Mega Man Was On The Genesis Too (Sorta)
Hello and welcome to The Gaming Historian!
Last week I discussed Mega Man on the Game Gear, a ridiculously challenging game that combined Mega Man IV and V. This week we are diving into Mega Man: The Wily Wars.
What’s that? You have never heard of this game? Well if you are from North America, then it is very unlikely: It never got released in cartridge form (it was released in cartridge form for the Mega Drive). However, it was released through SEGA Channel. I won’t get into too much detail, but SEGA Channel was a service that provided games through your cable service. It was launched in 1994 and lasted about 4 years. It cost $15 a month for unlimited gaming, as well as a $25 one-time activation fee.
To be honest, I’m confused as to why they didn’t release a cartridge because this is an incredible game. The Wily Wars is essentially a remake of Mega Man, Mega Man 2, and Mega Man 3. It also included all new content after you beat the three games.
This was the first Mega Man game on SEGA consoles and it was a big deal in the video game world. SEGA even drew some special artwork to commemorate the collaboration.
Keiji Inafune, one of Mega Man’s creators, remembers development being very slow. “The bug check phase for this title was an absolute nightmare. I felt so bad for the person who was in charge of the checking procedure that I even jumped in myself to help out in any way that I could.” Inafune did little with this title, as development of the game was outsourced. His main contribution was designing the new bosses in Wily Tower (the bonus content) and the cover art.
As for the game itself, The Wily Wars is a blast. I mean, it is a Mega Man game after all! Most of the glitches from the first games have been fixed (no more pause tricks), the graphics have been overhauled, and all the classic music has been remade in 16-bit form. You can also save your game now (neato!). Again, if you consider yourself a fan of Mega Man, you should definitely check this game out. Like it’s Game Gear cousin, Wily Wars is also fairly challenging. You have been warned!
Mega Man: The Wily Wars has largely been forgotten. It was supposed to have a North American release, and many magazines at the time teased screenshots and estimated release dates. Unfortunately, it only lived through SEGA channel (which didn’t really catch on). If you want to play it today, you can try to get your hands on a reproduction cart or a *cough* ROM *cough*. You didn’t hear that from me. Or you could just buy the Mega Drive version of the game.
For more information, I highly recommend this episode of 16-Bit Gems, which covers pretty much everything you would ever want to know. I would also recommend the book Mega Man: Official Complete Works, which has tons of artwork and insight on all the Mega Man games.