Mega Man 2 is a platform and action game. The player controls Mega Man as he traverses eight stages to defeat the bosses, Dr. Wily’s Robot Masters: Metal Man, Air Man, Bubble Man, Quick Man, Crash Man, Flash Man, Heat Man, and Wood Man. Each Robot Master features a unique weapon and a stage related to their weapon’s power. For example, Air Man shoots small tornadoes and is fought in a sky-themed level, while Wood Man can use a shield of leaves and is found in a forest-themed stage.
After defeating a boss, their signature weapon becomes available to the player. The Robot Masters have weaknesses to the weapons of certain other Robot Masters; therefore, choosing the order in which the levels are played is a vital component of the gameplay. After completing certain stages, Mega Man receives a special item.These items create platforms that allow Mega Man to access areas that he otherwise could not.
After defeating the eight Robot Masters, the player proceeds to Dr. Wily’s fortress, which consists of six levels that are played linearly.As in the first game, the player is required to fight each Robot Master a second time in Dr. Wily’s fortress. However, these battles take place in a single room rather than a series of linearly connected rooms. The room contains teleportation devices that lead to each Robot Master. The devices can be entered in any order, but are not labeled. Once the bosses are defeated again, the player must fight Dr. Wily.
Mega Man 2 features a few gameplay changes from the original Mega Man.A new item, the Energy Tank, allows a player to refill Mega Man’s health at any time.Also introduced is a password system. After defeating each Robot Master a password is displayed, allowing the player to return to that particular point in the game after restarting the system.The password stores the particular list of completed Robot Masters, as well as the number of accumulated Energy Tanks. Unlike the first game, Mega Man 2 does not feature a score counter, and the player is unable to return to Robot Master levels once completed.