Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Game Information

NES Mega Man 2

  • Platform: NES (Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Abbreviation: MM2
  • Display name: Mega Man 2
  • Goodtools name: Mega Man 2
  • Game resources: GameResources/NES/Rockman
  • In group: Mega Man

Total movies: 2

[Tier: Moons][Has commentary]NES Mega Man 2 (JPN) "zipless" in 27:16.17 by warmCabin.
FCEUX movie (.fm3) (date: 2019-10-28)
MKV file via BitTorrent (Modern HQ) (size: 42.46 MB, length: 30:56)
MP4 file via BitTorrent (Compatibility) (size: 58.21 MB, length: 30:56)
Mirror archive.org (MKV Modern HQ)
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Watch on (www.youtube.com)
Watch on (www.youtube.com)
Submission #6534 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Rating: 8.9 (10 votes)
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- Uses death to save time
- Takes damage to save time
- Forgoes time-saving glitches
- Heavy luck manipulation
- Uses hardest difficulty
- Genre: Action
- Genre: Platform
Mega Man 2 is a game that hardly needs any introduction. This movie plays Rockman 2, the Japanese version, which is essentially Mega Man 2 in difficult mode.

warmCabin completes the games without any zips in record time. Please read the submision comments for more details.

The second YouTube stream features an input display.

The author streamed his TAS with live commentary, which can be viewed here.

[Tier: Stars][Fastest Completion]NES Mega Man 2 (JPN) in 23:44.5 by Shinryuu, aglasscage & FinalFighter.
FCEUX movie (.fm2) (date: 2019-07-29)
MKV file via BitTorrent (Modern HQ) (size: 35.67 MB, length: 27:23)
MP4 file via BitTorrent (Compatibility) (size: 45.82 MB, length: 27:23)
Mirror archive.org (MKV Modern HQ)
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Watch on (www.youtube.com)
Submission #6463 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Obsoletes movie #1649 (23:48.51)
Rating: 9.5 (13 votes)
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- Uses death to save time
- Takes damage to save time
- Heavy glitch abuse
- Uses hardest difficulty
- Genre: Action
- Genre: Platform
Mega Man 2 is a game that hardly needs any introduction. This movie plays Rockman 2, the Japanese version, which is essentially Mega Man 2 in difficult mode.

This is an improvement of 4.01 seconds over the previous run.

See Rockman Tricks and the submission message for in-depth explanation and answers to various questions regarding this movie.

See also a run done on the PSX port here.

Total movies: 7

[Tier: Stars]NES Mega Man 2 (JPN) in 25:01.72 by Shinryuu.
FCEU movie (.fcm) (date: 2006-12-18)
AVI file via BitTorrent (size: 43.49 MB, length: 28:31)
Mirror www.archive.org
Watch on (www.youtube.com)
Submission #1375 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Obsoletes movie #588 (25:10.0)
Rating: 8.5 (40 votes)
View Publication
- Uses death to save time
- Takes damage to save time
- Heavy glitch abuse
- Uses hardest difficulty
- Genre: Action
- Genre: Platform

This movie has been obsoleted!

Click here to see the movie that obsoleted it.
Mega Man 2 is a game that hardly needs any introduction. This movie plays Rockman 2, the Japanese version, which is essentially Mega Man 2 in difficult mode.

This new movie, played by Shinryuu, is about 8 seconds faster than the previous movie by Shinryuu and Bisqwit. The major timesaver in this movie is:

  • a zip+death shortcut in CrashClashman and Woodman stages

Other new tricks were also used.
Most of the techniques in this movie have been architected by Finalfighter and Morimoto.

See Rockman Tricks and the submission message for in-depth explanation and answers to various questions regarding this movie.

[Tier: Moons]NES Mega Man 2 (JPN) in 25:34.65 by Morimoto & FinalFighter.
Famtasia movie (.fmv) (date: 2005-03-08)
AVI file via BitTorrent (size: 77.71 MB, length: 29:11)
Mirror www.archive.org
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Submission #581 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Obsoletes movie #6 (28:24.65)
Rating: 8.3 (28 votes)
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- Takes damage to save time
- Heavy glitch abuse
- Genre: Action
- Genre: Platform

This movie has been obsoleted!

Click here to see the movie that obsoleted it.
This is the much-awaited new fast completion (TAS) of Rockman 2, which took almost a year to make.

The movie was played originally by Morimoto, until Finalfighter took over and replayed a few of the earlier levels and completed the Wily levels on his own.

Timewise, this movie is almost 3 minutes faster than the previous version. It involves tons of glitches that have been precisely calculated in order to attain the fastest possible completion time.

The homepage of this movie and its related material is at http://www.globetown.net/~rockmovie/ (Japanese, with parts translated in English).

There are many more glitches / tricks in the game than are utilized in this movie, but most of them are slow and not worth performing in a run aiming for speed.
You can find demonstrations of those tricks in MPG form at: http://www.globetown.net/~rockmovie/newrockindex.htm

Note: As per the author's wish, please do not republish this movie (and AVI files made of it) on sites that make money with their content (by advertising etc).

[Tier: Stars]NES Mega Man 2 (JPN) in 23:54.75 by Shinryuu, pirohiko & FinalFighter.
FCEUX movie (.fm2) (date: 2009-08-22)
MKV file via BitTorrent (size: 35.99 MB, length: 27:32)
Mirror www.archive.org
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Submission #2377 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Obsoletes movie #1242 (24:33.5)
Rating: 9.1 (34 votes)
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- Uses death to save time
- Takes damage to save time
- Heavy glitch abuse
- Uses hardest difficulty
- Genre: Action
- Genre: Platform
Award - NES TAS of 2009

This movie has been obsoleted!

Click here to see the movie that obsoleted it.
Mega Man 2 is a game that hardly needs any introduction. This movie plays Rockman 2, the Japanese version, which is essentially Mega Man 2 in difficult mode.

This is an improvement of about 37 seconds over the authors' previous effort; nearly 30 seconds of which come from a complete overhaul (and mutilation) of the Wood Man stage.

See Rockman Tricks and the submission message for in-depth explanation and answers to various questions regarding this movie.

[Tier: Stars]NES Mega Man 2 (JPN) in 28:24.65 by Morimoto.
Famtasia movie (.fmv) (date: 2003-07-08)
MP4 file via BitTorrent (size: 32.68 MB, length: 32:09)
Mirror www.archive.org
Watch on (aktanusa.000webhostapp.com)
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Submission #136 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Not rated
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- Takes damage to save time
- Heavy glitch abuse
- Genre: Action
- Genre: Platform

This movie has been obsoleted!

Click here to see the movie that obsoleted it.
This game was originally known as Rockman 2 in Japan.

This is a prime example of how timeattacks should be done.
Very creative, very nice.

Morimoto has been working on a significantly improved version of this movie with the aid of Finalfighter since the beginning of year 2004.
If you know where to look at in the Internet, you can find clues to what it will look like, but even if you don't want to, you can be sure it will be published at this site when it's ready!

(Original filename: ロックマン2.fmv)

[Tier: Stars]NES Mega Man 2 (JPN) in 24:33.5 by Shinryuu, TaoTao, pirohiko & FinalFighter.
FCEU movie (.fcm) (date: 2009-01-13)
MKV file via BitTorrent (size: 49.14 MB, length: 28:10)
Mirror www.archive.org
Watch on (www.youtube.com)
Submission #2162 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Obsoletes movie #741 (25:01.72)
Rating: 9.4 (53 votes)
View Publication
- Uses death to save time
- Takes damage to save time
- Heavy glitch abuse
- Heavy luck manipulation
- Uses hardest difficulty
- Genre: Action
- Genre: Platform

This movie has been obsoleted!

Click here to see the movie that obsoleted it.
Mega Man 2 is a game that hardly needs any introduction. This movie plays Rockman 2, the Japanese version, which is essentially Mega Man 2 in difficult mode.

This new movie, played by Shinryuu, but assisted by TaoTao, pirohiko and finalfighter, is about 28 seconds faster than the previous movie by Shinryuu. Major and phenomenal changes to the previous movie were performed in the CrashClashman, Bubbleman, Woodman and Wily1 stages. Some of these took several years to plan and to carry out.

Other new tricks were also used.

See Rockman Tricks and the submission message for in-depth explanation and answers to various questions regarding this movie.

[Tier: Moons][Notable improvement]NES Mega Man 2 (JPN) in 25:10.0 by Shinryuu & Bisqwit.
FCEU movie (.fcm) (date: 2006-08-30)
AVI file via BitTorrent (size: 45.28 MB, length: 28:45)
Mirror www.archive.org
Watch on (www.youtube.com)
Submission #1169 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Obsoletes movie #306 (25:34.65)
Rating: 8.8 (37 votes)
View Publication
- Takes damage to save time
- Heavy glitch abuse
- Uses hardest difficulty
- Genre: Action
- Genre: Platform

This movie has been obsoleted!

Click here to see the movie that obsoleted it.
Mega Man 2 is a game that hardly needs any introduction. This movie plays Rockman 2, the Japanese version, which is essentially Mega Man 2 in difficult mode.

This new movie, played by Shinryuu and Bisqwit, is about 25 seconds faster than the previous movie by Morimoto and Finalfighter. Finalfighter has also discovered a large portion of the new tricks in this movie. Major timesavers include:

  • a new route for the first 8 bosses
  • scrolling horizontally when the screen should scroll vertically
  • damage transfer: when a crash bomb explodes, Mega Man can be used to deal damage

See Rockman Tricks and the submission message for in-depth explanation and answers to various questions regarding this movie.

[Tier: Stars][Console-verified]NES Mega Man 2 (JPN) in 23:48.51 by aglasscage, FinalFighter, pirohiko & Shinryuu.
FCEUX movie (.fm2) (date: 2010-10-18)
MP4 file via BitTorrent (size: 30.56 MB, length: 27:34)
Mirror www.archive.org
Watch on (www.youtube.com)
Submission #2881 — Author's comments
Discuss this movie
Obsoletes movie #1346 (23:54.75)
Rating: 9.4 (48.5 votes)
View Publication
- Uses death to save time
- Takes damage to save time
- Heavy glitch abuse
- Uses hardest difficulty
- Genre: Action
- Genre: Platform

This movie has been obsoleted!

Click here to see the movie that obsoleted it.
Mega Man 2 is a game that hardly needs any introduction. This movie plays Rockman 2, the Japanese version, which is essentially Mega Man 2 in difficult mode.

This is an improvement of 6.24 seconds over the previous run through a variety of small tweaks.

See Rockman Tricks and the submission message for in-depth explanation and answers to various questions regarding this movie.

You can also see this run played back on a real NES with an input display!

See also a run done on the PSX port here.

#58628772420868521 - warmCabin's NES Rockman 2 "zipless" Light Spike
mm2zipless-lightspike.fm2 (1.41MB fm2 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2019-10-15 08:18:39 by Spikestuff (226 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 27:17.32 [98401 frames], 93463 rerecords)
2932 views, 196 downloads
Reasons why you shouldn't submit an fm3.
Info (2 comments) Download

#58284435100106148 - Rockman 2 - Airman Stage
Rockman 2 - Airman Stage.fm2 (111kB fm2 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2019-09-29 20:08:05 by MewQ (2 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 02:05.39 [7536 frames], 403 rerecords)
2569 views, 186 downloads
Stage: Airman. Game: Rockman 2. Platform: Super Famicom. Region: Japanese.
Info (1 comment) Download

#57070174403385324 - Mega Man 2 Zipless - Cabin Route
cabin_route.fm3 (160kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2019-08-06 03:42:15 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 18:47.64 [67770 frames], 64141 rerecords)
2942 views, 208 downloads
My route for Mega Man 2 zipless. It's the fastest of the three I considered, so it's the one I'm continuing with. It beats the RTA route by 104 frames, and aglasscage's route (Metal late) by 46 frames.

The route:

  Q M B F H A W C

Comparison Video showing all three routes side by side

I made an improvement in Heat, which is contained in this movie. I didn't feel like implementing it twice and re-encoding both movies, so both this route and aglasscage's route are 8 frames faster than what you see in the videos.

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#57070172610851898 - Mega Man 2 Zipless - aglasscage Route
aglasscage_route.fm3 (141kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2019-08-06 03:42:08 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 12:22.31 [44612 frames], 15694 rerecords)
2928 views, 195 downloads
aglasscage's route for Mega Man 2 zipless. It beats the RTA route by 58 frames, but loses to mine (Metal early) by 46 frames.

The route:

  Q B F H A M W C
(lol ham)


Comparison Video showing all three routes side by side

I made an improvement in Heat, which is not contained in this movie. I didn't feel like implementing it twice and re-encoding both movies, so both this route and my route are 8 frames faster than what you see in the videos. This movie file is actually only 50 frames faster than the RTA route.

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#57070171144531459 - Mega Man 2 Zipless - RTA Route (v2.3)
rta_route.fm3 (152kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2019-08-06 03:42:02 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 18:52.5 [68062 frames], 86620 rerecords)
2919 views, 192 downloads
The classic RTA route for Mega Man 2 zipless. It turns out it's way faster to use Item 1 in Air, even though almost every other stage becomes slower in the process.

The route:

  A Q M B H F C W

Comparison Video showing all three routes side by side

Compared to v2.2, I saved a bit of time with an early switch in Metal, which broke the frame rule. This time was ultimately lost in Bubble due to bad RNG. I did some more optimization and cleanup, which saved no time.

This is not the perfect version of this route, though. I've saved 58 frames in Crash due to optimization and better understanding of offscreen ladder grabs. There's no real reason to apply these improvements to an obsolete route, so I'm not going to.

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#52299635407908344 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.2 (Part 2)
mm2_zipless_2.2.fm3 (309kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2019-01-03 07:28:46 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 19:01.05 [68576 frames], 83746 rerecords)
4369 views, 387 downloads
The Robot Masters are done! On to the Wily stages. This movie actually plays through Wily 1, but it's pretty rough right now. I didn't encode it.

Compared to my previous userfile, this movie finishes Crash Man's stage and does all of Wood. But there are also some changes to the earlier stages, which are detailed below.

Metal Man

Switching at the beginning of the stage always saves 13 frames. It turns out that shooting the drill only saves 9 frames...so the early switch is worth it. This plus a slightly better Item 2 placement at the end were enough to break the menu frame rule and save 8 frames! Hooray! But the rest of the run got desynced...

Bubble Man

I was able to copy and paste inputs for this stage with minimal changes. But there was a problem: when entering the boss room in an optimal way, I could not get good RNG, resulting in a much slower fight. I had no option but to slow my entry by a health bar frame rule (a confusing feat due to underwater lag), which caused me to miss the menu frame rule. Normally I'd be sad about that, but it actually synced the run back up, meaning I didn't have to redo any more stages!

Flash Man

Shinryuu showed me that you can abuse the ice physics to get perfect subpixels every time you need to turn around. I did that, as well as optimize the tin can man section a little bit. Unfortunately, this was not enough to break even a health bar frame rule.

Crash Man

In addition to finishing the stage, I found a nice timesave in the second screen. It appears slower, but my first Item 2 despawns much sooner, which is what makes it faster. This saves 12 frames, which gets transformed into 16 by the frame rules. I also saved a lag frame by facing left for no reason, so I actually saved 17 frames.

Wood Man

New content! I love new content!
Watch as I defeat the first Friender. There's a frame perfect ladder grab there that lets me avoid hitting the first ledge, and get my fireball in sooner. It only saves 2 frames, but it's still pretty cool.

I'd like to point out that my boss fight is one frame faster than the published Any% TAS. Does it beat a frame rule? No. But who cares about those? :D

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#51038834863691531 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.2
mm2_zipless_2.2.fm3 (313kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-11-07 12:44:48 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 13:41.68 [49382 frames], 64878 rerecords)
5133 views, 410 downloads
I've added several new tricks, and played my way through Flash and a good chunk of Crash. Enjoy!

Air Man

If you've been following this run, you can skip this. Nothing's changed.

Quick Man

Implements Visan's ride, a sick new Item 2 strat! Thanks to Visan for inventing this, and ellonija for telling me about it.

Metal Man

I did some weird Item 2 stuff to save a couple frames. Even when doing frame perfect jumps, conveyor belts slow you down for a frame; Item 2's do not. Also, conveyor belts apply their speed to you for one frame when you bonk them from below, gaining you a pixel each time it happens.

Bubble Man

Different RNG prevented me from doing the pacifist strat against those shrimps :/ I had no idea how lucky I was when I first did that! The pacifist strat only saves time because it involves a 1-frame jump, whereas the Metal Blade strat requires a 2-framer.

Heat Man

Now home to one of the least impressive frame perfect tricks you'll ever see: the first Item 2 throw.

Flash Man

New content! This is optimal to the best of my knowledge.

Crash Man

I decided not to encode it just yet, but a good chunk of Crash Man's stage is played in this userfile.
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#50737928605177965 - Visan's Ride
visans_ride.fm3 (206kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-10-24 23:30:46 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 05:59.49 [21605 frames], 46775 rerecords)
5326 views, 438 downloads

Invented by Japanese runner Visan, this strat saves 51 frames over my previous buster strat. A frame rule eats 3 of these frames, but still.

Branch 8 is the buster route, branch 9 is the Item 2 route (or just don't load any branch). I didn't encode it, but in this file you can see that Metal Man's stage doesn't desync at all, even if the boss fight does.

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#50726496611103426 - Quick Man Freezing in Place
quickman_freeze.fm3 (209kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-10-24 11:09:24 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 04:25.35 [15947 frames], 45313 rerecords)
5388 views, 442 downloads

I stumbled across this weird little glitch when redoing this fight. I thought I'd upload the movie in case anyone wanted to take a look at what causes it.

It actually extends his invincibility by a few frames, which means I sadly can't show it off in my TAS.

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#50491715316358744 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.1
mm2_zipless_2.1.fm3 (237kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-10-13 21:23:38 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 09:58.68 [35980 frames], 38845 rerecords)
5655 views, 430 downloads

I managed to get ahold of Shinryuu on Discord. Even though he's retired, so to speak, he's been more than willing to talk shop, answer questions, make suggestions, and all that good stuff. It's been a ton of help. Thank you, Shinryuu!

Persuant to these conversations, I tried some new stuff, much of which ended up saving no time, but much of which did. I'll go stage by stage and tell you what's new.

Air Man

A frame perfect menu on the title screen which I was previously unaware of lets me get into the action one frame sooner. It throws off RNG (and some other stuff) though, so say goodbye to all those extra lives :( Another small optimization in the fan fiend section lets me get to the end even sooner, for a total of 2 frames saved...but I had to throw it all away to RNG. The rest of the run doesn't even desync if you paste in the old inputs. But in case it does later, I've decided to swap out the time/entertainment tradeoff (which doesn't actually lose time) for a perfect segment. You never know!

Quick Man

The stage is the same, but the boss fight plays out a little differently. Shinryuu pointed out that these fights don't end on a timer, but rather, as soon as Mega Man teleports fully offscreen. As such, it saves time to end the fight as high up as possible. By ending the fight on the upper ledge, I manage to make the previous frame rule and save 8 frames. I actually sacrifice a frame to get up there, but the frame rule is indifferent to it. Most NES Mega Man games have some property like this.

Metal Man

The Item-2 section has been updated. By using the Item-2 lower down, I'm able to hit the ground sooner and save some time. A slick mid-air weapon switch allows me to dispatch the scrubbing bubble guy quickly, rather than waste frames jumping over him.

Metal Man himself doesn't put up much of a fight. Actually, I discovered some interesting properties of his AI. Metal Man will jump in two situations:

  1. When you get too close, he jumps to the other side of the room (I call this violating his personal space).
  2. When you press B (a bullet does not necessarily have to spawn), he jumps at a height determined by RNG.

What happens when these two conditions occur on the same frame? Well, it turns out the B press one takes priority! So, with frame perfect shots, you can keep him on one side of the arena no matter how close you get. This is probably already known, but it's nice to put it into writing.

New Stuff

In addition to these improvements, there are two new stages for you to enjoy! Once again, these comparisons are to my Zipless v1.0 TAS.

Bubble Man

   Stage save: 38 frames
   Boss  save: 18 frames
   Total save: 56 frames
Where did all this come from? Well, for starters, there's the terrible double frame rule for Bubble Man's health bar. It's already been discussed on I think finalfighter's website, so I'll briefly summarize it: health bars tick up every 4 frames, but being underwater makes that not happen every 5 frames. It's easy enough to manipulate once you know about it, but I did not get lucky on v1.0.

However, this only accounts for 4 frames. The rest is simply due to sloppy play. For instance, in 1.0, I did a jump with a Metal Blade and let the throwing animation play out after I landed...just holding right. I also killed the hermit crab in the first room instead of taking damage from it (the faster method), improperly dealt with a throwing animation at the end, and let a bit of lag through at various points. Plus, I didn't know that double death saves time, so I didn't look into it; that accounts for 16 of the 18 frames saved in the boss fight!

In this version, I'm particularly proud of the part before the second angler. There I'm able to jump (the timing is frame perfect) and shoot the shrimp, completely avoiding the throwing animation which we resign ourselves to in realtime runs.

As I write this comment, I've discovered a 4-frame save in Bubble. However, I need a 7-frame save to beat the next frame rule. Still seems worth pursuing, though.

Heat Man

   Stage save: 50
I didn't finish this one yet. I kinda didn't feel like doing the boss fight... But I managed to save 50 frames in the stage, which is kind of hard to believe! Here's how I account for that:

  • Poorly timed jumps and weapon switches
  • Wasting time before shooting the Item-2 at the 3rd pillar
  • Wasting an Item-2 energy early on kills 19 frames of super fast movement
  • Sprite flicker during the switch to bubble.

Note that, for whatever arcane, terrible reason, the underwater lag actually persists from Bubble Man's stage, but only during the teleport-in animation. As luck would have it, I got a lag frame on the first jumpable frame for this stage...so I can probably save that. I'm actually right on the cusp of a frame rule for the Bubble fight, to the point where I cannot afford to waste a single frame.

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#49364838704578513 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.0: Part 2
mm2_zipless_2_part2.fm3 (204kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-08-24 03:24:44 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 05:59.19 [21587 frames], 16989 rerecords)
6714 views, 480 downloads

Quick Man

     Stage save: 36  (0  from previous)
     Boss  save: 69  (51 from previous)
     Total save: 105 (51 from previous)
I've saved an additional 51 frames off the boss fight (69 from v1.0), so I've started my notes and my encode here. I utilized a more aggressive manipulation strat to keep him pinned over on the left side, taking damage twice to facilitate this. Due to the damage boosts, it loses 27 frames to a theoretically perfect 19 frame boss fight...which I'm convinced does not exist.

I made an interesting discovery along the way: Quick Man's supposed RNG jumps (where he jumps 1-3 times) are actually the product of him getting stuck in the wall (video to be uploaded soon), which plays out unpredictably--but it's not RNG. This only applies to the outer walls, so if you see him charging up against any other ledge, you know you are about to see 3 jumps.
Also, he always shoots boomerangs on the second jump, so that should help if you're unsure of how many jumps got stuck in the wall.

Metal Man

     Stage save: 40
     Boss  save: 10
     Total save: 50
In v1.0, it slipped my mind that you can save time by shooting the drills. But not this time. The second drill actually saves much more time; rather than jump over two drills, I'm able to stay on the super speedy conveyor belt the whole time.

I also improved the Item-2 usage. In v1.0, there was an awkward landing where I hand to hold still for a second and jump over the springy guy, but here, I managed to land just to the right of him. This move is just barely possible, at least for the frame I used Item-2. Let me explain:

When dismounting an Item-2, it's not necessarily best to just hold right. By letting go of right and even pressing left at certain times, you can influence your position to be a pixel or two further to the right. My current approach is to try randomly until it works...
But even this is not quite enough. The rightmost possible position still results in a collision with the springy guy! That is, unless you're 8-aligned.

Becoming 8-aligned

All the velocities Mega Man can move at (walking, jumping, knockback, conveyor belts...) have subpixel velocities that are multiples of 16, or 0x10. This means your subpixel position will always end with a 0 (in hex), making you 0-aligned. It may seem impossible to change your subpixel alignment, but there is one object that lets you do so: an accelerating Item-2. When an Item-2 is starting to accelerate, and you land on it in just the right way (going to the left), you'll get your subpixel set to X8. If you can keep it that way until the Item-2 fully accelerates, you will now be 8-aligned. This essentially means you can be 8 subpixels further ahead at any given point in time, which is just enough for me to land to the right of that springy guy! I think I'm going to play around with this section a bit more before I move onto Bubble (doing Bubble and Heat before Flash saves 4 frames in menuing, by the way).

Like my other two discoveries, this was something I found totally by accident while doing playaround/TAS fidget stuff.

Fun fact: This Item-2 section saves 9 frames over inputs copy/pasted from the 2010 TAS! The main reason is that they don't take full advantage of their Item-2; that is to say, they let it run out when they are not on the rightmost tip. And I'm not talking about that weird 8-alignment stuff, either: it's a couple pixels. This happens because they use the Item-2 soon enough that it runs out just after the tin can man jump, which doesn't give them enough time to catch up after landing.

The 10 frames in the boss fight are just due to better understanding of the game mechanics. 5 of those frames are from just the first hit, which I jumped too high for in v1.0.

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#49071833918125633 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.0
mm2_zipless_2.fm3 (174kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-08-10 22:43:08 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 04:14.78 [15312 frames], 14598 rerecords)
7041 views, 470 downloads
Version 2.0 is here! Rather than push onwards through the Boobeams and boss rush in my v1.0 movie, I felt motivated to start over and fix all my little (and big) mistakes. Currently all the timesaves are grouped into stage saves and boss saves, but I may do a more detailed analysis later.

History of this Movie

To understand all the timesaves in this run, I think it's important to understand this history behind it. While the previous run is called v1.0, it's actually not the first attempt I made at creating this movie. There's a previous version, which we'll call the beta version, that I started on a couple years ago. It was simply a TASed version of the realtime route I was doing at the time, back when I was blissfully unaware that it's faster to do Metal before Flash. That's right: there's a TAS file sitting on my hard drive where I go to Flash before Quick and Metal. This was called "mm2 TAS.fm3", and the file that would become v1.0 was sarcastically named "mm2 TAS ADVANCED route.fm3" for a while.

Because this run was so old, I did it the old fashioned way: savestates, frame advance, and an actual controller in my hand. I also had this weird obsession with keeping the 90-frame screen transitions perfectly clean, so I was always trying really hard to find the first actionable frame of every room. I believe I switched to the TAS editor around Flash Man's stage, but I'm not sure.

When making my ADVANCED route (v1.0), I tried my best to salvage what inputs I could from the beta. I had to redo the bosses (with the exception of Air Man), but most of the other inputs could be salvaged. The beta stopped at Metal Man, so all inputs after that in v1.0 were new. Here we will see just how suboptimal these beta inputs are.

Air Man

  Stage save: 50
  Boss  save: 38
  Total save: 88
The boss fight is perfect, aside from a lag frame which I don't think you can avoid. Watching the 2010 TAS's boss fight taught me a lot on how to achieve this.

Compared to the previous movie, you may be surprised there are 50 frames to save in the stage, considering I don't go for any different strats.

Well, for starters, I do go for one different strat: rather than turn around and spawn the bird to the left @3250, I can keep going and shoot the next two eggs without jumping. The second one requires me to shoot a bullet out ahead of time to alter the collision behavior, something I learned from the 2010 TAS. No idea why this works, but it's cool! However, this only saves 2 frames. My new turnaround subpixel tech also ends up saving a frame...which is lost due to boss fight RNG manipulation. What a shame.

The rest of the timesave comes from two main sources: better horn jumps, and better falling.
You can do the horn jumps without stopping if you jump a little earlier, something I did not know in the beta.
The falling tech is even more embarrassing. Somehow, I had it in my head that a 1-frame jump is always optimal for falling off ledges, when in fact a much higher jump often saves more time; this is a misconception I carried with me through most of v1.0 as well.
But an even more embarrassing timesave comes from that one screen transition hidden behind clouds...I simply was not holding left during it, because I didn't realize I could move. This alone wasted about 20 frames.

Quick Man

  Stage save: 36
  Boss  save: 18
  Total save: 54
It turns out my calculations were wrong! Doing this stage with Air actually saves 6 frames over doing it with buster. I failed to account for the fact that you can switch weapons 10 frames earlier at the start of each stage. However, the buster route still ends up saving time, because of a cool damage boost tech I stumbled upon. By standing still for a couple frames, I'm able to take damage from the final Sniper Joe such that I recover from hitstun while in the air, saving me an extra jump. I was unable to get this trick in the air shooter route, because the mech gets defeated sooner and the sniper takes longer to fall down. This difference actually puts the buster route ahead by 1 frame!

I also saved time by defeating each hothead without any additional jumps (although 2 jumps had to be a frame or two higher), and jumping over the first Sniper Joe. My turnaround subpixel tech saved a frame, but due to a frame rule that apparently exists, I couldn't defeat the first mech any sooner. What a shame.

For the curious, I've left in a branch of the air shooter route: branch 8. Branch 9 is the frame Quick Man gets defeated in the current route. If you know of a way to do this boss fight quickly with air shooter, I'd love to hear about it!

If you dig around in the branches, you might find some inputs for Metal Man, but I'm putting those on hold until I'm confident in the Quick fight.

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#48877130464294925 - New subpixel optimization tech - proof of concept
flashman_3frame.fm3 (130kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-08-02 04:16:27 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 01:32.75 [5574 frames], 120490 rerecords)
7089 views, 529 downloads
I've discovered a new subpixel optimization technique! It doesn't always save time, but a subpixel's a subpixel. You never know when an extra couple might come in handy.

When you fall off a ledge and need to turn around, it may seem like you should turn around and brush up against the edge of the wall to get the best position. This is not always the case. Sometimes, you can actually be a few subpixels inside the block; that is, the ejection routine (which runs when you push in the opposite direction) puts you just a bit further out than the first position where you can actually fall. By moving past the wall on the last possible frame, you can save around 0x10 subpixels, depending on your subpixel alignment.

Sometimes, this maneuver may not be possible at all, and it will be better to brush up against the wall and get a X8.00. You just have to try it for each jump.

Note that this does not work if you encounter a left-facing wall (you are holding right) that transcends a screen border; you will be ejected to X8.00. Right-facing ones seem to be OK, though.

To demonstrate this concept, I've utilized it to shave 3 frames off the current TAS (although in reality it's 1 frame + a door frame rule). I simply copy/pasted their inputs and executed proper turnaround subpixels on each relevant jump. I think this stage nicely illustrates all the quirks of when this technique is useful and/or possible. Branch 1 is the current TAS. Branch 2 is with my technique. Each branch is marked on the frame Flash Man dies. I highly recommend you watch this with RAM watch on (X pixel: 0x0460, X subpixel: 0x0480) to see exactly what's going on.

Fun fact: Much like ladder fidgeting, I discovered this while doing some playaround/TAS fidget stuff. I thought it might look cool to have Mega Man turn around at the last possible frame, but then I realized I was actually landing at better positions when I tried to do that! If you're working on a TAS, I highly recommend you do some silly stuff in your run. You never know what you might accidentally discover!

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#48553221790148505 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless: Part 2.5
mm2_zipless.fm2 (1.27MB fm2 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-07-18 14:10:42 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 24:41.09 [89012 frames], 27003 rerecords)
7332 views, 492 downloads

I found a way to make the Crash Bomb glitch work, but I don't like it. I had to take an extra hit from the final Sniper Joe, which leaves me with an extra Item 1. Although, it'll certainly come in handy for the alien fight, so I guess it worked out (Didn't know about that secret ledge when I set out to make this movie).

It's likely I'll be saving yet another Item 2 in Wily 2, if I'm right that using Wood on the drills will be faster. If I do, being able to get good MadWidth from the unavoidable bullet would be extremely useful. I've had little luck with this myself, but do let me know if you can find a way to make that happen. Bear in mind that this is a rough draft v1.0 type of movie, which will be scrapped for a better version that attempts to fix all the mistakes. Therefore, the frame you might find here will almost certainly not work in v2.0.

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#47641550972708655 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless: Part 2
mm2_zipless_part2.fm3 (185kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-06-07 12:48:04 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 24:40.58 [88981 frames], 26163 rerecords)
7908 views, 529 downloads
A continuation of my zipless run. I didn't fix any mistakes, just pressed onwards towards the finish; I figure I'll probably make some more mistakes, so we can fix the old and new ones alike in version 2.0.

This movie plays until the Boobeams, which have me stumped! Going by finalfighter's extremely handy lua script, I can't seem to get a large enough MadWidth. I have to damage boost through that one sniper joe bullet at frame 7720, which essentially gives me 2 choices for MidWidth and MadHeight: 22 or 24. I can only seem to make these variables smaller the further to the right I go, although, frustratingly, you'll see them cycle through some super good ones like 56 before they settle on their final values (frame 7757).
These outlier values seem like a good place to start, but I may also try to take damage in the fight.

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#47393292247559483 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless
mm2_zipless.fm3 (150kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-05-27 08:28:17 by warmCabin (21 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (16 files)
In 19:45.96 [71275 frames], 19378 rerecords)
8147 views, 534 downloads
(Note: this file is for the Japanese version, Rockman 2.)

This is a popular category to run RTA (I myself run it), but I've never seen a TAS of it. I believe there are two reasons why:

  1. The zips in Mega Man 2 are some of the coolest tricks in speedrunning. Who would want to remove them??
  2. The ancient SDA rules make this category a bit ambiguous.

Regarding the first point: Well, I think zipless shows off a few neat things not seen in a regular TAS. For instance, WOODMAN'S ENTIRE STAGE.

Regarding the second point, the rules of this run are as follows:

  • No zips
  • No delay scrolls
  • No screen wraps
  • All other glitches are fair game

This might more acurately be called, "No Major Glitches." But whatever.


(Thanks, feos!)


The Quick Man fight

I'm pretty embarassed about this. I take damage twice... Not for no reason, mind you. I do it to manipulate Quick Man's position and take advantage of i-frames. But I still feel like this fight could be a lot tighter. I could use some advice.

Frame data:

     (1st Hit)
     40 (+20 frames)
     58 (+38 frames)
     24 (+4 frames)
     22 (+2 frames)
     39 (+19 frames)

     Total time loss: 83 frames

Crash Man's Stage

In the opening room, I didn't realize you could jump up the first ladder without getting hit, so I utilized a unique buster strat. But apprently we've known about this for 15 years, so...

Minor Mistakes

These don't seem worth redoing, but I'd surely fix them if I did redo the run:
  • Shitty RNG for Air Man's last shot
  • Didn't think to shoot the drills in Metal
  • I don't think I handle mech damage boosts quite right
  • Why does no one ever change weapons in the boss rooms?
  • Made an unecessary landing in Bubble
  • Didn't test many Item-1/2 routes for Crash

Good Things

Buster-only Quick Man strats

For some reason, I thought Quick Man was immune to the air shooter when I was doing this stage. But ellonija mentioned that the old TASes used to use the air shooter? It sounded pretty dope: use air to kill all the enemies, just like RTA, then defeat Quick Man with some super finicky and cool air shots.

But I've done the math, and I believe my uninformed buster-only route is faster:

Air Shooter and Buster both do the same damage to Quick Man, and a perfect fight with both weapons would take the same amount of time, so that doesn't figure into our calculations. As I defeat the mechs at the end, I spend a total of 28 frames not holding right. The menuing to switch from P to A takes 45 frames, so the question becomes: Is it 17 frames slower to do all those jumps when shooting the fire head guys?

Well, Mega Man spends 246 frames in the air during that section. If we assume the air shooter route spends all those frames on the ground (which it doesn't; there are several jumps in that section), we can do some worst case math.

     air speed = 01.50
     ground speed = 01.60
     difference = 00.10 (that's 1/16).
     00.10 * 246 = 15.375
This means the buster route ends up 15.375 pixels behind the air shooter route. On the ground, we can make those pixels up in 14.47 frames, call it 15.

So, in this situation which is worse than reality, the buster route is still 2 frames faster than the air shooter route. That is CLOSE! But in reality it's even faster-er, so I believe the buster route is optimal.

Ladder Fidgeting

Not sure if this is a known trick, but it's a technique that provides a way to ascend slightly on ladders in some circumstances. When climbing ladders, shooting any weapon locks you in a shooting animation in which you cannot gain height. Unlike Mega Man 1, letting go of the ladder and re-grabbing it does not cancel this animation. However, there is a trick to gain a pixel or two that I call the Ladder Fidget, which can be performed as follows:
  1. Do the following 3 frames of input: A, nothing, Up. This is a frame perfect ladder fidget.
  2. Check if your Y position is higher up.
  3. Repeat the process until the animation ends, or you see you've stopped gaining height.

I can't figure out a pattern for when you'll rise and when you'll fall--It's all trial and error at this point. But I believe vertical velocity is being stored from before. It looks pretty silly when executed, and in fact, it started off as a "siliness tech" to pass the time in Crash Man's stage, until I realized Mega Man was actually ascending!

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The purpose of this page is to document all the known tricks of the NES Mega Man games so far.

Because of the nature of this site, we concentrate here on tricks that are nearly difficult to play in real play, but are useful in the making of tool-assisted speedruns. For most of the tricks, a frame advance feature in an emulator is a definite must-have.

Note: Rockman is the original (Japanese) name of Mega Man.

Table of contents [expand all] [collapse all]

Although we have a separate Glossary page, there are some terms used on this page that may require explaining. Use this list as a reference.

Blinking, to blink
When Mega Man or an enemy boss is shot, they’ll blink for a while. During this blinking, no shots will harm them (invulnerability).
A square of 16×16 pixels. All levels in Mega Man games are divided in blocks. It is a handy unit of measure of length and dimension.
When an object is inside a wall, games usually attempt to eject them from the wall. This ejection appears as zipping.
The smallest unit of time in tool-assisted movies.
One refresh period of the screen.
Typically, gaming systems update the screen 50 or 60 times per second. The unit of updates is called frame.
Slowing of the game due to many on-screen objects.
Explained in more detail later in this document.
Picture element.
The smallest unit of a digital bitmap image; a block is a square of 16×16 pixels.
The NES display area is exactly 256 pixels wide.
A bonus item, such as an energy pill or an extra life. Acquired by destroying enemies. Subject to luck manipulation.
Mega Man’s Japanese name is Rockman. He is Rock and she is Roll.
To the people of USA, he was introduced as Mega Man when the first game of the series was imported to USA.
Teleportation animation
In Mega Man games, Mega Man undergoes a teleportation animation every time he enters a scene or recovers from a pause. During this animation, he’s invulnerable to enemies.
When the screen edges are connected.
When the bottom side of screen is the closest thing to the top of the screen, or the left side of the screen is the closest thing to the right side of the screen.

Zipping, to zip
Super fast horizontal movement through the level.
In Mega Man games, when an object is inside a wall, the game attempts to eject it from the wall by zipping it at a speed of 16 pixels/frame until the object finds a hole to exit the wall form. If there is lag, the speed is slower.
In this example image, power-ups that are born inside a wall will be ejected through the wall by zipping.

TODO: New tricks have been found in MegaMan 4 and 5, and this list of tricks, as well as the above statement, need to be updated by someone knowledgeable to reflect that.

Generic techniques

These are tehniques that are common in a lot of games. Some of them are mentioned at the Common Tricks page, but it’s worth listing them here too.

Luck manipulation

Randomness in a game is actually a numeric variable that is affected by different things in different games. It might be how you move, the timing, how many shots you shoot, which enemies appear on screen, and so on.

Varying these factors and testing different possibilities (using rerecording) may enable you to accomplish the most desirable goal.

The likelihoods of each type of drop are:

Type MM1 (random seeds) MM2 (random seeds)
extra life 1/128 (63) 1/128 (62)
big weapon refill 2/128 (5F and 60) 5/128 (58–5C)
big energy refill 2/128 (61 and 62) 4/128 (5D–60)
small weapon refill 15/128 (41–4F) 25/128 (30–48)
small energy refill 15/128 (50–5E) 15/128 (49–57)
bonus pearl 69/128 (0C–40 and 70–7F) does not exist
nothing 24/128 (00–0B and 64–6F) 78/128 (00–2F, 61 and 63–7F)
[E] does not exist code exists but is unreachable
But with luck manipulation, you can get any of those if you try hard enough.

More details at Random Generators.

Optimal refills

The robots you destroy will give different bonuses depending on randomness.

Big powerups are rare, so getting them might require hundreds of retries at worst case.
Extra lifes are the rarest.

Enemy actions

The actions of the enemies may depend on your movements or on the randomness.

Falling faster

This is a generic trick that is usable in other games besides the Mega Man series.

When you start falling, your movement accelerates slowly. The longer you fall, the faster you fall.

When you need to fall over an edge, you can fall faster by jumping high as much before the edge as possible.

This trick only applies to games where jumping is not slower than some other type of horizontal motion (such as sliding).
Thus, it does not apply to Mega Man 3, but it does apply to Power Blade and Mega Man 2.

In the image pair on the right, you can see that although the difference in individual actions is small whether jumping or walking, the differences accumulate quickly and become significant by the end.

Falling even faster (MM1)

In Mega Man 1, there's a third way which is even faster: Falling from a magnet beam.

This is because the y speed is increased while standing on the beam, with the beam overriding y movement in order to prevent falling.

Using the fastest method of movement in situation

Jumping is faster than climbing

Jumping is a considerably faster way to elevate than climbing.

Because of that reason, it is worthwhile to use lifts (magnet beam in Mega Man 1) to enable jumping instead of climbing.

In Mega Man 3, climbing was made somewhat faster, but it’s still faster to jump than to climb.

Sliding is faster than walking (MM3+)

Falling is faster than climbing

It’s almost never a good idea to climb down a ladder. Instead, if you absolutely must, grab the ladder for 1 frame, and immediately release it (by jumping).

You’ll fall much faster than you would climb.

You should also try to combine this technique with the “grabbing the ladder early” technique.

However, in Mega Man 6, you might land on an invisible platform (see below).

Walking is faster than jumping (MM1, MM2)

In Mega Man 1 and Mega Man 2, Mega Man walks precisely at speed of 1.375 pix/frame. (See Rockman Technical Data.) However, when falling or jumping, he progresses only 1.3125 pix/frame. This is unaffected by the jump start timing or the jump height.

Because of this reason, it is wise to make the jumps as small and rare as possible.

Generic ladder tricks

Grabbing the ladder early (horizontally)

In many platform games, you don’t need to be exactly positioned to grab a ladder. You can stand about 10 pixels beside the ladder and when you press up (or down), you’ll immediately grab the ladder.

In Mega Man games, this means that by walking or jumping past a ladder you can grab the ladder for 1 frame and immediately release it in order to gain extra movement very quickly. Walking across the ladder would take about 12 frames, but by grabbing it from distance and releasing it you can shorten it to about 8 frames.

If you intend to climb the ladder, it’s always wise to grab it as early as possible.

Avoiding lag

Computer systems run at a set speed, and there’s only so much calculation they can do in ~0.0167 seconds (the duration of one frame).

If there are too many objects on screen, or simply too hard calculations to make, the game won’t be able to make it in 1 frame, and it uses more frames to do that.

This appears as lag. During lag, your character will move at half or third of the normal speed. Objects may also blink a lot. Obviously, it is highly undesirable in a TAS.

To avoid lag, you should try to shoot enemies before they accumulate, or to avoid shooting when there are already many objects on screen.

Sometimes you can completely delete the enemy by scrolling it out of the screen (for example, face temporarily left when it appears and immediately walk to right to scroll it out of visibility).

In Mega Man 1, during zipping (explained later), you can pause+unpause to create a few frames of completely lag-free movement - since many of the expensive calculations (such as collision checks) are not done during the teleportation animation.

Note that static objects (details which are merely part of the level layout) usually don’t accumulate to lag.

Subpixel position optimization

Rockman moves at subpixel precision. As indicated at GameResources/NES/Rockman/Data, his horizontal velocity when walking is 01.60 (hex) in Rockman 1-2 and 01.4C (hex) in Rockman 3-4.

Whenever you start moving from a full halt, it is advantageous to choose your subpixel position so that it's in the right direction.

  • When you stand at X=100, and you want to move to the left, your X position should be the smallest possible value of 100, that is: 100.000.
  • When you stand at X=100, and you want to move to the right, your X position should be largerst possible value of 100, that is: 100.999.
In Rockman 1 for example, you can do this by pushing against the obstacle that prevents your movement. The subpixel position fluctuates, although the integer part is kept constant. Keep pushing until the subpixel position hits an optimal value. When the obstacle clears, you can start moving, and you gain half a pixel of movement by average compared to random case.

  • In Rockman 1-2, the possible X fractions are: .0, .0625, .125, .1875, .25, .3125, .375, .4375, .5, .5625, .625, .6875, .75, .8125, .875 and .9375.
    • I.e. N/256 for N=0…255 step 16
  • In Rockman 3-4, the possible X fractions are: .0, .015625, .03125, .046875, .0625, .078125, .09375, .109375, .125, .140625, .15625, .171875, .1875, .203125, .21875, .234375, .25, .265625, .28125, .296875, .3125, .328125, .34375, .359375, .375, .390625, .40625, .421875, .4375, .453125, .46875, .484375, .5, .515625, .53125, .546875, .5625, .578125, .59375, .609375, .625, .640625, .65625, .671875, .6875, .703125, .71875, .734375, .75, .765625, .78125, .796875, .8125, .828125, .84375, .859375, .875, .890625, .90625, .921875, .9375, .953125, .96875 and .984375.
    • I.e. N/256 for N=0…255 step 4

This technique can be applied to other games as well.

Pause tricks

Freeze shots (MM1)

TODO: Add a GIF animation of Gutsman fight, demonstrating how Gutsman blinks while pause and eventually stops blinking.

In Mega Man 1, when you pause using the select button, enemies continue blinking and may exhaust their invulnerability period during that pause. When you unpause, the enemies will take a new hit from the shots that are on screen.

Note: Some enemies blink longer than others.

Save vertical time (MM1)

In Mega Man 1, Mega Man continues to move vertically (if he’s performing a jump or falling) during the “teleportation animation” of the unpausing period. If you switch weapons at a time when you are jumping upwards or falling down, you’ll gain time compared to switching weapons at a time when you’re only trying to move horizontally.

In the images on the right, you can see some differences in timing. The images are, from left to right:

  • Switching weapons while falling (fastest, because useful motion happens during the mandatory wait of the weapon switch)
  • Switching weapons at useless moment, but using the “falling faster” trick
  • Switching weapons at useless moment, without the “falling faster” trick

Reset acceleration (MM2)

In Mega Man 2, pausing stops Mega Man’s motion. It also resets the acceleration. This is useful when you want to do extra wide jumps or to fall slower. Just pause and unpause, and your falling speed resets to 0.

This is a good thing to know if you are a clumsy player and you think Mega Man is falling too fast for you to handle.

It can also be used to fall into a wall in the Bubbleman level for a nice shortcut (see abusing the screen breaker).
Remember that to zip, you must be well inside the wall (not too near the left edge), and that you need to face (not walking, just looking) left. (Explained later in this document.)

Move through monsters unharmed (MM1, MM2)

In teleportation animation (the animation that occurs when you unpause), Mega Man is invulnerable. If you move through an enemy or an enemy moves through you in that mode, you’ll not receive damage.

Note: In Mega Man 1, this technique doesn’t allow passing through spikes.

Regaining motion fast when damaged (MM1)

Normally, when Mega Man collides with an enemy, he’ll lose his motion for a while, bouncing back a bit. But if you pause+unpause at the moment the damage is received, the horizontal movement will be cancelled entirely and you’ll regain control as soon as the pause is over.

Ladder tricks

Grabbing the bottom of the ladder (MM1, MM2)

If you grab a ladder from its very bottommost position (so that it looks like Mega Man is not actually touching the ladder), and then try to climb up, Mega Man suddenly elevates by about 24 pixels (his height).

For this reason, it’s sometimes better to not jump as high as possible when you’re attempting to grab a hanging ladder.

Use this trick to save time in climbing.

Grabbing the top of the ladder too high (MM1, MM2)

If you try to grab a ladder very close to its top (too high to climb it), Mega Man suddenly elevates by about 24 pixels and ends up in the air above the ladder.

The same effect also happens if you press up+down at the same time at the top of a ladder.

If there is a ceiling close to the ladder, you can end up inside the wall/ceiling this way.

By pressing up+down you can do this trick at every ladder in the game, but even if you are unable to press up+down, there are approaches.

  • In Mega Man 1, place a magnet beam below the top of the ladder. Stand on it, jump and press up.
  • In Mega Man 2, place an Item-3 below the top of the ladder. Stand on it, jump and press up.


Demonstrated in the following illustration:
  • Crossing low (32 pixels) tunnels fast
  • Entering/passing through a wall
  • Walk across a ladder faster

In this artificial illustration using the Mega Man 1 engine, the following happens:

  • At the first ladder, player presses up when he’s already almost above the ladder.
  • At the next three ladders, player presses up+down. The third sequence goes through a wall without a problem.
  • At the fourth ladder, the player presses up+down in order to do a “horizontal early ladder grab” without climbing, saving a miniscule amount of walking time.
  • At the fifth ladder, the player does both the “grabbing the ladder early horizontally” and the “grabbing the bottom of the ladder” trick simultaneously. It is noticeably faster than to jump later & higher, when the space is 3 blocks tall.

Shooting while climbing (MM1)

TODO: Add animation (maybe two animations side by side)

Normally, in Mega Man 1, when you shoot while climbing a ladder, Mega Man will stop climbing for a second, apparently aiming or looking at the shot.

However, if you jump immediately after shooting, and grab the ladder immediately after jumping, you can reduce the delay from ~60 frames to about 2 frames and climb immediately again without losing your position.

Landing on an invisible platform (MM6)

To see how this trick works, grab a ladder from the very top and let go (by pressing jump). Mega Man will seemingly land on an invisible platform for a fraction of a second. It is possible to jump from this nonexistent platform, but usually it just slows the player down because when going down a ladder, Mega Man does not simply fall, but first lands on the platform. When coming up the ladder, it is not any faster to use this glitch to make Mega Man jump off from the ladder earlier, unless the ladder is NOT between two walls (which is surprisingly rare). This glitch does not seem to appear in Mega Man games 1-5.

Entering ceilings and walls

Why would anyone want to enter walls and ceiling?
Well, that’s because by entering a wall, you can shortcut through it!
It’s a great thing for a TAS.


The top of the ladder (MM1, MM2)

See grabbing the top of the ladder too high, explained above.

The magnet beam (MM1)

If you stand on a magnet beam that has been placed at a certain distance down from the closest ceiling, weird things happen.

Basically, the game thinks Mega Man is now inside a wall or ceiling.

Note: The position must be exactly right.

  • If it’s too high, Mega Man won’t fit between the ceiling and the beam.
  • If it’s too low, nothing special will happen if Mega Man stands on the beam.

The Item-1 (MM2)

Normally, in Mega Man 2, if you stand on an item-1 that is moving upwards and you’re about to hit the ceiling, the item-1 disappears to prevent that from happening.

However, how this is programmed is not obvious. The game does not actually check whether Mega Man hits a ceiling. Rather, it checks whether the item-1 is closing towards a ceiling.

So if you place the item-1 so that it is not on the course for hitting a ceiling, you can put Mega Man standing on the item (with one foot/toe only) and the item will successfully push Mega Man into the ceiling.

This is explained in detail at Finalfighter’s Mega Man techniques site.

In this image, the player presses right at the right edge of the screen in order to progress to the next screen without a horizontal wrapping taking place.

Note: Read the understanding the zipping mechanism chapter to see how you can use the inside-a-wall condition for your benefit after Mega Man has been placed into a wall.

The Item-3 (MM2)

TODO: Demonstrate item3 with an animation

Item-3 may be used the same way as item-1, but it is limited to circumstances where the item-3 is actually climbing a wall.

Abusing the screen breaker

In every Mega Man game, the levels are divided into scenes that are separated by scrolling transitions. In some circumstances, it’s possible to enter a wall simply by being in the right position at the edge of the screen.

  • MM2: In the Bubbleman level, there’s a position where by using the pause trick to reset acceleration, you can place Mega Man into a wall.
  • MM1: In the Fireman level, there is a screen that appears to have a pit in the bottom and a ladder next to it. Jump into the pit (you need velocity), and when the screen scrolls down, Mega Man will be inside a wall.

There are most likely more places you can find.

Dynamically changing levels

  • In Mega Man 3 and 4, there are places with stones that drop over Mega Man.
  • In all of the Mega Man games, there are rooms with blocks that appear and disappear with a pneumatic sound.

If Mega Man is placed in a place where such block will appear, he’ll be inside a wall.

Frozen fire pillars (MM1)

In the Fireman and Wily1 stages of Mega Man 1, there are pillars of fire that can be frozen. Normally, they are permeable, but when frozen, they become solid. Solid material counts as a “wall”.

As shown in this example, this aspect of the game can be turned into an advantage for creative shortcuts.

Damage is taken in order to let Mega Man walk through the fire. When the fire becomes ice, Mega Man is inside a wall.
After pressing “A”, he will also be inside the floor, which starts the zipping.
Just pressing “left” or “right” won’t work, because he would just exit the wall that way (because of proximity to wall left edge).

(Note: You can do this in a lot faster manner. Delays were added only for clarity.)

Taking damage while sliding near a ceiling (MM3, MM4, MM5, maybe MM6)

In Mega Man 3, a movement called “sliding” was introduced. This movement allows Mega Man to pass through one-block tall tunnels, when normally he requires two blocks of height to pass through.

This difference in height comes useful for those who want to abuse it. With sliding motion, you can get Mega Man’s feet within 16 pixel distance from the ceiling. Now the only thing to be done is to interrupt the sliding motion while keeping Mega Man’s height.
This is easiest accomplished by taking damage.

You need two elements:

  • A way to bring Mega Man in close proximity to the ceiling. Accomplished by:
    • Naturally existing tunnels in the game
    • Rush Jet (MM3, MM4, MM6)
    • Super Arrow (MM5)
    • Balloon (MM4)
  • An enemy or shot that approaches Mega Man and delivers damage at the exact moment when the sliding would otherwise stop (floor disappears).


Rockman 3: Rush Jet, 2-block hole and an enemy. Immediately before getting damage, press down and then start.

Understanding the zipping mechanism

When Mega Man is inside a wall, even partially, the game wants to eject him.

Horizontal movement

According to current knowledge, all the NES versions have these same rules so far. In the Rockman Megaworld (Wily Wars) game of Sega Genesis/Megadrive, consider left and right reversed.

There are two aspects for the ejection to consider.

  • The position of Mega Man in pixels, relative to the left edge of the wall. Denoted by P.
  • The direction Mega Man is facing.

  • If P < 16, you can walk left and exit the wall this way.
  • If P < 16, you can face right and the game will eject Mega Man immediately from the wall without delay.
  • If P >= 16, you can face right and nothing will happen. That is, unless you are at the right edge of the screen, then you will scroll to the next screen. (see below)
  • If P >= 16, you can face left and zipping will occur: Mega Man will move to the right at 16 pixels/frame.

Exchanging facing and walking

If you want the game to consider you...
  • to be walking instead of facing, you can jump and immediately start holding the direction.
  • to be facing instead of walking, you need to throw something that prevents walking, such as an Item-1 in Mega Man 2. Or you can wait until Mega Man settles down, and then face the direction.


If you press A while standing / zipping inside a wall, Mega Man will try jumping 2 frames later.

  • If, at that moment, he is still inside a wall, he’ll move down by 16 pixels for 1 frame and immediately bounce back.
  • If, at that moment, he is no longer inside a wall, he’ll jump normally.

However, if there’s an item-1 pushing Mega Man higher into a wall, jumping may speed up his elevation in the wall.

The top of the screen

See the chapter about vertical wrapping, explained below.

The right side of the screen, aka. horizontal wrapping

See the chapter about horizontal wrapping, explained below.

Screen shaking

In Mega Man 1, the zipping has a tendency to make the screen shake a bit (rough ride?). It happens in Mega Man 2 too, but not as noticeably.

It happens because the PPU (graphics processor) can only handle so much data during a vrefresh, and if too much data is attempted to be written, it will affect the scrolling registers. Although it’s a visual glitch, it has no effect on the game.

The vertical screen wrapping phenomenon

The screen top works differently in Mega Man 1 and Mega Man 2, thus this section is split. In Mega Man 3-6, none of these techniques work.

Mega Man 1

Shortly: If you go high enough, you can access the bottom of the screen.

Application: Accessing a screen-bottom ladder from top of screen

If there is a ladder at the bottom of the screen, you can grab it from the top of the screen if you can just get there.
Hold up to grab the ladder.

Note: This is only possible in rooms that have an ‘up’ exit.
The room is not required to have a ‘down’ exit.

Special case: Scrolling up using the screen-bottom ladder

TODO: Add screenshot.
If you stand on a magnet beam that has been placed near the screen top, and there is a ladder directly on below it at the screen bottom, you can hit the ‘up’ button to grab the ladder, and the screen will scroll up. Doing that you may enter a wall.

Application: Using the screen bottom as a ceiling when at the top of screen

If you have used the magnet beam trick to place yourself at a certain position near the top of the screen, Mega Man’s head will be touching the screen bottom, and a zipping may occur as long as far there is a solid block at the screen bottom.

Note: In Mega Man 1, the screen bottom must not be lava or other lethal material -- if it is, Mega Man will simply die upon hitting it.

In Mega Man 2 and the Sega Genesis versions, temporary invulnerability (blinking) allows to endure spikes.

Special case: Walls at the top of the screen

It is possible to pass through a wall that is at the top of the screen.

To pass through the wall, apply the “use screen bottom as a ceiling” trick, but before passing through the wall, wait for a while.

Approximately 32 frames of wait is necessary. If the wait is omitted, Mega Man will die the instant he enters the wall. [1]

To wait, face right.
To attempt zipping, face left.

[1] In Rockman 1 and 2, Rockman’s Y speed grows all the time when he’s airborne, even when he’s standing on a beam. (The speed grows 0.25 units per frame, and the maximum Y speed is 12.) The ceiling-zipping only works after Rockman’s Y speed grows beyond 8.0.

Application: Scrolling down by jumping at the top of the screen

Usually, if you are standing on a magnet beam that is placed near the top of the screen, and you jump, a death occurs regardless of the contents of the bottom of the screen.

However, if the screen you’re currently in could scroll down (nearly always when the screen can not scroll further to the right), by pressing A the screen will scroll down, and a death does not occur.

Special case: Chaining technique (postponing a jump to next screen)

If you jump on a screen-top beam and there is no wall on the bottom of the screen at that position, the jump will be postponed to the next screen and it will continue upwards after the screen has scrolled!

This is demonstrated in the rightside image.

If you place a magnet beam at the top of the screen immediately after that (without landing anywhere), you can jump again and the screen will scroll further down - sooner&faster than if you fell through the whole screen!

Note: The exact pixel position of the beam is very important for the chaining. Sometimes you may need to adjust the jump timing / position by a few frames until it works fine.

Mega Man 2

In Mega Man 2 and the Sega Genesis version of Mega Man 1, there is no vertical wrapping.
Instead, if you are positioned very up, you can actually access the next screen. For example, you can grab an up-going ladder from the area of the next screen.

The horizontal screen wrapping phenomenon

Like the vertical wrapping, also the horizontal wrapping works differently in each of these games, thus this section is split.

Generally speaking

If, by zipping, you’ll pass the right edge of the screen, the following thing happens:

You’ll pass through into the next screen.

The next screen may be the room below you, or the room above you, or the room at the right, depending on the room where you do it.

  • If this room has an exit to the right, the next room is on the right.
  • If the room has a down exit, the next room is below.
  • If this room has no down exit but has an exit to the up, the next room is on the above.
TODO: Verify if this is really independent of the flow of the level.

However, the screen does not change! Mega Man will appear on the left side of the screen, and all enemies and graphics will stay the same. Only Mega Man himself knows he is in the next room, because the obstacles he runs into are different from what appears on the screen.

Note: If the next room is on the right, you can enter the room properly (without wrapping) by changing the facing to the right one frame before wrapping.

Now, from this point, the games are different.

Mega Man 1

You can walk left if you wish. If you walk enough to the left, you’ll be back to the actual visible room. If you try to face right, you’ll be moved back into the right edge of the visible room!

You can use this technique to jump very fast when the right edge of the original screen is wall and the left edge of the next screen is not wall.

Mega Man 2

You can continue walking to the left or to the right. If you walk enough to the left, you’ll be back to the actual visible room. If you go to the right, you can progress as far as you like, with a certain limitation:

Ladders and doors only work if there is a similar exit in the visible room.

  • If you try to climb down a ladder or fall into a pit and the visible room has no down-exit, a death occurs.
  • If you fall into a pit and the visible room has a down-exit, you’ll progress to the next or the previous room.

Mega Man 3-6

No wrapping. If you zip into the right edge of the screen, you are stuck, unless you can somehow get out (with Wire adapter in MM4, for example).

In Mega Man 4-6, in addition to being stuck, Megaman will be killed unless he’s still blinking.

Miscellaneous tricks

Poking magnet beams through walls (MM1)

In Mega Man 1, it is normally impossible to put a magnet beam through a wall. However, the check that prevents doing so, is done very simply: It only checks whether the last segment of the beam is colliding with a wall. To put a beam through wall, you only need to grow it somewhere where there isn't wall (often, facing the opposite direction accomplishes this), and then face towards the wall when the beam is long enough that its end would be beyond the wall's outer edge. This is useful when you want to place a beam in a place where there's not enough room to set it up. In the example shown on the right, the tunnel is too narrow; Rockman couldn't set up the beam low enough for him to stand on it, if he didn't poke it through that wall.

Placing beams in the next screen (MM1)

TODO: Add animation.
By utilizing the techique explained above, you can put beams into the next screen by tunneling them through the right edge of the screen. Next to the right edge, is the left edge of the next screen (regardless of whether your room is a vertical or horizontal type).
The beams don't die when screen scrolls, so this might be useful to put the beam to a place normally impossible to access.

Safe jumping in Gutsman battles (MM1)

When Gutsman jumps, the ground trembles, making Mega Man lose balance if he stands. However by jumping quickly enough you can jump even if the ground trembles, keeping you mobile.

Substituted scrolling (MM2)

In Mega Man 2, there’s a peculiar glitch, that may happen when the game lags. Rooms, that are normally not supposed to scroll to the up, may provide an up exit.
Rooms that are normally not supposed to scroll to the right, may provide a right exit.
This is possible because in MM1 and MM2, there are actually no concepts of room that is up, down, or right, but instead there’s just next room and previous room.

In this example image, the screen is supposed to scroll to the down (next room), but due to lag, a right exit also appears. It also leads to the next room. Both destinations are the same. It is just the next room.

It is also possible to utilize the lag to create an “up” exit, but it requires the presence of a ladder in the bottom of the screen. Such situations usually take you to the previous room instead of next, and are not much of use in speedruns.

Sliding over short pits (MM3)

Mega Man 3 was the first game of the series to implement a sliding movement. The implementation has a certain quirk in it: It is sometimes possible to slide over pits that are two blocks wide. The distance to the pit edge at slide start decides whether it will work or not.

This trick doesn’t seem to work in Mega Man 4-6.

Cutman's magic scissor (MM1)

In Mega Man 1, the robot master Cutman's AI has a quirk that can be useful in some ways. It is difficult to explain, but here are the key facts:
  • When you escape Cutman's battle, but Cutman manages to throw a scissor, Rockman will begin to jerk up and down erratically, unpredictably, and most likely leading to his death ― in worst case, leading to the game’s reset.

For a demonstration on this trick, see this tool-assisted movie.

Here's the technical explanation of the trick as it was used in the tool-assisted movie.

When a boss battle begins, there are only three ways to end it:

  • Kill the boss
  • Start another boss battle
  • Die

When the Cutman battle is entered, and subsequently escaped, the battle does not end. It goes on. Cutman is still alive.

Momentarily after escaping the room, Cutman throws a scissor. However, because Cutman is no longer visible, the scissor does not appear. Cutman thinks he has a scissor, but there is no scissor.

This is when things go awry. You see, as long as Cutman thinks he has a scissor, he will use some kind of telekinesis to manipulate the scissor back to his hand (for catching). In other words, the game adjusts the scissor's position every frame to make it meet Cutman's hand.

The method it does that, is that it first looks up the object table, searching for a scissor type object. Then it alter the properties of the found object (the sprite number, and the Y coordinate).
It does the lookup using a common function in the game code.
However, Cutman is so certain that a scissor exists, so the return value of the function is not checked. So when a scissor doesn't really exist, it writes into a random memory address instead. (The actual value returned in an error case is the number of alive objects.) This memory address happens to coincide mostly with Rockman's data. The rest is pretty obvious.
The glitching stops when the Clone robot fight begins, because at that point, the previous boss fight is over and Cutman with his magic scissor powers exists no more. However, Megaman maintains a weird pose for a few frames, because his object properties (mainly, an action delay counter) were messed up.

Skipping a predefined event (Protoman event) (MM3)

As demonstrated in this image, it’s possible to skip a scene with Protoman in the Gemini Man stage of Mega Man 3. To do it, start a slide just before the screen starts scrolling, and when slide continues in the next screen, jump before the slide stops.

If the slide stops before you jump, you lose control of Mega Man and you’ll have to wait until Protoman teleports to the room and destroys the cylinder blocking your way.

There will be some graphics glitches in the rest of the stage when you do this trick, and most notably the music is gone, but otherwise the stage is still completable as usual.

Walking on air (MM6)

TODO: Add animation (slow motion).

The fact that Mega Man can stand on a ledge even if a large portion of his body is standing on thin air is an important part of Mega Man physics, but in MM6 it is possible to stand completely on air. To do it, just walk over a ledge and you can see that you are still walking even after the entire Mega Man sprite has passed the platform. If you stop, you will fall, but if you jump, you gain extra length. This glitch works best on ice; you can walk a little bit more than normally because the ice is slippery. The place where this trick is most useful is at the end of Blizzardman’s level. By utilizing it, it is possible to avoid falling into a relatively narrow pit with a timebomb in it in the third to last screen (counting from the boss door).

Invisible platforms (MM6)

The basic principle is the same as in the ladder trick: a nonexistent platform that you can land on and jump from. In addition to all ladders, there are a few places where these platforms appear.
The first one is at the end of Blizzardman’s level, right before the
boss door, under the timebombs. By utilizing this platform it is
possible to avoid detonating the final time bombs. To perform it, simply
slide in the hole between the time bomb and the icy wall. When falling
down, press right and you will land on the platform. You must jump
off of it quickly, or else you will fall into the pit. The platform does
not occur all the time, and it is very risky to try to use this in normal
gameplay without save states.

The second place where these platforms occur is in Dr. X stage 3, where there are large rooms filled with some sort of scales. If you land on one end it is lowered, and the other one rises. Next to each of these platforms there is an invisible(nonexistent) platform. You must land on it on a specific position, or else it will not be there. Usually they just appear when falling down and leaning against the platform. Again, you must jump off of it quickly if you wish to save your life.

These platforms also appear next to the flipping platforms with spikes under them (or on top, when they are flipped). There is one of these at the end of Tomahawkman’s stage (the BEAT route) and one in Dr. X Stage 4.

These platforms also seem to appear in the vicinity of the white left-to-right flipping platforms, which are found in Windman Stage, Dr. X Stage 1 and Dr. Wily Stage 1. The platform usually appears when one jumps on the platform while it is still in the middle of the flipping process. The player then finds himself on an invisible platform just under the flipping platform. You can’t jump off it because the white platform is blocking the way, so the only option is to fall down. Using this invisible platform is quite useless.

This glitch has also not been detected in any of the other Mega Man games.

See also

Cheat codes

If you need to use cheat codes for testing, you can use these shell script to automatically toggle/generate them for you (in FCEU):

Demonstration movies

Finalfighter’s Rockman pages ― in Japanese, but with pictures and movies.

See also