April 10th, 2007 | Feature
The Game Center CX Episode Guide
The front-to-back tribute to the Japanese TV show that flies in the face of Nintendo's epilepsy warnings.

 

Game Center CX Season 11 – Back to Contents
#82

The Decisive Battle! "Rockman 3: The End of Dr. Wily!?"

Chousen

Arino returns to one of the greatest series in games by taking up the challenge of Rockman (Mega Man) 3. With a so-far-even series scoring (he failed Mega Man 2, but completed MM1), Arino can turn the tide in his favor, but then again, MM3 is the longest one in the original series.

The game begins, and Arino starts by choosing Top Man’s stage. He does OK, until he’s stuck early on because he can’t figure out how to get under this one particular platform. After several moments wondering, he finally performs Mega Man’s slide move, which gets him under the platform (and impresses at least one person in the back of the room). Of course, it’s not till after the fact that he realize he wants the life pellets on the upper rung. He checks the inventory and sees an "RC" weaoon, then sees it summons a dog; Rush, of course!

The Rush Coil lets Mega Man jump to higher spots, and Arino uses it like it’s going out of style for the next few screens. When he finally uses Rush to get a 1-UP, he goes back to normal and keeps going. Soon, he faces the firs midboss, a giant cat robot, but dies a couple of times. When he finally does get past it, it’s only a couple more screens until he meets a second cat, which sends out annoying robo-fleas. Arino perseveres, however, and continues up through the stage.

Finally, he reaches the boss door and faces off against Top Man. Arino doesn’t even bother avoiding Top Man’s tops, so before long, he’s dead once again. On the second try, he’s a little more aware of what’s going on, and more properly jumps over the tops and Top Man himself, landing some hits here and there. But then, he’s hit by Top Man, and his health gets lower than the boss’ own. After another quick hit, Arino dies when he’s one shot from destroying Top Man. And that’s Game Over.

Fast-forward to attempt number three. Arino not only successfully dodges more projeciles, but also pumps more shots into Top Man, making things go by much faster. That is to say, he wins! Arino gets the Top Spin weapon as a reward.

Then, Arino decides to tackle Snake Man’s stage next. It’s pretty smooth going at first, but when Arino reaches a part with propeller-powered cloud platforms and bullet enemies that can push him off, the deaths start racking up. Multiple tries go by, with Arino inching ever further. Finally, after dodging enough of the bullet enemies, he makes it to the exit door. Snake Man awaits!

Arino switches to the Top Spin and tries his best to rub up against Snake Man. However, the Spin barely dents the boss, and Arino goes back to the plain Buster. But by then he’s already nearly dead, and a couple more projectile hits clinch it. Attempts two through eight go the same way.

By the ninth try, Arino once again gets into the groove, jumping at all the right times and rapidly firing at Snake Man. In short, it works. That’s two down! Up next is Shadow Man’s stage, with its intermittent lighting, and Arino’s first encounter with the mysterious Break Man/Protoman.

This time, it doesn’t take quite as long to get to the boss. Shadow Man jumps around constantly, and it’s not until Arino dies when he realizes he should have been sliding more. At any rate, he switches to the Search Snake weapon on the next try, but that doesn’t seem to do anything. He dies, then tries again with the Top Spin. That’s the magic bullet! The Top Spin defeats Shadow Man, right when Arino has but a sliver of health left — whew.

Spark Man is who Arino chooses next. Spark Man’s stage is probably the most brutal one yet, with multiple large bottomless pits, and other unpredictable things trying to hurt the kacho. He especially has trouble with tiny platforms that shoot up once one steps on them, and then has to deal with those and floating bolt enemies right before the exit door. But he times his jumps correctly and finally makes it to the boss.

Armed with the Shadow Blade, Arino goes for Spark Man, and luckily, the Blade is exactly what his weakness is. Arino keeps tossing it into the boss, but he only has a little bit of health left himself. Just before Spark Man is toast, Arino has to jump out of the way of a projectile, and, well, he jumps a little too far out, and it pursues and kills him. The second try is much faster, and that’s another boss down.

Arino’s pace is picking up as he heads into Magnet Man’s lair, but slows down slightly once he sees that there are disappearing blocks; a Mega Man series trademark. But he knows to be extra careful, too, which is exactly what he does. Arino makes it past all the block sections with relative ease.

Fast forward to Magnet Man himself, where Arino uses the Spark Shot against the boss. In another stroke of luck, it happens to be Magnet Man’s weakness. But, again, Arino is killed right before Magnet Man is. By the third try, Arino’s out of Spark Shot ammo, and can’t do anything to significantly hurt Magnet Man. He switches to the Shadow Blade — wow, it works just as well! And once again, in an extremely close call, Arino defeats Magnet Man with a sliver of life.

Moving on to Hard Man. No big problems in the stage, and Arino already knows he should use the Magnet Missile on the boss. Unfortunately, he runs out of ammo again, and is forced to use regular shots. As he does that, both he and Hard Man’s energy becomes even, and just before Arino invariably bites it, he pauses, and the staff yells out that he should use the energy tank he just got. That’ll do it: Arino lands the final hits on Hard Man

Next is Gemini Man. This stage has some watery parts, and Arino can’t afford to fall down into the deep. To get past one section, he needs to hop across a series of tiny blocks, and in some ways, maybe the game’s slowdown helps him get across. Then it’s an easy trip to Gemini Man’s room.

The fight, though, not so much. Gemini Man’s ability to split into two immediately throws Arino off, and the boss hits hard, too. Almost dead again, Arino pauses and considers using one of his energy tanks. He does, then returns to battle. But which weapon to use? He tries the Hard Knuckle, but it doesn’t hurt all that much. Before long, Arino is cornered and once again killed.

None of the weapons seem to do that well, but Arino settles on the Shadow Blade, since it’s not a total failure. He repeatedly throws them into Gemini Man, and yet again comes near death — the staff yells for the energy tank again. Once refilled, Arino tosses a few more blades and bam! Gemini Man is gone.

Last but not least: Needle Man. Despite some false starts, Arino makes it to Needle Man pretty quickly, and immediately pulls out the Gemini Laser. For once, it works like a charm. And now, surely, it is time to storm Dr. Wily’s castle. Or not — four of the boss stages reappear as "Doc Robot" stages.

Arino goes ahead and tries Shadow Man’s stage again, which has been summarily reformed and made more difficult. After falling down pits one too many times, Arino gives up on that stage for a while and checks out the new Spark Man stage. When starting Spark Man’s stage again, Arino notices he has a new Rush ability: the Rush Jet! Something that would have nice to get through the last stage he just died a bunch on. Eventually, Arino reaches the boss — a midboss, technically; one of the Doc Robots, who assumes the robo-soul of Metal Man from Mega Man 2!

As before, Arino just starts trying out weapons, but he already has low life, so he dies quickly. How do you beat an old boss with new weapons? Arino tries the Hard Knuckle, which seems to work best, but again, he almost dies. He quickly pauses, and sees that he has one energy tank left and it’s his second-to-last life before Game Over. After some deliberating with himself, Arino goes ahead and pulls the trigger. The fake Metal Man is destroyed!

But the stage continues! Arino has to slide under a barrier and then down a spike-lined shaft, but he falls right on the first spike. "Ah ha ha ha!" he says, trying to hide the pain. On the next life, he’s taken all the way back to the start of the stage. No good. Fast forward past Metal Man again, and this time, Arino gets past the spikes perfectly — plus some yelling.

The next Doc Robot is Quick Man, but again, Arino dies in seconds. Thankfully, the game puts him back right at the boss door. After dying a second time, it’s Game Over, and back to the start we go. Just as Arino gets back to the Quick Man door, in steps AP Nakayama with a laptop. He has something to show Arino: A clip of his Mega Man 2 fight against Quick Man, where he uses the Crash Bomb to win.

But there isn’t a weapon in Mega Man 3 that acts like a bomb. Regardless, Arino goes into the third attempt with the Search Snake, which actually does hurt Quick Man quite a bit… provided that the snakes actually hit him. After a lot of jumping around and (presumably) praying, Arino manages another extremely close call and destroys Quick Man.

Then it’s on to Gemini Man’s stage, where the first boss this time is a Doc Robot version of Flash Man. His time-stopping abilities are annoying, but Arino uses the Needle Cannon to succesfully destroy him on the first try. But Arino’s almost dead in the second half of the stage, and quickly perishes thanks to some annoying robot water bugs.

He does get to the second boss, though; Bubble Man. Arino assumes the best weapon against water is the Spark Shot, and indeed, it does get rid of Bubble Man on the first go. Then, it’s back to Needle Man’s stage. The first boss there is Air Man, and he’s tough — Arino dies in seconds thanks to the powerful gusts of wind Air Man shoots.

The second try also fails, partly because Arino still doesn’t know Air Man’s weapon weakness, and also because he can’t get away from those damn air gusts. It turns out the Magnet Missile is the best choice, but then Arino runs out of ammo again, and he’s almost dead… again. He has one energy tank, but it takes less time to decide to use it. With full life and the Spark Shot (which is also a good weapon), Arino almost wins… until he gets too close to Air Man.

Arino then decides to go back through the stage several times and get some energy tanks before engaging the bosses again. He gets nine, to be exact! Fully stocked, he makes his way back to Air Man. He runs out of Magnet Missiles, but switches to the Hard Knuckle — no good! He uses an energy tank, then goes back to the Spark Shot. There we go. Air Man finally disappears after just a few more shots.

In the second half of the stage, Arino must use the Rush Jet to get across a huge gap, but he doesn’t have enough energy for the Jet, so he falls to his death — and to a Game Over. He defeats Air Man again, then goes back across the gap with full energy. Before long, he reaches the next boss: Crash Man! The Needle Cannon is the one to use, but Arino still gets close to death. He goes through energy tanks like glasses of water, but with perseverence, he finally destroys Crash Man, and completes the Needle Man stage.

Now, back to Shadow Man’s stage, where Arino gave up before. This time, he uses the Rush Jet like he should have last time, and gets to the first boss relatively easily. Now he fights Wood Man, but dies from the projectiles of the Leaf Shield. With one energy tank left, Arino goes in for the second try. The Search Snake seems to be the winning weapon, but for the umpteenth time, Arino manages to get lower health than the boss by the end of it. But this time, he actually survives, and defeats the first boss.

After another death in the second half and no more energy tanks, things don’t look good. Arino starts the stage from the beginning, and dies several stupid deaths when fighting Wood Man again. AP Nakayama returns, and lets Arino have a special password that will put him at this point, but with full energy tanks again. He puts in the password, but it actually leaves him with an extra stage to complete (Needle Man’s again). Still, the energy tanks are very welcome, and Arino bows to Nakayama multiple times as the AP leaves.

Arino goes back to Wood Man, defeats him, then moves on to the second boss, Heat Man. With energy tanks back in full stock, it shouldn’t go too badly. But again, there’s no obvious counter to Heat Man’s, er, heat. Arino goes through nearly every weapon, nearly dies, uses a tank, then finally discovers the Shadow Blade, coincidentally, is the winning weapon. After a few more tosses of the blade, Arino wins the Shadow Man stage.

Now Arino just has to get past the Needle Man stage again. At least it’s a good chance to restock on energy tanks again. He blasts through the Needle Man bosses, and then, finally, everything is complete. Now to face Dr. Wily, right?

Well, sort of. Not really. Instead of Wily’s logo appearing in the center square of the stage select, it’s Break Man! Selecting the stage brings Arino to a one-on-one duel with Break Man. Fortunately, he’s just as easy to beat as he was in earlier stages. Soon, Break Man runs away, and Mega Man finds out Wily is a backstabber, and then finally travels to Wily’s castle.

The game isn’t over, but the challenge is — it’s almost midnight, and Arino’s been at it for 13 and a half hours. He now has three choices, one of which is to give up, but he really won’t. Instead, this will have to continue another day!

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