A Critical Look at Mega Man 4 Stages: Dr. Wily Stage 2

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The first two screens here seem to be missing something. There are four paths to take, with the second one down leading out and the rest leading to death or nothing. I'd have expected an item to snag at the end of one of the lower ones, or an enemy shooting at us from the upper path, or... something. There are no enemies waiting for us on the following platforms either, but as soon as we head down the ladder a Taketento fires its propeller at us. I was unlucky here, as these don't attack at exactly the same place every time.

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A quick switch to Skull Barrier can save us, but the Taketentos are still a threat as we may not make it to safety if knocked from the upper platform. The next screen gives us an E-Tank and a choice of holes to fall into. Both paths are equally trivial, with two Imorms on the upper path that can't reach us due to the terrain, and one Garyoby on the bottom that we can easily destroy with a weapon.

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The next few screens are equally lacking in resistance, with the Garyoby waiting to catch players taking the left ladder (which they'll likely try first since Eddie is over there) and blindly moving up as the only thing of note here.

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Again, this stage looks like it was designed for more objects than are actually there, as the first Mummira is underneath a complex platform with nothing on it. We could use it to get to the upper path leading to a large health, except that we'd still need Rush Jet to carry us across, going up gives the enemies a significantly greater chance of hitting us, and there's a hole right at the end we can use if we want it that badly.

When taking the lower path, two of the Mummiras are right in front of us and the ones on top fire at such a gentle angle that a player would have to be actively trying to get hit by them. I think something in their programming is screwed up, as they will fire downward at a 45 degree angle if we're around a screen's length away.

The next room puts a bunch of bats between us and the far ladder. We've seen this before, but one nice trick they pulled is that Mega Man can't jump high enough to reach these platforms, and the moment a player needs to realize this gives the bats a chance to close in.

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There's no reason to move to the other side though, as there's no reward there and Docron can't reach us, so the game's just handing us a grind point. The following Mono Roader starts closer to the other side of the room, so we have plenty of time to shoot it or climb back down and try again. The other can't reach us and we can easily hit it.

The next couple screens are a lot of fun (finally), with two Gachappons waiting on the other side of small platforms over spikes. We can fight the first from the ladder, but the second doesn't give us any easy footing, though it's set far enough back that we could fight it point-blank if we want.

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Takotrash is basically a giant Gachappon, shooting fireballs forward or throwing large bombs from the top. Rain Flush is the only weapon that can damage it from the ground, but Skull Barrier can destroy both projectiles and Ring Boomerang is its only weakness at four damage.

The platforms move around their belts clockwise, and the true difficulty of this fight is the small and awkward weak point we need to hit. Most players would likely guess that it's the eyes or the green thing on its head. The hitbox is actually somewhere between those, as the shot in the last image shows. I don't think this fight is that hard, but it's dependent entirely on how much trouble the player has hitting it. Rings make this much easier, as they're bigger and won't bounce away on contact.

The Gachappons and Takotrash save this stage. The Taketento and Battonton screens are decent, but everything else feels lazy or unfinished, and most of the enemy placements were handled better in the stages they appeared in. Even the graphics seem to be going back to the random jumble of single-colored vaguely technological mess, though the walls at least have a little more variety than usual for the end of a Mega Man game.