Mega Man 30th Anniversary Playthrough Part 3: Mega Man 3
It’s weird to think that the third Mega Man game came out a year before the SNES debuted in 1991, but it didn’t make the jump to 16 bit until Mega Man X in 1993. The Original Series didn’t make the jump until 1995, and by the time the next one came out, it was time to make the jump to PlayStation. However, the NES versions are still amazing.
In talking about why the Mega Man series has lasted so long, we need to discuss another franchise; namely, Sonic The Hedgehog. The first three games are unassailable classics, but even super fans have to admit that the series has faltered as of late. Jim Sterling hit the nail on the head when he diagnosed the problem on his show The Jimquisition, the series had been stagnating for years because they can’t stop innovating. In particular. he asserts that every time a Sonic game comes out with a new game with a new gameplay style and aesthetic, it never sticks around long enough for fans to adjust to it and moves on to another style. Here is where the Mega Man series shines; the development team knew the style and gameplay that works, but innovated small things about their games that added without changing. Mega Man 3 is a prime example of this, the development team knew the fans liked the gameplay and looked for a way to add something without changing the entire dynamic. The solution was to add a slide animation to the game. It’s something that adds to the games, for example it makes it easier to avoid bosses and jumping enemies, and to justify the knew mechanic, they add new sliding sections to the games so that you have to get used to it. It also provides interesting ways to add content. For example before the usual Wily’s castle section, you have to beat a robot that has all of the powers of the Meg Man 2 Robot Masters in four stages. This also introduces Mega Man’s older brother Proto Man. Mega Man’s robot dog Rush who replaces the Item System from the first two games.
Becoming fed up with his constant defeat at the hands of Mega Man, Dr. Wily claims to have reformed and begins to work on a robot called Gamma. However a group of Robot Masters go crazy and steal the parts necessary to make it work. It’s up to Mega Man to retrieve the parts while exploring the mystery of a new robot. Could Proto-Man be the culprit? No, this game begins the ” They say it’s not Wily but come on, it’s Wily’s trilogy.
When I played this as a kid I always tried to do Snake Man’s stage because I heard he was the easiest. But that was a lie. He’s not hard, but his stage is frustratingly difficult. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, because Top Man’s stage isn’t that hard at all if you know where to jump. The design is a bit weird, though. Not in the stage itself, but in the way it looks. It looks like glass platforms covered in leaves, and I don’t know what that has to do with tops.
Top Man can be defeated with the Arm Cannon, and the new slide mechanic is really good at avoiding his weapon.
The requisite fire/lava stage of the game. It has a cool segment where the background of the entire stage turns into a field of stars and you have to navigate through without being able to see where the platforms are, all while dealing with red walker robots and walking grenades. Afterwards you’ll have to deal with platforms suspended over lava while parachute robots drop down.
Shadow Man goes down easy if you have Top Spin. Be warned, you have to jump for the weapon to actually work.
Another stage I hated growing up. There is more than one section where you have to time a jump between sliding electro shooters, then jump on rising platforms while avoiding the spiked ceiling.
Shadow Blade is a quick way to get rid of Spark Man, I kinda feel sorry for him, he has no hands, only electrodes.
It starts out interestingly enough with flying magnets and giant turbines that pull you in or push you out. Then my personal bug bear rears it’s ugly head again; the appearing/disappearing blocks. This took FOREVER to get through. If they ever revive the series, please leave these out.
Magnet Man can be taken out with Spark Shock.
This is a level where it is almost impossible to go through without taking damage. If it’s not a giant wasp that drops a hive of smaller wasps that are really hard to hit, it’s the return of the stupid jumping monkeys that make you waste the Magnet Missile getting rid of them.
The slide really helps for when Hard Man uses his move of jumping up and diving at you head first. If you still have some Magnet Missiles left he’s pretty easy.
I could not beat this level for the longest time. I think it’s the snake heads at the top of raised platforms that shoot a line of big energy bolts, especially if it’s the giant heads with the moving platforms. I like that the entire stage is snake themed, but boy did I despise the level as a kid.
The worst thing is if you don’t have the Needle Cannon and can’t kill Snake Man with the Arm Cannon, you’re done. The thing is to get the Needle Cannon you need the Search Snake so you can defeat Gemini Man and gain the Gemini Laser to defeat Needle Man. That’s ridiculous.
This is a very fun stage of the game. When you’re done with Penguins with egg bombs and robots that drop pillars of fire, they throw tadpole eggs that release deadly tadpoles once you shoot them. Then there’s a platforming section over a watery bottomless pit. They do end up throwing a lot of extra lives at you in the tadpole egg sections though.
Gemini Man is defeated by Search Snake, if you can get it at that point.
Robotic porcupines and using the slide to dodge collapsible needles are the order of the day here. Needle man Goes down with the Gemini Laser.
You can see how the Doc Robots and Wily’s Castle pans out on your own, until next time, keep on playing.