The Let's Play Archive

Mega Man Battle Network

by Epee Em

Part 12: The Power Plant.

From halfway into the MMBN5 LP, December 20th 2010: posted:

Let's start with some perspective: I was willing to LP MMBN4. I'm not willing to LP MMBN1 solely because of this evil fucking dungeon. I never want to go back there. Ever. The background music is seared into my fucking brain, I can list all the enemies in vague-ish terms because viruses didn't actually have names displayed in that game, etc. I absolutely refuse to LP MMBN1 because of the Power Plant.

Mind you, it's been years since I played the game, so it would probably be less hellish now. And with an emulator, save-states would make the battery puzzles vastly easier. But you know what? Fuck that. I'm never going back there. I don't want to. Nothing can make me, you hear me!? Seriously, fuck the Power Plant.

Because this is what the thread's been building up to, I've included a "highlights reel" which features audio commentary to go with some of the screenshots. And ends with a "certain event" that nearly made my heart explode from anger before I realized what was going on. I just wish I hadn't recorded the audio at such a low volume out of concern that my screams would be too loud.

Let the fun begin. Honestly, this won't be nearly as awful as it is on the GBA because I have savestates and will be abusing them mercilessly.

This dungeon has multiple horrible gimmicks stacked on top of each other like a Jenga tower made of turds. The first, as mentioned in the last update, is that MegaMan's HP will stop restoring itself automatically once the battery dips below a certain level. I already covered the problems with this.

The second gimmick is that the majority of the dungeon is fucking invisible. Expect to spend plenty of time getting lost because you have no idea where to go. This will make you waste the PET battery exponentially more than you would have otherwise. And you'll run into more of the most annoying viruses in the game.

And worst of all, these horrible battery puzzles. Let's get some exposition on what these are, shall we?

To create pathways, you need to light up bulbs with batteries. Obtain battery items from a local program, put them into one of the boxes, and pull the switch.

Except that there are more boxes than batteries. You get no hints about which boxes are the correct positions, so prepare for a dungeon that relies on trial and error. And error and error and error.

Oh by the way, you can only test a battery twice before it runs out of power and you need to haul ass back to the program you got it from to recharge it. Words and screenshots alone do not encompass how infuriating this is.

So here's the first puzzle. You have one battery and three boxes. If you're unlucky and guess wrong twice, back to the program for recharging you go. But I have savestates, so fuck of all that trial and error backtracking.

I'll be taking screenshots of every single completed battery puzzle. I will be the last fucking person who has to suffer through this dungeon without a visual guide that reveals where the battery positions are.

Remember when I mentioned some of the most annoying viruses in the game? These altered programs are the source. Some of them require you to talk to them, but the later areas of the dungeon have them as random encounters.

"AltProg": Altered Programs are elegantly simple. They move forward and cause an electricity ball to circle around them. This ball causes the same "Fuckery Spasm" status that Billy viruses cause, meaning that you'll take damage every time you try and take a step, which will also extend the duration of the status. The thing is, these guys use up to two Steal/AreaGrab chips to force their way in front of you, and in conjunction with other viruses will quickly make it impossible to avoid attacks. Especially if they get paired with Billy or Ratty viruses. These things will suck your HP FAST if they hit you. Which doesn't recover in this dungeon. The one saving grace is that their attacks drain a small amount of their own HP as they use them. This won't save you, but it helps a little.

Area one isn't too bad compared to what's to come, honestly.

See how some panels are darker than others? Well, there are invisible layers of paths that cross over each other like a pretzel.

And the version 2s and 3s of the Altered Programs start showing up as random encounters, with 200 and 250 HP respectively. You'll run into them a lot, so get used to fighting them.

We've gone from 3 boxes and one battery to 6 boxes and two batteries. This does not bode well. More possible combinations of batteries means that you'll be doing more and more backtracking to recharge the batteries due to the enforced trial and error gameplay. Which will cause you to fight more annoying viruses you can't heal from. Did I mention you can't jack out of this dungeon!? If you get stuck here, fuck you, restart your save file!

See how I can't move sideways along this path even though it appears I should be able to? That's because I'm on an invisible ramp that crosses over it, I'm not actually on that path. Godfuckingshit!

Notice how my battery level has dropped quickly due to the invisible pathways making no sense. Anyway, after acquiring more batteries, this is the solution to the second battery puzzle.

The single hint you get is that the correct battery boxes will never be adjacent to each other. This is rarely helpful in eliminating possibilities.

Irfanview ate the screenshot, but there's an Altered Program around here who says "All your base are belong to us!", for a small easter egg.

And why yes, navigating this dungeon is pure hell, why do you ask?

Three batteries...

For nine boxes. I'll repeat, due to me using statesaves to avoid mindless backtracking, this dungeon is much less awful on my end. Doing this on a GBA is far, far worse. Let's examine the logistics.

You might be tempted to put all the batteries you have in random places and then flip the switch to see if any of them were correct. The problem is that the game won't tell you which of those boxes were correct and which weren't, so you'll have to waste a shitload of time testing each location individually, and getting the batteries recharged when they run out. All while the AltProg, Billy, and Ratty viruses slam you to pieces.

If you test the boxes one at a time, a slow and laborious process, the individual batteries will run out. Once you've discovered the correct boxes, you will have to get all the batteries recharged anyway so that you can use them all. This is the preferable method because it minimizes recharging. All while the AltProg, Billy, and Ratty viruses slam you to pieces.

The next area has a twist on this already horrible gimmick.

You need the red bulb/path lit and either the green or blue paths lit here. You have three batteries, so you need to take the extra onwards.

You then have to guess which of these next boxes opens a blue path backwards so you can go back and collect the previous batteries. Thankfully, that program right there will recharge your battery, but this still involves testing 9 fucking possibilities individually until you've discovered which box corresponds to the correct bulb.

Snag the previous batteries and put them into these two boxes, while removing the one you used to create the path backwards. This lets you continue forwards.

You then repeat this puzzle with fucking TWELVE possibilities, testing them individually until you find the box that opens the path backwards so you can recollect the old batteries from the previous puzzle.

Once again, the nearby program handles recharging, but that doesn't make the trial and error any less agonizing. Get two of the batteries in these positions to open up the path onward.

You'll need it for a last little fuck you in the area. Hope you had that last battery charged up!

A particularly annoying circular invisible path that had a ramp hidden somewhere inside of it proceeds to suck the rest of MegaMan's battery away. Welcome to the low point of the entire series. Not even MMBN4 was this awful.

Reaching the final battery puzzle, another twelve box one, the battery gives out entirely. Yes, this whole dungeon has effectively been on a time limit.

Thankfully, the scientist nearby cobbled together a hand-cranked electromagnet to recharge the battery.

You get 20 seconds to mash the B button before the thing presumably breaks.

My controls are set up so that X is the B button. And I press Ctrl+` to take screenshots. Attempting to take a screenshot of the button mashing process midway through it led to me closing the emulator by mistake. This is the source of the scream of pure fury at the end of the highlight reel.

Fortunately, I'd made state saves through the whole thing, so I was only set back by about 5 minutes. For a moment I thought I would have to redo the whole thing.

The battery recharged, we can now finish this godawful dungeon.

Completing the last puzzle leads to a cutscene, but don't worry, I get to take a screenshot of the solution in a bit. Completing this last puzzle unlocks the door to the generator room.

The generator is active, actually, ElecMan is presumably preventing the power from going anywhere else.

There, that's the solution to the final battery puzzle. I feel like I've actually accomplished something. Let no innocent gamer ever have to go through this without a picture guide ever again.

ElecMan awaits. By this point, the player should be a frothing madman of a human being, so a boss fight is unwelcome.


Unfortunately, this is an unwinnable boss fight phase one. ElecMan uses the generator's power to restore his HP. I wanted to see if I could kill him before the battle was interrupted, but using a strong attack will immediately prompt him to restore his HP to full. I don't know of any attacks that can deal 600 damage in one shot in this game. Even if I used an instant kill cheat code, however, I suspect that the event scripting would just continue normally as if the battle had ended the expected way.

ElecMan taunts us that he's invincible as long as the generator is supplying him power. And then he starts zapping MegaMan.

ElecMan had electrified the generator's control lever, but Lan forces it down anyway somehow despite the fact that the voltage should be cooking him alive, stopping his heart, or at least giving him muscle spasms that render him unable to touch the generator.

The power wasn't going anywhere else, after all. Although this begs the question of how the local computer system is functioning at all now. Auxiliary power supply?


The last fuck you of the dungeon? It was all pointless, WWW got the ElecProgram anyway. Well, not entirely pointless, the people are all going to live at least.

ProtoMan shows up seconds later. Apparently, the jack-in protection that I didn't even feature in screenshots because it was just mentioned in passing gave them way more trouble than it did Lan and MegaMan.

Apparently, he wanted to rip the WWW server address from ElecMan's memory.

Fake data. This was all a scheme to lure a WWW Navi in. We never even had to get involved.


And now for the real final fuck you of the dungeon: back-to-back boss fights. ProtoMan is tough compared to other bosses in the game, Chaud's an asshole, and their stupid plan hinged on being able to break the jack-in protection on a computer that they'd already planted fake data inside. My rage, it is overwhelming.

"You know, innocent people are going to suffocate if we waste too much time..."

Fine, we'll play that game.

The icing on the cake is that goons in the thread report glitching ProtoMan's AI by using either Mine chips or his own NaviChip. I'll do some testing on this later on, I dumped all of my chips into the Chip Trader a while ago.

And yes, despite my own hatred for this dungeon and everything associated with it, I gave ProtoMan a fair fight.

ProtoMan and Chaud are shocked to be defeated.

See where this is going?



It's like an episode of Power Rangers, I swear.

Not even ProtoMan is Chaud's friend, more like a servant.

Food for ProtoMan's thought.

Chauderhead just throws a hissy fit.

Lan turns the generator back on, and things are back to normal.

Plot Hole: Chaud said that the data was fake. But the ElecProgram got to Wily anyway, and I will confirm that it's the real thing and does what it should in regards to the plot.

Where the WoodProgram came from is anyone's guess.

By the way, small retcon on this screen. You can see what is clearly a map of the real world on Wily's screen. MMBN4 shows a map of the Battle Network world, and it's different.

Wily's just a crotchety old man with a bone to pick with the young'uns.

Or rather, Lan's family.