One of the best parts about the Mega Man series is the huge variety of bosses across the 11 classic Mega Man games. (Yes, I include Mega Man and Bass, Mega Man 9, and Mega Man 10 in the classic series, because thematically and plot wise, they are.) The game series happens to be one of if not my favorite video game series of all time due to the amazing gameplay, variety of weapons, and the colorful cast of robotic wonders. The list below is largely opinion, so leave a comment on your favorite robot masters.
DWN. 024 – Shadow Man – Mega Man 3
Shadow Man is the only ninja themed robot master in the Mega Man series. That makes him incredibly unique. According to the series lore (largely only available through secondary and promotional sources, almost never in game), Shadow Man was actually a robot created by an unknown alien entity and found by Dr. Wily. Wily remodeled and reprogrammed Shadow Man to do his bidding. Shadow Man attacks with his signature Shadow Blade weapon, and moves incredibly quickly throughout the battlefield, running, jumping, and sliding to avoid Mega Man’s attacks.
The weapon Mega Man obtains from Shadow Man is very useful during the game. The Shadow Blade is a ninja shuriken boomerang that has a fairly short range, but packs a pretty big punch. It’s useful because Mega Man can shoot it in eight directions, helping him defeat enemies directly above him that he couldn’t normally attack without a jump shot. In some situations, a jump shot isn’t possible, so the Shadow Blade can get Mega Man out of some sticky situations.
DWN. 010 – Air Man – Mega Man 2
Air Man is basically a jet engine with arms and legs. While there are other robot masters that use a giant fan motif, Air Man is the first and the best. While his attack pattern is pretty basic, jumping back and forth to opposite ends of his room and blowing multiple tiny tornados at Mega Man, it’s an effective one. On Air Man’s CD data from the Japanese Rockman and Forte, it claims that Air Man is powerful enough to generate a typhoon. That’s pretty dope.
Mega Man obtains Air Man’s Air Shooter after defeating him. This weapon shoots three tornados at an upward angle. It’s a fairly strong weapon that has multiple uses. In some stages where enemies are approaching Mega Man from the top of the screen, using the Air Shooter can easily clear a path. The Air Shooter also does a pretty quick number on Sniper Joe’s ride armor, which is not a fun enemy to encounter otherwise.
DWN. 033 – Gravity Man – Mega Man 5
Gravity Man doesn’t have the most powerful weapons among his robot master brethren, but he does implement the tools he has in interesting ways. His projectile weapon is a simple buster gun, shooting at Mega Man with a puny plasma pellet, but what makes him interesting, is his ability to change the flow of gravity in his room. Mega Man is never on the same ground as Gravity Man, so Mega Man must shoot Gravity Man when he switches the gravity in the room. This is actually a really fun fight, and one of my personal favorite battles in the entire series. That’s not to mention the excellent gravity gimmick in the level leading up to Gravity Man.
Mega Man receives Gravity Man’s ability to reverse gravity for any enemies on screen. It’s a screen nuke weapon that replaces enemy freezing weapons from past games. Instead of freezing enemies, it outright kills a good many of them. It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t allow Mega Man to switch his gravity to walk on ceilings, but that would have been a major problem to code and design into the game, I’m sure.
DWN. 012 – Quick Man – Mega Man 2
Quick Man is so cool that the boomerang on his head extends outside of his robot master frame on the stage select screen. Originally, Quick Man was supposed to be somewhat of a rival to Mega Man much like Proto Man was in Mega Man 3, but this was never fleshed out. Quick Man moves incredibly fast, as his name suggests, and sometimes he moves so fast that he runs into walls, making him an easy target for Mega Man! That doesn’t mean he’s an easy boss, even though Mega Man can freeze him in place with Flash Man’s Flash Stopper, it doesn’t outright destroy him, and he’s still a hard one to hit.
Quick Man’s Quick Boomerang is a very useful tool, especially later in the game against Wily Castle bosses. It’s a rabid hard hitting weapon that would likely see more use if Metal Man’s Metal Blades weren’t so over powered in Mega Man 2.
It would have been interesting to see Quick Man get featured more in Mega Man 2 as was originally intended, but he’s still a cool robot master in both design and in terms of gameplay.