Be Like Mega Man #illumedati


Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays and it’s time for another random post from me. Today I want to talk about a new concept “Be Like Mega Man”.

Be Like Mega Man

From my iPhone 6 Plus Camera

Who is Mega Man?

Mega Man is a video game character who originally appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in the late ’80s. He was known as “Rock Man” in Japan. He has a very rich history spanning multiple games and spinoffs. He’s a robot and so he has some pretty interesting abilities. However, what makes him different from any other side-scrolling game from the ’80s was the ability to “take your opponent’s weapon”.

It’s kind of easier to understand if you play the game. Here’s a guy who speedruns the original Mega Man. Speedrunning is running through the game as quickly as possible:

This means in some cases taking hits (or even dying) in order to beat the game the fastest. He’s able to beat the entire game in around ~21 minutes. The current world record is 18 minutes and 24 seconds. His name is COOLKID from Sweden and his speed run was streamed live on twitch, and can be found here.

Make no mistake, this game is very difficult by today’s standards.

As a kid I never beat the original Mega Man, although I did eventually beat Mega Man 2.

Here’s a video of Teens Reacting to Mega Man:

The ’80s were a rough time to be a gamer. Save points weren’t really a thing unless you were playing an RPG (Like Final Fantasy). Most likely, if you died anywhere in the level you were send back to the beginning. However, I think some games did have mid-way points or which would put you there if you died.

The reason why games were created this way were probably to increase the longevity of the game. Video games at the time were very expensive. Buying Mega Man new would probably cost $50, back in 1988 or so. If you contrast that to today where video games generally cost $59.99 ($60), then you’ll see prices haven’t really gone up that much compared to inflation. You may remember that when I bought Secret of Mana back in 1993, it was sold for $69.99. This was a ton of money back then. If you utilize the inflation calculator, $69.99 back in December 1993 is equivalent to $112.67 August 2017.

However, because games are less expensive because of inflation, it is more common to buy them on a more regular basis, rather than just for a birthday or Christmas. You can contrast that with the game systems themselves which have increased in price. When the NES, SNES, N64, and Gamecube initially came out, they were priced at $200. I was going to go through and give the prices of systems adjusted for inflation, but Kotaku already did that.

It’s kind of interesting that video games have evolved in this way…. but I digress.


So what’s up with Mega Man, why should I be like him?

To me Mega Man embodies a lot of great things. While a robot, he has good values and fights for good against evil. He has feelings of love for his creator, Dr. Light, but does not “hate” his enemy Dr. Wily. Also, he does not “hate” the robots he goes against. They are simply opponents he has to surpass in order to grow stronger. In addition, it is not simply to grow stronger, but to utilize their own power. He’s a robot that loves, but does not hate.

Also, Mega Man never gives up. He always gets back up and keeps going. Mega Man is very determined to reach his goals. Every time he takes a hit, you can see the pain in his face, but he still keeps going.

Another interesting concept in this game is that the different weapons you gain affect different enemies differently. There is actually a damage chart for who weak or strong a boss is to a particular weapon, it can be found at the Mega Man Wikia. He learns, and grows.

For example, Rolling Cutter (from Cut Man) does heavy damage to Elec Man. Also, as you would expect, Ice Slasher does better damage against Fire Man, but is weak against all the other bosses. This embodies another concept that just because you gain a new skill, it doesn’t mean you should always use it. Newer isn’t always better.


Ok, so what does that mean for me?

Well, I kind of outlined it above, but here they are:

  • Love, but don’t hate.
  • Never give up.
  • Learn and grow.
  • Newer isn’t always better.

What made you decide to write about Mega Man today?

Well, remember the SNES Classic I pre-ordered? I set it up for my daughter the other day with one of the TVs in my office. She was super excited to give it a try. She hasn’t had any other real exposure to video games, except some learning games on her iPad. It was tough for me to decide which game for her to try. She’s never even held a controller before and I didn’t want her to get discouraged.

I decided Donkey Kong Country was a good start because the controls were relatively simple. I figured if I could just get her to move around and press the B button to jump, she’d have some fun. She did ok for her first time I think and was able to move around and jump. However, I forgot that Donkey Kong Country was a one hit death mechanic which made it difficult for her. We moved on to some of the mini-games in Kirby Super Star which were generally easier, she had a lot of fun with them. Here she is:

Future Gamer

Also, look how happy she looks in this picture:

Warms my heart…

Ideally, once she learns how to read, I want her to play the games with a rich story like Final Fantasy 3, Secret of Mana, Mario RPG, etc.

Anyways, I saw the difficultly she was having with Donkey Kong Country and then I saw Mega Man X on the game selection screen. It reminded me of how difficult the original Mega Man was. That inspired me to teach her to “Be Like Mega Man”. I tried to explain to her that it’s her first time and it will be difficult especially since she’s never even held a controller before. As time goes on, you’ll get better and make it farther and farther into the game. She seemed to understand but I think we’re done with Donkey Kong Country for awhile until her hand-eye coordination gets a little better. Either way, I think at the end she had a lot of fun with the characters, but she enjoyed Kirby Super Star the most because of its relatively simplicity. We only played for maybe 20-30 minutes though.


Anything else?

Also, for those interested, people have been able to hack the SNES Classic and load more games on it (ROMs). It’s a similar method to what was used to hack the NES Classic. Of course, this voids your warranty and could also potentially “brick” your SNES Classic (make it unusable).

Please note that the usage of ROMs is a grey area. As long as you own the original games, it may be considered legal to use ROMs. Good article here.

Where did you get your Mega Man Funko Pops?

I ordered them on Amazon awhile back:

Mega Man / Rush / Proto Man / Dr. Wily

         

I didn’t buy Dr. Wily, because I didn’t want him. However, there is a set I kind of want:

It’s the Marvel vs Capcom Funko Pop of Rocket Raccoon versus Megaman.

It’s for pre-order and comes out November 24, 2017.

Actually, there is a few of them coming out. Gamora versus Strider looks good too.


TL;DR

Be Like Mega Man

  • Love, but don’t hate.
  • Never give up.
  • Learn and grow.
  • Newer isn’t always better.

Mega Man was a hard game back in its day.

Interestingly, game prices haven’t kept up with inflation, but video game systems have.

Seeing my daughter play games from my childhood warms my heart.

 

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei

-Sensei

Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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About Sensei

A young attending physician trying to navigate the mine field that is life after medical school…

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