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 Special Episode- Back to Contents
Arino no Chousen: "Rockman 9: Yabou no Fukatsu!!"

In September 2008, Capcom released the ninth installment of the original Mega Man series; Mega Man 9 is a game deliberately meant to look like the NES games that made the series so popular in the first place. And with a "neo-retro" game such as that, Japan’s best show about retro games just had to cover it. Since Mega Man 9 is only available as a download, Capcom and Fuji "aired" this special Game Center CX as a streaming video on the "Minna no Nintendo Channel" (the "Nintendo Channel" to the rest of us), Nintendo’s weekly collection of media only available on Wii systems. While not a full episode (Capcom would likely never allow the end of the game to be shown so soon), it was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Watch it on Game Videos: Part 1 | Part 2

Part 1

Arino introduces himself to the internet audience, followed by the game. Since Rockman 9 doesn’t come in a box, all Arino has is a picture of a fake box, complete with Famicom logos.

Rockman games are no strangers to Arino: the first such challenge of Rockman 2 ended with 13 hours of failure, though two years later, Arino completed the first Rockman in 14 hours. Rockman 9 channels those first two games — widely considered the hardest ones in the series — but will Arino struggle just as much, or harness his past experience? He begins the game and watches the introductory movie that sets up the plot where Dr. Light is framed and Dr. Wily tries to capitalize on the world’s fear. Then it’s on to the stage select: Arino flips around the boss portraits, and decides to settle on Plug Man.

Plug Man’s stage doesn’t start easy for him: the floating enemies that constantly fly towards Arino are hard enough to deal with, but when one of them drops a 1-UP onto the spikes below, he jumps right down for it with nary a thought. After trying again, Arino gets past that part, only to come upon a series of disappearing blocks. "Ahh, it’s this!" he says with exasperation. It’s not so bad, though: he does get across safely… until a well-placed Met fires at him, pushing him down onto the spikes again. Arino decides to try another stage.

He goes with Tornado Man this time. The big gimmick in this stage are moving, rotating platforms that are easy to get disoriented on. Arino does, of course, and dies early on. Next is Magma Man’s stage.

With a bit of health left, Arino reaches the midpoint, only to be instantly killed by the huge magma dragon. Is there no end in sight!? Arino goes back to the stage select and goes with Concrete Man.

Conrete Man’s stage isn’t any less tricky: if it’s not boulder-dropping birds, it’s shooter enemies popping up out of pits at the last second. After dying from that once, Arino takes it a little more slowly and reaches the midpoint of the stage. Now he has to face off against three Paozo; robot elephants that toss and retrieve the large balls they carry. He narrowly avoids getting killed by the first one, but the nearby ladder helps him stay safe.

He dies on the second one, but beats it after another try. And then there’s the third, which has a few gaps leading up to it first. And what does he do but fall right into the second gap. Arino wishes he had an Energy Tank right about now.

Just then, AP Tojima steps into view . He has the energy Arino needs. Tojima goes back into the corner and returns with a tray, and on it is a can of the official Rockman Energy Tank energy drink. Arino takes a sip and is a bit surprised that it’s an energy drink. "This is what Rockman drinks?" he asks Tojima. "Yes." Well, you don’t see him drink it, do you?

Tojima then sits next to Arino and shows him how to get the true "Famicom taste" from the game by turning on "Legacy mode" and its sprite-flicker effect. The challenge continues. Arino repeatedly dies on that third elephant. What will become of this challenge?

Part 2

It’s not until the fifth attempt that Arino manages to jump in front of the third Paozo with enough energy left over to completely destroy the thing. Finally! After a few more screens of Concrete Man’s stage, Arino dies, but thankfully the game puts him after the elephants this time.

Despite some hesistation, Arino makes it through the last section of the stage with some tricky vertical platforms. That’s a victory in and of itself! The kacho continues through into Concrete Man’s room, where he’s killed in a matter of seconds.

Concrete Man’s forceful stomps into the ground and his debilitating Concrete Shot make it hard for Arino to stay on his toes, much less hit the boss. After a couple of deaths, AD Urakawa steps in. Time for some whiteboard action. Urakawa sketches out Concrete Man’s patterns, telling Arino exactly how to act and react to the boss.

But before leaving Arino to himself, Urakawa suggests he use some of his colelcted screws to buy an E-Tank or two from the shop. And then it’s back to Concrete Man for round three. Arino expertly jumps out of the way of the Concrete Shot, as well as Concrete Man’s powerful dashes and stomps. Of course, he still takes a few hits, but he’s already doing markedly better than before. Still, he does get close to death.

Arino pauses the game and stares at the submenu a little bit. He thinks aloud, wondering if he can do this without an E-Tank. "No no no no no," says the staff. Arino laughs, then refills his energy. Unfortunately, his skill slips a little, and before long he’s back down to the same dangerous level of health, while Concrete Man continues dashing around.

With but a sliver of health left, Arino quickly pauses and uses his last Energy Tank. He hesitates, then dives back in. Now he finally gets Concrete Man down to the last third of his health, but the tables quickly turn again! Arino’s back down to a bit of health! Everybody in the room panics, and then, with one final stomp, Concrete Man wins.

This will have to be Arino’s last chance. However, Urakawa steps in and shows Arino how it’s done. At first, he does just as badly, but once the AD gets in the groove, he stays alive and, with just a bit of Concrete Man’s health left, passes the controller to Arino.

Once again, Arino gets down to a sliver of health. Fortunately, one more E-Tank is available. He quickly uses it and continues. Despite a couple of misses, Arino cleanly dusts Concrete Man. Thank goodness. The challenge ends happily, and maybe now some Rockman 9 players can defeat Concrete Man themselves.

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