Thanks to everyone for contributing your votes this week. Looking for a little more in the way of comments and debate, though, so don't be afraid to make your voice heard! That being said, here we go.
-There are the physical aspects to consider. While Link is a seasoned adventurer, even at a young age and is incredibly agile, for the most part, there’s only been like one game where he could actually jump. And, by jump, I mean at will, not when faced with the edge of something just to give a bunny hop and a roll on the ground when he lands. Yes, Link is quick, but I think the big Double M has a decided advantage in vertical movement.
-Another aspect comes from physiology. Mega Man is an android. I’m not entirely sure he can feel physical pain. Sure, he makes that little shocked face when he gets hit by something, but is it because of pain or because he’s just reacting to an impact? Link, being a flesh-and-blood Hyrulian (a nebulous elfish-like thing that’s never really explained in the same context twice) can hurt. We hear him shout when impacted. When his life meter goes down (in the latter day games) we can hear him catching his breath. Not feeling pain, if that’s the case, is huge.
-The biggest point of debate is range, range, range. Mega Man is chiefly a ranged combatant. There were few-to-no weapons within the series which gave him any true melee abilities. The theory was that, should Mega Man get range on Link, Link would be toast. Not true, as it was argued. The Master Sword, as seen in A Link to the Past, can deflect incredibly debilitating magic spells (during the final battle with Aghanim, remember?) so it should be able to make short work of some weaksauce Mega Buster shots. It may be a bit more difficult to deflect some of the other weapons, but Link has a shield for that.
-On the range tip, it’s not like Link is at a complete disadvantage. Many of his weapons (bow, boomerang, fire rod, ice rod, hookshot, etc) are specifically geared toward ranged combat. I hardly think that this leaves him at a disadvantage. He may not have the rapid-fire ability of Mega Man, but he can still unleash some hell from a distance. Plus, if Link has full hearts, he's shooting that sword at Mega Man from across the screen like all day.
-While we’re on the subject of inventory, Mega Man’s got quite an arsenal at his disposal. Link would surely be kept on his toes, even if you’re just talking weapons from the first two Mega Man games. Metal Blade, Crash Bombs, Ice Cannon, Heat Blast, pick your poison, all of them are bound to keep Link guessing. The main weapon, just from the first two games, which would give Mega Man an interesting leg up is the Flash Stopper. There’s a lot Mega Man could do while his opponent is frozen for around 15 seconds. Though, if we’re following the rules of these weapons, he has no actual attack while it’s on. It may be enough time to switch the trajectory of some arrows or get the drop on Link by hiding or surprising when the timer finally runs out.
-The big factor here is the close-combat question. If Link could battle Mega Man to the point where he would get within striking distance, the Blue Bomber is done for. I think that this is the most plausible scenario. Link knows, after fighting countless dungeon bosses, that the special weapons aren’t usually the finisher, they’re just a means to get the thing within sword range. If he adopts this philosophy with Mega Man, then it’s going to be a tough fight, but one with a definitive outcome. You might be able to say Megs has some close combat skills based on his appearances in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. If that’s the case, this would be closer as a brawl than originally expected.
-The last point involves life and death. As in, without any life, either of them faces death. Mega Man can have up to 9 energy packs, which will completely restore him. Thing is, he’s got to have time during the fight to actually use them. Link can carry up to four faerie bottles. When he dies, they bring him back automatically as long as he has them in his inventory. I think this is where Link could get the drop on Megs. Just as Mega Man thinks it’s over, Link would pop up and start slicing, but those faeries don't fill up your health, so it would have to be a well-timed attack to take full advantage. Megs won't have time to use an E-Pack when he's standing there, thinking he's won, and he suddenly gets a sword through the gut.
DEBATE WINNER: Link (by a hair)
VOTE WINNER: Link (8-5)
OVERALL WINNER: Link