Back in the late '80s, I was stuck at home with two kids under 5 and my NES. We couldn't afford a lot of games, so I made do with Mario and Duck Hunt, and a borrowed copy of Contra. Having grown up on arcade games, I didn't need a lot of games; it was plenty exciting to not have to pump quarters into a machine for a chance to play. My life changed the day I got my hands on Mega Man.
Developed by Capcom and released in 1987, this awesome side-scrolling platformer changed my world. I goofed around in the worlds, fighting Bomb Man and Cut Man without much thought. Then I got stuck... it took a while to figure out there was a pattern to which Robot Master you should go after first, since that meant you'd absorb their powers, making it easy to defeat some bosses.
Between loads of laundry and diaper changes and story time, I'd get in some game play. It took months, but eventually I defeated all of the "Mans." I thought "awesome, go me!" But being a general n00b to gaming, I had no idea that defeating them was not the end of the game.
what. the. hell.
"Wiley's Fortress?" Great, there's all this other stuff I still have to do! It took me forever to make my way through the fortress to the final boss battle. When you play games with kids around, you have to learn how to deal with distractions, and be really quick on the pause (you never know when your toddler is going to decide to wake her baby brother up by dropping a bucket of Duplo's on his head). The downside is that it can take you a lot longer to work your way through a game than most people. On the upside, it was the "pause" maneuver that helped me master the trick to beating Dr. Wiley.
Using Elec Man's power, if you jump and fire, you can pause and release about four times per fire. This will result in four times the damage on Wiley. Boom, game over, mom wins.
As the kids grew a little older, they learned to have fun watching me play. And when I got a SNES, they inherited the NES and became gamers themselves. Both of them love the Mega Man franchise, and a few years ago my son made me an awesome poster of Mega Man surrounded by all his foes. As much as I cherish that gift, this one tops it: My grand daughter wants to be Mega Man this year for Halloween. She hardly ever takes this hat off ever since her mother found it at Comic Con. She's a third-generation Mega Man fan.:D