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Rockman 2: Basic Master

Hack of Mega Man 2

Description:

Rockman 2: Basic Master is a complete level hack of Rockman 2 for the NES. New music, new (and old) enemies, different boss behaviors, and more.

Note: v1.2 (05/19/2021) is now Available!

Changes, v1.2:

  • When scrolling up and down, use some emulators such as Mesen and Nestopia. Fixed a bug that the screen is disturbed
  • Special weapons consumptions adjusted (see readme)

Changes, v1.1:

  • Some stages
  • Some graphics
  • Some BGM
  • Small fish enemy, behavior of boss
  • Special weapons
  • Other

[Specification changes, etc.]

  • If you press Select + Start with “EXIT” selected on the weapon selection screen, you can escape from the current stage and view your current password.
  • The energy balancer is the initial equipment. If the currently equipped weapon recovery has the highest priority and there is a recovery surplus, it is assigned to other weapon recovery in ascending order of energy.
  • For those who missed the previous version, get it here → Rockman2BM v1.0

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Rockman 2 - Dr. Wily no Nazo (Japan)
  • Database: No-Intro: Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20210216-231042)
  • File SHA-1: FB51875D1FF4B0DEEE97E967E6434FF514F3C2F2
  • File CRC32: 30B91650
  • ROM SHA-1: 3E9DC769E1B63E73834786EC7FE9EDE7E706C72F
  • ROM CRC32: 6150517C

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
TatsuHacking

User Review Information

v1.1? More like 2.0 -- and a good 2.0!

Reviewed By: Lyrit on 16 May 2021

=======NEW v1.1 REVIEW HERE=======

I previously reviewed v1.0 of Basic Master. Despite being a little harshly written, I still stand by my criticisms – especially as it pertained to the stage design and boss design. Now, Tatsu has come around and radically reworked the game with an update, and I gotta say – while it didn’t address everything, and it isn’t perfect, it definitely feels more like a game than borderline kaizo! (It’s got the opposite problem, really.) The following review is written similarly to the style of Nathaniel Hoover; every category here is rated from -3 to 3.

+0 Story: Same as before, there’s literally nothing. In hindsight of my original review, I should have specified that I would only consider giving it a negative score if it tried to have a story that sucked. The game’s just a game, so there’s no story to complement or detract from it.

+2 Graphics: Most of the stage and level graphics from the original v1.0 are the same, and for those, my original scoring stands. However, it’s worth noting that the new enemies and bosses (discussed in more detail below) come with new graphics, and I think they’re as good if not even better than the original graphics! That being said, I can still only give a +2 instead of +3 here, not only because my original review’s complaints still stand (some stages are too simple/unoriginal), but also – as nit-picky as this might sound – the stage select screen is, like, near-objectively worse. I understand the originally-drawn Robot Master profiles had to be replaced for the new Robot Masters taking their place, but why’d you also have to go and replace the pretty black-and-blue space look with just a boring edit of MM9’s stage select? One more thing: there are two “S” weapons in the weapon select, which makes it even more awkward than before.

+2 Music: Most of the music is the same, but some of my complaints were addressed with completely new tracks! The weakest link of v1.0, in my opinion, were the boss themes for the Wily stages, but now there are more themes that mix things up nicely.

+1 Sound Effects: My original comments still stand – they’re really just all the good ones across various Mega Man games. Truthfully, some of the new sound choices are a little awkward, though, like the Pointan making menu noises.

+3 Control: Ugh! SO much better! 90% of my strife with v1.0’s controls were the forced use of the Select button to get rid of projectiles where you should have been able to simply re-press B, especially to be able to pause again. To my absolute pleasure, not only does pressing B simply delete and respawn most weapons’ projectiles, but you can pause even while they’re in play, anyway! And just to round it out, Tatsu completely removed the old Select-to-delete functionality. Seriously, thank you for changing it – major props. I must say, though, pressing Select for some weapon functionality is still awkward. I don’t understand why, for at least Flame Candle and Snake Buster, the extra functionality couldn’t have been put onto the up or down buttons; Gemini Time seems like the only one where Select would be required if you don’t want to sacrifice an angle of attack. Beyond that, there is still the awkward MM2 weapon select that may make you accidentally use your E-Tanks (though you can no longer consume one while full health!) and the awkward MM2 conveyor belt physics that spastically switch you from being grounded to being airborne (though with the new stage design, it’s not nearly as prevalent or troublesome an issue!). But hey, kudos for removing the pausing effect when refilling health or ammo – feels much better!

-1 Stages: With v1.0, while the level design was certainly original, I had two major complaints – first, that stages would often become very strict and punishing with platforming (especially with instant-death lasers), and secondly, that there were many “ha, gotcha” moments where enemies would snipe you out of nowhere and send you into a pit. I am very happy to report that neither of these issues remain anywhere in the game, with the one exception of the silly looping maze gimmick still remaining – and it’s still cheap and meaningless trial-and-error. While I described the original v1.0 level design as being borderline kaizo, these v1.1 levels actually feel like they’re meant for anyone who’s ever beaten any Mega Man game – far more sane. And yet, sadly, I must admit, they’re too easy! Look, here’s the thing: ideally, I think every action game should have a (well-implemented) difficulty select. That way, all your original game design can be appreciated without making it too easy or too hard for anyone – noobs and Adderall addicts can unite. But if you have to go with one difficulty, you need to know your target audience – and in this case, Tatsu doesn’t seem to understand who is going to be playing Mega Man ROM hacks. Basic Master should have difficulty that matches or reasonably exceeds the original Mega Man 2’s, but unfortunately, it’s now on hyper-baby mode. Item pickups are absolutely littered about the stages, and 1-ups and E-Tanks are given out for very minimal to no effort – heck, enemies even drop E-Tanks now. Beyond just the health and ammo, though, much of the platforming was completely neutered in difficulty – to the point where very original gimmicks or combinations of gimmicks were sadly completely removed. As a prime example, v1.0 of Flash Man’s stage was extremely tight to the point that using Item 2 (Beat) or straight-up invincibility with Bubble Wrap was borderline required. Now, the layouts are extremely dumbed down to the point where anyone who’s ever played Quick Man’s stage can do it all without getting hit a single time on their first try – and if they do get hit, it’s no longer instant death. There is also a complete absence of the anti-gravity platforms that were borrowed from MM4, even though they made the stage’s platforming more original and engaging. And this kind of overshot simplification is unfortunately prevalent throughout the entire game. While there are no longer unfair traps or overly strict lasers like in v1.0, we are left with level design that, truthfully, feels empty more often than not – sections where all you’re doing is running and jumping with no hazards, sometimes with free items that are placed in a way that kinda force you to backtrack if you want them. So in summary, v1.0 had very creative level design that was way too strict for most Mega Man players and littered with dumb traps, and v1.1 has less creative level design that is way too easy for most Mega Man players. While there is a disappointingly huge amount of wasted potential in both cases, I find the latter less egregious, even with its dead air. As a sidenote, the barriers that could only be destroyed with a select special weapon – as were in several of the actual Mega Man games – can now simply be destroyed with the Mega Buster, which makes the E-Tank at the start of Tornado Man’s stage completely effortless minus some tedium, which is a mistake. And to top it off, my complaint about Item 3 refilling your weapon energy still holds true, but more about that later.

+3 Bosses: Every single boss is completely different, and they’re all better for it! While certainly not impossible, most of the original v1.0 boss design was more experimental than fun – awkward and strict AIs that required you to study them with save states before you could even survive them buster-only. Now, the new v1.1 boss design feels like it was properly playtested and polished; bosses have fun and unique patterns that you can fully understand after just one or two loops. The literally forced mashing present in the original v1.0 Bubble Man and final boss are no longer required anywhere in the game. And all of the lazy Wily stage bosses that were just slightly reworked versions of the original Mega Man 2’s are now completely new! Thankfully, I wouldn’t say the new bosses have suffered the same fate as the stage design; while they are certainly easier compared to v1.0, they take effort to survive – unless you’re using most special weapons, but that’s kind of the nature of the game. While I give this a solid +3, I do want to clarify that, of course, not all of the bosses have flawless design – and in particular, Bass.exe’s attacks can be pretty awkward to react to and dodge in some combinations.

+1 Special Weapons and Items: For v1.0, I described the arsenal as a mixed bag, both in creativity and in viability. All of the special weapons and items are completely new, and most of them are completely BROKEN. Ring Chaser throws a ring that quickly homes into enemies and bosses alike, viciously mowing them down. Whenever there is nothing to home in on, the ring stays on-screen by bouncing off its edges, meaning no shot is ever wasted. The colors of the ring – and by extension, Mega Man – change to indicate how many more hits the currently-present ring can inflict before it expires and flies off-screen. While it may take some time for it to run into and kill some enemies, it’s like a lingering screen clear for anything short of a tank – and you can shoot it an entire 28 times before running out! I’d argue it’s actually quite overpowered. Tornado Loop is quite like v1.0’s Bubble Wrap, in that upon using it, you’re given a damaging shield that lowers your gravity – but not completely invincibility. Also unlike Bubble Wrap, you can shoot while using it! I must admit that 6 shots on-screen is a bit much, though, especially for how fast the projectiles fire – no human’s ever gonna make use of that unless they have a turbo button. Like Bubble Wrap, weapon energy is only drained over time while the shield is deployed, and it remains deployed until you select another weapon – which means it is massively overpowered for cheesing many of the game’s platforming sections, as you can use it very liberally. And it’s alright at killing, to boot. Blade Crow(?) is basically v1.0’s Quick Man weapon, shooting a large “melee” slash that does damage over time. However, it is much more useful, as it does much higher damage (one-shotting Power Slams!), lets you shoot it diagonally up and down, and lets you re-shoot it instantly by despawning the old one. For all of that, Tatsu reduced the number of shots by half – which is fine, since it kills everything in one or two shots with decent range. Perfectly balanced, I’d say – my only complaint is that it has a lot of design overlap with Plug Thunder, detailed below. Flame Candle gives you a three-way spreadshot that consumes zero ammo, but that’s just the side dish – while active, there is a green candle over your head that damages enemies and grants you complete invincibility. Now, that already sounds powerful if not overpowered, but here’s a little “secret” for you, reader: pressing Select toggles the candle between green and red, and though you aren’t invincible while it’s red, it regenerates ALL of its ammo over time for FREE. So basically, not only do you have a pretty powerful shotgun for absolutely free, but you also get pretty long periods of invincibility, too – for FREE. This completely cheeses the entire game with some patience, short of boss fights where you can’t just sit there and regenerate ammo without being attacked. I really don’t think the red phase should have been added – it takes an already borderline-broken mechanic (complete invincibility and infinite shotgunning based on a timer) and just hands it out like candy (letting you regenerate it all for free). Massively overpowered. Snake Buster lets you rapid-fire by holding B, automatically locking onto and hitting anything that’s on-screen one shot at a time – quite like what Snake Man does to you in his fight. Truthfully, it has way too much ammo for being literally effortless to hit enemies with, but it’s not as bad as Ring Chaser – especially since it doesn’t do damage as quickly. Beyond that, if you press Select, Mega Man literally sheds his suit and runs faster – again, like what Snake Man does. This consumes half the ammo bar but the speed boost stays for the ENTIRE STAGE! You can switch weapons and everything! It even STACKS! I think it’s a little overpowered having a permanent speed boost no matter what weapons you’re using, and the weapon itself is pretty strong, too. Stone Quake damages everything on-screen and then gives you two small items – health or ammo, at random. It’s just a screen clear with extra goods – nothing more than that. I think it’s relatively balanced in terms of ammo consumption and damage. My only complaint is that it should be definitively health instead of health or ammo – it makes it pretty awkward to use when you’re trying to scrounge up the ammo, and the RNG doesn’t help. If your RNG is perfect, grabbing both things of ammo lets you use this infinitely, as it consumes 4 ammo per quake – another reason it should just drop health. Plug Thunder shoots an Elec Man-style bolt of electricity forward, which in turn shoots off sparks for even more vertical reach. It has insane damage, absolutely one-shotting any enemies. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of design overlap between this and Blade Crow, like mentioned before. They cover a lot of the same range – ahead of Mega Man with vertical leniency – and deal tons of damage by using considerable ammo. Blade Crow is worse in terms of both reach and damage, but still – it’d be nice if one of the two had more going for it to make them more distinctly viable to use. Gemini Time is similar to Flame Candle in quite a few ways, including its massive overpoweredness. By simply equipping it, you can continuously shoot giant balls in any of 8 directions – for free. Infinitely. That’s already a balancing issue, but then when you press Select, you leave a clone and become completely invincible. That’s right, there are TWO weapons that give you COMPLETE, TOGGLEABLE invincibility. While the clone is present, it keeps the focus of the camera and weapon energy slowly drains, but you can continue to attack with your balls. At any point, you can press Start to remove the clone, teleporting yourself back to it, but this is not required if you transition to another screen. So the only downside to the invincibility, beyond the fact is consumes (relatively little) ammo over time, is that you can’t progress in scrolling screens, as the clone locks the camera and forces you back to it when you undo the invincibility. Otherwise, if you’re dealing with non-scrolling screens, there’s no reason to even press Fire with this thing – just press Shift and run to the next screen. So yeah, stupid-broken. Item 1 is still Eddie, but instead of spamming you with tiny pickups that barely help you, he lets you choose between an L tank (full health) or a W tank (full ammo for one weapon), depleting the entire Item 1 bar upon doing so. I think this is decently balanced, and being able to choose what you want is far less time-consuming and annoying than using RNG over and over – so this pulls one over Rockman 4 Minus Infinity’s Rush Search, even, in my opinion. It doesn’t get a lot of use in this already way-too-easy game, though. Item 2 is no longer Beat, but just… magically running in the air. Yeah, when you select it, you just start floating, consuming ammo over time. You can continue to run, and pressing up and down will make you float up and down. Jumping will do a regular jump, and you will land where you had vertically jumped from, so to speak – there should really be some visual indication how this thing works. You can also shoot while using it, unlike with Beat. So basically, this is like Mega Man 3’s Rush Jet except a little faster – completely breaking all platforming challenges. Way too good. Item 3 is still the same from v1.0 – it acts as a suicide, likely as a failsafe against crazy game-breaking bugs. However, like in v1.0, it comes as a really silly exploit. Dying normally doesn’t refill your weapons’ ammo, but using Item 3 does, which makes it technically OP. While, like I said, many of the weapons are way too strong and even completely invalidate ever switching to the Mega Buster, they’re fun, creative, and useful, which is better than the original v1.0 arsenal with its annoying Wood Tower shenanigans. I give +1 for the creative and fun ideas, but with how broken they are, I can’t give a +2 like I did for v1.0. The stage design is already on hyper-baby mode – with these weapons thrown into the mix, it becomes a frickin’ walking simulator.

+1 Replay Value: My comments from v1.0 mostly remain here. Since the Robot Masters have multiple weaknesses, it is viable and enjoyable to tackle stages in just about whatever order you like, although some of the boss fights are harder than others. However, there are virtually no branching paths within the stages. In fact, it’s arguable there’s even less diversity from v1.0, given that the boss fights in the boss rush are all in a predetermined order now.

+1 Polish: Like noted in v1.0, bonus points for the smaller engine polishes like the removal of sliding while running and pause-scumming. However, unlike v1.0, there is significant lag, especially while using some special weapons. Also unlike v1.0, there is a very strange issue where the graphics flicker rather obnoxiously while transitioning screens in stages. For both of these, I had to knock it down from +2 to +1.

+1 Novelty: As I wrote for v1.0, there are lots of creative gameplay elements combined here, especially for a MM2 hack. It’s distinctive enough from v1.0, too. However, in my opinion, the enemy and stage gimmicks that were watered down make it feel a little less unique. Still good, though.

+0 Extras/Easter Eggs: Like in v1.0, nothing really to note – except that you can “EXIT” any stage at any time you like now. Good to see that!

OVERALL SCORE: +14 (+15 merits, -1 flaws)

When I said this “[w]ould be so much better if the level design and bosses had some revision,” I didn’t expect that to actually happen, and I really didn’t expect it to be a massive overhaul like this. In terms of difficulty, I really think Tatsu went from one extreme to the other, which is really where most of my remaining issues lie. Tatsu, I give you my sincere ありがとうございます for using your hacking skills for the better – you’ve gotten a much better grip on game design. I might be asking for too much, but if you ever decide to update this again, it would be really nice to see some of the stages refined a bit more and some of the weapons toned down – maybe as a hard mode?

=======OLD v1.0 REVIEW BELOW=======

Yet another hack that has many interesting ideas and mechanics… and fails to keep sight of what makes a GAME. I still recommend it for hack enthusiasts, but don’t play it without save states or turbo buttons; it’s frustrating enough as it is, and it won’t be worth it! The following review is written similarly to the style of Nathaniel Hoover; every category here is rated from -3 to 3.

+0 Story: There’s nothing – simple as that. In fact, the opening and ending of the original Rockman 2 are programmed out. So it’s not any better nor any worse than the original.

+2 Graphics: Many level tilesets are borrowed from other games, but for the most part, they look great for Mega Man! However, I do think the colors in some particular stages are a bit of an eyesore – especially Quick Man’s. The backgrounds don’t change up detail much, but they’re certainly not empty (like the original Clash Man’s). I really do question why Hornet Man’s graphics are used for Air Man’s stage, though – it comes off cheap and random, whereas Bubble Man uses several Mega Man tilesets together with different palettes to make it feel original. The enemies are mostly non-original art (i.e. derived from other Mega Man games) but look fine in of themselves – although sometimes they have pretty strange colors depending on the stage palette. All of the menus look fantastic compared to the original, from the title screen to weapon selection. Personally, my favorite stage, graphically speaking, goes to Flash Man – the colors really do the GameBoy graphics justice!

+1 Music: The music’s a real mixed bag. Some tracks go really well with their stages/events, and some don’t. Some sound great, and some are annoying and/or get repetitive quickly. Volt Catfish and Ocean Planet Aquanet fit Flash Man and Bubble Man’s stages super well and sound great – but Quick Man’s Yu-Gi-Oh music feels all over the place. The robot master boss theme from Mega Man & Bass is recreated very nicely, the short boss theme from Mega Man IV (i.e. the GameBoy game) is kind of lazy and repetitive, and the Toshio boss theme used for later Wily bosses is super unfitting and super annoying. Bardock’s theme for the boss rematch stage sounds nice and fits the mood, but really doesn’t work when it continues all the way through the Wily machine. So I really liked some of it – but kind of despised some of it.

+1 Sound Effects: Mostly unoriginal sounds, some of which are borrowed from other Mega Man games. Certainly has more variety than the original game did, and nothing ear-grating like charging up Atomic Fire or the screeches of the final boss as it’s defeated.

-3 Control: This is one of the worst parts about this hack – plain and simple. It’s fantastic that they went and patched Mega Man’s movement to feel more like the later games by removing the annoying and pointless sliding that used to occur whenever you stopped running (except it’s still there whenever you’re in a throwing-weapon pose, for some reason) – and that’s where the praise ends. The weapon selection menu is as horrible as it was in the original game – including still being able to accidentally use an E-Tank while full on health (is it that hard to patch out?). But most offensively is how the weapons work. You see, one of the “gimmicks” to this hack is that, at any time, you can press Select to instantly delete all of your bullets. Although this honestly shouldn’t be in the game, you might read this and think “oh, that’s hardly useful, anyway” – but in reality, the game constantly forces you to do this instead of just intuitively mapping things to B (the fire button). Let me explain: Item 2 (Beat), Wood Man’s weapon (Wood Tower), Bubble Man’s weapon (Bubble Wrap), and Flash Man’s weapon (Make Shadow) are ALL examples of weapons that practically never get scrolled off the screen and absolutely REQUIRE you to press Select to stop them. And yes – if you were wondering, you STILL can’t pause while projectiles are on-screen! This Select-to-delete system is a HORRIBLY lazy and non-intuitive way to make the special weapons usable. If you can already press Select to delete all on-screen bullets, why won’t you just allow the player to pause while the bullets are there anyway? If, again, you can already delete bullets by pressing Select, why can’t you just allow the player to press FIRE to delete and re-shoot Wood Tower, Changkey Shoot, or V-Sword, disable Beat, or disable Bubble Wrap!? In fact, Clash Man’s weapon, Core Burst, ALREADY lets you re-shoot just like that! I can hardly believe there’s a good excuse as to why that couldn’t have been done for the other weapons – ESPECIALLY Wood Tower, where it’s honestly super frustrating having to remember to press Select every damn time you want to shoot it again or even just access your other weapons. Also notable is the pause that remains whenever you exit the weapon selection screen and the pause whenever you refill health/ammo – sure they’re from the original game, but they still make you wait for no reason and throw off your timing whenever you’re playing. Fix these things – don’t be lazy. (Also, that frame-by-frame back-and-forth between airborne and grounded that happens whenever you’re running on the very edge of a conveyor makes it pretty annoying to jump, as there’s a 50% chance you won’t jump because you’re in the air that frame.)

-2 Stages: I GENUINELY love the interesting gimmicks and mechanics that are introduced or combined in these levels (like the variable-speed lasers combined with sticky flooring in Flash Man’s stage and the faster running speed in Heat Man’s stage), but the level design constantly makes it infuriating. Some of stuff here is borderline kaizoreally stupid and cheap stuff that comes out of nowhere and instantly kills you. Just the third jump over a pit (or technically third jump in general) in Heat Man’s stage is a great example of this: a Caricarry spawns JUST as you’re at the edge of the platform, and so if you just jump without inching closer first, you’ll get pelted by a rock and instantly fall to your death – talk about fun! And this is just one of several places where an enemy or projectile suddenly appears during a jump and sends you falling below. Or how about Clash Man’s confusing labyrinths, where sending you back to repeat screens is annoying the first time and short and boring the second time? (Also far worse when it’s repeated in the Wily castle, where the end of the labyrinth has a 50% random try-your-luck chance to send you ALL the way back to the beginning…) Besides those moments of BS, the first 8 robot master stages themselves are mostly balanced in difficulty – except the platforming in Metal Man and especially Flash Man feel almost impossible to do without using Beat. The Wily stages are by far the worst offenders, though, and repeat some of the worst and most avoidable mistakes: the final boss sends you back half-way through the stage with no extra weapon energy anywhere in sight (which is required to fight it), one of the empty checkpoint rooms poisons you over time (despite not functioning whenever you respawn in it?), the absolutely Beat-enforced section doesn’t give you weapon energy (on the same screen) in case you need it, and several levels instantly start by killing you if you don’t IMMEDIATELY move – let the player take a breather, will you? Also, I need to mention two really dumb and inconsistent design flaws. First of all, since Item 1 (Eddie) can give you E-Tanks, since Items 1-3 refill whenever you die, and since E-Tanks are no longer lost whenever you Game Over, you’re free to grind Eddie over and over at the start of any stage until you have 4 E-Tanks – then actually play the stage. (The chances of an E-Tank every time you use Eddie are stupid-low, though.) Secondly, Item 3 instantly lets you kill yourself, and whenever you do this, it refills all your special weapons – which are NORMALLY not refilled whenever you die. So remember, kids, suicide is a preferable alternative to being murdered…!

-2 Bosses: Good God do I hate the boss design in this hack. Look, there are some really interesting ideas and gimmicks here, but that’s the only reason why this isn’t a -3. No matter how much I’ve practiced, I still can’t defeat Metal Man, Heat Man, or Flash Man with just the Mega Buster and no E-Tanks! I’ve only been able to do so with Air Man and Clash Man. (I haven’t practiced the others enough to declare so either way.) And despite how stupid-hard they all are, they become easy and sometimes nearly braindead fights when you have their weaknesses. Many of the robot masters have very strange and unpredictable patterns to their movement, which is why they’re so hard to dodge. Sometimes they’re controlled by minor details in your movement – for example, Clash Man’s jump height depends on if you’re in the air or on the ground. These strange movements are even worse when compounded by Air Man or Clash Man getting stuck in the boss door and then air-walking/air-jumping as a result – or Air Man getting stuck in the floor at first and not jumping at all – seriously? Metal Man teleporting whenever he attacks is interesting, but the invincibility time he gets is too damn long and frustrating to fight. Bubble Man’s Bubble Wrap practically begs you to use a turbo controller (or V-Sword). Flash Man’s only two attacks are running into you and summoning minionsneither of which are fun nor seem to be practically dodgeable. Heat Man is BUGGY about his invincibility, because sometimes you can attack him the instant he’s out of his fire-warp, and sometimes he’ll continue to be invincible for way longer with NO visual tell. I still have no idea how you could possibly perfect-run Flash Man or Quick Man with just the buster. The Wily bosses are also lazily modified from the original – but far more importantly, they are downright unfair. Boss 1, the dragon, is probably the best dragon redesign I’ve seen – but that’s not saying much, considering all it seems to do is stand there while a single flame follows you around. Boss 2, the Picopico-kun, has an original and interesting take on the fight – if only it weren’t for the individual bots appearing out of thin air and sometimes hitting you for free. Boss 3 is a really lazy attempt at making the Guts Tank original – but kind of works, anyway, I guess. It’s smaller, resprited as a giant Met, and flies in the air. The bullets no longer bounce and are smaller. There are constantly penguins from an invisible generator. There are platforms that fly by to help you actually hit the boss. It’s boring, but fine as it is – except why do the smaller, summoned Mets bounce off of THIN AIR!? Complete lack of polish on that one. Boss 4 is a relived miniboss gimmick where you have to hit the boss with reflected bullets, which is fine in of itself – but is super annoying when given so much health and annoyingly narrow windows of time to land hits in (and is especially bad as a castle boss, because almost none of your special weapons can help you – and why can you accidentally kill the Sprinklan on the ground?). I still have no idea how you can avoid taking damage from Boss 4, the Wily machine, without killing it before it just rams into you. But by far the worst is the final boss, which combines mashing your Fire button to death with stupid RNG – for you see, the boss only takes damage from 3 weapons (spoilers: not the Mega Buster), those weapons have almost no vertical range, the boss is almost constantly above you, and it REGENERATES HEALTH OVER TIME. Either get lucky or use turbo, and it’s honestly a really boring and lame boss pattern otherwise – what a great way to close your game…

+2 Special Weapons and Items: Some are interesting, and some are boring. Some are useful, and some are liabilities (well, only one is). Overall, they’re well-balanced, though. Bubble Man’s weapon gives you straight-up invincibility, lowered gravity, and a damage “aura.” It’s useful in practically any situation – I think it may be a bit overpowered, actually. Pretty interesting and fun to have a shield that lets you jump higher like that – but damn is it annoying to press Select all the time, like I mentioned above. Air Man’s weapon is quite like Needle Cannon – it shoots a single bullet at a time, you can have 3 on-screen at a time, and it does about the same damage as your normal buster to most enemies. It also autofires if you hold the button, but like Needle Cannon, it’s nowhere near as fast as manually firing (or turbo-firing) and is thus a completely meaningless feature. Unlike the normal buster and Needle Cannon, it will “pierce” enemies if it’s a final blow on each enemy – and it also has some random vertical deviation which is often bad. It has too little ammo to be used much over your normal buster. Otherwise, some things are immune to it, and some are weak, and that’s about it – boring! Quick Man’s weapon is a pretty standard melee attack that shoots a single, limited-range projectile forward that does damage over time. It’s a little annoying that it’s over time as opposed to instant damage, though – sometimes you won’t fully kill your target. Effective and well-balanced – not exactly the most exciting thing to use, though. Heat Man’s weapon is quite like Triple Blade, except unlike Triple Blade, the projectiles arc, the angles are weird, and it doesn’t do notable enough damage to be used so often. I find it rather ineffective outside of killing eccentrically-placed enemies and Wood Man. Wood Man’s weapon, however, is truly the most useless of the lot. Sure, it obliterates enemies – but only enemies that are locked to the same ground as it and even take damage from it in the first place. It doesn’t even pierce any armor! I find it useful for killing Sniper Joes and their mechs, Sprinklans, and Flash Man – that’s it. (And other weapons kill those enemies better.) Easily the worst thing about this batch of weapons. Metal Man’s weapon has interesting ranges of vertical coverage, lots of ammo, and pretty good power. It moves in random diagonals, and when you press Up, it bolts off. Or it just fires straight if you hold Up when firing. It’s also good against lots of bosses. I’d say it’s overpowered if it weren’t for the random diagonals – which honestly, I feel are kind of an annoying reason to call the weapon balanced. It’d be nice if they let you control the diagonals somehow, and reduced its ammo to compensate, perhaps. Flash Man’s weapon is a really awkward-to-control clone that flies through walls and obliterates any enemies it affects, and thus is super-good for minibosses and out-of-reach enemies. Pretty fine as it is, in my opinion – and also the only damn weapon where Select makes sense to implement, perhaps. Finally, Clash Man’s weapon is a really awkward explosion around your body that travels up. Makes quick work of anything near or above you, but it feels a little out of place that that’s all it does – especially when we already have a melee weapon. Otherwise, it’s fine – although maybe has too much ammo? There are also the items 1 to 3: Item 1, where Eddie summons and gives you a random drop, is on paper, a nice way to give the player breathing room on harder levels – except his RNG is super damn harsh and almost always gives you small health or ammo pick-ups. I do like how fast it is to use, though. Item 2, where Beat makes you float, is pretty fun and original – except I feel like it’s used to justify some pretty bad level design. It also has too much ammo, letting you over-cheese some otherwise fair levels. It’s still annoying have to press Select to remove the bird, and it’s even more annoying when you try to use it when above the edge of the screen and it just doesn’t do the thing. Item 3 kills yourself. It causes a dumb balancing problem I previously mentioned where you can refill your special weapons, making it technically OP???

+1 Replay Value: It’s great that the robot masters have weaknesses to multiple weapons. It was in the original Mega Man 2, but really helps the replayability! Despite the fact that I can’t beat many robot master first without an E-Tank, all of the robot masters seem to be about the same difficulty to fight first, and all of their stages are certainly doable as your first (except Flash Man’s lasers require pretty harsh precision and may require you to get Bubble Wrap first). Unfortunately, there are almost no alternative paths in the game (how about the really, really pointless one in Bubble Man’s stage?), and everything in Wily’s Castle is super-lenient – unless you count doing the standard boss rush in different orders…?

+2 Polish: These two bonus points are almost specifically for the smaller engine polishes that most don’t notice, like the previously-mentioned removal of sliding while running (well, at least mostly-removed). Pause-scumming to reset vertical velocity and phase through bullets was also patched. Sprite flickering and lag are almost non-existent. Additionally, the password menu and weapon-getting screen animate faster than before – although it’d be nice if you could cancel the password input screen, yeah?

+1 Novelty: I kind of already gave some leeway on the stage and boss scores because of their novelty, but I feel like an additional point can be given because of how it makes the whole hack over-all creative and unique. (C’mon, someone do Flash Man’s gimmicks but better. Maybe also throw in ice physics, disappearing blocks, and/or water. Please?)

+0 Extras/Easter Eggs: Nothing to note, honestly, unless you count nice homages to other Mega Man games by using their assets. Except you took away the stars-to-bird trick when selecting a boss… unforgivable!

OVERALL SCORE: +3 (+10 merits, -7 flaws)

As a game, it’s just a little better than the original Mega Man 2. Would be so much better if the level design and bosses had some revision. Tatsu, you have some real hacking skill – please stop throwing it out in favor of “ha, gotcha” moments.

(Yes, I know you’re Japanese and probably can’t read this well. すみません。)

Version 1.1 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
If it's broke, don't fix itinsectduel20 May 20211.1No
1.0 = great, 1.1 = mindlessly easy, and brokenVintageDavis18 May 20211.1No
v.1.0 good hack v.1.2 - Too simple. Complication requireddiablo66622 May 20211.0-1.2Yes
Rockman 2: Basic Master - EXCELLENTDobu_GM27 Apr 20191.0Yes
v1.1? More like 2.0 -- and a good 2.0!Lyrit16 May 20211.1Yes
A fine hack marred by the change of Mega Man's physics.8.bit.fan23 Mar 20171.0Yes
Didn't expect much, but was surprised at what I got.RhysOwens10120 Mar 20171.0Yes