Submission #7296: Darkman425's Genesis Mega Man: The Wily Wars "zipless" in 1:47:01.42

(Link to video)
Console Sega Genesis Emulator BizHawk 2.7
Game Version unknown Frame Count 384789
ROM Filename Rockman Megaworld (J) [!].gen Frame Rate 59.922751013550524
Branch zipless Rerecord Count 0
PowerOn Authors Darkman425
Game Mega Man: The Wily Wars
Submitted by Darkman425 on 1/16/2022 5:52:21 PM

Submission Comments
Mega Man: The Wily Wars, also known as Rockman Megaworld, is a Genesis remake of the first three NES Mega Man games by the developers that made most of the Game Boy Mega Man games. The loose premise is that Dr. Wily has gone back in time to stop Mega Man in the past, and Dr. Light has sent Mega Man back in time to stop Wily yet again. This doesn't mean that Mega Man gets to slide in Mega Man 1 or 2. After all three games are finished the Wily Tower challenge is opened where Mega Man faces Wily's newest gauntlet reusing the assets of the other games but introducing new bosses. This collection known for being slower compared to the NES versions in both terms of gameplay pace and the amount of lag present in many places.

Run Notes

  • Emulator used: BizHawk version 2.7
  • Genplus-gx core
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Some amount of RNG manipulation despite how rigid it is for this game
  • Foregoes resetting after beating each part to play the credits
  • Due to this being zipless, foregoes some major skip glitches
  • Rerecord count is actually around 59000 due to the final assembly of inputs in another file not quite having the total number.
Important ROM Version Information
This run uses a specific version of the game due to certain other versions not having proper saving supported for any of the English language versions by BizHawk at this time.
ROM MD5 hash: 520D081A450B5E9F127369E6EC1BE43E

Background Info

I was watching a steamer known as Smight, who was doing a 45 game Mega Man damage shuffler. He ran into the problem of the version of Wily Wars he was using didn't have working saves and thus didn't have access to the Wily Tower. When helping out a bit on the tech side it did get me interested in seeing what a full TAS of the entire set of games would be like. I was also reminded of jc564's fantastic Wily Tower run but thought it was a shame that so much of the interesting level design gets skipped over using zips that weren't really documented here. That's where I got an idea that took too long to commit to: how fast would each part of the game be beaten without zipping and going out of bounds? It certainly helped that there were some previous times that I could compare and compete against.

Techniques and Glitches Used

A lot of the base mechanics of the NES Mega Man games also apply here. They can be viewed on the Rockman page. There is also this old but still useful boss damage chart that I referred a fair amount when making this run. I will cover any relevant mechanical differences and glitches that aren't covered by that page.
Walking and Jumping
Walking horizontal movement is the same speed as jumping horizontal movement which means jumping isn't a speed penalty compared to NES Mega Man 1 & 2. Of course these are both slower than sliding in Mega Man 3 and Wily Tower.
Falling Speed
Unlike NES Mega Man 1 & 2 this version has a falling speed cap. This is more noticeable with Mega Man 1 since there are jumps done that couldn't be done in the NES version.
Weapon Firing Rates
Most weapons that can be rapid fired can only fire a projectile every 9 frames at fastest, which is incredibly slow compared to the NES games. It makes taking out tankier enemies a much less appealing option and essentially nerfs buster rapid fire.
Enemy and Boss I-Frames
Every normal enemy in the game has about 9 frames of invulnerability after getting hit. This also makes rapid fire worse since moving towards the enemy means the extra shots can hit but might not register as a hit, giving the appearance of tankier enemies. Most bosses also have about 45 frames of invulnerability after getting hit so in most cases fights will be slower than the NES incarnations.
Entering Teleporters
It's faster to jump and land on the teleport spots than it is to walk to them. When walking to them Mega Man has to do a small stopping animation that wastes some frames. Sliding into a teleporter is faster than both and also doesn't cause the stopping animation.
Block Clipping
Some jumps that are just short of reaching the top of a platform will shove Mega Man on top of it provided that he's moving towards it, which I'm pretty sure is an intended mechanic due to some other slight changes to levels to make them easier. Doing this can lose some horizontal distance but can also mean sliding can be done slightly earlier than not clipping. As such this is avoided in Mega Man 1 & 2 for long horizontal stretches and used when possible in Mega Man 3 and Wily Tower if it means getting a slide earlier. This is also abused to "wall jump" off the crash bomber walls in Heat Man's stage since technically Mega Man is jumping off the floor next to them.
Off-Screen Ladder Grabbing
Grabbing a ladder higher up than where it is on screen will place Mega Man higher on the next screen. This is used to reduce the amount of climbing done and even lead to zips and entire screens to be skipped. More will be detailed in the unused tricks section. I only do this up to points where I would not zip or skip to the next screen.
Pausing and Pause Damage Boosting
Pausing has some useful effects for both casual and speed play. When unpausing, the initial vertical velocity is set to 0 regardless of how high it was before pausing. Pausing also cancels out Mega Man's hit stun when he gets damaged, which is faster or slower depending on multiple circumstances. In general pausing when getting hit is helpful for having as many i-frames to get past subsequent obstacles, stopping Mega Man from being knocked back into less favorable positions, and/or having a convenient spot to also swap weapons. Otherwise regular damage boosting or not boosting at all ends up faster. Just a small note: getting hit while sliding does not allow pausing so anytime I do need to pause out of a slide I do a small jump the frame before getting hit.
Instant Refill
This trick was found by TheBlacktastic. If you pause the frame before your next horizontal movement would grab weapon energy pickup, swap weapons, unpause, and hold towards the pickup, it skips the refill wait and save a little bit of time. This is used once Mega Man 1.
Knuckle Buster
I don't think there's another name for this but it's what I'm calling it since that's what my brain thinks of it. Shooting out hard knuckle the frame that Mega Man touches the boss doors causes him to retain player control. This has multiple time saving properties. Mega Man can enter the next screen sooner, no longer has to wait on the door closing animation, and for certain bosses allows for attacking the boss way earlier before they're ready. The main downside is that pausing is usually disabled and thus only hard knuckle can be used, thus limiting the uses for this glitch. The early boss attacking can still be done with other weapons but it requires zipping into the room to bypass the door.
Rush Jet Fast Knockback
Getting hit while on top of Rush Jet will add the knockback speed to whatever movement direction is held for the duration of the knockback animation. This greatly speeds up Rush Jet movement compared to avoiding damage, provided that the damage animation along with Rush Jet being on screen doesn't cause major lag.
Bunny Hopping
Bunny hopping is used to retain player control of Mega Man in places where the game would otherwise stop him. This allows for hitting bosses earler than they normally should as well as pulling off the Gemini Man skip.
Multi-Phase Boss Preemptive Hits
For the Wily Machines in the main Mega Man games and the Gamma fight, the hitboxes and health bars are initialized before the health bar updates. They can also be attacked and even taken out before it even fills at all. This is used for the Wily Machines 1 & 2, as well as Gamma phase 2. This isn't used on Wily Machine 3 doe to discovering this only after doing most of the run and causing major desyncs when trying to implement it. While I only initially knew of the Gamma one, Challenger showed that it was also possible in the Wily Machine fights.
Wily Tower Boss I-Frame Quirks
A couple of Wily Tower bosses have weird quirks where their i-frames don't work right and can be damaged more often than normal. They will be explained when I get to them.

Glitches Not Used for Zipless

The following glitches are not used in this zipless run. This was done to show off most of the levels as "intended". This also serves as a quick and dirty way for me to explain how these are performed input-wise.
Horizontal Zipping
Getting clipped into floors will cause the game to force Mega Man out towards the left. This would normally have limited uses but it's possible to zip towards the right by clipping into the ceiling at the top and alternating left and right on non-lag frames. This can be done via use of the magnet beam, Rush Jet, and some off-screen ladder grabbing places, to get to the right zipping spots.
Vertical "Zipping"
Following up on off-screen ladder grabbing, if Mega Man keeps climbing up very high with something like the magnet beam and then grab where the ladder would be it's possible to skip entire vertical screens since the camera will keep moving up until it reaches a screen where Mega Man is both visible and on a map grid. While tricky to do in real time this can save a fair amount of time in some stages. I guess this isn't technically a traditional zip but it isn't part of the spirit of the run.
Out of Bounds Areas
Since the game has rooms arranged in a proper grid it's possible to use zipping to enter out of bounds rooms. While they're generally full of junk data it's possible to enter part of it and zip into an area where Mega Man can re-enter the regular level map. This also causes some graphical glitching in some cases such as background elements not animating right or are in the wrong color.
Downwards Ladder Zip
Alternating down and jump on a ladder for non-lag frames allows for rapid downward movement on ladders that's faster than falling normally. There are limited places this can be done and I also consider this a zip and is unused, although it's more minor than the other ones in this list.

Weapon Changes

There are many notable changes for weapons in this collection, though not always for the better. Note that all of these weapons are available to choose in the Wily Tower.
Hyper Bomb
Practically unchanged and still impractical to use due to the explosion delay. The explosion also causes some lag which pretty much limits the use to just the Guts Man refight.
Thunder Beam
While the projectiles are the same, they generate tons of lag, even when there's nothing else but Mega Man on screen. Any time I do use it I try to minimize how much thunder beam is present on screen.
Super Arm
Super Arm is pretty much the same, including the problem of limited places to use it. There are still places where using super arm is more preferrable to thunder beam, generally with lag concerns.
Ice Slasher
Practically unchanged and sometimes used instead of magnet beam where lag is concerned.
Rolling Cutter
Practically unchanged and only really used for fighting Elec Man due to not really needing to use it for stages.
Fire Storm
While the projectile shot is unchanged, the spinning fire now disappears upon hitting something that survives being hit. While a little weaker because of that fire storm is still a very useful weapon due to not really having lag inherently associated with it.
Magnet Beam
Magnet beam is still an incredibly powerful navigation tool for horizontal and vertical traversal. The big downside is that generating magnet beam platforms in certain areas will create a lot of lag. A quirk of magnet beam that's used in the Wily Tower is that sliding can still be performed while the shoot button is held, allowing the beam to grow during sliding. The main quirk with this is that to only way to stop the slide is either to be airborne or to release the shoot button.
Atomic Fire
It takes at least 180 non-lag frames of charging for the medium shot and at least 240 non-lag frames for a large shot. The charging can also sometimes cause lag so atomic fire is only used for Quick Man here.
Air Shooter
Due to the multiple shots bug from the NES incarnation being fixed it's a little more useful to point blank air shooter. Since this collection is known for lag when there are lots of sprites on screen point blanking is useful for minimizing how many projectiles are out at once.
Leaf Shield
Leaf shield is given more weapon energy which is helpful in casual and RTA play but not relevant enough for the purposes of this run.
Bubble Lead
Practically unchanged.
Quick Boomerang
Quick boomerang actually has the worst rapid fire rate among the weapons that allow it. Each shot comes out every 13 non-lag frames at minimum, though this both makes it easier and harder to work with.
Time Stopper
Time stopper lasts longer than its NES incarnation. This is most noticeable in Wood Man's stage where all the Hot Dog fights are skipped.
Metal Blade
Due to the rapid fire nerfs metal blade is more impractical to use to take out tanker enemies. It's still useful for taking out weaker enemies along the way.
Crash Bomber
The explosions of the crash bomber linger longer and are larger, which works wonders for the Boo Beam Trap and Wily Machine 2 fights. It still has the huge drawback of high energy consumption and generally low damage to be super useful. I still find a few good spots to use crash bomber at least.
Item 1
The game lags a lot if there are three item 1 platforms on screen so I keep them to a minimum.
Item 2
warmCabin was right, this is the poor man's item 1. I'm pretty sure there's a slight energy consumption difference and slight changes on what walls will despawn item 2. Otherwise it's still functionally the same weapon.
Item 3
Item 3 can't attach to disappearing blocks which isn't the biggest concern in the world. More useful is that item 3 seems to disappear sooner if attached to a 1 tile corridor, leading to a few extra places vertical jumps can be used for ladder climbs compared the the NES incarnation.
Needle Cannon
Needle cannon now continues forward if it lands the killing blow on enemies. This is tremendously useful for both the regular Gemini stage and Doc Gemini stage for dealing with the start and breaking through the Pole Eggs. Also of note is that Snake Man takes slightly less damage from needle cannon for some reason.
Magnet Missile
Magnet missile got tremendously worse compared to the NES incarnation. It moves slower, has a turning animation that stops it in place, and chases bullets if possible. In other words: magnet sucks don't use it
Gemini Laser
Practically unchanged, including the part where it's made up of several segments. This can cause lag in certain places so it's mostly avoided.
Hard Knuckle
Hard knuckle has the limited but useful Knuckle Buster glitch. Outside of that the projectile activates later than the NES incarnation making it much harder to use on Doc Crash normally.
Top Spin
This version doesn't have the energy drain glitch from the NES incarnation. Otherwise it's still the same weapon.
Search Snake
Practically unchanged.
Spark Shot
Practically unchanged but the Wily Machine 3 is incredibly weak to it now.
Shadow Blade
Feels slower but is otherwise practically unchanged.
Rush Coil
Rush in general beams down slower compared the NES incarnation. There are places that are faster to jump through rather than call Rush Coil due to this.
Rush Marine
I actually don't use this in a TAS at all. Though for casual play the most significantly difference is that you get kicked out of Rush Marine if you jump out of the water and onto dry land. The NES incarnation let you hop on land but this was taken out for unknown reasons.
Rush Jet
While it's not possible to glitch this into the inventory like the NES incarnation, the big knockback boost when riding Rush Jet is practical in places where it's needed. Rush Jet can also fly above the top of the screen and be despawned of taken high enough.

Stage by Stage Notes

Mega Man

The boss order done is Guts -> Cut -> Elec -> Ice -> Fire -> Bomb. A run using zips will probably swap Cut and Elec since there's a lot of potential zips and skips that saves more time in spite of a very slow Elec Man fight.
Guts Man
This is pretty much a standard Guts Man stage run through. The Picket Man on the 2 tile wide platform is actually closer to the left than in the NES version and can't be jumped over. I still do the little bit of leftwards movement in the drop like normal NES runs but it's more to avoid picking up the health. During the Guts Man fight I intentionally land in a way that the floor shake will knock Mega Man into Guts Man to keep a steady stream of damage. This also lets me position Mega Man in a way to grab the energy element sooner since he can jump up to it from higher ground.
Cut Man
I forego using super arm at the start of the stage due to lag causing that strat to be roughly 10-15 frames slower. In one of the older TASes they used thunder beam to launch the blocks but that causes very noticeable lag due to the small rock chunks. It's faster to use super arm to chuck the blocks at Cut Man and towards the wall, keeping the chunks on screen for as little as possible.
Elec Man
It's just a regular Elec Man climb with pause damage boosting and magnet beam climbing when convenient. Rolling cutter takes out Elec Man quickly and Mega Man is positioned in a way to jump to the energy element when it spawns.
Ice Man
Using magnet beam across the big gap creates a lot of lag which can be mitigated by having Mega Man jump off the top of the screen. The Ice Man fight does involve getting close so that thunder beam leaves the screen sooner on the second shot.
Fire Man
I actually switch to ice slasher first since it's possible to clip to the top of the fire pillars then they're frozen at the highest point. This also means I can avoid some lag that would otherwise be caused by magnet beam. The room before I switch to magnet beam has a hole that's not obstructed on the other side, probably to prevent minor sipping. I also freeze some screw bombers in the boss corridor to slightly reduce the lag.
Bomb Man
I start the stage by switching to ice slasher for the very rude Sniper Joe in the way. Once the killer bullet section is passed then it's magnet beam time.
Wily 1 and the Yellow Devil
The stage itself is not that notable in differences from the NES version. The Yellow Devil fight, however, is a real lagfest. The game lags like crazy, especially if Mega Man is airborne. It is possible to do double hits so it only takes 4 cycles. I do intentionally get hit before going in for the shots since I want to get thunder beam off screen as soon as possible for lag reasons. Since the door on the left isn't there anymore, likely for lag reasons, I do stand there for two of the cycles to keep lag to an absolute minimum. Moving too far left, however, also causes large amounts of lag since Mega Man being partially off screen there apparently causes problems.
Wily 2 and the Copy Robot
I managed to get a big energy refill for fire storm on the way to the Copy Robot fight but ended up also getting 3 bonus orbs which isn't ideal but not a huge time loss. I chose fire storm for the Copy Robot fight since it didn't cause as much lag as thunder beam. A good fight as well since the boss didn't get a single shot in.
Wily 3 and CWU-01P
A very straightforward stage. The older TASes I could find go for a 3-3-1 kill with one block leftover. My pattern of a 2-2-2-1 kill was slightly faster, though.
Wily 4 and the Wily Machine 1
I use magnet beam for the start up until entering the first teleporter for the refights. The refights are unremarkable outside of the Guts Man fight, sort of. Since Guts Man was content to jump towards me hyper bomb gets its one place to shine. I bounce the second and third hyper bomb shots off the top of the teleporter to reduce bouncing time and get earlier detonations. After all of that I do an instant refill for fire storm and take out the Wily Machine swiftly due to a combination of having only regular enemy i-frames, and using bunny hopping and preemptive hits to end the second phase before it really starts. The first credits roll happens after this.

Mega Man 2

The boss order done is Air -> Crash -> Quick -> Metal -> Bubble -> Flash -> Heat -> Wood. This is pretty much the RTA route and due to certain changes Quick Man is not done first.
Air Man
Trying to despawn the lightning lords will also despawn the clouds they're riding so the NES trick to get safer platforms isn't available here. It was faster to take the large health refill than it was to avoid both along the way. I trick the last Pipi into spawning from the left to get a little lag reduction when entering the boss door. Air Man gave a very favorable opening pattern. Yes it does that on console as well.
Crash Man
Item 2 gets used a lot as discount item 1 when it's beneficial. I do a decent amount of Pipi direction manipulation for the climb to prevent getting slowed down by damage. Crash Man doesn't actually react the the first possible frame a shot is fired so after shooting an air shooter volley I press shoot again to get him to jump into the shots. Otherwise it's just a good ol' Crash Man fight.
Quick Man
The combined factors of enemies that tank many buster shots, high amounts of damage from enemies, and Quick Man taking half buster damage compared to the NES incarnation meant that I decided that using the RTA route was the better approach for this stage. Air shooter is used to handle the hot heads and one of the sniper armors. Crash bomber is used to take out Quick Man in a reasonable manner.
Metal Man
Every time Mega Man lands on a conveyor belt in the opposite direction it moves him a little bit back so I go for the highest jumps I can to reduce the amount of push-backs. I take a hit on the moles just before a stretch of conveyor moving forward. Item 2 is used to avoid a long stretch of conveyor and crash bomber was used to handle the blockies and some pierobots. I start the Metal Man fight holding the shoot button for a stream of quick boomerangs while Metal Man did nothing for the first half. The second half was mostly controlling Metal Man such that he didn't move around too much.
Bubble Man
Using item 2 in the first room causes so much lag that it's faster to pause damage boost past the croakers. I use this as an opportunity to switch to metal blade and take out a volley of petit kerogs when I start crossing the falling block section. The designers slightly moved one of the crabbots known for players falling into them on the NES. Bubble Man is straightforward fight.
Flash Man
Air shooter is used to handle a crazy cannon and a sniper armor, then metal blade is swapped to for Flash Man. Flash Man's time stop can be partially ignored by pausing and unpausing, allowing Mega Man to shoot for that duration but doesn't allow horizontal movement.
Heat Man
Time stopper is used at the start to prevent tellies from spawning in. Then item 3 is used to get past the wall climb and item 2 is used to get across the big pit. I delay shooting the first bubble lead on Heat Man since the initial flames he shoots have considerable amounts of lag when combined with bubbles.
Wood Man
Crash bomber easily handles the robo-rabbits at the start of the stage. Since time stopper lasts longer all three of the hot dog fights are skipped. The treetop section is bypassed with item 2, which is also used to bypass the rest of the robo-rabbits. Item 1 has considerably more lag the more platforms are deployed on screen and is thus not used here. Air shooter is used on Wood Man over the RTA strat of atomic fire since charging atomic fire causes more lag frames than point blank air shooter shots.
Wily 1 and the Mecha Dragon
Item 3 is used for most of the stage. The one room that requires item 1 to navigate was one I couldn't get done in 2 platforms. Instead I just had to spawn the third platform high enough to despawn sooner, reducing lag a little bit. A stream of buster shots takes care of the Mecha Dragon, who is noticeably less aggressive.
Wily 2 and Picopico-kun
Aside from one of the crushers after the mole hall being moved a little farther from the edge of the platform, this stage is pretty much how it is on the NES. The Picopico-kun fight is done with bubble lead since getting one shots on each part is faster than getting three shots of metal blade on each due to not needing to wait on i-frames. The only downside is the slight waiting on the higher up spawns to get down low enough.
Wily 3 and Guts Tank
Fairly straightforward stage with a straightforward Guts Tank fight that involves a little bit of fancier jumping to get the quick boomerangs on target.
Wily 4 and the Boobeam Trap
A lot of item 3 jumping is used for the climb upwards. The descent is where damage abuse and item 1 are used to speed up sections. I switch to item 2 since it was both a little faster for that room and allowed me to avoid one of the sniper armors. The last bits of item 1 are used just outside and near immediately inside the Boobeam Trap room. Crash bomber shots are placed in order of how many objects they can remove, then from bottom to top for the remaining targets.
Wily 5 and the Wily Machine 2
The refights are mostly normal. I end up sing two full charge atomic fire shots on Quick Man and finish him off with air shooter, setting up the Crash Man fight with just enough ammo. Wily Machine 2 is taken down to 8 HP with metal blade and finished off with the last crash bomber shot such that the lingering explosion immediately does damage to phase 2 and defeats it near immediately. This is also completely RTA viable.
Wily 6 and the Alien
Bubble lead shots on screen cause a huge amount of lag for the final fight. Combined with slower rapid fire speed and boss i-frames I had to let the boss take multiple passes to beat. After this is the second set of credits.

Mega Man 3

The boss order done is Top -> Shadow -> Needle -> Spark -> Magnet -> Hard -> Snake -> Gemini. The Doc Robot stages are done in reverse alphabetical order since it doesn't matter too much.
Top Man
A straightforward level and boss fight, though I do damage boosts to skip the Tama fights.
Shadow Man
With bunny hopping I get over to Protoman's spawn spot but I didn't know about hitting him during his teleport down until quite a bit later. Actually fixing that caused desyncs for the rest of the run that I didn't want to deal with right now. I switch over to top spin in the hologran room since it makes taking out the peterchies through that room a quick affair. Shadow Man is fought without taking damage.
Needle Man
Shadow blade handles the cannon section and Rush Coil handles the rest of the stage. Needle Man takes 2 damage from shadow blade and is taken out to both get Rush Jet and to break into the other weakness chain.
Magnet Man
Shadow blade and getting the early hits on Protoman speeds up the fight considerably. Rush Just is used to bypass all the disappearing blocks in this stage. Magnet Man's magnetic pull waves block shadow blades so I intentionally get pulled in and chuck blades directly at him.
Spark Man
Rush Coil is used for the ascent of the level and the rest bypassed by going fast enough to avoid obstructions. I chose to get more up close to Spark Man to get more consistent hits in.
Hard Man
The have "su" bees are evaded by moving swift enough past them. Rush Coil can be used to easily zip past the hammer Joe in the way but this is a zipless run. Rush Coild is also instrumental in climbing up ladders quicker. Protoman still is taken down swiftly with shadow blades. Hard Man is harder to hit with magnet missiles since they will chase down the rocket fists that he launches.
Snake Man
Rush Jet damage boosting is used a lot to get past a lot of areas quickly. The big snakies are avoided by flying over them with Rush Jet. For some reason Snake Man now takes 3 damage from needle cannon, making search snakes the best weapon to use on him. Guess who gives search snakes?
Gemini Man
Using needle cannon in the first area saves a lot of time over flying over with Rush Jet due to less lag and more chances to slide. Mega Man can bunny hop to bypass the Protoman cutscene, music disappearing included. Pole eggs are cleared out with needle cannon due to their ability to pierce freshly hatched poles. Thanks to the game engine's block clipping Rush Coil is no longer used so I switch over to search snakes. I do get a double hit on the Gemimi Men but taking out one doesn't seem to correctly update the life bar of the second one, so it still takes 7 shots.
Doc Spark
Shadow blade handles most of the first half of the stage. Careful magnet missile shots have to be used on Doc Metal, where I prefer him to be jumping across the room here. I end each of the mid-stage Doc Robot fights as close to the right door since this version lets Mega Man leave immediately. I slide over the top of the third junk block since it's impossible to get across from under it in time. I chose search snakes over gemini lasers for Doc Quick since the game already has lag problems with a single snake and three quick boomerangs on screen.
Doc Shadow
It was faster to avoid or fight the peterchies at the start than it was taking a damage boost. Needle cannon is used to take out a hologran and reduce lag a little bit. It's also the weakness of Doc Wood. Sometimes shots taken at Doc Wood bypass the shield and this is used to leave the fight immediately once the last hit lands. Top spin is used for the rest of the stage, with a damageless Doc Heat fight to close it out.
Doc Needle
I use a lot of Rush Jet and fast knockbacks in this stage. The Doc Air fight didn't give the kindest patterns but I worked well with I got. I took a lot of Rush Jet fast knockback across the big pit and grabbed a large weapon energy refill to bypass the giant metalls. I then show off the first use of the knuckle buster glitch to quickly run into Doc Crash's room and take him out before he did much of anything. This isn't the most optimal approach but fixing it caused large desyncs for the rest of the run, so it's left as it is.
Doc Gemini
Using needle cannon at the start again save a lot of time, and is more effective since the bomber pepes are replaced with the weaker jamacy. Once again needle cannon tears through the pole eggs. Doc Flash is taken out when Mega Man is close to the room exit. I take out a couple of extra pottons before getting out of the water section to avoid a big health refill, opting for a smaller one instead. Doc Bubble requires a little more movement to take out due to shadow blade's range.
Break Man
An immediate hop allows Mega Man to start bunny hopping and getting early hits on Break Man.
Wily 1 and the Kamegoro Maker
I use Rush Jet to clear the hammer Joe room with a slightly delayed fast knockback to slip past the last hammer Joe. I do a jump off the slide hole in the disappearing block room by holding towards the after exiting and jumping at the right time, saving a slight amount of time over using Rush Jet to get around. The Kamegoro Maker machine doesn't reflect shadow blades so I throw them early to take out the Kamegoros as soon as they spawn.
Wily 2 and the Yellow Devil Mk. 2
Aside from a fast knockback towards the end of the stage it's pretty unremarkable. I did miss using a knuckle buster on the door which would have saved some frames but, again, problems with resyncing the entire run from here. If you have a hard knuckle hit the Yellow Devil's eye as soon as its hitbox is active, the hitbox to hit it is larger for some reason. This means I only really have to do short hops. This is still at least a two cycle fight, with the second one hiding where the door would normally be since it's not there, likely for lag reasons, and is the best place for the final hard knuckle shots.
Wily 3 and the Holograph Mega Men
Rush Coil is equipped for most of the stage but isn't used for places where it would seem faster, since actually doing the jumps up is faster due to the slower descent of Rush. The top teleporter is the most ideal spot for the boss. The teleport animation and the walking Holograph Mega Men have separate invincibility periods so it's possible to get two hits in quick succession.
Wily 4 is Just Refights
I start the stage taking out the junk golems with gemini laser and start the refights with Needle Man. I then follow up with Snake Man and then Gemini Man since they're weak to search snakes. I fight Shadow Man with top spin since the cost of switching out shadow blade and having to wait a little bit more between some hits was worth the cost of not having to wait on three extra i-frame periods and more weapon refill wait times directly afterwards.
Wily 5 and the Wily Machine 3
Both forms of the Wily Machine 3 are extremely weak to spark shot for some reason. While there is a quick kill method using shadow blade preemptive hits on the second phase, this caused major desyncs in the Wily Tower run and thus aren't implemented here.
Wily 6 and Gamma
First phase of Gamma is fairly normal with shadow blade attacks. The second phase can be preemptively hit with top spin to take it out before Wily even shows up as the hitbox exists before the graphics. I learned of this before learning of the other preemptive hits from watching RTA runs. Since I am letting the third credits play out I do have to move Mega Man as close to where he should be in the cutscene without actually being pixel perfect to the spot. Being pixel perfect to the spot causes Mega Man to walk off screen since the game apparently doesn't have a check if you're directly on the spot where he's supposed to walk to. While this can also happen in Wily 5 it's funnier here since if he walks left the Gamma fight restarts after an awkward screen transition.

Wily Tower

The Journey to the West inspired bosses in this mode do not drop weapons so boss order isn't a concern. I went with their robot number order in this case. The weapon choices are weakness weapons for the bosses, crash bomber and time stopper for a few levels, and magnet beam and Rush Jet for extra movement options.
In other words the weapon arsenal is: Fire, Ice, Elec, Flash, Crash, Bubble, Spark, Hard, Magnet, Jet
Buster Rod G.
Starting off with magnet beam to slip past the first parts of the stage until I run out. Then I swap to crash bombewr to handle a few enemies. Then Rush Jet is used to navigate past the snakies and the big snaky. A knuckle buster is used to clown on Buster Rod G. and dome him before the fight begins.
Mega Water S.
I use bubble lead on some shrinks that get in the way. I then finish the stage with a lot of magnet beam navigation where I can. I had to run around the boss arena weirdly to prevent Mega Water S. from using his water barrier, which would require two extra shots and slow down the fight.
Hyper Storm H.
I start the stage with some block clipping to slide much sooner than normally intended. Magnet beam once again gets above a lot of the obstacles in the way. Taking a hit in the jamacy dispensing room is actually slightly faster than avoiding the hit. I switch to fire storm after running into the first junk golem to both prepare for the boss fight and to avoid a weapon refill. Hyper Storm H. has a double health bar but isn't really that hard to damage. While hyper bomb does more damage per shot it has a much longer firing rate and isn't used here.
Wily 1 and Fire Snakey
Magnet beam is used to climb high up into the next room to get hit by a suzy. There is just enough i-frames to get up the ladder without getting hit again. A crash bomber shot is used to break open the shorter pathway. I actually scroll the first shot off screen as soon as it detonated so that I can shoot another shot sooner. I intentionally don't use another magnet beam shot in the foot holder room so I can use the remaining ammo to bypass the disappearing block rooms. Rush Jet is used to cross the final pit. I intentionally run into the Fire Snakey between certain hits so that I can get a more consistent stream of shots in that keep bubble lead's presence to a minimum. I also finish the fight moving towards the center enough to not lag the game from standing on the metal springs.
Wily 2 and the Iron Ball
I start the stage using time stopper early to prevent moles from spawning in. I then follow it up with the usual magnet beam navigation. Once I'm out I switch to Rush Jet got get past a few rooms with a fast knockback. I take out a crazy cannon while riding Rush Jet to give a more favorable boss pattern. The Iron Ball has some strange quirks with the i-frames. If it's shot at the right time before retracting the normally immune part of the ball instead has regular enemy i-frames. This means getting this activated leads to a quick rapid-fire destruction with spark shot.
Wily 3 and Goku's Revenge
I start with magnet beam to navigate past a lot of spaces, then switch over to hard knuckle for the boss fight. While it doesn't affect the boss fight a couple of buster knuckles saves some time. Buster Rod G. is back and brought the deadliest foe: lag frames. I mitigate a large chunk of them by being airborne whenever possible and punch his lights out once and for all.
Wily 4 and the Wily Machine MW
The stage is entirely bypassed with a time stopper right before the big fish. Unlike the Mega Man 3 encounters, the Protoman cutscene freezes Mega Man in place and cannot be skipped. This boss fight took a long while for me to figure out most of it. I get the gist of how jc564 got the quick hits on the first phase of the Wily Machine. Each buster shot after the first one hits at the very tail end of the invincibility period of the previous shot, with the first one having the standard 45 frames the rest having 8 frames. The problem is that at the fastest Mega Man shoots every 9 frames. Mega Man has to both keep a rhythm of shots that hit the weak point as well as keep moving in such that every bullet hits that sweet spot frame when it contacts the hitbox. The problem I ended up having is that I couldn't get it done buster only before the second cycle started and the first phase only despawns at the end of a cycle. My workaround was using spark shots for the last two hits, which has a double time loss due to entering the menu twice more than the other run. This at least means I don't have to wait on a very long second cycle. The second phase also has this property but fire storm both doing more damage and having more convenient methods of getting hits in makes it less of a pain to do. While bunny hopping and shooting thunder beam at the third phase is possible, the lag frames means that doing so is slower. Instead I wait for when Wily is at the nadir of his movement to have two parts of a thunder beam shot get removed from the screen, which cuts down on lag a little bit.

Game Times by Section

All times that are not Mega Man 1 have been adjusted to what their power on time would be.
Game ModeEstimated Time
Mega Man20:06.937
Mega Man 228:21.624
Mega Man 336:56.804
Wily Tower12:33.203
Total gameplay time excluding credits1:37:58.569

Possible Improvements

Known Improvements
  • I did not include these due to causing huge desyncs for the rest of the stages to the point that I just left them for others to implement in the future.
    • Shooting Protoman while he teleports down in Shadow Man's stage: roughly 9-20 frames
    • Doc Crash boss corridor movement and fight improvements: roughly 20-40 frames
    • Knuckle buster the door before Yellow Devil Mk. 2: roughly 5-10
    • Wily Machine 3 phase 2 skip: roughly 220-250 frames
  • I couldn't fully figure out the best optimal fight from the other published run.
    • Wily Tower better Wily Machine legs fight with no weapon swap: roughly 240-260 frames
Total known possible improvements: 494-580 frames
Other Possible Improvements
  • General
    • More optimal movement and smarter damage boosting, especially for MM1.
    • Better boss RNG and movement manipulation will probably save a fair amount of time
  • Specific
    • Better magnet beam usage in MM1 could save a lot of vertical climbing time.
    • A better MM2 boss order could fundamentally save a large amount of time.
    • Better budgeting of health and weapon energy for the Doc Needle stage would probably also be cleaner as well as faster.

Potential of Zips for Future Runners

I want to put this here to give what I think could be done for future runners wanting to really shatter the game to pieces.
  • Mega Man 1 would likely see a minute or two lobbed off of the time I got from using some crazy magnet beam strats.
  • It's hard to say for Mega Man 2 since the items despawn if taken too high. I can definitely see a zip in Bubble Man's stage. I just don't know if the items have the total zipping potential of magnet beam and Rush Jet but at the same time I wouldn't be surprised.
  • Mega Man 3 can probably see a lot of zipping potential in enclosed stages once Rush Jet is obtained. It could be possible that going for Needle Man first can make some strong zips in Top Man's and maybe Shadow Man's stage.
  • There's already proof of zips being extremely powerful in the Wily Tower thanks to jc564's run.

Special Thanks

  • Smight for being crazy enough to complete the entire 45 game Mega Man damage shuffler at all. Those ROM hacks and bootlegs were something else, that's for certain.
  • The dedicated RTA and TAS Mega Man communities for setting a high bar of what fast Mega Man play to shoot for.
  • Dan_, Frenom, and kchurles in the TASVideos thread for providing TAS run times for me to try and beat.
  • Challenger for pointing out the other Wily Machine preemptive attacks leading me to figure out why they work at all.
  • Everyone who looked at and maybe even downloaded my works in progress in the User Files. That was actually a little encouraging to see some people at least having a modicum of interest in this run.

Suggested Screenshots

  • Frame 64839 - Mega Man getting a double kill on the CWU-01Ps
  • Frame 122430 - Mega Man throwing a metal blade during Flash Man's time stopper
  • Frame 220016 - Mega Man throwing a shadow blade at Protoman as he's beaming down
  • Frame 251740 - Mega Man navigating the the Gemini Man stage opening with needle cannon
  • Frame 281100 - Mega Man deploying a hard knuckle into Doc Crash before the fight starts

arkiandruski: Claiming for judging.
arkiandruski: This is good. Even without the zips, there is some impressive and creative play. Based off the run we have on the site, it will be different enough from a run with zips to hold its own category. Accepting to Moons.
Note to encoder: My Bizhawk lists the correct ROM as Rockman - Mega World (J) [!]. No alt.

EZGames69: Processing...
feos: Set rerecords to 0 so it appears "unknown", approved by the author.

Last Edited by feos on 2/23/2022 1:39 PM
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