Shortly after Mega Man Battle Network 3... NetBattler tournaments have become common in the Battle Network universe. This one is known as “BattleChipGP” and the winner receives an extremely rare chip...or so the promise goes! Each contender has his own reasons for entering, of course, and not all of them have to do with the fame or the prize...
This is a weird one that defies classification. Part strategy, part RPG, part card game...but not enough of any to really justify one specific category.
At the start of the game, you choose one of six characters with their associated Navis. The character you use determines your plot, as well as the Navi that talks to you on the subscreen and such, so there is value in playing through as each character. As an interesting twist, though, you can swap your Navi during battle and use somebody else’s Navi instead, by acquiring that person’s Navi chip.
In this game, battles are fought in rounds, using a turn-based system similar to many RPGs. Your Navi basically fights for you, and you do not get to directly choose the Navi’s actions (in fact, you don’t get to directly control much of anything in this game). However, you influence the battle based on how you set up your Program Deck.
The manual is more confusing than helpful. So, as usual, the easiest way to learn the battle system is to just try it. For your first battle, enter the tournament (you have to do one of the tournaments first before you can go anywhere else) and choose the Novice class (the one that costs 0 Zenny). There is no risk of losing anything if you don’t win, and really, the battles are easy enough here that it’s difficult not to win. Pay attention to what goes on and you should get a feel for the battle system by the end of the three battles. After this, the open battle arena will become available—go there and just fight people over and over (or play through the Novice tournament several times) until you have enough money to buy some more chips. This will get you started.
Winning battles involves some strategy, but largely it’s a matter of luck. Keep in mind that your opponent can dodge attacks, which means that even if you get a good draw of chips, a bad string of luck may well make them useless.
Using The Program Deck
- Chips are executed during battle in order along the path of the Action Plan, except that the Navi chip always goes last. Your Navi and your opponent take turns; both of you execute your action in the first slot before moving on to the second one, and so forth.
- If a Navi doesn’t have a chip in a particular slot then he has to forfeit his move for that slot.
- When both Navis have a chip in a particular slot, which one gets to go first is determined by the chip’s element and speed rating.
- Notice that the Program Deck graphic is reversed for your opponent, so his chips actually go from right to left instead. Likewise, his chip indicators at the top of the screen are in a reverse order from yours as well.
- Certain chips attack the Program Deck as well as the Navi. Some attacks damage more than one Battle Chip at a time. Only the three chips which have been selected for that particular round can be damaged in this manner.
- When a chip is deleted from the Program Deck, you do not lose it permanently; you merely cannot use it again during that battle.
- Your Navi’s “box” is where his guard-type chips go. You can only have one guard active at a time, so using another when there is already a chip in your box will replace that chip with the new one.
- “Slot-in” chips are basically your wild cards; you can use them almost whenever you would like, although each slot-in chip can only be used once per battle.
- When you slot in, the new action will take place after the current action is completed; you can’t interrupt someone’s turn. Note that you can, however, slot-in during someone else’s slot-in. (To do this, you must time your slot-in so that it occurs before the opponent’s slot-in action actually takes place.) When this occurs, the order in which the slot-in chips are executed is determined by element and speed—which means the person who slotted in second might get his action off first.
- The slot-in gauge shows your odds of succeeding in the slot-in (a slot-in failure still uses up that chip, so you can’t use it again that battle). Your best bet is to wait until it is over 50%, but you don’t have to. Note that even though the game says “CHIP-OK!” at 50%, this doesn’t guarantee a perfect slot-in; I’ve succeeded at 40% and flubbed at 70%, so it is still somewhat random.
- Press + while viewing the Program Deck between rounds to change your Action Plan. Your slot-in gauge has to be above 50% for this to work, and your gauge will reset to 0% afterward. Note that you can’t choose your new plan. The effect is that your plan is reset and chosen randomly again. So you might end up with the exact same plan or even something worse than what you had previously.
- Press during battle to bring up a menu (it might take a few message screens to appear; the current action has to finish first). You can use this menu to quit the battle or view your Program Deck if you wish.
- You can retry a fight as many times as you wish, but it seems your Busting Level (when you do finally win) goes down the more times you had to retry.
- For your Action Plan each round, chips are chosen for you starting from your Navi chip (at the left), and then randomly selecting one of the two chips to the right of each selected chip, in a line until the last row is reached.
- Sheer statistics will tell you that the middle rows (vertically) are the ones which have the highest odds of being chosen, so it’s a good idea to put your best chips there.
- Likewise, since the leftmost vertical column has only two slots, that’s a 50% chance of choosing either of them each round, so generally put your most powerful chips here. The odds of getting a particular chip decrease the further right you go.
- Place guard-type chips (such as the RockCube) on the left side, because you want them to come out early. Conversely, a chip you want to come out late is better placed toward the right, although the tradeoff is that it has less odds of being chosen then.
- You can only have one guard-type chip active at a time. Therefore it is not terribly useful to place such chips in multiple columns such that more than one will be chosen per round.
- Once you have enough chips, it’s a good idea to fill in every slot of your Program Deck, even if you have to use low MB chips. A Sword, for example, costs only 10MB but does 70 damage and attacks deck, which is still quite significant. If you fill all of the slots, you will be guaranteed to get four actions per round (at least until the opponent starts deleting your chips out of your deck), and that usually results in more damage overall than only getting one or two powerful chips.
- On average, chips in the rightmost slots tend to get attacked more often than those in the left slots. If you do need to leave some slots empty, place some 0 MB chips there to soak up attacks that would normally go toward other, more important, chips.
- Slot-in chips do not count toward your overall Program Deck MB limit, so in that sense they are like having two “free” chips. However you are restricted to using only chips which fit within your slot-in MB limit.
- Press while editing your deck before a battle and select “Chat” and your Navi will give you an estimation of your chances of beating your opponent with that deck. I think the game might actually be running a simulation of the fight in the background. Probably this doesn’t take into account slot-in chips.
- Play Control: N/A
- There really is no play control in this game. The closest you could get is by putting the battles on and then attempting to time your slot-ins correctly...
- Most of the graphics are straight from previous Battle Network titles. They didn’t even bother to make new environments with the tiles, rather opting to grab existing map locations from the various games and use them unaltered.
- Most of the animations are straight from the previous titles as well, although it’s amusing to note that they removed the four cardinal direction facings of the overworld sprites, probably to save space. During battle, some of the Navi animations are rather weird, with sword swipes and cannons appearing in awkward places. For those Navis that are from previous games, their animations were basically shoehorned to fit the preexisting graphics, I think.
- What’s curious is that the music in this game doesn’t really resemble that from the other Battle Network titles. Even the title screen tune is entirely different. The music isn’t bad, though.
- Sound Effects:
- Pretty much straight from previous games.
- Whoever wrote these plots must be a big fan of Chaud. Either that or they were trying to do fan service for fans of Chaud. Despite having his own dedicated storyline, Chaud plays a large role in almost everyone else’s plots as well. Naturally, the plots in this game are not as long or as complicated as the ones in the regular Battle Network series games; however, they do have charm and even a little bit of character development.
- Difficulty: (easy)
- I honestly can’t give this one a high difficulty rating, since success is so much based on random luck. It’s easy to lose, but it’s also pretty effortless to win if you set up a halfway decent Program Deck.
- Replay Value:
- Certainly playing through as the different characters can be entertaining because of their separate plots. However, the random nature of the battle system can get a little tedious, if not downright irritating.
- The designers did try to stay fairly consistent with the existing Battle Network games, but I can’t say there is a whole lot of polish above and beyond what is expected.
- Overall: 78%
- The game is entertaining and has its high points, and the Battle Chips are well chosen and balanced. But I wish there was more interaction during battle. The only thing the player can do to affect the outcome is slot-in chips or select new Action Paths, and when you don’t need to do either of these, you may as well set the game on and go eat dinner.
- + Plus:
- This is the first Battle Network game where you don’t have to use MegaMan as your Net Navi if you don’t want to. See the world through the eyes of one of the other characters for a change!
- - Minus:
- I would have preferred a more traditional RPG-like battle system where the player can directly select his action each turn, or at least select which chips to use each round.
This does not list every opponent in the game, but only those that have some applicable commentary.
- Element Tournaments (D Class)
- Although this game has no real “suggested order” to discuss, you can get pretty close with the first four Element tournaments you encounter as D Class, since at this point in the game, your choice of NaviChips is limited. If you have troubles with this tournament, you can try to tackle them in a circle, by beating one of the four, then using the NaviChip that you obtain against that type’s weakness, and so on around the circle. (If you don’t already know, use Fire on Wood, Wood on Elec, Elec on Aqua, and Aqua on Fire. If you’re playing as Mary, try starting your circle at the Aqua tournament, and as Kai, start with Wood.) Although at first it seems more obvious to use a Navi of the same type as the tournament, doing it this way has three advantages: first, your chips will increase in power because they will match the Navi type; second, you will be hitting weaknesses on many of the enemy Navis; and third, your chips will likely affect the battle field in a way that is beneficial to you.
- Cliff Tournament (C Class)
- This technique works for nearly any battle on hole panels. Just place two Shadow chips in your two leftmost slots. Only swords can get through Shadow, and swords can’t be used on hole panels, so you are basically untouchable until someone uses Repair or otherwise alters the battlefield. Note: You are in trouble if the opponent’s first chip goes off before yours does, and your Shadow gets deleted from your deck before you can even use it, so select this technique wisely.
- Block Tournament (C Class)
- Yai’s description of this is somewhat misleading, because mostly the opponents here use Guard chips, and against those, the power of your attacks matters little if they aren’t Elemental. The best recommendation is to use a lot of chips that have a type (doesn’t matter what kind, as long as they aren’t type “None”). Guard breaks aren’t as important since Guard cannot be broken. The exception is SkullMan—there, Yai’s description actually fits; you will want not only guard breaks but also a lot of high-damage chips to hack away SkullMan’s HP as quickly as possible.
- Elec Tournaments (Any Class)
- This will work for just about any Elec-type Navi (except MagnetMan—he uses guard breaks), and is particularly useful if you are on Aluminum panels—because Aluminum panels kind of encourage everyone to use Elec-based chips. The easy way to win these sorts of battles is to place two ElecBalls in your leftmost two slots, so that one always is used each round of battle. ElecBalls completely block all Elec-based attacks without taking damage, and also have a relatively high HP to absorb non-Elec damage. If the ElecBall survives to the end of the round—and it will if your opponent is using primarily Elec chips—you will get a bonus attack which does astronomical amounts of damage (with more or less damage depending on how many attacks it absorbed, whether or not you are on Aluminum panels, whether or not your Navi is Electric-based, and whether or not your opponent is Aqua-based). Seriously, I have seen a single ElecBall do more damage than the max HP of the target in just one blow. The most insane damage ratings I’ve ever seen have come from the ElecBall and its cousins.
- FlashMan (B Class)
- In light of the discussion above, do not use Elec-based attacks against FlashMan unless you also come to the battle with plenty of guard breaks (or Wood chips) because otherwise he will kill you. ’Nuff said.
- SnakeMan (B Class)
- To win this battle, place three Fire-based chips (doesn’t matter which ones) in the three slots of the second column over. This way your Fire chips will always come out after SnakeMan’s battlefield change, but before his first Spice. This is critical.
- QuickMan (S Class)
- Use Shadows on this guy and he won’t touch you, except perhaps in the rare case that Dave decides to slot in right at the beginning of the round. His downfall are the two FstGauges he has at the beginning of his attack list, because they waste the turn needed for you to get the Shadow up.
- FreezeMan (S Class)
- Try a PanlOut on one. He’s using mostly fists and swords that can’t reach you over the hole. Not only that, but you also get rid of the irritating ice (not that this tends to be noticeable).
- Slot-in early. (Around 60-70% is usually safe.)
Your slot-in gauge will reset to 0% after the slot-in, regardless of how full it had been. If you slot in at 55% for example, the actions which take place after the slot-in will go toward filling your gauge back up, whereas if you wait until 90%, the rest of that gauge is basically wasted.
- If you lose a battle, don’t immediately toss your Program Deck and start over. It could have been (and very often is) simply a matter of bad luck. I have had times where I have fought the same opponent multiple times with the exact same Program Deck and had vastly different outcomes. So don’t be afraid to retry.
- Not all guard-type chips can be destroyed with a guard-break attack. In particular, the chip named “Guard” will not guard-break (go figure). However, there is always a way to counter guard-type chips; the trick is in knowing which counters to use against which types of chips. In some cases, it’s easier to delete the chip out of the user’s Program Deck than to attack it head-on.
- Chips which attack deck are more valuable than they might at first seem; destroying your opponent’s chips from his deck can prove useful, but only if you can do so quickly. (Chipping away at them with 10-point MiniBombs is not going to be very helpful unless the opponent is using a bunch of Guard chips.) Swords are good for this. So are chips like Spice3 with the right kind of situation and Navi type.
- Chips which do multiple hits (such as a TripNdl) gain attack boosts to each hit individually, not to their overall damage. For example, a Kunai2 does 3 hits of 20 damage, for 60 total. A Cannon also does 60 damage. If you boost the Cannon using an Atk+20, you get a total of 80 damage (naturally). However—and this is key—for the Kunai2, each hit is individually boosted, before they are totaled for the final tally. So instead of 60+20 for the overall damage, you get three hits of 40 each (20+20), or 120 damage total—doubling its attack power with the same boost. Applying this knowledge correctly can turn a 10 MB Atk+20 chip into a powerhouse. (An extreme example: A Twister (which does 3 hits of 10 damage) fired by a Wood Navi boosted with an Atk+20 on an Elec target will inflict 210(!) damage total...and hit every chip in the opponent’s deck for that same amount as well. Given there are few chips in the game with that much HP, you are likely to clean out your enemy’s current deck path with that one blow.)
- If a battle manages to last 10 rounds, the person with the fewest chips deleted from his deck wins. (This is what the manual is trying to say, but awkwardly.) This is a little counterintuitive since most people would expect the Navi with the higher HP value to win, but that doesn’t actually play a part unless the Program Decks are a tie. In any case, a battle that lasts this long is rare, but can occur in certain (usually very amusing) situations.
- There seems to be a bug in the random number generator (or maybe it’s a “feature”) which causes the game to frequently select the exact same Action Plan path multiple times consecutively (and not just once or twice, but I’m talking four or five times in a row). This can get very aggravating very fast particularly if the opponent deleted all of your chips in that path and yet the computer chooses it over and over repeatedly. This is a situation where using your slot-in gauge to select a new plan might be helpful, although you only get one redraw (and might just get the same path again...).
- Here are a few of the entry codes you can use in this game (in the park).
- LAN: NG75-H5RF-R0MN-440N-2QX-X341
- DEX: FD3-3JW1-PSV-01-6R-1J32
- MARY: CX4-1G9-5JKL-SGD-3L5B-90Z1
- MAYL: 8NT8-JZFL-3Q9D-7RPX-TCH-JX51
- CHAU: 935-WXNH-9MWT-VX8-DY7M-88H0
- LAN: 54H-B81R-KKZ-P15X-ZS5B-XK0
Note that this game doesn’t really “end” per se. You can keep playing even after winning the BattleChipGP. So this simply lists the cut scene you see when you first win the GP.
- Lan’s Ending:
- Amusingly, this ending is almost more about Chaud than Lan. Lan’s friends come to congratulate Lan for his victory. Chaud stalks out, and MegaMan tries to explain to Lan why Chaud is upset for losing, although it takes a little while for Lan to get it. Outside, ProtoMan comments that Chaud injured his arm during the fight in an earlier cut scene. I wonder if this was meant to be an opening for Chaud to claim that his arm hindered his NetBattling (although I don’t know that ProtoMan has enough of a personality to make a comment with a double meaning like that), but instead of taking the bait, Chaud just says that Lan has gotten strong. Meanwhile, MegaMan also warns Lan that Chaud will be stronger the next time they battle, so Lan agrees that he and MegaMan must get stronger too!
- Chaud’s Ending:
- After Chaud’s victory, Ribitta wants to interview the winner, but when she turns around she’s surprised to discover that both Chaud and Lan are nowhere to be seen. Turns out Chaud pulled Lan outside, where he tells Lan that this is no time for interviews. He hustles Lan off to the SciLab, where they exterminate the virus in MegaMan. MegaMan thanks Lan, as well as Chaud and ProtoMan (for beating him, I guess). Lan thanks Chaud too, but Chaud says he was only doing his job. He also claims that Lan wouldn’t listen if he told him to lose on purpose, but I honestly think Chaud really wanted Lan to try to win, so that Chaud would be able to beat him legitimately. Then Chaud says he hopes he’s proven that there’s a real gap between the two of them. (No, there isn’t, Chaud, he beats you most of the time, haha.) Lan vows that he and MegaMan are going to get even stronger. Meanwhile, Chaud goes off to train with ProtoMan.
- Mayl’s Ending:
- After telling Mayl earlier to never congratulate an enemy, Chaud goes and congratulates her for defeating him. Later, as Chaud walks outside, he receives mail from HQ saying the “incident” was handled by citizen NetBattlers. At this point Chaud mentions Lan. I’m not sure why, but perhaps he was referring to Mayl, Lan’s friend. (Or maybe Lan was at home NetBattling on the Net all this time.) At any rate, Mayl goes home and finally talks with Lan, telling him all about her adventure. Mayl gets the mail from the BattleChipGP about the new Open Battle area. Lan and Mayl decide to go there together, and off they go.
- Dex’s Ending:
- Having lost to Dex, Lan and MegaMan promise to train hard and win the next time. After the tournament, Dex and Chisao are in Dex’s room when Lan and Mayl come to visit. Chisao apologizes for his behavior, and Dex brags to everyone that he and GutsMan are the ultimate team. Dex then proceeds to sit on his rare chip. (Crunch.) Looks like it’s back to the drawing board.
- Kai’s Ending:
- After the tournament, an official NetBattler comes to congratulate Kai for helping them capture the WWW operatives. Kai credits Lan, but Mayl and MegaMan quickly blow the lid on the whole thing by pointing out that Lan actually had no clue that the WWW was involved with the tournament at all. Kai doesn’t appear to have noticed this revelation, though. He goes off determined to become an even better NetBattler than “Master Lan.”
- Mary’s Ending:
- After the tournament, Mary is at the airport and Lan and the gang are all there to see her off. Lan and MegaMan point out that they’ll be able to visit over the Net and they’ll always be friends, even if they aren’t together. For once, Mary agrees. But before Mary can get on her plane, she receives an email from her father saying she will need to stay with Yai for a little longer. Everyone is happy that Mary won’t have to leave yet. At this point Mary asks Lan for Chaud’s address so that she can go thank him in person. When Lan doesn’t know, Ring offers to send an email to Chaud. Naturally, Mary protests this, but Ring, unhearing, hurries off happily to deliver her mail to Chaud’s Navi. Methinks somebody has a crush on ProtoMan...