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Video Game / Mega Man 2

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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.
—The intro to the game, summing up its entire story.

Mega Man 2 (Rockman 2: The Mystery of Dr. Wily in Japanese) is a run and gun Platformer Video Game, released by Capcom for the NES in 1988 in Japan and 1989 internationally.

Although Dr. Wily's ambitions of world conquest were previously thwarted by Mega Man, the mad scientist refuses to give up on them, and one year on he tries again — this time, though, his robot army is led by eight new Robot Masters of his own creation. Unlike Dr. Light's industrial robots, these are designed to withstand and outmatch Mega Man — who, hero that he is, must defeat them and put down Dr. Wily's plans for revenge.

The core gameplay from the previous game remains largely the same. You, as Mega Man, run and gun through stages and defeat their 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 settingsnote , 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 well-designed stages, better sprite and artwork, 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 arcade-style score system from the original, but nobody really missed it.

While the original game was only a modest hit in Japan and an outright flop internationally, this sequel quickly put the series on the map worldwide and 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 games and one of the best games (if not the best game) in the whole 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/Rockman Megaworld cartridge (as well as the Japan-only Rockman 2: Complete Works PS1 port). The game eventually saw a major re-release as part of Anniversary Collection for PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Xbox. The NES version has received a Virtual Console re-release on the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U, with the latter two versions including a save state ability, and is part of Legacy Collection for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, 3DS, and Nintendo Switch. The Wily Wars remake eventually saw an American release, first as part of the old "Sega Channel" service, then as part of a bundle with many other games in the Sega Genesis Mini.

There was even a literary adaptation via the Worlds of Power series, which can be heard read by James Rolfe over here.

The game's roster of Robot Masters includes:

  • 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 Crash Bomber/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 Shooternote , gives the Leaf Shield.

Don't confuse this game with Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters 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).
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer:
    • Heat Man's stage looks like one, albeit one filled with magma. With the industrial look, it's commonly interpreted as being part of either a steel foundry or a geothermal power plant.
    • Wily Stage 3 takes place inside the Wily Castle's plumbing system.
  • 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 will kill the player in one hit.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The North American boxart features adult-sized musclemen dressed up as Mega Man, Quick Man, and Crash Man in an airbrushed futuristic setting, compared to the more stylized cartoon artwork used by the Japanese cover and the in-game graphics.
  • Animal Mecha: Several enemies are robots modeled on animals, such as frogs, fish, bats, and more. Every enemy in Wood Man's stage (a large forest) is one of these, with the largest being the massive Hot Dog minibosses, which are giant fire-breathing robot dogs.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Three giant robotic dogs called Hot Dogs are fought in succession in Wood Man's stage, and they block progression due to their size (and you can't pass through them thanks to an invisible wall that disappears when they're beaten).
  • Art Evolution:
    • The game's art started to become more anime-influenced than the previous game, and the spritework is more refined, although Mega Man's sprite remains unchanged.
    • While the first game only used background graphics for the Wily bosses, they're used more frequently here to create larger and more detailed enemies, such as the mini-bosses in Wood Man and Bubble Man's stages, and the Mecha Dragon and Guts Tank, which dwarf even the previous game's Yellow Devil in size. Such graphics would become a staple of the series for the rest of its time on the NES.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The final part of Wily Castle 1 becomes an Advancing Boss of Doom when the Mecha Dragon shows up. Mega Man must perform a series of precise jumps, but the screen scrolls by itself to prevent the player from getting too far ahead.
  • 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 its normal shot is so pathetically slow and weak that it's all but useless otherwise.
    • The Time Stopper is only really useful to avoid the lasers in Quick Man's stage, as it consumes ammo quickly and Mega Man can't attack or change weapons while using it.
  • Battle Boomerang: The Quick Boomerang can be shot continuously like a pseudo-chainsaw.
  • Beneath the Earth: The true final stage happens in an underground tunnel deep below the Wily Castle.
  • Beware the Skull Base: Starting a trend that would continue across the series, Dr. Wily's fortress features a giant skull.
  • 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...
  • Blackout Basement: Part of Quick Man's stage becomes this, as the lights go off and are lit up by Changkey Makers (destroying them turns the area black again).
  • Bleak Level: The final stage where Mega Man pursues Wily underneath his fortress has no music and no enemies, is rendered in drab browns and greens, and aside from some acid dripping from the ceiling is simply a straight shot to the Final Boss.
  • Blow You Away: The main attack of Air Man, as well as the Matasaburo mooks throughout his stage, involves producing strong winds with their fans to blow Mega Man away from them.
  • Book Ends: The game starts with Mega Man putting on his helmet and ends with a shot of it abandoned.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: The famous title screen music and the Wily Stage 1 song are generally regarded as Mega Man's main theme songs. Super Smash Bros. eventually merged both of them.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Mega Buster, due in part to its quick firing, infinite ammo and being able to kill enemies that are immune to the Robot Master weapons.
    • The Bubble Lead isn't the best weapon in the game, but it can be used to detect fake floors and do damage to ground-hugging enemies (providing they don't deflect it).
    • The three Items aren't very fancy — a floating platform, a jet platform, and a wall-climbing platform — but all of them are very useful and are essential for traversing through the final stages and beating the game.
  • Boss Corridor: Every Robot Master stage ends with a short hallway before Mega Man reaches the Robot Master, and unlike the first game, they are all a single screen long and devoid of enemies. This style of boss corridor would go on to be used in every Mega Man game afterwards.
  • Boss Rush: Wily Castle 5 is a single-room level that makes the player fight all eight Robot Masters again before they can fight Dr. Wily. This also marks the series' first use of a one-room Teleport System to access the bosses, as opposed to each one being fought in a fixed order.
  • Bubble Gun: The Bubble Lead shoots large bubbles that fall to the ground and crawl along the ground and down walls.
  • Bullfight Boss:
    • Heat Man charges towards you after being hit.
    • Quick Man mostly hurts you via Collision Damage as he charges towards you.
  • Call-Back: The boss of Wily 3 is the Guts Tank, a giant robot built to resemble Guts Man from the previous game.
  • Carrying the Weakness: Metal Man is weak to his own weapon, the Metal Blade.
  • Charged Attack: The Atomic Fire weapon obtained from Heat Man can be charged for a more powerful shot by holding the fire button before releasing, two games before this became a standard feature with the Mega Buster in Mega Man 4. There are three levels of charge, with the more powerful levels doing more damage and requiring more weapon ammo.
  • Chicken Walker: The Sniper Armor enemy is a giant mecha with a pair of reverse-jointed legs. However, it never actually walks in-game, preferring to jump instead.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: None of the Wily stages have Boss Corridors like the Robot Master stages, meaning that if the player dies to a boss, they'll respawn at the stage's halfway point, rather than just before the boss. Worse, weapon usage is often required to get back to the boss, which can eat away at the player's reserves if they happen to die a lot to them.
  • Clockworks Area: Metal Man's stage has numerous gears turning in the background, and Pierobots even try to ride large gears into you.
  • Collision Damage: Colliding with enemies is generally more painful than getting struck by their projectiles, especially the Mecha Dragon, which is an outright One-Hit Kill.
  • Continuing is Painful: The game zig-zags this trope — continuing after a Game Over will refill all of your weapon energy, but cost you all your E-Tanks, and return you to the beginning of the current stage, regardless of any checkpoints.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Heat Man's level is covered in lava that instantly kills Mega Man upon contact, but can simply be harmlessly jumped over.
  • Cores-and-Turrets Boss: The boss of Wily Castle 4, the Boobeam Trap, is a set of wall-mounted turrets dotted around a single room. Defeating it requires destroying every last turret (without prematurely running out of Crash Bombs).
  • Darker and Edgier: Though not by much. The more upbeat melodies of the previous game are largely replaced by more serious and intense ones. Plotwise, Dr. Wily is now actively carrying out war against Mega Man in particular, and the ending is noticeably more somber than the first game's upbeat one.
  • Deadly Disc: Metal Man's weapon of choice are a series of flying buzzsaws.
  • Deadly Droplets: The final stage in the game leading up to a boss consists no other hazards than red liquid dropping down from the ceiling. The said liquid deals heavy damage upon contact.
  • Difficulty by Region: The English release includes a "Normal" mode where Mega Man takes less damage and deals more damage to bosses. Selecting "Difficult" on the English release simply sets everything back to the Japanese version (it should be noted that the Wily Wars version did not include the "Normal" mode).
  • 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 — which surprised some folks, since they thought that the QBs being so good was a reward for getting through the brutally difficult Quick Man stage.)
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Air Man's weapon is a Spread Shot of mini-tornadoes. While they deal damage on contact, being within their vicinity deals no damage at all.
  • Down the Drain: Bubble Man's stage and Wily Stage 3 both have you going down into underwater areas. The latter is even more fitting, as it looks more like the castle's waterworks and has a long spike-filled drop in it.
  • Dramatic Wind: On the title screen, Mega Man's hair is seen blowing in the wind as he stands atop a tall building.
  • 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:
    • Item-2 creates a platform that flies forward at high speed, which can be used to bypass several tricky obstacles.
    • The Time Stopper can (among other things) be used to freeze the lasers in Quick Man's stage and skip some of the Hot Dogs in Wood Man's stage.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The Metal Blade creates an awkward sense of balancing, being the effective weakness of no less than four Robot Masters, including Metal Man, the original wielder, himself. Later games makes the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors more strict, with a special weapon typically only being effective on one Robot Master and never the one you get it from.
    • The utility items in this game are generic, nondescript-looking devices simply called Item-1, Item-2, and Item-3. Mega Man's robot dog Rush would take their place from Mega Man 3 onwards, although a few other non-anthropomorphic items would make occasional appearances.
    • Item drops from defeating enemies in this particular game are exceedingly generous, often giving the player more big health/weapon energy pickups than most of the other games would give out small pickups, even on Difficult mode. Subsequent games made item drops much more conservative to keep the difficulty high but balanced, as well as to make Energy Tanks more valuable.
    • During the Boss Rush, every Robot Master's arena is identical (save for Bubble Man's having water), which results in quirks such as Quick Man and Flash Man being fought on flat ground, Metal Man lacking a conveyor, and Bubble Man not having Spikes of Doom on his ceiling. Later games' refights would preserve the layouts of each boss's original arena, though usually retextured to match the refight stage's aesthetic.
    • Every Special Weapon has unique behavior when being reflected by an enemy, while later games would often have them bounce off at a 45° angle just like the Mega Buster.
    • A few bosses will receive health refills when certain weapons are used on them, typically their own. In later games, the worst a weapon will often do to a boss is no damage at all, with Freeze Man from Mega Man 7 being the only boss since to outright heal from a weapon.
  • Easter Egg: Holding A when you select a boss will cause the stars on the bosses intro screen to turn into Copipis.
  • Easy Level Trick: On the very last stage, hold right while falling and keep going. You will be ahead of all the lava/acid drips that you don't need to time your movements.
  • 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 this. 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.
  • Energy Weapon: 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.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: The Wily Castle bosses in particular; 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.
  • Eternal Engine: Metal Man and Quick Man's stages look the most mechanical out of the main eight, and the Wily Stages past the first look like they're made of metal bulkheads.
  • Excuse Plot:
    • Dr. Wily is back for revenge with a batch of his own robots to counter Mega Man. Go at it!
    • The Wily Wars remake plot is centered on Dr. Wily creating a time-travelling Wily Machine and trying to take down Mega Man in the past, prompting Dr. Light to send Mega Man back in time to fight him while reliving his second adventure. Of course, that plot point is exclusive to the manual — the in-game plot is as bare bones as ever.
  • 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.
  • Flash of Pain:
    • The minor enemies briefly flash white when hit.
    • The Robot Masters and Mega Man himself blink in and out during Mercy Invincibility.
  • 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. This is meant to make him look more menacing, as he was deliberately programmed to be one of the hardest Robot Masters in the game.
  • Fragile Speedster: Quick Man moves really fast, but takes double damage from the Mega Buster.
  • Frictionless Ice: Although it's not really ice (in fact, the Wily Wars version makes it out to be crystals), Flash Man's stage is made up of surfaces that carry Mega Man forward even after he stops/tries to change direction.
  • 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 are robotic rabbits that attack by shooting carrots at you.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Metal Man is killed in one hit by his own weapon (two on Difficult).
  • Hopping Machine: The Sniper Armor and Robbit enemies move by hopping.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Mecha Dragon in Wily Castle 1 and the Guts Tank in Wily Castle 3 are the two largest bosses in the game, with both of them taking up almost the entire screen. In the latter's case, its fist is as big as Mega Man is.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Wood Man uses leaf-shaped energy pieces, Bubble Man shoots dangerous bubbles, Mega Man can use both after beating the two of them, and the Robbits from Wood Man's stage fire carrots.
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: The second form of Wily Machine 2 can only be damaged by hitting the glass cockpit where Wily himself is.
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: The main obstacle in Metal Man's stage are conveyor belts that are designed to send Mega Man into a bottomless pit or towards enemies. They also show up in his boss room, but only during the first battle against him.
  • Invincible Minor Minion:
    • Springers act as successors to Mega Man's Gabyoalls by being small enemies that patrol floors and can't be killed without certain weapons. Unlike the Gabyoalls, though, Mega Man can't even stun them by shooting them as they reflect the Mega Buster.
    • The Big Fish enemy in Wily 3 is seemingly supposed to be this, as nothing can damage it except the Quick Boomerang (which damages everything), and Mega Man: The Wily Wars removes even that weakness.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: Crash Man and Wily Stage 1 both have you climbing up to a high point. Crash Man's stage goes from having a blue sky to a starry black one as you progress, and it's unclear whether it's a day-to-night transition or if the tower's so high you're actually heading up into space.
  • Joke Weapon: The Bubble Lead, which besides a limited pool of enemies 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.
  • 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 the NES version's Normal difficulty.
  • Kill It with Water: Bubble Lead is Heat Man's weakness, as well as the weakness of the actual final boss.
  • Laser Hallway: Exaggerated 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 subtle way of conveying the difficulty of his stage.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Wood Man, in universe. What seems like a hilariously awful idea on paper turns out to be surprisingly formidable foe, so much so that Dr. Wily considers him one of his favorites.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Heat Man's stage is filled with instant death lava.
  • Level in the Clouds: Air Man's stage takes place on a series of platforms high in the clouds.
  • Logical Weakness: Wood Man, despite being a robot, is made of wood and 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. This even extents to the enemies — the fiery Changkey Makers are destroyed in one shot by the Bubble Lead and Air Shooter. Also applies to the final boss- It's really a hologram, so Bubble Lead causes it to short circuit.
  • The Lost Woods: Wood Man's stage is set in a forest, with matching Animal Mecha enemies patrolling it.
  • 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: Mets, which are present as Neo Metalls and can now walk around.
  • 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, although making that happen is easier said than done.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Sniper Armor enemies are mecha piloted by Sniper Joes.
  • 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.
  • Mood Whiplash: Present in the ending; after defeating Dr. Wily with a triumphant fanfare, a scene (set to oddly somber music) of Mega Man walking through the seasons before leaving his helmet on a hillside plays. And before you can wrap your head around what that all means, the credits play with a reprise of the upbeat, energetic title theme.
  • Mook Maker:
    • The Changkey Makers in Quick Man's stage throw Changkeys from the first game.
    • Goblins release Petit Goblins from their sides so long as Mega Man stands on them.
    • Ankos release Shrinks from their mouths until they're destroyed.
    • The Guts Tank launches Mets from its chest if Mega Man stays off its base.
  • Musical Nod: The opening strains of the title theme is a rearrangement of the opening strains of the original Mega Man's ending theme.
  • Nintendo Hard: While the game's difficulty is much more forgiving than the original game, some parts are still very challenging, especially if you try to proceed 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. The Wily Wars remake ramps things up. Although it allows you to keep your E-Tanks after a Game Over, this is counter-balanced by the removal of the normal difficulty setting and several robot masters taking even less damage from your attacks then they did in Difficult mode from the NES version. Wood Man is also a significantly more difficult fight due to his leaf shield projectile having a larger hitbox that is much more difficult to jump over.
  • No-Sell: Quick Man will stop to block quite a few weapons fired at him without them harming him, including the Metal Blade. He does stop moving briefly when he does so, though, allowing you to quickly switch weapons and hit him. The Wily Wars version omits this entirely though.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Air Man, Wood Man, Heat Man and Bubble Man's stages lack any real diversions of interest like other stages do, and are straight paths towards the boss.
  • No Waterproofing in the Future: Mega Man is able to defeat the Alien (which is really just a hologram projector) by short-circuiting it with his bubble gun.
  • Not Completely Useless: The Bubble Lead is generally not a very good choice for a weapon, but is the only one that can reveal fake floors in Wily Castle 4 before you fall through them (and one of them has instant death spikes under it!), and is the only thing that works on the Final Boss.
  • Not Even Human: Subverted. Before the final battle, Wily transforms into an alien. However, defeating him reveals that the creature was just a hologram being controlled by the real Wily.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The very final level has no music, and the only sounds prior to the final boss are the echoing drips of acid from the ceiling, itself the only other threat to be found.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Spikes and the lasers from Quick Man's stage kill Mega Man regardless of how much life points he has left.
    • Mega Man can do this himself to several bosses on Normal difficulty, a rarity for this series. Wood Man can be downed by a fully charged Atomic Fire. Crash Man can be done in with a properly placed Air Shooter. Quick Man can be destroyed by running into the same properly placed Crash Bomb over and over. And the second time you run into Metal Man, he can be downed by a single Metal Blade. (Bear in mind that, on Difficult, most of these one-hit kills require at least two hits)
    • A fully charged Atomic Fire, as well as the Leaf Shield will beat the Hot Dog mini-boss in Wood Man's stage in a single hit on either difficulty.
    • Directly touching the Mecha Dragon will blow you up no matter how much health you have.
  • One-Winged Angel: Wily pulls this by turning into an alien in the final boss battle. Of course, it's just a hologram.
  • Oni: Air Man's stage has oni as a recurring motif; it features several giant floating oni heads as platforms, smaller oni heads appear in the ground as part of the stage's tileset, and the Kaminari Goro enemies are stylised oni robots that throw lightning.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The boss of the first Wily Stage is the Mecha Dragon, a robot with a blimp built into its body which has no impact on the story, but looks more imposing and is far more dangerous than every previous enemy.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic:
    • Returning Sniper Joes in Sniper Armors are very vulnerable to the Air Shooter and Leaf Shield, and several Humongous Mecha are vulnerable to the Quick Boomerang.
    • While neither are true weaknesses, the Crash Bomber and Air Shooter are able to damage Wood Man through his Leaf Shield; the former by exploding against the shield, and the latter by firing it while standing right next to Wood Man himself.
    • 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.
    • When using the Crash Bomber against Flash Man (who is ostensibly weak to the weapon), ideally the shots should be pinned to walls and timed so they go off when Flash Man uses the Time Stopper and stands still in the bomb's explosion. Said tactic also works well against Quick Man.
    • Destroying all the walls in the Boobeam Trap room, dying, refilling the Crash Bomber, and returning will result in the walls not returning (so long as the player didn't get a game over), making it significantly easier. The designers were even kind enough to start you back just before an excellent spot for farming weapon capsules after your death.
  • Pause Scumming: If you pause while falling, Mega Man's falling speed will reset. Repeatedly pausing will allow you to slowly float to the ground and make much longer jumps than normal. This can be used to bypass some hard jumps and also makes certain sections, such as the spike shaft in Wily Stage 3, much easier.
  • Platform Battle: The fight against the Mecha Dragon gives the player only three very small platforms to stand on, while a Bottomless Pit lies below. If you take damage, falling off can be surprisingly easy.
  • Playing with Fire: Heat Man fights by shooting fire pellets that ignite the ground, and can also surround himself in flames for a charging tackle. Upon obtaining his weapon, Mega Man gains the ability to charge his shot to unleash a highly damaging fireball forward.
  • 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.
  • Puzzle Boss: The Boobeam Trap requires strategy to defeat, given how the one weapon that can harm it is limited in quantity and has only just enough ammo to defeat it. Adding to this, it's possible to defeat it and keep one more shot in reserve, but this requires very careful placement of one particular shot. If you're willing to sacrifice a life, you can blow up all the walls, die, refill your Crash Bombs and when you come back the walls will not have reappeared, allowing you to make it out of the fight with two shots remaining.
  • 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.
  • Rule of Three: Wood Man's stage has three Frienders as mini-bosses, all of which are fought one after the other.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: Certain stages are either brutally difficult or utterly trivial depending on whether you have the right weapon or item on hand (i.e. Time Stopper for Quick Man's stage, Leaf Shield for Crash Man's stage, and Item-2 for Heat Man's stage.) Though in Quick Man's case, having Time Stopper on hand gives you a choice whether you want to have a hard time with the stage or a hard time with the boss.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The true final boss is thought to be an extraterrestrial lifeform, but turns out (upon defeat) to not only be a hologram-emitting drone, but said drone also was being controlled by Dr. Wily.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
  • Sequel Escalation: Quite — more weapons, more Robot Masters, more stages, more bosses (some of which are even larger)...
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Heat Man looks like a human-sized Zippo lighter.
    • In Wood Man's stage, you fight a giant blue robot wolf / dog that breathes fire. Its Japanese name is Friender, much like Neo Human Casshern 's sidekick, who is visually identical and possesses the same ability.
  • Sigil Spam: Dr. Wily's "Dr. W" logo makes its debut in this game, and it appears over every Robot Master's door, on Wily Castle's skull, the barricades in Wily Stage 1, and even Wily Machine 2.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Presses, found in Metal Man's stage and Wily Castle 2. Somewhat surprisingly, they're *not* instant death if they hit you, though they do deal quite a bit of damage, and attempting to jump over them without waiting for them to come back up first will result in Mega Man getting hurt by their chains. Two of them in the Wily Castle have barely enough space between them for Mega Man to fit— if you don't place yourself just right, you'll take damage (unless you used the Time Stopper to freeze them).
  • 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 note ).
  • Spread Shot:
    • Air Man's weapon, the Air Shooter, fires three cyclones that spread out as they fly upwards.
    • Flash Man fires out a spray of energy pellets after using the Time Stopper.
  • Stealth Pun: The Air Shooter blows up. Which is likely why Crash Man, the explosives Robot Master, is weak to it.
  • Supervillain Lair: Wily Castle makes its debut here (Wily's base in the first game was a factory with no skull motif anywhere).
  • Temporary Platform: Both malevolent and benevolent, both of the "timed" variety; while Heat Man's stage (and only his stage) brings back the infamous Appearing Blocks, the three Items you get in the game serve as helpful platforms.
  • This Is a Drill:
    • The Mole enemies that pop up in Metal Man's stage and later Wily Castle 2 are living drills that emerge from the floor and ceiling to attack Mega Man.
    • Crash Man has drills on the end of his Crash Bombs (absent on Mega Man's version).
    • The Goblin enemies in Air Man's stage have drill horns that slowly emerge from the top corners of their head before sliding back down.
  • Throwing Your Shield Always Works: Wood Man's weapon of choice is a leaf shield that he hurls forward to damage Mega Man with. Once obtained, it works the same way (but in four possible directions), and is more effective as a projectile than an actual defensive shield, doing significant damage to a number of enemies such as Moles and Sniper Armors.
  • Time Bomb: The Crash Bomber pins to walls and explodes after a short delay, but when fired at some enemies it'll explode immediately.
  • Time Stands Still: The Time Stopper, as you could no doubt tell, freezes all enemies and projectiles in the area for the duration of its effect (though curiously, the Boobeam Trap isn't affected despite its graphics freezing like other enemies).
  • Tornado Move: Air Man fires swarms of miniature tornadoes at the player, pushing them backwards against the wall in the process.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay:
    • Quick Man's stage, as without the Time Stopper, knowing the room layout and positions of each laser before entering is key to getting out of the latter's way in time. Encouraging this, the level contains three 1-Ups out in the open, more than any other level in the game (though getting them isn't always easy).
    • Wily Castle 4, by virtue of its invisible pits (though they're mainly an inconvenience, can be revealed in advance with the Bubble Lead, and are confined to the first half of the stage). More prominently, a first-timer likely won't know that they're supposed to conserve most (if not all) of the Crash Bomber's energy before facing the Boobeam Trap at the end.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: The music for the third, fourth and fifth Wily Castle stages consists of a 4-bar phrase that shifts up a semitone every cycle, and drops back down after going up a full octave.
  • Underground Level: Flash Man's stage seems to be set within an underground crystal mine, and the very last part of the game is underneath Wily Castle.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: Bubble Man is fought underwater both times you face him.
  • Unwinnable by Design:
    • The Boobeam Trap can't be damaged by anything other than the limited-use Crash Bomber. There's no way to restore ammo during the fight, so if you waste even one shot (or come in with less than a full stack), you've already doomed yourself. Fortunately, you aren't truly stuck, but you will need to sacrifice a life and fight enemies in the hopes of squeezing ammo from them. Thankfully, your respawn point is right before a prime ammo-farming spot.
    • The final boss is impossible to defeat if you don't have enough Bubble Lead ammo. As you're unable to farm for weapon energy in the final level, your only course of action in this scenario is getting a Game Over and continuing from the beginning of the level, which will refill all of your weapons.
  • 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).
  • Utility Weapon:
    • Crash Bombs are the only thing that can destroy certain walls.
    • The Time Stopper can be used creatively in certain areas to trivialize certain parts of stages, such as freezing the lasers in Quick Man's stage, freezing the Goblins in Air Man's stage and move across them much more quickly, freezing time to skip the Hot Dogs in Wood Man's stage, and more.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The climax of the game takes place at Wily Castle, which Mega Man journeys to after defeating all eight Robot Masters.
  • Walk, Don't Swim: Mega Man can't swim, so he just sinks in Bubble Man's stage. Unlike the first game, he can jump very high, which became the standard for all subsequent water stages in the series.
  • Weaponized Offspring: Pipis drop eggs containing tiny Copipis that will Zerg Rush you in large clusters upon release (though destroying the egg before it hits the ground stops this from happening).
  • Wham Shot: The moment before the final boss fight where Wiley turns into an alien without warning, revealing he wasn't human! Subverted, because after you beat the alien it turns out it was just a trick on his part using a hologram projector.
  • When Trees Attack: Wood Man resembles a humanoid tree stump.
  • Zerg Rush: If a Pipi's egg lands on the ground, it releases several tiny Copipis that gun straight for Mega Man in a large flock.


Video Example(s):


Metal Man

Metal Man is one of the eight robot masters in the second Mega Man game. His special weapon is metal blade, circular razor sharp blades that are made of titanium metal which he produces. Defeating him grants Mega Man his weapon. (Gameplay done by NafrielX) (

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