Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rockman 7 FC (PC, 2008)

Not sure what that kanji says, but I'd like to think it says "bitch!"

That way it's "Rockman 7 bitch!"

Mega Man 7 was released in the mid 90's for the Super NES. It was the first original series game to make its presence felt on the 16-bit powerhouse. Due in part to the system jump, it looks and feels almost nothing like the earlier NES games that preceded it. As a result, Mega Man 7 was kind of an "odd man out". It was on the console known for Mega Man X  without being a part of that series, and by the time it came out I thought the original series was long over with.

In 2008 we got a retro version of the game (that brings it in line with the NES originals) when some intrepid fan-programmers created a version of Mega Man 7 with entirely NES-styled graphics and sound. Available for PCs as "Rockman 7 FC", this fan-creation very successfully integrates Mega Man 7 into an NES format...to awesome effect. We later got a Rockman 8 FC de-make as well, and it's pretty good too.



All eight stages are available from the start, unlike the SNES version which had sets of four and four.. I prefer this. The downside is that due to the 8 stage format, we lose the midpoint stage between the two sets. Oh well, not too big of a loss... unless you're the clown boss that lurked in the midway stage. That clown boss is out of a job, dammit! HE'S GOT A FAMILY!

This has to be the easiest-to-get letter in the game. I could take the ice-steps, but they melt quickly. The game starts you with Rush Coil, so I use that to bypass the steps. Starting with Rush Coil is always cool.

As for what this letter does... much like the previous several classic series games, collecting a letter from each level will get you something cool later on. In this case it's the Rush Super Adapter that lets you do a double jump and fire Mega Man's fist at enemies like a boomerang. Very useful stuff.

Here's the Exit item... this could come in handy later for E-Tank farming. I looked everywhere for Rush Search, but it seems that a few items aren't in this version of the game.

I decide to take some whacks at Junk Man. (......)

As I recall, he's the easiest boss to beat with normal weapon. Unfortunately, he gets the best of me, and the whacker becomes the whack-ee.

 Freeze Man: No relation to Mr. Freeze, of Batman fame. We have an epic fight, which I only won thanks to the energy tank in his stage (if I'd had that for Junk Man, I'd have won there... overall, he was less of a threat than Freeze Man). There we go, I have officially broken into the boss weakness circle.

Onward to Cloud Man, who I incorrectly remembered as being weak to Freeze Man's weapon. Not having the internet around to clear up every question I have is trippy (I played most of this a while back, when the internet was out and thus not there to help me if I got stuck). It was like the old days.

...and it's cool. This was the first time in a good while that I'd played a game totally winging it.

This stage reminds me of Wind Man in Mega Man 6...and to a lesser extent Air Man. And Gyro Man. I guess every wind-themed boss has a stage like this. Mega Man games have their patterns.

IT'S POURING. You'd think all the robots would rust, especially in this universe where robots can catch the flu... well, suspend disbelief.

Break Man appears...and teleports away quickly. Wait, what? Was I supposed to get an item? Either way, Break/Proto Man looks a lot more normal here than he does in the original MM7. When he was SNES-ized, he looked like he was in the awkward phase of puberty.

The boss gate is both a relief and a worry, depending on what condition Mega Man is in when you get to this point...

Our hero dishes out ice shots...which have next to no effect. OH YEAH, he's weak to the bubble weapon! My bad. I ended up having to defeat this guy with the mega buster, basically...but I did it.

I believe this is the fist powerup, which is crucial later on.

Cloud Man's weapon is awesome in Junk Man's stage, as it restores power to devices. It's a great weapon in general, with a cool electric look.

Junk Man 2: The Return. This time I blast him right from the get-go with lightning, and it's over quickly.

Anyone who remembers Mega Man 7 may notice how I'm fighting the initial four bosses first, even though there's a choice of all eight in this version. This is still the best order, as far as I can tell.

Crab Mech: "I peench"

This is a water level so there are plenty of spikes. Later in the level one must cross disappearing blocks to avoid the spikes; Rush Jet makes this simple. Good to see Rush Jet still getting use here and there, even though it isn't the vital borderline-cheat that it once was.

Here's Bubble Man, one of the most irritating fights in the game. His bubble attacks knock you right into the spikes, causing instant death. I won with Freeze Man's weapon... on my last life. Have to destroy this guy quick... real quick, because he can pretty much end it at any time if you're unlucky and get caught by a bubble mid-jump. If you're on the ground you can shoot your way out of the bubbles; being in mid-air means you don't have enough time.

Slash Man kinda looks like a Super Saiyan. Wait a minute... I'm missing something here. No way, did I miss getting any pictures of Spring Man's stage? That's just odd. I'll need to go back and replay it to fix this.

This stage is very serious about its theme, with springs EVERYWHERE. The enemies are springs, the walls are springs...

It also features some of the largest rooms in the game. Rather than the typical horizontal or vertical hallways, this stage has some vast open areas midway through.

Spring Man himself is one of the easier bosses, and Slash Claw makes quick work of him if you have it (I didn't when I first did this). He also has a long robo-punch, much like Robo in Chrono Trigger.

Ah, Chrono Trigger. What a magical quest.

I take on Slash Man next. From a design standpoint, he might be my favorite boss in this game. Looking Super Saiyan esque + having Wolverine claws = awesome. His stage is some sort of inhospitable jungle with robotic dinosaurs.

DEAR GOD! RUN!

Slash Man isn't just the king of yaoi fanfiction, he also attacks with vicious claw swipes. It's a tough fight, all things considered, especially because I didn't use his weakness. Luckily, I brought energy tanks.

I found that I needed energy tanks for a lot of the bosses in this run. Since you lose those when you restart with a password, I tended to go for broke with them.

Shade Man's stage is next. The early parts of this stage are actually a direct tribute to Super Ghouls and Ghosts, and the midway-point boss is a giant pumpkin.

This thing is totally Spore Spawn in disguise. No, seriously:

I'm onto you, Spore Spawn!

Here's a weird room... what's it for? There's nothing in here. It's like the inside of Gokou's head.

Our hero boards the Bat-Platform, which will probably be the main character of Arkham Knight 2. Shade Man's stage is the Halloweeniest stage in Mega Man-dom.

Here's Shade Man himself... and he's a real bastard. He doesn't insta-kill, but he can drain your life and add it to his with a hard-to-dodge attack. This can turn the tables on you real quick.

Turbo Man... I hear he's the champ of the roads. Nobody rules the roads like he does!

This one is all vehicular-themed, with our hero battling angry 18-wheelers and various other small car-enemies.

DEATH LASERS OF DOOM return here, after a several-game hiatus. This time you don't have any kind of time stopper to sneak past them with, either. They turn this stage into perhaps the most difficult of the first eight, and I had to repeat it several times.

Here's the man himself, Turbo Man 2: Hyper Fighting. Our hero must BRING THE NOISE~! to defeat him, and that means using Shade Man's Noise Crush.

I like Noise Crush a lot...it bounces off walls and looks cool, with that Gradius ripple laser effect. This game has some fun weapons, as usual for the series.

"INDEED" says a Dr. Light voiceover. It's safe to say that Dr. Wily is looming large now that his minions are dispatched. Time for Mega Man to head out again.

Wait, is that... did someone kill Auto? WHY? THE MAN'S GOT A FAMILY! YOU SONS OF BITCHES!

I THOUGHT WILY WAS A GOOD GUY NOW! WHY, DOC? WHY? AUTO WAS HARMLESS!

So far I've gotta say, this version of Mega Man 7 is a lot of fun. However, there's one thing that really sets it apart from the other Mega Men: More Rush forms than ever!

We've got Rush Coil, Rush Marine, Rush Jet, and of course, Rush Limbaugh. Summon him and he goes on anti-Obama rants.

"Ruff! He isn't even black! He's a halfrican! Woof!"

Mega Man: "Now now, Rush Limbaugh! That isn't very nice!"

Rush Limbaugh: America's favorite right-wing dog!

Aside from the missing letters, there's something else I forgot, so I head for Spring Man's stage to grab the Energy Balancer. I might be remembering wrong, but I think this room had the Hyper Screw (heh) in the original SNES version. Much like Rush Search, the Hyper Screw didn't make it into this version.

I discover that I can change the weather in Cloud Man's stage, causing the platforms to be illuminated. This is really cool (...heh) and logical. Snow WOULD make invisible platforms visible!

The Freeze Cracker (known to racist cops as "Freeze, Cracker!") also proves to be the solution to finding the last of the eight letters. It freezes lava, clearing the way through.

And there it is. Good times. Now that I've got the Rush Super Adapter, let's get to Wily Castle.


"I AM IRON MAN!"

Rush Adapter is basically a combination of the two "Rush" powers from Mega Man 6. It's crazy how the second part of the double jump is basically uncontrollable, yet it's still easier to control than any jump in Super Ghouls and Ghosts.


Oh, there's one more thing to get, but first our hero must burn down trees. HAW! TAKE THAT, ENVIRONMENT!

Smokey: "Stop destroying America, you asshole! You better put that out! I'm in a union, I don't have to take this shit!"

Really? They help? How can they when the lady was with me? THERE ARE JUDASES IN YOUR MIDST, SMOKEY BEAR!

Okay, I'll stop now.


After burning down the forest and destroying the habitats of all kinds of...uh...robots, our hero finds the other big epic weapon of the game: Beat. Our favorite overpowered blue bird is back, and he's as powerful as ever.

Is this everything? There's an empty box in the lower left corner of the screen next to the Energy Balancer. Well, let's hope.

It's time! It's time! It's Wily time! The iconic mountaintop skull castle looms large.

This reminds me of a quick story. Back in elementary school we had a project where people were building castles. I declared that I'd build my castle on top of a steep, sheer mountain (made of styrofoam) so it would be insurmountable. The teachers said I was crazy and that building a castle on a steep mountain with no way to reach it was impractical, poor design. WELL, WHO'S LAUGHING NOW? CAPCOM UNDERSTANDS ME!


Our hero heads into Wily's Lair to stop him once and for all. Platforms that drop out (when they pass over sections of their railing) have been problematic for me since the original Mega Man on the NES. I always struggled with Guts Man's stage.

Bass gets the Vile role of being the first boss in here. He's a formidable foe, but the Super Adapter makes quick work of him.

Not to worry, Bass survives with one HP left and scampers off. He'll be back. I like Bass; it's too bad he didn't make it to the Mega Man X series. He's the Axl of this series in that he shows up late to mixed reviews. Also my performance evaluation from every woman I've dated.

Guts Man 2.0 is the next boss, as in the original SNES version. When I was a kid I used to watch the Mega Man cartoons, and I remember Guts Man being one of the few recurring villains. Cut Man was another. Not sure what made Cut Man so special, but the gigantic Guts Man does have an imposing look going on.

This fight was pitched, but I won without too much trouble. Even with roller skates on, Guts Man can't defeat Mega Man. You're essentially on a timer here because the ceiling lowers over the course of the fight.


This is it, the big brawl. The rematch. Bass versus Mega Man.


Bass: "This time, I've brought a friend."
Treble: "FUNGAHHHH!"

Bass uses his own version of Rush Adapter, only with Treble, and now we're even.


This fight is awesome, with lower-than-normal gravity and a large vertical room to fight in. It's clear that the game designers want you to use the Adapter for this fight, and it takes on duel-like proportions as a result.

Our hero is about to get punched in the face by his own returning fist! WATCH OUT, MEGA- oof.

Despite punching himself in the eye, Mega Man manages to win the day. That was a close one.

"YOU'RE BOTH ALREADY DEAD! WHEN ZERO GETS HERE, YOU'RE ALL ALREADY DEADDDDDDD!!!!"

The next big fight is a bit of a step down; it's just a mechanical turtle. The castle stages have always been the most fun part of Mega Man games for me because they're almost a procession of bosses, and Mega Man does boss fights really well. Sometimes these castles get a little too difficult, though. See: Mega Man 8's version.

The turtle wasn't all that difficult, and our hero is off to invisible platform land. No snow machines to save me this time, but at least the area around Mega Man is visible.

It's a little bit uncool that Bass has to play miniboss in these stages. Give him his own stage! It should be second-billing to the final stage and the final stage alone, while we're at it.


Once again, Rush Jet proves useful for completely skipping a really difficult section involving spikes and disappearing blocks. Rush Jet has saved me from more headaches than Aspirin and Ibuprofen combined.


This is, as far as I know, the only S-Tank in this game. It has the same function as an E-Tank, plus it restores all of your weapon energy. This is quite a trove up here, but there's a good chance your E-Tanks will already be full. If so, just pop a tank, homie. If your current health bar is already full, then pour one out anyway for Auto.

The Oni Ship is another cool but not-too-difficult fight. I think it might be possible to win this fight really simply by being precise with Rush Jet and just hammering the eyes from here. Since it's auto-scrolling, Rush Jet should automatically move with the screen. Didn't try this though, mostly just double-jumped and fired.

I was hoping for a second skull after this... some of the Megaman games do that. That way the Wily fight would be separate from the 8 bosses. Nope, gotta fight all of them AND Wily inside of the same level. Ouch.


The endgame boss rushes are usually among my favorite parts of any given Mega Man game. In this case, we've seen them all already, so I'll fast-forward a bit. Junk Man finally had a chance at revenge, but as usual, he came up short.


And then after all that... WILY-TIME! He's ready for combat in his sleek and sporty new Skull Tank. Watch out for his nose-penis!

A jump contest begins, one which Mega Man wins easily. I wish the Skull Tank got more height, it'd be easier to slide under him. If Wily were smart, he'd just take little steps and crush our hero against the left side of the screen. Either way, this fight isn't too bad, and entirely possible to win without taking any hits. ...which is a very good idea, because...

...you need as much energy as possible for Wily's last form, which is BRUTAL.

It's the usual teleporting pod final battle from these games, but his attacks are worse than ever. It's often easier to get hit on purpose by the yellow shots, which only hit you once. Fire and ice do damage over time and end up taking off quite a bit of your energy, but you can use the invincibility time from being hit by a yellow one to cause the red and blue ones to miss. It's rough, either way.

Ice is a good weapon to hit him with. Springs do more damage, but they're more difficult to hit with unless he happens to appear close by.

Sometimes, you don't get a yellow one. ...but there he is with one tick of energy. FIRE!

BOOM!

Wily FLIPS OUT as the ceiling starts falling. Maybe I should just...back away.

Wily: "MEIN ARMS! ZEY ARE BROKEN IN NEIN PLACES!

Well, Mega Man was about to finish Wily off for good (which is a huge departure from his normal mantra of sparing his foes) when Bass rescues Wily and they escape. To be continued in Mega Man 8.

Mega Man now walks! Through the fiiii-re!

Bass: "You may have beaten me this time. But I shall return."

That's a very Mega Man X ending screen there.

Well, good de-make of a good game. It wasn't too difficult except for the final boss, which took a few tries (and a couple replays of the Pod Room, since I'd have to go get more energy tanks if I lost). Gotta say, they did a fantastic job NES-izing the game. This legitimately looks like a real latter-day NES game, and it's totally worth checking out if you haven't.


"Ho ho ho! Merrrrry Christmas!" slurs Dr. Light drunkenly.


Other Mega Man Posts


7 comments:

  1. "Is this everything? There's an empty box in the lower left next to the Energy Balancer."

    Looks like you're just missing the Proto Shield.

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  2. "It's time! It's time! It's Wily time!"

    Is this a Vader reference?

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  3. "Of course, Mega Man saves him...yet again. Yada yada. I'm sure he won't escape from prison THIS time."

    Actually, Bass saves him, after Mega Man tries to kill Wily. This is an odd game in many ways.

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  4. Mega Man saved Wily instead of Bass this time? So NES-izing included retrofitting MM's personality?

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  5. Made a mistake in the original version of the post. Bass did indeed save Wily in this version of the game too, not Mega Man. It's corrected now, at least.

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  6. Where to build a castle? Such an interesting question. Is the castle the center of your government or just a vanity project? There's a reason Mad King Ludwig's castles are famously beautiful and yet he has that name.

    This was rad. Except for burning down the forest. Hmm, I wonder how you're supposed to get the shield?

    ReplyDelete