Mega Man 3
                             Complete Walkthrough
                                 Version 1.0
                               By Jason Venter
                           jasonventer[at]yahoo.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the success that was Mega Man 2, Capcom must have had a hard time 
deciding where to go next with the blossoming franchise.  In the end, they 
chose the route taken with Mega Man 3.  Everything is bigger, more 
challenging, and more complex.  Whether or not you think it's better than its 
predecessors, the game has a huge variety of things to offer, making it a 
terrific subject for a walkthrough by yours truly.  Just do yourself a favor 
and consult it only when necessary; you'll enjoy the game more that way. 
 
========== 
The Basics 
========== 
 
The NES Mega Man titles are famous for allowing you to tackle the first 
stages in any order you like, and that's the case once more.  Though you have 
complete freedom for the first eight stages, and for various portions beyond, 
I recommend that you follow the order outlined in this walkthrough for the 
highest success rate.  Some of the monsters pack quite a punch, and you'll 
want to be ready. 
 
Since Mega Man 2, the blue bomber has acquired a new bag of tricks.  The 
first of these is the ability to slide.  If you press and hold 'down' on the 
controller while jumping, he'll slide instead of jumping.  If you have a 
sticky controller like me, sometimes you'll slide right into pits without 
even knowing you were pressing the 'down' button.  Be careful. 
 
The item system has also changed slightly.  You now have a robotic canine as 
a companion.  His name is Rush, and he can change between a springboard, a 
submarine, and even a jet.  As you might expect, the last two of these 
abilities is unlocked when you defeat various robot masters. 
 
Finally, an added four stages stand between the eight robot masters and Dr. 
Wily's castle.  These are remixes of stages that already are familiar to you, 
but they're much tougher.  You get to fight modified clones of the eight 
robots from Mega Man 2 now. 
 
That's about all you need to know for the basics, but you may also be 
interested to hear that this game will let you cheat like crazy. 
 
========== 
The Cheats 
========== 
 
Unlike Mega Man 2, the third outing for everyone's favorite blue bomber is 
loaded with different cheats you may use to make things simpler.  It's even 
possible to work around with the password system so that you can create the 
password that pleases you from scratch.  Look elsewhere for that, but here's 
a quick briefing of the cheats you may find appealing (for the best 
experience, of course, don't use any cheats). 
 
High jumps 
 
Mega Man can jump the height of the screen if you hold 'right' on the second 
controller.  Use this trick also to jump out of bottomless pits. 
 
Freeze enemies 
 
If you hold 'up' and 'A' on the second controller, many larger enemies will 
be frozen.  So will Mega Man, but you can jump left or right, and also fire 
the arm cannon.  This does not work on Magnet Man. 
 
Invincibility 
 
This trick is difficult to pull off, but possible.  Start by working through 
a level to an area where there are lots of enemies near pits.  Now, get 
knocked by an enemy so that you flash as you fall back into a pit.  Just 
before Mega Man's death is finalized, as the life gauge empties, quickly 
press and hold 'right' on the second controller.  Timing is tricky, but if 
you did it right you will be able to jump back out of the pit and will be 
impervious to enemy attacks until you pick up an item that refills a portion 
of your life meter.  I believe spikes may still harm you. 
 
Easy Energy Tanks 
 
Starting a new game and intimidated by how powerful the robots are?  Just 
enter a red dot in the password grid under A-6 and you'll start with nine 
energy tanks.  Those should help you tackle anything the robot masters throw 
your way! 
 
Good with the cheats?  Glad to hear it!  Let's get going on the actual game. 
 
======= 
Top Man 
======= 
 
Top Man's domain appears to be nestled in some sort of toy factory, so far as 
I can tell.  This is a great level to serve as your introduction to Mega Man 
3, and embodies all that makes the game great. 
 
Begin by heading to the right.  Here, enemies materialize out of thin 
air.  Wait for the two halves to fly together and for the newly-constructed 
robots to glide toward you, then take them out with single shots from your 
arm cannon.  Another threat in this area comes in the form of mechanical 
rabbits.  Like the other robots, they fall to one good shot from the arm 
cannon. 
 
When you come to the ladder, climb down but make sure you don't drop to the 
bottom of that screen.  Instead, fire left from your vantage point.  If 
you're far enough down the ladder, your shots will hit the robot to your left 
in the head, and you won't have to brave the stairs while he is sending out 
small tops.  When the way is safe, go ahead and climb up those stairs and 
descend the ladder to the next screen. 
 
Here you can collect tiny energy capsules if you need them, then drop down 
the next ladder.  In the next room, the floor is lined with spikes.  Not good 
to touch.  There's also an enemy that will materialize in this room.  If he 
bumps you off a ledge, you should be invulnerable long enough to hop from the 
spikes and onto the lower ledge, then from there to the safety of the ledge 
on the screen's left side.  Descend that ladder into the next room. 
 
This next corridor has hardhat enemies that ride dozers.  If you just stand 
and shoot, the blades will deflect your fire.  Instead, jump and shoot the 
operators.  Three direct hits will take them out and allow you to proceed 
down the corridor to the next ladder. 
 
Climb down this ladder and you're in another room with our top-spewing 
friend.  This time you must fight.  The tops will vanish easily with shots 
from your arm cannon, and he only sends out three at a time, so keep that in 
mind as you hop up toward the left and take the fellow out.  Then climb down 
the ladder into the next room. 
 
Here you get to fight a giant, mechanical cat that sends out bouncy balls of 
damaging pink aura.  They look like yarn, but will harm your armor a lot 
more.  Around six to ten hits from the arm cannon will cause cat and balls to 
vanish, and you can climb down the next ladder. 
 
Drop down to the lower ledge in this room, and head right up another 
staircase guarded by the top-spewing fellow that by now should be so very 
familiar.  Next you'll see the black background that indicates another of the 
mechanical cats.  This one is easier to defeat than the one that came before, 
as the balls don't bounce about quite so much.  Push past the cat and climb 
the ladder to the next room, which is a bit more dangerous. 
 
Above you, there are four blocks.  On one rests a hardhat enemy, which will 
drop down to attack as you come within sight.  When it lands, defeat it and 
then hop onto the lowest of the two right blocks.  From there hop left to the 
block the hardhat occupied, left again to the next block, and left again to 
the ladder.  Do so carefully, or you'll plummet to the instant death the 
spikes below offer. 
 
Once you've climbed the ladder, you're in a room where the top-spewing robot 
makes his final appearance.  Slide under the low roof to your right, then hop 
back around and shoot any tops in the way before sliding under the next 
ledge.  Now you're free to hop up and right to dispose of your 
nemesis.  Continue right and you'll come down a staircase that overlooks a 
wide, bottomless expanse. 
 
Tops rise out of this pit, or fall from the skies, and you'll have to use 
them to cross the gap.  It's easiest to start by jumping from about the 
halfway point on the staircase, out to the first top.  From there, none of 
the jumps you'll have to make should be particularly taxing, so long as you 
keep moving to the right.  When you reach the other side, you'll find the 
gate leading to the encounter with Top Man. 
 
------- 
Top Man 
------- 
 
This guy really isn't that hard to finish off with the arm cannon.  When he 
first appears, he'll toss three tops up into the air.  Fire as many shots as 
you safely can, but be prepared to jump the tops when they whiz toward your 
location where you are standing. 
 
Once the tops are jumped, Top Man will spin more quickly in preparation for a 
dash across the screen.  During this time, he is invulnerable.  When he's 
spun for a while, start toward the right and leap him as he flies 
across.  The most damage he can do is if he strikes you with his body while 
spinning. 
 
When he's passed underneath, quickly turn and start firing.  He'll be 
vulnerable again, and will send out three more tops.  Hit him a few times, 
then slide quickly to the right so the tops miss you.  Then be prepared as he 
spins across the screen toward you.  For the duration of the battle, just 
keep switching sides of the screen as necessary, sliding under the tops at 
the last minute so you get more shots in with your arm cannon.  Easy. 
 
Password: A-3 (red), C-5 (red) 
 
========== 
Shadow Man 
========== 
 
In a world of darkness and lava lurks Shadow Man, the robot master who will 
fall most quickly to your new spinning powers.  He's also cool in that his 
special weapon is useful.  This stage can get quite challenging near the end, 
but it's really not a long trek if you move quickly and are patient for the 
last series of death-defying jumps. 
 
The first thing you should do is walk off the ledge to your right, which will 
drop you down to the next screen.  You'll slip past an enemy that is sitting 
on a ledge at the center of this area, then land on a ledge just 
below.  Quickly drop off to your left and you'll avoid taking any 
damage.  It's not worth your time to shoot this enemy. 
 
In the next screen, you'll immediately want to look right, where mechanical 
rabbit-like creatures are hopping toward you.  One shot kills them, but 
they're good at avoiding your arm cannon fire.  Take them out as you proceed 
to your right.  Just past the robots, there's a bulldozer operated by a 
hardhat foe, just like the ones you saw in Top Man's stage.  Three hits does 
the job here, just like it did before. 
 
Beyond the bulldozer, you'll find a pit that drops you into a room with a 
nemesis new to the series, Proto Man.  This fellow is like a boss 
robot.  Since you've probably not taken any hits up to this point (or at 
worst, minimal damage), you may choose to get lazy and just hang out on the 
right side of the screen, pumping arm cannon shots at Proto Man as he hops 
about until he takes enough damage and flees the scene.  He'll leave behind a 
blast that makes a hole in the floor, and you'll now be able to drop down it 
to a lower portion of the stage. 
 
From this new landing, push toward the right.  This next area is pretty easy, 
inhabited by robots that look like giant eyeballs with legs.  They use 
suction cups to crawl along the ledge, and are easily disposed of with a few 
arm cannon shots.  A more dangerous foe is the guy that looks like a walking 
grenade.  Take him out with an arm cannon shot as quickly as 
possible.  Finally, the area will be messing with your vision.  Holographic 
bulbs hang on the ceiling and drape the area in darkness.  There aren't yet 
any bottomless pits, so just keep pressing to the right, defeating enemies 
and jumping as you find barrier obstructing your progress (you can also use 
shots to take out the bulbs, but it hardly seems worth the time and effort). 
 
When you drop down at the end of the long hallway into the pit leading to the 
room below, you're now at the most difficult part of the area.  Drop down to 
the lower level in this room and head right, disposing of enemies along the 
way.  You'll soon come to a pit of bubbling lava. 
 
Narrow ledges form a partial bridge across this area, but you'll soon find 
that enemies parachute down and zig-zag toward the narrow ledges.  You can 
use three shots to take out these fellows, then hop to the next ledge, but 
they have a tendency to bump into you and knock you back into the molten soup 
if you're not careful.  Be sure to get in your shots as they're swinging 
briefly away from you, and don't stand too near the left side of a given 
ledge or just a slight impact can be instant death. 
 
When you make it across the series of ledges, your life meter is likely quite 
low.  Be prepared for a rabbit that will leap at you in an attempt to 
decimate the rest of your waning health.  One shot will take care of it, and 
then you can continue right again while dragonfly enemies swoop down.  These 
guys follow a simple pattern you can manipulate to avoid damage.  First they 
drop down slightly from the top of the screen, zip left, then drop again to 
Mega Man's level, and fly toward him.  Rather than engaging them with arm 
cannon fire, it's almost simpler (and safer) to hop and avoid them. 
 
Past the dragonfly robots, you'll find the gate that leads to the encounter 
with this area's robot master. 
 
---------- 
Shadow Man 
---------- 
 
Shadow Man isn't terribly difficult, since you have Top Man's ability.  He 
dashes around the area, throwing shadow blades that you can easily hop 
over.  Do so, then move in close and jump toward him.  Just before you hit, 
tap and briefly hold the top spin.  The impact will take down around a fourth 
of Shadow Man's life meter.   
 
From there, you might as well just keep moving in for the kill.  Trying to 
avoid his shots and such will only give him more opportunity to damage 
you.  Keep the attack on the offensive and he'll run out of life well before 
you do.  You'll gain not only his (amazingly) handy blades, but also the Rush 
Marine adaptor. 
 
Password: A-3 (red), C-5 (red), D-6 (red) 
 
========== 
Magnet Man 
========== 
 
The metallic, barren wasteland that serves as Magnet Man's stage brings with 
it a number of challenges that are likely to lead to some serious 
frustration.  However, a patient blue bomber can breeze through the stage in 
hardly any time at all. 
 
Begin your assault by heading to the right.  Here, you will find a series of 
ledges and a few bottomless pits.  Before making each jump, note that robotic 
insects carrying magnets are fond of flying over the area.  The magnets can 
pull you slightly off your course, and it's easy to wind up plopped into a 
pit if you're not careful.  A good strategy is to clear them out before 
making each jump, then get to the middle of a safe ledge as the next passes 
overhead and tries to drag you to your death.  This way, it's easy to break 
free of the magnetic charge and proceed. 
 
The ladder you'll soon reach leads to another encounter with Proto Man, who 
will fall just as easily here to arm cannon shots as he did elsewhere.  When 
the pit opens up, drop down to the next room and head right. 
 
The spring-like robot here has a red cap over its head, and sends out blue 
missiles that are magnetically drawn to Mega Man.  You can shoot the missiles 
to destroy them, but it's likely better just to avoid those until you've 
focused enough shots at their source that it explodes.  Then take out any 
remaining missiles and continue toward the right. 
 
When you climb down the next ladder, you'll have to take out some of the 
giant, suctioned eyeballs to climb the stairs left, then drop down that 
ladder into the next room.  Here, head right and you'll find more suctioned 
eyeballs as you ascend some steps, then descend more to find the next ladder. 
 
There's a gap between the ladder and the ledge you can use to reach it, so 
drop down that gap and press left.  In the room below, you'll land on a ledge 
with small energy capsules.  Collect them and work left to the ladder at the 
bottom left corner of the room.  Climb down that and you're to the most 
challenging portion of this particular stage.  What you're greeted with now 
is a series of four rooms with disappearing/reappearing blocks that you 
likely remember from previous Mega Man titles. 
 
To progress through each room, you'll want to note the patterns that the 
blocks follow.  There are magnetically charged fans throughout, as well, and 
a few bottomless pits.  Not pleasant stuff. 
 
In the first room, the blocks disappear and reappear in the approximate order 
and locations indicated in the chart below: 
 
|                  [8]       __ 
|                            | 
|      [4]              [7]  | 
|                            | 
|                 [5]        | 
|                            | 
|  [1]      [3]         [6]  | 
|                            | 
|     [2]                    | 
|                            | 
|                            | 
|____________________________| 
 
The rest of the rooms that follow are much simpler in terms of their 
patterns, but there is the afore-mentioned pressure from the fans to 
consider.  In the second room of disappearing/reappearing blocks, start with 
the lower right of the two blocks that appear simultaneously, ignore the 
second block that appears, then jump quickly to the third one just before the 
block you were standing on vanishes.  From the third, watch as the fourth 
block appears, and ignore that one.  Just before your new foothold 
evaporates, jump to where the final block appears. 
 
The next two rooms are really simple, so long as you keep moving once you 
start and jump to compensate for the magnetic pull.  When you're across the 
bottomless pits, climb up the ladder to the right.  It leads up past energy 
items in the rooms to your left, up to a new room where a robot is perched on 
a ledge over some spikes.  Hop to a platform left of the ladder, and from 
there fire a few shots to take out the robot.  Now cross safely over to the 
ladder on the room's upper left side. 
 
Climb that ladder and you're in another room with a red-capped spring that 
sends out magnetic missiles.  Take it out the same way you did its brother, 
then head right through the gate that leads to this area's robot master. 
 
---------- 
Magnet Man 
---------- 
 
Magnet Man can be a real pain in the butt if you don't have the Shadow 
Blade.  However, you do have the Shadow Blade, so things will be easy. 
 
His basic attack pattern is to run toward you, then hop up to the ceiling and 
from there fire magnetic missiles.  When he's approaching you, try and get in 
a hit or two with the Shadow Blade.  When he leaps to the ceiling, get under 
him, then jump up and toss blades upward.  They should just reach the robot, 
enabling you to get in another two hits. 
 
Now he'll drop back down and try and suck you in with his magnetic 
pull.  Avoid that until he's tired of the tactic, then hit him with more 
blades as he heads to a new perch on the ceiling.  Repeat your attacks from 
beneath that worked so well, and Magnet Man should now be finished. 
 
Password: A-3 (red), C-5 (red), D-6 (red), F-5 (red) 
 
======== 
Hard Man 
======== 
 
The mountainous crags in the background are nothing compared to the winding 
labyrinth you must traverse in order to reach the end of Hard Man's domain. 
 
From the start, head right along the rocky canyon, watching for giant, bee-
shaped robots that bombard you with their little ones.  You can't hit the 
hives as they drop, but you can shoot the four bees that will emerge.  They 
often leave behind power-ups, but sticking around to fight them all may well 
drain your life meter.  Better to keep moving, when possible, and shoot the 
little bees from a safe distance. 
 
Past that particular hazard, you'll find green-colored ledges pressed against 
the rocky surface that coats the stage.  These green panels are traps.  Stand 
on one for long at all and steel jaws will snap on Mega Man, dealing quite a 
hefty amount of damage.  Hop over them, or slide. 
 
Through a narrow space just beyond that first set of three traps, you'll find 
a ladder leading up to three more traps.  A ladder hangs above them, while a 
large energy capsule is nestled against a wall to the left.  Grab the energy 
if you need it, then climb the ladder up to the next room.  Here you will 
find a robot swinging a mace-like object.  He's invulnerable except for when 
the projectile is thrown.  There are a few ways to hurt him, but don't be 
tempted to use your magnet shots; you'll need those for the boss encounter at 
the end of the stage.  Instead, note that you can stand to his diagonal lower 
right, then throw shadow blades at an angle when he is open for damage.  Once 
the robot is vanquished, use the Rush Coil ability to hop onto that ledge, 
and from there to the ladder that leads into the next room. 
 
Here, you'll find a hallway with the ape-shaped robots you may remember from 
Mega Man 2.  Instead of narrow scaffolding over a forest, they now jump to 
the ceiling and will attack you from there.  Shadow blades are again the way 
to attack.  Three hits or so will disable each ape.  Proceed right past 
those, and up a long ladder (if you need to stop along the way, you can take 
out the robot that guards an energy capsule from the safety of the ladder; 
you can actually find the perfect place to rest that will enable you to shoot 
him while his projectiles fly just barely over your head). 
 
Once you've climbed the tall ladder, there's another ape to take care of with 
a shadow blade, then another ladder that leads up to the next portion.  Here, 
you can drop down and slide under a green barrier to the right.  In the 
following hall, you'll find a bulldozer enemy that you must hit with a few 
quick shots from the arm cannon.  Press right beyond that and hop onto the 
next ledge.  Climb up and take out another bulldozer, then beyond him you can 
obtain your first energy tank!  This will certainly come in handy later in 
the game. 
 
With the energy tank collected, climb up the ladder and take out the hardhat 
that you'll find in the next room.  Then climb another ladder and you're in 
another canyon.  A series of the traps lines the area ahead, so you'll want 
to press to the right and keep moving while taking the least damage 
possible.  At the end is a ladder that drops down into a new room. 
 
This room plays host to another battle with Proto Man, and he's more 
difficult now thanks to the addition of raised ledges in the center of the 
room.  You'll have to navigate those while working to take him out.  Remember 
that you can slide under a good number of his jumps.  Take the least damage 
possible, and when the battle ends a hole will appear at the center. 
 
Drop down that hole and you're in a room with a giant robot that takes large 
jumps.  Let him take one jump toward you, then get near where he stands so 
that when he jumps again, you can slide under him and rush to the gate that 
leads to the encounter with the area's robot master. 
 
-------- 
Hard Man 
-------- 
 
The fight with Hard Man can be a challenging one.  Considering how low your 
life meter is likely to be, it would probably be best to die your first life 
on purpose, if you have any others remaining.  That way, you can save your 
special weapon energy for the next round. 
 
When you have a solid life meter, the battle is a simple matter of 
duration.  Hard Man begins by firing knuckle-shaped missiles that will head 
toward Mega Man, hit a wall, then from there fire back toward him.  It's 
almost impossible to avoid all these shots, but you should try your best 
while keeping an eye on Hard Man. 
 
Hard Man himself likes to jump into the air above you, then plummet downward 
to strike.  Make sure you don't let his body bump into you in the middle of 
such a move, or you'll take a lot of damage.  And of course, as you are 
moving around the chamber to avoid the robot and his missiles, you should be 
countering with your own magnet missiles.  Hit him with a few of those (space 
them out, as they don't seem to do much damage when used in rapid succession) 
and Hard Man will bite the dust. 
 
Password: A-3 (red), C-4 (red), D-6 (red), E-4 (red), F-5 (red) 
 
========= 
Spark Man 
========= 
 
A dull gray interior filled with electric traps, bottomless pits, and spike-
covered ceilings serves as the lair for Spark Man.  This stage is one of the 
most difficult of the initial eight, and you should be prepared for a few 
frustrating moments between its start and its conclusion. 
 
From the very start, you'll have plenty of enemies to worry about.  On the 
ledge above, one of the suctioned eyeballs works left and right.  If you wait 
for it to fall, it never will.  Instead, take the proactive approach and 
quickly ascend the ladder, then fire a few shots before the guy can hit 
you.  Now climb the ladder to the left, which leads up into a new corridor. 
 
Move to the right and you'll notice gray, chimney-shaped patterns in the 
ceiling.  Robots will emerge from these.  They look like plugs from a VCR or 
something.  Every so often, they'll pause in mid-air and fire shots in eight 
directions.  The safest place to be is just to the right of the space 
directly beneath the robot at the time it fires, as one shot will then pass 
just to your left and another just to your right. 
 
Avoid these fellows and their shots as you make your way to the right (cross 
the single bottomless pit with caution; no good having a spark knock you to 
your death).  Along the way, there are security panels that slide about and 
occasionally send out walls of electricity.  You must time your jumps so that 
you pass through when there's no electrical charge, or you'll take some 
damage.   
 
When you reach the end of the hall, a ladder will take you up to the next 
room.  The guy that occupies this area should be familiar by now, so take 
your time hitting him whenever he doesn't have his projectile whirling about 
as a shield.  When he's gone, climb the ladder into the next hallway. 
 
You're now at one of the stage's more challenging points.  Head right and 
you'll see a bottomless pit.  There are red ledges with arrows that point 
upward, toward a spike-lined ceiling.  You must cross the pit by using those 
ledges.  Whenever you step on one, it starts rocketing toward the 
ceiling.  They move so fast that if you delay for long, you'll be high enough 
in the air that a jump will puncture your armor on the spikes.  Jumping too 
soon without enough distance will send you into the pit.  Either way, it's 
dangerous.  Therefore, you'll want to make a series of rapid, well-timed 
leaps to get across the pit.   
 
Once you reach the other side, you're still not out of the woods.  There are 
some narrow ledges here, again lined by the security panels that like to 
generate those walls of electricity.  Time your jumps carefully yet again, so 
that you pass through and can climb the ladder up to the relative safety of 
the next room.  Here, there's a bulldozer you must disable with three arm 
cannon shots, and you can also use the Rush Coil ability to hop up to an 
energy refill on the ledge above. 
 
When you're ready, go ahead and climb the ladder to the left, then walk to 
the right and drop down a long, vertical pit that takes you up to the level's 
single checkpoint.  With that done, press onward to the right.  In this 
hallway, there are more of the chimney-like pipes, but they don't send out 
the plug-shaped enemies.  Instead, they drop enormous boulders that can 
instantly crush you if you're careless.  Move near each, wait for a boulder 
to fall, then hop over it and run to the next such pipe.  There are three of 
them, and just beyond lies the most challenging portion of the stage. 
 
You are now at an even wider, bottomless pit.  Again, spikes line the 
ceiling.  Again, you'll have to use the red platforms to cross.  However, 
there's a new wrinkle: the enemies that populated the first portion of Top 
Man's stage choose here to make their reappearance.  The best technique seems 
to be to walk to the edge of the first ledge overlooking the red blocks, 
shoot the robot that will materialize, then hop like crazy across the pit, 
lingering on the red ledges no longer than necessary, jumping to the next 
before the robots overhead have time to materialize fully. 
 
There's good news, though.  When you get to the opposite side of that gaping 
pit, you'll be able to take a few steps and enter the gate that leads to the 
stage's robot master.  Whew! 
 
--------- 
Spark Man 
--------- 
 
As robot masters go, Spark Man isn't much to talk about.  He takes slow hops 
toward you and sends out burst shots that fire in eight directions.  The 
sparks and contact with the robot master himself both do a fair amount of 
damage, but you have an ace up your sleeves. 
 
That ace is the shadow blade attack.  Around twelve direct hits from this 
weapon will put an end to Spark Man's nefarious ways.  If you work quickly, 
he'll only drain around a third of your life meter before the battle 
ends.  He probably won't even have time to cross the screen properly. If he 
does, just work to his right and finish him off from the central ledge. 
 
Note that, as usual, it's better to take a hit from the robot's weapon, then 
move through him while invulnerable than it is to come in direct contact with 
the robot himself.  When you win, you'll have the spark shock as a new option 
in your inventory.  Sounds like just the thing to take out a certain 
reptilian robot that shall go unnamed, wouldn't you say? 
 
Password: A-3 (red), C-4 (red), E-4 (red), F-4 (blue), F-5 (red) 
 
========= 
Snake Man 
========= 
 
When he went to get some interior decoration for his lair, Snake Man appears 
to have taken his name to heart.  The entire stage is made up of the bodies 
of giant snakes, save for the last third of it or so, which just hangs in the 
air over clouds.  It's a fun level to navigate, but dangerous if you don't 
keep up your guard. 
 
As usual, start by heading to the right.  You'll encounter some fairly simple 
enemies here, the first of which is a bouncing gray fellow that will fall to 
a single shot from your arm cannon.  There's also a miniature snake 
pillar.  Two shots to the head will put it out of commission, but be prepared 
to dodge any bullets it may spew. 
 
Continuing along the hall, you'll encounter more of the same foes, until you 
reach a ladder leading up to the next room.  Here, there are three of the 
snake heads in a diagonal row.  Take them out carefully, then climb the 
ladder located at the room's upper left corner.  This leads up to a rather 
enormous snake column. 
 
From the top of the ladder, head left slightly, then turn to face the 
monster.  It sends out bursts of two or three fireballs, which you'll want to 
jump while returning fire of your own from the arm cannon.  The writhing 
floor will solidify once the head is disposed of, and you can proceed safely 
to the right, to a ledge overlooking a gap and two miniature snake columns 
extended upside-down from the ceiling.  Wait until they've fired so that it's 
safe to jump, then leap to the ledge to your lower right. 
 
Once on solid footing again, proceed right.  There's another snake column not 
far to the right, just beyond a ladder that leads up to some energy 
capsules.  Defeat it, then descend the next ladder, and from its base head 
left then drop to the lower portion of that screen. 
 
Now it's time to head right again, where you'll encounter enemies that look 
like they're carrying miniature vacuums.  They use these as shields, then 
vault over your head and try to charge you from behind.  As they pass 
overhead, a single shot from the shadow blade can take them out, but you 
might want to save that for the level's boss.  If so, instead just take 
things slowly.  When the robot leaps overhead, be prepared for it to land, so 
that you can jump it when it charges and then destroy it with a few shots 
from behind. 
 
There are two or three of the vaulting fellows before a ladder that leads up 
to the next room, where a robot is swinging its mace.  Hit it when it's 
weakened (or stand below it and throw up some shadow blades, if you prefer), 
then use the ledge it stands on to reach the ladder to the upper 
right.  Climb that and you can collect random goodness from the canisters 
before dropping back down, defeating the robot again, and climbing the ladder 
to its upper left. 
 
This ladder leads to the second of the giant snake columns, and you'll 
dispatch of him the same way you did the previous one.  From there, continue 
right and take a long leap over a wide pit, which finds you at the base of 
three gray towers.  Climb the furthest one to the right after avoiding the 
vaulting robots, and at the top of that tower turn left.  There's a robot 
patrolling the ladder there, so take out the robot, leap to the ladder, and 
climb to the top of the center column. 
 
From here, you now have to work over a series of treacherous jumps that for 
the most part hang over a bottomless pit.  The first jump you'll take is to a 
solid ledge, and from there you will see ledges with grating.  When you stand 
on these, they send up chariots you can ride.  Be careful not to stand on the 
edge of any of these ledges, but rather toward the center; stand on the edge 
and you'll be pushed to your death when a chariot emerges. 
 
Using the chariots, you'll want to proceed cautiously to the right.  Along 
the way, cloud-encased bullets glide lazily toward you and will knock you 
from your perch if given the opportunity.  Shoot them to dissipate the 
clouds, at which point the bullets will move more speedily across the 
screen.  This is a good way to get them out of your way if needed. 
 
Eventually, you'll run out of the ledges that produce chariots.  The last few 
jumps must be made over a series of the narrow green blocks, and you'll have 
to proceed with caution if you're to avoid being knocked to your doom.  One 
bit of advice is to never be struck while on the far left side of a 
ledge.  Instead, if you see a blow you can't avoid, try and be on the right 
side so that as you're knocked back, you don't lose your footing entirely. 
 
When you reach the other side of that dangerous gauntlet, you'll be at the 
gate leading to the area robot master. 
 
--------- 
Snake Man 
--------- 
 
This squirmy fellow is one of the toughest robot masters in the game.  Though 
you can try using your newly-acquired spark shock against him, it doesn't 
seem to do a lot more damage than the arm cannon.  A much more effective 
weapon is the shadow blade. 
 
However, even the shadow blade won't bring the fight to an end so quickly as 
you might like.  You'll have to use the small measure of safety afforded by 
the tall central ledge at the room's center for all it's worth.  If Snake Man 
jumps to that perch, he'll from there make another long jump in the general 
direction he's headed, which means he'll pass over your head if you're in the 
right position. 
 
Getting in the right position is dangerous, though, because Snake Man also 
sends out his search snake attack, which consists of two serpentine missiles 
that slide along the ground until they come in contact with something.  If 
you have an energy tank or two, this battle would be a good place to put that 
added health to use. 
 
Password: A-3 (blue), C-4 (red), C-5 (red), F-4 (blue), F-5 (red) 
 
========== 
Gemini Man 
========== 
 
This is one of the most memorable stages in the game, with a cool environment 
that feels icy and slimy, yet cool just the same. 
 
From the start, you'll first head right over a series of ledges that span a 
bottomless pit.  There are a few gaps between solid footing, and you'll want 
to time each jump carefully because of the enemies that swarm 
overhead.  These flying robots look like giant eyes at the center of a 
diamond, and they drop walls of flame.  Both flame and robots can knock you 
into a pit, so the best tactic is to equip the shadow blade and use it for 
protection as you press to the right.  It also works well on the penguins 
that inhabit the area. 
 
When you work right far enough, Proto Man will appear long enough to explode 
a cap that blocks a tunnel you need to access.  Then, without a word, he'll 
leave the scene. 
 
Drop through the newly-opened passage and veer left as you do so, if you'd 
like to collect a 1-up icon.  When you reach the bottom of the screen, move 
to the right and you'll find a bunch of tadpoles trapped in bubbles.  One 
shot from your arm cannon will burst a bubble and set its tadpole robot free, 
while a second shot can dispatch of the robot itself.  Break the bubbles so 
that they form steps and allow you to access the item canister. 
 
When you've gone as far right as you can, a new ladder will lead you up to 
another room of tadpoles you must clear in order to access yet another 
ladder, which in turn leads to another batch of the tadpoles.  Through this 
third set of the tiny robots and their protective bubbles, you'll find a 
small gap.  Slide through and drop down, then proceed to the right. 
 
Now you get to face some penguin-shaped towers.  They have cranks spinning 
overhead, and those cranks are the only vulnerable spots on the 
machines.  However, you can't just repeatedly jump and shoot those, because 
the dragonfly robots are flying through the area.  Be sure to avoid those, 
and also the tiny penguin robots that spew regularly from the base of the 
larger penguin towers.  The miniature versions fall quickly to single shots 
from your arm cannon, and leave behind goodies with some frequency, so you 
can use them to refill your depleted life energy if desired. 
 
Past the first penguin tower is a ledge, then a second one of the 
towers.  Past that, you'll find a ladder that descends into an enemy-free 
room, where you can use the Rush Coil ability to grab a large energy 
pellet.  With that done, drop down to the room below and find yourself at a 
stage checkpoint. 
 
The checkpoint is placed quite fortunately, as the area ahead can be somewhat 
difficult.  Wade out into the waist-deep water, then near the edge use the 
Rush Marine ability to turn Rush into a submarine.  Push to the right, firing 
bullets like mad, until you hit the ledge where the energy tank is 
resting.  With that collected, quickly move right until the next low ledge 
you find. 
 
Once Mega Man lands on the ledge, the Rush Marine ability will be gone (the 
meter was likely all but depleted, anyway).  Quickly hop right along the 
ledges, avoiding the dragonflies that swoop down from above.  The puffer-fish 
robots are also dangerous, as they discharge missiles when directly below 
you.  The blast when the missiles strike is enough to knock you off a given 
ledge, so it's important to keep moving. 
 
When you progress far enough to the right, you'll be able to collect another 
energy tank from a ledge before climbing the ladder that leads to the area 
above.  In this room, there are two of the robotic rabbits, so take them out 
carefully before climbing the ladder at the room's upper left corner. 
 
This new ladder leads to a room where a giant robot is stomping about.  Climb 
halfway up the ladder, then face right and fire a steady barrage of bullets 
from your arm cannon.  Most will harmlessly deflect away, but enough will hit 
the robot to destroy it without you having to put Mega Man at risk. 
 
When the robot is dead, climb up the ladder, run across the ledge, drop down, 
and pass through the gate that leads to the area robot master.  
 
---------- 
Gemini Man 
---------- 
 
Meet the franchise's first schizophrenic robot.  Gemini Man begins the battle 
by splitting into identical twins, which then hop around the room in a 
circular fashion.  Move out a few steps from the left side of the screen, 
then leap over one of the robots as it approaches and follow it toward the 
right, throwing search snakes as you do so.  A few hits from behind will get 
rid of one of the two circling fiends. 
 
With that done, it's time to leap over the second one, then follow it and 
throw more search snakes, until both of the two images have succumbed to your 
attacks.  It's actually a pretty easy battle, so long as you follow that 
technique exactly.  Don't let yourself get caught in the center of the screen 
for long and you'll do fine. 
 
Password: A-3 (blue), B-5 (blue), E-4 (red), F-4 (blue), F-5 (red) 
 
========== 
Needle Man 
========== 
 
The last of the initial eight robots resides in a fairly simple level made 
remarkable only because of the huge spikes and needles found throughout. 
 
Begin by heading to the right, where you'll encounter porcupine-like 
robots.  They will fire two bursts of needles before rolling into 
invulnerable balls and finding a new place from which to attack.  Avoid the 
spikes, dodge the rolling foes, and move onward.  Avoidance truly seems the 
best policy. 
 
Past the porcupines is a ladder leading down to another straight 
stretch.  Take the top path as you head right (the bottom one is a pointless 
dead end).  You'll soon see a golden dome atop a pillar of the same 
color.  The dome slides open to reveal a cannon, which you should pelt with 
shots from your arm cannon.  This machine sends out red balls that do quite a 
bit of damage if they connect, so try not to allow the machine time to make 
its move. 
 
Past this first dome cannon, you'll find two more, as well as an assortment 
of hardhat enemies.  Nothing here should be terribly taxing, but the red 
balls will definitely bite into your health if you allow yourself to be 
careless. 
 
When you reach the end of this segment, there's a ladder that leads down to 
the stage's checkpoint.  That's right; you're already halfway through.  Climb 
the ladder down to the lower ledge, and head right. 
 
In this portion of the stage, you'll want to be careful.  Reddish spikes will 
protrude from the ceiling, then recede, then protrude again in an endless 
loop.  You'll want to slide through as the needles start to recede, so that 
they don't have time to come back out and hit you before you've passed 
through.  First there's a single needle, then a set of two, and finally a 
group of three, but the strategy is the same each time. 
 
Once you're passed the row of three spikes, you'll find a wide, bottomless 
gap greeting you.  There are three gold-colored ledges suspended over this 
pit.  Hop out onto the first, and watch the air above the second.  There's 
another spike there.  Wait until it starts to recede, then quickly hop up and 
from there, slide over to the third of the ledges.  The spike should just 
miss you, and you can now safely climb the ladder leading into the next room. 
 
Here, you'll be greeted by another porcupine.  Carefully avoid it.  The most 
likely set of events here is that the porcupine will survive long enough to 
roll down to your level.  Hop over it and to the ledge it just left, then 
turn around and use some well-time search snake shots to put it out of 
commission.  With the screen clear, you should next use the Rush Coil ability 
to hop up to the outcropping in the screen's upper right corner, where 
there's an energy tank.  Next climb the ladder at the screen's upper left 
side. 
 
You're now in a room with two of the projectile-throwing enemies you've 
encountered several times thus far.  Fortunately, they're easily dispatched 
if you climb not quite to the top of the ladder and fire from that safety 
point.  Continuing upward using the ladder to the upper left side of that 
screen, you'll find yourself approached by one of the giant stomping robots. 
 
At this point, your life meter is likely all but empty, so the strategy I 
advise is again a careful retreat.  Slide under the monstrous machine when it 
leaps, then keep moving quickly to the right and through the gate that leads 
to the eighth robot master. 
 
---------- 
Needle Man 
---------- 
 
Prepare for some slow-down in this battle, as you'll be making use of the 
gemini beam.  Needle Man doesn't move particularly fast, but he doesn't need 
to.  Both his body and his attacks will take a large chunk out of your life 
meter. 
 
The trick is to fire the gemini beam when it has a good chance of connecting 
almost immediately.  Otherwise, it will ricochet around the room.  Until it 
connects, you won't be able to fire another shot.  In the meantime, Needle 
Man might well finish you off. 
 
For this reason, a bit of caution is advised.  It's only going to take four 
or five shots with the beam to send Needle Man to the scrap heap, so just 
time your shots carefully and try not to let him corner you (he jumps around 
a lot, so you can slide under him).  Also, remember that he has pretty good 
range.  Never get too close to him or he'll drop his head and send out the 
needle-packed punch from which he derives his name.  Eww! 
 
After twenty seconds or so, you should have sent your nemesis to his 
grave.  Onto the next challenge! 
 
Password: A-3 (blue), B-4 (red), B-5 (blue), D-3 (blue), F-4 (blue) * 
 
* If you would like to use this password, you'll start with three energy 
tanks.  To start with nine instead, substitute the 'B-4 (red)' with 'A-6 
(red)' and you'll do so. 
 
=========================== 
Doc Robot - Spark Man Stage 
=========================== 
 
With the eight robot masters all defeated, you will soon find that there are 
four more stages before you get to begin your assault on Dr. Wily's 
Castle.  These are the Doc Robot stages, and are made up of bits and pieces 
of stages you've already seen, but with modifications that make them far 
deadlier.  Not only that, but there are two robot masters in each 
stage.  Though they don't look different, really, they are taken from Mega 
Man 2.  Only this time, your selection of weapons is different. 
 
When you begin the revamped Spark Man stage, the first thing you will likely 
notice is that the overhead ladder is missing.  Lure the suctioned eyeball 
down to your level, or jump and hit it from below with shadow blades, then 
use Rush Coil to spring up to the above ledge. 
 
Next you'll climb the ladder at the top left side of the screen, and you 
should again have shadow blades equipped so that you can take out the robot 
that will come scurrying down to greet you. 
 
From the top of this ladder, head right through a hallway that looks familiar 
but isn't really.  You'll find rotating gears throughout.  These can be used 
as ledges to reach new heights.  Because they spin, though, you'll only want 
to hop on them quickly before moving to safer ground.  As you use these gears 
and proceed to the right, watch out for the spark-emitting enemies that 
should already be familiar to you, and watch also for robots that materialize 
and join together before gliding toward you (the ones that first greeted you 
in Top Man's stage). 
 
There are some bottomless pits along the way, but you shouldn't have much 
trouble working your way to the right end of the hallway, where a ladder 
leads up into the next room.  Here, some gears are suspended over a pit of 
spikes.  Just hop quickly across to the ladder and this won't be a challenge 
at all. 
 
At the top of that ladder, be ready to take out a robot before sliding 
through a passage and finding a gate that leads to the first boss robot 
encounter in this area. 
 
--------------------- 
Doc Robot - Metal Man 
 
The best strategy here is to use your regular arm cannon shots.  There's 
nothing in your inventory that will do a particularly good job of hitting for 
more damage, and you really want to work to maintain your distance.  It seems 
to work best if you are on the far left side of the screen, while Doc Robot 
is on the right side chucking metal blades your way. 
 
If you're on the left side, you shouldn't have much trouble dodging each 
barrage of blades (they seem to come no more than three to a group), and 
you'll also avoid direct contact.  Any time you bump Doc Robot (in this stage 
or elsewhere), it's going to eat off almost a third of your life meter, so 
caution is always good.  This particular battle will last a fair while, but 
you should come out of it relatively unscathed. 
 
--------------------- 
 
With your first Doc Robot encounter ended, it's time to continue 
onward.  You'll next be able to collect a large energy capsule, before 
dropping down a lengthy, spike-lined shaft.  The trick is to always stay at 
the center as you're falling, so that it's never very hard to dodge out of 
the way if the next screen reveals spikes a little closer than you would 
like.  As always, one touch of the spikes spells the end of Mega Man. 
 
When you reach the bottom of the shaft, you'll continue right through 
hallways lined by the security panels that are so fond of generating walls of 
electricity.  These aren't terribly hard to avoid.  In fact, you can 
sometimes bring them into view, turn quickly around, then turn around again 
and cause the panels to vanish. 
 
Past the panels, you'll find a more formidable challenge in the form of 
columns that drop those heavy, instant-death blocks.  As before, let one fall 
and then quickly pass through to the next ledge.  If it's going to be a tight 
squeeze, a slide from the top of the first block to fall will typically carry 
you to safety. 
 
When you get past the crumbling blocks, you'll find the gate leading to this 
area's second Doc Robot encounter. 
 
--------------------- 
Doc Robot - Quick Man 
 
Though the regular arm cannon worked wonders against this guy in Mega Man 2, 
a more useful approach this time around is the search snake.  If you get near 
enough to lob a few of the snakes at your opponent, you'll find his life 
drains quite rapidly.  Alternatively, you can use the gemini beam, though a 
miss with that weapon is more devastating. 
 
Since Doc Robot moves so quickly, it's quite likely you'll suffer a fair 
amount of damage.  As usual, your best defense is a solid offense.  Also, be 
careful to avoid what boomerang shots you can, though at least they are 
preferable to direct contact (and may in fact work in your favor by making 
you invulnerable for a brief moment). 
 
--------------------- 
 
When the battle with the second Doc Robot ends, you'll have completed the 
level and the game will award you your new password. 
 
Password: A-1 (red), A-3 (blue), B-5 (blue), D-2 (red), D-3 (blue), F-4 
(blue) 
 
============================ 
Doc Robot - Gemini Man Stage 
============================ 
 
Your second visit to the Gemini Man stage is going to be quite a bit more 
challenging than the first, primarily because of the opening area. 
 
As before, you should begin by equipping the shadow blade.  Working to the 
right, you'll see that the floating eye robots now drop ice columns instead 
of fire.  Otherwise, their attack pattern hasn't changed.  What has changed 
is the number of robots.  There are far more of them before.  Not only that, 
but there are a lot more holes in the ground.  It's easy to get knocked back 
into a pit if you're not carefully making each jump.  As a general rule, 
don't make most jumps until you've only just defeated a robot.  Then quickly 
jump and be prepared for another to take its place. 
 
The flying enemies aren't your only concern, either.  There are others that 
race along the ground, and they'll just as easily send you to your doom if 
you're not watching your step. 
 
When you reach the end of this area, you can quickly drop down the pit and to 
a series of tadpoles encased in bubbles.  This time around, don't just take 
the easy route and go along the bottom; the first set of bubbles will send 
you to a pit of spikes if you try that.  Instead, climb partway up through 
the bubbles, then slide through.  The second and third groups of bubbles 
present no particular threat, so you shouldn't have trouble passing through 
those. 
 
Beyond the bubbles, you'll find the gate leading to your first Doc Robot 
encounter for this stage. 
 
--------------------- 
Doc Robot - Flash Man 
 
When you enter this battle, ready the Needle Cannon and start firing for all 
you're worth the minute it's possible to do so.  Doc Robot will start a slow 
march toward you, and you'll want to have most of his life gone by the time 
he reaches you. 
 
When he's neared the edge of the screen, it's time to switch positions while 
continuing the barrage of needle shots.  This battle should be short if 
you're doing things right, even if Doc Robot pauses to freeze you in mid-
stride.  Whatever you do, don't lose, or you'll be sent back to the very 
beginning of the stage. 
 
--------------------- 
 
Once you've kicked the first Doc Robot where it hurts, you can proceed 
through the rest of the stage, which is easier than the first portion was. 
 
Jump over the first pit you see, and keep working to the right until you find 
yourself at the pool of water.  Drop down there, then switch to the Rush 
Marine ability.  Now you need to zip along just beneath the surface of the 
water, shooting at any robots that come near.  Whenever you approach a ledge 
with a special weapons refill, leap out of the water long enough to grab it 
before plunging back into the icy soup. 
 
Keep working right, firing to prevent yourself from striking approaching 
enemies.  You'll soon reach a wall, with only a narrow gap at the 
bottom.  Switch off the Rush Marine adaptor and slide through the opening. 
 
Once you're on the other side, leap up to the ladder and climb your way to 
the next screen.  As you proceed right along this corridor, be careful to 
watch for holes in the ceilings.  Robotic bugs emerge from these with 
alarming frequency.  They're easily taken care of with single shots from the 
arm cannon, but you're life will be drained down to nothing if you get lazy. 
 
Soon, you should make it to the ladder on the opposite end of the 
hallway.  Start down it and from there look to the left.  There are two holes 
in the ceiling here, but you can fire at the bugs as they appear from your 
vantage point on the ladder.  In fact, I would advise that you do so long 
enough to generate a few energy power-ups and maybe even some 1-up icons. 
 
When you're mostly restored, go ahead and cross over to the ladder on the 
screen's lower left side, and descend to the next screen.  Now just cross 
over to the gate that leads to Doc Robot. 
 
---------------------- 
Doc Robot - Bubble Man 
 
If you played Mega Man 2, you should be ready for this encounter.  The 
strategy really hasn't changed.  Just whip out your shadow blade, get near 
enough to do some damage, and let loose. 
 
As Bubble Man, Doc Robot can float around quite a bit.  When he does, try and 
get beneath him.  His torpedoes can't hit you then, and since he's rising in 
a vertical column, it's easy to get in several hits before he descends.  Easy 
enough, in fact, that you might be able to finish him off while only taking 
two or three hits. 
 
---------------------- 
 
Two of the four Doc Robot stages are out of the way, but you're only halfway 
through.  Time to tackle the next one. 
 
Password: A-1 (red), A-3 (blue), B-5 (blue), B-6 (red), D-2 (red), D-3 
(blue), F-4 (blue) 
 
============================ 
Doc Robot - Shadow Man Stage 
============================ 
 
Maybe it's just me, but the re-visit of Shadow Man's domain doesn't seem 
significantly harder than it was the first time around. 
 
Start by falling down the same shafts you did the last time you came here, 
only this time the hazard is the spike-lined walls.  When you're nearing the 
bottom, make sure you're not close against the left wall; the floor there has 
spikes covering it. 
 
When you land at the bottom of the shaft, it should be around three or four 
strides to the right of the left wall.  To your right, you'll see a 
mechanical rabbit hopping your direction.  Take it out with a few arm cannon 
shots, then hop right and over the bottomless pit there.  Next you'll find a 
ladder, lined by spikes. 
 
Here, it's easy to jump too high and hit a spike because you're slightly off-
center.  Instead of doing that, make a short hop just high enough that you 
grab the bottom of the ladder.  Now climb straight up it and you won't have 
to worry about the spikes.  Above, one of the suctioned eyes is likely in the 
way, so hit it with a shadow blade, walk across the ledge it occupied, then 
climb down the next ladder. 
 
From there, climb down yet another ladder, into a room with one of the giant, 
stomping robots.  Slide under it and drop down the pit on the screen's left 
side, then head back to the right.  You'll find a series of ledges rising up 
like a staircase.  Take out more suctioned eyes and climb to the top, then 
hop over the gap to the right. 
 
In this area, there's one of the bulbs that makes the room dark.  There also 
are four ledges, red in color.  Stepping on these causes them to buckle under 
your weight, but they're good for quick hops.  Hop along them and from the 
fourth ledge (the highest) jump out to the right as far as you can to land on 
a new ledge.  Walk along and take out any enemy you may encounter, until you 
find yourself looking over another bottomless pit and a second series of 
collapsing ledges. 
 
Leap out onto the first, trying to land as far toward the right portion as 
possible, then hop quickly across those ledges and to safe ground on the 
opposite side of the black pit.  Then proceed right yet again, blasting any 
robots that get in your way, until you come to a ladder you can descend. 
 
The next room should have some robots you can blast that hopefully will leave 
behind a few energy pellets.  Then you're at the gate to the first Doc Robot 
encounter. 
 
-------------------- 
Doc Robot - Wood Man 
 
This fight is actually quite simple.  First, switch to the Needle 
Cannon.  The way Doc Robot attacks now is by throwing a set of four leaves to 
the ceiling while more leaves encircle him as a shield. 
 
Position yourself so that when the leaves fall, you'll be safe between the 
first and second leaf, and watch the shield around Doc Robot.  When he tosses 
it, jump over it and start firing your needle cannon.  You should get in 
quite a few hits, around one fourth to a third of his life meter. 
 
The pattern will now repeat.  When the leaf shield falls away again, you 
should have over half the robot's life.  Again, he'll throw up more leaves 
and use the shield.  This time, be prepared to slide under him when he throws 
his shield and hops toward you, then turn to fire needles from behind.  Once 
the leaf shield comes up again, run to the opposite side of the screen (it 
should be the screen's right side, now), and be prepared for the leaf shield 
to fall away again so that you can finish the job.  The battle is harder than 
the similar encounter in the original Mega Man 2 cartridge, but still not 
overly difficult. 
 
-------------------- 
 
With the first Doc Robot encounter out of the way, it's time to head for the 
second.  You'll find a large energy capsule in the next hallway, and beyond 
that a series of hellish jumps that will likely trip you up the first time 
you attempt them. 
 
To survive this dangerous crossing, you'll want to equip the shadow 
blades.  As you cross each pit, be prepared to throw a blade in mid-air to 
take out the parachuting robot, then chuck another as you land so that you 
take out the rabbit that hops along these ledges.  Repeat the pattern all the 
way across the lava, until you reach the other side. 
 
Now you should encounter a red-capped spring robot that fires magnetic 
missiles.  Take out the robot and its missiles with more shadow blades, then 
proceed to the second Doc Robot encounter. 
 
-------------------- 
Doc Robot - Heat Man 
 
Hopefully, you've still got a decent supply of shadow blades left, because 
that's the weapon of choice when dealing with this fiend. 
 
As Heat Man, Doc Robot first throws a triple column of fire, then starts to 
flicker and blazes toward you.  He's immune when in this condition, so wait 
for him to stop before countering with some shadow blade shots.  He'll then 
repeat his pattern, so you'll want to be prepared to go through the necessary 
motions throughout the remainder of the fight.  You may need to use an energy 
tank near the end. 
 
-------------------- 
 
And so you've tackled three of the four Doc Robot stages, and only one 
remains.  Time to pay another visit to Needle Man's former abode. 
 
Password: A-1 (blue), A-3 (blue), B-5 (blue), B-6 (red), C-1 (red), D-3 
(blue), F-4 (blue) 
 
============================ 
Doc Robot - Needle Man Stage 
============================ 
 
The final Doc Robot stage you should attempt is quite difficult, but nothing 
you won't be able to handle by now.  Just be prepared for a challenging Rush 
Jet segment a little over halfway through. 
 
Before you get there, though, you'll have the first third or so of the level 
to deal with.  Begin by heading right, past a series of porcupine 
robots.  Most of them are at ground level, and thus easily tended to with a 
barrage of arm cannon shots.  Beyond those, you'll find a ladder leading down 
to a series of spike rooms. 
 
This portion should be familiar to you from the previous play through the 
area, but it's still enough to give a challenge.  Work hard to avoid letting 
them hit you, and remember to slide as the first one is most of the way 
through receding to avoid the second spike in most groups. 
 
Beyond the rooms of spikes, there's a ladder leading up to a room with one of 
the red-capped springs.  Shadow blades are handy here, as they can easily 
turn the robot to scrap metal and block any missiles that may be headed your 
way.  Once that's tended to, go ahead and climb the ladder on the screen's 
left side. 
 
At the top of this ladder, use the Rush Coil to reach the next ladder, and 
climb it to find the gate that leads to the area's first encounter with Doc 
Robot. 
 
------------------- 
Doc Robot - Air Man 
 
The weapon of choice for this battle is the spark shot.  However, you won't 
normally be able to get in a clear shot because Doc Robot sends out gusts of 
air in various formations. 
 
What you'll need to do is jump over or slide under various air gusts, then 
counter with the spark shot.  It's going to take a fair number of hits, 
especially if you fire in rapid succession, but once you get an opening Doc 
Robot will go down swiftly. 
 
------------------- 
 
Now for the last leg of your journey through this stage.  It's the tough 
part, too, so buckle up. 
 
From the encounter with Doc Robot, walk just to the right and you'll find 
yourself staring out at a vast, empty space.  Switch to the Rush Jet and 
start the trek across.  The whole time, you'll be pestered by descending 
parachutes and dragonfly enemies. 
 
For me, the best technique was to spend most of the time crossing the gap at 
about halfway up the screen.  I mostly tended toward the high side, so that 
the parachutes ahead of me would drop below me quite quickly.  However, the 
dragonflies mean that you have to change elevation frequently to avoid 
excessive damage.  Not only that, but the Rush Jet only has so much 
energy.  Because of that, you'll have to make pit stops at certain ledges to 
refill its meter. 
 
It's a challenge, but you should be able to reach the ladder at the other 
side of the pit in pretty good shape.  Once you do, climb the ladder and 
you'll find a special item refill, which you should use to recharge your 
jet's energy.  Now use the jet again and ride it up to the ladder at the 
upper left side of the screen. 
 
Climb the ladder to its top, then switch to the shadow blade, which you'll 
want equipped right up to the moment you find the gate that leads to Doc 
Robot. 
 
As you press to the right now, you'll encounter a lot of hardhat enemies of 
various size.  First you will run into a monstrous machine that rises from 
the ground.  It is vulnerable only where you see the red cross, so be ready 
to move in quick and toss a flurry of shadow blades in that general 
vicinity.  The weapon also does a fine job of taking out any miniature 
hardhat foes that race toward you at ground level. 
 
Past the first giant hardhat, you'll find some more of the miniature 
fellows.  They glide around in the air, somehow, but still succumb quite 
easily to shots from the shadow blade.  Also, there are more of the domed 
cannons.  Again, you'll be amazed by how effectively shadow blades work 
here.  They should take you right through to a second one of the giant 
hardhat machines. 
 
Beyond the second of the hardhats, it's only a short jaunt to the gate that 
leads to the final Doc Robot encounter. 
 
--------------------- 
Doc Robot - Crash Man 
 
Remember this guy from Mega Man 2?  This time around, you don't have the air 
cyclone on your side.  Instead, you'll have to use the hard knuckle. 
 
Doc Robot will hop around the screen a lot, but for me the simplest strategy 
was just to stay at the very lower left of the screen and fire a series of 
hard knuckle shots.  Since he moves around so much and the knuckle attack 
itself is quite slow-paced, Doc Robot did himself in while I supplied only 
four or five shots with the hard knuckle.  This is quite possibly the 
simplest of the Doc Robot encounters. 
 
--------------------- 
 
At last, you've done it.  The Doc Robot stages were no match for your 
skillful abilities, and a new hazard will appear on the screen where formerly 
Mega Man's head rested. 
 
Password: A-1 (blue), A-3 (blue), B-2 (blue), B-4 (red), B-5 (blue), D-3 
(blue), F-4 (blue) 
 
========= 
Break Man 
========= 
 
With Doc Robot out of the way, you will now face Proto Man.  That's his name 
in later Mega Man games, but here he is called 'Break Man' instead. 
 
You've been fighting him throughout the game thus far, and the strategy 
hasn't changed significantly.  This fight is actually almost easy, in fact. 
 
Just stand on the central area and shoot him as he walks back and forth.  The 
only time you should stop shooting is when you turn to slide under him as he 
approaches from either direction.  Then it's back to shooting. 
 
Though he doesn't have a life meter, you should find that it won't take long 
to hit him with enough force that he leaves the scene.  You're now ready to 
begin the assault on Dr. Wily's castle.  The password immediately below is 
the last you'll be able to use, and starts you at the front gates with nine 
energy tanks. 
 
Password: A-1 (blue), A-3 (blue), A-6 (red), B-2 (blue), B-5 (blue), D-3 
(blue), E-1 (red), F-4 (blue) 
 
=============== 
Skull Castle #1 
=============== 
 
The first stage in Dr. Wily's castle really isn't terribly difficult, if you 
just take it at a leisurely pace.  It might even give you false hope that the 
last leg of your journey will be a breeze. 
 
From the start, head right over a series of ledges.  Here, you'll find two of 
the top-spewing monsters from Top Man's stage, so climb the steps carefully 
and take them out as possible.  From there, continue to the right to the 
ladder.  Stand on the ladder and from there jump to the right to collect the 
energy tank before dropping into the pit. 
 
You're now in an underground sewer of sorts.  Progression to the right is 
hindered by shallow recessed lined by spikes.  If this feels dangerous, don't 
worry; it's not.  Just make leaps over the gaps, shooting the fish that will 
fly toward you from the right as you go.  If you take a hit and fall on the 
spikes, you should be able to jump away before any permanent damage is done. 
 
On the opposite side of the pool of water, you can leap out and onto dry 
land.  From there, climb a ladder that leads up to the next screen.  There, 
you'll find a 1-up icon sitting pretty behind some greenish walls.  Switch to 
the hard knuckle to take out the walls, then drop into the opening to collect 
the icon.  Now slide left and climb up that ladder, into the next screen. 
 
Once more, you're at a screen with those lovely green walls, and you can 
again destroy them with hard knuckle shots.  Here, you should see another 
energy tank resting on the high ledge above, so go ahead and grab it if you 
need it (though if you used the password provided earlier, you should already 
have a full reserve of them). 
 
When you've collected any goodies that appeal to you, climb the ladder on the 
screen's left side into the next room.  To the right, you'll see one of the 
projectile-slinging foes.  Make sure you don't climb to the very top of the 
ladder.  Instead, hang on it and use arm cannon shots to take out your 
foe.  Now you can go ahead and crest the ladder, then from there hop up to 
the ledge to your upper right.  Now slide under the low ledge there and press 
right so that you land on the lower ledge, then repeat the action to land 
where your opponent stood a moment before.  Continue right and there will be 
two more of the fellows to take out. 
 
The second of those projectile-slinging guys is standing on a high ledge you 
can't quite reach without the Rush Coil.  Switch to the magnet missiles and 
fire as he's open, and two direct hits will finish him off.  Then it's safe 
to use the Rush Coil to spring up to that ledge, and to climb the ladder into 
the next room. 
 
Now you're in one of the most potentially dangerous segments of the 
level.  There are disappearing/reappearing blocks here, over a pit of 
spikes.  Not pretty.  If you watch, you should get a feel for the first 
three, which lead conveniently up to solid ground where an energy capsule is 
resting.  You want to hop up to the third block, then slide under the first 
barrier to where the energy waits.  From there, watch the pattern again.  You 
should get a feel for when a block appears directly under the ladder on the 
left side of the screen.  When it's just about to appear, slide under the low 
wall that stands in your way, land on the block and quickly jump to the 
safety of the ladder. 
 
Climb the ladder up to the next room, then walk to the right (you can spring 
up to collect the special weapon refills if you really want) and through the 
gate that leads to the area boss. 
 
------------------ 
The Turtle Machine 
------------------ 
 
This is quite possibly the easiest boss battle in the game.  Just stand along 
the bottom floor with shadow blades equipped.  The machine at the top of the 
room will send out turtles to hit you. 
 
Move back and forth, throwing your shadow blades upward to hit the turtles as 
they appear.  One hit will eliminate any given turtle and remove a good chunk 
of the machine's life meter.  There will only be a few of the turtles before 
suddenly you've won the battle.  You may not even suffer a hit! 
 
=============== 
Skull Castle #2 
=============== 
 
The second stage in the castle is blessedly short, like its companions, but 
that doesn't mean it's a walk in the park. 
 
When you first appear, you'll be on collapsing ledges.  You can climb these 
to the top portion of the screen, then climb up the ladder on either 
side.  When you reach the top of the ladders, you can then drop down to 
collect special weapon refills if you desire, or you can just get on with the 
assault on the castle. 
 
Once you're ready, work up the right side of the screen, until you see a thin 
ledge leading to a ladder on the screen's left side.  Cross over to that 
ladder and climb up it.  You'll now be facing a narrow sliding space, with 
green-colored tiles that indicate there are those steel traps you're familiar 
with from Hard Man's stage. 
 
Slide through the opening and you're now looking over a field of spikes with 
trap-colored ledges leading across.  Switch to shadow blades for this part, 
then hop quickly across the gaps.  When you reach a fairly wide ledge between 
two traps, throw the shadow blade up at the bee that swoops in, so it's 
destroyed before it can attack.  Then start hopping along more ledges that 
lead to the right.  About two ledges in, there will be another of the bees, 
so be prepared to take it out with another shadow blade as you hop toward the 
right. 
 
The next time you encounter a safe ledge, just right of the last of the 
green-colored traps, it's time to switch to the Rush Jet adaptor and, with 
that done, ride toward the right.  Your jet can take you from one special 
item refill to the next, and you should soon come to solid ground in front of 
a gate leading to the area boss. 
 
----------------- 
The Stone Cyclops 
----------------- 
 
If you played the original Mega Man, you will be familiar with this 
guy.  When the battle first begins, step to about the middle of the screen 
and keep an eye to your left.  Chunks of debris will start flying to the 
right.  Be prepared to jump the ones that come at ground level, and to slide 
over those that are higher. 
 
When the pieces finish, a robot will have assembled itself.  It is a stone 
cyclops, and you should see a patch of discoloration that will soon become an 
eye.  Hopefully, you're only a short distance away from the robot.  Jump and 
fire a hard knuckle at the eye, land, then jump and fire again.  If you work 
quickly, you can get in two hits before the robot starts to fall apart. 
 
Now the pieces will glide over to the other side of the screen.  They will do 
so in one of two possible patterns.  One is a duplicate of the robot's 
entering effect, while the other consists of pieces bouncing about like beach 
balls.  Either way, you want to be near the robot's feet when it all ends so 
that you can get in your two hits before repeating.  After about three or 
four such cycles (don't be afraid to use an energy tank or two if you must), 
you should have done enough damage that the robot will be defeated. 
 
=============== 
Skull Castle #3 
=============== 
 
The third stage in the castle isn't terribly remarkable, but you may still 
find yourself short on life when you reach its end thanks to the giant 
stomping robots in the last few passages. 
 
When you first appear, you should immediately switch weapons to the shadow 
blade.  There's an enemy directly overhead, so jump up and toss a blade or 
two its way and you'll put it out of commission.  With that tended to, Rush 
Coil up to the ledge it occupied, and from there hop left.  You're now 
standing below a ladder.  Switch back to shadow blade, then climb up the 
ladder into the next room.  There, hit another enemy from below with the 
blade.  Now switch back to Rush Coil and spring up to that ledge, and from 
there hop right and then back left to the ladder suspended from the top 
center of the screen. 
 
At the top of this ladder, slide under the space to your right and collect an 
energy tank.  Then slide back left and use the Rush Coil ability to get on 
top of that ledge. 
 
From here out, you'll only need to be armed with the regular arm 
cannon.  Work your way right and you'll see various bulbs in various 
recesses.  Drop down to their level so that you can take them out as you go, 
and work toward the right.  The grenade-shaped robots are in evidence, as you 
might have expected, so be sure to take them out with your arm cannon before 
they get close enough to cause you harm. 
 
You'll soon reach the right edge of the room, where you can drop down a 
pit.  Do so, and fall straight down, past where a projectile-slinging robot 
waits.  Drop down the new opening on the screen's left side, and you're 
halfway to the end of the stage. 
 
Now you will need to work to the right, past two giant, stomping 
robots.  It's hard to slide under them without suffering damage, as they're 
so huge and the space is so small.  Try and take them out first, but make a 
run for it if you suffer a hit. 
 
Beyond the two robots, a ladder leads up to the next room.  Here, you will 
see a ladder near the top left side of the screen.  Spikes line most of the 
floor.  To reach the ladder, you must hop up moving ledges and ride to the 
ladder.  It's not terribly hard if you move quickly and get a feel for the 
speed at which they move.  The next room is more of the same, and after that 
you'll find yourself in a new room with some item canisters above. 
 
Use the Rush Coil ability to spring up to that platform and collect the 
goodies in the canisters, then drop back down and head right through the door 
that leads to the boss encounter. 
 
---------------- 
The Three Clones 
---------------- 
 
This fight isn't terribly difficult, but you'll possibly need to use an 
energy tank to survive it.  There are three levels in the room.  The first is 
the floor level, and there are blocks that allow you to access two higher 
ledges. 
 
On each ledge, you'll soon see a clone of Mega Man.  Only one of these three 
is weak to your arm cannon shots, and the weakness switches from one clone to 
another each time they pass over the transporters and swap locations (though 
sometimes, the 'same' robot will be vulnerable two rounds in a row). 
 
No one robot is vulnerable for very long, but your arm cannon shots do quite 
a bit of damage.  Unfortunately, the three robots each fire two shots during 
each round, and those shots are fairly hard to avoid.  So you'll want to 
quickly determine which robot is weak (it's usually one of the bottom two, 
with the middle one being the most likely bet, so far as I could tell) and 
let loose with a spray of bullets once you're sure. 
 
The fight shouldn't last terribly long, and then it'll be onto the next 
portion of Skull Castle. 
 
=============== 
Skull Castle #4 
=============== 
 
Though short, this stage can be a real pain in the butt.  From the start, you 
should first collect any special item refills that prove necessary.  When 
you're ready, go ahead and drop down the shaft and aim left. 
 
When you land, immediately let loose with a spray of arm cannon fire.  The 
robot to the left will chuck a huge block at you if given the chance, and it 
does quite a bit of damage to your weak armor.  Once you've taken him out, 
drop down to the next room below. 
 
Here, you can slide and press to the right to land on a ledge and refill 
special weapons energy again.  Also, you can collect energy pellets to 
replace any damage dealt by the robot in the previous room.  Just watch out 
for the spikes that line the floor on the left side, here. 
 
When you're ready, climb down the ladder on the room's right side, and you'll 
find yourself in a room with another of the block-heaving robots.  Take him 
out quickly to avoid more damage than necessary, then drop down again and 
you'll once more be facing one of the block heavers.  Defeat him and start 
right again, and yet another will appear.  Take this fellow out like you did 
his companions, and then you'll be safe to descend to the next room. 
 
Here, you should just work around the ledge, to the gate on the lower right 
side.  There aren't any enemies in this room, thankfully, so you don't have 
to move cautiously. 
 
----------------- 
The Robot Masters 
----------------- 
 
Through the gate is a short hall and a transporter device that leads to a new 
room where you will find eight transporters.  They each lead to robot masters 
you've already defeated.  Now you must defeat them again, and after each one 
you beat, you'll get a large energy capsule before choosing the next robot 
you wish to fight.  It's a good idea to spread out the easy and hard ones, so 
you don't have to dip into your energy tank reserves much between 
rounds.  The chart below indicates which robot is where: 
 
[1]      [8]  1 - Needle Man  6 - Shadow Man 
              2 - Magnet Man  7 - Spark Man 
[2]      [7]  3 - Gemini Man  8 - Snake Man 
              4 - Hard Man 
[3][4][5][6]  5 - Top Man 
 
When you defeat the eight robots, you can pass through the gate on the lower 
right side of the screen, collect some special item refills, then pass 
through the transporter to head to the castle's next area. 
 
=============== 
Skull Castle #5 
=============== 
 
When this stage begins, you're in a room with special item refills and item 
canisters.  Collect any goodies you need, and then you can drop down to the 
room immediately below.  Guess what?  You're already to this stage's boss! 
 
----------- 
Spider Tank 
----------- 
 
You've finally made it to Dr. Wily, it would seem.  When the battle first 
starts, stand along the left side of the screen.  A giant tank will plod onto 
the screen, held up by pin-shaped appendages.  The first target is the cannon 
attached to the machine's belly.  You can take it out with well-aimed 
flurries of fire from your standard arm cannon. 
 
By the time the machine is at the screen's center, you should have laid waste 
to its life meter.  Once the meter is empty, the bubble over the top of the 
machine will pop off.  Slide under the robot leg and stand directly below the 
bubble, then just start chucking shadow blades upward.  They should make 
quick work of the second life meter. 
 
Note that you may need to use an energy tank if your life runs low during the 
process.  But if you work quickly, one tank is all that will be 
necessary.  When you win, you'll find that a robot was at the 
controls.  There's one more stage to go before the game's closing credits. 
 
=============== 
Skull Castle #6 
=============== 
 
And now, you're truly at the final stage of the game.  It's been a long trip, 
but this is where Dr. Wily finally gets his due.  You'll appear in a room 
just left of where the battle appears, and an energy tank will be up on a 
ledge above.  Use the Rush Jet to fly up and grab it.  Also, check the 
contents of the canisters, as they sometimes contain energy tanks.  Finally, 
refill your shadow blade and search snake.  If this isn't possible, note that 
you should die all your lives and continue the stage fresh, with your meters 
charged, rather than wasting energy tanks on a lost cause. 
 
Ready to go, then?  Good.  Step through the gate and prepare for the final 
battle. 
 
------------------- 
Peace-Keeping Robot 
------------------- 
 
Dr. Wily had talked about a peace-keeping robot, but it was only a ruse to 
get his associate to create a weapon of destruction.  Now you get to fight 
that robot. 
 
Fortunately, the battle is a lot simpler than you might anticipate.  When it 
starts, run under the center portion of the robot.  Directly above you, a 
robot should be perched, firing shots.  They will arc almost directly down, 
so just move slightly left and right while making small hops and tossing 
shadow blades upward. 
 
When half the robot's life meter is drained, a horned cap will descend.  Dr. 
Wily is seated in a bubble within that cap, but it's vulnerable only to 
attacks from above.  At this time, a spiked fist will come out from the right 
side of the screen.  Jump to avoid the spikes, and land on the flat portion 
of the hand, above the spikes.  From there, as the hand starts to recede, 
jump up to the set of blocks to the right. 
 
From this series of blocks, you can jump outward and toss search snake 
shots.  Move carefully.  There shouldn't be any reason to fall down to the 
ground level again.  Just hop outward from the block closest to Dr. Wily's 
bubble, toss a search snake or two, then land back on the edge of the block 
and repeat.  You'll make short work of the remainder of the life meter, and 
then the screen will flash and you'll be watching the closing story sequence 
and game credits. 
 
========== 
Conclusion 
========== 
 
After a long journey, Mega Man has finally defeated Dr. Wily and his robots 
for a third time.  Peace is restored to the world.  But is the journey 
over?  Of course it's not!  If you had a great time, why stop there?  Go back 
through and try tackling the robots in a different order.  Play through 
without using any energy tanks (a daunting challenge, to be sure).  Or, if 
you haven't done so already, check out some of the other titles in the 
franchise.  There are quite a few of them, after all.  And since they're 
being re-released soon on the GameCube and Playstation 2 (with improved 
visuals, no less), there's no longer any excuse to hold back on playing 
them.  Happy gaming!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

================
Acknowledgements
================

Thanks for reading this guide!  I played through each level as I wrote this, 
and I think that shows in the way the guide is written.  The passwords 
provided are mine, too.  In short, I made this on my own and I hope you enjoy 
it.  I know there are a lot of FAQs available online for this game, so thanks 
for choosing mine.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

==================
Copyright Concerns
==================

Copyright 2004 Jason Venter
This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other 
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a 
violation of copyright.