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Dr. Wily's fortress
Dr. Wily's fortress is Dr. Wily's base of operations in the Classic era. Wily has used multiple fortresses throughout the franchise, most of which share common themes, such as incorporating a giant skull and/or a "W" insignia into their architecture. Although most fortresses are unnamed in the games, different terms have been used to describe them in other sources, such as Wily Castle and Wily Fortress. The stages therein are also conjecturally referred to as "Wily stages" or "Dr. Wily stages".
In the games, the fortress is almost always the final location visited by Mega Man, unlocked after defeating all the Robot Masters and sometimes preceded by a different fortress or other set of stages. It is usually divided into four stages, each with a boss at the end, though one or two additional stages are sometimes added. These stages are displayed on a map in most games and always have to be played in a set order, in contrast with the Robot Master stages, which allow the player to choose the order freely.
Although each game's Dr. Wily stages are different, common elements include obstacles that encourage Mega Man to use the weapons and items he acquired throughout the game, a teleporter room forcing him to refight all of the game's Robot Masters, and a final boss stage that is very short apart from its boss battle. Beating Dr. Wily's fortress customarily triggers the game's ending, which often shows the fortress exploding.
In the Games
In the original Mega Man, Dr. Wily's base is indicated to be a robot factory rather than a traditional fortress in supplementary sources, though its outward appearance is never shown in the game and it is only referred to as "the final stage" in the game's English manual. It can be accessed by selecting Dr. Wily on the stage select screen after defeating all six of the game's Robot Masters, leading to a short cutscene of Wily boarding the Wily Capsule before the game teleports Mega Man to the fortress. Like most later fortresses, it is already divided into four individual stages, though it lacks a map. It also notable requires the Magnet Beam from Elec Man's stage to conquer, which can be missed, making the stages impossible to complete.
The score bounty for completing the fortress is always set at 200000, unlike the randomised scores for beating the Robot Master stages. Its ultimate fate is unknown, as it is not shown to be destroyed following Wily's defeat in this game.
|Dr.Wily stage 1||A stage that starts outside and continues inside the fortress. The Magnet Beam is required.||Yellow Devil|
|Dr.Wily stage 2||A tower that features rematches with Cut Man and Elec Man near the beginning.||Copy Robot|
|Dr.Wily stage 3||A sewer stage.||CWU-01P|
|Dr.Wily stage 4||A stage ending in rematches with Bomb Man, Fire Man, Ice Man and Guts Man before the boss, who must be fought in a set order.||Wily Machine 1|
Mega Man 2
Wily's fortress in Mega Man 2 is the first to display a map before each stage, with stages indicated by dots and the apparent final boss marked by a skull. After beating it, a previously hidden second skull-marked stage appears on the map for the true final boss fight, a tradition kept by later fortresses.
|Dr.Wily stage 1||Mecha Dragon|
|Dr.Wily stage 2||Picopico-kun|
|Dr.Wily stage 3||Guts Tank|
|Dr.Wily stage 4||A stage with fake floors and a revisit of mechanics from Crash Man's stage.||Boobeam Trap|
|Dr.Wily stage 5||A teleporter room with Robot Master rematches before the Wily Machine.||Wily Machine 2|
|Dr.Wily stage 6||A long drop and ominous corridor with harmful liquid dripping from the ceiling, leading to the true final boss fight.||Alien|
Mega Man 3
In Mega Man 3, Wily's fortress is unlocked after beating all of the Doc Robot stages and Break Man. After a cutscene at Dr. Light's lab that reveals Wily stole the peace-keeping robot Gamma, Mega Man heads straight to the fortress to defeat him.
|Dr. Wily stage 1||Kamegoro Maker|
|Dr. Wily stage 2||Yellow Devil Mk-II|
|Dr. Wily stage 3||Holograph Mega Mans|
|Dr. Wily stage 4||A short stage introducing Junk Golems, followed by a teleporter room with Robot Master rematches.||Teleporter room|
|Dr. Wily stage 5||A small room with weapon refills before dropping down to the Wily Machine.||Wily Machine 3|
|Dr. Wily stage 6||A small room with weapon refills before the final confrontation with Wily, now piloting Gamma.||Gamma|
Mega Man 4
In Mega Man 4, Mega Man proceeds to Dr. Wily's fortress after beating the Cossack Catcher in Dr. Cossack's citadel and watching the cutscene revealing Wily as the villain. The environment around the fortress resembles that of the earlier citadel, suggesting that it may be located in Siberia just like it, but this is never made clear. It is also located near train tracks, which Mega Man uses to return home after the fortress explodes, a callback to the train ride seen in the intro of the game.
|Dr. Wily stage 1||A Metall-themed stage, featuring all the variations from previous stages and ending in a large Metall boss.||Metall Daddy|
|Dr. Wily stage 2||Takotrash|
|Dr. Wily stage 3||A short stage and teleporter room with Robot Master rematches before the Wily Machine.||Wily Machine 4|
|Dr. Wily stage 4||A short corrider with Imorms leading to the final boss.||Wily Capsule|
Mega Man 11
Dr. Wily's fortress is known as Gear Fortress in Mega Man 11, a rare instance of the fortress being named in the game. As the name indicates, a number of large clockwork gears are used in its design and are visible both on the map and throughout the fortress stages.
Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge
|Dr. Wily stage 1||A long stage ending in a teleporter room. The teleporters lead directly to boss fights with Quick Man, Bubble Man, Flash Man and Heat Man instead of being rematches with the Robot Masters previously fought in the game. Beating all four unlocks a fifth teleporter, which leads to Enker.||Enker|
|Dr. Wily stage 2||Another long stage set on a space station hovering above the fortress rather than the fortress itself.||Wily Machine I|
Mega Man II
Mega Man II on the Game Boy again split up the Wily stages between a fortress and a space station, with the former mostly serving as a means to access the remaining four Robot Master stages rather than being a full stage itself.
|Dr. Wily stage 1||Dr.Wily sets a trap for Mega Man, forcing him to beat four more Robot Master stages to progress. A teleporter room leads to Hard Man's,Top Man's, Magnet Man's and Needle Man's stages. Finishing all four opens up a hole in the ground, leading down to the Quint fight.||Quint|
|Dr. Wily stage 2||A strange stage full of melting clocks, alluding to the game's time travel plot. It ends in a final boss with three phases.||Wily Machine II|
Battle Network era
Although the Mega Man Battle Network games are set in a different timeline, the bases used by Lord Wily's criminal organisation, the WWW, pay homage to the original Wily fortresses, being split into multiple network areas and incorporating skull designs in their real world architecture.
1994 animated series
In the 1994 animated series, Dr. Wily's fortress is known as the Skull Fortress, owing to the large, golden skull that makes up its entrance. Like the various machines used by Wily throughout the show, it is shown to contain a monitor system that allows him to watch proceedings and communicate with his Robot Masters.
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