A Critical Look at Mega Man Stages: Elec Man

Continuing from where we left off with Ice Man, we now move on to Elec Man's Stage (and his accompanying music).

We start out having to climb a few platforms guarded by Gabyoalls. While somewhat difficult, doing this here immediately lets the player know whether this is a stage they'll want to attempt now, as nearly everything dangerous in it is based on timing.

After a couple electric traps (shown on the map), we have to climb ladders guarded by Watchers (green things in second pic). Watchers float toward you from the top or bottom of the screen and fire lasers when they're close. Shoot left or right as they get near and they won't hit you.

I like that getting the life capsule requires climbing down from the above room. After the first group of Watchers, there's a couple screens with vanishing blocks,* but not enough of them to cause headaches.

(*VGMaps screwed up here. There's a screen showing the first four blocks, and an identical one without them below. Only one room like that exists.)

The following room with single blocks to jump across and open air below is repeated later, which would be acceptable if they'd done something different with them, but neither include enemies.

The next section is split, with Gabyoalls on the left and electric traps on the right, and Watchers showing up a couple more times. You can get the Magnet Beam halfway up with Guts Man's weapon, and there's a few liftable blocks in the middle if you want to switch sides, though their placement isn't particularly helpful.

The block at the end of the right path is a jerk move, since if you can't lift it, you'd have to climb all the way back to the Magnet Beam. There's also Blasters in this shot, which bounce around aggressively. They're not really dangerous here, and the one on top is likely to jump off if you're on the left path. The boss door is guarded once again by a Big Eye, and there's more electric traps on the way to Elec Man.

Though the level is larger than the previous two, it doesn't make good use of it. Most of its challenges are repeated, and while the split path is a nice idea, they screwed up badly with the Guts Man blocks. There's also the fact that the Magnet Beam is required for the Wily stages, so players are going to have to do the stage over again if they can't get it. Offensive weapons are almost too good in this stage, since Gabyoalls are the main threat. A completely vertical level is a neat idea, but this one mostly wasted the opportunity it had.

The sky background is rather sickly looking, but I like that the hallway leading to Elec Man is brighter, as though he's stealing all the power from the place. I'm not a fan of the music.

Next up: Bomb Man.