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Looking back on Mega Man 9

Friday, August 4, 2017, 1:25 PM [General]

After two entries on completely new hardware, Mega Man was on the cusp of the retro revolution, jumping right in to an 8-bit style that called back to childhood days of passing the controller to your friend when you died and pure platforming that required memorization and reflexes. This week we’re looking back on the return to 8-bit basics in Mega Man 9!

The retro revolution begins

Check out the recap video above for even more on what made Mega Man 9 such a challenging and rewarding game, then read on for fantastic art and Capcom staff’s picks for their favorite Robot Masters.

Amazing art from UDON Entertainment

We have another illustration from Jeffery “Chamba” Cruz, who nails the feel of Mega Man 9 with some incredible art:

Two heroes to choose from means double the trouble for Robot Masters! Highlighting the perilous platforms of Magma Man’s stage, Mega Man and Proto Man are up against a trio of rogue robots, including Hornet Man flying in from the left with a hornet entourage and Splash Woman in the distance, poised to strike with a laser trident. Proto Man has his shield at the ready to protect himself from projectiles, while Mega Man is busy with Magma Man right up front. Just like the perilous platforming of Mega Man 9, the entire scene just feels tense, doesn’t it?

Capcom’s Favorite Robot Masters

You can’t have a classic Mega Man game without Robot Masters! We’ve previously covered Mega Man 7 and Mega Man 8, and this time I asked Capcom staff to share their personal favorite Robot Masters from – wait for it – Mega Man 9. If you look closely, you’ll notice there’s a clear favorite that made a splash with our team. Get it? Splash? It’s Splash Woman. She’s the favorite. Spoilers.

Tell us why Splash Woman (or any other Robot Master) is your favorite in the comments, too! We’d love to see ‘em.

Kazuhiro Tsuchiya (Producer, Capcom Japan): Splash Woman. She is the first ever female Robot Master after all! She’s the one Robot Master I don’t want to defeat.

Tim Turi (Associate Brand Manager): I’m not personally the biggest fan of water levels, but Mega Man games get them right. Not only are the aquatic challenges of Mega Man 9’s water stage tough but fair (classic descending Bubble Man-style spike pits!), it is also ruled by the enigmatic Splash Woman. This deadly siren of the sea blasts Mega Man with tridents made out of lasers, which are apt to make Neptune himself jealous. She also sings an adorable melody that beckons robotic fish to come attack Mega Man. Splash Woman’s vertical boss fight, varied move set, and adorable design earns her a spot in my heart. Plus, the Laser Trident weapon Mega Man inherits from her wrecks shop.

Patrick Kulikowski (Customer Support Representative): Mega Man 9 has a whole slew of Robot Masters I greatly appreciate, like Tornado Man and Galaxy Man, but Splash Woman just oozes of uniqueness. Having a female Robot Master for the first time in a classic Mega Man title felt fresh to me.

As per the Mega Man: Robot Master Field Guide, Splash Woman, like the game’s seven other Robot Masters, was tricked by Dr. Wily and re-programmed to be evil. She really stands out from the others, not only due to the long, deadly Laser Trident she’s packing, but also due to her bottom half resembling a scaly blue mermaid.

And who just doesn’t love that soothing stage melody? It’s almost as if Splash Woman is singing to Mega Man, beckoning him to come to her, like a siren or an evil mermaid would to her prey. A forbidden love, perhaps? Maybe I’m going too far with this. Just know that she canonically loves to sing karaoke.

While it seems like such a shame that Mega Man has to square off against her, there’s solace in knowing she gets rebuilt as a good robot again following Mega Man’s triumph at the end.

Kellen Haney (Social Media Specialist):  It’s a little hard for me to choose with Mega Man 9, but Hornet Man always stood out to me above the rest, with Splash Woman coming in at an incredibly close second. You can blame my vote for Hornet Man primarily on the incredible melody of his stage music, “Hornet Dance” – it’s one of the reasons I gravitated to his stage before the others early on, and why I still like to start with it to this day. The stage’s backdrop, enemy design, and music combine to create the feeling of a vibrant garden buzzing with life.

The weapon you get from the busy buzzy Robot Master, Hornet Chaser, has a horde of uses, too. Not only is it able to pick up enemy drops instantly or grab items that may otherwise be out of reach, but it homes in on enemy positions with amazing accuracy, a rarity for chase style weapons in Mega Man games. Plus, Hornet Man himself stays on theme. With his hive-like body, Hornet Man summons small hornet drones to protect him. While not too tough by themselves, the drones swarm towards Mega Man and act as a defensive wall, making Hornet Man difficult to hit. It’s a challenging fight with just the Mega Buster, but the weapon you get as a reward and sense of accomplishment is well worth it.

That’s a wrap for Mega Man 9, but the retro revolution didn’t stop there. We’ll conclude this series next week with memories of Mega Man 10! And don’t forget, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC this coming Tuesday, August 8th. Grab some great wallpapers and pre-order the game from your favorite retailer at the official website!

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