ROCKMAN EXE WS
GAME HINTS DATA BASE HELP PRINT

GAME HINTS

As with Battle Network games, you play as MegaMan.EXE, assisted by Lan, to pursue and destroy viruses belonging to the WWW.

SPECIAL FEATURES
This is a side-scrolling platformer game based on the Battle Network series, similar to Network Transmission (although in all honesty, it resembles the original series games even more than Network Transmission does).

This game is only available in Japanese to the best of my knowledge.

Note: Almost everything on this page comes courtesy of Sean. Most of the opinions on the game are his as well, as I’ve only sampled a small portion of it so far.

Notes and Features

FAQ
REVIEW
Note: Most of this review was contributed by Sean.

Play Control: 2
It gets the job done, but even once you’re accustomed to the uncomfortable WonderSwan controls, there are still some issues. Grabbing ladders is frustratingly flaky if you’re moving at all, touching ceilings may randomly halt your forward momentum, and you can’t release charged shots for a fraction of a second after being hit (if you release the button, you just lose your charge). Fortunately, the single-use combat Battle Chips aren’t particularly useful; otherwise their placement on the Y buttons would be utterly crippling.
Graphics: 3
Good amounts of detail, and consistent color usage, but nothing that particularly challenges the hardware. Occasionally display ghosting and contrast become issues, but that may be due to playing on a WonderSwan Color rather than a SwanCrystal.
Animation: 4
Clean and smooth (although personally I think some of the sprites look a little goofy). Unlike the WonderSwan’s take on Rockman & Forte, it appears this team got access to all the appropriate character and enemy art. The enemy deletion animation (breaking up into tile-sized squares) takes some getting used to, but the Navis all have a full compliment of useful frames. MegaMan.EXE even has an idle animation that persists for a couple seconds after an action until he realizes you aren’t about to do anything. ;)
Music: 2
There are a couple good tunes, but the soundtrack generally fades from catchy to space-filling after the title. At least the instrument samples are an order of magnitude better than Rockman & Forte, even if the arrangement isn’t as laudable.
Sound Effects: 3
Nothing that markedly doesn’t fit, nothing that steps on the toes of anything else, but nothing outstanding either.
Plot: N/A
It wouldn’t be fair to rate the plot until I can understand it.
Difficulty: 5 (hard)
The thought process behind the level and boss design seems to be: “The player has 9 lives; he can afford to figure things out by trial and error.” This means many blind pits, hidden enemies, and pathological jumping puzzles in the stages, and bosses which will kill you if you don’t have the right equipment or strategy. As a consolation, you do get 9 lives, refreshed every stage, and a good number of the stages have continue points after the ugliest sections.
Replay Value: 3

Screen shot from Sean.
You need to play the game twice to get the “real” ending and a complete set of Styles, more if you want to collect all the Battle Chips, and it does get easier each time, both due to retaining your old chips and Styles and the fact that half the difficulty lies in simply learning the stage and boss strategies. But there are still enough frustrating elements to keep the game from being a casual replay even once you’ve unlocked everything you care to.
Polish: 2
Between the sadistic stage design, vague use of elemental properties, no chip graphics (just a text description), cluttered chip list, and aforementioned control glitches, there’s a lot that could have been done to make this game more accessible and playable. On the other hand, there’s enough that the developers did right that we can’t claim a complete lack of effort.
Overall: 74%
A definite collector’s item, with a number of very intriguing features. The game’s cumulative drawbacks, however, sadly keep us from recommending it as playable to someone without at least moderate experience with the classic Mega Man games and passing interest in the Battle Network series.

+ Plus:
Innovative “Lan gauge,” and some infinite-use weapons.
- Minus:
Stages designed to test a player’s memorization skills rather than to provide an engaging experience.
SUGGESTED ORDER
You cannot select your stage order; therefore, this section merely outlines the stages and bosses.

BOSSES
PharaohMan:
The most obnoxious regular boss in the game, so much so that he earns his own section. PharaohMan’s pattern is to throw up a giant coffin which reflects your shots and fires some of its own while protecting him. After the coffin is destroyed, he delays briefly before teleporting into a corner of the room and dropping a series of huge stones on you, stopping after a fixed time or when damaged. The pattern then repeats. The MegaBuster is absolutely useless due to the coffin in the first phase and the midair damage in the second phase (remember you can’t release charged shots after taking damage). BurningBody, however, drives through the coffin, destroying it and leaving you in the corner behind PharaohMan, from whence you can turn around and burn back through him for moderate damage. You can land another hit by burning at him in midair to break his second phase. Rinse and repeat.

Screen shot from Sean.
SnakeMan:
The second most obnoxious regular boss in the game, and also worthy of a side note. SnakeMan camps out in his invulnerable snake basket most of the time, and has three basic attacks. He can pop up to launch a series of energy balls at you, giving you time to damage him. He can create a hole under you to release three snakes which crawl back and forth on the ground until destroyed, and can’t be hit by any Buster shot short of a full charge (and remember you can’t release a charged shot after taking damage). Lastly, usually when he reaches half strength, he can shoot out along the floor, which does leave him briefly vulnerable, but only if you were already in the middle of an attack. The most successful strategy I’ve found is to use a sword-type chip (try ElecSword if you have it; it seems SnakeMan is an Aqua type here even though he gives you WoodShield) which can take out the baby snakes and does decent damage to SnakeMan himself. Hack away while he’s up and try to deplete his HP before he gets all of yours.
Blues: (ProtoMan)
Blues is fast and mobile. Seemingly at random, he jumps around a lot, dashes with a sword swipe, and releases tall energy waves. All of his attacks are avoidable if you can react quickly. You can also break his charge by hitting him with a charged shot first. WoodShield may help a little, but is not necessary. And remember—you can’t release a charged shot right after taking damage, and he’ll jump over it if you release it at an “easy” opportunity. If you’re feeling brazen, try GutsPunch for this battle. You’ll need to be in close and take some damage yourself, but you’ll deal damage in spades. In some ways, this is actually the most enjoyable battle of the game—tricky, but not patently broken.
DreamVirus: (LifeVirus)
You’ll want heavy weapons here. Break its shield (three slashes of WideSword work; three GutsPunches is a smidgen slower), get in as much damage as possible, and get out of the way as it starts charging, before the shield reforms. Unlike PharaohMan, you can’t just use Burning Body: the shield hurts you too much, and the boss behind it is invulnerable.

Screen shot from Sean.

WoodShield gives you a little more leeway around its otherwise two-hit-kill beam attack and one-hit-kill shield, but if you absolutely must have a flawless battle, here’s your best bet: Equip your best sword-class chip. You should at least have WideSword by now; LongSword is ideal. Run in, break the shield, slash the boss a few times as it starts to charge, then slide to the left end of the screen and jump to avoid its blast. Repeat immediately so you can destroy the shield before it starts attacking you. And hope the boss doesn’t pull out its long-energy-slash-from-mid-screen attack.

Alternatively, if you have some Recovery chips, get right in close and hack away with a sword while taking contact damage and reaping the invincibility period. As soon as the boss fires its beam, back off so you don’t get caught in the shield. With WoodShield, you can probably take this approach safely enough as long as you avoid the boss’s shield. Without, you may need to spend Recovery or Invisible chips.

Gospel:
Very easy first phase. Just keep right, fire whatever you’ve got (Buster is fine), jump the shockwaves, and slide right constantly as he inhales to avoid the flames he spits next. When he starts tossing arrays of blocks, charge up but don’t release. As soon as the blocks start moving, they become destructible, and you can release a full-charge shot that will clear most of them out and continue on into Gospel. The remaining one or two can be jumped simultaneously with the shockwave he throws next; just be sure to get back to the right side of the screen as soon as possible.

Fully-charged Buster shots are the most reliable way to damage Gospel if you aren’t comfortable working without WoodShield (which provides substantial damage reduction here). If you can afford to use Site Style, you can release half-charged shots pretty much whenever you’re facing Gospel during your regular evasion pattern and take him down slightly more quickly.

PASSWORDS

Screen shot from Sean.
This game does not have passwords, and uses saved games instead. When you beat the game, you will be asked to save. Loading this clear-game save behaves like a “New Game +” in that you start the game from the beginning but you keep all of your items.

This game also features the Title Menu Star system; the color of the star that appears when you point at the “Continue” option on the title screen denotes what you have unlocked.

ITEMS
Noteworthy Battle Chips

Note: All of these chips have infinite uses, except where noted.

Style Changes

TRICKS AND SECRETS
Stage Tips Secrets
ENDING

Screen shot from Sean.
We have not translated the dialogue yet, so I can’t be specific about the particulars. It seems that MegaMan.EXE successfully rescues Roll.EXE (kidnapped or otherwise endangered at the outset of stage 6), leading Mayl to give Lan a flustered “thank you.” Lan proceeds to have celebratory dialog with MegaMan before the credits roll. After the credits, MegaMan makes a brief comment, likely predicating the availability of new play modes.



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Last update: April 6, 2009