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Video Game / Mega Man: The Wily Wars

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Mega Man: The Wily Wars (Rockman Mega World in Japanese) is a Sega Mega Drive exclusive title released in Japan in late 1994 and Europe in 1995.

Basically serving as the Mega Man equivalent of Super Mario All-Stars, The Wily Wars contains 16-bit upgrades of Mega Man, Mega Man 2, and Mega Man 3. These remakes feature almost completely overhauled sprite work, remixed music, and a new save feature while staying as faithful to the design of the originals as possible. In addition, beating all three games unlocks a brand new game mode called Wily Tower. The Wily Tower has Mega Man fighting the Genesis Unit, consisting of three new Robot Masters built by Wily to defeat him, all while allowing the player to choose up to 8 weapons from all three of the original games to help him along the way.

As a Compilation Re-release, there's no in-game story, though the manual provides a small framing device: After building himself a time machine, Dr. Wily travels back in time to Make Wrong What Once Went Right, with Mega Man himself being sent back by Dr. Light to relive his first three battles with Wily and stop his efforts to rewrite history.

While The Wily Wars was also available for the Sega Genesis in the U.S. and Canada, it only appeared as a brief Sega Channelnote  exclusive with no physical version for the region. Capcom would also fail to include it in any of the various Mega Man compilations or re-release it directly via something like the Virtual Console. The temporary availability window combined with the lack of re-releases made The Wily Wars somewhat notoriously obscure to the North American audience, who had no good way to play it legally for over two decades. The game did eventually get re-released in 2012 via its inclusion in the Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Player, and a couple more releases would follow; one in 2019 with the Sega Genesis Mini console and another in 2022 with a reprint of a physical Genesis cartridge. However, these were all still limited to some degree to due lack of stock. The Wily Wars would finally become widely accessible in June 2022 when it was added to Nintendo Switch Online's library of Sega Genesis games, marking the first time it has seen a digital re-release.

In 2023, Mega Man: The Sequel Wars, an ambitious Fan Sequel programmed from scratch to the Sega Genesis, had its remake of Mega Man 4 released as Episode Red.

Tropes exclusive to The Wily Wars remakes of the games:

  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game comes with a save feature instead of a password system. Since unlocking Wily Tower requires beating all three included games, this is quite convenient.
    • When standing still and trying to move slowly to the edge of a platform, there's a larger window than normal before Mega Man breaks into a run, making it slightly easier to line up tricky jumps (though this can lead to its own set of problems).
    • Some of the more lackluster weapons were made slightly more usable; notably, the Top Spin's bugged ammo usage is fixed, and the Hyper Bomb detonates much more quickly.
  • Art Evolution: The spritework for all three games is overhauled from the ground up for much more detail and richer color than what was possible on the NES.
  • Compilation Re-release: The cartridge contains remakes of the first three Mega Man games, with an unlockable new Wily Tower game mode added in as a bonus.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • For those used to the NES versions of the games, there are a few minor differences in the controls that can be hard to adjust to (on top of a bit more input delay). For instance, when Mega Man is at a standstill and the player starts pressing left or right, Mega Man will scoot forward for a frame or two before breaking into a run (in an effort to make it easier to "shimmy" to the edge of platforms), effectively adding extra delay to your movement.
    • Specific to the remake of Mega Man 3, when coming out of a slide while holding left or right, Mega Man will stand still for a brief moment before continuing to move.
  • Difficulty by Region: The remakes significantly bump up the already high difficulty of the games, and 2 no longer has its lower difficulty option. On top of that, the famous Pause Trick in the original game has been patched, meaning there's no shortcuts to beating Yellow Devil now.
  • Excuse Plot: The manual does have a bit of extra backstory (Wily has used a time machine to go back and try to rewrite the events of the original games, and Mega Man has to stop him), but it's never brought up in-game. The backstory is otherwise a thinly-veiled excuse to kick Wily's butt three times over again while doubling as a cute reference to the games being remakes.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The game has an opening cutscene whose track stops when the lights go out. The sound test has the full version.
    • The new weapon theme from Mega Man 3 gets cut off by the save menu music, unlike the NES version where it kept going on the password screen.
  • Nerf: Magnet Missile is more difficult to use in this game than it is in the original version of Mega Man 3, as it not only locks on to enemy projectiles, but briefly stops while changing direction, making it more likely to miss its target if it's too far away.
  • Shot-for-Shot Remake: The games are practically identical to the NES originals outside of the improved audio and visuals allowed by the stronger 16-bit hardware of the Mega Drive. The only other notable differences are a couple slight physics tweaks and the removal of some glitches.
  • Translation Nod: The "Mega" in the Japanese title may be a nod to the protagonist's localised name, as well as being a Super Title 64 Advance (it's on the Mega Drive, AKA the Sega Genesis).
  • Updated Re-release: The collection serves as one to the first three NES Mega Man games.

Tropes pertaining to Wily Tower:

  • Anti-Frustration Features: As Wily Tower lets the player mix and match weapons from Mega Man 1-3, none of the Wily stages force the player to use specific weapons or utilities to progress (though some sidepaths can be accessed with the right weapons). Additionally, every boss has multiple weaknesses rather than being weak to only one weapon.
  • Call-Back: The Wily stages are exclusively populated with enemies and gimmicks from their respective game; Wily 1 only has enemies from Mega Man 1, Wily 2 only has enemies from Mega Man 2, and Wily 3 only has enemies from Mega Man 3.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Unlike any Robot Master before or since, Hyper Storm H has two health bars instead of one, and mostly relies on using his Vacuum Mouth to push or pull Mega Man around, or summoning Mets.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: The player can equip a stack of weapons and utilities from all three of the original Mega Man games to use against Wily's Genesis Unit, mixing and matching as they see fit.
  • Excuse Plot: The game's "plot" is little more than an excuse to fight three brand new Robot Masters while using all your favourite weapons from the first three games.
  • Fiery Salamander: The boss of the first Wily Tower stage is Fire Snakey, a fire-themed variant of the Snakeys seen in Snake Man's stage.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Wily Machine is so tall, the head is initially offscreen, and the first phase is merely against its legs.
  • Meaningful Name: The Genesis Unit is a reference to the Sega Genesis, the console the game was made for. In Japanese, they're known as the Mega World Corps, after the Genesis's original Japanese name, the Mega Drive, and the Japanese name of The Wily Wars itself.
  • Recurring Boss: Buster Rod G flees the battle against him in his stage, only to reappear as the boss of the third Wily stage (where he'll be defeated for good).
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Genesis Unit is clearly inspired by the characters from Journey to the West; Buster Rod G is based on Sun Wukong, Mega Water S is based on Sha Wujing, and Hyper Storm H is based on Zhu Bajie.
    • The way the Wily Machine is constructed sprite-wise and how it moves is clearly inspired by the Death Egg Robot from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which makes sense considering the console the game was released on.
  • Title 1: Weapons from the original Mega Man are listed as coming from "Mega Man 1" on the weapon selection screen.
  • Useless Useful Spell: An unfortunate side effect of allowing the player to bring any of the three games' weapons is that a handful of them become worthless/obsolete compared to others. The Items aren't worth bringing when the Rush Jet can fill all of their roles at once, the Spark Shock fills the exact same role as the Ice Slasher, but worse since you can't pause while enemies are shocked, and the Super Arm is uniquely useless because there's only one Guts Block in any of the stages, not placed near any troublesome enemies, and only hiding a single 1Up behind it.
  • A Winner Is You: After beating the game, the ending merely consists of Mega Man chasing Wily beneath a roll call of the game's 25 Robot Masters, before he escapes and Mega Man jumps in the air.