I want to make a Mega Man out of you.
Today’s release of the Mega Man Legacy Collection (check out our review here and how we rank all six games in the compilation) gives fans of the classic series an excuse to replay some of their favorite sidescrollers. However, this is also a good chance for people unfamiliar with the franchise to finally give it a try.
Mega Man has a reputation for being difficult. And while they’re certainly harder than most games, you can beat them with a little patience and focus. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve listed five tips to help new Mega Man players below.
Don’t start with Mega Man 1
When you boot up the Legacy Collection, you’ll probably first want to play the original Mega Man. It makes sense, right? Why not start in chronological order? Well, don’t. The original Mega Man isn’t as refined as its sequels, and it’s also much harder than any of the other NES games.
Instead, start with the excellent Mega Man 2 and go chronologically from there. Then, after beating Mega Man 6, play the original so that you can appreciate just how far the series grew.
If you’re starting a stage with one life, kill yourself
Every Mega Man game starts you with three lives. If you beat a level and only have one left, you’ll still only have one left when you start a new stage.
This could waste a lot of time (especially if you’re inexperienced), since it’s difficult to beat levels without depending on stage checkpoints. So, if you’re starting a stage with only one life, you’re really better off killing yourself, continuing, and getting a fresh batch lives.
Look up boss weaknesses
Every boss in Mega Man has at least one weakness to a specific weapon. Usually, you just have to try them all out to see which one it is. However, this can be frustrating, since it wastes ammo and lives. Also, you need to know the weaknesses so you know which order to tackle the Robot Masters, making sure that you always fight someone only if you already have the weapon they’re weak against.
It may feel like cheating, but just look up the boss weaknesses online. It’ll save you time and aggravation. You can even find sites, like the Mega Man Homepage, that have convenient guides for each game. Trust me, the real challenge is in the execution, not trying to figure out every enemy’s weakness.
Don’t be afraid to use weapons
I used to have this problem. Each Robot Master weapon has its own ammo pool, unlike your regular buster. So, it’s possible to run out of them, which can scare you when you’re worried you might need it to beat a boss. This is another reason I told you to just look up the boss weaknesses ahead of time. Now you know which weapon you have to conserve, freeing you to use the others.
And you should be using them. Many of the weapons can help you easily clear some of the trickier parts of levels. Also, each game usually has one weapon that stands out. In Mega Man 2, the Metal Blades are a God-send. You can shoot them in eight directions, they’re strong, and they go through enemies. They also consume very little ammo. Don’t be afraid to use weapons like these often. Even if you do consume some ammo, you’re likely to refill them with items scattered around the level. Energy containers can even fall out of killed enemies. Actually, that brings us to our next tip.
Take time and farm
You’ll often come across areas filled with a lot of weak enemies. Use these to your advantage. Every time you kill anything, it has a chance to drop health, ammo, or even an extra life. If you’re low on any of those, take a couple of minutes and farm some weak enemies for items. This is especially helpful in the Wily stages of games, which don’t refill your weapons automatically between levels.