Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Confronting Ehsan In The G1 Tournament Battle

"Mr. GameJudge."

Ah, my fellow anonymous assistant of mine. What can I help you with on this fine day?

"MisterBo called in about the g1 tourney..."

Excellent news! What's my topic?

"Mega Man...but I-"

That's simply wonderful! I'll get to working on it as soon as possible.

"I...I wanted to warn you about your competitor."

Oh please. None of my previous rivals have posed a threat to my utter genius. What makes you think this one will?

"You're going against Ehsan, sir."


"I'm afraid so, sir."

That...that can't be right. I can't go up against a Capcom fan of his caliber. He knows much more about Mega Man than I ever could. Did you know that he knew about Mega Man's Japanese name of Rock Man before I knew Mario's original name was Jumpman? And I knew about that pretty early in my gamer years.

"You have told me about this, sir."

Ehsan's knows the date of Mega Man's debut of December 17, 1987 by heart. I had to take it out of some source.




No no, I shouldn't have snapped at you. It's just that there's so much that dear Ehsan knows about Mega Man. I'm left in a fight that I simply can't win.

"But...you can talk about Megaman too, right?"

Of course. I can tell people that the story behind his creation in the game was due to a scientist by the name of Dr. Thomas Light. He invented Mega Man in 20XX to fight against the 6 robot masters that Dr. Light and Dr. Albert W. Wily created together that were later reprogrammed by Dr. Wily due to his jealousy towards Dr. Light. But I know that Ehsan will add on that Dr. Light first created a prototype by the name of "Proto Man". The problem with Proto Man is that he went rogue and was later altered by Dr. Wily to serve him as well as become the basis for the Sniper Joe. Not only that, but Ehsan would have probably said earlier on in his entry that amongst all the people that worked in Mega Man, Keiji Inafune would end up becoming the most recognized and the most vital to it's success. Damn it, he's constantly getting into my head.

"Settle down sir. Why don't you talk about the original series instead of jumping from place to place to compete with him. And try focusing less on what Ehsan would know and what you can recall."

I'll try. I'm well aware that once the game starts in the original series of Mega Man, you have the choice of which Robot Master stage to go to. At first, it serves as a simple choice and you try to go into a level, attempting to beat it. But then you'll find that if you choose a certain sequence of levels, it'll allow you to progress throughout the game. The interesting concept of Mega Man is that despite facing an incredible sense of challenge no matter what stage you chose, you still continued to get through the game.

"Why would that happen though?"

Well like most successful games of the NES era that had similar difficulty levels to Mega Man, the difficulty came from knowing that you didn't plan ahead. Mega Man would usually give you the guidelines necessary to your survival if you observed closely. It was up to you to think through what the game would give you in order to go from area to area losing little to no health. Sometimes the game would give you cheap surprises, sure. But that's the charm of the game. You do better by trail and error, skill and cunning. Not by doing something cheap like grinding. It was incredibly satisfying to complete a level in Mega Man because you felt that you accomplished something by memory, quick reflexes and planning ahead.

As each game would go on, new abilities would be presented to you that you could use to your advantage. Whether it be a new power that you get after defeating an enemy in a stage or a new mechanic that was implemented in the latest Mega Man installment, the premise was still the same. Use what you knew and what you find out about the surroundings to your advantage.

"Is there anything else the games from the original series you can talk about?"

Music's obviously something that you have to bring up when you talk Mega Man. No matter what game from the entire Mega Man franchise you talk about, there will always be a handful of spectacularly crafted tunes that will get you incredibly excited when you'd reach a new stage or level. They would usually be incredibly upbeat and have something that immediately fits the scenario of a robot with air-based powers or a toxic seahorse mechanical monstrosity. Whether it be a mini-boss, the whole stage or the final fight, the music would remain as something iconic in the series.

"But what about the characters that inhabit the world?"

Well in the original series, you had Mega Man, Roll, Rush, Dr. Light, Dr. Wily, Proto Man and the Robot Masters. Mega Man was the average hero that you couldn't help but follow on his quest, Roll was the cute character that served simply as a little boost when you'd see her in a cutscene, Rush was your faithful sidekick, Dr. Light was a father figure of sorts and Dr. Wily and the Robot Masters were the enemies that you'd defeat.

"Wait...you missed Proto Man."

Proto Man's a little complicated on his motives. Sometimes he's good, other times he's not. Anyways, the great thing about the characters in the original series was seeing the creativity that was presented in the enemies and Robot Masters. The programmers really worked hard on most of the stage bosses and added as much as they needed to so that the stage would benifit from the enemy choices they made. Each of those bosses was relative to how the stages felt. It seems like a crucial detail that makes both the stage's enemies and its boss all the better.

"You know anything about the other series?"

Well, I know about Zero from Mega Man X. Zero's iconic to the whole franchise because not only was he your ally...he was a mentor of sorts. You knew right from the start that in order to win this game, you had to be the toughest son of a bitch that you could be. And Zero was just that. I also know that Mega Man X introduced a smoother platform feel to Mega Man, thereby boosting the possibilities of more interesting mechanics that would allow for the satisfaction of going through each level to be sweeter than cherry candy dipped in soda and covered with sugar. The rest, I know little to nothing about.

But I know what an impact Mega Man has created on the gaming industry. It supplied gamers with challenge that was not only authentic in its difficulty, but also in it's reward. You know that what you were dealing with would take a while to fully master. And you'd go at it again and again, listening to the rocking tunes and admiring the beauty that the programmers and artists could create. You'd beat stage after stage and you'd obtain a new power that you'd use on another stage. Little by little, you conquer each level until you finally reach the domain of the meanest enemy of them all. No matter what, you push inexorably through the uncomfortable setting that the castle of Dr. Wily brings to defeat the one who turned possible allies into future scrap metal. Whether you died once or twice or a hundred times in the game, it didn't matter. You knew that your purpose was to crush Wily. And once you took that cretin off his high horse and see his old pixely body bowing before your greatness, asking for mercy, you know then and there that you worked damn hard to see his demise.

"Sir...that was..."

Don't say a word. I know what it is. And I stand by these emotions. Mega Man is something that set a true example in the gaming world. Everything it managed to accomplished always served as a benefit, not only to the games, but to the gaming world around it. Other video games borrowed from the similar mindset and qualities that Mega Man would present. And I'm grateful that they do, because everything that was right about Mega Man was something that could turn a good game into a great masterpiece of digital entertainment. I'm sure that whatever I will write, Ehsan will probably match it in quality. Hell...perhaps he exceed what I bring. Whatever it may be, I still feel privileged to combat against a man with such expertise on this topic. And if I lose...at least I lost to a friend.

Now if you'll excuse me, my anonymous assistant...I must write my entry.

"Yes, sir."