Mega Man SFR – Soak Man

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Boss: Soak Man is likely the easiest Robot Master in Mega Man: Super Fighting Robot. Other than occasionally shooting out bouncing bubbles, which can be destroyed, his only attacks consist of shooting out three water bullets and using Soak Rain. The bubbles can potentially make the fight trickier depending on where they bounce, but they are easy to destroy and I generally just ignore them. The water bullet attack is also not much of a threat; you can try to jump between the bullets, but it’s easier to just take advantage of Soak Man’s own arena and hide in one of the side ditches when he’s on the central platform and vice versa. Soak Rain itself can be dangerous if you get caught in it, but Soak Man always does a very fast, high jump before using Soak Rain and the best way to dodge the attack is to literally stand in front of him, which also makes it easy to land a charge shot.

Stage: The first half of Soak Man’s stage is pretty easy, but the second half can definitely be tricky. I like how this stage plays around with water and how it affects Mega Man in several ways; you have small containers of water, which give Mega Man’s jump considerably more height, combined with downward-pushing waterfalls at the start and the later parts have entire rooms which are underwater. Rush Coil is useful for the first half since the height boost can help to counter the effects of the waterfalls when jumping over pits or spikes. The second half of the stage has Mega Man fighting against underwater currents while avoiding spikes and it’s one of the few times in the initial eight stages where this game really plays around with a stage gimmick as you need to navigate through spikes while being pushed, use upward currents to reach an otherwise inaccessible ledge, and slide and jump against a current in the final scramble to the boss door. Trash Attack is great to have for this stage because enemies attack from just about every direction and it can kill entire groups of them in a single use. Trash Attack can also completely obliterate the miniboss, a pair of water containers which shoot out globs of water while moving up and down, but it’s a very easy fight even with just the buster. As to the enemies themselves, you have a good mix here with swimming mets, which can be surprisingly difficult to hit, fish robots which shoot vertically and are usually placed near pits or other jumps to knock Mega Man out of the air or off of platforms, amoeba-like slime robots which move through the air in bursts and split into two smaller enemies when destroyed, and, my personal favorite, happy clouds which pour down a stream of hazardous raindrops which can be avoided by going underwater.

Weapon: Soak Rain is outright the most versatile weapon in the game, though it is also the hardest to use. Mega Man shoots out three clouds in front of him which constantly drop rain and the clouds start out closely grouped together, but quickly spread out and rise upward to form three separate columns. Aiming Soak Rain is the difficult part as the clouds fly fairly far away from Mega Man and the spaces between them create safe zones for enemies if you’re not accurate. There are a few different things which make this attack very strong and useful though. First, the initial part of the attack where the clouds are grouped together covers just about the entire screen in front of Mega Man, so anything at or below his height gets hit at least once; individual raindrops deal very low damage, but it still works against very weak enemies or ones which are already nearly dead. Secondly, the clouds can move through walls, so the attack won’t be completely destroyed by environmental obstacles or shields. Finally, properly lining up the attack can destroy just about any stationary enemy in the game with a single use and its long range makes it a great complement to Trash Attack.

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