Welcome to yet another entry in the Bad Guys Anonymous series here at 1 More Castle. In this weekly column, we’ll take a look at a lowly bad guy from gaming’s past. We’ll talk about where said minion came from, where it went and how it’s defeated in game. The whole idea here is that we’ll be able to glean information about game design while paying homage to characters often flogged and forgotten.
The catch? The bad guys must be the first gamers encounter. We’ve already visited the Goomba in Super Mario Bros., Gnawty in Donkey Kong Country and the snail in Adventure Island. Today, we’re exploring Met from Mega Man.
For most fans of the Mega Man franchise, Met is the singular most recognizable foe that isn’t a Robot Master. He’s been a staple ever since the beginning and, despite his simplistic nature, he’s lead to a lot of collective health loss and death.
When it comes to Met, I’ll admit that the qualifications for his belonging to the Bad Guys Anonymous club are a little iffy. Going back to when I played Mega Man on the NES, my preferred way to start the game was always with Guts Man. His stage music still stands as one of my personal favorites, and I always felt like attempting it first, since it was sort of a tough stage, made it a little easier.
Assuming that my way of playing Mega Man is the best (it totally is, whatever), Met is the first enemy gamers encounter. Pushing this argument further, out of the six possible stage choices for Mega Man, Met remains the most memorable first foe from the title. So, there’s that.
In his first form, Met presents a really interesting attack pattern that’s definitely done damage over time. He sits on a ledge and fires three pellets in a middle and diagonal fashion. For players, the only way to hit him is by jumping directly in front of him and firing, risking taking damage from the three bullets.
With one of the first enemies players encounter, Capcom and series creator Keiji Inafune set to stage for what’s to come: difficulty. Met might be an early, tiny minion, but his attack pattern and temporary invulnerability alone stand up as some of the hardest elements in 2D gaming from way-back-when. He’s a herald for the difficulty that was Mega Man, and that alone is a feat that makes him a classic.
The cool thing about Met throughout the full span of the Mega Man series is that Capcom seems so keen on using him in original ways. My personal favorite comes from Mega Man 5 during Charge Man’s stage. Met, as seen to the right, is a locomotive. It’s silly, but I love it.
That same charm spreads all over Met’s virtual career. He’s a train, he’s in space, he’s underwater, he sits in a mech and he’s a giant version of himself with rockets on his back and the ability to shoot other Mets at enemies.
Call him Met, Metall, Mettool, and Mettaur. I won’t get mad.
As far as Bad Guys Anonymous goes, Met is one of my favorites. He’s simple, he’s tough and he’s stood the test of time as a classic in gaming.