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.
Trope routine, set! Execute!
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.
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.
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.).
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 who would've probably been his only counterpart if Capcom hadn't insisted on continuing the series after Mega Man 3, which eventually gave us the radically dissimilar SlashMan.EXE.
Duo is perhaps the one 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.
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.
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 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.
Anti-Frustration Feature: 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.
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.
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.
At the start of each game, Lan and MegaMan start off with a horrible folder, 100 HP, no sub memory, no Navi Customizer, nor any of the previous Soul/Cross transformations (safe for a few - and even then they have to regain them again).
The sixth game Lampshades the Bag of Spilling aspect 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.
"Blind Idiot" Translation / Good Bad Translation: 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".
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's final form in every game, 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, Murkland (a sort of cyber-Hell), Nebula Area, and the Graveyard.
Bowdlerise: In the Japanese version of Megaman 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.
Broken Aesop: In the fourth game, at the beginning of the first tournament, Lan and MegaMan defend some viruses from a navi who "weren't doing anything wrong," but later in Match's scenario, when Match says that there is a place for everything, even viruses, which he shouldn't simply delete on sight...which he was using to power a hot dog oven...(?) to which Lan disagrees...
Broken Bridge: The electronic equivalent, a bad net connection, is used to prevent Mega Man from going too far into the net.
Most Mega and Giga class chips have the first letter of their name as their chip code. This also applies to Navis like ProtoMan B and SpoutMan A, in that their Japanese-name counterparts match the chip-code (ProtoMan = Blues, SpoutMan = AquaMan) — recurring chips like Meteors R (Ryuuseigun, Meteor Swarm) and Guardian O (Ojizousama, a Buddhist protector figure) 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, FireMan's second game 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.
Cast from Hit Points: Dark Chips in 4 and 5. One of the most extreme examples of this trope: using a Dark Chip only costs 1 HP, but that hit point is gone permanently.
Explained: The Internet is constantly undergoing updates so massive, people don't even bother to care when 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 4 is reminiscent of an area from 2).
Unexplained: ACDC Town has a remarkably different geography in the second half of the series; the only remaining trait is that Lan and Mayl are next door neighbors.
Chekhov's Classroom: Every once in a while in the first few games. In 3, we find the class discussing program compression at the beginning of the BubbleMan chapter.
: 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 in the second game is Sean Obihiro, the Big Bad and an orange/redheaded scientist in the third is Dr. Cossa(c)k, creator of Bass.
Shun first appears on a plane, perhaps to oversee one of his lieutenant's operations — though he's kind of hiding in the back of the plane; Dr. Cossack, on the other hand, first appears as an optional talking NPC who lectures you for exploring being out of bed that late at night; another notable Gunman is a little boy you meet named Mamoru whose chief characteristic is that he's suffering from the same heart condition that took Hub/MegaMan's human life; turns out he's the administrator of the Undernet.
Just about every unique Navi has a unique insignia, and if it's not on their chest, they'll definitely have it close by. Their operators also tend to display that same insignia on their headband, earrings, hairclips, you name it.
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.
Sean. He turns out to be the Big Bad in the second game, then shows up in the third game for one scene in the hospital. After that... he just walks off. Maybe he fell into a Plot Hole after leaving the hospital.
Other WWW members and antagonists have left and never returned. Yeah, some were arrested (The WWW members in 3, Dave) or possibly killed (Arashi) but some seem to have just vanished without a trace (Ms. Madd, Yahoot, Count Zap).
In Cybeast Gregar, if you undergo an optional sidequest, you will wind up talking to Count Zap's wife, where you and her mention that he was imprisoned.
In the main games, maybe. Most/all of the main characters and villains from 1, 2, and 3, show up 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 in 3. Of course, then he and Mamoru both disappear.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
Defictionalization: The Battle Network series features a location known as the Undernet, beyond the realm of most civillian use and the reach of the Officials. In Real Life, the Deep Web is basically the same thing (some people even call it the Undernet), existing beyond the Surface Web (everything indexed by search engines).
For that matter, multi-purpose electronic devices like tablets and iPhones are very similar to PETs, albeit without sentient AI.
It is also now possible to hack any Internet-connected Smart Device through their embedded systems. Smartphone-controlled toilets, computer-controlled lighting systems, network-connected vital systems in hospitals, IP Cameras, wirelessly-piloted UAV drones, the list grows with every new smart device added to the Web.
Demoted to Extra: Bass in the fourth game and beyond turned into a plot-insignificant post-game Bonus Boss again. His memory loss from BN3's post game seems permanent, so he doesn't ever recognize Mega Man. Also, some chips available in the later games are from viruses that don't actually appear in them. In those cases, the picture of the virus in the chip is monochrome.
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.
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.
So Lan saves the entire internet (and the world sometimes) every game. You'd think he'd at least get recognized by the officials and be acknowledged as being more than just some kid right? Haha no.
Of course, there are some aversions. BN3's Inevitable Tournament introduces Lan as the kid who stopped WWW, and BN5 has Lan getting recruited to stop Nebula. Also, Chaud, while a jerk, at least recognizes Lan.
Unfortunately, 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 Three 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 (incidentally, as of BN3, MegaMan was the KING of the Undernet) is far too dangerous for him. Then SearchMan spends the rest of the scenario sniping MegaMan.
The afformentioned status as King of the Undernet makes one question the way the undernet dwellers respond to your presence, in every game from the point you recieve this stats in the third one onwards...particularly when a group of cultists kidnap you in the 6th one (twice).
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.
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.
The End: We got a "The End" title card in Battle Network 6.
Several of the Net Navis are based on characters from the Robots timeline of the Mega Man 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.
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...
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Ubiquitous. Electopia is Japan (incidentally, it actually is named Japan in the Japanese games), 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 India (famous in-universe for its food and massive population).
Five-Man Band: The Navi teams in the fifth game are technically made up of seven members, but you never actually control them all at once, and their roles are pretty easy to figure out since they're usually recruited for specific purposes.
The Leader: ProtoMan/Colonel The Lancer: MegaMan (The Hero of the story) The Big Guy: two for each team: MagnetMan/KnightMan for defense, and NapalmMan/TomahawkMan for offense. The Smart Guy: SearchMan/NumberMan. They specialize in finding traps and eliminating them. The Sneaky Guy: GyroMan/ShadowMan. Able to walk on Dark Panels, they specialize in recon. The Chick: Meddy/ToadMan. Have supportive abilities.
It could be argued that most of the games end with a Five-Man-Band of sorts being formed on the spot to storm the castle (often literally). MegaMan is always The Hero, ProtoMan is always The Lancer, and GutsMan is always The Big Guy, but the others vary quite a bit: NumberMan, IceMan, Glyde, and Roll in BN1; Glyde (who does absolutely nothing) and Roll (who gets a Big Damn Heroes moment, to her credit) in BN2; KingMan and almost Glyde and Roll in BN3, but it's decided that they would just get in the way, even though Yai and Glide made it just as far in the N1 Grand Prix as Dex and GutsMan. What's really funny is that Yai points this out, but then goes along with their decision in the end, since Glide's strength is Yai's massive load of rare chips, rather than his own power.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Big Lipped Alligator Moment onboard the plane in Battle Network 2, in which Lan must retrieve booze from a badmouthed rapper (who, by the way, doesn't supply the only cursing in the game) by joining in on a song rife with barelysubtextual sexual imagery. What descriptors did the ESRB give this E-rated game? Comic Mischief, and... nothing else.
The aforementioned whiskey rap, from MMBN2. In that same game, Gauss shouts "Damn it to hell!" after his plans are foiled.
The second game tends to be filled with swearing. There's also the infamous dialogue of Yai accusing (and teasing) Lan for seeing her naked.
A bit of a literal example is in Battle Network 3 during the zoo incident where sprites of animal feces are shown. The word poop also shows up visually when the player examines the elephant before the animals go beserk, and the end credits depict another sprite of feces.
In 6, a plumber's navi loses his tool program (which looks like a plunger). Lan and Mega Man offer to find the tool program for the navi. Guess where the navi lost his program? In Lan's toilet. That's right, Lan has to jack Mega Man into the toilet's computer network to retrieve the tool program. Also, the tool program is stuck to a Mettaur's head.
In 2, there's an old lady in the jewelry shop and says she can't afford the jewelry, so why is she in there? Because of all the girls.
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.
Compression codes, Variable Sword (and its upgrade Neo Variable Sword), Program Advances, Number Trader codes, EX Codes... let's just say there's a lot of them.
The ones given via BBS or scattered throughout the game world are generally the easy ones (such as the Zeta/Giga-Cannon, a bulky P.A. that can be reasonably obtained before the first boss), but you'll need a guide to figure out some of the more advanced things (such as all the codes for the Neo Variable Sword). Many codes may be found in guidebooks, trading cards, anime episodes, merchandise, box art, and in one case in 4, the first Boktai game (through a riddle in the BN4 game world). Worse, this is only reliable in Japan. Many materials (such as most of the anime codes) are No Export for You. You're surprised, Capcom, that they're all over the internet?
Hand in the Hole: Lan has to put his hand in the mouth of a stone lion face to prove that he was a tournament participant in 4. If he wasn't, it would bite his hand off.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 system.
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.
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.
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.
In Name Only: A lot of the Navis share the names of Classic series bosses, but look, act and fight nothing like them.
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.
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.
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.
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, if you think about it. And he's the fricking FIRST boss in 4, which is where this applies. 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 DEAD everywhere (not deleted, DEAD), 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. As in, one of the main characters' love interest. Get Back Here Boss, indeed.
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.
If you see any character with a unique sprite, expect said character to do something major very soon.
Subverted with LarkMan in BN5, as he's an optional boss.
Also subverted in 4, as you end up picking fights with a few generic and heel navis. There's also the tournament announcer that has a unique sprite.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 tends to seriously nerf or completely take out game-breaking battlechips and strategies while introducing new battlechips or seriously buffing others to said game-breaking levels.
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.
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.
Rockman.EXE 4.5 has not been released outside of Japan as of May 2009, and will probably never be. Also, almost everything related to Boktai (which included a ton of post-game content) was removed from the English version of the sixth game. Cue the very ticked off fans that knew of this.
Heck, what about the Battle Chip Gate and its successors? Releasing those would have made collecting physical battle chips totally worthwhile.
And what about the e-Reader cards Japan got to use with Rockman.EXE 4-6? Heck, everything related to them was translated then Dummied Out in Battle Network 5!
It looks like the Mega Man Star Force crossover/remake of Battle Network 1, Operate Shooting Star, isn't coming over either. It's been out in Japan for several months and no word of a translation.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
Old Save Bonus: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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: There are various systems that show up in different places throughout the series. (However, that has no bearing on a given character's particular Super Weight).
Viruses: In the first three games, viruses in general form a three-tier system, with an increase and Palette Swap between levels; under certain circumstances (usually plot-related), you can happen across a special "Omega" virus, generally Black. The fourth and fifth games forego the "Omega" virus and instead give each of the three levels an "EX" variantnote Although you may see some similarities between high-level EX viruses and Omega viruses, don't confuse them. Mettool Omegas will launch superfast shockwaves that crack panels beneath them. Mett3 E Xes will launch superfast shockwaves that corrupt the panels beneath them into swamp panels.. The final game returns to the three levels plus Omega variant, though instead adds two levels of "Rare" that jockey for prowess with the Omega variantnote Defeating Rare Viruses will add virus data to MegaMan's Virus Battler Card for later use.
NetNavis: Like viruses, Net Navis can generally be counted on to follow a three-tier "version" system. In the first two games, most NetNavis will reach version 3. In three, "V2" and "V3" are replaced with α and β, and we are also given a secret class called "Omega" (Ω). This remains the same for the fourth and fifth games, which replace Omega with a "Dark Soul" variant, basically the given Net Navi at the height of their power... plus the wild craziness of MegaMan's Dark Soul, which also gives them access to every Battle Chip and Program Advance you've ever used, with their frequency depending on how often you use them (you haven't been spamming any Program Advances, have you?)note Don't worry, you won't have to worry about Dark NetNavis until after you S-Rank their original third versions. The sixth game replaces the α and β with EX and SP, and its special class is "R". (ProtoMan has a secret "FZ" class that otherwise fills the same niche as "R"). Interestingly, while you can generally count on seeing the various villainous NetNavis make a reappearance (which would be the [[AlternateHistory Battle Network version of the Wily CastleBoss Rush, though spaced out by plot); most NetNavis won't actually exceed the second level in-story. However, the original defeat of a NetNavi will rip off enough raw data, that the data's natural restoration will occur anyway, and take in various leftover data from the internet to reinforce the leftover data, resulting in a second, stronger "Ghost Navi", often caught in a single place. Defeating that Ghost will release it to roam another area, and NPC chatter that tips you off that the ghost is roaming around will often imply the ghosts are retaining facets of their originals' personalities.note BubbleMan's third-level ghost refuses to fight you unless your health is critical; and can still hide among the legions of Aqua viruses, so using the "FishBody" program to draw him out won't work.
Battle Chips actually employ multiple tier systems at once. In the first two games, most chips can be used however many times as the max cap will let you, but you can only have five unique Navi chips max (and Navi chips can often be split into three variants; the various versions of a Navi Chip don't count as repeats). In the third game, they codified it into the "Standard", "Mega", and "Giga" tiers that lasted throughout the series and Mega Man Star Force; "Mega" absorbed the Navi Chips. However, it added a secret fourth version of each Navi chip that could only be earned with Team Style and a number of overpowered earlier chips and applied the Navi Chip limit of five uniques to all of them. The "Giga" classification included only the strongest, most often employing certain NetNavis' Signature or Finishing moves, or perhaps even single Navi Chips of the most powerful NetNavis (and in 3, the 5th version of a Navi Chip). Also, fairly standard for the whole series, was a five-star classification that rated a given Battle Chip's power in relation to others. Most standard chips would rank one, two, or three stars; most Navi chips would rank three, four, or five stars.
Promoted Fanboy: Some of the Custom Navis featured in the game are actually fan submissions for the "create your own Navi" contests held throughout the series. Many are extra bosses (especially ones owned by Mr. Famous), but several, like LaserMan.exe, Cosmoman.exe, and CircusMan.exe are canon bosses.
Press X to Not Die: In PvP play, you can counter the other player's time-stopping weapons, even things like the V5 Navi Chips in BN3, just by pushing A at the right moment to call your own ally. You have to set up a Battle Chip for this in advance, however.
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.
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.
Many of the chapters seem to be this, for better or worse. Many of them share a unified theme, mind you. In 1, 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 utilized in the creation of the Life Virus; 2 and 3 are more of the same, with even more terrorist plots (another hostage situation, terrorist demolition, mass NetNavi murder, etc), 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.
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.
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.
R-Rated Opening: Megaman 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.
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.
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").
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.
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.
Super Armor: Available as an equippable ability, which renders the user immune to flinching (and knockback) when struck by attacks.
Synchronization: All over the damn place as soon as MMBN1's ending happens. And of course, the Full Synchro.
Technology Marches On: Character and chip names are limited to 8 characters. The network must run on DOS at the time.
Tele-Frag: There are enemies whose movements can cause them to overlap the position of Rock Cubes, resulting in heavvy 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.
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: Depending on the game, the enemies may be leveled with letters alpha, beta and omega, or a number (1, 2, 3) followed by EX and/or SP. Bass will often be an exception: He had been XX, BS, GS, etc.
The life virus in Megaman Battle Network Transmission gains an "R" in its name and a different color 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.
The liberation missions in the fifth game are more or less board games. Navis each get a turn to move through the area and "liberate" tiles by defeating an enemy party within three turns. The player liberates tiles one by one to clear a path through the impassable "dark" tiles to 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 shows up. One turn down. If enemies are still left, that NetNavi ends his turn without having achieved anything (thankfully, bosses will retain the damage dealt over several Liberation 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 made even WORSE with enemies that can warp around their territories. Have fun!
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.
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, and Gameboy Player). Technically, its load-time just slows WAY WAY WAAYYY DOOOWWWWNNNNN... If you're willing to wait, oh, say half an hour, it'll show up again. The problem also shows up if you try and SAVE. 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.
Double Team DS as well. You still play one version of the game but with better music and some additions.
The third game also is an example of this in Japan with Black (Blue in the US), as it was released three months after the glitchy mess that was the original version of Battle Network Rockman.EXE 3.
Vampire Refugee: MegaMan himself in 5. MegaMan was infected so heavily he spawns a Dark Soul, which later gains intelligence. He manages to subjugate it, which gives him access to the Chaos Unison, every use running a constant risk of releasing said Dark Soul.
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?
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).
What Happened to the Mouse?: 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..
What If?: The series stems from the question "What if Doctor Light worked in networking instead of robotics?" Meanwhile, Doctor Wiley still worked in robotics, and became fiercely jealous when Light's projects took away his funding and public interest.
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.
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.