Mega Man boss battles are terrible

Redcrayon

Zoinks!
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
7,097
MM2, outside of the turret boss, is the perfect entry in the series to me personally and I feel like a lot of people cheat themselves out of a great experience for the exact reasons you provide. The fact that there's pretty much a defined boss order for these games and deviating from that order is seen as a joke is really an utter betrayal of this games design especially in regards to what you said about most people just beating Metalman first for 8-way attack easy mode. MM2 is such a short game as well that to deny it even the smallest courtesy in learning it's systems and mechanics outside of an "optimal" playthrough is pretty sad. In regards to the OP, I know that Heat Man's stage with no powerups is probably the most difficult section for new players, but it's also the most god-like area to blitz through without stopping once you get it down and it's super easy to manipulate heat man for a no-damage boss fight if you learn his patterns. Give yourself time to get good at the game, it's designed to be played over and over again.
I remember when MM2 came out in the UK, and most magazines seemed to advise taking on Airman first! I generally divide the stages (rather than bosses) up into three groups, with Bubble, Wood, Air and Metal being the easier ones, Crash being easier with some power ups due to the nature of the vertical stage, and Flash, Heat and Quick being the ones I take on last. Mainly down to liking to use the air cannon to take down the walkers in Flashman's stage, and to have the option to skip Heatman's disappearing block section if I'm low on lives. The arm cannon is so effective on it's easy standard difficulty in the western release that it's the one MM game I rarely give much thought to when planning a route.
 
Dec 4, 2017
2,190
Too bad plenty of runs exist where the runner can make most boss battles no damage.

I mean, some bosses can indeed be attrition battles, specially the nimblest of them. But most of them have clear patterns and can be defeated taking very little damage, if at all. When I was 10 years old I learned to do a lot of MM2 bosses buster-only, no damage.

Now the very first MM game, that’s very hard to do without brute forcing bosses. Fireman and Elecman in particular are a pain. But from 2 on, it’s mostly a game of skills.
 

Mr_Blue_Sky

Member
Oct 25, 2017
547
I remember when MM2 came out in the UK, and most magazines seemed to advise taking on Airman first! I generally divide the stages (rather than bosses) up into three groups, with Bubble, Wood, Air and Metal being the easier ones, Crash being easier with some power ups due to the nature of the vertical stage, and Flash, Heat and Quick being the ones I take on last. Mainly down to liking to use the air cannon to take down the walkers in Flashman's stage, and to have the option to skip Heatman's disappearing block section if I'm low on lives. The arm cannon is so effective on it's easy standard difficulty in the western release that it's the one MM game I rarely give much thought to when planning a route.
Airman's stage giving you the item 2 jet to skip Heatman's disappearing blocks makes probably the easiest boss/stage in the game even more free lol, that's usually what I do as well when I don't feel like starting on heatman first. I'd definitely place Heatman's stage as easiest in the game overall with Metal being a close second.
 

Amaterasu

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
3,310
Growing up I never used their weaknesses. Now that I think about it, I almost never used anything but the Buster throughout the entire games.
 

EarthPainting

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Oct 26, 2017
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Town adjacent to Silent Hill
I'm not the best at games that require skill and dexterity, so Mega Man's weakness system is the very thing that make these bosses fun for me. The only gripe I have is that these weaknesses aren't always as intuitive as they could be.
 

The Woods

Old, old mystery
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Oct 25, 2017
4,701
Taking into account the era in which these games came out, there were few games, if any really, that had better boss battles. Like what was its major competition, Castlevania? Then we only had 1 and 3 with strong boss battles, and even then it was really hit and miss. When we first played these games we didn't know the boss weakness order, and a majority of our time was spent figuring it out and using the buster. It wasn't how people may approach it now.
 

Virtua King

Member
Dec 29, 2017
2,273
Yeah... no.

Mega Man boss battle are awesome, especially when you learn their patterns and are capable of defeating them with only the buster.
 

Redcrayon

Zoinks!
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Oct 27, 2017
7,097
I'm not the best at games that require skill and dexterity, so Mega Man's weakness system is the very thing that make these bosses fun for me. The only gripe I have is that these weaknesses aren't always as intuitive as they could be.
I don’t know, the only thing you need to remember with MM2 is ‘whats better at killing robots, diamond-hard buzz-saw blades, leaves, bubbles or a gust of wind :D
 

EarthPainting

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Oct 26, 2017
3,015
Town adjacent to Silent Hill
I don’t know, the only thing you need to remember with MM2 is ‘whats better at killing robots, diamond-hard buzz-saw blades, leaves, bubbles or a gust of wind :D
Mega Man 2 is the most straight-forward and intuitive game of the bunch, which is why it's my favourite of the original series. It's harder to deduce that waves are strong against stars, or that rings are good against dust though.
 

GusZamboni

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,469
Well, i don't agree at all with you opnion here, Megaman never was a DPS race, it's about learning patterns and figuring out the "rock, paper, scissor" in the boss system.

Any boss can be defeated with pattern of moviment and attacks learned, but if you can figure out the "weakness" of the boss, it should be something for you to feel clever over the enemy, not just be the ONLY way to defeat the boss.
 

shadowman16

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,216
No way. I love the boss battles on the MM series. I've been doing no damage buster only runs on the series recently and loving it. The only ones I have issues with in MM2 are Air Man (fair play, he's busted design wise, he is legit impossible to no hit kill at times) and sometimes Quick Man IF you get him in a certain pattern. Otherwise I find them incredibly fun to fight. There's an incredible sense of satisfaction at perfecting Wood Man, who can be a real pig to dodge all his attack on a buster only run.
 

Gentlemen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,722
EDIT: Let me clarify a bit more. Even when you aren't using the boss' weakness, it still feels like all your doing is taking advantage of your invincibility frames after getting hit, and doing more damage than you are taking.
Or you can master the controls of the game and avoid the 2-3 attack patterns each robot does. It's challenging but this take is akin to saying Mario Kart has terrible track design because you can just grind against the rail and still finish in 3rd place.
 

Hero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,527
I can't agree with a single point you made in the OP. What exactly are you expecting out of NES hardware?

I wish in threads like these people had to post their age.
 

Nocturnowl

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,343
The interesting thing about Mega Man bosses for me personally is that rarely do I find them just right, the porridge is either too hot or too cold more often than not, is what I'd say if Porridge man was a thing...wait, I'm losing my point here.

Damage output wise most seem to be far more deadly bumping into you, I imagine that was so you didn't just stand next to them firing rapidly and abusing I frames, as a result it's kinda odd that some of them aren't much of a threat weapon wise but god help you if they're erratic springy bastards.
Mega Man can barely jump over Robot masters without perfect timing to my knowledge if they're not moving towards you which can lead to some cornered situations where you eat a lot of damage.
Yet you also get some RM who go down with ease before their weakness is even factored in, obviously the non linear nature of selecting stages factors in here as well.

MM2 in particular is an odd one, putting aside out easy "normal" mode for a second, when on hard you still get that odd mix of breezy and blitzed. Metal Man is simple but interesting in how he's reactionary, his attacks are based off of your own if I recall, his weapon carves through many other bosses (among half the enemies to boot). Flash Man is another easy one but he's a big ol' gimmick based around trying to speed blitz him.
Meanwhile there's that ol' meme song about "I can't beat Air Man" for a reason, him and Wood Man hit hard with a projectile barrage that's like another level compared to the previous jobbers.
As the series goes on the tropes repeat themselves, some of the bosses are a simple bit of pattern recognition, some are manipulation based, others are mad sprints to the kill but even among these tropes the challenge and damage they dish out and take can be all over the place. Ultimately I never really look forward to MM bosses, the obligatory boss rush endgame bores me every time it turns up.

Compared to other action platformers MM bosses just don't do it for me outside of a select few (I've had some fun blaster rucks against Gravity Man), sometimes it's because I suck at them (MM9 Wily Castle bosses pls stop abusing me) and I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a Wily machine either. While a different kind of action platformer from the same era, Castlevania often gives me a different feeling when it comes to the bosses, one that engages more even when they're also being a bit cheesy themselves.
Unfortunately my apathy to MM bosses seems to carry over the the X series as well.
 

Puru

Member
Oct 28, 2017
598
They do have really weak patterns which mostly stay the same during the entire fight in older entries, it's far better in more recent entries like Zero or X. But i'd rather take a crappy megaman bossfight than having to dodge roll everything the boss and enemies throw at me at this point in time so hey, maybe it wasn't so bad.
 

deathsaber

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,558
I guess I'm different than a lot of people. Loved the early Mega Mans (particularly 2 & 3) because of the fun of the discovery of finding which boss order is best (in pre-internet times when you couldn't just look this up, or watch youtube). You figure out by trial and error, first which boss is most beatable with the buster, and then just go through the rest finding which boss was weak to the new weapon you just got. I liked that the fights were pretty easy if you brought the right weapon in. (but you could add difficulty by just using buster or other weapons)

But later games (like Mega Man 9/10), or the later series (X, Zero, etc) they pretty much decided to make these games focus more about the difficulty. Even with the right weapon, you were still in for a tough fight. Kind of made me check out from the series.
 

Kokonoe

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
7,440
The weaknesses are meant for newbies, if you want a challenge face them without the weakness.

Having the option to fight the bosses in a easy way is actually excellent design and bosses being fast and quick helps keep up with the pacing unlike long drawn out cinematic bullshit in modern games.
 

mindsale

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,122
Don't look up Robot Master weaknesses.

Shocker: Cheating takes away a game's challenge.
 

Cap G

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
2,488
Letting yourself get shot over and over to abuse invincibility and then complain that it just feels like a DPS race, lol
 

thepenguin55

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,650
So I like the boss battles in Mega Man 7&8 and the boss battles in the Mega Man X games. I personally just find those boss battles much more interesting than the ones in the classic (and classic style) Mega Man games. My favorite battles in the classic Mega Man games are pretty much all of the non-robot master battles.
 

Mechanized

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,439
Don't forget to mention that most bosses focus on running into you, which does insane damage. More than any of their attacks by far. I'd argue that the fights are fun, and only fun, when you know the weaknesses and exploit them, especially when they have unique reaction animations. But the actual boss fights didn't become well designed until like MMX.
 

WarRock

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,938
Honestly, I don't think you need to do a buster only run in most of games to appreciate the bosses design, going with the weakness and trying to do a no damage/1 hit only run is enough for most, unfortunately not all, of them.
hot take: the disappearing platform bits are the most fun parts of these games
Dunno about it being the most fun, but I never understood the hate.

I find that the boss fights get better with each series, from Classic -> X -> Zero -> ZX. Compare a fight with Shadow Man to, say, Boomer Kuwanger or Magma Dragoon. Those can be legit skill checks and Dragoon even has a cool secret with being able to bring ride armor into his fight.
Yes! Dashing and wall jumping go a long way to make bosses patterns more interesting, since you have more options to position yourself or quickly change your hurtbox position, allowing bosses to do more without being cheap or unfair. Some bosses in X and Zero are downright amazing thanks to how much freedom you have to deal with each move in different distances.

But later games (like Mega Man 9/10), or the later series (X, Zero, etc) they pretty much decided to make these games focus more about the difficulty. Even with the right weapon, you were still in for a tough fight. Kind of made me check out from the series.
Going to disagree on this, X with the right weapon allows you to rapid fire and win without any thoughts, and a lot of the weapons/armor skills make the easier levels even easier - and you can literally (sub)tank stuff. Classic is harder overall.

Zero, sure.
 
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Zero-ELEC

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,945
México
You're terrible. Stop getting hit?

For real, there's two types of Mega Man bosses: pattern and reactionary (I guess?) based. Pattern based are dead simple, just recognize the pattern and dodge. Reactionary based are a bit trickier since they either have a set of attacks that they pick out of and attack or react to something you do, be it either attacking them or your position. Either way I don't think there's a single classic Mega Man out there with a Robot Master that can't be beaten buster-only, no damage.

Also contact damage is worse than their bullets. Stop running into them.
 

woopWOOP

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,635
I mean, I kind of get the complaint because trying all those different abilities at the start of a battle to quickly figure out the boss' weakness isn't super fun, but Mega Man 2 is pretty much the easiest entry. In later entries you really need to dodge those enemy attacks in order to come out on top with the buster. Making use of a boss' weakness makes it easier, but you still lose if you don't dodge well enough.

Also Heat Man is pretty easy to manipulate. The moment he torpedoes towards you and you jumped over him, turn around and shoot him immediately. If you time it right he won't fire off his fire balls and instead does the dash attack again. Repeat until winner
 

Clix

Banned
they are a relic. they were good back in the day. now they are outdated because they are pattern based fights. just like almost everything back then for platformers

a lot of the critically acclaimed games back then are crap compared to even indie games nowdays. you build uponn what you've already seen.
Yeah, no. Just no. They are not crapped. You may not like pattern based platformers or fights, plenty of people do.
 

npclivesmatter

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User Banned (Permanent): Hostility towards others, history of similar behaviour, account still in the junior phase.

ArjanN

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Oct 25, 2017
4,546
Replaying all the MM games through the recent collections I more or less felt the same thing.
The early Megaman bosses, while impressive for the time, definitely don't telegraph their attacks well enough and getting hit can sometimes lead to more unavoidable damage.

It's easy to forget this when you know the old games really well, but you can definitely tell Capcom (and devs in general) got better at this later on.
 

Clix

Banned
Basically this.

They didn't age well. But you can always refuse to use their weaknesses for a challenge.

I find that the boss fights get better with each series, from Classic -> X -> Zero -> ZX. Compare a fight with Shadow Man to, say, Boomer Kuwanger or Magma Dragoon. Those can be legit skill checks and Dragoon even has a cool secret with being able to bring ride armor into his fight.
They aged just fine. As they say, a good game will always be a good game. A bad game now, was a bad game then. They have aged great, especially with each installment that followed. Mega Man 1 is the weakest entry hampered by the lack of password system for a game of its difficulty and length.
 

SkyOdin

Member
Apr 21, 2018
1,327
https://youtu.be/dDNEzzLPxIQ?list=PL4Lscasoi2usZbhWjHJIDbaISo6awB1EX

You can try watching some of these to get an idea for what a Mega Man stage and boss are ideally fought like. This guy beat every classic Mega Man stage without taking damage, using only the Mega Buster (not even using charge shots in later games), and without using an utility items/Rush.

The boss and stage design in the Mega Man series are excellent because they cater both to newbies just trying to get through the game and skilled players looking to challenge themselves. New players can just use boss weaknesses to damage race bosses if they want, while veterans are encouraged to try beating stages without dying or using boss weapons. The Zero and ZX games' rank system showcases this difference better.
 
OP
OP
AnansiThePersona
Oct 27, 2017
11,477
To clarify my point, I believe that the slide move MM gets in MM3 at least makes the bosses feel like you have a strategic option when facing them. In the sequel, it feels like you're a match for them. In MM2, they're fucking jumping beans that shoot, in like, every horizontal direction.

And I've played through MM1-4 a few years ago, then did the same a year ago, and now I am doing it again. I'm 21, so I didn't play these when they came out, but perhaps I'm looking at the bosses through a modern lens.
 

WarRock

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,938
https://youtu.be/dDNEzzLPxIQ?list=PL4Lscasoi2usZbhWjHJIDbaISo6awB1EX

You can try watching some of these to get an idea for what a Mega Man stage and boss are ideally fought like. This guy beat every classic Mega Man stage without taking damage, using only the Mega Buster (not even using charge shots in later games), and without using an utility items/Rush.

The boss and stage design in the Mega Man series are excellent because they cater both to newbies just trying to get through the game and skilled players looking to challenge themselves. New players can just use boss weaknesses to damage race bosses if they want, while veterans are encouraged to try beating stages without dying or using boss weapons. The Zero and ZX games' rank system showcases this difference better.
I really dislike the fact your ranking in Zero takes in count how many enemies you destroyed. When I was A ranking the game I had to to camp at some respawning spots in more than one level to take enough enemies since I was breezing through the levels at the speed of light lol
 

SkyOdin

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Apr 21, 2018
1,327
I really dislike the fact your ranking in Zero takes in count how many enemies you destroyed. When I was A ranking the game I had to to camp at some respawning spots in more than one level to take enough enemies since I was breezing through the levels at the speed of light lol
I never had that much issue with it, so long as I killed all of the enemies in my path. I found that as long as you don't die in a stage, it isn't too hard to get at least an A rank.
 

QisTopTier

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,614
This thread confuses me heatman is one of the easiest bosses in the game, his stage has always been the challenge not him
 

RKR

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Oct 27, 2017
2,007
NL
In MMX4 the boss battles were very awesome if you play with Zero. Such as the Dragoon guy. But with X you either use the right weapon and stun lock him until its over or you go buster only which feels like an artificial challenge. There is not much inbetween it.
 

Yerba_Sutra

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,091
Appalachia
I just can't stand bullet sponges. Even if it's simple pattern memorization I can't stand bullet sponges.

I'm pretty good at Mega Man and I really enjoy them... until they get to the boss fights. And I just can't care enough to get good at those bosses without save states.
 

adam prime

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Oct 28, 2017
2,764
ATX
I don't know man... This thread is a hard sale to any gamer who's been playing this since they were 8 years old and think most of the bosses in Mega Man are "easy" because we know the patterns from 20+ years of playing the game.

I can understand your frustrations though. There is a pattern to these bosses, but it's not evident until you've played ALOT.
 

QisTopTier

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,614
To clarify my point, I believe that the slide move MM gets in MM3 at least makes the bosses feel like you have a strategic option when facing them. In the sequel, it feels like you're a match for them. In MM2, they're fucking jumping beans that shoot, in like, every horizontal direction.

And I've played through MM1-4 a few years ago, then did the same a year ago, and now I am doing it again. I'm 21, so I didn't play these when they came out, but perhaps I'm looking at the bosses through a modern lens.

I vastly prefer 3 myself but maybe pattern recognition just isnt your strong point?
 

BDubsLegend

Banned
Jan 24, 2018
1,027
You can almost set your watch to these, "this popular game is shit" threads these days but this OP reaches back to the golden age of gaming to an established proven game to fire off an ill informed hot take.

Sigh maybe if you had a emotional companion with an excellent loot based system and the ability to craft weapons the boss battles from a game in the 80s would be better.
 
OP
OP
AnansiThePersona
Oct 27, 2017
11,477
This thread confuses me heatman is one of the easiest bosses in the game, his stage has always been the challenge not him
It's not really Heat Man per se, but dying to him after getting to him after finally beating the block part, dying like an idiot, and having to do the stage again. I've only lost to him once in this playthrough, but the bosses leading up to him would have been immensely annoying had I not used the OP Metal Blade.