The Let's Play Archive

MegaMan Starforce

by GeneralYeti, giver336

Part 2: Update 1-2: Mean Blue Mother From Outer Space (Part 2)

The very first update needs to get split. This bodes well...

Double Update Bonus...?

Following a fade to white, someone's talking and it's not Geo.

Oh no, an alien!

Bad alien! Bad! Quick, someone get a can of Raid!

Upon recovering consciousness and discovering an alien camping on top of him, Geo reacts appropriately. That being, scream in fear and scramble away.

He's a two-eyed two-handed flying blue people eater, obviously.

So it's a Yeti?

I haven't mentioned it but yes, there are now blue and green glowing roads in the sky. It's kinda pretty, in my opinion.

Odd that they showed up now, though.

As soon as he flips the glasses up, both the blue alien and the weird sky roads disappear.

And then they're back as soon as he puts the Visualizer back down.

I gotta admit, I do like this pacing. We're learning just as this alien is.

: You can see my EM body with those glasses.
: But-But... But I didn't see a thing earlier.
: Hmph. I must've activated some hidden power of those glasses when I zapped them.
: Wh-Wh...?

This is all happening pretty fast for everyone. But basically, this is what Boreal was talking about when he said that Kelvin used them for work. They apparently gave him the ability to... see aliens and weird sky roads.

Meet Mega! He's shaped like a friend, if a friend were shaped like a dog-like alien thing.

Yeti, let's buy Beggin' Strips for our new family pet.

"No Geo, you are the zombie"

And then Geo was a zombie.

: ...which is made of electro-magnetic waves, but somehow, I guess with those glasses, you can see the Wave World. That road you see in the sky is a part of the Wave World; a Wave Road. You got all of that, Geo Stelar?

Basically, yes. When he's wearing the Visualizer, we can see all those pesky EM waves. Man, imagine wearing that while someone's streaming porn. That would be... interesting.

Help! Yeti said the p-word! Help, help!

: I heard it from a human I met in space.
: That human... Could it be...? Was it my dad!? Dad... Where is he right now!?

This has got to be an incredible feeling for him, all things considered. I mean, his dad's access signal, this alien that somehow knows his dad... All of a sudden, Geo's got like ten leads to where his dad disappeared to.

Before Mega can answer, though, something is going on.

Really? More aliens? What can they do to stop us?



...How though? It's a train, it shouldn't be able to go off of the tracks!

That too, I guess.

The good news is, this game loves "Viruses screw everything up magically" just as much as the original Battle Network series.

Good to see that in 200 years, that weakness still wasn't addressed.

: If they did that, it'd be a disaster! Plus, mom's still at home!
: There's only one way to stop that train. Go into it and delete those EM viruses!

: Delete those viruses? But how?

Simple, just jack in and - oh.

I want MegaMan back. :(

In case you're wondering, he jumps into Geo's Transer.

: do what I say. Got it? You humans have those Card Force things, right?
: Yeah.
: Take out one of your blank cards.
: Uh... um, OK...
: OK here we go! Hah!!

The weirdest part of all of this is that Geo just has a blank Navi card. What's he doing with that? Can he like, throw them at a wild Navi and capture them?

Mutha fucking pokeballs.

Oh, that makes sense. Total sense.

I guess every card we get from now on will be powered up by Mega's energy. OK.

: Next, we've gotta find a wavehole!
: A wavehole?
: It's where a chunk of space has been warped into a whirlpool shape! I bet you can see them with those glasses.
: Space that's been warped into a whirlpool?

Now, where would we find something like that...?

Not this way.

Oh look, that suspicious crack of dirt on the grass!

: You don't need to wear your Visualizer for this next part, but... swipe the card I made when you're at a wavehole. You do know how to swipe a card, right?

Gotta yell exactly like that. For, uh. Reasons.

: Oh, and I guess I should tell you, kid, push the Y button to put your Visualizer. That way, you can see the Wave World. Now put those glasses to good use! Let's move!

Let's hurry! We have to go bust those EM viruses! There's no time to waste!


Oh look, a telescope.

Oh look, a light.

Oh look, a - okay, you get the joke.

I know that when I see "weird orb with rings", I think science and nature entertwined.

I just think of the Atom Bomb

Choo choo.

I'm looking up spinners.

That's enough of that. Let's go take care of the viruses in the oven train.

It's a nice little touch that the texbox takes its time for "On The Air" all spaced out.

This cinematic is neat the 1st time. It's less neat the 1000th time.

You can't skip it, so you must suffer each time.

Welcome to the Wave World. You'll notice that Geo's icon has changed from Geo to... Geo in cosplay.

Mega, be nice. You just took the form of Geo's left hand. That one was his favorite, you know.

: Fused? You mean you and me - we became one!? And I'm a wave thingie now!? You've got to be pulling my leg! Change me back right now!!

Imagine if the Battle Network series had done something silly like 'Fuse with your Navi and get superpowers'. That would be ridiculous.

That would never catch on. Shut up.

: I need your power to stop the EM viruses.
: But I don't have any powers...
: *sigh* Look, it's a bit complicated, but for some reason, I'm not as powerful on this planet as I usually am on Planet FM, so I need to fuse with someone from here.

"I need some nerd so I can be powerful and looks like you're it."

: ...wave form, it's called "pulse in", and you "pulse out" to go back to the Real World. When you want to pulse out, press the R button.

This is basically jack in and jack out except on WiFi.

This is a perfectly acceptable activity for a young child to engage in. It's like primal scream therapy, but for destroying weird EM lifeforms.

: ...Comp Space, and fight those EM viruses. You ready, kid!?
: Am I ready?? I'm-I'm not fighting, am I!? I can't fight! I don't know how to fight!

Geo with the smart answers. "What the fuck no I'm not ready to go fight something, I've never been in a fight before."

Slap fight? No seriously, I like Geo's reactions here. Perfect realism.

For as much as I like the writing in this game, Mega is extremely abrasive here. His reasons are explored a bit later, but really he's just shouting at a confused and scard kid.

I'm getting a Piccolo and Gohan vibe from this. Cripes.

: But that's impossible! How are we supposed to get inside the train's Comp Space, or whatever it is!?
: Get as close as you can to the locomotive, and then touch it. You'll fly in automatically because we're a bunch of EM waves!

At the very least, the game doesn't do any of the "What's a Touch Screen :downs:" bullshit so props to them.

Yeti, what's a touchscreen? :downs:

Heh. Get it?

Sure, sure.

Anyway! Welcome to the Wave Road. There's not much we can do here, but we can explore some of the changes.

If we hit the L button in Wave Form, Geo talks to us...

...and Mega yells at us to stop wasting time if we talk to him in the Real World.

Before we get to the viruses, let's talk to these little guys! They're adorable.

They're the replacement for Mr. Prog, Mr. Hertz. They're basically the same thing, messengers and equipment operators in one. They are also exactly as excited as Mr. Prog. Hope you're reading this, Echy!

In my experience, Prog fans hate Hertzes for reasons unbeknowest to me

Aww, but they're cute.

Unfortunately, we're not off the leash just yet. If we try to go anywhere other than the path that leads to the train, Mega yells at us.

Oh no, please stay safe Mr. Hertz.


We'll explore around here more later once we have the ability to move around. For now, it's just a straight shot to the end - basically just follow the NPCs.

I just noticed this thing's eyes. I can never unsee them, and now neither can you.

This thing is weeiiird. "I see you over there."

Anyway, it's just a little bit past the delivery Navi (??? I think that's a Navi?) before we find the little bit of Wave Road that lets us jump into the train.

Game, I just gave you credit for not doing this joke, come on.

At least it was wrapped up in humor.

: Our body is a bunch of waves. If there's a Comp Space that is receptive to EM waves, then we can go into it. You see that wavehole above the train?

: If it's flashing, that means the Comp Space will accept outside EM waves.

This makes no goddamn sense to Geo at all.

If we try to do anything else other than touch the train, Mega (again) yells at us. They really didn't leave things open in this, which... The player can't get lost, but I feel like they should have designed things better to make the guidance more organic than "Don't do this yet dum-dum".

Tutorializing is actually quite difficult. It's hard to know how a player will take information and someone will always get lost. What you see here is just the natural result of making something idiot proof.

I'm not saying it needs to be this way, but what I am saying is that we don't fundamentally understand how each of us individually processes information.

Fine, I'll tap the stupid train.

(Oh wow I didn't realize this gif looked like that, flashing light warning, I'm very sorry everyone)

Fortunately, there's no extended conversation every time Geo jumps into a Comp space.

Inside the train, Geo, did you not pay any attention at all.

: In other words, we're inside the train's comp. Those EM viruses have gotta be around here, so let's find them and give it to them good!
: EM viruses...

Time to go find the viruses that have... somehow made this thing jump the rails and then move around on its own. I don't know how.

Start a "This is familiar" tally. This explains the rejection by a large portion of the community.

There they are!

Stop reading the script.

Surprising nobody, they're Mets! And also pretty cute.

: I think they're going to do the beating here...
: I told you I'm gonna teach you to fight! And you have to or you aren't going home!
: Stop scaring me with that kind of talk!
: Hmph. Your old man sure wasn't a wuss like you.!

And here's Mega's hook - he knows our dad, and can tell exactly how much Geo wants to know about what happened.

It's a shitty thing to do, but it gets Geo to do what Mega wants. Which, in this case, is fight some viruses.

Give me your angry face!

Good enough.

Hoofa. Only... about a half hour in, and finally getting to the combat tutorial. I don't remember how fast BN6 was, but I want to say it was faster than this.

All the BN games were faster than this.

Unlike the previous games, we get six cards a turn to use. There's also no codes.

THANK FUCK for no codes.

Unfortunately, we don't get to just snag all six cards like a well-chosen folder. This has led to some people complaining about simplified combat mechanics.

: the same turn. Next, cards that are the same can be picked no matter where they are positioned. Think about what cards will work and pick wisely.

There's a few exceptions to this rule, but for now we're mostly going to be using two cards a turn. Think like the folder was built with alphabet soup codes, for a BN analogue.

The game also gives us the ability to read about what cards do, which is nice.

: can press the L Button to try to run away. But whether you make it or not depends on luck. Ha ha ha.
: I knew there was a catch.

I promptly forget this mechanic exists. I've never needed to run, because the battles don't last long and why would I pass up the chance to get cards or zenny?

Because you suck dick at children's games.

In this case, I just want to move things along, so two Cannon cards will do nicely. You'll also noticed the other cards are greyed out to show you can't pick them.

: The cards you chose are in the bottom-right.

: This is the next card's name and attack power.

The HUD is very similar to Battle Network. You've got your HP, enemy HP underneath each model, the card info, all that fun stuff.

The buster is reversed from BN combat. Hold B for continuous fire, and stop firing for a second to let the buster charge for a 10x power shot.

: It's here in the upper-left. These numbers are your hit point (HP), and represent your health. If this drops to 0, we're kaput. Got it, kid? You can use the +Control Pad to move left and right to avoid enemy fire.

There's also only one row usable for Geo to wander around in. The rest of the field is for enemies to use. This is the other reason a lot of people see Starforce combat as 'dumbed down' from BN.

: Wait a sec! What if I use up all of my cards before I beat all of the enemies?
: Well, you're a troublesome one. Look here.

: This is the Custom Gauge. It fills up automatically over time. If you hit the L Button or R Button when it's full, you will enter the Custom Screen again.

Custom Gauge works exactly the same as it did in BN. Nothing new or revolutionary here, at least.

The combat itself doesn't really shine for now, so you'll just have to settle for a few still images.

Needless to say, they die pretty easily. These guys are literally just Mettaurs from Battle Network, with shockwave attack and all. (Their name is Mettenna :3:) Cannon travels the entire row and hits the first enemy in its path, so one shot takes them out.

One down, two to go.

: This bunch... Hmm, nah, I'll tell you about white battle cards first.
: White cards?
: Take a gander at the bottom screen.

: No matter where they are, they can be paired up with another card, even different ones!

White cards are just asterisk cards. This is the main exception to the two rules of selection.

: Yeah. For example, take this wide area attack, AirSpread... Choose the Attack+10 card in order to make it stronger. AirSpread hits 3 times in one attack, so these two cards are a great match. Plus, you can also pick the Sword card right below it.
: Hmm, guess I'll give these combo rules a try!

AirSpread (far right, top card) also hits in a square-burst pattern. It'll take out two of the Mets, but leaves one alive.

The problem is, Sword has a very limited range.

This is the solution to the problem, and the reason we're locked to just the back row.

: ...of you, which means it won't hit the baddies.
: Then, what am I supposed to do?
: That's when the MegaAttack comes in handy! Use AirSpread to deal with the two pests in the front first, and then, before you use the Sword card, press Down on the +Control Pad. Do that, and I'll lock-on to the enemy. When I'm locked on, a sight will appear on enemies in front or diagonal from us. When you see that sight, use the Sword card! We'll dash right up to him and cut him in two!

Basically, this will let us temporarily hop around the battlefield to attack enemies up close and personal. This helps out with the range issue.

...Thanks for telling us the exact thing that Mega just said? This is why this update is going to be split in two, Geo.

Anyway, using MegaAttack shows off this neat set of arrows. We can lock onto any enemy directly in front of us and on the diagonals. It prioritizes the enemy in the current column, then left and then right diagonals.

As soon as we see the lock-on icon, press A and we'll pop over. The default settings show a neat little camera angle as Geo lunges, but that can be turned off. (I'll probably leave it on.)

I prefer to keep it off. I like being able to see what other enemies on the field are doing. It also helps fight disorientation. A shifting camera angle means you need to spend extra time getting your eyes adjusted, even if it's a tenth of a second. That's a lot of time in a system like this.

Alright, only one more to go.

You might have noticed that, when I killed the last Mettenna in the last fight, it said something about Counter Hit and I had extra cards. This explains that.

Every enemy has several frames for every attack where using a chip that deals damage will cause a Counter Hit. Even ones that don't stun (like AirSpread) will count.

: Ah, but you don't only stun the enemy when you Counter. You also get 1 Bonus Card.
: Bonus Card?
: You know how normally, you can only use the cards you chose on the Custom Screen? Well, if you Counter, you can get a Bonus Card. Bonus Cards are random, but this way, you don't have to wait for the Custom Gauge to fill up before trashing the enemy.

This will be more useful during longer fights like boss fights instead of little viruses like that. It's also integral to an optional mechanic I'll show off once.

Counters are the gateway to high level play. More counters = more damage. Learning them is key if you want to maximize your output.

I already showed that off last time, so this time I'll just erase them with the two cards.

Take two AirSpreads, set up the Mettennas like this, and then presto, triple delete. I'm not Giver (thankfully) but I'm not bad at this game.

Aww, let him stick around, Geo. He makes things happen.

Okay but seriously, don't take the combat away from me! You monster!

It's the only thing that doesn't make me SNOOZE. Even if this combat is a SNOOZE version of BN.

I've mentioned it before, but it is pretty shitty that Mega does this.

: ...I can take the hint. See you, kid...
: W-Wait!! OK, you can stay in my Transer for a bit, just please tell me about my dad...
: Glad we agree, partner!!

Mega's just dangling information about Geo's dad over his head to make him jump through hoops. Geo has no other leads, so he has no choice but to do whatever Mega wants.

Much more interesting character dynamic, though.

But how did you move the train.

What the fuck? Did they just control it in the Comp Space?

At least Geo is a little suspicious, which is better than Lan ever did.

Geo also has his image switch back to Geo. It'll always reflect whether he's Pulsed In or not.

Hope works an unnamed part-time job during the game. I get the feeling that this is a recent development, or at the very least it hadn't been a crucial one for the finances until Kelvin died.

A part-time job that keeps a house like that paid off? :psyduck:

Battle Network economics!

: ...but... maybe you should try going to school again. I think you need to make some friends...
: ...........
: Well, I'm off to work...

She wants Geo to get better, but isn't willing to actually push him out of his comfort zone. It's an ugly situation (What mother would want to make their son unhappy?) but one that could be handled better. Hope is still suffering from Kelvin's loss and this is another facet of it.

After Hope leaves for work, Geo sits up.

Almost all of Geo's toys are astronomy related. Including what looks like a really nice telescope. Neat.

: So you're saying you don't go to school... cause you don't want to make any friends? I had heard that humans value their friends and BrotherBands a lot, or is that just hearsay?

It's a selfish, confusing reason, but Geo's just a 5th grader. Not everything he does has to make sense.

Much more refreshing character interactions than just "Do your homework Lan. Stop being a lazy fucker."

"hey fuck u lemme sleep"

"aaah a virus!"

Mega actually lets the ellipses play out here. The game likes to do that, to show a character delaying their response.

I do think Mega's being a bit unfair to Geo here, but again, alien.

: I wanna see what other kinds of people are here!
: Aww, come on. Why would I want to do that? Besides, I don't like talking to other people...
: Quit dragging your feet and get out there!

This is a bit of a sudden shift, but Mega doesn't really care what Geo does or doesn't want.

Case in point.

: Move it!
: OK, OK! I'm going outside now, see! Geez, what a bossy alien...

Either way, that's most of the introduction stuff out of the way. We're not quite in the clear just yet, but we got most of the tutorial stuff out of the way.