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Published December 23, 2009

When Mega Man 10 was announced a couple weeks back, the Rumble Pack crew rejoiced. MM9 was such a huge success, both creatively and financially, that it made total sense to go back the retro style once more. But Capcom didn’t stop with just a new game announcement. Alongside the titular Blue Bomber and Proto Man stood Sheep Man, a wool-covered baddie who would look more at home in Harvest Moon if he didn’t have two lightning rods sticking out of his back.

Not that Magma Man and Concrete Man were particularly inspired, but at least they were threatening. This robotic farm animal seems like a throwback to oddballs like Search Man and Dust Man, and we’re curious to see if the other Robot Masters follow suit. While we wait though, we’ve decided to beat Capcom to the punch. After the jump, we’ve included five of our best barrel-scrapers, ready to charge into baaaaah-ttle with their sheepish brother.

Inventor: Tom
Robot Master:
Waltwhit Man
Stage Theme: Civil War Battlefield
Stage BGM Name: “I Sing The Body Electric”

Waltwhit Man appears as a grizzled old man with a cool hat and giant white beard. Instead of the usual Mega Man stage intro and jingle, his is an unskippable dramatic reading of the poem “Behold This Swarthy Face.” His main attack is shooting Leaves of Grass at you.  Just like the real Walt Whitman, small robot birds live in his beard and enter the playing field every time he takes damage from Mega Man’s buster cannon, making it increasingly difficult to navigate without taking damage

His stage combines all of the worst aspects of the disappearing block platforming puzzles from earlier Mega Man games – in order to mimic his free verse style, there is no set pattern to the way the blocks appear and disappear.  It is also full of Civil War-era cannons and weaponry.  Sharp-eyed viewers will be able to spot robotic versions of his contemporaries Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge throughout the level, somewhat annoyed not to have their own stages because their names lack the word “man.”

Inventor: Tony
Robot Master: Hipster Man
Stage Theme: A rundown bar the caters to people who only drink Gin Fizzes and features only bands that no one has ever heard of
Stage BGM Name: “Ironically Detached”

The stage itself is rather simple – just some hopping over 8-bit tables with enemies that look like bums or Ziggy Stardust. The key is the completely aggravating indie rock music for the stage performed by “The ChedderFunk Experiment.” The music is so irritating that the player becomes nauseous, unless he or she so happens to be a hipster. If the player is detected to be a hipster (via the Wii Vitality Sensor), the music changes to 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” and the stage is repopulated by Guidos and Bros.

The battle begins with Hipster Man sitting down in the corner of the stage, with a mixture of beat poetry and a Shakespearean sonnet playing over the speakers. Mega Man will proceed to take one notch of damage per second until he hits Hipster Man. This causes him to let out a shrill shriek that will stun Mega Man – and likely the player. Hipster Man snorts a line of coke and then proceeds to leap all bat-shit crazy around the stage. (The A.I. pattern is based off of a random number generator.) Hipster Man’s primary attack is a Trash Beam, in which the projectile is an empty Pabst Blue Ribbon can, an empty can of Baked Beans, dirty sneakers, rotten fruit and other assorted detritus. As Mega Man gets hit, the trash will attach to him for several seconds. Hipster Man’s weakness is the Soap Bubble Beam acquired from Hygiene Man.

Inventor: Nicolo
Robot Master:
Stage Theme: pointlessly detailed high-tech environment
Stage BGM Name: “8-Bit UHF”

HDTV Man has a wide-screen, flat-screen TV for his head, which is much bigger than the stand on which it sits (his torso), with his “buster” being a giant HDMI cable that feeds from his back. Every blast he shoots is a hyper-detailed 1080p energy shot, but he can also shoot a blast directly from his screen – the brightness of which dazzles poor 8-bit Mega Man, and leaves him stunned for a few seconds.

As for his personality – he’s a pretty cocky jackass because he’s popular with all of the other tech-savy Robot Masters. In order to fight him, you have to pay 300 bolts to cover the high “price of entry” that is the HD stage.

Inventor: Kaz
Robot Master: Paper Man
Stage Theme: Residential Neighborhood
Stage BGM Name: “Something Closely Resembling the Paperboy Theme”

Paper Man appears to be a robot with the severed head of the main character from the arcade hit Paperboy (but not quite to avoid infringement). A robot with severe mental problem, he thinks he’s the titular paperboy “all grow’d up,” but he was merely a robot designed to spit out newspapers to passing people. Unfortunately, he delights in hurling papers at terminal velocity. Watch out – if you get hit by one, you’ll be tortured by his trademark three-frames-of-animation attack, which is hard to avoid in its simplicity.

His stage progresses from delightful suburban housing to a torturous landfill-based obstacle course. It’s almost impossible to finish…so it’s the perfect stage for a Mega Man game. All the stages are filled with your favorite enemies, including errant wheel, RC car, dog, tricycle/motorcycle…thing and everyone’s favorite enemy, “break-dancer,” who fiendishly gets in your way while trying his damnedest to self-fellate. Paper Man’s only weakness is the all powerful Game Genie Man’s power, but since he’s sitting out until at least part 11, you’ll have to cross your fingers that you get it from the next guy.

Inventor: Justin
Robot Master: Potpourri Man
Stage Theme: A blending of a Pier 1 Imports sales floor and my grandma’s bathroom
Stage BGM Name: Randomly selected from past entries

Dr. Wily actually recovered blueprints for Potpourri Man from the year 20XX. The concept was borrowed from “Poopouri Man,” a superhero designed by Justin and Kaz at Nicolo’s wedding who would randomly conjure up new powers while defecating. Needless to say, the world wasn’t ready for such an intense character, but the mad doctor saw his raw potential and attached a scented pine cone to his head.

Unfortunately, Potpourri is still very much a prototype. His body is a giant mason jar, which houses a fresh “Spring Breeze” mix. For Potpourri Man, this mix is comprised of mostly terrible powers from prior games in the series. Lead Bubble, Top Spin, Leaf Shield – all of your old “favorites” are here. In tight spots, he’ll sometimes cower under his wicker basket, hoping that the Mega trouncing will stop.

One Comment

  1. Ridd Ridd

    “MM9 was such a huge success, both creatively and financially”

    Are you kidding me? How on Earth can a total rehash be considered a creative success!?

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