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 Skeleton Joe 

A skeleton-like automaton, belonging to the "Joe" family of robots, that first appeared in Capcom's 1991 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) video game Mega Man 4. While they can be found in other environments, their primary function is to serve as sentries in Skull Man's realm.

Gameplay Tips

  • Skeleton Joe was the first Mega Man enemy ever created that required the use of the Mega Buster to destroy.

  • When negotiating an area that contains both pits and Skeleton Joes, take care to time your jumps over the gaps AFTER the Joes toss their bones, because if you get hit by one of their projectiles while in mid-jump, Mega Man will likely plummet to his doom. You may wish to destroy the Joes before you do any jumping, just to be on the safe side. Also, sometimes a Joe can toss a bone at you, even if the enemy has been scrolled off screen and you can't see it anymore; be wary of this as well.

  • Like most of Mega Man's foes, a Skeleton Joe will sometimes leave behind a ball of energy or some ammunition when it is destroyed, and, if you're extremely lucky, maybe even an extra life.

The "Joe" series of robots, created by the diabolically mad scientist Dr. Albert Wily, sport a variety of designs and functions, but the two physical features that they all have in common are a bipedal, human-like body and a single eye. The model Dr. Wily most frequently employs is "Sniper Joe"--a green and black robot that sports an impenetrable blast shield and an arm cannon. Other examples of Joe series robots include "Hammer Joe" (Mega Man 3), a wrecking ball tossing robot, and "Crystal Joe" (Mega Man 5), a crystal generating mechanoid.

Skeleton Joe was created by Dr. Cossack--as were most of the robot enemies found in Mega Man 4--although he did so under Dr. Wily's direction, and his design was based on the Sniper Joe and Hammer Joe schematics Wily provided him with. Cossack was coerced into aiding the depraved Wily when the devious doctor kidnaped the Russian scientist's daughter, Kalinka, and used her as leverage to get Cossack to do his dirty work.

These robots attack by throwing bone-shaped projectiles with impressive accuracy. Matter generators built into the palms of their hands insure an almost unlimited supply of ammunition. Skeleton Joes are very difficult to destroy. Their bodies are constructed from numerous, self-contained, modular units that are held together by weak magnetic attraction. Instead of being injured when struck by most kinds of weapon fire, the impact disrupts the magnetic field holding the Skeleton Joe together and it simply falls apart, crumbling into a "pile of bones". Shortly after such a disruption, the individual modules will reactivate the magnetic field, the Joe's body will reassemble itself, and the robot will resume its previous activities as though nothing happened. It takes a very powerful attack to actually destroy one of these mechanoids; a fully charged blast from Mega Man's Mega Buster is an example of such an attack.

Skeleton Joes are expendable sentries; their programming will not allow them to move or retreat from the position they are assigned to defend, even in the face of a superior threat that they cannot hope to overcome. If an intruder doesn't have the firepower necessary to destroy one of these mechanoids, they can still get past the Joe by disrupting its magnetic field and making the robot collapse, rendering it temporarily helpless. He or she can then quickly run by before Skeleton Joe can finish reassembling itself. Much to the annoyance of Skeleton Joes everywhere, Mega Man's dog, Rush, finds these androids delicious and irresistible, due to the robotic canine's love of mechanical "bones".

Tissue paper, newsprint, cardboard, white glue, hot glue, wire twist ties, and acrylic paint.

14.7 cm/5.8 in. x 5.0 cm/2.0 in. (highest point x widest point)

Action Feature:
Skeleton Joe comes apart into seven pieces, to simulate crumbling-into-a-pile-of-bones like the game character does in Mega Man 4 when struck by weapon fire.

Twenty-seven points: Eye, neck, shoulders (2), elbows (2), wrists (2), fingers (10), vertebrae (3), hips (2), knees (2), and ankles (2). The individual body components can also rotate to some extent in their respective sockets, but, as this is less-than-perfect, and purely a by-product of the action feature, I'm choosing not to count those seven points.

Five days; March 22-26, 2007.

Skeleton Joe photo collage.

NOTE: Sometimes, I don't make my figures to scale with one another; that's why Dust Man is so small compared to the other characters pictured.

For comparison purposes, below is a screenshot of a Skeleton Joe tossing a bone, taken from the Mega Man 4 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) video game.

(In no particular order of importance.)

  •   Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Mega Man 4 video game and instruction manual.

  •   Nintendo Gameboy Mega Man III video game and instruction manual.

  •   The Mega Man Homepage Mega Man 4 information section.

  •   Various GameFAQs Mega Man 4 game guides.

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The mechanical background graphic is from Toad Man's level in the game.