Thoughts on Common Tropes in Mega Man Games
Author Message
PseuDeadpool Offline
Still Here
***
Registered

Posts: 96
Threads: 8
Joined: Jun 2016
Reputation: 1
#1
Thoughts on Common Tropes in Mega Man Games
Hello, Sprites Inc.!

After watching all of Flashman85’s MaGMML2 streams and re-watching some of his old ones, I was inspired to open up a friendly discussion about the more common types of gimmicks/tropes present in the official Mega Man games and fan games. Here are a few which I’d really like to hear people’s thoughts on:

Count Bombs: Personally, I’ve always liked these, though I really wish they were utilized more in the classic series. Probably the best usage of them is Burst Man’s stage; though some fan games, like Mega Man: SFR have used them pretty well. However, I've heard mixed opinions on these, and I'm curious about why people do/don't like Count Bombs.

Gimmick/Moving Platforms: I’m keeping this category fairly non-specific because when you look at it this way, there are lots of examples of these throughout the official games and fan games. (You can even talk about “THOSEGOSHDARNBLOCKS", which shall remain nameless for the sake of maintaining order in this thread) My personal favorite type of gimmick platform is Pookers, as they take a really interesting approach by combining a platform and enemy into one, and require the player to defeat the enemy before it can be used as a platform.

THOSEGOSHDARNBLOCKS (aka "Appearing Blocks"): (courtesy of Science Muffin) You know the gist: These blocks disappear and reappear in a set pattern, and are annoying as all heck. Personally, I never found them to be bothersome, which is why I'm so interested in the reasons why others heavily dislike this trope while I do not.

Auto-scrolling Sections: Alright, so the only real instance of this in the official games is Cossack 3, but I’ve seen it used in several levels in MaGMML 2; and I’m curious as to what attracts people to this trope, as well as what people don’t like about it, and people's thoughts on how it could be used better.

Devil Bosses: (courtesy of MegaBoy) A very common type of boss in the classic series; they are usually fought in one of the Wily Stages. Examples include: Yellow Devil (MM1 & MM3), Green Devil (MM8 & MM&B), and the Twin Devils (MM9).

The Invincible Minor Minion:
(courtesy of Heihachi_73) This is a common enemy type in the classic series, and there is one of these in almost every game. This is the small, indestructible enemy that rolls along the floor or on platforms. The most famous example of this is the Spine, which was resurrected several times in the classic series in different forms. Humorously enough, Spines in MM1 can be destroyed with certain special weapons.

Indestructible Deathtraps: (courtesy of gone-sovereign) Force Beams are the most infamous example of this; though the spike crushers from MM2 and normal crushers from MM10 are other examples. Any type of obstacle which can harm the player and is invincible, but is not considered an enemy is an example of this trope.

Fan Fools: This and the next category focus on classes of enemies. This category focuses on any enemies which try to blow away/suck in the player using wind. Examples include the Fan Fiend (MM2), Yaffu (MM6), and Boufooh (MM7). Yaffu is my favorite of this enemy type. Even though they were used minimally in MM6, I like how they quickly shift from pulling you in to pushing you away; they also have a really nice design.

Shot Blockers: The three most common Mega Man enemies are Sniper Joes, Mets, and Shield Attackers. And all of them use shields to block your shots! Weird, and interesting. Feel free to discuss any iterations of these enemies which share this trait, and maybe even add to it. For example, Sniper Joes in MM8 crouch and throw grenades in addition to putting up their shields and firing normally.

These are a few examples, so feel free to bring up others I haven’t mentioned here. You can also discuss specific examples of each of these types of gimmicks.
EDIT: Keep bringing up and discussing new categories, you guys are doing awesome!

There aren’t really any “rules” to this thread, besides the stuff I’ve mentioned above (though these are really more like guidelines rather than hard-and-fast rules). Other than that, just remember to keep it civil.

EDIT: Updated the main post so we can keep track of which topics have been mentioned, which will lead to less confusion in the long run. Credit is given to the person who first brought up the topic.

Sorry if I gave you the cold shoulder... It's easy to do when you're dead Confused


(This post was last modified: 28-06-2017, 05:49 PM by PseuDeadpool.)
24-06-2017, 08:39 PM
Find Reply
MegaBoy Offline
I do things with squares
Banned

Posts: 15
Threads: 4
Joined: Feb 2015
#2
RE: Thoughts on Common Tropes in Mega Man Games
I think I'll add to this.

Devil Bosses: The Devil Bosses are common staple in the Mega Man Classic series that kind of annoy me. The fight against the yellow devil in Mega Man 1 is probably harder than all the other castle bosses in my opinion, the only way I could get past him was the Pause Trick.
I had a much easier to time with Yellow Devil Mk.2 in Mega Man 3 than the first one due to it being balanced out. I haven't beaten Mega Man 8 or 9 before, so I can't comment on their devil bosses.
25-06-2017, 12:32 PM
Find Reply
Heihachi_73 Offline
Big Eye Killer
***
Registered

Posts: 71
Threads: 1
Joined: Mar 2015
Reputation: 0
#3
RE: Thoughts on Common Tropes in Mega Man Games
The invincible minor minion. Gabyoalls (Spines) and their successors count if playing buster-only. Mets also count if they are far enough away that they remain hiding under their indestructible helmets.

Some enemies are completely invincible to everything in the game, such as the Lil' Sparky (Super Mario World name) type things in Cossack 3, the Press from MM2 (some ROM hacks make it destroyable), Wanaan from MM3, and enemies which are merely traps e.g. shots go straight through them, such as the exploding things from Bomb Man's stage/Wily 2, the acid from MM2 and Electric Gabyoalls from MM3.

Other enemies have timed invincibility, where simply doing (or not doing) a move gives them invincibility, such as Sniper Joe and successors, Bikky, some Robot Masters (e.g. Drill Man when tunnelling, Heat Man when hit, Magnet Man/Dust Man/Charge Man etc.) and Wily bosses (e.g. Circring/Circling Q9 where its doors open and close randomly while it's moving around firing off the large shots).

Bikky also counts as a glass cannon. Deals a ton of collision damage but only has 6HP, making it even weaker than the monkeys in Hard Man's stage. It doesn't help that Megaman can easily slide underneath it too, making it even more pointless as an enemy, although at least they didn't spam it throughout the game like they did with Hammer Joes (which also have more HP). It's the only Big Eye successor in the series to have less than 10HP.

Another common thing in the NES series is forced item usage. MM1 Wily 1 forces the Magnet Beam. Wily 4 is close to impossible without the Magnet Beam. MM2 Wily 1 needs Item-1, Wily 2 needs Item-2, Wily 4 needs Item-1 and/or Item-3. Megaman 3 forces Rush Coil (or Jet) out way too many times (while Rush Marine goes practically unused just like the Super Arm in MM1), as does 6 with Jet/Power Megaman. I believe the Game Boy versions also do the same thing.

Backtracking for 100% completion is also a common thing, although it's much more well known in the X series; it's still needed in MM1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 (I haven't played 8 or later) if you missed something or did the stages in the wrong order (e.g. Elec Man before Guts Man, ignoring TAS-like glitching through walls). Since the first Wily stage in MM1 absolutely requires the Magnet Beam, if you missed it you have to get clobbered by Big Eyes until you get a game over and then redo Elec Man's stage again in its entirety (the ability to exit a completed stage wasn't in the classic series until MM7 where it was an optional item at that, although it first appeared in X1) and in MM1 the bosses don't stay dead either. In 4/5/6 the Balloon, Wire, Beat and the Energy Balancer are all optional, as are the upgrades in MM7.
26-06-2017, 09:27 AM
Find Reply
Science Muffin Offline
(In)competent Python Programmer
*
Registered

Posts: 4
Threads: 0
Joined: Apr 2017
Reputation: 0
#4
RE: Thoughts on Common Tropes in Mega Man Games
Something I'm surprised I didn't see here.

Appearing Blocks: These are so common in the official games, but it doesn't bother me that much. It's a neat idea, but honesty overused. I wouldn't know how much they are used in the fan games, but I assume they're still a staple. The only time I remember them switching it up a bit was in Magnet Man's Stage with the magnets that pull you in.

Also,
(25-06-2017, 12:32 PM)MegaBoy Wrote: I haven't beaten Mega Man 8 or 9 before, so I can't comment on their devil bosses.
In Mega Man 8, the Green Devil is a fun boss. Aside from his usual attack, he also has a few alternate attack patterns that spice it up a bit. The Twin Devil from Mega Man 9, however, is more of the same. The only difference is that he throws his eye as a separate entity, and that is when you damage it. IMO, that is one of the disappointing things about MM9, they didn't really change the formula all that much.

[Image: Retro-Flower-Fire-2-icon.png]
26-06-2017, 11:49 PM
Find Reply
gone-sovereign Offline
Regular
**
Registered

Posts: 43
Threads: 2
Joined: May 2016
Reputation: 1
#5
RE: Thoughts on Common Tropes in Mega Man Games
I really don't hold any strong opinions on level design in general, much less Mega Man. I will say, though, that I generally don't mind common recurring Mega Man gimmicks such as Yoku blocks, moving platforms, Count Bombs, and the like. They just need to be done correctly, in a way that does not waste too much of the player's time. Mega Man at its core is a platformer, so ideally the gimmicks and challenges involved should involve platforming. The thing about good level design in Mega Man games is holding the player responsible for failing a challenge, and gimmick challenges (at least in the official games) are generally well-designed. For that reason, I've never really caught myself going "UGH WHY DID THEY BRING THIS BACK" in an official Mega Man title.

The only gimmick that I really could live without is Force Beams, namely when instant death is involved. Force Beams can be used correctly, and they're a good challenge when that is the case. But all too often when a player sees them for the first time, there's generally not enough of a delay for them to process where the Force Beams are going to come from and in what order before they're dead (Rainbow Man's stage from Mega Man Unlimited comes to mind). They're a learnable evil, sure, but by the time the player has gotten the hang of the challenge, they'll likely have wasted many extra lives just trying to figure them out. That's not really fair in my mind.

I don't mind most recurring enemy types in Mega Man games (I've never met a Met that I didn't like). The thing that really gets me is that sometimes it feels like they take more hits than necessary to destroy. With Sniper Joes for example, in my mind they should ideally take 4-6 hits to destroy. Ten is entirely too many. Pit enemies can be annoying when it's not properly telegraphed that they're there, and by the time you realize it you're getting hit with one. They're especially annoying when they're respawning. Enemies that hone in on you are okay when you're not in close quarters fighting them.

I would like to use this opportunity to reassess a position I held on callbacks in Mega Man games. For a series that's spawned many official titles and even more fangames, nostalgia is always certainly welcomed. I just consider it to be wasted effort when an old idea is revisited that adds nothing new to the challenge. Ideally there should be some amount of novelty added to make the idea in question feel fresh, otherwise you're just beating a dead horse. If you're gonna reuse an old robot master or fortress boss, at least add a new twist to them so that they don't feel like the same old fight you've probably beaten before. And I really don't think we need to be copying entire stages while doing nothing new or interesting with the layout or gimmicks the way that the original SuperDanny (or at least parts of it) or Mega Man Eternal did either.

"You have to understand that people aren't just people -- they're a collection of the choices they have made."
- Peckinpah, House of Gold & Bones Part 3: The Answers
-----------------
DeviantArt
Tumblr
(This post was last modified: 27-06-2017, 01:58 AM by gone-sovereign.)
27-06-2017, 01:39 AM
Find Reply
PseuDeadpool Offline
Still Here
***
Registered

Posts: 96
Threads: 8
Joined: Jun 2016
Reputation: 1
#6
RE: Thoughts on Common Tropes in Mega Man Games
Great stuff, everyone. Thank you all for your valuable contributions! I will continue to update the OP as new topics are brought up.

(26-06-2017, 11:49 PM)Science Muffin Wrote: Something I'm surprised I didn't see here.

Appearing Blocks: These are so common in the official games, but it doesn't bother me that much. It's a neat idea, but honesty overused. I wouldn't know how much they are used in the fan games, but I assume they're still a staple. The only time I remember them switching it up a bit was in Magnet Man's Stage with the magnets that pull you in.

Also,
(25-06-2017, 12:32 PM)MegaBoy Wrote: I haven't beaten Mega Man 8 or 9 before, so I can't comment on their devil bosses.
In Mega Man 8, the Green Devil is a fun boss. Aside from his usual attack, he also has a few alternate attack patterns that spice it up a bit. The Twin Devil from Mega Man 9, however, is more of the same. The only difference is that he throws his eye as a separate entity, and that is when you damage it. IMO, that is one of the disappointing things about MM9, they didn't really change the formula all that much.

Thank you for bringing this up! I did allude to it in the Gimmick/Moving Platforms category, but I've updated the OP to include it separately now, to avoid future confusion. Credit is also given to you for bringing it to my attention.

Also, while you make a good point about the Twin Devil, and I agree that it isn't too interesting, it's still probably my favorite iteration of the Devil Boss, and I love its design.

Sorry if I gave you the cold shoulder... It's easy to do when you're dead Confused


28-06-2017, 05:59 PM
Find Reply
Heihachi_73 Offline
Big Eye Killer
***
Registered

Posts: 71
Threads: 1
Joined: Mar 2015
Reputation: 0
#7
RE: Thoughts on Common Tropes in Mega Man Games
Fake floors. Even the first game had them, notably one screen above the Cut Man and Elec Man rematch rooms. MM2 used it a lot in the Boobeam stage (with one false platform being above spikes), MM5 had the gimmick in Stone Man's stage etc.

Helping the enemy. In MM2, using the wrong weapon against certain bosses could immediately restore their energy. Notably against the Alien where if you ran out of Bubble Lead you were screwed until you ran out of lives, got a game over and continued, since the stage didn't have any enemies to grind for weapon energy, but also against most of the Robot Masters. Freeze Man also had a take on this if you used the Freeze Cracker on him.

Instant Death by collision. Not just spikes, but force beams and Turbo Man's fire-based versions, as well as Burner Man's flame pillars (which didn't kill Megaman in 1 and 7), will kill Megaman in a single shot.

Useless useful weapon. Power Stone, if only it had Metal Blade-like killing ability instead of doing 1 damage to almost everything in the entire game! The same applies to Gravity Hold and Wind Storm, which simply teleport the enemies off-screen so they can't drop any powerups. Also Water Wave, when used in Gravity Man's stage - when gravity is flipped and you're walking on the ceiling, the game thinks you're in the air and won't let you use the weapon. Charge Kick on the other hand works as designed (press up+jump to slide on the ceiling, because they even reversed the controls - yet climbing ladders while upside down still goes the traditional way of pressing up to move towards the top of the screen). Spark Shock is also incredibly useless, about the only time I use it in a stage is to freeze Bikky in mid-air for comedic effect.

Unwinnible by Insanity. Waste all of your Rush Coil and Rush Jet energy on the second Wily stage in MM3 and then kill Yellow Devil. Take out the New Shotman with the Shadow Blade after the next stage has loaded as per usual and then... oh crap! The TV Tropes page had one about doing the same before killing Doc Flash but I find this one more plausible.

Retro stage - a certain stage in Megaman X5 (yes, in the X series!) is reminiscent of Quick Man's stage, complete with having only straight/rectangular platforms and no hills, with a devil boss at the end complete with a remixed version of the MM1 Wily boss music! The remix is actually fairly faithful to the original too, with the drum beat remaining unchanged (I think they lost the drum fills in the remix used in Powered Up). I'm not sure if Quick Man's stage being in Megaman Game Gear counts or not - the game itself was designed to be a MM4/5 mixup (and sadly made by people who seemingly didn't have a clue on how to program sound effects and music into the system's SN76489 sound chip, not to mention the music also seemed to be remade by ear so it sounds hopelessly out of tune too).
(This post was last modified: 29-06-2017, 01:35 AM by Heihachi_73.)
29-06-2017, 01:33 AM
Find Reply
Heihachi_73 Offline
Big Eye Killer
***
Registered

Posts: 71
Threads: 1
Joined: Mar 2015
Reputation: 0
#8
RE: Thoughts on Common Tropes in Mega Man Games
Knockback. There can't be a single person who has never fallen off the ladders due to Watchers shooting you in Elec Man's stage or Wily 4. Or Mambu's annoying 8-way shots in Bomb Man's stage which causes you to fall onto the spikes. Or the odd baby Pipi in Crash Man's stage that somehow manages to get through your Leaf Shield and sends you down to the next screen. The Up-n-Downs in MM4 and the fish from Plant Man's stage use knockback to maximum effect; the nearly unkillable Mizziles in Megaman 5, not so much.
07-04-2018, 11:51 AM
Find Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread:
1 Guest(s)

Return to Top