It's Just a Jump to the Left, and then a Step to the Right

TMMN resident Maverick-Jin brought my attention to an interesting article on Press The Buttons today. It's a little feature in many Mega Man games I never thought much about, but immediately recognized its persistence when it was brought to light. So you're playing a Mega Man game, when you drop down to a lower level. On this screen you have to traverse left for a little bit before you can fall down lower and continue right. This environmental formation, which PTB dubs the "Capcom Turnaround" appears to be present in numerous Mega Man games since Mega Man 3, not to mention some of the X games and other Capcom 2D platformers. If you're at all skeptical, just check out the article yourself. Be prepared for an image heavy report.

Truthfully, I don't find anything "mystical" about this turnaround. In an action game that's largely about running and jumping, it's imperative to have landforms that make traversing the stage more interesting. The turnaround is basically an economical way of making you do more on a single screen. We don't really see it going in other directions because Mega Man stages typically don't go from right to left much, though with a ladder it is possible (just look to how Spark Man's stage starts).

What I really want to know is why so many Mega Man characters can't keep their third and fourth fingers apart. You ever notice that?