The Mega Man series is one that I didn’t understand as a kid. I was drawn to it, but a lot of things went over my head. If I was able to reach a Robot Master, I could rarely defeat them. I may have conquered a few Robot Masters, but never realized that I could use their weapons against other Robot Masters.
Fast forward 25 years and we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of Rockman’s release on the Famicom in Japan. A series that has seen a lot of downtime lately is starting to re-emerge, beginning with Capcom’s release of Street Fighter X Mega Man. My contribution to the celebration will be this Top 10 list of my personal favourite Robot Masters, as well as the Mini Fortress reader picks.
Weapon: Noise Crush
Weakness: Wild Coil
Shade Man is a robotic vampire, and he uses that to his advantage. Shade Man can swoop down and grab Mega Man to drain his life and refill his own. I find it to be one of the trickier fights due to this tactic, but Shade Man’s stage is the real highlight.
There are two possible paths to traverse giving the level a little replay value, however, the real treat lies in the level’s theme. You might recognize some of the enemies from a certain title known as Ghosts ‘n Goblins. Yes, this level is indeed inspired by Capcom’s evil horror game. Need further proof? Shade Man’s stage hides alternate theme music that just happens to be the main theme from Ghosts ‘n Goblins.
Weapon: Blizzard Attack
Weakness: Flame Blast
Admittedly, Blizzard Man is an easy robot master to take down, but he makes up for it with pure style. Sporting a pair of skis and a lovely Canadian toque, Blizzard Man combines the power of snowflakes and fancy ski tactics to make for an interesting battle. Other than his style, I think Blizzard Man’s stage design is among the best in the series, the same can be said for his catchy theme.
Your #9 Pick:
Weapon: Tornado Hold
Weakness: Ice Wave
Mega Man 8 is no stranger to changing up the classic formula from time-to-time and Tengu Man’s stage is the perfect example. At two points throughout the level, Tengu Man’s stage will become a pseudo shooter. Mega Man hops on Rush and battles an incoming fleet of enemies, as well as gaining help from friends along the way.
Tengu Man himself is also one of the more interesting boss fights in Mega Man 8 because of his jetpack and Tornado Hold abilities. He never touches the ground and the Tornado Hold can capture you to ensure a free hit for Tengu Man. When you get his Tornado Hold, you can use the weapon to gain an extra lift in stages and to solve some cool puzzles later in the game.
Your #8 Pick:
Weapon: Laser Trident
Weakness: Hornet Chaser
The only female robot in the classic series has one of the most unique battle patterns. Splash Woman has the ability to swim around and call robotic fish on-screen with her wonderful singing ability. When she reaches the top of the screen, she’ll unleash a fury of Laser Tridents at Mega Man. Though she is quite easy, her Laser Trident is one of the most powerful weapons in Mega Man 9.
Laser Trident can be used to smash through shields, is twice as powerful as the buster, and proves to be resourceful with its low energy consumption. As a bonus, the Laser Trident can also be used to effectively destroy Splash Woman.
Splash Woman is also the only robot master that might possibly be a cross-dressing male.
Your #7 Pick:
Weapon: Thunder Beam
Weakness: Rolling Cutter
Perhaps not as iconic as Cut Man or Guts Man, Elec Man is definitely the coolest (that would have been a lame pun if Ice Man was my pick instead) robot master from the first game. His stage is a high tower full of electrical traps that will slow you ascent. It’s also home to the Magnet Beam, the only item-like power-up in Mega Man.
Once you reach the top you’ll have to face off with Elec Man, arguably the hardest of the six bosses from the first game. Once defeated, you’ll get one of the best weapons in Mega Man. This weapon is especially useful against the Yellow Devil, one of the hardest bosses from the series.
Your #6 Pick: