Sunday, May 01, 2005

I Seem to be Having Tremendous Difficulty with My Usenet Access

For those of you who don't know, I hang out in newsgroups and Since I refuse to pay for usenet access, I need to find free newsservers. After decided to become a pay service, I switched to, the self-proclaimed "Best Free Usenet Newsgroups Server in the World" (they're the best because they're free!). Aside from being terribly slow (I think the server is in Asia), I haven't had many problems until last night. I keep getting an error about some sort of temporary license expiring, and none of my newsgroups appear to be on the server anymore. I don't really care to try to find a new free newsgroup server, so if this problem doesn't go away on its own I might have to resort to using Google Groups for my usenet needs.

On a happier note, guess whose birthday coincides with the premeire of every new Star Wars movie in recent memory? No. No, guess again. No, you're not even trying. Oh, for the luva... It's me, all right? My birthday is May 19, the same day Revenge of the Sith comes out. Coincidently, it's also the same day my Final Project in Flash class is due for user-testing. This'll be my best 24th birthday ever, assuming I don't decide to start lying about my age for some reason.

Okay, remember when I said I enterred a Nintendo Power contest years ago to create a Robot Master for MegaMan 6? Well, I decided to look through my Nintendo Power archive to see who did win. It didn't take long, since I already had the issue out to use the strategies in MegaMan Anniversary Collection. In volume 55 (December 1993) a sidebar at the end of their article for MegaMan 6 mentions what anyone who already beat the game already knew: which two bosses were not created by the Japanese. Specifically, they were Knightman (by Daniel Valle of St. Julie, Quebec) and Windman (by Micheal Leader of Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania). However, at the time I was really looking for the issue where they showed off their favorite entries. By bizzare coincidence, that showcase began on the same page as the MegaMan 6 article, except eleven issues earlier. There, just before the MegaMan 5 article was the art of everyone who could draw better than me as of Volume 44 (January 1993).

I discovered a few things whilst perusing those periodicals. One, it apparently took less than a year to create a new Megaman for the NES and localize it for American audiences. Two, Knightman was not among NP's favorite entries. Three, Windman was, but he looked completely different. However, that was only because THIS Windman was submitted by Micheal Niedda of Dale City, VA. And now, for no good raison, I will list each and every one of them, along with the name and city of their creators, and whatever captions NP put next to them (and my own comments). I bet they've all moved or something by now anyway, so I doubt I'll be putting them in much danger of stalking. See if any of them remind you of actual MegaMan bosses.

Page 1 (well, technically page 76)

Bee Man - Yusef Cardiel of San Francisco, CA. "You can bet your last stinger I ain't makin' no honey! Look out for my Yellow and Black attack, Mega Man!" (I cannot imagine what a "Yellow and Black attack" is.)
Dart Man - David Nelson of Dredsen, NY. (Has a dart board on his chest)
Blade Man - Jason Hundley of Collinsville, VA. (Has a sword for an arm instead of an arm cannon)
Freeze Man - Greg Hill of Cherry Hill, NJ. "I know Greg was only trying to create a robot that could freeze Mega Man in his tracks, but... hey! Greg! I froze myself! Help me out, huh?" (He does look like he's a little frozen)
Optic Man - Tom Melgaard of Phoenix, AZ. (The dude's a giant eyeball with a tail.)
Balloon Man - Sara Wischnewski of Wilkes-Barre, PA (has balloons on his back and coming out of his head. Doesn't look to bad, but is probably the worst-drawn of the lot. And he still looks better than what I drew.)
Scorpion Man - Tom Benedict Jr. & Tom McNamara III of Broomall, PA. (He's a scorpion, but he has two tails)

Page 2:

Smoke Man - Ulyesses Johnson II of Pensacolo, FL. "I have a way of quickly 'exhausting' my opponents. Mega Man will no doubt succumb to my Smoke Bomb Attacks." (Kinda resembles a green, brown, and black Fire Man with smoke coming out of his head)
Sun Man - Mark Lopez of Pinedale, CA. (Has a sun for a head, and judging from the spirit bomb above him he has pretty much the same attack as Pharoah Man)
Volt Man - Marcel LaMontagne of Ste. Helen, Quebec. (Plugs for hand and head, and a socket on his chest)
Yo-Yo Man - Andy Adams of Sandusky, OH. (I was wondering where MegaMan.exe got those Yo-Yo battlechips...)
Copter Man - Phil Rivera of Haledon, NJ. "I have the ability to attack from almost any angle. Watch out, Mega Man. You'll never know what hit you after I attack!" (Picture a hunchbacked Gyroman, but with out the struts on his feet.)
Plasma Man - Gerson Sanchez of Brooklyn, NY. (I'm reminded of Transformers whenever I see this guy)
Clone Man - Ty Stalnaker of Longwood, FL. "Dr. Wily made me just like that fool, Mega Man. However, my Mega Buster is twice as powerful. Hey, wait a minute. I just called myself a fool. Hmmm. This may be more difficult than I expected." (This one's a crudely-drawn, pink MegaMan with gray skin. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there already a MegaMan clone in the first game?)
Spring Man - Micheal Rocco of Kenmore, NY. "I'm gonna bounce all over my room until I land on your puny little head, Mega Man! Super-long jumps will propell me to an easy victory!" (Trust me, this guy isn't walking anywhere)
Diamond Man - Jose Daniel De Hoyos of Deltona, FL. (not a bad drawing... OF GEMINIMAN)
Also on this page are three Rush Adaptors: Rush Cannon by Greg Wilson of Corpus Christi, TX; Rush Cycle by Nik Fournier of Manchester, NH; and Rush Pellet Gun by Scott Koehler of Oceanside, NY. Personally, I prefer the Rush Cycle, despite being badly drawn and miscolored.

Page 3:

Atom Man - Logan Addington of Burton, MI. "I may be vulnerable to your attacks, Mega Man, but you'll pay the price if you get in the way of my Radioactive Cloud Attack. Your little blue suit will be glowing green when I finish with you!" (Fire Man, only taller, thinner, and spewing toxic waste)
Steam Man - Thurston Long of Kansas City, MO. "Is it a little hot in here, or is it just me? Well, it must be me! That's too bad for you, Mega Fool. My scorching-hot Steam Bombs will scald your blue hide when you try to jump over me." (Sort of a combination of Fire Man and Air Man)
Glue Man - James Yan of Carmel, IN. Glue Man presents an awefully sticky situation for Mega Man. "First, I'll paste Mega Man with my a blast from my Glue Cannon. Then, I'll charge and bash him with my spiked head!" (Yeah, no Robot Master in the history of MegaMan ever needed special equipment to just walk right into you. It's more annoying than being frozen by them. If anything, this guy has a two-hit combination for instant Mega Death. Also, the best drawn Robot Master in the showcase.)
Dial Man - Mike Ster & Andrew Namias of Wantagh, NY. (The guy's a phone with a rotary dial)
Magic Man - Jason Clayton of St. Marys, OH. (Certainly doesn't look like the Magic Man from NT Warrior, but I'll have to check and see if he resembles the one from the classic series. I kinda doubt it, though. He's a little squat)
Storm Man - Herman Lau of Edmonton, AB. (Has an arm that generates thunder clouds and a propellor on his head)
Clock Man - Evan Cosman of Melbourne, FL. "The clock struck four and I blew Mega Man out the door! Flash Man didn't really know how to use the Time Stopper, but I do. It's my specialty!" (Clock face. 'Nuff said. The beginning of that caption sounds familiar, though...)
Frost Man - Scott Machicote of West Islip, NY. (Has an ice block for shorts)
Whip Man - Joe John Guerro of Baytown, TX. (Whip it! Uhn! Whip it good! He's got on in his hand and on his head.)
Weaseletta & Terror Teddy - Grasyon Schuler of Madison, NC. "I'm not daddy's little girl. I'm daddy's MEAN little girl!" Dr. Wily's daughter is a terror! This is especially true when she climbs aboard her robotic toy of destruction, Terror Teddy! "My daddy will always come back for more... and so will I!" (Next to the picture of this punkish, pig-tailed tyke is her inside the patchy Terror Teddy. Nice idea for a one-time Wily Stage boss, but returning for every game? She also seems a little young to be old man Wily's daughter, unless he likes women considerably younger than him. Besides, I never really thought of Wily as having time for dating, much less children. Then again, making her a boss might be the only way he can spend time with her...)
A side bar on this page is reserved for two feminine entries, the imaginatively-named Mega Woman (by Maxime Mercier of La Tuque, Quebec) and Mega Girl (by Matt Cargile of Lewiston, ME). Mega Woman is rather busty and has definite rainbow theme going, while Mega Girl is pink, sassy-looking, and has Dr. Wily's logo on her chest. I think her coloration is the reverse of the Mega Girl that appeared in an episode of Captain N: The GameMaster.

Before I go on to the last page of the showcase, I feel compelled to mention the dream I had once. I was reading an issue of Nintendo Power in a wicker chair on this porch when I came across a similar article. The only difference was that all the Robot Masters were female, and one of them said something about taking over. I have to wonder why none of the Robot Masters were ever female. Even in Battle Network and NT Warrior, the only important female Navi I've seen is Roll. All the other female Net Ops own male Navis. That's just so odd. I wonder what can be done about that...

Anyway, on to Page 4:

Slice Man - Ryan Magyar of West Mifflin, PA. (He's no Slashman, I'll tell you that. He's like Wolverine in a hood)
Power Man - Jason Mioduszewski of Libson, CT. (Remember Volt Man? He was drawn better)
Blade Man - Lagerriat Tounes of Chicago, IL. (Aside from having a sword for an arm, no resemblance to the previous Blade Man. The swords replace both of this guy's hands and there's one glued to his head)
Spook Man - Kenny Simpson of Agoura Hills, IL. "I do a lot more than say 'BOO!' My supernatural Spook Shield will protect me against blasts from your wimpy Arm Cannon, Mega Man. I'll strike fear in your metallic soul!" (Possibly drawn worse than Baloon Man. The sheet hanging over this guy doesn't quite cover his Jetsons-style hover unit, and he is shown performng his Spook Shield technique. About here I start to wonder if coloring in my submission would've made much of a difference)
Blader Man - Noel Schornhorst of Forth Smith, AZ. (Green, shiney, and accompanied by one of those flying heads from the first game.)
Black Man - Kevin Vogt of Victoria, BC. (In no way African, but he does have some black on his costume.)
Wind Man - Micheal Niedda of Dale City, VA. "Mega Man has no idea what he's gotten himself into now! I'll downgrade him against the far wall with one of my blustering Hurricane Shots. There's no eye of the storm' with me!" (As I said before, not the same Wind Man as in the game. Different look, different creator. Blue, black, and looks kinda like Nezzerschmidt from Gad Guard)
Uranium Man - Randy Fiske of Twin Lakes, WI. (Dark blue, radiation symbols, and his arm cannon spouts dark blue flames)
Cosmic Man - Luke Yezik of Slatington, PA. "With my ability to transform into a comet and blaze all around the room, Mega Man won't have a hope in the entire Cosmos!" (Looks like a nuclear Crash Man)
Insect Man - Brain Davis of Wills Point, TX. (Kinda like Gyroman, except for the bug parts)
Clown Man - Eugene Han of Ridgewood, NJ. "HA HA HA! Mega Man is no match for my comical Cartwheel Attack and Sonic Laugh. First he'll laugh . . . Then he'll cry!" (A good drawing, except it was obviously drawn on graph paper)
Nuke Man - Jamie Fitzhugh of Cambridge, MD. "4... 3... 2... 1... Goodbye, Mega Man!!! If you can't find a way to deactivate me, it'll be Judgement Day for all of us!"

The last side bar here mentions that a similar contest was held in Japan for Mega Man 5. (I remember hearing that they did that for most of the MegaMan games). What I like is the part that says, "If we're lucky enough to see a Mega Man VI from Capcom, we might just see some of these designs included." It's especially funny considering they reviewed MegaMan 6 by the end of the year, and even more so when Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb whine and moan about how Capcom just won't let the series die. Let's see, that's eight MegaMan games, eight MegaMan X games, five MegaMan Battle Network games, and four MegaMan Zero games. That's twenty-five games, plus MegaMan & Bass, the Power Fighters, the Power Battles, four or five MegaMan games on the Game Boy, MegaMan Soccer, and a few more games that I'm sure I forgot. Lucky, indeed. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

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