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Video Game / Mega Man & Bass

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"I am Mega Man. And this is Bass."
Mega Man & Bass was released on the Super Famicom in 1998 as a Gaiden Game to Mega Man 8. It was only released in Japan under its Japanese title, Rockman & Forte, since the SNES was dead everywhere else in the world by that time. It was eventually ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2003 where it saw an international release.

The robot leader King is leading a war against humanity. He plans to capture data from all the fighting robots he can find. He already ransacked Dr. Wily's lab and recruited two of his Mega Man 8 Robot Masters. With the other six Robot Masters under his command, King leads a vicious assault against the Robot Museum, hoping to find more data and troops for his army.

Naturally, Mega Man is dispatched to fight King and halt the rampage. Dr. Wily doesn't like the new guy one bit, and dispatches his Dragon Bass to crush King's army. Mega Man and Bass form an uneasy alliance to handle the new guy, unaware that there is a reason for King’s Robot War and why Bass is helping Mega Man….

You can choose to play the game as either character. Mega Man has the Charge Shot and slide. He is not very nimble but takes less damage from attacks. Bass has a Double Jump and a High Jump, as well as a dash function. He can also rapid-fire his Bass Buster in seven directions. However, he takes extra damage and his Bass Buster is relatively weak. Effectively, you choose tough stages or tough bosses based on your character. Also, the stages are tiered — you must fight Cold Man, Astro Man, or Ground Man first before more stages open up.

In addition, there are 100 data CDs to be found. Each one provides a picture and some information on a Robot Master or character in the Mega Man (Classic) universe (up to Mega Man 8).

The game also received a Japan-only follow-up for the WonderSwan called Mega Man & Bass: Challenger from the Future.

This game contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The data CDs serve as this, giving a picture and a quick bio of various characters found throughout the game.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Magic Man's stage, an Expy of Clown Man's stage from Mega Man 8, which has trains traveling across huge bottomless gaps, the Sisi Roll smashing the ground under you, and bell-ringers that turn spiked blocks around in various directions, not to mention Monopellerns placed in the worst possible spots.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Keep losing to King Jet? Its stage conveniently has an infinitely respawning 1-up.
  • Attack Drone: Copy Vision creates a duplicate that fires shots in straight line. It is also a decoy, as enemies will aim at the copy instead of you. Doubles as Doppelgänger Attack.
  • Bag of Spilling: Mega Man lost the ability to swim from Mega Man 8. A few items from the eighth game, too, have been removed in this journey that were there.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: King Stage 1's boss, Atetemino Proto, a bagworm robot. At first, there is an annoying, trolling chimp named Monking A that deceptively looks like the boss, but shooting it only causes a new Monking A to respawn. Standing on a platform attached to a pulley system weights it down and dredges up Atetemino Proto from under the lava so you can open fire on the enemy's head.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: Burner Man has spikes on either side of his battlefield. If you hit his body with the Ice Wall, Burner Man will fall in. Pain-Powered Leap ensues, draining even more of his stamina.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • Many of the data CDs have rather nonsensical translations. For example, Pharaoh Man's Bad Point is translated as "Too nice to women" when it was originally "Weak to Beautiful Women", while Dr. Light's Bad Point is (rather infamously) a simple, contextless "Douchie" (which was supposed to be "naive").
    • Also from the same port is the instruction manual. Auto, Treble, and Proto Man are referred to by their Japanese names (Lightot, Gospel, and Blues), and "Wily" is misspelled "Wiley" as in the third game.
  • Call-Back:
    • The intro stage, which may or may not be the same Robot Museum Wily raided back in Mega Man 7, is one big Continuity Cavalcade of previous games in the series. There's a fire portion reminiscent of Fire Man's stage from Mega Man, hallways filled with drilling Moles like in Metal Man's stage from Mega Man 2, a rainy segment similar to Toad Man's in Mega Man 4, a ship with rising and falling water from Blizzard Man's stage in Mega Man 6, and finally at the end you fight a toned-down version of the Green Devil from 8.
    • The last level has a Boss Rush as usual, but the bosses are fought sequentially with platforming sections in-between — just like the first game.
  • Chest Monster: There are chests throughout the game that contain power-ups or CDs, but some will come to life as Kamikamins when shot and are very aggressive.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: On Bass' side of the story, he'll lash out at his creator Dr. Wily for why he started this wild goose chase in the first place.
  • Combining Mecha: The three mini-bosses of King Castle 2, Ground Tank, Air Tank, and King, combine to form the boss of the level.
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • Astro Man and Tengu Man are bosses from Mega Man 8, although their attacks and patterns (and weapons) have changed.
    • King uses the Gemini Laser from Mega Man 3 during the fight with him. Luckily, it doesn't hit as hard.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Mega Man 9 implies that the canon path was Mega Man's. Bass's ending seems to have happened, though.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Just like in Mega Man X, Bass can dash by pressing the dedicated dash button, or by double tapping forward. The Game Boy Advance port doesn't have such a button, so you must double tap. That split second will result in countless mistakes and deaths. Thankfully, Capcom would later remap the dash to Down + Jump in Mega Man 10, the same command for Mega Man and Proto Man's sliding.
  • Death Dealer: Magic Man's weapon, the Magic Card. His cards have Life Drain. Your Magic Card can grab power-ups and shoot through walls. The Magic Card is also Dr. Wily's weakness in the final battle.
  • Demoted to Extra: So where was Proto Man in all of this? He was fighting King at the Robot Museum where he got chopped in half. He got repaired just in time to exhaust himself by destroying King's shield and then snuck into Dr. Wily's lab to destroy all the data he had on King II. But he's not playable. This did end up resulting in at least a couple of rumors that made the rounds claiming that Proto Man could be unlocked as a playable character.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Mega Man still has this problem. Bass doesn't. The Magic Card can be fired upward and the Ice Wall slides along the ground, though. The Wave Burner covers the floor and can destroy some otherwise invincible ground enemies.
  • Dig Attack: Ground Man can sometimes go into the ceiling of the cave he's in and attack you with large drills from above.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: King.
  • Disney Death: King seemingly dies after his giant combiner body explodes, but in Mega Man's ending, Roll gives Mega Man a letter proving that King survived, and plans to make amends.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In Bass's previous appearances (as well as his playable stint in The Power Battle and The Power Fighters), the Bass Buster functioned identically to the Mega Buster. To differentiate Bass from Mega Man (and make things fair considering his vastly superior mobility), his Buster was drastically altered, which stuck for Rockman & Forte: Challenger from the Future and Mega Man 10.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Bass has to brace himself when firing his Bass Buster, so he cannot run and fire at the same time. Mega Man doesn't have this limitation.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Copy Vision creates a holographic duplicate of the user that fires shots in straight line.
  • Double Unlock: After beating the eight bosses, there is one other obstacle to open the final levels: a puzzle room requiring the use of each Robot Master's respective weapon.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Bass finds stages to be very easy because he can Double Jump over almost everything and he can shoot at the rest from angles Mega Man can't even dream of. Bosses are a pain because his rapid-fire Bass Buster deals one damage, then triggers the Boss's Mercy Invincibility. Although Dynamo Man proves a much easier target for Bass than Mega Man when he restores his stamina with a dynamo; Bass can just aim his Bass Buster towards him while Mega Man has to destroy the dynamo's cage from below to make Dynamo Man vulnerable to his Mega Buster.
  • Enemy Scan: Available in the shop for 50 screws.
  • Enemy Mine: Normally Bass would be trying to kill Mega Man, not help him out.
  • Fake Difficulty: This is already the hardest game in the series that prefers to teach by borderline (and sometimes explicit) Trial-and-Error Gameplay rather than play fair, but two things exacerbate this even further: playing as Mega Man, who the game and especially the King fights were not balanced in mind for as certain portions of the game become near-impossible, and playing the Game Boy Advance version of the game where the screen crunch turns already difficult sections into blind leaps of faith, and little to no time to react most moving obstacles and enemies before they're smacking you in the face.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Burner Man, Cold Man, and Dynamo Man respectively attack using a stream of fire, sliding ice blocks, and electric sparks. Just like the first game, Lightning beats Ice and Ice beats Fire.
  • Foreshadowing: Wily vowing to put in a control chip in Bass to stop him from trying to fight his own creator and be more willing to follow orders and fulfill victory against Dr. Light and his ideals, sounds like something he should’ve done to his last and greatest creation before that programming flaw got in the way…
  • Fragile Speedster: Bass has this handicap in contrast to Mega Man. Bass has the advantage of a double jump, a dash move, and the ability to shoot diagonally out of the starting gate. But as a trade-off, he can't shoot while running (although he can while jumping), he takes twice as much damage, and his rapid-fire Bass Buster can't shoot through walls and is very weak against bosses.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Tengu Man will get stuck if he was hit with the Spread Drill while he's close to the walls. If that happens, you have to restart the level, or die and return to the last checkpoint.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There are 100 data CDs that can be collected throughout the Robot Master stages, holding information about many characters and Robot Masters.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be:
    • Proto Man suffers a hemicorporectomy during his first encounter with King, but manages to make it out okay and heals thanks to Dr. Light tending to him.
    • Magic Man splits in half if you hit his body with the Tengu Blade, but recovers quickly.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Mega Man finds stages to be very difficult note  due to his reduced mobility and trouble hitting annoying enemies. His enhanced defense and powerful Charge Shots gives him an advantage against bosses. Somewhat zig-zagged, though, as certain bosses can also give Bass a much easier time than Mega Man (for instance, Dynamo Man is much easier to handle, because Bass can shoot him while he heals while on the ground).
  • Hartman Hips: Magic Man.
  • Healing Boss: Dynamo Man's boss room has a pod in the ceiling, which he will sometimes jump into to regain health after being damaged. Breaking him out of the pod requires shooting the left and right panels.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: King eventually realizes his master and creator, Dr. Wily, lied to him about the nature of humanity. At this point, the good doctor shows up, ups King's brainwashing levels, and retreats to his fortress.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: King's Tower Shield is indestructible. The first phase of the fight involves waiting him out and dodging his attacks. Finally, Proto Man shows up and destroys the shield with his strongest attack to give you a fighting chance.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: For Bass, the S. Buster part. Available after beating six bosses, it is effectively a souped up version of the C. Attack part (which increases your attack power when your health is low) that doubles the Bass Buster's attack power across the board as long as it's equipped. This even counts for bosses, letting you do two points of damage instead of one and outright obsoleting a couple of weaknesses (Astro Man and Dynamo Man's in particular). The closest thing that Mega Man has to an I+1 is the classic High Speed Charge, which, on top of what it says it does (reduce the amount of time needed for a Charge Shot), doesn't take up your equipped part slot, so you can use it with an equipped part like the S. Armor to bulk up on defense.
  • Interquel:
  • Invulnerable Attack: Equip the Tengu Blade and you can slide or dash through everything, including Magic Man. Lightning Bolt is also this.
  • I Need You Stronger: In Bass’s story, Wily reveals that he was just testing his note  strength against King, before revealing his plans for a King II, which is more powerful and more loyal than the first, even offering Bass the chance to work alongside the future Wily creation, though Proto Man destroys them before King II could become a reality, not wanting a repeat of him getting chopped in half, much to the mad doctor’s chagrin.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • The boss of the first fortress stage. You must balance yourself on a pulley with the boss above an acid pit. Once your side is low enough, the boss will emerge and you can attack it. When you kill the boss, the platform you are on will sink instantly, and if you don't jump to safety, then you will burn in the pit as the boss dies. Strange, because during the fight itself, you will take damage instead.
    • Inverted with King Jet. Once it starts smoking, feel free to leap into the bottomless pit to skip its defeat animation and respawn in the next part. Assuming you actually have any lives left.
  • Life Drain: If Magic Man hits you with the Magic Card, his lifebar gains 2 ticks.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • Cold Man is weak to Lightning Bolt because cold temperatures can increase conductivity.
    • Ground Man is weak to the Remote Mine. Bombs can cause cave-ins. Or it can be a reference to landmines, which are used against tanks.
    • Pirate Man is weak to the Wave Burner since bombs become unstable at high temperatures.
    • Burner Man will take additional damage from Ice Walls since the cold can snuff out flames. Plus, it exploits Boss-Arena Idiocy.
    • Tengu Man is weak to the Spread Drill to reference anti-air missiles. Plus, it references how rock beats scissors in real Rock-Paper-Scissors.
    • Magic Man is weak to the Tengu Blade, especially the melee component, because he is themed after a deck of cards and one of the things you do to a deck of cards before dealing is "cut" it.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Proto Man's response to getting chopped in half is "It's Ok, I'm fine." Justified due to the fact that he's a robot.
  • Marathon Boss: King. The guy fights with his shield during his first phase. Once it's destroyed, he pulls out an axe and uses the Gemini Laser. Once you beat him, he retreats and combines with his Tank and Jet to form Perfect King. Defeating him there is what does King in, though it doesn't kill him, at least if Mega Man's your character.
  • Marathon Level: The second Fortress level is divided into three segments that all have to be completed in one run, and each of the three segments ends with a lengthy boss battle.
  • Mighty Glacier: Mega Man is this to Bass. He moves slow as molasses compared to the double jump and dash-equipped Bass, and can only shoot left or right. But his chargeable Mega Buster packs more of a wallop than the Bass Buster and can shoot through walls, and he's more resilient to damage.
  • More Dakka: Bass fires a rapid-fire stream of bullets when holding the fire button.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Pirate Man is a robot pirate.
  • Nintendo Hard: Probably the hardest game in the series.
    • Most of the boss fights outside of Green Devil and Cold Man are grueling to fight, especially if you fight them without their weakness. Dynamo Man is just a sample of how cruel the game can get — besides his annoying attack pattern, he can heal himself on a whim, and attack you while he's still healing. And if you do get his health low enough, he'll pull a Desperation Attack on you that is very hard to dodge. Unless you have super reflexes and a lot of patience with how often he regenerates, the battle will really feel like a Luck-Based Mission.
    • The second Wily level really takes the cake; you have to fight three bosses in a row, and the third one has a whopping three forms.
    • The Game Boy Advance port unwittingly makes playing as Bass, who already suffers from taking more damage than Mega Man and a weaker arm cannon, even harder due to his dash move not having a button mapped to it—that slight split second difference between the SNES dash button and the GBA "Tap left/right twice" will give you a lot of grief.
  • Obligatory Swearing: The SNES Fan Translation is rife with this.
    Bass: So, you intended to use King to take care of me, did you? You dirty son of a bitch!
  • Pain-Powered Leap: Burner Man when he falls into the spikes surrounding his arena. Naturally, though, he wouldn't jump on them himself, so what do you do? Shove an ice wall in his direction and he'll get pushed into them by the block's momentum.
  • Personal Space Invader: The Rompers make their return, now able to shake Screws off either Mega Man or Bass should they make contact with them. In addition, a stronger green variant, Rompers G, makes its debut as well.
  • Platform Battle:
    • Both Burner Man and Tengu Man have One-Hit Kill hazards on either side of their respective arenas: spiked floors and Bottomless Pits, respectively.
    • The King Jet boss is fought over a large void.
  • Pyromaniac: Burner Man, if his concept art is any indication. You also fight him in a forest. Apparently, King tricked him into believing that he must burn a forest daily or a bomb inside him will explode and kill him.
  • Ramming Always Works: For one of his attacks, Pirate Man can create a bubble shield that surrounds his body and tries to ram Mega Man. Mega Man can use Wave Burner to pop the bubble and make Pirate Man stop, dealing extra damage to him. Mega Man can also just use his Mega Buster to destroy the bubble, but that is harder to do given that Pirate Man becomes harder to hit during his bubble attack.
  • Redemption Equals Death: King, although it turns out to be a Disney Death according to Mega Man's ending.
  • Right Makes Might: Proto Man gives Bass a lecture during his ending that is pretty much this. He says that Mega Man will always be the better fighter because he fights for a just cause, while Bass only fights to satisfy his ego. This echoes a similar statement Proto Man makes in their shared ending from Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters.
  • Robot War: One instigated by King in a possible Call-Forward to the Maverick Wars. That is, until the plot gets Hijacked by Ganon as per usual.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: In the original Japanese version (which did contain Gratuitous English), the Lightning Bolt is misspelled "Lightnig Bolt."
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: No matter which character you play as, you must defeat all the Robot Masters and raid King's Castle. The other one never shows up.
  • Screen Crunch: The GBA port did nothing to account for the lower resolution, making an already Nintendo Hard game even harder now that you could barely see what was ahead. Or above. Or below. In particular, Tengu Man's stage (already That One Level in the original) became absurdly cheap in the port.
  • Shout-Out: After being sliced in half by King, Proto Man insists his injury is "just a scratch".
  • Shows Damage: A couple of the bosses react to their weaknesses when they are in certain states of attack. Usually with a goofy look on their faces.
    • Your reward for pushing Burner Man into the spikes is that the guy screams and grabs his butt and leaps back onto the arena.
    • Slide through Magic Man with the Tengu Blade. His eyes bug out and some of his playing cards drop.
    • If Pirate Man enters a bubble to Be the Ball, you can stop his rolling attack with Wave Burner. At this point, the bubble bursts and he flops to the floor, shocked.
    • Stick a Remote Mine on Ground Man and watch him pop out of the floor or ceiling every time he tries to dig.
    • Cold Man is a Warmup Boss because by the time he finishes bugging out from getting struck by a Lightning Bolt, you can fire another one.
    • Tengu Man flops to the ground briefly when hit by the Spread Drill.
  • Simon Says Mini-Boss: "Passworder", the sub-boss of Astro Man's level.
  • Smart Bomb: Lightning Bolt turns you invincible and hits everything on screen for massive damage.
  • Spikes of Doom: Already plentiful throughout the game, but Burner Man has two pits that have these on the sides of his arena. Just like the Bottomless Pits in Tengu Man's stage, the left pit opens up at the start of Burner Man's fight, and the right closes up after Burner Man kisses his butt goodbye during the Boss Rush so Mega Man can escape the arena.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In the intro stage, Mega Man will fall to his death if he falls in the water. This is turned into Super Not-Drowning Skills for the remainder of the game.
  • Temporary Platform: The Ice Wall is this. You can push it, jump on it, and slide away.
  • This Is a Drill: Ground Man uses the Spread Drill, which can bisect twice to cover a lot of room. He will also drill into the ceiling, dig above you, and then drop a MASSIVE drill from above on you. He can even transform into a Drill Tank.
  • Underground Monkey: Infamously, the Wily Machine and Capsule here are basically the same ones from 8, with a few aesthetic changes and new attacks.
  • Utility Weapon: The Ice Wall summons a block of ice that Mega Man or Bass can stand on top of, allowing them to access higher places. They can also push it to get it sliding before they jump on top, allowing them to slide over spike pits or simply increase their speed.
  • Warmup Boss:
    • And it's the Green Devil, of all things. Thankfully, he doesn't split up this time around, and just stands there during the whole battle.
    • Cold Man, one of the first Robot Masters you fight (both normally and during the Boss Rush), is also the easiest of them in the game. The game only gets harder from then on out.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
    • Dynamo Man's resentment of humanity and primary motive for aiding King's army is that his unstable electromagnetic force field (courtesy of King tampering with him) makes it lethal for anyone to get close to him. As a result, the robot whose former job was giving tours of a power plant to schoolchildren is forced to live in solitude.
    • Burner Man isn't much better. He was tricked into thinking he had to burn down a forest each day or else he'd explode. Sadly, this ended up enjoying the destruction he caused turning him into one of the bad guys.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Dr. Wily had his bases covered; either Mega Man would perish or King would destroy Bass and grow stronger, or Bass would destroy King and grow stronger. Or Wily would collect all of the robot data King collected and start working on a King Mk II. Bass's ending shows Proto Man ruined the last outcome.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Played Straight and/or subverted, depending on who you play as. In Mega Man’s story, Dr. Wily thanks him for getting rid of King and attempts to do the same to the Blue Bomber so he can begin his usual Take Over the World shtick which was “interrupted” by King, while in Bass’s story, he vows to put in a control chip so his rebellious tendencies could be put down in favor of a more obedient follower.