GENERAL STRATEGIES
GAME PLAY BATTLE FEATURES TIPS PRINT

STRATEGIES

Most of the Battle Network games play in an almost identical style, so I have compacted those tips and strategies into a single page.

GAME PLAY
The overworld is relatively straightforward and resembles any typical console RPG (except that Lan has roller blades permanently glued to his feet, which most player characters don’t sport). However the battle system is quite confusing to a first-time player and warrants some discourse. There is usually a tutorial during the game as well which you may wish to pay attention to before fighting any real battles.

First of all, battles are in fact action-based, even if they don’t appear to be from the screen shots, although it’s a bit different than a free-style “run around and shoot everything” type of game. MegaMan is restricted to the red blocks on the left side of the screen; the enemies can only move in the blue blocks on the right (except when attacking). Pressing a direction on the control pad will cause MegaMan to move from one block to the next.

To attack, you fire your buster or use special items called Battle Chips. You can use up to five chips per “round” (when the bar on the top of the screen fills up, you can open your “Custom Screen” to choose new chips); however you are restricted in what sort of chips you can use at a time. Only chips of the same type or of the same code (the letter in the corner) can be equipped at once. Each chip can only be used once per battle, but chips are never actually consumed (you’ll still have them when the battle ends even if you used them).

That’s the basics. Now for the tricky part. Chips that you pick up during the game are stored in your “Sack” (sometimes called a “Pack”). Chips that you have prepared to use during battle are in your “Folder” and this Folder must have exactly 30 chips (no more, no less; obviously you begin the game with 30 chips to satisfy this requirement). However during battle you can’t just pick any of the 30; when a battle starts, you are given a choice of just five of the 30, picked randomly. (This was probably done to prevent people from just using the same five chips over and over again to blast through battles, but it adds an interesting challenge. This is one way the game somewhat resembles a trading card game, although you must take a bit more of a personal involvement in the actual battles.) When you choose to use one or more of the five chips, in the next round the ones you used will be replaced with more random picks. Alternately, in some games you can use the “Add” feature to choose to pass the round with no chips—if you do so, you’ll get to choose from more chips in the next round.

Each chip can only be used once per battle, and you must use the chips in the order you selected them. You can see which chip is up next and also how many you have left based on the icon over MegaMan’s head during battle.

BATTLE
Battle chips are the way to win battles but try not to miss with them. Sometimes it’s better to wait and dodge attacks until the enemy puts himself into a position where he remains stationary before firing a chip (you don’t have to worry about firing your buster—it’s infinite).

Generally speaking battles are fairly easy if you know the enemy’s attack patterns (everything can be dodged) but this assumes you are facing only one enemy at a time. Groups of enemies can be lethal since their attacks combined together may corner you. Learn who will be the most dangerous in a group and take that enemy out first. Sometimes, an enemy with a particularly difficult attack pattern can be nullified quickly using the proper Battle Chip, but you can’t really count on that chip coming up in the random draw.

There are two schools of thought for picking chips to place in your Folder: one is to choose a diverse collection of all of your most powerful and useful chips, and the second is to pick chips based on their types and/or codes. With the first, you’re more subject to the gamble of the draw since the chip you need at any given moment may or may not actually come up, but your attacks are more varied and interesting. The second method involves picking large groups of identical chip types or codes so that you’re almost guaranteed to come up with chips which can be used together. If you decide you really like a particular chip, you can attempt to gather as many copies of it as possible and fill your Folder with them so as to “stack the deck” so to speak and guarantee that the chip will come up more often in battle. It’s up to you, but remember that being able to use multiple chips per round can really speed up things. Also it is possible to combine certain chips into a single chip to be used in battle (see below).

MAIN FEATURES

The following are some of the major features that have been introduced into the series. Not all of these are present in every game.

Program Advance

You can combine certain chips into new chips. When you choose the correct chips together, they will automatically merge. When chips combine, you get the combination attack as a new chip which is immediately readied and can be used like any other chip. All of the chips that you combined are used up that round as if you had used them separately—in a way, you’re giving up your separate multiple chips for a single rare chip. Note that combinations only last for that round of battle; you don’t get to keep the chip you created (it doesn’t appear in your Folder or Sack), and you don’t lose the chips that were combined.

There are two basic ways of getting a Program Advance; once you recognize the patterns, it’s pretty easy to put together new advances. The first method is to use chips of the same type but different (usually consecutive) codes. For example, select a Cannon A, Cannon B, and Cannon C together, and they will combine. The other method is to use different chips with the same codes; in this case, usually you are looking for chips that are similar to each other (which are usually chips that have successive IDs—you can view the ID in the Library). For example, combine a Sword, WideSwrd, and LongSwrd in that order (it’s also the order of their IDs). You can discover Program Advances through experimentation or by talking to people.

Style Changes

A Style Change alters MegaMan slightly. He typically gains an Element (making him weak against certain attacks, but able to hit weaknesses on certain enemies as well) and changes how his charged shots operate. Styles come in two categories, which are then mixed-and-matched for the final style. One category is the Element, and the other is the special features that the Style Change gives you. Each time you get a new Style you will be given a short description of its capabilities.

You gain Styles by fighting battles. The type of Style that you receive depends on how you fight. (For example, defeat things with your Buster a lot, and you’ll tend to get the “Guts” Style.) On the other hand, as far as I know, it is not possible to determine your Element. The Element appears to be selected at random.

Soul Unison

Soul Unisons replace Style Changes in later games. Rather than getting a Style Change, you literally merge with a Navi of a particular type. To use a Soul Unison (also known as “DublSoul” in the finest eight-character limitation tradition), you select a chip of the correct type, then choose the “Unite” button. Once you do this, the chip you selected becomes the unison command. (Note that you don’t actually lose the chip, as the tutorial implies; you just use it up for the transformation, so you can’t use it normally during that particular battle.) Since this chip now no longer counts as being selected, you can go ahead and select more chips to use that round, like normal. When you close the Custom Screen, MegaMan will transform first, then you can battle with the other chips that you selected like normal.

Like Style Changes, a Soul Unison gives you the Element type of the Navi that you merge with (when applicable), which can increase the power of those chips but may also have the disadvantage of making you weak against certain attacks. Also, your charged shots will change according to the unison that you are using, and additionally you can also charge Battle Chips in some cases as well (but only ones that match the type of the Navi you are using). You get other benefits as well, depending on the Soul Unison. Each time you get a new Soul Unison you will be given a short description of it.

Note that there are a few limitations put into place to prevent you from just using Soul Unison all the time. First, you can only use each merge once per battle. Second, a Soul Unison only lasts for three rounds (although “round” is defined as you opening your Custom Screen, so if you don’t mind not having any Battle Chips, you can conceivably stay merged forever). Finally, you can’t use a Regular chip to merge (the one that you set using your Regular Memory).

Countering

A “Counter Hit” means to strike an enemy just as it is starting its attack. The exact timing of this varies based on the enemy type. Each enemy has a moment during its attack pattern, specific to that enemy, where it can be countered. The basic rule of thumb is to hit it just as it is beginning to attack, but not before. The timing can be finicky on some enemies.

You know you’ve countered an enemy when you hear a special sound effect and the enemy will freeze into place (or blow up). Sometimes the text “Counter Hit!” is displayed also.

In some games, you have to destroy the enemy to get the counter hit; in others, you must use a Battle Chip to counter.

Full Synchro

In some games, when you counter an enemy (get a “Counter Hit!”), you will go Full Synchro. When you go Full Synchro, the attack power of any Battle Chip you use (that has an attack rating) is doubled. However, this only lasts for one hit; once you fire off a chip while using this, you lose the Full Synchro. (Note though that firing your Buster or using non-attack chips like Recov have no impact on this.) You will also lose the Full Synchro if you get hit by an enemy attack.

Also, while you are in Full Synchro mode, enemies will flash when they can be countered. This can be a useful way to learn how to counter new enemies (but usually you can just guess and experiment, or do it by accident).

Finally, it should be noted that you can go Full Synchro in other ways besides countering an enemy. I’m not exactly sure how it is determined (the tutorial in the game just says it is when you are “fighting well” which could mean anything, really), but in my own personal experience, it seems that if you overkill an enemy, or destroy more than one enemy with a single shot, you will occasionally go Full Synchro even if the shot wasn’t a counter. This is more difficult to do on purpose, but it can sometimes crop up unexpectedly.

Navi Customizer

The Navi Customizer is a way to increase MegaMan’s stats and give him special abilities. You pick up pieces (“NaviCust Parts”) to add to the customizer from Mystery Data, merchants, and other places. There are rules and restrictions on how you can arrange the pieces; the in-game tutorial will explain the procedure when you first get the customizer.

If you don’t follow the rules, you’ll introduce “bugs” based on which parts have errors. For example, bug an HP enhancement part, and MegaMan’s HP will slowly decrease during battle. A buggy movement enhancement will cause MegaMan to keep snapping in a direction during battle, and bug an attack enhancement and sometimes MegaMan’s buster will jam. And so forth.

The rules include:

As the manual suggests, you can actually bug MegaMan on purpose. The main reason you would want to do this is to stuff more parts into the customizer than would otherwise fit. If the bug doesn’t affect your ability in battle too much, it may be worth it. (Poor MegaMan...)

DarkChips

Found in later games, DarkChips are a way of making MegaMan “evil.” They have certain benefits and drawbacks:

Once MegaMan is “evil,” all you have to do is refrain from using DarkChips for a few battles and he’ll start to shift back to being “good” again. (Actually, maintaining “evil” mode is somewhat difficult, as you have to sacrifice a lot of HP to hold the form.)

Using DarkChips almost never has an effect on the plot.

Title Menu Stars

When you beat most of the Battle Network games, you will see some sort of star or icon on your title screen when you are selecting “Continue.”

When you load your saved game in this case, you still start in the same place where you’d saved before beating the game, but the difference is, having the icon is generally a requirement for accessing certain areas. These hidden areas tend to be designed to be extremely difficult, usually preventing you from jacking out for as long as you are in them. Hunt around when you have a title menu star to find them.

Once you have a title menu star, you can do things and then save again without losing the icon. The Battle Network games are generally designed to avoid “lost forevers” so by the time you reach the end of the game, you should be allowed to revisit any area and finish any side quests or other things that you missed along the way.

Note that Battle Network 4 works differently—its “Title Menu Star” system is really more like a “New Game +” system in that it places you back at the beginning of the game but with most of your items intact.

In many games, beating the game and then fulfilling other requirements (such as having a copy of every Battle Chip that exists in the game) will “upgrade” your star in various ways.

(I don’t go into details about title menu stars on MMHP because I haven’t the time to delve into them. It takes me long enough just to beat the game the first time and get the Game Hints page up...)

TIPS AND STRATEGIES




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Last update: August 24, 2007