In the glory days of Nintendo, one of my favorite franchises was Mega Man
The Blue Bomber was once a lab assistant named Rock, created by robotics genius Dr. Light. However, when Light's colleague Dr. Wily decided to use their robots for his own diabolical schemes, Rock was transformed into a powerful fighting bot, dubbed Mega Man. Mega Man is able to absorb the weapon of his enemy, and thus began his battle against the nefarious Wily and his army of robot masters. The first six games were on NES, and Mega Man 7 was on Super NES. There was also the Mega Man X
line going on at the same time on SNES, which I liked because Mega Man himself looked a lot more mature than his NES design. But after that, I really lost track of what was out on what system.
Each year during those days, a new installment of the series would be released, delivering colorful graphics, unique weapons, and a cool assortment of enemies.
....for the most part.
Dr. Wily's robot masters were largely ok. They were all based off of some random element, force, or tool. Most of them had good designs, great weapons...but geez, there sure were some stinkers that begged the age old question: "What were they thinking???"
So, recently I replayed the original six Mega Man games by way of the Mega Man Anniversary Collection on PlayStation 2. I also gave Mega Man 7 a shot, since it's on this collection as well, and I hadn't seen it in years. In doing so, I recalled the good bosses..and the bad ones, and just decided to share some thoughts on the baddest of the bad Mega Man Bosses.Bright Man
A bot with a light bulb on his head. What can you say? Well, I always found his stage in Mega Man 4 to be one of the hardest to get through without the Rush Jet. And as boss fights go, Bright Man can be quite hard the first go around, but his lame Flash Stopper weapon is hardly a worthy prize for beating him. But other than fighting Pharaoh Man, the Flash Stopper is basically useless for the rest of the game. Even worse is that said weapon is just a ripoff of Flash Man's Time Stopper from Mega Man 2. Geez!Wood Man
If there's one constant in these games, it's that one boss will always have some kind of shield weapon. Wood Man was the first to have such a thing. Mega Man 2 is most often hailed as the best of the whole series, and it stands out to me because it was the first Mega Man game I ever saw. But what I remember most is laughing and thinking "What the????" when I saw this guy. A robot made of wood? How is that even possible? Is he recyclable as both scrap and mulch?
Upon defeating him, the game informed you that "You Got Leaf Shield". Yeah, I'll sure intimidate enemy bots with that! I don't even want to know what Wily was smoking when he made Wood Man.Charge Man
He looks more like a Decepticon than a Wily bot. Or was he actually Dr. Cossack's bot, stolen by Wily? I dunno, the story for Mega Man 5 doesn't really say. Charge Man is actually a pretty easy fight, all he does is walk and fire coals out of his head. But guess what, you don't get that power. You get something called a Charge Kick, which you'll probably never even use. It's supposed to help you fight Wave Man, but your mega buster does him in just fine by itself. Trains are cool, but this robot is not.Plant Man
By Mega Man 6, it was clear Capcom's designers were out of ideas for robot masters. They got a little better with Mega Man 7, but even that isn't saying much. I can only guess that Plant Man is either a flower child reject from the 60's, or Wood Man's inferior little brother, hauled out of storage by Wily. Horrid design, seizure-inducing colors, and a shield thing called Plant Barrier that was probably the most pathetic excuse for a weapon in the whole Mega Man franchise.Bubble Man
Oh geez. First Mega Man makes his way through a level covered with those instant death spikes, and the worst this scuba diver wannabe can do is throw bubbles? If you can do well enough to avoid the spikes, then bubbles are going to be the least of your worries. But to be fair, his battle room has spikes on the ceiling, so I guess he tried. Mega Man 2 is an otherwise great game, but Bubble Man royally sucks.Junk Man
Ok, I said Mega Man 7 got a little better with bosses. I take that back; Freeze Man is the only decent one in that game. JUNK MAN???? Yeah, this guy literally comes to life out of the scrap heap. Maybe Wily had all kinds of parts lying around for some ultimate weapon, put em together in the wrong order and here you have Junk Man. As I said, every Mega Man game had the standard shield weapon, and this one's Junk Shield was just as worthless as the others.Flame Man
To Capcom's credit, they know fire is a cool theme for anything. But they were getting desperate to keep it going by Mega Man 6. Flame Man's design is interesting enough, he is wearing a turban after all, but he is ultimately disappointing. Mainly because his Flame Blast weapon doesn't work for Mega Man like it did for Flame Man. He shot these neat orbs of fire, but for the blue bomber, he just spits out these cute fire columns. Flame Man is a good try, but he is outmatched by Fire Man and Heat Man who are both infinitely superior.Turbo Man
Wow, another Transformer wannabe. Literally, because Turbo Man really did change from walking upright to a car! Given the chance, and a conversion from evil, I think Optimus Prime would give this guy a shot. Either that, or he can get a role in the next Cars movie from Pixar. A race car robot for Mega Man just didn't click for me.Centaur Man
Generally speaking, centaurs are cool. This thing however, is as lame as they get. Especially considering his power is another Time Stopper ripoff called the Centaur Flash. So it's shields and
flash weapons that are the recurring themes? Got it.Skull Man
Skull Man looks cool the first time you see him, but he falls short because of his ease in battle, and his power is what else? A shield. Skull Barrier, as it is known. If you're gonna try to look badass, at least have a good weapon.Hard Man
Despite his name, Hard Man isn't that hard. He's slow, heavy, and rather easy to beat. Beating him gets you the Hard Knuckle, which is hard to use because it has a delay before it starts moving toward your target. I guess that's just a side effect of coming from a slow boss.Ice Man
What's he doing, whistling? Heck, he doesn't even look like a robot in any way. He's a dude in a parka without a nose..maybe it fell off due to the cold. The bosses in the original Mega Man game are all great, but this one just falls flat. Freeze Man from Mega Man 7 is every thing Ice Man wants to be.Toad Man
There is no doubt in my mind that Toad Man is the all time easiest boss in Mega Man. All you have to do his keep shooting him as he jumps over you from left to right. He won't use his stupid Rain Flush, or even touch you. Lame boss, lame weapon...just no.Blizzard Man
I probably could have devoted this whole thing to Mega Man 6, since those robot masters have little to zero value. I thought Ice Man was lame, Blizzard Man is ten thousand times worse. Being on skis, he looks more like a Happy Meal mascot, and get this; his weapon is snowflakes. Yes. Snowflakes. Dang, at least Ice Man had the ice slasher. Maybe this time Wily's plan was to get Mega Man to die of laughter, because I nearly did.Stone Man
A guy made of rocks sounds like a nice idea, and you'd think such a structure would make him a hard fight. But it doesn't. All Stone Man does his hop around like a 5 year old at a sugar factory, crumble, stand up, and hop around again. If you're lucky, you might even see him not
use his Power Stone weapon..another shield-like device that ends up being of no use to Mega Man.Top Man
Why? Mega Man 3 is probably my favorite of the series. Good levels, and a great boss line up. But Top Man? You just wonder why. Like Hard Man, Top Man is also a very easy fight. You'll probably never use his Top Spin the rest of the game, but it's essential in the final boss fight. I guess even lame weapons have their purpose.Spring Man
Another laughable, desperate effort with a useless weapon. There's really nothing more you can say about Spring Man.Tomahawk Man
When Mega Man 6 came out, it was during the time when my Atlanta Braves were consistently one of the best teams in baseball. As a kid back then, I recall thinking they obviously named this boss in honor of my favorite baseball team. Tomahawk Man not only throws tomahawks at you, but also his headdress feathers, making him pretty difficult. As I said before, this game was clear evidence they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for enemy ideas, and Tomahawk Man is proof.Dust Man
Look out, it's a giant vacuum cleaner! Dust Man has two abilities; throwing clumps of trash at you, and sucking you toward him. Yeah, he really sucks. Bad.
I'm sure there are other baddies in the Mega Man franchise that stand out as ridiculous to you that haven't even been mentioned here, but these are the most stupid ones that I've always recalled. I sure don't know what they were thinking with some of these, but the Mega Man line remains a favorite from the golden days of the NES. Dumb bosses notwithstanding.
Thanks for reading.