Water levels, levels that, along with ice levels are generally the bane of any video game player, tend to be much more tolerable in Classic Mega Man since his movement isn't hampered by slowdown. The Blue Bomber even benefits by getting a higher jump. Just mind the spikes that always invest the water sections. With summer being in full swing, I thought I'd piece together a Top 5 of my favorite Robot Master Water level themes. What better way to keep cool than listening to underwater Mega Man jams?
5. Polluted Pump (Pump Man Stage) - Mega Man 10 (Wii, PS3, 360)
Oh Mega Man 10. You're overshadowed by the fact that Mega Man 9 came before you. Sure, you may not have the best set of weapons, but I love your music and stage design. Pump Man is one of those old fashioned looking robots. I like the idea that even in the far future of 20XX, there are robot designers that long for simpler times. Unlike a lot of other water themed levels that are usually bright and colorful, Pump Man's stage is a spacious, dark, damp sewer. No matter how cool that water may be, the sewer is the last place you want to spend a hot summer day. The stage theme does an excellent job of mirroring the look of the level. I tend to prefer more soothing, upbeat water themes as you'll come to see from the remaining choices on this list, but Pump Man's theme did manage to beat out Splash Woman's theme, which is a very good, relaxing musical piece, but I favor the under dweller vibe from Pump Man's stage,
4. Dive Man Stage - Mega Man 4 (NES)
Mega Man 4 may not be on the same level as say Mega Man 2, 3 and later installments, but even then, the game is still pretty dang good. Even the lighter, soft sound font doesn't hinder the music either. Dive Man's stage treats us to a peppy, upbeat aquatic tune and a level that makes up for Mega Man 3's sparse underwater sections. The theme is incredibly cheerful and the level is actually pretty fun to boot. The mini boss whale that you encounter twice is actually named Moby. How cute.
3. Wave Man Stage - Mega Man 5 (NES)
Wave Man's stage is unusual for a water themed Mega Man level. While there is plenty of H2O, Mega Man is never submerged in it. The first half of Wave Man's stage involves avoiding hazardus steam, navigating tubes and making your way topside via bubbles. The bubble section was later used as a portion of Splash Woman's level in Mega Man 9. The entire second half of Wave Man's theme has Mega Man jump into a wave rider for some auto scrolling, shoot 'em up action. This is all set to an unusual water theme that plays for background music. It isn't quite sad, but it isn't entire happy either, but somewhere in between. This was the first song from Mega Man 5 that got stuck in my head.
02. Aqua Man Stage - Mega Man 8 (SAT, PS)
Well, well, well. If it isn't Handsome Guy coming in at number 2. In a game filled with horrendous voice acting... Aqua Man's voice is no better. He sounds incredibly lame. Worse, he gives you a sucky weapon. And yet, I can't bring myself to hate him. Aqua Man is such an oddball that you can't help but laugh at his stupidity and fall in love with him. Mega Man 8 presented a first for the classic series: it gave Mega Man the ability to swim, which you got to use in the introduction stage. Mega Man even managed to dodge the bullet that usually hits video game characters once they get their feet wet, crappy swimming controls by controlling rather well. Just listen to that cool, tranquil theme as you admire the underwater cities and dodge a plethora of bomb explosions, Aqua Man's theme is so freaking peaceful and relaxing. If not for the next Robot Master on this list, he would have taken the number one spot.
1. Bubble Man Stage - Mega Man 2 (NES)
In the late 1980s, there were two themes that I associated with water. The Underwater music from Super Mario Bros. and Bubble Man's level theme. Mega Man 2 was the first Mega Man game I ever played and the first stage I went to was Bubble Man's. Wood Man has my favorite overall theme from the game, but Bubble Man is a close second. But in terms of Mega Man water themes (Classic, anyway), Bubble Man is the king of the ocean. He may be a bit of a joke among the Mega Man fandom but his theme is extremely catchy and calming. Before I had all of the other candidates were in place, I already knew that Bubble Man would take the top spot.