The Let's Play Archive

MegaMan Battle Network: Operate Star Force

by giver336, GeneralYeti

Part 13: MissEchelon's Opinion of This Update Shall Be Binary; Love It Or Hate It

Update #12: MissEchelon's Opinion of This Update Shall Be Binary; Love It Or Hate It

Oh boy, we're jumping down an the dark. Loads of fun.

Well, if it were ON, it wouldn't be very dark.

This part is a little silly. We have to talk to this guy...

...Then talk to him earlier up in the same room...

...Before it opens up. Huh.

Early video game scripting at its finest.

: Jacking in now is suicide! Don't you know that an un-powered computer means your phone can't charge!? Idiot.

: Better than being useless like every other adult.

: Shut up.

Hmm... Something tells me that's not the actual dialogue...

Good theory. We don't need to worry about the battery if we can fix the problem quickly enough. The problem is that I grind.

: Lan I'm getting real tired of this crap. Just fucking do it already or I'll tell everyone how you were mean to that little girl.

It's a good thing I was there, or he wouldn't have been friends with her at all! Also, good timing from Blinky. "Your Mom will die! ...And I guess everyone else too..."

Wait, what. Security? In my Battle Network? Say it ain't so!

Apparently we broke it in a few seconds...?

They must have the virtual equivalent of a rusty padlock holding the door shut.

Many people found this to be a problem when they first played. I can see why, since the viruses assume you have full HP. Guess you should have grinded in the postgame like I did. And guess what, you can run away from the viruses in here pretty easily, so no whining.

But you can't jack out, MegaMan says something to the effect of "the battery is running low, so let's beat the WWW virus."

Kinda shitty. Not that I need it, but kinda shitty.

Remember, this is back before HP was constant and only healed when you jacked out, so encounters are designed way differently. Also remember that there's only one save file. It's entirely possible to save when you're at very low HP and then be screwed.

The first tweak in this dungeon: the invisible paths appear briefly, showing you where to go. This is obviously very helpful. However, many times the paths will cross like in this screenshot and it will outright confuse you as to which path you're supposed to be on.

Capcom could have at least color-coordinated the little circles. Come on now.

This is incredibly useful, and a much-needed change. Thank you for updating this and realizing that invisible paths are absolute garbage 90% of the time.

Note: the maps do show what "level" you're on. Really light-green for top. And darker shades of green the further you go down, so it's something.

At least you have a map.

Weak trash we've seen elsewhere.

Sure, it looks like I can talk to this Prog. But he's actually below me. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Of course, despite the improvements, it's still the Power Plant, everyone's least-favorite dungeon from BN1. And that's including one where the 'dungeon' is Internet Area 2.

This really should have been Ratton1 E considering the virus doesn't drop it in that code. Game, please.

They updated the switch graphics, so, uh, yay? But you'll notice the best change in this dungeon in this shot: the batteries can be infinitely retried without the need to recharge. This...this is good, but only in the sense that it removes the needless backtracking from the original.

To me, the dungeon's biggest issue was that you couldn't reasonably decipher the exact spots the batteries were supposed to go. You get a hint that says "don't place batteries adjacent to each other", but that still leaves a few possible combinations as to what spot it could be. They don't provide further hints on that, and so, you're forced to reload your save, or recharge the batteries each time you want to try them.

You could have conceivably kept the batteries at 2 tries, but gave the player solid hints to figure it out. Sure, some players would soft-reload anyway, but it'd be more fair to figure out on a first-time's perspective. People like me wouldn't mind fighting the viruses, and it'd feel good to figure it out.

In the end, the dungeon design is built around trial-and-error, and no amount of changes will really fix that unless they went back and redid the entire thing. Which, given what we've seen so far, is way more effort than the dev team was willing to put in, paid to do, or any other number of reasons.

Basically. Game devs. If you have a 'put thing in empty slot' puzzle, make damn sure a player given enough time to think can solve it on their first try. Anything else is pointless time-wasting.

The money has been appreciated, but the drop is worthless.

"I'm not altered! I'm not altered!" as he slowly becomes a corn cob.

Oh no, what happened to his other ear? It's been detached!

MissEchelon, you're going to hate me. I'm not sorry.

Dead Prog: 1

Kill them all

Don't worry, little guy. I'll blow you to pieces soon enough.

Put him out of his misery, like Old Yeller

Gonna keep a running tally on the dead prog count when I hit a new area. We're up to 2 so far.

Yay, they kept it!

My favorite Prog in the dungeon! slaughter it without mercy

BN1's shops are super expensive, so keep 'em coming.

And you don't have to purchase the Armors, too.

We can finally meet the Level 1 of these guys. I won't blame the game for this since I went way out-of-order.

Grabbed this since a Program Advance requires it in G-code. After checking, it seems as if the Storm PA wasn't buffed since Battle Network 1.

The Progs themselves upgrade. Now they'll start using AreaGrab. Yay. Worth noting that Level 1 Corrupted Progs (Prog MK1) are random encounters in Area 2.

Music to my ears.

RingZap1 (BN1): G H M N P
RingZap1 (OSS): G H N P *

They're good at this whole 'giving the player ridiculous amounts of Asterisk code' thing, huh?

...Son of a bitch.

I just realized this game gave a very subtle hint this whole time. Look at the positions of the lightbulbs. See how they're sorta lined up with the rows? Well, combine your knowledge of "never being adjacent" and use the lightbulbs and you've figured it out.

It's still not great, because it doesn't cut down the possibilities of the battery placements to within 2 tries.

It's also possible that Giver and I are having confirmation bias, and finding 'hints' where there are none. The number of 'hints' we spotted makes me think that it's more than a coincidence, but who knows for certain.

These Progs should have been vehicles to dispense more relevant hints. Do that, and the player rage will cut down by about 40%.

Plus, the dialogue is stilted and weird. I'm not ashamed to admit that the first time I played this game as a young kid, I had no idea what this Prog meant.

You needed to do a bit more to convey this puzzle, Interns, but that's Capcom for you.

The interns did their best, be nice.

We are up to 17 Dead Progs due to my grinding in the last area. Ho-hum.

You can find Twisty1's starting in Area 3. As dead as the rest, honestly. You can now find Prog Mk2's as a random encounter, so I guess I'm about to grind a looot more. Still not sorry, Echelon.

We're never getting art again, are we?

Great. Escalation of the trial-and-error. I must profusely thank the infinite battery retries.

Save-states are my best friend here.

See this? It's a dead-end. Interns!

That's right, ease the pain.

Faux-gangster prog.

I'm lookin' at you, punk. Prog!? OH NO MISSECHELON.


I have killed her.

For a BattleChip.

What have I become!?

Nothing you weren't already.

I'm not evil! I just wanted BattleChips! Don't tread on meeeeee

He who fights viruses must take care to not become a virus himself.


For if you gaze too long into the code, the code will also gaze into you.

Use only two of these bad boys...

Put the 3rd battery right here to open up the path to the right. The lightbulbs don't even line up correctly. Dammit, developers. I was going to give you more cool design points.

Yep. That means the 'hints' we saw earlier are probably nothing at all.

Now we grab these, and go back to the other square and find out the correct slot. But I need to worry about a minigame, first.

I'm actually in the other square with the lone battery with the blue path. So now I have all 3 with me.

Gah, even playing along I'm still lost.

: Holy crap. So you aren't useless.

Twenty seconds to Mash B. You'll just keep doing this if you run out of battery. I have good hands, so this is easily taken care of.

You know, this game might be trying to tell me something about my chip addiction. Something is coming to me...

I swear off excessive grinding.

The first step is to admit you have a problem. Good job.

RingZap2 (BN1): C E G J L
RingZap2 (OSS): C E J L *

And now I rescind that. Let's press on!

Wait shit you skipped steps 2 through 10!

Correct solution for this new square. So I still have one last battery with me.

UGH. Epee Em had to recharge them all the time. His pain far surpasses mine.

Put down one battery to open up another bridge. Go back and grab the batteries that opened up the red and green paths.

Grab those two batteries, disconnect the single battery from the previous screenshot, flip the switch.

Use our last battery to open up a new path here.

Lost, yet?

You'll notice I'm not really commenting much during the puzzle-solving sections. That's because... Well, what do you want from me. It's a puzzle where you run back and forth. Giver is barely adequate for the task, there's not much for me to say.

Dead Prog total is sitting at a comfortable 67. Yes.

Kill two and then no more ever.

New code, I'll take it.

Well, if he asks, you oblige. See? This game is incentivizing Prog murder!

Prog euthanasia. Legal grey line.

Just look at this wasted text box. There could have been so many other hints here.

They do this sort of hint-giving thing a little bit better in BN5, with the ninja dungeon puzzle.

As of right now, I peaked over 100,000 Zenny. I'm still going to hoarde more for shops so I can do a huge shopping spree.

Yeesh, MissEchelon multiplied and is now a random encounter. This escalation. I kinda like this escalation from a challenge standpoint.

I can officially say she's been S-ranked.

That sounds... weird.

And we're done. They had mercy in Area 4.

Oh, right. The air. That's a thing. I completely forgot.

Lan's been shouting this whole time and that means he's using up everyone else's air. What a jerk.

Localized power. The rest of SciLab simply didn't pay their bills.

This is what you get when the janitorial budget gets slashed for more PET development, guys.

You know what that means. Boss time!

Note: if you run out of battery power while Lan sits in the generator room, you get a little scene:


The dude hauled ass all the way to the generator room to save us. I take back everything I might have said.

He has a sixth sense for being helpful!

Earlier in the story, Lan seemed to have a vague idea about them when they thought the AquaProgram was part of a SuperProgram. I suppose there's no reason to directly assume the ElecProgram is a SuperProgram, but giving the naming convention...come on now.

So you remember this fight, right? You aren't supposed to win because of the generator infinitely supplying ElecMan with HP. Let's do what Giver does and try to break this.

I hope you fail.

Modified my folder quite substantially. LockOn2 G's, WoodTower *, and GutsShoot Program Advance all over.

To set this up, we'll use our FastGauge *. If you're just reading the Main section from the archives, then just know that I grinded for this in Star Coliseum. The relevant info on that is in the Bonus section.

Change note: The OSS interns added the sound effect for the arrow's tick like in later Battle Network games.

My main strategy is to put this chip down and within a slew of rapid hits, kill ElecMan so fast he doesn't get to heal. Anytime he goes below 551 HP, his next move will always be a move that heals him to full HP. This happens 3 times before the fight ends.

There is, however, a small weakness: If ElecMan is doing another move, he can't do the heal-move until he's finished with whatever he's doing. This gives us some more time to reduce his HP to 0. GutsShoot does 400 damage in OSS (500 in BN1), so if we wait for this, and combo it with LockOn2, we can actually force the game to register a kill before he can heal.

There is no timelimit, so we can sit and wait for our setup for as long as we need.

Step 1: Get him as close to 550 HP as possible.
Step 2: Await the perfect hand (LockOn2 + GutsShoot).
Step 3: Wait for ElecMan to do a move with a long animation.
Step 4: Pelt him with fully charged shots and LockOn2 (hope your buster is well-developed)
Step 5: Pop GutsShoot the minute his HP dips below 400.

Step 6: ???
Step 7: Profit

Kinda like this.


So this is a new cutscene where-ah, fuck it.

I appreciate that you decided not to be the bigger asshole today.

I tried, guys. I tried. Damn, Capcom. Why do you always cover your bases!?

Damn interns did something right. ...By copying what the old dungeon did. Honestly, at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if they'd reprogrammed the fight somehow and added in a scripting error.

You know... who in the thread wishes they did more with this concept? Can you imagine a dungeon where there's a nigh-invincible enemy roaming the corridor, and you have to weaken it? That'd be fun and trigger emotions you don't normally think of when playing.

Alternatively, go play Paper Mario.

Lan that is an active generator. Do not touch.

This kid's heart should have stopped. What does Lan eat that lets him survive this?

His Wheaties, obviously.

ElecMan shares my face.

"What the fuck did that kid just do and how is he not dead."

Fast forward a bit...

ElecMan actually still hits pretty hard -- 200 damage, ala BN1. It seems as if for most other enemies, they merely halved their damage to account for lack of armors, but not ElecMan!

I also appreciate that even winning here is pointless, the bad guys still got away with it in the end. Now that I'm older, I can understand the lack of narrative agency a little bit more, but as a kid that was super frustrating.

But we broke it in under 30 seconds, why the hell did it take you, an Official NetNavi, so long!?

Dr. Hikari's talents are hereditary, it seems.

ProtoMan says they lured ElecMan here with fake data...but spoiler alert, that plothole from the original is still here. As in, ElecMan got the real ElecProgram. Now, whether or not ProtoMan is just trying to cover his own failure and he's just bluffing is still headcanon.

Because Chaud is allowed to delete civilian NetNavis?

That's kinda fucked up.

So to translate, he got mad that he screwed up and is taking it out on Lan for no real reason.

Man, this just isn't his day. Upstaged by a kid. Hell, ProtoMan took so long that even if we hadn't interfered, ElecMan might have gotten away!

Plus, as MegaMan pointed out, restoring power was more important; there were civilians in danger. And yet Chaud let his petty pride get in the way of doing what's right. He's too young to control his emotions to properly do his job.

Why the fuck is Chaud allowed to serve at his age, again?

Because something something shounen rival.

Yes, MegaMan, because having the option to fight alone is a bad thing. Yes, you're stronger in a group, but that doesn't mean you don't forget to fight when no-one's around.

Everyone is a idiot these days.

Then again, MegaMan's buster is strong enough that he can probably take on most challenges solo. Not S-rank them, but still win.

ProtoMan's record:

W: 999
L: 1*

*Chaud's note: That Hikari boy is a piece of shit and I hate him.

"Dear Diary, today I got my butt beat by Dr. Hikari's son. He had to have cheated."

ProtoMan didn't have Chaud backing him up? Did Chaud not see the fight going south and step in? The fuck?

Why the fuck is Chaud allowed to serve at his age, again?

Too busy sampling the shrimp tray in the main room. Remember, the power went out, so you have to eat it. What, that only applies to things in the refridgerator? No way.

...Is anyone going to restore power? Yes, this is a riveting discussion, but have it later! Lan, isn't your battery running out?

It's kinda unfair, since they're DNA Wondertwins. They get passive boosts that no other Navi-Operator team can get. ProtoMan asks this, but he'll never be able to eclipse Lan even if he worked more in tandem with Chaud.

Chaud's behavior is so toxic that ProtoMan doesn't really understand the concept of a friend. An abusive detective partner. Cops will generally want to be nice to the partner that saves their asses on cases.

Why the fuck is Chaud allowed to serve at his age, again?

Because he bribed someone important. Knowing the average compentency level of the Officials in this series, probably with about 100 zenny.

About time!

Oh right people are going to die.

And Chaud didn't even help with this small task. Wow. Chaud could have checked up on the crowd -- the people he's trying to protect. You know, cop shit?

To be fair, if you're chasing someone on the top 10 Most Wanted list, you're not going to stop to arrest someone that's jaywalking.

What, no third degree burns from the generator? Shouldn't Lan smell like ash?

With the electricty that was shocking him, his palms should roughly have the consistency of cooked pork.

Dad sent an e-mail to check on his family. Yes, he's busy with work, but he can just take the elevator. Not even a call. Hell, even if it was a black out, making a call should still work. I presume the calls are routed through the Internet? Which was up? It was only SciLab's power that was gone.

Poor Haruka barely got to see her husband. She got dressed up and everything. That must suck.

I feel like she had to have known what she was getting into when she married him, but yeah, that's gotta hurt.

Which puns do you hate more, Yeti? The game's or mine.