How Easy is Easy Mode in Mega Man 10?
It's quite a quandary, liking Mega Man but at the same time sucking at horribly at it. I first played a Mega Man game on a friends NES, and then didn't touch the series till many years later when emulation started existing at which point I save-stated my way through them all. Many years after that, Mega Man 9 came out and I grossly overestimated how good I was at NES style Mega Man games. I beat about one stage, and then gave up in frustration and haven't touched it since.
With all that in mind, I was very excited to hear about the planned easy mode in Mega Man 10, as it means I will probably be able to see the whole game without resorting to watching someone's tool-assisted speed run on youtube. I did however start pondering the following question:
At what point does easy mode in Mega Man 10 inevitably stop being easy?
The game opens up with the same sort of retro intro that Mega Man 9 had with lots of awkwardly written dialogue that doesn't quite make sense given how little room they have to show it in, like one page of text that says "their robotic helpers; and without their assistance no-one can". Apparently robotic influenza or roboenza is afflicting the worlds robots, and turning them crazy. Doctor Wily shows up promising to make a cure if Mega Man can get bits of a medicine making machine back from the robots. Cue standard Mega Man stage select screen. I didn't research which order to do them in for added authenticity. Logically, Chill Man's weapon should be useful again Solar Man, right? Ice vs Fire? Ice vs Sun? Well, Ice vs. Hot anyway. With that impeccable reasoning, I set off to Chill Man's stage first.
The most obvious way in which the game is easier in Easy mode is that a lot of the insta-kill drops and spikes are covered up with floating platforms. You also take less damage from enemies, and there are more health pick-ups around. You will still die instantly if you hit spikes though, and I am pretty good at finding the one uncovered hole to fall down.
- 2 Deaths - Quite Easy
- One death accidentally jumping into overhead spikes.
- One death fighting Chill Man.
Chill Man has a habit of jumping into you, which I figured out pretty easily on my second attempt.
- 1 Death - Very Easy
- One death in unprotected Lava.
The mid level boss took me down to very low health as my jumping over their attacks were clumsy and ill-timed. Solar Man has an interesting mechanic where he holds a big sun orb over his head, and any attacks of your which accidentally hit it will make it stronger when he next attacks you. Also, Chill Man's weapon totally didn't work on this guy. Maybe it'll work on Nitro Man? So who next , I chose Blade Man because I thought blade attacks might work on Sheep Man, you know, like shearing sheep? Guess how well that worked out.
- 3 Deaths - Not that hard.
- One death on unprotected spikes
- 2x death on Boss
Blade Man's pattern required a bit more working out than the previous too bosses. He chucks two knives around the position you were in a second ago, so you have to be running in the right direction from where he currently is. I reckon I could do this guy without getting hit if I gave it another go.
- 2 deaths - Very Easy
- 2 x Death in pits
At one point during the stage, mouse cursor enemies dragged a selection around an area which became an attack. I was hoping they'd try and right-click on Mega Man, and select Delete from a drop-down menu. I wasn't sure what was going on with the mid-stage boss in this level, but he died before he had a chance to do anything. For those of you wondering, Blades did pretty much nothing against Sheep Man. With my logic clearly faulty, I just started working my way around the remaining stages in order.
- 0 deaths - Cakewalk
Probably my favourite looking stage, not that I spent very long in it with all the not dying I did. There's a section where the screen keep getting obscured by a sand storm that is probably really brutal if all the holes it's trying to push you down aren't all nicely covered up with floating platform. Thanks, Easy Mode!
- 1 death - Very Easy
- Accidentally jumped into spikes.
The best part of this level is where you have to keep jumping up on the roofs of passing trucks. I do wonder how much of Mega Man 9 and 10 would actually work on a NES. I keep looking for stuff that I'm sure the NES couldn't do, but they keep resisting the temptation to do it.
- 0 deaths - Cakewalk
I feel like when designing the robot masters, they are mostly just trying to be funny at the moment. Sheep Man is pretty good, but a bit obvious. Strike Man however has a hole stage of football stadium themed enemies like evil football lockers, and robot goals that swipe at you with giant robot hands. Very entertaining level, and a complete cakewalk.
- 1 deaths – Very Easy
- Fell down a pit, because the water affected my ability to jump more than I was anticipating
His Mohawk is actually a pump! Genius! Unfortunately his level is just a sewer level. Gushing water affects your jumps a bit, enough to kill me once. Nothing particularly hard about the rest of the level or the boss fight.
Doctor Wily - Stage 1
- 6 deaths - Did Not Complete
- 5x died on first mini-boss.
- Died on spikes just past mini-boss.
Okay, I guess Easy mode ends here, because nothing about this could be described as easy. Very early in this level you fight a mini-boss which takes on the forms of some early Mega Man bosses like Wood Man. The little niceties that the game has been giving you up to till this point have dried up, and it's more like just a regular ass Mega Man level. I will be able to beat at least this level if I persist, but it doesn't seem like it's going to be what the dictionary would define as easy.
Having come this far, I will probably at least attempt to push on a bit, but if I'm being honest I don't really have the skill or patience to get through it. Oh well, maybe Mega Man 11 will have a very easy mode which is just a recording of someone's tool assisted speed-run.