Capcom Japan used to run their website like they were fans of their own games. Contrast this to whatever modern corporate website you have now that is largely impersonal and doesn’t give you anything but the minimum. Certainly, you can still find businesses running websites that want to approach you as a person and as a fan, like Falcom’s in most cases, but more often than not they’ve become cold. Capcom’s http://www.capcom.co.jp/newproducts/consumer/dash, or Mega Man Legends Series’ Homepage, used to be a website that I visited numerous times during the first tens after stumbling upon it, but nowadays that link goes directly to a 404 error site. Luckily, someone managed to use the Waybackmachine to archive the site multiple times, but as with usual, a number of the images have their hyperlinks dead.
Seeing as I started my hobby of saving a lot of images from the Internet in case sites or users would vanish, this Mega Man Legends page was probably my first attempt at archiving images. Needless to say, a lot of images without their proper content are jarring, but gladly text is easier to archive than images. This post contains all the most relevant images regarding illustrations and similar stuff, with marketing material and such still being mostly available at Waybackmachine.
Now mind you, I will be using Mega Man Legends, but this being all about a Japanese website, it really should be Rockman DASH, but we all know that, so let’s be more international.
The question of when was this site was first put up has baffled me a little bit now that I looked it up for the first time in over a decade, but the first archived version is on the 20th of February, 1999. However, some of the images reference 1997, the original release year of Mega Man Legends in Japan. It might be somewhat safe to say that the site was originally put up in 1997, and then expanded with time well until the mid-first decade of the new millennium, as later fanart references Mega Man Battle Network and even hopes for Legends 3 and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne 2. The Homepage was last updated on 2001/8/17 according to the archived versions before going under, so we can assume it went without updates well over a decade before its ultimate demise between 2013 and 2014.
The Mega Man Legends Series Homepage, as you’d expect, had official information and screen captures from each of the three games in the series at the time, Mega Man Legends, Mega Man Legends 2 and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, including Mega Man Legends 2 Episode 1 and 2, which were special-disc exclusives. There is also something called Mega Man Legends Digest Version CD, which I’m not honestly too sure what that is, but it has its own page.
The site also listed Legend‘s team’s official email, where they gladly accepted encouragement emails from fans as well as strict criticism. You can always try to send encouragement to email@example.com (doesn’t accept attachments btw), but I think after twenty plus years since the email was opened and over half a decade since the site went down, I’d say its pretty safe to assume the address is dead. They had a nice animation for Servbot mail delivery though.
The numerous pieces of art produced by both staff at Capcom and fans themselves. I’m not sure when I decided to download whatever I found the most important and relevant materials off the site, but I am rather certain I got more than 90% of the materials saved. Some things like the screen captures and different buttons clearly weren’t on my priority list as much as the contents of the Illustration Galleries were. However, when I’m clearly missing an image, I’ll replace it with some other graphic in order to note the spot where it’s supposed to be. If there’s a caption or a comment to go with it, it’ll be included.
What’s worse, the Mega Man Legends Series Homepage also housed omake puzzles and other interactive media, which are now completely lost to everyone. Milk split, no crying. Still cuts deep. At least you can still go read the BBS Capcom had up via the archived links.
What the Homepage really represents is a look into a specific moment in Mega Man series’ history from the Japanese end. Not only was the staff and other Capcom developers enthusiastic enough to make scribbles for the site, but the sheer love and effort fans’ works push through is something to behold. Certainly, some of them are scribbles on scrappy paper and Paint-jobs, but that’s beside the point. The whole issue of whether or not something is well-drawn or has broken anatomy is second, third-tier importance at best when you can see and feel the amount of love and passion the creator has put into the image. We can encourage people always to improve, but that’s not exactly what we should be looking for; we should be looking into the passion on those lines and strokes, and the sheer love poured directly from the heart when someone puts his pen on the paper and gives it all a form.
Initially, I assumed many, if not all, the official stuff was archived elsewhere and printed in books. Turns out that’s not exactly the case. Some of the images and tidbits contained in them existed only at this site, making it somewhat a happy coincidence my hobby of saving and archiving images started with these. The number of images missing from this gallery is three, with none of them having “much” value. However, it pains me to know that even one image is missing, let alone three. I feel like I’ve let everyone down, and I too blame fifteen years younger me for not archiving the whole website properly.
Using the archived site, I was able to match pretty much every image to its proper page title and description. This was a rather jarring task, but it gives a more whole image. Of course, the best would be for me to scoop up the page data off from Waybackmachine and build an offline version of the site. That’s an idea I should’ve gone first rather than do this, but I’m not arguing to be the most smert man around.
The galleries are on order similar to the website; Official, Posted and Secret Gallery. The final section will be less sorted than these three for now.
As a side note, this Roll Caskett image predates my archival of these images, but somehow I had been certain it was from the Homepage. Well damn me, turns out it isn’t. If you want all the images, here’s a link to an archive file. Mind you, there are some duplicates and no descriptions attached, as I’ve gone through the lot of them in different fashion through the years.
オフィシャルギャラリー – Official Gallery
主にらくがき – Mainly scribbles
投稿イラスト – Posted Illustrations
|その１||カプコン社員の作品 – Works from Capcom Employees
|その２||投稿作品 No.1～No.10 – Contribution Works No. 1～No.10
|その３||投稿作品 No.11～No.20 – Contribution Works No. 11～No.20
|その４||投稿作品 No.21～No.30 – Contribution Works No. 21～No.30|
|その５||投稿作品 No.31～No.40 – Contribution Works No. 31～No.40|
|その６||投稿作品 No.41～No.50 – Contribution Works No. 41～No.50|
|その７||投稿作品 No.51～No.60 – Contributed works No.51～No.60|
|その８||投稿作品 No.61～No.70 – Contributed works No.61～No.70|
|その９||投稿作品 No.71～No.80 – Contributed works No.71～No.80|
|その10||投稿作品 No.81～No.85 – – Contributed works No.71～No.80
秘密のギャラリ – Secret Gallery
Here, we will show you secret and funny images and drawings
you can’t know just by playing the game
ロックマンＤＡＳＨ – Mega Man Legends
Note; the first image in this gallery refers to an erotic book found in the Japanese version. It was replaced with the Action comic book for the NTSC and PAL releases. In the N64 version of the game, the magazine kept its appearance but went under a name change. The Japanese exclusive PSP port used the Action comic instead of the original graphic.
トロンにコブン – The Misadventures of Tronne Bonne
ロックマンＤＡＳＨ２ – Mega Man Legends 2
潜入！作戦会議 – Inflitrate! Strategy Meeting
コブンの販促活動 – Servbot’s Promotional Activities