Level Select Thursday: Wily Castle circa Mega Man II
Well it’s to venture back into the 8 bit world of the NES for the first time on Level Select Thursdays. The NES was known for introducing gamers to some of the most iconic characters including the blue bomber himself Mega Man. While Mega Man 1 was a solid game and established the core of what makes a Mega Man game fun to play,it was Mega Man II that put the franchise on the map. So lets take a look at the final level from Mega Man II!
I’m gonna say this right off the bat and I know it’s pretty obvious but the music for Wiley Castle in this incarnation is just so awesome in it’s 8-bit form. I love the remix’s done, but something about just makes me want to bring Dr. Wily to justice! While the music changes halfway through the stage to a more generic bland (at least for me) it doesn’t detract for how awesome the original bit of music is. I know I’m beating a dead horse at this point but I can now see why it’s so beloved.
So getting past the music part Mega Man II is a hard game, by today’s standards at least and that’s all shown in a neat display in this final area of the game. The enemy placement here isn’t what hurts the most it’s due to bottomless pits and spikes that kill you in with one itty bitty touch that makes this final area difficult. I can’t tell you how many times I died in the section with spikes galore. I know that’s how NES games maintained how but it does feel a bit dickish. Now the only true segment that made me want to actually quit the game is where you have to use one the items that Mega Man gains and use it to jump across and empty area from one ladder to another. It’s simply poorly designed, since Mega Man wasn’t programmed to make those jumps and it all comes down to luck.
The bosses and the boss rush are a mix bag for me in this game. I actually like the idea of the mecha dragon showing up out of nowhere, and the panic that it brings. However and it’s not really the developers complete fault due to the limitations of NES, but the constant sprite flickering leads to so many deaths therefore leading back to that ladder to ladder sequence made me want to stop playing. It’s the turret boss that takes the effing cake for most annoying boss in the history of bosses.
I got stuck here so much that I had to look up a Youtube video to see the proper way to eliminate the turret boss. He’s not hard by any means, but it’s only weakness is the crash bomb and if you mess up once well then you are virtually stuck and have to get a game over just so your weapon energy refills. It’s a poorly designed “boss battle” and don’t feel bad if you need to look up the specific way to take out this annoying hurdle. The Wily fights are actually pretty easy, especially the first encounter since he goes down with metal blades with ease.
I will admit that the final boss fight with Dr.Wily is really cool, the silent hallway lead up is ominous in a good way. It left me not knowing what new robot Wily has waiting for me. I won’t spoil what you actually fight and the eventual outcome but it’s a nice surprise and I had to laugh. I know I didn’t go into the boss order so much, and I don’t do that because there really isn’t much for me to say on it. You refight the
Overall Wily Castle from Mega Man II has it’s bright spots and some glaring negative spots nevertheless it’s still a good time and I recommend anybody who’s curious about playing the Mega Man classic series, to skip Mega Man I and start with Mega Man II.