Part 5: Climate Control Is Still A ThingAs soon as Geo leaves the suite, he gets a call for help from Bud.
An "EatMchn" is something no hearty eater can live without. It shoves food into your mouth when you can't eat anymore. Even if you're full!
That doesn't sound healthy.
Yeah, it's not really a good idea to use one of those things. You could get seriously sick if you do. But you don't understand! I gotta win that contest.
Bud hangs up shortly afterward, giving Geo no choice in the matter. Too bad he has no clue where to look.
I'm sure there's someone who'll know where to get one.
He is confident that someone in the hotel has one at least.
And by the RPG Law of Convenience, he's totally right. Moustache directs him to the second floor's laundry room.
Which, as an employees-only room, is only accessible by Wave World.
Luckily for Bud, this employee used to be an eating contest champion.
You mean blankets and pillows get their own room? Sheesh!
Uh... I never thought about it like that.
Anyways, as a reminder I'm using the Hard Mode AR codes to give the game a fighting chance.
It still isn't doing too well. But this is the beginning of the game; eventually enemies will start scaling up, and I'll need to be ready. But what can I do?
Use a Wave Command of course. Aside from boosting my stats, aside from transforming MegaMan, aside from giving me cash, and aside from activating Blank Cards, Wave Commands can also straight up give me Battle Cards or Ability Waves.
The first card I used gave me three excellent defensive cards (Invisible makes me immune to most attacks for a while, Barrier will absorb one hit, and Holy Panel will make MegaMan take half damage as long as he's standing on it),
and the second gave me one of the game's most useful abilities (UnderShirt will let MegaMan endure otherwise fatal attacks as long as he has more than 1 HP).
Back at Foodtopia, everything's ready for the competition.
And so is Bud once Geo materializes Fill-U-Upper. I wish I was making that name up.
We would now like to start the contest!
My name's Fay Phamish. I gonna win this!
(If this is my competition, then...!!)
Bud! Zack! Good luck! Do your best!!
As an aside, if you talk to Mr. Gelande before the contest he'll say he prepared a wide variety of dishes for the contest.
And for those who clear the first stage, we have a ginormous hamburger waiting for you!
Jeez, look at Fay go.
Bud is in the lead as he tears into those burgers!
Things start off well,
but even modern technology can not trump natural potential.
Losing at the only thing he was ever good at shames Bud to his very core.
You can do it, Bud!!
But he has to go on.
I... will... WIN!!
Bus is pushed to his very limits, but he cares not.
His vision goes hazy, but still he continues to eat. Desperation, pride, fear, all of these egg him on.
And before he knows it, the trauma he suppressed deep in his subconscious bursts free.
Taurus Funk walks again.
But seriously, midway through the competition Bud starts to feel weird.
you'll see our ginormous hamburger is almost done!
(The flames... *gobble* They're... *gobble*)
Is he OK? Don't overdo it, Bud!
Geo does so,
and sees a face from SF1.
It's Taurus! He's the EM body that possessed Bud before!
At the beginning of SF1, Luna threatened to cut her BB with Bud. This drove him into a depression (since Bud didn't have any other friends), and the emotions he felt drew Taurus to him like a magnet. Taurus easily manipulates Bud into fusing with him, and as the combined entity Taurus Fire they almost kill Geo and Omega-Xis. In the end the matter is resolved without any serious injuries, but Taurus Fire stands tall as a symbol of Bud's insecurities. And an easy tutorial boss.
In this game though,
But it's not the real Taurus! It's a residual EM!
What does that mean?
Taurus was a big one, so some of his wave power is still inside Bud. And Bud has reawakened that power!
We can't let him fuse with Bud or he'll go on a rampage again!
Grrrr!! Too late, kid!
Bud turns into Taurus Fire because he ate too much.
Mega urges Geo to pulse in, but Geo doesn't want to do it full view of everyone.
I can totally make him though.
MegaMan's in the Visible Zone again.
Hey, everyone! That's MegaMan! You might think he's just some kid, but he's actually a powerful hero! You should all cheer him on!
God damn it, Zack.
The crowd has no idea what's going on, but decide that cheering is better than cowering.
I don't like being the center of attention. It makes me nervous...
And Zack should know this.
Kid! You don't have time to worry about that! Taurus Fire is about to go buck wild!
On that note, now seems like a good time to discuss another game mechanic.
Click to watch.
Namely, effective damage. Star Force features your standard system of elemental weaknesses (Wood beats Elec beats Aqua beats Fire beats Wood), with a super effective attack dealing double damage. If the name weren't enough of a clue, Taurus Fire is Fire element, so he takes double damage from Aqua cards like Cancer Bubble.
But elements aren't the only way to do double damage. Gemini Spark is Elec element, yet here you can see the !! symbol that highlights double damage. Why? Because Taurus Fire was bubbled. Anything that gets hit by Cancer Bubble's tidal wave will be encased in a bubble for a few seconds, and during this state they both can't move and take double damage from Elec attacks.
Music: Wave Battle (SF1)
Boss summary time.
(25 damage, Breaking)
Taurus Fire's most basic attack is a simple punch. It's not normally this fast, but Hard Mode is boosting its speed.
Then there's his signature move, the Ox Tackle. Hard Mode is also bumping up his AI, so he'll immediately try and punch me after the initial charge.
Similarily, he'll use his flame breath to try and corner me. Having him do it on the side of the screen like I did here is a good idea.
Finally, he can do this stupid move. It'll cause fire pillars to erupt from random panels in the 2x3 area in front of Taurus Fire, and he'll be using the cover to try and punch you. Dodging can come down to luck at this speed, so I didn't even bother.
There's not much to say about Taurus Fire, since just like Dark Phantom he was designed as a tutorial boss. He can get pretty strategic in future rematches, where he'll constantly try and corner MegaMan with his attacks to set-up a guaranteed hit.
I thought about save scumming until I drew Pegasus Magic GX first turn, but .
Anyhow, unlike Dark Phantom, Taurus Fire gives me a reward. This is a sign that I won't be seeing him again in the story.
Hey! Bud's awake!
The last thing Bud remembers is staring at the fire the big burger was on. Zack fills him in, and Bud is immediately depressed because now he's sure he has no chance with Amy.
Don't worry, it didn't turn out as bad as you think.
Yeah, Amy was really worried about you.
When you turned into Taurus Fire out there, Amy thought she saw something else.
Really? She's a good girl, that Amy!
More like gullible.
Bud cheers up again, much to Geo's relief. Zack then suggests returning to the suite since it's "getting dark".
By the way, did you notice that Luna wasn't here the entire time?
Luna's still pissy, so Geo throws in the towel again.
No! You're sleeping on the sofa!
Tonight's ominous cutscene focuses on Rich.
??: Our plans of using the snowslides has failed. As have our plans to take over the hotel.
Who's there!? ...It's you!
Don't go around saying that stuff. You wanna get arrested?
And this chucklefuck.
Rich complains about not being warned of MegaMan, and Hyde has to admit he didn't see him coming either.
I'm sure a cunning corporate raider such as yourself has at least two or three other scripts to work from.
Kaff! I'm not a raider. I'm a businessman! But that reminds me... There is something I could do to keep you entertained.
First I... And that's it!
That has to be the worst use of using ellipses to mask a plan I've ever seen.
Hyde's intrigued by Rich's scheme and intends to kick back and enjoy the show. This is fine with Rich, who apparently would rather do things himself anyways.
Come forth! Yeti!
Yeti's not too pleased with having to help a human, but a fight's a fight so he's game.
EM Wave Change!
No one will believe this... That this is the UMA they so desperately tried to find!
Incidentally, why would yeti sightings scare people away from Grizzly Peak? If anything, it should've attracted cryptozoologists like moths to a flame.
Heh, thanks to the EM waves you now have the power! Go now, Yeti Blizzard! Help us transform this country into our new base of operations!
Grr-ha! And I'll be collecting rent on that base! Ha-ha-ha!
There is no given reason for why Rich of all people was given an Ancient Star Carrier, and Rich certainly isn't that interested in whatever Hyde's concocting. Presumably it was in exchange for funding, but for all we know Hyde just walked up to the biggest asshole he could find and shook hands.
Geo's story resumes the next morning. He's still sore all over from sleeping on the sofa,
and being the accidental assholes they are, Bud and Zack rub it in when they talk about how great their rest was.
Uhh... I guess I'll wake up Prez.
I hope she's in a better mood today.
Nope. Zack returns with a couple bruises.
We've gotta do something about her.
It's OK. I've known Prez for a long time. This is just how she shows her friendship to people.
Yeah? I guess she and I aren't that close yet.
Bud interrupts the conversation when he realizes he's late for his meeting with Amy. Geo asks how that happened, and Zack explains that last night Bud mustered up the courage to make a call. He asked to ski with her, and she accepted... skiing with the entire group. Good enough for Bud at least.
To get to where I need to go, I need to materialize the Welvuski Brothers.
This lets me use the ski lifts.
Amy's all set to start coaching the guys, and recommends the beginner course. When she offers to go with them though, Bud chimes in.
I think you should let us go by ourselves!
What's wrong, Bud?
Amy's got the qualifiers coming up, right? And she couldn't practice when the slopes were closed. I think she'd be better off catching up on her training.
I'd think having fun with your friends would be more important, but it's not like that's the theme of Star Force or anything.
It's OK, Bud. I don't mind.
You know I'd be happier than anyone to have you ski with us. But it'd make me even happier if I knew you were able to train.
and eventually so does Amy. Zack and Geo are very impressed at what Bud just did. Bud's not as glad,
but he gets over it quickly. Bud zooms off before the other two can react,
and while Geo makes a one-liner Zack heads off too.
Yet somehow Geo still wins.
No! How could I lose?
That was exciting!
If you're wondering, the "race" is just the player moving Geo down the slopes to Foodtopia. Bud and Zack vanish until Geo gets to the goal.
Bud wants to try again,
Look! It's starting to snow up there!
but suddenly a blizzard kicks up. Foodtopia isn't hit for very long, but Zack notices that the parts higher up (the pro slopes) are still getting buffeted.
There is a problem with the EM weather control system. As a result, a blizzard has broken out over the resort. We are working hard to ascertain the cause of this problem. For now we ask guests to avoid areas affected by the blizzard. Please stay away from all slopes, including the pro course area.
Bud realizes Amy's in trouble and jets off. Geo and Zack try to give chase, but before they can move the intercom gives another announcement: the ski lifts have been halted!
Not that that means anything to MegaMan.
The storm does though. I'm not sure why an EM being would care about snow, but the designers had to get me on the wave road somehow.
Today's dungeon minigame is silly.
An EM crystal maybe?
I can sense there are a ton of EM bodies in there.
Will they let us pass?
This energy is crazy. We're gonna have to go in.
HELLP MEEEE! S-O-S! S-O-S!
The Hertz screams that he and his friends are all buried under the snow (this EM crystal is basically a more refined EM snowball). Geo shouts back that he's coming to help.
A shock? What kind?
They're in the snow. Why don't you run over them with your skis?
The game's simple enough. I can move MegaMan left or right, and I need to run over a certain amount of Hertzes.
I also need to avoid these trees (which do 2 damage each) and these snowballs (which rebury one of the Hertzes). The course loops infinitely until I'm done. Or if I die, but I've never had that happen so I can't tell you what happens.
This is probably the most inoffensive of SF2's minigames.
Now for the bestiary. The following pictures are going to be pretty messy since there's so much stuff going on, sorry.
PrivateMops will run up and stab me if I line up with them. They deal Wood element damage, and as you can see taking a super-effective hit will knock me out of Thunder Zerker. They drop MopLance cards, which make MegaMan stab the three panels in front of him.
Eyez will move around for a bit before locking on to MegaMan's position and firing three times. Their attacks can pierce mercy invincibility, so if you stand still the damage can really add up. They drop Voltic Eye cards, which are kind of complicated to explain. It's one of the better cards in the game though, so I'll get to it later.
Next, SnowRolls. The first thing to note about them is that you need to hit them out of their shell first.
They'll constantly roll around, and if they line up with MegaMan or hit one of the battelfield's walls they'll zoom down their column. The only things that can stop their path are holes and other enemies. And if they roll off the screen, they'll regenerate their shell.
By the way, see that Hertz up there? All of the fights with Hertzes in them are usually crafted to make saving it a puzzle of sorts.
The answer is almost always to call a Satellite Admin. All three GX giga cards only damage the far 3x3 panels, so if the Hertz is in the front row (it usually is), it'll be safe.
The final enemy type on the encounter table are HareJets.
They'll move around three times, then jet forwards. They drop Jet Ski cards, which cause MegaMan to zoom forwards in an invincible state. He'll also leave Ice panels in his wake.
Bud gives Geo a call once I get near the top of Bunny Slopes.
Where are you? Are you OK?
MegaMan... I mean, Geo!
That should be the opposite.
I found Amy!
That's great! Now can you make it back?
I don't think so. Amy passed out and got buried in the snow. I dug her out, but she hasn't woken up yet! And the blizzard is picking up, so we can't even move now.
This would have been a much better time for Bud to go Taurus Fire. Too bad he won't be able to use that form productively until SF3.
Bud's at the very top of the pro course, next to the EM weather control system. Geo promises to be there as soon as he can.
Black Diamond Run got hit the hardest by the blizzard. All of the ski lifts are completely iced over.
The last EM crystal wants me to rescue 90 Hertzes, because if there's one thing the MegaMan franchise is known for it's taking something fun and running into the ground.
Before he can rescue his friends, Geo gets jumped.
Above ya, kid!
The Abominable Snowman!
Growwl! I never thought you'd make it here. Look at me, you little blue twerp! I am the Abominable Snowman! I am Yeti Blizzard!!
Mega isn't fooled, and immediately susses the big guy out as Rich Dotcom. Geo realizes that that means Rich is behind all of the odd incidents at the hotel.
Growwwl! Yes, it was me! And you can't stop this blizzard!
With the EM weather control system on the fritz, no one will come to this hotel! And imagine what people will think when they learn that the world-famous Amy Gelande was injured here!
Yeti crows that soon he'll be able to buy the hotel on the cheap. MegaMan, on the other hand, isn't just going to sit by and let him.
I don't know who you are, but if you do what I say, you can work for me! I'll make you rich!
Don't most evil rich people say this after they lose?
You can keep your dirty money! I'm here to help my friends!
Growwwl! You don't realize the value of money. That's why I hate kids! It's time you met with a little accident as well!
I think he's throwing a tantrum.
Click to watch.
Yeti Blizzard can be a hectic fight.
Whenever he jumps, snow will fall down on random panels. They'll stop doing damage as soon as they break up, so while they appear to block off MegaMan's movement they really don't.
After three jumps, he'll crash down on MegaMan's position. This can be really hard to avoid if the snow blocks you off.
Yeti Blizzard has another move where he smashes the ground and causes snowballs to start dropping down, chasing MegaMan's position, but I couldn't get him to use it.
Finally, every now and then he'll release a massive avalanche. The only way to avoid this is to rapid fire the buster, and normally he won't move until the attack is over so it's safe to do that. But on hard, he'll move almost immediately, so I guess there's no way to dodge beyond Invisible.
The thing about Yeti Blizzard is that once the difficulty starts climbing, his attacks start to flow into an endless wave. This can make dodging nigh-impossible, which isn't as bad as it sounds when I have a truckload of HP and Super Armor.
SF2 (and 3) has a very real problem where the player is eventually discouraged from fighting bosses as the difficulty climbs. It's just no fun when a) they're moving at supersonic speed, b) I have a billion HP,
and c) I can easily murder them before they can even move. The trick I used in this fight exploits another type of effective damage: Frozen enemies take double damage from Breaking attacks. Enemies can be frozen by getting nailed by an Aqua attack while standing on an Ice panel, or by being hit with certain Freezing attacks like Pegasus Magic GX.
It is a MegaMan RPG tradition to have the boss die from a bad case of explosions.
Yeti going down also immediately fixes the weather.
Kaff! This fight isn't over yet!
I hate to do this, but I'll get Hyde to help me...
Geo and Mega are surprised to hear Hyde's name, and Mega wonders if they can survive another fight.
Unfortunately for Rich, Hyde is
I don't do bad scripts. The blizzard is over, and soon, this place will be crawling with rescue workers. If I dawdle here with you, I'll be caught as well.
It's not like EM beings are invisible to the naked eye right?
Rich scowls at Hyde's betrayal, and in response Hyde laughs that they were never friends: their only bond was business and money.
There will be plenty of time to deal with this child later. I must take my leave! And kid, there is still so much more fear to be spread! Ha-ha!
The moment's broken by Zack, who reports that the rescue workers are on their way. Geo takes this as a sign to pulse out. And as for Rich...
Rich Dotcom! You're under arrest! On suspicion of causing this blizzard!
A quick time skip later, and the group's getting ready to leave.
I am in your debt.
Wow... I've never had an adult say something like that to me before. But it's Bud here who deserves all the credit.
Geo is the best wingman.
I was quite impressed when he made a mad dash for the lifts before they were stopped.
Oh, really? Bud, thank you ever so much!
Y-You don't have to thank me. It was...
When I was passed out, I thought I could hear your voice, so that made me try to force myself to wake up. I think it was because I heard your voice that I hung in there.
Heh, heh, heh-heh-heh.
Someone's heart is going pitter-patter.
Note: After this scenario, Amy never shows up again and Bud completely forgets about her.
If that's the case then I guess everything turned out fine.
Um... yeah. Sure. That's it.
Luna: still a jerk.
Meanwhile, Bud has important things to say. He admits that until MegaMan showed up he thought he was a goner, and he's really impressed that Geo doesn't think much of his heroic feats. Add in how Geo's always helping out, and Bud has come to a conclusion.
Geo... you... you... are a great friend! I want to form a BrotherBand with you again! Will you... be my Brother!
Next time it'll be my turn to save you!
(Keep this line in mind.)
Mr. Gelande cuts in to admire the group's camaraderie.
Nothing is more important than helping a friend in need. If Richie only had some friends of his own, he would've known money can't solve all of life's problems.
Wouldn't he have already figured that out from not having any friends?
You know, I really envy the both of you. I wanted to form a BrotherBand with Bud, too.
What!? Really? If you and I were Brothers... Then I would know your s-s-s-secret!!
Zack sneers that that must have been what Bud was after, causing Amy to hesitate. (Zack is the worst wingman.)
I mean, I want to know what it is, but no, I... Aaaarggh! What do I do?
Cue canned laughter.
Ha-ha! I don't think that's such a bad thing.
Whatever... We still don't know when or where that Hyde guy will strike next. You'd better stay frosty from now on, kid.
Yeah... I know.
Both of these look much better than what showed up in the game. I guess they were too hard to model.
What is it with the future and built-in shoes? Also, Rich Dotcom is a terrible name.