It’s an impressive worldwide operation: the entire Net has been taken over by agents of Nebula. Meanwhile, and all part of his grand scheme, Dr. Regal, leader of Nebula, has kidnapped Lan’s father, Dr. Hikari. But, by freak chance, he misses the opportunity to steal the one thing that may have ensured his victory: Lan’s PET...

The SciLab Officials devise a counter strategy—they’ll form a team of highly competent Navis and Operators to go in and liberate the captured areas. Lan, having victories against Wily, the WWW, Gospel, and Nebula under his belt, is invited to join this special team. He accepts because it will put him one step closer to winning back his friends’ PETs and saving his dad...

As might be expected, this game expands upon Battle Network 4. Most of the features here come from previous games, so I’m not going to expound on them here. As always, check the strategies page for overall game play information.

Liberation Missions

The most significant change in this game is the liberation mission system. These are modeled after turn-based strategy games. This is an interesting idea, though having to defeat everything in three turns makes you ridiculously dependant on getting a good draw of chips...which, in turn, almost never happens. For normal viruses this isn’t as bad, but prepare yourself for some very frustrating boss battles.

Like turn-based strategy games, you have multiple “units” (Navis), and the game operates in rounds, or “phases”—first all of your Navis get to move, then all of the enemies get a turn, back and forth. Unlike most other games of this type, however, you are not limited in the distance you can walk during your turn, except that you can’t cross Dark Panels. You can move around as much as you like during your phase; your character’s turn ends only when he attacks something.

Liberate Dark Panels to cross them. You don’t have to liberate them all, but you do have to liberate all of the Dark Holes. Defeating the boss wins the mission, but before you can fight the boss, you must clear all the Dark Holes on the map. In order to get the best prize, you need to clear the mission in as few phases as possible; to facilitate this, skip as many Dark Panels as you can, and focus on going directly to the Dark Holes and then the boss. Usually you’ll want to skip items as well unless you bump into them along the way, because they generally aren’t significant enough to be worth the effort.

When you attack something during your phase, you actually have to fight the virus battle like normal—no sitting back and watching in this game. On the other hand, when the enemies attack you during their phase (which they can do if they are close enough to you; most enemies can only walk on Dark Panels though, which limits how close they can get to you), they simply do damage to you without opening a battle.

The layout of the battle field depends on the number of Dark Panels surrounding your character when the fight starts. The more Dark Panels there are in the eight tiles around your Navi, the more at a disadvantage you will be. On the other hand, if you liberate an isolated Dark Panel, you will have the advantage and the enemies will be at a disadvantage.

Pincher attacks have enemies on both sides of you (use L and R to turn around). This is an interesting twist and can actually sometimes work in your favor, since enemies have only two columns on each side, making it easier to use attacks with limited range (like swords). You do, however, have to watch out for attacks coming from both sides. Also, some enemies can cross sides.

If you liberate a panel in one turn (defeat everything before your Custom Screen opens again), you get a “1 turn liberation” which will liberate all of the panels on the eight tiles around your Navi’s position, even ones he did not target with his liberation attack. This can be a good way to quickly clear out panels, but—being heavily reliant on getting a good random draw of chips—it is tough to plan to do on purpose.

You can replay liberation missions by talking to gold-colored Mr.Progs that you find in the areas where the missions took place. Use this to obtain chips that you missed on your first pass through, and just to make money as well. (You can purposefully take longer than the required number of phases to earn some Zenny, not to mention the Zenny you find when you liberate certain tiles.)


The DarkChip system is altered a bit in this game from the previous one in that DarkChips are now ordinary chips that you can find and place into your Folder and use like normal in battle. Later in the game, you can also use them to activate Soul Unisons to end up with a ChaosSoul. (The manual tells you this, so I’m not really spoiling much.) Using DarkChips still subtracts 1 HP from your maximum health per battle where you use them, except for using Chaos Unisons.

Note that only MegaMan can use DarkChips.

Double Team DS

The DS version of the game is basically both versions packaged together. When you start a new game, you select one version or the other, and you play through the entire game as that version. The only crossover that exists between them is that once you finish one game, you can then gain Transport Chips, or TP Chips, to enable you to, during liberation missions, swap out characters in your team with their respective matches from the other version of the game. For example, MagnetMan and KnightMan both serve the same function and so you can swap the two. Given the way the story was done in this game, you’ll never notice the difference in the plot when you exchange characters.

Other notes:


This review was written primarily for the Game Boy Advance versions of the game, but some points apply to the DS version as well.

Play Control: 3
Pretty much identical to the previous games.
Graphics: 4
The Net graphics have gotten updated quite a bit, sporting more detail than ever before.
Animation: 3
Pretty much the same as the previous game. This one’s still using the “shrunken” sprites. Also, there are of course a lot more animations now for the Navis that you can put on your team.
Music: 3
A lot of the tunes are remixes of musics from previous games; I have to say I don’t really like the remixes as much as the originals, but at least they use stereo.
Sound Effects: 3
Basically the same as the previous games.
Plot: 2
Sadly, the story isn’t really very well crafted toward the personalities of the characters in question; who knows what kind of personality Colonel has, for example, since he says nearly all the same lines as ProtoMan. (And since when has ProtoMan had a personality?)
Difficulty: 4 (normal to irriating)
The difficulty of the normal parts of the game hasn’t really changed (though the final boss is a bit easier than normal). The liberation missions can be very easy or very irritating depending on the luck of the draw, though thankfully, you can pretty much keep at them until you win them since actually losing a liberation mission is pretty difficult to do, unless you’re reckless.
Replay Value: 3
This one really depends on whether you like strategy games or not. The liberation missions are probably going to be the primary love/hate feature of this game (some people will love the game because of them, and some people will hate it because of them).
Polish: 3
Almost all of the polish happened in Battle Network 4, to be honest, and was carried over to here. They do continue to improve on things, such as the novelty of being able to pluck chips off the shelves in Higsby’s to buy them instead of just using the merchant interface. On the other hand, I feel they kind of missed some polish that they could have done with certain aspects of the plot, such as when you don’t have MegaMan in your PET. So it goes both ways.
Overall: 79%
More so than ever before, this game seems to have been spoiled by the split versions. Because they used the same plot for both Team ProtoMan and Team Colonel, they were unable to fully develop the story or even match the areas to the Navi bosses as they did in previous games. For example, the OldMine area would have matched a DrillMan Navi perfectly, and the cruise ship computer was nicely suited for an AquaMan type Navi, yet none of the Navis who were found in these areas ever fit their themes. And not to mention the lackluster character development that this plot suffered through. It just seemed to me as if the game was screaming with potential but ended up with its hands tied by the system. Maybe someday Capcom will learn to make one version of the game that is up to its full potential, not two half versions that can’t quite reach the bar.

+ Plus:
You can replay liberation missions to your heart’s content, so you don’t have to worry about losing out on any goodies they may hold.
- Minus:
Three turns to liberate. Need I say more?
This currently covers only the first play through the game. I cover both versions at once, noting sections which apply to only one version of the game or the other.


Most of the bosses in the game are Net Navis or normal virus enemies (sometimes super-powered but still with the same basic battle patterns) which are 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.

This battle takes place on a field layout identical to Duo in Battle Network 4. You must hit the glowing blue ball of flame to damage NebulaGray. The ball will be in front of Nebula at the start, but then it disappears. After Nebula makes an attack, the fiery ball will move on-screen from the bottom right, then upward to the middle tile. Then Nebula will perform another attack and the ball will disappear again. Get to know this pattern and you will know when you can use your Battle Chips. Also, be sure to choose Battle Chips which can strike the ball in those positions because other chips will be useless. It is not possible to use DarkChips on NebulaGray.
     NebulaGray starts out using small bursts of purple flame which appear on a tile next to you and arc to your tile. Simply move up or down to avoid them. Another attack is like a “tower” type attack which follows you; move around rapidly to avoid it. This attack cannot cross holes. Nebula can also summon a Dark MegaMan which will stand in front and use a random DarkChip. Finally, Nebula has a couple of other attacks such as flinging down debris at you rapidly and an attack that hits a 9-tile area, cracking all the tiles in the blast radius.
     I highly recommend AirShoes for this one. Not only will they allow you to dodge more freely, but you can avoid the tower-like attack by simply standing on a hole. (Do not couple FlotShoes with the AirShoes as those prevent you from breaking cracked panels, which defeats the point.) Also, chips like AntiFire and AntiElec will trigger off of the DarkChips that the Dark MegaMan uses; these can be a quick and effortless way to hack off large chunks of NebulaGray’s HP. Finally, use a BubWrap to negate half if not more of the damage that you’ll take. (Just don’t get hit by Dark MegaMan’s DarkThnd chip. This is pretty easy to avoid, however.)
Here are the locations of some of the more significant items in the game. Search for others!

General Tips

1-Turn Liberations

Getting 1-turn liberations typically requires using a good combination of Battle Chips. Here are a few suggestions for some unlikely combinations which can be useful in getting 1-turn liberations. (You might want to put one of these chips as your Regular Chip.) Note that I only list chips with codes that can be used together; otherwise you can’t choose them both in one turn and you can’t get a 1-turn liberation with them. Also, I don’t bother listing obvious chips like the Guardian that can be used in isolation.


Regal tries to flood MegaMan with evil energy to make him into his own Navi. Lan takes off his amulet and tries to contact MegaMan’s soul directly, but a voice speaks up and says that Lan and MegaMan are always connected.

MegaMan appears in Hub form (a glowing blue boy who isn’t wearing anything). He nearly destroys NebulaGray, but a piece remains, and now MegaMan is back to normal and too exhausted to move. ProtoMan/Colonel shows up to help him, and the other Navis add their power as well. With their strength, MegaMan finishes off the dark energy.

As a result, the SoulServer in the real world blows up, naturally. Everyone starts to escape, but Lan’s dad stays behind to try to talk Regal out of his evil path. After all, Dr. Hikari argues, even Wily, Regal’s father, didn’t make use of the SoulNet for his evil aims, and he helped invent it. Regal, however, fails to be convinced, thinking he’s already sold himself to evil and that it’s too late to change.

Acting completely out of character, Wily himself shows up, saying he failed to raise Regal right. He then uses the SoulNet to erase Regal’s memory of the last 10 or so years so that he can start over.

Back at the SciLab, the Navi team is officially disbanded, and Regal, who seems to have turned over a new leaf thanks to his missing memory, has been given a position on the SciLab staff. Credits roll.

After the credits, Lan takes his friends to the VisionBurst of ACDC town. As they explore the area, Lan’s dad points out to them that his father’s vision of a perfect world supported by SoulNet will take years to realize. Lan promises to continue the research. (I wonder what would have happened if these guys had had sons who didn’t want to be scientists?) Anyway, Lan and his friends jack out to attend a celebration and that’s that.

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Last update: June 6, 2006