Between the release of the Mega Man Legacy Collection and Mega Man Legends finally coming to PSN, the Blue Bomber has been more active lately than he has been in a long time. So I thought this would be a good time to take a look back at his many memorable Robot Master battles throughout his long history and pick my five favorites. (Mega Man classic series only, not X, Zero, Legends, etc.).
5. Shadow Man (Mega Man 3)
There was a pretty tight race between him and fan favorite Elec Man for the #5 spot, but if I’m being completely honest, it was simply my love of ninjas and shurikens that ultimately tipped the scales in Shadow Man’s favor. Shadow Man looks and feels like he could be the hero of an old school Ninja Gaiden or Shinobi-style game. We’ll just ignore the fact that his weakness is against the weapon earned from the incredibly lame Top Man…
4. Skull Man (Mega Man 4)
The Robot Masters had already begun to be questionable by the fourth game in the series – Dust Man, anyone? – but there were still a few standouts, with Skull Man being the best of the post-trilogy bosses. His look and tone is pretty dark and morbid amongst the largely lighthearted and silly of the (non-Mega Man X) franchise’s robots, and his strategy of only moving and attacking when Mega Man does lends a sinister and unsettling feeling to battling him. It’s kind of like fighting Psycho Mantis without the memory card reading and controller port swapping.
3. Snake Man (Mega Man 3)
Ten games in, you’d think Capcom would’ve drawn from the animal well a lot more often in coming up with easy things to base robots on, but surprisingly they’ve actually done that very little. Which makes Snake Man remain all the more unique. His stage is also a standout among Mega Man stages, with a more living, organic feel than the cold industrial environments that pervade the series.
2. Fire Man (Mega Man 1)
Though Mega Man 2 and 3 are largely considered the fan favorites, it’s hard to deny that the original still has the best overall collection of bosses, with Fire Man being the best of an already stellar bunch. Characters that have a live flame as part of their outfits are always a little extra badass by default, and like with Shadow Man I have an additional non-Mega Man reason for liking Fire Man: He always reminded me of one of my favorite childhood comic book characters, DC Comics’ Firestorm.
1. Metal Man (Mega Man 2)
Yeah yeah, lists are always more interesting when they have a controversial #1 pick. But it’s hard to deny Metal Man’s place as one of the best and most iconic bosses in Mega Man‘s history, if not video game history in general. The battle with him involves one of my least-favorite old-school game tropes – a conveyer belt – but the fact that I can look past that and still appreciate what a great boss he is says a lot. Because I really hate conveyor belts in side scrolling action games. Also, he throws saw blades at you. Not shoot saw blades, but throw them. Robot or not, that’s pretty damn intense.