Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mega Man 7 (Super NES, 1995)

The series debuts on the Super NES with a bang! ...that is, if you don't count the two (superior) Mega Man X games already on the system by the time this came out. I actually thought they were done with the original series after the sixth game and had moved on to exclusively Mega Man X. So it was pretty weird when we got this game, and even weirder when we got Mega Man 8 a few years later. The last two weren't quite so weird, probably because a decade had gone by and now we'll take anything we can get from this series.

Dr. Wily has escaped from jail again... and grown to massive proportions! Holy shit!

 We get a quick flashback to Mega Man 4 Mega Man 5 Mega Man 6.

Wily in handcuffs... somewhere, someone is turned on by this.

But wait! Wily pulled a DBZ and had other androids in wait to be activated at a certain date. Unfortunately, none of them are a hot blonde, because Wily doesn't build female robots. Not until Mega Man 9, anyway.

 The new Robot Masters wake up, and apparently with them comes a huge army of 'bots. Next thing we know, they're causing mass destruction. Luckily, Mega Man is here to spring into action. 

 Mega Man finds Dr. Light beaten up on a highway. And now that the entire story is out of the way, let's rock!

 The charged shot is back, and looks pretty much the same as it'd look in the future Mega Man 8. For some reason it's slower to charge in this game, which makes it almost as useless as the interruptable charged shot in the previous game.

Otherwise I'd say this made the transition to 16-bit pretty well, though it's definitely more cartoony than the X-series.

 After beating the intro stage, our hero runs into the newest Wily goon... Bass (which Mega Man pronounces like "ass" rather than "base"...he is wrong)

At first, Bass is a "good guy", helping Mega Man find Wily. Since Mega Man is the most naive, gullible fool on the planet this side of Gokou, he's happy to have Bass aboard.

 You only start with four bosses in this game; the other four show up after these four. There's also a short intermediate stage between the two boss sets.

...wait a minute. Two sets of four bosses, a short intermediate stage, and a named Wily goon to contend with? And the best weapon in this game is a fist-shot? This is WAY more like the Game Boy games than it's like the NES games that it's supposedly following up on. Surprised they didn't call it Mega Man VI and continue where the five portables left off, but chances are that would get very confusing for everybody.

I challenge Freeze Man's stage first, where I fight polar bears. Mechanical polar bears. Who would build mechanical polar bears? Why is this world so weird?

Freeze Man is the one who makes the most sense to fight first when it comes to getting all of the items...except that he's very difficult without his weakness. It's a good idea to bring one, even two E-Tanks.

Is that a fossilized robot dinosaur skeleton in the background? Why? Just...why? How?

Yep. Also: "Freeze, Cracker!" is what racist black cops say when making an arrest. I thought this was just a coincidence, but Mega Man 8 has a weapon called "Die Honkie". How is that even a weapon?

 Next, I take on Burst Man's stage. He's basically Bubble Man 2.0. With all of the green in the background color-scheme, this really does look like Mega Man 8.

There's an E-Tank near the beginning of the stage, and you can farm it by grabbing it and getting Game Overed. This is highly-recommended; they're the easiest E-Tanks you'll ever find in this game, and you can repeat this later if necessary. I wish Mega Man 2 had let you retain E-Tanks after a Game Over.

 Unfortunately, the E-Tank limit is four. That actually sounds about right. Mega Man X set the number at four and it worked well; the limit of 9 in some of the NES games was just way too much. Still, doing this E-Tank farm right off the bat might be the best thing you can do in this game. Would have helped me beat Freeze Man, for sure.

Crab miniboss! It doesn't help that you fight him in an ocean of pee.

Burst Man himself isn't as bad as I used to think. He likes to fire bubbles at you that can push you up towards the instant death spikes, but those bubbles are easy to dodge or break. Freeze Cracker decimates him, but (due to the bubbles blocking attacks) you have to fire over his head and have the shatter effect hit him from behind.

 Next up is Cloud Man, yet another Air Man reincarnation. His stage is what you'd expect. It's full of fans, and it's almost indistinguishable from Gyro Man's stage in Mega Man 5.

It pours during this stage... always rad to see rain in games. Doesn't happen often. If you freeze the weather control bots... snows. This makes the stage much easier and lets you collect one of the four letters that you need for the Super Adapter. The what? The Super Adapter is basically Jet Megaman + Power Megaman from the previous game, and lets you jetpack around while firing your fist. Yet another way that this seems more like a sequel to Mega Man V on the Game Boy.

Protoman shows up a few times, but he doesn't do very much except give you Protips. This time, he tells me to use Turbo Man's weapon to burn down the forest and get a powerup. Think about this for a second. He just appeared to tell me to BURN DOWN A FOREST. Who ARE you?

Cloud Man is an absolute joke with Bubble Man's weapon; most of the bosses in this game are rendered super-easy by their weaknesses.

Finally... Junk Man. We just went two games without any penis-named bosses, and now the streak is over.

This looks like those carbon-freezing factory levels in Super Empire Strikes Back. You can freeze the lava to make this easier. Really liking all the different uses for the special weapons in this game.

I get the fourth letter, and here's the Super Adapter. This is probably the most fun special power in the game, and renders Rush Coil fairly obsolete. Rush Jet is also found in this game, but it's even more useless; I never actually found a good place to use it. The Super Adapter is useful most of the time, and once you get the Hyper Fist enhancement it's even more devastating.

Junk Man may be pumped up and ready for action, but Mega Man shocks him with electric blasts. He sorta looks like a proto-form of a Sigma body.

The short mid-term stage is the Robot Museum, which contains a few relics from the past. One of them is eerily missing.

Oh, there it is. Wily makes off with Guts Man, no doubt to rebuild him.

 After that, Mega Man has to fight this awful clown boss. This thing is a seriously cheap opponent since it's invulnerable the majority of the time.

The second set of four bosses shows up. Slash Man (top right) looks like a Super Saiyan.

 Despite that, I take him on first. His stage is some kind of Robot Jurassic Park type deal. The hell?

 Here in Robot Jurassic Park, you can ride the dinosaurs! ...over long stretches of deadly spikes! Who came up with that idea? Why would anyone build a park like this?

There's also a mechanical T-Rex loose, which Mega Man quickly punches in the face. This isn't any theme park I'd recommend going to. Will this thing leave behind a metal skeleton for some reason?

 Slash Man himself has Vega claws and afterimages. He's probably the most badass robot master yet.

Next up is Spring Man's stage, my least favorite. It just isn't that interesting, unless you have a fetish for springs.

 After bouncing more than a well-endowed cheerleader on Saturday afternoon, I arrive at Spring Man. He's easily dispatched with Slash Claw, which is almost the sword weapon that I've been wishing for the past few games...

The first section of Shade Man's stage is patterned after the first stage of Super Ghouls and Ghosts, with the same enemies and everything. I think it even has the same music if you punch in a code on the stage select.

Another Spore Spawn looking robot miniboss is found here. There are two ways to you defeat it (shooting the eyes or the core) and each way opens up a different path through the level.

Here's Bass again, and he apparently lost to Shade Man. Luckily, our gullible hero is on hand to help him up. Let's get real... Did he self-inflict those wounds or is this like a wrestling heel turn where the other bad guys intentionally went easy on him because he was secretly on their side?

Shade Man has some super-annoying life-leech attacks, and his weakness is Spring Man's weird bouncing coil. Not my favorite fight, at all.

Turbo Man's stage is a bit more interesting, featuring bulldozers, cars, and more rubber than a condom factory.

The DEATH BEAMS~! from the earlier games finally make a comeback here. No time-stopper to use, either. Luckily they're slightly slower and just a bit more delayed in their launch this time.

Next up, Mega Man single-handedly takes down an angry truck! This stage is legitimately cool.

The actual boss can transform into a car and drive across the screen. He's weak to Shade Man's Noise Crush... which is an interesting weapon. If you shoot it at a wall, it bounces off. If it bounces back to you, you absorb it and your next shot will be three times as powerful.

Meanwhile, Dr. Light gets beaten up again. This guy spends more time on his hands and knees than Britney Spears.

Now equipped with all of the weapons, Mega Man proceeds to set fire to the woods in Slash Man's stage, like Protoman said to do. Aside from pissing off Smokey Bear, why would our hero do this?

 This. Somebody put Beat in a cage. Unfortunately, he isn't an attack/summon/pet in this game. He just saves you from falling into pits. He'll fly in to save you four times. Alas, at this point in the game there aren't many pits left. Most of the fortress (just one fortress in this game) is full of spikes instead.

I also take a moment to seek out Protoman. If you visit all of his hidden rooms, ending with the one in Shade Man's stage, he'll fight you there.

This is a very difficult fight; he doesn't have any weaknesses and he's tremendously agile. He also fires a charged shot that makes mine look puny.

Victory (after draining two E-Tanks) gets me his shield.


His shield lets you block small projectile attacks to your front, but Mega Man moves it to the side when firing his own shots. Unfortunately, you need to have it equipped to use it, which means you can't combine it with any special weapons. Its usefulness is limited.

Wily's Castle looms. It's interesting to compare it to its 8-bit version:

 ...from the Famicom de-make. More on that shortly.

It's your typical fortress, and as usual it has great music.

Halfway through the first Wily stage, you fight Bass. He isn't much to write about, and is easily beaten with the Super Adapter. Finding an upgrade in Turbo Man's stage causes the fists to travel farther and home in, which makes quick work of Bass.

 At the end of the stage, Guts Man 2.0 strikes. He's bigger and badder than ever, and Mega Man has little chance. That is, unless he utilizes the ancient martial art of...

Mega Man: "M******f******s talk shit I'mma punch 'em in the dick!"

Bass has a super adapter of his own. He does the Fusion Dance with Treble (his version of Rush), and...

 ...there we go. Now we're even. Is he badass or what?

 This is the best fight in the game, easily. Gravity is low in this chamber for some reason, so you can jump super-high.

Inexplicably, that isn't the boss fight for the stage... this turtle is. As far as castle bosses go it's fairly bland, not much to say about it.

This demonic ship is the next in the procession of bosses. It's one of the tougher ones since you need to use its missiles as stepping stones to fire at the eyes. However, Noise Crush can damage him if fired at the top of Mega Man's jump.

The capsule room is next, as is tradition. It's more like a capsule silo, with an elevator to reach the rest of it. Protip: Get four E-Tanks and an S-Tank before taking this stage on... and DON'T USE ANY OF THEM until the final boss.

After defeating the eight bosses, you go directly into a fight with Wily. He only has two forms, but the second is insanely difficult.

The first is the Boner Tank, which is easily defeated with electric bolts. Important thing here is to lose as little health as possible. If you take more than 40% damage you might as well die and try again. It isn't too hard to defeat the Boner Tank flawlessly, and you'll need every bit of that energy for the next part.

Wily's final form is the hardest fight in the entire series. He teleports, but instead of his usual rotating energy-balls he now attacks with homing elemental shots. His fire and ice shots do HUGE damage... electric shots do less. Since it's so hard to avoid these shots (he launches four at a time) it's actually a good idea to intentionally try to get hit by the electric shots rather than the others. That way Mega Man will be protected while the rest fly through him. You know it's brutal when the best strategy is to intentionally get hit by the enemy's weakest attack just so the others miss.

As for offense, I always used to use Freeze Cracker on him, but I discovered this playthrough that the Super Adapter fist actually works a lot better. Same low damage, but it homes in so it's guaranteed to hit.

 After burning through all four E-Tanks and the S-Tank, I barely win. Yikes. In any case, Wily surrenders, yada yada, Mega Man spares him yet aga...

 ...wait what? Mega Man is actually going to kill him? My God! Will this lead into Mega Man X somehow? IS MECHA-WILY FINALLY IN THE WORKS?, because the ceiling collapses on him before Mega Man can fire, then Bass rescues him and flies off.

To be continued in Mega Man 8.

Our hero walks away from the burning castle, and that's it for this game.

We end with this bizarre freeze-frame. What a crew of oddities. Onward to Mega Man 8!


  1. Dr. Light built Splash Woman, so you're still right about Wily!

    Another problem with the charge shot in this is that it only does 2 units worth of damage instead of the normal 3.

    Even as many times as I've beaten Mega Man 7 that last battle is nightmarish. I never use the Super Adapter though because you can't slide with it.

  2. Would be pretty interesting if this game were made by the Game Boy team. That seems real plausible actually.
    Giant polar bear...robot dinosaur skeleton..I'm liking the design choices here.
    I LOL'd about where you fight the crab miniboss.
    Mega Man is HUGE relative to his environment in this game. This is ALSO like the Game Boy game; they must've been used to working with those proportions.
    Burn down the get a Powerup?! This could be the beginning of a debate about whether robots care about nature or not. At least Protoman's suggestion is suitable to his edgy nature.
    Junk Man was the stage I did when I rented this game, but I couldn't hack it.
    A robot museum...containing robots that used to wreak havoc on society...hmmm...
    The robot designs are pretty good.
    People must've -loved- the Jurassic Park tie-in when this came out.
    Playing this with Ghouls and Ghosts music is a great mash-up idea from the era before mash-ups.
    Noise Crush seems like an awesome original thing. Using Protoman's Shield is new, too, even if it isn't a buff you can always use.
    Yoo this Wily Stage theme is awesome, I can see why it got 100,000 views.
    AMAZING reference for the Guts Man fight. He even makes the same face as Goro.
    Looks like they did a great job with this. Bass is a cool addition and the final bosses and battle lived up to their status. Long live the Super Adapter.
    Mega Man losing his patience and trying to kill Wily...I can understand that.