Mega Man 2 just may be my favorite NES game of all time. I remember seeing the very first screenshot of it in Nintendo Power #5 (yes, I remember down to the issue). That screenshot featured none other than one Guts Dozer. Here was this grinning, screen-filling tank. And that was it. This was before the Internet, mind you. The picture damn well had to be worth 1,000 words at least because you weren't getting any more info for two months. The next issue had the fold-out poster, and the one after that was the Mega Man 2 cover. (Clay Mega Man on Jet Sled FTW!)
I had to have this game. I had never played Mega Man 1. My only knowledge of it was an ad in the Nintendo Fun Club Newsletter (the free precursor to Nintendo Power). The ad had the legendary awful box art and a shot of the stage select screen, which my brother and I assumed was a character select screen.
When we got the game, we were awestruck by the opening scene, as not many games had opening scenes. We then chose Quickman because he looked cool. We were immediately mocked, first by the unreachable 1-up, and then by my grandmother calling us out for yardwork. We left the game on as if we had actually gotten somewhere. We finally did get back in to have a go at Mega Man 2, and it was worth it.
Everything about this game is appealing. The music is great, the backgrounds are diverse, the enemies are big and colorful. Mega Man 2 will always be special to me, because I really believe this game is what inspired me to start drawing. (It will also always be better than Mega Man 3. Doc Robot my ass.)
Well, anyway, here's Guts Dozer, painstakingly hand-rendered and eye-dropper'd with his actual sprite colors. I'll be selling prints of this piece at the New York Anime Festival at the end of September. Oh, and I finally did get to face off with him in my youth after being tantalized by that 1" x 1" screenshot. What a puss he turned out to be.