The Let's Play Archive

Mega Man Battle Network

by Epee Em

Part 4: A Goony New Friend.

What's this, an NPC being helpful and tagging along with the protagonist? Mayl's NetNavi is Roll.EXE, and somewhat awkwardly considering the original series, she's MegaMan's pseudo-love interest.

Fortunately, she doesn't actually come along in person. This is a NaviChip. You can only have 5 NaviChips in your folder (or was it 10 in this game?) and they all work by summoning another Navi to the field to perform an attack. As a rule, NaviChips are almost always stronger than normal chips. The chip code for NaviChips always corresponds to the original name of the Navi.

Roll, for example, comes in the R code, and deals 60 points of damage to one enemy automatically before healing MegaMan. Useful!

The music for this stage is some of the best in the game, and it's a remix of the title screen theme.

It was even re-remixed in Onimusha Blade Warriors as the theme for the MegaMan.EXE cameo, so be sure to listen to this as well!

What can I say, the MegaMan franchise has always had fantastic music, and the Battle Network series is no exception. Getting back to the point of why we're even here, our first priority is to get the door open.

Once again, we see this excuse for why the inside of the computer has such a bizarre path. The viruses messed up the layout and broke the paths, that's why the dungeon is weird.

There are three new viruses in the school network, and this here is the first.

Flappy: Flappy viruses hop around slowly, jumping to random panels on their side of the field. After 3 jumps, they will appear above MegaMan's panel and transform into a giant weight, slamming down on the panel and cracking it. Later versions also crack the panels above and below the impact, and the final versions crack all adjacent panels.

MMBN2 and onwards have different panel types, but MMBN1 just has cracked and broken panels. Cracked panels can only be stepped on once before they turn into broken panels, which cannot be moved over. Broken panels return to being normal panels after a while.

Beetank: Beetanks move up and down their column at a fairly slow pace, occasionally firing a LilBomb at MegaMan's panel. When it connects, it explodes on that panel as well as the two panels above and below it. Later versions fire CrossBombs or BigBombs, which explode onto all adjacent panels or in a 3x3 square centered around the point of impact.

Spooky: Spooky viruses are irritating medics. They stick to one column, but they'll teleport to another panel in the column if MegaMan draws level with them. Every so often, they'll teleport in front of MegaMan and attempt to smack him with their tongues. More importantly, they can heal themselves and other viruses by using recovery chips, which get more potent with later versions of the virus.

Here's the gimmick of the dungeon, password doors.

Most games in the series have at least one dungeon where Lan gets slightly involved, it becomes a tradition for the series.

In this case, we regain control of Lan and have to count the number of chairs in the classroom. Once we've done so, we can press L to tell the code to MegaMan.

As you can see, there are 9 chairs.

Input the passcode, and presto. Yes, this system of security is ridiculous, let's just not even mention how self-defeating it is.

Further on, another door asks for the number of History of the World volumes in the library.

Throughout the scenario, you can watch as some of the other schoolchildren fall sway to the re-education program if you take slight detours.


The next password door throws a curveball and introduces a variation on the gimmick. No password hint at all.

What you get is Hacking for Dummies. The security system will tell you if the number you've guessed is too high or low. So always begin at 50 or 55.

If you get the first digit correct but not the second, the game even tells you. Going in halfway increments is the key to guessing the correct number to open the door, too many tries will reset the number. That is, make the most of the system telling you higher or lower by always guessing the number that's right in the middle of all possible numbers.

And so, with a bit of finagling...

Always using the "halfway increments" trick...

You'll get the door open easily.

Another hintless door later, we come across this slightly annoying hint door.

You see, there are a few double-doors in the school, including one that has only one door visible due to the camera angle. So it's easy to over-count.

This dungeon is extremely basic, but the music makes up for it. And I can tell you, back in 2001 when this game came out, I felt like a real smartypants for figuring out the halfway increments trick to getting the hintless doors open. I was nine at the time, after all.

This program warns that the network around the AV room is unstable. Surely that won't come into effect!

Handy: Handy viruses wait for a little while, unmoving. After a few seconds, they will dip under the field and pop up right in the front column, laying a TimeBomb onto MegaMan's side of the field. Destroy the TimeBomb in 3 seconds, or else it explodes across MegaMan's entire field.

As a side note, anything that "explodes across the whole field" in this game actually just blows everything up column by column very quickly. If you have very precise timing, you can dodge these attacks anyway.

Further ahead, MegaMan steps in a trap, freezing him up into paralysis.

And yes, he's in the AV room section of the network. Off to the AV room with Lan!

Before entering, Lan almost runs right into Higsby, who plows on by and hurries off.

"Computer freezes" are very literal in this series, the next game especially so. Lan restarts the computer.

This frees MegaMan, and Lan is plenty satisfied with himself.

The final door of the dungeon requires a real-world key before we can attempt the usual "codebreaking" sequence.

Well, Ms. Mari should have one of those!

By this point, even some of the teachers have been brainwashed by the WWW program.

If it isn't readily obvious, opening password doors in the network will unlock doors in the real world. By this point, Lan can access the supply closet, where Ms. Mari has been bound and gagged.

Those familiar with the later games in the series will probably find this scene rather funny. This is Ms. Mari's first impression of Higsby, keep in mind.

Score one ID card.

And as long as we're in here, might as well snag the HPMemory hidden in this cabinet.

This enables MegaMan to begin guessing the hintless password.

Considering how much of a nerd Higsby is, this is entirely appropriate. All of the hintless doors have answers that are determined randomly, however, so this was just a geeky coincidence.

This is NumberMan.EXE, the first of the Navis created for this series with no original series counterpart.

Yeah, it'd be kind of a bad thing if the whole school got converted like that.

I'll say this right now, Higsby becomes a recurring character in the series, making this original encounter with him kind of jarring if you've seen him in other games.

For now, Higsby is just an amoral chip collector. Anything for rare chips, even crime against school children!

Lan is disgusted, to say the least.

Higsby used to feel guilty about it, but then the rare chips won him over.

Lan continues to be disgusted.

NumberMan is also the first boss in the series to employ a very annoying tactic that frequently is seen on bosses labelled "most annoying in the game". Hiding in the back row, NumberMan relies on summoned objects to do the fighting for him while he stays safely out of range of your more powerful close-range attacks.

Despite that, NumberMan goes down, and I even demonstrate what I mentioned earlier about precise timing with field explosions. Higsby proceeds to break down sobbing.

Might makes right, you tell him Lan!

: My chips! They did nothing!

As an aside, you've probably noticed that Higsby (and FireMan/GutsMan for that matter) didn't actually use chips in battle. Other Navis rely on their own weaponry, but the explanation is that they're using chips for some of their attacks, and indeed, there are chips that correspond to certain attacks for almost every Navi. For example, GutsMan is implied to use GutsPunch and ShockWave chips supplied by Dex.

That's right, Higsby, realize the error of your ways!

"Lan, stop bullying the nerd!"

And so, Higsby reforms to be a good guy from now on.

And really, Higsby turns out to be one of the more likable NPCs in the series, so overall, we've earned ourselves a valuable ally. A very valuable one, actually, the fact that Higsby is ex-WWW does actually become a plot point several times.

Lan accepts Higsby's reformation, but on the condition that Higsby make up for his crimes in the past. If you're wondering about what kind of legal system the MMBN series has...well, the issue doesn't even come up until the last game in the series.

Everyone, Higsby included, proceeds to restart the server and set things right.