Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Useful Purpose for Facebook

I still don’t have a Facebook page. But I did find what may very well be the most useful thing you can do on Facebook.

Get ready…

You can “like” a Like Like!




Like, who doesn’t like liking things like Like Likes?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Robot Master Maladies

[Spoiler alert for various Mega Man and Mega Man X games]

Time to write down some recurring thoughts about various Robot Master battles. Mega Man has had a lot of battles with a lot of unique strategy involved, but there are a couple of common patterns. It’s a relief to see these patterns, because once you see them there’s a good chance that you’ll win. Eventually.

Toad Man Disease

Toad Man is a good choice to go after first in Mega Man 4 because both the level and battle are very manageable without special weapons. This might not be immediately clear, since Toad Man’s weapon is the Rain Flush, which hits everything on the screen at once; you can’t dodge it. But it turns out that if you don’t worry about charging your weapon and just keep hitting him, you can prevent Toad Man from ever getting the chance to fire. If you walk in and start shooting, he’ll jump across the screen. At this point you have to slide out of the way to avoid having him land on you, but if you turn and resume shooting, his Rain Flush will be interrupted, and he’ll jump again – repeating the process. After 28 rounds of this (or actually 26 if you went in with your weapon already charged), he’ll be defeated without ever having fired a shot.

There aren’t a lot of Robot Masters that will let you cheat them out of their attacks completely like this, but there are a lot that can be defeated by the repetition of a shoot + slide + shoot pattern. Many of them require the use of a particular special weapon to do this, though.


  • Spring Man (MM7): If you get in Spring Man’s face and use the Slash Claw, he will jump over your head and repeat the process, just like Toad Man – with one important variation: at the top of his jump, he’ll spin around and extend his arm in a downward punch. If you time your slide right, this will miss you every time.
  • Toxic Seahorse (MMX3): This guy’s attacks are pretty hard to avoid if you go in there ill-equipped, but if you hit him with the right weapon (which I’m thinking is Blizzard Buffalo’s, although I’m afraid I don’t remember), he’ll fight just like Spring Man, except he uses a ball of acid instead of a spring fist.

Chill Penguin Disease

The Mega Man X games introduce the ability to climb walls, and this give you a welcome new way to avoid enemy attacks. Staying in the upper corner of the screen by repeated jumping can hurt your thumb after a while, but it can keep you safe and give you time to charge your weapon. Chill Penguin in Mega Man X (a natural first choice since the Dash Boots are also in his level) is particularly susceptible to this. There are plenty of Mavericks with attacks that will keep you off the walls or punish you for staying there, but then again there are plenty who follow in the proud tradition of Chill Penguin.


  • Flame Mammoth (MMX): This guy’s room is really wide, and the floor is a conveyer belt, so if you get pinned against the right wall you might have trouble dropping down and firing safely. But it’s a lot easier than dodging him on the ground. And he can’t hit you up there (I don’t think – although the guy can jump).
  • Wheel Gator (MMX2): This guy hides under the water a lot, and he can pop up or attack with spinning wheels from anywhere, so you’ll wear out your thumb staying on the wall. You still have to watch out for the wall-climbing wheels, but again it’s a lot safer than staying on the ground.
  • Crush Crawfish (MMX3): This guy’s attacks are pretty varied, and he even has these boomerang claw things that will pull you off of the wall. But it turns out (and thanks go to my friend for realizing this) that those grabber things don’t hurt you, and if you don’t fight against them they will actually pull you out of the way of the razor claw attack that immediately follows them. Plus you can get a charged shot in, and then you can get back to the wall (or get to the opposite wall, if he charges you). So he’s not really harder than Chill Penguin as long as you know how to manipulate his attacks.
  • Tunnel Rhino (MMX3): This guy charges the wall and makes you all off, but if you realize that you can dash jump off the walls (an ability available but undocumented since Mega Man X), you can get to the other side of the screen before he does this, giving you a clear shot at him plus time to climb the other wall.
  • Blizzard Buffalo (MMX3): this guy fights a lot like Flame Mammoth, with the main variation being that he has a really tall laser attack, so it’s hard to know when it’s safe to drop.