Mega Man 8 (also known as Mega Man 8: Anniversary Edition, and known in Japan as Rockman 8: Metal Heroes) is a side-scrolling action platformer developed and published by Capcom for the Sega Saturn and PlayStation on January 1997.
It is the eighth installment of the original Mega Man series (and the sequel to Mega Man 7). The only official installment of the series for 32-bit consoles, Mega Man 8 introduces a brand new art style (the second complete change in the series) and cutscenes detailed in animated full-motion video. The game commemorates the 10th anniversary of the series and is the last titled game in the franchise for 11 years (before Mega Man 9).
Set in the year 20XX, the game takes place shortly after the events of Mega Man 7 (in which the humanoid robot hero Mega Man defeats both the evil roboticist Dr. Wily, for the seventh time, and new-found rival Bass). Two mysterious forces battle in outer space before crash-landing down to Earth, causing Mega Man (who was battling Bass at the time) to investigate. When he reaches the crater, he sees Dr. Wily (flying away with a mysterious purple orb) and a mysterious damaged robot to send back to Dr. Light for repair. When Dr. Wily sends a new group of Robot Masters to combat Mega Man, our hero must battle Dr. Wily's forces while investigating the connection between the purple orbs and the damaged robot.
Because the PlayStation version was rushed to be released a month before the Sega Saturn version, the Sega Saturn version received some bonus additions, most notably access to special material (such as official artwork and sound test mode) and two new mini-boss battles (Cut Man from the original Mega Man and Wood Man from Mega Man 2).
The PlayStation version of the game was later released (in North America only) as part of the Mega Man Anniversary Collection compilation for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube on June 23, 2004 and the Xbox on March 15, 2005. An unofficial 8-bit "demake" of Mega Man 8 was finished in 2010, coinciding with the release of the deliberately-retro Mega Man 10. More information can be found here.
Shortly after the game was released, Capcom began porting the game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, with the intent of selling it to those who have not purchased one of the two 32-bit consoles. Not wanting to make a half-hearted attempt, they ended up making an original Mega Man game (exclusively for Japan in its original run) using most of the assets from Mega Man 8 (including two of the game's bosses, Tengu Man and Astro Man), titled Rockman & Forte.
The gameplay is similar to the previous games, but with some additions. The main priority is the player picks a level and fights the end boss; Mega Man will earn a weapon for defeating the boss. Rush also returns with some special abilities. Also returning from Mega Man 7 is the item store.
Like Mega Man 7, only four robot masters are available at the start. After the player beats the first four, the other four will appear. The weapons earned from the first four robot masters play a big role in the other four levels; for example, in Search Man's stage, the thunder claw that was earned from Clown Man, is used to get through spiked gaps by using the thunder claw to grab on to metal poles and swing to the other side.
Rush returns in Mega Man 8, this time with new abilities. Old abilities like Rush Marine and Rush Coil have been retired, but new abilities are introduced. Each new ability can be earned by defeating the mid bosses in some of the game's levels. The first new ability is Rush can transform into a motorcycle - Mega Man can hop on, shoot projectiles, and run at high speed. The other is Rush will drop a random item for Mega Man, which can be a health item or ammunition for Mega Man's weapon. Rush can also fly up in the air and drop health or ammunition items for Mega Man. The last new ability is Rush can fly up in the air and aid Mega Man in battle by dropping missiles on enemies.
Also returning from Mega Man 7 is the item store. Items that were available in Mega Man 7 were purchased by collecting bolts that were dropped by enemies. In Mega Man 8, bolts are hidden throughout the level, the player must carefully spent the bolts to purchase upgrades for Mega Man. Certain upgrades can improve Mega Man's Mega Buster, or affect other abilities such as sliding or climbing up a ladder. The upgrades include the following:
- Power Shield - Won't be pushed back when received a hit.
- Spare Extra - Four lives will be giving to Mega Man instead of three at the start of a level.
- Shooting Part - Five Mega Busters can be shot all together when charged.
- Energy Balancer- The weapon with the least amount of energy will be refiled when an energy icon is received.
- Exit - When a boss is defeated, Mega Man can exit a stage at any time.
- Laser Shot - A piercing laser will be shot when the Mega Man Buster is charged.
- Arrow Shot - A arrow will be shot out when the Mega Buster is charged.
- Auto Shoot -When the Mega Buster is charged, the Mega Buster will be fired automatically.
- Step Booster - Mega Man can climb a ladder faster than before.
- Energy Saver - Will save the amount of energy required for a special weapon.
- Super Recover - Increase the health or weapon energy Mega Man recovers.
- Spare Charger - Weapons will be refilled when exited from a stage.
- Hyper Slider - The power slide will increase in distance.
- High Speed Charge - Shortens the time for the charge shot.
- Rapid Part - Three Mega Man Busters will be fire each time the fire button is press.
- Boost Part - The Mega Buster's charge time will be decrease.
- Exchanger - When life energy is obtained while the life gauge is full, it will be transfer to the special weapons that's low on energy.
Tengu Man's Stage
Tengu Man's stage takes place high up in the air. Some section of the stage has the wind's current blowing directly towards the right, which affects Mega Man's movements by pushing him back. The stage also features a section Mega Man encased in a bubble floating upwards while dodging spiked balls suspended in mid-air. A Rush Jet section is feature in the stage; Mega Man and Rush go through hoards of enemies like a 2-D shooter. Auto, Eddie, and Beat can aid Mega Man and Rush through the Rush Jet sections of the game.
Frost Man's Stage
Most of this stage has Mega Man going through the stage on a rocket board. While going through it, waring sighs will appear - telling Mega Man to jump or slide. Enemies such as Big Telly will appear to drop bombs on Mega Man, the other enemy is Rabbiton - a skiing robotic rabbit, and the last is Penpen EV - a robotic pigeon that gets on its belly and does a jet boost.
Clown Man's Stage
An amusement park that has been taken over. Clown Man's stage contains platforms with a
symbol on them. In the background a robot will appear and ring a bell, which will activate the symbols on each platform. If Mega Man where to be standing on one of them, the effect of one of the symbols will go off. The symbols include "X," which means a piece of debre will fall on Mega Man, or a boxing glove will pop out of the platform, a skull symbol will drop Mega Man below the platform, a arrow symbol will bring Mega Man back to the beginning of the section of the stage, a question mark symbol will transport Mega Man to a random location, and a circle symbol means the safe zone - nothing will occur.
Grenade Man's Stage
Returning from Mega Man 7 is Count Bomb CD - a platform that will self-destruct in three seconds. The enemy originally appear in Brust Man's Stage. Another version of Count Bomb is introduce, Count Bomb GEO - a walking time bomb. Sections of the stage contains explosive platforms, one of them is built with a fuse and the entire platform will go off if the fuse is lit. Fire Met will appear and lit the fuse; casing the entire platform to explode. Mega Man will fall to his death unless he makes it out in time.
Sword Man's Stage
At the start of this stage, Mega Man has to open up four walls by performing various tasks in four different sections of the stage. The second half has Mega Man on a paddle boat going through molten hot lava. But Mega Man must be careful as the lava will shoot up. Mega Man can use it as a boost up to the next section. Mega Man will also go through platform sections that has a giant robotic hammer known as Kao go Meh da. What he'll do is follow Mega Man to the platform he's on, and slams the platform into the lava with Mega Man on it.
Aqua Man's Stage
An underwater adventure that is filled with Surumaker that will dash towards the direction that Mega Man is in, and the Shellens will use the same attacks method as the Mets. Underwater levels in previous Mega Man games acted in the same way as it would be on land, the only differences is it will affect Mega Man's jumping. In Mega Man 8, Mega Man can swim instead of doing an actual jump. Aqua Man's stage has areas of spikes on the top and bottom, Mega Man has to carefully remain in the middle by swimming in order to get through.
Astro Man's Stage
The main part of Astro Man's stage is Mega Man going through a maze The maze is one big circle - as Mega Man moves forwards, hell head back where he started. certain walls will block some passage, they can be moved up or down to alter the route. Mega Man's priority is to carefully think about which walls to move around in order to get to the exit.
Search Man's Stage
In this stage, the thunder claw and the flame sword weapons play a big role. Swarms of enemies will be running or flying around to give Mega Man a hard time. There's also an extensive amount of Thorn Vines planted throughout the stage, they can only be destroy by using the flame sword. There's also a section with multiple metal poles that Mega Man can use by swinging around with use of the thunder claw to get through obstacle.
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