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Video Game / Mega Man Battle Network

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Mega Man Battle Network is a video game created by Capcom for the Game Boy Advance in 2001. It's the first installment in the Mega Man Battle Network series.

In the near future, everyone has a personal exploration terminal (PET) and a Net Navigator or NetNavi, an interactive AI assistant. The heroes are Lan Hikari and his Navi MegaMan.EXE. Together, they stop cyber crimes, eventually discovering a criminal syndicate named WWW (World Three).

This game completely ditches the previous Mega Man platformer gameplay and instead is an RPG. Battles are a mix of real-time and turn-based: MegaMan can move about a grid to line up attacks or dodge his opponents'. He can move and use basic MegaBuster attacks freely, while an Active Time Battle-esque timer dictates when Lan can upload Battle Chips that allow MegaMan to use special moves.

In 2009 the game would receive an updated port to the Nintendo DS called Rockman.EXE Operate Shooting Star, released only in Japan. Along with some quality-of-life improvements and slight gameplay rebalancing, this version features a new crossover scenario with Mega Man Star Force.

This game provides examples of:

  • 20 Bear Asses: An NPC in Lan's school asks for 30 copies of Met Guard A chips in exchange for a single Buster Guard chip.
  • Accidental Public Confession: Mr. Match accidentally reveals that the serial arson he engineered was actually all about getting the Fire Program in the Hikari oven when he consoles himself over his loss by mentioning he "completed his mission". He immediately realizes he probably shouldn't have told Lan that.
    Mr. Match: "But who cares! Soon war will start and you'll all be dead!"
  • After-Combat Recovery: MegaMan fully heals after every battle outside of the Power Plant, and that's due to extenuating circumstances.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The game has a multi-part final stage where each part is a smaller copy of the main Net areas you've been to previously, with each containing the same level gimmicks as its corresponding levels, only generally harder (i.e. melting fires with ice blocks in the FireMan copy, opening doors with numeric passcodes in NumberMan's area, etc.).
  • Ambiguous Syntax: After the NumberMan scenario, a Metroline worker declares that a landslide has occurred that's preventing the Metroline from running. As near as can be told, the only "landslide" that has occurred is the pileup of StoneMan's boulders blocking the internet pathways, but the Metroline worker makes it sound like one occurred in the real world, too.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Operate Shooting Star not only includes several mechanics and interface updates from the later GBA games, but throws in some of its own to smooth gameplay.
    • The lower screen displays a minimap and gives names to the Internet areas. The aesthetics of the Internet have not changed, but it's a pretty big help for navigation and orientation.
    • The overall random encounter rate is reduced. The ice puzzle areas of the Waterworks Comp 5 completely disable random encounters so you can focus completely on the puzzles.
    • The Power Plant Comp now highlights its invisible paths with flickering dots, and you no longer have to recharge the batteries when figuring out their configurations.
    • You now run as your default speed.
    • S-Ranking an encounter always yields a chip. Some of the best chips can now be obtained at ranks 8 or higher.
    • While the armor system is removed, some changes were made to accommodate this:
      • Enemies deal significantly less damage.
      • The L button can be used to escape like from Battle Network 2 onwards.
  • The Artifact: The Escape chip is still present in Operate Shooting Star, even though the game has a dedicated "Run" button like later installments.
  • Artistic License: Lan's microwave catches on fire due to interference from viruses, and he's able to put it out without the computer shutting down or causing lasting damage. In real life, any electronic device that gets hot enough to combust is pretty much FUBAR.
  • Beef Gate: In contrast to the later games, you can access the postgame dungeon as soon as you defeat WoodMan, which is right after reaching the Government Complex. (To put into perspective, this game's Undernet is inaccessible until after the power plant crisis.) The game merely discourage access to those areas by filling them with viruses that are overpowered in relative to MegaMan's progress at that point in the story. The superbosses were also absent unless several requirements were fulfilled, one of which is defeating the Final Boss.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During the final dungeon, Lan and MegaMan routinely come across impenetrable obstacles and are assisted by the arrival of their friends and the people they've helped. Glyde, NumberMan, IceMan, GutsMan, and Roll all come to the rescue in this fashion.
  • Black Comedy: Once Wily announces the EndGame, one of the little old lady NPCs is excited to join her dead husband in Heaven.
  • Bubble Shield: The Bubble Wrap battle chip encases MegaMan in a protective bubble. While the barrier can only block one hit, it reforms after a while, unless it's hit by an electric attack.
  • Chain of Deals: There's one involving chip trades, where you can take a humble Dash G and, through a series of trades with various NPCs, end up with the unique BstrBomb D.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: At the start of the IceMan scenario, Yai notes that a student from another class has gone missing. Then she reveals she's learned this other student was kidnapped. It's Dr. Froid's son, who is being used as leverage against him to work for the WWW.]
  • Contrived Coincidence: One of the programs WWW needs for its Evil Plan just happens to be in Lan's house. Specifically his oven.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot:
    • During the ElecMan Scenario, 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 
    • Most of the crossover scenario for Operate Shooting Star happens because Geo, trying very hard not to mess with the timeline, aims to stop ClockMan with a minimum of interaction with others. Too bad ClockMan kidnapped Roll, inevitably resulting in a meeting between Geo and MegaMan, and Geo's attempts to keep MegaMan from complicating things ends with Geo beaten down... and MegaMan captured. Geo is forced to explain everything to MegaMan's and Roll's distraught operators anyway.
  • Damsel in Distress: Double Subverted in Operate Shooting Star. Miss Madd and Count Zap were going to kidnap Mayl, but abruptly get put in their place by Geo showing up. Unfortunately, Geo's on the prowl because Sonia and later Roll got kidnapped instead, courtesy of ClockMan.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Fire Tower chips can be obtained as soon as you start the FireMan scenario, and FireMan's battle chip can be obtained shortly afterwards. They do 100 damage which is huge this early in the game, and synergize well with FireMan since they share an F chip code meaning that if you take time to fill your folder with a few of each, you can easily trounce many early-game viruses in one hit, as well as take huge chunks out of the health of many a boss. They even stay useful in the late game!
    • The rerelease Legacy collection gives you Bass' chip in the very beginning of the game. Letting you one hit kill almost anything with 200 or less hp from the very start. Then to top it off they've added him to the 10 chip trader at Higsby's so you can have multiple. And in this game, Bass has the F code as well, giving him synergy with the Fire Tower and Fire Man chips mentioned above.
  • Developer's Foresight: The final sequence gives MegaMan buster stats of 6 instead of the usual cap of 5, which happens to raise the strength of a fully-charged buster shot to just barely enough to overcome the final boss's Aura. This keeps the boss from becoming unbeatable if the player somehow doesn't have chips that do at least 100 damage.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Instead of deleting Roll and blowing up a bus with Mayl in it as he is supposed to, ColorMan holds Roll captive and tortures her in a...compromising position, as one lets player pointed out.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Has its own page.
  • Establishing Series Moment: MegaMan's attempt to pass through the oven's cyberworld is impeded by a field of flames. Lan clears the way for him by spraying the real oven in his house (which is also on fire) with a super-soaker. This works.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Just about every crisis scenario ends with a silly moment or cheesy joke that is just begging for a laugh track. At the end of the ElecMan scenario in particular, everybody really laughs.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • As soon as you can use the Metro, you're prompted to pay Yuichiro 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.
    • At the SciLab party, Dr. Hikari briefly mentions that Lan's PET is specially made.
    • Miyu Black, the Seer, is quite impressed with the spirit inside Lan's Navi.
    • Talk to Ms. Yuri under the right circumstances and she'll ask if Lan's a twin. And her own sister mentions that she was only allowed allowed into the WWW when trying to infiltrate it because she had a twin herself, although she doesn't know why.
    • When you leave for the final dungeon, a brief cutscene shows Lan's mom and dad talking on the phone; Lan's dad says that "those two" were just here, and promises not to let anything like what happened before happen to them. Doubles as Five-Second Foreshadowing, since the truth is revealed shortly afterwards.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: When the player steps on a "cutscene tile", there is a brief moment where the player can bring up the PET menu and save the game. While there are a few Sequence Breaking applications for this, performing this trick at the Point of No Return (the lead-up to MagicMan) will permanently lock the player's save into the endgame sequence.
  • Guide Dang It!: Locating the Undernet memos near the end of the game. The first one is easy enough to find, but the only hint you're given on the other two is that you need to find "a young beautiful lady and an old man". Never mind how vague this is, the lady is in a school in Dentown that you probably didn't know existed until this quest. To rub salt in the wounds, once you've found her, she won't give you the memo unless you've filled out enough of the Library. Hope you've been diligent on S-ranking battles! These memos are needed to progress in the story, too.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After his defeat, Mr. Higsby turns over a new leaf and opens a shop in town; he also helps Lan infiltrate WWW at a few points by providing information and items he had when he was a member.
  • Helpful Mook: The Miney virus randomly places a mine on one of the panels on Mega's side. This explodes for 100+ damage if Mega steps on it, but it can also detonate if a 80HP Fishy virus dashes into it, which instantly deletes the Fishy.
  • Last Lousy Point: The DropDown chip spawns from a single enemy, which appears in one area roughly 10% of the time, and has a 3.125% chance of dropping the chip. The WoodAura and PopUp chips are of similar rarity due to dropping from the most Elite Mook and a Mechanically Unusual Fighter respectively, but the former can be acquired by doing a trading sidequest and the latter beaten reliably via Pause Scumming. For DropDown, the only recourse to make it easier is by performing RNG manipulation.
  • Late for School: Lan is late on the second in-game visit to school, and has to sneak into his classroom. He takes the back door, and sneaks to his front-row seat. The class only has nine seats, meaning his absence should be easier to notice.
  • Life Drain: The Mosqurito viruses, being based on mosquitoes, latch onto MegaMan and absorb his HP. Their chip series, the aptly-named Drain, sees MegaMan rush forward and stab an enemy with a Mosquirto while recovering HP.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Several Net-Navis stay back in the farthest column and never leave, such as NumberMan and StoneMan.
  • 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 one of the sane programs asks Mega to kill them.
  • Mythology Gag: Aside from a few Canon Foreigner, the WWW Navis are counterparts to four of the original Mega Man Robot Masters (a fifth is also introduced in this game, as a supporting character, Guts Man). The only one missing in the lineup is Cut Man.
    • Near the end of the final dungeon, Roll and Protoman show up together in order to help Megaman. It's a reunion of the sibling trio from the Classic series.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: During the IceMan scenario of the first game, Lan sends MegaMan a "FireShot" to melt the pump water supply program. While there's no "FireShot" in the game, the idea of using elemental chips to remove elemental obstacles will be used in Battle Network 3.
  • Noodle Incident: Lan and Megaman have to deal with Wily obtaining 3 of the super programs, but when and where he got the wood one is never explained.
  • No Endor Holocaust: An attack on the city driving system 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 will cause an impassible stream of water to bar Mega's entrance to the Waterworks dungeon, requiring a total reset of the game.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: There's an old man NPC who spends most of the game telling you he's not senile. He's the one who knows how to access the Undernet.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: NaviChips typically use a chip code based on the Navi's name. Capcom apparently thought better of having so many S-coded NaviChips for Operate Shooting Star, as the remake changes SkullMan's and ShadowMan's codes to D-code and T-code, respectively.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: The ClockMan scenario in the Updated Re-release Operate Shooting Star takes characterization notes from MegaMan NT Warrior rather than the original game, which really shows in the suddenly romantic undertones of the scenario. The attempt to capture the Ship Tease of the anime jars against the rest of the game, where Lan has much less in the way of heroic impulses, and MegaMan and Roll have no romance at all.
  • Perfect Play A.I.: Invoked with ProtoMan. 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.
  • Point of No Return:
    • You can't jack out of the Power Plant comp before defeating ElecMan and ProtoMan at the end of the dungeon.
    • The game also has an NPC that will warn you when you're approaching the Point of No Return for the final boss, advising you to save your game. And once you pass that point (and fight Magic Man), your save function is disabled.
  • Post-End Game Content: Being the first game, there isn't much to it. Heck, you can actually access most of the postgame areas right after beating WoodMan, with early exploration only being discouraged by beefy viruses. However, there are three boss fights with PharaohMan, ShadowMan, and Bass which will only appear after defeating the Life Virus, even if the player has met all of the other requirements for them to appear.
  • Sequel Hook: The end reveals that Wily is still alive.
  • Sequential Boss:
    • The power plant crisis culminates with a fight with ProtoMan after ElecMan is defeated.
    • While both fights are separated by a lengthy cutscene, the player is not allowed to save before confronting MagicMan and the Life Virus.
  • Sinister Subway: During the endgame, rumors of a "ghost Metroline" start emerging, which a worker comments that everyone keeps hearing trains running nearby even when the station is empty. It's revealed that the WWW build a secret Metroline to their hideout, with a station located right under ACDC elementary.
  • Space-Filling Path: While present to some degree throughout most of the game, the main internet is a particularly dramatic example, filled to bursting with loops, dead ends, and paths that twist and turn constantly. This is all made worse by how the paths all look more or less the same, combining with the isometric perspective and small field of view to make it very frustrating to tell where you are and where you're going. Prepare to spend a lot of time wandering aimlessly before stumbling across your destination.
  • Title Theme Drop: "Running Through the Cyber World" (aka NumberMan's theme) samples the main theme partway through the composition.
  • Truth in Television: Near the end of the game, Lan's dad casually resets the expiration date on Higsby's WWW-issued bus pass in order to make the WWW headquarters accessible. In Real Life, the bus passes used in that era were extremely easy to alter with that sort of hacking.
  • Understatement: Wily drops this line while brainwashing an entire classroom of children.
    "To reach our goals, the WWW is hiring new staff members!"
  • Useless Useful Spell: The "Add" function in this game lets you forgo using chips for the next turn in exchange for 5 extra chips in your Custom Screen for the next turn only. You can Add a second time in a row to expand the total hand capacity to 15 chips, but you go back to 5 the moment you stop using the Add function. While there are some situations where an individual use of Add can help with searching for a desired chip combo, there is almost nothing that would justify fighting two turns in a row without any chips. Operate Shooting Star keeps the Add function unmodified, but gets rid of the superfluous third row of the Custom Screen.
  • Villain Respect: An NPC Navi, located at the farthest reaches of the internet (which requires an extent of completion to reach) expresses this:
    "So you've made it this far...It's a shame you're wasted on the outside world..."