The answers to the clues fit the number of squares in the polyominoes and should be entered in standard book order. All of the answers have unique first letters A-Y to help resolve any ambiguities.
|Aerospace, construction, entertainment, or finance, say||INDUSTRY|
|Elvis’ genre||ROCK AND ROLL|
|Evil or No||DOCTOR|
|Handheld anti-personnel weapon||GRENADE|
|One knob on an equalizer, maybe||TREBLE|
|Place of research||LABORATORY|
|Places where you might find cheap used goods||YARDSALES|
|State of the sun?||PLASMA|
|Tom Cruise, in a certain 80’s film||MAVERICK|
|Vedder who sings “Jeremy”||EDDIE|
|What a ram may do||HEADBUTT|
Sort these alphabetically, and then as suggested by the grid, place these polyominoes in 6x6 grids using groups of 5 consecutive answers. The first 5 polyominoes make a 5x5 grid instead.
Or more cleanly:
As hinted by many of the answer words, these are passwords from the original series of Mega Man games, specifically Mega Man 2 through Mega Man 6 (the original Mega Man did not use passwords, and later Mega Man games used numeric passwords). The first 5x5 grid (using answers A-E) is from Mega Man 2, the second grid is from Mega Man 3, and so on.
The next step is to decode the passwords according to their respective games, either by inputting them directly into the games or by using one of the online password generators, such as from www.mmhp.net. The exact orientation can be deduced because only one orientation yields a valid password.
Reading down the diagonals of the completed grids in game order yields the clue phrase DEFEATED ROBOTS CCW TOP LEFT ASCII. The level select screen of each game has the 8 robots arranged around the border of a 3x3 grid. Taking the game state from each of the passwords and reading the defeated robots as 1’s and the undefeated robots as 0’s, one ASCII letter can be read out of each game state. The defeated robots are:
Decoding these yields the final answer HUMAN.