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Mega Man and Bass was released on the Super Famicom in 1998 as a Gaiden Game to Mega Man 8. It was only released in Japan under its Japanese title, Rockman & Forte. It was eventually ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2003 where it saw a Western release.
The robot leader King is leading a war against humanity. He plans to capture data from all the fighting robots he can find. He already ransacked Dr. Wily's lab and recruited two of his Mega Man 8 Robot Masters. With the other six robot masters, he leads a vicious assault against the robot museum, hoping to find more data.
Naturally, Mega Man is dispatched to fight King and halt the rampage. Dr. Wily doesn't like the new guy one bit, and dispatches his Dragon Bass to crush King's army. Mega Man and Bass form an uneasy alliance to handle the new guy.
You can choose to play the game as either character. Mega Man has the charge shot and slide. He is not very nimble but takes less damage from attacks. Bass has a Double Jump and a High Jump, as well as a dash function. He can also rapid fire his Bass Buster in seven directions. However, he takes extra damage and his Bass Buster is relatively weak. Effectively, you choose tough bosses or tough stages based on your character. Also, the stages are tiered - you must fight Cold Man, Astro Man, or Ground Man first before more stages open up.
- Cold Man, weak to Lightning Bolt, gives Ice Wall
- Burner Man, weak to Ice Wall, gives Wave Burner
- Pirate Man, weak to Wave Burner, gives Remote Mine
- Ground Man, weak to Remote Mine, gives Spread Drill
- Tengu Man, weak to Spread Drill, gives Tengu Blade
- Magic Man, weak to Tengu Blade, gives Magic Card
- Astro Man, weak to Magic Card, gives Copy Vision
- Dynamo Man, weak to Copy Vision, gives Lightning Bolt
This game contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The data CDs serve as this, giving a picture and a quick bio of various characters found throughout the game.
- Attack Drone: Copy Vision creates a duplicate that fires shots in straight line. It is also a decoy, as enemies will aim the the copy instead of you.
- Boss Dissonance
- Mega Man finds stages to be very difficult due to his reduced mobility and trouble hitting annoying enemies. His enhanced defense and powerful charged shots will quickly demolish bosses.
- Bass finds stages to be very easy because he can Double Jump over almost everything and he can shoot at the rest. Bosses are a pain because his rapid fire Bass Buster deals one damage, then triggers the Boss's Mercy Invincibility.
- Call Back: The intro stage is one big Shout-Out to previous games in the series. There's a fire portion reminiscent of Fire Man's stage from 1, hallways filled with drilling Moles like in Metalman's stage from Mega Man 2, a rainy segment similar to Toad Man's in Mega Man 4, a ship with rising and falling water from Blizzard Man's stage in Mega Man 6, and finally at the end you fight a toned-down version of the Green Devil from 8.
- Chest Monster: There are chests throughout the game that contain power-ups or CDs, but some will come to life when shot and are very aggressive.
- Continuity Cameo: Astro Man and Tengu Man are bosses from Mega Man 8, although their attacks and patterns (and weapons) changed.
- King uses the Gemini Beam from Mega Man 3 during the fight with him. It luckily doesn't hit as hard.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Just like in Mega Man X, Bass can dash by pressing the dedicated dash button, or by double tapping forward. The Game Boy Advance port doesn't have a button, so you must double tap. That split second will result in countless mistakes and deaths. Why didn't Capcom map it to the same command as Mega Man's slide (Down + Jump)?
- Death Dealer/Life Drain: If Magic Man hits you with the Magic Card, he gains 2 life. Your Magic Card can grab powerups and shoot through walls.
- Demoted to Extra: So where was Proto Man in all of this? He was fighting King at the robot museum where he got chopped in half. He got repaired just in time to exhaust himself destroying King's shield and then snuck into Dr. Wily's lab to destroy all the data he had on King. But he's not playable.
- This did end up resulting in at least a couple of rumors that made the rounds claiming that Proto Man could be unlocked as a playable character.
- Denial of Diagonal Attack: Mega Man still has this problem. Bass doesn't. The Magic Card can be fired upward, though.
- Do Not Run with a Gun: Bass has to brace himself when firing the Bass Buster. Mega Man doesn't.
- Enemy Mine: Normally Bass would be trying to kill Mega Man, not help him out.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Burner Man, Cold Man, Dynamo Man; respectively. Just like the first game, Lightning beats Ice beats Fire.
- Gotta Catch Them All: There are 100 data CDs, holding information about many characters and robot masters.
- Hartman Hips: Magic Man.
- Hijacked by Ganon: King eventually realizes his master and creator, Dr. Wily, lied to him about the nature of humanity. At this point the good doctor shows up, ups King's brainwashing levels, and retreats to his fortress.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: King's Tower Shield is indestructible. The first phase of the fight involves waiting him out and dodging his attacks. Finally, Proto Man shows up and destroys the shield to give you a fighting chance.
- Invulnerable Attack: Equip the Tengu Blade and you can slide or dash through everything. Including Magic Man.
- Kaizo Trap: The boss of the first fortress stage. You must balance yourself on a pulley with the boss above an acid pit. Once your side is low enough, the boss will emerge and you can attack it. When you kill the boss, the platform you are on will sink instantly, and if you don't jump to safety then you will burn in the pit as the boss dies.
- Inverted with King Jet. Once it starts smoking, feel free to leap into the bottomless pit to skip its defeat animation and respawn in the next part.
- Marathon Boss: King. Fights with his shield. Once it's destroyed, he pulls out an axe and uses the Gemini Beam. Once you beat him, he retreats and combines with his Tank and Jet to form Perfect King.
- Marathon Level: the second Fortress level.
- Mix and Match: Pirate Man is both an aquatic- and explosive-themed Robot Master.
- Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Pirate Man is a robot pirate.
- Pyromaniac: Burner Man, if his concept art is any indication. You also fight him in a forest. Apparently King strapped a bomb to him that will detonate if he doesn't burn enough forest in time.
- Redemption Equals Death: King, although it turns out to be a Disney Death according to Mega Man's ending.
- Right Makes Might: Proto Man gives Bass a lecture during his ending that is pretty much this. He says that Megaman will always be the better fighter because he fights for a just cause, while Bass only fights to satisfy his ego.
- Robot War
- Schrodinger's Player Character: No matter which character you play as, you must defeat all the Robot Masters and raid King's Castle. The other one never shows up.
- Simon Says Mini Boss: "Passworder", the sub-boss of Astro Man's level.
- Smart Bomb: Lightning Bolt turns you invincible and hits everything on screen for massive damage.
- Temporary Platform: The Ice Wall is this. You can push it, jump on it, and slide away.
- This Is a Drill: Ground Man uses the Spread Drill, which can bisect twice to cover a lot of room. He will also drill into the ceiling, dig above you, and then drop a MASSIVE drill from above on you.
- Underground Monkey: infamously, the Wily Machine and Capsule here are basically the same ones from 8, with a few aesthetic changes and new attacks.
- Xanatos Gambit: Dr. Wily had his bases covered. Either Mega Man would perish. Or King would destroy Bass and grow stronger. Or Bass would destroy King and grow stronger. Or Wily would collect all of the robot data King collected and start working on a King Mk II. Bass's ending shows Proto Man ruined the last outcome.