Saturday, July 19, 2008

VG Advanced Strategies: Mega Man 3

As I said in my last post, I love the classic Mega Man games. With Mega Man 9 announced and demoed at E3, I wanted to share with you some of my strategies in this VG advanced strategies segment for an older Mega Man game: Mega man 3 for the NES.

I will only be showing strategies for the first 8 robot levels, as most of the strategies here, if looked at in a broader sense, will help you with future stages, Wily stages and even some other NES Mega Man games. I also won’t be giving a complete FAQ for each level, just a look at specific situations where thinking outside the box will save you some health and time. The strategies and screenshots are placed in the order I complete the bosses in. Many people disagree with this order, but I’ll explain why I think it works best. If you need to know the bosses’ weaknesses check out this awesome GameFaqs Boss Walkthrough.

Again, even if you haven't played this game before, take a look at the strategies; you never know, you might think this game looks cool and decide to give it a shot.

Snake Man:
I start with the snake man stage first since he is one of the easiest bosses to beat with just the arm cannon and it’s the quickest way to eventually get to Needle Man and get the awesome Rush Jet adaptor. Take a look at these tricky spots:

The right ladder leads to ? boxes which could give you extra lives, E tanks or health energy. Just jump on the middle platform and quickly jump to right ladder to get up there. Don’t worry about the enemy. That green guy can be annoying too, so just use the Rush coil to jump behind him to the ladder.

Those enemies are incredibly troublesome if you don’t know how to handle them. You can’t shoot at them when they run across the screen, nor can you jump over them as they will jump into you. The solution? Stand still. The broom-like thing will drop before you and the bad guy will jump over you and then chase you. Simply jump over him then and shoot him if you wish.

A lot of people have trouble with Snake Man. He is incredibly simple though if you figure out his pattern. I stand all the way on the left side until he gets to the middle platform. Next, I take one hit from him and then I just jump in the center. Now here’s the trick. The center of the level is your home. Whenever snake man is in the two lowest points of the level (directly adjacent to the center platform), jump over him. Snake man will then jump to the center and move to the other side of the level, at which point you just get back to the center. Snake Man always runs wall-to-wall; he won’t turn around unless he hits the borders. His attack involves ground-crawling snakes which are simple to jump over. Keep jumping and firing and he’ll go down eventually.

Gemini man:
The beginning and middle of Gemini Man’s stage is pretty simple, just avoid enemies and keep firing. Use the Rush Coil adapter if you get stuck and can’t jump out. The end of the stage though can give you headaches; just jump carefully.

Where Mega Man was standing was an extra life. You can get this and survive without the Rush Marine adaptor. Just use Rush Coil to get out.

Where Mega Man was standing was an E Tank. Don’t move too far to the right or else an enemy will spawn and likely hit you. Use the Rush Coil to get out again. Also, use the slide on the upper blue block and land safely on the block next to it to move on. Just keep moving in this section and don’t bother shooting anything. It’s a lot easier if you just worry about avoiding things.

No need to give a boss strategy here, you have its weakness if you followed my order.

Needle Man:
You get the Rush Jet after this stage. Yay! This will make the other stages sooo much easier.

This stage is pretty simple, but that rolling needle guy can be a pain if you’re going for the E-tank. Instead of jumping into that area and trying to use your arm cannon, shoot some snakes at him and they’ll crawl down the wall to kill him. No damage for you and an easy E-tank with Rush Coil.

Magnet Man:
Most people do Magnet Man first. With the Rush Jet in hand now though, this stage is a cakewalk.

Protoman thinks he’s so cool. He really isn’t. He only jumps and shoots in the air so don’t jump if he is facing towards you. Get close to him, slide under him and jump and shoot from behind him. When he gets to the other side of the screen, slide under him when he jumps and repeat.

Disappearing blocks! They are so evil. Don’t even bother with the blocks though. Bust out the Rush Jet and sail over all of them. You’ll have enough power to make it all the way across.

That enemy is placed very well. He can shoot horizontally and shoot pellets at an arc from the top of his head. Use whatever is left of your Rush Jet, fly along side the right wall and take him out. If you need to recharge your health, take the bottom ladder and fill up. Then use the above strategy again to take out the enemy again.

Magnet Man can be annoying since you don’t have Spark Man’s ability to help out. Magnet Man only has one annoying attack though, and that’s the one shown here. When he jumps to the top of the screen keep moving in one direction. You won’t get hit. Magnet Man will then drop from the sky and jump across the level with one small jump and one big jump. Shoot at will during this phase. He may also try to use his magnet to draw you in towards him; just slide away from him and he won’t hurt you.

Hard Man:
Hard Man himself is pretty easy to defeat with Magnet Man’s ability but his stage is relentless. Here are some tips to save you some health.

That queen bee will drop a honey comb releasing five smaller bees that acting like homing missiles. They will cause you a lot of stress. Simple way to get rid of them though is to de-spawn them so that they don’t even appear on screen. When you see the queen bee above, turn around and walk the other way. Her sprite will disappear and if you didn’t go too far to the left, she won’t appear again.

Those monkeys drive me insane. They will keep jumping on you if you pass under them. You could use the Rush Jet, but if possible, save that for later, you’ll need it. If you have quick fingers use the Gemini laser to hit the very tip of the ledge furthest to the right. The laser will bounce and hit the monkey. Do this a couple times and he’ll be dead. He won’t even try and come after you!

I use the Rush Coil here on this monkey if I ran out of the Gemini Laser. Just jump on Rush and fire a couple times. Enough jumps and the monkey will go away.

This is why I save the Rush Jet. Protoman is really hard in this section as the level is jagged. He still only jumps and fires but the different levels make the bullets hard to avoid. Avoid that problem by just flying over him to get behind him. Stay closer than I did in this picture though and jam the fire button; he’ll go down quickly. Don’t worry about taking some damage; there is some energy right after this mini-boss.

Top Man:
I love the music for this stage. Top Man’s stage is pretty straight forward, just be careful when jumping over pits of death.

You can hit this guy from the ladder; just get to the very bottom of it and fire away.

The Rush Jet makes this guy a joke. Fire at his mouth for an easy kill; the red balls won’t hit you. When he appears again later in the level, repeat this strategy.

Shadow Man:
I love the opening riff on this stage. Try playing it on the guitar; it’s almost impossible. Shadow Man’s stage is not difficult though, if you know what you’re doing.

Those hoppy frog things can be a real pain. Jump and fire quickly and you’ll hit them. If you miss, step back and try again.

If the parachute enemies hit you, you will likely fall off the level. Don’t let this happen! When reaching this section, jump off the platform towards the next platform but fall back to the one you jumped from while in mid-air. This will spawn the parachute enemy. Shoot them from far away and laugh at thier demise. You can also use the Rush Jet if you feel that’s easier.

Spark Man:
I love the design for this stage; everything is so flashy. Spark Man’s stage is tough but if you’re patient you can get through this stage with zero damage taken.

Those electric wall-crawlers piss me off. If you want to avoid taking damage only jump between them when they are moving towards you and when they just finished giving off a charge. When they are placed like the photo above, don’t be afraid to jump over the pits to avoid getting hit and wait for your opportunity to cross safely.

Those garbage blocks take a lot of shots to get rid of and by the time you finish off one, another one is likely to appear. Don’t bother trying to shoot them. Just keep running and jump over them. You won’t get hit.

Moveable platforms just propel you into spikes? How wonderful. Don’t even bother with these; Rush Jet is the way to go.

That covers all of the 8 robot monsters. If you’re having trouble on other stages and want my help, leave a comment! I should be able to give you some pointers. In general though, abuse the Rush Jet and use your other abilities. Enemy too high up? Use Rush Jet or Rush Coil. Enemy below you? Use the snakes. Also, keep in mind that the drop rate for recovery items increases when you use special weapon powers. If you’re low on health, use Needle Man’s ability, as that is most similar to the arm cannon. Hopefully you’ll get some power-ups this way.

I hope you enjoyed this week's VG Advanced Strategy. Every Saturday I will have a new game for this segment.


Anonymous said...

heh. "Hard Man"

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