Mega Man & Bass, known in Japan as Rockman & Forte (ロックマン&フォルテ Rokkuman ando Forute), is a video game in the classic Mega Man series. It is a "second version" of Mega Man 8, using many of that game's assets, highly similar gameplay, and even two of its Robot Masters. It takes place about a year after the events of Mega Man 8 and before Mega Man 9, being considered a "Mega Man 8.5" both due to its nature and due to a mention in the game's code. It was originally released for the Super Famicom (SNES) exclusively in Japan in 1998, and was later ported to the Game Boy Advance and released worldwide in 2002 and 2003.
The player can choose to play as Mega Man or Bass. While Mega Man can charge his shots and slide like he can in the previous installments, Bass can fire in seven directions (straight up, straight forward, or any diagonal) with a rapid-fire arm cannon, do a dash jump, double jump, and dash. The original Super Famicom version of Rockman & Forte was marketed exclusively in Japan. However, before the Game Boy Advance version was released in the United States, the Super Famicom version was translated into English and Italian by fans through console emulation.
Mega Man & Bass doesn't use the standard four or eight stages select system present in most Mega Man games. After finishing the Opening Stage, only four stages are selectable initially, including the Opening Stage itself. The first three selectable Bosses are (from top to bottom) Cold Man, Astro Man and Ground Man. Defeating the first will unlock Pirate Man and Burner Man, and defeating the third unlocks Tengu Man and Magic Man. Defeating Astro Man will unlock the last Robot Master, Dynamo Man, as well as Pirate Man and Tengu Man if they have not yet been unlocked. Lastly, defeating any of the five unlockable Robot Masters will open the Crystal Gate area, which acts like the lock to King's fortress. Mega Man/Bass needs to use the Robot Masters' Special Weapons to open each of the eight locks, enabling entry to the final stages.
The game is well known by fans for having a very high difficulty spike, especially when playing as Mega Man since, unlike Bass, he cannot double jump, dash, and has no access to several of Rush's functions present in previous games. Like Mega Man 8, Energy Tanks are absent from this game for unknown reasons, along with removing things which made situations easier to handle that Mega Man 8 had, like weapon energy not refilling after losing a life and having to travel through the entire stage all over again.
After Mega Man 8, Dr. Wily's whereabouts were still unknown, and he built a new castle to prepare his comeback. But a robot calling himself King appeared planning to conquer the Earth, believed that robots were not meant to simply serve humans, but rather that they were superior and therefore should rule the Earth. King ousted Dr. Wily from his own new castle, and he stole the data of robots created by Dr. Wily and Dr. Light to form his own robot army. To stop King, Dr. Wily and Light made a truce and sent Mega Man and Bass to put a stop to King's rebellion. When King attacked a robot museum to gather its data for his army, Proto Man attempted to stop him, but King cut him in half with his axe and he is sent to Dr. Light's Laboratory for repairs. Mega Man/Bass confronted King, but he withdrew, claiming not to have time for them, and left the Green Devil to take care of them.
Once his army of Robot Masters was defeated and the Crystal Gate that protects King's fortress is unlocked, the two made their way through his fortress, defeating two war machines along the way, and confronted him. None of their attacks appeared to phase him, so the newly repaired Proto Man came again, charged up his Big Bang Attack (even though it would severely damage his internal systems), and destroyed King's shield. Mega Man and Bass managed to defeat King and, upon his defeat, Dr. Wily appeared on the screen and asked King what was wrong with his "brain washing". He remotely repaired King and then King fled to another room and combined two previous war machines into a giant battle machine, but was defeated again and begged the two to stop Wily's ambitions. Mega Man and Bass then went to Wily's floor of the castle and put a stop to the madness. In the end, Mega Man was sad that an innocent robot was destroyed, but then he received a letter from King and found out that everything was all right. Bass, however, was mad that Dr. Wily had plotted against him, but Wily claimed he wanted to find out if King was stronger than he was. Proto Man teleported in, saw plans for a "King II" on Wily's computer, and then destroyed them, leaving the two to quarrel amongst themselves.
Story (from the English manual)
A declaration of crime...from the criminal!
A surprise declaration has been received...from the man who took over Wiley's base! The message reveals that the illegal trespasser is...KING!
King states that any robot who proves himself superior to human beings should rule the Earth!
King goes on to include a threat to steal the robot data from the museum.
Officials are taking the statements...and threats...with the most extreme seriousness.
Mega Man and Bass are sent out on the double to investigate...
|DWN. 057||Tengu Man||Tengu Blade||Spread Drill|
|DWN. 058||Astro Man||Copy Vision||Magic Card|
|KGN. 001||Dynamo Man||Lightning Bolt||Copy Vision|
|KGN. 002||Cold Man||Ice Wall||Lightning Bolt|
|KGN. 003||Ground Man||Spread Drill||Remote Mine|
|KGN. 004||Pirate Man||Remote Mine||Wave Burner|
|KGN. 005||Burner Man||Wave Burner||Ice Wall|
|KGN. 006||Magic Man||Magic Card||Tengu Blade|
King Stage 1:
King Stage 2:
King Stage 3:
Auto runs a shop and creates items in exchange of Screws that can be found throughout the stages. The first six items are available to purchase from the beginning, the six items in the second row become available after defeating 3 of the eight bosses, and the remaining items (6 with Bass and 8 with Mega Man) appear in the shop after defeating 6 bosses.
Most of the items are available for both characters, but some are character-specific: respectively, seven for Mega Man and five for Bass. Mega Man's items focus on defense and on finding CDs, while Bass's items focus on dexterity.
|Items in common||Screws||Auto's description|
|Spare Body||50||"It will add an extra life. Think of it like life insurance, the more you have, the better off you are."|
|120||"When you pick up a weapon energy, the Special Weapon that has the lowest remaining energy will be refilled."|
("Exit Parts" in Japan)
|50||"It allows you to exit the stage. But it won't work unless you have defeated the boss of the stage."|
|10||"It absorbs the impact and makes the spikes less lethal. However, the item will be used up once that happens."|
("Transceiver" in Japan)
|100||"It allows you to talk with Roll. Just no marathon phone conversations, please..."|
|60||"It makes a special ball that contains an Energy Capsule, appear in certain places in a stage. However it only takes effect in one stage."|
|50||"It enhances the function of your COM SYSTEM. By analyzing the enemy data, it uncovers their weak points."|
|200||"It allows your energy to be recovered by a larger amount than usual."|
|200||"It makes your offensive power increase in a tight situation. You can turn the tables and win!"|
|200||"It allows you to use Special Weapons by consuming less energy. This item is so very environment-friendly..."|
|300||"Your weapon energy will be slightly refilled every time you receive damage. All is grist that comes to his net."|
|300||"It reduces the amount of damage inflicted. However, please do not put too much confidence in it..."|
|CD Counter||100||"It enhances the function of your COM SYSTEM. It allows you to know how many CDs remain in a stage."|
|Mega Man's items||Screws||Auto's description|
| A. Charger|
|50||"It allows your Buster to be charged without holding the B Button down."|
|100||"Rush will dig out a hidden item for you. Believe me, he is a good Digger!"|
|Eddie||150||"This is Eddie's delivery service. When you use this item in a stage, Eddie will deliver an item to you."|
|450||"It makes your life energy recover slowly. Remember that slow but steady always wins the race."|
|150||"It allows you to charge your Mega Buster quicker."|
|Beat||300||"When you use this, Beat will deliver a barrier to you. Just be careful not to touch the spikes."|
|CD Finder||300||"It allows you to know where the CDs are buried. Ask Rush to dig them out."|
|Bass' items||Screws||Auto's description|
|100||"It allows you to dash faster."|
|100||"It allows you to climb the ladder faster. Hmm... Now that I think about it, I don't think the name "Booster" is exactly correct..."|
|200||"Treble transforms into a booster-adapter for you. It allows you to fly, but be aware of its remaining energy."|
| S. Buster|
|300||"It enhances the offense power of the Bass Buster. It's truly a mighty powerful item!"|
|300||"It makes the Bass Buster's bullets fly through terrain or walls. It's truly a hyper convenient item!"|
- *Click here to see where the 100 CDs are hidden.
There are 100 CDs throughout the stages, each containing data from an important character of the original series (except some like Dr. Cossack, Kalinka, the 4 Dark Men, Doc Robot, Reggae, Mr. X, and characters from later games). Some CDs are very easy to find, while others can only be obtained by one character, as it may be too high for Mega Man or too narrow for Bass.
The English CD translations are considered somewhat nonsensical, mainly through mistakes with translation. Notorious examples include Dr. Light's bad point being "Douchie", Bright Man being "Long on ideas" and disliking "Unmoral districts", Star Man being built for "Space Exploitation", and Hyper Storm H's dislike being "Porky".
Mega Man & Bass CD Data
|Super Famicom commercial||Game Boy Advance commercial|
- Rockman & Forte (manga)
- Rockman & Forte: Mirai Kara no Chousensha
- List of Mega Man & Bass enemies
- Mega Man & Bass walkthrough
- Mega Man & Bass script
- Mega Man & Bass damage data chart
- This is the first console game (aside from Mega Man 7's hidden two-player mode) where Bass is a playable character.
- This is the only Mega Man game on the Super Nintendo that wasn't released in the U.S.
- Interestingly, this title adds one unique feature to the Classic series that the Mega Man X series originally started since its inception. If Mega Man or Bass are low on life energy and are not moving, they will breathe hard, something X started doing since his first game whenever he was running low on life energy.
- Mega Man & Bass is considered to be the hardest game in the classic series due to the design of the game being adapted to Bass's abilities more than Mega Man's abilities.
- The game uses the art style of Mega Man 8, but with the lower resolution, zoomed-in playfield of Mega Man 7. The graphics of each stage extensively reference a stage from Mega Man 8:
- Cold Man's stage is similar to Frost Man's stage.
- Burner Man's stage is similar to Search Man's stage.
- Pirate Man's stage is similar to Aqua Man's stage.
- Ground Man's stage is similar to Sword Man's stage.
- Magic Man's stage is similar to Clown Man's stage.
- Dynamo Man's stage is similar to Grenade Man's stage.
- The game also uses sound effects from Mega Man 7.
- Originally, Mega Man & Bass was meant to be an "alternate continuation" of the Mega Man classic series that followed the events of Mega Man 8,[Citation needed] but Mega Man 9's ending directly referenced the ending of Mega Man & Bass (as well as the endings of the other eight numerical games in the series).
- This is the only non-numbered console game to be directly referenced in Mega Man 9.
- Like Mega Man 8, Mega Man & Bass does not have artwork for the Special Weapons.
- Humorously, in the Mega Man & Bass GBA English instruction manual, in addition to Wily's name being spelt "Wiley," Proto Man, Treble, and Auto were all addressed by their Japanese names (Blues, Gospel, and Rightot, spelled as "Lightott").
- Interestingly (and possibly intentionally), the six new Robot Masters appear to be a throwback to the ones from the first Mega Man game. Each of them has a similar weapon - either by element or by the nature of the weapon - to those of the Robot Masters from the first game: Cold Man/Ice Man, Burner Man/Fire Man, Pirate Man/Bomb Man, Ground Man/Guts Man, Magic Man/Cut Man, and Dynamo Man/Elec Man.
- Furthermore, they share the same weakness order as the Robot Masters in Mega Man: Electricity → Ice → Fire → Bomb → Ground → Blade.
- Binetsu by Bereeve is the song used in the Super Famicom commercial for Mega Man & Bass.
- The description for Rush Search in the shop could be a reference to Diggers from the Mega Man Legends series.
- Capcom originally planned this game to be a Super Famicom version of Mega Man 8 for people that did not purchase a 32-bit console.
- Mega Man & Bass was thought to have been Mega Man 9 in the series as well as the last title by some (excluding spin-offs), until the ninth numbered title was officially released in 2008.
- Rockman & Forte (Super Famicom version) official site (archive)
- Rockman & Forte (Game Boy Advance version) official site (archive)