As the bell rings to sound the start of round three for Sega-16’s Genesis Power Battles, we’ll see which high-tech savior of Earth stands superior. Will it be the half-man, half-digital, all hero Pulseman or the robotic sludge barge pilot turned warrior, Vectorman?
As always, let’s review the five different aspects we’ll be comparing:
Background: Where did the participants come from? Would their backgrounds provide them with any distinct advantage?
Appearance: How intimidating would the characters actually be? Do their looks reveal what kind of opponent they’d be?
Abilities: What weapons or powers do the participants have at their disposal? Are they melee-based or long-ranged? Any special moves?
Speed: What some characters lack in power, they make up for in quickness.
Overall Power: How much damage do their special attacks do? Do they powerful to eliminate every enemy around, or are they limited to a single foe?
Without further delay, let’s get straight to the action!
Sometime in the future a brilliant scientist by the name of Dr . Yoshiyama created a new form of computerized cyber-life. This new life-form was christened “C-Life,” and soon Dr. Yoshiyama found himself falling in love with a C-Life woman. After discovering a way to travel into the cyber world, the good doctor procreated with his C-Life girlfriend (I’m not going to ask how and neither should you) leading to the birth of Pulseman, a being with incredible energy powers who was able to travel between the cyber world and the real world at will. Choosing to use his powers responsibly, Pulseman became a famous super-hero who was forced to do battle with his father, now going by the name Dr. Waruyama, after his human mind became corrupted from living in the cyber world. Eventually, Pulseman won and decided to remain a hero, so that he could keep the peace between both worlds.
Doing battle with the cyber-hero is VectorMan, a mechanical being called an Orbot from the mid twenty-first century. Designed to clean up the heavily polluted Earth, the Orbots toil ceaselessly to return the Earth to its former glory so that mankind can one day return to inhabit the mother planet that it ruined so long ago. A freak accident causes one Orbot to have a nuclear bomb attached to its control circuits which drives it insane. Changing its name to Warhead and using the Orbot’s com-net to control them, he plans to destroy the world instead of repair it. There is hope for the planet, though. Returning from his quiet job as a sludge barge pilot that makes routine runs from the Earth to the Sun, VectorMan is suddenly forced to become an unlikely hero and stop Warhead at all costs. A fierce battle ensues, and after his victory, VectorMan is once again called on to save humanity, and as always, he responded without hesitation.
Both combatants are graced with high-tech prowess and a strong sense of justice and both seem to have experience in taking on impossible odds to save the world; leaving our first category in a deadlock.
Both fighters feature interesting and pleasing designs. Though drastically different, they convey the idea of high-level technology at work. Pulseman obviously takes his design inspiration from both Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog, and he’s basically what you’d expect to see in a Japanese platformer of the 16-bit era. VectorMan, on the other hand, is a little different. Made out of a collection of spheres that are held together by who-knows-what and with an interesting green color scheme he’s instantly recognizable. His glowing red eyes and impressive physique (for a collection of marbles, that is) would send a chill of fear down the spine of even the most battle hardened ne’er do-well. Both designs have their strengths, and the anime-influenced Pulseman is no slouch, but VectorMan is simply more unique and manages to pull off an excellent character design that is also incredibly simple. If video game icons like Sonic and Mario have proven anything, it’s that sometimes simple designs are best. Let’s not forget to mention that if I met these two in a dark alley, VectorMan would be the one that I’d run away from while screaming like a little girl while Pulseman looks a little too mascot-like for his own good.
Now that the small change is out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details. Pulseman is a super hero for a reason, his electrically charged slashes reduce his mechanical enemies to scrap and when he moves at a quick enough velocity he stores energy which can be used to either fire off in bolt form, giving him a much needed ranged attack, or to execute his ultimate special move, the Voltteccer. When using the Voltteccer, Pulseman becomes a ball of energy that destroys everything in its path and rebounds off of solid surfaces. It also allows him to travel along electrical wires for greater mobility. Outside of his electrical powers he’s capable of pulling off an ariel flip-kick and a sweep-kick while ducking allowing Pulsey to be capable of fighting even when his electrical powers are all washed out because of the presence of water. His final ability is to enter the computer network of the cyber world, allowing him access to the interior of any electronic device, including video games.
So the outclassed VectorMan can just throw in the towel and surrender, right? Wrong. VectorMan comes with his own set of incredible talents for a sludge barge pilot (Once again, we’re probably better off not asking why). His basic armament is a formidable semi-automatic energy weapon which he can fire at all angles and at a decent rate, leaving Pulseman’s ranged attack that must be charged at an obvious disadvantage. VectorMan also has the ability to pack a variety of different and devastating weapons that are too numerous to name here and his screen clearing Orb attack may be just what Vector needs to counter Pulse’s indomitable Voltteccer. Although they don’t make him as mobile as Pulseman, VectorMan’s foot mounted jets get the job done and also have offensive capabilities. Finally, let’s add the incredible transformation abilities that VectorMan’s sphere-comprised body makes possible and you’ve got war-machine capable of handling almost any situation.
Both characters move at a decent clip, but the advantage is clear as crystal in this category. Once Pulseman gets up to speed he could take VectorMan in just about any conceivable foot race. Even if VectorMan were transformed into a speedier vehicle Pulseman’s Voltteccer gives him the ability to move at an incredible velocity that VectorMan has no chance in hades of matching. There’s really no way to compete against somebody who can travel through wires as an electric current.
If these two met in combat the demolition caused by their science-fueled abilities would be legendary. Both heroes showcase the power of technology at its wildest and if they unleashed their fury against each other I doubt even the winner would come out unscathed.
In a direct comparison of power I looked towards their armaments and durability. At his weakest, VectorMan can take only one extra hit than his opponent but has the potential of becoming much more powerful. Pulseman would soon find himself in trouble in ranged combat and by the time he’s charged up enough to counter attack, VectorMan would have already had the chance to pump him full of all kinds of horrible blasts of photon death with one of his nastier munitions. Pulseman could always escape into the cyber world to retreat but it would only delay the inevitable. I considered the possibility that Pulseman might be able to hack into VectorMan’s own robot body and control him, but I can’t include it in this comparison for lack of proof. Pulseman may be formidable, but as his fancy Voltteccer is his only real advantage, he’s ultimately a one trick pony. The final blow to any chance Pulseman has at winning is his weakness to water, which renders all of his abilities inept and turns him into little more than cannon fodder against a foe like VectorMan.
Winner: VectorMan (3-1)
All things considered, VectorMan is more versatile and far better armed. Pulseman would definitely get his licks in thanks to his speed but once VectorMan manages to catch him the fight would get ugly for ol’ Pulsey really quick. If Pulseman could somehow use his ability to download himself into computers against VectorMan, the fight could end very differently, but as VectorMan is a veritable walking tank who’d waste no time taking the cyber-man apart, it’s doubtful he’d ever get the chance.