Mega Man IV, Game Boy

The fourth Game Boy Mega Man game – Mega Man IV – was published by Capcom in 1993 and continues the tradition of this tough, but highly playable, run and gun series.

Mega Man IV on the Game Boy game is a cut-down version of Mega Man 4 on the Famicom, with Toad Man, Ring Man, Pharaoh Man, and Bright Man being the main protagonists.

Each protagonist has his own themed level with its own characteristics. Pharaoh Man’s levels, for example, have floors made of sand which you constantly sink into. If your head sinks below the sand you die, so you have to keep jumping to stay afloat. Toad Man’s levels are always raining and have waterfalls that can push you off a platform if you don’t counter the flow with your run. Ring Man’s levels have wall-mounted cannons that follow you with their aim. Bright Man’s levels mess around with light and dark.

Mega Man IV is an excellent continuation of the series and a superb game in its own right.

One more Mega Man game was to come for the Game Boy; Mega Man V in 1994.

More: Mega Man IV on Wikipedia

Mega Man III, Game Boy

Both Mega Man II and Mega Man III were published in 1992. Capcom was really knocking them out for the Game Boy in the early 1990s.

Again: what you get is a cut-down version of an existing Famicom game (Mega Man 3 specifically). No bad thing when the games are as good as the ones in the Mega Man series. And the gameplay translates perfectly well to the Game Boy, even if you discount the loss in screen size due to the lower resolution.

In this game the themed boss baddies are: Spark Man, Gemini Man, Snake Man, and Shadow Man. All these characters feature in Mega Man 3.

Graphically, I think this third Game Boy Mega Man game is more intricate and darker than the previous two games, which gives it an edge. Gameplay-wise: it’s just as challenging and frustrating as all the others.

More: Mega Man III on Wikipedia

Mega Man 5, NES

1992‘s Mega Man 5 on the Famicom/NES starts with a jaunty tune and a comic book style intro, and then after that it’s back to more of the same platform shooting…

This time Mega Man is up against Stone Man, Gravity Man, Crystal Man, Charge Man, Napalm Man, Wave Man, Star Man, and Gyro Man. Make that Gyro & Eggs Man…

Mega Man 5 took some criticism at the time for “not having any kind of innovative gameplay or storytelling”, which is not a fair criticism because Mega Man 5 does contain some radical new ideas in places. Take – for example – Gravity Man’s levels. In which you can reverse gravity and switch between walking on the ceiling and walking on the floor. Nothing like that had been seen in the Mega Man games before. And the new mechanic works really well, although it does make for an extremely tough challenge. There are other surprises and enhancements too. Mega Man‘s gun charges up over more degrees of power this time, with a wider-ranging blast at full power. This ‘full power’ blast is required to get through some sections of the game (when you’re running against the boring machines in the Napalm Man tunnels, for example). There are gas jets; pipes you can travel inside; water flow that pushes you off platforms; there’s even an outer space level with low gravity… All those who said that Mega Man 5 didn’t innovate are just plain wrong.

Mega Man 5 is still an excellent game. It’s challenging, and the graphics and sound are top notch for a Famicom game. The parallax scrolling (different layers moving at different speeds to give the illusion of depth) is particularly good. As are the crystal levels. The only down side is the sprite tearing, but that’s a limitation of the machine not the game. Mega Man 5 has the best presentation out of all the Famicom Mega Man games, in my humble opinion.

Note: this wasn’t the last Mega Man game on the Famicom/NES. That was Mega Man 6.

More: Mega Man 5 on Wikipedia

Mega Man II, Game Boy

A 1992 Game Boy conversion of a 1988 Nintendo Famicom game, Mega Man II is a cut-down version of the original.

Instead of six different bosses (as seen in the Famicom game) there are now four in the Game Boy game. These being: Clash Man, Metal Man, Wood Man, and Air Man.

Each boss character has his own different area, which must be traversed and beaten, before taking on the boss at the end. The name of the boss usually indicates the visual theme of the world, and the characteristics of the enemies.

Mega Man II on the Game Boy is playable and challenging, although – given the choice – I would probably play the original because the scale of this Game Boy remake doesn’t leave a great deal of playing area to actually play in.

More: Mega Man II on Wikipedia

Mega Man 4, NES

Mega Man 4 was published by Capcom for the Nintendo Famicom in 1991.

Other than a new intro sequence (still not making much sense having been badly translated into English), a new set of bad guys, and some newly-designed levels, there’s not a great deal different in this game to what has preceded it. Actually; I lied. That’s not entirely true – there are mid-level boss fights in this game – which I think were new to the series in 1991. I could be wrong. Anyway… What have the Romans ever given us?!

Mega Man 4 does feel more difficult than the previous games, and the levels also feel shorter… so I’m not quite sure what to make of it. All the mechanics and jump timings are the same as before, which I guess is most important.

In this fourth game the protagonists are: Ring Man, Dive Man, Skull Man, Pharaoh Man, Bright Man, Toad Man, Drill Man, and Dust Man. And – of course – you fight Dr. Wily at the end of the game – as usual – because he’s the main troublemaker.

Mega Man‘s dog, Rush, also makes another appearance in this, having debuted in Mega Man 3.

More: Mega Man 4 on Wikipedia

Mega Man 4 NES Baddies Wide

Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge, Game Boy

In essence: a cut-down version of the first Mega Man game, but with graphics made to fit the monochromatic Game Boy. First published in 1991 by Capcom.

Mega Man actually fits the diminutive Game Boy rather well and the highly challenging (not to mention highly frustrating) gameplay of the Famicom original translates perfectly to Nintendo‘s early handheld.

In this version Mega Man goes up against Cut Man, Ice Man, Elec Man, and Fire Man – all of whom appeared in the original NES game.

Not quite as much fun as the original, or its subsequent sequels, but a decent enough game nonetheless.

More: Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge on Wikipedia

Mega Man 3, NES

There are over 130 Mega Man titles, and many are essentially the same formula. That is: choose a level based on one of a number of boss enemies (usually themed, with a unique name); run and jump your way through a tortuous series of platforms and ladders to reach said boss; then whup its ass in a boss fight.

Mega Man 3 first came out on the Famicom in Japan in September 1990. Of the first three Mega Man games it is arguably the most polished. It is a tough game though. Like all Mega Man games.

In this one you’re up against Magnet Man, Hard Man, Top Man, Shadow Man, Spark Man, Snake Man, Gemini Man, Needle Man. You can guess what Spark Man does, but what does Needle Man do?! You’ll have to play the game to find out… 🙂

A playable dog character, called Rush, made his debut in this game. As did Mega Man‘s ‘slide’ move, which allows him to slide under low barriers and enemy attacks.

More: Mega Man 3 on Wikipedia