Mega Man Battle Network
|Mega Man Battle Network|
|Platform of origin||Game Boy Advance|
|Year of inception||2001|
The Mega Man Battle Network series, known in Japan as Rockman.EXE (ロックマンエグゼ Rokkuman Eguze ), is one of Capcom's Mega Man series and debuted in 2001 on the Game Boy Advance. It is a spin-off series based on the original Mega Man. There are six main Battle Network games as well as several side-story or gaiden games.
This spin-off combines elements of the classic Mega Man stories with the high-tech world of computers, and thus CamelCase is predominantly used in logos.
Terms are listed with English term first, followed by the original Japanese term.
- 1 Series history
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Plots
- 3.1 Mega Man Battle Network
- 3.2 Mega Man Network Transmission
- 3.3 Mega Man Battle Network 2
- 3.4 Mega Man Battle Network 3 (White and Blue)
- 3.5 Mega Man Battle Network 4 (Red Sun and Blue Moon)
- 3.6 Mega Man Battle Network 5 Team Protoman/Colonel/Double Team (Twin Leaders)
- 3.7 Mega Man Battle Network 6 (Cybeast Gregar/Cybeast Falzar)
- 4 Other media
- 5 Trivia
- 6 External links
The series is set in the year 200X, (sometimes written as 20XX) in an alternate version of the original Mega Man universe in which networks, rather than robots, were the subject of the most research. Like the original, there were two main projects and only one was funded, but unlike the original, the work of Dr. Tadashi Hikari (the series' version of Dr. Light - the name makes reference to both "Light" and "Right" being correct names for Mega Man's creator in the original series) in the field of networking and AI programs had been funded over Dr. Wily's research in robotics. The result of Dr. Hikari's research was the PET (PErsonal Terminal, pronounced P-E-T rather than the word "pet"), a small computer which is used similarly to a cellular phone or PDA and which contains a customizable artificial intelligence complete with emotions, known as a NetNavi (short for Network Navigator).
A NetNavi is responsible for helping the operator search, use, and surf the internet as well as protect the PET and itself from viruses. Within years the Internet evolves to the point where it literally becomes possible to send an AI into it and physically move around as if it were another world, and technically, it is. There is some danger, however: viruses evolve alongside Navis and the Internet to become intelligent on some level. Navis presumably have advanced data to prevent tampering with their code directly: Viruses cannot harm them by corrupting their data, unlike viruses of our age, who cannot do anything but this. However, because the Internet has evolved to the point of taking on a manifestation, so, too, can virtual weapons be used. If a Navi or a Virus takes too much damage, its programming will lose integrity, disperse, and be deleted shortly afterwards. Each Navi has antiviral weapons that are built directly into its programming that provide basic defense, and can, in addition to this, be sent weapon programs from the PET via the use of BattleChips.
Some years later, the series focuses on Tadashi's grandson, Lan Hikari (Netto Hikari  in the Japanese version), both original and English names being a play on computer terminology ("Netto" is a pun on "Internet", while Lan is a pun on LAN), and his extraordinary navi, MegaMan.EXE (Rockman.EXE). They somehow get involved in foiling the schemes of a net-crime organization called the WWW ("World Three"), headed by Wily.
In another tribute to the original series, most (but not all) of the Navis in the series are named after characters from the original series (although in Battle Network all NetNavis are supposed to carry the "EXE" file extension, to differentiate them from their original counterparts). As the games progressed, however, certain characters from the X series, most notably Zero, Iris and Colonel have also appeared as NetNavis, prompting some fans to believe that, similar to the original series, the Battle Network series will eventually transition to an 'X' stage. Completely original NetNavis have also been made for the series, with some exclusive to the anime series. In every game since the second (with the exception of Battle Network 3), NetNavis used by Mr. Famous were created by fans of the series, being winners of design contests from Capcom of Japan.
The Battle Network games are hybrid role-playing video games. Out of battle, gameplay is typical RPG fare. In battle, however, it is a unique hybrid of traditional action-RPG gameplay and a collectible card game. This battle system is the most unusual part of the Battle Network games, featuring a 6x3 grid, with each character initially controlling half of the playing field. However, this can be modified by Battle Chips and in Battle Network 5, the layout of surrounding tiles in Liberation Missions.
Like the original games, MegaMan has the use of his weapon, the MegaBuster, but in this series, additional weapons can be downloaded to MegaMan for one-time use through small computer chips held by Lan known as Battle Chips. A secondary objective is thus the collection of Battle Chips, and the organization of Battle Chips in such a manner as to augment MegaMan's powers to its maximum level. Some Battle Chips can also be combined in such a way to form a Program Advance, a sort of combo attack, while others are used to call other NetNavis for assistance. With the success of the collectible genre with series such as Pokémon, Battle Network games (beginning with BN3) were released in two similar versions, and had Giga Class Battle Chips, Style Changes, Soul Unisons, Crosses and side stories that were exclusive to one version of the game.
The fourth, fifth and sixth games in the series are also compatible with the e-Reader (in Japan; the e-Reader was discontinued in the US). By swiping special cards, MegaMan can be given extra powers. The cards also allowed for customization of menu screens.
Battle Network 4 can also be used with the Battle Chip Gate (released only in Japan), another Game Boy accessory (made specifically for Battle Network), in which battle chips for the Advanced PET and Advanced PET II (a virtual pet-like toy with a Battle Network motif, based on the PETs found in Battle Network 4.) Subsequent PET upgrades include the Progress and LiNK PETs, which are based on the PETs in Battle Network 5 and Battle Network 6, respectively. The Battle Chip Gate is also compatible with Rockman.EXE 4.5 Real Operation, a Japan-only spin-off game in which the Game Boy Advance acts as the PET itself and Navis other than MegaMan can be used. Two upgraded gates were released in conjunction with the fifth and sixth games, under the titles of Progress Chip Gate and Beast Link Gate, respectively.
Furthermore, Battle Network 4 can be connected to Mega Man Zero 3 to obtain the Z-Saber, the sword used by Zero in Megaman X2~X6(and Command Mission)and the Megaman Zero series, as a BattleChip for MegaMan.EXE, as well as for Zero to face Battle Network viruses in Zero 3.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth installments of the series also feature cameos (effectively, a fictional crossover) by Django and Otenko of Konami's Boktai series, in which Django and Otenko are part of a sidequest that allows MegaMan to get the GunDelSol (a BattleChip based on Django's main weapon) as well as the PileDriver Program Advance. In the fifth installment, Django and Otenko NaviChips are also available along with a feature that actually allows the player to battle a friend who owns a copy of Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django. A second crossover battle was offered between the sixth game and the third Boktai game, Boktai: Sabata's Counterattack. This feature was removed from the US/PAL versions. The reason for this was because of Capcom US losing rights to Boktai.
MegaMan is also a secret character in Capcom's Onimusha Blade Warriors series, and in Battle Network 5 two BattleChips are based on Duel Masters, a reference to the double billing of movie adaptations of their respective anime series.
Battle Network 5 also introduces Liberation Missions, a mode that combines traditional NetBattling with turn-based strategy games. In Liberation Missions, MegaMan and a team of Navis enter a part of the Internet controlled by Dark Chip Syndicate Nebula in order to free it from their control.
Battle Network 5 Double Team (Rockman.EXE 5 DS Twin Leaders in Japanese) has been released on the Nintendo DS system. It is virtually the same as the fifth installment on Game Boy Advance, except with an extra screen. Most player-influenced elements of the game are managed on the touch screen, and the base menu is made to look like Lan's PET from the Anime. Also, the Soul Unison function introduced in the fourth game is used more prominently. However, players can only obtain souls depending on which game version they have chosen.
Unlike the past Battle Network games, Megaman Battle Network 5 Double Team can connect to past games for chips and other extras. Depending on which game has been loaded into the Game Boy Advance slot, numerous secrets can be revealed. Such unlockable features include Sol Cross Megaman (SCR), which can be obtained through Boktai 2, and 3, and Bass Cross Megaman (Forte Cross Rockman) (BCM/FCR). The attacks of Bass Cross Megaman vary depending on the game's save file. Playing the Team Colonel version will unlock a silver Bass Cross, with a charge shot of "Hell's Rolling"; a Team Protoman version save file will have a golden Bass Cross with a charge shot of "Buster Rake." Additional unlockables include the background music changing depending on which game was slotted in and other features like additional chip traders. However, inserting MegaMan Battle Network 6 (either version) in will not change gameplay at all, as these games were released after Twin Leaders.
Capcom released MegaMan Battle Network 6, the final game in the MegaMan Battle Network series, for the Game Boy Advance on November 22, 2005. Like the past three installments, Battle Network 6 was released in two versions: "Cybeast Falzar" and "Cybeast Gregar". Lan and his family move to a new location, called "Central Town" and little will be seen of his old friends, such as Mayl, Dex, and Yai. He will however be meeting new friends, the most prominent of which is Iris. The Cross System has been introduced in this installment, with many notable similarities with Style Change and Soul Unison, such as the Link Navi's attributes and no time limit. Beast Out is another addition to the gameplay, and MegaMan takes on the appearance and abilities of one of the two Cyber Beasts. After the worldwide release of the game, Capcom eventually announced that they will be ending the series.
Mega Man Battle Network
A terrorist organization called WWW (World Three) attempted to destroy the world with the use of a super virus known as the Life Virus (Dream Virus in Japan). Despite interference by Lan and MegaMan, the members stole the four element programs they needed in order to make it and succeeded in its creation. The virus was as strong as predicted, but was destroyed by MegaMan. Its defeat forced WWW to retreat.
Mega Man Battle Network was later re-released for the DS as Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star, which serves both as an enhanced port of the original, as well as a crossover with the Star Force series.
Mega Man Network Transmission
A man known only as the Professor releases a deadly virus that infects Navis. MegaMan and ProtoMan move in to investigate and find the source of the virus, Zero. Once Zero is released of the curse, the Professor announces that Zero was merely a diversion to resurrect the Life Virus. With Zero's help, MegaMan deletes it again.
Mega Man Battle Network 2
The following summer after WWW's defeat, a new terrorist group called Gospel emerged. Their tactics differed considerably compared to WWW, as they appeared to have no set goal. Gospel's plan had seemingly consisted of only causing random destruction with their navis. Lan and MegaMan battled every member and prevented the worst possible situations. However, Gospel's hidden plan was to re-create the ultimate net navi, Bass (Forte in Japan). Using bug fragments, they planned to make a large army of Bass navis to take over the world. Unknown to Gospel, their method of creating Bass was imperfect, and his abilities were vastly below predictions. In an attempt to make copies of Bass to create an army, the leader of Gospel overloaded energy to the bug fragments; but something went wrong and the concoction transformed into a giant wolf-like multi-bug organism. Although the bug beast was stronger than before, Lan and MegaMan managed to eliminate it.
Mega Man Battle Network 3 (White and Blue)
Battle Network 3 takes place not long after BN2. A NetNavi tournament called the N1 Grand Prix took place. Half of the game involves qualifying for the tournament. Once Lan and MegaMan get into the competition, the tournament was discovered as a set-up by WWW to intimidate the world about their return.
WWW had already been attacking in between qualification rounds. As with before, Lan and MegaMan had to defeat the WWW net navis. However, the net operators always managed to escape with special programs known as TetraCodes. The codes were required for WWW's plan to revive the net beast Alpha (Proto in Japan).
Alpha was the original prototype of the Internet. However, he went berserk and devoured many navis and programs. The scientists were forced to seal Alpha to prevent further damage.
In addition to the TetraCodes, WWW had needed Bass in order to awaken Alpha. It was revealed that Dr. Wily, head of WWW, was moving behind-the-scenes in net mafia Gospel, and had put them to the task of creating a copy Bass specifically for the resurrection. This time, Wily did not need a fake Bass because he tricked the true Bass into removing the final security measure. When Lan and MegaMan arrived, they fought and destroyed Alpha. In its last moments, as Alpha absorbs MegaMan, he sacrifices his life and overloads, to save Lan. However, a letter Lan's grandfather, Tadashi, left contained data that let MegaMan be restored.
Mega Man Battle Network 4 (Red Sun and Blue Moon)
Lan and MegaMan take part in a series of net battle tournaments. Depending on the version of the game, different opponents and scenarios will occur. In between tournaments, a criminal organization called Nebula will attack. They spread corruption with the use of dark chips. These are battle chips infused with the power of darkness. They grant immense firepower compared to a regular chip, but spawns a dark soul and does a small amount of permanent HP damage into the navi that uses it.
Meanwhile, an asteroid is traveling through space, heading for Earth. The scientists at NAXA (ANSA in Japan) attempt to divert it. When their laser strategy failed, they decided to send a net navi into the asteroid's cyberworld and change its course. The navi was chosen through an international tournament, which Lan and MegaMan ended up winning.
Nebula attacked again, but MegaMan was able to delete the head navi and reached the main program operating the asteroid. The program was called Duo and was planning on destroying Earth because of the high levels of dark energy. Lan and MegaMan proved through battle that all people had the ability to conquer their inner darkness, and successfully averted destruction.
Mega Man Battle Network 5 Team Protoman/Colonel/Double Team (Twin Leaders)
Nebula attacks again, this time with an all-out invasion. They kidnap Lan's father and use SciLab's computers to take over the internet. In response, either Chaud or Baryl (depending on the version) create a team of elite net navis and operators. Lan and MegaMan are the first members. As the story progresses, more team members are gained, and more areas of the net are liberated. When all of the net is won back, the team locates Nebula's headquarters and attempt to end the organization.
Dr. Regal, head of Nebula, reveals his plan of using SoulNet to connect the souls of navis and humans. When that is complete, he tries to upload Nebula Grey, a program of hatred, into it to corrupt all people. This plan was ended when MegaMan deleted Nebula Grey.
SoulNet begins to overload, and the team retreats. Dr. Regal stays behind and gets caught in the explosion of his base. When he awakens, he loses his memory and Lan's father gives him the opportunity to be a scientist. With Nebula disbanded, dark chip production was ceased and no longer exist.
It is interesting to note that in Team Colonel, Dr. Wily appears and he is the reason behind Dr. Regal's memory loss. Baryl is also shown as loyal to Dr. Wily. This would be the basis for the next game's storyline.
Mega Man Battle Network 6 (Cybeast Gregar/Cybeast Falzar)
Battle Network 6 is the final game in the series. Lan's father gets a new job and the family moves to Cyber City, leaving behind Lan's classmates and friends from ACDC Town. WWW attacks once again, aiming to revive the legendary Cybeasts, Gregar and Falzar.
Gospel's bug beast designed itself after Gregar/Falzar (corresponding to the version of the game). This was because the two were created by the same means. Gregar/Falzar was formed when numerous bugs on the net formed into a certain shape at a rapid pace. Gregar/Falzar was made to destroy Gregar/Falzar, but its creator had lost control.
When the resurrection was complete, WWW attempted to capture them. They successfully caught one, but MegaMan had absorbed the other. At the end, Wily stole MegaMan's Cybeast and placed it and his own into Copybots. Copybots are robots that could bring programs into the real world. Along with Colonel and Iris, MegaMan deleted the beasts before they could be released onto the world. Wily was arrested afterwards.
In the end, Dr. Wily finally saw the error of his ways and decided to help society once more. With the opportunity of being a scientist again, Wily created powerful systems that deleted viruses and criminals and made repairs to the net automatically. This allowed Net society to grow incredibly fast.
The ending shows a 20-year leap into the future. Dex became the mayor of ACDC town, Yai became the president of her father's company, Mick became a teacher, Tab is making his store famous around the world, Chaud became an International Net-Agent, Mayl became Lan's wife and had a son named Patch, and Lan became a scientist like his father Yuichiro and his grandfather.
The games lent itself to an anime adaptation, also titled Rockman.EXE. The English language version is known as MegaMan NT Warrior, and has edits resulting from Americanization. The anime is very loosely based on the games (in particular, the third Battle Network game), with few story events in common. The series has spawned four sequels, Axess, Stream, Beast, and Beast+. Stream is loosely based on the fourth and fifth Battle Network games, with heavy Battle Network 3 influences. Beast has shown fairly heavy influences from the 6th Battle Network game(s).
Though Beast was half the length of the previous series, another series premiered after it called Beast+. At this point, the series had become part of the Oha Coliseum programming block, now taking up only a 10 minute time-slot (alongside an Ape Escape anime). Beast+ focuses on the more obscure, left-over elements from the games that were previously ignored, such as Transmission and the Japan-only mobile game, Phantom of the Network. The 26th episode of Beast+ marked the series finale, and an anime based on Mega Man Star Force took its place immediately afterwards.
- MegaMan Network Transmission for the GameCube and MegaMan Battle Chip Challenge for the Game Boy Advance (originally called Rockman EXE N1 Grand Prix for the Wonderswan) are the only Battle Network sidestory games to be released in English. Other sidestory games include RockMan EXE: Phantom of Network and RockMan EXE: Legend of Network for Japanese Cell Phones.
- RockMan EXE WS and RockMan EXE 4.5 Real Operation do not follow the main storyline. RockMan EXE WS was a different telling of Mega Man NT Warrior as a side-scroller, while RockMan EXE 4.5: Real Operation introduced a new story and many differences in the gameplay.
- The team that worked on the Battle Network series was the same team that did the Legends games (Capcom Production Studio 2).
- All of the Robot Masters from the Original Mega Man game appears in the first game, except for Cutman, who appeared in Battle Network 2.
- There are four Mega Man X character crossovers in the series: Zero, who appeared in MegaMan Network Transmission as one of the characters, Colonel (from Mega Man X4) in MegaMan Battle Network 5: Team Colonel (and again in both versions of MegaMan Battle Network 6), Iris, who is based on the character of the same name from Mega Man X4, and Dr. Cain in Mega Man Battle Network 6. Iris's relationship with Colonel is mirrored from their relationship in the X series.
- As a result of crossover with Konami's Boktai series, Konami created a character as a parody of the series in their baseball game Power Pro Kun Pocket series. In addition, his teammates' name are all parodies of Capcom's series, and the team itself can be pronounced "Rockman" in Japanese.
- By inserting most Megaman Battle Network games into the Slot-2 of a DS, players may acquire additional benefits to two spin-offs of the Battle Network series: the Megaman Star Force series. For example, an additional sidequest is unlocked by placing any MMBN game in Slot-2 while a Star Force game is running in Slot-1, and the background music may change according to which game cartridge is placed in the Slot-2.
- Rockman EXE series - official Capcom site for the Rockman EXE series (Japanese).
- Rockman.EXE Link Pet EX