Mega Man SFR – Dagger Man

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Boss: Dagger Man may look like a less serious version of Mega Man 10‘s Blade Man, but he is the hardest Robot Master in the game. He can sometimes dodge and counter your shots by disappearing and reappearing behind Mega Man to perform a quick lunging attack, though even if you escape from this attack he sends out two energy beam slices immediately afterwards. He also teleports to the top of the screen to shoot down daggers which explode into yet more energy slices, which split left and right, when they hit the ground. His last attack is to simply launch a Flash Dagger forward while he’s standing on the ground, but this is as easy to dodge as an ordinary projectile and is completely nonthreatening. His constant teleporting makes him much less predictable than the other Robot Masters and serves him just as well defensively as it does offensively. I always make sure to go into this fight with his weakness, Magic Missile, since it can follow him even while he’s in the middle of teleporting and it’s the only way to deal a decent amount of damage to him while he’s in the air.

Stage:Dagger Man’s stage rather surprisingly takes place in cyberspace and it’s definitely the coolest area in the game aesthetically – even his stage’s theme is catchier than the others. This is also by far the easiest stage in the game. Both spikes and pits are actually rather common here, but the pits are never difficult to jump over and most of the spikes are never placed anywhere where they feel particularly threatening. There’s a colored teleport gimmick to this stage where touching a floating crystal will warp Mega Man to another crystal of the same color, but it’s severely underused with neither puzzles nor difficult warp-platforming segments; the same stage gimmick is used in Mahou Warrior to much better effect. The midboss of this stage is a giant spinning robot who shoots out bullets and destructible homing orbs and Mega Man must shoot at his eyes from a ladder; you can use a teleport crystal to warp across a barrier in the middle of the room during the fight, but I found it best to stay on the ladder near the entrance to the room and fight him from there even if it meant taking a hit or two along the way.

Enemies include spinning turrets which shoot bullets in a straight line and both spin and attack faster as they get lower on health, cyber swords which materialize in front of Mega Man and need to quickly be shot or else they will lunge at him, cyber knights which make their eyes flash before sending out sword waves, and, for some strange reason, totem poles with four faces which spit out bouncing projectiles from each face. As the turret enemies only can spin in place, they can usually be destroyed by a charge shot without Mega Man being in the way of their return fire and the cyber swords are always easy to destroy in time unless you aren’t paying attention. Meanwhile, the knights can take a fair amount of damage, but the extensive time between their attacks rarely makes them a threat. The only enemy which actually poses any sort of danger is this stage is the totem pole as their shots are hard to predict and harder still to dodge, but the general lack of dangerous pits or spikes and the low difficulty of the other enemy types makes it unlikely that Mega Man will die at any point.

Weapon: Flash Dagger is the sole weapon in this game which I don’t like using. The dagger will stay in place if you hold the button down, but it will quickly plunge forward the moment the button is released. You can also use them very quickly and each dagger does slightly more damage than an uncharged buster shot, but since the Flash Dagger moves in a straight line just like a buster shot and you can only have two of them on the screen at a time it usually makes more sense to just use the buster. On the plus side, The speed of each dagger makes them somewhat useful for fighting enemies which only leave themselves vulnerable for short periods of time and the Flash Dagger does not disappear when it lands a hit so it can pierce through multiple enemies if they are all lined up. Holding a dagger in place for about a second also grants Mega Man a small period of invincibility, but Zap Barrier also grants Mega Man invincibility and is much easier to use. Flash Dagger isn’t a horrible weapon, it’s just an underwhelming one in a game which is otherwise filled with great abilities.

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