Mega Man Battle Network is a spinoff/reimagining of the Mega Man series. Its basic premise is "What If? the Mega Man universe had a major technological breakthrough in computer networking instead of robotics?" MMBN is set Twenty Minutes into the Future where everything is completely run by the Internet and life is more-or-less peaceful. Everything — cars, refrigerators, schools, the weather — literallyEverything Is Online.The programming required to run everything has gotten so complicated that humans cannot comprehend it by themselves. So they've created helper Artificial Intelligences, called Network Navigators ("NetNavis" or "Navis" for short).The stars of the series are 10-year-old (at the start of the series) Lan Hikari and his Net Navi partner, MegaMan.EXE.Since power in this universe is through the Internet, public enemies are those who would conquer or destroy it. Viruses are monsters that must be destroyed, and hackers are able to control all of the things mentioned above that the Internet is connected to. (Even the Mafia is Internet-based.) Lan and MegaMan, being the main characters, have to face these forces off.The "Real World" and the Internet are separated from each other. Lan can help MegaMan out by giving advice and "battlechips" that grant special powers, but he is more or less isolated from the action. (Unless the part of the Internet that is being affected controls the environment he is currently in, like a runaway train, a cruise ship, the oven of his house, etc.)The series is best known for its unique battle system. It's complicated in theory, yet simple in practice. Combat is conducted on a three-by-six block grid, with MegaMan on the left and his enemies on the right. When your meter fills up, you can select a certain number of battle chips to blast your enemies in real time while dodging their attacks. They can damage, heal, claim more territory for you, damage or remove enemy territory, summon assistants, and a host of other effects. Those are the basics, at least. It would take far too long to explain all the little clever details and tactical considerations (and insane unstoppable ultra-combos), so those interested should watch some videos to have a better idea of what it's like.The series lasted for six games before concluding. It spawned a sequel series focusing on radio waves and set 200 years in the future, Mega Man Star Force.There are several attempts to make a fan-game continuation. The most progressive one in the developing, that mimics the original games in 99% is Mega Man Battle Network Chrono X; being programmed in GML (Game Maker Language). This game is freeware and only for PC with Windows XP or greater OS. Chrono X is also being ported to Android devices and can be played with Android 2.2 & greater.For the anime/manga adaptation, see Mega Man NT Warrior.
Mr. Match:"But who cares! Soon war will start and you'll all be dead!"
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Notice how the price of HP Memories tends to increase the later in the game you encounter the stores that sell them. It's not just Adam Smith, it's the shopkeepers too! Even within the same store, the price increases the more you buy!
Adult Fear: Professor Hikari must feel terrible about his son fearlessly risking his life numerous times over the course of the games, especially when he really comes close to death several times.
A scene from 3: Mamoru nearly dying as a result of complications when the hospital equipment fails during a malware attack. Imagine how helpless you must feel when you're an accomplished Netbattler and your new friend is dying as a result of a problem you can't fix by simple application of NetNavi abilities. Imagine how you must feel when said new friend is dying the same way your late brother did.
The climax of the "Hero of ACDC" arc, when Lan finds out that Mr Match had been deceiving him the whole time and fooled him into playing a patsy. Such betrayal of trust is a terrible blow to anyone, especially when someone close to you nearly dies as a result of your foolishness.
In the fourth game, Lan's doghouse alarm goes off and he rushes home to find his mother Bound and Gagged on the floor in the corner of his room and warned him that they could easily do worse. Let's go over that again: some creep (1) broke into his house, (2) attacked his mother, and (3) left a message taunting him about doing worse.
The first game makes it very obvious they're this. Broadcasting evil education programs in school? They get brainwashed. Every car in Densan gets e-hijacked and a WWW agent comes along with a perfect antivirus? They go scrambling over themselves to drop a million zenny for it (after you bring her to her senses, one of the women realizes she doesn't even have a driver's license). It makes Dex looks like a genius in comparison.
For some incredibly odd reason, nobody else seems to notice that the world's about to end. Yeah, some of the enemy bases are in pretty hidden locations, but in Mega Man Battle Network 2, Sean is hiding out inside a large Condoninium building that's getting merged with the internet - Now how in the hell does somebody not notice that? This is lampshaded by Chaud when he says that the official netbattlers are all in La-la land.
Despite the fact that there are hundreds of people who have been NetBattling professionally for longer than Lan and Chaud have been alive, they're pretty much the only people in the world who are any good at it.
Adults are even vastly under-prepared for emergencies. In the aforementioned water incident in the first game, it appears that no one has a stock pile of water bottles in case of a water shortage (a very common tactic in real life) and the government is less than useless as they don't provide emergency water rations. It takes two 11-year-old (one is admittedly part of the government) to end the crisis.
Speaking of the government, SciLab (which is technically only partly funded by the government). Their network security decisions are laughable. And let's not talk about hiring established criminal and former WWW goon Mr. Match, who famously tried to burn down Dr. Hikari's house — we understand Higsby reformed, but Higsby isn't working at Scilab.
All The Worlds Are A Stage: Done in the first game Final Exam style, where each part of the final area is a condensed version of earlier areas, complete with more complex takes on stage gimmicks (i.e. putting out fires in FireMan's area, using numeric passcodes to unlock doors in NumberMan's area, etc.).
Repeated in the sixth game, but justified since the various sectors of the Final Dungeon specifically refer to the various Cyber City locales.
Alternate Continuity: The game, manga, and anime all have different conflicts and outcomes to the point where the stories are only tangentially related at times. It may not have as many versions of the story as King Arthur, but it is comparable to the Pokémon manga in this regard. What is especially jarring is the vastly different backstories, events, outcomes, and ultimate fate that are given Dr. Regal in the three mediums. Many characters appear in one form of media but are absent in another or their chief motivation are completely changed. Some characters get different Navis and/or roles in the anime than they had in the game. In some extreme cases, characters are In Name Only to original videogame concept.
The Robot Masters (and a number of other characters) from the original series return, this time as artificial intelligences called Net Navis. Dr. Wily himself is a major force. Dr. Light's counterpart is here named Tadashi Hikari. It doesn't match up perfectly mind you:
Several Robot Masters have two counterparts. Slash Man has a lookalike counterpart in BeastMan.EXE in Mega Man Battle Network 3, but in Battle Network 6, they give us the radically dissimilar SlashMan.EXE. Another example is Magic Man, who has both MagicMan.EXE and the much more comparable HatMan.EXE.
Duo is the first major flaw in the For Want of a Nail explanation of the universe. While the Nail may explain deviations on earth, Duo hails from space, where the Nail doesn't reach.
Althrough, some have noted that Duo transforms into a rock/commet/shooting star during the fight with him in Mega Man 8, so there could be some explation, althrought that may be more in the realm of WMG.
Some NetNavis are infamously dissimilar to their Robot Master counterparts. CutMan.EXE, on the other hand, is identical save that big ol' C across his chest. QuickMan, likewise is just a slightly fancier version of his original.
Save for the Mascot MookMett, most viruses are unique. In the Platform GameNetwork Transmission, a bunch of the viruses are basically rehashes of the original Mechaniloids (like Sniper and Hammer Joes). Fitting, as the game itself largely an exercise in Nostalgia with Battle Network flair.
All There in the Manual: Navi Customizer Compression and Extra codes in Battle Network 3 could be found hidden in manuals, the anime adaptation, and even some of the Gaiden Games. For instance, the passcode Lan uses to force MegaMan into the ridiculously powerful Aqua Custom Style in the anime? It's the bonus code for 200 extra HP in the game. (Don't bother looking for it in the dub, though...) Let's put it this way: since NT Warrior got shelved, this gets escalated to Guide Dang It for Americans and Europeans (Amerouppeans? Netopians?).
Always in Class One: Lan, Mayl, Dex and Yai are in class 1. The sixth game has Lan moving to another school, and he is also in class 1 alongside Mick and Tab.
Always Check Behind the Chair: Multiple ports and chips are hidden in the over-world. All of the main games have bosses reappear on select tiles throughout the Net; as well, the password system hides its codes where you cannot see them due to the camera.
An Ice Person: Dr.Froid/IceMan.exe, Ivan/ColdMan.exe, BlizzardMan.exe, FreezeMan.exe.
In MMBN6, the area that triggers a boss fight is marked by a tile with a skull on it, so that you know where to save beforehand. Carried over to Star Force.
In MMBN5, whenever it is compulsory to go to the deepest areas of the Oran Isle mines, you will be brought back to the entrance after completing said compulsory task. Really handy since the mines are not known for their simple layout.
Apocalypse How: Duo plans to pull a Class X on Earth, because its primary inhabitants have been very, very naughty indeed for the past few centuries. How's he going to do this? Crash his car into it.
Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Only 5 characters can take part in the Liberation Missions of Battle Network 5. When at least 6 people are present, one of them (you can't choose who) will get left behind to stay on guard and watch for surprise ambushes, which of course never happens. It's specially strange to see Colonel leaving Shadow Man on guard and then talking about the need for speed in the mission.
Arm Cannon: The Mega Buster has three basic stats: Attack, Rapid, and Charge. Attack is obvious, forming the basis of how powerful Mega's attacks are. Rapid refers to rate-of-fire, which is used by people who prefer to use it as a machinegun-style weapon. Charge influences how quickly it can activate its Charged Attack, which may not seem impressive to Normal Mega (whose normal Charge Shot is merely 10x Mega's Attack rating, normally maxing at a meager 50 damage), but actually is meant to facilitate the Charged Attacks of Mega's various Super Modes, most of which have some tactical use.
Autosave: Getting a new chip from the chip trader machine will cause the game to auto-save. This is to prevent Save Scumming for the desired chip. Emulator-users enjoy ignoring this restriction.
The Distant Finale epilogue of game six shows Lan and Mayl get married and have a son named Patch.
And an unlockable in in Mega Man Star Force 2 shows that Patch's Navi is named MegaMan Jr, who was made from code taken from MegaMan and Roll's programs.
Backtracking: A lot of the time, you're required to go back to previous areas. It's completely necessary to rematch bosses too.
Badass: A lot of the major heroes, but notables are MegaMan himself (who fights and beats everyone), ProtoMan (with his habit of Big Damn Heroes), and SearchMan (who snipes almost half a dozen enemies at once).
At the start of each game, Lan and MegaMan start off with a horrible folder, 100 HP, no sub memories, no Navi Customizer, nor any of the previous transformations (any styles or souls that carry over into the third or the fifth game must be individually regained).
The sixth game lampshades this in one of the poems of the Poem NCP. MegaMan asks Lan where all his old chips and such go, Lan answers that he really doesn't know!
Mamoru all the way. Despite being a sick little kid in a wheelchair, it is revealed in the third game that his father was a SciLab scientist who created the Undernet, and Mamoru is its current owner. Also, look closely at the Navi icon on the side of Mamoru's chair in his artwork.◊ Guess which Navi's icon that is—Serenade! It isn't entirely confirmed, but it is widely speculated and is very likely that Mamoru not only owns the Undernet, but is Serenade's operator and thus the ruler of the Secret Area and the operator of one of the most powerful Navis in the series. Beware the Nice Ones indeed!
Also, 6's Prosecutor Ito. It doesn't help that he resembles Mega ManJuno from Legends with a bowl cut and dye job.
Lan and MegaMan in every other scenario in the games.
And in at least one scenario per game, usually near the game's climax, they're the ones who need the backup.
Big Fancy House: Yai lives in the largest building in ACDC Town (it's in the corner in the first half of the series, and on the edge in the second half). It has a maximum of at least three visible rooms in the second game (Lan's own home never gets more than two until the sixth game, when they threw in the toilet), which includes Yai's room (other games only allow you to visit this), the large central corridor, and a luxurious bathroom (which is larger than the one in Lan's new house, anyway).
Black Screen of Death: Often used to avert moments of violence (like when ShadeMan kills a mook in the fourth game). Sometimes used to abridge Cutscene battles.
Blatant Lies: A Heel Navi in the mid-late cyberworld in the first specifies that the WWW server is nowhere nearby. There's a link with a giant red and black W-sign on it five feet away that specifies only WWW personnel are allowed entrance.
He's technically right. The WWW Server's standard entrance is at the far end of the first game's Undernet. He's standing at an entrance to that same Undernet, though. You have to travel deeper into the WWW-sequestered sections to get to the Server.
Some Battle Chips are on the receiving end of this in the more arcane cases.
The "Howitzer" Battle Chip is later known throughout the series as the "Cannonball" chip, which suggests somebody on the translation team realized Hougan is the Japanese word for "cannonball" and not a bizarre attempt at "Ho-Gun".
"Prominence", a battle chip only usable by HeatStyle MegaMan is translated as StandOut, despite the chip clearly refers to the solar prominence and not about standing out in a crowd.
Bodyguard Betrayal: Happens in the sixth game, when Chaud reveals his true identity and arrests Mayor Cain right as he orders him to arrest Lan.
Bond Creatures: Not exactly Mons, but the NetNavis themselves each have an Operator. Rarely, you might meet a NetNavi without one, such as Bass.EXE.
Bonus Boss: Bass' final form in every game (and ALL of his forms after Battle Network 3), ProtoMan in 3 and 6. 6 also has The Count, who was cut out of the English version, though arguably he was more of a secret boss. PharoahMan and ShadowMan in 1, PharoahMan (again), NapalmMan, and PlanetMan in 2, DarkMan, YamatoMan, and Serenade in 3, and the souped-up recycled bosses in the bonus dungeons of the others. Later games also have Lan and MegaMan fighting souped-up versions of the Final Boss as well.
Bonus Dungeon: Starting with the second game, we have the WWW Area, the Secret Area, Black Earth (a sort of cyber-Hell), Nebula Area, and the Graveyard. Several of these do not allow you to jack-out, so you must haul Mega all the way back to the entrance if you want to leave.
Bowdlerise: In the Japanese version of Battle Network 5, on the Queen Bohemia, a painting of the Da Vinci's The Last Supper was changed into a picture of fireworks. See the painting here. When the remake came about, they reverted all the changes of the localization but this one.
Boring but Practical: Obstacle chips, and Terrain changing chips, especially in the third game where lots of strategies are made and broken by the same kind of chips.
Boss In Mooks Clothing: Disjointed virus assortment can result in dangerously powerful viruses hiding in early areas. In Battle Network 3, Elehornets can be hunted in the Teacher's Lounge server at ACDC Elementary. Elehornets are the third version of a virus whose first and second versions, Elebee and Elewasp, are found in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon and the Bonus Dungeon, respectively. Again, the third version hangs out at your school.
Boss Rush: Found at the end of most games; in addition, the time trials in MMBN3, but they come with asinine requirements.
The two Gaiden Games released after BN3 also draw on the anime a little — Network Transmission has voice-acting work by the original Japanese seiyuu (and an Official Art style clearly informed by the anime)note The western release even included a promotional DVD containing the first episode of the anime, which was being run on Kids WB! at the time, and Battle Chip Challenge has an Easter Egg Mythology Gag or two.
Broken Aesop: In Battle Network 4, at the beginning of the first tournament, Lan and MegaMan defend the Hidden Mettaur Village from a HeelNavi on the grounds that they "weren't doing anything wrong." However, in Match's scenario, they discover a virus in a malfunctioning Hot Dog grill and delete it; they later learn that the virus was installed by Mr. Match to run the grill in the first place. When questioned, Mr. Match argues that even viruses have their place, with which Lan disagrees. (Note that the unknown cause of the malfunction is not brought up).
Althrough Lan might be just angry about what Mr. Match did during the third game.
Also in the game, during the TopMan chapter, Lan discovers that NetBattling isn't merely a game for the young when they discover their opponent is a senior citizen. In the ColdMan Scenario, however, Ivan Chillski calls NetBattling "just a game", which causes Lan to blow a gasket and threaten to physically attack him.
Broken Bridge: Faulty electronic equivalent or sometimes a bad net connection are used to prevent Mega Man from going too far into the net (subverted in the first game, in which its equivalent to the Bonus Dungeon is available as soon as you defeat WoodMan and relies on the fear of incredibly powerful viruses to keep you out instead). Sometimes Lan will have to meddle with objects or people in the real world to correct this.
Battle chips are all assigned one or more "chip codes" (derived from the letters of the English alphabet, with the * code as a wildcard). While the characters in the game seem only barely aware of this, it is an essential part of folder building to streamline it by using only one or two codes (some will go as high as three or four for fun) to allow you to maximize the number of chips that can be used in one turn.
Mega and Giga class chips have (with almost no exceptions) the first letter of their name as their chip code. This holds true for Navis like ProtoMan B and SpoutMan A, whose codes are actually derived from their original Japanese names: ProtoMan = Blues, SpoutMan = AquaMan); Meteors R (Ryuuseigun, Meteor Swarm) and Guardian O (Ojizousama, a Buddhist guardian) are also victims.
For extra fun, alphabetize your chips in BN4 and notice where the Meteors chip gets sorted to.
Call Back: The first thing that Lan solves is an oven that spits fire in his house. In a later game, someone in a line to report complaints says, "My oven's spitting fire!" The response to which is the accusation of that being an old story. Also of note, the fourth game (in which FireMan returns) allows you to Jack In to the oven again, though nothing of particular note happens there except for the tutorial.
In general, whenever a Navi is using an ability, particularly in cutscenes. Notably in Battle Network 5 where, during Liberation Missions, MegaMan and their allies will yell out their special abilities' name before executing it. Same goes with the bosses in said missions.
In Battle Network 3, a handful of Heel Navis attack the Yoka, Beach, and SciLab Areas after the PlantMan Scenario. Every single one of them talks about how they're totes in the WWW, some of them do an Evil Laugh, and one even composes a song about it. It's almost as though they're going out of their way to prove how obviously WWW they are. (Which, in fact, is what they're doing).
Everyone employed by Nebula, which goals include corrupting the world to evil via dark power.
Cast from Hit Points: Dark Chips in 4 and 5. One of the most extreme examples of this trope: using a Dark Chip only deducts one hit point from your total, but that hit point is gone permanently.
Chain of Trades: The second game features one: it starts with an Invis1 *, and ends with an extra chip folder.
Chaos Architecture: The Internet is constantly undergoing updates so massive, people don't even bother to care that the immediate cyber-neighborhood looks nothing like it did in the previous games. You might find a few similar areas here and there (a particular section of the Undernet in Battle Network 4 is reminiscent of an area from Battle Network 2).
ACDC Town has a remarkably different geography in the second half of the series, having stripped out every building except for four houses (Lan's, May's, Dex's, and Yai's), Higsby's chip shop, and the Metroline station.
Dr. Hikari's office is almost identical in between the first and second games, but for some bizarre reason, it's set in two different hallway structures in two different buildings (the Government Complex in the first game and the Official Center in the second). The third game gives him a new office design entirely, which apparently he's always had.
SciLab in general also revamps its appearance in the third and fifth games.
Chekhov's Classroom: Every once in a while in the first few games. In Battle Network 3, we find the class discussing program compression at the beginning of the BubbleMan chapter (which integrates into the game the small cyberworld paths that Mega must compress himself down to use).
In BN2, there's an isolated section of Den Area 1 (just outside of Lan's HP) with a piece of locked mystery data. It contains the "Army Data", which is a Plot Coupon allowing you to take the SS License test in the post-game. You can only access it by traveling through the WWW Area Bonus Dungeon, which raises a few questions.
In BN3, whenever you make a detour to SciLabs Net Area, you will see a floating cube thing guarded by four doors. If you haven't played the game yet, that thing is Proto/Alpha, the game's Final Boss.
Lan's house has a dog house behind it. In the first four games, nothing is ever said about it and you would just think it is for security like the other one, but then the fifth game finally makes it a plot point.
Many fetch quests usually have you running across the item you need in the background somewhere, but you don't notice it until you're told you need it, then you need to go looking for it.
A certain gray-haired boy makes a brief appearance near the end of Battle Network 2 during the MagnetMan chapter, the main significance of which is to trigger the Law of Conservation of Detail. In Battle Network 3, Lan repeatedly encounters a redheaded man with a beard who has ties to SciLab. These characters are Sean Obihiro, the secret identity of the BN 2's Big Bad, and Dr. Cossak, the creator of Bass.
Another notable Gunman from Battle Network 3 is a little boy you meet named Mamoru whose chief characteristic is that he's suffering from the same heart condition that took Lan's brother's life. Turns out he's the administrator of the Undernet.
Iris in the sixth game. You meet her in the opening exploration of Cyber City and she then goes on to be the sixth game's Mysterious Waif.
Mr. Mach as well, whose introduction in the beginning actually sets up a big reveal later in the story.
Just about every Navi has a "Navi Mark" (even Normals), and if it's not on their chest, they'll definitely have it close by. Their operators tend to display that same insignia on some piece of clothing or accessory.
Subverted by Bass, who had one at one point, but instead has a massive scar that he keeps as a reminder of his betrayal by humanity.
Chest Monster: Viruses inside trapped mystery data, of which said data is usually trapped more frequently by anonymous jerks in the less regulated parts of the internet. The Untrap sub-chip will automatically dismantle this trap and give you direct access to the Green Mystery Data's original contents - very useful.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Many of the enemy operators (and more than a few allies) fail to make reappearances in later games.
Sean (who was introduced in the second game) and Mamoru (from the third) each have a powerful influence on their games (each happens to be a Walking Spoiler, unfortunately), but neither appear in the latter half of the series.
Other villains and antagonists have left and never returned. Rarely, one will receive an explanatory Hand Wave (usually involving jail), some may even be killed (Gospel doesn't like its members failing), but many have just vanished without a trace (the original WWW members).
In Cybeast Gregar, if you undergo an optional sidequest, you will wind up talking to Count Zap's wife, where she mentions that he was imprisoned.
Almost all of the allies and villains from the first three games show up in some way or another in Battle Chip Challenge, notably sans Mamoru (especially bizarre in that you can fight his mother, the proprietor of the Ura Inn). Shun's the final battle of one of the last tournaments, and the WWW members have at least one scene to themselves. (Funnily enough, they're discussing curry). And Sean was part of the ensemble finale of Lan's friends in 3. Of course, then he and Mamoru both disappear.
Cold Sniper: SearchMan's stoic personality and nearly heartless efficiency are made apparent at the beginning of his Red Sun scenario.
Comic-Book Time: The main six games take place over the course of two years (5th and 6th grades), but event narrations will remark far too quickly that "several weeks/months" have passed over one or two games' course. See also "Not Allowed to Grow Up" below.
The Captain: ProtoMan/Colonel Number Two: MegaMan (The Hero of the story) The Marine: NapalmMan/TomahawkMan Mr. Fixit: SearchMan/NumberMan Security Officer: two for each team: GyroMan/ShadowMan (for scouting areas) and MagnetMan/KnightMan (for defense) The Medic: Meddy/ToadMan
Composite Character: This universe's version of ProtoMan seems to be a mix of the original and Zero, being based on the former but with the hair, Laser Blade and social standing of the latter. Also, the Battle Chip "Z-Saver" (mistranslation of Z-Saber, Zero's trademark weapon) is sometimes associated with ProtoMan.
Continuity Nod: There are a number of little hints spread throughout the games, but the most obvious example consists of the battle chips. Later games will often use battle chips that are heavily simplified forms of previously appearing battle chip series, often featuring darkened artwork of the viruses they originated from (the common Tornado chip, for example, is based on the Typhoon-Hurricane-Cyclone series from the first game).
A woman in Battle Network 2 complains that her oven has spat fire. The clerk she's talking to says that's an old story (it happened to Lan in Battle Network 1).
In Battle Network 3, the D-block for the N1 Grand Prix (Lan's group) consists of a handful of custom NPCs and references to Battle Network 2. Jennifer and Johnson were both present at the international anti-Gospel conference, Koetsu and Yosh were both regular BBS commentators, and it would not be a stretch to wonder if Bonzu is in fact the same guy who challenged Lan to the ridiculous radar-defying rap-off.
In Battle Network's first scenario, Lan used a Water Gun to douse the fires coming from the oven in the Real World which also douses the fires harassing Mega in the Cyber World. In Battle Network 3, a late game scenario has the Net itself catch fire and Mega must douse all the flames. In Battle Network 4, during the BurnerMan Scenario, the Net catches fire again, and Mega must douse them again... using the "Water Gun" received from Haruka. (This time, the Water Gun is pitifully ineffective, but Lan gets an upgrade from Higsby). .
Lan and MegaMan will recognize a good number of their teammates in Battle Network 5, with the notable exceptions of SearchMan and NapalmMan. In SearchMan's case, it could be justified that he's a random possibility among many in Red Sun. In NapalmMan's case, it could be that the bonus areas of the games aren't canon.
Among the e-reader cards for Battle Network 5 is an item card called "Present from Meiru", which provides you with the chips Roll, Recovery 300, and Barrier 200. While they can't be used as such in this game, these were the ingredients for the Big Heart program advance in Battle Network 3.
Cooldown Manipulation: Here, cooldowns appear in form of the Custom Gauge, the gauge that will fill itself and, when full, lets you access the Custom Screen to load Battle Chips, after which the gauge will be reset to 0 and fill itself again. There exist chips that lets you manipulate this gauge:
Slow Gauge slows down the filling of the gauge. Commonly used when you just like to take your time for your tactics, or, if you use Custom Sword or Custom Volt, chips that get stronger as the gauge fills and, when used, reset the gauge to 0.
Fast Gauge makes the gauge fill faster, allowing you to get chips faster. Full Custom is its stronger counterpart; using it instantly fills the gauge to full.
Dark Chips have immense power and force themselves to the top of the deck when you're hurting, but will permanently remove one hit point per use and slowly twist users into an evil, mindless Living Shadow. Cybeasts in BN6 provide great strength, but will take over and rampage if given half a chance. Just say no, kids. Or, in the case of the Cybeasts, just make sure not to use it for more than three turns in a row.
All over the place since the beginning, even more so when 4 rolled out Cursor and other secondary elements for chips and viruses.
Don't forget the scenario in 4 (Red Sun version) where SearchMan is taking potshots at you with his ScopeGun; you can literally see the crosshairs lock onto Mega, along with the direction you need to dodge in order to not get shot.
Crossover: Subverted with Operate Shooting Star; the game was promoted on the alleged crossover between Lan/MegaMan.EXE, and Geo/Omega-Xis. However, this so-called "crossover" only takes the form of an additional scenario, a Navi Chip, and a key item that lets the player "switch" between EXE and Star Force-era Mega Man, and even use the Star Force version's shield ability. Otherwise, it's just a remake of the original GBA game.
and Cutscene Incompetence: MegaMan slowly shifts from the first to second as the series goes on to the point in which he's almost always at the mercy of something by the sixth game. To get an idea of how bad this is for him, see the Rescue Arc entry below.
All of the other main characters appear to exclusively follow the first one though. Especially ProtoMan.
Cyberspace: Specifically The Metaverse, although Net Navis are independent, sentient individuals instead of just user avatars.
The option to skip cutscenes was changed from the Start button to the Select button during the latter three games. Somewhat justified; having the "Skip Cutscene" button be the same as the "Bring Up Menu" button had some annoying consequences.
In every main series game from 1-6, the B button was used to run in the overworld. However, Operate Shooting Star (in the vein of Star Force) changed it so that characters automatically run, and the B button makes them walk.
Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: In Battle Network 4, Lan and Mega happen upon a special dark chip left behind by ShadeMan, and learn from Higsby that it's an Artifact of Doom. The game forgets about it during the first tournament, only for it to come up again in the interlude before the second, when ShadeMan decides he wants it back. The boys successfully prevent him from retrieving it, but at the cost of the dark chip permanently infecting Mega Man.
Dangerous Workplace: There are a few examples that apply directly to this trope. In general though, chances are that if you can visit something as Lan in the Real World, you're going to have to defend the place as MegaMan in the Cyber World.
Darkest Hour: At the end of every main game, people are practically waiting for the apocalypse - notable in three as MILITARY LAW and TANKS are being applied.
Dark Reprise: The Undernet theme of 5, "Depth", is a dark remix of "Network Space", the regular net's theme.
Deadly Doctor: Meddy is a Heal-element Navi who uses an offensive style with attacks themed around modern medicine and Standard Status Effects. Her approach to combat is literally Chemical Warfare.
Defeat Means Playable: Adding a NetNavi to the Liberation Team in the fifth game means Lan will get to Operate someone new during missions.
Demoted to Extra: Bass, in the fourth game and beyond, was reduced to post-game Bonus Boss status again, after the height of his plot-relevance in the third game. His memory loss from BN3's post gamenote The fourth game suggests he's abandoned his identity entirely through the use of Dark Power seems permanent, so he never acknowledges his shared history with Mega Man (though the characters certainly recognize him).
Also, some chips available in the later games are from viruses that don't actually appear in them. In most of those cases, the picture of the virus in the chip is monochrome. One exception is the Cannon series of chips, based on the Canodumb viruses and present as basic weapons in every game.
Difficult but Awesome: A handful of battle chips have secret input codes that allow the user to draw out special effects. The most famous examples are the Variable Sword and Neo Variable Sword (mentioned elsewhere on this page), but Battle Network 3 gave secret attacks to the Guts Punch series and the MetalMan Navi Chip's code allows you to place Metal Man almost anywhere on the field.
In each installment, any of three things will represent a difficulty spike: Entering the UnderNet (where powerful and tricky viruses are suddenly abundant and random battles are now deadly), reaching the Final Boss (who usually packs upwards of twice the HP of previous bosses, more damage with faster attacks, and regenerating shields or temporary damage immunity), or facing a version 3 boss for the first time. Outside of those things, the main games are pretty easy if you're actually exploring, collecting powerups, updating your folder, and so forth - suddenly being at high risk of dying from any of those things even when well prepared is a pretty significant difficulty spike. And just when you get to the point where all those things become easy (And you will), there's always the ultimate Bonus Bosses to stress you to your limits.
It increases even more as the series goes on. The first game is very forgiving up until the final areas, and with a good folder even the more difficult bosses can be blitzed down before they get too wild — but the second one stops pulling punches very early on, and the third lays into you right out of the starting gate.
Difficult but Awesome: The Variable Sword Chip(called in game VariSword). Appearing first in the second game, normally it's just the normal sword chip, but with an 160 attack. But use one of the special input combos, you can change it reach in various ways, even giving it the Life Sword and Fighter Sword reach. Other combinations, let you fire 3 Sword Beams, or in Battle Network 3, 4 elemental ones, while stunning the enemy. The latter one gave a whooping 640 points of damage, and it's just a normal chip, meaning you can have up to 4 of those in your folder. Admittedly, the combos could be hard to do, and you had a very limited time to do them, so you could screw them up, especially without quite a bit of practice. Still, the Variable Sword was powerful enough to be nerfed in Battle Network 4, and latter games, and split into the normal version, and the Mega Chip version, Neo Variable Sword(that has 220 attack). The Variable Sword could now fire only one Sword Beam. The Neo Variable Sword could also fire only one Sword Beam, but one that could pierce shields, and Mercy Invincibility, while being also capable of two double-slash techniques.
Disadvantageous Disintegration: Using your "offense" character's Order ability in the fifth game's liberation missions will clear out all Dark Panels in range, but will also destroy all item panels. The game spites you by not destroying traps and instead triggering them, often resulting in extra damage or turn-costing paralysis.
In all games featuring the Numberman trader, with an on-line guide to tell you the trade codes you can get rare and powerful chips and Navi cust programs early in the game.
In the sixth game, in the very first area, you can obtain from the random encounters 5 Reflector1 As and 5 Machine Gun1 As. These, along with three Train Arrow As you can get in another early area (and SpoutMan if you're playing Falzar), can and will see you through the entire game.
In general, if you're willing to spend a bit of time grinding, you can assemble dual or monocoded folders very early in the game, which significantly reduces the challenge.
In Network Transmission, the Mini Bomb chip is for once actually useful. To be certain, against bosses it's not so hot but it's capable of pretty much destroying or at least crippling every basic enemy in the game that doesn't have an aura since it hits more than once. And the best part? You can get it at the beginning of the game since Higsby sells it for a measly 150 zenny. And since its a beginning chip, you can hold up to 30 and easily set it as your regular chip.
As another general rule, Mega Chips (the ones you get by (re)beating bosses, and a few others with similar power level) run the gamut, but many are capable of winning random encounters in one move for much of the game. Many hit the entire screen or a good portion of it and do lots of damage and/or disable enemies. The 3 chips for the first boss of BN6, for instance, hit all three rows for 120+ damage and the first area with enemies with more health than the chip takes off is the wood area, where everyone takes double damage from fire. In BN3 the first boss's chip does 50+ damage to the whole screen, double on ice or vs water, while guard state and mercy invincibility and inflicting paralysis. To make up for this, though, you can't rely on getting these chips every battle; you'll just have a 5-7 in 40 chance of ending every random encounter in one turn for each chip like that you posess.
BN6 to an extent is full of these. The Cross is acquired relatively early compared to other BN games upgrade and has arguably the best and most useful effect and can be used just by pressing up on Custom Screen. It's also possible to beat the V3 version of the first boss in BN6 especially easier in the Falzar version after getting the first Cross in a matter of seconds. You can get the full power version if you grind the correct chip and said correct chip is in the beginning area. At full power, the chip does 250 damage to the whole column.
A bit of grinding and searching in the earliest portion of the games will net you the ingredients of a Program Advance, generally Zeta/Giga-Cannon1. It's also possible to put together a Flame Hook and Fire Burner P.A. in 6 before BlastMan.
The Lifesword Program Advance is available pretty early on in all games, and can wipe out pretty much everything it touches for half the game (up to and including the first boss or two).
In the first game, some solid dueling against Gutsman early in the game can net you five V3 Gutsman chips, which hit the entire screen for much more damage than most enemies can withstand.
And even more: in BN3, one of the Bonus Bosses is actually Bass merging with Gospel's remaining datas, while in BN6, as his last form, he merged with the opposite version's Cybeast (Gregar in Falzar version, Falzar in Gregar version).
Dressing as the Enemy: In Battle Network 3. Well, not exactly "dressing". MegaMan actually can run a program that sort of makes him "feel" evil, so that the navis in the Undernet think he's one of them, without MegaMan actually changing shape. (You'd think they'd recognize the Navi model of the guy who busted up Gospel's Undernet-based dealings a year ago, but eh.) He's actually generating an evil aura, and in later games, the program can allow free use of Dark chips. The malevolent presence wards off suspicion like nobodies' business. In Network Transmission, however, he ends up needing to cop an attitude like NeedleMan to convince the guard he's Badass enough to get into the Undernet.
Doesn't matter anymore because Operate Shooting Star changed SkullMan to D code and ShadowMan to T code. This is to spread out the variety of Navi codes, because there are a lot of S-named Navis in the game.
Althrough that's largely justified, as Gospel is also name of the group that created him, and the Gospel NetMafia, essentialy wants to take over the world, in order to make a better place.This makes Gospel a Meaningful Name, as it essentialy means "good news", which would be lost if they just renamed them Tremble. It's also worth noting that in the Koto Square, which is connected to the Gospel organisation, Navis pray, which also fit's the name's religious connotations. This all rather makes the Gospel name a nice aversion.
So Lan and Mega save the entire internet (and the world, sometimes) every game. You'd think they'd at least get recognized by the Officials and be acknowledged as being more than just some kids, right? Haha no. (Every once in a blue moon, you'll find someone who knows them, but it's rare and usually completely irrelevant).
Chaud spends the first two games (and Network Transmission, which occurs between them) consistently treating Lan as an annoyance running about underfoot, despite the fact that Lan's taking care of the problems Chaud should be (Chaud did really very little in the first game). He's less obnoxious about in the third game, where he recognizes Lan. In the fifth, he goes so far as to make Lan the Number Two (and chief field officer) of his Anti-Nebula team.
Battle Network 3 can't decide whether it wants to play this straight or not. Lan and Mega remain functional nobodies despite their accomplishments, though Sunayama introduces Lan as the hero who stopped the WWW during the N1 Grand Prix opening. That said, Sunayama is really the only one who knows or cares. Incidentally, the entire N1 Grand Prix scenario is actually about Chaudnote Whom Sunayama is specifically targeting, so forget about him caring about Lan. Lan's really just there to watch.
Lan gets an award for his heroics in the latter half of the game... but this only allows a villain to set up one of the nastiest scenarios in all of Battle Network with social engineering.
There are even more cases where this is played annoyingly straight. Perfect example: BN4, SearchMan's scenario. Raika, despite being a high ranking military officer, has apparently never heard of Lan, Mr. Saved the Internet Four Times At This Point. He treats Lan as a joke, and when Lan heads over to Sharo to help Raika out in a mission, an official all but tells him to go home, saying the Undernet is far too dangerous for himnote The Bonus Dungeon in Battle Network 3 ends with Mega being crowned King of the Undernet, and later the strongest fighter in the whole Cyberworld. Then SearchMan spends the rest of the scenario sniping MegaMan to "test" him.
Battle Network 4's ProtoMan Scenario also does this to Lan, indirectly. He overhears a couple of men talking about problems befalling "Electopia's ace", which title does not actually refer to Lan, who has been established at this point in the game as being the best in all of Electopia, but (surprise!) Chaud.
Not even the Undernetters recognize the boys, which is especially curious, given that Mega is technically their King. On the other hand, you could handwave this on the grounds that the Undernet is too disorganized to have denizens who know who their King is beyond a handful of individuals.
Eagle Land: Netopia (Ameroupe = America X Europe) is... somewhat mixed in its flavor, but when the games go Flavor 2, they go Flavor 2. One of Lan's first experiences in Netopia is getting kidnapped and having his chips and money stolen in Battle Network 2; in Battle Network 3, Netopian HeelNavis (read: thugs) go rioting over the N1 Grand Prix... twicenote Incidentally, the man who sells you the Mod Tools — which is black market Navi Customizer hacking gear — is also Netopian; and in Battle Network 4, Lan returns to Netopia only to get kidnapped againnote This last turns out to be a set-up, but still, and then you meet the old man who wants to show you his Wowzer Box, which downloads viruses directly into your PET.
Battle Network 1. Not only is it an Obvious Beta, it was still trying to figure out how to hash out the world itself. For example, Lan is much snarkier than his later Idiot Hero selfnote He's not at all thrilled to have Mayl drag him to school so she can chat about the plot and he mocks Dex's boasts about taking on WWW viruses, and Dex refers to GutsMan as a commercial model.
Viruses are not named during battles unlike the future games do, and Ms. Mari calls the Mettaurs "Mettools", as in the Classic series.
Battle Network 2 has a lot of profanities (mostly from Lan) alongside some events that would not get past the radar in the future games.
Navi Cust doesn't exist in those two games, instead they have Powerups that upgrade MegaMan's buster.
Fire beats Wood beats Elec beats Aqua beats Fire from day one; 6 implements the tactical variant for the secondary elements (Sword beats Wind beats Cursor beats Breaking beats Sword).
Also some sort of Revive Kills Zombie: Sword chips pierce the Shadow defense, while Cursor chips go through Invis and post-hit invincibility; Break chips, er, "break" through shielded enemies, and Wind chips remove barriers and auras.
Eldritch Abomination: Cache, from an obscure Gaiden Game as well as the Final Boss during the Beast+ season in the anime. In the main games themselves, all final bosses qualify; especially Gospel as it's made of multiple bugs (and by the same token, Gregar), and Nebula Grey, which is literally Made of Evil (of the humanity's mind, specifically).
Hub.bat in the first one. It's actually possible to beat the final boss by just spamming the B-Button.
In both the second and third games, MegaMan and Lan find a way to synchonize with each other before fighting the final boss, however this has no actual gameplay effects like it had in the first game.
In the fourth game, MegaMan synchonizes with people from all over the world to become powerful enough turn a meteor away from Earth, as well as show the good in mankind to Duo.
Subverted in 5; during the cutscene after Mega Man successfully defeates Nebula Grey, it regenerates and then tries to take over Mega Man's body. All hopes seem lost... when suddenly Mega Man turns into his full Hub form and wards off Nebula Grey with little effort. The subversion comes when he turns back to his normal form - and Nebula Grey goes back to strike him yet again. Fortunately there's Colonel (and others) to help him defeat NG with a final, supercharged Mega Buster.
Several of the Net Navis are based on characters from the Robots timeline of the Mega Man (Classic) series.
Prosecutor Ito is basically Light from Death Note in personality.
There are also expies of characters from past Battle Network games. Case in point, Captain Blackbeard is basically the Battle Network 6 equivalent of Takeo Inukai of Battle Network 3, right down to job (or in the case of Blackbeard, former job) and their plans involving chaos caused by animals (in an Aquarium and in a Zoo, respectively).
Extreme Graphical Representation: Oh dear god, you could practically rename the trope "MegaMan Interface". The cyberworld is exactly like the human world, complete with water, fire, weather, and plants including full-grown trees. Just slap the prefix "cyber" in front of the usual term.
Malware that blocks programs from transmitting data is often represented by chains or obstructions, like the boulders StoneMan.EXE uses to disrupt the rail service in the first game. Removing the malware involves shooting at it to destroy it and 'unblock' the system, allowing it to function again.
The backtracking. Most of the Real World segments in the first game are running back and forth between a few areas. The Waterworks stage is likewise hated for this.
The castle stage in the second game, which features zombies, vampires, and burglars harassing you. In the Zombies' case, they take you across the map...and the map seems artificially lengthened.
The hospital in the third game, which requires a bunch of fire chips to get through obstacles in the stage.
Almost all of the fourth game is made of this, due to Lan taking on problems from his competitors. Even more so due to the fact that in order to unlock everything, you need to beat the game THREE TIMES.
To clarify: Battle Network 4 uses an obnoxious tournament mechanic that has no central plot. These tournaments will take place repeatedly throughout the game, and have three scenariosnote Randomly chosen from a pool of six in specific combinations of three which themselves have no necessary order that do nothing—nothing whatsoever—to actually advance the plotnote The SearchMan and ProtoMan scenarios in Red Sun and Blue Moon do have some reference to Nebula, and the ProtoMan scenario even foreshadows Bass (you can see his statue near the area where you find ProtoMan). Neither, however, have any real effect on the plot, and that's a total of 1 in 18 scenarios per game being relevant. The plot actually happens between the tournaments, with brief snippets of Nebula harassing the Hikaris in Electopia and the meteor harassing Yuichirou at NAXA. In other words, the central aspect of the game itself is filler spacing out the plot.
The game also uses a New Game+ mechanic with a total of four cycles the player must pass through to fully unlock everything. (You can't even get to the Bass fight until the third cycle, because that's when you get your last Double Soul).
Family-Unfriendly Violence: For a series aimed at the younger set (at least in the English version), EXE has some pretty horrific stuff going on. Mass poisoning, terrorist bombings, gangsters being murdered by their own employers with briefcase bombs, and it just goes on like this... Well, actually that gangster came back for a Chip Tournament later on, but still odd that a kid ordered him murdered. The games are dark.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Ubiquitous. Electopia is Japan (it actually is Japan in the original language), Netopia (Amerope in Japan) is an amalgam of the United States and western continental Europe, Creamland is a mishmash of northeastern European countries, Kingland is the United Kingdom, etc. Some of the counterparts' names get a little unimaginative, like Sharo, which is basically Russia with the syllables reversed, or Choina and Netfrica (Affric), which you should be able to figure out for yourself. The only one they seem to have put any effort into is Yumland (Ajeena), which would be Thailand (famous in-universe for its food, massive population and the abundance of Buddhist statues).
Fight Like A Card Player: The requirements for organizing Battle Chips and creating Folders are basically a set of rules for organizing a deck of playing cards.
Five-Bad Band: The sixth game is the only Battle Network game where the villains other than the Big Bad had any real focus past their initial scenarios, and actually interacted with each other. Most villains in the other games usually showed up alone, did their thing, and disappeared (presumably dead, locked up in prison, or fled after their defeat) for the rest of the game.
For most of the sixth game, the Band is the following: The Big Bad: Baryl/Colonel.EXE The Dragon: Mr. Mach/BlastMan.EXE The Evil Genius: Prosecutor Ito/JudgeMan.EXE The Brute: Two of them - Blackbeard/DiveMan.EXE and Vic/ElementMan.EXE The Dark Chick: Yuika/CircusMan.EXE
One in every game. Every. Game. It will consist of three (3) virus battles against groups of Mettool viruses. You will have one (1) crappy folder that has no business whatsoever being in the hands of a world-saving duo. The first three games will actually employ the same exact tutorial (virus killing, chip combos, chip adding) with the same exact folder in the same exact sequence, though there are different teachers depending on the game. The second half of the series trades out Chip Adding for an Emotional State (Full Synchro) tutorial, which is more dynamic a system.
The Gaiden Games Network Transmission and Battle Chip Challenge require tutorials as well, though these are far less aggravating, since they are actually conflated with the opening levels.
After the fourth game, the plot thread was largely abandoned; Star Force, the sequel series, expands the franchise's reach to craft a whole new mythos.
Foreshadowing: A staple of the series is to either provide scenes of the villains making heavy-handed intimations about their newest plans, or for Lan to receive e-mails warning him of a specific threat that has recently become relevant (often both). Turned Up to Eleven in Battle Network 4: Blue Moon during the AquaMan Scenario when Lan gets horoscope spam warning him to beware water.
In the first game, as soon as you can use the Metro, you're prompted to pay Dad Hikari a visit at work. He's not in, but while you're at the office you can find a photo of his family revealing that Lan is not an only child, and talk to some Navis in the large workstation who tell you about an experimental Navi with human genetic data.
Four Is Death: In 6, one of Erase Cross's abilities allows MegaMan to instantly delete any virus with a 4 in their HP total. It will introduce an HP-bug when used against Navis under the same conditions.
Most of Gospel in 2. It helps to make them more sympathetic—and their face-profiles even portray them as completely normal looking people. Wily might have been trying to kill Lan, considering his defeat the first game could have lead him to try and eliminate him for his next plot. Most of the attacks seem too specified (i.e. gassing Yai's house and no other) to be general terrorist plots.
Sean's Freudian Excuse may ring especially true for some people... specifically the parts where he mentions that the internet was the only way he made friends.
Game Mod: A growing number of them, althrough mostly of (both versions of)the sixth game. Most of them can be found here, and here.
Gatling Good: The Vulcan chips and Super Vulcan. Due to this trope (they deal damage by hitting for 10 points multiple times), combined with a few chips to boost attack (ColorPt/DblPoint and ATK +10/+30), they get the boost to each individual hit and thus can deal a One-Hit Kill on bosses.
Generic Doomsday Villain: Dr. Regal in the fourth game. His character (slightly) improved by the time the fifth game came along.
Geo Effects: Standing on grass made elementally-aligned units heal but doubled the damage from fire, ice and water interfered with movement but made you weak to electricity, and so on. Some games got "creative" with magnet panels, conveyor panels, gravity panels, and in 3, a panel that was a hole into the Internet netherworld.
Gender Flip: The Robot Master Ring Man was adapted into a female Navi named Ring for Battle Chip Challenge.
The Generic Guy: The most common model of NetNavi online is officially designated "Normal Navi".
Get Back Here Boss: Mega Man Geo-Omega is the first type, as he fires at you with the Megabuster and then runs, only to repeat it when you catch up to him a second time, of course he finally does fight you the third time you catch up to him. The chase sequence can be watched here and here.
ShadeMan.EXE too, in 4. You must chase him (to rescue Roll) across two whole areas of the Internet, and then through a private server.
The Gift: Lan's got it; Chaud, who is declared to spend ten hours a day training, apparently missed out.
Global Currency Exception: BugFrags, which are pieces of junk data, can be traded in for some of the rarer Battle Chips and NaviCust programs. Those BugFrags tends to be either ridiculously easy or rip-your-hair-out hard to find depending on the game.
Good Is Dumb: The Navis you can control in 5 and 6. When you face them as bosses, they have more than 1000 HP (more than you can ever have naturally) and various attacks. However, when you control them they have at max 800 HP, less than the max for MegaMan (1000), but even if you fight them again afterward, they go back to their massive HP.
Apparently, the Link Navis could have been upgraded to their full power, but this required the Beast Link Gate, which was a toy that never left Japanese shores.
Guide Dang It: The Battle Network series has a lot of stuff to play with. It just refrains from telling you about it.note (Many if not all of the secrets are contained in guidebooks, trading cards, anime episodes, merchandise, box art, and in one case in BN 4, the first Boktai game (through a riddle in the BN4 game world), all released by Capcom... in Japan — in the West you can either buy player's guides or look stuff up online).
A general principle that you should learn when playing these games is that you should talk to everyone (i.e. Always Check Behind the Chair applies to NPCs). Many of them will drop hints that aggregate into a good idea of how to proceed.
Program Advances are a sore spot for many, because there's no real in-game list of PA recipes (save for one game, and that requires an Old Save Bonus). However, the game will be nice enough to give you hints on the kind of PAs you can build (does a certain chip have its chip codes all in sequence? do multiple chips in the same family have the same code?), but only rarely will you get to see an explicit recipe for one or another (usually the one for Zeta/Giga-Cannon, a bulky P.A. that can be reasonably obtained before the first boss). Past that, however, it's usually guess-and-check or check online.
Regarding the Navi Customizer, Capcom just gets mean. Compression codes that shrink the programs, and the Error and EX codes for BN 3's Mod Tools are incredibly obscure (A handful of Error Codes are interspersed throughout the game, but the EX Codes you'll have to look up).
A handful of Battle Chips have secret commands that unlock special functions and attack variations. The most famous of these are Variable Sword and Neo Variable, but there are others, like the Guts Punch series and the Navi Chips for BeastMan, MetalMan, and SlashMan.
And then there's the Lotto Codes for the Number Trader (which doled out free goodies for Lan and Mega in exchange for the right code); there are, again, a handful in the game, but mostly they're online. Funnily enough, even the in-game codes are placed in such obscure places that you have to wonder what Higsby was ever doing there.
Hand in the Hole: In order to prove that he's a contestant in the last tournament of the BN 4 story, Lan has to put his hand in the mouth of a stone lion face. It threatened to bite his hand off if he wasn't who he said he was. It's actually a DNA tester.
Tora lets on in 3 that Chaud spends ten hours a day training. Guess who's smacking who around on a regular basis.
In the first game, Lan suggests that the Power of Friendship enables him to win, as his fighting ability is determined by the strength of the bond with his Navi and twin brother MegaMan, while by contrast, Chaud's ProtoMan uses his own chips and fights alone.
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: WWW Operatives in each of the games use their terrorist activities as a cover for program hunting. They will just about always succeed in obtaining the program they want, even if they get deleted.
He Knows About Timed Hits: Actually done well in the main game tutorials. The human operators are themselves using little handheld terminals, so banter about the L and R Buttons fits right in.
Hero Ball: Lan holds it in the fourth game. He'd win over half of his tournament battles by default if he simply just stayed out of his opponents' lives.
Heroic BSOD: Lan gets a nasty case of it in 3 after discovering that Mr. Match tricked him into firebombing Sci Lab, endangering his own father's life. He locks himself up for several days, skips school, and refuses to talk to his friends about anything.
Heroic RROD: What happens to Mega Man in a battle after using Beast Over in 6; Beast Over is accessible when you're trying to do a Beast Out (his regular transformation) after the 3 turns limit is over.
Highly Visible Password: From your Navi's point of view, passwords are easy to decipher. Justified in that your Navi is directly connected to the network/systems and is most often in the correct dataspaces to see/manage passwords for you.
Hijacked by Ganon: Of course. The plot of the entire second game is revealed to have been hijacked by Wily all along in the third game, and he hijacks the fourth and fifth games with the revealing he's Regal's father.
Hollywood Hacking: Played with. Sometimes getting into a secure area simply involves obtaining a security certificate. Sometimes, you have to destroy or disable components of the security system to proceed. Other times you have to figure out the password using hints left in the system, solve puzzles, obtain specific Battle Chips, or fulfil other conditions. Some forms of Extreme Graphical Representation are used to represent some of the malware and their effects:
StoneMan.EXE disrupts a rail service by blocking data transmission from the master network... by dropping virtual boulders into the network space that block the 'rails' that represent the connections between the rail service systems.
ElecMan.EXE's disruption of electrical power in the network in the first game represents him hacking into the power control firmware/embedded systems at a power plant, limiting the amount of power that was being supplied to everything in the system and causing some programs to behave abnormally due to the low-power conditions.
AirMan.EXE leaves pink clouds that drain the strength of programs and slows/stops them, denying access to memory sectors.
QuickMan.EXE and his operator in the second game destroy virtual ground inside the embedded systems of several bombs, severing the virtual linkages and preventing you from pursuing via them.
The Mother Computer for Electopia and its protective doors actually employ a massive series of passwords that prevent access to the core program, and the systems themselves are littered with Mr. Progs that provide hints. Some of the hints are easy, and some of the hints are difficult (the final hint is actually quite complicated), but the passwords themselves are actually rather easy to bruteforce (especially via Save Scumming), since a Navi has to travel a specific path through a limited selection of characters.
MagnetMan.EXE uses virtual magnetic fields to 'spoof' magnetic current that forced data to flow through particular pathways in the system, restricting bandwidth and mobility. This also caused massive disruptions in the aircraft computer systems he was intruding, resulting in various failures throughout the plane.
FreezeMan.EXE in the second game essentially launched a nationwide Denial of Service attack by blocking the network with virtual Ice programs that froze programs and blocked access to network sectors. These Ice programs had special defensive measures to deploy normal viruses when disrupted or 'broken' by normal means. Freeze Man himself was the Command and Control node for the entire DoS attack, so when he was deleted, the Ice programs were stopped since they could not receive more commands from him.
A rare example of a realistic malware attack appears in the third game, where Mr Match deceives Lan via social engineering. He also did this in the first game, infiltrating Lan's house to conduct an attack by posing as a repairman performing preventive maintenance in light of the recent attacks (his own). In general, Mr. Match tends towards more realistic cyber-warfare attacks, like using purpose-built malware packages designed to target specific hardware, and social engineering to get close to his targets.
In Battle Network 3, a shady Netopian hanging around Beach Street will sell you something called the "ModTools", which allow you to essentially jailbreak your Navi Customizer. In the game, leveling up a Style Change will produce special programs that can only be used by specific styles; using any program with an incompatible style will produce an error code. Using the Mod Tools will allow you to enter a password to bypass that code and use the program anyway (you can't do this for more than one such program at once, mind). On top of that, you can actually use the Mod Tools when there isn't an error to be solved to input special EX codes, which will endow Mega with extra powers on top of his current abilities.
Justified, as this takes place in the cyber world, where the rules of physics are constructed of data and are therefore artificial. There's a chip called MagLine which pulls you to the panel(s). If the panels are in the lower row, the staying in the upper row will prevent it from dragging you to that panel and visa-versa.
Also, the Battle Chip of Magnetman EXE uses his North-South Tackle, and will not work if there is no room to summon South.
Honest Axe: Spoofed in 6 with an absent-minded Mr. Prog spirit of a bucket with "Legendary Spring" scrawled on the side.
Gets passed around by various characters in the series, at least in terms of IT security. While repairmen slipping in malware attacks and some particularly nasty cases of social engineering are a standard form of espionage, some of the staggeringly blatant security weaknesses in the Internet as portrayed in the game fall into this territory. No wonder NetCrime is all over the place in the series.
On the Social Engineering front: Lan should have at least gotten someone to vet the "packages" of malware Mr. Match asks him to install in the SciLab intranet during the "Hero of ACDC" story arc in MMBN3. What he does instead: gets his ego manipulated by Mr. Match into blindly loading in the payloads, resulting in a disastrous fire that injured many researchers including his father. To be fair, Mr. Match at least orchestrates an elaborate gambit with planted WWW "agents" to deceive Lan into believing that he had reformed.
Nebula has absolutely no regard for SciLab security in the fifth game. Dr. Regal himself waltzes in to kick off the plot.
In Name Only: Several of Navis share the names of Classic series bosses, but look, act and fight nothing like them.
SlashMan.EXE is a good example, being largely a living piece of cutlery. Classic Slash Man has a much greater resemblance to BeastMan.EXE.
The third game gives us the N-1 Grand Prix, the preliminaries for which define a significant portion of the first half of the game.
The fourth game consists almost entirely of three major tournaments (the closest things the games have to story are treated as B and C plots). The game hits you with a New Game+ that requires you to compete in all three all over again. (If you want to achieve absolutely everything, there are four cycles of the same story for you to pass through).
Battle Chip Challenge consists entirely of a tournament, in which there are about ten "classes" of increasing length and difficulty. This is made much more bearable on the grounds that the main six main characters each have a Story Arc (a relevant story arc) to pass through.
Infinity+1 Sword: Hub.BATCH in BN3. It features nearly every program within the game and doesn't take up too much space.
It does halve Mega's HP by half, but this can be fixed by using the Bug Fix program. Obtaining Bug Fix requires even more grinding by using Bugstyle.
Some of the Giga chips are also this. Take Serenade, also in BN3. To obtain this chip, you'll need to beat the game and beat the entire secret area. For it to reach full potential, an areagrab must be used on the turn before, and a lot of Atk+ chips. The maximum possible damage from this attack is enough to kill the final boss.
Infodump: Each game has a habit of saving a huge chunk of the story for when Lan and Mega confront the boss.
Green Land in BN6 runs on it, ironically it is said to be a very closed-in and highly regulated society. Two choice laws include the punishment for hitting a Mr. Prog on the head is "something infuriating" (exact words), while the punishment for finding zenny on the ground but not reporting it is tickling. Their entire justice system is overseen by the JudgeTree, a supercomputer built into a giant tree that acts as judge in all criminal cases, which they consider superior to human judges as they might make mistakes. However, this is a world where Everything Is Online, and even the prosecutor mentions the tree is constantly targeted by hackers and their system is ruined if it gets compromised.
Inside a Computer System: A central game mechanic. MegaMan lives within the cyberworld, and most major dungeons are networked computer systems.
Interface Screw: The confusion effect from 3 onward, but most egregiously VideoMan's scenario in 4.
Inventory Management Puzzle: From the third game onward, the series feature the Navi Customizer. You can use a number of programs to give Mega Man benefits with five rules: Textured programs may not touch the Command Line, non-textured programs must touch the Command Line, programs of the same color may not be touch, there must be no more than 4 colors of programs, and all used programs must fit within the allotted space. If you make a mistake, MegaMan will have glitches during battles.
Invincibility Power-Up: In the franchise there are four different types of defenses that render Mega immune to everything except a few specific types of damage. Shieldingnote As provided by Guard type chips, maybe Stone Body type, Barrier/Auras, Invisibilitynote Including DropDown and PopUp, which last longer than the proper Invis chips, but don't defend Mega when he attacks, and Shadow. The last two in particular render cyber-bodies immune to all but a handful of specific attacks.
A better example of a full Invincibility Power-Up is a special condition introduced in the fifth game, marked by the user glowing green for a period of time. There are a variety of ways to achieve this: as a Bonus Panel prize in Liberation Missions, as Knight Soul (who becomes invincible whenever he uses a non-dimming battle chip in his front column), or using the DarkInvis chip, which last also causes the Navi to enter a berserk Dark Soul state, randomly warping around the field and using random attacks selected from his battle history.
Invocation: "Battle Operation, set!" "In!" and "Plug-In! Rockman.EXE, Transmission!" in Japanese; "Battle Routine, set!" "Execute!" and "Jack-In! MegaMan! Execute!" in English.
Jerkass: Some of Lan's tournament opponents in 4. Even if they aren't, someone will always cause a mess before the match and dragging Lan and MegaMan into their problem, sometimes on purpose.
Joke Item: There are three levels of bugs for MegaMan's Charged Shot. The first creates Rock Cubes. Those you can airshoot/punch into enemies for 200 damage. The second level is a silly 1 panel-ranged water gun. Somehow it does 100 damage. The final glitch, however, just makes harmless flowers pop out of the Buster.
Just Keep Driving: Averted - the cars actually stop when you step out into the street. The first game even has a section with functioning traffic lights.
Match, who is the only tertiary character to appear in all six games (except 5) plus spin offs.
There is also ShadowMan/Dark, something no one even mentions when he appears as a teammate in 5.
Ditto for a lot of the teammates in 5 and some of the link Navis in 6.
Sean started a syndicate, whose activities border on terrorism, including hijacking airplanes and blowing up dams. He's out in less than a year due to having a Freudian Excuse.
Wily, having personally started 3 terrorist organizations and masterminding the creation of a 4th, actually gets punished with jail time when he is finally caught, but somehow, despite being a notorious criminal with a knack for computers, manages to build two AIs while in prison.
6 shows the punishment in the game's universe, although it's bordering on torture (100 hours of zapping, waiting 10 hours for the use of a rest room) takes place in a fairly short time.
Every single opponent you fight in Battle Network 4 that commits a crime seems to get off the hook one way or another. Including someone who makes the temperature in the world go down to the point where it's snowing in a naturally hot country and someone who depletes their own village's only water source. The former is seen in Sharo (despite being imprisoned in Netfrica) around the end of the game, and the latter is immediately forgiven after the battle with him.
Karma Meter: An implicit mechanic in the fourth and fifth games (but mostly in the former). MegaMan starts the game in neutral territory, but once the Dark Chips are introduced, if Mega ever performs poorly in combat, his emotional state will become Worried and a pair of Dark Chips will appear in the corner of his chip menu. Choosing these will pull Mega towards Dark Power, while Mega will inevitably be pulled in the "Light" direction by performing well in battle, using Full-Synchro and Double Souls, etc. As he moves in this direction, it becomes much easier for Mega to enter Full-Synchro and harder for him to become Worried.
That said, it should be noted that the fourth game unambiguously favors the "Light" Side. Mega on the Dark Side can use the Game Breaking Dark Chips, but they will always give him some kind of bug, and they will always deduct one (1) hit point from his total, which will be Lost Forever. Evil MegaMan also cannot perform Full-Synchro, cannot perform Double Soul, and cannot use Mega Chips. Evil Mega will also be forbidden access to the Hub.Batch program at the end of Black Earth 2.
You can see where Mega is on the scale by checking his Navi screen and seeing how he's darkened or brightened.
Upon confronting the devious operator behind whatever catastrophe was occuring, Lan often jacks into an infected computer system to fix things while the human villain, who is often in the same room, just... stands there... watching... Stopping him would be as easy as running up and yanking out some cables, but nope. No dice.
Justified in that Navis can have operations preprogrammed into them; the only real way to stop something bad from happening is to do enough damage to the Navi that they can no longer carry out the function - often this requires deletion. They discuss this in Network Transmissionwhen Mr. Match comes around looking for FireMan, who was infected by the Zero Vaccine, and the heroes point out that Match could have just told FireMan to go crazy and burn everything instead of doing it directly. They learn about the faulty Vaccine later.
Knight of Cerebus: ShadeMan, the very first boss in Red Sun and Blue Moon. When you first see him, he's just floating in a corner, being creepy and creaking to himself, when you leave and come back, people are screaming, Navis are lying dead all over the network (not deleted, dead: limp, motionless, and unresponding), and now that he's speaking in sentences, he tells you with perfect manners that he's off to find a nice lady Navi for dessert. He finds Roll.
Lame Pun Reaction: In 3, there is a recycle canister with a kangaroo shape. In game text? "(used for recycling cans) maybe we should call it the CANgaroo? ... We apologize for that last joke. It wasn't punny at all." The game apologizes for a pun, even if it is making another pun in the process.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Almost every game in the series assumes the audience is aware of the big reveal at the end of the first Battle Network game (save for the second game has an NPC that restates this fact and explains it for players who didn't play the first). Mega Man is actually created from the DNA and memories of Lan's late twin brother, Hub Hikari. The third game specifies that Hub died of a heart disease called HBD, which Mamoru shares, though Mega's discussion of the disease makes little sense until Lan starts talking about his dead brother.
Subverted in Red Sun and Blue Moon, as you end up picking fights with a few Normal- and Heel Navis (and their Operators often use generic sprites). There's also the tournament announcer Mami and the unnamed female hot dog vendor, both of which have unique sprites and the latter of which appears to have her own emblem.
Double subversion: From the beginning of the series, there's a doghouse behind Lan's house. Why? Is it a fake for security like the one in the front? No flavor text ever comes from it... until the fifth game, at which point you just know it's going to be relevant later.
Mick from the sixth game is always talking about he's going to beat you. His Navi is just a uniquely colored Normal Navi, so of course you can't fight him.
Let's You and Him Fight: In Operate Shooting Star, When Roll is kidnapped, MegaMan finds Star Force MegaMan near a clock and fights him. After the fight, they find that ClockMan is their enemy.
Limit Break: The Program Advance technique, which occurs when an Operator sends a specific array of Battle Chips to their Navi; while in transit, the program morphs (or advances) to a much more powerful attack. Each game will generally give you a few clues as to the possibilities.
In Battle Network 5 DS, some members of the same team can initiate a powerful Combined Attack by tagging each other in while in Full-Synchro with Lan.
In the third game, Mamoru's last name is "Ura," and the inn in Yoka is the "Ura Inn." "Ura Internet" (with "Ura" roughly translating as "reverse side", or "underworld"), is the Japanese name for the Undernet, so the names of Mamoru and the inn are meant to hint to Mamoru's connection to the Undernet, and the entrance to the Secret Area being located somewhere inside the Inn's grounds.
In Battle Network 2, the Netmafia Gospel's ultimate goal is to create copies of Bass, whose name in Japan is Forte. To Japanese players, Gospel's name would be a huge tip-off, since that was the name of Forte's support unit in the original games. In America, they translated Forte to Bass as always, but left Gospel's name alone, confusing the hint. Perhaps they thought that "Treble" would be an odd name for an evil shadowy organization, or they didn't want to bother with their logo, which is a "G" shaped like Gospel's head.
Luck-Based Mission: In Battle Network 3, there are a handful of shady Normal Navis loitering in Squares around that will challenge you to a gambling game, in which Mega has a 1-in-X chance (2 to 4, depending on which Navi) of doubling his bets. It is technically possible to clean these three Navis out entirely, but the chances are remarkably low (if you're using an emulator with save states, on the other hand, it becomes ridiculously easy). This is one Gold Saucer most people aren't Sidetracked By.
Made of Iron: Let's take a look at Dr. Wily's for a moment...
BN1: Wily was at the center of an explosion that leveled his lab. He was just fine in time for BN2.
BN3: He had his soul devoured by an internet Eldritch Abomination and his lifeless body was at the center of an explosion strong enough to sink a small island. Since he was on a small island, it sunk, along with his lifeless, blown-up body. He got better in time for BN5.
BN5: He walks into a room that is currently exploding (the room is the center of the explosion, naturally) in the crater of a volcano that is simultaneously erupting. This does not faze him at all, and he's back in time for BN6. Though admittedly, everyone managed to escape, including Regal himself, so it's safe to say that he's okay.
BN6: He is at the center of an explosion that levels a sizable chunk of town. Not only did they find his body in the exact spot he was standing (again, at the center of an explosion that leveled a sizable chunk of town), but according to Lan, "he wasn't hurt very badly."
Mascot Mook: Mettaurs. They'll even appear in the later games as an overworld placeholder for virus battles that DON'T involve Mettaurs.
Maximum HP Reduction: A slightly weird version occurs with the Dark Chips in the fourth and fifth games. They deplete the user's maximum HP by one point.
Meido: There's at least one maid costume-wearing teenage girl in almost every game, usually in a waitress capacity. The fourth and fifth games featured Nanako, Higsby's new store clerk.
Mercy Invincibility: Navi characters get some when struck by most attacks, hence the importance of scoring combos with attacks that don't trigger or ignore invincibility.
Mercy Kill: The altered Programs in the first game's Power Plant dungeon have been irrevocably ruined by the WWW, some driven crazy, all turned into viruses. There's no way to save them from this, and so on one of the sane programs asks Mega to kill them.
Mirror Boss: MegaMan Dark Soul and the Dark Soul-Navis in the fourth and fifth games are an interesting example: they actually use attacksnote Like program advances and strategies that the player has used through the game!
Bonus points in the fourth game, since each Dark Soul Navi dwells within a mirror.
Experimented with in 3 and 6, in which MegaMan could domesticate and summon viruses through chips (the former) or copy them for tournament battle (the latter).
You could even feed them in 3 to increase their power.
Also, the Navis themselves.
Monster Clown: ColorMan almost gets Mayl killed in an explosion and tortures Roll for fun. CircusMan has a disturbing appearance, can suck the life out of navis by dancing, can absorb them into his body and, uh... he has an attack in which he turns into a tent and falls on MegaMan to do unspeakable things to him.
Morality Chain: Subverted. Wily momentarily stops his quest for revenge for the sake of an old friend. That friend goes to war, leaving his son (Baryl) in Wily's care. When Wily learns that his friend died in battle, his thirst for revenge returned.
One that stands out is from the credits sequence of the fifth installment; you may be pleasantly surprised by the sudden appearance of the opening riff from the first three games.
You can also hear it in the background of the "Hometown" theme from the same game.
Mythology Gag: The first three of games are loaded with references to the Mega Man Legends series, Battle Network's immediate predecessor. Lan has a poster for the second game in his room in the first game, Yai has a Data doll, and Mayl and Dex have various figurines of Tron Bonne's army and Tron herself. Lan also apparently watches a show called "The Bonne Bunch".
Lan can accidentally walk in on Mayl changing clothes in the first game, much like Volnutt and Roll Casket (also in Legends).
Higsby has a poster of Vile in his chip shop in the corner in the first game.
Bass.EXE gives one in the second game, for all those people who know his Japanese name.
Lan's grandfather and stand-in for the Classic series' Dr. Light is named Tadashi Hikari, which translates to "right (i.e. correct) light". Probably a play on the whole Right/Light problem.
Network Transmission is one giant Valentine to the classic series, reinterpreting Battle Network as a platformer; many of the "viruses" are direct transplants of the Mechaniloids, such as the Sniper and Heavy Joes. See Nostalgia Level below, too.
Negative Continuity: Pretty much every game rebuilds the continuity from the ground up with little regard to past games. Of course, there are some Continuity Nods here and there too.
Nerf: The series is constantly trying to adjust for balance from installment to installment. The second game reduced the amount of Battle Chips of a single type that could be in your folder from ten to five (and then to four in later games), and the third game introduced the Standard-Mega-Giga classification system, which allowed them to impose Navi Chip style restrictions on overpowered chips that they kept from old games. These attempts were mitigated in part by new Game Breakers being introduced. (Giga Chips, for example, are Purposely Overpowered, sometimes ridiculously so).
The introduction of the Navi Customizer manages to do this in a couple of cases, such as making Mega's formerly permanent Power Ups into optional enhancements. Later games are constantly shifting the size of programs, making some of them massive and hard to use (Hub.Batch is a prime offender).
New Game+: The fourth game is the only Battle Network game that features a true form of this, allowing you to do this as many times as you want. The second game features a separate save file with upped difficulty that has major amounts of Guide Dang It involved in unlocking it, and all of the other games save for 4.5 are generally one playthrough and one save file only deals.
New Year Same Class: The transition between fifth and sixth grades doesn't ruffle Lan's crew any. He, Mayl, Dex, and Yai are all together again, and they even have Ms. Mari for a teacher. Subverted during the sixth game, when Lan moves away, and again in the epilogue, when the first three end up going to a local middle school while Yai transfers to a preparatory school for girls.
In the sixth game, one scenario's villain claims Lan's Fatal Flaw is that he is too nice. Lan's response?
Lan: "Being nice is a good thing!"
Aside from that, though in the first three games occasionally gets a little cocky, throughout the entire series Lan is ridiculously nice and forgiving, to the point that at the end of the sixth game he forgives Wily.
Ninja Log: A technique ShadowMan can use. He leaves a decoy and jumps, shooting shuriken. MegaMan can also use the technique through the Anti Damage chip and Customizer program. It's quite practical, as it blocks any enemy attack and accurately deals up to 300 damage. A Program Advance version of the technique exists that does much, much more damage.
No Endor Holocaust: An attack on the city driving system in the first game causes a series of wickedly violent car crashes. Beyond the spectacle of the crash itself, the game studiously ignores what should rightfully be devastating wreckage and a huge death toll.
No Fair Cheating: Hacking the first Battle network game will cause an impassible stream of water to bar Mega's entrance to the Waterworks dungeon, requiring a total reset of the game.
Up to Eleven and straight into Artistic License - Physics territory in BN2. Lan should have been dead from radiation poisoning before Battle Network 3 if he was exposed to hundreds of thousands of rads, even with a top-notch radiation suit. Then again, this is some kind of wacky computer-born radiation that not only causes someone to walk sideways when he tries to go forwards, and starts merging the real and cyber worlds if left unchecked, so perhaps the usual rules don't apply... In game, it is said to be magnetic radiation suggesting that it affects iron in the blood at a molecular level instead of an atomic level.
Noob Cave: Typically ACDC Area. In the one game where it's not, it's revealed the reason why ACDC area usually has such weak viruses is because MegaMan clears out the area so often that the only viruses that could form were small ones.
Not Allowed to Grow Up: The first three games happen during fifth grade, and the final three during sixth grade. The final game ends (before the Distant Finale) on the last day of sixth grade, and the elementary.
Not Completely Useless: The Minibomb chips in each of the games are usually one of the first chips a player removes from their initial folder, due to the fact that actually hitting anything with them is like pulling teeth, and it doesn't pack the punch even if it does land. However, in the sidescrolling spinoff, Transmission, it's actually really easy to hit with, and the explosion hits several times for full damage within the space of about a second, meaning one single bomb can destroy almost every random enemy in the game not protected by some sort of aura. It's also easy to get, has a low MP cost, and you can carry a ton with you. For that single game, it is turned from a useless weapon into a complete Game Breaker, but most players will still just skip over it after their experience with it in the main games.
The Slow Gauge chip slows down the rate in which the Custom Gauge is filled. Why would you want that? Well, in the fifth game there are the Liberation Missions, in which each battle must be cleared in three automated turns. However, the cost for setting this as a default chip is greatly increased to prevent exploiting it from the beginning.
Also, Slow Gauge provides a larger window of action to maximize the attack power Custom Gauge-based chips, like CustSword, which tend to zero out when it maxes.
Not the Intended Use: Navi Cust bugs can be exploited in some places (as in-universe Good Bad Bugs). Deliberately glitching the elemental hunt programs (Jungle for Wood viruses, for example) will lower the encounter rate for viruses of that element. Some players will glitch the Humor in order to bug Mega's emotion window and exploit the Full-Synchro and Anger states that appear.
Not Rare Over There: In 2, one NPC asks to be payed in "Guard *" chips. Talk to another NPC, and she'll give you 30 of them.
The first game. It's amazing how much was improved upon by just the second game. The combat system is unbalanced (boss health levels are startlingly low, while some powerful chips are available remarkably early, and there are little to no practical limits on Battle Chips), you can Sequence Break into the post-game areas less than three minutes after the third boss. Character animations are often limited, namely Roll only having one pose that she stays in when attacking with the tails on her helmet. The game is laden with Game Breaker opportunities.
To be fair, in the first game was Capcom figuring out the question of how the battle system and mechanics should work in the first place.
Oddly Small Organization: The number of unique characters in World Three shrinks as the series goes on. As a consequence, their influence goes from being feared throughout the world in the first three games to being hardly noticed until (and arguably after) they release the Sealed Evil in a Can in the sixth game.
Ojou: Yai is the daughter of a wealthy video game company president named Gabcom.
Old Save Bonus: Battle Network 2 featured Retro Chip Traders, which would provide chips from the first game, if you connected them both via GBA Link Cable.
The DS version of Battle Network 5 allows you to plug any of the previous GBA games in the series (including the GBA versions of Battle Network 5) into the system's second slot for various bonuses, including a special form (Bass Cross) that was previously restricted to the Japanese games.
One Game for the Price of Two: Beginning with the third game, there have been two versions of every installment of the main franchise. Battle Network 3 Blue and Battle Network 5 Team Colonel technically double as an Updated Re-release of White and Team ProtoMan.
Battle Network 4 Red Sun and Blue Moon are the first true multi-version release for the series; in the original Japanese, by linking games, you could cause version exclusive Navis to appear in the opposite's tournaments (that's why there's an extra Heel and Normal Navi pair on every tournament board — they're place holders).
Only 0.2% Different: Lan and MegaMan have a 0.1% difference in their DNA, due to MegaMan being a program designed after Lan's dead twin brother, Hub. However, this is changed to a 0% difference between the two at the end of the first game, making the two have exactly the same DNA. This is all despite MegaMan being a computer program.
Order Versus Chaos: The theme of the fifth game. Nebula's goal is to introduce global anarchy and destruction, while the Liberation Team, naturally, opposes this. It helps that the special orbs of light that endow the team to use their special abilities are called Order Points.
Pause Scumming: Battling the Pop-pup enemy plays like a game of whack-a-mole, so pausing lets you spot him without the need for lightning fast reflexes. The fight with Drillman.exe is similar. Completely breaks 5's Chaos Unisons by letting you always perform the charge attack perfectly, effectively giving you infinite uses of the Dark Chip in question.
Perfect-Play A.I.: Invoked with ProtoMan in the first game. Official NetNavis can carry their own Battle Chips and battle without Operator input; according to ProtoMan, solo-fighting was his standard operating procedure, which fact combines with his "untouchable" reputation to form this trope.
Pet the Dog: Just to show how much different the Wily of this universe is from the original, he paid for the medical treatment of Joe Mach's daughter, and his adoption of Baryl, which even caused Wily to temporarily abandon his plans of revenge.
Phlebotinum Rebel: In game five, MegaMan is captured and infused with a conscious Dark Soul. Unfortunately for Nebula, Lan gets MegaMan to wake up and take control of himself - which unlocks the ChaosUnison ability, letting you use the Dark Chips as much as you want. Be very careful, though, as if you mess up trying to control it, your Dark Soul will hop out and start taking shots at you.
Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Roll and MegaMan, respectively, have bodysuits designed with reference to this trope (Roll throws more than a little red and black in, for flair). these pictures should explain it.
Poltergeist: The Poltergeist chip replicates a poltergeist's common traits by picking every item on the battlefield and flinging them at enemies. It's very deadly if you have enough items on field at once.
Power Copying: It wouldn't be a Mega Man game without it. Played straight in several ways, actually, with Souls/Crosses and Chips.
Power Levels: The first two games used a "level" system that indicated how many HP Memories and Power-Ups Lan and Mega had collected; it was worthless as a power indicator however, since it had no relation to the strength of their assorted battle chips. It was dropped with the introduction of the Navi Customizer in the third game (though it resurfaced in Mega Man Star Force).
Viruses, NetNavis, and even Battle Chips all operate under a Tier System, usually with three phases, usually indicating how powerful they are with a version number (or α and β or EX and SP). Some games sneak in secret fourth-tier (Omega - Ω) enemies or other variants that can't be fought normally. Note that these tiers have almost no bearing on a given character's Super Weight. A boss introduced early in the game can generally be trusted to remain low on the Sorting Algorithm of Evil and to have the same general effectiveness no matter how high his version gets. An early boss, ignominiously enough, may remain weaker than a boss introduced near the end of the story even after a version upgrade.
The Power of Friendship: A foundational aspect of the series; the fourth and fifth games treat this as a battle mechanic (MegaMan develops powerful bonds with other NetNavis and earns the ability to use their power in a Double Soul).note Link Navis, from the sixth game, don't count — the use of their power is a gift to Lan, who undergoes training at the hands of the Link Navi's Operator.
In the first game, ProtoMan (who, as an Official NetNavi, can fight without Operator input) is stunned when he loses to Mega. Mega informs him that, as a Civilian NetNavi, he requires an Operator, and the reason he and Lan have come so far is because they have each other. ProtoMan is stunned by this explanation, and further by Mega's description of his Operator as a friend.
Chaud:"ProtoMan! Don't listen to their nonsense! Jack out, now!"
ProtoMan:"Wait, please, Lord Chaud!!"
Another Battle Mechanic instance is the Style Change from the second and third game. The Team Stylenote Brother Style, in Japan allows MegaMan to carry more Navi chips into battle (Mega Chips in the third game, being the greater second of the Power Levels, to which Navi Chips are relegated), and in the third game, Team Style is essential to obtaining the secret version-four Navi chips by S-Ranking beta-version Navis.
Pre-Teen Genius: Slightly even younger, Chaud, around the same age as the other main characters, is a high-ranking Official (a sort of Network policeman), and by the end of BN6, while the others graduated elementary, he graduated high school.
Psychopathic Manchild: The leader of Gospel finds himself exasperated as all of the people in his organization are continually being thwarted by another child. Heck by the time you get to ShadowMan's chapter, you can tell he's psyched to be hiring a professional. Of course, then you find out who he really is.
Punny Name: Starting from Lan (a de-capitalized acronym for local area network) and going damn near everywhere: Mayl, (rolo)Dex, BN5's Fyrefox, Hub... and that's just the ones derived from computer and networking terms.
Puzzle Boss: Protectos in Battle Network 2 and Numbers in Battle Network 3. ShadeMan Omega in Battle Network 4 counts as this, as well as a Get Back Here Boss.
Quirky Miniboss Squad: The team of Yukia, Ito, Vic, and maybe Blackbeard during the last quarter of 6. They are actually quite competent and pose a serious threat to the main cast, despite having squabbles like whether or not they should call themselves Yuika's Lovelies, the Cloudy Bombers, or the Justice Club.
Random Events Plot: Many of the chapters seem to be this (and Lan and Mega will most often just so happen to be around), for better or worse, though many of them share a unified "theme".
In the first game, each chapter is a different terrorist attack staged by a WWW operative (serial arson, corrupting the water supply, several nigh fatal hostage incidents), each of which disguises a theft of a superprogram to be utilized in the creation of the Life Virus; the third game is more of the same, with even more terrorist plots, also serving the purpose of stealing program data.
The fifth game shakes this up by rendering each chapter as a campaign to recapture lost cyberworld territory, while the 6th returns to WWW form.
The 4th game is the straightest example of this trope, however, going so far as to have each scenario determined randomly by the tournament system. The game's events are *so* random, there's no required chronological arrangement (though some official guides behave as though the proper order is the Normal/Heel Navi fight, the Double Soul fight, and then the enemy Boss Battle).
The fourth game deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award for this. The events themselves are nonsensical and have no bearing on the plot whatsoever. In the first tournament, you can meet Yuko, a Cute Ghost Girl whose presence calls Net Navi ghosts into the Cyberworld, or you can go beat up some roughnecks with a yankee named Tetsu. In the second tournament, you can rescue a Navi that wants to leave the mafia and go straight, or you can have an Iron Chef parody cook-off. In the third tournament, you can travel to NetFrica and participate in a fake village's fake festival worshipping a fake godnote The village you visit is actually entirely artificial; the "gods" are networked computer systems and then go stop one of the fake gods from killing everybody in the village from drought, or you can go play a few rounds of free kicks in soccer with heavy explosives.
The second game actually plays this straighter than the WWW games do; Gospel's actual goal is to create as much chaos as possible, so the scenarios are literally random terrorist acts. They don't start having a coherent plan of action until the end, where MagnetMan's theft of the High-Power Program contributes directly to the endgame scenario.
Lampshaded in the sixth game:
Lan:"It's OK. I'm used to random things happening by now."
Reality Ensues: Several disasters over the course of the series show more or less the consequences of hooking up critical computers to the Internet without sufficient security measures, and they naturally get hacked by the villains.
Recurring Riff: The franchise features three major leitmotif themes. One is featured for the first three games (and a few of the spin-offs); each version has its own refrain (different moments in the franchise use either the common theme or the game-specific refrain). Most games feature the main leitmotif to signify intentional moments of awesome.
Twice in the fifth game, three times in the sixth game. Almost all of them involve rescuing MegaMan.
ProtoMan gets one in 4 (Blue Moon), and either he or Colonel, depending on the version, do in 5 as well.
Restored My Faith in Humanity: Duo seeks to wipe out mankind because it's wicked (nevermind the fact that destroying an entire planet isn't the most moral thing to do...) but changes after his fight with MegaMan.
Retcon: In Battle Network 2, Mega achieves the Style Change by installing a special program obtained from Yumland. In Battle Network 3, a one-off NPC suggests Style Change is potentially usable by almost any Navi.
R-Rated Opening: Battle Network 2's first arc is very much this compared to Battle Network 1's. The first arc of Battle Network 1 is simply the oven lighting on fire. Battle Network 2 starts with a man flat out gassing a young girl with intent to hold her for ransom, showing no remorse for it, and then, he is implied to be killed in a You Have Failed Me moment.
Science Fantasy: The final half of the series largely abandons strict adherence to sci-fi and begins introducing the more fantastic elements of Dark Power and the bizarre properties of Bug Frags.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Alpha in the third game and both Gregar and Falzar in the sixth game. The sixth game's example is especially notable in that immediately afterwards, one is captured by CircusMan for the evil organization, and MegaMan has no choice but to seal the other within his body. Cue MegaMan's series ofinternalstruggles while having to deal with the evil organization at the same time.
Sequel Hook: The scene from BN2 after the end credits, in which Dr. Hikari suggests that someone was manipulating the leader of Gospel. That the Bonus Dungeon is named WWW Area doesn't help.
The end of the first game reveals that Wily is still alive in the credits.
Sequential Boss: During the ElecMan Scenario in the first game, Chaud and ProtoMan finally break through the system protection and appear in the power plant computer where Lan and MegaMan fought ElecMan. They reveal that they intended to lure Zap in so they could defeat ElecMan and secure the WWW Server data, but MegaMan and Lan (the amateurs) thrashed him so thoroughly there was no useful data left over. Chaud gets fed up and orders ProtoMan to delete MegaMan.note The great irony of the scene is that ElecMan had already finished his work by the time Lan and Mega arrived in the first place. If Lan and Mega hadn't gotten involved, the WWW agents would've been long gone by the time Chaud and ProtoMan got into the system.
Also, One of Cossack's inventions, a chair that can transport a living person's mind into cyberspace, although with risk of leaving a person brain-dead or worse if his/her mind was killed in cyberspace bears a lot of similarities to the Jack-in chairs from the Matrix trilogy.
Incidentally, the phrase "Jack-In" was used in the original Matrix prior to its use in the original Battle Network (the English versions; the Japanese versions uses "plug in").
The Number Ball chip deals damage based on the last two digits of your HP, times 5.
The Custom Sword chip deals damage based on how much the Custom Gauge is filled (the gauge refers to the cooldown time between every access to the chip selection screen). If it's filled to full, however, it deals minimal damage, so precision plays a big part here.
The Muramasa chip deals damage based on how much HP you've lost (with the cap of 999), making it a good Desperation Attack.
A lot of the more powerful Battle Chips are these (Snake and Old Wood, for example, both require holes in the field, but in different ways). A lot of the Meta Game folders (look up the Renowned Folder FAQs on GameFAQs) are based in producing the situation to get the sword, and then boosting it with as many Power chips as they can get.
Smug Snake: The Mayor in the sixth game. He wanted to be the final boss, but was hopelessly out of his league and was outplayed by both sides.
Spin to Deflect Stuff: Used by Serenade, who, as a graceful jerk, sends back the large majority of your attacks right back at you without even taking a scratch. Aside from the "attack when Serenade is attacking you" tactic, there is a less obvious way to completely bypass this defense.
Stay in the Kitchen: As each game progresses, Lan gets more and more concerned with his friends intervening in dangerous situations, and he tries to keep them out of danger, as the games insist on not buying any extra Plot Armor for his friends. A good example is the first dungeon in the third game, in which Lan insists on confronting a criminal alone, only for his friends to overrule him... and immediately fall prey to the villain's hypnosis powers.
Mayl in particular suffers from this; in the second game Lan forbids her from entering Yai's house when a criminal compromises it and fills it with gas (for context, she, Lan, and Dex had all just earned Z-licenses and thus she was at least Dex's equal, so according to the mechanics of the story itself, she was at least an entry-level city netbattler).
It is implied throughout the series that should MegaMan ever completely tap into his latent powers from his human side as Hub Hikari, he would gain powers that would make it seem as if he was the strongest being on the Internet, if not an actual god of it.
However, we finally see MegaMan unleash his full power in a cutscene at the end of 5, where he completely transforms into his human form and seals the (thought to be defeated but had quickly recovered) final boss Nebula Gray (which is the personification of evil and darkness) with a simple wave of his hand. Of course, everyone quickly forgets about this by the time the sixth game rolls around.
Stupidity Is the Only Option: Late in Battle Network 3. No matter how suspicious Mr. Match behavs and no matter how strange his requests, the plot will not advance until Lan & Mega help Mr. Match install his programs into Sci-Lab's network. Mega — who knows Match played Lan to get him to cooperate — has really no excuse.
Super Armor: Available as an equippable ability, which renders the user immune to flinching (and knockback) when struck by attacks. Some Navis and transformations have it by default. KnightSoul in the fifth game even had green invincibility during chip attack animations.
The Leader: ProtoMan/Colonel are the initial driving force behind the creation of their teams, collecting members for their anti-Nebula missions. The Lancer: MegaMan, in addition to being The Hero (in-universe, the above two each actually serve as a Decoy Protagonist), brings Lan to serve as the team's operator. The Big Guy: Two for each team: MagnetMan/KnightMan for defense, and NapalmMan/TomahawkMan for offense. The Sneaky Guy: GyroMan/ShadowMan are able to pass over Dark Panels and terminate individual panels in the distance, they specialize in recon. The Smart Guy: SearchMan/NumberMan specialize in isolating and liberating multiple item panels at once (including traps, but they are not immune, so be careful). The Chick: Meddy/ToadMan handle support, including healing powers and the ability to liberate long lines of panels by working with other teammates.
Tele-Frag: There are enemies whose movements can cause them to overlap the position of Rock Cubes, resulting in heavy damage to them. For example, let a Fishy chase you and then place the cube at the panel where the virus will land.
The Syndicate: Nebula was mentioned in 4 in one of the first plot-related cutscenes, and expounded upon by Chaud directly after the dungeons from hell. They're responsible for the plots of the fourth and fifth games.
Theme Music Power-Up: "Running Through The Cyber World"/"Proof of Courage", "Under Justice"/"You're Not Alone" and "Hero" play during Lan & friends' heroic deeds and moments.
As usual, the Navis with names go with the Something Person formula of the classic counterpart, barring a few such as Bass or Serenade. The remainder (like Bass and Serenade) typically have music-related names.
In Japanese, most of the important Navi names are music related: Rock(man)(Megaman) & Roll, Blues (Protoman), Forte (Bass) ... and the evil organization they're up against is Gospel.
Applies to some of the human characters as well, with a recurring theme of computer-networking-related terminology (Lan from LAN, or Local Area Network; Hub as in "network hub", a connection point where multiple devices can connect to a single network; Mayl as a corruption of "mail", as in e-mail; etc.).
Tiered by Name: Most enemies come in three basic versions, sometimes with version numbers or new Underground Monkey-like names. Navi names usually have a basic form and then a mark indicating one of their two upgraded forms (V2 and V3, alpha and beta, or EX and SP). Some games utilize secret fourth levels (sometimes called omega); any enemy that has a form above its third should be treated most warily.
Bass rarely has a consistent naming mechanic, not helped by the fact that his ultimate forms all have different designations: DX, GS, XX, BX.
The enhanced Life Virus in Network Transmission gains an "R" in its name and has different color and design when it was revived.
Too Dumb to Live: In the first game, during the water-works scenario, someone who's incredibly thirsty walks right up to the school pond and takes a drink...never mind that one, he is drinking from a fountain that likely has a completely different filter than water taps, but it's also purple.
Whose bright idea was it to automate trafficnote The buses seem to be automated while it's ambiguous if cars are as well, but even if cars weren't how does none of the drivers notice and try to react to malfunctioning traffic lights? What are they teaching in driver's ed in Electopia?? Also, why do none of the cars have emergency brakes or other mechanical fail-safes to a hacked brake or accelerator "program"? Really, in many cases, the governments in this world are just asking for trouble.
Transforming Mecha: GyroMan.EXE has two forms, humanoid and helicopter. TurboMan, from Battle Chip Challenge, is specified to be able to transform into a formula racer in concept art, but this was never integrated into gameplay.
Two-Teacher School: All games, the 3rd and 6th show addition teachers, but only one of Lan's teachers is ever shown.
The liberation missions in the fifth game are Turn-Based Strategy games. The heroes get a turn to cut their way into Dark Panel territory, and then villains spend their turn trying to destroy the heroes and deploying their Dark Guardian minions to do the same. Panels are usually liberated one by one to clear paths to special Dark Holes that must be destroyed before the player can attack the boss. Upon beating him you get a reward based on how many rounds it took you to clear the area. To say the premise is a slight change-up from the normal gameplay is an understatement.
Also, battles during Liberation Missions are modified, as well. First, battles are now timed. You have exactly three turns to defeat the enemies or the boss - the instant the Custom Guage is filled, the menu appears, one turn down. If enemies are still left, that NetNavi ends his turn without having achieved anything except a possible loss of his own HP. (Luckily, the area boss will also maintain his lost HP after incomplete battles). This is made all the more difficult by the fact that, depending on how you start your battles, territory changes will factor in. You can literally be stuck in the center two columns with enemies on either side, which is even more difficult with enemies that can warp between the opposite columns of their territory.
Understatement: In the first game, Wily drops this line while brainwashing an entire classroom of children.
"To reach our goals, the WWW is hiring new staff members!"
Undesirable Prize: Oftentimes players will get a perfect busting rank in a battle and still ends up with mere Zennys instead. The only exception is all first fights with bosses since those will never yield Battle Chips.
In 2, you can't jack out of QuickMan's stage once you enter. Jacking out is the primary method of restoring HP, and it also cuts you off from accessing better chips, making getting stuck here very possible.
Virus gauntlets in the second and third games feature Shadow viruses, which can only be deleted with sword-attribute chips. If you don't have any of them in your folder, the only thing you can really do is reset.
During WoodMan's scenario in Battle Network 4: Blue Moon, the area will fail to load any time you leave a random encounter unless you're playing on an original GBA (that includes not just emulators, but the SP, Micro, Gameboy Player, and Nintendo DS). This will happen any time you battle viruses and even save, so you better hope you can get through each of the Park Areas without either happening.
What's actually happening is that the load time (read: fading in) slows down (way down), and if you wait for it to finish loading, it will return to full speed. Problem is, this could take easily twenty minutes for non-emulator systems (and even emulators with a forced speed boost can take their time).
An even worse example of this from 4 is the Free Space battle board. If you link up with the other version before you have all 6 of the double souls (this means a new game plus plus at the very minimum) then your game will crash and be completely broken. You can't start a new game or do anything to remedy it.
A similar slowdown error caused by similar platform problems occurs in either version of 4 if one uses a GutsMan chip.
Once again from Battle Network 4, we have the ColdMan scenario. The second phase of this scenario requires MegaMan to activate four different satellite dishes by sacrificing four fire chips, each a specific type and with a specific code. Woe unto he who does not have these chips because he fed them to a Chip Trader or traded them to a friend, because unless the Chip Trader decides to give them back, he's stuck. (Be especially wary that this doesn't happen on the higher levels, where some of the viruses that drop these chips have disappeared from play).
The third game (White and Blue) is an example of this in Japan. Blue Version was originally released as Black, three months after the glitchy mess that was the original version of Battle Network Rockman.EXE 3.
Team Colonel is actually one for Team ProtoMan. More than just correcting glitches, Team Colonel refines the story in a few places and expands on a few trailing plot threads introduced in Team ProtoMan (e.g. the mysterious Colonel.EXE, the MagnoMetal in Oran Mine, what exactly happens in the epilogue. etc.).
Double Team DS as well. You can play either version of the game, but some of the music has been updated to a DS soundfont and there's all sorts of extra functionality (like the TP chips and the use of the W-Gate).
Updated Re-release Difficulty Spike: Double Team DS added extra areas for difficult dungeons of MMBN5, particularly the ShipCompnote where you fight NapalmMan/TomahawkMan and the GargComp. So while the vanilla games get 3 areas for those dungeons, DTDS gets 4.
Vampire Refugee: MegaMan himself in 5. After subjugating Dark Mega, Mega gains access to the powers of Chaos Unison, though every use runs the risk of backfiring.
Verbal Tic: Almost everywhere. The localizations have had... varying success accommodating them.
Most prominently, Higsby with his trademark "huh", a few of the Navis also do this, such as DiveMan with "Aooga" and Aquaman and * woosh* or "drip" for the fourth and sixth games, respectively.
Even more prevalent in the Japanese version. Higure (Higsby) has "demasu", BubbleMan has "puku", GutsMan has "gatsu", and so on.
Let's see, A base isolated in the mountains, an irradiated condominium, an evil-looking castle on an island, a foreign internet network inside an asteroid, and yet another evil-looking building in the middle of a volcano...
The only EXE game that actually tried to hide this is 6, and even then, you will figure it out after listening to it's suspicious music and when the Big Bad appears and reveals his Evil Plan. It was an innocent-looking area that can be accessed about five seconds after leaving from Lan's house.
Kotobuki's cyber world also tried some subtlety. It has bright colors and everyone there is nice... but if you look well, Koto Squareis shaped like a skull and has a mysterious blocked darker path. Just before the reveal, you discover that the Koto area is connected to the Undernet. Also, people pray in there."Gospel", get it?
Visual Initiative Queue: The program deck in Battle Chip Challenge requires the player to arrange Battle Chips in a flowchart-like array with divergent paths. At the start of every round, a selection of up to three chips will be made as the program randomly determines a path through the deck, and they will be used in that order. Each Navi uses a Program Deck, so combat is the Navis using their first, second, and third Battle Chips, and then following up with their Signature Attack until one or the other is defeated.
Wake-Up Call Boss: ProtoMan is almost always this in his appearances; he moves faster than other enemies, gets in your face more than other enemies, and makes use of hidden shielding and Counter Attack more than other enemies, requiring you to mostly wait for him to drop his guard... and then Counter Attack him in turn. (Mostly averted in 3, where he's saved for the post-game).
Warm-Up Boss: GutsMan, by comparison, is almost always this in his appearances. He moves slower than other enemies, only gets in your face if you get too close to his area, has the most obvious tells where you can counter him, and he is constantly vulnerable. You can fight him within the first ten minutes of the first game, right after the tutorial, where he has a whopping 200 HP.
Weaksauce Weakness: Shadow viruses No Sells everything but sword chips. There are no in-game justifications to this, but they are the only effective options for them.
Made important in 2 when the computer suppressing the planet's weather is hacked, threatening to unleash years' worth of earthquakes and storms on the planet.
Rehashed on more localized scales in 4 and 6, natch. In these cases, however, the real-world weather disruption is part of that chapter's boss Navi's schtick (in 2 it's just a byproduct of Net-centric weirdness).
Welcome to Corneria: Averted. NPC dialogue almost constantly changes, not only from chapter to chapter, but often with every triggered event flag during these chapters themselves.
"Well Done, Son!" Guy: The third game introduces us to Chaud's father, who is cold and aloof to everyone, even his son. His introduction alone re-colors Chaud's own haughty attitude in the first two games.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Throughout the series, characters simply disappear and are never mentioned again. While part of this is due to Nominal Importance, it is sometimes quite odd. Sometimes it's handwaved by mentioning the character being in jail or something along those lines.
There's a mysterious NetNavi in 3 that forges some connection between SciLab, Bass, and Alpha. While the connection between those three entities is expounded, the Navi only appears for all of two scenes and we're never given any sort of closure regarding him.
In the second game, Arashi Kazefuki fails Gospel and the Organizations leader tries to take him down with a suitcase bomb. The game explicitly mentions that the authorities didn't find any casualties associated with the bomb. However, the character doesn't appear again until the somewhat obscure Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge game which came out almost 2 years after the second game.
Also from the second game, we have "The Doc" whose real name is never mentioned. He's a genius and mysterious programmer who resides in the Undernet, he can cure Freezeman's ice, his origin is never explained, the method to summon him is to invoke his code word on the Undernet chat board (the word(s) being, rather suspiciously, "WWW"), and arrives at Koto square after Megaman beats Freezeman to give exposition. He even says that he will send a bill directly to the government officials for services rendered (and has no doubt that they will pay). With the connections and skills all that implies, you think he would pop up now and again as an ally or a villain, but he never does.
Similarly, you would think that Dr. Cossack would become more involved in the games after it's revealed that he created Bass and that he would appear to help stop him in future games. Nope. He just vanishes from the series.
Besides for Higsby, two other WWW members defected. They were Ms. Yuri, Ms. Mari's twin sister, and an old man who used to be Wily's assistant. This wouldn't be much of an issue if Lan hadn't needed Higsby to provide information on the WWW in both the second game and Transmission whereas the old man, who was with Wily since the beginning, would be much more familiar with the WWW's secrets. It could be explained as Lan not having either of their emails, but the makers of the game don't even bother with even the laziest handwave. Heck, Ms. Mari could probably have provided Lan with Yuri's contact information. You would think that the government officials would, at least, track them down for information after Lan found them tied up at Wily's base during the first game. Nope.
Zero.EXE from Transmission (set chronologically between the 1st and 2nd game) plays a major role in that game and turns to the good side if you save him. With his strong sense of justice and disdain for the WWW, you would think that he would reappear later in the series right? No such luck.
Other Navis that don't reappear or are mentioned are many of the bonus bosses from the games. These bosses often imply a hidden plot or scheme yet these plot threads never seem to travel between games (and even if the Navi does reappear, neither Megaman nor Lan recognize them, making the canon continuity of the secret areas very shaky). Oddly, by the start of the third game, Megaman could have fought the real Bass as many as 3 times after which Bass obviously escapes each time. However, in the third game, neither Lan nor Megaman recognize Bass from anywhere besides the fake version in the second game.
What If?: The series stems from the question "What if Doctor Light worked in networking instead of robotics?" Meanwhile, Doctor Wily still worked in robotics, and became fiercely jealous when Light's projects took away his funding and public interest.
Wretched Hive: The Undernet is filled with criminal Navis, garden-variety thugs, and even Yakuza. The closest thing it has to a ruling class is "the Ranking", which is a selection of (up to) ten NetNavis carrying ranks; prospective Ranking entrants are encouraged to fight (kill, really, but MegaMan doesn't play that way) to the last man standing before they are sent after the Rank 10 NetNavi.
Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: While Lan's opponents usually hack systems from out of sight, there are still plenty of instances in which Lan and his (generally larger and tougher) opponent both send their Navis to do battle from within the same room. In the time it takes to traverse a puzzle dungeon, fight through waves of Random Encounters, and defeat a boss Navi, the enemy operator apparently never thinks to punch Lan out, or something. They figure this out, but only right before the very end of the series.
Approaching this problem from the other end is the question as to why the terrorist Operators never bail when the heroes happen upon them. It requires almost no effort to Jack a Navi Out from any location, but for some reason, most Navis linger for a Boss Battle that they could stand to avoid. (Some Navis get around this by needing to complete an ongoing task, like BlastMan, or not having anywhere to Jack-Out to or any means to do so, like Solo Navi BubbleMan, but some, like ElecMan appear to gratuitously waste time by sticking around after their job is done).
Lampshaded at one point. Justified in the Internet world, as the regularly reused navis are supposedly "standard" models. They're occasionally used by major characters; similarly, unimportant characters like LarkMan sometimes have unique sprites.
There's a mention in 6 from the characters which notes that MegaMan "looks heavily modified", which possibly factors to the unique models.