A Critical Look at Mega Man 3 Stages: Shadow Man Revisited

Shadow Man Revisited

The initial drop has had some spikes added, with two more waiting at the bottom for players who stick with the leftward slant of the previous screen. This is the good kind of instant death trap, since players can avoid it by holding right as long as they see it in time.

The spikes on the ladder here might seem to just be for show, but they'll hit you if you try to drop from it instead of climbing down. Proto Man has been replaced with a Bikky, but otherwise we're just running into a bunch of Peterchys.

The Hologran section now includes a series of platforms that Mega Man will fall through after standing on them for a moment. The first has a couple holes, but is mainly practice for the second, which is more complex and has only empty space below it. The last part is interesting, as it looks like the lower platforms are there as a safety net, but there's a Hologran preventing you from jumping across the top unless it's killed with a special weapon, so it's best to drop and continue from the lower one.

The platforms end with a couple more Walking Bombs, with yet more Peterchys on the next screen.

The first boss is followed by a large health refill and three Hammer Joes. They're in tight corridors with little room to slide, but we've got plenty of other options for killing them now.

This bit is pretty great. The Parasyus now come with Mechakkero partners, which can quickly turn ugly on the small platforms. Various weapons can deal with them, but any solution other than Rush Jet is still going to take a little effort.

The stage ends with a lone Giant Springer, though I like that he's been placed out of reach.

Alright, I've been over this before, but Peterchy is boring and only serves as something harmless to shoot, though I'll give them credit for putting one very close to you at the end of the starting drop. However, the spike drop, floating platforms, and Parasyu gauntlet were all solid and there was still a variety of filler between them.

This stage also puts enemies in awkward positions to encourage weapon use, and I'd call it a success overall. Most of the stage graphics haven't changed much, but I like the missing waterfall at the start and the ceiling spikes in the Parasyu section.