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Mega Man (Classic series)
- The opening of Guts Man's stage has earned infamy for the platforms on tracks that drop when the tracks thin out, requiring precise jumps. Because of the way that Mega Man's downward momentum works in the first game when standing on sprite-based platforms, you may not even know that you've missed your jump until Mega Man disappears from the screen and the death sound plays.
- Ice Man's stage gets rough after the checkpoint. It introduces two infamous gimmicks, one after another: Yoku blocks with specific patterns that need to be memorized, and Foot Holders, moving platforms that double as enemies that shoot at you. Not only are their movements random (you may have to wait a while to jump from one to the next), but they're also quite glitchy: if you land on one at the wrong time, you'll take damage and fall into the Bottomless Pit below. If you have the Magnet Beam, you can completely ignore having to step on them, but you still have to deal with their shots as well as the Pepes flying in sine wave patterns.
- Dr. Wily Stage 1 has an opening sequence of dodging three of the game's Boss in Mook Clothing enemy Big Eye with no helpful stage geography to use against them, the return of the Foot Holders from Ice Man's stage, now in a room with a spiked ceiling that they will arbitrarily fly you up into if you don't fall onto the spikes on the floor, a required Magnet Beam section that can send players all the way back to Elec Man's stage if they didn't know the item was necessary, and it's capped off with the very first instance of the Yellow Devil.
- Quick Man's stage is the page picture for a good reason. The signature gimmick of this level is two long vertical drops full of One-Hit Kill lasers known as Force Beams. While the first one isn't particularly bad and can even get you a bunch of power-ups if you go the right way, the second one is much longer and requires high amounts of precision, where even one mistake can cost you your life. Even afterward, you still have to deal with two Sniper Armors that you can accidentally spawn more of if you're not careful. You can use Flash Man's Time Stopper to freeze the Beams, but it only has one use, and once it's gone, you won't have any to use against Quick Man himself.
- Heat Man's stage can be very rough if you try to tackle it early on, because after the checkpoint, there's an EXTREMELY long Platform Hell of Yoku blocks, most of which is over a Bottomless Pit. At two points, the next one appears directly over your head, forcing either a pixel-perfect jump or a fall to your death. If you don't have the Item-2 acquired by defeating Air Man so you can fly under the entire thing, things can get ugly.
- Air Man's stage is a pain, too. For the first part of the level, you have to jump on Goblins/Air Tikis. When you are standing on one of them, the constantly spawning Petit Goblins combined with the drills coming out of the sides of its head means that jumping off unscathed is hard. What's worse, later in the level, you have to jump from one to another consecutively. Then there's those Kaminami Goros/Lightning Lords that you have to kill and then ride on their very small cloud platforms, and all those Pipis and their Copipis.
- In the Doc Robot revisit of Needle Man's stage, right after killing Doc Air Man, you come across a long Rush Jet section with Parasyus and Yanbows coming from all sides trying to knock you off into a Bottomless Pit. If you die during it, you have to start back at the beginning of the section, and if your energy is too low, you may have to Game Over to refill it.
- The final section of Drill Man's stage can be a nightmare about midway through: there are switches in the background that you have to touch in order to reveal the next ledge to jump on. This wouldn't be so bad, if there weren't a ton of flying Helipons and falling rocks whose sole purpose are to knock you into one of the many pits scattered about the area.
- Ring Man's stage is a difficult gauntlet. It starts with a long vertical climb with Wall Blasters and homing Ring Rings trying to knock you back down. After that trial, there's four minibosses that need to be killed over the course of the stage: two Kabatoncues (hippos that fire homing missiles and need to be continuously shot down from a telescoping platform to be in firing range), and two Whoppers (stacks of rings that have a long attack range and an extremely tight vulnerability window). The platforming only makes things harder, with brown/rainbow platforms that quickly retract under your feet when stepped on, sometimes mixed in with homing Ring Rings and bottomless pits or pits of One-Hit Kill spikes.
- The first half of Crystal Man's stage is no slouch, since one section is laden with crystals that fall from tubes in the ceiling, and they're always placed in large series over pits. It wouldn't be so bad on its own, but the crystals fall at completely random intervals, making much of the level a Luck-Based Mission unless you have good reaction time or Star Crash to get rid of them.
- The second half of Plant Man's stage has a long, difficult section involving jumping over water-filled Bottomless Pits via springs. As it goes on, additional hazards are added into the mix: Gabgyos, robotic piranhas that quickly jump out of the water to knock you to your death, Tadahous, cannons that bounce on the springs as well, and "snapper" platforms that need to be shot before they can be stood on, all of which is made even harder by the fact that you're constantly bouncing up and down through the entire thing. To add insult to injury, after conquering this section and Plant Man himself, you get the Rush Jet Adaptor, which could've easily allowed you to fly over the whole thing.
- While the two snowboarding sections of Frost Man's stage can be tricky, they're nothing compared to the one that primarily makes up Wily Tower Stage 1. It's much faster, it has a much denser enemy population, and has lots of very tight jumps and slides to escape certain death, with your only assistance being the infamous cues. The last jump in particular is especially nasty, as it's so wide that you'll need to move forward a good distance in midair to avoid just barely missing it. It's a common strategy to use Astro Crush to let yourself hang in the air and avoid doing risky jumps, but it only has 4 uses (6 with the Energy Saver), and if you use it at the wrong time, you'll get squished at the left side of the screen by a wall. After the snowboarding, you still need to go through a precarious series of Thunder Claw swinging over a Bottomless Pit to get to the (not hard, but still annoying) Goddamned Boss at the end, Atetemino. And if you die, back to the very beginning!
- Burner Man's stage has three different gimmicks that range from mildly annoying to downright lethal. In order of their appearance, the first is waist-high foreground walls that cover up the floors and can hide holes. At best, they can send you plummeting down to an earlier area, but at worst, they'll send you plummeting into spikes, making the only safe way to see where they are pushing an Ice Wall into the offending areas. The second area is a long corridor of spears rapidly jutting out of the walls and floors. They only appear at predetermined spots, but are fast, easily get desynchronized, and hurt a lot. The last is the deadliest: the final stretch in the jungle where occasionally, a Big Telly will drop a firebomb, filling nearly half the screen with One-Hit Kill flames for several seconds. When this happens, you have no choice but to quickly scramble for elevated land, which is easier said than done considering the high amount of Dodonpa Cannoms inhabiting this section as well. After all that, it's the fated encounter with That One Boss, Burner Man.
- It's hard to bring up the infamous difficulty of Mega Man & Bass without mentioning King Stage 2, the game's signature Marathon Level. This stage consists of three enemy-laden "mini-stages", each followed by a boss: the first being King Tank, the second being That One Boss, King Plane, and the third and final being King himself, who not only has two phases (he can't be hurt during the first, but then Proto Man hops in and destroys his shield), but still isn't the last boss of the stage - that honor goes to Jet King Robo, a fusion of King and the two previous bosses. The level suffers badly from Check-Point Starvation - you only get a checkpoint after killing each boss, so die to King Plane and you're getting sent all the way back to right after you beat King Tank. The level also requires heavy use of special weapons, putting a high emphasis on resource management if you want to use the bosses' weaknesses on them. And last but not least, since the level is one, massive stage, if you Game Over, it's back to the very beginning. Even after you beat this stage, you may think the game's over, but in reality, it's far from it...
- ...which brings us into King Stage 3, the Very Definitely Final Stage and second Marathon Level, which is equal parts Marathon Level and Boss Rush against the game's 8 Robot Masters, with none of your weapons refilled at all after the previous stage. Unlike most traditional Mega Man gamesnote , instead of fighting the bosses in a central hub in any order you like, you're forced to fight them in a specific order as you go throughout the stage.note And what a stage it is, packed to the gills with Yoku blocks, Bottomless Pits, Spikes of Doom, and plenty of enemies as well just to make sure you're properly worn down between fights. And speaking of being worn down, the bosses don't drop large energy pellets upon death, only adding more fuel to this fiery test of endurance. And after this difficult struggle, there's still the two-phase final confrontation against Dr. Wily himself. It makes the fact that Mega Man & Bass is the only Mega Man game to not have restorative Tanks of any kind after they were introduced in 2 all the more painful. And of course, if you Game Over, you end up back at the very start.
- Jewel Man's stage is arguably the most difficult of the main eight Robot Master stages. The main gimmick of the stage is large platforms on chains that need to be run on back and forth to get them swinging so you can make jumps. After the Goddamned Miniboss, Stonehead, which drops down countless rocks and can stun you to get a free hit, the stage quickly ups the ante with more and more Bottomless Pits and One-Hit Kill Spikes of Doom. A particularly infamous room requires a swinging platform to be swung out of the way of a pit so you can drop down, but the room is also full of spikes - one wrong move and you'll walk into the spikes trying to swing the platform, or have the platform shove you into the spiked wall during an otherwise successful drop.
- Wily Castle Stage 3 has two sections with a gimmick that gets very punishing very fast. In these sections, you're constantly pulled upwards, and the only way to move left and right is to shoot in the opposite direction to build up your momentum. As you may expect, the game eventually mixes in enemies and One-Hit Kill Spikes of Doom during these sections, where you can easily try to avoid an enemy only to boost yourself into spikes if you aren't careful. In the very last room with this gimmick, an enemy called a Bunby Catcher can grab you if you go to the left side of the screen. Do it at the right spot? It'll shove you into a free M-Tanknote ! Do it at the wrong spot? It'll shove you into spikes and kill you. Even after this, you still have a dangerous Bottomless Pit section left, and the boss is yet another Devil, the Twin Devil.
- Commando Man's stage about halfway through introduces sandstorms that sporadically cover the entire screen and push you in their direction while blinding your view of the spikes on the limited platforms and the gaps that drop you into the bottomless pit below. Later on, you'll need to deal with enemies during them as well.
- Torch Man's stage, a campsite, has sections of Platform Hell, Blackout Basement sections, and three pain in the arse instant death wall of fire sections, one of which requires precise platforming and sliding to get through the area. While the Tundra Storm can stop the inferno for a brief moment (if you have it), both Sparkey and Torch Man himself are most susceptible to this weapon, meaning you have to choose between getting barbecued and having to deal with That One Boss at full force.
- Bounce Man's stage is riddled with bouncy balls that you, unsurprisingly, have to bounce off of to get anywhere. The balls have much larger hitboxes than their deceptively small round appearances would imply. Often you'll try to jump under or over one and unexpectedly hit it, only to be sent careening into an enemy or off a cliff, and other times you'll reel from an enemy's hit and not be expecting to suddenly be sent bouncing any which way by the ball you barely got close enough to sneeze onto.
- Players who choose Cut Man first, expecting a similar easy ride to his NES level, will be in for a nasty shock. His level contains some of the most unforgiving jumps in a game that already borders on Platform Hell, many of the enemies have unpredictable patterns and/or are located in inconvenient spots, and only one weapon is capable of damaging them — Cut Man's own weapon.
- Metal Man's stage isn't too bad compared to a lot of the other examples here, but it throws some nasty surprises at you early on, most notably three screens in succession that give you drops which can land you right on top of spikes, with almost no time to react.
- Dive Man's stage is filled with spikes, at one point making you jump between raised pillars of spikes. It also forces you to jump on a platform that's on top of rising and falling water, and of course, the platform is surrounded by spikes on both sides.
- Dust Man's stage is truly terrible. It has pits with Upndowns coming out of them, and not one, not two, but at least 10 pixel-perfect jumps are required to make it through the stage. There is also the dust crusher section, which required Mega Man to slide through gaps with perfect timing or he dies. When you finally get to Dust Man, you find that he's a pathetic Anticlimactic Boss which really makes the stage feel even worse by comparison. Dust Man's stage really is the closest Mega Man has gotten to Platform Hell.
- Venus's stage, which has a section where Mega Man must bounce in between instant-death spikes.
Mega Man X series
- Sigma Stage 1 can be a pain, with it being a very, very long stage starting with having to jump over moving platforms with enemies that can potentially knock you off into a bottomless pit. Then you have to fight a few bosses throughout such as Vile (which thankfully you don't have to beat again once you beat him once), an annoying area where you have to climb vertically with several enemies hugging the wall that can easily knock you down, and then you have to fight Boomer Kuwanger again. Each by themselves isn't that bad, but enduring through the rest of the level makes this a pain. Then you have to face the Bospider at the end. It's even worse in the PSP remake as an underwater section with an Anglerge was added and instead of Vile you fight Launch Octopus again.
- Armored Armadillo's stage if you're playing as Vile in Maverick Hunter X. It takes away the mine carts that made this stage enjoyable as X, leaving you to traverse the whole level on foot (you don't even get the Ride Armor for long). This replaces the leap of faith at the end of the level with a bunch of horizontally-moving platforms and enemies swarming you from off-screen. And the Heart Tank (located where X would find the Hadouken capsule) requires you to either take a leap of faith towards a not-synchronized platform or exploit a bug with Vile's midair movement that allows him to hover towards it.
- The second X-Hunter stage, while being mercifully short, is nonetheless filled with absurdly long spike pits requiring precision use of the Crystal Hunter weapon, which seals enemies and allows them to be used as platforms. The terrible bit is that only so many enemies can spawn on-screen at any given time, and are literal Goddamn Bats that both charge for X's position and can be easily missed by the comparatively slow-moving Crystal Hunter projectile. You may find yourself in a position where you can't edge the screen far enough over for any of the enemies to respawn, meaning a suicide on the spikes and restart of the entire level is your only option.
- Doppler Stage 1 is probably the hardest in the game's sequence of final levels. There are several difficult jumps, walls that close in to crush you, and insta-death spikes that can suddenly descend from the ceiling and kill you mid-jump. And then the stage ends with you having to face one of the game's two harder bosses, either the Godkarmachine O Inary or the Press Disposer, depending on whether you were able to destroy both Bit and Byte using their weaknesses.
- Jet Stingray's stage is a pain due to the level being a Ride Chaser level. Moreover, it's a fast Autoscrolling Level which makes it a level that is nothing but trial and error without proper reaction time. The game also expects you to do precise jumps at pinpoint accuracy. Bottomless Pits are everywhere in the first half of the stage. Getting scrolled off the screen at any time is also instant death. Both the Sub-Tank and the Heart Tank are in areas that are very easy to miss the first time around.
- Tidal Whale/Duff McWhalen's stage doesn't go all-in on the difficulty, but what it does go all-in on is being incredibly annoying and tedious for X in particular if you want all the items for him. While Zero can, provided he's already laid out Volt Kraken/Squid Adler, snatch the Heart Tank on the first pass through and just ignore the Armor Capsule since it doesn't do him any good, X has to pass the Heart Tank and Armor Capsule on the first pass through because his version of Kraken/Adler's weapon won't destroy the weak ceiling that Zero's version can, and the Armor Capsule cannot be obtained without Goo Shaver. The very weapon that Duff/Tidal distributes. Then after backtracking for the Armor Capsule, he'll have to backtrack again since he needs either the Falcon Armor or Gaea Armor to get up a spike chute to reach the Heart Tank. Also, the stage is a rather pokey Autoscrolling Levelnote , so that just drags out the time it'll take to get all this done even more.
- Squid Adler/Volt Kraken's stage is even worse. Much like Jet Stingray from the previous game, the stage starts on a very fast Ride Chaser (fast enough that you need to be ready to jump before the "READY" text even leaves the screen), with lots of bottomless pits to fall in and breakable walls to shoot through (that will crush you against the screen if you don't). To make matters worse, there are eight glowing things to get if you want the head parts of the Falcon Armor. Even if you survive that, there's still plenty of annoying switch puzzles to go through. If you want 100% Completion, you're going to have to revisit it, in a game that punishes revisiting levels unless you have the final set of stages unlocked already.
- Zero Space Stage 1. Capcom feels the need to keep revisiting Quick Man's stage in later games. Here, in particular, they managed to make it even harder: it's bad enough that X-series characters slide slowly down walls, making it harder to fall past the lasers quickly enough, but unlike Mega Man 2, the screen scrolls down with your character at all times, requiring much faster reaction time. And at the end of the stage? You fight That One Boss, the Shadow Devil. The X Legacy Collection even has a medal for getting through this without the Dark Hold, which only freezes the lasers for so long even if you do use it.
- Blaze Heatnix's stage, the Magma Area. Though the shafts full of highly-damaging lava fountains can be annoying, the real threat is the many separate rooms in which you fight a miniboss known as a Nightmare Snake, a giant Ouroboros (commonly given the Fan Nickname of "Donuts"). They're only vulnerable on the small green orbs on their corners (which constantly shoot at you), and all four of them need to be destroyed in order to kill them as it constantly moves around. Just fighting one of them is annoying, but in order to reach Heatnix himself, you'll need to fight no less than five of them, one after another, with absolutely no health or weapon energy refills in between. Five.note The further you get, the more brutal the battles become, as the orbs continuously become more obnoxious to hit. The second to last one deserves special mention, as it is not only a vertical Autoscrolling Level on small platforms, but the Snake pops up at random for only a few seconds each time, and its bottom two orbs are extremely close to the pink One-Hit Kill magma below. Things quickly go From Bad to Worse when you realize this is a Time-Limit Boss - if you don't kill it in time, you'll reach the top of the shaft and the magma will kill you by flooding the room.
- Rainy Turtloid's stage, the Inami Temple. This stage's signature gimmick is that nearly every room has a weather machine that generates a downpour of acid rain that constantly drains your health, and will kill you if it fully depletes. However, all of the weather machines are protected by a shield, and the only way to progress is to destroy all of the pods scattered around to bring down the shield, return to the machine, and destroy it. This essentially turns the level into one giant Timed Mission, where taking damage only reduces the "timer" further. It starts out rather simple, but quickly gets very malicious, as one very long section requires you to ride on very small moving platforms over a Bottomless Pit while destroying pods in mid-air, dealing with flying enemies, and rushing to collect health laid out afterward. Things go From Bad to Worse in the sections afterward, where you have to rapidly search for the pods in vertically-stacked passageways full of enemiesnote , where even one wrong guess can cost you the attempt. It can become a Vicious Cycle: you rush because you're losing health, but rushing makes you get hit a lot, and getting hit a lot makes you die a lot, and dying a lot makes you impatient, causing you to rush. The frustration is taken Up to Eleven if Infinity Mijinion's Nightmare Phenomenon is active, where the stage becomes shrouded in darkness, except for an oscillating diamond-shaped spotlight in the center. Good luck!
- Metal Shark Player's stage, the Recycle Lab. The entire stage revolves around a giant crushing ceiling that unsurprisingly is a One-Hit Kill if it squishes you. The first section is relatively harmless because the Ride Armor is completely immune to being crushed. This even allows you to ditch the Ride Armor at the beginning of the section and leave it under the crusher so it can't do anything. The same luxury isn't in the second section, where you also start having to deal with Nightmare Viruses heading to infect helpless Reploids that you can't immediately save due to the "stop-and-start" gameplay enforced by the crusher. The third section takes the problems of the first two sections and brings them Up to Eleven, as you have to deal with spikes, a Conveyor Belt of Doom that constantly works against you, and depending on what Nightmare Phenomenon is active, icy ground or nigh-indestructible blocks that restrict your movement even further. Some sections even make it so that your only refuge against death is ducking, but if something damages you, you'll un-duck and fatally smash your head into the ceiling. Even after that Herculean task, you still have to fight the miniboss, Nightmare Pressure (which spends most of its time invulnerable) before confronting the Player himself.
- Gate's Laboratory Stages 1 & 2: One-Hit Kill spikes everywhere, a sequence of rising instant-kill lava and slippery ice slopes, totem pole fights on moving platforms that rise into spikes, and an area for X that is all but impossible to traverse if you entered the stage with the Shadow Armor for it (you can only go back to switch armors once you enter Gate's domain after you either Game Over or defeat the stage's boss, and the Shadow Armor is ironically a surprisingly viable way to beat the previous level's boss, the Nightmare Mother with).note . The second half of Gate's Laboratory 2 varies on the section before the boss fight depending on whether you chose X or Zero. If you go with X, you have to push through acid rain. Gradual damage, but not as bad as Zero's, who has to go through a compressor that will squash you flat if you don't get to a safe zone. And several of those "safe" zones are bottomless pits, so you need to be careful to not to fall into them while you wait for the thing to go up and proceed.
- Flame Hyenard's stage isn't so bad during the 2D section, except for the instant-kill lava that bypasses Mercy Invincibility. But then you get to the 3D section, which has that lava practically everywhere, with many more hazards thrown in. There are invincible sonar towers that can knock you out of midair if you get hit by the soundwaves on the middle of small platforms that make them hard to avoid, as well as gigantic robots with a nearly unavoidable attack which almost always show up two to a platform. There's also a Reploid that disappears if you die before you get to him, regardless of whether he got hit by enemy robots, and a Heart Tank on a really low beam. Then you beat all this and actually get to fighting Hyenard...
- Snipe Anteator's stage is arguably worse than Hyenard's. For one, the entire stage is 3D. The stage is crawling with Demonic Spiders in the form of samurai robots that shoot Sword Beams with a way bigger hitbox than one would expect. You can only hurt them from behind, and you need Axl to take them down if you want to rescue all the Reploids and/or get X's Helmet Armor, as they're able to go through walls you otherwise can't pass! Then there's a dreadful Gravity Screw gimmick, because each time you get flipped, your movement controls do too. The camera being more zoomed in while you're upside-down helps absolutely nothing. And if you'd expect Snipe Anteator to be easy after all this, well... you'd be wrong.
- Burn Rooster's stage starts out going down an auto-scrolling series of platforms. After that, there's a large spike-filled room. Next, another auto-scrolling section, and then the boss. Finally, in the ultimate cheap shot, even after beating the boss, you have to escape in yet ANOTHER auto-scrolling section, this time going up.
- Another example: Gravity Antonion. It's easy until you get to the minigame (@ 1:42 in the video). There are six blocks on the ceiling. Suddenly, they sprout spikes and fall on you. You then hide on the walls, while they sprout spikes from their top and fly up at you. Repeat ad nauseam.
- Dark Mantis's stage, Pitch Black. Not only is it Exactly What It Says on the Tin, the only way to be able to collect anything of any value involves turning on the power, which cannot be done unless you beat Gigavolt first, and also requires you to transform into a Guardroid and salute at a sleeping guard. Meaning if you didn't bring Axl, too bad. If you kill the sleeper, you lose the ability to enter the generator room, even if you die and come back, as he does not respawn. Outside of that, there's also spotlights, which seal off exits if you're caught in them and summon more enemies.
- Avalanche Yeti's stage. It's a driving/shmup stage with constantly-spawning enemies, electric arcs, and the ability to die by being next to a hole. You don't need to fall in, just being by the hole kills you. Not to mention the miniboss with an absurd amount of health that you have to fight twice...
- Gigavolt Man-o-war's stage is much worse than Avalanche Yeti's (may heaven have mercy on your sanity if you try to Perfect Run this thing), as it involves chasing the titular boss through a city in a driving/shmup segment and shooting him down. Sounds simple, right? Not only do you have to deal with him firing back at you (not to mention being ahead of you most of the time), there's also oncoming traffic and signs to deal with, that can slow you down substantially. The cherry on top is that you fail the stage if Gigavolt's not defeated in three laps, which will likely happen quite a few times if the hazards don't take you down first. Mercifully, the boss himself is not so bad compared to his level.
Mega Man Zero series
- Zero 2's Power Room stage, filled to the brim with lava and exploding Telebombs and not much room to maneuver. And to top it off, the boss is an absolute nightmare who can only be hit at certain points even with the right element; if you attack, he'll dodge and counterattack, and his counterattacks are damn hard to avoid. Worse still, one of the Cyber Elves hidden here is pure Guide Dang It! material. You essentially have to play Space Invaders in one section, kill every enemy while being blocked by moving platforms that hurt you if you touch them, and after that have to hit the fast-moving UFO in the three seconds from when it emerges to when it leaves.
- The Bombardment Aircraft. You start off leaping between moving shuttlecraft which shoot at you while you're using them as platforms, on top of Pantheons shooting at you on top of them, requiring perfect timing so as to not to be knocked into the massive Bottomless Pit. Once past that section, you have to fight a miniboss who fires fast-moving, area-damage missiles at you until you hit it. When you hit it, it drops a row of bombs which can only be avoided by standing exactly where it was previously hovering. Then you navigate through a series of timed stage hazards that will eat right through your tiny lifebar and require expert timing to pass unharmed. Then you have to do a Hold the Line section protecting Ciel for 90 seconds, which counts for basically your entire mission score. If she gets hit, goodbye A or S rank. Naturally, this is a Bullet Hell sequence plus the Pantheons who you have to hit while blocking every bullet. Finally, you have to face a boss battle which becomes nigh-impossible on Hard Mode if you have an A or S rank. His A/S rank attack is literally undodgeable. Not hard to dodge, impossible to dodge. He has to be deflected, in-flight, to avoid taking damage, and the series of moves necessary to do this is not something the designers could reasonably expect people to figure out on their own, much less actually accomplish given that it takes precision timing to pull off.
- There's also the Shuttle Factory, which is also long, contains lots of lava and other stage hazards, and a tough boss fight against Fefnir at the end.
- Even the last level goes beyond what you'd expect for a final mission. Not only do you have to revisit the boss from the Power Room (who you can't partially nerf like the first time), they introduce an entirely new boss fight during the boss rush. What's worse, said new boss fight consists of the beetle boss from this game (mentioned above) and the beetle boss from the last game fighting you together in an arena that does not scroll, with attacks that cover nearly the entire screen and take split-second timing to dodge, and a Kaizo Trap ability for added measure.
- Popla Cocapetri's level when faced on Normal Mode upward features moving blocks that can instantly crush Zero to death, no chance of recovery. You have to be extremely good at getting through because the blocks are set up in a way that forces you to keep advancing and coupled with the added threat of spikes as a nasty surprise for the overly hasty player who doesn't look where they leap.
Mega Man ZX series
- Ouroboros from Advent is easier than Gate's laboratory stage in X6, but it's loaded to the rim with spikes, annoying enemies of all kinds, regenerating blocks, regenerating spiked blocks (and did we mention that if you happen to be standing where a block regenerates on the Normal Mode and up, it insta-kills you as though you were squashed by them?!?), the Boss Rush... yeah, all of that in one level. The fact that the whole thing's made from the world's supply of Model Ws turns it from That One Level to the Nightmare Fuel Level.
- The Floating Ruins area (Aeolus's stage) is also obnoxious, albeit easier than Ouroboros. Lots of annoying enemies in an area with bottomless pits everywhere, and even wind later on, both of which make the already annoying enemies even more annoying. (One such enemy can even mess with your jumping temporarily, and it's not only very accurate with its attacks but impossible to kill to boot.)
- Area K from the original ZX could qualify. K-1 with its boiling geysers isn't so bad, but then we go underground to find K-2 and a Goddamned Miniboss* , then back to not-so-bad with K-3, then the horribly annoying lava chase segments in K-4 with really annoying enemies (good luck avoiding damage!) before you finally reach the boss, who is actually somewhat of a breather after the crap his level put you through. (Unless you're going for a Level 4 victory against him, in which case...hope you have some blood pressure medication handy.) And if you decide to take an alternate path to make the lava wall move slower, you must also go through K-5, with its shaft full of rising lava that requires memorization and precise jumping (and probably vertical air-dashes)...and then go through a different area of K-1 and fight the miniboss all over again. And then comes the collection of the Sub-Tank...which makes going through the level normally seem easy in comparison.
- Area L, while its satellite dishes that reverse left and right and disable your dash or prevent you from attacking, plus its constantly falling bombs are annoying, the main problems it presents are its location and being the center of an extremely tedious chain of side-missions. It's slap in the middle of a different area (Area H), one of the only two actual stages in the game to not have its own trans-server that you can warp to by the way, so in order to get there in the first place you'll have to pick the front or back of that area and go through there, possibly having to knock over a mid-boss or the area boss depending on your route and whether or not the latter is currently respawned (the former always will be). As for that chain of side-missions, they revolve around going into the area to recover an item, then bringing the item back to the NPC who asked you to get it. Problem is the first of these is in L-1, so you'll either need to go through half of Area H again or backtrack through nearly the entirety of Area L to get it, and there are five more round trips waiting for you if you want to get the main prize of this back-and-forth, that being a Sub-Tank. The Sub-Tank if you're in Hard Mode since the other three don't exist. How strange that it shares the aspect of having an awkward Sub-Tank with Area K.
Mega Man Legends series
- The Clozer Sub-Gate in 1 becomes this if you don't know the Guide Dang It. At a particular part in the dungeon you find a cracked ceiling that has to be demolished using two specific special weapons. The problem is that 1, you may not have those weapons if you haven't gone exploring the dungeons well; 2, it isn't immediately obvious you can break that ceiling because this is the only time in the game you encounter a destructible ceiling; and 3, there's only a single hint in the game that you have to use a certain special weapon to break the ceiling, given in the description of the Grand Grenade. Players who don't know what they're supposed to do here can get stuck forever pondering how to proceed.
- Glyde's base in 2. Several areas of powerful enemies that unleash Bullet Hell, the walls are lined with regenerating turrets, and running away to Data to recover your energy and save is a bit of a trip.
- The Nino Ruins in 2, which isn't surprising considering it's a Down the Drain area and has all of its trappings: most of it has you moving veeeeery sloooooowly through water (which also messes with your jumping physics, making it harder to dodge enemies), is labyrinthine and very, very long, and it's packed to the brim with some of the more tedious and/or annoying Reaverbots in the game. At least it's got some good music for you to listen to. By extension, the Kimotama Caverns fall into this category as well, just without the cool music (you instead get the Clozer Woods ruin music from the first game, which is more Nightmare Fuel / Hell Is That Noise than anything).
Mega Man Battle Network series
- MMBN1 has all of Internet Area 4, which is full of Goddamned Bats.
- And ElecMan's stage, which has invisible floors, trial-and-error battery puzzles, and infected programs which you can't tell from the regular ones until you talk to them, at which point they attack. However, the real problem in the stage is the timer — once it runs out, Mega Man stops healing after each battle.
Mega Man Battle Network 2
- Speaking of Quick Man, his counterpart in Battle Network 2 ALSO has a horribly annoying stage, because you can't jack out of the detonators once you jack in, meaning you can't restore your health. It is even possible to get into an Unwinnable by Mistake situation because while you can't jack out, there's nothing stopping you from saving...
- Freeze Man's storyline, due to the endless backtracking.
Mega Man Battle Network 3
- Any area that requires compression in 3, due to the pain of needing to reequip and rearrange the NaviCust setup so often. BubbleMan's arc, where the Press program is introduced, combines this with a lot of backtracking, effectively setting the tone for all future compression-related pathways.
- Worse than mandatory compression is mandatory Energy Change. You need to grind up an absurd amount of Fire chips to be able to get through the first dungeon that mandates it, and said dungeon has 5 separate areas! It's slightly less hellish if you get the OilBody program, which is also found in that dungeon. The second part that needs it is even longer, as it takes place across the entire cyberworld, requires you to hunt down and extinguish every obstacle with Aqua chips. To make matters worse, virus encounters don't change during this arc, forcing you to backtrack elsewhere if you need to replenish your Aqua chip supply.
Mega Man Battle Network 4
- MMBN4 has the levels at Castillo and the point collecting, the Demonic Spiders in a lot of areas, especially the Undernet and Black Earth.
- In Red Sun, you have Search Man's scenario, with a sniper taking shots at you periodically. The shots do 100 HP, are hard to dodge, and you've probably got around 400 by the time you've reached this stage. Do the math. In addition, there's Thunder Man's scenario, in which you are cursed; what this translates to is your health dropping at twenty points per second, even during dialogue, and it doesn't stop until you find memory chips and bring them to a specific spot.
- Blue Moon players have Metal Man's scenario, in which you have to play an annoying minigame that requires a lot of precision timing, and Proto Man's scenario, which is a PIXEL HUNT through the Undernet that misinforms you on one of the keys.
- And for the universal stages, there's Video Man and Cold Man. Video has you running through the Internet to pick up tapes with your controls reversed and panels that will send you back to the beginning of an area. Cold has you destroying transmitters as Lan's body temperature drops. If it goes too low, Megaman can't use any chip attacks. To actually destroy the transmitters, you need to go through a string of virus battles, and then sacrifice a specific Chip in a specific code. Oh, and if you leave to go get the chip(s) you need, the virus battles come back.
Mega Man Battle Network 5
- MMBN5 has the Ship Comp, a water dungeon which you have to guide your current Navi through. While they are underwater they are perfectly fine until they run out of "cyber-air" (really!), at which point their HP starts dropping rapidly until you either hit a cyber-air pocket or exit the water. Oh, and there's random encounters the whole way, including while you're attempting to fight the currents that push you back and drain your air, and while you're trying to avoid the whirlpools that drain your air. Oh, and you had to do this several times before fighting the boss. And to top it all off, you had to come back here later in order to get some of the items that you couldn't collect if you wanted a 100% completion.
- The Gargoyle Comp also receives flak due to the large numbers of twists and turns needed to get the correct Progs to progress. And that's assuming you've already figured out where you need to go.
- If you happen to be playing Double Team DS, you'd be delighted to learn that both the above Comps were actually longer in the original Japanese release, and Double Team restores the missing part of the stage.
- In terms of the Internet proper, End Area 1, 3, and 4 are all absolute hell to navigate. They consist mainly of labyrinthine passages that all look the same and have almost no landmarks (save the pagoda in the third area). On top of that, they're all notably larger than any area so far, and the third and fourth throw in one-way conveyors. What's that, looking for Lark Man? Good luck finding the invisible path in the first area!
Mega Man Battle Network 6''
- MMBN6 has the Aquarium Comp where you have to solve fish riddles via escorts. Not only do you have to figure out the correct key NPC for the very vague riddle, you have to escort him as well! And when you pick him up, sharks appear and you had to avoid them via a Pac-Man-ish minigame and some of the sharks more very quickly. If one of them catches your escort, he gets eaten and you'll have to run all the way back to him and start over, all with lovely Random Encounter with some annoying viruses. And to top it all off, you have to repeat this minigame (with a shorter length this time) at the end of the game as part of the Boss Rush!
Mega Man Network Transmission
- Network Transmission has the bank stage and the final area. Incidentally, the Bank stage happens to be, unsurprisingly, Quick Man's level. Right down to the insta-kill lasers.
Mega Man Star Force series
- SF1 has the Scrap Comp which basically requires you to use the Res-Sonar to find this Hertz's coworkers in order to regain control of the bulldozers. Of course, they're buried inside the junk hence why you have the Res-Sonar. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the radar being frustrating to use, being attacked by bulldozers (though you are warned) and random encounters still happening despite the mission being hard enough as it is. Further still, you have to face a Jammer at the end of each section (aside from the last one). Yeah, and don't think Gemini Spark is a walk in the park...
- SF2 has several:
- The Loch Mess has you swimming around, digging for golden Mr. Hertzes. The clues as to where they're buried are painfully cryptic. And if you're even a fraction of an inch off on your digging spot, you're thrown into a virus battle with no reward.
- The Whazzap Ruins are also extremely annoying. You have to direct Flame Hertzes to their pedestals, which is easy enough, but there's a robotic condor that will knock them away, forcing you to go BACK to get them again, unless you can duck into the shelters in time. And in the second area, you have to direct THREE of them at the same time.
- The Bermuda Maze, which can only be properly navigated through with hints given from Hertzes. If you go the wrong way, you'll either end up where you started or you'll enter a virus house (i.e several enemy battles in a row) It's all fun and games until they start outright LYING to you and you have to check the colour of the stars displayed in the sky, making things even more jumbled and confusing. Worse still, you're required to memorize a set of directions from an NPC just to get to Mu. It also doesn't help that you have to find Vega's Lair if you want to start the post-game (itself utterly frustrating)
- Finally, there's Mu. You have to go through the wave road to collect runes that allow entry to the next part. After you get the runes, however, walls come up to keep you from going on, and some Murians are summoned. If you come into contact with one, you have 3 seconds to draw a specific pattern on it that appears for less than half a second. Fail, and you have to fight two at once. Oh, and you need to memorize the patterns on the runes you collected and put them into a specific order, otherwise it's Murians for you again.
- Mega Man Unlimited is already a hard game, but Rainbow Man's level takes the cake. This level gives a new twist to Quick Man lasers, in that they can be reflected by shooting at mirror-like enemies that the lasers pass through; think a Light and Mirrors Puzzle except the light kills you instantly. The miniboss is, of all things, the game's Devil fight (with moving lasers in the room you fight it in!), and after that is more laser puzzles. Additionally, if you want the YOKU letter in this stage a part of the alternate path is underwater, so you have to deal with floatier jumps. Fortunately, the level is relatively short, and the lasers can be temporarily stopped with Glue Shot.
- Occupied Wily Castle 3 has a section full of Yoku Blocks and Yoku Spikes that you have to traverse while upside down!
- Occupied Wily Castle 4 is a brutal Marathon Level. There are some tricky spike drops that require careful use of the Comet Dash, and then you come to the refights. Except they aren't just fights with each boss, you need to go through short sections of level based on each Robot Master's stage. This includes Yoku Man, even if you didn't visit his Brutal Bonus Level (it also excludes Whirlpool Man). Once you've beaten all nine, you'd think the level would be over, but nope, there's more! And at the very end is a three-part Sequential Boss.
- Wily 2 is absolutely brutal, as it basically amounts to a pixel perfect spike drop, a section almost entirely in darkness, and Gravity Screw at the end of the stage just to top it off. The kicker, is, yes, this stage also contains the game's really nasty Devil fight.
- Sondebar Base 2 is even worse. It consists mostly of conveyor belts, very hard jumps, and Demonic Spiders in the form of the Blade Runners, Spyders, and Cactisu. The worst part are those mecha-fists; they're hard to dodge and come at you fast, meaning you'll likely have to Wild Sprint past them. Oh, and you have to deal with Punch Boy after this whole ordeal.
- Reactor Man's stage, full stop. Force beams? Check. Force beams that move? Double-check. Force beams above a pit and below the ceiling? Triple-check. You also have to deal with said force beams hitting disco balls, regular Tellies, spark flames that electrify Tellies to become fast and invincible, and dispensers that spawn electrified Tellies. All this without getting into the battle with Reactor Man himself.
- Tide Man's stage is a stage that takes place entirely underwater, and it doesn't mess around. Filled to the brim with Demonic Spiders in the forms of tiny manta ray robots and jellyfish robots, a miniboss that can screw you over with its enemy spawning capabilities (and contact with it and the enemies it spawns does massive damage), and to top it off, a lights-out section where the only light sources are explosions, the aforementioned jellyfish, and enemies you have to hit to allow a small amount of light.
- Make A Good Mega Man Level Contest 2 has a notorious Wily 4. It's a "weapon trial"note stage that involves getting through segments where the player is locked into one weapon, but some of the segments are very, very difficult. The Sakugarne section in particular requires some very precise jumps to not hit your head or fall to your death. The Super Arrow section is the worst of it, though, as there are parts where you are blind to the upcoming section and need to make a split-second jump off the arrow in order to not slam into spikes. Not to mention there are five Noble Nickels to get, one of which requires you to take on all 3 branches of a path split. The boss you fight at the end, Autobounce, doesn't exactly help matters, either. This level was so difficult, it inspired a famous copypasta within the community, and was promptly toned down in the 1.3 update, replacing most of the spikes with electric fields that still do good damage. Even then, a teleporter added to the start of the level in the 1.4 will still let you play the original level, and one of the many joke Cheat Codes unlocked by 100% Completion turns the level from "very difficult" to "borderline impossible".
- Rockman 8 FC, an 8-bit Fan Remake of Mega Man 8, made changes to some of the levels beyond the graphics. One of these is Sword Man's stage, which has been transformed into a veritable living hell. The real agony comes from one section, which made the sadistic decision of combining a river of insta-kill lava, single-square-wide platforms, a pseudo-Advancing Boss of Doom that erases these already tiny platforms, and Goddamn Bats swooping at you to knock you in. The hammer enemy is also quick, giving you practically zero time to stop and readjust your jump or clear said enemies out of the way. The rest of the level is somewhat difficult, but it becomes a cakewalk compared to the nightmare that is this section.