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Megaman Battle Network
Original Release Date: 21/03/2001
Platforms: Gameboy Advance.
Genre: Real-time tactical role-playing game.
SAY PLAY IT
SAY AVOID IT
Mega Man Battle Network, known in Japan as Rockman.EXE (ロックマンエグゼ Rokkuman Eguze?), is one of Capcom’s Mega Man series and debuted in 2001 on the Game Boy Advance. It is a real-time tactical-RPGspin-off series based on the original Mega Man series, taking place in a separate continuity where computer and networking technology advanced instead of robotics. There are six main Mega Man Battle Network games as well as several side-story games.
The series is set in the year 200X (20XX in the sixth game), in an alternate version of the original Mega Man universe in which networks, rather than robots, were the subject of the most research. Like the original, there were two main projects and only one was funded, but unlike the original, the work of Dr. Tadashi Hikari (the series’ version of Dr. Light) in the field of networking and AI programs had been funded over Dr. Wily’s research in robotics. The result of Dr. Hikari’s research was the PET (PErsonal Terminal), a small computer which is used similarly to a cellular phone or PDA and which contains a customizable artificial intelligence complete with emotions, known as a NetNavi (short for Network Navigator).
A NetNavi is responsible for helping the operator search, use, and surf the internet as well as protect the PET and itself from viruses. Within years the internet evolves to the point where it becomes possible to send an AI into it and physically move around as if it were another world. There is some danger, however; viruses evolve alongside Navis and the internet to become intelligent on some level. Because the internet has evolved to the point of taking on a manifestation, so, too, can virtual weapons be used. If a Navi or a Virus takes too much damage, its programming will lose integrity, disperse, and be deleted shortly afterwards. Each Navi has antiviral weapons that are built directly into its programming that provide basic defense, and can, in addition to this, be sent weapon programs from the PET via the use of BattleChips.
The series focuses on Tadashi’s grandson, Lan Hikari, and his NetNavi, MegaMan.EXE. The pair get involved in foiling the schemes of a net-crime organization called WWW (“World Three”), headed by Wily.
In another tribute to the original series, most of the Navis in the series are named after characters from the original series. As the games progressed, however, certain characters from the X series, such as Zero, Iris, and Colonel have also appeared as NetNavis. Completely original NetNavis have also been made for the series, with some exclusive to the anime series. In every game since the second (with the exception of Battle Network 3), NetNavis used by Mr. Famous were created by fans of the series, being winners of design contests from Capcom of Japan.
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