The Let's Play Archive

Mega Man 4

by Simply Simon

Part 5: Dive Man


Stage Comments:

I fucking love this stage. This is how you do a water level, designers around the world. Mostly by not making it all water all the time, lining the ceiling with spikes. That's dumb. Spikes are still there, but they never require perfectly heighted jumps (which I hate), instead thinking ahead and, as always, a clear head.
The beginning part has basically two ways to go, with the upper path becoming mandatory after a short while. As said in the video, the fish are perfectly placed to annoy you the most, if you don't believe in Barrier power, luring them out is a must or you'll eat damage. Fortunately, though, getting hit is not a death sentence because we don't play MM1 anymore. I really don't mind instant-kill if there's an out even if you make a mistake. Two in a row should get you killed; getting killed because of one time and time again in a hard spot gets frustrating pretty fast.
The Mets add an extra layer of difficulty, again put on precarious terrain and with the fairly stationary Metroid-lookalikes in order to be as much in the way as possible, but always plenty dodgeable with the right positioning. I don't much care for the whales, but seeing as spamming is an option, they go down fast enough. The middle part is a nice breather with Eddie, providing a short time out of the water that's nice for variety; this is no bland stage that relies on the same terrain all the time! After that, more Whale and a little secret. Too bad that you appear on the normal respawn point...meaning you have to fight the Whale again. But you get healed for aquiring the (spoilers!) Wire. So no problems there.
Then the real meat of the stage starts. The rising and falling water can fuck you over if you're not careful, but there's almost no situation where you really have to wait for it to rise fully or something. It supplements your jumps, rather than being a crutch in order for them to succeed at all; a gimmick I can get behind.
The only real dick move is if you go overboard with jumping...and scroll right into the spikes on top of the last screen. Happened often enough to me. Apart from that, most of the difficulty comes from the Rays, because those hit hard and sneakily. Charging is recommended if you don't peruse special weapons!
Still don't know what up with the red stuff, though.

Boss Strategy:

This fucking asshole.
Dive Man has cost me probably the most Game Overs playing through this game the first time, apart from maybe that jump in Bright Man's stage (we'll get to that later!). He's at the end of the stage, though. I'm very glad that I love it and the music, else I'd have to hate the boss even more.
He's got, as is somewhat regular, two attacks. One is to simply ram Mega, only stopping under or in him, which will deal insane damage. Four hits and you're a goner. The second is shooting out his homing Dive Missiles, three at a time, which will trail Mega; they also will never go away, so shoot them or block them with your face. Having one or two on-screen following you lovingly, with slow underwater jumps and an insane Dive Man trying to give you a power hug is...pretty damn chaotic, to say the least. You should never let this happen, else I certainly won't blame you for losing your cool. Results seen in the video.
The trick for dealing with him is just...spamming the buster. It will get rid of all missiles he shoots before they begin their homing routine, then it's just a matter of jumping over him and sliding away in order to be ready to shoot them out or jump over him again. It's trivially easy if you don't miss a beat and take too long to shoot out the missiles. The problem, as always, is knowing the trick. He's one of the best examples for being nigh-impossible without exploiting his pattern, because his weakness (Skull Shield!) is very much unsuited to deal with a guy focused on meleeing you.