The demo for Mega Man 11 dropped last week, and fans are already challenging themselves to complete the included level—Block Man's stage—without using the game's Double Gear System.
In Mega Man 11, our boy can use the Speed Gear to slow down time and help him navigate tricky terrain. He can also use the Power Gear to strengthen his weapons. When I demoed Mega Man 11 at PAX West, I noted the game is clearly built around the expectation players will use the Gears rather than simply lean on them as a crutch.
I'm slowing down in my old age, so I expect I'll use the Gears as necessary. But another hardcore Mega Man fan demonstrated using the Gears in Mega Man 11's demo—and by extension, possibly the entire game—isn't necessary.
"I've been seeing a lot of places that basically say Gears are required to beat the demo because some of the challenges are impossible without them," redditor "DarkDreamT2" wrote on the Nintendo Switch subreddit yesterday, "and as a Megaman fanatic I felt a mighty need to disprove that theory. So, here's a Gearless run of the demo stage."
Indeed, DarkDreamT2 blitzes the demo on its "Normal" difficulty without activating a single gear. He admits its not easy and getting the patterns down for some areas took a lot of trial-and-error. Two areas are particularly tricky without the aid of the Speed gear: Shooting down the lightning-quick "Evil Eddie" who runs away with Mega Man's power-ups, and a segment towards the end of the stage where Mega Man must navigate treadmills while steering clear of falling blocks. DarkDream handles it all with finesse, though he does mention the Power Gear makes the stage's midbosses go much faster.
Some fans will probably be heartened to learn it's not out of the question to master Mega Man 11 on "Normal" difficulty without the Gears. The eleventh installment of Mega Man's long-running series already changes things up hardcore by making it impossible to perform Mega Man's classic jump through sliding boss doors; the Gears might be a step too far. It's going to be fun to watch speedrunners rip the game apart, though.
Mega Man 11 comes to consoles and PC on October 2.