A Critical Look at Mega Man 6 Stages: Dr. Wily Stages 3 and 4

Before we reach the teleporter room, this game has one more awesome stage segment to throw at us. The fans start by pulling Mega Man forward, then flip to reverse direction. While we can fight them from the gaps, we need to stay still to avoid the spikes, and the first pit gives us time to learn this with one safe wall.

We can complete this by carefully moving forward and fighting enemies, or by using Jet Mega Man to stay out of the water as much as possible. However, the spacing between fans and pits leaves us just enough room to complete it at a run with normal Mega Man, requiring pixel-perfect jumps while shooting the Gabgyos in our way.

Working well as an extra challenge (even more so for the E Tank that would be skipped) and when played normally, this is easily the best pre-Wily stage the series has had so far. The final room is filled with three Wall Blasters, which can be fought or skipped with Jet power.

While a player already aware of it could collect the energy refill here quickly by pressing against the wall, trying to change course with Jet Mega Man will likely lead to getting shot. Since we've just finished the boss rematches and are likely low on most weapons, it's a dirty trick to pull on the last item before Wily.

We have an opportunity to restore any energy we need on our own though, by killing the endless source of Metalls that follow. This has to be the machine's only purpose, as it does a terrible job as Dr. Wily's final guard. Eddie somehow made it to the boss door as well, and completes his trend of giving me great items while I'm taking screenshots for his final appearance on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Wily Battle Music

Wily Machine 6 jumps from one side of the screen to the other, stopping to fire three energy balls in a spread each time. These can be aimed, making it difficult to choose a spot to stand that allows enough time to dodge them, while staying close enough to slide under Wily as he jumps. The floor is constantly moving to the left, making that positional choice even more complicated.

Wily takes four damage from the Silver Tomahawk and two from the Knight Crush, but the Power armor can work here too, though the inability to slide means it needs to stay right next to Wily.

In the second phase, Wily fires only one shot between jumps, but his movement becomes less predictable, and the floor changes direction with each jump. All of his forms have the same weaknesses, and this is a good time to hit him with everything we're got.

This time, Wily jumps straight to the third form with no break or buildup. His capsule fires four projectiles that can curve 90 degrees in either direction, and the closest one will attempt to home in on Mega Man. This is one of the tougher patterns to avoid, but Wily sticks around long enough between teleports to get up to three hits in, and standing diagonally from the corners of the capsule is safe when he's near the ground. Power Mega Man remains useful here since Wily ends up near the ground often, and gives us a nice backup if we're low on both weapons.

With the NES series complete, the water segment is an excellent note to end the stage design on. Wily's first forms are much more active than usual, and while dodging them consistently asks a lot from the player, they can be taken down in seconds with a weapon that's easy to hit with and has plenty of ammo. The capsule continues this pattern, throwing a scary spread of shots at us but leaving itself more open to attack.

As a whole, it's an active and impressive fight that can be easily overpowered once the right weapon is found, and is a great way for the NES series to end.