The Let's Play Archive

Mega Man Battle Network

by Epee Em

Part 2: The Iconic Moment.

Before we head home, let's oblige Dex and take him on.

Being the first game in the series, there's a few things that seem odd with the rest of the series. For example, apparently GutsMan is a commercial Navi model Dex purchased.

GutsMan is so easy I can't actually use this video to demo the combat system.

Dex isn't one to take losing well.

Leaving the school immediately prompts an email to arrive.

Lan's father, Dr. Hikari, is basically the guy half-responsible for the setting being the way it is. Modern Navis and PETs are his invention.

The PowerUp, an upgrade that raises the power, rate of fire, or charge speed of the MegaBuster, is too large to send by email, so he'll deliver it in person.

The other email is from Lan's teacher Ms. Mari, who forgot to mention that if you press R while jacked in, you can jack out at any time.

Let's talk to the people around town to get a bit more info about the setting.

There you have it, Lan lives in ACDC Town, which is part of DenCity. We'll be exploring some of the rest of DenCity later.

This NPC mentions an important fact about how you go about acquiring the majority of the chips in the game. You fight and win, that's how. Random encounters drop chips that vary depending on which enemies you fought.

This old lady drops a hint about folder building: It is much better to streamline your folder with as few chip codes as possible than it is to just stuff it with an alphabet soup of random, high-power chips. You want to be drawing and using 5 chips per turn ideally, which is much stronger than only 1 good chip. This isn't feasible this early into the game, but give it a few chapters.

One of the things you should get used to is jacking into random objects. Like Lan's empty doghouse, which is actually a security system.

This blue thing is Mystery Data. Being a set of RPGs, this series has its 'treasure chests', and Mystery Data octahedrons fill that role. They come in three colors:

Blue: Have set locations they appear at, set rewards, and once collected are gone for good.

Green: Randomly appear and have semi-random contents that depend on the area.

Purple: Only appear in dungeons. This gets changed in MMBN2 onwards to being "locked" Mystery Data that requires an item to open.

For example, this Blue Mystery Data (BMD for short) has a ShotGun K in it. Not even worth adding to the folder.

This is a Program. They represent actual computer programs, and fulfill only one function, unlike the more complex Navis.

Here's an example of what the post-battle screen looks like. Delete Time is obviously how long the battle took. Busting Level is how the game ranks your performance, which depends on your speed and how (in)frequently you get hit. The reward is displayed, in this case I got a ShockWave K from a Mettaur.

Finally arriving home, a maintenance worker is checking the house out.

This is a preventative measure, you see.

They think a virus is responsible for the incidents. You will learn very quickly that every problem is digital, and every solution is equally so. By far the funniest example of this occurs in MMBN2, where you jack into a  bear, because it's actually a robot with a virus. 

Nothing better to do, so let's go screw around on the internet!

This is Lan's computer, the main location for jacking into the internet. You'll be visiting it a lot, though shortcuts come up later.

Anyway, let's go over the biggest complaint most people have with MMBN1. This is what the inside of Lan's computer is like. Small, compact, and with a distinct color and background.

And this is the Internet, a screaming void of barren, hard to navigate narrow paths with zero landmarks, labyrinthine design, and the same universal salmon background with Es everywhere. Seeing the problem? Navigating the internet is an absolute nightmare in this game. Capcom corrected this for every other game in the series. Most of the time, I won't even bother trying to describe where I am, because usually I'll have no goddamned clue myself.

Moving onward, this is Glyde, who has the distinction of being the most worthless character in the series. He never does anything helpful. EVER. Across 6 entire games, the last two of which he gets cut out of almost entirely.

Glyde immediately endears himself to all by sending us on our first fetch quest. Lan's "friends" do this almost constantly, so get used to it. I hate them all, and if I achieve anything by LPing this series, so will you.

Glyde's words are "If you happen to find the program", which might lead you to believe this is optional. No, the story won't progress until we do this completely asinine chore with little to no reward.

The @(name) items let you access other peoples' homepages. This is only useful later in the game, where jacking into other peoples' computers lets you skip navigating large portions of the internet, which has a whopping 16 total areas.

Canodumb: These enemies recur in almost every other game in the series, and are almost as prolific as the Mettaurs. They're turrets, and they send out a cursor forwards if you step on their row. If the cursor catches MegaMan, they'll blast at that panel. And only that panel, oddly, allowing you to step backwards or even forwards to dodge. This is corrected in the other games.

Escape chips let you flee from battle, which is useful because the random encounter rate can get grating easily. I never run though, as I like battling. Later games in the series drop the chip requirement and just let you press L on the custom screen to try and flee battle.

If you haven't caught on yet, the major theme of MMBN1 is "rough around the edges, but establishing a decent starting point". MMBN2 is a much, much better game, so Capcom learned from the mistakes here.

One thing that recurs in every game except MMBN2 are these skull doors. You always need a special item to open them, and once you have it, you can tap into the goodies behind them.

This is a generic Navi model, this particular one being a salesman.

HPMemory items raise your max HP by 20 points, which racks up fairly quickly. In each game in the series, MegaMan's max base HP is 1000. The chips he has for sale aren't worth it, so let's just move on.

Just past the merchant is the lost program. Easy enough, this was just an exercise to familiarize the player with the immediate area.

Using the @Yai, we can now enter the home page.

There, sheesh. Happy, Glyde?

Our reward is the meager Spreader I, which, like most other chips available at this point, just isn't worth putting in the folder.

Might as well demo folder building sooner rather than later anyway, though. This 30 chip list is the folder.

And this is the sack, which contains every chip you've collected that isn't in the folder. Just select a chip from the folder and a chip from the sack, and you'll swap the two.

Also on Yai's homepage are these viruses.

Fishy: They move up and down their column of panels back and forth. When they draw level with MegaMan, they'll fly down the row and charge at him. Later versions trail fire behind them or simply dash at crazy high speed.

Jacking out due to a lack of other options at this point, Lan's mother Haruka (name mentioned only in manuals) screams in alarm!

Well, how about that. The oven's on fire.

Ain't that suspicious.

Time for the first "dungeon" of the game, the oven computer.

The programs here refer to a "master virus" several times, but what they actually mean is that an evil Navi is the cause of this.

Every dungeon in the MMBN series has a gimmick, and the oven sets the stage. All over the place, fires block the path.

Why would the thawing part of an oven have a...nevermind, it's Battle Network. Things work in absurd ways here. The quintessential example is coming up very soon, in fact!

Just along the path, MegaMan remarks that viruses have infested the oven.

Before every 'major' battle in the series, there's this catchphrase. So surely we're going to be up against a difficult virus to test our skills so far in the game, right?

Well, not exactly. I don't know why they felt the need to program this encounter into the game, considering it's literally the easiest possible battle. A single virus of the easiest type.

Yeah, things like anti-virus programs aren't common in MMBN, virus busting duty falls to Navis.

So, here's the thawing section, and this program forks over the IceBlock. This forms the 'puzzle' of the dungeon. If you use up all 7 uses of the IceBlock, you have to start over and the fires come back.

Before we can put it to use though, the oven network explodes into flames!

"What's wrong?", asked Lan, as he almost had his eyebrows seared off.

The NetSafety guy drops the act and taunts us over the phone. Meet Mr. Match, who will recur in all the games in the series except for MMBN5.

Pressing L now nets you directions from Lan. What follows is the iconic moment of the MMBN series, the moment that sets the tone for everything else.

Lan has something he can use to solve this problem.


Lan proceeds to spray the oven with water, soaking the computer and putting the flames mostly out.

This puts out the fires in the computer that had MegaMan pinned down, but none of the ones we need to use the IceBlock for. MegaMan Battle Network, everybody!

The solution to the "puzzle" with the IceBlock is best summed up as "Go in a straight line".

This program warns us of the upcoming boss fight, the first real Navi fight considering how much of a joke GutsMan was.

Up ahead is, surprise, FireMan.EXE, the Navi behind all of this.

FireMan is no GutsMan, but he's still easy.

If you insist.

What's this, a hint of plot?

Apparently, the WWW's plan requires the program that was inside the oven. The odds of this being the case are completely ridiculous until you remember that this is Dr. Hikari's house too. Where better to hide a MacGuffin than in your own home?

The writing for MMBN does have it's occasional pearls.

Dastardly fiends!

Wait, I probably shouldn't use that emote. It brings up chronological headaches.

At any rate, we kept the house from burning down, so go us!