Mega Man 9 (known in Japan as Rockman 9: Yabou no Fuukatsu!!, which loosely translates to "Rockman 9: Revival of Ambition!!") is a side-scrolling action platformer developed by both Capcom and Inti Creates and published by Capcom for the Nintendo Wii (via WiiWare on September 22, 2008), PlayStation 3 (via PlayStation Network on September 25, 2008), and Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade on October 1, 2008).
The ninth instalment of the original Mega Man series (and the sequel to Mega Man 8: Anniversary Edition), Mega Man 9 is a deliberately retro throwback to the original six games in the franchise (for the Nintendo Entertainment System). Simulating the behaviour of NES hardware, the game features the classic graphical style (including sprites ripped straight from the original games and an option to enable simulated graphical glitches due to too many sprites being displayed), classic sounds and retro-styled soundtrack (including a dedicated sound system that can alter the music based on sounds being played), and simple gameplay mechanics. This style was later used in the game's 2010 sequel, Mega Man 10.
While Mega Man 9 was designed to be as simple as the early Mega Man games (including a simpler plot and removed gameplay mechanics), the game includes new additions to the franchise: the first female Robot Master (Splash Woman), online leaderboards (tracking both game and level completion times), in-game challenges to test the player's abilities (including achievements for the Xbox 360 version and trophies for the PlayStation 3 version), and, unfortunately, downloadable content (including Proto Man as a playable character, a new "Endless Attack" mode, harder difficulty levels, and an extra level featuring the first DLC Robot Master). The game also includes the in-game currency (bolts) and shop system, which did not appear in any of the original six instalments.
Set in the year 20XX, the game takes place shortly after the events of Mega Man 8 (in which the humanoid robot hero Mega Man defeats the evil Dr. Wily for the eighth time). Robots created by Mega Man's creator, Dr. Light, have gone on a mysterious rampage, with Dr. Wily claiming that he is not responsible (showing a video in the news of Dr. Light apparently discussing world domination with the reformed Dr. Wily). When helper robot Auto discovers that the robots are near their expiration date and Dr. Light is arrested, it's up to Mega Man to defeat the Robot Masters and prove Dr. Light is innocent.
Mega Man 9 takes a minimalist approach to gameplay as opposed to the more complex styles in the later Mega Man and Mega Man X titles. The slide and duck from later titles were removed, as well as the ability to charge Mega Buster shots that was actually present in most of the NES games. Players can make Mega Man run, jump, and shoot. Mega Man can only have 3 shots on screen at a time, meaning that far away enemies must be shot at slowly, while nearby foes can be taken out quicker. As is the Mega Man formula, Mega Man begins with only his Mega Buster and the Rush Coil, a spring loaded dog. As the player progresses through the game, defeating each robot master, they gain that robot master's primary weapon. Unlike the other NES games in the series, these weapons have a variety of uses outside of combat. For example, Hornet Man's Hornet Chaser can be used to obtain out of reach items. Later in the game, the player also receives the Rush Jet, where Mega Man's dog turns into a flying platform, allowing Mega Man to fly long distances. Many levels are designed with the weapons in mind, some with hidden items that can only be obtained once Mega Man has a certain power. The final levels of the game test Mega Man's ability to employ all of his weapons in and out of combat.
The levels were designed with the earlier games in mind, with an emphasis on difficult platforming, rather than combat. Mega Man must jump over large pits and dangerous spikes, often with enemies threatening to knock him to his demise. There are a number of new obstacles in the game. On Tornado Man's stage, Mega Man will board spinning platforms that turn him upside down, and he also faces harsh weather conditions that at certain points limit and other points enhance his jumping distance. Some stages have extending platforms that quickly retract and throw Mega Man after a certain period of time and, as usual for a Mega Man title, there is a disappearing block section. Many obstacles, such as spikes and lava jets, will kill Mega Man instantly, and therefore should be avoided at all costs.
One of the few aspects of Mega Man games post-Mega Man 6 included in 9 is the store. Throughout all of the levels, Mega Man can gather bolts, which can be used as currency in the store. Mega Man can purchase anything from extra lives to extra costumes. Among the new and more useful things available is an item which will automatically use pick ups to recharge weapons in need of energy.
Downloadable Content (DLC)
As a "Special Games" mode separate from the standard Mega Man play, you can take control of Proto Man, clad in red and white, and donning his trademark scarf. Proto Man plays somewhat differently from his blue counterpart, and player accomplishments are not tracked in the rankings. Most notably his arm cannon has the innate ability to do a charge shot that can travel through and kill multiple small enemies. He also has a forward-facing shield that activates when jumping, and is lowered when firing and running, capable of blocking many kinds of projectile weapons. His starting inventory includes both the Coil and Jet tools, though they are not embodied by Rush. There is no shopping option on the Stage Select screen when playing as Proto Man, and playing as Proto Man will not allow the players to submit their results online.
In Endless Attack, your goal is to pass through as many screens as possible without dying. Along the way, Mega Man fans may notice that some areas in Endless Attack are remakes from previous Mega Man games. These including the opening part of Wily Castle 1 from Mega Man 1, the opening part of Flash Man's level and Heat Man's jumping blocks puzzle from Mega Man 2 as well as others. Sections are 3 to 8 screens a piece that are of a singular theme. Every 30 or so screens you will be forced to fight one of the 8 Robot Masters the game has to offer. The Endlesss attack brings a variety of new tilesets to the game, expanding the scenery. In Endless attack, Mega Man can utilize all of his special weapons, though they will run out of ammo just as they do in the normal game. The game ends when Mega Man dies, and the game tells you your score, measured in screens.
The Special Stage can only be accessed through Time Attack mode. In the Special Stage, you battle your way through a level that involves 3 sub bosses, including the end boss for Wily Castle 2 and a new Robot Master, named Fake Man, a Robot Master that can be seen twice through the main game during cutscenes.
The Special Stage requires players to use almost every weapon at your disposal to get through, and is much longer and more challenging than the stages in the real game.
A new difficulty setting that doubles the original difficulty of the game, as well as changes enemy placements in levels. The bosses retain their similar patterns however.
A new difficulty setting that triples the original difficulty of the game, as well as changes enemy placements in levels. Like Hero Mode, the bosses stayed the same in terms of pattern and difficulty.
The game features new Robot Masters that Mega Man has to fight:
Magma Man once worked as a security guard in a geothermal power plant, and was designed to withstand great temperatures. He wields the Magma Bazooka, a weapon that shoots three projectiles in separate directions. His weakness is the Tornado Blow, which not only does great harm, but also weakens his attacks considerably. His stage is home to large jets of magma which will bring Mega Man a quick death.
Galaxy Man was designed by Dr. Light to be an assistant at a space laboratory. He can compute rocket trajectories instantly. Galaxy Man is equipped with the Black Hole bomb, which can be fired and then detonated to suck in surrounding objects. Galaxy Man's weakness is the Concrete Shot. Mega Man may find himself a bit confused with the warp jumps scattered in Galaxy Man's lair.
Concrete Man was built to construct dams, and has always taken great pride in his work, and has always valued those who work hard. He fights with the Concrete shots, which can create blocks of concrete and encase foes in a shell of concrete. He is weak against the Laser Trident. Mega Man needs to watch his step in the realm of Concrete Man, or he may find a few of the floors will collapse underfoot.
Hornet Man has a body that resembles a honeycomb, and worked as a supervisor at a theme park before his violent rampage. He has a great knowledge of all things botanical, as well as the powerful Hornet Chaser weapon, which tracks down foes and grabs items. Hornet Man is not fond of the Magma Bazooka, which easily dispatches he and his hornets. Hornet Man's stage has a number of platforms which can be shot in order to extend them, though if Mega Man is slow footed, they will throw him back where he began.
Tornado Man was built to monitor the weather, and used his Tornado Blow to counter incoming typhoons. This ability once used for good is now used to be a pain in Mega Man's derierre. Tornado Man's weakness is the Plug Ball. Tornado Man's stage has a great variety of obstacles, including spinning platforms and harsh winds.
At one point in his lifespan, Plug Man was a humble inspector working in a television factory. Once he met Dr. Wily, however, things changed, and he utilized his lethal Plug Ball to bring terror to the world. He has never been a fan of the Jewel Satellite. Plug Man's stage is the home of everyone's favorite disappearing block sequence, as well as a few Mega Man dopplegangers.
Jewel Man's career was spent working in a diamond mine, polishing precious stones. He uses his Jewel Satellite to fend off his enemies, though the satellite is powerless against Black Hole Bombs. Jewel Man's stage features large swinging platforms, and spikes galore.
The most surprising addition to the lineup of robot masters, and the very first female robot master. She was built by Dr. Light as a rescue worker to aid those in danger at sea, and she resembles a mermaid. Splash Woman wields the devastating Laser Trident, which can travel through enemies. Splash Woman has always hated hornets, and the Hornet Chaser is no exception. Splash Woman's stage takes place underwater, and Mega Man must use bubbles as platforms to reach her.
Bonus Robot Masters
Through DLC, Capcom has made one additional robot master available for Mega Man 9:
Fake man resembles a police officer for unknown reasons. The first boss featured as DLC. Fake Man's stage will only be playable in time attack mode, not in the main story or challenge mode. His level is "time sensitive," and is described as similar in difficulty to the Wily stages.
Although the game is only available in downloadable form, Capcom designed the Mega Man 9 press kit to resemble an NES game package with the press assets disc encased in a shell shaped like a NES game cartridge; the "cartridge" was in turn packaged in a cardboard box of a design similar to those that NES games were packaged in. The box and cartridge case label were both designed to bear little to no resemblance to the game itself as a self-referential nod to the misrepresentative box art created for the western release of the first Mega Man on the NES. Capcom plans to release this to the public, but in extremely limited quantities. The artwork will also be featured on a t-shirt.
January the 19th 2009 the Complete soundtrack of Megaman 9 featuring 35 different songs will be available at the online Capcom store (available for preorder since the 11th), it will also contain a 10 page booklet with concept art of the different characters in color and liner notes from the game's director, producer, sound production & design and the comic artists. The Megaman 9 soundtrack will cost $29.95
- 01 OPENING 1
- 02 OPENING 2
- 03 OPENING 3
- 04 TITLE
- 05 MENU
- 06 STAGE SELECT
- 07 GAME START
- 08 CONCRETE JUNGLE (CONCRETE MAN STAGE)
- 09 THUNDER TORNADO (TORNADO MAN STAGE)
- 10 SPLASH BLUE (SPLASH WOMAN STAGE
- 11 PLUG ELECTRIC (PLUG MAN STAGE)
- 12 JEWEL TEMPTATION (JEWEL MAN STAGE)
- 13 HORNET DANCE (HORNET MAN STAGE)
- 14 MAGMA BURNING (MAGMA MAN STAGE)
- 15 GALAXY FANTASY (GALAXY MAN STAGE)
- 16 BOSS
- 17 STAGE CLEAR
- 18 GET A WEAPON
- 19 SHOP
- 20 RUSH JET
- 21 SUSPENSE
- 22 DR. WILY UFO
- 23 DR. WILY CASTLE
- 24 FLASH IN THE DARK (DR. WILY STAGE 1)
- 25 WE'RE THE ROBOTS (DR. WILY STAGE 2)
- 26 STRANGE WORLD (DR. WILY STAGE 3)
- 27 CASTLE OF EVIL (DR. WILY STAGE 4)
- 28 WILY MACHINE
- 29 ENDING
- 30 STAFF ROLL
- 31 OVERDRIVE SCRAMBLE (SPECIAL STAGE)
- 32 MAZE OF DEATH (ENDLESS STAGE)
- 33 GAME OVER
- 34 OLD SE
- 35 NEW SE