The Let's Play Archive

Mega Man 4

by Simply Simon

Part 6: Pharoah Man


Stage Comments:

One of the better stages to start out this, it's also generally one of the better ones and all-around fun. The first part can get annoying if you don't realize that there's nothing stopping you from taking the scorpions out by just shooting constantly, the nasty insects from above don't help, but it shouldn't get you killed. Coupled with the quicksand, an interesting gauntlet.
If trouble should have arisen, getting the Balloon is a full heal, so barring more trouble on the treck to it, it's a good idea. It will skip out a bunch of level including an E-Tank, though, as shown. But I really love how they took the big hole that's actually going to lead you forward through the stage and hid an upgrade by going right; this is what I was constantly alluding to during earlier LPs. It's a good idea, and a precursor to many more hiding places like that in games where much more stuff is to be found.
Even without Dive Missile's goodness, the Mummies shouldn't be too big of a problem. As they take so long to kill, dodging the head is mandatory, but it moves slowly enough to be plenty avoidable. Bugs are nasty as always, though. Another reason to skip with the Balloon if you're having trouble.
(if this sounds like a walkthrough, you'd be correct, because people get into trouble a lot in the races. So read those update posts! I'm here to help!)

The "moving platform over dangerous terrain" thing is old as dust, but seeing as Mega Man games most of the time are actually quite light on having stage design elements that we've seen countless times before in other platformers, it's very gladly forgiven; I actually like sections of that kind a lot because Mega controls so well that platforming is smooth as hell and you have lots of tools to take out enemies, whereas in a Mario or Sonic game rides like that are dangerous as fuck and can become very frustrating.
I also find it very interesting that the shots they fire as you near them are both a curse and a blessing; if you don't get hit, that's fine, seeing as they're designed so that clearing the shot will also make you the jump. If you do get hit, though, you're probably jumping too late to not land in the spikes anyway, so the invincibility saves your ass! If you're quick on your feet, you can still make it on top. Again, this takes out a lot of possible frustration from jumping into the spikes for the tenth time (you've all been there), which I really appreciate.
That's basically it for the stage, though. It's short but sweet.

Boss Strategy:

Pharaoh Man is easily the funnest boss to fight in this game, mostly because he doesn't have competition. And I didn't forget a word there, he's literally the only boss who isn't on rails from start to finish and/or an annoying evil bastard. I really dislike MM4's Robot Masters on principle, and that this fight is the best of the bunch should lend gravity to my argument. A matter of personal opinion, of course, but jeez.
Pharaoh Man is a very strange fight, because he's at one second jumping around like a madman, shooting out small Pharaoh Shots and being hard to dodge because of it (most notably the first jump at you which is always the same, it's of course avoidable but I didn't bother), and the next second he's standing around charging his comically ineffectual blast while getting shot in the face.
If he jumped all the time, he'd be a hefty challenge, certainly not on par with Shadow or Needle Man, but one of this game's hardest bosses due to unpredictability. As he stops every now and then to give you all the time in the world to unload on him, it becomes a matter of luck if he wants to be nasty to you or a complete and utter pushover. Especially if he decided it's a good idea to chain four charges back-to-back without rethinking the consequences of standing perfectly still. Then again, I'm glad they didn't make him invincible while charging, or Dust Man would have to give up his "most annoying fuckhead" award.
Strategy boils down to "hone your reflexes", which, frankly, is my favourite kind of strategy because having the slide means that fights should be geared towards fluidity, speed and quick thinking. Not using it to get into the same specific position every time the boss repeats his pattern again. Also don't get hit by his body (hurts) or his charged shot (people will laugh at you like they should at me).
Sorry for ranting, I'm kinda tired.