The Let's Play Archive

MegaMan Starforce

by GeneralYeti, giver336

Part 1: Update 1-1: Mean Blue Mother From Outer Space (Part 1)

It's that time again.

That it is, Yeti.

When we start the game up, we're greeted with a nice neat cinematic. In this one, Geo Stelar is just doing a traditional hero pose while a shooting star shines overhead.

The other one has a bunch of 'shadowy' figures looming menacingly in the background, before Megaman appears in his full glory. (Kindly ignore the screen seam, it looks better on the actual game)

This is the DS, folks! The developers need to take advantage of their hardware. We'll see if they stick to that philosophy in this game.

And then we're kicked to the main menu. There's really only one thing we can do at the moment, so let's jump into things without further ado!

"...Extraterrestrial life has been discovered. The new space exploration agency, NAZA, in an effort to enter into a friendly relationship, or "BrotherBand", with the aliens, launched a space station named "Peace"..."

We open things up with... narration. Very exciting. Starforce, at least in the opening, is a lot more chatty than the first series. Though maybe it's roughly on par with the later Battle Network series and I'm misremembering thanks to playing Battle Network 1 most recently.

Definitely more chatty, but I can forgive it. "Hey cool alien guys. Wanna be a Brother???"

How... How do you lose a spaceship. Don't you have constant transmission?! Wouldn't the thing have the ability to be tracked no matter what?

If Star Trek has taught me anything, it's that you can definitely lose giant-ass ships. If said transmissions were disabled, it's possible to be lost. Or it just blew up.

"...but the space station could not be found. And then, a few months after the incident, a section of Peace was found in the sea. All hope was lost after that. NAZA took it hard and stopped the search, and put the project on hold permanently. Three years to the day have passed since..."

Oh, I see. In other words, someone screwed something up and then politicians got scared and scrapped the whole project. Like nuclear power plants, come to think of it.

We transition from empty space to the inside of a house where two people are waiting. Get used to it, we'll be seeing this place a lot. You also might notice a few similarities to Lan's house, and that's not a coincidence.

"um r lan and geo bros.?"

...Damn, Blinky, you're here too. Good to see you, buddy.

That being said, they've changed up how the portraits work. While text is appearing on the screen (and there are words people can have about how the text looks in this game compared to the later ones, but I personally like it) they have lip-flap animations; once they stop talking, the blinking animation takes over. Thing is, there's usually a grace period of a second where the speaker just stares without blinking, so there's less of a chance that Blinky will show up. This one was pretty lucky, and I don't think we'll get many more.

Yeah, I'm not a fan of the font. Hard to read, for me.

It's not much of a secret that they're talking about who we'll be controlling. Speaking of, we'll meet Geo in a moment.

: ...who he loved dearly. That's gotta be tough. But if he's not going, what about his studies?
: We're managing with the Card Force System. He's studying from one of the texbook type card's Navi, TeacherMan.

Geo's dad, Kelvin, was in charge of the space station, so of course he was on it when the space station disappeared. Whoops, sorry kid. That's tough.

: But he's not really focusing. He fiddles with gadgets, or reads about the stars. He wants to move to outer space to find his dad.
: Oh, I see. If only we had more power, we could have found-
: Aaron, it's OK. It's not your fault. It was an accident...

You can tell that everyone is both feeling the loss, but in different ways. Geo is somewhat in denial, convinced that his dad is still out there; Hope (Geo's mom) is still mourning; and Aaron feels guilty. But the platitudes are starting to wear thin a bit.

Hope. Peace. Geo. Stelar. It's the usual Capcom non-subtlety.

And here's the star of the show! Technically unnamed right now, but I'm calling him Geo out of convenience.

Aaaand he just walks out without a word to anyone. Charming kid. But you can see while he walks down the room that things are roughly analogous to the Hikari house, just more open. Softer edges on all of the furniture, too, compared to the Battle Network stuff.

Oh boy, we get to play as the sullen, quiet kid.

"I hate everyone."

Aaron Boreal: trying his best. Geo: Having none of this shit.

: That was one brave man, your father. Oh yeah, I quit NAZA a while back, and now I work at my own lab just outside of town, researching the Earth, space, and the stars. If you want, you're welcome to drop by... um...

I wonder, is this really the first time Boreal has seen Geo? It must be, or he'd know Geo's name, but you'd think Geo's dad would brag about his kid at the workplace. Everyone seemed to know who Lan was, after all.

I think given Geo is a recluse, this is their first official meeting. A bit weird since Geo is 10/11 but I'll buy it for the sake of introductions.

Of course, none of that really matters. Unlike Battle Network, we get to name our main character, which is why the script goes out of their way not to mention Hope or Kelvin's last name, or Geo's first name, until now.

We could name him Biggus Dickus or Giver Stelar if we wanted, but I'll be sticking with Geo Stelar. I actually like the writing of the game, and it'd ruin things a bit to have a stupid name.

Nice to meet you too, Aaron Boreal! (why did they feel the need to use the full name?)

: This is a very special pair of glasses. It's called a "Visualizer". I heard your father used it in his work, but I don't know much else beyond that. I found it when I quit NAZA, and I just thought I'd give it to you.

Neat. Key item acquired. And also a memento of Geo's dad, which is nice.

You'll notice that Geo's mugshot has updated now that he has the Visualizer. There's also a brief pause between the ellipses and the "Thanks.", like Geo has to think about how to respond. Poor kid's really not used to talking to people. Either that, or he's overcome with emotion briefly.

I get the feeling Geo's out there every night whenever it's clear.

Oh hey, it's the other thing about this game.

The top screen is used for... well, for very little in this game. It's going to be this screen 90% of the time, so I'll only be including it when something changes or is relevant. As for what a Transer actually IS, that'll be explained in the next scene's text dump, don't worry :suicide:

Yeah, being the series-starter, it naturally introduces a lot of new concepts. However, it's all text-based, so, :suicide:

Motherfucker I saw what you did with that screenshot.

: Who cares? I don't have any Brothers, so no one is going to see my personal page anyway.
: ...What are you talking about? If your Transer isn't on, no one can see your ID info either.
: OK, I get it. I'm going now, mom*. Be back in a bit.

*Minor typo here, but Mom should be capitalized. Lazy proofreaders! Fuckup count starts! :v: But I joke. This game isn't like the cursed BN game, there's not a trillion errors. With this many words, I'll give them a pass.

"Always make sure your Facebook page is up to date, kids! :eng101: Feed your info to Net Zuckerberg!"

Exeunt Geo.

It's implied that Geo is not doing so great, and probably suffering from some form of depression. Or at the very least, he's isolated with no one his age to talk to.

And clearly Hope's not holding up all that well herself, either.

Narratively, they're trying to distance themselves from Battle Network, at least. This is good. We're going to need to do that to keep this series afloat.

Hope and Geo are both still suffering the loss of Kelvin, and it shows in how they're written. Geo has refused to go to school and spends the whole day staring up at the sky, and Hope is letting him do that because it's hard to force herself to face facts. It's not great, in other words.

Either way, we're kicked outside with Geo, and we get the traditional first-control email from the game.

This is the main menu, by the way. Instead of doing the proper thing and checking out the e-mail, let's take a look around here first! (Everything shown here will be on the top screen; the buttons are tappable, but all the information is displayed up there.)

B. Card brings us to our battle card folders. These don't do much for right now, but you can take a look at things if you want. It's the usual trash starter folder, and I'm going to look into replacing most of the cards as soon as possible.

Also of note is that while we can rename all the folders, the only one we can edit is GeoFldr.

Item brings us to the combination of Subchip (now called Subcard) and Key Item locations. The three Enrgy items all do exactly what you'd expect, as do Cloaker and SrchEye - reduce encounters and increase chance of repeating an encounter respectively. Unlockers are also used, but are used automatically when encountering locked data, which is nice.

Of course, we start with none of them and don't really need to worry about them for a while. We don't even have a Navi, and there's no way to log into the Internet in this game.

The Libry is gives us access to our library, duh. And the 12 chips we already have are from the starter folders. As for Mega and Giga cards, we can't even scroll around. No interface spoilers here, folks.

Geo comes and chats with us when we try to save the game.

That being said, let's get to the reason we're here. (You don't have to worry about the rest of the ??? panels on the screen, they're not used right now.)

"Transers are the mobile terminals everyone wears on their arms. They have a variety of functions, such as email and phone. They also store your Personal Page and other info."

Basically, Transers are the PET analogues of the new series. Just, fancier.

Yeah, this contradicts my earlier point about needing to separate from the BN game more. Keep this up and you'll get rejection by most of the fans, Star Force.

"...between the different screens of your Transer to display such things as your Personal Card, Brother Card, and Navi Cards. If your Transer is displaying a Navi Card, it means that Navi is currently in your Transer. If you swipe a Navi Card through your Transer, you will activate an incredible power. Navis are your indispensable friends, so talk to them once in a while with the L Button!"

Navis are also different here. They're stored in Cards instead of PETs, but fulfill roughly similar duties. There's an NPC that'll chat about them later in this update, don't worry.

"...1 of 3 Satellites up in outer space: Pegasus, Leo or Dragon. Thanks to these Satellites, Transer on the same Satellite can communicate with each other. Also, the very symbol of our modern age, the BrotherBand, is made possible thanks to them."

Finally, like they said everyone is registered to one of the three satellites. It's not a coincidence that Geo is currently registered to the Pegasus satellite. Your patron Satellite matches the version of the game you got. In this case, I've played both Leo and Dragon, so I'm playing Pegasus for the LP.

Anyway! That's enough faffing around in menus. Geo is helpful enough to remind us of our current goal if we hit the L button.

Welcome to Echo Ridge! This is the main town of the game, like ACDC was for Battle Network. There's really not much here, but there's still some stuff we can look at around scattered here and there. Like Battle Network, this game has an isometric viewpoint.

Like these flowers!

And this empty house! It's a neat small bit of level design here, but Geo's house is very isolated, at the very bottom left of the map. I usually think of the game's maps as representative of how the kid's see their hometown; so, the only things that stand out are the general landmarks and also any important places to them. Lan's house was in the center of town, while Geo is shoved off to the side.

Just a neat little bit of enforcing the feeling of isolation Geo is under right now.

What the fuck is that spritework on the house. It's fugly, I swear.

Moving on, the obvious chip shop. It's closed for now, and there's nothing we can do about it. As for the guy outside, just standing there:

: ...there? They're called Pegasus, Leo, and Dragon. The 3 Satellites host a variety of Transers, and Transers on the same Satellite are connected in their own network.

So far, he's just reiterating what the email told us.

: ...3 years ago, they have been in charge of stopping harmful EM viruses from landing on Earth as well. Anyway, people of this country all belong to one Satellite or another. Which Satellite do you belong to? I belong to the Dragon one!

Apparently, there's such things as EM viruses. Which is weird. Well, hopefully we don't have to worry about those at all, that would suck.

Huh, Giver must have raided both of these already.

Eat shit. I need my sustenance to S-rank viruses

No Giver, I won't make a BrotherBand with you.

THINK OF THE POWER YETI. You can go from an amoeba to finally having some competence in your god damn life.

: ...enough to form a BrotherBand with them. Oh, but when you form a BrotherBand, you have to tell each other your biggest secret! Do you have any Brothers?

These people are pretty chatty. But really, these NPCs are mostly just reiterating things that were in that original email.

At least this kid gives us an option to avoid a repeat of information we already know.

This happens if we say yes, we already know about Navis, we read the email, shut up already.

Fuck you, Yeti, I don't wanna transcribe this. I DON'T WANNA

: In every Navi Card, there is a Navi. They're programs but they can do a lot of things. If you swipe a card with the skill you need through your Transer, that Navi'll appear. There are all kinds of skills on those cards! For example, if you swipe DriveMan's card through your Transer, he can drive your car.

Don't want to drive? There's a Navi for that!

Download those Navis off the EM Wave Store

Lookit this smug asshole... Though really, that's a big difference. It's been 200 years, after all, so Navis have become less of a personal assistant and more of plug-and-play machines. You might have noticed that Geo's using the TeacherMan card for self-study; I'm assuming these new Navi cards are mass-produced, at any rate.

: These cards were created 3 years ago to help people deal with the EM viruses that started popping up. There are all different kinds, so they're more than just to stop viruses. You can have fun collecting them as well!

Oh look, I found Giver's descendent.

Ah, I see my kin are all dead inside. Fucking Zenny S-ranks amiright?

This is actually new information, which is... actually useful. Good job, game. You had 1 of 4 NPCs be useful.

Hah, my descendant was useful. Yeti was be furious.

The only thing that infuriates me is your typos.

There's some nostalgia stuff, proving that people anywhere, anytime, hate the present and wish they could go back to simpler times.

I really don't know, Geo.

What am I doing co-commentating a shitty screenshot Let's Play on a dead forum?

I really don't know, idiot.

: ...the wave inside that card will be activated. Then, you can operate electronics using the EM wave power of that card. Navis can become EM waves and control things too. You know, we can't see them, but I wonder if they really fly around...?

This game, by the way, was released in 2006. So WiFi wasn't really a new invention at the time? But most people were still relatively new to it compared to ethernet. Basically, this game took every reference to the Internet from BN, changed it to be a reference to WiFi/"EM waves", and called it a day.

Mega Man games tend to be very current in the worst possible ways. Battle Network was super guilty of this. Mega Man X took the action era of the 90s and ran with it. Fucking Legends was around the Y2k era.

Also, you can only cross streets at clearly-defined crosswalks. Unlike Lan, that hooligan, Geo is a good boy and would never jaywalk.

That is annoying

A name! This probably won't be relevant immediately.

As well as the requisite doghouse security system. They wouldn't forget something so important, after all.

Jack in and go find a V3 boss. I demand it.

The next house belongs to someone named Zack. That sounds like the name of a total loser.

Fuck him.

Just like the first BN game, the school takes up pretty much the entirety of the top right edge.

Stop sulking and go do things, you weird child.

Go play video games.

This is nominally a bus stop, but it's a plot-locked bus. They need to get some gas.

And that's it for the town. Not much is going on here just yet, of course. We're in the pre-game still.

Let's get going to Vista Point so we can...

Why am I not able to move?

Oh no, a cutscene :cry:

Oh boy. Time for... some characters.

Geo looks back, and then...

These three stroll up.

Run! Run like the wind!

: The boy who never comes to school. I am Luna Platz of Echo Elementary, class 5-A, which makes me your Class President! The big guy behind me is Bud Bison, and the short one is Zach Temple.

This is fantastic comedic timing.

Welcome to the idiot trio of the game, except they're supposed to be annoying instead of your friends. Some people are much more loud about their opinions than Geo here, though personally I just sigh in irritation when they show up.

Also hey, Luna Platz - have you noticed that the characters in this game have pun names just like Battle Network? I'm glad they kept that tradition, at least.

There are reasons for these characters to act the way they do and for what it's worth I do appreciate the way the writing handles Bud and Luna. We'll get into their whole deal later.

Except Zack. Fuck Zack and I hate him forever.

So you only care for your political gain? Fuck off. She's super ready to work in the real world, though.

: I hate it when things are not perfect, so having one person missing is unforgivable!
: Sorry, but I've got nothing to do with you.

There's a bunch of little animations. The visual designers gave quite a bit of love to how the characters act, at least compared to the rest of the BN series. I'll try to make gifs of some of the ones I like.

Get fucked New Idiot Trio.

: You can't say that to the Prez!!
: How dare you! The Prez is telling you to go to school!

Oh my god, shut up Zack you are the worst gremlin. (This is unfair to him at the moment, but also fuck him and his smug face)

I mean, in this case I wouldn't want to be going to school with these jerks either. Just wanna go look at some stars, and then these two hooligans start yammering.

Geo, a boy of very few words, just walks away without another word.

Gee if only there were a way for characters to maybe form Bonds or Band together or something...

Well, if he won't open up, then he won't form a BrotherBand.

(It's so nice that the quality of your shitty screencaps is worse than mine.)

At the very least, Luna seems like she's going to give up for now. Which is... welcome.

: Mail? I wonder who it's from...? ...Ugh. It's from the "Prez".

Whoops, spoke too soon.

What a control freak. Jesus.

No thanks, I have no intention of going to school. Maybe if you kick Zack out I'd consider it.

I do like that somehow she managed to get the text in an email to type out the periods one at a time.

Um. Ellipsis feature on the email app? What.

This is the main reason a lot of people don't like her, as far as I can tell; Luna comes off as an arrogant, selfish character pretty much right off the bat (her whole reason for wanting Geo to come to school is so that things would be 'perfect') and that's not a great first impression.

That being said, she's also going to give us the second of the tutorials on the main menu. This time, we're knocking out the rest of the ??? pages.

It is, also, entirely on the top screen. Geo just stares at his Transer like a doofus the entire time. Get off the stairs, kid, someone will bump into you.

You don't really need to pay attention. Most of this mechanic is utterly pointless to me since I'm not going to be doing much in the way of online stuff and that's pretty much the entire Brother system in a nutshell. Still, I'm forced to go through it, so you're forced to read through it.

Unless someone out there and teach us how to BrotherBand. And make Yeti miserable.

: It shows you info about your Brothers. You can access this screen by selecting "BROTHR" on the Menu Screen. ...Ah! You don't have a single Brother! I can't explain anything like this!

"Fuck Geo, you're a sad sack of shit! Get some friends!"

Is it too late for me to just turn the Transer off. Yes? Damn.

Turn the game off.

: ...Actually, do you need me to explain BrotherBand to you?

>Yes No

It doesn't help her case that Luna is constantly incredulous that Geo might not know everything. Again, she's a 5th grader, such things are to be expected.

Oh look, it's my daughter in the future.

: ...connects friends together through EM waves. Once you become Brothers, you can send mail and trade data no matter where you are! You can also see each other's Personal Page! ...Huh? What's a Personal Page? Why, your profile and Battle Cards are shown there!

Oh, very helpful.

I do wish this game were less hand-holding (heh) with the information dump about how to work the main menu. Though granted, the first one was optional.

Text tutorials are probably the least interesting way of explaining things to a player. The industry doesn't have a good grasp of how to properly convey information yeah.

: You can see this by selecting your Brother's or your own icon from the Brother Screen. So, a Personal Page is just that; it's where info about a person is displayed. You can see a Brother's info, and vice versa.

The screen that I'll have on top most of the time is the Personal Page. It's slightly more useful than the Brother Page, at least.

You also can't change your Name after setting it in the conversation with Aaron. Whatever you choose, you're stuck with it.

: Hmm? You can't see because I'm in your way? Alright. I'll leave for a second. Push the A Button when you're done, OK?

She actually removes the text box until you hit the A button again. Say what you will, the writing is pretty charming. It's the same main team that wrote Battle Network 6 (Masakazu Eguchi, who's been a writer since BN2, and Teruhiro Shimogawa) so they've got some credentials already.

More personality at least. Not that it was hard to beat Battle Network's.

: Well, even if you didn't, I'm back so moving on! Favorite is where the 6 cards you set as your favorites are displayed. Favorite Battle Cards can be used by Brothers so you should set only your strongest cards!

I'll explain Favorite Cards once they become relevant, like a lot of the other stuff.

We don't need most of this stuff right away.

Seriously most of this doesn't become relevant for the first hour or three of the game.

I wish I had a skip button for this.

: Do you see the "MES." and "SECR" buttons? "MES." stands for "message", and it's where you can leave a note for your Brothers. You can write about what you did recently, brag, or whatever you'd like. You can edit it any time, so for now, just hurry up and write a self-intro!

We're forced into setting something as a Message. If you have someone else with the game and set a Message it's like a very, very slow way to send information. Since I don't have anyone else with the game, it's utterly pointless to me. Still, we can write whatever we want.

That looks good, I think.

It's more like this

Please. No more transcription. :negative:

: "SECR" is where you write your secret message! Secrets you can't tell a stranger, you can tell to your Brothers! When you become Brothers with someone, they can see your secret. So be honest! You can change your secret at any time, so for now, just write something!

Like the Message, the game asks me to set something immediately.

...What? It's a Secret. Only my Brothers get to know what I put.

I saw what he put.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Hurry up and stop the tutorial already, please.

I won't ever be using this system. It's just not that important, in my opinion. Plus, it was always bigger in Japan where handhelds were a huge thing and having multiplayer was super important.

(Translator's Note: This means "Beat the game you dingdong")

: it's good to trade your own info through the Menu Screen's "On Air" section, OK? If both of you are On Air at the same time, something even better will happen, I hear.

This also serves as an 'introduction' to the online modes of the game, not that I'm going to be playing around with them much. Giver might show off how they work in the future if he wants.

: That concludes your BrotherBand homework! Now all you have to do is make some Brothers... go On Air... trade data... and come to school!

Thank you for slipping that last bit in.

You have to admire her dedication and determination, if nothing else.

And, just in case you wanted to sit through the tutorial again, you get the email with Luna talking about everything. It doesn't do the full walkthrough on the top screen again, but that's not really necessary.

As you can see, we've unlocked the third of the pages, as well as the last two menu options. We could now theoretically go online and get three Real Brothers and trivialize the game, but meh... that'd be boring.

Anyway, new area! Let's explore Vista Point.

Ooh. A train.

Do I need to get the jigsaw ribbon, Yeti?

I heard there used to be a Navi that looked like one, too. Had a pretty cool mini-game attached to it.

I heard you had to save useless-ass Progs.

Very bench-like.

Can we jack in?

And a non-descript pile of dirt to round out the tour. Neat.

The next cutscene starts as soon as we step onto the main viewing platform. What? You thought we were done? Ahahaha, we're just beginning. While I love the story of this game, it's... very long-winded in the beginning.

My keyboard weeps.

No, he didn't spend several hours talking to Luna (though it might feel that way). My guess is, we started controlling Geo just before sunset.

This game has a lot of references to constellations, as befitting the game called Starforce. Cassiopeia was the queen of Aethiopia, married to King Cepheus and mother of Princess Andromeda. She got placed in the night sky as a punishment after boasting that her daughter Andromeda was more beautiful than any sea nymph (Poseidon is an asshole). The rest of the myth is more well known, with Perseus using Medusa's head to turn Cetus to stone and rescue the chained princess.

Those lights aren't even animated. This game isn't doing any favors for itself in terms of presentation. That just looks so bad to me.

: ...came to our house. And he gave me your Visualizer... It's got some sort of special lens, and it feels like it has a special power, but what can I see with it? If I use it, will I see you...?

Geo is trying his best to find any way of connecting to his dad. This Visualizer is his newest clue...

...and it's useless. Nothing changed.

Suddenly, Geo's Transer starts blaring. It's got a nice loud alarm and a bright flash.

Whatever's causing Geo's Transer to freak out, it's using his dad's access signal. I'm not sure what any of those words means, but it probably means that something is broadcasting the signal to lock on to Geo's Transer.

Case in point.

Fucking smited.

That looks like it hurts...