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Game Hints: Rockman

In the first Rockman game, we meet Rockman (the hero), Dr. Light, Dr. Wily, Roll, and the first six robot masters: Cutman, Gutsman, Iceman, Bombman, Fireman, and Elecman. As described at the beginning of the NES Rockman 4, household robots Rock and Roll were living peacefully in Tokyo with their creator and master, Dr. Thomas Xavier Light. One day, the industrial robots of teh world went on a rampage. Dr. Light realized that it was the work of the nefarious Dr. Wily. Rock, having a strong sense of justice (for those who have forgotten that Rockman has emotions) volunteered to be converted into a super fighting robot, and thus was Rockman born.

Generally, what I understand is that Rockman (story-wise) fought the Robot Masters in order of their creation numbers. That way, the order is:

Cutman
Gutsman
Iceman
Bombman
Fireman
Elecman

If you're a really good Rockman player, then you should be able to play in that order. However, the suggested order follows the weaknesses of the Robot Masters vs. Rockman's weapons. In that order, the Robot Masters should be fought this way:

Bombman
Gutsman
Cutman
Elecman
Iceman
Fireman

One of the greatest strengths of Rockman is his adaptability; he can synthesize the weapon of an enemy he's already vanquished. In addition, he can find a special item which allows him to cross large open spaces.

Tricks
The first Rockman game has one great trick which can hel p you beat the game in a snap: an on-screen pause. Unlike the other Rockman games, when you press the Select button, all motion on the screen pauses until you hit the Select button again.
So here's the trick:
When you hit an enemy with your plasma bullet (or whatever weapon you're using), hit the Select button. Hit it again to unpause the game, and the same shot will do damage to the enemy again.
So, if you can hit Select fast enough, you can kill even a Robot Master with one shot!

Strategies

Bombman
Weapon
: Hyper Bombs
Bombman's strategy: Mostly, Bombman will leap back and forth across the room while hurling his bombs down towards Rockman. When Rockman gets close, he will leap again.
Rockman's Strategy: The best idea is to just charge Bombman and blast him repeatedly with your plasma cannon. When he jumps, get out of the way of his falling bombs and run towards him again.

Gutsman:
Weapon
: Power Arm/Super Arm
Gutsman's strategy: Gutsman has one thing going for him--his strength. He can't run fast or shoot fast. Mainly, he'll make small leaps which knock Rockman off of his feet and throw boulders at Rockman.
Rockman's strategy: Your best bet is to jump just before Gutsman lands. That way, you'll keep your feet while the screen is shaking. Toss a few Hyper Bombs into Gutsman's path. After three good hits with the Hyper Bomb, Gutsman will be history, giving Rockman the power to lift certain large boulders.

Cutman:
Weapon
: Rolling Cutter
Cutman's strategy: Cutman will jump up and down incessantly while throwing his detachable boomerang-like blades at Rockman. While his Rolling Cutter is in the air, he'll most likely stay on the ground with his arms extended right after throwing his weapon.
Rockman's strategy: Two hits with the boulders sitting in the corner will finish Cutman off in record time. However, he has an annoying tendency to jump one of your shots. In that event, the best idea is just to blast away at Cutman with the plasma cannon while leaping his thrown blades.

Elecman:
Weapon
: Thunder Beam
Elecman's strategy: His first move will be to charge you while simultaneously releasing his Thunder Beam. Watch out! Three hits with the Thunder Beam will kill Rockman, making it the most powerful weapon in any of the games.
Rockman's strategy: Jump Elecman's first shot and hit him with the Rolling Cutter. Three hits with the blades will kill Elecman, but remember--it's harder to hit him with your weapon than it is for him to hit you with his.
Extra: On Elecman's level, behind a row of three boulders, there's a Magnetic Beam device that creates a flashing blue platform for Rockman to stand on. This is very useful in long, high, narrow spaces that have no ladders for scaling (hint, hint).

Iceman:
Weapon
: Ice Slasher
Iceman's strategy: This guy is a lot harder to kill than he looks if you don't have the Thunder Beam. Although his flying Ice Slashers (always fired in triads) move slowly, making it possible to jump them if you're very careful, they do almost as much damage when they hit as the Thunder Beam. Thankfully, Iceman isn't very fast, and is easy to hit once he finishes firing a round of Ice Slashers.
Rockman's strategy: Jump and fire the Thunder Beam first thing so you can hit Iceman while he's jumpnig to fire his Ice Slashers. Basically, stay on the left side of the screen and jump his shots while firing your own, and Rockman will live to see another day.

Fireman:
Weapon
: Fire Storm
Fireman's strategy: Wow! What a pain! Fireman charges back and forth firing his Fire Storm in flaming walls at Rockman. He's a juggernaut: nothing you can do will stop him from charging.
Rockman's strategy: Just fire your Ice Slasher like crazy and leap the flaming walls (and their flames they leave in their wake) as best you can. Six or seven hits with the Ice Slasher should guarentee that you defeat Fireman.

Dr. Wily's Skull Castle

Skull Castle is divided into four levels, each with a Guardian at the end of it. You will have to face the six Robot Masters again within the levels. Near the end of the fourth stage, at the long conveyer belt, is an item which will refill Rockman's life bar and all his weapon energy. It is the only object of its kind on any of the Rockman games, and thus rather difficult to obtain.
First Guardian: Cyclops
His strategy: Basically, Cyclops comes into the screen in invulnerable pieces. Once he gets all the way into the screen, he'll materialize and open his eyes (the only thing you can hit on him).
Rockman's strategy: Avoid the the flying pieces of Cyclops! This is the most important part. Use the Thunder Beam on him when he opens his eye. He's tough, but you can kill him easily once you discern his pattern of transport.

Second Guardian: Your Clone
His strategy: Mostly, your clone will charge you and fire away. Beware! Whenever you switch weapons, so does he.
Rockman's strategy: Use the Thunder Beam to smack your clone backwards and keep him away from you. Do some quick jumping, and you should be able to avoid most of his shots.

Third Guardian: Bubble Boy
His strategy: He doesn't have one. Like a total idiot, he just pops out of one of the gaps in the wall and floats around the room, hugging the walls and firing plasma shots at Rockman.
Rockman's strategy: Unless you're blind, you'll notice the stack of four boulders in the middle of the room. So, for heaven's sake, don't use the Thunder Beam! The Thunder Beam will disintegrate the boulders--and you want them for later. Just fire several plasma shots towards Bubble Boy, until you have killed three or four of his forms. Then use the boulders, which will demolish a form in a single hit.

Dr. Wily!!
Both forms--his strategy: Mostly, Dr. Wily just floats back and forth in his huge Armored Mech. Shooting bouncing super plasma-shots and normal falling plasma blasts in his first form, and spiralling ones in his second, he will take little direct action to seek out Rockman.
Rockman's strategy:

First Form:
Use the Fire Storm to blast away at the round plasma cannon on Dr. Wily's Mech. If you do some careful jumping and walking, you should be able to avoid the bouncing plasma.
Second Form:
Switch to the Thunder Beam (for several of the Rockman games, the weapon which will defeat the Doctor will be one that turns Rockman gray and white), and shoot at the red focus jewel that is revealed when the armor is blasted way from the Mech. Remember--dodge the spiralling plamsa.

Ending
Warning! Don't read this if you want to find out the ending for yourself!

This ending starts with the music that begins Rockman 2. After a message about Rockman's heroism (but the fight against evil will never be over, etc...) Rockman walks along a concrete path with a nice mountain backdrop and a setting sun, through Tokyo, and finally to his house, where Dr. Light and Roll are waiting for him.
The coolest thing about this ending is that you actually see Rockman without his armor. He's wearing and orange shirt and black shorts. His orange socks are rather silly, but that's okay, because you're probably going to be distracted from his silly socks by his Astroboy-esque hair. As a matter of fact, with the exception of the hair (I couldn't get it exactly right, this is what he looks like:
Overall
This is probably the hardest Rockman NES game, because there are no E tanks, and the bosses are so hard to begin with anyway. The ending is kind of cool, but too short--and it doesn't feature Fish Man!
Note: Fish Man is a monster designer for most Capcom games, including Willow, Rockman, and Street Fighter. I make it a point to look for his name every time I beat a Capcom game.

Overall Rating:(Scale of 1-10; 10 being the hardest/best/etc. . .)
Difficulty: 7
Game Play: 5
Ending: 6
Graphics: 4

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