The Mega Man games, whether on NES, Super Nintendo, or modern consoles, will forever go down in history as timeless classics. Part of what makes them so memorable is the staple group of eight distinct boss characters, pitting Mega Man (or Rockman, if thats your style) versus uniquely themed Robot Masters. The creative designs from Keiji Inafune and co. are legendary, and its not likely that well ever forget what Cut Man or Quick Man look like in our lifetimes.
But not every concept is a winner; as with any sequel-laden series, the novel ideas start getting a little zanier with each new entry in the Mega Man legacy. Dr. Wily is undoubtedly a mad scientist, but sometimes, the robots he reprograms to do his evil bidding just seem like poor choices. For every seven menacing, interesting Robot Masters he recruits, therell be a robotic black sheep that just doesnt fit the level boss profile weve come to expect. These are the Mega Man bosses we were least afraid to face thanks to their ridiculous designs and goofy powers, we just cant take them seriously. Lets take a look at these lovable losers
7. Dust Man (Mega Man 4)
This poor Robot Master has the worst existence imaginable: a living vacuum cleaner tasked with sucking up trash via his mouth/forehead. He must then guard a junkyard from a fighting robot who is readily equipped to destroy him easily; what hope does a sentient Dyson have against the might of the Blue Bomber?
It seems Wily couldve even be bothered to give Dust Man the proper programming for logical combat techniques: even though hes fully outfitted with an arm cannon of his own, Dust Man chooses to do battle against Mega Man using his Dust Crusher, a handheld chunk of scrap metal that he spits from the hole in his head. Thats essentially the equivalent of brandishing a knife during a gunfight except your knife is literally a piece of garbage, and you actually have a gun handy. Yes, Dust Man sucks like its his job because, well, it is.
6. Strike Man (Mega Man 10)
Americas favorite pastime just got a lot more deadly. Or maybe not Strike Man isnt exactly a home run for Dr. Wily, who had to resort to appointing a batting practice bot as one of his eight lieutenants. Programming an oversized mechanical baseball to throw pitches ad nauseam seems like a cruel design would he not feel pity or remorse watching his cork-core brethren being batted into oblivion all day? Come to think of it, why didnt Mega Man just one-shot this joker with an aluminum bat instead of wasting precious Triple Blade ammo?
Even stranger, his Rebound Striker attack grants Mega Man the power to hurl bouncing pink orbs instead of pitching lethal fastballs. That said, Strike Man could lay the foundation for a Capcom/EA Sports collaboration. We can see it now: using Tiger Woods Golf Swing to slay Basketball Man, or unleashing the fury of an NHL Slapshot to down Soccer Man. Also, John Madden would be the final boss.
5. Charge Man (Mega Man 5)
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the little engine that couldnt. Looking like the angst-y offspring of Thomas the Tank Engine and a blood orange, Charge Man has the Inception-esque occupation of a being a train within a train. As a Robot Master, Charge Man isnt an absolute train wreck he can run Mega Man clean over with his rushing bulk, and grants the Blue Bomber the same nifty ability upon death. But no matter how you slice it, he cant help but look absurd when his head and neck have been replaced by what looks like a toy train from the local preschool.
One thing he has going for him is his weakness, Power Stone, which is easily Mega Man 5s most ineffectual weapon. But that doesnt count for much given how easily charged Mega Buster shots burst him down. Plus, all game mechanics aside, we really dont want to know where all of Charge Mans steam-powering coal goes.
4. Top Man (Mega Man 3)
Top Man just doesnt make a lot of sense. Hes got one of the iconic spinning toys for a head, and he does whirl around as an attack but his main method of aggression comes from the three orange tops he launches from his head. Is he throwing his own dome at Mega Man? Where is this trio of gyrating menaces coming from? He also curses Mega Man even after being defeated, burdening him with one of the most useless special attacks in the franchises history: the Top Spin, where Mega Man literally twirls around in the air for a pitiful amount of damage.
Also, we hate to break it to Top Man, but tops arent known for their resilience to being pushed over. Given that Top Man makes himself dizzy from his main method of attack is probably a sign that his design shouldve been tweaked a bit more in the lab. Or just abandoned altogether.
3. Oil Man (Mega Man: Powered Up)
Hoo boy. Were guessing that whoever conjured up Oil Mans appearance didnt follow the first rule of character design: dont make your videogame enemy look like a 1920s caricature. Things arent helped any further when his in-game quotes include Didn't your mama teach you nothin'? and What's up, man! Ain't you gonna say somethin' about my scarf?! Yikes.
Maybe this is just one of those lost in translation kinds of deals; maybe nobody on the Japanese development team saw anything wrong with Oil Mans design during his conception. But here in the states, his appearance raised eyebrows; and so, his appearance was altered with great rapidity to replace his pink lips with yellow ones and lighten his skin tone from black to blue. His comic-book appearances skirt the whole debacle altogether by covering up Oil Mans mouth with his orange scarf. Controversy crisis mostly averted.
2. Spring Man (Mega Man 7)
What is it with Dr. Wily and recruiting oversized childrens toys to do his bidding? All Spring Man amounts to is a slinky with arms and legs even his character background admits to his ineptitude when it comes to traversing stairs. Sure, Spring Mans physique might allow him to store mechanical energy but thats not going to help when hes being blasted to death by Mega Mans Buster cannon (or worse, the one-hit-killing Noise Shot glitch).
His stage is just as inviting as his harmless appearance: instead of a lava-filled dungeon or a grimy sewer, Spring Man resides in the robot version of a bounce house, with cheery music and an interior design fixated on steel coils and bright pink dcor. Never mind all the spike pits everywhere the kid-friendliness of Spring Mans stage is rivaled only by Mega Man 8s equally tame Clown Man.
1. Pump Man (Mega Man 10)
Every Mega Man game has a shield character a Robot Master who summons a rotating barrier of objects to protect themselves with, though theyre often hilariously unintimidating. Wood Man had leaves, Plant Man had flowers, and Jewel Man had diamonds (okay, that last one kind of makes sense) as their only defense mechanism. But Pump Man? That guy uses water droplets to shield himself. Like, the size of raindrops.
With his detachable, Trojan-esque helmet-handle-hybrid, chest-mounted waterspout, and innuendo-encouraging name, no aspect of Pump Man could ever instill fear in the heroic Blue Bomber. Hes so non-threatening, in fact, that we felt bad for killing him. The guy just wants to pump water all day; is that so wrong? Wily clearly put his chips on the wrong bet with this lunkhead though given his name, Pump Man could always fall back onto a dazzling career in the pornography business.
Those are our picks for the most ridiculous, inadequate Robot Masters that Mega Mans defeated throughout his storied history. That said, theres still plenty of potential for further retro Mega Man sequels and with them, even goofier designs. And we havent even started on some of the wacky weirdos in the Mega Man X cast Mavericks like Wire Sponge, Tornado Tonion, and Optic Sunflower practically beg for a list all their own.
Think we missed your favorite Mega Man fall guy? Let us know who youd pick, and why theyre just so lame. With one exception: Bubble Mans stage music alone nullifies the fact that hes got ludicrous-looking character design.
Want to reminisce more about old-school Mega Man installments, or laugh at the trials and tribulations faced by gaming bosses? Check out the ultimate Mega Man retrospective, or the top 7 villains that need their own spin-off games.