hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The start of the affair: Mega Man 2

3:27 PM on 06.15.2008 // Brahms

[Editor's note: Brahms tells us how Mega Man II started the affair for him as part of June's Monthly Musings. -- CTZ] 

As a child of the 1990’s, I had missed much of the original Nintendo generation. I was born in 1985, the same year as the American release of the Nintendo Entertainment System, and my pitiful baby appendages simply weren’t developed enough to properly manipulate the tiny plastic buttons of the rectangular gamepad. Much less put any thought into why a certain portly plumber would suddenly move upward if I pressed the little red button on the right side of the controller.

My first introduction to the system was not until the summer of 1990, when the States were gearing up for the release of the Super Nintendo. While the world waited anxiously for the new Super Mario game (and played a little gem called Super Mario Bros. 3, which I hear is actually pretty decent), I was introduced to the original, packaged, of course, with Duck Hunt.

I cut my gaming teeth on these two games, and often found myself standing half an inch from the screen, with the NES Blaster in my hand, waiting for some foolhardy duck to sweep across the screen. I would pull the trigger and revel in the fantastical sound of the spring mechanism inside- a sound that could be roughly written as “Zip-PWANG!” which is perhaps the second most interesting onomatopoeia committed to paper. More after the jump.

Despite learning to play games with these two titles, I still didn’t really “get” games. I had friends who played them on weekends, and older brothers who neglected their studies to make maps of Metroid on graph paper, but it was little more than a distraction for me. Part of it was because I just wasn’t good enough to actually get into many of the games, many of which forced me to replay the first level over and over and over again. Videogames were simply too much of a timesink, and why on earth would I spend that much time playing it when I could be building with Legos or watching Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers?

To this day, I’m not exactly sure how I got my hands on a copy of Mega Man 2. I know that somehow, a copy of the game, apparently rented from Blockbuster earlier that day, ended up in the little grey box beneath the family television. On that one particular Friday afternoon I had finished my homework before my brothers, and thus held free reign over the little console. I saw the game sitting on top of it, and decided to blow on the cartridge and place it in the system.

After impatiently mashing the start button several times, I found myself looking at nine faces in little flashing boxes splayed across the screen.

“Wait. What? What am I supposed to do?” I asked, my little 5-year-old brow furrowed in confusion.

My lack of knowledge did not go unnoticed by my brothers, who sat at the kitchen table and glanced at the screen. “Oh, that’s the level select.” He said. “Those are all bosses, and the guy in the middle is you. You get to pick which one you want to beat, and then play them.”

I still didn’t understand. “But then you don’t have to go through the first and second levels if you don’t want to- can’t you just skip to the last level?”

“There isn’t a last level.” He didn’t even look up from his math homework. “The game ends when you beat them all.”

My young mind reeled. Each game I played before was performed under the bullwhip of some draconian slavemaster programmer, carrying a stone tablet with the words “Thou shalt beat this boss to continue, and thou shalt do so with only this many continues.” Apparently the hero of this game slapped the programmer until he cried like a little wussy cootie-filled sissypants (my favorite insult, circa 1990), and handed me the bullwhip. I felt strangely liberated, and immediately identified with the little boy in the blue robot helmet.

In the first levels I played, I died. A lot. But if I was ever tired of playing the same area, I would simply move onto a new one. Each time I would get a little bit farther, but I never felt like I was wasting my time. Each level complemented one another, and the platforming skills I learned in one stage always applied to another. Jumping between ladders in Wood Man’s stage helped me in Air Man’s stage, and the leaps of faith between the invisible drill-headed cloud robots (and oh, but how I hated those invisible drill-headed cloud robots) eventually let me get to the end of Bubble Man’s stage.

I always knew Bubble Man would be the first to die. I mean, his name was Bubble Man for God’s sake. Air Man would always be my second guess, but considering how hard his level was, I had second thoughts about facing him first. That, and I had almost mangled my fingers in a fan in Kindergarten once, and still carried an unnatural fear of fans. Either way, by the end of the weekend, I finally managed to beat Bubble Man, and immediately scribbled the password for beating him down.

That password was the first time I ever really found a feeling of accomplishment from playing a video game. The password was some tangible, physical record of my battle against evil as a young man - the little grid of colored circles was a reminder that I had won something.

Over the next few weekends, I made sure to ask to rent a copy of Mega Man 2, but I eventually lost interest in beating it. By that time, I had gained the confidence to properly approach the more difficult games my family owned, and I approached them with the same mindset that I had gained from playing that game. Every time I died, it didn’t mean I failed- I always tried something new, and learned both what did, and what did not work within the context of each game’s unique universe. It was a lesson I applied not only to video games, but to real life as well.

So I’d like to give a little thanks to the Blue Bomber. In his never ending quest to defeat evil in the world, he taught me to accept failure, and become a more patient person. And with more than a hundred sequels and spinoffs, he certainly has his work cut out for him.

 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Halflocke avatarHalflocke
Underhero a 2d side scrolling rpg on indie gogo
extatix avatarextatix
Heading off to Spiel in a bit. A whole lot of games there, just of the cardboard variety. I love me some board games.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Finally finished The Witcher 3. Definitely one of the best games I've played in my 30 years or so of gaming. Now onward to Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
*playing an old ps1 game* "START and SELECT don't bring the menu up?! WELL WHAT THE FU-oh, it's Triangle..."
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
If anyone's playing Marvel Puzzle Quest (any platform) you should join my Alliance, RedRightHand, and help me kick some Galactus butt for their second anniversary event. (Please?)
Shinta avatarShinta
MGS Online Day 3. I have 3 character up to level 10 now, one in each class. They're all pretty handy, but I do miss the scout's mark speed the most on other classes.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The SW: Battlefront is pretty and has great sound design, but the gameplay is so shallow and has seemingly no depth! If the full game is like this I will be disappointed.
Torchman avatarTorchman
*looks at Amazon preorder* This one's for you Chib'
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Dear Playboy: Love your video game coverage, but how about you start making some topless unboxing videos? Seeing someone unwrap a copy of Call of Duty is boring. Seeing a topless Playmate unwrap a copy of anything is awesome!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
In happier news, Level-5 is already talking Yo-Kai Watch 2's Western release, and better/worse yet, they're considering amiibo support for the series! And hey, if they can't get Jibanyan into Smash, that'd be one way to get the West's attention.
gajknight avatargajknight
I drank a glass of Ovaltine for the first time in years today. It was nice. Like drinking a glass of my childhood, complete with ignorance, embarrassing angst, tears (so many tears) and night terrors. Ah, the good 'ol days.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] This is just depressing. Digital classics on consoles are such a great idea, but it's like not a single company wants to really go through with it.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
My heart will always be yours, Papyrus #2spoopy4me
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I recently beat Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow again, but this time I played on Hard mode from scratch. Outside of dying a few times due to me being an idiot, and enemies hitting harder, it was actually easy. Like really easy.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Today I replated bacteria that I made take up a plamid hopefully stitched onto the genes generatlight. Taken from other dead bacteria and put into a non glowing species, to make it glow. Fucking microbiology is the best.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
It seems fairy farts are a fragrance, a soap, incense, a vaping liquid and a kind of nail polish. I'm clearly in the wrong line of work and need to eat more chili.
Cannibal Steven avatarCannibal Steven
"You gave the Lost Soul a big smile, like you remember she likes to do... For some reason she sort of wants to smile back..." I'm not crying. Not one bit.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just tried 'The Last Of Us' on PSNow Trial, only to be told... 'Something went wrong. Try again.' Game-appropriate error message or quickie plot-summary?
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I hate when people say crap like "I admit that [thing] in games is problematic, but I still enjoy it" because it's an underhanded way of contradicting your own views while convincing yourself that you aren't a hypocrite.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Well shit. I knew I was more than likely going to enjoy Star Wars Battlefront (cause you know, giant Star Wars nerd and all) but holy cow, the beta is fucking great! I need the full game like, now.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -