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Video Game / Mega Man Battle Network 3: White and Blue

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Spoilers for all Mega Man Battle Network entries preceding this one, particularly Mega Man Battle Network 2 may have been left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Blue Version

Mega Man Battle Network 3 is an Action RPG created by Capcom for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, and the third installment in the Mega Man Battle Network series. The game was originally released as a single version in Japan, until an Updated Re-release was made (called Black) that featured different exclusive chips, bosses, and some bugfixes. The original and Black were both localized as White and Blue, respectively, for international releases.

Sometime after the events of Battle Network 2 and fall of Gospel, Dr. Wily has returned and reformed WWW. He seeks to release Alpha, a prototype version of the internet that was locked away due to being incredibly unstable, but can be unleashed once again with the four TetraCodes. Meanwhile, a tournament known as the N1 Grand Prix is being held, with Lan and MegaMan.EXE invited to participate. The tournament seems to be connected to Wily's plans, however, and another powerful threat lurks in the shadows of the internet...

Battle Network 3 uses the same base combat mechanics for as its two predecessors without any new gimmicks or powerups, just refinements to the systems. The main new additions are the inclusion of Battle Chip types and the Navi Customizer. Chips are now divided into three categories: Standard, Mega, and Giga. Mega and Giga Chips are more powerful than Standard ones, but you are only permitted to have 5 Mega Chips and 1 sole Giga Chip in your Folder. The Navi Customizer, meanwhile, is a Grid Inventory that allows for giving MegaMan new passive abilities, powering up his stats, or even increasing the number of allotted Mega and Giga Chips, but misusing it will cause potentially devastating bugs in his programming or disable the abilities.

This game provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Dex moving out to Netopia halfway through the game was made to be a big deal, only for him and GutsMan to make a return two chapters later.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: One of the hints for β Navi locations is that new viruses vaguely related to the Navis would be added to the specific location's encounter pool, such as the presence of Eleballs in ACDC 2 after FlashMan α was defeated. This encourages players to get used to the Cyberworld areas' encounter pools so they would notice the changes afterwards.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • During the PlantMan scenario, most encounters feature Fire enemies, and many of the burnable plants provide one or even multiple copies of HeatShot I, ensuring the player won't run dry of Fire chips to fuel the scenario's gimmick.
    • Deliberately inverted during the stage of the N1 Grand Prix where the player is given three minutes to acquire the Extra Folder of their choice for the next several battles. During this segment, every NPC suddenly becomes far more chatty than they are at any other point in the game, and many of them will appear to offer a folder only for it to be a fakeout. The one furthest in the back of the area even requires Lan to take a quiz to claim his folder, and the folder gotten by doing the quiz is one of the worst: actually passing the quiz is worth an achievement in the Legacy Collection rerelease.
    • The addition of the Collect NaviCust program ensures that you, if possible, will always get chip rewards at the end of battle.
    • While the location of the virus that drops Iceball M is a Guide Dang It!, the game is rather generous about giving the player the coveted chip once they actually encounter said virus.
    • Late in the game, DrillMan opens a shortcut between Scilab 1 and Undernet 5.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The Navis in this game are smart.
    • KingMan will use "Plan B" to change the layout of his chess pieces depending on how you're fighting. If you keep breaking his pieces, he'll summon a Rook to defend himself with very high HP; if you stay in the back row out of range of his Pawns, he'll Area Grab you and move the pawns forward a column; if you use wind chips to push the Pawns back or trick his Knight into jumping into a hole, he'll swap out one of the Pawns for a second Knight. He'll also keep respawn his Knights if you keep using the hole trick.
    • GutsMan will smash your area twice to lock you into one panel, then just stay in the same row as you and start throwing Rocket Punch attacks now that you can't dodge. He'll also counter your Area Grab by Area Grabbing you right back.
    • BubbleMan, true to his Dirty Coward tendencies, employs a rock and a constant stream of bubbles from his middle panel to block your attacks on him. Then when weak he'll start using a barrier for further defense.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Master Style is one of the visually flashiest Program Advances in the series, does a high 900 damage, and comes entirely in * code via the Number Trader. It also takes four Mega Chips to use, three of which can do nothing on their own due to requiring MegaMan to be in the appropriate elemental Style to use them.
  • Badass Bystander: The generic-looking "Alpha Rebellion" Navi who shows up during the FlameMan scenario who is first seen warning Lan about Mr. Match, then is seen tailing him in the Undernet while MegaMan runs to confront FlameMan. After Bass wipes the floor with both FlameMan and MegaMan and is about to delete the latter, the Navi runs up and challenges Bass using a Dark Aura to tank one of his attacks and lives since Wily told Bass he now has all four TetraCodes and Bass decides this is a waste of time and leaves.
  • Balance Buff: With the absence of the Fist series from Battle Network 2, the Guts Punch series is expanded into three tiers and have their own command codes as well.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The final version exclusive Giga Chips (Alpha Arm Σ in White and Alpha Arm Ω in Blue) are this, as they are obtained by defeating the True Final Boss AlphaΩ.
  • The Bus Came Back: When Lan visits his dad Yuichirou, who should he find there but Sean, a kid who first appeared on the plane in Battle Network 2? Sean relates that he is working hard as The Atoner, working hard to use his skills to make the world a better place after he nearly destroyed it as the leader of Gospel.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Lan's PET gets a case upgrade early on, making it more durable. This comes in handy at least twice in the same game: first, he throws it at someone as a distraction, and not only is it effective, but Mega Man isn't affected at all by it, and later, Lan jumps in the ocean with the PET, which doesn't take water damage in the process. There are a few times the PET is treated a bit roughly in the next game, but it seems to weather those just fine except when someone is aiming to cause damage.
  • Chekhov's Gun: There's a mysterious artifact in plain view but out of reach at Scilab's cyberworld. That's Alpha, the final boss of the game.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Mamoru, the Littlest Cancer Patient introduced in the PlantMan scenario, returns in a big way later on. Turns out that little Mamoru is the administrator of the Undernet. He may, judging from his character art, even be the Operator of Serenade.
  • Color Wash: The four main internet areas (ACDC, SciLab, Yoka, and Beach) turn grey after Alpha was stolen from its enclosure and hijacked into military programs around the world. Unlike the frantic endgame music in many games in the series, this grey effect doesn't go away even after defeating the Final Boss.
  • Continuity Cameo: The calendar on the wall of one of the rooms of the Ura Inn is actually a Real Life promotional calendar from Japan featuring images of MegaMan NT Warrior (2002) characters dueling each other. The graphic used in the game shows the duel between MegaMan and ProtoMan.
  • Counter-Attack: Established as a game mechanic starting from this game, where successfully landing this will cause a short jingle to play. If the final blow on an enemy is a counter hit where they're in the middle of their attacking animation, the player gains BugFrags in addition to the other rewards from the battle. In virus battles, the player can gain anywhere from 1 to 8 BugFrags depending on how many viruses were defeated this way; defeating a boss this way will give 10.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Bass kicks a lot of butt in cutscenes, No Selling the Giga-Freeze and hurling EarthBreaker techniques that can nearly destroy a DarkAura (which, given the Power Levels of the attack and the aura, should be utterly impossible).
  • Darker and Edgier: Easily the darkest of the original trilogy. While there are many lighthearted moments in the first half of the story, the second half easily raises the stakes far higher (even on a personal level for the heroes) than the first two titles, starting with the FlameMan Arc. Lan's arrogance and naivety leads to Sci Lab getting set on fire, which nearly causes the deaths of all trapped inside (including Lan's father). MegaMan is canonically beaten for the first ever time by Wily's latest partner, Bass. Wily has all the keys he needs to free Alpha, an experimental cyber monster that will consume the whole Internet. And for the rest of the main story, the tone is completely Somber until the ending Where MegaMan dies saving Lan after they beat Alpha.
  • Death from Above: God Stone makes a return in this game, and even gets a Program Advance called Mom Quake, which continuously drops down rocks on the enemy's side of the field. Unlike God Stone, this PA doesn't require a hole panel to set up, but doesn't freeze time either.
  • Denser and Wackier: Zigzagged. This game balances the more flamboyant characterization of the first game's villains and the sillier elements from MegaMan NT Warrior (2002) with the grim terrorism and higher personal stakes of the second—threatening Lan's school building, Lan's classmates, Lan's friends, and Lan's family.
  • Developer's Foresight: Even with the amount of Disc-One Nuke potential that the Number Trader traditionally offers, the FastGauge Navicust program was clearly a bit too much to give the player from the start of the game. As a result, the vertical Navicust field expansion and the SpinPink program are both locked behind completing most of the game, preventing FastGauge from actually being equipped until late in the story.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • With a good busting level and a bit of luck, it's possible to obtain a Cannon C in ACDC area on your first visit, which enables access to the Z-Cannon Limit Break before the first Boss Battle.
    • As soon as the BeastMan scenario is finished, using SneakRun via Navicust or subchip in Lan's doghouse causes all encounters to be with either BeastMan β or with all three tiers of Spikey viruses. This allows easy farming of all of the components of the HeatSpread Program Advance, which can be combined with the GrassStage * available for purchase in ACDC Square to do an easy and spammable 600 Fire damage to all enemies, enough to one-shot three out of the next five story bosses and two-shot the remaining two.
    • Averted with the FastGauge Navicust program. While it can be acquired extremely early via the Number Trader, the game deliberately withholds both of the key items that would let the player actually use it until the FlameMan scenario, near the end of the game.
    • As soon as the Number Trader can be accessed, one of the chips that can be gotten from it is VarSword F, which lets the player fire four elemental slashes with Wide Sword range for 160 damage each with the "B, B, Left, Down, Up" code.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • The abilities of returning Styles are all separated into Navicust parts that you earn from leveling them up, meaning that they're weaker right out the box compared to the second game. However, they each gain a new unique ability that can never be replicated with Navicust parts.
      • Rapidly tapping B in Guts Style will unleash a burst of Buster fire, providing some firepower that offsets their poor fire speed.
      • A well-timed blocking of an attack in Shield Style will restore some of your HP.
      • S-ranking certain viruses within five seconds in Custom Style without using the buster or Navi Chips will yield a unique chip from them.
      • S-ranking bosses in under twenty seconds in Team Style yields a V4 variant of their Navi Chip.
    • The Bubbler Charge Shot on Aqua Styles charge a little slower than they used to in the second game, but in exchange they deal more damage.
  • Disconnected Side Area:
    • There is a small floating square in the middle of Undernet 2 that is only accessible from one of the statues on Hades Isle after defeating DesertMan. It features a Bug Frag Trader most known for selling the Navi Recycle/Folder Back Giga Chips.
    • Hospital Comp 2 has a segment that couldn't be accessed by jacking in from the hospital basement. It can only be entered from Beach Area 1 and is guarded by a security cube.
    • The UnderSquare has an area that can only be accessed by jacking directly into the Undernet server underneath Yoka Inn, which holds the entrance to the Bonus Dungeon.
  • Disney Death: MegaMan is absorbed into Alpha after the final battle and, after a sad farewell speech, ejects Lan out. After the credits roll, however, it is revealed Yuichiro managed to get his son out of that mess after all.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: At the start of the final chapter, Lan has a dream where he appears in cyberspace and Mega Man decides to part ways with him. Prior to the last battle with Alpha, Lan enters the cyberworld and realizes at the start that the scenario he dreamt about might come true, which nearly does when Mega Man performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Lan from Alpha, but managed to survived.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Downplayed. The "Black Mind" program allows Mega Man to generate an "evil aura" (i.e. the impression that he's a thug), which he needs to convince Undernet denizens that he's one of them, but doesn't change his appearance.
  • Dual Boss: In the final area, Lan and Mega Man battle against both Plant Man and Flame Man.
  • Dub Name Change: The enemy tiers have their titles changed from V2/V3/SP to α/β/Ω in the international versions, and it stays that way until Battle Network 6 simplified it to EX/SP.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Introduced in the game is the Omega-level Navis (SP in Japan), which is a stronger fourth-tier form. While later games just treat them as the third form in practice, here they require certain degree of completion to unlock and their boss battles were preceded with a 3-round virus gauntlet. They are also set encounters like their Alpha/V2 forms, though their locations are unknown without a guide.
    • Countering an enemy as the killing blow rewards the player with BugFrags depending on the number of enemies deleted this way (for Navi battles they drop a flat 10). Furthermore, using time-stopping chips still count as a counter hit. These quirks with countering are not present in the subsequent games.
    • As the pioneer of the Navi Customizer feature, this game has some oddities that didn't make it into subsequent games.
      • This is the only game with ModTools, Error Codes, and Extra Codes. All of these were eschewed when the latter trilogy gave the player more freedom to equip more combinations of program colors.
      • This is the only game where equipping specific Navicust parts was needed for exploration or story progression.
      • Compression codes use both directional inputs and the A/B/L/R buttons while holding down Select. This was simplified in later games.
    • As the first entry to implement the Extra Folder (a fixed folder that you can swap about with NPCs in the world), it mandates the Extra Folder in a lot of of scenarios. The subsequent three games don't mandate the Extra Folder that often.
  • Eat the Summoner: In the finale, a Brain Uploaded Lord Wily's consciousness is consumed by the Psycho Prototype Internet that he awakened and unleashed on NetSociety, Alpha.
  • Fake Longevity:
    • BubbleMan's scenario. You must chase him all the way from Mayl's homepage (right next to your own homepage, which is essentially the farthest point from anything in the Cyberworld) to the Yoka area, leave and chase down his underlings for the Needle (three times), return to Yoka area again, leave and obtain the Press program, return to Yoka area once more and then wander through the gratuitously large compressed path maze to find BubbleMan's dead end.
    • The Hospital Stage. The area is covered in vines that conceal items, viruses, and the teleporters to move around, so you need to use up Fire chips to burn them away. Thankfully you can easily get fire chips in the area so that the game doesn't become unwinnable, but you'll have to be competent enough with fire virus busting to keep a good supply.
    • The Internet Fire takes everything wrong with the Hospital scenario and makes it even worse. You have to spend Aqua chips to douse the giant bonfires all over the cyber-world, but this time, the virus encounters don't change — you'll have to detour to certain places like Yoka area if you need to restock your Aqua chip supply. Unlike the Hospital scenario where you just have to clear out the right patches of vines to advance, here you have to put out every single fire on the Internet, so you'll have to engage in even more backtracking.
    • The penultimate chapter has MegaMan fight his way through the Undernet's ranking system to meet their leader "S", who holds the Forbidden Program that is the only thing that can stop Alpha. This means tracking down numerous Navis around the net and defeating them until you can meet S and claim the program. But then the Forbidden Program is rendered useless when, in a Contrived Coincidence, Bass is immune to its power and escapes with Alpha; come the endgame, Alpha is destroyed without the need for the Forbidden Program anyway.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The game expects players to diligently read the Chat BBS at the Squares. After the N1 Grand Prix, Higsby writes his excitement on getting Ice Ball M and wonders how he obtained it. The chip ends up relevant as the exact one Mamoru requested for later on.
    • Yoka Area 1 features a water heating program as a prominent landmark, which belies the supposedly all-natural hot springs of the Ura Inn. Eventually Lan can explore behind the spring, where he discovers what the inn is really hiding.
    • Mamoru Ura's room features a senbazuru, a set of a thousand origami cranes, a traditional practice based on the legend of granting a wish. This naturally ties Mamoru to the traditional Ura Inn run by his very traditional mother.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The international versions have a couple of incorrectly-programmed Yes/No prompts when interacting with the "otter" and "seal" programs in ZooComp. The choices fail to actually appear when the game script calls for them, and the game crashes if the player presses the B Button to "cancel" one of these glitched prompts.
  • Gemini Destruction Law: The Twins enemy consists of two floating viruses that appear together. Both must be destroyed at the same time to defeat them, otherwise the destroyed one will regenerate at full health.
  • Get Out!: In the midst of his Heroic BSoD, being too ashamed to admit what he had done at SciLab, Lan lashes out at Mayl and Yai, demanding they get out of his house. He does later apologize during the final chapter.
  • Guide Dang It!: Though the series as a whole expresses this trope to varying extents, Battle Network 3 is most unkind to players without a guide.
    • A handful of battle chips have hidden attributes that can only be unlocked by entering a Classic Cheat Code when the chip is used. Only a couple of these (MetalMan's Navi chip, Variable Sword) are made apparent to the player in any way.
    • As the pioneer of the Navi Customizer system, Battle Network 3 has a lot of hidden information, especially when the ModTools come into play.
      • Compression codes can reduce the size of your programs to make them fit better.
      • You'll need to use error codes to force the Navi Customizer to work with a colored part that MegaMan's style isn't compatible with.
      • And when the Customizer reports no issues, you get the opportunity to input a code to grant an additional boon on top of that (with some side effects for some codes). The game's BBS posts can clue the player in to some Error Codes or Extra Codes, but for everything else not elaborated in the game, it's located either in the manual, hidden in side material, etc.
    • Several chips have additional requirements to obtain.
      • Several Standard chips require you to S-Rank viruses in record time while using Custom Style and not using Navi chips or the buster. Forcing the Custom Screen to open with Fullcust or Folder Back isn't allowed either.
      • V4 Navi Chips can only be obtained if you S-Rank V3/β bosses under 20 seconds while using Team Style. You're not told about these until you've obtained and chose to keep these Styles yourself, and if you currently lack either when you need to complete a library, it's back to grinding Styles until you get the right one.
    • The elemental Mega Chips will outright refuse to work unless you're in a Style with the matching element; Heat Style for Salamander, Aqua Style for Waterline, etc. The game never explicitly tells you this.
    • Unlike in the previous Battle Network games, β Navi encounters are located in places unrelated to where you found their α versions, so either take the guide or scour around the net blind.
      • Some of them can even be encountered in specific computers on the overworld, like BeastMan β being a random encounter in the Doghouse Comp.
      • BeastMan, BubbleMan, and DarkMan β only appear as a random encounter if you fulfill an additional unmentioned condition. BeastMan only shows up if SneakRun is active and OilBody isn't present in your Navicust, BubbleMan only shows up if you're at low health, and DarkMan only appears if you have a bug in your Navicust. These are mentioned by nearby NPCs in passing, but without specifying the Navis in question by name.
    • Some viruses and the chips they drop are also rather hard to find. A prime example of this is "Arrow 3" from the "Elehornet" virus. The virus' previous forms ("Elebee" and "Elewasp") appear in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and the Bonus Dungeon, respectively, so where would you search for the third form? Elehornet appears in the School Server Comp, an isolated system standing in the first area you explore in the game, while MegaMan has the "Battery" Encounter Bait in his Navi Customizer.
    • Some jack-in ports weren't as obvious to find from the player's view. Not even mashing A or R on every inch of the wall helps in some cases.
      • The Door Sensor Comp at SciLab requires Lan to stand in the middle of the entrance to the Virus Lab.
      • Some others, such as the Lion Comp, are locked behind story progression and give no indication of being able to be jacked into from the description alone, even after they're accessible.
    • Thought there's no more content after beating the Time Trials? Return to the title screen, ensure you have five starsnote , and input a code which crams these stars together. You've now unlocked the Omega Navis, which are the game's bosses tuned up to another difficulty rank, but you have no in-game clue as to where they are. Beating them unlocks the True Final Boss, although 100% Completion is only truly obtained after listing that last Program Advance (which is only possible after unlocking the Omega Navis).
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Zigzagged. After the N1 Grand Prix, Tora reveals that he's discovered the secret to Chaud's strength is ten hours of training daily. While this seems to justify what makes Chaud The Ace, it sure as heck never stopped Lan from trouncing him in an actual fight in the first two games. At the same time, this game deliberately saves fights with Chaud and ProtoMan for the postgame, and they're at their toughest yet.
  • Heroic BSoD: Lan gets a nasty case of it after discovering that Mr. Match tricked him into firebombing Sci Lab, endangering his own father's life. He locks himself up for several days, skips school, and refuses to talk to his friends about anything.
  • Hero on Hiatus: After the FlashMan incident, MegaMan begins to glitch and eventually has to be put in a Sub-PET with limited functionality while Lan's dad repairs the main PET, and the limited functionality includes inability to jack into the net. The glitches have no significant impact on gameplay and the repairs are done overnight with no significant plot events happening while MegaMan is out of action.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first battle with Bass. Unlike normal battles, his aura can't be dispelled in this fight and thus he's invincible, and you just have to let him beat you and get some dodging practice in the meantime.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: SciLab hires Mr. Match and lets him walk around the building and access all their computers without question. Match, who was a member of WWW in the first game, and it's public knowledge by this point that WWW has resurfaced and is attacking the internet in various areas. No prizes for guessing what ends up happening.
  • HP to One: After Bass wipes the floor with MegaMan after FlameMan's defeat, his HP in the upper-left is reduced to one after the Hopeless Boss Fight.
  • I Let You Win: Early in the game, Dex' brother Chisao demands from Dex that GutsMan defeats MegaMan in a netbattle. Unlike every other battle required by the story, the player will NOT be given a Game Over if GutsMan wins, though the scene afterwards will mention that it looked like Lan was holding back for Dex' sake.
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Lan beats himself up and confesses to Chaud that the Internet Fire and subsequent hospitalization of his own father was his fault. Chaud, who was moved by Lan saving his own father during the N1 Grand Prix, cuts him off and quotes the trope name before telling him to visit his father in the hospital.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The tanks. Lan manages to dodge machinegun fire by simply dancing back and forth.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • The premiere Giga Chips of the game, Navi Recycle and especially Folder Back, which let you reuse other battle chips in different ways. Navi Recycle reloads the last Navi Chip used, complete with all attack modifiers it had when you first used it, for a free do-over. Folder Back restores every used chip in your folder, including itself, giving the player endless do-over potential—in the hands of an even mildly competent player, either chip will break the whole game.
    • When it comes to Navicust programs, nothing beats the HubBatch. Accessible only in the Bonus Dungeon and hidden behind a grueling 20-round battle, the humble 3x3 program carries the features of at least eight different programs at once. It requires an Error Code to even run and has a bug that halves your maximum HP attached, but lowered maximum HP is a small cost for this much efficiency.
  • Informed Attribute: The end-game reveals technology allowing humans to transmit brainwaves into the cyber world as an avatar, and then "Full Synchro", which lets that digital avatar merge with their Navi to improve operational efficiency. In practice this justifies using the second version of previous bosses for the Boss Rush, but for all the hype it doesn't really do much—Navi ghosts automatically default to the second version, BubbleMan has no Operators and reached his second version, and the rebuilt boss holding Rank 8 jumped right to the third, even without Full Synchro. Further, Lan and MegaMan use Full Synchro with no change in gameplay. The later games would make Full Synchro a game mechanic, without bothering to explain how it's even possible.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: The bath in the Ura Inn has a small pile of buckets that block you from getting to the rock pile in the back of the area. These buckets are finally removed in the late game to reveal the rock pile is concealing an elevator leading to the server for the Undernet.
  • "Knock Knock" Joke: If Mega Man has the "Humor" program installed on the navicust, pressing L will cause Megaman to say a joke instead of his usual advice. One of the possible jokes he can tell is one of these.
    Megaman: Knock knock!
    Lan: Who's there?
    Megaman: Dwayne!
    Lan: Dwayne who?
    Megaman: (suddenly showing Chisao's mugshot) Dwayne da baftub, I'm dwowning!
    Lan: ...The joke was terrible, but that was an awesome impersonation.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: In the Blue version, there is a recycle canister at the Metroline with a kangaroo shape. The game apologizes for a pun, even if it is making another pun in the process:
    In game text: Maybe we should call it the CANgaroo? ... We apologize for that last joke. It wasn't punny at all."
  • Law of Conservation of Detail: That random guy with the green coat and glasses who inexplicably keeps appearing? He has a unique sprite, so you know he's someone important. He's Dr. Cossack, the creator of Bass.
  • Leitmotif: This game's main theme can be heard on the title screen, during the N1 Grand Prix, the NaviCust menu and the final dungeon computers.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Mamoru, complete with Incurable Cough of Death, who suffers from a heart condition that killed MegaMan back when he was Hub Hikari. He's also a big fan of Lan's, and a preliminary quest in the PlantMan scenario features Lan and MegaMan hunting down a rare battle-chip to keep his spirits up as he goes into another surgery.
  • Loophole Abuse: Three Navis in the game will let you play a game of chance to win Zenny, but after beating them four rounds in a row they complain you've bankrupted them and they'll never play you again. But if you quit after three wins, you keep your money you won so far and they'll play you again no problem; you can do this over and over to farm money, as long as you don't proceed to the fourth round.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • The Rank 7 Navi tells you to get "one of many birds" so that you can get his rank. You'd think that you'll have to visit Yoka Zoo to find the answer, but the actual answer is in the Hospital, where you collect an origami crane from a senbazuru hanging on a wall. Those from outside Japan won't have an idea what that object is, let alone why it would be at a hospital.For the curious
    • Part of the game's Foreshadowing relies on catching the fact that the Ura Inn and Mamoru Urakawa share Theme Naming, which is harder to catch thanks to "Undernet" being a preexisting Dub Name Change for the Ura Internet.
    • The "Legendary Tomes" sidequest operates like a standard Fetch Quest with a neat reward at the end, but if you follow the hints you're given during the sidequest you can claim the treasure for yourself (which is an enormous amount of money), and if you turn in the quest early, the treasure becomes inaccessible. However, deciphering the tomes only gets you a series of blocks that don't make sense. Turns out whatever they're spelling is still in Japanese (the blocks read ハニワ if you arrange the lines as instructed) and even if you could read it, it still takes a bit of cultural knowledge to know what a haniwa statue looks like. The translation Hand Waves it by saying the statue has markings that match the blocks, which are never alluded to if you investigated it earlier. The Legacy Collection port revisits this riddle and has the blocks spell out "CLAY" instead.
  • Luck-Based Mission: There are a handful of shady Normal Navis loitering around Squares that will challenge you to a gambling game, in which Mega has a 1-in-2, 1-in-3, or 1-in-4 chance of doubling his bets. It is technically possible to clean these three Navis out entirely, but the chances are remarkably low (if you're using an emulator with save states, on the other hand, it becomes ridiculously easy). This is one Gold Saucer most people aren't Sidetracked By.
  • Meta Twist: Slot in the sequence for Battle Network 2's 2xHero Program Advance, and you instead get DeuxHero (Douple Hero instead of Double Hero in Japan). The "true" version of 2xHero this time around involves one more chip, Slasher.
  • Morton's Fork: Boss battles with KingMan have a Knight that keeps trying to jump on top of you and two Pawns who will use Longsword attacks and move up and down his front column to block your attacks. If you try to stay out of range of the Pawns, eventually he'll Area Grab you and the Pawns move in, giving you no room to avoid them. If you try destroying the Pawns with breaking attacks, eventually KingMan will use "Plan B", swapping out the Pawns for a Rook that moves to shield him and has much higher HP than the Pawns, and he'll summon a second Knight so you have to avoid two of them now. Either way, the fight just went From Bad to Worse.
  • Mundane Utility: Lan's PET is an amazing piece of tech that has saved lives and deleted countless viruses and evil Navis. And, as Sunayama finds out the hard way, makes for an excellent physical projectile provided it's in a case Made of Indestructium.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: After learning that Mamoru is suffering from a heart condition, MegaMan realises it's the same one which killed him as Hub, and begs him to take the surgery to try and cure it.
  • Nerf:
    • While MegaMan can now charge his Buster from the get go, its maximum power level is now limited by the Navi Customizer as Buster upgrades also have to compete with other programs such as HP boosts and Under Shirt. Notably, Aqua Style's charge shot no longer charges as fast as it does in Battle Network 2.
    • The Mega Chip classification largely exists to treat overly powerful chips from Battle Network 2 like Navi Chips, limiting them to one copy per Folder and five altogether (excluding NaviCust programs) while removing all but one of their possible chip codes.
    • The Style Changes that return from Battle Network 2 have had most of their abilities reduced in strength, with most of them only providing a single ability by default. Most of their abilities from 2 have been split into NaviCust parts that are obtained by leveling the Style. MegaMan is also unable to hold more than one Style Change at a time.
    • HubStyle has been removed entirely and replaced with the HubBatch NaviCust program. While it offers a large number of abilities relative to its size, HubBatch only provides a small fraction of the features that HubStyle had.
    • Atk+10 and Navi+20 are the only "Attack+" chips to return from Battle Network 2 untouched: Atk+20 is removed entirely, Fire/Aqua/Elec/Wood+40 have their attack modifier changed to +30, and Atk+30 and Navi+40 are classified as Mega Chips.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The Japanese advertisement shows Lan and Chaud battling each other in the N1 Grand Prix. They don't battle in the N1 due to it getting called off after Sunayama reveals himself as a WWW member, and only fight elsewhere in the post-game content.
  • No Fair Cheating: The Legacy Collection version disables Buster MAX mode during the postgame Time Trials to ensure the player faces the intended challenge.
  • No-Gear Level: Early on, Megaman's transmission program (the program that keeps the connection between him and Lan's PET) breaks, having been damaged by Flashman's Shining Browser Crasher. This removes Megaman's ability to jack out, making it necessary for him to run back to the jack-in point to get back into the PET. It also removes the possibility for Lan to send Battle Chip data to Megaman, leaving him with his Mega Buster to defend himself. Thankfully, this happens in ACDC Area, with comparatively weak random encounters. That is, unless Megaman manages to run into Flashman β.
  • No-Sell: Virus encounters that are added to β Navi locations are immune to Sneak Run regardless of MegaMan's power level, hinting that those Navis could be randomly encountered in those areas as well.
  • Obviously Evil: The HeelNavis get a drastic redesign where they look more villainous than recolored NormalNavis and stand out with Spikes of Villainy and UFO-shaped heads with scars.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: S grants Megaman the Giga Freeze, a last-resort option that is capable of halting Alpha's functions before it spreads across the Net. However, only a few select Navis can use it effectively — anyone else deemed unworthy will be frozen in place for eternity. Naturally, Megaman proves to be one of the few who can. The other is Bass, who catches it with his bare hands when Mega tries to use it on him.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: Defeating the powered up random encounters of the WWW Navis will unlock specific security cubes placed all around the Undernet. These cubes gate off rare chips, NaviCust parts or even access to restricted areas.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: The game's Hero of ACDC story arc hits a homerun telling about the dangers of peer pressure and social engineering, as Mr. Match successfully deceives and pressures Lan into assisting him in his plan to cause a fire in a research lab while he steals vital data.
  • Percent Damage Attack: Balance cuts the current HP of everyone on the field in half. "Everyone" does include MegaMan, so be careful.
  • Puzzle Boss: Battle Network 3 is obsessed with these.
    • The earliest one is BubbleMan, who constantly hides in the back row, where he's protected by a boulder on the top lane and perpetually-respawning bubbles from a hole in the middle of his area. Figuring out how to damage him is a key element of this fight: the player must either use attacks that explicitly target the back row, hit the entire field, or leverage the boulder protection against BubbleMan. And then when he gets to low HP he Turns Red and gains a regenerating shield that will absorb one attack before he takes damage, forcing the player to figure out a way to bypass that.
    • KingMan also hides in the back row, assaulting the player with summoned objects rather than fighting directly. His pawns shield him from attacks and his knight constantly tries to stomp the player; destroying his pieces causes him to change tactics to use a more aggressive strategy with two knights stomping the player and a rook that follows him and blocks the player's attacks.
    • DesertMan is similar: he spawns randomly on his side of the field, only taking a single hit from attacks before being blown away and reforming in another part of the area. His hands have low HP but shoot down the row to attack MegaMan, and two pillars appear whenever he reforms that can absorb attacks. But his sandy body can be stunned in a unique way (aqua attacks turn him to mud), and his desert panel area can be taken advantage of using wind element attacks to boost their power.
    • MistMan constantly guards his weak spot (the lamp) using his genie body, and summons clouds of mist to harass the player and prevent them from moving.
    • DrillMan is also constantly guarding his weak spot using his head-mounted drill, forcing players to figure out a way to safely destroy or bypass it while he's flying horizontally, or to slowly chip down at him while he uses his other attacks.
    • Bass is constantly protected by an Aura that only disappears when he receives enough damage in a single hit. Players must either figure out a good way to destroy it before piling on as much damage to him as possible before he can regenerate it, or figure out Aura's mechanics and damage that can ignore it (ex. poison). Harder versions of his fight use an even stronger version of aura.
    • The postgame boss Serenade will dodge all attacks by moving onto a different panel (even dodging timestopping attacks), countering with a sonic boom after. The player must learn to either limit their movement somehow (breaking panels), use a truly undodgeable attack (poison, again), or learn that they are vulnerable when doing their frontal attack (the shockwave of which blocks damage, presenting a new problem).
  • Random Effect Spell: Bug Style will randomly grant two positive effects (e.g. max Buster stats, temporary invincibility) at the start of combat at the cost of also inflicting a random bug (e.g. forced movement, Battle or Custom HP bugs).
  • Riddle for the Ages: The Ura Inn hot spring has a secret computer that connects to the Yoka area, but this connection is arranged such that it's impossible to fully transition from one side to the other—the hot spring side of the connection prevents entrance from the internet with a motion-panel, while the internet side is an expanded Press path that won't activate the program, effectively making it a dead end both ways. How and why this arrangement came to be is never explained.
  • Series Fauxnale: This game was intended to be the final game of the series and it really shows in the last dungeon, with Lan even getting to meet his long-deceased grandfather, the Dr. Hikari. However the series proved too popular to halt so it kept going for three more games, even as the GBA was replaced by the Nintendo DS.
  • Shout-Out: In Tadashi Hikari's office, there's a box with a cow print tucked under a workbench, a reference to the computer hardware company Gateway, Inc and their iconic cow-themed packaging.
  • Situational Sword: The NoBeam Battle chips give Mega a very powerful attack that deals incredibly high damage for a basic battle chip (200, 260, and 300 for each successive version), pierces guards and Mercy Invincibility, and paralyzes the enemy it hits. The catch? It can only be used if there's an obstacle or certain enemy projectiles on the square directly behind Mega, otherwise nothing happens. While there are ways to set it up, it often requires steps to do so, making it Awesome, but Impractical in most cases.
  • Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: SciLab and the rest of the internet become hit by fire bombs set by Mr. Match after he had tricked Lan into setting them up.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: During ProtoMan's battle in the N1 Grand Prix against "Q"'s NormalNavi, the cutscene showing their battle takes place in the generic 'Comp' area, complete with the cheery Cyberworld music.
  • Space Whale Aesop: After the Hospital Incident, a lot of NPCs get cagey about mixing science and nature. Gamers beware, don't connect computers to trees or malicious users will unleash Gaia's Vengeance.
  • Stealth Pun: The quest for Iceball M. Given that it's a rare chip found in Hades Isle computer, finding it for Mamoru comes down to a literal snowball's chance in Hell.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: The FlameMan scenario requires Lan and MegaMan to help a "reformed" villain engage in an dubious procedure to "upgrade" SciLab software, even after MegaMan identifies the character as a Manipulative Bastard from how he convinced Lan to participate. No option is given to alert SciLab personnel about any of this.
  • Taking You with Me: BubbleMan effectively takes an entire country hostage through explosives that people have been tricked into installing into their own homes. When he loses, he refuses to deactivate the explosives and is on the brink of carrying out mass-murder when ProtoMan slays him outright. Chaud then gives Lan a dressing-down for hesitating when so many lives are on the line.
  • Taunting the Unconscious: Following the Hopeless Boss Fight against Bass, the villain taunts the unconscious hero, expressing how disappointed he is that MegaMan was unable to provide him with a proper challenge, and declares that he deserves to be deleted.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
    • In the lobby of the DNN building, a man will give you a uniquely colored program, Break Charge, which causes charged shots to break objects. This is shortly before you go into the studio and fight Tora and KingMan, who prominently utilize chess pieces that are invulnerable to normal attacks, and you've already had to face him once before so you know this is going to be a problem.
    • The Fast Gauge Navicust program has a long, thin shape that most players would struggle to fit into their setup, and it's easier to just find a Fast Gauge * and set it as your Regular chip. However, when you get to the Time Trials that force you to use your Extra Folder and has no Regular chip, the Fast Gauge program becomes mandatory to get within the time limit.
  • Updated Re-release: The Blue/Black version featuring different exclusive chips, bosses, and some bugfixes that were present in the original/White version.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: While the fight against GutsMan α is mandatory, winning isn't: the player can throw the fight if they don't want to show Dex up in front of his little brother.
  • Vine Tentacles:
    • One of PlantMan's attacks involves sprouting vines from under MegaMan's feet to constrict the hero. His associated Battle Chip does the same thing, trapping all opponents and dealing continuous damage as long as the vines are active.
    • The Viney virus sends out a single vine worming across the field to try and catch MegaMan. Like PlantMan's, the vine will inflict Vampiric Draining on MegaMan if it catches him. Notably, the bulb-part of the virus is immune to all non-Heat damage, which must be directed at the vine itself to do damage.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Upon obtaining the Navi Customizer, Lan's father gives him a brief tutorial on how to use it. Breaking the Navicust rules creates bugs that impede your in-battle performance, but if you want the valued BugStop program that lets you bypass the rules, you will need some time with a glitched setup to unlock Bug Style which awards that program. Some bugs are even invoked Good Bad Bugs and crafty players can make some devious combos using them.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Chaud is revealed to be under a lot of stress trying to gain the approval of his father, who is enough of a jerk that Chaud is surprised to get invited to eat at the same table as him by the end.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: During the final chapters of the game, a mysterious Official-style NetNavi appears several times and alludes to connections between SciLab, Bass, and Alpha. While these connections are later elaborated on, the Navi itself vanishes from the story after confronting Bass with a Dark Aura.
  • You Are Not Alone: During the epilogue, Lan spends some time grieving in solitude about events. After MegaMan is lost during the escape from the WWW base, Lan puts on a strong front when giving the news to his parents but then wanders off to cry on his lonesome. Sean and all of his friends give Lan a rousing speech and help him move on.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!: In the ending, a data version of Tadashi Hikari respects Dr. Wily's abilities as a scientist while lamenting his Face–Heel Turn. This is later referenced in Battle Network 5 when it was revealed that they worked on the SoulNet together, so he knew what Wily would be capable of if he used his skills for good.

Alternative Title(s): Mega Man Battle Network 3