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Submission #5692: Mothrayas's NGP Rockman Battle & Fighters "Power Battle" in 08:20.89

Console: Neo Geo Pocket
Game name: Rockman Battle & Fighters
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Rockman Battle & Fighters (J) [!].ngc
Branch: Power Battle
Emulator: BizHawk 2.2
Movie length: 08:20.89
FrameCount: 30180
Re-record count: 36234
Author's real name: Wout van Poppel
Author's nickname: Mothrayas
Submitter: Mothrayas
Submitted at: 2017-10-31 23:30:54
Text last edited at: 2017-11-18 10:30:35
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (8804 bytes)
Status: judging underway
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NGP Rockman Battle & Fighters "Power Battle" in 08:20.89 by Mothrayas

Featuring 24 Mega Man boss battles in eight minutes.


(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.2
  • Goal: clear out all Power Battle episodes (Mega Man 1~2, Mega Man 3~6, Mega Man 7)
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Plays on hardest difficulty

About the game

Rockman Battle & Fighters is a Neo Geo Pocket Color port/compilation of the two Mega Man arcade games, Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man: The Power Fighters. It was developed and published by Capcom and released in 2000 in Japan. While video and audio are brought down significantly to go down from the CPS arcade systems to the dinky Neo Geo Pocket handheld, the gameplay is largely converted pretty faithfully, and the character sprites even in their 8-bit-esque glory retain pretty fluid animation.

As in the arcade games, there are no stages in this game - Mega Man (and Proto Man, and Bass) decided those are a waste of time, so they'll just face the Robot Masters directly instead. Each episode contains 6 Robot Masters, a penultimate boss stage, and a final boss stage where the player faces off against Dr. Wily as usual. Both games have three episodes each - this TAS plays through all three episodes of the first game, Mega Man: The Power Battle.

About the run

Character choice

In Power Battle, there are three playable characters - Mega Man, Proto Man, and Bass. Besides the obvious cosmetic differences, they also have some different properties, although most things are still the same.

The following properties are the same for all three characters:

  • Controls
  • Hitboxes
  • Walk speed
  • Jump speed
  • Jump height
  • Superjump height
  • Wall jump height
  • Wall jump timing
  • Wall jump distance
  • Buster charging time
  • Uncharged shot damage
  • Semi charged shot damage
  • Fully charged shot damage
  • All special weapons and all of their properties

That leaves only a small few differences:

  • Number of buster shots allowed on screen (2 for Proto Man, 3 for Mega Man and Bass)
  • Buster shot hitboxes (Mega Man has smaller shot hitboxes, Bass has larger square ones, Proto Man's are wide but short)
  • Buster shot speed (Proto Man's shots are twice as fast as Mega Man or Bass' shots)
  • Slide/dash properties (Mega Man's slide is pretty standard, Proto Man's dash is faster, Bass's dash launches him into the air)

Since all special weapon properties are the same, and the dash functionality is not very important, the character choices are based primarily on their buster properties. Normally, Proto Man's fast shot speed would help him out, but it turns out to be largely insignificant because it actually just makes double-hitting harder to pull off, and triple-hitting is impossible outright because he can only have two shots on screen. Because of this, Proto Man is not used.

Mega Man and Bass are very similar to each other, besides the slide vs. air dash, but still their different buster hitbox properties provide different uses. Bass' larger shots make it easier to setup triple hits against enemies that jump or move a lot - on the other hand, Mega Man's smaller shots allow him to follow up faster with an uncharged shot after firing a semi-charged shot, saving time on stationary bosses.

Because of these properties, briefly put, Bass' buster is better against mobile enemies that jump and move around a lot, while Mega Man's buster is better against enemies who stand still more. Because of this, Bass turned out faster in the MM1-2 and MM7 episodes (using the buster against Cut Man and Slash Man respectively), while Mega Man turned out faster in the MM3-6 episode (using the buster against Dust Man). After the initial buster fights, their differences become pretty much irrelevant.

Tricks

Double hit/triple hit

In this game, when a boss is hit by multiple projectiles or hitboxes on the same frame, he takes damage from all of them before triggering mercy invincibility (which is 10 frames for most bosses, or significantly more if they're stunned). This is important for saving hits and in general just increasing damage output.

How many hits it is possible to do at once depends on the weapon the player is using. Mega Man's and Bass' busters allow up to 3 projectiles at once, so if all of them hit an enemy on the same frame they can do 3 damage (or 6 if one of the shots was partially charged). Then for example with a weapon like Cut Man's, you can have 3 projectiles that can do 3 damage each for 9 damage at once, which becomes 18 damage at once if they're weak to the weapon.

Proper use of this allows saving time in almost all boss battles - especially the Mega Buster fights - so usage of this trick is one of the most integral parts of the run, and of its optimization.

Dust Crusher quadruple hit

A trick exclusive to Dust Man's Dust Crusher in MM3-6 is being able to perform a quadruple hit. This is done by hitting an enemy with the Dust Crusher while they're invulnerable, 2-3 frames before their invulnerability ends. What happens is that the main Dust Crusher shot will hit them while invincible, the Dust Crusher will explode into 4 pieces of shrapnel, and those 4 pieces then all hit the enemy on the same frame. This does 12 damage in total and allows the Dust Crusher to be readily used again, so it can be performed repeatedly in quick succession if the positioning is right. This technique is strong enough that for quite a few bosses it's faster to beat them with this rather than with their weakness weapon, and bosses that are weak to Dust Crusher are annihilated even quicker.

A sort of similar trick can be done with Cloud Man's Thunder Strike in MM7 - by hitting the enemy 3-4 frames before invulnerability ends with a Thunder Strike, the two side spheres may hit the boss instead for 12 damage in total. However, the spheres won't disappear, and it generally takes a long time before they disappear and hence allow the player to change weapons or fire again, so it's much less effective. It is used a few times, but only to finish off boss battles.

It should be noted in both these cases that because of the requirement to hit an invulnerable enemy for optimal damage, sometimes different weapons have to be used just to fulfill the invulnerability requirement. The Mega Buster can't do this because it's not possible to change weapons fast enough, but some special weapons work better for this purpose, like Gyro Attack in MM3-6 or Slash Claw in MM7.

Damage recoil cancel

Damage recoil can be cancelled by taking damage just above the ground and landing shortly after taking damage. This is useful in quite a few places whenever taking damage is necessary or the invincibility is good for something.

Boss HP

Boss HP depends not on what boss you fight, but at which point of order you fight them in. The first boss has 64 HP, second boss 80, third 96, fourth 112, fifth and sixth 128. Fortress bosses also have 128 HP.

Wily Machine is fought in three phases - the first has 128 HP, the second has 64 HP, and the Wily Capsule has 32 HP. This holds true for all episodes in this run.

In Mega Man 3~6, Yellow Devil has three separate phases - it starts out with 128HP, switches to second phase upon taking 36 damage, splits into two mini-devils, the first one fighting you until it has taken 64 damage, the second until it has taken 48 damage, and then reforms back to the main Yellow Devil with 32 HP. When that is beaten, the battle ends.

Weapons

Weapons are listed in the order they are obtained in the run.

Mega Man 1~2

Rolling Cutter

Does 3 damage, and can have up to three projectiles on screen. The projectiles boomerang back towards the player, and refill ammo if caught without hitting an enemy. Decent properties, but not spectacular damage, so its usage is limited to its weakness targets - Crash Man and Wily Machine.

Crash Bomb

An interesting projectile. Does 3 damage on its own, but if it lands on the ground and detonates, it spreads out several hitboxes doing 4 damage. Generally this setup is not really useful, but on a slow and stationary opponent like Guts Man (who's also weak to it), this explosion can do amazing amounts of double/triple hits with itself, taking away a lot of health. This weapon can be fired again as soon as the explosion starts, which can be used for added hits as well. However, due to the setup and properties required, it's only useful against Guts Man.

Super Arm

Throws a boulder forward. If down is held while pressing the attack button, the boulder is dropped straight down instead. Up to two boulders can be on screen at once, and a boulder can do 6 damage - highly useful as a secondary weapon when the weakness weapon is not available or practical. Its size and properties make it relatively easy to double hit. Weakness targets are Ice Man and Yellow Devil, and also used against Dr. Wily.

Ice Slasher

Generic projectile, does 3 damage. Can double or triple hit against jumping opponents. Used against Heat Man, who is weak to it.

Atomic Fire

Throws a projectile at an arc, which spawns a flame if it lands on the ground. The projectile does 3 damage, flames 4 damage and can hit multiple times in succession. Up to three can be thrown at once, so having three flames triple-hit an enemy does massive damage. Used against Wood Man, who is weak to it.

Leaf Shield

Not used. Shield weapons are universally worthless in this game, as they are impractical, have short range, only do 1 damage per hit (or 2 per hit against bosses weak to it), and tend to have long cooldown when they wear off. This is the reason I start off with Cut Man in MM1-2.

Mega Man 3~6

Dust Crusher

The best weapon in the whole run. Shoots a single projectile which does 6 damage and stuns the enemy if applicable. If it hits, it spawns four shrapnel parts which spread out in diagonal directions, and do 3 damage each. By using the Dust Crusher-specific quad hit trick, this weapon is used to cause massive damage to practically every boss it can be used against. Magnet Man and Wily Machine are especially weak to it.

Gyro Attack

Launches a single projectile which does 4 damage. The projectile moves forward, but can be steered up or down once by pressing the respective direction. Not great, and cannot be used to double hit, but can be used as a setup shot, and is used against the Yellow Devil, who's weak to it and where it is needed because Dust Crusher doesn't have enough ammo for everything. Plant Man is also weak to it, but Dust Crusher is better against him regardless.

Plant Barrier

Shield weapon, worthless. Dust Man is weak to it, but everything else is weak to Dust Crusher, so that works out.

Magnet Missile

Does 4 damage, is pretty fast, and two can be fired at once. Automatically angles up or down to target enemies. Its properties make it pretty usable to do double hits to enemies, which does a lot of they're weak to it, as Gemini Man is. Unfortunately, it's outclassed in other scenarios.

Gemini Laser

Does 4 damage, and two can be fired at once. If it hits a wall, it arcs upwards diagonally. Useful for Napalm Man, who's weak to it, but only can double-hit him when he's moving towards the player. When he's not, Dust Crusher does more damage over time.

Napalm Bomb

Can fire a single bomb, which does 3 damage, or wait for several seconds to explode which deals pretty nonsignificant damage. Worthless, as Dust Crusher is far more effective against Gyro Man even though that's not even his weakness weapon.

Mega Man 7

Slash Claw

Puts out a slash hitbox in front of the player, which does 6 damage. The downside is it cannot double hit, and it takes 12 frames to use, so it does not optimally hit most bosses, who have 10-frame boss invincibility - nevertheless, it's still better than the other weapons in this episode. Shade Man is weak to it.

Freeze Cracker

Freeze Man's weapon, fires a single shot which if it hits a wall explodes into 6 smaller shots. In theory, this sounds good, but in practice, the fact that it does only 3 damage makes it outclassed by Slash Claw in practically every scenario. Slash Man is weak to it, but it's actually better to use Slash Claw against Freeze Man than the reverse (helped by the fact that doing the reverse order would force the character select roulette to take an extra spin, and also the fact that bustering Slash Claw is faster than bustering Freeze Man, and also that Freeze Man's own weakness is Junk Shield which is absolutely worthless). Never used.

Crash Noise

Shoots a sound wave projectile that does 4 damage. Having the soundwave bounce towards a wall and back towards the player charges it, and the player can release it again for 8 damage. Sounds really good in theory, but in practice its applications are limited, mainly because half the stages have no walls to bounce of, and in many other cases it's not worth the time to go to the wall. That said, it obliterates Turbo Man (weakness), and sees use against the Wily Capsule because there is no Slash Claw ammo left there.

Burning Wheel

Puts a flaming wheel around the user, which goes forward after some time. Does 4 damage. This is the closest thing to a shield weapon that isn't worthless, because it actually does good damage per hit, and can be refired immediately after hitting for continuous damage. This makes it good for Cloud Man, who's weak to it. It also sees a niche use against Wily Machine, used as a backup to conserve Slash Claw energy. The weapon can be switched out quickly after it's hit, which is a beneficial property, and also happens to be the first item in the weapon select menu, which also helps.

Thunder Strike

Shoots forward a relatively slow moving thunder ball, which does 6 damage. Two shots can be on-screen at once. Upon hitting an enemy, the ball splits into two spheres that go up and down, which each can do 6 damage as well. In theory, it sounds like a Dust Crusher variant for this episode, but in practice, it's gimped by the fact that even if they hit, the followup spheres never disappear, and you cannot fire another shot or change weapons until the spheres have scrolled off screen. In the end, this makes it a decent finisher for bosses weak to it (Junk Man, Dr. Wily's Halloween Pumpkin) or other situational circumstances (Wily Machine phase 2, where Slash Claw ammo has run out), but that aside its uses are limited.

Junk Shield

Shield weapon. Not used.

Stage-by-stage notes

Before the run starts, difficulty is set to hard in the options menu. Other settings are untouched, but irrelevant anyway.

Mega Man 1~2

Bass is selected, because his larger Buster shots are beneficial against a mobile jumpy boss like Cut Man. For more on this, see the Character Choice section above.

Cut Man

Cut Man's mobility, moving and jumping around the place, is used to setup triple buster shots. This saves time quite a few times.

Crash Man

Beaten mostly with Rolling Cutter hits, with double and triple hits used wherever the opportunity arose. Some luck manipulation was needed to get him to walk forward, and not jump away. That ended up only differing by 2 frames in the end, but it was worth it.

Guts Man

Guts Man's attack pattern is absolutely perfect for Crash Bomb - slowly jumping upwards, so he can land on the bomb right as it explodes and then stand still, doing the maximum amount of damage possible. While the bomb is exploding, more bombs are unloaded into Guts Man at the right timing (turning double/triple hits into triple/quadruple hits) - defeating him very quickly.

Ice Man

Super Arm stuns Ice Man on hit, but the fact it's possible to double hit Super Arms for 24 damage between stuns still makes it the best weapon to use against him. Ice Man is helplessly demolished.

Heat Man

Just unloading Ice Slashers into Heat Man. A triple hit is done while Heat Man jumps.

Wood Man

Putting Atomic Fires right at Wood Man's feet can hit him several times, and with three Atomic Fires, do triple hits at that. That does a lot of damage at once, but only as long as he's on the ground. His attack pattern forces him to jump, but once he lands, he's quickly done for.

You'll notice there's a text message after the match - this is to indicate that this character's data has been added to the game database. This is triggered just by defeating the boss, and there's no way around it (other than using dirty SRAM). This happens in various other fights later on as well.

Yellow Devil

Using Super Arm, with double hits where possible. This fight is literally a single frame off from Yellow Devil turning invincible for his attacking pattern, which would have lost several seconds.

Wily Machine

Wily Machine has an interesting property where it can only be hit once every few frames - a highly useful property, as it allows me to consistently triple hit it with Rolling Cutters, its weakness weapon. This way, phase 1 goes down pretty fast. Phase 2 goes down conventionally, but still pretty fast. When Rolling Cutters run out, I switch to Super Arm instead, which does the same damage despite not being a weakness weapon. Super Arm is still good for setting up double hits against Wily Capsule.

Mega Man 3~6

In this episode, Mega Man is selected, because Dust Man stands still a lot, so Mega Man's faster ability of alternating partially charged shots with uncharged shots saves more time here.

Dust Man

Alternating uncharged/charged shots are used while Dust Man is standing still, and triple hits are used while he is jumping.

Gyro Man

Gyro Man's weakness is actually Napalm Man, but that weapon is so useless it's better to just face Gyro Man right away and beat him with Dust Man's weapon. Since I have no other weapon to pre-shoot him with, I just fire a regular Dust Crusher deep into Gyro Man for pre-shooting; fortunately it does not stun him at that point of his attack pattern. Then I do Dust Crusher quad hits to take him out quickly.

Plant Man

Plant Man's weakness is actually Gyro Man, but Dust Crusher is again superior here. Plant Man always starts out with an invincible shield attack. I hit him as soon as he becomes vulnerable with a Dust Crusher mini-particle, and use that for the pre-shooting. The rest of the fight is done with Dust Man quad-hits.

Upon reaching a certain point of life remaining, Plant Man will always try to setup another Plant Barrier after finishing his current action. I manipulate his actions and timing such that he starts to do a walking action right before this is triggered, leaving him with no time to set up another Plant Barrier. This was really close. If he were fought any later in the boss order (so with more HP), this strategy would not have been possible.

Magnet Man

Now at last, here's the boss that Dust Crusher is actually strong towards. Or even stronger, I should say.

I start out with a Gyro Attack to pre-shoot for the Dust Crusher quad-hit. A Mega Buster shot would not have allowed switching weapons fast enough, and Dust Crusher itself would have stunned Magnet Man, knocked him out of the air and messed everything up. Gyro Attack was the most practical option here.

Gemini Man

Gemini Man is pelted with Magnet Missile double-hits until the ammo of that runs out; the remainder is finished off with Dust Crusher.

Napalm Man

Napalm Man is pelted with Gemini Laser double-hits until he reaches too close to be hit by double hits; the remainder is finished off with Dust Crusher.

Yellow Devil

This is a pretty interesting boss, as it has basically four separate phases. Main Yellow Devil (takes 36 damage), mini Yellow Devil 1 (takes 64 damage), mini Yellow Devil 2 (takes 48 damage), and finally main Yellow Devil again (takes 32 damage).

There's not enough Dust Crusher ammo for everything, and the only other practical weapon here is Gyro Attack (which this boss is weak to). I use Gyro Attack for the airborne main Yellow Devil phases (where Dust Crusher quad-hits cannot be consistently set up fast enough), and Dust Crusher for the primarily grounded mini-devils.

Wily Machine

Wily Machine is weak to Dust Crusher, which, having seen everything so far, means carnage. The main issue is that I'm required to take damage to get deep enough into the Wily Machine to do repeated hits. However, once all of that is arranged, it goes down very quickly. The next phase and Wily Capsule go down without the need for that, but very quickly nonetheless.

Mega Man 7

Back to Bass again.

Slash Man

Like Cut Man, Slash Man is a mobile enemy, jumping around a lot. His attack pattern happens to be really good for triple hits with Bass.

Freeze Man

Freeze Man's weakness weapon is Junk Man's weapon, which is worthless, so it's better to use Slash Claw on him instead, and as soon as possible too before he gets too much health to cover with Slash Claw ammo.

Shade Man

Annoyingly, Shade Man always starts off by flying around, so some superjumping action is needed. He gets slashed to bits.

Turbo Man

Fortunately Turbo Man decides to jump and stick next to the wall, where Crash Noise can be used to its maximum effect and absolutely obliterate him.

Cloud Man

Cloud Man sits high up for the start of the battle, which annoyingly gets in the way with trying to do perfect hits. Some super jumping is required instead - it took some testing to figure out exactly how many times I wanted to hit him each jump to get optimal results. Also, Burning Wheel ammo isn't sufficient, so the final part is done with Slash Claw.

Junk Man

Junk Man's attack pattern is random, and can be manipulated depending on how much HP he has when he decides to do an action. Fortunately with an optimal attacking pattern, he didn't do one of the moves that turns him invincible or makes him jump off screen. Since Thunder Strike sucks as a general purpose weapon, I use Slash Claw instead. Thunder Strike is used to finish when Slash Claw energy runs out.

Dr. Wily's Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin

It's Halloween today, so for the occasion Dr. Wily has brought out his pumpkin. It's weak to Thunder Strike, but since that's an impractical general-use weapon, it gets slashed instead. Thunder Strike is used for the finisher when Slash Claw energy runs out.

Wily Machine

Wily Machine is weak to Slash Claw, which makes it the obvious weapon of choice overall - unfortunately, there's not quite enough ammo to do everything with it. To conserve ammo I first do a few hits with Burning Wheel (it was that or Crash Noise, but Burning Wheel happens to sit right between starting position and Slash Claw in the menu), then Slash Claw to finish the rest of phase 1 off. Phase 2 eats another 4 Slash Claw hits before ammo runs out, leaving it with 16 HP - enough to finish it off with two Thunder Strikes. Then, Wily Capsule is defeated with four charged Crash Noise hits.

Final notes

Screenshot

Thanks for watching!


feos: Judging...

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