Day In The Limelight 2

         Today I’ll be talking about a Mega Man fangame called Day In The Limelight 2. Well, I’ll talk about the first one two, but mostly the second. The premise is that rather than playing as Mega Man himself, you’re instead playing as the bosses of the previous game- for instance, the first Day In The Limelight had you facing off with the Mega Man 2 bosses as the ones from the first game.
         Of course, this comes with a huge difference in how the levels are played. For instance, Mega Man could copy abilities, true, but only after he beats the corresponding boss, and he only had so much ammo for each weapon. Since you’re playing as the bosses, however, they only have the one weapon, but they can use it indefinitely. In addition, the game doesn’t exactly let you pick which to use- the level is tailored to a certain character and you have to use that one. For instance, Top Man’s stage from 2 has you use Flash Man, who can stop time and let him get past certain obstacles or hit enemies unopposed.
         However, 2 also lets you unlock the character you used after you beat their level. This means after beating Top Man, you can use Flash Man in any other level, switching out which character you control. This is one reason I’m more inclined to talk about the second game than the first- it adds more invention to the previous concept, and in many ways is better made. The levels were better designed; some of the jumps in the first were especially difficult to pull off in terms of timing, and the characters you play as are better suited for the levels. Guts Man from the first game, for instance, couldn’t even walk like the others, only jump. Which wouldn’t be so bad… if his level weren’t almost entirely vertical.
         In any case, the second game was a vast improvement over the first, thanks to the new switching mechanic, and remade stages. I’ll cover each character a bit; to start with, going clockwise, is Wood Man facing off with Spark Man. Wood Man is, I think, the slowest of the characters, which makes sense given his bulk. He also is too large to climb ladders. However, his Leaf Shield blocks many projectiles, of which there are plenty in the level. Smaller ones are blocked easily, while larger ones will remove one of the four leaves composing the shield. There is a slight delay before he can make another after the first shield is totally gone, but it is only a second.
        His leaves can be fired off as projectiles, or hurt any enemy that runs into them. They also block the many electrical traps that litter the level temporarily, allowing Wood Man to pass with considerably less trouble. In addition, he can fire his Leaf Shield forward, up, and down to hit targets or traps.
        Next is Air Man. Like Wood Man he is too large to climb ladders, but luckily for him there are none in Snake Man’s level. His attack is to fire up his Air Shooter and send out powerful winds, producing wind projectiles that fly up and forward, generally hitting most anything above and ahead of him. Most of the stage consists of flying enemies and snake-headed ceiling turrets, so he’ll have an easy time of that. In addition, his winds can push objects and smaller enemies around.
        Metal Man uses his iconic Metal Blades, though they aren’t quite as strong as they were in the original Mega Man 2. However, they can be thrown up, down, forward, and diagonally, plus they have the added benefit of lingering on surfaces they strike, traveling along them if possible, allowing them to hit things he otherwise could not. Needle Man’s stage has him destroy several switches at odd angles to progress, in one notably irritating case he had to destroy three while being attacked by endlessly spawning bomb dropping enemies.
        Crash Man fires off his powerful Crash Bombs, but he uses one at a time, only able to fire another after the last explodes. However, they are powerful, and the explosion lingers quite a bit, doing a lot of damage potentially to several enemies. In addition, while he normally fires straight, when jumping he fires off his bomb downward diagonally. The level, naturally, has a few large enemy groups to hit, barriers to destroy, and a couple of spots where the explosions will make rocks fall, including the boss room. Luckily these rocks won’t hurt Crash Man, but they may help you dodge Hard Man’s attacks via jumping off the rocks.
        Flash Man is actually vaguely similar to Mega Man, both in combat and in appearance, but certainly not identical. He is the only character to fire out the same blasts as Mega Man, but instead of firing them straight, they can go straight, or at an upward or downward angle, somewhat at random. However, when he fires off his maximum of three blasts at once, you’ll get all three directions every time. This odd angling does help with some of the enemies in Top Man’s level, which may come from surprising directions.
        If you’re wondering why he is the only one with an actual buster like Mega Man’s, it is because his special ability isn’t a weapon at all, but the Time Stopper, which does exactly like you would think and stops time. However, it takes a few seconds of holding the attack button to charge, so make sure nothing is likely to hit him before you decide to use it. It freezes most everything in place for several seconds, but it takes a while to charge up for another use.
        In Top Man’s stage he will have some platforms to freeze and jump on, and it will make getting through several of the enemies much easier, including Top Man himself; the boss spins in place, invincible, before rushing across the room, but if you freeze him you can hit him perfectly.
        Next up is Bubble Man and Gemini Man’s stage. Bubble Man fires out bubbles that travel along the ground, and can stop normal projectiles in their tracks by trapping them in the bubble, which then bounces instead of going straight. He doesn’t move very quickly normally, but in the water he can move about in all directions freely and easily. The stage itself, by the way, is impressive in that Gemini Man uses his duplication ability to produce copies of himself to fight you throughout the level. Luckily, they will only use their basic shots, so Bubble Man can stop them easily.
        After that is Heat Man and Magnet Man’s stage. Heat Man, like Flash Man, has a charge attack of sorts. His normal shot is to fire out two bursts of flame, one forward, and one being thrown upward, letting him hit things in the air and right in front of him. His charge move lets him lunge forward enveloped in flame, helping him cross gaps where jumping would be inadvisable, and help him through segments where magnets pull you in different directions. This also helps him avoid Magnet Man’s magnetism attack, where he tries to draw you in for contact damage. The charge can also go up and down in addition to forward.
        Lastly, we have Quick Man and Shadow Man’s stage. Quick Man is my absolute favorite of the bunch for a fairly obvious reason- he moves quicker and jumps further than any of the others. This lets him blaze past obstacles that might have otherwise hit the others. However, this does come with a downside- he does take more damage per hit than the others do. His Quick Boomerang has short range as well, but it comes back to him in an arc, allowing you to hit enemies that otherwise might avoid it if it simply went straight.
        So, there are your eight characters. You unlock each by beating the level they start in, allowing you to switch the others out for them if you wish. You can also change which one starts the level by picking the center of the level select menu. There are more levels after those eight, of course, and some secrets to be found, but I think I’ll leave it at that. …Mostly because those eight are the only ones I’ve beaten thus far. But in any case, I highly recommend any Mega Man fans to download and try this one.

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