Mega Man Legacy Collection: Tips, tricks, and the right boss order

Last Updated June 30th, 2021

The Mega Man Legacy Collection, now available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, is a true to the cuff official re-creation of the iconic blue bomber’s early days, including all of the classic bugs, flaws, and exploits in revitalized bright flashy colors. The bulk of people playing the Legacy Collection are probably old fans of both nostalgia and 2D super heroes, but there’s always those righteous few determined to live out the classics who might have missed the train because of silly chronological issues surrounding their birth and the release of the original games.

Of course every Mega Man game features a variety of challenging bosses with specific weaknesses to the many master weapons, and almost every game in the series requires a special attention to the order at which you tackle each boss so you don’t spend your time bashing your head against levels that you lack the item, or the weapon to properly handle. So through a bit of painful experimentation, we’ve went ahead and compiled a list of some of the best ways to handle each game in the Collection with minimal hair pulling, vows of vengeance, and rage quitting.

Mega Man

The original Mega Man is easily the most difficult simply because it carries the characteristics of a lot of franchise-establishing games. It has some bugs, it has a heck of a punishing difficulty scale, and it lacks plenty of the features that make the future games in the series both easier and more fun. As a result, a lot of Mega Man guides suggest that you should simply skip this iteration until later in your blue bomber career. Once you’ve played through other games in the series you’ll have a much better appreciation for this particular classic, though of course if you’re interested in a more genuine experience you should still consider this game as your starting point. If you’re determined enough to make it through the series you’ll make it out with a particularly adept skillset that’ll make the remaining games much easier to tackle.

Whether you tackle the first Mega Man early or later, there are a few things to be aware of before you get rolling.

The first is the pause trick, which is an exploit that makes one of the most challenging bosses, the Yellow Devil, a breeze rather than a challenge similar to breaking down a brick wall with nothing but your forehead. The pause trick focuses on one of the more subtle mechanics of the first Mega Man. In the other games pausing the game and bringing up the menu is one and the same action, but in the first Mega Man you have the option to pause the game and bring up the menu or you can simple instigate a simple freeze frame pause that stops everything in its tracks. The developers likely intended this originally to show off mechanics, or to help the player plan out their next move in tight timing situations.

In a strange glitch of fate this freeze also resets the status of weapon-to-enemy interaction, meaning that repeatedly spamming the freeze frame button at certain key moments can result in an enemy taking multiple hits when it would normally only take one. This works particularly well against semi-stationary enemies, especially when combined with the extremely large and slow moving Thunder Shock weapon you pick up from Elec Man.

During the battle with the Yellow Devil it’s possible to fire a single Thunder Shock during the two second period its eye is exposed and destroy it in a single blast of pause trick goodness. All in all, experienced players will still be able to take on the Yellow Devil without this trick, but it can be an easy solution to a battle that is frustrating enough to merit many a broken controller.

Next up is the Magnet Beam, as without the Magnet Beam you’ll find it impossible to progress through Wily’s Fortress. Unfortunately it’s easily missed, hidden behind a breakable wall in Elec Man’s stage — a wall that can only be broken by using the Thunder Beam (if you don’t mind revisiting the stage) or the Super Arm from Guts Man’s stage. No matter what order you choose to fight the bosses in this game, just save yourself the trouble of having to backtrack by hitting the Guts stage before Elec Man’s.

As far as order goes we recommend as follows (all our recommendations are based on the orders found on the Mega Man Homepage):

1. Bomb Man: Bomb Man’s Explosive barrage is a pretty easy pattern to memorize, and unlike the bulk of the other bosses in the game he takes decent enough damage from your standard arm cannon. Later you can use the Fire Storm to give him an explosive viking funeral, but it isn’t necessary.

2. Guts Man: Once you have the Hyper Bombs from the previous stage Guts Man is a breeze, just carefully time where and when you place your bombs and you’ll make short work of him.

3. Cut Man: Starting to see a pattern here? Now that you have the Super Arm Cut Man should go down with relative ease. Just make sure to practice with your new weapon a bit before you get to the boss fight, as once you’re in you’ll have plenty of rocks lying around to toss, but it helps to know the timing before you’re right in the thick of the spinning blades.

4. Elec Man: Now that you have the Rolling Cutter from the previous stage Elec Man should be a bit easier, but he’s still one of the more challenging bosses in the game simply because of his speed and the pure damage his Thunder Beam can crank out. Luckily the Rolling Cutter does a heck of a number on him, so time your attacks carefully and be sure to focus on dodging the Thunder Beam to the best of your abilities.

5. Ice Man: Elec Man’s Thunder Beam does just as much damage to other enemies as it does to Mega, so when you hit the Ice Man battle wait until just before he fires off a barrage of Ice Slasher rounds to fire the slow moving projectile. Once it hits use the pause trick to deal massive damage and end the fight before it really even gets started.

6. Fire Man: At this point Fire Man should be an old hat, just use the Ice Slasher from the previous stage and be careful to dodge his fast moving projectiles and you’ll be good to go.

Mega Man 2

Considered one of the easiest games in the series, Mega Man 2 is a great starter if you’ve never played any of the other games. And if you were able to handle the first Mega Man this one should be no problem to your battle-hardened reflexes.

As far as tips and tricks really once you get the Metal Blade things just go smoothly from there, as that weapon’s low energy cost and high rapid-fire damage makes it great for tearing through bosses and mob enemies alike. It’s also important to note that you don’t have to worry about missing items in this game, as they’re all given once you complete the required stage.

The boss order in this game is largely free flow. Most of the fights aren’t so difficult that you absolutely need the previous stage’s weapon to pull it off. We do suggest hitting Metal Man’s stage first simply because this weapon makes every level afterwards much less difficult. After that you can largely do the levels at your leisure. We’ll still include a recommended order, but don’t be afraid to deviate as necessary.

1. Metal Man: Metal Man is one of the easier bosses to start on, as he doesn’t move unless you get up close and personal, and he’ll only throw out the occasional projectile unless you fire at him first. Keep your distance and whittle him down with your arm blaster and the Metal Blade will be yours. Next time you fight him you should be able to rip through him with a rapid fire dose of his own weapon.

2. Air Man: Although he looks a bit beefy at first he’s largely an easy boss to take out because of his low health, once you have the Leaf Shield you can simply stand behind him out of reach of his tornadoes and waste him. Without the Leaf Shield it takes a bit of fast footwork to dodge around his attacks, but with a few well placed shots Air Man will become just another tally on your buster.

3. Crash Man: Now that you have the Air Shooter from the previous stage you should be able to blow Crash Man into next week. Just be careful not to underestimate the damage from his Crash Bombs — they’ll tear Mega to pieces in short order, and the fast movement speed make them an absolute terror to dodge.

4. Bubble Man: Your Metal Blades will make short work of Bubble Man, just be aware that he also packs a pretty hefty plasma cannon underneath his already deadly bubble attack.

5. Heat Man: Once you have Bubble Lead from the last stage you’ll be able to cool Heat Man’s fires in short order, his comet attack sends him hurtling across the screen and can do plenty of damage, and the flames he send flying do much of the same, but his bright fire burns out fast if you can handle dodging the bits of flames rolling around the screen.

6. Wood Man: Wood Man’s shield will stop most of your attacks, but he’s vulnerable to two things: either chuck Crash Bombs at him, or wait for him to throw his Leaf Shield at you and drop in just under his guard with a fully charged Atomic Fire for a one-hit K.O.

7. Flash Man: This is a pretty straight-forward fight. Flash Man’s weapon will freeze you in place and give him plenty of time to work you with his plasma cannons, just focus on peppering him with Metal Blades and then your arm cannon if you run short on energy.

8. Quick Man: Quick Man isn’t a blinding flash like his name suggests, but he does throw some dangerous boomerangs around the room that make it extremely difficult to maneuver. Use a fully-charged Time Stopper from the last stage to freeze him in place and work him over while he’s finally still. You can also use Crash Bombs to great effect if you’ve got the knack for the timing.

Mega Man 3

Mega Man 3 adds a few layers of extra difficulty in every stage in the form of Doc Man, who will mimic various bosses from Mega Man 2 to show up as mini bosses throughout the four stages after the first wave of eight. Most of the mini bosses are simple enough to take out. but we’ll throw in the best weapons to use against them at the end of the guide to give you an edge.

In Mega Man 3 there were also various controller tricks that were left in as developer tools, and using the correct combination of buttons from controller two combined with controller one input you could activate a number of exploits to save you from certain death.

Our recommended order is as follows:

1. Top Man: A good opener as far as boss fights go. He has the lowest health of any of the Robot Masters in this game, but he makes up for it with the ability to render your damage null while he’s spinning. Time your shots in between these moments of invulnerability, and later on use the Hard Knuckles weapon from Hard Man to stop his spinning permanently.

2. Shadow Man: There’s no way around it: this battle is a tough one. Although you’ll be packing Top Spin from the previous stage to deal out some fairly massive damage, he’ll counter by barraging you with a relentless number of attacks, so be wary. This battle might take a few tries but the Top Spin is your best shot, just make sure to get plenty of practice in, as it’s one of the trickier weapons to master. With the right timing, Shadow Man will flicker away after a few hits.

3. Spark Man: Next up is the much easier Spark Man. Keep an eye out for when he touches his head with his diodes, as that’s when he’s planning on using a fairly hefty electrical attack. Other than that you can ground him with a few choice Shadow Blades.

4. Magnet Man: Magnet Man focuses on homing missiles and a force field that will pull Mega across the screen and deal damage when he gets too close. Luckily if you nail him with four pulses from the Spark Shock weapon we got from the previous stage, he’ll develop a permanent attraction with the ground.

5. Hard Man: Capable of dealing some massive damage to our famed blue bomber if he manages to land a body slam or one of his soft-seeking Hard Knuckles, Hard Man is nothing to toy with. Dodge his slam by doing some fancy sliding and use your newly acquired Magnet Missiles to end the battle quickly.

6. Snake Man: You can pull this off with the arm cannon if you’re skilled enough, but you can use the Needle Cannon later on or if it fits your fancy. The biggest challenge with fighting Snake Man comes from the smaller snakes he sends to munch on Mega’s gibblies and the close quarters you have to fight him in, which makes dodging difficult. Use your blaster to take out the smaller snakes and then pepper Snake Man with the same to net an easy victory.

7. Gemini Man: What’s worse than one boss? How about two? Gemini will clone himself at every opportunity but doesn’t do much more than circle the room until you attack, at which point he’ll respond with a blast from one of the clones. If you destroy his clones he’ll shake up his pattern and fire off a blast from his Gemini Laser, so be ready to dodge. Use Search Snakes from a distance to make Gemini Man fall to more than just two pieces.

8. Needle Man: Needle Man can deal massive damage at range with his Needle Cannon and is formidable at close range due to his powerful melee attack. Carefully aim the Gemini Cannon to knock Needle Man for a loop, four shots and he’ll be down in the dumps for good.

Doc Man:

-Air Man: Spark Shock or Magnet missile should get the job done.

-Crash Man: Hard Knuckles, or if that doesn’t work then Top Spin.

-Flash Man: Focus on Shadow Blades or Gemini Laser, but be especially careful while dodging, his size makes clearing him difficult with Mega’s jump height.

-Bubble Man: Shadow Blades or Spark Shock

-Wood Man: Wait until he throws away his shield then throw all the Hard Knuckles or Needle Cannons that you can.

-Heat Man: Toss Hard Knuckles or Shadow Blades then immediately dodge his Comet Charge.

-Metal Man: Shadow Blades, Magnet Missiles, or Hard Knuckles do plenty of damage, even if they aren’t as beautifully deadly as the Metal Blades from the previous game.

-Quick Man: Use the Gemini Laser or Search Snakes to end the battle as fast as possible, just be careful as he’s faster and larger that he man in Mega Man 2.

Mega Man 4

Mega Man 4 adds one of the most valuable features to the Mega Man universe: it upgrades the blue bomber’s iconic arm cannon to the chargeable, perhaps even more iconic Mega Buster, which can deal three points of damage fully charged and unleash a much larger blast. This is a huge increase to Mega’s power, and a skilled player can make it through many of the games hereafter using only well timed shots from this powerful weapon.

1. Toad Man: All you need is the Mega Buster, although not its charge feature. Simply keep up a rapid fire barrage and Toad Man won’t be able to pull off his signature Rain Flush move before you send him back to the slimy hole he jumped out of.

2. Bright Man: Use Rain Flush as much as possible and beware the massive damage he can do if he lands on you. He can freeze you in place with Flash Stopper, but the damage he deals with his plasma cannons in the meantime is manageable.

3. Pharaoh Man: This boss is dangerously fast and able to deal tons of damage before the player can react. Take special care to make sure you’re stocked up on energy before you enter this fight. Use Flash Stopper combined with the Mega Buster to rack up your own Pharaoh’s treasure worth of damage while he’s immobile.

4. Ring Man: Pattern memorization is key here, as you need to time his ring throws and the way he moves so you can jump into him and land a charged Pharaoh Shot. Just watch when he tosses out a Ring, dodge it, and then nail him when he lands after throwing the ring again. Three or Four hits and he’s a goner. The fight can go extremely fast, so be careful not to blink.

5. Dust Man: One of the simpler bosses to take out, when he tries to blast you with his Dust Crusher simply jump straight up and they’ll miss you entirely. You’re welcome to try and use the Ring Boomerang to deal some extra damage, but it’s safer to simply whittle him down with the Mega Buster.

6. Skull Man: You really only need the Mega Buster to pull off this battle, but the Dust Crusher can be a big help. Skull Man can throw up a temporary shield that is virtually impenetrable (unless you feel like switching to Ring Boomerang which can damage him despite his active shield) and when he isn’t hiding behind a bunch of spinning skulls he’s rapidly firing his cannon at you, making dodging damage extremely difficult. Just keep up the heat and do your best to dodge, taking the time while he’s behind his shield to catch your breath, and he’ll go down in no time.

7. Dive Man: Watch out for when he charges through his watery home and do your best to dodge his Dive Missiles. You can do a lot of damage using Skull Barrier but if you take a hit before you can damage him with it you’ll end up wasting a good bit of energy. If that doesn’t work for you keep pelting him with the Dust Crusher until you’ve got a nice plate of Sushi to work with.

8. Drill Man: Drill Man has a tendency to dive underground for short periods of time, making it hard to keep consistent damage on him. Use the Dive Missiles you just acquired to make dodging his high damage Drill Bombs easier and after a while you’ll stop his digging for good.

Mega Man 5

Mega Man 5 is a controversial title for series fans. Although it was as fun as many of the other games it also featured the first real example of a story with actual content, when Proto Man is captured and an evil clone is crafted in his place. As a result, many fans to this day assume that Proto is still evil despite the eventual conclusion.

As far as tips go there are two main ones that can make your experience easier.

For starters, it’s possible to use the Super Arrow item to not only create platforms on a wall but to also act as a quick ride around the map. Fire the Super Arrow and then immediately hop on and you’ll continue flying until you run out of energy or hit a wall. Given a little practice it can save you the occasional use of your Rush Jet or act as one when you would normally have to defeat Gyro Man to access that equipment.

Additionally you can unlock a special weapon/character named Beat by collecting various letters spelling out, “MEGAMANV,” spread throughout the beginning levels. Beat acts as an extra damage dealer that you don’t have to guide or direct other than its initial release. Every attack drains some of its energy and it can often be used to destroy attacks or enemies that would normally cost the player health or energy with other more valuable weapons.

Here’s a quick video showing the location of the letters:

As far as boss order goes, here’s our preferred path:

1. Star Man: Another shielding opponent, at this point many of the strategies for beating them should be familiar to you. Simply wait for his shield to drop and blast him with the Mega Buster, keep dodging his attacks and repeat until you snuff out his light.

2. Gravity Man: As the name suggests this character can swap gravity at will, and he’ll deal plenty of damage if he collides with you. Use your newly acquired Star Crash to deal a massive amount of damage whenever he switches your orientation, just don’t get too close or you’ll feel the burn.

3. Gyro Man: Gyro Man likes to stay as far away from the player as possible, so he’ll try his best to stay in the clouds above his stage and fling propellers at his leisure. Hit him with the Gravity Hold and dodge any of the propellers he sends your way with a well-timed slide and he’ll be grounded permanently.

4. Crystal Man: One of the more difficult bosses to dodge, Crystal Man will fire a Crystal Eye that immediately breaks up into four separate projectiles, and will supplement this with blasts from his arm cannon. Use the Gyro Attack to deal extra damage and do your best to dodge this intimidating barrage of attacks and you’ll be on to the next stage with a clear conscience.

5. Napalm Man: Napalm Man arcs his bombs up in the air before they fall to the ground and deal damage to any would-be heroes in the way. Wait for him to fire, then fire off a round from your Crystal Eye and slide out of the way of the blast and he’ll burn out in no time.

6. Stone Man: One of the more tedious levels in Mega Man 5, Stone Man will leap across the screen attempting to crush Mega and letting off numerous blasts from his Power Stone that arc out in a spiral from his body. Once he hits the ground he crumbles to bricks and will take a few seconds to reform. Your best bet is to dodge in and out of close range and drop Napalm Bombs on him just before he jumps or just as he’s reforming. It takes several hits but eventually he’ll run out of mortar and stay down.

7. Charge Man: This train-themed baddie focuses on charging back and forth across the screen to bowl over Mega at any opportunity. He can be a bit challenging to jump over, but mastering it is a must to avoid being railroaded. You can use Power Stone to deal some decent damage but it’s easier to simply focus on using the Mega Buster’s charge attack. Wait for Charge Man to rush you, then leap over his head and blast him once his attack is completed. He’s invulnerable for the duration of most of his attacks, so only fire if he’s walking towards you or just finishing up a sequence. Also beware of when he causes coal to rain from the sky, it’s easy to dodge but can be a nasty surprise if you’re not watching for it.

8. Wave Man: Use your newly acquired Charge Kick to rip Wave Man a new one. Simply slide into him in a back and forth manner as he moves around the battle. Watch out for the geysers he spawns periodically as you can easily slide into them without thinking, and try to time your slide to duck under the harpoons he launches and you’ll be on your way to the final boss stages in no time.

Mega Man 6

Mega Man 6 is the final game on our list and seems just a hair less polished than the others. Rather than flowing smoothly from boss to boss with optimal paths that lead you to the items and weapons you need it tends to give you a bit of a run around. If you’re feeling confident you can take the route we suggest, just be aware that this is the harder of the two options, but can save time in the long run.

Beat is also available for unlock in this game. Find all the letters and the little bird will be your companion once again, luckily you only have to spell “BEAT” this time. Locate the letters in Tomahawk, Yamato, Knight, and Centaur’s stage and you’ll be good to go. 

1. Plant Man: This is a fairly straightforward fight almost identical to the Wood Man battle earlier in the series. Simply keep your distance and wait for him to throw his Plant Barrier and nail him with a charged Mega Buster while he’s open. Once you defeat him it’ll net you the Rush Jet Adaptor which acts like a rechargeable jet pack that disables your ability to slide.

2. Wind Man: There are a few more nuances to this fight but again it can all be done with some good dodges and the proper use of the Mega Buster. Wind Man will try to pull you across the screen every few seconds with a blast of air, simply run or slide in the opposite direction and you should be safe, jump over the spinning fan blades he fires, and then slide underneath him when he flies overhead, all the while continue to pepper him with small blasts from your Mega Buster and he’ll drop after a somewhat drawn out fight.

3. Flame Man: This fight goes extremely fast if you brought along the Wind Storm weapon, but can also be done with only the Mega Buster. Flame Man summons pillars of flame that gout from the floor at a set distance from where he lands, and once you have the distance memorized it becomes extremely easy to dodge. Keep mobile and watch out for the occasional flame blast he sends your way and you’ll be able to layer the damage on until he burns out.

4. Tomahawk Man: Thanks to Plant Man’s Plant Barrier we have two ways to take out Tomahawk Man. If you prefer to play it safe simply hang back a bit and dodge the tomahawks and feathers he throws, then slide under him when he jumps across the screen. In the meantime keep a constant barrage rolling at him from your Mega Buster and he’ll eventually fall. A somewhat faster but highly dangerous option involves equipping the Plant Barrier and charging Tomahawk Man for a straight-up melee fight. The latter can be extremely difficult unless you manage to pull off near perfect timing, and can often result in multiple hits to those who play it too aggressive.

5. Yamato Man: Yamato Man only has two patterns that are extremely easy to counter. The first involves him jumping towards you and tossing three projectiles in a fan. Try to stay just in front of or just behind where he’ll land and you’ll dodge them easily. The second is when he throws his spear and he charges to retrieve it. This is your butter zone to rack up the damage, as once you’re behind him he’s wide open to blast. Use either the Mega Buster or the Silver Tomahawk to dispose of this spear-wielding robot.

6. Knight Man: One of the slower battles in the game, Knight Man will either try to jump and land on you or throw his mace at you, both of which do decent damage. This can be more annoying than anything as these are the only times that his shield is down allowing you to damage him. Either whittle your way through him with your Buster or use the Yamato Spear to deal extra damage and pierce Knight Man’s shield permanently.

7. Centaur Man: Centaur Man lacks the ability to jump but makes up for it with his large size and the ability to teleport around the room. In classic fashion he can also freeze time and unload on you with his cannons. Do your best to move to the sides of the room when he teleports so that when he reappears he’ll be on either side of the battlefield, but not in the center. This way when he freezes time you’ll be mostly out of the way of the spread shot nature of his cannons. Use the Knight Crusher to make the battle go faster, but if you have the pattern down you can bury this myth with the buster alone.

8. Blizzard Man: Blizzard Man is a relatively slow opponent, but can become dangerously fast when he rolls into his snowball form and charges Mega. Additionally, he’ll periodically spawn four snowflakes that will float towards our famed blue bomber. Most of this fight is just about reacting to each attack. Keep singeing Blizzard Man with Flame Blasts and leaping over his roll attack, then jumping at the last second to avoid the snowflakes. Give it a little time and you only have a few short boss battles left till the end of the game.

Special thanks to PinkKittyRose on YouTube, an extremely talented gamer who shows how easy some of these boss fights can be.