Game Center CX Season 7 – Back to Contents
Recurring Back to the Origin!! "Rockman"
This episode is a step back for the show … relatively speaking. Two years ago Arino challenged Rockman 2, and though he got incredibly far, he just couldn’t quite get to that ending screen. But now he faces the original Rockman, arguably the toughest of the 8-bit originals. We shall see.
Arino gets right into the game and surveys the stage select. After a minute or two he decides to start with Ice Man’s stage. Insanely enough, as soon as he kills his first enemy, a 1UP pops out! But that extra life is soon spent when Arino enters the first "disappearing block" room. A lot of trial and error goes on here — he tries to climb the blocks, but usually ends up falling next to the sliding enemy and dying. So soon and already we’re at the first wall?
Arino checks the fold-out manual and studies the boss descriptions. This time he decides to go with Cut Man. After a bit of trouble, he manages to make it all the way to the end this time and face the boss. Arino camps out next to the door, letting Cut Man make quick work of him. On the second try Arino moves around more, and eventually traps Cut Man. He plugs some shots into the sharp bastard and eventually wins!
He goes with Bomb Man next. He notices the Sniper Joe enemies and notes their obvious resemblance to Zakus from Gundam. Some time later he makes it to Bomb Man’s chamber, and the fight begins! He tries to use Cut Man’s blades, but they don’t do much damage. Regardless, Arino keeps at it, but it just kills him in the end. The second attempt goes much better, but soon both opponents’ health bars are toward the end! Arino lands one final shot … but a bomb strikes him at the same time! Double K.O.! And Arino loses his last life to a Game Over! Nooo!
He continues and gets back to Bomb Man. This attempt almost ends the exact same way, but Arino’s timing is better, and a bomb that would have hit him disappears as soon as Bomb Man dies. A close, if reckless victory. From there it’s on to Guts Man. You might think that Arino would be stuck forever on the "moving platforms" section of the level, and though he does need a few tries before he gets the idea, it’s not long before he continues to the end.
When he makes it to Guts Man, Arino tries the Cut Man blade first, but it doesn’t work out. He immediately switches to Bomb Man’s bombs, and… hey! They take a sizeable chunk of energy! Guts man is obliterated in about a minute. Arino moves on to Elec Man.
Elec Man’s stage proves to be the most challenging so far. The vertical setting of much of the stage is compounded with a series of disappearing blocks later on. Arino imitates the "buu" sound the blocks make as he attempts the climb. He fails the first time, falling down to the previous screen. He tries it again and makes it, but at the top is a narrow jump. He slips and falls again. He tries to climb the blocks again, but falls down, and then is shot dead by the enemies coming down.
He tries it once more, but this time he falls to the righthand side, and falls past the ladder! And then slips when he hits the bottom, falling down again! Then he gets hit and falls all the way back to the beginning of the stage! Jayzus! After some time, he makes it back up to the top, and he still can’t clear the tight space to continue. One more try… this time he jumps from the blocks over to the ladder on the right side, thus making it a much easier path across the top to continue. Frickin’ finally! But a couple of screens later, he misses a jump and dies. Back to the drawing board…
Arino eventually makes it through again, and this time comes upon a mysterious item blocked by some… blocks. Since the blocks look different from the rest of the wall, he realizes he can use Guts Man’s power to pull the blocks out. And he does, getting the "Magic Power," a secondary beam that lets him create temporary platforms. Before long, Arino finally makes it up to Elec Man’s chambers.
Elec Man has a couple more tossable blocks next to him, so Arino uses them. However, they don’t do much damage. This confuses Arino so much that he stays put, only to let Elec Man walk into him and kill him. Oops. Arino tries it again, this time with bombs, but again, they barely make a scratch. He dies again and is forced to retry the entire stage. It’s now been an hour and a half just with Elec Man.
The Rolling Cutter is discovered to be the best weapon against Elec Man, but Arino continues to struggle with the boss’s tendency to dart back and forth quickly. It’s not until the 12th attempt that Arino finally destroys Elec Man with the cutter. With two bosses left, Arino decides to back to challenge Ice Man. He gets past the vanishing blocks here now that he has some experience, and then makes it to the boss. Using the Elec Beam, he wastes Ice Man in about five seconds. Too, too sweet. Now to douse Fire Man!
Arino does well at first in Fire Man’s stage, but soon is stupidly dying every which way. After a clever usage of the Magic Power, he makes it to the end to face the boss. Unfortunately, he’s killed quickly. The next time, Arino goes a little kamikaze, switching to the Ice Beam and hammering the B button while running forward. It amazingly works, destroying Fire Man and getting the last weapon! All six bosses are down. Arino expects the ending, but that’s just plain stupid of him. The Dr. Wily stage awaits!
… Aaaaand it’s a bitch. Arino gets fairly far in the first level, but takes a lot of damage along the way and ends up dying. The spike-filled room with the moving platform-enemies is the cause of most of his pain. 30 minutes pass and he still keeps falling off and dying a pointy death. But 30 minutes of training seems to be what he usually needs, as he finally makes it to the other end and climbs up to the boss chamber. Arino and the staff are relieved. "Wily?"
Hardly. It’s the Yellow Devil, a.k.a. the Rock Monster. Its pieces fly in and reduce Arino to two bars of health. He vainly tries the Ice Beam, but it does nothing and the pieces come flying in from the other side and kill him. He tries bombs on the second attempt, but… yeah. Arino goes on to try each weapon with every try he has. After the 11th death, things start to seem hopeless. Just then, a figure emerges from the side…
AD Takahashi steps into frame and hands Arino a postcard from a viewer, complete with Arino cosplay photo. After he reads the card, Takahashi informs him that there is a winning pattern to beat this boss. She turns to the whiteboard and draws the best Yellow Devil she can (it looking a bit like Domo-kun), then shows Arino how to approach things. The Devil’s pieces always come in at the same pattern, and avoiding them is a simple pattern of six jumps, ending with an Elec Beam shot. After imparting her knowledge, Takahashi sits down next to Arino for the execution.
Arino takes a couple hits, but manages to get past the first pass of pieces, only to get shot and killed by the Devil’s beam. He dies again on the next try and gets a Game Over. Takakashi offers to play through the stage to get back to the boss, and Arino lets her go at it. During which, he asks her what her name was in school. "Sacchan." Arino chuckles, then considers it. "Tojima… Sasano… Urakawa… Inoko MAX… Sacchan."
He then asks her if she’s a "meijin" (expert). She denies it, but hey, she has the same name as Takahashi Meijin! Her reply: "the ‘Adventure’ person, right?" Oh dear. Anyway, she gets back to the boss and hands the controller back, but sticks around to see how Arino does.
He has a much better grip of things now — even surviving two passes! But he still gets badly hurt, and by the beginning of the third pass he dies again. The failure continues: 33 attempts rack up and Arino still hasn’t gotten anywhere. Night has fallen. Three and a half hours have passed on this one boss. But then, on attempt 69, a ray of hope! Arino finally manages to keep his energy high while hitting the Devil, and cleanly jumps over every piece. He fires an Elec Beam right into the Yellow Devil’s eye, ending the madness. A round of applause in the whole room, and a sign of relief on Arino’s face. He looks close to tears!
Level 2 begins, and Takahashi finally leaves. "Thank you, Meijin!" Arino gets to the end of the stage with half a meter of health, and drops down to face… Cut Man, again. Amazingly, with just a bit of life left he defea–oh, god, no, another double K.O.! He defeats Cut Man on the next try, but then the level continues. He gets through and faces a second Elec Man, which he also handily beats with just a bit of health. Whew!
The level finally ends with a one-on-one battle against… another Mega Man! The Copy Robot kills him on the first try. On the second, Arino tries to be clever and starts the battle with another weapon, then switches back thinking the Copy Robot will stay with the previous weapon helping him differentiate. It doesn’t work. But after a little while, Arino camps in the corner and manages to successfully fire on the Copy Robot successfully. The Robot hops forward a little bit each time its hit, which freaks out the room, but Arino just stands there and continues to fire.
It doesn’t quite work. Arino’s forced to go back through the entire stage. He gets back to the Copy Robot with full health and the Elec Beam. Again he camps in the corner and fires the beam. And again, he almost dies, but this time he pulls through! Arino heads into the third stage, speeds through the watery corridors, and comes upon the next boss.
CWU-01P, otherwise known as the bubble robot. Some blocks lay beneath the boss, so Arino uses the Guts Man power to toss them. But once they’re gone, he’s left wondering what to use next. He switches to Fire Man’s beam, but he’s immediately killed. On the next attempt, Arino goes for another kamikaze move: he mashes the B button until CWU can’t take it anymore, and again he scrapes by with just a morsel of health.
One last level remains. Arino gets through to the end, where he faces another Bomb Man. Despite all he’s learned, he continues to die against him. But he succeeds the next time, only to face Fire Man again! After some more trial and error, he moves on to Ice Man, only to die again! Now it’s just getting sad.
13 hours have passed, but Arino presses on. He finally gets past Ice Man, and then, naturally, fights Guts Man. He gets past Gutsy in one try, and then enters one last room. He goes through the big door at the end, and there, finally, is Wily! The evil doctor enters his Wily Machine and begins the final battle. Arino tries the Fire Storm, but he has little health anyway, so he quickly dies.
He goes in with full health for the next try, and manages to blow off the front of the Wily Machine with the Fire Storm. Arino instantly pauses and wonders what he can use next. He goes with the Elec Beam, but despite getting so very close, he doesn’t make it. Game Over, and back to the beginning of the level. Another 40 minutes pass getting through the boss gauntlet, and then he returns to the Wily Machine.
Arino dodges Wily’s spiraling beam much better this time, and patiently fires the Elec Beam when ready. The pattern continues, and soon enough… he makes it!! Wily is down for the count! The ending scrolls by, and even though it was a later-than-usual 14 hours, Arino is still proud.
This time Arino visits Indies Zero, the supposed developers of the GCCX game, who are also responsible for a lot of DS games … hmmm. Their office is much smaller compared to Bandai Namco’s, and in the hall they have a glass case filled with Game Boys and DS games that the staff has worked on in the past. Arino spots the Love & Berry DS Lite and grabs it. Just then, a man comes out into the hall! Arino hurriedly puts the DS back and says hello. He’s looking for the head of the company, which happens to be this guy: Masanobu Suzui.
Suzui takes Arino into the main office, and shows him his desk. His mouse has been positively ruined by the man’s hands rubbing against it. Arino makes an example of the mouse as he shows it to the employees. After that, Suzui shows off Indies Zero’s rec room, complete with huge TV and next-gen consoles (plus a Super Famicom). Following that, another short talk about games and Indies Zero’s history.
Game & Watch Hottokenai Yo
First it was a look at the "Silver Series," now Arino takes a look at the "Gold Series" Game & Watches. Arino points out one defining characteristic: the metal clip/stand on the back! But then Kibe-kun comes in and mentions the fact that these were the first ones to have color backgrounds. Arino rolls up his sleeves and begins with Manhole.
As usual, he does fine until the game slips into higher gear, then he starts failing considerably. Following that is Helmet, the "avoid the falling tools" game. When he starts, Arino thinks he just has to dodge the tools, but after losing once, Kibe informs him he has to run into the shack at the other end. Despite the simplicity, Arino thinks this one is pretty neat. And how much are they now? Kibe slips Arino the price cards, and he slowly peeks at them. 19,800 yen each (almost $200). "Gold," indeed.
Game Collections: 1987: July-August