It was a toss-up between this one and Metal Man for me. Going through a forest with all kinds of robotic beats and giant trees, or a gear-filled obstacle course with conveyor belts everywhere? I picked the one that felt more like it had a sense of place. Both stages also have rocking music, but I went with Wood Man because his is less metal and more in rhythmic keeping with Wiley Stage 1.
But more than that, I ended up picking Wood Man because Metal Man’s just too cool for school in his sunglasses, while Wood Man gives us a ton of personality. I mean, he beats his chest like King Kong when he drops into his boss room.
His attack technique is interesting too. He’s the first boss who had a shield, and the way he’d launch that at Mega Man right as razor leaves are nearing the ground means you have to leap over the shield and not get hit by the ceiling leaves. It took some coordinating here.
I’m still not sure how Wood Man was a robot with all that wood armor, or if that armor should be able to protect him as well as it did, but it made him memorable for sure.
Hard Man’s level is made out of the best looking brown rock you could find on a video game system at the time. It’s also the first Mega Man III stage where I made it to a boss, and where I first used the slide move. Lots of firsts with this one, and Hard Man’s character design was worth it. The gigantic blue tank of a robot made Guts Man look puny, and gave all the reason you needed to believe he could move the earth.
Hard Man shoots rocket fists at you at a pummeling rate. But his trademark move is when he leaps, turns upside down, and crashes into the ground so hard it creates an earthquake. You’d better be in the air or you’ll be so shook you won’t be able to move for a few seconds. And then he might just do it again and land on you.