Mega Man 7
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Mega Man 7

August 18, 2019

Mega Man 7, known as Rockman 7: Shukumei
no Taiketsu! in Japan, is a video game developed by Capcom for the Super
Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the seventh game in the original Mega Man
series and the first and only title in the main series to be featured on the
16-bit console. The video game was first released in Japan on March 24, 1995 and
was localized later in the year in North America and Europe. The game is also
available for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox as part of
the Mega Man Anniversary Collection. It is also known for the information that
is given to the player in the Shade Man stage. Mega Man 7 was created to
revitalize the original franchise after the release of Mega Man X, which got
very positive reviews. However, it scored lower ratings than Mega Man X,
and was seen as an inferior game to Mega Man X by fans.
Picking up directly after the events of Mega Man 6, the plot involves the
protagonist Mega Man once again attempting to stop the evil Dr. Wily,
who uses a new set of Robot Masters to free himself from captivity and begin
wreaking havoc on the world. Along with some help from his old friends, Mega Man
finds potential allies in the mysterious robot pair Bass and Treble, who are
later revealed to be in league with Wily. In terms of gameplay, Mega Man 7
follows that same classic action and platforming introduced in the 8-bit
Nintendo Entertainment System titles, but updates the graphics and sound of
the series for the more powerful SNES. According to its creators, Mega Man 7
was only in development for a short time before its release. Keiji Inafune, a
noted character designer and illustrator for the franchise, handed off his duties
to Hayato Kaji for this installment. Mega Man 7 has received an overall
average critical reception. Although many considered it a competent game by
itself, a majority of reviewers either called it a simple rehash of previous
entries in the Mega Man saga, or considered it inferior to the inventive
spin-off Mega Man X, released on the SNES over a year earlier.
Plot Taking place in the 21st century, Mega
Man 7 begins directly after the events of Mega Man 6. Thanks to the efforts of
Mega Man and his friends, Dr. Wily was finally brought to justice. However,
Wily had always known that he might be imprisoned one day, and so he had
constructed four backup Robot Masters in a hidden laboratory: Burst Man, Cloud
Man, Junk Man, and Freeze Man. If they did not receive any communication for
six months, they would activate and begin searching for their master. After
six months, the robots activate, round up an army, and go on a rampage
throughout the city in which Dr. Wily is being held. Mega Man is called into
action. Upon driving into the city with Roll and Auto, he sees that it is in
ruins, and that he is too late to stop Wily’s Robot Masters from liberating the
evil scientist. Mega Man gives chase, but is stopped by Bass, a robot with
capabilities much like Mega Man’s own, and his robotic wolf Treble. After a
brief skirmish, Mega Man is informed that the two of them are battling Wily
as well. Bass and Treble then take off, leaving Mega Man confused, but convinced
that he has new allies and determined to again stop Dr. Wily’s plans.
After Wily’s Robot Masters are defeated, he dispatches four more to combat the
protagonist: Spring Man, Slash Man, Shade Man, and Turbo Man. In one of the
locations, Mega Man encounters an injured Bass and sends him to Dr.
Light’s lab for repairs. Mega Man defeats the remaining Robot Masters and
goes back home, learning upon arriving that Bass had gone berserk and had torn
up the lab, escaping with parts for new enhancements Dr. Light was working on.
Wily appears on the video monitor and reveals that Bass and Treble are
actually his own creations, and that they only gained his trust in order to
steal the parts. Bass’ apparent ambition is to best Mega Man in combat and prove
himself as the strongest robot in existence. Mega Man makes his way to
Wily’s fortress and defeats Bass and Treble, and then Dr. Wily himself. As
usual, Wily begs for mercy, but after giving him six chances to change his
ways, Mega Man chooses to finish off the mad doctor for good, and threatens him
with his Mega Buster. Terrified, Wily explains that as a robot, Mega Man is
prevented from harming humans; Mega Man counters that he is “more than a robot”.
Before Mega Man could do anything, he is interrupted when the fortress begins to
self-destruct, and Bass and Treble arrive to rescue their creator at the
last moment. Before escaping, Bass taunts Mega Man for his hesitation,
vowing that he, Wily, and Treble will return to get their revenge. Mega Man
then escapes the collapsing castle, contemplating the events that
transpired, and returns home to his family.
Gameplay Gameplay in Mega Man 7 is mostly
identical to the six previous games in the series. The player, as Mega Man,
must complete a series of side-scrolling platform levels that typically end in a
boss battle with a Robot Master. Destroying the Robot Master earns the
player its special Master Weapon, which can be selected and used in all future
stages. Each Robot Master is weak to a specific Master Weapon. Unlike the first
six Mega Man games, only four new Robot Master stages are selectable at a time.
After the player completes the introductory level, the first four Robot
Masters in the list are selectable. After these are beaten, the player is
taken to the intermission Robot Museum stage. When this stage is beaten, the
other four Robot Masters become available.
Mega Man 7 uses many of the same conventions introduced in previous
installments, such as sliding along the ground, being able to charge the Mega
Buster for more powerful shots, and calling on the hero’s dog Rush to
perform various tasks. One unique feature is Rush Search, which causes
Rush to dig up useful items wherever the player is standing. Certain stages
contain the letters “R-U-S-H”, which, when collected, will grant the player
access to the “Rush Super Adaptor”, a combination of the two enhancements
introduced in Mega Man 6 with a powerful rocket-arm attack and jetpack for flying
short distances. Defeated enemies found throughout each stage can give the
player extra lives, items which refill health and weapon power, and special
bolts. The player can visit “Eddie’s Cybernetic Support Shop” from the stage
select screen, where these bolts can be spent on items and power-ups, a feature
that originally debuted in the Game Boy Mega Man titles. The use of bolts and
the purchase of items at a part shop would become a standard for the core
titles starting with Mega Man 7. Other gameplay elements also exist, such as
the player being able to obtain the robotic, helper bird Beat and Proto
Man’s trademark shield. Development
Prior to the release of Mega Man 7, numbered entries in the original Mega
Man series were only on the NES. Mega Man 7 is the first and only numbered
title in the original series released on the SNES. Capcom had begun its Mega Man
X spin-off series on the console more than a year before. Due to “bad timing”,
the development team had to work under a very tight, three month schedule to
complete Mega Man 7. The franchise’s primary artist Keiji Inafune, credited
as “Inafking”, felt that due to the team’s high motivation during that time,
it was a very fun experience for him personally. The new head illustrator
Hayato Kaji, credited as “H.K”, concurred, stating that the team was
very devoted to the project’s completion despite having to rush its development.
Designer Yoshihisa Tsuda, credited as “Hisayoshi”, recounted, “I remember it
being quite fun, like a sports team camp or something. Still, there are so many
things about this title that I have regrets about, and even at the time we
all found ourselves wishing for another month or so to work on it.” Inafune
takes credit for designing the character Auto, who is based on stereotypical “tin
man” robots he remembered seeing as a child. Inafune also did the initial
rough sketches of Bass and Treble, which bear the names “Baroque” and “Crush” in
his sketchbook. The ideas for these two characters were ultimately handed off to
Kaji for design. As with many other games in the series, the eight Robot
Masters featured in Mega Man 7 are the product of design contests held for fans
by Capcom in Japan. Capcom received around 220,000 character submissions.
One of the development team’s goals was to add locations where the Master
Weapons can be used to interact with the environments of many stages. In
addition, Inafune wanted to include a hidden boss battle mode and recommended
the idea to Tsuda, who discussed the matter privately with the game’s
playtester. Just one week before the game went beta, the team decided to
include this mode on the conditions that Mega Man and Bass be the only playable
characters and that it would have no bugs. It was completed and included
within two days. However, Capcom only made this mode accessible via a secret
password. The team also intentionally made the game’s final boss “insanely
hard” and “something that cannot be defeated without the use of an Energy
Tank”. The beta for the original Japanese and overseas versions of Mega
Man 7 occurred simultaneously. The translated localizations of the game
contain less dialogue than their Japanese equivalent. When Mega Man gains
a new weapon in the North American version, he speaks with Dr. Light; in
the Japanese version, Mega Man may exchange banter with Roll or Auto as
well as Dr. Light. In summer 1994 Capcom announced that the
game was finished but they had decided not to release it. According to Capcom,
the resulting negative reaction from gamers was what prompted the game’s
eventual release. Gregory Ballard, the president of Capcom’s North American
division, admitted the company was too conservative in shipping copies of Mega
Man 7 when it launched in the region during the fall of 1995. The demand for
Capcom’s released titles apparently did not meet the supply the previous year,
causing the company to scale back during that particular release quarter.
The music and sound composition of Mega Man 7 was a collaboration of ten people,
including Ippo Yamada, credited as “Ippo”, who was pulled in to work on the
game while he was working on another project. A CD soundtrack for Mega Man 7
containing 37 pieces of music was published for the first time in Japan by
Team Entertainment on November 21, 2007 amidst the franchise’s 20th anniversary.
Three of Mega Man 7’s composers, Yamada, Yuko Takehara, who was credited as
“Yuk”, and Makoto Tomozawa, credited as “V-Tomozoh”, would later compose the
soundtrack to Mega Man 10 along with composers from previous installments and
Mega Man 8. Reception and legacy
Critically, Mega Man 7 has received a consistently average reception in both
past reviews and more contemporary retrospectives. A large amount of
criticism arose from the game’s alleged failure to bring anything new to an
already aging series, with some considering it inferior to Mega Man X,
which Capcom had released on the SNES more than a year prior. Tony Mott of
Super Play found the game to lack improvement over its 8-bit counterparts
in gameplay, stating that the level layouts are “muted and appear regular
when compared to the X series”. Brett Elston of GamesRadar similarly noted
Mega Man 7 as feeling far too similar to the earlier games and that it pales in
comparison to the SNES’s more relevant and inventive Mega Man X. GamePro simply
called it “a nice holdover” for fans waiting for the next game in the X
series. The game has enjoyed some positive
remarks for its colorful presentation, play control, and challenge. GameSpot
contributors Christian Nutt and Justin Speer praised it even compared to its
predecessors: “Finally, a real upgrade to the original series on the SNES,
after so many years on the moribund NES crippled the series. Unfortunately, it
was a bit late to recover the massive popularity that the series had once
enjoyed, but this was definitely a solid game.” IGN’s Levi Buchanan found the
game to be one of the weaker installments in the franchise despite
its attempt to add new gimmicks, some of which simply fall flat. “It’s still
worth a play to see the 16-bit jump,” Buchanan summarized. “But expectations
should be appropriately curtailed.” Lucas M. Thomas of IGN described the
introduction of Mega Man’s rival Bass as the seventh installment’s most important
contribution to the franchise. In spite of Mega Man 7 technologically moving the
series from its NES roots to the next generation of consoles, it would
eventually transition back to an NES visual and audio style similar to the
first six titles many years later. Mega Man 7 has been officially re-released
three separate times since its 1995 debut, first on the Nintendo Power
cartridge service in Japan, second on the Mega Man Anniversary Collection in
North America for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube in 2004 and the Xbox in 2005
and third for the Wii U Virtual Console in 2014.
References External links
Capcom Global website Official Rockman website
Mega Man 7 at GameFAQs

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