Well, I guess I have quite mixed feeling about the final stages.
First, Balrog's stage: It may be quite a nice idea, but it somehow feels strange that Balrog basically is the most deadly thing in the world. Therefore, I'm quite unsure whether to like it or not.
Then the second stage. Here my only complaint is that the second part of it is way too easy. Vega is a nice challenge and fits absolutely perfect. Except that easy second part I like it.
The third stage is fine, but there's something about the final stage that comes into play. I wished you would fight Sagat regularly at the end instead of directly going to the final stage (with extra weapon energy, life energy and an 1-UP right before the fight like just before Vega maybe).
The Sagat fight for me feels so completely out of place. Sagat downplays both Bison and Akuma considering that Bison doesn't even have his own stage not that he has to share it with Sagat as well as considering that Akuma somehow feels easier than taking on Sagat and Bison together (excluding e-tanks which, of course, turn the table in favor of Akuma). It also doesn't help that unlocking Sagat unlike Akuma has stricter conditions regarding using continues despite Akuma being the very final challenger - that also feels so out of place.
I think Akuma should be the only special boss with Sagat being a regular boss at Bison stage 3. If there should be two consecutive fights, it should be Bison and Akuma (maybe even without refilling energy after Bison). At least for me that would feel way more epic.
For Sagat there's the context of him being the big secret of Version 2, so to me it makes sense that he makes the game harder. Whoever bothered finding Sagat probably already fought Akuma anyway.
I do wish he was always there, though, after the boss refights.
As for the stages, Balrog is an interesting concept, but I'd prefer actually fighting him (maybe at the end of that stage, no need to get rid of the auto-scroll). I have no complaints about Vega, they were clever making you climb the net/wall like he does.
As for the stages, Balrog is an interesting concept, but I'd prefer actually fighting him (maybe at the end of that stage, no need to get rid of the auto-scroll).
Yeah, agreed. How about taking the stage as it is (except maybe nerfing Balrog's damage output because it feels strange to me that he so much stronger than Bison or even Akuma) and then after he falls, the floor crumbles and you fall into an underground box ring and you have to finish him off there. The fight could be similar to the boss of Mega Man 5's first Dark Man stage considering that he can't jump. He has no weakness, but will retain all the damage he took during the chase. Or his weakness could be Soul Satellite or Lightning Kick assuming due to the scrolling in part 1 it would not be recommended attacking him there. (If you beat him there nevertheless, the following fight will be skipped, though.)
Balrog, Vega, and C.Viper make me think this could be reskinned as a Marvel game... actually that applies for almost everyone now that I think about it: 8-bit style representations of comic book characters can be "looser" than of video game characters, at least imo.
Still, I don't think Balrog is inaccurate or inappropriate. First, he kind of gets the short end of the stick in general; he's supposed to represent that guy who is a fighter because he is strong and can take a beating. His boxing technique is less "technique" and more about raw power. If he were faithfully adapted, he would probably be another character where when the computer is "smart" he's nearly impossible and when it is dumb he is a cake walk, but with little in between. He doesn't jump well and is so vulnerable to projectiles in the actual games (well, last time I was able to play them), and he was always rumored to use gloves that were loaded with weights to hit harder.
So with every human fighter hitting Mega Man hard enough to matter... yeah, making Balrog this tank that OHKOs Mega Man is appropriate. Oh yeah, Balrog actually is known for having ridiculous damage output like that as well: he's got a "chargeable" punch that in a normal fight is harder to use, but in a stylized Mega Man Stage would work a lot like how we see it.