A Beginner’s Guide to “Mega Man” (1987, NES)

megaman1A FEW KEY POINTS (for beginners)

  • In this game you select in which order you beat the six main levels after which you can begin the final set of levels.
  • When you beat a level boss a.k.a. a Robot Master you get their weapon and are able to use it in the other levels. These weapons run on weapon energy which appears beside your life-bar. Remember to collect weapon energy to refill them. Each Robot Master is weak to a certain other Master Weapon and learning the sequence is key to getting through the game smoothly.
  • You can shoot using the B button while jumping on the ground or on a ladder. You can shoot left or right and you can have three shots on the screen at a time (that’s important to remember because you can’t fire again until the shots have disappeared).
  • Be careful around pits as things tend to jump out of them.
  • In areas with enemies flying towards you from one end of the screen you’ll want to keep on firing continuously to destroy the enemies as they appear.
  • In areas where it seems you can’t go anywhere wait a while. These usually contain the disappearing-reappearing blocks. Learn the pattern and then jump around them to get to the platform.
  • Enemies that can’t be destroyed with your regular shot can often be destroyed with a master weapon.
  • You let go of a ladder by pressing A. When opening a weapon screen Mega Man always lets go when you return to the game so remember to press up as you press Start.
  • Elec Man and Guts Man’s weapons can destroy blocks seen in most levels.
  • Ice Man’s weapon will freeze enemies into place but will most often not kill them.


Okay, if you’ve played other Mega Man games before there are some differences to them you should take into account.

  • There’s only six robot masters, not eight like in the other games. However, there’s also no password system so this game has to be played through as a single session (not a problem if played on an emulator or on the Wii).
  • There’s a score but it doesn’t do anything. You’ll see enemies drop little red and blue balls, these add up once you beat the level but aren’t really important.
  • You die when you touch spikes, even if you’re flashing from being hit by an enemy. Approach spiked areas with caution.
  • After beating the Robot Master you still have to pick up a shining ball to end the level. What this means is that the Robot Master’s attack can kill you even after he dies.
  • There’s no teleporter room in this game like in the other Mega Man games. Instead you have to face off against the Robot Masters again in the second and fourth fortress levels in a predetermined order.
  • There are no energy tanks so always go into battle on full life bar.
  • The corridor leading up to the boss will often have enemies in it.
  • Aside the weapon screen you can also pause the game using Select. This can be used as a cheat in certain points of the game.
  • There are no help- or Rush items like in the other games. There’s only one helpful item, called the Magnet Beam, that you have to pick up from Elec Man’s stage once you beat Elec or Guts Man (you can still revisit the stage after beating the boss).


  • Most of the bosses are relatively easy but it’s often recommended to start with either Bomb Man or Cut Man. If you beat Cut Man first you can go straight to Elec Man and after that replay the level to get the Magnet Beam. With Bomb Man’s weapon you can beat Guts Man more easily and with Guts Man’s weapon you can take out Cut Man even more easily (just toss the two blocks in his room at him).
  • The only bosses that are really hard to beat without master weapons are Elec Man (because his attacks do so much damage) and Fire Man (whose attacks are really hard to dodge). Fire Man can be beating with Ice Man’s weapon and Elec Man with Cut Man’s weapon. Ice Man in turn can be beaten with Elec Man’s weapon.
  • Whatever the order you pick you have to pick the Magnet Beam off from Elec Man’s level before you can head to Wily’s Fortress, as you will not be able to finish the first level without it. The Magnet Beam is located about halfway into the level. It’s sitting behind three blocks that can be blown away with the Elec Wave or lifted and thrown with Guts Man’s weapon.


One of the most useful techniques in this game is using the Select button to inflict extra damage against opponents. This cheat works best with the Elec Wave. Fire the attack on the enemy and once it hits keep tapping Select (not too rapidly). Whenever you unpause the game the attack should always do more damage to your opponent, it’s particularly effective with the Elec Wave since the lightning is so long and stays over the enemy for so long. This attack is most effective against the Yellow Devil (first fortress boss) who takes a lot of hits to kill.

For more detailed hints visit The Mega Man Homepage.