We have arrived at the true final stage at last and, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, Dr. Wily has been behind everything all along. There’s not much of a stage here beyond a few screens with weapon energy refills so we’re going to get straight into going over each phase of this fight.
Wily Machine 1: This giant flying skull vehicle may look intimidating, but it’s the easiest phase of the fight. The Wily Machine spends this entire phase hovering on the right side of the screen, though it sometimes flies closer to the ground to shoot a giant green projectile out of the skull’s mouth. Wily occasionally shoots a a red projectile out of his cannon which stops in the air close to Mega Man and then explodes into four more projectiles in a cross pattern which each also explode. It doesn’t seem possible for this red projectile to hit Mega Man while he’s on the ground, but it can get in the way while trying to dodge Wily’s other attacks. The main form of attack Wily uses in this phase is a set of three large, blue projectiles which will swirl around in the air for a few seconds before swooping down to near ground level in the center of the screen one at a time. When these projectiles get close to the ground they rush off to the right and shoot an identical projectile off to the left. The actual height to which they descend varies slightly and you can sometimes slide under the left-moving projectiles they shoot, but most of the time you’ll need to slide. Wily Machine 1 is weak to Giant Axe, but using it does require you to get closer to the center of the screen than with the buster and you’ll want to minimize damage during this phase.
Wily Machine 2: The skull has broken off of the front of the Wily Machine to reveal Dr. Wily himself and with this we immediately move from the easiest phase to the hardest. The main thing which makes this phase so difficult is the fact that Wily periodically shoots an ordinary bullet at Mega Man during his other attacks. Each bullet doesn’t deal much damage, yet it can be hard to dodge these while avoiding the more dangerous projectiles and focusing too much on dodging these bullets may lead to you running into the other attacks. The remaining three abilities Wily has in this phase are upgraded forms of the attacks from Wily Machine 1. Instead of a green blast, Wily now sets four razor blades on the ground which gradually spread out as they move to the left. Wily still shoots three blue projectiles into the air, though these are smaller and instead of swirling they remain still for a second before drifting downward at various angles. The explosive red projectile no longer makes more copies of itself, but it moves quickly and can now reach Mega Man even when he’s on the ground. There is constant pressure in this phase as Wily never pauses between launching his attacks, but his health drops quickly and it’s best to focus on rushing him down. If you have an E-Tank, this is the best point in the fight to use it.
Wily Capsule: Every proper encounter with Dr. Wily has to end with a Saucer fight and this one is no exception. This fight feels like it is somewhat inspired by the one from Mega Man 7 even though it is much easier. Wily teleports around and likes to shoot out a set of three bouncing orbs alongside his other attacks. These orbs are initially shot upward and then spread out and arc down to the ground; they bounce high into the air after impacting the ground the first time, but fall below the screen instead of bouncing again after that. When Wily is in the center of the screen he will usually shoot out a large orb of electricity on his left and right sides. These electrical attacks each burst into a circular spread of eight projectiles which move away very slowly and aren’t remotely threatening on their own, but they will make it much more difficult to dodge around other attacks until they go away. Sometimes Wily shoots out a pair of large, green projectiles which immediately move in a straight line towards Mega Man and then stop and rush towards him once again. It’s an attack which is only really an issue if Wily uses it when Mega Man is near him or if a bunch of other projectiles are still on the screen. Other than the bouncing orbs, the most common attack Wily tends to use in this fight is a spread of U-shaped projectiles which he shoots up to the top of the screen. The projectiles spread out evenly and quickly fall down in straight lines, leaving a one-tile safe area between each of them. The final attack in this phase is the hardest one to dodge by far because Wily will shoot a blue projectile at the ground which then shatters on impact into a semicircle of nine evenly spread lines of icicles. Each of these lines consists of three icicles which will quickly spread apart from each other, making it very difficult to jump over them. Getting hit by this attack deals a fair amount of damage on top of freezing Mega Man and I honestly haven’t found a consistently reliable way to avoid it. Instead, I would recommend swapping over to Zap Barrier whenever the Wily Capsule drops this attack so you don’t need to worry about dodging in the first place. As an added bonus, the Wily Capsule is weak to Zap Barrier, making it great for both defensive and offensive purposes in this final phase.
After this, you can sit back and watch the credits roll. There are several secret bosses which can be unlocked by finishing the game after meeting various conditions so you’ll want to hold on to your endgame save file. If you finished the game on Hard Mode, you will unlock and can even attempt to play through the very appropriately named Insane Mode where damage from enemies is significantly increased. This set of videos and articles has been a fun experiment and I plan to make similar ones in the future, but for now thanks for reading and watching!