October 12, 2008
I mentioned in my review for Mega Man 9 that the plot just doesn’t feel like an original series plot. I thought I would use this space to elaborate. I’ve already written similar discourses on Maverick Hunter X and Powered Up, so why not, right?
There are some spoilers regarding the plot of Mega Man 9 ahead.
- I should start, of course, with the slight absurdity that anyone would believe Dr. Light is out for world domination. This one is, to me, a minor point; I could see the police being forced to arrest Dr. Light if there was enough evidence against him, even if they didn’t personally believe he’d ever do such a thing. So I’m willing to let this one slide, but figured I’d be somewhat remiss if I didn’t at least mention it.
- What I can’t see is anyone giving Dr. Wily the time of day, much less any money. (Although admittedly the game never says anyone actually follows through on his offer.) And just how did he get those videos out on TV? Mail them to a news station without a return address? Why would anyone believe them to begin with?
- The press release for Mega Man 9 confirmed that the game does in fact take place after Mega Man 8, yet...
- Mega Man has lost both his Mega Buster and his slide. Okay, maybe he burnt out his Mega Buster in a previous adventure or something, and Dr. Light hasn’t had a chance to repair it. But how does he forget how to slide?
- Dr. Light still has the same dinky little house that he had in Mega Man 1 (complete with the dirt path leading to it, the picket fence, and a root cellar). And they’re still using phones. They have giant communications screens which can handle audio and video and yet they’re still using phones. What’s with these people? Apparently, Dr. Light is extremely poor.
- Bass, anyone? Don’t tell me he’s just going to sit this one out...
- The number one most egregious thing to me in this game’s plot is the whole scrapping of robots after some arbitrarily-set deadline. This is something straight out of the ZX series, which is why I said I think the writers forgot what series they were writing for. There are several issues with this plot point alone, besides the total lack of precedent in earlier original series games:
- It doesn’t make logical sense in any way to arbitrarily destroy robots that are functioning perfectly well, particularly when you consider the investment that probably went into building them.
- If this is really a law, why haven’t Mega Man and Roll been scrapped? They’ve been around longer than any Robot Master. And what about Auto? Auto has existed since before the Mega Man 9 Robot Masters were created. If the Mega Man 9 robots are past their due date, then Auto should have been scrapped by now as well.
- I can’t see Dr. Light ever going for this. Remember, it’s been stated that Dr. Light’s dream is for robots and humans to live happily and peacefully together. You don’t accomplish this by randomly killing people.
- The Robot Masters in this game seem to have personalities, feelings, and free wills (at least as much as any of the other robots in the original series). Yet Mega Man stands there callously saying, “Oh, well, so they’ll be scrapped, big deal.” Remember, this is the same Mega Man that attempted to help Sunstar (after the guy tried to kill him), worried about Ballade, cried about King “dying,” and kept trying to convince various robots not to persist in fighting him in games such as Super Adventure and Powered Up. Yeah. I just don’t see it.
- At the end of the game, the Robot Masters who were past their expiration dates and should have been scrapped...are still around. After having been destroyed by Mega Man. Twice. And Mega Man is concerned about the fake Dr. Light robot being destroyed, when he didn’t give a darn about the Robot Masters earlier in the game. Seriously, I think whoever wrote the ending for this game neglected to talk to the people who wrote the rest of the game’s plot. (Having said that, the ending turned out to be far more accurate with the series as a whole, even though it was internally inconsistent with the game itself.)
- Just something kind of funny: later in the game, Dr. Wily somehow manages to fly his saucer into Dr. Light’s tiny little lab building that probably isn’t big enough for his saucer to fit inside in the first place, never mind the lack of an opening to enter that it could fit through. (I suppose he could have always blasted his own entrance.)
As an aside, the opening plot of this game ended up inspiring a completely silly mockup which shows what happens when you combine a restless mind together with Mega Man 9 and Phoenix Wright. Stir well and out pops...well, see for yourself.
- The MegaMaster