After five tries, Capcom finally crafts a worthwhile American cover.
The gang’s all here for the final Famicom entry.
RELEASE DATE: Between December 1993 and March 1994
“IN THE YEAR 200X A.D…”
“COME AND FACE MY POWER, MEGAMAN!!”
- There are oil pits in Flame Man’s stage and there are also enemies that spit out little flames from the top of their head. The oil itself won’t hurt you, but should the flames touch the oil, the entire pit will go up in flames. It’s a well-done graphical effect that displays just how well Capcom knew the Nintendo’s architecture.
- There are timed exploding platforms in Blizzard Man’s stage. I’m surprised it took Capcom six tries to mesh both explosions and platforms.
- Mega Man VI loves spikes more than any of the Mega Man games. Said torrid love affair kicks off in Blizzard Man’s stage, where Mega Man is on the constantly moving submarine. Jump too high and spikes. Sink with the ship and spikes. More spike-on-robot action to come.
- Plant Man’s stage is uneventful, until around halfway through. Long-time Mega Fans know what I’m rappin’: a combination of non-stop bouncing coils, floating platforms, robotic fish that try to snap your trousers from below, insectoid flying creatures from above, and an ever-present watery grave. It only gets harder too! As you go along, enemies appear on the coils ahead of you, bouncing with reckless abandon, impeding your progress, and firing projectiles at you. Until I figured out that you hold down ‘A’ to bounce high, this part was torture. Possibly one of the hardest platforming sections of any Mega Man game.
- The dispensers of Metools in Tomahawk Man’s stage are awesome. Look at how they’re piled on top of each other!
- Tomahawk Man’s stage is called “Restricted Area” and, judging by the desert backgrounds and the egregious cowboy robots, is set in the Western United States. As if naming a character Tomahawk Man wasn’t enough to imply that, yes, he’s supposed to be Native American.
- Not only is Yamato Man the “Master of Spear,” his fortress is impregnable. Don’t even try impregnating it because you won’t get anywhere.
- The ancient Japanese figure atop a toad in Yamato Man’s stage definitely goes down as one of the strangest mid-bosses in Mega Man history.
- I like the castle interior theme of Knight Man’s stage, but the two outside backgrounds – silhouetted trees atop a red sky, and a dark, looming storm – are 8-bit graphical wonders – plus, they’re reminiscent of Castlevania, always a good thing.
- More spikes in Knight Man’s stage, this time in the form of a descending ceiling.
- Centaur Man’s stage fulfills the “one water stage per Mega Man game.” As usual, gravity is reduced underwater and spikes are constant.
- Centaur Man has to be one of the biggest – and most undeniably awesome-to-the-max – bosses in the series.
- According to Mega Man Wikia, Knight Man and Wind Man are the only two bosses ever designed by North Americans. Not exactly sure how Wind Man got picked, but Knight Man’s great. Good show, Yanks!
- Wind Man might have the most boring stage of the lot. Fitting as his concept/design is basically Air Man Redux.
MR. X’S CASTLE
- The “Mr. X Fortress Theme” that spans all four stages is incredibly evocative of previous somber stage themes. Yuko Takehara, the composer, did a good job throughout, but this particular piece is as fantastic as any Mega Man theme from II or III.
- The blue city background in Stage 1 connects so well with the music that I wish Mega Man could have stayed outside and not gone into the fortress. Then again, I’ve come to realize over the course of six games that I always appreciate when Mega Man’s outside of an enclosed fortress. Fortresses all begin to look the same, but Capcom’s artists do wonder with natural scenes.
- Stage 2 is incredibly short, but between the abundance of spikes, obnoxious bouncing skulls, and Metools, it will feel a lot longer.
- Stage 3 has the best boss: a tiny Metool in an oversized novelty robot dozer.
- Beat’s obnoxious cousins hang out in Stage 4 and travel through long yellow tubes. They hate Beat, and consequently, they dive bomb Mega Man.
- Mr. X is incredibly easy to beat. He’s inside of a Chain Robot with spikes on the side and he swings back and forth from the ceiling. Just avoid his energy blasts on the ground and pump him full of Flame Blast. He transforms back into Wily after you defeat him, without even acknowledging that he was using a disguise.
“LET THE FINAL BATTLE BEGIN!”DR. WILY’S CASTLEWelcome to fortress #2. It’s a lot like fortress #1, except a lot more pink on the outside. It’s fine to embrace lighter colors as a man, Wily, but combine them in a way that’s pleasing to the eyes. Bubblegum pink has no place underneath a lime green pagoda.
- You’ll be using your Jetpack a lot in Stage 1. One particularly nasty section has you falling quickly amidst lines of spikes. Mega Man’s dealt with similar situations in previous games, but it’s nice to have an extra boost with the pack, if you need it.
- The dinosaur boss in Stage 1 is so Nineties.
- There’s some suggestive-looking snow that dominates all of Stage 2. Also, bubblegum pink returns as a color that no one asked for.
- Stage 3 is predominantly a “fight the boss all over again because we know you love to do that” stage, but there’s one particularly devious section prior to that where you’re stuck between two walls of spikes, and an enemy fan alternates between sucking you towards itself (and spikes) or blowing you away from itself (and spikes).
Wily has three forms in the last stage, all of which are incredibly easy. The first is a Skull Smasher, the second form is the Skull Smasher with a visible Wily, and the third is Wily in his UFO. It’s sad that he tries so hard to conquer the world year after year – investing billions of dollars into robot schematics, dual fortresses, hidden identities – and yet Mega Man continually takes him down without fail.
According to the Capcom Times, Mega Man finally hog-ties Dr. Wily and puts him in jail. At long last – after six years of up-and-down, will Wily conquer the world or not – we can all sleep soundly knowing that Mega Man VII‘s at least a couple years down the road.Mega Man VI does exactly what it needs to do: right the wrongs of Mega Man V and bring closure to the NES saga. Compared to V, the gameplay is more balanced, the bosses and their weapons more unique, if not wholly bizarre, and the music, while not a complete success, captures the Mega Man essence more often than not. It would have been nice to have one more classic Mega Man adventure on the NES, but who can blame Capcom for pouring the majority of their resources onto Mega Man X? Mega Man VI is a solid platforming experience and a worthy addition to the series.BAs always, a million and one thanks go to GameFAQS.com for helping me through the tough times, Megamanwikia.com for an amazing wealth of knowledge about all things Mega, and MegaManNG’s Youtube videos for being so well-organized and accessible.Thanks also to you, the reader, for taking the time to read my ramblings. It means a lot.