Mega Man 2 Boss Order and Notes

The neat thing about Mega Man 2 is that it has a couple of difficulty settings. Normal mode is pretty dang easy for a Mega Man game, while Difficult mode is the proper challenge. If this is your first time playing through this masterpiece, I highly encourage you to play on Normal mode, then move up to Difficult for your second playthrough. (You may also play on Normal if you are drunk. If you’re just stoned, you still gotta roll with Difficult. Them’s the breaks.) Note that if, for whatever reason, you are playing Rockman 2, the Japanese version, there are no difficulty settings – you’re stuck with the default, which is the same as Difficult.

Air Man: Not much to this fight. Get inside the cute little tornadoes he shoots out and blast him with your Mega Buster as much as possible. Try to dodge the tornadoes if you can, but you might take a few hits and that’s OK. Once he jumps to the left side of the screen, you’ll be able to get all the way inside and whale on him. Easy peasy.

Metal Man: There is no real reason you can’t do this level first, however, Item 2 (which you get for beating Air Man) will help you get a 1UP and a second E-Tank in this stage. This fight can be pretty intense, especially on Difficult mode, as the conveyor belt on the floor is likely to throw you off your shit at least once (and probably several more times). Stand on the opposite side of the room, jump to dodge incoming Metal Blades, and get as many hits with the Mega Buster as you can. If the conveyor belt reverses, close in on him so he jumps to the other side. Repeat until dead. The key to this fight is staying on offense while successfully dodging as many Metal Blades as possible. (Quick note here: Metal Man is weak against his own weapon, so when you fight him again in Wily’s Castle, Metal Blades take him out in one hit on Normal and two hits on Difficult. How cool is that!?)

Crash Man: Nine times out of ten, this is a super easy fight. The only real trick is hitting him – Crash Man is weak against the Air Shooter, which has a tricky firing pattern and subpar ammo efficiency, so you’ll need to line up your shots well. Crash Man tends to jump when you jump, so use this to bait him into the path of the Air Shooter. Three hits will do the trick – double hits are possible in certain situations, but I’ve never needed to count on them. The Crash Bomb isn’t too hard to dodge, and neither is Crash Man, although his collision damage is a motherfucker.

Bubble Man: By now, you are doubtlessly head-over-heels in love with the Metal Blades, which fire in eight directions, take out most regular enemies in one hit, and are insanely ammo efficient. I bust them out at the very start of this stage, and I never switch them out for any reason. This fight is super easy. Shoot Bubble Man with Metal Blades until he dies. (Protip!) Don’t even worry about taking hits unless you come in extremely low on health, and even if that happens, consider taking an intentional death so you can do the fight at full. You’re in no danger whatsoever unless you jump into the spikes on the ceiling, so uhm…do not jump into the spikes on the ceiling.

Heat Man: ‘Don’t Panic’ is always pertinent advice in Mega Man, but this is especially true of Heat Man. Hit him with Bubble Lead and wait for him to…what the fuck does one call this maneuver? Teleport? Slide? Glide? Translubricate? Whatever the fuck you choose to call it, stay calm during his invincibility period and wait for him to move. Do not try and jump before he moves – ho moves to where you’re at once he starts going, so if you blink first, you’ll get smacked. Dodge his shots as best you can, although as ever collision damage is the thing you need to avoid most. Anyway, once he’s done moving hit him with Bubble Lead again and repeat until dead.

Wood Man: Wood Man is weak against Atomic Fire, which can be charged. Fully charged Atomic Fire will kill Wood Man in one hit on Normal and two hits on Difficult. Keep in mind, these shots do not penetrate the Leaf Shield, so you’ll have to wait until he fires off the shield to blast him. As ever, stay calm, put as much distance between Wood Man and yourself as possible, and wait until the shield fires before you try to dodge it. The trick is ammo management, particularly on Difficult – you only have ammo for three fully charged shots, so if you die there’s a very real chance you won’t have enough ammo for a second fight. Should you run out of Atomic Fire, Metal Blades are an effective secondary weakness, although they also can’t get through the Leaf Shield. The four E-Tank limit this game imposes is one hell of a constraint, so I avoid using E-Tanks against the eight Robot Masters as much as possible, but you may have to use one here and that’s OK.

Flash Man: As long as you have the Metal Blades, you can tackle this level whenever you wish, although I wait until I have the Crash Bombs, Item 1 (acquired from beating Heat Man), and Item 2, as they enable you to grab some additional items and generally make the level a good deal easier. This fight is on uneven terrain, which sort of fucks things up, but fortunately said Metal Blades still fire in eight directions. Blast him as quickly as possible and you should be able to take him out before he uses the Time Stopper. Try to avoid collision damage, but since you’ll inevitably fail to do so, it’s best to focus on offense.

Quick Man: The levels themselves are outside the purview of this blog post, however, I would feel negligent in my duties if I didn’t mention the laser sections. In this level, there are two separate sections where you fall down a shaft and are tasked with dodging very large laser beams as you do so. Touching these laser beams results in instant death, even on Normal. You can use the Time Stopper to freeze the lasers, however, it is in your best interest to figure out how to dodge the lasers without it. The first shaft is pretty pedestrian (stay to the right to get to a cache of items), but the second shaft is a motherfucker. You will die the first few times you try to get through it without using the Time Stopper, but keep at it! Focus on falling off each platform as quickly as possible, and landing in places that enable you to get to the next edge immediately. Anyway, should you make it through both laser sections without using the Time Stopper, you will be rewarded with a much easier Quick Man fight. Using the Time Stopper on Quick Man kills him outright on Normal and reduces him to half health on Difficult. Once he’s down to half health, uh…do your best. Again, the terrain here is uneven and that’s a killer, but when he’s running into the wall unload as many Mega Buster shots as you can. Quick Man is also weak to Crash Bombs, although fuck me sideways with a spork if I’ve ever manged to hit the guy with one of those. You’re welcome to try, though.

Wily Castle, Stage 1: Ah shit, here we go, we got this tricky auto-scrolling platform section and OHFUCKOHFUCKOHFUCKOHFUCKOHFUCK IT’S A GIANT FUCKING ROBOT DRAGON OHSHITOHFUCKOHFUCK WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Calm the fuck down, you got this! Whip out the Quick Boomerang and chill. The timing on the scrolling platforming section is a little screwy; it is advantageous to take a beat when you land on each platform to wait for the next one to materialize. Once you get to the end of the auto scroller it’s time to fight. Jump up to the highest of the three platforms on the right and stand as far forward (that is, to the left) on it as you can. Once you’re set, unload Quick Boomerangs into it’s face. You’ll get hit by some fireballs, but if you set yourself correctly it’ll knock you onto the middle platform, as opposed to into the pit to your death. Get back up top and keep firing. The dragon will be slain before you know it.

Wily Castle, Stage 2: This boss is a segmented room; two segments will come out of the wall, ceiling, and floor and fuse together, and when they do, you need to destroy the resulting butterfly-thingy. This fight is on a script, meaning that the segments that emerge from the wall do so in a fixed pattern. Try to memorize the order the wall segments come out as best you can. You may notice that once the segments fuse, they may be at some weird angles for the Mega Buster, but if you’ve been paying attention to this post at all, you’ll immediately recognize this makes it a perfect job for the Metal Blades. Use the eight-directional fire to take out the butterflies as quickly as possible. Also, try to stay in the middle as best you can. If you get pushed to the right that’s fine, but if you end up on the left side you’re more likely to take hits. It’s best if you can get through this fight without using any E-Tanks – using one is OK, but if you end up using more than that, take whatever death is coming to you and focus on memorizing the boss script.

Wily Castle, Stage 3: This fight is pretty simple. Hop up on the tank treads, bust out the Quick Boomerang, then jump and hit it in the head as many times as possible. The best defense here is a good offense, so make your focus getting as many hits per jump as you can. As with the previous boss, only use an E-Tank if absolutely necessary, and do your best to kill it before health becomes a concern.

Wily Castle, Stage 4: Here’s what I don’t get. Mega Man, as a series, has revisited the Yellow Devil boss from the first game time and time and time again, and yet, it is this boss, the Boobeam Trap, that represents the apex of cruel son-of-a-bitch rat-bastard malicious creativity in Mega Man boss design. The result is one of the two or three coolest boss fights in any game ever, and yet, the essential idea of this fight hasn’t been revisited in any other Mega Man game once (to my knowledge). This baffles me, but since there’s nothing I can do about it except complain about it on the internet, let’s move on, shall we?

So here’s the deal. There are five cannons in this room, placed in a variety of inconvenient locations. Each cannon can only be destroyed with Crash Bombs. Also in this room are several of those 2×4 wall segments you’ve seen a bunch of prior to this point – in case you aren’t wise to this yet, these too can only be destroyed with Crash Bombs. If you’re full of Crash Bomb ammo, you still only have seven shots, and yet, it would seem at first blush that you need more than seven bombs to get at all five cannons. Also, these cannons are shooting at you at regular intervals, fucking up your concentration. So what do you do? First off, establish a defensive rhythm. The cannons will blink before firing – once you seem them start up, pause and un-pause repeatedly. Since Mega Man teleports in after each un-pause, if he is teleporting in when the shots come through, the shots will pass through him harmlessly. Neat, huh? Keep doing this whenever the cannons are about to fire. Once you have the defensive timing down, it’s time to get to work destroying the cannons. Since you only have seven Crash Bombs to work with, you can only use them on two wall segments, therefore, the first thing to do is use Item 1 to get up to the platform above and slightly to the right. Once you’re up there, destroy the first exposed cannon in the top middle, then jump to the right and drop down to destroy the second cannon at center right. Use Item 3 to escape this crevasse, then drop to the bottom right. The cannon here is inaccessible, so use a bomb to destroy this wall segment, then destroy the cannon.

After you destroy this cannon, there are only two remaining, both of which are in the top left corner, and both of which appear to be guarded by wall segments. You only have three bombs left, so you have to circumvent one of the walls. Use Item 3 to get out of the bottom floor and back up to the middle floor segment from earlier. The far left cannon is inaccessible without destroying the wall, so we have to get past the wall guarding the top cannon somehow. So take out the far left wall and cannon first before tackling the final cannon.

You have a couple of options here. You can either drop down to the floor by the entrance and ride Item 1 as far up as possible, or you can try to jump around the top floor from the middle floor and get around the wall that way. Do whichever is easiest for you, and once you’re up, destroy that shit and end this madness. Phew! You made it. Even if you use the pause dodging trick, you’re still likely to take hits (you can’t pause when any Items are in use, for one thing, and for another, shit happens), so feel free to use your E-Tanks; that said, I highly encourage you to hold on to at least one E-Tank for the shit that is to come, especially if you’re playing on Difficult.

Wily Machine: After you take out all eight Robot Masters a second time, it’s time to take on the Wily Machine. The first phase is pretty easy. It hovers in place and only moves left to right, firing shots in an arc at fixed intervals. As with with Boobeam Trap, establish a foundation on defense – get the timing of dodging the shots down pat before going on offense. You will want to take as few hits from the shots as possible, but it is of the utmost that you avoid collision damage. Once you’re in a good dodging rhythm, start shooting the machine in that conspicuous blue dome thing with Mega Buster. (If you have any Atomic Fire after the second Wood Man fight, you can use that here, but you might not and that’s fine.) This will take a while, but as long as you take as few hits as possible it’ll be worth it.

The second phase is an asshole. It fires these bouncing shots that are just about impossible to dodge and do crazy damage. Bring out the Quick Boomerang and, as with the Stage 3 boss, jump up and shoot at the cockpit as much as possible each time. I sure as shit hope you still have at least on E-Tank left, as you will almost certainly need to use one here, unless your rate of fire is speedrunner quality, in which case what are you doing reading this amateur hour bullshit? Keep jumping and firing until you win. Use all the E-Tanks you need.

Alien: Final boss time! This boss floats in a fixed Figure-8ish pattern and fires single shots at regular intervals. This guy does, like, so much fucking collision damage, so start by focusing on memorizing the movement pattern, and on dodging the shots. The shots are easy to avoid with good timing, so get the timing down as soon as you can. Once you’re in a defensive rhythm, whip out Bubble Lead. The trick here is that since Bubble Lead drops to the floor and rolls, and the Alien’s movement pattern never touches the floor, you need to pop him in midair from close range. The best time to do this is when the Alien is halfway up or below, and right after it’s fired a shot. After it fires and gets to an appropriate depth, get close and hit it with Bubble Lead. Since this weapon has a high rate of fire, you can get two hits in at a time if you have good enough timing. This is it, so needless to say there’s no reason to be shy about using any E-Tanks you have left. You did it! Fuck yeah! Now go outside, it’s good for ya.

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