Breaking radio silence after one day, but it's "low content mode," not "no content mode." I was searching through Maximilian's posts for playthroughs of old games like his Zelda LP and hit upon this Mega Man 2 which he starts with Flash Man, the mad lad. (Can't say it didn't work out well for him, though.) When called out by the chat, he asks if this is not the obvious pick and questions if the honor doesn't belong to Bubble Man instead. (Oddly, this isn't, I don't think, the first time I've heard about Bubble Man as first pick, but though I recall the source was from way back - like, from the era of How to Win at Nintendo Games, which I checked, but no dice.)

As a convert to the church of Metal Man, I hit up the manual and found out that the conventional wisdom that Air Man comes first evidently originates with a suggestion from the U.S. manual, which provides a walkthrough of his stage and boss fight. (It's even worded to help the presumably-younger player follow the printed instructions during gameplay: "Push the START button to pause at the end of each section. (Remember: You must push START again to return to the game.)")

I was going to ask at this point, "well, if this originates with the U.S. manual ('cause it's not in the Japanese one), then how does this explain 'Airman ga Taosenai'?", but a rewatch explains it: the hapless player in the song can't get past the disappearing blocks in Heat Man's stage and is trying to get Item 2 to bypass them, but he needs to beat Air Man to get Item 2 and finds out...well. Then he tries to beat Wood Man for the Leaf Shield but can't do that either. Maybe he should have started with Flash Man instead.

Please enjoy this rendition from the U.S. manual of a 1-up:

Someone really liked tracing the Japanese art with a chunky marker:

(Oddly, the art for the Robot Masters is presented in the manual inviolate and untraced.)

Fake ETA: Upon a reread, I discovered that the manual gives somewhat contradictory advice about which robot to face first:

I suppose that's not surprising, though, since it can't decide whether the "Man" in the robot names is separate or not, either. In fairness, neither can I.

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