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Game Hints: Rockman 3

Storyline: In Blues' debut game, Dr. Wily has apparently regained his sanity! What? You mean you won't fight Dr. Wily at the end? Yeah, right. Still, as far as Rockman and Dr. Light know, Dr. Wily is sane again. In fact, he's so sane, he's taken to helping Dr. Light out on his super-advanced "peace-keeping" robot, Gamma. Yes sir, Gamma's a big, powerful robot. It would be a real shame if he fell into the wrong hands . . . but, thank heavens, there's no danger of that happening!
At any rate, robots on eight different mining colonies have revolted, and it's up to Rockman to stop them (isn't it strange that there just happen to be eight separate revolts on eight different colonies?) Meanwhile, Rockman's long lost brother Blues returns under the alias of Break Man and causes a little bit of trouble for our hero.

New Features: In this game, Rockman's bionic dog, Rush, is introduced. Rush has three separate configuration which he can transform into. Starting out, Rush can only transform into his Coil configuration:
Also new is Rockman's ability to slide and his ability to carry up to 9 nergy tanks.

Tricks: This game, of all the Rockman games, has the most bugs in it. The most well-known as the "super-jump bug." Here's how it works:
Plug in the second controller and press right ==> on the control pad. As long as you do that (or have somebody else do it), Rockman can leap almost above the top of the screen!
If you press the A button on the second controller, you can freeze everything on the screen, including Rockman! This means that you can't move, but at least you can still fire.
If you press up on the control pad, you can freeze all animation. It's not useful for much, but it's kind of cool.
Rockman also has a special "undead" form in this game. If you press right on the second control pad and let Rockman's energy meter drop to zero while he's in a pit, and then leap out, still holding the control pad right, Rockman will continue his adventures . . . with zero energy! This also means that you can't use Rockman's plasma-buster arm cannon, so you'll need to summon Rush for your firing abilities.

Robot Masters: You know the deal--Rockman takes the Robot Masters in a difficult and nearly suicidal order. Here it is:

Needle Man
Magnet Man
Gemini Man
Hard Man
Top Man
Snake Man
Spark Man
Shadow Man

Of course, a true Rockman addict could beat the game in this order. My suggestion, however, is to fight the Robot Masters this way:

Hard Man
Snake Man
Gemini Man
Needle Man
Top Man
Shadow Man
Spark Man
Magnet Man

Once again, please take note that if you start with any one fo these Robot Masters and continue with the order I have listed, the effectivenes of the weapons does cycle through.
So, on to the Robot Masters!

Hard Man
Weapon
:Hard Knuckle
Strategy: Hard Man will first fire two Hard Knuckles at you, then leap into the air and turn over. This will alert you to his main weapon--his amazingly hard head, all the better to drop down and squash Rockman into tiny little silicon wafers with. Basically, all you need to do is hit him constantly with a stream of plasma bursts and slide out of the way when he jumps into the air.
It is in this stage that Blues first appears, right near the end. In a room with a dais in the middle, Blues teleports in and starts blasting Rockman. I've heard all sorts of different explanations for why Rockman's own brother is shooting at him, but the one I like best is: it makes the game more fun!
Snake Man
Weapon
: Search Snakes
Snake Man looks more like a maverick from the later Rockman X games than a Robot Master, which makes him all the cooler. Sadly, his strength doesn't match up to his cool appearance--you can kill this guy with just about anything. Just make sure that you avoid his robotic snakes and you've got it made.
Gemini Man
Weapon
:Gemini Laser
Like a real laser would, the Gemini Laser reflects. However, unlike a real laser, it travels incredibly slowly. However, chances are that you'll never have to worry about dodging the laser: Gemini Man's first move will be to split in to two (a matter replication device which Rockman doesn't acquire) and leap around the room. A few hits with the Magnet Missile or Search Snakes should dispose of the doppelganger, and then Gemini Man will change tactics: instead of leaping around the room quickly, doing damage to Rockman, he'll run back and forth like an idiot, waiting to be shot like a fish in a barrel. If you go in with a full energy tank, this guy should be no trouble.
Blues makes another appearance here, this time just to stare intimidatingly at Rockman (or something) and open a passageway for him. Weird . . .

Needle Man
Weapon
: Needle Cannon
Strategy: Yow! What a pain! Needle Man may be easy to kill with the Gemini Laser (4 hits) but without it, Rockman's in for a serious punishing. My advice, don't go to this guy until after you've gotten the Gemini Laser. Needle Man's main tactic is to jump int the air and spit out a round of sharp needles (big surprise). Just bounce the Gemini Laser off the wall and catch him on the rebound (or hit him directly if you're fast enough) and victory will bring you not only the Needle Cannon but the Rush Jet Adaptor!
Top Man
Weapon
: Top Spin
Strategy: Top Man is quite easy to dispose of--especially with the Hard Knuckle or Needle Cannon. Just jump over his triad of tops and jump over him when he spins to the other side of the room. Otherwise, hit him as much as you can. Note: you can't get him while he's spinning.
Top Man's weapon is a pleasant surprise--sort of. Unlike most of the weapons you obtain from Robot Masters, this one is almost exactly like Top Man's weapon, and not just a crappy imitation. The downside is that the weapon is the most awkward and useless weapon in the whole game: it makes you spin like a top. Oh, well . . .

Shadow Man
Weapon
: Shadow Blades
Strategy: What a disappointment! I was expecting a cool guy who playing tricks with shadows and darkness after his awesome level. Instead, the player is treated to a repeat of Metal Man--except he can slide this time. Of course, Shadow Man is one of the hardest Robot masters in the game, and he looks pretty darn cool. Still, it would be nice to get away from the blades-for-weapons-Robot-Master quota. Use Top Spin on this guy. If you're really good, you can kill him with three spins. More likely, you'll take his life bar down to half while you've run out of Top Spin energy, and you'll have to use a few E tanks to survive the long and hard battle ahead. Still, it's worth it. Just as the Metal Blades in Rockman 2 were very useful, so are the Shadow Blades.
You also acquire the Rush Marine Adaptor once you defeat Shadow Man, eliminating the need for such paranoid jumping habits once you get underwater.
Once again, Blues drops in on Rockman to make life more interesting. This time, it's near the beginning of the stage. Keep to the right corner and plug away at him, and Rockman should live to see Shadow Man at the end of the stage.

Spark Man
Weapon
: Spark Shot
Strategy: Be careful on this guy's level--it's a doozy. Lots of spike-lined ceilings, bottomless pits, and ways to knock you into both of them combine to make this stage one of the most difficult in the game. In comparison, Spark Man is a relief once you reach him. Watch out when he touches his electrodes to his head--he'll release a big charge that really packs a wallop! If you hit him enough with the Needle Cannon or Shadow Blades, this will send another of the Robot Masters to the Big Junkyard in the Sky . . .

Magnet Man
Weapon
: Magnet Missiles
Strategy: Magnet Man has two main strategies: 1.) He'll activate a magnetic field around himself and draw Rockman towards him. Be careful! If you get hit, it really hurts! 2.) He'll leap way up in the air and shoot a round of Magnet Missiles at Rockman. These are easy to avoid, and cause very little trouble. Just plug away at him with the Hard Knuckle or Spark Shot and you should be okay.
Making his last appearnace for a while, Blues comes back for a rematch near the beginning of the stage. By now, he should be nothing to worry about--just an annoyance.

Doc Man/Doc Robot
I wish I had a picture of this guy! He is one of the weirdest, coolest Robot Masters in the whole Rockman series. After defeating all of the Robot masters, Rockman must return to four of the stages again to dispose of the mysterious "Doc Robot." Believe me, he's trouble.
The four stages he inabits are Gemini Man, Spark Man, Needle Man and Shadow Man. This time, the stages are a lot harder (i.e. more spikes, more pits, etc...) Once you've negotiated your way through them, then you have to face Doc Man! In eight different spots (the midpoint and end of each level) he appears and uses the powers of past Robot Masters against Rockman. This time, you'll actually have to worry about wimpy robots like Flash Man and Metal Man--they're hard!
Luckily, the weapons of the current Robot Masters work against the reincarnations of the old. Here's the table list:
Air Man--use Magnet Missiles
Crash Man--use Top Spin
Flash Man--use Needle Cannon
Bubble Man--use Shadow Blades
Wood Man--use Hard Knuckle
Heat Man--use Shadow Blades
Metal Man--use Spark Shot
Quick Man--use Gemini Laser

After that grueling task, Rockman will have to face Blues again, this time as Break Man! Garbed in a heavier outfit and a welding mask, Blues doesn't alter his attack pattern in the slightest, and is really only there for the fun of it, I think.

Of course, once you have defeated Blues (again) and return to the lab, the "unthinkable" happens.
To quote Dr Light:
"Oh no! After we received the last element, Dr. Wily ran of with Gamma!"
Yes, it's true. Dr. Wily, that sly old dog, has done something totally original and stolen Dr. Light's robot. Predictably, Rockman must storm Skull Castle again and defeat Dr. Wily in his own lair. This time, Skull Castle actually looks cool!

Skull Castle
First Guardian: Turtle Machine
Strategy: It's pretty obvious that Dr. Wily was running out of ideas for guardians when he constructed this one. All you need to do is stand on the floor and fire Shadow Blades up at the mechanized turtles (the control pod is indestructible) and the pod will self-destruct by itself.

Second Guardian: the Cyclops mk. II
Strategy: Yes, Wily was definitely running out of ideas--he had to recycle his old Cyclops! This time, it's Hard Knuckle that works on the rocky monster. Use the Rush Jet to avoid his "wave" motion if you're worried about losing too much life.
Third Guardian: Triple Clones
Strategy: Does this sound familiar? Clones again? This time, two of them are holographic, though their plasma is real enough. So, when the clones go to their teleport hatches, you have to be careful to shoot the right one with your Needle Cannon when they reappear, or your shot will pass through thin air!
Speaking of teleport hatches, the next level is the required "fight all the Robot Masters over again" stage. Here's the layout:

. . . . . .
. . . . . .

After that, it's time for . . .
Dr. Wily
Don't get too excited when you see his first form: all you have to do is blast the cannon on its underside with the Spark Shot a few times and he'll be history.
For his second form, I recommend standing on the Rush Jet and blasting away at the glass dome under which he's housed (everything else is indestructible). Hard Knuckle works too, if you feel like standing around and waiting for him to drop into range.
But what's this . . . ? When Dr. Wily falls out of his machine and starts bowing to you, his head pops off on a spring! That can't be healthy. Unless . . . he's a robot! Discouraged, Rockman drops another level down into Skull Castle, this time to confront Wily (for real) and his gargantuan stolen Gamma.
Gamma himself isn't too much to worry about. After using the Rush Coil to leap onto the platforms on the side of the screen, he can be dispatched easily with the Hard Knuckles. Of course, then Dr. Wily appears with the real head of Gamma. At this point, watch for the huge fists that appear from the side of the screen: one touch with those spikes and Rockman is history! Use the Search Snakes to throw into the very top of Gamma's head. Or, if you feel like super-jumping, use the Top Spin for a one-hit defeat (remember what I said about using the weapon that turns you gray and white--it's also the least useful and least memorable weapon in the game--a sure-fire winner for the Dr. Wily's Destruction Award!)

Ending

Warning: do not read this if you want to discover the ending for yourself!

After the defeat of Dr. Wily, his castle begins to fall. Huge blocks fall down on both Rockman and Dr. Wily. After a few moments, a "mysterious" dark figure that is shaped exactly like Blues teleports in, rescues Rockman, and laments that it is too late for Dr. Wily.
The next morning in the lab, Dr. Light waves his arms a lot and yells as he explains to Rockman that he (Rockman) was found earlier in the lab, unconscious. Blues' whistle theme pervades the air, and Dr. Light realizes that Blues must have saved Rockman. Rockman teleports out of the lab and walks in a field (again) thinking about this new discovery. As he walks, the creations of Dr. Light (printed as Dr. Right) are displayed at the bottom of the screen. Just as screen broadens to its full area, we see Dr. Wily's saucer flying above the trees . . .
If you want the extended ending and longer version of Blues' song, use that "useless" trick I told you about with holding up and A down on the second controller. Rockman will freeze before he teleports out, and you can listen to the whole song!

Overall Ratings (scale of 1-10):
Difficulty
: 7
Game Play:7
Graphics:6
Ending: 6

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