A Critical Look at Mega Man 5 Stages: Charge Man

Charge Man's Stage and Music mm5charge_01

Rembakun is our only enemy for the first section. It flies forward while dropping three bombs, and aims in front of Mega Man. They die in one hit, but are reasonably fast and the bombs deal six damage, so they can be dangerous if we're distracted by platforming or other enemies. This isn't such a case.

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Metall K-1000 fires the usual projectiles, then dashes forward. This is a neat variation on the Metall, as its extra height gives us the option of sliding under the horizontal shot. These and a few Lyrics aren't enough to carry a section on their own though.

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The large chicken we meet inside the train is Cocco, and the walking eggs are Corocoro. Cocco can only be harmed in the head, and they act like a smaller version of the Penpen Maker from Mega Man 3. The eggs will jump when they reach a wall, which could provide some interesting situations depending on the terrain. Unfortunately only one of them makes use of this. The staggered terrain works well for Mousubeil, but it isn't the best partner for Cocco as they're very similar and unlikely to get a chance to attack together. There's really no need to jump over Cocco, but it's a rare chance to use Rush Coil in combat and show off something the old version couldn't have done, so I'll take it.

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This continues for longer than it needed to. Taban shows up at the end, but he would have fit better with the Coccos a few screens ago. The low ceilings at least give Mousubeil an advantage in a couple spots. An "A" item is also hidden in one of the windows.

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Back on the roof, we run into more train Mets and Bomb Thrown, who's only difference from Rock Thrown is that the projectiles explode. These tend to aim high, and work better when placed below Mega Man like the second Rock Thrown in Stone Man's stage. At least they come as a pair.

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Nothing new to see here.

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Yudon here is pretty great. He only takes five hits, but constantly fires homing missiles and deflects incoming attacks with his arms, including charge shots. It's nice to see another big defensive enemy that isn't a stomper.

I had to run through the stage again after looking over the screenshots I'd collected, as I was certain I'd missed something. This is really all there is though. Half the stage is just Metall K-1000 with a handful of minor enemies thrown in, and most of the rest is Cocco and Mousubeil, with a complete lack of pits or platforming challenges. It almost makes me feel bad for being so harsh on Crystal Man's stage.

The visual design takes us on a journey through a train and on top of it, which looks nice enough (the background even scrolls while we're on the roof) and explains the uniform terrain. This seems to be a case of the designers coming up with the theme first and pushing gameplay to a distant second.