Mega Man 3 (NES) Boss Guide

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   Out of all the original Mega Man games, Mega Man 3 is (in my opinion) the most difficult to devise a workable boss order for due to the fact that some of its easier bosses inhabit stages that can be frustrating to clear without Rush Jet. As a result, this guide focuses on the boss order which I feel is easiest overall, despite the fact that the player will need to fight more than one Robot Master with the Mega Buster, rather than a special weapon. Of course, these foes can be fought in any order and it is ultimately the player’s skill and patience that determines the outcome of a battle. Having a working knowledge of each Robot Master’s weaknesses and moveset can greatly contribute to a player’s odds of winning, so this guide also includes detailed strategies for every boss in the game.


1.Recommended Boss Order

2.Bosses Strategies

   a.Snake Man

   b.Gemini Man

   c.Needle Man

   d.Top Man

   e.Shadow Man

   f.Magnet Man

   g.Hard Man

   h.Spark Man

3.Doc Robot

   a.Shadow Man Stage 2

   b.Gemini Man Stage 2

   c.Spark Man Stage 2

   d.Needle Man Stage 2

4.Wily Stages

   a.Wily Stage 1: Kamegoro Maker

   b.Wily Stage 2: Yellow Devil Mk-II

   c.Wily Stage 3: Copy Robot

   d.Wily Stage 4: Boss Rematch

   e.Wily Stage 5: Wily Machine No.3

   f.Wily Stage 6: Gamma

1. Recommended Boss Order

   Players can challenge the Robot Masters in any order, but some are easier to defeat with the proper weapon. Rush is also a helpful asset that can make certain levels far easier. This boss order was designed mostly to allow players to circumvent the tedious disappearing block traps in Magnet Man’s stage (which can be bypassed with the Rush Jet) and still take advantage of the inherent weaknesses of most bosses.

Snake Man > Gemini Man > Needle Man > Top Man > Shadow Man > Magnet Man > Spark Man > Hard Man

2. Boss Strategies

The following section is a detailed catalogue of all eight Robot Masters in Mega Man 3 that includes their main weakness, what the player gets for beating them, and a description of their abilities. It also provides advice on how to react to each Robot Master’s attacks in order to minimize the amount of damage the player takes as well as when and how to attack.

a. Snake Man

Weakness: Needle Cannon, Mega Buster

Reward: Search Snake


   The floor of Snake Man’s chamber is shaped a bit like the letter W. Two swallow pits flank a central pillar that Snake Man will jump onto. In fact, this boss will basically run from one side of the room to the other, jumping over the pits and onto the pillar, then repeating the process. This means the pits next to the pillar are safe spots where Mega Man can stand without getting hit by the boss as long as the player steps into the pit just as Snake Man jumps toward towards Mega Man. However, Snake Man sometimes launches a pair of snakes that slither along the floor and up walls, so the player will have to jump to avoid the boss’s weapon.

   At the start of the fight, walk to the edge of the pit on the left and drop into it as soon as Snake Man jumps off the pillar. Next, jump onto the pillar and over to the right side of the room. From here you can fire at Snake Man and jump over his snakes. When Snake Man makes his way back onto the pillar, run into the pit on the right and press against the wall as if you’re trying to run towards Snake Man. If done right the boss will pass over Mega Man harmlessly. After that jump onto the pillar and leap over Snake Man towards the far right side of the room as he approaches you. The boss will go to the left side of the room and you can hug the pit wall again to avoid damage. Keep this pattern up while whittling his health down with the Buster to win the battle. Due to his easy pattern and stage, Snake Man is a good pick for a first boss, just be aware that the Mega Buster won’t damage him much and fighting him with the Needle Cannon is more effective.

b. Gemini Man

Weakness: Search Snake

Reward: Gemini Laser


   The battle with Gemini Man takes place in two phases. In the first phase, Gemini will create a copy of himself. Both Gemini Men will run towards the right side of the screen and leap all the way back to the left. This pattern will continue until Mega Man fires a weapon, which prompts the clone on the floor to fire a single shot at Mega Man. Oddly enough, both clones freeze when you fire a shot, so make sure you are not in a position to get hit. You may also have to jump to dodge the bullet Gemini fires.

   Hit the boss enough and one of the clones will disappear. At this point Gemini will pursue the player, jumping when the player fires a shot and occasionally firing his patented Gemini Laser, which will move across the screen slowly, bouncing off any walls it touches. Just run away from Gemini, pivot, then fire to get him to jump. Once he jumps, hop up and shoot again to hit him. Search Snakes work wonders in this battles as long as the player jumps and fires them while Gemini Man is behind him/her in both phases.

c. Needle Man

Weakness: Gemini Laser

Reward: Needle Cannon and Rush Jet


   Needle Man moves and attacks more or less at random. He will open the battle by hopping into the air, then firing four needles at Mega Man if the player stays on the far left side of the screen. The boss will usually repeat this pattern twice before leaping towards the player and extending the needles on his head about a body length. Slide under his needle volley to dodge it and jump or slide away from his headbutt. The Gemini Laser is a life saver in this battle, because it deals heavy damage to this boss and can hit him while he is in the air. It also slows the framerate of the game down a bit, making it easier to react to incoming attacks. Try to shoot the Gemini Laser while Needle Man is jumping, which almost guarantees that your attack will hit. About four Gemini Lasers should be enough to end Needle Man.

d. Top Man

Weakness: Hard Knuckle, Mega Buster

Reward: Top Spin


   Top Man makes a good starting boss despite the fact that he is not very susceptible to the Mega Buster, thanks to his easy to learn combat pattern. Players will get the Top Spin from this battle, which is one of the most powerful weapons in the series, though it takes practice to use effectively. This boss will start out by throwing three tops into the air that hover for a moment before hurtling towards the player. Slide the moment the tops begin to move towards you to get past them. Next, Top Man will begin spinning, which makes him invincible for a short period. Once he has reached maximum velocity, he will rush towards Mega Man. Stay on the opposite end of the room and jump over the boss when he reaches your position. Top Man will once again throw some tops into the air, then use his spin attack. Shoot Top Man right after you jump over his spin attack. Usually you’ll only be able to get a hit in before he starts spinning again since you’ll want to dodge his flying tops, but sometimes you can get a second hit if you are quick. Hit this boss about ten times to win the battle. The Hard Knuckle deals a lot of damage to this boss, but you’ll have to fire it at him at point blank range for it to connect reliably.

e. Shadow Man

Weakness: Top Spin

Reward: Shadow Blade and Rush Marine


   Shadow man will jump towards Mega Man for the entirety of the fight. After about four hops, the boss will slide, though sometimes he slides on the third hop. Shadow will jump another three or four times then fire two shurikens at once. One shuriken will fly across the room horizontally, while the other takes off at a forty-five degree angle. Either slide under the horizontal shuriken or jump over it. Be ready to react the moment they appear in Shadow Man’s hand, because they are fast. The boss will repeat his attack pattern from the beginning after throwing the shurikens. Top Spin can obliterate Shadow Man in just a few hits, but you’ll need to time the attack carefully. The Top Spin must be executed in the air and the player should only tap the B button or he/she will drain the weapon’s energy in just a few attacks. For best results, try to time your jump/attack so that Mega Man will hit Shadow while he is descending from a jump or on the ground. You’ll likely sustain damage as a result of using Top Spin on Shadow Man, but you can kill him in three or four hits depending on your luck.

f. Magnet Man

Weakness: Shadow Blade, Mega Buster

Reward: Magnet Missile


   Magnet Man likes to hop towards Mega Man three times before executing one of two attacks at random. If Magnet Man leaps high into the air after the third hop, he will fire three magnet missiles at the player which will fly to Mega Man’s position, then dive straight down towards him. Run or slide to get out of the missiles’ way. Magnet Man can also pull Mega Man towards him by emitting a magnetic field that also makes him impervious to damage. Run in the opposite direction of Magnet Man’s position when you see white fields surround him and you’ll be safe. The Shadow Blade does a fair amount of damage to this boss and can be fired in eight directions, which makes it great for hitting Magnet Man while he is jumping around. Players can also fight this boss with the Mega Buster since it does moderate damage, but getting past his stage without the Rush Jet is a pain unless you like disappearing block puzzles.

g. Hard Man

Weakness: Magnet Missile

Reward: Hard Knuckle


   Hard Man follows the same pattern throughout the battle. First he will fire his fists at you which fly towards Mega Man, then adjust course and come back like a boomerang. This move is hard to dodge, but you can do it if you stay far away and on the ground. Jump over the first fist, then slide once you hit the ground, pivot and jump towards the fists as they come back from the other direction to dodge the attack. Next, he will jump into the air and crash into the ground, freezing Mega Man momentarily on impact. The boss will try to land where Mega Man is standing, so move out of his way once he is airborne. The Magnet Missile will tear Hard Man apart in just a few hits.

h. Spark Man

Weakness: Shadow Blade

Reward: Spark Shock

   Spark Man tends to move from one side of the room to the other and back again via a series of short hops. He’ll usually stop to fire his weapon when he reaches the center of the room as well as the far left and right sides of the chamber. Spark Man will put the prongs at the end of his arms to his head and fire a cluster of sparks that fan out in every direction, then he will shoot a huge spark in the player’s direction. Keep your distance and hop over the smaller sparks of necessary. The big spark is easy to dodge, just stay in a position where you can evade it. Use the Shadow Blade on this boss to take him down quickly.

3. Doc Robot Stages

    Doc Robot appears after the player has defeated the eight Robot Masters. Needle, Gemini, Shadow, and Spark Man’s stages will become playable again, but they will have changed in many ways. These stages can be challenged in any order. Players will have to fight Doc Robot twice in each level and he will take on the powers of one of the bosses in Mega Man 2 during each fight, so these battles may seem familiar. Watch out for contact damage when fighting Doc, because he has a huge hit box and can hit you even if you think you will clear him by a small margin when you jump or slide, so give him more room than you would other bosses. Defeating Doc Robot will not reward the player with any new weapons.

a. Shadow Man Stage 2

Wood Man

Weakness: Needle Cannon, Search Snake


   Doc Robot will absorb the powers of Wood Man when Mega Man enters the room. The boss will immediately surround himself with a leaf barrier that will repel any incoming attacks. After a few moments, Doc will fire several leaves into the air that will drift to the ground and damage Mega Man on impact. He’ll also launch his shield at you just before the leaves reach Mega Man, just like Wood Man did in the previous game. Stand as far to the left left as possible, then jump just before the shield hits you, which should allow Mega Man to clear both the leaves and the shield. Doc will hop forward and replicate the same moves, so be sure to fire a few Needle Cannon shots his way before he gets his shield up again.

   Eventually Doc will close with Mega Man and you’ll have to jump over his shield and slide under him just as he hops if you don’t want to take damage. Odds are Doc will hit you, however, because his hit box is huge, so it may just be better to take the hit and unload the Needle Cannon into him as you back away to the right side of the room. Dodging Doc’s leaf attack on the right side of the room is tricky, because you have to step out into the open to get enough jumping height to clear the shield. This means you’ll have to jump forward a bit to avoid the falling leaves. At this point Doc should be low on life and a few more needles will end the battle. He is also weak against the Search Snakes, but he tends to hop over them unless you time your attacks very carefully.

Heat Man

Weakness: Top Spin, Shadow Blade


   This time Doc will acquire Heat Man’s powers and fire three fireballs at you that will form small pillars on impact with the ground when the battle starts. Carefully jump forward, between the second and third fireball, then hop up and smack Doc with the Top Spin. Back off a bit while flames surround the boss, then hop over him as he turns into a fire beam and speeds towards you. Use the Top Spin the second Doc reappears to take another chunk out of his life, then back off again. He’ll try to smash into Mega Man again, so leap over him as he rockets towards you. Doc will use his fire beam attack as long as you damage him right after he reforms, so you can defeat him pretty quickly if you time your attacks carefully. Miss and Doc will probably hit you with his fireball attack before you can react. Players who do not like Top Spin can use the Shadow Blade in this battle to beat Doc almost as quickly. In fact, it may be easier with the Shadow Blade since you can fire it at him from a slight distance.

b. Gemini Man Stage 2

Flash Man

Weakness: Needle Cannon, Gemini Laser


   Remember Flash Man? Doc Robot takes on Flash’s powers in the first battle in Gemini Man’s stage and will run back and forth across the room, occasionally hopping to negotiate the uneven floor or using the Flash Stopper to freeze Mega Man in his tracks. Once the Flash Stopper is active, Doc will fire a stream of bullets that travel horizontally in whichever direction he happens to be facing. The primary threat is contact damage from Doc’s bulky sprite, which is hard to jump over. Stand on the highest part of the floor and leap over the boss as he approaches you if you want to avoid getting hit. There isn’t much that can be done to counter the effects of the Flash Stopper, which he uses practically without warning, aside from staying out of Doc’s direct line of sight. Both the Needle Cannon and Gemini Laser are highly effective in this battle.

Bubble Man

Weakness: Spark Shock, Shadow Blade


   This is an easy fight, just watch out for the spikes that line the ceiling. Doc will fire two bubbles and a shot from his blaster, then swim over Mega Man’s head. A quick slide should be enough to stay safe. Use the Spark Shock to quickly inflict damage on Doc Robot and win this easy fight.

c. Spark Man Stage 2

Metal Man

Weakness: Magnet Missile, Hard Knuckle


   Doc Robot behaves somewhat differently from the real Metal Man. He will stand still until you jump or shoot, which will prompt Doc to jump and fire 1 to 3 Metal Blades in your direction. Jump and/or slide over the blades as best you can and fire Magnet Missiles at Doc. This battle seems to work out best if you stay still at the far left end of the room, jump to bait Doc Robot into shooting blades at you, and fire off a Magnet Missile while dodging his attack.

Quick Man

Weakness: Search Snakes, Gemini Laser


   This is one of Doc Robot’s more annoying incarnations thanks to the fact that he has absorbed Quick Man’s powers. Much like Quick Man, Doc will hop two or three times, fire a cluster of boomerangs at Mega Man, and then charge towards him. While Doc appears to be a tad slower than Quick Man, it’s really hard to get out of his way outside of well timed slides and a perfectly timed jump to get over his head. You’ll have to do all this while being mindful of the Quick Boomerangs, which will rocket towards the player a second time after Doc throws them. I find it best to just use brute force to win this battle by hitting Doc as much as possible with the Gemini Laser or Search Snakes and taking advantage of invincibility frames. Doc is most vulnerable to damage while charging towards you or after landing.

d. Needle Man Stage 2

Air Man

Weakness: Spark Shock, Magnet Missile


   Using Air Man’s powers, Doc Robot will fire clusters of tiny twisters at Mega Man, which hover in place for a moment before Doc blows them off screen. These clusters form different patterns and can be hard to predict. Try to gauge whether or not it is appropriate to jump or slide (often you’ll have to do both) and compensate for the air current which will push you away from Doc. The boss will fire off three waves of twisters before jumping to the center of the room, then to the far left wall, so be ready to avoid him after the third wave. Use the Magnet Missile on Doc, because you can fire through gaps in the twisters and inflict a fair amount of damage on him. A good offense is the best defense in this fight thanks to the unpredictable and nearly impossible to dodge patterns that are formed by the twisters, so concentrate on damaging this boss if you want a quick win.

Crash Man

Weakness: Hard Knuckle


   Doc Robot will assume the powers of Crash Man and run around the room firing Crash Bombs. These bombs stick to surfaces and explode a moment later. Doc will leap into the air before firing a Crash Bomb at Mega Man, so be ready to slide or step out of the way. The Hard Knuckle deals massive damage to Doc in this fight, so get close to him and fire your weapon at point blank range so the Hard Knuckle connects. Hit him with about four shots to end the battle.

4. Wily Stages

   Wily’s fortress is the final area in Mega Man 3. As usual Mega Man won’t get his weapon energy replenished between stages, so you’ll have to manage your reserves carefully by picking up any energy dropped by enemies or found in the fortress. Players will also have to clear each level in a set order and will not receive a new password after a “Game Over”.

a.Wily Stage 1: Kamegoro Maker

Weakness: Shadow Blade


    The Kamegoro Maker floats near the top of the boss chamber and cannot be harmed. Kamegoro will spawn robotic turtles one at a time that swim around the chamber, bouncing off of the walls at sharp angles. Destroying these turtles will reduce the life of the Kamegoro Maker. The turtles will occasionally shed their shells which remain suspended in the water until they are destroyed or explode on their own. They’ll also move more quickly as the Kamegoro Maker’s life bar decreases. Jets of water that push Mega Man in whatever direction they happen to be going emerge from the floor and walls to make matters more complicated. You can tell which pipe a jet is going to emerge from, because a tiny whirlpool will appear near the tip of a pipe that is about to spawn a jet.The Shadow Blade can destroy the turtles in a single hit, use it to take out five turtles which will defeat the boss.

b. Wily Stage 2: Yellow Devil Mk-II

Weakness: Hard Knuckle


   Those who played the original Mega Man will recognize the Yellow Devil from the first game, luckily he’s easier this time around thanks to E-Tanks and a slightly more forgiving attack pattern. Stand in the center of the room and watch for the pieces of the Yellow Devil which fly towards the right side of the room and assemble themselves. Use short or long hops to avoid the blocks as they fly across the room. Sliding is also a good way to dodge blocks that come in at chest level. An eye will form near the center of the Devil’s torso which will open up and fire three shots at Mega Man once he has fully formed. Jump up and fire a Hard Knuckle at the eye. In fact you can hit him with the Hard Knuckle twice if you are quick. After firing three shots, the boss will break up into blocks and reform on the left side of the room, then the eye will appear in his torso again. He’ll fire three shots then break up into a group of blocks that bounce along the floor. Try to stand in the gaps between where the blocks bounce. The eye will appear once the Yellow Devil has reassembled himself, so fire the Hard Knuckle again. Hit the eye about six times to defeat the Yellow Devil.

c. Wily Stage 3: Copy Robot

Weakness: Top Spin


   Here’s another boss from the original Mega Man with a new twist. Copy Robot’s chamber has three teleporters in it, two of which are on platforms. A Copy Robot will spawn on each teleporter and the entire group will run back and forth firing shots at Mega Man. Eventually they will shuffle themselves by teleporting onto different platforms. Only one of the copies can be harmed; he starts the battle at the top platform and a fast player can jump up to him before he teleports. Use Top Spin to kill this boss in a single decisive hit. Don’t worry if you were unable to reach the top platform before the Copy Bots shuffle, you can always spot the real Copy Robot because he is the only one in the bunch that has a teleport graphic when respawning, which looks like the one used for Mega Man.

d. Wily Stage 4: Boss Rematch

   Players will have to fight the Robot Masters a second time in the usual obligatory boss rush. The same tactics that worked on the Robot Masters the first time around hold true here. None of the teleporters that lead to the bosses are labeled, so I’ve provided a list of the bosses below. This list starts with the teleporter in the top left and goes counterclockwise across the room. It’s best to fight the bosses you find most difficult first so you can hopefully go into the battle with Wily with full health.

From left to right:

1.Needle Man

2.Magnet Man

3.Gemini Man

4.Hard Man

5.Top Man

6.Shadow Man

7.Spark Man

8.Snake Man

e. Wily Stage 5: Wily Machine No.3

Wily Machine No.3 Phase 1

Weakness: Spark Shock, Hard Knuckle


   The cannon on the bottom of Wily Machine No.3 is its weak point. Try to use Spark Shock on it and save the Hard Knuckle for later. The cannon will fire rotating shots that are slow, but tricky to dodge. Either slide under them at the right time or jump over them and to the left/right to clear them while they are low. Using the Spark shock aggressively will destroy the gun quickly, so concentrate on offense to minimize risk.

Wily Machine No.3 Phase 2

Weakness: Hard Knuckle, Search Snake, Rush Jet


   The second phase of Wily Machine No.3 uses a simple yet deadly pattern where it moves one leg then the next to shuffle around the room before lowering its body to the floor. Wily will also lob highly damaging shots at Mega Man that can be dodged with side steps. While the Rush Jet isn’t actually a weapon, it gives Mega Man a huge advantage over Wily in this fight, because you can hover safely out of his range and rapidly fire shots into the dome of his machine, which is its Achilles heel. Fire as fast as possible and stay just out of the range of Wily’s arcing shots to take him out with ease.

   You’ll have to time your attacks very carefully if you want to use the Hard Knuckle on Wily, because he will only lower himself to the ground for a moment and the dome at the top of the machine is its only weak point. Wait until Wily moves his second leg, then jump up and fire the Hard Knuckle at him just before he lowers himself to the ground. You’ll have to fire at the apex of Mega Man’s jump to actually connect. The Search Snakes are even more difficult to use, because you’ll have to get very close to Wily to hit him.

f. Wily Stage 6: Gamma

It is wise to grab some weapon energy for the Hard Knuckle, Rush Coil, and Top Spin before going through the final gate. The extra life and E-tank are also worth getting, especially since Gamma can kill you instantly if you are unlucky.

Gamma Phase 1

Weakness: Hard Knuckle, Shadow Blade


   The small robot on the unfinished head of Gamma will pelt Mega Man with arcing shots when he is on the ground. Use Rush to get to the platform on the right. Once you are on the platform, the robot will fire three horizontal shots, then pause. Wait for the pause and counter with the Hard Knuckle. Be sure to aim it at the bot, which is the only part of this boss that takes damage. About four attacks will destroy the bot and end the phase.

Gamma Phase 2

Weakness: Top Spin, Search Snakes


   In this phrase Gamma fire a fast moving projectile from his mouth at Mega Man. He’ll also punch with his right arm towards the left side of the screen. Watch out for the arm, it can kill Mega Man instantly under the right conditions, so stay on the platforms. Only the Top Spin and Search Snakes can harm Gamma. While the Top Spin can obliterate Gamma if you manage to time the attack perfectly by jumping from the highest platform onto the dome holding Wily, you run the risk of falling to the ground. It’s possible to jump from the top platform, fire a Search Snake and fall back onto the platform by pivoting in midair, which is much safer. Either way, a Top Spin (or four) or five Search Snakes will scrap Gamma and win you the game!

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