Boss: It’s hard to make a Robot Master look sillier than one with a giant trash can on its head and between his name and his appearance I wouldn’t be surprised if most players go after Trash Man first. Trash Man’s arena is slightly smaller than usual and he’s weak to Coal Barrage, so it’s ridiculously easy to hit him with his weakness if you have it, though he also never jumps so it’s just as easy to land hits with the Mega Buster. I wouldn’t say that Trash Man is the easiest Robot Master in the game, but he’s definitely one of the easier ones all the same. None of Trash Man’s attacks are particularly difficult to dodge on their own (though Trash Attack can be tricky on the rare occasions when he actually uses it), but they hit hard and he likes to combine them together. There are two main attack patterns to watch out for during this fight; Trash Man will either throw out a bouncing piece of garbage and then start sliding or he will cause garbage to rain down from the ceiling and slide at the very end. He telegraphs all of his attacks well in advance, though I’ve found that this can make it a bit hard to get the timing down on dodging his slide because you’ll likely get hit if you don’t wait for a moment after he initially gets into his ‘sliding stance’.
Stage: In a clever twist on the theme, Trash Man’s stage is half garbage dump and half robot graveyard and this shows in the enemy types as both flying robotic skulls and living trashcans are present here. As much as I like the theme, this is definitely the blandest stage in the game and possibly the easiest. I initially thought this stage would be similar to Toad Man’s because it is raining, but the rain is just a background element and doesn’t actually have any impact on the stage itself. Instead, the only real gimmick here comes in the form of breakable blocks, which are mostly only used to make it harder to hit enemies either by being placed in front of them as a destructible barrier or underneath them so that you need to destroy a few before you can hit the enemy itself. Battery Man is the miniboss here and he’s probably the strongest of the minibosses, though that doesn’t say much. I had some trouble with Battery Man initially as he has a high amount of health and requires some timing, but he’s actually not difficult at all once you realize that his attack pattern always consists of two hops, a ground attack tossed during the second hop, and then a straight shot; Battery Man doesn’t have any invincibility frames so his high health is easily countered by rapidly spamming Mega Buster pellets. As to the enemies themselves, most of the ones here have short-range explosive shots, so the best way to fight them is to not rush ahead and shoot them from across the screen whenever possible.
Weapon: Trash Attack is one of the best weapons in a game filled with great weaponry, which is why I like to go after Trash Man first. Like Stone Man’s Power Stone ability from Mega Man 5, Trash Attack consists of shooting out several projectiles which rapidly spiral away from Mega Man. Unlike the underwhelming Power Stone, Trash Attack shoots out seven projectiles which rarely miss. What makes this attack particularly great is how much damage it can deal; each projectile technically only deals one point of damage on impact, but they explode once they hit an enemy to cause additional damage. Smaller enemies can be tricky to hit with this attack unless they are near Mega Man, but the ability to damage Sniper Joe’s and other shielded enemies even while they are defending more than makes up for it. Mega Man also gets a small upward boost when he uses this ability in the air, which can help for crossing larger gaps or just for if you are trying to dodge an attack below him. Between the massive area of effect which can hit enemies anywhere near Mega Man, the ability to pierce shields, and the aerial boost Trash Attack is one of the most versatile weapons in the game and is useful for any given stage.