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Zero Atma avatar 11:12 PM on 09.21.2008  (server time)
Feel the Hatred: Disappearing Blocks

So, by now most people know that I am a HUGE Mega Man and Mega Man X fan. But there's
one thing about these games that I absolutely despise: disappearing blocks. If you've
played a Mega Man game, you know the ones.


Yup, those ones. There's usually a series of sets of these monoliths of mayhem, with a
learning curve to getting through each progressive set in the series. The first set is
innocuous, basically saying "we're here, jump on us in order, yay!"

Then they get harder, almost always requiring you to jump straight up with split-second
timing to get from one block to the next, before the block you're standing on disappears. At
best, you fall down to the floor and have to start over. At the worst, you fall into a pit or
onto spikes or lava, causing you to start over.

The only reprieve from having to handle these dastardly disappearing deathtraps comes in
the form of the items. In Mega Man (1), the Magnet Beam allows to bypass the worst of
these, depending on when you obtain it. In Mega Man 2, Items 1 and 3 can allow you to
ascend walls to bypass some disappearing blocks, and Item 2 allows you to bypass the
infamous LAVA BLOCKS OF DOOM in Heat Man's stage. And in Mega Man 3, the Rush Jet
can help you, if you beat Needle Man early enough (a bit of a feat, actually).

Item 3 helps the Blue Bomber climb avoid dealing with the enemy and the blocks

Using Item 2, Mega Man flies over lava that he would otherwise have to maneuver
over on the devil blocks.

Thankfully, they all but got rid of these timed blocks from hell in the Mega Man X games,
with the exception of a "cameo" appearance in Mega Man X5, a game filled with deliberate
references back to the Classic series. It's a big part of why I prefer the X games over the
Classic games, and the one part of X5 that I can't stand.

With Mega Man 9's release this Monday (Sept. 22nd), the one thing I'm NOT looking forward
to when playing it is dealing with the vanishing block areas. Preview and review videos
have shown at least one. But I'm ready. I'm practicing my timing to jump up to that block
right above me. I'm set to....

*pew pew pew pew*

Damn, I died again!

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