(Written by Jonathan Fugger & Kris Randazzo)
Two of Geekade’s resident Mega Man maniacs are back again with what seems to be an annual tradition. Kris and Jonathan have ranked the best and worst robot masters in the past, so this year, they decided to rank their favorite weapons from the series. But as an added bonus for you, the reader, the top 10 list has expanded to a top 11 as we eagerly await Mega Man 11 at the end of the year.
But with so many weapons from so many games to choose from, some basic rules were put in place to narrow down the potential candidates. As always, Kris and Jonathan only picked from the classic, numbered series – no X, Legends, Zero, etc. Furthermore, only the primary weapon obtained from a robot master was available for selection – no Super Arrow, Wire etc.
So without further ado, here are Kris and Jonathan’s top 11 Mega Man weapons!
Jonathan’s #11. Flash Stopper
This gets a spot on the list not because it’s ingenious or flashy…(I think I’m funny), but because of an obvious problem it corrected from Mega Man 2. The Time Stopper was a great idea, but why couldn’t Mega Man fire, just as Flash Man does, while time is frozen?! I guess the creative team wasn’t very bright…man. At the tender, naïve age of 6, I thought that my copy of Mega Man 2 was broken because I could freeze time but wasn’t able to shoot. Well, the Flash Stopper fixed that. This isn’t a weapon that I use much throughout Mega Man 4, but it is extremely satisfying to mow down enemies when they’re stopped in their tracks. During frustrating and intense areas of the game, the Flash Stopper is the perfect way to calm things down.
Kris’s #11. Spark Shock
Oh Jonathan, you are funny! Speaking of funny, my 11 spot goes to Spark Shock. Not because it’s particularly useful (it isn’t), not because it’s super powerful (it isn’t), but because it sounds funny. Seriously, I go out of my way to use this item when playing Mega Man 3 just so I can hear that adorably amusing bzzztzbbztzb sound whenever Mega Man shoots it. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he turns creamsicle colors when equipped either. Creamsicles are delicious. Bonus points are also awarded for this weapon’s excellent use in Smash Bros.
Jonathan’s #10. Thunder Beam
Speaking of a fun sounding and shockingly good time, the Thunder Beam gets my number 10 spot. I have no idea on what planet electricity makes the same sound as it does in Mega Man 1, but darn it, I’d like to visit that planet. The Thunder Beam is large and shoots in multiple directions, and like most Mega Man games, there are plenty of robots trying to kill you from multiple directions, so this weapon is extremely handy. It’s even more handy if this game is too difficult for you and you’d like to cheat to beat it! There’s a separate pause button in this game, so fire that Beam at Dr. Wily, and when it makes contact, keep pausing and unpausing to inflict plenty of damage. Aside from cheating, this weapon is overpowered and electrifyingly fun.
Kris’s #10. Hornet Chaser
You’ll be hearing my thoughts on the Thunder Beam in a bit. In the meantime, my number 10 goes to a gun that shoots robotic hornets. They’re almost like little homing missiles with personality, except that they also provide the incredibly useful ability of retrieving out-of-reach items for you. Powerup on a shelf? Hornet can get it. Something behind a wall? Hornet can get it! I never knew hornets were so good at fetch. I should probably get my hands on a real hornet and give it a try…
Jonathan’s #9. Jewel Satellite
And you, sir, will be hearing my thoughts on those hornets in a bit. For now, I will profess my love of jewelry. Most shield-type weapons in Mega Man games are inherently flawed: The Water Shield is destroyed a little too easily, Mega Man can’t shoot the Skull Barrier at enemies, and don’t get me started on the travesty that is the Leaf Shield. The Jewel Satellite is overpowered and can be shot at enemies, and thank goodness for that, because Mega Man 9 is difficult! Maybe Mega Man inherited strong family jewels, but boy, his jewels can really withstand some punishment. I’ve managed to run through good portions of stages with those babies circling me, and have never felt so safe.
Kris’s #9. Gravity Hold
You will find no rotating shields on my list today, though I agree Jewel Satellite is the best of them. Anyway, my #9 goes to Gravity Man’s Gravity Hold. It’s one of those weapons that makes very little sense if you think about it, and is actually useless in most situations where you’d actually want to use it. Basically, you press the button, the screen flashes, and enemies float away. It doesn’t seem to work on most powerful enemies though, and the enemies it does work on aren’t so much of a challenge that it warrants spending the weapon energy on. Also, it seems to just reverse the gravity of specific enemies and objects on the screen, which makes absolutely no kind of sense. So why did it make the list? Comedy. There’s something so ridiculously amusing to me about Mega Man running along, seeing an enemy that’s really no threat at all, and then watching them just float uncontrollably into the sky. Honestly, it makes me chuckle almost every time.
Jonathan’s #8. Astro Crush
You know what makes me chuckle? Thinking about Aqua Man in pain, and that is a major reason for the Astro Crush making it onto my list. First, it is a documented fact that I hate Aqua Man. That awful excuse for a robot master can try to shoot his water cannon all he wants, but with the push of a button, Mega Man literally makes it rain METEORS. While friggin meteors should be EVERYONE’S weakness, watching Aqua Man flail in pain makes this weapon so wonderful. Seriously, the notion of this weapon is hilarious, and all it takes to activate is Mega Man opening his arms and yelling “HA!” Sure, the Astro Crush may sound silly in theory, but in practice, it is a satisfying way to clear a screen, and get rid of one of the worst robot masters in history. (Image: innovator123)
Kris’s #8. Ice Slasher
There’s no shortage of ice weapons in the Mega Man universe, but for my money, the original is still the best. This thing is super-cool, both literally and figuratively. Not only does Mega Man look great in white/dark blue, but this triangle of icy-cold death blasts right through everything it touches, freezing it along the way. It doesn’t explode, shoot out at a weird angle, or anything fancy. It just shoots ice cold murder in a straight line, and it doesn’t take up a ton of weapon energy to use. I even like the name.
Jonathan’s #7. Tornado Blow
Ice Slasher is a great name, and so is Tornado Blow. Sure, there’s the obvious innuendo, but this air-themed weapon has a much cooler name than the bland “Air Shooter.” Plus, the Tornado Blow offers much more than three tiny tornadoes from Mega Man’s blaster – this thing summons multiple tornadoes from the depths of hell to destroy multiple enemies on screen. This wind is so powerful, it annihilates Magma Man very quickly. That’s right, forget what your parents told you – a strong wind can snuff out flames using Mega Man logic.
Kris’s #7. Flash Stopper (Mega Man 4)
Like you said before, this is an incredibly useful item, but specifically Bright Man’s version from Mega Man 4. The ability to freeze time for short bursts AND shoot your enemies is vastly superior to the original that used all your weapon energy no matter what and didn’t allow Mega Man to shoot for some unknown reason. Incapacitating enemies and stage hazards in a Mega Man game is an invaluable ability, and with the added freedom of this version, it’s undeniably a great thing to have.
Jonathan’s #6. Atomic Fire
Enough about freezing – let’s turn up the heat. Before the sweet sounds of a charging Mega Buster were ever a blip on Dr. Light’s radar, or waydaw, if you will, you could make some great sounds by charging up the Atomic Fire. This baby can shoot three…THREE…different sized fireballs! This absolutely blew my mind as a kid, but I saved it for only special occasions, because a fully-charged shot eats a lot of weapon energy. Still, Atomic Fire is very effective against multiple bosses in Mega Man 2, and has quite unique capabilities among other classic Mega Man weapons. Also, Mega Man’s color-scheme while using this weapon is awesome.
Kris’s #6. Magnet Missile
You want to talk about Mega Man looking sharp, look no further than the red and gray of Magnet Missile. I adore this weapon, much as I adore Magnet Man. He’s my favorite robot master, he has my favorite stage, and his stage features my favorite music in the franchise. His weapon, though, is only my 6th favorite. The sound it makes when it launches is fantastic, and its pattern is so weird and awesome, but because of that pattern it isn’t as useful as it could be. It shoots in a straight line then banks a 90 degree turn straight toward its target. It’s much better in theory than in practice, but even still, it’s a remarkably enjoyable weapon to use. Plus, it’s perfect for knocking out those stupid things that shut off the lights in Shadow Man’s stage.
Jonathan’s #5. Hornet Chaser
You made some excellent points about the Hornet Chaser, but these buzzing babies make my heart melt. First – they’re adorable. Second – they are great at playing fetch. I flipped out when I realized these hornets would grab power-ups and bring them back to me. That’s right, they don’t just absorb health or weapon energy – they BRING IT RIGHT TO YOU! Finally, these hornets are dedicated to justice, because they dive bomb right into enemies, sacrificing their robotic existence for Mega Man. How many other Mega Man weapons do that?! Seriously, the Hornet Chaser is a fantastic and entertaining weapon, and it kicks the crap out of Splash Woman and her evil fish friends.
Kris’s #5. Danger Wrap
This weapon is so ridiculous and I love everything about it. I’m sorry Bubble Lead, but this is how you weaponize a bubble. You stuff a bomb in it. Actually, I’m not sorry, Bubble Lead. You’re dumb. Anyway, like I said, Mega Man shoots out a bubble and if the intended target is unfortunate enough to be susceptible to it, they get caught in the bubble and start floating away, staring directly at their impending doom as they helplessly try to escape. It’s amazing, brutal, and kind of hilarious at the same time. Using this weapon against Cloud Man makes that battle legitimately hysterical. Watching his surprised face every time he gets caught, then watching him fall on the ground after each pop is a priceless series of events. Plus, listen to that name. Danger Wrap. It sounds like weaponized plastic wrap, but no. It’s bubbles. And they’ll kill your ass.
Jonathan’s #4. Magnet Missile
Again, excellent points about the Magnet Missile, but it gets a slightly higher spot on my list because the only problem I’ve ever had using it is because of those damn, quick-moving dragonflies. This thing is very helpful in Shadow Man’s stage when those parachute faces fall from the ceiling, and it completely eliminates the monkeys in Hard Man’s stage before they can even drop. Those monkeys are a giant pain in the ass because they move so damn fast, so the Magnet Missile is the perfect solution. Plus, Hard Man? More like EASY Man when you’ve got this weapon. There’s something satisfying about beating this beast with the Magnet Missile. I love this weapon so much, that it’s even awesome when Magnet Man uses it against me. I don’t even care. Come at me, bro, I love your magnets.
Kris’s #4. Crash Bomber
Nothing but respect for your Magnet Missile placement, sir. My number 4 spot though, goes to the weapon that does what Danger Wrap does but even dirtier. It’s one thing to be helplessly stuck in a bubble, it’s quite another to have the bomb grab onto you and not let go. The Crash Bomber is such a badass weapon, Crash Man didn’t even need hands. Because who needs hands when you have Crash Bombs? Also, this thing blows up walls. Sign. Me. Up. There have been imitators like Pirate Man’s Remote Mine, but nothing beats the original. Crash Bomber rules.
Jonathan’s #3. Black Hole Bomb
And nothing but respect for the Crash Bomber! But my next choice doesn’t make things explode, it just wipes enemies out of existence. The Black Hole Bomb is just so much damn fun and works on so many enemies. I love the “woo woo” sound that it makes as it slowly lumbers towards whatever victim is nearby, and you can even steer this thing! It’s fantastically satisfying to watch enemies helplessly disappear into what looks more like a purple hole than a black hole, but really, who cares? It even works on the Dragon mini boss by sucking up his flames and making him sad. Why so sad? Because you’ve just been hit by a black hole of despair, sucker! The only reason why this doesn’t place in one of the two highest spots on my list is because it’s very slow, but it’s still very powerful and a lot of fun to use.
Kris’s #3. Thunder Beam
Let’s just say speed isn’t an issue for me. I also recognize that you put this one on your list, but for my money, it was way too low. Thunder Beam is an absolute beast. It’s so beastly the game itself frequently struggles to keep up with it. The weapon is capable of causing in-game slowdown on a regular basis! If it just shot the one beam forward it would still be amazing, but it also shoots up AND down AT THE SAME TIME. That’s three electric death beams that shoot through walls, through enemies, and through the game’s own limitations via your aforementioned cheating trick. It looks great, sounds great, and is powerful enough to take down the Yellow Devil. Can’t beat that. Well, it’s my number 3, so I guess you can beat that. But it’s hard to!
Jonathan’s #2. Metal Blade
I completely agree with your estimation of the Thunder Beam, but there are plenty of weapons that are more fun to me, like the Metal Blade! Full disclosure – I knew this was going to be high on my list, but it is definitely not my number 1 favorite. Sure, you can say I’m being cheap by putting the Metal Blade so high, but this weapon is so much fun! The sounds that it makes are amazing, and the ability to shoot in so many directions make it one of the most useful weapons in Mega Man history. Sure, it’s overpowered, because it’s effective against nearly every enemy in the game, and uses such little weapon energy. But…MULTIPLE DIRECTIONS! Those momma birds that drop their babies on you? No problem. Bubble Bats? Get wrecked. Hot Dogs in hard-to-reach places? No that’s not sexual, those enemies are no problem with the Metal Blade. Even Metal Man knows this thing is powerful, because you can take him out with one shot during the robot master rematches. I love this weapon. I will always love this weapon. I don’t spam it like I did when I was little, but it’s still one of my favorite weapons of all time.
Kris’s #2. Black Hole Bomb
I do love me some Metal Blade, but my number 2 goes to another arguably cheap weapon, Black Hole Bomb. You hit on pretty much everything that’s great about this weapon so I’ll do my best not to cause too much overlap. See, the thing with Black Hole Bomb is it almost seems unfair. There’s a bad robot shooting pellets at you. A reasonable response is your own little pellets. Maybe a sticky bomb of some sort, or even a flamethrower. This is Mega Man, after all. But no. This weapon allows you to shoot and control A FREAKING BLACK HOLE. And they don’t blow up. They might not even die (do Wily robots die?) They freaking disappear. INTO THE VOID. The logistics don’t make a lot of sense, much like Gravity Hold (seriously, how is it localized to just enemies and not platforms, Mega Man himself, and ALL OTHER MATTER AROUND IT?) but it’s so darn cool it couldn’t possibly matter less. And to quote that cool dude in the fez from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “And I even like the color.”
Jonathan’s #1. Pharaoh Shot
If Atomic Fire left you wanting more, the Pharaoh Shot is the weapon of choice. In fact, it’s my favorite Mega Man weapon! The Pharaoh Shot took the idea of charging a ball of fire and took it to the next freaking level. Instead of having to guess how large your fireball will be, this thing materializes OVER MEGA MAN’S HEAD! WHY?! Because Mega Man is a badass with the Pharaoh Shot, that’s why! Aside from shooting different sized fireballs, you can inflict damage on enemies with a fireball floating over your head! That is one painful headbutt! As a bonus, this weapon can shoot in multiple directions, and makes the final, scary, epic battle of Mega Man 4 much easier to manage. Shooting some electricity at me, Wily? That’s cute, I’ve got fire hovering OVER MY HEAD! This weapon is fun to look at, fun to use, and it even sounds awesome no matter what size fireball you shoot. For me, the Pharaoh Shot is the closest thing to a perfect weapon in any Mega Man game, and definitely my favorite Mega Man weapon of all time.
Kris’s #1. Metal Blade
Call me predictable, but it was always going to be Metal Blade for me. It just has to be. It’s darn near flawless. So much so that it almost renders your regular weapon useless after you get it. It cuts through almost anything, it shoots in multiple directions, it looks cool, and it makes one of the most iconic 8-bit sounds the NES has ever produced. It’s overpowered as heck, but not so much so that the game becomes broken thanks to the weapon’s one drawback: you can’t run and shoot. This pivotal piece of game design is so freaking clever. If you’re skilled enough you can just jump and shoot any time, but giving it that one limitation makes it just unwieldy enough so it doesn’t completely break the game for the average player. Metal Blade, like Mega Man 2 itself, is a masterpiece of robot master weaponry, and it easily earns the top spot on my list.
And there you have it, Mega ladies and Mega gentlemen. Geekade’s ranked lists of robot master weapons. How did they do? What do you think? Are they mad? Should Bubble Lead have taken the #1 spot? Let us know in the comments.