"Death is not the end. Death can never be the end. Death is the road. Life is the traveller. The soul is the guide." -Sri Chinmoy
It's one of those days for Mega Man. Your home's been torn to pieces, your former arch-nemesis-turned-good-guy has revealed that he's still a jerk, your brother tried to kill you over reasons, and... oh yes, nearly forgot: You've got a big hulking yellow thing you barely killed once breathing down your neck in the darkness. Just one of those days.
Luckily, Mega Man has the cure. Why shoot something when you can punch it instead?
Which is exactly what he does. Of course, he manages it with one rocket punch, whereas it took us about eight hits in the game. The real deal always hits harder. And then, once he's knocked the eye of the Yellow Devil (Mark 2) clear of the goop that makes up its body, Rush promptly uses it as a chew toy. Attaboy! Now bury it in the yard somewhere!
Moving on, robot dog and robot boy stumble across another one of Wily's guardian traps: The return of Copy Robot. As many of us recall, this match-up is made worse because there's three of them; two false, and one that takes damage. Figuring out which was which was always the trick. Cycling through his weapons and getting dinged the entire time, Mega Man finally whips out his Search Snakes to discern the real deal. But instead of just plugging the guy, he does his Paladin thing, and attempts to talk his purple scarf wearing duplicate to some kind of armistice.
It works... until Copy Robot gets a Crash Bomb stuck in his back.
Sacrificing himself, Mega Man's double runs away before the explosion destroys him, leaving Mega Man staring down the thing responsible not only for Scarfhead's demise, but for the destruction of his home.
Doc Robot... who is more than he seems.
Mega Man and Doc Robot go all out in a confusing fight. It's back and forth until Doc Robot relies on Flash Man's trick to freeze everything, allowing him to get in position for a game ending headshot. It doesn't happen, though. Eight voices, eight personalities. And nobody can agree on which weapon to use to finish the job. The only thing that saves Mega Man's hide... is having his opponent glitch out.
It's a strange world when blowing your enemy's head off is considered merciful. And then things get interesting, because Mega Man just doesn't walk on... he weapon copies all the Series 2 Robot Master weapons, giving him a grand total of 16 different ways (17, including his standard lemon shooter, or 18 if you count Rush) to mess up Wily's day. He needs it because next up is the Wily Pinbot.
Or rather, the Wily Pinbot with a fake inside.
And again, for the third time this issue, we have one of Mega Man's enemies losing their head! Seriously, is this a trend?!
Downloading some information from the Pinbot, Mega Man locates the sub-level underground hangar where Gamma is being stored. Some well placed Crash Bombs bust the roof open so he can get a clear view of the thing. Recalling his father's words in a flashback, Mega Man finishes the job by destroying Gamma's robotic control module. The world can breathe easy; the threat of Gamma is silenced.
Or it could, if Dr. Wily wasn't around to screw things up. Keep your helmet on, Mega Man. You're going to need it.
You know, of all the topics I've gone over when reviewing the Mega Man comic, one I haven't really touched on is the awesomeness of final bosses. Sure, Alien Wily had a bit of mindscrew potential until you realized it was a hologram, and the very first Wily Machine is so much of a pain in the neck I still haven't cleared all the challenge stages in Mega Man Powered Up.
But Gamma... ohhhh ho ho, Gamma. Jesus, he is a different beast altogether. The thing was, his appearance in Mega Man 3 didn't quite capture the sheer scale of how terrifying he was. Nor did the Sigma/Gamma combo in Mega Man X5. "Ooh, giant head. Scary."
Mega Man IV for the Game Boy had the best living example of "walking multistory death machine" in the Wily final fight sequence. In that one, you didn't start fighting the thing's head, no; you had to drag it down to your level, and you had to blow its chest apart before the head showed up. And this was on the Game Boy! Christ, it's scary to think that the handheld had a more terrifying final boss than the NES titles.
No, Gamma didn't get his due until a fan-made game decided to redo Gamma, and redo it right: "Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch."
This, this is the scale of the menace that Mega Man is up against. Gamma is an enemy so powerful, so terrifying that Mega Man is dwarfed by him. This is a Gamma that can hurt Mega Man just by walking close to him.
And with an entire issue dedicated to the final battle, I suspect we'll be able to see just how deep Mega Man is in the hole.
The best weapon to use on Gamma, we know, is the Top Spin. Question is, will he manage to get up high enough to make the close range attack a feasible option?
Either way, Gamma in the NES game was laughable. Gamma in the "Deathmatch" fangame was a terror. Gamma here in the comic, given Ian Flynn's recent interview answers... I suspect leans more towards the latter.
And I can't wait to see the fireworks.
For the Blue Ink.
When he isn’t writing “The Blue Ink” reviews for The Mega Man Network, Erico (The Super Bard) spends his days keeping track of the “Legacy of Metal” fanon, dabbling in cooking and tea-brewing, and exploring the human condition from his Iowa stomping grounds.
The views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mega Man Network.