WHEN BOX ART ATTACKS – MEGA MAN

IN THE YEAR 20XX

Marie Schrader thinks this is too purple.

Mega Man (or Rock Man as he was called in Japan because they so crazy) started out humbly, on the cover of one of the ugliest box arts of its generation. Done by an artist who clearly “can’t do arms”, the picture shows Mega Man as a slightly Mexican half man/half tropical fish prepared for battle in the post-apocalyptic town where, I believe, the Wuzzles lived.

This was CAPCOMs original box design for their first batch of games that included Comblando, 1942: Boredom Simulator, Ghosts ‘N Stuff, Trojan Man, and Gun Period: Smoke.

All of these games were given the cool laser background all two of your mates got for fourth grade class pictures. The red lasers were symbolic of the game’s state of the art-ness and high resolution graphics, which back then meant they weren’t the Intellivision Running Man.

Run, run, running, I'm running over here....The first Mega Man game was known for its punishing difficulty (as were most of its sequels) and lack of a learning curve. Each level had something that was bound to infuriate you, whether it be platforms that collapsed over bottomless pits, or bricks that appear and reappear in a fixed-yet-still-maddening pattern. Most of the time you’d crawl into the Boss Room with two bars of health, getting dispatched with extreme prejudice seconds later.The game wanted you to know it was in charge.

Capcom, back in the day, was known for games with frustration levels cranked to 11. While it never achieved Ghosts ‘n Goblins nirvana of controller-throwing rage, it was still pretty tough due to its level design and its main characters, shall we say, “strong commitment” to his jumps.

Some characters of that generation didn’t fully commit to a jump, meaning they could change course on the fly (Super Mario), whereas Mega Man, and people like Simon Belmont and their ilk, jumped into almost near uncertainty each and every time. Jumping while moving forward meant you were a sitting duck for whatever was ready to dive bomb you from the right of the screen. Not to mention, due to the game’s short memory, shifting left and right in the wrong spot meant respawning the same bugger over and over.

It was a game that didn’t exactly “play fair”. Blind leaps of faith were commonplace. It was more like an action based version of Memory since each level played out the same way and you had to die over and over again until you learned how exactly to get past every part of the game that wasn’t just shooting at enemies.

The original series spawned 9 sequels and countless spin-offs. This is also the only Mega Man game where you have a score. Should I bore you with more facts or cut my losses?

Mega Man lives in a quaint house on a hill with his dog, Rush, and his sister, Roll. He enjoys running, shooting, and going all “Weeeeee!!” when he jumps. In his later years he counted among his hobbies both sliding and blinking.

Gloves and booties, what was I thinking??THIS BLOG IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE MEGA MAN FOUNDATION, DR. LIGHT, THE GOOD PEOPLE OF MONSTROPOLIS, and GAMERS LIKE YOU!

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About Mr. Cecil

I'm a 40 year old systems analyst masquerading as a writer. I am currently trimming pounds and taming a sweet, thick beard (not pictured). My ideal woman would be a cross between Emma Roberts, Kaitlin Olson, and Midna from Twilight Princess. I am a moderately insecure paradox with delusions of grandeur.

Posted on March 20, 2014, in NES: Home of Mario, Link, and Kid Niki, Radical Ninja and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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