Mega Man: The Lemon Runs (Mega Buster Only)

#21
MFan168
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Flash Man’s stage is...weird. Similar to Elec Man’s stage, it offers multiple pathways, sort of like a maze. Unlike Elec Man’s stage, where the pathways have more or less equal levels of challenge, Flash Man’s paths are pretty damn imbalanced, in that one path might offer you loads of items, while the other might flood you with enemies. In the first fork in the road, you’ll want to take the lowest hallway, as all the others lead to a door that can only be destroyed with a Crash Bomb. This means dealing with the Crazy Cannon and its ridiculous bullets, but you’ll have to make do. At the end of the segment, you’ll find a hallway blocked by three (3) Crash Bomb doors. While this path is lighter on the enemy side, it technically breaks the run considering you’re using a RM weapon to make a situation easier for yourself, instead of it being required. So damn it, I’m having the moral high ground and going down the other path...which leads to a Sniper Armor! With ice physics!

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After you try as hard as you can to slide past it, pray you don’t get hit by the Crazy Cannon on the next screen and go down the leftmost passage. On the next screen, hug the wall so that you end up in the center passage, avoiding the Schworms. Next, take the left passage to avoid the upcoming Blocky, and in the room with the second Sniper Armor, go down the passage to the right. This allows you to jump a series of blocks that completely negates two Sniper Armors. After the blocks end, jump down to the ground to go under yet another Sniper Armor.

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Flash Man’s one of the easier Robot Masters to deal with, what with his slow speed and the fact that he takes more damage from lemon shots than usual. The only real difficulty comes from his unusual arena design. You can more or less stay still as he’s walking up to you, and when he gets right next to you, jump over him and let him follow you for the rest of the fight. You can avoid his rapid fire shots if you’re right on top of or right below him when he stops time, but don’t stress much if you can’t dodge it in time; despite his sheer number of bullets, he can only hit you once before time resumes again, and one shot deals a measly two bits of damage to you. This, coupled with the fact that he only stops time every six seconds, means that you’d have to be actively trying to get killed by him if you have a full bar of health. Soon enough he’ll be gone in a fla….jiffy.

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Jeeeeeesus christ, Quick Man’s stage. We’ve saved the worst for last, in some regard. After using Item 1/3 to get the 1-up if you want and a room full of Schworms, you’ll be at the most reviled hazard in the Classic series: the instant death lasers. Without the Time Stopper on your hands (even then I don’t like to use it on regular runs as I need to conserve it for this stage’s headache of a boss), the best strategy I can give you is to *run*. At the very least, on the second laser screen, you can veer to the right to go down the right passageway in the following screen to get a 1-Up and E-Tank.

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In this hallway, these Hotheads can be tricky once they start throwing discount Podoboos, but this first one is the only one you can’t kill before that happens considering you need to jump. For these last few laser sections….well, let’s just say there’s a reason this stage gives you two 1-Ups. It’s completely fine if you don’t pass all of the lasers on the first try, so at least the retrys are good for getting experience. The last hallway has even more Sniper Armors, but this time, you have plenty of room to destroy the Armors if you’re firing at them quickly enough and then dealing with the Joes from there. Just…don’t scroll too far and respawn another Armor, for the love of god.

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So...Quick Man….hm. Alright, I’ll confess: I don’t have a strategy for this man. This boss doesn’t have any pattern that I can discern, almost like the reincarnation of Elec Man in terms of sheer randomness. All I can notice is that he jumps twice before running for a bit, but it’s impossible to notice how far/high he jumps or at which jump he fires his boomerangs, which can either come in groups of 1 or 3. There’s just so many unknown factors here! It’s by complete happenstance that these last 4 stages are the only RM stages in the game with E-Tanks, not to mention their bosses are cakewalks, so for God’s sake, don’t be afraid to use them. Quick Man only takes 14 shots to kill, but it’s going to be a long 14 shots.

Also just for fun, my opinions on this game’s weapons:

Metal Blade: The point in the series where the devs finally realized they needed to take it down a notch on weapon balance. Between letting you fire in 8 directions, its fast fire rate and brutal damage, and its inexpensive ammo cost, this is by and large the best weapon in the Classic series.
Bubble Lead: Even if there’s something to be said about its floor-following feature, there’s nothing it can do that the Mega Buster or Metal Blade couldn’t. Only found myself using this with a certain hazard in a Wily Castle stage and the final boss.
Atomic Fire: A neat little precursor to the Mega Buster, but the fact that it you can only use 2 fully charged shots of it before running out of ammo ultimately kills it.
Leaf Shield: A bit dampered by the fact that you can’t move while using it. Only used it with the lifts in Crash Man’s stage.
Air Shooter: As far as shooting upwards, it’s made obsolete by the Metal Blade when you consider that it’s ultimately slower. At least they’re the best defense against Sniper Armors.
Crash Bomber: A bit slow for my tastes, but it deals decent enough damage. Apparently it can also go through Wood Man’s Leaf Shield, which is a godsend.
Time Stopper: Practically mandatory for Quick Man’s lasers, but other than that, I didn’t get too much use out of this.
Quick Boomerang: A nice alternative to the Metal Blade, thanks to its fast fire rate and, consequently, its high damage output.
#22
Draku
i always hated the "haha pick a path idiot" meme in megaman stage design. it's never balanced and you don't know what path will give what. some of the later entries finally get sort of smart about it by having the valuable pickups make you immediately turn back or run into a hazard or something, but even then you don't know that's going to happen when you pick a path due to the screen limitations. there's always a bunch of enemies around too to make you regret your life choices when you're just trying to go back and take a different path.

quick man is an asshole in all bossfights even in spinoffs.

in my opinion the charged buster is broken and invalidates a lot of special weapon use in the later entries even if i love the idea of it. atomic fire should have been looked over and made into a recurring special weapon type like the shields were instead, making an actually useful but limited (not AS limited as the atomic fire, fuck that stupid nonsense) charged multiuse weapon.
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#23
MFan168
Believe me, I've taken that Charge Shot thing into consideration. Once I realized that especially in 5 and 6 I used the Charge Shot over most other weapons besides situational uses, once I get to those games I'm going to minimize it as much as possible.
#24
MFan168
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And finally, we’re at the Wily Castle, with hands down the best castle music in the series. Seriously, 2’s soundtrack is the one part of the game that isn't overrated. After dealing with the Pippis, you'll come across a pit of Schworms where you will be eaten alive, if only because the worms take multiple hits to kill for some ungodly reason. So, we're going to cheat a bit here and use Item-2 to fly to the next...outpost, I guess I can call it? There's still one more Schworm generator after this, but you'll be able to walk past it after waiting for 3 of the worms to come out. You can deal with the Sniper Joe to get the ammo boost for Item-2/3 if you want, but regardless, use the ladder to your advantage while dealing with the second Sniper Joe and be mindful of the Spring Head on the next screen. With the wide open space section, make sure that you're on the absolute edge of the platforms you make when using Item-1. Everything after should be a breeze until you get to...

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Surprise, giant robot dragon out of nowhere! The suddenness of it all and the thrill of being chased by a boss makes this one of my favorite setpieces in the series, but sadly, he's a cakewalk even with the Mega Buster. His fireballs are slow and infrequent enough to easily jump over, and he doesn't have any hitstun. Even if you do get hit, as long as you're not too far to the right on any of the blocks, you'll be fine. If this was just one game earlier, the knockback would be a much harder fight.

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For the second stage, be mindful that weapons don't recover energy between Castle parts, so you'll want to make sure that Item-2 is well stocked. After using the usual strategy with the Crop Tops, at the end of the Item-2 corridor is a higher-up ladder that's harder to reach unless you're jumping straight under it, but it's well worth it when it means collecting a 1-Up and some energy for Item-2, not to mention having an easier time with the Crazy Cannons on the next screen. After that screen, remember to be patient with the returning Moles and Presses, and now, it's boss time.

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There's not much to say about the Pico Pico-kun (yes I'm not making this shit up) boss, honestly. In a more modern game, it would be more telegraphed what blocks will fly out next, but for now, it's best to stay in the middle of the stage, where you won't at least get hit by any vertical ones. The combined blocks get faster the longer this fight drags on, so feel free to lure them out, but thankfully, they only take three shots each to kill.

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And now for Wily Castle 3, a stressful albeit short sewer segment. On the second screen, veer to the right from the bottom platform so you'll be able to collect some energy for any of your Items that are low. Ignore the powerups behind the Crash Bomb doors, you'll want to....save that, ahem. In the corridor filled with spikes, in case you didn't know/remember there are fish that come out of the pits, but they shouldn't be a problem as long as you jump as high as you can. The next few spike sections aren't too bad, as long as your reflexes are good, but the last hallway has the last Crazy Cannons in the game, and fuck, are they annoying.

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Good god, Guts Man, what did Wily do to you? This boss is intimidating at first, not because of its size, but rather its lack of leg room when trying to hit its weak point, the yellow emblem on its helmet. Its mouth shots are tricky, where you need to jump a bit to the left and then back on to the tank, but consequently, this is the best time to fire at it. Once it stops to a halt at the right of the stage, you'll want to jump off it right when it starts backing up, as that's when it decides to shoot Mets from its stomach. This isn't a good time to fire at it, but you'll be utterly safe as long as you hug the tank's treads.

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Christ, where do I begin with Wily Stage 4? After some quick ladderwork with the first Met, on the next screen, do not try to go for the farthest ladder on the left; as you'll recall, this is the stage with the invisible pits. If you want the 1-Up from the second screen, you'll have to go up the other ladder and switch. Regardless, unless you've somehow memorized the placement of these invisible pits, Bubble Lead is pretty much mandatory to find out where they are, especially for the one above a pit of the sharpest Mega Man spikes you'll ever see.

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Regarding the screen with the two Mets and the E-Tank, if you want the latter, shoot at the higher Met as soon as it pops out while running from its shots as soon they're fired and retreating to the ladder. Once that's out of the way, use Item-1 right where that Met stood to go through the invisible pit. Regardless, it's time for the return of everyone's favorite lift segments!

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Once again, the stage will employ Tellies that will be at an impossible position to fire at with just the Buster (they really want you to use the Metal Blade or Leaf Shield here), so you'll want to use some crafty itemwork:

First room: Use Item-2 from the top-right corner of the screen.
Second room: No items necessary, just mind the block...blocking the lift's path.
Third room: Jump down to the lift when it's at its lowest point, and if you're really careful, you can use Item-1 when it's at the top-right corner of the screen to jump to the platform and hit yourself with a Tellie to utilize hitstun and walk on the spikes to the exit at the bottom.
Fourth room: Use Item-1 or Item-2 to get across this easily, but otherwise, do this the normal way.

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And now, the last regular enemy encounters in the game. You can jump under or kill the Sniper Armors just fine, but the first mechless Sniper Joe is utterly impossible to deal with without taking damage thanks to the low ceiling. Be grateful this isn't a perfect run, yeah?

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So…the Boobeam Trap. Trust me when I say its ridiculous name is the least viceful of its offenses. I’m willing to give the Yellow Devil the benefit of the doubt because he would have been relatively less tedious if I weren’t challenging myself, and if you’re skillful enough you could get away with beating him without getting hit once. For the Boobeam Trap, however, there’s only one way to beat it, and no matter what kind of run you choose, it’s a royal pain. In case you weren’t aware, the Crash Bomb is the only weapon in the game that can even damage it, which would technically end this run right then and there. This would be fine though, if there were absolutely room for error, which...there isn’t. See, you can only fire 7 Crash Bombs before you’re out of ammo, and there’s 5 turrets and 2 bombable doors that must be destroyed. That means if you mess up a shot, fire at the wrong door, or don’t happen to have enough ammo coming into the fight (this goes for Items 1 and 3 too, by the way), you’re fucked. And since your weapon energy doesn’t restore after losing a live, either you’ll have to test your luck grinding with the Sniper Joes and Armors, or it’s getting a game over and starting from the beginning of the stage just for another chance (note: even grinding isn’t recommended as chances of getting hit by the Snipers are pretty high, and E-Tanks don’t restore after death if you use one. I cannot stress enough how important making a savestate is here, not out of convenience, but out of necessity. Don't even get me started with its blindingly fast counter shots.

Long passionate rant aside, it's hard to describe this without the magic of video, so going clockwise from the turret directly above the door, I'll be referring to them as numbers 1-5. Use Item-1 to get yourself up to the center platform, and immediately kill #3 so the counterfire won't be as bad. Next, you'll need two Crash Bombs for #1 and the wall blocking it. Use pixel-perfect jumping to get to the upper platform so you can kill #2. Finally, you'll want to deal with #5 before #4; if you do it vice versa, you'll leave yourself wide open trying to get out with Item-3.
#25
Draku
the mm2 wily stage boss names are still hilarious. and the bosses themselves are not very well designed. for how much mm2 gets jerked off i'd say it has some of the weakest wily stages in the series (aside from the music) all around. fuck the boobeam trap who even made that

people who have trouble with the dragon confuse me, i'm with you. granted i also thought that the flying tank in MM&B was a cakewalk too and i know i'm completely alone there

i actually do like the superspike pathway and how it forces you to check using weapons while being a trap that is still possible to see coming, just it's obviously very silly on a buster-only run. i can't make fun of you about the moving platform segment either. damn.
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#26
MFan168
(Feb 16, 2020 at 3:46 AM)Draku Wrote: granted i also thought that the flying tank in MM&B was a cakewalk too and i know i'm completely alone there

that depends, did you do it with mega man or bass? from what i’ve seen mega man’s shit mobility compared to bass’s makes him done for when the tank decides to mess with the platforms
#27
Draku
(Feb 16, 2020 at 1:58 PM)MFan168 Wrote:
(Feb 16, 2020 at 3:46 AM)Draku Wrote: granted i also thought that the flying tank in MM&B was a cakewalk too and i know i'm completely alone there

that depends, did you do it with mega man or bass? from what i’ve seen mega man’s shit mobility compared to bass’s makes him done for when the tank decides to mess with the platforms
i actually have no idea what you mean by that, do you mean the flashbang or can the tank actually mess with the platforms in some way i apparently never saw

anyways you mostly play it safer with megaman but it's still not really a hard fight since he doesn't have much variety to him and is very simple. you don't need bass's double jump to deal with platforms that are that close together at all times.
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#28
MFan168
(Feb 16, 2020 at 8:20 PM)Draku Wrote:
(Feb 16, 2020 at 1:58 PM)MFan168 Wrote:
(Feb 16, 2020 at 3:46 AM)Draku Wrote: granted i also thought that the flying tank in MM&B was a cakewalk too and i know i'm completely alone there

that depends, did you do it with mega man or bass? from what i’ve seen mega man’s shit mobility compared to bass’s makes him done for when the tank decides to mess with the platforms
i actually have no idea what you mean by that, do you mean the flashbang or can the tank actually mess with the platforms in some way i apparently never saw

anyways you mostly play it safer with megaman but it's still not really a hard fight since he doesn't have much variety to him and is very simple. you don't need bass's double jump to deal with platforms that are that close together at all times.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3Le1uYnmsvw

i was talking about the fist attack that destroys the platforms at the 15 minute mark
#29
Draku
I genuinely didn't know that attack could even destroy the platforms, what the fuck.
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#30
MFan168
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And now, we’ve reached the first “proper” boss rush in the series, where you can actually pick your poison instead of having it forcefed in quick succession. This system is much better than how 1 handled it because first off, you get a checkpoint for every RM you kill! Thank god, we don’t have to go back to the beginning because we died once from Quick Man! Another blessing is that each defeated boss drops a health pick-up, which does put a bit of strategy into the mix. I recommend doing a Robot Master struggle with first, so that if you’re at low health you can tackle an easier boss for some easy health boosts before the next difficult boss.

The only other thing that makes this worth mentioning is that all 8 Robot Masters share the same flat arena layout for their matches. For certain bosses, this makes things either slightly easier, such as no conveyor belt for Metal Man and a flat stage for Quick Man, or makes them a complete nonissue, such as less things to jump over with Flash Man and no ceiling spikes for Bubble Man. Dr. Wily’s budget was really tight, you see.

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Once you’ve defeated all 8, you can now proceed to your second bout with Dr. Wily. The first phase’s attack pattern is almost identical to that of the panther minibosses’ from Wood Man’s stage: walk to the left, jump to the right right before the fireballs hit you, shoot while you’re jumping. The only thing that really makes this tricky is that the machine’s giant hitbox makes it slightly cumbersome when it’s at the left edge of the screen.

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As for the second phase...well, normally, there’s no way to defeat it without taking damage. You’re supposed to avoid the bouncing shots, similar to one of Bubble Man’s attacks, but they’re almost impossible to jump over without the water physics in Bubble Man’s arena. Running under them isn’t an option, either, as Wily will start firing them in groups, and their hitboxes will render any attempt to duck under them useless. Honestly, you’re really just better off using the Turbo button for this fight, unless you want to risk dying half of the time. Fun fact: this boss’s weakness is supposed to be the Crash Bomb, but considering you had to use all of that energy up for the Boobeam Trap and there’s no energy pickups between then and the Wily Machine, there’s no way to know this without getting a game over first! Isn’t this game design fun?

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You’re finished with the Wily Machine, but the game isn’t over yet. The final stage is harmless as long as you’re paying attention with the acid drops, but Wily’s Alien “transformation” is….well, pretty harmless also. Honestly, it’s more boring than anything else. First off, it is worth noting that the Bubble Lead is the only weapon this guy will take damage to; anything else would not bounce off it, but fully heal it. Humiliating bubble weakness aside, even on a normal run, not having enough ammo shouldn’t be a problem, as you only ever need to use the Bubble Lead for the invisible pits (even then, Item 2’s an option) and the Heat Man rematch, so don’t worry about running out. Of course, this means that you’ll only be able to hit the Alien at the lowest point in its path, and as he only takes one bit of damage per bubble, you’re in for a slow one. Its only method of attack are its bullets, and while they do deal an awful lot of damage, they’re incredibly easy to avoid.

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Yeah, I don’t know, Mega Man 2 isn’t the high point of the franchise like everyone says it is; in fact, the growing pains are pretty apparent. Pushing aside the weapon imbalance that we didn’t have to deal with in this run, the graphical glitches are aplenty, some of the bosses seem really unpolished, and everything after Wily Castle Stage 2 is just a giant mess. The soundtrack is legendary, of course, but otherwise, I don’t think back on this game too fondly. In terms of the Mega Buster only run, this was….about the same difficulty as Mega Man 1’s, I’d say? They both have bosses easy to exploit and bosses that will make you try for 30 minutes just to defeat, they both have stages that are a breeze and stages that are a pain, that kind of weird imbalance. The only reason I might put 2 over 1 is the addition of E-Tanks and a more reasonable boss rush, but overall, I still had fun….most of the time.

Half of the time.

….Mega Man 3 will start eventually.
#31
Draku
in some ways i really like megaman 1's approach where the boss rush is sort of split a bit between two stages and in a specific order but the way mm1 itself did it is unpolished. so while the now extremely well known approach is technically better i think the mm1 one could have been cool to go back to at some point

yeah mm2's endgame is really weak like i was saying before. i'd say i don't know why everyone obsesses over it but i do know and it's nostalgia
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#32
MFan168
Hey, so a quick update. I'm sorry if this disappoints anyone, I'm torn up about it too, but basically, I'm putting the Mega Buster only run for Mega Man 3 on an indefinite hiatus. The run was going relatively smoothly, there were bosses that were harder than others, but that applies to every Mega Man game. Then, I got to the Doc Robots. If you'll recall, they appear after defeating the 8 Robot Masters in 4 of the previous stages and copy the attacks of the bosses from the second game. This particular one was emulating Quick Man, who, if you'll recall, was the hardest boss besides maybe Wily Machine 2 from that game.

So why shouldn't Doc Quick be Quick Man but hooked up on a mix of adrenaline and steroids? Apparently, Quick Man had some pattern to him, but here, Doc Quick is nothing but RNG. No way to tell when he'll throw his boomerangs and how many, no way to tell where he'll fire them, no way to tell how many times he jumps, no way to tell when you'll die. To make matters worse, at least Quick Man took extra damage from your lemons, but ooooh no. Doc Quick only takes one bit of damage per shot, and from how much you'll be dodging and the amount of times he'll be too high up to hit, you're in for a fucking marathon. And just to make it even more imbalanced, he can take away a quarter of your health if he runs into you! Not going to lie, this is the boss that stumped me.

I looked up a password that lets me get to the Doc Robot stages with 9 E-Tanks, making Doc Quick effortless in theory, but.....I'm sorry, I have too much integrity for that. There's no strategy involved if I can't even figure out how to dodge his attacks. I would be winning through nothing but brute force, acting as if I have unlimited health and not caring about looking for openings. Technically, I can get through any boss in the series that way, but where's the fun in just one boss with that method? If I want to beat this boss, I want to feel satisfied that my efforts to adapt to the boss's patterns have paid off, which is something I just can't have with 9 E-Tanks.

To add on to that, that's why I'm not covering Mega Man 3 to begin with. There's just no point in starting it if I'm just going to put it on hold in the middle, basically leading you guys on, in other words. Once again, I apologize if you were anticipating this game, and who knows, I might be able to beat him someday. I'd like to thank anyone who's been following this thread, anyway, and I promise you, I won't find anything like this in Mega Man 4.
#33
Draku
thats a good call. props to you for not deciding to simply cheese it with etanks like some lesser people would, and i understand not doing the writeups if you were gonna have to cut it off.
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