NES – #14 – Mega Man 3

History:
Aw yeah,. now things are getting real! Mega Man 3 is my earliest gaming memory. Running through Magnet Man’s stage, that “foosh!” sound whenever a hidden block would appear. When I think Mega Man from the NES era my first mental image is always Snake Man’s stage for some reason. I remember renting this game constantly from the local grocery store or all places before finally owning a copy. Incidentally, the copy I own is the copy I had as a child! I had lent my cousin my copies of Mega Man 2 and 3, and Kickle Cubicle. Another cousin came up and visited recently, and sure enough he had those games on him! My name on the boxes and everything!

Expectations:
Sigh… I remember beating this game multiple times. Hell, I beat it on the super horrible Gamecube Mega Man Anniversary collection. I mean, it wasn’t horrible per se, but the jump and shoot buttons were effectively reversed, so it was like some kind of sadistic hard mode. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not feeling all too confident that I’ll be able to beat it again after all these year. Sure as hell gonna try though!


Day 1:

Feels like home again. When I first got this game back I dabbled with it but this will be my first time attempting a clear in well over 10 years. I vaguely remember Snake Man being the guy I started with, so that’s where I started this time.

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This stage feels EXACTLY like I remember, though I’m finding I’m having an easier time getting through it. I died once towards the end of the stage when you’re jumping across the towers, but otherwise it wasn’t so bad.

Then the boss happened…

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Complete failure. I don’t think I even got him down to half health. I’ll take this opportunity to say that while I understand Mega Man does use passwords, I can’t recall a time I’ve EVER used them, and always considered this the kind of game where you beat it in one sitting.

Regardless, I had to try something different, and went with Spark Man. It seems like killing any of the bosses with your Buster Cannon is nearly impossibly in this game! Still, after a couple tries I was finally able to get him down. Spark Shot (or whatever) in hand, I was then able to easily take out Magnet Man!

wpid-20150413_200717.jpgSome of the photos from this game came out remarkably horrible, likely due to the bright colors on black backgrounds.

I quickly made through half of the robot masters.

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wpid-20150413_201723.jpgShadow Man’s stage was so much cooler than I remember. Yes the falling platforms killed me more than a couple times, but the stage was actually really well made. I also find myself using my abilities in the stages MUCH more than I used to, which is to say at all. Magnet Man’s ability during the parachuting enemies section at the end of invaluable.

Shadow Man’s shurikens at the ready I was able to take my revenge on Snake Man, and Gemini Man and Needle Man didn’t put up much of a fight either.

After that I had to retread some old stages. I completely forgot about this part.

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These levels SUCKED, I mean they were good, but they sucked. This is the point in the game where I started throwing the controller and swearing at the TV. The stages were brutal and the bosses were all kinds of rough. I think I used two continues in each stage. Equally awesome is that if you die at or before the first boss in any stage (there’s two in each) you start at the beginning of the level rather than the boss corridor!

I did finally, somehow, get through all of them.

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As a kid I used to LOVE Proto Man. Why? Well because he was red, and had a cool visor and a cape! As an adult I obviously love him for exactly the same reasons, but I think having some dialogue scattered throughout the game could have worked wonders. Just some text exchange before fighting a boss, and in each encounter with Proto Man, I think it would have gone a long way.

Anyway, after beating Proto Man I was taken to a familiar castle…

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Yeah, this definitely triggered some memories. Navigating Wily’s castle was easier than I remember, or perhaps it’s just easier than it was in Mega Man 2 and that’s what I’m remembering. Regardless, the Turtle Dispenser died after a couple Top Spins. The golem was a bit harder, taking a couple tries as my first attempt had me starting on low health. Couple hard punches to the eye took him out though. The Mega Man clones can apparently be one-shot with a Top Spin, so that was cool. Then I found myself here…

wpid-20150413_220341.jpgI always loved this gimmick, but the bosses were no easier the second time around. Even worse was that I wasn’t at full energy for all my weapons and I still had to conserve some of it for the following fights.

After beating all the Robot Masters a second time it was off to fight Wily’s first incarnation. Snake Man’s weapon makes short work of the cannon beneath Wily’s robot, but I’m just not able to get the shot off on Wily himself. After a couple failed attempts, and finding myself running low on snakes, I resort to cheating using Rush. After phase one I hop on Rush Jet and just take shots at Wily until he goes down.

A fake! Naturally.

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It looks better on the TV… In front of me is the door to the actual final boss. Another two phase fight where the first phase is laughably easy. Shadow Man’s ninja stars destroy Gamma’s head, and when Wily takes over a couple Top Spin dives add another game to my list!

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Conclusion:

I’m actually a little surprised I was able to beat this game again! It’s weird dissecting your childhood memories of one of your favorite game franchises, but here goes. Mega Man 3 is still absolutely amazing. The music, the level design, the ultra precise platforming. It nails all of it. The graphics for this game are actually really nice considering the NES’ limitations, particular in the color pallet, though it’s probably the laggiest game I’ve played so far. Mega Man games have always been very difficult, and this one is no exception. There were multiple time I thought I had hit my wall, but I always managed to break though it, often only just barely.

The game’s still as fun as it ever was, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that said difficulty is still fair. I would often yell shenanigans after what felt like a series of cheap deaths, but I was always able to learn and refocus, and eventually overcome it. I know lore in the Mega Man games was never really important to the series, at least not for a long while, but I found myself becoming interested in multiple facets of the story. I wanted to know more about the Robot Masters, and Proto Man, and the Wily/Light relationship without having to resort to outside source material. It would be very interesting to see a remastered or re-imagined version of the first six Mega Man games on PSN or something.

Still, this game is simply timeless, and I could easily see myself coming back for it in another 10 years.

Liked:

– High, but fair, difficulty makes you proud of your accomplishments.
– Excellent graphics and music.
– Excellent level design and airtight controls.
– The game is just extremely fun to play.

Disliked:

– Would appreciate some in-game narrative to add some context and background to your mission.
– Lag-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g

Mega Man 3

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One comment on “NES – #14 – Mega Man 3

  1. Pingback: NES Retrospective 20 – 11 | 600 Games

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