As of recent we have the beginnings of a fantastic retrospective of the Mega Man X series on the site. Let us supplement this with an analysis of the Blue Bomber. We will examine this from the perspective of the routes of the adorable little scamp, but the argument will remain valid for any title in the MM franchise (except for the void between MMs 6 and 9, which we need to ignore.) I don’t believe I need to give any insight into who Mega Man is on a retro gaming site so let us get right to this (there is no time).
Mega Man and many other platforming games are guilty of having characters which have the ability to change the direction of their jump in midair. This certainly is not a complaint because this ability is something that makes these games so incredible to play. Without this mechanic they would be utterly infuriating. We know the whole idea behind a platforming game is to traverse environments while avoiding enemies and hazards. Only being able to go forward would promote players to frequently miss their platforms and crash into the beds of spikes below, above or beside them (silly Capcom).
Part of the reason people are capable of jumping is because gravity is pulling them towards the surface of the planet. Without gravity and atmosphere people would be floating around and not be able to propel themselves in any given direction. The other part is due to Newton’s third law, which speaks about every action having an equal and opposite reaction. When people compress their legs and pounce, they are pushing down on the Earth, but since the Earth isn’t moving, people are able to propel themselves due to the force of the Earth pushing back up on them. When a person does jump it is gravity that pulls them back down again. Depending on the way the person jumps, they travel straight up and down, or in an arching motion; many platforming games do not agree.
Changing direction in the midst of a jump is physically impossible. People do not have the ability to go where they want in midair. As stated, there needs to be some type of surface which will provide enough force to produce an opposing force to allow the person to jump. The air in the Earth’s atmosphere does not provide a substantial enough opposing force to allow people to propel in the opposite direction. There is resistance in the air which impedes forward motion, but not enough to allow a rapid change direction. The only way this could ever occur is if there were extremely focused air packets allowing the change in movement. But MM is set in a different universe and reality from that of our own, so maybe in the year 200X, there is a technology which allows Mega Man to overcome this problem.
MM looks harmless enough, but I am very certain that if any person had him running toward them shooting lemon lasers and jumping ridiculous heights, he or she would be terrified. MM has amazing abilities which allow him to overcome countless obstacles. One of these technological abilities may just be the key to explaining how the Blue Bomber can change directions in the midst of a jump. In the robotic, complex design of his blue suit, hidden far down in unseen pixels are potentially high powered little vacuums. These vacuums create air packets that act like platforms that can be used similar to a springboards. If MM’s suit was made from a material not yet discovered here in our world there is another possibility.
A material so light and so durable, that changing directions needs very little force. Gundams are made of Gundanium (I hate you anime). For arguments sake let us assume Mega Man is made of Megamanarium (I am not any better). Megamanarium will be a very complex solid composed of fundamental particles rather than protons, neutrons and electrons, thus meaning it will have extremely small mass and will be held together by strong, electromagnetic and nuclear forces. Magamanarium is even more fundamental that leptons and quarks. It is hereby my super material discovered today, explains how Mega Man is actually the most complex physics phenomena to strike us ever. For he is made of particles impossible to discover by today’s standards. Maybe, the year 200X is actually 20010 and one day we will be that advanced. Maybe Capcom is actually a team of the most brilliant scientists ever to grace this universe who know that fate of our world. Maybe, there is a definite answer to the meaning of life. Or maybe Capcom was just merciful for once with these painfully difficult games.
Dan – The Physics Guy
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