Author Topic: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**  (Read 7862 times)

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Offline Joseph Collins

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Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« on: September 10, 2012, 09:00:12 AM »
So... last month, I was inspired by a post at Protodude's Rockman Corner.  I think it was about the on-going debate about whether or not Rockman 2 was actually worthy of all the praise, references, and references it gets. (In my opinion, it's really, really not.)  Anyway, that post inspired me to to play all of the in-house Capcom Rockman games one after another, comparing the games, taking note of what's different, what's the same, improvements, stuff that needs improvement, and so-forth.  It might be a little subjective, since I also give my input on stuff I like, dislike, and what weapons and items I found overpowered and underpowered.
Some of what I found was also pretty interesting, such as how the Rock Buster's charge time kept getting longer and longer with each game (minus Rockman 5), or how they kept screwing with Rush.  Hopefully, you'll find this as interesting to read as it was to compile!

For your convenience, I've chopped up each of the game sections with spoilers.  Because of the extreme length, I've also had to chop this into two posts.  Sorry about that!

Rockman
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Rockman 2
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Rockman 3
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Rockman 4
(click to show/hide)

Offline Joseph Collins

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 09:01:39 AM »
Rockman 5
(click to show/hide)

Rockman 6
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Rockman 7
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Rockman 8
(click to show/hide)

Rockman & Forte (aka "Rockman 8.5")
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« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 08:01:52 PM by Joseph Collins »

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 09:23:23 AM »
What a very interesting read. Thanks for posting this! :3
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Offline Flame

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 06:09:30 PM »
Yeah, nice read.

Also, i always assumed Leaf Shield affects Airman so much because it, y'know, jams his fan.
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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 07:44:43 PM »
Nice job, enjoyed the notes.

I'm not sure if you noticed during your playthroughs, but one of the things I hated about some of the boss fights where they only gave you just enough weapon energy to kill the boss if you didn't miss. And if you die, you're stuck using another weapon to try, which will usually never work.  Bright man is annoying to kill if you're not perfect.

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2012, 08:41:39 PM »
You forgot the awesomest part of MM7.

YOU GET PROTO SHIELD!  8D

Offline Joseph Collins

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2012, 10:04:54 PM »
Thanks for all the positive feedback so far, gang!  I'm glad you guys like my giant wall of analysis.  X3
Also, i always assumed Leaf Shield affects Airman so much because it, y'know, jams his fan.
Well, that's pretty much the accepted logic.  I suppose I just figured 28 leaves in his "mouth" wouldn't be enough to completely disable him.  But then, I never actually sat down and thought about it as "28 leaves in the mouth."  XD
I'm not sure if you noticed during your playthroughs, but one of the things I hated about some of the boss fights where they only gave you just enough weapon energy to kill the boss if you didn't miss. And if you die, you're stuck using another weapon to try, which will usually never work.  Bright man is annoying to kill if you're not perfect.
You know, I'm sure I knew about that, but I didn't really consciously acknowledge it, definitely.  That is a bit annoying, and it started all the way back in the first game, albeit slightly differently.  You can easily miss Cutman or the CWU-01P units with Super Arm, not to mention there's really not enough "Guts Blocks" to even use against the latter.  That can be quite trying even for experienced players.
You forgot the awesomest part of MM7.

YOU GET PROTO SHIELD!  8D
Shh!  That's supposed to be a secret!  :O

Actually, while I did write the article somewhat as if certain things were spoilers, I did just kind of forget about Blues' Shield.  Thanks for pointing that out!  :D

Offline Protoman Blues

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 01:18:53 AM »
I'll say this though. I really disagree with you on RnF's music. I thought the soundtrack was terrible except for one or two tracks. However, it could just be the choice of instrument because
GroundMan's stage is fuckin' incredible in 8-Bit.


You know, one day I should do a soundtrack review from MM1-MM10....then the X series! Oh geez that's going to take some time! XD

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 03:14:53 AM »
I still think MM4 had an awesome Wily Capsule theme. Short but great. :3
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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2012, 06:54:20 AM »
MM4's soundtrack, as a whole, is very underrated I think. I hope the Megas continue on with their work and do MM4.

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2012, 09:50:44 AM »
MM4's soundtrack, as a whole, is very underrated I think. I hope the Megas continue on with their work and do MM4.
Definitely agreed on that one. It'll have to come after a secret project they were working on and then History Repeating: Red though.
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Offline zuschzero

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2012, 03:57:03 PM »
Rockman 2
how does a "leaf shield" hurt Airman as badly as it does?
Because Wood is land, and Air is sky. You know, the two are way different.


Rockman 3
- The entire game seems a lot faster, thanks in-part to the new way slowdown is handled.
Are you kidding me? Rockman 3 is by far the laggiest Rockman game on the NES.

- The controls are now much tighter and more responsive.
Are you kidding me? When the game is lagging enough, sometimes no matter how hard you press B, Megaman do nothing! Geminiman shoots only when you do too. Sometimes it happens that if you press B Geminiman will shoot at you but Megaman don't shoot at all! It proves that the game actually recognized that you pressed B but still, Megaman did nothing!

- ... I've got nothing.  Absolutely, positively nothing.  I genuinely cannot find one thing wrong with this game that would happen to the average person.  And believe me, I am trying.
Second worst weapon arsenal after 5, the Wily fortress levels are just half stages, the fortress bosses are just meh, the leftover debug features of the 2nd controlles shows the game's rushedness.


Rockman 4
Adding to likes: Best weapon arsenal before 9 came out, best level design thanks to dozens of platform elements, best set of fortress bosses.


Rockman 5
- Charging the Rock Buster now takes 82 frames of animation (1.37 seconds) instead of 97 frames (1.62 seconds).
Uhm, are you sure about that? I always felt that the charge time in 4 is faster than in 5.

Adding to dislikes:
- Enemies with many hit points now have a noticeable invincibility time between hits. <- That's a dislike from my part.
This game offers by far the worst robot master AI. There's almost no randomness between their attacks. Due to this, this is the only game I don't have a favorite robot master from. You can't charge while Megaman is sliding. In other words, the game stop counting how much you charged the mega buster during a slide. You can't pause the game during the boat-ride section. New Rush coil sucked. You have to jump almost exactly at the middle of it to get a jump on that.

Most Useless Utility: Rush Coil
Fix'd.

Offline Da Dood

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2012, 04:26:46 PM »
Yeah, MM3 is my favorite game of all time, but it's very flawed. The control thing is spot on. I have to add that this bug apparently happens if you shoot at the exact frame when you touch the ground (from a jump or a fall).

And I agree that MM4 has great music. <3

Offline Joseph Collins

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2012, 08:22:21 PM »
Rockman 3
- The entire game seems a lot faster, thanks in-part to the new way slowdown is handled.
Are you kidding me? Rockman 3 is by far the laggiest Rockman game on the NES.

- The controls are now much tighter and more responsive.
Are you kidding me? When the game is lagging enough, sometimes no matter how hard you press B, Megaman do nothing! Geminiman shoots only when you do too. Sometimes it happens that if you press B Geminiman will shoot at you but Megaman don't shoot at all! It proves that the game actually recognized that you pressed B but still, Megaman did nothing!
The control thing is spot on. I have to add that this bug apparently happens if you shoot at the exact frame when you touch the ground (from a jump or a fall).
That specific "Rockman doesn't fire" glitch didn't happen very often when I played through the game.  I just tested it further and it happens about 10% of the time.  I can't seem to pinpoint when it happens most, however, but it does seem to happen whenever you're landing and try to fire.
As for Geminiman, are you sure you weren't just pressing B while in an injured pose?  Geminiman is programmed to fire regardless of whether you can fire or not.

As far as lag goes, try this some time.  Go play Metalman's stage in Rockman 2.  Specifically the part where the Moles and Presses are.
Now go to B10 in Sparkman's stage in Rockman 3 and let the screen fill with four junk blocks.

The controls in Rockman 3 are much more responsive under stress than the ones in Rockman 2.  I will, however, add a point I'm sure I meant to mention, but somehow forgot to:
- A "bug" has been "fixed" since Rockman 2 wherein while running, Rockman could instantly (in 3 frames) turn the other direction if you pressed, for example, left while going right very quickly.  Rock now comes to a complete stop regardless of how quickly the opposite direction is pressed and takes the full amount of time (9 frames) to turn around every time.

Quote from: zuschzero
- ... I've got nothing.  Absolutely, positively nothing.  I genuinely cannot find one thing wrong with this game that would happen to the average person.  And believe me, I am trying.
Second worst weapon arsenal after 5, the Wily fortress levels are just half stages, the fortress bosses are just meh, the leftover debug features of the 2nd controlles shows the game's rushedness.
How do you figure it had to many bad weapons?  Spark Shock was genuinely useless except in rare occasions (such as freezing Bikkys, the "Big Eye" of the game, in mid-air) and Gemini Laser was surprisingly weak, but had its uses, Hard Knuckle could one-shot pretty much anything in your way, Shadow Blade was a pretty good all-around weapon, Top Spin destroyed most of the really annoying enemies, Magnet Missile did pretty decent damage to most everything, Search Snake was great for hitting enemies below you, and Needle Cannon was a great Rock Buster replacement.  Only one of the eight weapons were truly useless. 
Now compare the 1 out of 8 useless weapons of this game to the 2 out of 6 in the first game, those two being Hyper Bomb (which couldn't destroy airborne enemies) and Super Arm (which spent 90% of the game collecting dust).  However, I don't disagree with Rockman 5 having probably one of the most useless arsenals of the series.

Quote
Rockman 5
- Charging the Rock Buster now takes 82 frames of animation (1.37 seconds) instead of 97 frames (1.62 seconds).
Uhm, are you sure about that? I always felt that the charge time in 4 is faster than in 5.
Absolutely positiive.  I tested it myself.  The charge time in Rockman 5 is faster than the one in Rockman 4, but the charge time just kept goiing up past that.

If it's any help, I gauged the charge time from the frame when Rock releases a shot to the earliest frame where can fire a fully-charged shot.  I also took into consideration the 3-frame delay Rock has when firing any kind of shot.

Quote
Adding to dislikes:
This game offers by far the worst robot master AI. There's almost no randomness between their attacks. Due to this, this is the only game I don't have a favorite robot master from.
Can't say as I disagree with that.
Quote
You can't charge while Megaman is sliding. In other words, the game stop counting how much you charged the mega buster during a slide.
... huh!  You're right!  I honestly didn't even notice that.  Good find!
Quote
You can't pause the game during the boat-ride section.
To be fair, this was done because the design team was too lazy to figure out how to disable your weapons from being selected during this segment.  Which is a lame excuse, but it makes sense.  Whoever did Rockman World 5 didn't have this problem, as they disallowed weapon selections during the Rush Space segment without disabling the menu itself.
Quote
New Rush coil sucked. You have to jump almost exactly at the middle of it to get a jump on that.

Most Useless Utility: Rush Coil
Fix'd.
You know, a lot of people have this opinion.  I'm not sure why.  You actually get a greater sense of control over how high you jump with New Rush Coil.  Admittedly, I don't think it's worth double the energy cost, but still.

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2012, 12:18:00 AM »
Yeah, nice read.

Also, i always assumed Leaf Shield affects Airman so much because it, y'know, jams his fan.

Also, Metal Man was weak to himself because he had a [acid burst]-poor defense module, and with a weapon that can litterally slice through the toughest metal, that's insult to injury. Plus metal irl has had a history being able to cut through metal (how else would a sword peirce through a car's hull?)

In a sense, Metal Man was a rushjob.
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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2012, 05:32:21 PM »
As for Geminiman, are you sure you weren't just pressing B while in an injured pose?  Geminiman is programmed to fire regardless of whether you can fire or not.
I know what I'm talking about. Using the mega buster, the "Geminiman shoot, but Megaman don't" thing happened to me many, many times.

As far as lag goes, try this some time.  Go play Metalman's stage in Rockman 2.  Specifically the part where the Moles and Presses are.
Now go to B10 in Sparkman's stage in Rockman 3 and let the screen fill with four junk blocks.
You're talking about sprite flickering, not lag. It's true that sprite flicker can cause lag, that's the case in Rockman 2. But in Rockman 3, lag happens WITHOUT sprite flickering!
A few examples: Using Gemini Laser, those flame shooting things at the beginning of Geminiman and Doc-Geminiman stages, Doc-Quickman battle etc.


For the weapons: Shadow Blade is good. Magnet Missile could have been great, but its energy usage is a fatal flaw. The little delay before a Hard Knuckle is created can be awkward. Top Spin isn't all that bad, but still very bad, you have to know what enemies can be killed with it. Needle Cannon has EXACTLY the same power and range as your default weapon, kinda pointless and the automatic fire feature doesn't make it better. Gemini Laser causes massive lag and if you miss it you're forced to wait, average power and a very thin projectile. Search Snake is an upgraded Bubble Lead, but weak. Spark Shock is just for bosses.

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2012, 06:59:42 PM »
There are quite a few things in Rockman3 that bug me, starting with the absence of an intro cutscene: the weapons provide little more than straightforward shots for far too much energy; the Doc Robots are impossible to dodge because of their oversized hitboxes; Rush energy management in some of those stages is as ridiculous as Rockman2's fortress, able to get you stuck until you game over or in one area reset your NES; plus the Blues/Breakman identity matter is handled so poorly it's a mystery even today. 

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2012, 07:20:17 PM »
the Doc Robots are impossible to dodge because of their oversized hitboxes

In general, kinda wish they didn't make the Doc bots so bulky. Fighting Flashman and Quickman is a pain. If you run into him, you lose a lot of health, more than what you would take if you were fighting the originals.

Oh curse you Wily for trying to kill Megaman!

Offline Joseph Collins

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2012, 07:47:53 PM »
I have to say, I sincerely wish the Doc Robots didn't have such sturdy bodies.  Quickman and Flashman no longer take 2 damage from the Rock Buster, for example.  That was about the only saving grace for fighting the original Quickman buster-only.

...

Alright, so there's something else I didn't like about Rockman 3.  A nitpicky thing, but a thing all the same.  XP

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2012, 08:01:31 PM »
Quote
plus the Blues/Breakman identity matter is handled so poorly it's a mystery even today.

Oh yeah, the Breakman thing. The first time around you just assume it's straightforward, then you try to look into it more closely and realize how ambiguous it is, even with that unused data. (At least, I did.)

Archie and Ariga removed that ambiguity by having Proto appear before Megaman as Breakman first (or rather, I'm guessing Archie will do that), but those're alternate continuities.


Also, I'm guessing that Rush Coil is only so useful in dodging the Doc Robots.

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2012, 09:03:02 PM »
JC, are you planning on expanding this to 9 and 10? You've got quite the knack for scrutinizing the small things, and I'm very curious as to how they compare with the NES ones.

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2012, 07:26:07 AM »
Hi, first post. Just a question.

About Rockman 5, when you say "considerably easier", are you simply referring to the abundance of extra lives? The game doesn't seem particularly easy compared to the others in this post, except for the original (of course).

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2012, 06:45:27 PM »
I would think so. I swear Megaman 5 gives you 5 lives everytime you press start.

The beginning of Crystalman's stage is a [sonic slicer] to deal with. You think you've learned the pattern and it chuck testa's you. Atleast it was at the start so you don't lose much progress.

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2012, 07:01:06 PM »
JC, are you planning on expanding this to 9 and 10? You've got quite the knack for scrutinizing the small things, and I'm very curious as to how they compare with the NES ones.
There's a couple reasons I didn't include 9 and 10 in the list.  The biggest reason is that they were created by Inti Creates, not Capcom in-house.  Bearing that in mind, the series technically ends at 8, & Forte being an "alternate timeline" continuation of the series (and off-topic, probably my second favorite game!)
The other reason is far less valid.  See, I don't actually have a convenient way to play them.  I'm one of the 1% of gaming America that does not own a 7th generation console.  T_T;  I was going to buy a 360 at some point, but then that money went toward other things.  Something equally frivolous, no doubt.  XD  However, I could emulate them, if need be.  That would probably be more useful for the depth of research I'm doing, actually.  I'm just kind of scared of my computer at the moment.  It's working... a little too well, since I cleaned it up.  I'm afraid that something might go wrong.  Like the CPU will suddenly overheat or something.  Lame excuse, I know...

About Rockman 5, when you say "considerably easier", are you simply referring to the abundance of extra lives? The game doesn't seem particularly easy compared to the others in this post, except for the original (of course).
For some reason, that game seems much easier overall, even without the mountains of 1-ups you get for no apparent reason.  There are some challenging areas, such as Crystalman's stage, or (I think) one of the final stages, but for the most part?  Pretty easy game.  Pretty fun, too!

Thanks for the questions!  :D

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Re: Rock-Research - From R1 to R&F **WARNING: Long Read**
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2012, 08:56:05 PM »
How about analyzing Game Boy games?
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