The Let's Play Archive

Mega Man Battle Network

by Epee Em

Part 1: Tutorial Dump.

No time like the present to get things moving, so here we go!

Our protagonist's name is Lan Hikari, 5th grade elementary school student. Him sleeping in and being late for everything is a running gag in the series.

The person yelling at Lan to wake up isn't his mother, or even human for that matter. MegaMan is shouting at him. But where is he? You'll see.

WWW, pronounced "The World Three" is an obvious pun on World Wide Web addresses. Get used to internet terminology puns, because the series is chock full of 'em.

The "net" is short for Internet. The big change about the MMBN series is that everything is online. EVERYTHING. The global internet is a key part of the series, and we'll be spending a majority of our time online surfing the web.

Lan follows the "Dumbass McEatsalot" protagonist mold often seen in Shonen anime.

Anyway, Lan gets his PET. I'll let the game itself explain what this thing is later, bear with me for now.

And inside it is MegaMan.EXE, complete with sleek redesign!

Rather than the object theme of design the original series had, or the animal theme of the X, Zero, and ZX series, the EXE design theme is all about streamlining. Somehow, this translated to an overall "spandex with helmet, boots, chest armor, and gloves" design template for most non-human characters. This is because the robots of yore are instead digital programs, which operate on the global internet.

The L button acts as the "hint" system for the series, allowing you to talk to MegaMan (or Lan if you're controlling MegaMan at the moment) as needed. You rarely get anything useful, it's more for reminding players who've set the game down for a while what it is they're supposed to be doing.

You can check emails from the pause screen, as well as do various other things I'll cover later as relevant.

Attached to the email from Lan's father Yuuichiro Hikari (who's first name isn't even mentioned for a very long time) is a BattleChip! Once again, I ask you to be patient with explanations.

Even though Lan overslept, there's no sense in skipping breakfast.

You'll quickly realize that goodies are tucked away just about everywhere. Battlechips and Zenny (the traditional MegaMan currency), among other upgrades, are all over the place.

This game came out in 2001, and the last game in the series, MMBN6, came out in 2005 (in Japan at least). Having a futuristic-modern sort of setting, you can expect that Capcom had to make a few guesses about what things would be like. This occasionally results in humorous moments of "Well, they got that totally wrong", but other times the guesses are pretty spot-on.

Heading outside, meet Mayl. You know how I mentioned "extremely unlikable NPC friends" in the opening post? Mayl is exhibit A.

The mugshots in this game cycle through a single blink and speak animation, none of the games except the DS remake of MMBN5 have actual emotions depicted. Nevertheless, random timing of screenshots can yield gems like this, with MegaMan appearing far more exasperated than he would have otherwise. The blink animation is going to be frequently responsible for different takes on screenshots.

Lan is a lot more snarky right now than he is later in the series, you can blame that on the writers not being used to his personality yet. All the same, this early attitude towards Mayl is a lot more welcome than the later "Durrr, okay Mayl" blandness.

I mean, it baffles me. Mayl is completely unlikable, I'll go ahead and spoil the fact that she's the awkward love interest as well as recurring damsel in distress. We're seriously supposed to like or even care about someone like this?

Even Lan is complaining about having to be around her!

: Blah blah blah blah blaaaah...

So Mayl is introduced as an unpleasant motormouth at best. Poor Lan.

Time to finally get things moving, in regards to both storyline and the inevitable tutorial.

Here's a perfect indication of how Capcom Science works, and this is half of what I meant by "the game's very first scenario sets the tone far into the range of silliness" in the intro post.

Yes, a computer virus is making ovens shoot fire. Rule of thumb, technology is basically treated the same in MMBN as it is on the Jetsons. Due to the games taking themselves seriously, however, this leaves the whole series ripe for justified mockery.

Arriving at the school, we're automatically taken to Lan's classroom. Dex is "unlikable NPC number 2", at this point in the game he's not a friend yet. Dex is the class bully.


Yes, big. Dex is a fatass. But we'll talk to him shortly, there are other NPCs to address first.

This is Yai, one of Mayl's friends. She's a rich little brat who's skipped grades, and thus has little in the way of social skills. But for now, she'll be providing exposition which I can use to help explain the setting a bit.

"And this really is something you should know already, but I digress..."

Capcom basically predicted the iPhone, so credit to them. A PET is a device invented by Lan's father that basically acts as a do-everything device.

Yeah, these are all things phones can do in the modern day. You can do a whole lot more with a PET, but we'll get to that when it becomes relevant.

The program inside a PET is called a NetNavigator, NetNavi or just Navi for short. MegaMan.EXE is an example of a Navi, and just about everyone in the setting has a Navi. Most Navis are generic, but the ones we'll be encountering and fighting throughout the game are based off the old Robot Masters from the original series.

Anyway, let's talk to Dex now.

A NetBattle is a fight between Navis or between a Navi and a Virus. I'll get this out of the way right now: I'm really good at the MMBN games. If Death challenged me to a game for my life, I'd pick a NetBattle. That said, MMBN1 is probably the easiest game in the series. The MMBN Megathread I ran had me doing several romhack fights, and I'll try to continue the trend after I beat the game.

Yai interrupts the proceedings before I get the chance to kick GutsMan's ass, unfortunately. NetBattling isn't allowed in class.

And wouldn't you know it, class is beginning. Cue the tutorial.

One of the reasons Navis exist is to delete viruses, which make up the bulk of the fights in the series. It's so important that they teach it in schools.

Dex is overconfident as hell. If you haven't guessed, GutsMan is basically the tutorial boss for the first half of the series.

Seriously, I really do prefer Snarky Lan over BLand. Note that I said before that WWW is pronounced "The World Three", and the game sometimes forgets this. Lan is basically saying "The The World Three" right now.

Metools make a return from the main series. In MMBN1, virus names aren't displayed, so as I describe viruses I'll have to occasionally invent names for the ones that don't appear with names later in the series. Oddly enough, from MMBN2 to the end of the series, Metools are called Mettaurs, and I will refer to them as such for consistency.

Connecting the PET to a computer and sending the Navi into it is called Jacking In.

Each game in the series (except for the American release of MMBN3) has a fancy Jack-In animation.

This is what the inside of the school's computer looks like! Mayl's Navi Roll is right next to MegaMan, and you can see GutsMan in the center.

Every game in the series has a more or less identical tutorial fight against Mettaurs. Since this is the first game in the series, I'll go into detail and explain everything. For subsequent games, I'll be skipping the crap except for the occasional things that get changed between games.

BattleChips are the primary weapons to use in battle.

At the start of battle, you get 5 randomly chosen chips to select from. You can press R to get a brief description of what a chip does. So the Cannon chip shoots a projectile forward that deals 40 damage, for example.

Ordinarily, you can only send MegaMan one chip at a time. However, there are clearly 5 spots for chips on the setup screen.

This is because it's of course possible to send multiple chips. One way to do that is to select multiple copies of the same chip. You can have up to 10 copies of the same chip (barring a certain type of chip we'll get later) in your folder, which contains a total of 30 chips you can use in battle. You can edit your folder from the pause screen, and I'll demonstrate that later on.

So, I've selected two Cannon chips. As you can see, Mettaurs have 40 HP, so this will be enough for me to win the fight.

Battle takes place on a battlefield divided into two 3x3 grids. MegaMan can't move from his side of the field onto the enemy's side, but otherwise he's free to move around and dodge attacks.

B button is your MegaBuster. The classic mistake I see people making with this series is that they treat the Buster as the main weapon and use chips for support. Don't do this! Chips are your weapons, the buster is support, this is NOT the original series you are playing! You can upgrade the buster in various ways throughout the series, but it will never supplant chips. Later bosses int he series will eat you alive if you try to stick with the buster against them.

That's MegaMan's HP in the top-left. If that goes to 0, Game Over. Since MegaMan is a program, you're probably wondering why Lan can't just use a backup copy of him or something. In fact, other people do just that, but it wouldn't work for MegaMan. MegaMan is special.

You can see the chip data you've sent MegaMan above his head. Each chip can only be used once, so timing and quick thinking is a big part of gameplay. Unlike most RPGs, the battles are actually fully interactive and fast-paced, and the gameplay is amazingly fun.

Now, the two Cannons I have are enough to delete the Mettaurs, but what if you come up against a tougher enemy?

At the top of the screen is the Custom Gauge, referred to as Battle Gauge here for some reason. It steadily fills over the course of battle, and once it's full, you can press L or R to go back to the setup screen and select new chips. This is one full turn.

Deleting the Mettaurs is just a matter of using the Cannons with A, so no point in showing that off.

Not all chips are weapons. For example, the Recov10 A chip I picked up earlier restores 10 HP.

The Steal chip, referred to as AreaGrab in every other game in the series, steals one column of panels from the enemy field and adds it to your own. Very useful.

You may be wondering what good support chips are if you can only select copies of the same chip.

That's because of this letter. You know how every chip has a letter? That's the Chip Code. You can select chips that have the same code. For example, this tutorial is showing the Steal S and WideSword S combo. Each chip can come in a variety of codes. MMBN2 introduces the * code, which can be selected with any other code.

I'll take this opportunity to explain how Mettaurs fight. I'll be going into detail about how viruses fight as we encounter them.

Mettaur: The simplest of viruses, Mettaurs are universal to the MMBN series. You'll run into them and their stronger varieties all throughout every game. Mettaurs slowly move into MegaMan's row and swing their pickaxes at the floor, which creates a shockwave attack that slowly moves down the row. Later versions of Mettaurs move faster, as do their shockwaves, but they can also hide under their helmets to prevent damage.

Onto the final part of the battle tutorial, and after this we can get back to actually doing things and making fun of the writing. Chip adding is very important, and very useful. To the point that basically every subsequent game would nerf the Add function until it was removed for good in MMBN4.

This is the Add button. By selecting it, you'll go a turn without any chips. In return for this investment, you can select from 10 chips for the rest of the battle. Do this twice and you'll have 15 chips to choose from. Anyone who's played a card game knows the values of having a lot of options, so there's no understating how handy this is. 15 chips is half your entire folder! You can only Add twice in MMBN1, Capcom realized how powerful it was.

And that's all for the tutorial garbage! I can skip all that junk in the future, so hopefully this will be the worst it has to get, tutorial wise.