Now we get to the fun part, tweaking Volnutt’s equipment and weaponry!
Mega Man has some nice options in his arsenal, but there is definitely room for improvement in some areas. One key component of whether a game is enjoyable or not lies in the options a player has. A game with exemplary stage design but subpar weapons will be generally less memorable in comparison to a game with a selection of highly useful and variable tools. A perfect example of this is shown when you compare Mega Man 9 to Mega Man 10.
The 9th installment of the classic franchise was a fun game that suffered from questionable level design in some instances, but you were never at a loss for options when it came to weapons. Laser Trident was a great ‘buster replacement’ that had piercing properties and high ammo. Plug Ball climbed surfaces allowing you to hit hard-to-reach enemies. Tornado Blow was a really handy screen clear. Mega Man 10, on the other hand, offers objectively better stage design, but at the cost of weapons that are far more lackluster. Thunder Wool, really Capcom?
With that being said, my goal is to push every weapon up to the usefulness level of say, the Machine Buster. They don’t need to be as powerful as the Shining Laser, but at least good enough that they fulfill their niche well enough to suit anyone’s play style. Every weapon isn’t going to be tweaked, I’m just going to be posting the ones that actually are. Ideally, I’d like to push the B and C tiered weapons into a more useful slot.
- Damage increase
- Add a ‘SPECIAL’ upgrade option that increases the blast radius with each upgrade, not unlike MML2’s Hyper Shell.
The Powered Buster is good, but it’s not really strong enough to carry its weight mid/late game. Increasing the damage and blast radius give it more of an identity so that it’s not completely outclassed by better weapons like the Active Buster.
- Increase max number of grenades from 32 to 48
- Increase the blast radius a bit
- Add multiple explosions at the point of impact
- Not nearly as pronounced as the Crusher, think more along the line of the Energy Bomb battle chips from the BN series
The Grand Grenade is a good weapon, but it just needs a little buffing to ensure that it retains its usefulness further along into the game. The multiple explosions give it a niche that only it can fill, and helps it to step out of the shadow of stronger weapons like the Active Buster and Spread Buster.
- Increase range dramatically
- Increase maximum damage
- Reduce throwing start up frames
- Holding the weapon button down allows Volnutt to roll them at enemies
- Retains wall-bouncing properties
- Explodes on contact with an enemy or when it reaches max range
This is hands down the worst weapon in the game, so these tweaks ensure that it gets some actual this time around. The ‘bomb bowling’ option gives the Grenade Arm more of its own identity to separate it from the Grand Grenade. The range increase gives the bounce factor some more utility, and the damage means that these things will actually leave a mark. Think of this as a hybrid of the Grand Grenade and a weaker Ground Crawler.
- Greatly increase damage on main slash
- Increase damage on projectile slash
- Increase horizontal hitbox for main slash with RANGE upgrade,
- Allows for an easier time dealing with multiple enemies
- Extend range on projectile slash slightly
- Startup frames reduced
- Armor on active frames
The Blade Arm needs a TON of work! The wider hitbox will make it much easier to deal with multiple enemies at close range, and the damage increase makes it so that enemies actually feel it. The sonic boom range increase also gives you a semblance of a mid-range option, but Volnutt’s work will still be better off up close. As opposed to MML2’s invincibility, armor is a nice compromise. This ensures that you aren’t stopped mid-attack in a tight situation, but you don’t get off for free either.
- Startup frames greatly reduced
- Recovery frames greatly reduced
- Can now move while shielding; no running, jumping, or rolling but can walk at a decent pace
- Shielding now blocks ALL projectiles in the game
- Activating the shield within 8 frames of an attack hitting yields the following benefits:
- If done against a physical attack from a reaverbot/mech, the enemy is stunned for a brief period
- If done against a non-laser projectile, it is reflected
Like the Blade Arm, this one needs a lot of tweaking to be useful. The instant shield mechanic would work like a cross between the Just Defend mechanic in Garou: Mark of the Wolves and Soul Calibur‘s Guard Impact system. This would add an extra layer of depth to the weapon, and give the player a more interactive experience beyond ‘hold triangle to block’.
- Increase damage dramatically
- Slightly weaker than it was in MML2, but still very strong
- Increase range very slightly
- Hitbox should extend slightly in front of Mega Man; think MML2 Drill Arm
These changes essentially turn the weapon into its MML2 self, but it’s essentially less broken due to the time you get it. You can’t use it to breeze through multiple bosses (Manda and Nino say hi) because you get this in the Main Gate, and if you DO want to use it on Juno, you still can. It won’t be a 2-second kill, but you’ll still do quite a bit of damage.
That sums up this installment of the Legends Remake Wishlist! Join us next time as we go through Mega Man Legends 2!