Spikes (トゲ Toge, "Thorn"), also known as Spike Blocks (針ブロック Hari Burokku, "Needle Block"), are one of the main and most infamous death hazards in the Mega Man games. They usually instantly kill the player on contact. While other obstacles like pitfalls have been used with similar instant-death capabilities, spikes are the only ones that are constantly instant-death throughout all the series. This article refers to the deadly spikes that are usually static, though some are animated but do not actually change positions. They also have varying designs, such as large plant thorns, electrified spikes, drills, stalagmites, and similar sharp objects.
Not every single spike is lethal, non-lethal spikes and similar pointy objects (needles, thorns, spears, drills, ...) being also common but not as prominent as the lethal gimmick. Non-lethal spikes usually appear as part of enemies, enemy attacks, or stage elements that inflict damage on the target. Examples include the spiked Press, Hari Harry, X Crusher, Teckyun, Togehero, Needle Cannon, Knight Crusher, Chill Spike, Mega Mech Shark, and nearly the entire series of Gabyoalls.
- Mega Man: The Wily Wars: The spikes around Hyper Storm H's lair are not deadly, but strangely, Mega Water S's spikes (who appears in the same game) are.
- Mega Man & Bass: Some of the spikes in Magic Man's stage do not instantly kill, but cause a lot of damage nonetheless.
- Mega Man X: The spikes above Sting Chameleon's lair only inflict eight units of damage to X (four with armor), instead of killing him instantly. Also the spikes on the walls in the elevator section in Boomer Kuwanger's stage do not instantly kill. The ones on the bottom of the platforms that the player has to dodge can kill X, though, but only because hitting them would be the result of him being crushed between the elevator and one of the platforms.
- Mega Man X8: The enemy Rolleroid from Gravity Antonion's stage can walk on spikes, and Axl can copy his DNA to transform into one and do the same for a limited time.
- Mega Man Network Transmission: Damage inflicted by spikes takes 80 HP. If MegaMan's max health capacity is increased enough times, the spikes will not kill him in one hit, but instead will just take out a large chunk of his health.
Defense against spikes
Avoid touching spikes at all is the best defense against them, but there are also other ways:
- Taking damage from an enemy and touching the spikes during the slight invincibility period. (However, this does not work in the first Mega Man game, in which any form of contact with the spikes would kill the player instantly.)
Mega Man series
- In the first Mega Man game, the Magnet Beam will create a platform that the player can walk over spikes on.
- In Mega Man 3-11, Mega Man II-V and other games, Rush's attachments, especially the Rush Jet, can cross the player over spikes.
- In Mega Man & Bass and Mega Man 9-11, the player can buy an item that lets them touch spikes without dying, but it works only once and must be bought again after touching a spike. The player needs to be quick, because once the character stops flashing, the spikes will be fatal again.
Mega Man X series
- Certain armors and parts. Both the Gaea Armor (Mega Man X5) and Shadow Armor (Mega Man X6) will render X invincible against spikes. The Prickle Barrier in Mega Man X8 offers damage instead of death from spikes (and other instant fatality hazards, except pits), although it is only temporary and only effective for a short amount of time.
- In Mega Man X, a fully charged Chameleon Sting will render X invincible, even against spikes, for the duration of the effect.
Mega Man Zero series
- In Mega Man Zero, aside from the ones in the Pantheon Core room, spikes can be permanently neutralized with Totten, a Hacker Cyber-elf, turning them into harmless glowing blocks.
- In Mega Man Zero 2, the Cyber-elf Putick can be used to lower the lethal effects of spikes into damage, but does not remove them from the game. The same type of Elf returns for Mega Man Zero 3, as Putite, but can also be used as a Satellite Cyber-elf.
- In Mega Man Zero 4, by completing the right recipes, Zero can be equipped with Strong, Stronger, and Strongest Body Chips that reduce the instant-kill effect of spikes into successively less amounts of damage.
In the comic book series, Mega Man uses the Magnet Beam to pass through a room with spikes in Dr. Wily's fortress.
In volume 3, the new Zero and Craft try to find a way to pass through a path filled with spikes to find Neige. Zero has the idea to cross the path by using vines in the ceiling, but Craft, who is concerned with Neige, runs through the spikes and breaks them, also opening a path for Zero.
Rockman manga series
Spikes appeared in several manga. Curiously, Mega Man touched spikes in the Rockman 5 and Rockman World 3 manga, but they quickly drain his energy instead of automatically killing him.
Spikes also appeared in the Rockman X2 manga.
- Concept art from Mega Man Zero 4 shows that it would be possible to change the weather to help or get in the way, like blocking spikes by covering them with snow in Fenri Lunaedge's stage and hiding them from view with clouds in Pegasolta Eclair's stage. There are no spikes in Fenri Lunaedge's stages in-game, and Pegasolta Eclair's stage only has one area with spikes, which are only partially covered by the clouds, but has several pits instead that get difficult to view with the clouds.
- In Chapter 34 from Project X Zone 2, Zero and X panic when they see spikes in the Golden Castle: