Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mega Man: The Wily Wars (Sega Genesis)

One of the best games on the Sega Genesis, Mega Man: The Wily Wars includes the first three games in the series with revamped graphics and sound. When I heard that the game has additional content in the form of Wily Tower, I had to check it out. This post is all about Wily Tower; join me for a look at this exclusive and forgotten part of the Mega Man universe.

Mega Man 3! Debatably the best Mega Man game ever, and one of the greatest games of all time, seen here in revamped 16-bit Sega-vision.

I will not be playing it or talking about it any more in this post. Just wanted to show the stage select.

As far as letdowns go, this post is like the South Park episode where Kenny floated towards the gates of Heaven (Pop. 1294) and then suddenly got dragged down into Hell (Pop. 871,376,182,375)


Wily Tower has a stage select with three bosses. After that, you get a bunch of Wily stages. Altogether, it's about seven stages.

The first one I take on is... Hyper Storm H? What the hell? This guy looks like an X series refugee. Presumably the H stands for... Hippo?

And now we come to the real appeal of Wily Tower, besides it being rare and exclusive. In this mode, you can choose any eight weapons and any three items from Mega Man, Mega Man 2, or Mega Man 3. Now that's awesome. You can switch your weapons up between stages, too.

The downside is that some of the weapons are basically repeats of others (Search Snake/Bubble Lead), some obsolete others (Metal Blade over Shadow Blade, Quick Boomerang over Cut Blade), some are just plain useless (Guts Power). Still, there is no denying the coolness factor here. I go with Rush Coil, Rush Jet, and MM1's Magnet Beam as items. The first two are useful standbys, while the Magnet Beam is just plain cool and fun to play around with. As for the weapons, I went with a useful variety. In this game you can't go wrong with the Elec Beam and Metal Blade. Also going with Wood Shield, Flash Stopper, Search Snake, Magnet Missiles, Gemini Laser, and Crash Bombs.

Either I've gotten a lot better at Mega Man games over time, or the difficulty in Wily Tower is sorely lacking. I pretty much flew through this first stage, but I'll admit that this section right here is pretty nasty. ...which is why we have Rush Jet and the Magnet Beam.

"I wonder if Young Barack Obama got to the U.S. via Air Kenya or if he just swam across? Woof!"

The hell? How'd Rush Limbaugh get in here? I thought I told you to scram, Rush Limbaugh!

After a long journey, the Blue Bomber arrives at a door.

The hippopotamus attacks! ...he doesn't last too long, despite having two life meters. I believe he may be the only original series Mega Man boss to have two life meters onscreen at once. He takes a lot of damage from Mega Man's attacks (so much so that the two life meters don't make much of a difference) and isn't too swift.

For those wondering, none of these three give up any special weapons. Why should they? This game has such a primo selection of special weapons already. In any case, the MMX-style boss trends continue here. Good thing the people behind the later X-series games didn't do the names here, because then we'd be fighting Blow Hippopotamus, Moist Onionard, and Rod Monkey Player.

Look at that subscreen, with weapons from three different games. Awesome, eh? This game proves a couple of things about Mega Man weapons. One... the original game has a fairly lacking weapon repertoire compared to the others. Aside from the Elec Beam, there isn't a whole lot of useful there. Second, Mega Man 2 has perhaps the best weapon selection out of the three in terms of variety. One could probably play through any Mega Man game with only the weapons from MM2. Lastly, Mega Man 3 has some very appealing and fun weapons. I just wish the original game had more to contribute.

Much of this stage is underwater, and our hero must contend with deadly frogs.

*Rush puffs on a cigar* "That frog looked French! Have you ever noticed how John Kerry looks French? Woof!"

You're still here? Security! Security! ...wait, are you smoking? This is a family blog, damn it!

"If this is a family blog, then I'm not the world's most obnoxious dog! Ruff!"

Touche, Rush Limbaugh. Touche.

Here's the boss. He/she/it is even easier than the big guy with two life meters, and I quickly find that Search Snake dusts him/her/it. The main reason these new bosses are so easy is because they take so much damage from so many special weapons. They're like the opposite of MM3's Doc Robots, notorious for taking almost no damage from most of the things you threw at them. These fights are a bit of a letdown in comparison.

Flying condoms assault our Mega hero as he takes on the third stage. It's only fitting, being the stage of Rod Monkey Player.

At some point I realize I can just Rush Jet and Magnet Beam over most of the level, and we're off and running.

Rod Monkey Player is easily the toughest of the three. Here's a bit of trivia - the bosses in Wily Tower are based on characters from Chinese mythology. Most notably, this guy is based on the Monkey King, fabled for riding a cloud and using a staff that extended (which you can see in the image). If this sounds familiar, it should... Dragonball is based on the same mythos. In other words... Rod Monkey is Gokou. Wow.

With all three bosses down, it's time! It's Wily time!

He's got the usual skull castle, yawn. Weirdly enough, the graphics and overall stage layout in Wily Tower remind me of the later Game Boy Mega Men (namely, the fourth and fifth games). I get the feeling a lot of the same hands worked on those games that worked on this Genesis installment.

Wily's castle is pretty much par for the course. A little bit tougher, but nothing really all that bad.

The first boss here is a metal fire dragon, probably the most difficult fight I had in this entire game. No joke, this thing takes off a LOT of energy if it hits you. It is also resistant to weapon damage (unlike the previous three bosses who were seemingly weak to everything) and difficult to hit at times. Unique fight in that there's nothing really like this in the series, and I appreciated the challenge.

The second stage is mostly underwater and has a few Crash Bomb gates that hold items and E-Tanks. There are VERY few E-Tanks in all of Wily Tower (I counted four) so it's important to explore every corner of these stages to find them all. There isn't a shop in this game to bail you out.

Next's a sphere thing. It's insanely easy to beat, especially compared to the last boss. Oddly uneven difficulty on these bosses. Moving on.

The next stage is IN SPACE as I continue to get MMIV and MMV Game Boy vibes from the graphics.

The Monkey King returns here in an interesting fight. The platforms continually move towards the bottom of the screen while new ones fall from above, meaning it's a struggle to keep up with them and also attack the boss. This could easily be the toughest fight in the game, but he only takes like five hits from Hard Knuckle. One can easily take him out before the platforms even start dropping.

I actually let him win at 20% just to do it over with the regular arm cannon and get a challenge. Wily Tower is pretty underwhelming if you need to give yourself handicaps to have it be difficult.

Final stage. The beginning has a lot in common with other final Wily stages. I half expected to fight all 22 bosses from the three MM games here, but that'd just be overkill. Instead, the only returning foe in these stages is the Monkey King. Not sure why he gets dibs over the other two Chinese Legend bosses.

Mega Man's nefarious bro appears here and lets him proceed.

Here's my final weapon selection. Three E-Tanks aren't bad at all. The Elec Beam is extremely useful for bosses, and the Metal Blade is the best weapon overall. The Flash Stopper is good for zipping through the last stage without fighting anything. Hard Knuckles and Crash Bombs are probably the strongest weapons overall and needed for breaking through various gates in the Wily stages. Bomb Man's Hyper Bombs...well, they're hard to hit with, but it seems like every boss in Wily Tower is weak against them. Lastly, Quick Boomerang and Shadow Blade... neither of those are particularly useful here, but I'm a fan of both.

Final boss time. Instead of the usual skull tank type deal, Wily is in this mech. The way to win is to Tonya Harding the kneecaps with Crash Bombs.

After that it falls down and starts putting 'em up, like a pugilist. This is hilarious!

That's a hint as to what weapon to use. A few Hard Knuckles to the face and this one's over quick.

Wily's final form is, of course, a saucer. There's no reprieve between this and the previous two fights. At this rate I might have to use one of those three E-Tanks! Ye Gods!

Since this game has the rad MM3 version of Rush Jet with full control, I fire that up and engage in an aerial dogfight! ..."dogfight", hyuck

This fight is also easily won with the Elec Beam since it fires upward...and can take out the adds on the ground too.

Wily runs away, and... despite being an out of shape old man, manages to outrun an all powerful robot. If only Mega Man could dash yet.

...and Wily keeps outrunning him, until he eventually escapes. You know what? Mega Man sucks.

That doesn't stop Mega Man from celebrating his "victory" like he just won the World Series.

So...thoughts on Wily Tower? It was pretty cool. I didn't know it existed until recently, and I got to share it with all of you. That said, it was way too easy to get through. With all the weapon choices and customization available, this game could have been made into a big challenge to balance things out. It would have only gained from doing that. Instead we have all this customization available for a bunch of levels that roll over for you rather than make you experiment with different combinations or really think about your approach. Oh well.

Other Mega Man Posts


  1. "As far as letdowns go, this is like the South Park episode where Kenny floated towards the gates of Heaven (Pop. 1294) and then suddenly got dragged down into Hell (Pop. 871,376,182,375)"

    Sorry to be the internet nitpick guy, but that was from the movie, not an episode.

  2. "The only returning foe in these stages is the Monkey King. Not sure why he gets dibs over the other two Chinese Legend bosses."

    It's good to be the king.

  3. "The way to win is to Tonya Harding the kneecaps with Crash Bombs."

    Not cool, Jer! Too soon!

  4. "Here's a bit of trivia - the bosses in Wily Tower are based on characters from Chinese mythology."

    .....OH! I get it! They're all from the same story, "Journey to the West"! The #1 adventure story of all time. The Monkey God, the Pig, and the Water Hag. The Monkey God is totally amazing and godmodes all the fights; his problem is his personality, in particular his hubris. I remember seeing a pig in Dragonball...the hag, though?

    It's cool that you got to choose your weapons, but it's too bad it was so easy.

  5. The Water Hag is indeed in Dragonball... I think. Urusai Baba, who floats around on a crystal ball. I never realized that her and Oolong (the pig in question) were actually significant from a mythological perspective, because they aren't exactly significant in the story. I think Oolong was probably one of the off-camera people eaten by Cell.

  6. The three of them accompany a monk who has been ordered by Buddha to go to India and collect Buddhist Scriptures to bring back to China and translate for the good of the believers there. But the monk and Roshi have very different personalities, I reckon. Oh, and "Urusai Baba" means "Noisy Papa".

  7. I think this game is the second worse remake of all times after FF1 and 2.

    I went in expecting the games to be at least as good or even better then the originals, which is what say Super Mario All Stars gave us.

    But no. The gameplay is EXTREMELY SLOW. Compare the yellow devil fight in NES and the yellow devil fight in Wily Wars. I don't think ANYONE could actually lose against Wily Wars Yellow Devil. The game is so slow, IT'S AN INSULT TO THE SYSTEM! Gotta go fast, Genesis does what Nintendon't... Sonic goes fast! Hrm... I love the system but why the hell is the NES running faster then the Genesis. Sorry but they fucked up this port BIG TIME.

    Playing this just makes me want to play the NES games.