a robot, is weak to Heat Man's weapon. Heat Man, however, is naturally weak to Bubble Man's weapon. Bubble Man's weakness to the Metal Blades also makes sense as bubbles do not react well to sharp stuff. Quick Man, meanwhile, is weak against the Time Stopper.
- Malevolent Architecture:
- The Wily Castle stages are a particular standout. Heat Man's stage also has this with its infamous row of disappearing blocks.
- The Picopico-kun, in which pieces of the surrounding room fly out two at a time and combine together to form flying robots that attacks by trying to fly into Mega Man.
- Mascot Mook/The Goomba: Mets.
- Mercy Invincibility: Mega Man and the Robot Masters have this, but the Wily Castle bosses noticeably don't, allowing a single Crash Bomb explosion to hit them multiple times.
- Mini-Mecha/Hopping Machine: The Sniper Armor. The latter also applies to the Robbits from Wood Man's stage.
- Minus World: Glitches can be used to go to other levels (albeit using tiles from the current level) through Robot Master arenas. The glitchy version of Wily Castle 2, which is accessed via a glitch in Air Man's stage, is perhaps the most well-known iteration of this glitch.
- Mission Pack Sequel
- Misplaced Wildlife: Gorilla robots in what looks like a mid-western forest?
- Mook Maker: The Changkey Makers in Quick Man's stage throw Changkeys (or Tackle Fires) from the first game. The Guts Tank also launches Mets from its chest if Mega Man stays off its base.
- Musical Nod: The first part of the game's opening theme is a remix of the first part of the previous game's ending theme.
- Nintendo Hard: While the game's difficulty is much more forgiving than the original game, some parts of the game are still very challenging to beat, especially if you try to beat certain levels and bosses without the most helpful item or weapon. Difficult mode only ramps up the challenge even more. This was unarguably a part of this game's appeal.
- Not Even Human: The final boss reveals that Wily was an alien the whole time! Or not, since it was just a hologram.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The very final level has no music, and the only objects prior to the final boss are the echoing drips of acid from the ceiling...
- No Waterproofing in the Future: How Mega Man is able to defeat the Alien (which is really just a hologram projector).
- No Pronunciation Guide: The Bubble Lead. Is it "Lead" as in "to lead" (since it trails ahead of Mega Man) or Lead as in the element Lead (since it's a bubble that sinks in all cases)? In the Japanese script for the weapon, they use the word "Rīdo", which means both "water reed" and "to lead".
- One-Hit Kill:
- One-Winged Angel: Wily pulls this by turning into an alien in the final boss battle. Of course, it's just a hologram.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The Mecha Dragon is a robot with a blimp built into its body.
- Outside-the-Box Tactic:
- Returning Sniper Joes in Sniper Armors are very vulnerable to the Air Shooter and several Humongous Mecha are vulnerable to boomerangs.
- During the Boss Rush portion of the same game, Metal Man dies to one hit of his own weapon on Normal difficulty, two hits on hard.
- Detonating a Crash Bomb just below Wily Machine 2's cockpit during the second phase will cause the explosion to hit it multiple times when it moves backwards, defeating it very quickly.
- Petal Power: Wood Man's Leaf Shield.
- Platform Battle: The fight against the Mecha Dragon in Wily Castle 1.
- Playing with Fire: Heat Man, and Mega Man himself when he gets his weapon.
- Power-Up Letdown: Most if not all of the weapons the player obtains are less potent than their boss versions. The Time Stopper is the most noticeable example; while Flash Man can fire while using it and can use it multiple times, the player can only use it once before having to seek ammo and can't fire while using it.
- Punny Name: The giant, fire-breathing dog robots in Wood Man's stage are called Hot Dogs in the North American manual.
- Several of the enemy names have this (Robbit, Boobeam Trap etc.).
- Puzzle Boss: The Boobeam Trap.
- Recycled Soundtrack: 9 would later recycle six songs directly from this game, including the stage opening theme.
- Regenerating Health: Using the wrong weapons (usually their own) on some bosses will replenish their health. In the Alien's case, EVERY weapon but the Bubble Lead regenerates its health.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Wily's One-Winged Angel in the final battle.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: Due to the addition of more utility items, Energy Tanks, and a password save system; plus an actual Easy Mode in the North American version (there called "Normal", but the "Difficult" mode is actually the original difficulty).
- Sequel Escalation: Quite.
- Shared Life Meter: The game has the Boobeam Trap and Picopico-kun in Wily's Castle, the former being a series of turrets on the walls that all have to be destroyed, the latter featuring wall panels that combine into flying robots.
- Heat Man looks like a human-sized Zippo lighter.
- There are a batch of enemies (the M-445) in Bubble Man's stage that look uncannily similar to Metroids. Though it was most likely a coincidence, as they're supposed to be Expies of the CWU-01P boss from the first game.
- In the Japanese version, the Hot Dogs are called Friender.
- Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Presses, found in Metal Man's stage, and Wily Castle 2.
- Solid Clouds: Kaminari Goros ride solid clouds in Air Man's stage. Subverted because you can blatantly see a propeller under it and there is a solid platform one layer behind it.
- Spam Attack: The Quick Boomerang can be autofired.
- Spikes of Doom: Particularly in parts of Bubble Man's stage (and his boss room, where they're attached to the ceiling) and Wily Stage 3 (which has a 5-screen long pit lined with the same kind of spikes, with the water physics the only thing that can help you).
- Spread Shot: Air Man's weapon, the Air Shooter. Flash Man fires out a Spray Burst variant after using the Time Stopper.
- Standing On The Roof: Mega Man, in the opening.
- Supervillain Lair: Wily Castle, which makes its debut here (Wily's base in the first game was a factory with no skull motif anywhere).
- Tank Goodness: The Guts Tank.
- Temporary Platform: Both malevolent and benevolent, both of the "timed" variety. Heat Man's stage brings back the infamous disappearing blocks (Yoku Blocks). The three Items you get in the game serve as helpful platforms. Can be also considered as Noob Bridge, as most people find this long section of Appearing Blocks very difficult, and often chooses to use Item 2 to get through. It doesn't help that an extra life is teasing you midway through it. This is also the point where people get stuck in a loop: To get past the Yoku Blocks they need to get Item 2 from Air Man, Air Man is painfully difficult to fight because he blocks your shots with an Air Shot wall that he sends at you (Some patterns being utterly unavoidable), Air Man's weakness is the Leaf Shield you get from Wood Man, Wood Man is nearly as painful as Air Man, Wood Man's weakness is Atomic Fire from Heat Man, Heat Man's stage has that Yoku Blocks section that needs Item 2 to get through easily. So, unless you can beat Air Man, Wood Man or Heat Man, you will find yourself stuck in a loop. Airman Ga Taosenai sums up this all. Of course, Wood Man is ALSO weak to the Metal Blade...
- This Is a Drill: The Mole enemies that pop up in Metal Man's stage, and later Wily Castle 2. Crash Man also has drills on the end of his Crash Bombs (absent on Mega Man's version).
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works: Wood Man's weapon of choice — the shields in question are leaves.
- Time Bomb: Crash Man's weapon.
- Time Stands Still: Flash Man's power.
- Tornado Move: Air Man fires swarms of miniature tornados at the player, pushing them backwards against the wall in the process.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Quick Man's Stage. Wily Stage 4, by virtue of its invisible pits, as well as the Boobeam Trap boss, also has this.
- Underwater Boss Battle: In Bubble Man's stage.
- Updated Re-release: The Europe and Japan only 16-bit upgrade included in The Wily Wars for the Sega Genesis (although it did get a Sega Channel exclusive American release), and Rockman 2: Complete Works for the PS1 in Japan (this version was later incorporated into the Anniversary Collection).
- Unwinnable: The Boobeam Trap if your Crash Bomber ammo is not completely full. Also, the final boss is impossible to defeat if you don't have enough Bubble Lead ammo. You aren't stuck per se, but you'll need to sacrifice some extra lives.
- Utility Weapon: Crash Bombs are the only thing that can destroy certain walls.
- Video Game Settings:
- Villains Want Mercy: Wily in the ending.
- Walk, Don't Swim: Mega Man can't swim, so he just sinks in Bubble Man's stage. However, unlike the first game, he can jump very high.
- Weaksauce Weakness:
- The Alien can only be harmed by the Bubble Lead. Wait a minute...
- Metal Man notably can be killed in one shot by his own weapon on American difficulty.
- When Trees Attack: Wood Man.
- Zerg Rush: The Tellys in Crash Man's stage and Wily Castle. The Copipis released from a Pipi's egg also use this tactic.