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A New Game Compiles the 26 Best User-Made 'Mega Man' Levels

As much as I enjoyed the series when I was a wee lad, I remember Mega Man chiefly for teaching me that memorization as a form of learning often gets too short a shrift. Even now, 27 years after Mega Man 2, I find the timed rhythms remain lodged in my mind and my fingers recall precisely when to jump. That’s power.

But there was plenty of fun, too, and that was the idea behind the oh-so-descriptively titled “Make a Good Mega Man Level Contest” organized by fansites Sprites, Inc and Talkhaus. And now the best entries—all 26 of them—have been compiled and released as a single downloadable fangame. It’s called, ahem, Make a Good Mega Man Level Contest.

As the title suggests, much of the game looks like what I played in the days when Taylor Swift hadn’t even been born. There are a few modern conveniences, though, such as an expanding hub where players can test out their skills against a wall of targets or shop around for upgrades. You also won’t be getting 26 different abilities: Mega Man has only eight to choose from, based on the results of an earlier poll.

In practice, making a good Mega Man level doesn’t always mean adhering to the traditions of Capcom’s series. The winning entry certainly looks like something Capcom might have stuffed into its games in the ’80s, but a four-hour livestreamed playthrough by Nathaniel Hoover from earlier this month reveals such wonders as levels where enemies seem more interested in chatting and puzzle physics that cause Mega Man’s projectiles to swirl about in circles. Second place even went to a level that plops Mega Man into a stage that looks like it might have come from Super Mario World.

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The Make a Good Mega Man Level Contest turned out to be rather popular. Organizer SnoruntPyro tied the download link to his Dropbox account, which currently hits everyone trying to download it with a message that it’s generating too much traffic and to try again later. I’ve been trying all morning to no avail. Mere minutes before I finished writing this, though. I learned that Reddit user Torvusil Man had uploaded it to his Google Drive account, where you can download the 127 MB file.

In this age of rehashed and repurposed ’80s properties, this may be about the best you’ll get for a classic Mega Man revival.

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