Mega Man 4 (NES) Boss Guide

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Mega Man 4 Boss Guide

~by tankMage (November 2016)


1. Introduction: A brief explanation of this guide.

2. Boss Strategies (Robot Masters): Information on the first eight bosses, including weaknesses, how to fight each boss effectively, and what each boss gives you after it is defeated. A recommended order in which to fight these bosses is also provided.

    a. Dust Man

    b. Toad Man

    c. Dive Man

    d. Skull Man

    e. Drill Man

    f. Bright Man

    g. Pharaoh man

    h. Ring Man

3. Boss Strategies (Cassock and Wiley Stages): Information on weaknesses and tactics for the fortress stage bosses.

    a. Mothraya

    b. Square Machine

    c. Cock Roach Twins

    d. Cossack Catcher

    e. Metall Daddy

    f. Tako Trash

    g. Wiley Machine No. 4 (First Form)

    h. Wiley Machine No. 4 (Second Form)

    i. Wiley Capsule

4. Teleporter Room Diagram:  Shows which boss each teleporter is associated with in stage 3 of Wiley’s fortress. Also provides some tips and a recommended order.


   Hello and thanks for checking out my unofficial Mega Man 4 Boss Guide. While there are plenty of guides available for this game, I decided to write my own after learning to defeat every boss without having to use E-Tanks or even being hit in some cases. These are my personal findings and may not be the absolute best way to defeat every boss. Each boss strategy covers what weapon is best used on a particular robot master, the weapon/item you’ll receive after defeating it, and how to fight the boss effectively. The order these bosses are listed in is a very loose recommendation and players can choose to fight them in a different sequence if they wish. This is especially true for bosses who are easily foiled by the Mega Buster. With that in mind, these strategies are quite effective and I hope they prove helpful.  ~ tankMage (October 2016)

Boss Strategies

Recommended Order

   This boss order is not necessarily the optimal sequence for attempting these stages, but it is based off of my personal experiences and is effective. You will almost certainly want to save Ring Man for the end, because his stage is full of hazards that can be bypassed with tools like the Time Stopper, Rush Jet, and Dive Missiles.

Dust Man–>Dive Man–>Drill Man–>Toad Man–>Skull Man–>Bright Man–>Pharaoh Man–>Ring Man

Dust Man


Weakness: Mega Buster, Ring Boomerang

Reward: Dust Crusher


   Dust Man is probably the first boss you’ll want to tackle since his stage is easy, his weapon is useful, and he takes a fair amount of damage from the Mega Buster. Keeping the Mega Buster charged throughout this fight is highly recommended, because it inflicts decent damage. Ring Boomerang also works well, but you won’t have that at first. Dust Man will do one of three things: leap towards Mega Man, fire a block of trash that breaks into four pieces of shrapnel when it reaches you, or pull you towards him. Try to run or slide under Dust if he jumps and, if possible, keep on the extreme right or left of the room, since this will give you more time to react to his attacks. It is also safe to get a quick shot in when he lands if there are at least two or more body lengths between you and Dust.

   Dust Man’s shot attack has an obvious tell: you’ll see a block of trash appear in the opening on top of his head a split second before he fires. Intuition will probably tell you to jump over the block before it hits you; do not do this, the block will break apart and damage you. Instead, slide under it and you’ll avoid being hit. If Dust is in the center of the room you should stand as far from him as possible to avoid sliding into him when attempting to evade his projectile. You can also dodge his shot by jumping towards the block just before it explodes, but this requires more space and timing. Be sure to fire your charged shot after evading his attack.

   The vacuum attack is by far Dust Man’s most irritating move. Dust will change his stance slightly and you’ll see particles entering the port on his head. This move renders Dust Man invincible and it will slowly draw Mega Man towards him. Luckily running or sliding in the opposite direction will keep you safe, so take this as an opportunity to get far away from him while charging your weapon. There’s usually a window just before and after he begins to vacuum that is good for getting a shot off at him. Dust Man often, but not always, uses the same move two or three times in a row, so if he fires a shot after jumping, it’s pretty safe to expect another. Keeping your distance and watching closely for tells is your best bet in this fight. About six good power shots should be enough to end this battle.

Toad Man


Weakness: Mega Buster (Charged), Drill Bomb

Reward: Rain Flush, Rush Marine


   Toad Man is pretty easy as bosses go in Mega Man 4. He’ll jump from one side of the room to the other, usually in an attempt to crash into you, so be sure to slide under his leaps. Toad will also begin shaking his hips which indicates that he is about to launch his Rain Flush attack, which will damage Mega Man regardless of what you do. Since you can’t evade this move, you’ll have to prevent it by hitting Toad Man with a charged shot or Drill Bomb. Toad will stop gyrating if hit one of the aforementioned weapons and either attempt Rain Flush again or jump. Either way, be sure to charge up your Mega Buster right after you fire and try to stay close to him as you’ll often only have a brief window between his attacks. If time your attacks carefully, you should be able to cancel every one of his Rain Flush attempts. The Drill Bomb is by far the most effective way to deal with Toad Man, since you will essentially shut him down and trap him in a jumping or Rain Flush attempt loop. Winning will net you Rush Marine, which is helpful in Dive Man’s stage, and Rain Flush which is good for clearing the screen of foes.

Dive Man


Weakness: Mega Buster (Charged), Skull Barrier (Not Recommended)

Reward: Dive Missile


   Dive Man can be very tough our easy depending on how you approach him. The Skull Barrier is often recommended as the best weapon to fight Dive Man with, but I have found that the Mega Buster is the best choice, because it destroys Dive’s torpedoes (in fact a fully charged up shot can cut through his torpedoes and got him) and does not require you to put yourself in jeopardy by getting close to the boss. At any rate Dive will either launch himself towards you or fire off a few torpedoes that track you.

   When Dive charges you, he’ll move to the spot where you are standing, then stop. He’ll usually charge three times consecutively (but not always) and the best way to avoid him is to jump to a moderate height and slide away from him after landing to avoid his next charge, then repeat the process. Make sure you are ready to fire a charged shot, since he may pause to fire a torpedo or two at random. This fight takes place under water, so controlling your jumps and not going too high is very important, since you will land as he is charging, probably getting hit in the process if you jump more than about half the height of the room.

   Dive will move his arms to the side before firing a torpedo, so try to stay as far away from him as possible and be on the ground when he is about to shoot. Either fire a charge or regular shot to destroy any incoming torpedoes, don’t try to evade them, because they will follow you and make life tougher. About six or seven charged shots should win the day and the Dive Missile, a very useful weapon that tracks enemies. If you really want to use the Skull Barrier, time your jumps so you land right next to him after he finishes charging and activate the Barrier while you are in the air. You’ll also have to be ready to use the Skull Barrier quickly to destroy his torpedoes as well.

Skull Man


Weakness: Dust Crusher

Reward: Skull Barrier


   Skull Man is one tough cookie and picking up the two E-Tanks in this stage will help. Skull generally does not move until you do something (at least at first), but if you fire at him, jump, or make a move, he will do one of three things.

Jump: Skull will leap towards Mega Man like many other bosses. He seems to leap very quickly, but it is possible to move out of the way or slide under him.

Arm cannon: This attack consists of a series of shots (about four) that are aimed at your position. The shot will arc up if you are jumping or come in straight if you on on the ground. These projectiles move quickly so it’s best to move away from Skull Man and make short hops to avoid them.

Charge: Sometimes this boss will simply run across the room at high speed and try to slam into you. A carefully timed jump will clear him and give a an chance to counter with Dust Crusher.

Finally, Skull Man will sometimes use his shield (Skull Barrier) which is the least dangerous of his attacks, since he gestures before using it and you can take the opportunity to jump over him. Just wait for the shield to dissipate then unload on him, since he will remain stationary while the shield is active. Because he moves quickly and can be hard to predict, it’s best to be aggressive with the Dust Crusher and out damage Skull Man, just be sure to aim your shots well so they hit him and let his invincibility wear off before shooting again since Dust Crusher has a low rate of fire. Good positioning and timing will allow you to jump over Skull, which is your best bet if you want to fight strategically and avoid getting hit.

Drill Man


Weakness: Dive Missile

Reward: Drill Bomb, Rush Jet


   Drill Man is a dangerous boss capable of causing quite a bit of devastation, but the Dive Missile will prove mightier. As movesets go, Drill Man’s is one of the most predictable in the game, which can easily be used to your advantage. Drill will burrow into the ground just after you enter the chamber. Don’t fire any missiles at him at this point, they’ll just miss or bounce off of his armor. It’s very easy to tell when this boss is about to burrow, because performs a short vertical hop and flips upside down. Drill Man will remain submerged for about five seconds, then resurface where you are standing, so be sure to count the seconds and walk or slide out of the way. Once he pops out of the ground, pivot and fire a missile.

   After his initial attack, Drill will either dig underground again or start walking/jumping towards you. Drill Man isn’t a fast jumper and you should be able to slide under him. After jumping or walking a few paces, he’ll start firing off drill bombs. Perform a short vertical hop to avoid each bomb. You’ll have to hop fast and be ready to jump over Drill himself if you want to avoid being hit. After shooting four or five bombs (the number seems to vary a bit) Drill will probably burrow under ground again. Take the opportunity to be aggressive and fire at Drill while he is on the surface even though his drill bombs are dangerous. Make sure you are facing him when you use the dive missiles to reduce its flight time and ensure a hit. Staying near this boss (about one body length) also helps guarantee that the missiles will lock into him and not his projectiles. About six missiles should win the day and deep six Drill Man.

Bright Man


Weaknesses: Rain Flush (best), Mega Buster, Skull Barrier (good for defense)

Reward: Bright Stopper


   Bright Man is a simple boss (for the most part) and most of his attacks are easily avoided, but his Bright Stopper can be highly dangerous, since I was unable to find a way to effectively counter or cancel it. The battle will almost certainly start with Bright jumping across three room, so run or slide under him and fire off a Rain Flush. After bounding across the room, the boss will either jump again, use Time Stopper or fire his arm cannon. It’s best to stay as far away from Bright Man as possible in case he uses his cannon, since it’s easier to evade. The three shots fired from the boss’s cannon always follow the same pattern: high, chest level, and low. It’s best to just stay still and jump over the chest level shot, while countering with Rain Flush.

   Bright Man’s Bright Stopper is by his most dangerous move, since you cannot move or attack while it’s active and the boss will either shoot or ram into you. Using the Skull Barrier can block the boss’s shots or damage him, which can be helpful. Try to be at the apex of a jump if he is about to use his weapon, since that will at least reduce the risk of his shots hitting you. Ultimately it’s best to present a strong offensive against Bright Man using Rain Flush, since he will have fewer opportunities to use his special attack if you kill him quickly. The Rain Flush fires slowly, so make sure you have an opening before using it; between Bright Man’s jumps, after he fires his chest level shot, and before he uses his Time Stopper are all great windows for your attack. The charged Mega Buster and the Skull Barrier also work reasonably well against Bright Man.

Pharaoh Man


Weakness: Bright Stopper

Reward: Pharaoh Shot


   You will absolutely want to use the Time Stopper against this boss the moment the battle begins. The Time Stopper will freeze Pharaoh in his tracks, allowing you to blast away at him. Even better, tapping the B button rapidly will ensure that the Bright Stopper will be reactivated the second it wears off. If done properly (which isn’t hard) you should win this battle with almost zero effort and Pharaoh Man will remain frozen throughout the duration of the fight.

   For those of you who wish to fight this boss more fairly, the Mega Buster works well on him. Pharaoh Man’s moveset is fairly simple: he’ll move from one side of the room to the next, jumping over the uneven floor in the process. Pharaoh often fires a cluster of three orbs when he jumps and it’s best to move backwards or slide under him if possible. The boss will next release a wave of energy that is about the height of Mega Man. In order to fire the wave, the boss must raise his arms above his head, if you are quick you can shoot him and move up to a higher part of the room to make jumping over his wave easier.

Ring Man


Weakness: Pharaoh Shot

Reward: Ring Boomerang


   Ring Man can easily be trapped in a continuous loop if you know what to do. Start charging the Pharaoh Shot up before you enter Ring’s lair and fire it the second the battle begins. Ring Man will immediately throw a ring that will fly towards you and then snap back to him. Jump over the ring and towards the boss slightly, then be ready to slide so the returning ring passes over your head. By this point Ring Man should have jumped and thrown a high ring (which won’t hit you, because you are sliding). Be ready to leap over Ring Man since he will charge towards you. Run to the wall (which should be the right hand wall if you did everything properly), then pivot and fire off another Pharaoh Shot. Ring Man will do the exact same move on this side of the room, so jump over the first ring, slide, and jump over the boss as he charges towards you. Run to the left hand side of the room and repeat the process. Congratulations, you have the boss locked into a very predictable and easy to manage pattern! The Pharaoh Shot can be fired in many directions (like the Metal Blade from Mega Man 2) and you’ll have plenty of chances to hit this boss. Charging up the shot will deal massive damage to Ring and you can even hit him with the glowing orb that appears over your head when the weapon is charged.

Boss Strategies: Dr. Cassock Stages

  While the bosses in these stages are very different from the eight Robot Masters, they still have weaknesses to certain weapons. Mega Man’s special weapons do not get recharged between stages, so it helps to know what each boss is weak against in order to conserve the appropriate weapon’s energy for the coming battle.



Weakness: Ring Boomerang (recommended), Dust Crusher


  Mothraya will probably not pose much of a threat, since his attacks are easy to dodge. This boss will simply float from one side of the screen to the next, occasionally firing a shot aimed at Mega Man that can be jumped over, slid under, or just walked away from. From time to time, Mothraya will use the sharp spike on it’s break to destroy a layer of the floor. It takes two hits for a section of floor to be destroyed, which opens a deadly chasm. There’s also a chance the boss will slam down on top of you, which can be evaded by sliding. Get up close to Mothraya and hit the orb on its head with the Ring Boomerang. It’s best to attack just after it fires a shot (you should be able to get about two hits in before you have to dodge the next projectile) and when it’s lowering its spike to damage the floor. The Dust Crusher also works, but this boss tends to wobble up and down when it’s hovering, which makes it hard to hit the orb on its head.

Square Machine


Weakness: Dust Crusher, Drill Bombs


   Be ready to slide, because this boss breaks into horizontal sections that fly across the screen from right to left or vice versa. Best thing to do is slide under the bottom section. The boss will pass by twice, then reassemble itself the third time it appears, which is your cue to jump onto the bottom section then slide as the middle section aligns itself with the bottom. There are two small platforms on the left and right side of the Square Machine that hover up and down. A red orb will appear in between the platforms near the top of the machine and start firing at Mega Man. Stand under one of the platforms and jump up just before the shot hits you, then jump up and fire the Dust Crusher at the orb. If the platform is low when the Square Machine fires its next shot, jump up to avoid it and get another shot of your own off. If the platform is high up while the boss fires at you, you’ll probably have to drop down to avoid being hit. Normally you should be able to get two hits in on this boss while it’s together.

   After firing about four shots, the orb will fade away and the boss will disassemble itself, then move off the screen, so be ready to slide under the midsection wall again. Watch the speed at which the pieces move closely, since the Square Machine will sometimes reassemble itself after only one fly by and the speed at which it moves indicates what it will do next. Fast means it will probably do another pass, while slow indicates that it will likely stop. Ultimately, this boss is fairly easy, just be sure that you jump inside of it before it assembles itself or you won’t be able to hit it.

Cockroach Twins


Weakness: Mega Buster, Drill Bombs, Ring Boomerang


   Fortunately this boss is not as disgusting as the name implies, but this fight can end quickly thanks to the spike lined floor. Once you enter, the floor will fall away and Mega Man will find himself standing on one of two platforms. As usual, the spikes mean instant death if you touch them, so take care. There are two machines to fight in this stage, but you’ll only have to fight one at a time. The first twin clings to the ceiling and will move back and forth occasionally firing slow moving projectiles that are easy to jump over or step away from. Just charge the Mega Buster and fire away at it when you have an opening. A few hits will exterminate the first Cockroach, but the fight isn’t over yet.

   The second twin will enter the room after you destroy the first. This one is a bit tougher, so be on your toes. The bot will usually move along the walls and ceiling in a clockwise manner, pausing momentarily to fire at you. Cockroach number two will either fire a slower moving spread shot or a fast energy ball that is aimed at Mega Man. You can usually just jump over these attacks or hop into the opposite platform to avoid them. Charge up the Mega Buster and shoot this boss when it’s moving along the walls or ceiling. Four or five hits should end this battle. You can also use the Drill Bomb or Ring Boomerang on this boss, but the Mega Buster seems to work just as well and doesn’t use weapon energy.

Cossack Catcher


Weakness: Dust Crusher, Ring Boomerang (Recommended)


   Dr. Cassock will move horizontally around the top half of the screen and occasionally fire a shot at Mega Man. Be careful not to stand directly under him, because he will try to grab you with the pincers on the bottom of his machine. Just run from one side of the room to the other to force the Doctor to chase you and expose himself to attacks. Slide under Cassock if he lowers his machine to grab you. The right side of this boss’s room is elevated, which makes it a great place from which to fire the Dust Crusher or Ring Boomerang at Cassock. Patience and a few square hits with either weapon will end this fight quickly.

Metall Daddy


Weakness: Ring Boomerang


   This guy is basically a giant jumping metool. Metall will spend a few seconds hiding under his helmet and is invincible, like any other metool, while doing so. After a second or so the boss will stand up and expose itself to attack; stand about two body lengths away from it, hit it with the Ring Boomerang once or twice and slide under it the moment it jumps. It’s very important to find the correct distance to stand in order to avoid damage. Once Metall Daddy lands, the ground will tremor and smaller metools will rain from the sky. Mega Man will be immobilized if he is touching the ground when the boss lands, so be sure to jump after sliding under the boss. The Ring Boomerang is useful for clearing the metools that fall to the ground, so don’t be shy about using it. Metall Daddy will repeat the exact same pattern throughout the fight, so hammer away with the Ring Boomerang, be ready to evade and the battle will end fairly quickly.

Tako Trash


Weakness: Ring Boomerang


   This boss sits on an elevated portion of the floor for the duration of the battle. You’ll see two moving platforms on the left hand side of the screen….ignore them. Instead jump onto Tako’s ledge; there’s a tiny part of the platform that Mega Man can stand on without taking contact damage from the boss. The boss’s fire balls will pass harmlessly over your head and you can easily jump up and hit the orb on Tako Trash’s head with the Ring Boomerang after he fires about three or four fireballs. Tako will also lob bombs out of the port on top of his head like a mortar. The bombs can hit you while you are on the ledge, so hop down and run around to avoid them. Tako only uses the two attacks described here, so this fight should not pose much of a challenge.

Wiley Machine No. 4 (First Form)


Weakness: Mega Buster


  This is a laughably easy fight. Wiley will fire blue fireballs at Mega Man while staying at the far right side of the screen and hovering up and down. Run up to the machine the moment the battle begins and stand as close to it as you can without touching it. If you did things right you’ll be standing in the boss’s blind spot and he won’t be able to hit you with his shots or by touching you unless you jump while he is firing his cannon. Charge the Mega Buster up, wait for Wiley to fire about three shots (there is a pause between each volley) and hit him. A few good blasts should destroy the front end of the machine. You can also use special weapons like the Dust Crusher, but it’s really not necessary since this fight is so easy.

Wiley Machine No. 4 (Second Form)


Weakness: Drill Bombs (Recommended), Charged Mega Buster


   Wiley gets serious once you damage his Skull Ship and begins fire off plasma shots at high speed. He’ll also aim them at you, so be ready to jump or slide away from them. There’s good and bad news concerning this fight…The bad news is it’s not easy to hit the orb on the front of the ship that acts as its weak point. The good news is you can run or slide under Wiley’s ship to avoid being hit and catch a breather for as long as you like. Use Drill Bombs on Wiley if you have any, if not use the charged Mega Buster. If you use Drill Bombs, jump up, fire, and push the B button again to make the bomb explode just before it hits Wiley, which is the easiest and most effective way to damage him. The Mega Buster is a lot harder to use, since you’ll need to have it charged and fire it precisely at the apex of your jump, otherwise it’ll miss, plus it does less damage. To avoid being hit, make sure you jump just after Wiley fires a low shot and slide the moment you touch down to pass under the next shot (in some cases you may have to do a quick hop depending upon the angle of the projectile). It’s generally a good idea to slide back under Wiley after attacking, since his plasma shots come fast and you’ll have to do a lot of jumping and sliding to stay alive. About six or seven good hits will total the Skull Ship and Wiley will escape in his capsule in order to prepare for one final battle.

Final Boss: Wiley Capsule


Weakness: Pharaoh Shot (Recommended), Ring Boomerang


   This battle is significantly easier than the fight with Wiley Machine No. 4. You’ll probably be low on weapon energy at this point and it’s wise to run around the short level that leads to this fight killing enemies until you get enough weapon energy to fill up the Pharaoh Shot, since it’s the only weapon that’s really useful against the Wiley Capsule. The boss room is pitch black and you’ll be unable to see Wiley, except for a split second after he fires a plasma shot at you. Several balls of light come together and launch themselves at Mega Man every few seconds during this fight. Luckily this attack is easy to predict and you should be able to avoid damage by jumping, sliding, or even sidestepping away just as the shot is fired. Wiley can be hard to hit since you can’t see him, so charge up the Pharaoh Shot and walk around the room. If Willy appears above you just perform a short hop and hit him with the energy ball that appears above Mega Man’s head while the Pharaoh Shot is charging. The energy ball will vanish once it touches Wiley, but you’ll still be able to fire a fully charged shot at the boss when he appears again. Take your time, charge up the Pharaoh Shot and evade Wiley’s attacks patiently until victory is yours. About five solid hits will destroy the capsule and end the game.

Teleporter Room Diagram

1. Drill Man 2. Bright Man 3. Skull Man 4. Dive Man 5. Toad man 6. Dust Man 7. Ring Man 8. Pharaoh man


   As usual you’ll have to face off against the eight robot masters just before fighting Wiley. After beating a boss you can step back into the teleport pad to return to the main hub. Mega Man will only get a large energy refill after killing a boss, so use strategy. You’ll want to fight these guys as efficiently as possible in order to conserve your resources for the final battle and knowing where each teleporter leads is a big help, since you can make sure your life is full as possible before fighting a boss you have trouble with. Generally I recommend going through the room counter clockwise, starting with Drill Man and ending with Pharaoh Man. Drill Man, Bright Man, Skull Man and Ring Man tend to be more difficult to deal with and I advise fighting them first since the easy bosses can be saved for when you are low on life.

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