Mega Man, as we know, is notorious as one of the most difficult franchises in gaming. Before Dark Souls came along and became synonymous with punishing gameplay, Mega Man was right up there.
It still is, in fact, with all its pixel-perfect jumps and insta-death spikes. Not to mention the enemy spawns, often perfectly positioned to knock into you and send you plummeting into the abyss. It’s not a franchise for the faint-hearted.
As you’d expect, then, the bosses of the Mega Man series don’t tend to be jokes either. Some of them are just terrible, though, for a whole range of reasons. Let’s name and shame some of the worst Robot Masters (and one Maverick) right here.
10 Charge Man
Let’s kick this party off the right way, with a deeply questionable boss from Mega Man 5.
Now, there’s a lot to respect here. Charge Man is a guy who knows his gimmick, knows his lot in life and is utterly 100% committed to it. That’s admirable, for sure.
The only issue is, being a charging robotic man in every sense of the word (this Robot Master is based on an old steam locomotive) is very limiting from a boss battle point of view. Charge Man is completely unable to jump, boasting a combat repertoire that consists of… just charging at Mega Man. He does also spew coal from his chimney, but that doesn’t help his cause much.
9 Aqua Man
Let’s be honest with ourselves here: it was clear that Aqua Man was going to be an issue right from the start. After all, anyone (man or machine) called Aqua Man who isn’t Jason Momoa is just going to be a huge disappointment to us all now. Momoa has raised the bar forever.
This Aqua Man appears in Mega Man 8, part of the second troupe of Robot Masters. He’s a clumsy, bulky ex-water-quality-measuring robot, awkwardly repurposed for battle. His signature weapon, the Water Balloon, is super lame, but it is at least spammable. If that’s the sort of thing we can consider a redeeming factor.
8 Toxic Seahorse
Right from the name alone, it’s clear that we’re also going to have a problem here. After all, the Pokémon Dragalge (and its pre-evolution Skrelp) is the only toxic seahorse gaming needs, right?
Let’s not get into the fact that the series entry featuring Toxic Seahorse (Mega Man X3) was released way back in 1995, meaning it came first by over decades. There’s no room for that kind of logical argument here because Toxic Seahorse is a real shambles of a Maverick. It had the potential to be so darn cool (its body is made of liquid metal, like the T-1000 from Terminator 2), but you just can’t be cool with that design. Come on, guy, pick a color.
The only good thing about this Maverick is that its weapon can be used to cheaply farm Weapon Energy (certain minor enemies will drop a capsule of a random size 100% of the time when defeated with the Acid Spray).
7 Junk Man
There’s an obvious snarky joke to be made here. we’ve just got far too much class for that, though, so we’re going to sidestep it. This guy definitely is junk, though.
Nobody likes Junk Man. They really don’t. those darn little cockroach things in his stage? They’re a real pain in the cheeks to hit, so that’s a point against this Robot Master before we’ve even met him.
Once we do, things really don’t improve. we can appreciate that these things tend to be repurposed robots that performed important functions in the Mega Man world, and there had to be a trash-bot somewhere, but… it fires solidified garbage-bombs at you. That says it all, really.
6 Blizzard Man
Going into Mega Man 6, we expected so much more from Blizzard Man. we mean, heck, he’s not just Snow Man. We’re talking about… lots of snow, right?
No, no we’re not. As Geekade reports, Blizzard Man’s stage is entirely bereft of blizzards, and the Robot Master himself produces precious little snow. All of which begs the question: were the skis really the smartest idea? That’s a super-specialized way to get around, after all.
His weapon, Blizzard Attack, is fun to mess around with (and instantly defeats some fiery enemies, to the consternation of Pokémon fans everywhere who know that this isn’t how weaknesses work), but that’s as far as redeeming factors go here.
5 Sheep Man
As a huge Bladerunner fan, we can appreciate what’s happening here. we absolutely can. Sheep Man is a Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? nod if ever we’ve seen one, and we dig that.
Does that mean this thing isn’t totally ridiculous, though? It doesn’t. Sheep Man appears in Mega Man 10, late in the series, when all the good ideas had presumably been used already.
Not only is the whole concept silly, but the Thunder Wool weapon is almost totally useless. It has very niche utility, and its heavy energy cost for its low damage and impracticality makes it arguably one of the worst special weapons in the franchise.
4 Spring Man
Here’s another Robot Master with a very familiar-sounding name. No, we’re not talking about the ARMS warrior with the hilariously-bouncing hair, but another hopeless Mega Man boss.
This guy appears in the seventh game, and his stage is super obnoxious to traverse. As the name implies, there are bouncy platforms and related annoyances all over the darn place.
On to the Robot Master itself, though, this is quite possibly the most uninspired design of all (and that’s really saying something around here). It’s just… a Slinky.
The good news is, as we reported on CBR, you can exploit a trick that allows you to instantly one-shot this fool.
3 Bubble Man
Historically, water-based stages have been some of the most difficult in the series. They’re just cheap, more than anything, with physics that alter your movement and spikes all over the darn place to catch you when you overshoot jumps. It’s just an all-around bad time. Just to add insult to injury, the Robot Masters of said stages can be truly awful too.
Take Mega Man 2’s Bubble Man. Not only is the battle completely uninspiring and far too easy, but let’s talk about the fact that the weapon you acquire from this thing is the Bubble Blower. Which... blows bubbles.
2 Dust Man
Come on, now, people. We’ve got to stop with this nonsense. The garbage motif gives the Robot Masters some kind of practical purpose (which, again, explains the whole concept of their existence), but it doesn’t do too much for them in terms of making them frightening opponents.
This is the notorious and intimidating Mega Man series. How many Robot Masters can we have who feebly launch garbage at our hero? Well, at least one more, it seems, because Dust Man is also here. Unlike Junk Man, though, Dust Man has an extra little feature: the ability to vacuum up his foe. It doesn't help his cause much.
1 Slash Man
Now, we're a little conflicted here. If we're totally honest, we can get on board with Slash Man. Granted, he makes Cut Man, Sword Man and the like sound a little redundant, but that’s just the way we roll here in the Mega Man universe.
Taking on his own merits, Slash Man isn’t all that objectionable. The issue is that there’s a far better and more intimidating robo-foe lurking in Slash Man’s stage. That dinosaur robot was a heck of a thing to come up against, and any Robot Master that followed it was doomed to be super disappointing in comparison.