Living here in the good ol' USA, you can count on a lot of things. You can bet that each new TV season will arrive with plenty of trumpeting and fanfare, and very little else. You can count on a successful action movie having a slew of sequels (Rambo 18 anyone?).
In the video game world, as each new Christmas season approaches, you can look for the latest installment of further adventures of Capcom's titanium wonder, Mega Man, in your toy store. It's just like clockwork!
The Robotic Cold War
A mad doctor has a nefarious plan for world domination -- but before you say "Oh, Dr. Wiley's at it again", hold your tongue! Evil has a new name -- and it's Dr. Cossack!
You see, Dr. Cossack has a bruised ego. Cossack has been designing all these robots for years and years, yet no one pays much attention to him. Dr. Light is hailed as the world's greatest robot designer -- after all, he did design our hero, Mega Man. Meanwhile, Dr. Cossack sits in his Siberian citadel and fumes.
Finally, Cossack's brain boils over -- he sends eight of his most powerful robots to destroy Mega Man. Toad Man, Bright Man, Dust Man, Ring Man, Drill Man, Dive Man, Skull Man, and Pharaoh Man are the robot masters you have to deal with this go around -- and there isn't a weenie amongst them!
Who's the Boss?
In addition to the brand new robot rogue's gallery, Mega Man 4 features some villains from earlier Mega Man games, such as the Torpedo Fish (that show up on the Toad Man and Dive Man levels), Meteors (the little guys with the hard hats - that show up almost everywhere), and Batteries (those green metal things that shoot big red balls). But don't get me wrong - this ain't just a rehash, there's lots of new, original foes such as the monster-size robo-hippos and the gigantic missile-whales.
Hop through Toad Man's lair first. It's the easiest place to start and beating Toad Man nets you the Rain Flush and a Rush Marine Adaptor.
To defeat Toad Man, stay close to him so he can't use his Rain Hush. Blast him with your Mega Buster and move right and left to avoid having him land on you.
When battling Bright Man, by to get frozen in mid-air or move farther away when he's about to use his "Freeze Flash." That way, most of his shots will miss you and he won't be able to jump on you.
In Ring Man's world, use the Rain Flush to easily defeat the giant robot hippos.
The best way to defeat Drill Man is to blast him with the Dive Missiles when he surfaces. When he burrows underground, keep jumping and moving from left to right and back to decrease the chance of him burrowing up under you.
More Tricks Up Your Sleeves
Another new element in Mega Man 4 is the helpful devices you can find. Previously, you only got new weapons and devices by defeating a super baddie. But two new devices - the Wire Adaptor, which enables Mega Man to fire a wire up to a ledge or ceiling and haul his can up, and the Balloon Adaptor, which creates a small floating platform Mega Man can stand on - are hidden within the game. You won't have to beat anyone to get these devices, but it's possible to miss them!
- You'll find the Balloon Adaptor on the Pharaoh Man level; the Wire Adaptor is on the Dive Man level.
- Every Mega Man game has a spot or two where it's easy to get weapon capsules and energy pellets. In Mega Man 4, the Skulls provide the easiest way to full power-up.
Nuts and Bolts
The Mega Man games form a classic NES series, and NESers have grown accustomed to their challenge and style. If you like one of these games, you probably like them all. Mega Man 4 continues the tradition - crazed robot baddies, good character graphics, great background art, and warped, mechanical music. When you have a good game, why make radical changes? Capcom sticks to the blueprints in Mega Man 4 -- guaranteeing happiness for Mega Man fans everywhere.