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  • Awesome Music: While only one track plays in Wily Castle unlike the other games, it's a track befitting of a final level.
  • Contested Sequel: On the detractor front, it introduces very little changes to the formula from the last game and has some of the worst special weapons of the Classic series. On the supporter front, the tweaks to the Charge Shot make for more strategic gameplay and the level design is creative and fun.
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  • Demonic Spiders: Dachones, the Chicken Walker robots. They fire a wide spread of lasers that deal good damage, and they can only be hit on their eye's tiny hitbox. Worse yet is that they slowly move forward and have a lot of health, so if you're slow on killing one you may scroll their spawn point offscreen and cause another one to appear. The final Wily Castle stage naturally features two of them just to wear you down before the final boss.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Game-Breaker: Beat homes in on any enemy (even bosses) and damages them on contact. He's not limited by range, and when facing Wily Capsule II, he may even locate where it'll appear before Wily even attacks.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • Gravity Man always stands on the opposite surface that Mega Man is on, so you can only hit him with the Mega Buster or Star Crash when he changes the direction of gravity; otherwise, you can only hit him with weapons that can reach him on the bottom/top of the room, and none of those do more than a single point of damage. His attacks aren't that threatening (he mostly relies on collision damage), but it can become a battle of attrition if you can't land a hit on him, especially since his rare potshot bullets can interrupt the Mega Buster's charge time.
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    • Wily Press and Wily Capsule II stick to a single type of attack, but they're only vulnerable for seconds at a time. The Press comes after the Boss Rush and is weak to the Star Crash (which is easy to run out of while fighting Gravity Man), and it's one of the few bosses in the series to have Spikes of Doom as a hazard. The Capsule comes after the game's Wily Machine, which itself is fought after a short level with two Dachones and no extra E-Tanks. The Capsule becomes a lot easier with Beat helping out, but he's inaccessible if you didn't get all the panel collectibles before Proto Man's Castle and only has exactly enough energy to destroy the Capsule without the help of other weapons.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • If you use a cheat device to remove the ceiling in Gyro Man's room, he just flies up and disappears into the sky, killing himself. The only downside is that this traps the player.
    • Pausing the game while a weapon is onscreen will make it disappear. This means that weapons that linger around (thus preventing another shot from firing) like the Power Stone can be cut off early, making them more useable.note 
  • It Was His Sled: Everyone knows who the villain of Mega Man 5 is, and they know it's definitely not Proto Man.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: After successive improvements made across the first three sequels to Mega Man (2 featured eight Robot Masters and added E-Tanks, 3 added sliding, Rush, and mid-game stages, and 4 introduced the Charge Shot), Mega Man 5 has no new major mechanics besides the Beat letter collectibles, M-Tanks, and changes to the Charge Shot and Rush Coil; it plays identically to Mega Man 4 in most aspects and even shares the same structure (eight Robot Masters followed by four Disc-One Final Dungeon stages and a four-part Wily Castle). As a result, this game gets hit the hardest of the NES series for lacking innovation, not helped by the weak boss weapon loadout, even though most think the stages still have good design and fun gimmicks.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • While the Charge Shot is larger, pierces defeated enemies and takes less time to charge than in Mega Man 4, getting hit while charging it will make you lose it. This means that if you're not good at avoiding attacks and don't have/can't use a Robot Master's weakness, the fight just got a lot harder.
    • The majority of weapons have been criticized for being based on the ground, which would make them overshadowed by the Buster and very limited.
    • This game's Rush Coil is completely different from the standard version: instead of popping a spring out of his back for Mega Man to jump on, Rush instead turns his legs into a spring and hops up while Mega Man is standing on him. It's no less effective than the original Rush Coil, but having to manually jump off messes with players used to the long spring jump, and it can sometimes be finicky and hop without giving you the chance to stand on it. This version of Rush Coil has yet to appear in another game.
  • Scrappy Weapon: Unfortunately, most (if not all) of the Special Weapons in this game tend to be underwhelming, middling in power, and situational at best, the one exception being the Gyro Attack. Several, especially the Power Stone and Charge Kick, are so problematic that using them against the bosses tends to actually make them harder than just using charged buster shots (good luck hitting Wave Man with it when he's putting five walls in your way).
    • The Gravity Hold damages all enemies on screen and sends defeated ones flying off at the top of the screen. This sounds cool, except it does pathetic damage for the amount of energy it uses (every minor enemy is dealt one point of damage, and one use costs four bars of energy), and enemies defeated by it don't even drop any power-ups.
    • The Water Wave creates a rush of water spouts that rush forward and down steps like a swifter Bubble Lead, even blocking shots. This sounds good, except that the weapon can't be used if Mega Man is anywhere except on solid ground. It's also surprisingly easy to run out of weapon energy for it.
    • The Power Stone creates three rocks that slowly spiral outward. They are very hard to aim, and it takes a long time before they disappear and you can fire it again (unless you pause and unpause the game). It appears the weapon is intended to take out groups of three enemies arranged on staircases throughout the game, but the damage the rocks deal is meager and just isn't worth it.
    • The Charge Kick seems to be the Top Spin's cousin. Mega Man is mostly invincible while sliding. This game isn't really built for invincible sliding. However, some people know how to use it well.
    • The Crystal Eye fires a large crystal ball that splits into three small rebounding balls when hitting a wall. Like the Gemini Laser from Mega Man 3, hitting anything with those small balls can be a crapshoot, and you can't fire another shot as long as they're still bouncing around.
    • The Star Crash is a slight improvement over the notoriously weak Skull Barrier since it can be thrown forward, but it still breaks after a single hit.
    • The Napalm Bomb is better than most of the weapons, but since it's a Painfully Slow Projectile and only rolls across the ground, the Mega Buster is stronger and faster while the Gyro Attack is better at hitting things on lower elevations.
  • So Okay, It's Average: While Mega Man 5 isn't considered a bad game, it is considered to be the weakest of the Classic games (at least those on the NES), partially due to its lackluster weapon roster and relative lack of innovation compared to the previous four games.
  • That One Boss:
    • Charge Man can be tricky to fight due to his large size, habit of turning invincible, and a tendency to stop walking as soon as you jump over him, earning you collision damage. Doesn't help that his weakness is very hard to hit him with.
    • Dark Man 1 can't jump, but it can move deceptively fast after receiving enough damage. Like Charge Man, it also has a nasty habit of stopping short of what you expect it to as you jump over it, causing you to crash into it or a shot it fires. Its weakness is Water Wave, which has fairly limited ammo.
    • Either Dark Man 3 or 4 will be this depending on which one you save Beat for (you can only use him on one of them since the final Proto Man's Castle stage has no way to grind energy, and they have no other weaknesses). Dark Man 3 is generally the harder of the two since it can freeze Mega Man in place to get off some cheap hits.
  • That One Level:
    • Crystal Man's stage, thanks to segments that involve crystals falling from the ceiling. Having the Star Crash mitigates most of the challenge from the falling crystals, but that's only if you had either the foresight or fortune to have it with you when you arrived. Or you could just time your jumps exceptionally well.
    • Wave Man's stage starts with you having to avoid streams of gas coming out of the ground and moving ball and chains, giving you very little room for error. After that, you have to dodge more streams and indestructible moving spike wheels in cramped areas. The biggest problem is the stage's second half, where it's Mega Man on a jet ski on a long auto scrolling section. You can only fire your buster, you can't shoot to the left, you lose the ability to charge shots, and you can't pause at all, so you can't use your special weapons (making all weapon refill drops useless) or use E Tanks when your health gets low. There is no opportunity to heal before this and the only way to heal during it comes from sparse enemy drops. The sections are filled with enemies, 2 out of 3 require multiple hits to defeat, and the last third, while only having 1 HP, come in fast and move erratically. AND there's a miniboss in the middle. The second section has more enemies and a Beat panel which is easy to miss. If you decide to stay to the far left to better hit the enemies coming in on the right, you'll be hit by the Joes that come behind you and you must jump over to even hit them. After this, it dumps you right in front of the boss door with ONE enemy there to hopefully get a health drop from (and since you can't go back, this enemy won't respawn). This all ends with a robot master whose weakness is the Charge Kick, a weapon that forces you to physically contact the boss and the kick doesn't have complete invulnerability when used. So, a tough section with no reliable way to heal against a boss you have to be extremely close to to hit with his weakness.

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