If theres one thing Nintendo has mastered through the years, its how to hype a Super Smash Bros. game. The reveal trailer back in June was astounding, and had us grinning ear to ear like a kid in a candy shop or maybe like a kid in the Nintendo World Store. Either way--happiness.
Thus far Mega Mans movelist looks to be both unique and formidable, with an impressive array of attacks spanning years of Mega Man releases. Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai has stated that he wouldnt let just any character from other companies participate, and the inclusion of the Blue Bomber as a love letter to the history of Mega Man is quite apparent. But how, exactly, will the brawl play out? Here's everything we know about Mega Mans move set thus far.
Metal Blade (Neutral Special)
If you played any of the old-school Mega Man games, you've likely encountered the Metal Blade--it's been one of the strongest weapons in the series, and has been ever since its first appearance in Mega Man 2. For Smash Bros, it seems the Metal Blade's power will remain intact, if the above trailer snippet is anything to go by. It is the only move that got the full CGI treatment, after all.
How it'll play out in battle is a bit of a different story. It's reasonable to speculate that Metal Blade could be Mega Man's side special (or plain-old regular special), given that it's a projectile and few of his other moves blatantly fill that void. It's also not a smash, as those slots have been taken by the Charge Shot and Flame Blast. Regardless, it's clear that Metal Blade will remain a formidable part of the Blue Bomber's arsenal.
Crash Bomber (Side Special)
Crash Bomber was originally Crash Man's special weapon, but apparently that isn't stopping Mega Man from using it to implode Kirby's face. Crash Bomber in the new Smash Bros. takes on a form similar to Gooey Bombs from Brawl, except with the potential to be far more annoying. The bomb itself can be bobbled and stuck to opposing characters, just like the Gooeys can.
Crash Bomber will surely play a crucial part in Mega Man's strategy, as the distraction of impending doom will likely render the opponent panicked enough to make mistakes that can then be capitalized on. Of course, anything can be defended with enough practice, but there's no need to worry about that just yet.
Leaf Shield (Down Special)
The Leaf Shield may seem like a bit of an odd inclusion given Mega Mans extensive shield options. I mean, theres the Proto Shield from Mega Man 7, the Rolling Shield From Mega Man X--heck, even Mega Man 10s Water Shield sounds a lot more formidable than Leaf Shield. It's made of leaves. Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai has called maintaining Mega Mans NES look in the upcoming game a top priority, so its possible the aforementioned shields were never considered to begin with.
In battle, Leaf Shield will likely serve as both a useful defensive move and a tricky way of damaging foes. The shield can be deployed as a means of protection, but also hurled at the opponent at any time during use. Its not hard to imagine habitually using the shield for defense 90% of the time, only to break out its offensively capabilities as a sneak attack in a pinch.
Rush Coil (Up Special)
Ugh. UGH! Look, its nothing personal, but this move gives me horrific flashbacks the the up special of Mr. Game & Watch, a move that my casual Smash-playing friend somehow used in conjunction with other bizarre strategies to relentlessly annoy and destroy many of my attempts at victory. Those were dark times.
In reality, Rush Coil is actually a lot more like Sonics up special, because it leaves something behind--in this case, its Mega Mans faithful canine friend Rush. His inclusion makes me wish Rush could be used in other ways too, but even so, its a nice bit of fanservice, and Rush Coil will no doubt make for a perfectly serviceable recovery move. Whether it does damage if it comes in contact with another player is not yet clear.
Top Spin (Dash)
I can already tell how annoying Top Spin is going to be (or how fun, if youre playing as Mega Man). Unlike in Mega Man 3, its not necessary to be in the air to pull off the attack, which is primarily why its frustration potential is through the roof. To be honest, the move doesnt look all that enjoyable for the Blue Bomber to have to execute, but if it works it works I suppose.
Despite simply causing Mega Man to spin in a circle, Top Spin appears to have horizontal knockback, and a decent amount of it. In Sakurais E3 demo (and shown in the above GIF), Mega Man performs the move on Mario, who is then sent flying to the left a fair distance. Assuming Marios damage was relatively low, Top Spin may actually result in a KO under the right circumstances.
Spark Shock (Up Smash)
I find Spark Shock a bit disconcerting. I mean, look at poor Fox! The dude is getting brutally shocked at a presumably high electrical voltage. If Smash Bros. featured realistic vocals that reflected the fighters physical pain upon taking damage, this move would be rated NC-17.
Beyond my own bizarre imagery, theres actually not a whole lot to explain about Spark Shock--its an up smash, and will send opponents blasting off again if their damage is high. If youre still keeping count, Mega Man acquires Spark Shock from (drumroll, please) Spark Man in Mega Man 3, so you can take that factoid to your local trivia event. What would really be cool is if Mega Man can change the colors of his suit to resemble Spark Man and other adversaries--well just have to wait and see.
Flame Blast (Down Smash)
The original trailer's CGI portrayal of Flame Blast was so incredibly awesome that Ive watched it at least a dozen times over while writing this--not to mention that rockin re-imagining of classic Mega Man theme music. And, sure, it's a little exaggerated from what ended up being in the game, but it still looks mighty formidable.
Like Spark Shock, Flame Blast is fairly self explanatory, and will send opponents hurtling upward (if the CGI rendition is anything to go by). I suspect itll be inordinately effective for KOs, probably more so than Spark Shock, but at this point we simply dont know yet. What I do know is that Ill be relentlessly spamming this until I actually learn how to play the character.
Charge Shot (Side Smash)
Mega Man's side smash will have him firing his arm cannon, which is actually pretty unique in the Smash Bros. universe. It's nice that Nintendo went with an actual weaponized move for Mega Mans side smash, rather than a boring metal arm to the face with no link to games the character starred in. In fact, Nintendo is being about as authentic as possible with Mega Man--its almost like the love letter Capcom never sent.
Despite being less flashy than Mega Mans other smashes, the Charge Shot will definitely be useful in that the extent to which you can charge it up is user-defined. All smashes are this way, but the fact that Charge Shot fires an energized beam to inflict its damage means timing will be crucial for effective use.
Hard Knuckle (Down Aerial)
It may be too early to say, but I have a feeling that Hard Knuckle is going to be one of the most profanity-inducing moves in the game. Considered a Meteor Smash, its clearly designed to whack opponents to their deaths when safe ground below them is lacking or nonexistent. If youve ever been slammed to oblivion by Falco in this manner, then you already know what Im talking about.
In Mega Mans own games, Hard Knuckle is obtained by defeating--you guessed it-- a boss character known as Hard Man. Despite the overwhelming potential for juvenile sexual jokes, Hard Mans special move has a number of alternate uses like breaking special blocks in-game. Itll be interesting to see if that will be carried over to Smash Bros. in any way.
Flame Sword (Forward Aerial)
Mega Man first obtains Flame Sword in Mega Man 8 by defeating Sword Man (shocking, we know), and its implementation in Smash Bros. looks to be a quick and ferocious one. Confirmed to be an aerial attack, the Flame Sword looks to be an excellent way to inflict speedy damage while jumping or hurtling past foes.
Its not particularly clear how drastically this move differs from Mega Mans other aerial, Slash Claw (the next slide, btw), other than the fact that Flame Sword appears to be comprised of an overall lower number of frames. Whether the difference will be negligible or actually applied strategically somehow remains to be seen, but if even one of Mega Mans aerials can be used as a quick KO against high damage, then it makes him that much more dangerous.
Slash Claw (Back Aerial)
As mentioned, Slash Claw is Mega Mans second aerial attack, and it shares a lot in common with its cousin Flame Sword. Its name does present a conundrum though, and to the Mega Man uninitiated I offer a challenge--is Slash Claw obtained from Slash Man, or Claw Man?
A quick Google search reveals the answer, though its worth noting that the beam of light the move generates is not just a visual effect but the actual source of the moves power. Given that Slash Claw is an extremely quick and effective means of handling smaller enemies in the Mega Man games, it will likely be an excellent way to interrupt opponents trying to execute an air finish while they have Mega Man airborne.
Super Arm (Grab)
This is one of the more amusing Mega Man moves weve seen thus far, as it appears he is able to lift an enemy with one hand and simply hurl him or her straight upwards, with little motion necessary. This is likely Mega Mans regular grab or up grab, though its not yet clear whether all of his grabs will involve the Super Arm. Either way, it looks hilarious.
Mega Man obtains the Super Arm from Guts Man in his own games (finally, a source thats not amusingly obvious), and he can often use it to pick up objects in the environment. Its feasible that this could be carried over to Smash Bros., but on the other hand, there may not be enough instances where its use would be justified. As long as I can execute whats shown in the above GIF, Ill be plenty thrilled.
Mega Buster (Side Tilt / Aerial Neutral)
This move, which looks pretty much identical whether you're running or firing at enemies from the air, has been described as a rapid-fire weak projectile, and frankly thats about as exciting as its going to get. The Mega Busters main advantage is that it can be used while standing, running, or jumping, meaning you can endless pester your opponents and force them to choose between making a move or continuously suffering moderately painful bullets to the face. Sometimes the key to victory is as simple as ticking the enemy off.
I cant help but wonder if the Mega Busters pestering capabilities could be driven even further in conjunction with the Leaf Shield. Fire off some energy blobs, hide behind the shield, and alternate between firing more blobs and chucking the shield itself when your opponent least expects it. Im pretty sure my goal with this will be to cause controllers to fly.
Sliding Kick (Down Tilt)
This was a given. Many characters have a sliding kick of some kind, and given Mega Mans agility and overall robotic athleticism, he was bound to get one as well. This will no doubt be used in partnership with lots of other moves--perhaps a slide followed by a quick Flame Blast? Im trying to work Flame Blast into my strategy as much as possible, so this may not be as effective as Im hoping.
In Sakurais demonstration, the Sliding Kick is shown knocking Mario forward, so following up with the Charge Shot would likely make for a more potent strategy than Flame Blast anyway. On the other hand, one could feasibly work the sliding kick into the Mega Buster/Leaf Shield combo of devastation mentioned earlier for the ultimate trifecta of robot-powered aggravation.
Mega Upper (Up Tilt)
Nearly resembling Warios corkscrew attack, the Mega Upper is actually a move from Mega Mans arsenal in Marvel vs. Capcom back in 1995. It also appeared in a similar form even earlier, but is only available in fighting games: Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters was where it made its first appearance.
In Smash, the Mega Upper appears to simply launch a foe into the air. Its uses have loads of potential, with a flurry of aerial jabs or even a KO via Hard Knuckle as viable followups in theory. As usual, pro-level players will likely conjure up uses for the Mega Upper we cant even fathom just by watching trailers, so prepare to peruse SmashPedia when the time comes.
And if you're looking for more, check out everything you need to know about Smash Bros. Wii U and the Smash Bros. Wii U roster.