This is a side-scrolling platformer game based on the Battle Network series
, similar to Network Transmission
(although in all honesty, it resembles the original series
games even more than Network Transmission
This game is only available in Japanese to the best of my knowledge.
Almost everything on this page comes courtesy of Sean. Most of the opinions on the game are his as well, as I’ve only sampled a small portion of it so far.
Notes and Features
- Unlike all other Battle Network games, in this one, once you use a Battle Chip, it is gone forever. Kaput. (There are, however, a few infinite-use chips.)
- Unlike classic Mega Man games, you cannot choose your stage order. You are sent through a fixed sequence of stages. However, most stages have alternate paths. Also, the game has a New Game + mechanic to allow you to replay the game multiple times exploring alternate paths and gaining items you missed before.
- Unlike Network Transmission, you have 9 lives per stage, every stage, without having to pick up Backup items first.
- Making a break from all of the other Battle Network games, this game seems to have only three elements instead of the usual four. The sequence appears to be: Elec -> Aqua -> Fire -> Elec.
- You gain Style Changes, but they really behave more like the armors from the first Battle Network game. You can’t choose or otherwise customize what combination of Style/Element you get; they are predetermined.
- The game has a meter indicating your connection to Lan. The weaker the connection, the less aid you can get from him. (A couple of the other Battle Network games made use of this in minor ways, but here it is a full-fledged game mechanic.)
Most of this review was contributed by Sean
- Play Control:
- It gets the job done, but even once you’re accustomed to the
uncomfortable WonderSwan controls, there are still some issues. Grabbing ladders is frustratingly flaky if you’re moving at all, touching ceilings may randomly halt your forward momentum, and you can’t release charged shots for a fraction of a second after being hit (if you release the button, you just lose your charge). Fortunately, the single-use combat Battle Chips aren’t particularly useful; otherwise their placement on the buttons would be utterly crippling.
- Good amounts of detail, and consistent color usage, but nothing that particularly challenges the hardware. Occasionally display ghosting and contrast become issues, but that may be due to playing on a WonderSwan Color rather than a SwanCrystal.
- Clean and smooth (although personally I think some of the sprites look a little goofy). Unlike the WonderSwan’s take on Rockman & Forte, it appears this team got access to all the appropriate character and enemy art. The enemy deletion animation (breaking up into tile-sized squares) takes some getting used to, but the Navis all have a full compliment of useful frames. MegaMan.EXE even has an idle animation that persists for a couple seconds after an action until he realizes you aren’t about to do anything.
- There are a couple good tunes, but the soundtrack generally fades from catchy to space-filling after the title. At least the instrument samples are an order of magnitude better than Rockman & Forte, even if the arrangement isn’t as laudable.
- Sound Effects:
- Nothing that markedly doesn’t fit, nothing that steps on the toes of
anything else, but nothing outstanding either.
- Plot: N/A
- It wouldn’t be fair to rate the plot until I can understand it.
- Difficulty: (hard)
- The thought process behind the level and boss design seems to be: “The player has 9 lives; he can afford to figure things out by trial and error.” This means many blind pits, hidden enemies, and pathological jumping puzzles in the stages, and bosses which will kill you if you don’t have the right equipment or strategy. As a consolation, you do get 9 lives, refreshed every stage, and a good number of the stages have continue points after the ugliest sections.
- Replay Value:
- You need to play the game twice to get the “real” ending and a complete set of Styles, more if you want to collect all the Battle Chips, and it does get easier each time, both due to retaining your old chips and Styles and the fact that half the difficulty lies in simply learning the stage and boss strategies. But there are still enough frustrating elements to keep the game from being a casual replay even once you’ve unlocked everything you care to.
- Between the sadistic stage design, vague use of elemental properties, no chip graphics (just a text description), cluttered chip list, and aforementioned control glitches, there’s a lot that could have been done to make this game more accessible and playable. On the other hand, there’s enough that the developers did right that we can’t claim a complete lack of effort.
- Overall: 74%
- A definite collector’s item, with a number of very intriguing features. The game’s cumulative drawbacks, however, sadly keep us from recommending it as playable to someone without at least moderate experience with the classic Mega Man games and passing interest in the Battle Network series.
- + Plus:
- Innovative “Lan gauge,” and some infinite-use weapons.
- - Minus:
- Stages designed to test a player’s memorization skills rather than to provide an engaging experience.
You cannot select your stage order; therefore, this section merely outlines the stages and bosses.
- Stage 1: (There is no split on this stage.)
Boss: FireMan (Use Buster)
- Stage 2: (ColorMan has an easier attack pattern, so he is good to take on first. The second game has an accessible chip only on the upper path.)
Upper: ElecMan (Use Buster or a Sword-class chip)
Lower: ColorMan (Use Buster)
- Stage 3: (Take the upper path first, then the lower path on a replay.)
Upper: MagicMan (Use Buster)
Lower: PharaohMan (Use BurningBody)
- Stage 4: (Take the lower path first to get your Style Change, then the upper one later.)
Upper: BombMan (Use WideSword or another type of sword)
Lower: SnakeMan (Use ElecSword or WideSword)
- Stage 5: (Wily 1) (Take the lower path first.)
Upper: FireMan (Use Buster or ColdPunch or AquaSword)
Lower: ElecMan (Use Buster, and WoodShield if you have it)
- Stage 6: (Wily 2) (There is no split on this stage.)
First Boss: Blues (Use Buster or GutsPunch, preferably with WoodShield or HeatGuts)
Second Boss: DreamVirus (Use LongSword, WideSword, or in a pinch, GutsPunch)
- Stage 7: (Second game or later.)
Boss: Gospel (Use Buster and WoodShield)
This game does not have passwords, and uses saved games instead. When you beat the game, you will be asked to save. Loading this clear-game save behaves like a “New Game +”
in that you start the game from the beginning but you keep all of your items.
This game also features the Title Menu Star system; the color of the star that appears when you point at the “Continue” option on the title screen denotes what you have unlocked.
Noteworthy Battle Chips
All of these chips have infinite uses, except where noted.
- Recovery60: Stage 1, at the end of a slide passage. Single-use chip.
- AreaSteal: Stage 2. Use GutsPunch to break the obvious wall.
- ColdPunch: Stage 2, upper path. Fall down the left side of the big shaft to enter a side corridor. Use WideSword to break the wall.
- DashAttack: Stage 2, lower path. Use LongSword to break the wall.
- Sword: Stage 3. Stay on top of the upper block path until you reach the shelf with the chip. Getting this seems to trigger a scene with ProtoMan.EXE and Chaud in the post-stage dialogue.
- GutsPunch: Stage 3, upper path. In plain sight on a small ledge on the right side of a pit.
- BurningBody: Stage 3, lower path. In plain sight, but thanks to the rotating spike blocks, you probably can’t get it without taking damage.
- WideSword: Stage 4. On a block over the big pit, toward the bottom of the room. Easy to get to, but you’ll need to kill yourself or equip AirShoes to get out.
- LongSword: Stage 4, upper path. Use AirShoes—or perhaps AreaSteal or ElecBrother—to jump out to the obvious ladder.
- AirShoes: Stage 4, lower path. In plain sight. If you stand on the front of the snake
platform’s head, you don’t even need to jump off to get it.
- ElecSword: Stage 4, lower path. When Lan gets your attention below the ladder, break
the wall with BurningBody.
- FlameSword: Stage 5. Climb the obvious ladder, break the wall with ColdPunch.
- DynaWave: Stage 5, upper path. In plain sight.
- Recovery60: Stage 5, upper path. In plain sight. Single-use chip.
- AquaSword: Stage 5, lower path. In plain sight. Use ElecBrother and/or AreaSteal with AirShoes to jump the pit. BurningBody might also let you cross.
- Invisible1: Stage 6, first half. On a ledge in plain sight, but you’ll have to redo some block-jumping to get out if you don’t have AirShoes. Single-use chip.
- Undershirt: Stage 6. In the final run up to the Blues battle (horizontal screen with treadmills over pits), Lan will ping you. Take a step of faith into the pit in front of you and hold left against the wall as you fall to land in a small alcove. Break the wall with a Sword+WideSword+LongSword Program Advance (if not certain others). Hop across a couple of narrow pillars (one long jump may require ElecBrother, AreaSteal, and/or a dash chip). To the best of our knowledge, the only way back out is suicide.
We have not translated the dialogue yet, so I can’t be specific about the particulars. It seems that MegaMan.EXE successfully rescues Roll.EXE (kidnapped or otherwise endangered at the outset of stage 6), leading Mayl to give Lan a flustered “thank you.” Lan proceeds to have celebratory dialog with MegaMan before the credits roll. After the credits, MegaMan makes a brief comment, likely predicating the availability of new play modes.