A Critical Look at Mega Man 6 Stages: Knight Man

We start this one with a nice sunset background as we enter the castle.

Twin Roader does its thing again, and in this case it's worth mentioning that jumping over it is easier than it looks, as its sprite is only about half as wide when turning around. Also, it always turns around shortly after being jumped over, a fact I never knew until now because I don't think it's ever been relevant.

Brown here is interesting, in that it needs to be shot once before the part that can be harmed appears. The arcing shots are more rapid than usual for this type of enemy, and one will usually be falling toward Mega Man when jumping down to hit it, so it does a decent job of defending itself here.

Molier dashes forward as soon as it appears and takes five hits. With the moving spiked ceiling there's no room to jump over them, so the only option a player has is to shoot them down in time. This is pretty easy even without a charged shot ready. It might be dangerous if unexpected, but the area shows you one right after the screen transition, and it wouldn't be fair to surprise a player with something like this anyway.

The ceiling itself only requires waiting in the one gap in the middle here, and is slow enough that a player can be hit by the two last Moliers and still get through in time. We've seen much better uses of a moving ceiling before, and the only good thing I can say about the area is that the Power armor pushes these back like it did to Curlinger.

The new turret is Tatebo, which alternates between firing arcing and straight shots. The shield makes this difficult up close since Tatebo only raises it to fire forward. We can easily take it from a distance though, since it appears alone, as has been the case far too often lately.

The Skull Walker here is adorable and has some complex animation, but seems to exist only to show that off since we can take it easily from the ladder. The next room is barely worth a mention. The blocks on the floor spin, but falling from the slightly more dangerous upper one will likely be safe.

Remember when stuff like Battons used to be in rooms like this?

After two more empty screens, we reach a series of platforms guarded by Brown. This section isn't bad, but like most enemies with arcing shots, Brown is very easy to avoid when placed above Mega Man. However, if the player moves backward at the wrong time, they can be dangerous when respawning from behind. The Power armor can kill them outright, and while getting through this with the Jet armor isn't easy, it can be fun to try.

Brain Break is an odd enemy even by Mega Man standards. It walks back and forth and appears with glasses and a graduation cap, which can be knocked off with one shot. Doing this causes it to move twice as fast, gain the ability to jump, and target Mega Man directly.

This is a great idea, as it's one of the few enemies that punishes the player for shooting blindly, and is more active than even most bosses we've seen, though it can only take one more hit. The spiked pits also complicate things when attempting to bypass them or run from an enraged one. All of our current weapons will only knock the cap off, but two shots close together will kill it safely.

The Jet armor is preferable here, both for bypassing them and grabbing the E-Tank.

The final stretch includes SW-525, a spider-like enemy that will try to fall on us, run toward us, and explode. I'm not sure why it does this, as the explosion itself doesn't hurt Mega Man at all.

Mega Man can bounce from the objects lining the ceiling and floor of the next area, and in fact won't be able to stop bouncing without landing on one of the middle platforms. Gabyoall is used well here, with most being confined to a small area, allowing the player to take their time moving forward, and the last two having enough freedom to get in the way of a player moving too slowly. The Jet armor can also avoid touching the sides completely by using the middle platforms.

The hidden exit only requires breaking the cracked block at the end. Instead of a second path tailored to the power armor, we're offered a chance to kill one Gabyoall and break two more blocks.

Once again, I find myself having to search for good points among stuff that should have been the filler between major stage gimmicks and difficult segments. The bouncy area had potential and worked well enough as it is, and Brain Break is awesome. Some of the other enemies introduced here are also decent, but of those, only Brown got a chance to do more than appear in one room by itself.