Boss: Another robot master, another World of Warcraft reference and this time it’s not even remotely subtle – Axe Man not only looks like an orc, he has the Horde symbol in the dead center of his red armor. As the final Robot Master of the lot, Axe Man is certainly no pushover, but his danger lies primarily in just how much damage he can deal. Axe Man alternates between attacking with his axe and performing seismic attack jumps. He always jumps twice and being on the ground when he lands briefly stuns Mega Man and deals a considerable amount of damage. The dip in the center of the arena can make it particularly difficult to dodge this attack as you’ll need to slide under him in order to avoid being cornered and immediately jump before sliding off the ledge or else Mega Man can be caught with his feet on the ground. For his axe attacks he either will toss out his axe in an upward arc or hold it in his hand for a split second before slamming it into the ground for a close-range spark attack. He always alternates between two tosses followed by a ground slam or two ground slams followed by a toss. Both of his axe attacks hurt a lot, so keeping track of which of his two patterns he is going to use is vital if you don’t want to accidentally jump straight into the path of a flying axe. Flash Dagger is Axe Man’s weakness, but I found it much easier to focus on hitting him with the larger charged buster shots.
Stage: Like Axe Man himself, his stage packs quite a punch. The biggest danger here comes in the form of large swinging axes which gradually increase in speed before resetting. These axes can take off about half of Mega Man’s health in a single hit and I would suggest abusing the invincibility frames from Zap Barrier to bypass them whenever possible. Many of the platforms in this stage are conveyor belts, but they move slowly and the platforming in general for the stage is easy enough that they are never a threat. The enemies here also hit hard and include giant robots which toss out their axe-like lower halves, explosive walking bombs, endlessly spawning drills, flying guillotines, and small axe-like machines which move back and forth along the ground. The drills provide a great opportunity to refill Mega Man’s health and weapon energy, especially since Magic Missile can virtually take out every drill on the screen in a single use when playing on Normal or lower. The flying guillotines divebomb Mega Man if he walks underneath them, but both they and the giant axe robots are so infrequent that they aren’t much of a cause for concern. The bomb enemies can be a real problem as they are small and jump around, making them hard to hit, and their large explosion, which still goes off even if they are killed, can take away nearly as much health as the swinging axes. A final enemy exists in the form of a spinning gear, but all it does is make the screen flash to change the direction of the conveyor belts; since the conveyor belts don’t move quickly enough to cause an issue to begin with, this enemy is essentially harmless.
Weapon: Giant Axe is possibly the least creative weapon name I have seen in a Mega Man game, but it’s a nice weapon to have around all the same. Like it’s name suggests, it takes the form of an enormous axe which can be tossed in a high vertical arc similar to the axe subweapon in Castlevania. The arc can also be adjusted slightly to be aimed more downward or more in front of Mega Man. Its damage is high and its variable attack range makes it a viable weapon against most foes, but its real benefit comes from its ability to completely ignore shields. Not only does it pierce through shields, but it can destroy otherwise completely invincible enemies, including mets hiding under their hats. It’s one of the most expensive weapons to use, but its value is definitely earned from its ability to destroy robots which no other weapon can touch.