Part 3: Wave Man
Probably the worst stage in the game. The start is a concept that's semi-interesting because you only have obstacles to dodge, not enemies, and at least those obstacles aren't instant-kill. However, if I didn't have the Charge Kick, it would force me to wait all the time to get by the steam blasts, making it pretty damn boring and annoying. Definitely get the weapon for this level, it'll make it only yawn-inducing, not tedious as hell. It's not as if it were at all difficult.
The following bubble section is just extremely pointless. I think of it as something they did in to show off a little, what they could do with moving platforms and such, and it definitely looks nice - graphically, the sheen on the bubbles, how they dent, the background, it's beautiful - but it's even more boring to play than the first part because nothing at all happens, and even if you take a bit of figuring out where to jump, it's completely without consequences. Again, why they re-used this in Splash Woman's stage (I have a scrapped recording where I call her "Wave Woman", wonder why) is up to anyone's guess. Bonus points for including enemies there. Points lost for making the background a single colour.
And then comes the Marine Bike section. I think I said most of what I wanted to say in the video already; contrary to most of what they do, it's a bad idea that's done fairly well. Definitely more interesting than what comes before, and as said, dodging those dolphins can actually be fun! Still, shows great lack of effort, only one sprite for the vehicle, not even a little cannon animation like Rush Marine had? Come on. Yeah, thinking about it, Rush would have been better. Forget about 2010 me. He was stupid.
That cannon at the end is the most moronic thing. What's the fucking point? It has another attack which I didn't get it to use (it does it in the old video), but that's never going to hit you either if you stay up. On the other hand, a charged shot will take it out from there. The hell? It just emphazises as the only real enemy in the stage how badly executed the idea was.
Just noticed that he is fat. Like, spherical. Can jump pretty well for his girth, though. But I guess that's part of the reason for why he doesn't even have a walking animation. (spoilers: he's by far not the only one)
He's our first extremely heavily patternized boss, MM2-style, and more are to come in this game. He always opens with...I guess it's Water Wave, but can you really call it that?, then jumps at Mega very shortly after firing a harpoon. Then water again.
To avoid the spout, all you have to do is not move. I've never seen it get fired directly underneath Mega, which could be luck, but even if there's the random chance of it happening, it's very slim...and moving would get you in the danger of running into it without being able to stop, so don't. To be perfectly safe, you could practice jumping at the exact right time, but who cares.
The other attack is fairly hard to avoid, though...if you didn't figure out the way I use in the modern video. As he jumps and fires at pretty much the same time, you have two objects to avoid, one you'd really love to slide from and one you have to jump over. If you take too long to avoid any and fumble around, you won't be calmly standing still in order to avoid the water...or you'll flub the shot because it'll get blocked. It's pretty good at providing psychological pressure, and really, this game's bosses are all about that. They are extremely simple, but can trick you into panicking fairly well. I like that, it teaches zen, and not panicking is probably the most vital skill in playing Mega Man.
Because he's doing it so efficiently, he's among the harder bosses. About the same level as Charge Man, I'd say. We're not into what being an easy boss really means in this game, so don't worry if they looked simple already, they are.
- Octoper OA: Hunt for Red Octoper? This guy has an obvious weak point, a simple pattern and is nonetheless tricky to avoid. Mostly when he's getting all personal space invader. He'll fire forward when you're on the water, at 45 degrees upwards when you jump, meaning you can goad him into firing where you want to...but also that he's always going to fire at you, so the timing is tricky. Still, falls quickly enough. Perfect miniboss health in my opinion, takes enough shots to hit you if you can't dodge him consistently, but isn't such a hassle that he's almost a full boss himself.
Gas: Also known as "Steam". Seriously? It shoots in regular intervals, compelling enemy design, I know.
Giree: The stick-to-platform obstacle enemy for this game, those are indestructible except for a very special weapon. Not much more to say.
Irucan: Dolphin! They jump. That's pretty much it. Still, not too easy to deal with, especially when in multiples and paired with more enemies. Can make for slick dodges though to show that you've really mastered the strange physics of the Marine Bike.
Rider Joe: Another variation on the endlessly mass-produced series, those come in two variants: Ones that try and sneak up on Mega from behind and ones that more or less lazily wait for him to shoot them without doing much. They're...again, nothing to write home about. I sense a pattern for this stage.
Teckyun: Self-explanatory. You're safe in the middle. Use this knowledge to your advantage. Or Charge Kick through, your choice.
Twin Cannon: Oh hey, it only fires the main gun when Mega fires at it directly? Now that's nice to know. Can cancel out normal Buster shots that way, because it's a destroyable bullet. Completely worthless against the piercing charge, though. Someone didn't think this through! The only problem are the pellets fired from the bottom, but really, this enemy is a joke through and through.
"It's name is pronounced 'buoy'", says the Wiki. Uh-huh...that's...not how you make puns...
As for the enemy, it's just there to soak up bullets. Takes a bit to kill and that's it.
- Wave Man - certainly not a piece of music I mind much. It's pleasant, calm, certainly fits a stage that's boring me to tears at points...doesn't stand out at all for that reason, though. As said often before, the tracks in MM5 are far more designed to be atmospheric than the ones from the previous games, that often means that a clear melody, simple tunes and such are sacrificed for the "feel" of the pieces, if that makes sense to you. In this case, not too much is sacrificed, which makes it an okay theme in my ears who love the other style. You can clearly identify two tracks playing off each other - a fast one that's providing the "bassline" and sometimes takes precedence, and the main, mellow one - certainly well done; it's also something that's used in Needle Man's theme, which is probably my all-time favourite 8-bit one. Appreciate the composition here, don't particularily like how it turned out. It's okay.
Boss Battle - in comparison to other series known for great music like Final Fantasy, Mega Man boss music has never been particularily outstanding. It's usually built more to be frantic, to instill urgency, pump up the action...during the fights, you probably won't listen too intently anyway, as you've got other stuff to do. However, in this game, in my opinion it even fails on the action part. It's far too...funky, I'd call it...to make the fight seem suitably, well, "epic".
Get a Weapon - ntz ntz ntz
Works pretty well, I'd say. Always makes me pumped up after I beat a Robot Master, and that's all it needs to!