A fifth-grader named Lan has a Navi named MegaMan.EXE—a virus-fighting blue-suited cyber personality who is also Lan’s best friend. Although MegaMan.EXE has no body (unless the PET device itself counts), he can wander around in cyberspace and explore computer systems as if they were alternate worlds. Together Lan and MegaMan.EXE (also known as just MegaMan) cooperate to fight off hackers and viruses.

The relative peace of Lan’s hometown is shattered when electronic devices begin mysteriously going berserk. Talk of a takeover by the “WWW” (World Three) abounds. MegaMan and Lan decide to tackle the problem from two sides—the real world and cyberspace. It’s going to take everything they have to counter the mastermind behind all of this...

First of all, as you may be guessing from the plot and artwork, Battle Network has nothing more to do with Mega Man than the Legends series does. Many of the characters in the game are modeled (directly or remotely) after characters and enemies in the original series, but the similarities pretty much end there.

Secondly, this game is certainly unique if not weird. I get into that more on the Strategies page. The game is essentially a cross between an RPG and an action game—or more accurately, a cross between Mega Man and a trading card game. You don’t fight battles like typical RPGs, nor do you level up via experience, but the rest of the game (as well as the battle screen shots) will have people calling it an RPG before you can blink.

Looking Back

After having played later games in the series, there are a few things which have remained unique to this title (very much in the same vein as with Mega Man 1). Among them are:

Play Control: 3
There isn’t really that much play control necessary in a game such as this. It’s sufficient.

Actually, according to the games it’s a Mettaur, but, enh, details.
Graphics: 4
The graphics are somewhat simple in many cases, but the backgrounds often animate and the graphics are clear enough.
Animation: 4
Some of the animations are very smooth, even special ones which are only used once or twice (such as Lan turning off the power generator). However others are almost non-existent; just watching Roll attack during battle makes me shake my head at her utter lack of animation.
Music: 4
Kind of cartoony, but I like the tunes. Also it fits the graphics and environments pretty well.
Sound Effects: 3
Appropriate. Nothing stands out, good or bad.
Plot: 4
Although sometimes confusing about where you should be going next, the plot is generally pretty well done.
Difficulty: 3 (mildly irritating)
Generally the game and the battles aren’t overly difficult; however it is similar to those types of RPGs where you could be doing just fine then all of a sudden get into a battle with particularly annoying enemies and get summarily wiped out. Saving frequently is recommended.
Replay Value: 4
Naturally, any game with a bunch of items to collect (chips in this case) can boast some replay value. Since it’s somewhat random what chips you’ll get when, the game will never really play exactly the same twice.
Polish: 4
Although nothing in particular jumps out, the game as a whole was pretty well polished.
Overall: 83%
Boasting a decent amount of charm and a rather unique battle system, this game will give you a good number of hours of play. It’s just too bad there aren’t two (or more) save slots.

+ Plus:
The cooperation between Lan in the real world and MegaMan.EXE in cyberspace is quite interesting. Often puzzles must be solved using both characters (by switching between them).
- Minus:
Why did ProtoMan turn into a yes-man and land such an annoying operator?
This walk-through will not cover every single step through the game or tell you what items you find where. However I cover the basics of what to look out for.

Note: This covers only the initial play through the game. The hidden areas and “Title Menu Star” aspects are not covered.

Most of the bosses in the game are Net Navi which are generally detailed in the Data Base. This section only contains details which differ from the Data Base. Note: Hidden bosses are not yet listed here. I will get to them later.
Dex’s Navi: GutsMan
If you challenge Dex you can earn a GutsMan chip and Dex’s link. You’ll need the link to progress in the story so you should challenge Dex as soon as he’s ready.
Sel’s Navi: WoodMan
This battle is a test, not an actual enemy, and as such is optional (just don’t agree to fight her). Also if you lose this battle the game does not end; you just don’t gain anything. You’ll have to win though to get her link.
Miyu’s Navi: SkullMan
This is another optional battle for a link.
Masa’s Navi: SharkMan
This is a test just like Sel’s. You’ll want to defeat SharkMan eventually for Masa’s link, but you don’t have to do it right away.

It’s lord...LORD!!
Chaud’s Navi: ProtoMan
Try to hit him with swords if you can—he can’t usually block those. Otherwise, charge up and wait for him to attack, then dodge his swipe and quickly hit him with your super-shot and/or chips. You’ll want to use chips which come out fast—he doesn’t stay still long. Note that ProtoMan’s sword swipes have different ranges depending on which one he decides to use; some can hit all three tiles across your battle field in a row, and others hit a column. So you’ll have to learn when to dodge up/down, and when to move left/right. I’d stand on the second column of blocks over while waiting for ProtoMan to attack; this way, you usually have enough room to dodge any of his swipes. Note: If you can do enough damage in one shot to cause ProtoMan to reel, you’ll interrupt his swipe and won’t even have to bother dodging.
The LifeVirus
The main virus has a shield of 100 which regenerates. You first must hit it with an attack that does at least 100 damage to break the shield, and then blast it for all you’re worth before the shield regenerates. Repeat until it is toasted. (Note: If you’re run down on chips, the LifeVirus will also drop its shield when it attacks, leaving it vulnerable for a few seconds, so you can get some hits in then as well.) The holes in front of the LifeVirus are where its little helpers come up; it has one of each Element, but they appear randomly. The helpers attack using Tower-style attacks you’ve seen before. Since you could get attacked by any and all Elements it doesn’t really matter what armor you wear to this battle. Destroy the helpers when they get in the way, but focus your chips on the LifeVirus.
In the style and footsteps of the original Dr. Wily, the WWW fortress blows up once Wily’s LifeVirus is defeated. There is a virus leak which causes the systems to go haywire and the place to self-destruct to contain it. Presumably, Wily sinks with the ship so to speak and is caught in the blast, but we’ll see if he lives up to his namesake.

After that, life returns more or less to normal. Lan has discovered his “long-lost” twin brother, but that hasn’t changed much between himself and his Navi. He’s still, as Roll and MegaMan affectionately put it, “dense.” But hey, he wouldn’t be Lan otherwise, right?

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Last update: July 23, 2005