Mega Man 2
|Mega Man 2|
|Family Computer and NES|
|North American Release Date(s)|
|Japanese Release Date(s)|
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Mega Man 2, known in Japan as Rockman 2: Dr. Wily no Nazo (ロックマン2 Dr.ワイリーの謎?, lit. "Rockman 2: The Mystery of Dr. Wily"), is a platform game developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the second installment in the original Mega Man series. The game was released in Japan in 1988, and in North America and Europe the following years. Mega Man 2 continues the titular protagonist's battle against the evil Dr. Wily and his rogue robots. The game features graphical and gameplay changes from the first Mega Man game, many of which have remained throughout the series. Although sales for Mega Man were unimpressive, Capcom allowed the Rockman team to create a sequel. They worked concurrently on other Capcom projects, using their free time to develop the game. Unused content from the previous title was integrated into Mega Man 2. Takashi Tateishi, Manami Matsumae, and Yoshihiro Sakaguchi composed the soundtrack. With more than 1.5 million copies sold, the game is the best-selling Mega Man title. Critics praised its audio, visuals and gameplay as an improvement over the first game. Many publications rank Mega Man 2 as the best title in the series, and as one of the greatest video games of all time. The game has been re-released on several consoles and mobile phones.
Story[edit | edit source]
In the year 200X, the robot Rock, a project by Dr. Thomas Light, was created. What followed in the series was a close sister named Roll, along with eight (six in the original) industrial brothers. It was an age where humans live side-by-side with robots. However, Dr. Light's rival, Dr. Wily, revolted and took Light's creations for himself, leaving the "useless" robots Rock and Roll. He reprogrammed those robots and used them in a robotic army to take over the world. Just when things looked bleak, Rock volunteered to be converted into a fighting robot. In this form, he became known as Mega Man. Mega Man went after his brothers, though it was painful for him to fight them. He managed to only deactivate them, rather than destroying them. Dr. Light repaired them erasing the evil programming. When Dr. Wily's stronghold was discovered, Mega Man penetrated its defenses. He was surprised to see his brothers again, but he realized that they were clones once he had reached the Copy Robot. He had to face many powerful creations, but Mega Man still triumphed. He had reached Dr. Wily and had destroyed his Wily Machine. Wily begged for mercy, and Mega Man gave it. Because of his efforts, the world was at peace. Just when everyone thought they could live in peace and that an age of prosperity had dawned upon them, Dr. Wily revealed that he had built a new fortress and an army of robotic henchmen, led by eight new Robot Masters of his design. He unleashed them on the world for revenge against Mega Man. Once again, the populace called on Mega Man to stop the chaos before the world was engulfed in the flames of destruction. Mega Man crushed the eight Robot Masters and then set out to Wily's new fortress, where he had to face more creations and Wily. In the final fight, Wily morphed into an alien, but Mega Man discovered that it was a hologram. Mega Man let Wily go again. Mega Man took a long walk to think things through, and later returned home.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Mega Man 2 is a platform and action game like its predecessor, Mega Man. The player controls Mega Man as he traverses eight stages to defeat the bosses, Dr. Wily's Robot Masters: Metal Man, Air Man, Bubble Man, Quick Man, Crash Man, Flash Man, Heat Man, and Wood Man. Each Robot Master features a unique weapon and a stage related to their weapon's power. For example, Air Man shoots small tornadoes and is fought in a sky-themed level, while Wood Man can use a shield of leaves and is found in a forest-themed stage. After defeating a boss, their signature weapon becomes available to the player. The Robot Masters have weaknesses to the weapons of certain other Robot Masters; therefore, choosing the order in which the levels are played is a vital component of the gameplay. After completing certain stages, Mega Man receives a special item. These items create platforms that allow Mega Man to access areas that he otherwise could not. After defeating the eight Robot Masters, the player proceeds to Dr. Wily's fortress, which consists of six levels that are played linearly. As in the first title, the player is required to fight each Robot Master a second time in Dr. Wily's fortress. However, these battles take place in a single room rather than a series of linearly connected rooms. The room contains teleportation devices that lead to each Robot Master. The devices can be entered in any order, but are not labeled. Once the bosses are defeated again, the player must fight Dr. Wily. Mega Man 2 features several gameplay changes from the original Mega Man. A new item, the Energy Tank, allows a player to refill Mega Man’s health at any time. Also introduced is a password system. After defeating each Robot Master a password is displayed, allowing the player to return to that particular point in the game after restarting the system. The password stores the particular list of completed Robot Masters, as well as the number of accumulated Energy Tanks. Unlike the first game, Mega Man 2 does not feature a score counter, and the player is unable to return to Robot Master levels once completed, the latter of which was carried into Mega Man 3 and was finally reinstated with the release of Mega Man 4. The score counter never returned following Mega Man 2.
Development[edit | edit source]
Mega Man 2 was developed and published by Capcom. In retrospect, series producer Keiji Inafune described the game's development as a "rogue effort". The first Mega Man game—released in 1987—was not successful enough to justify the immediate development of a sequel. Capcom gave the development team the chance to create a sequel on the condition that they work concurrently on other projects as well. The staff spent their own time on the project to improve upon the original by adding more levels and weapons, as well as improving the graphics. In the previous title, Inafune worked as an artist and character designer, but became more involved in the production process of Mega Man 2. "So we, of our own accord, got together, spent out own time, we worked really, really hard, you know, just 20-hour days to complete this, because we were making something we wanted to make," Inafune emphasized. "Probably in all my years of actually being in a video game company, that was the best time of my working at Capcom, because we were actually working toward a goal, we were laying it all on the line, we were doing what we wanted to do. And it really showed in the game, because it’s a game, once again, that we put all our time and effort and love, so to speak, into it, designing it." Due to the limited amount of cartridge space available for the first game, content was omitted from the final product. The unused elements were later transferred to Mega Man 2. The team was limited by the graphical capabilities of the console, and designed characters as pixel art to maintain consistency between the designs and final product; some design elements, however, were lost in the transition. The developer allowed input from the public by including boss designs created by fans. A second difficulty setting was added for the North American release. The original version was labeled "difficult", and a "normal" setting was created that made the enemies weaker. The soundtrack for Mega Man 2 was composed by a team of three people—credited with the pseudonyms Ogeretsu Kun, Manami Ietel, and Yuukichan's Papa—who also composed the music for the original Mega Man. Manami Matsumae and Yoshihiro Sakaguchi are credited as Ietel and Yuukichan's Papa, respectively. Ogeretsu Kun is a nickname implying rudeness, geretsu (下劣) meaning rudeness or depraved in Japanese, and is a pseudonym for Takashi Tateishi. Ippo Yamada, composer for Mega Man 7, explained that even in 1995 "Capcom... was just beginning to transition from crediting staff members by aliases to their full names."
Reception[edit | edit source]
Though the first Mega Man game had relatively low sales, Mega Man 2 was a huge success. Since its 1988 release, Mega Man 2 has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. The game is the to the game as the series' best title. Oxford considered it one of the most memorable titles in the series, and Burton called the game the best in the series. IGN's Levi Buchanan listed three of the game's bosses among the "Top 10 Mega Man Robot Masters". Several publications consider the game a critical success and have listed it high on "top game" lists. At the end of 1989, it was the top ranked game on Nintendo Powers Top 30 list. In August 2008, Nintendo Power listed Mega Man 2 as the third best Nintendo Entertainment System video game. The editorial staff praised the polished improvements over the previous game as well as the music, stating it is among the best on the platform. GameSpot named Mega Man 2 as one of "The Greatest Games of All Time". It ranked number 33 in Nintendo Powers "Top 200 Nintendo Games Ever" list and number 60 in Official Nintendo Magazines "100 Best Nintendo Games" list. Miller considered it one of the greatest games of all time. In 2007, IGN's three editorial offices—United States, United Kingdom, and Australia—compiled a list of top 100 games. They listed Mega Man 2 as number 67, citing the action and strategic elements along with the impact it had on the series.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
Keiji Inafune claims the success of Mega Man 2 is what made the Mega Man series a hit that chighest selling in the Mega Man series and is Capcom's 24th highest selling title. Mega Man 2 was well received by critics. Electronic Gaming Monthlys four reviewers—Steve Harris, Ed Semrad, Donn Nauert, and Jim Allee—rated the game favorably. They stated that it was better than the first Mega Man, citing the improved audio-visuals, new power-ups, and password system. Nauert and Allee, however, expressed disappointment that the game was less difficult than the first game. Nadia Oxford of 1Up.com complimented its aesthetics and gameplay. She further stated that Mega Man 2 improved the gameplay of its predecessor by removing excessively difficult elements. Mean Machines two reviewers, Julian Rignall and Matt Regan, praised several aspects of the game. Rignall lauded the gameplay, citing its addictiveness and the puzzles. Regan praised the difficulty and called the gameplay balanced. Both reviewers complimented the graphics, calling them detailed and stunning, and described it as a great platform game. Retro Gamer editor Richard Burton described it as a "must-have" title for the system, comments echoed by two of Electronic Gaming Monthlys reviewers. Zach Miller of Game Informer attributed the success of the game to the players' option to defeat the stages in the order or their choosing. He praised the simple control scheme and variety of weapons and items. The game's soundtrack has been well received by critics. Joey Becht of IGN listed three stage themes from Mega Man 2 along with the main title song among the best in the series. In 2008, Game Informer listed Mega Man 2's introduction sequence as the fifth-best video game opening, citing the build up of excitement the music and appearance that the character instills. In ScrewAttack's "Top 10 Video Game Themes Ever" video, the Doctor Wily Stage Theme is ranked second. In 2009, Gamasutra's Brandon Sheffield describe the music as easily recognizable, and lamented that contemporary video game music lacked that trait. Mega Man 2 is a favorite among Mega Man fans, with many calling it the best in the series. Critics have also referred ontinues to spawn sequels. 1UP.com's Kat Bailey commented that the game helped establish the series as a prominent and commercially successful video game franchise. IGN cited the game as one of the titles which helped define the action-platforming genre. Retro Gamer credited it with helping the series obtain the global presence that allowed spin-offs and more sequels to be created. Many of the conventions of the original Mega Man series were defined by the first title, but Mega Man 2 added its own conventions, which were retained by the series. The traditional number of Robot Masters for the series is eight as used in Mega Man 2, rather than the six used in the original. It was the first in the series to include an opening cinematic. Mega Man 2 also introduced the Energy Tank item, special movement items, teleporter room, and password system, which became staples in future titles. The Energy Tank became the series' iconic health refill item and later served as inspiration for a promotional "Rockman E-Can" drink. In developing Mega Man 9, producer Inafune and Hironobu Takeshita looked to the first two games in the series for inspiration, with Mega Man 2 serving as a standard to surpass in order to meet fans' expectations.
Rereleases and novelization[edit | edit source]
In 1999, Mega Man 2 was rereleased for the Sony PlayStation as the second of six Rockman Complete Works discs, though only in Japan and under the original title Rockman 2. It is largely identical to the original NES release, but had a number of bonuses, such as a "navi mode" for beginners that presents the player with a slightly re-made version of the game, detailed encyclopedic content, image galleries, and remixed music. Mega Man 2 was included with nine other games in the series in Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Microsoft's Xbox, released between 2004 and 2005. The game's emulation is identical to the rerelease contained in Rockman Complete Works. Mega Man 2 made its way to mobile phones in 2007. The game was added as a part of the Wii Virtual Console service in PAL regions on December 14, 2007. In celebration of the ninth title's release in September 2008, Capcom Japan released the game in Japan on August 26, 2008 and a North American release on September 15, 2008. In March 2009, Capcom released the game for iOS, while in September of the same year the Complete Works version of Mega Man 2 was released on the Japanese PlayStation Store, making it available for download on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. Inafune expressed a desire to remake Mega Man 2, similar to Mega Man Powered Up, but stated that such a project was dependent on the commercial success of the latter. A tech demo called Classic Games was shown for the Nintendo 3DS at E3 2010, displaying more than a dozen classic games utilizing 3D effects, including Mega Man 2. It was announced by Reggie Fils-Aime that the titles were slated for release on the 3DS, including Mega Man 2, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and The Legend of Zelda and would possibly make use of some of the 3DS' features, such as 3D effects, analog control, or camera support. Mega Man 2 was novelized in the Worlds of Power series published by Scholastic in 1990. The novel mostly follows the game, even offering game hints at the end of some chapters. Besides the added dialogue, the one major variation in the novel is that Dr. Light fears Mega Man's chances against Dr. Wily's more powerful new robots and while attempting to duplicate him, accidentally turns him into a human being, a difficulty Mega Man must endure throughout the story. The book's cover also lacks the gun depicted on the North American boxart of the game, due to a "no weapons" policy that Worlds of Power writers had to abide by.
Robot Masters[edit | edit source]
|Bubble Man||Bubble Lead||Metal Blade|
|Air Man||Air Shooter||Leaf Shield|
|Quick Man||Quick Boomerang||Time Stopper|
|Heat Man||Atomic Fire||Bubble Lead|
|Wood Man||Leaf Shield||Atomic Fire|
|Metal Man||Metal Blade||Quick Boomerang|
|Flash Man||Time Stopper||Crash Bomber/Metal Blade|
|Crash Man||Crash Bomber||Air Shooter|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- This is the first Mega Man game where Dr. Wily's castle is shown.
- Also this is the first game where the master robots are Wily's creations.
- The first robot created by Wily is Metal Man. This, together with the fact that it was based on Cut Man, is revealed in Mega Man & Bass.
- The robot master Crash Man appears in the sprite comic Crashman and Bass, where he and another robot master, Flashman have an evil son.
- This game has its counterpart in a Game Boy version, but in the story line it's set around the 5th and 6th games.
- In this game Dr. Light creates special items for Mega Man, like a flying board and other stuff.
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