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Mega Man 3

(Boss Fight Books #14)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Capcom's Keiji Inafune followed the unexpected success of Mega Man 2 with a "kitchen sink" sequel that included eight new robot masters, a canine companion, a mysterious new frenemy, and a melancholy tone that runs through the game from its soft opening notes. Mega Man 3 was the biggest, messiest, and most ambitious Mega Man game yet.

But why do we hunger for twitchy, diff
Paperback, 168 pages
Published 2016 by Boss Fight Books
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Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book for anyone who is interested in the history of Mega Man, Nintendo in general, video game design, the Japanese gaming industry, nostalgia, and excellent writing. I learned quite a few new things, and the author really nails the draw of retro games and collecting for people of my generation — 30-somethings looking to recapture and revisit some of the joys and discoveries of childhood.
Caleb Ross
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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Mega Man 3 Boss Fight Books book review

I’m reviewing all of the Boss Fight Books releases, so subscribe to my YouTube channel to be sure you don’t miss future reviews.

I’m thinking what you’re thinking: Why Mega Man 3 as the topic of a book? Thankfully, Salvatore Pane anticipates this question. In short, it’s because he likes that one. And simple personal connection is part of the appeal of this, and many other Boss Fight Books. It’s why I read them.

There’s a part of me that
Eric Mesa
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: video-games
As usual for this series, it's a combination of a history of the game covered and an autobiography of author. Although I never played Megaman 3 (or played very little of it) I did own Megaman 2 and so it was great that the author touched on the entire series and the spinoffs.

A nice hit of nostalgia from another gamer who grew up in the NES era.
César Rivera
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, I think it reached a good balance between the development information of the first games of the franchise, the description of the game itself and the personal experience of the writer with both the title in question and the NES collection scene in general
Tim Lapetino
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a quick read and very enjoyable. It's a smart blend of personal memoir and game study of the original NES game by Capcom, Mega Man 3. This will only be interesting to die-hard retro gamers, collectors or those interested in video game studies, but I found it to be a satisfying, light, and intriguing return to one of the great games of that console. ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'll keep it short: This book is so wizard! ...more
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: games
Salvatore Pane, you had me at hello—and when you said you preferred Mega Man 3 to 2. MM3 was my gateway drug into Capcom's venerable (now moldy from disuse) franchise. Pane's book, MEGA MAN 3, couldn't have resonated with me any deeper had I figured out a way to liquify it and absorb it intravenously.

Pane divides his book into three parts: a scenic tour of Mega Man 3's levels and game design choices; a well-research account of the development of key titles in and designers on the series; and a p
Paul J
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Boss Fight Books are great: they generally take a nostalgic stroll down memory lane mixed with introspection and anecdotes from the author. Mega Man 3 was an easy and engaging read for me despite the fact I have extremely limited experience with the series (a brief tryst with Mega Man Battle Network). The book alternates between the author's experiences tackling each stage of the game and the history (and mysteries) of the series and the people behind it. A no-brainer if you're a fan of the seri ...more
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of this book series. Personally, as is the case with most people, a book about Mega Man 2 would seem to be more in order to me than part 3. Being the most-remembered, the one often cited as the best. But I also loved 3, so I wasn't dismissive of this book. After reading it, the author makes a fairly compelling argument as to why this game deserves recognition as the most important in the series. Thoroughly researched, engagingly written, and splicing the history of the game's creat ...more
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mega Man 3 is part history lesson, part memoir, and part strategy guide, and somehow this trifold narrative doesn't feel cramped in these 140-odd pages. I will admit that, initially, I found myself asking why I was reading about this guy reading Nintendo Power, or how he discovered the joy of collecting games in college, but as I read on, I realized: that's the point. Well, maybe not the point per se, but it's what gives this book a soul.

All of us who care about gaming culture, old or new, have
Matt Wilcox
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
HUGE fan of the Mega Man franchise right here. Can't be overstated, and this is the first book I've read that ever had "Mega Man" right there in the title. So... bam! there's bias.

The first game I had ever played was Mega Man 2, the first cheat I ever remember using was the red password dots in Mega Man 2, which I had collected meticulously after beating any of the robot masters. I remember asking my dad for help in certain parts of levels. So it was extremely easy to empathize with the author a
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
There were three interwoven narratives here that had varying levels of success: the story of the creators of the Mega Man series, including a more in-depth dive into the development of the first three games, was the most interesting. The textual walkthrough of Mega Man 3 itself was essential for a book like this, but it's hard to really punch of the narrative of a walkthrough of a 1990 straightforward platformer, so breaking it up into chunks between the other narratives was a successful decisio ...more
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: video-games
It was fun. I enjoyed the story on how the whole Mega Man series came to be, and how Mega Man 2 really saved the franchise. The author loves Mega Man 3 better and posits that this was really the game that saved the series since it was two popular games in a row.

There are are fun facts about the whole Mega Man series, Nintendo corporation culture, specific designers both credited and uncredited, including delving deep into specific designers and composers in Japan who don't want to be profiled.
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Again, this title stands out in the Boss Fight Series through its incorporation of personal narrative. The author does a great job conveying his subjective experience playing the game as a kid and returning to it as an adult through emulators. He also reflects with humor and insight on his obsessive collecting of classic games and the longing that motivates this collection.

When I first learned about this book, I was a little disappointed it wasn't Mega Man 2, a game which for many years stood a
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle
I love Mega Man 3. It's my favorite of the original series. I also just read the Spelunky book by Derek Yu, so I had high hopes for this.

I usually like New Games Journalism, but Pane's personal history didn't add much here, and the continual hot takes seemed forced. There was some interesting background info about Kitamura and Inafune, but the different narratives of the book are choppily arranged. It's as if there's supposed to be some sort of metaphorical thread connecting them, but I sure di
Avedon Arcadio
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Ultimately the book strays too far in referencing too many other prexisting works in what makes it feel more like a collection of essays with just some thoughts by the author along with anecdotal prefaces.
I did like the history revolving the anonymity of developers back in the day and the mystery behind Kitamura along with Kurakawa.
David Macpherson
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
A good, though typical for boss fight books, combination of game history, personal history and game play description. In this one, the personal history worked pretty well in dovetaling into the phenomna of collecting old video games. Pretty good read.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, borrowed

It's weird that the industry leaders behind one of the most popular games in one of the most popular franchises of all time have all disappeared from the Earth.
Chance Lee
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, true-story
A nice mix of video game analysis and nostalgia porn
Mar 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Interesting how this was less a sequel to Mega Man 2 and more of a side project.
Kathryn Hemmann
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Like many of the titles in the Boss Fight series, Mega Man 3 lacks a clear focus or any sort of narrative momentum. Instead, it's a sprawling essay that mixes descriptions of the game with research on its creation and cultural contexts, not to mention a good helping of autobiography. As I'm not a superfan of Mega Man 3, I found Pane's speculative investigations into the whereabouts of certain of its creators to be a bit tedious. I was much more interested in the community of hardcore NES game co ...more
Tieg Zaharia
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thorough history of the Mega Man series and it’s creators. I sped thru the detailed parts about actual MM3 gameplay, so in retrospect it might have been worth revisiting the game before reading the book.
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Oct 06, 2016
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May 22, 2017
Brandon Stenger
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Salvatore Pane was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Last Call in the City of Bridges and Mega Man 3.

He is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of St. Thomas. His work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Hobart, PANK, Annalemma, BOMB, The Rumpus, HTMLGIANT, The American Book Review, and many other venues.

He can be reached at

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