Mega Man Legends (video game)
|Mega Man Legends|
Box art of Mega Man Legends
|Developer(s)||Capcom Production Studio 2|
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing game, action-adventure|
Mega Man Legends, known in Japan as Rockman DASH Hagane no Bōkenshin (ロックマンDASH 鋼の冒険心 Rokkuman Dasshu Hagane no Bōkenshin?, lit. "Rockman DASH Adventurous Spirit of Steel"), is an action-adventure game released by Capcom. It is the first game in the Mega Man Legends sub-series of Mega Man games from Capcom, and the first major 3D polygonal Mega Man title released in the franchise. It was released on the PlayStation in 1997 in Japan and in 1998 in North America. A Nintendo 64 port was released in 2000 with the same title, but it was renamed Mega Man 64 for the English release in 2001. Another port was released for Microsoft Windows in 2001, and PlayStation Portable in 2005, with the latter exclusively in Japan.
It stars a different spiritual incarnation of Mega Man named Mega Man Volnutt, the game's playable character. Mega Man Volnutt is a "Digger", a person in charge of investigating ruins from a flooded Earth. During his journey with his friends, their ship crashes in Kattelox Island, where Mega Man decides to confront pirates who are attacking it to obtain its hidden treasure. As an action-adventure game, Mega Man Legends's gameplay is very different from the ones of the original series despite sharing a few elements.
The game was produced by Keiji Inafune who remarks that he and the Capcom staff enjoyed designing the game. Since its original release Mega Man Legends has received positive critical response due the series jump from 2D graphics to 3D. Ports for the Nintendo 64 and Windows received negative comments for lacking updates from the PlayStation version whose graphics were considered outdated by the time the ports were released. Nevertheless, critics have praised Mega Man Legends as an enjoyable game in the Mega Man series. Mega Man Legends was followed by the prequel The Misadventures of Tron Bonne and a sequel titled Mega Man Legends 2.
Mega Man Legends differs greatly from the platforming gameplay of past Mega Man games, the main factor being the three-dimensional worlds, and three-dimensional movement therein. Unlike the original Mega Man series which are platform games, Legends is an action role-playing game with elements like lock-on targeting, which was later made popular by games such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The player controls Mega Man Volnutt across the title, in which he has to complete different missions such as investigating ruins or fighting pirates. The player travels through a large world, with various dungeons that are explored in a certain order, as well as a town with non-player characters to talk to. As such, the plot is revealed through cutscenes.
Although the only way to move in the game is on foot, once Roll Caskett repairs a support car, she is able to directly take Mega Man to specific areas. In Legends, large gems called Refractors are used as a power source. Small shards of them can be exchanged for money, and in the game, enemies that are destroyed will often drop these Refractor Shards. When shards are picked up, the equivalent amount of Zenny, the game's basic unit of currency, is added automatically. The health of Mega Man can be increased through the game in the shops, while it can be recovered through packs bought at shops, obtaining red spheres from defeated opponents or by asking the character Data to recover Mega Man's health. Mega Man also has a Life Shield which reduces the damage that he can receive from enemies. The damage caused by enemies can also be reduced by obtaining upgrades to Mega Man's armor or his helmet. Mega Man's interactions with characters from the game can also affect the price of objects. If the player makes Mega Man be rude with characters, prices from objects will be increased and the dialogues with people will also change.
The power of Mega Man's main weapon - the Buster Gun - depends on Buster Parts equipped. Buster Parts can be equipped to upgrade four stats of the Buster Gun; Attack (how strong it is), Rapid (how fast it fires), Range (how far the shots go), and Energy (how many shots can be fired before stopping). Buster Parts can be retrieved from stores or from dungeons. Additionally, Roll is able to create Buster Parts from unusable objects found in the ruins. Roll is also able to make weapons for the player, using specific combinations of parts that can be found in dungeons or bought in shops. Many of these weapons supplement the Buster Gun. The only way to refill them in the field is an item that can be bought, but only one can be carried. Only one special weapon can be equipped at a time, and the only way to switch is to talk to Roll, unlike the original series. Special weapons can be upgraded, and have five stats; Attack, Rapid, Range, Energy, and Special. In order to upgrade them, the player must pay a specific amount of Zenny.
Setting and characters
The Legends series takes place on a flooded Earth. Because of the flooding, only a few sparse islands exist and energy sources are rare. In order to satisfy this increasing demand for energy to power up machinery, quantum refractors found in ancient ruins are used. These refractors are valuable; they serve as an energy source, and their shards are used as currency. However, the main goal of every person is to find the Mother Lode, an item of supposed infinite power that can fill the need for the energy in one swoop. Those who try to excavate these ruins are called "Diggers" ("Digouters" in the Japanese version). The protagonist of the game is Mega Man Volnutt, a Digger living in a ship called Flutter. He lives there alongside Roll Caskett, his Spotter who is searching for her missing father, Barrel Caskett, Roll's grandfather, and Data, a mysterious monkey that talks in gibberish only Mega Man himself can understand. The game's antagonists are pirates known as the Bonnes who want to steal Kattelox's secret treasure in order to become rich. They consist of Teisel Bonne, the leader of the group. His sibling is Tron Bonne, who builds most of their robots used in their elaborate schemes (and develops feelings for Mega Man), and the youngest brother, Bon Bonne, who can only say one word—"Babu!" The Bonnes are accompanied by forty Servbots, robots under the care of Tron.
The game begins with Mega Man Volnutt trying to exit a ruin after finding the refractor inside. After dealing with the Reaverbots blocking his way out, he makes his way to the Flutter, which leaves the ruin. However, the Flutter experiences some engine problems and crash lands on Kattelox Island. From there, the Casketts try to find a way to repair their ship. However, when the pirates the Bonnes attack Kattelox's city with giant mechanicals, Mega Man decides to stop them. Once Mega Man is able to defeat each member individually, Kattelox's mayor, Amelia, tells Mega Man the Bonnes are searching for the island's secret treasure and that it is said if somebody obtains it, a disaster will happen in the island. Amelia asks Mega Man to explore the island's ruins in order to investigate it. With a refractor found in a ruin, Roll and Mega Man are able to repair the Flutter, allowing them to find a cave to continue exploring the island. While exploring the cave, Mega Man activates the Main Gate, a dungeon where he should be able to find the reason why Reaverbots from the island are being activated. Before being able to enter into the Main Gate, Mega Man once again confronts the Bonnes who after being defeated once again, decide to let Mega Man enter the Main Gate and then take their chance to steal the treasure.
When Mega Man enters the Main Gate, he discovers it is actually a stasis chamber for the robot Mega Man Juno, a 3rd class bureaucratic unit from Eden, a space station orbiting above the planet. When he is accidentally awakened from his sleep by Mega Man, Juno makes many strange revelations, among them referring to Mega Man as "Mega Man Trigger", and realizing that Mega Man is suffering from memory loss. Juno claims that the island's population needs to be purged so it will be more controllable confronts Mega Man when he tries to stop him. After a struggle, Juno is defeated and dies. Even with Juno's physical body gone, he transfers his backup data into the systems of Eden, and the Carbon Purification Process was still continuing its preparations. Data gives new commands to the system, stopping the Purification and also deleting Juno's backup data from Eden. Data then reveals to Mega Man that he contains all of his previous memories, when he was Mega Man Trigger. Mega Man had stored his memories into Data as a way to prevent Eden from ever tampering with it. Data promises that he will restore Mega Man's memory when the time comes. The residents proclaim Mega Man a hero and the Caskett family rides the repaired Flutter to continue their journey. In a post-credit scene, the Bonnes are seen sailing on a vessel built by Tron out of the scraps from the Gesellschaft with the refreactor from the main gate and Bon Bonne in tow.
Development and release
Producer Keiji Inafune stated that while designing Mega Man Legends, he and the staff wanted it to be entertaining for gamers. He stated that the game did not sell well as it was too early released, but nevertheless, Inafune comments "If we made it at the present time in modern quality, I believe that it would have sold a lot better". Inafune stated his purpose was creating a new Mega Man which would be completely different from all the others. Wanting that game to entertain gamers from all the ages, Inafune decided to mix the action, RPG and adventure genres. He also wanted to add more animation to the game and let the voice actors do various scenes. However, while designing the title Inafune was still doubting whether Mega Man Legends would be an entertaining game. A demo of the game was originally included in the Japanese director's cut version of Resident Evil. In the demo, the game had the title of "Rockman Neo" (ロックマン NEO?). The game was released in Japan on December 18, 1997, while a re-release with the label of "PlayStation the Best" was published on May 4, 1999. The Soundtrack was composed by Makoto Tomozawa whose purpose was to add various theme songs. The sound designers found challenging making the sounds for the game with Toshio Kijno having never worked in a Mega Man title or Kawakami Tomoyuki finding it thought to the cut-scene animations. The theme for the Japanese version of the game is "Another Sun" and the ending theme is "Anata no Kaze ga Fuku kara" (あなたの風が吹くから?, lit. "For Your Winds Shall Blow"), both by Reika Morishita. On February 21, 1998, Capcom published a CD of the game called Rockman Dash Original Soundtrack (「ロックマンDASH」 オリジナル・サウンドトラック?). It contains a total of 40 tracks including the opening and ending themes. Tomozawa notes that the CD still lacks other tracks from the game due to the large number of tracks it had.
In December 1997, Capcom USA's President, Bill Gardner, told IGN that Mega Man Legends would be ported to the Nintendo 64. Although the title at that time was "Mega Man Neo", Gardner stated the title was not decided. In January 1998 the game was renamed " Mega Man Nova" as the general consensus did not find the previous name appealing. The game was released abroad as Mega Man Legends, title which was confirmed in March 1998. By April 1998, the English adaptation of the game was finished, but Capcom decided to delay its release until September of the same year, believing it would fit better during the holiday seasons. The English localization removed an option from the original game in which Mega Man protects Tron from a dog chasing her; while in the Japanese version, Mega Man could either kick or calm the dog, in the English release he could only calm to the dog. Other changes to the English version were the renames of character such as the protagonist Mega Man Volnutt's whose original name is Rock Volnutt. The PC port of the game was first announced by Capcom in the Tokyo Game Show from April 2000 alongside Dino Crisis and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The PlayStation Portable version of Mega Man Legends was released in Japan on August 4, 2005. It was re-released on December 21, 2006 and January 29, 2009, with the latter also including the PSP port of Mega Man Legends 2. Although a North American release of the port was planned, it was cancelled.
Since its release, Mega Man Legends has received positive critical response from video game publications although the ports for Nintendo 64 and PC received from mixed to negative comments. Game Rankings had an average of 73.73% for the PS version. The PC and Nintendo 64 version had lower averages of 33.67% and 63.94%, respectively. Metacritic had 59 favourable reviews out of 100 for the Nintendo 64 port. The jump from a 2D platform video game series to a 3D action role-playing game was well received, as reviewers compared it with other video game franchises whose changes were overall negative. Despite the change, critics liked how Legends shares various elements from the original Mega Man series. Game Informer liked the variations of Mega Man's special weapons as "There is plenty of shoot-em-up action for fans of traditional Mega Man titles." The storyline of the game was also praised, being labelled as "solid" by Game Informer and "engrossing" by GamePro, the latter praising the bosses characters as one of the best ones from the whole series. On the other hand, the game's difficulty received mixed reviews with focus on the boss battles, but praise in the addition of a tutorial mode later added to the Nintendo 64 port.
The N64 port, however, received criticism by Famitsu for being too similar to the original game. IGN commented that the PlayStation game "was a poor experience", asking "why Capcom [...] decided to make Nintendo 64 owners suffer through it unchanged". GameSpot thought that the graphics were outdated and that apart from not having any update from the original game, some music and sound clips were lost during conversion. The PC version received a more negative review; GameSpot gave it a "bad" 3.6 out of 10 stating gamers would find the PlayStation port more worthwhile. Similarly to Famitsu's review of the Nintendo 64 port, GameSpot complained about the lack of additions to the PC port. The PC's conversions of the cutscenes during the game were found to have a mistake which makes a character start a dialogue while another one is still talking.
In a 2007 retrospective of the Mega Man series, Jeremy Parish of 1UP.com ranked Mega Man Legends as "Worth it!", with praise focused on the setting, the plot, the English voice acting and the boss battles. GamesRadar shared similar opinions, stating "it was a complete overhaul in every way" and noting that its jump to 3D graphics "seems totally lost in this day and age..." On the other hand, ScrewAttack placed Mega Man Legends fourth in their article, "Top Ten Worst 2D to 3D Games", with criticism focused in the game controls, the camera, and the main character's voice. Allgame mentioned that while the game "had some significant problems that kept it from being anything more than a diversion" with its most notable one being the controls which were improved in the sequel. Mega Man's design was third in GamePro's "The 8 Worst Game Character Makeovers Ever" in which the author Patrick Shaw commented that having Mega Man without a helmet "just doesn't work". GamesRadar's article "Gaming's most absurdly oversized limbs" featured the game as an example of games with characters' oversized arms. In 2008, Joystiq's Wesley Fenlon listed Mega Man Legends as a potential game to be ported for the Wii with comments focused in the game's and the console's controls. In December 1998, a Capcom representative stated that Mega Man Legends became a very popular game, and due to this, the staff decided to release the spin-off The Misadventures of Tron Bonne.
- Parish, Jeremy (July 16, 2011). "Halcyon Days: Mega Man Legends and the Lost Art of Sincerity". 1UP.com. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Capcom (1997), p. 6
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Roll: ...But there are a few places I can't get to in the car, so I won't be able to pick you up even if you call me--sorry...OK then...."
- Capcom (1997), p. 7
- Capcom (1997), p. 11
- Capcom (1997), p. 12
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "In a world covered by endless water... People are forced to eke out a living on the small patches of land that remain above the sea. The people of this world rely on ancient technology driven by quantum refractors, a powerful energy source. These refractors lie in ancient ruins underground and in the sea and are sought out by explorers called "Diggers." These brave explorers are the sole source of refractor energy which has become a cornerstone of the emerging civilizations."
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Originally, this was the Diggers' only purpose; to find refractors so that civilization would endure. However over the years, the story of an incredible treasure, the legendary Mother Lode, began to be whispered among the Diggers. The Mother Lode...a treasure so great that were it discovered, it would provide so much power that the world need never fear of running out of energy."
- Capcom (1997), p. 14
- Capcom (1997), p. 15
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Data: Oh, don't forget--you're the only one who can understand what I say..."
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Teisel: Testing! 1 2 3! Testing! Ahem! All right, listen up! Drop everything and give me your undivided attention! In about an hour, we will be arriving at our destination, Kattelox Island! Double check your equipment readings and make sure everything's in working order! I want another flawless operation, same as the last one! I swear, that treasure will be ours or my name's not Bonne! Let's do it!!"
- Capcom (1997), p. 16
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Tron:, Who was that? Wait! Wasn't that the same boy as before? He disabled the Blumebears by himself? I don't understand--whenever I think about him, I get this...funny feeling... Oh, forget it! Who cares what this feeling is!? It's all his fault! His fault! How dare he!?"
- Capcom (1997), p. 17
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Roll: Great! What about the refractor?/ Mega Man: It's here! It's a big one, too!/ Roll: All right, now maybe we can finally get some money! Be careful!"
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Barrell: Roll, the engine's overheating! The smoke's so thick I can barely see!/Roll: What!? I guess the Flutter's in worse shape than I thought!/Barrell: Roll, the #5 meter is going crazy! She can't take much more of this!/Roll: Gramps, can you open up the #11 value again?/Barrell: Got it!/Roll: We'd better find a place to set down! Mega Man, could you check the map?/Mega Man: Got it! There's an island called Kattelox about 100 miles southwest!/Barrell: I can't do much more down here by myself down here! Can somebody give me a hand!?/Roll: Sorry, Gramps, but my hands are a little full right now!/Mega Man: Roll, I see it! Land ho!"
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Roll: I'll take a look at the Flutter while we wait for Gramps to get back...Mega Man, you could help by looking for parts we could use for repairs. Maybe you could find something at that shopping area the Inspector mentioned..."
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Officer: Those pirates have attacked the island, just like they said they would...They're after the treasure that's supposed to be buried here...Enough talk--you have to leave here now! / Mega Man: Pirates? / Patrolman: They've occupied the gate over there...They're too heavily armed...we can't even get close to 'em! / Mega Man: Maybe I can do something... / Roll: Mega Man!I'm going with you! / Mega Man: No, Roll, it's too dangerous--let me handle this!"
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Amelia: How can I thank you? You've done so much for us...I hope this will convince those pirates to give up. I'm afraid to think what might happen if they get their hands on the treasure--the legends say a horrible disaster will occur if it's ever unearthed...sigh...Even if that's just a myth, lately we've been detecting increased activity underground--the Reaverbots are apparently activating of their own accord...It has me concerned...Maybe there's some truth to those stories about a horrible disaster...? I wonder...Mega Man, would you be willing to explore the caves and dungeons on this island, and see if you can find anything?"
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Mega Man: We're flying! It worked! You did it, Roll! We're flying! We're flying! / Roll: Well, I still have a lot of work left, but we should be able to get around the island at least! And you'll be able to reach that cave now, too! Let me know when you want to start a dig at the cave, and I'll take you there anytime!"
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Mega Man: This is it. Once I'm inside the Main Gate, I should be able to figure out why the Reaverbots activated, but, how can I read these ancient letters?"
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Teisel:Tron! Once he finds the treasure, we'll wait for our chance and take it for him!"
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Juno: Was it you who awoke me? It is somewhat earlier than I had planned...But no matter...Thank you for awakening me...Hmmm? Have we met before? Oh, please forgive me. You are a purifier model, assigned to the direct command of Mother. As I recall, you were designated Mega Man Trigger. Please forgive me, I did not recognize you in your current configuration./Mega Man: You...you know me?/Juno: You don't remember? Ahh, I see...You have suffered memory loss, yes...And for what purpose have you awakened me...by yourself?"
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Juno: I assume that your reason for coming here is to purge the carbons that have overpropagated during the time I was inactive./Mega Man: Carbons? Purge? What are you talking about!?/Juno: According to Urban Military Security Ordinance A10, the number of carbon units is not allowed to increase beyond a pre-specified limit; if this happens, they are to be purged immediately. My observation, if left unattended, the carbons will reproduce indefinitely. Their numbers will grow, polluting the surface world. They can be quite a nuisance.../MegaMan: Carbons? Do you mean...The people on the island!/Juno: The carbons fit Mass Population Model B. They are unstable, very difficult to control...Perhaps, it would be better to simply reinitialize.../Mega Man: Reinitialize? I haven't understood much of what you have been saying, but when you say "reinitialize", do you mean...No!"
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Juno: Allow me to rephrase; I will exercise my authority to terminate your program."
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Juno: It appears I was in error assuming that a Bureaucratic Model such as myself could be able to best you in hand-to-hand combat. However, I was successful in keeping you occupied long enough for Eden to achieve optimal altitude before you could interfere. This is Mega Man Juno, Bureaucratic Model Third Class, Authorization Number 8677. Requesting the Reinitialization of this island's systems, and memory back- up of its bureaucratic systems./Mega Man: Stop! Stop it!/Juno: If you wish to shoot me, please do not hesitate. My program has... already been backed up in Eden's Central Core. I eagerly await my next activation..."
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Data:Interrupt command. Priority command rerouted to Purifier First Class MegaMan Trigger. Under suspicion of malfunction, Bureaucratic Model Third Class Juno has been deactivated by MegaMan Trigger as per Ordinance 103. MegaMan Trigger hereby requests the indefinite postponement of the previous Reinitialization order, and the deletion of Bureaucratic Model Juno's back-up data. Trigger hereby assumes all Bureaucratic authority for the District, and will petition Mother for guidance at a future date./OS Voice: Command reroute acknowledged. Priority given to Purifier First Class' command. Eden resuming standby mode and returning to predestinated coordinates. Deleting log of Purifier First Class' correspondence as required by security ordinances. Requesting that notification to Mother be carried out by Purifier First Class present Bureaucratic Authority Trigger."
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Mega Man: Do you know who I am?/Data: I'm your Peripheral Memory Storage Device! You originally created me so our memory couldn't be scanned by Mother Two! I can't tell you anything yet--but soon, I'll be able to tell you everything! What you are, why you lost your memory, your original function, and mission!"
- Capcom (1997). Mega Man Legends. Sony PlayStation. Capcom. "Reporter: I hope those of you at home are watching! Our brave heroes are taking off, heading for new adventures! As you can see, the people of Kattelox have come out to send them off and wish them well!/Mega Man: Hey, everybody!!/Roll: They were all really nice people. Maybe we'll come back here and see them again!/Mega Man: Yeah!/Roll: OK, setting new course!"
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