Mega Man Legends Series Homepage image gallery

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, 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.

Continue reading “Mega Man Legends Series Homepage image gallery”

Asimovian Mega Man

The opening crawl of Mega Man X states that Mega Man X, the title character. is the first type of new robots able for independent thought, or to quote, has the ability to think, feel and make their own decisions. Right after this, the first rule of robotics is mentioned in a shortened form; A robot must never harm a human being. This is how the first rule was originally quoted, if not for verbatim. However, the full updated rule is as follows; A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. As such, the game directly states that all previous robots in the game franchise, have been under the rule of Asimov’s Laws.

Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics are a cultural cornerstone, as Asimov’s robot stories explore and make extended use of them. While they are capable of independent thinking, they are governed by the three laws. To what extend they are able to independently act and think depends on the level of the technology, but all are ultimately slaves to the three laws. However, as Asimov’s robots are based on logic rather than reason, these three laws are easy to get around with proper logic.

Each three laws override their predecessor, meaning the protection of human comes before the second law, fully quoted as a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. This overrides the third and final law, which stahtes that a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

In Mega Man, we see these three laws playing a role in how Rock becomes Mega Man. The canon states that it was his strong sense of justice that convinced his transformation from a household robot into a super fighting machine. What concept of ‘justice’ Rock had is unknown, but the result wanting to fight injustice, even if it required setting himself under threat and oppose commands from a human, Dr. Wily in this case, enforced the first law in form of no human being would be harmed. The logic here is that by opposing one human, Rock is able to prevent harm or injury of many more.

This, of course, is as according to the 0th Law of Robotics Asimov later added; a robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

Combined with the Asimov’s laws and the clear statement that X is the first robot able to independently think sets to stone the fact that all robots in the Classic series are slaves to pre-determined models that they can’t branch off from, and are slaves to the Three Laws of Robotics.

Within Asimov’s robots, the three laws have been embed into robots on mathematical level to their positronic brain. Without completely redesigning and reconstructing the positronic brain as a concept itself, these three laws can’t be removed. However, it is possible to remove a rule in descending order depending how advanced the robot needs to be, halving the needed brain size and pathways.

However, Mega Man robots don’t have positronic brains. Instead, they have micro-electronic brains, which seems be more dependent on the creator driven programming than the Three Laws. We can take two stances on the laws here; either the laws are universal among the robots, or that the laws must be implemented into them by design in each separate case.

If the laws are universal, we can assume that Dr. Wily was capable of creating some sort of separate method to circumvent the First Law, which would yield the whole Robot Virus Project. While not canon to the games, Hirotoshi Ariga’s Mega Man Megamix the Three Laws are circumvented by Wily implementing a separate chip that allows the original six Robot Masters to injure and harm humans by direct action. As such, it would not be necessary to change the design of function of the micro-electronic brain, when Wily has a ready made chip he can install into whatever creation he makes. This also assumes that the micro-electronic brain works in a similar fashion to the positronic brain.

The second take of course means that there is no standard template for the robots’ brains in Mega Man and are completely dependent on the coding skills of the creator. The basic hardware may be shared across the board, but the Laws themselves are not burned to the core design. This would give more leeway in how the robots function. After all, the canon states that Dr. Wily reprograms  robots he capture, thus we can assume the basic template does not function similarly to the positronic brain, but the Three Laws are a software function.

Even without the Three Laws governing the actions of the robots, they would be slaves to the predetermined to the lines of code. This makes them nothing more than automatons, unable for creative thinking. However, with the existing Three Laws, a robot must be able to device ways to upheld the laws. When Proto Man tells Bass that he can’t defeat Mega Man, because he has nothing to fight for, this can be taken as Bass lacking the Three Laws. He is inert in how he fights, as his main drive is to defeat Mega Man. Mega Man, however is governed by the First Law, and knows that his lost would contradict said Law. Of course, this is more about the moral of the things, but the two don’t exclude each other.

However, there is a place that in-action provides context for Mega Man robots essentially functioning according to Asimov’s robots, including the functions of the positronic brain; the ending of Rockman 7. In here, when Dr. Wily reminds Mega Man that he is simply a robot and can’t harm a human being, the First Law kicks in and contradicts his actions, causing him to pause. This is a moment many Asimov’s robots go through, where the probability is calculated within the brains for the route of least harm at that moment. This was changed in the localisation, where Mega Man 7 has Mega Man stating that it is more than a robot, Giving Mega Man the Pinocchio syndrome is an interesting idea in itself, but it fights against what the series has established.

While the robots in Classic series seem to exhibit natural personalities, they are far closer to pseudo-personality, similar to Star War‘s droids. Droids have a pre-programmed nature that they can’t deviate from, exactly like Mega Man‘s robots. Both also accumulate data, which they can then make decisions on, but in Mega Man‘s case, they can’t learn without additional data to their coding. Hence, why Rock’s transformation process was more than just donning an armour and weapon; it required rewriting some of his core pseudo-personality.

Within Mega Man X era, Reploids are robots based on X’s design. X was sealed to test whether or not he would be reliable. How, is the question, with the Three Laws of Robotics being the answer. Without them, X must be tested based on his reason and morals rather than mathematical probability and logic. Whatever brain he has must be more advanced than positronic or micro-electronic, perhaps similar to gravitonic brain in Roger MacBride’s Allen’s Caliban series of books set in Asimov’s universe, which allow X to have empty pathways, which would then build during the testing. Funny enough, both the first Caliban book and Mega Man X were published the same year.

If we consider the Three Laws to be suggested, something that’s learned rather than implemented, the very nature of the created Reploid should be beneficial from the get go. This would put greater emphasize on the initial creation of the programming, especially seeing how Reploids are created as mature beings rather than educated. Think of the training the clone troopers get in Star Wars, which teaches them skills and ethics required. Similar flash training could be adopted for Reploids in faster pace, but this does not seem to be the case. As such, mental deficits and errors are at the hands of the creator.

The viral reason for going Maverick seems to follow two corrupting paths; removal of any resemblance of the Three Laws and corruption of the personality. I say resemblance, as they’re exactly like moral laws any human society has. They’re not set in stone, and can vary widely. Secondly, Dr. Wily is the origin of this virus, meaning its coding has to be tied to the original nature of Classic series robots. Because of this, the free-willed robots of the X-series will uphold their own morals, even if it would clash with the Asimov’s laws.

Reploids, despite most of them seen in-game being more animal in appearance, resemble Asimov’s advanced humaniform robots, where there would be no distinction between humanity and robots when advanced far enough. Many times over in the series, Reploids labelled as Mavericks simply wish to gain their independence from humanity. However, no Reploid group has been allowed to so, and it would even seem that Reploids are labelled as Mavericks for political reasons, giving hints how oppressive the human government is over mechanical life forms. There is large amount of story potential in here, something we’ll never going to see.

The true end realisation of Asimov’s humaniform robot, as discussed in Robots of Dawn, is seen in Mega Man Legends, where the civilisation the player sees considers themselves as humans and are generational, able to reproduce, live and die. In effect, outside the ability to customise one’s body, there is no distinction between human and artificial human life. Both the World and Master Systems are bound to the Three Laws of Robotics, as their prime directly is to protect humanity, and do not recognize Carbons, or Decoy’s in original Japanese, as humans. Furthermore, the Mother Units of the System are built with the positronic brain, as mentioned by the games, creating a very Asimov-like situation, where Mega Man Volnutt recognizes that Carbons are humanity through their nature. This enforces his First Law function to protect them, further explaining how he ends up being the one defending Carbons, especially after the Master, last living human being, enforced Volnutt’s logic through their discussions. The System’s other parts, however, still act according to the logic of Carbons being artificial, thus the First Law does not concern them.

It might seem that Reploids are the most advanced form of robotics in Mega Man series by this comparison. However, it does seem that the ultimate end of humanity and robots is to become one within the frachise, and whether or not the Three Laws of Robotics governs Carbons is not important at that point, as they have already become the legacy and successors of humanity.

Misadventuring got a whole lot cheaper

Are people willing to pay out few hundred dollars for The Misadventure of Tron Bonne? I’m looking up on the prices, and the game goes anywhere between 50 and 300€, and that’s far too much for the game.

I bought the game years back, and lost it somewhere. So I bought another one. The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is a game that’s valued for its rarity and connection to the Mega Man Legends rather than for what it is. It’s a minigame collection, and while some of the minigames have a nice meat to the them, the game does show that it had a budget hit somewhere down in the line. Nevertheless, the game comes out as a high end product with one of the better voice acting we’ve seen in video games alongside overall well polished gameplay with some problems.

In 2015, the gameplay of Legends series games doesn’t really match up despite that polish. Mega Man Legends games, despite being overall well designed, are rather troublesome pieces to handle with somewhat unrefined controls and battles that can be solved by circling the enemy. As mentioned above, the game is more famous for being expensive as hell rather than for its contents. Then again, who am I to say? I liked the game so much that I bought it twice. Didn’t play more than 20€ the first time it was released, and for £5.99 from Amazon in 2009. It’s almost amazing how much a game’s price can creep in so much in relatively short period of time. The digital re-release should bring the prices down, but knowing how stuck-up the sellers and buyers are, nothing will change.

With the recent US PSN release, the Americolas now can get the game cheaper than ever. For $5.99 you can now access a game people are selling (but hopefully not buying) for a hundred dollars. Then again, if language isn’t a problem for you, the game has been available in the Japanese PSN for some time now for 617¥. That’s about 4.60€. I’m still rooting for an European PSN release, but I am a bit hesitant on that. I can’t really say go and buy it as the game will bore some just as much as it delivers enjoyment for some. For Legends/ DASH fans, it’s great fanservice and shows how strong the world building for Legends was. Legends in general plays out like a Saturday morning cartoon, and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is no different.

Let’s not kid around this; the charm of Legends as a franchise has been in its characters, setting and the way every thing’s playing out. Adapting it as a cartoon would be very easy with or without a Week of the Monster format. It’s no wonder Mega Man Battle Network became popular enough to get a cartoon made out of it, even if it does show its low budget quality. The Casketts and the Bonnes have a strong flavour to them and either ones would be able to carry our a whole show on their own.

Nevertheless, what does this release amount to? I’m sure CAPCOM is making some money out of it, despite having all those legals troubles with Legends series’ voice actors. I don’t want to be so jaded to say that this amounts to nothing this time, but that’s what it is. CAPCOM knows there’s a marginal amount of people are still interested and invested in the Legends franchise and Mega Man as whole, and rereleasing these titles is a good way to make some bucks out of it. I can support that. The more people have access to these games is always good, but perhaps it would’ve served the overall franchise and Mega Man brand better to push these titles out before Legends 3 development began.

It’s sort of sad to see the Legends die out in a whimper. Those who worked on the series loved it and wanted it to become as loved by the consumers. Even Reika Morishita supported the development of third game Legends series by remixing her Another Sun and Anata no Kaze ga Fuku Kara. It can be argued which versions are better, but her voice still carries a great tone. Unfortunately, the customer did not love Legends as much and it’s easy to understand why. When you say Mega Man, there is a certain set of ideas and concept set in stone the very first moment, and Legends broke away from those ideas. It was the first 3D Mega Man, and perhaps it was fated to become a sort of sacrificial lamb. Battle Network still broke the same rules, but managed to strike the perfect balance with audience with its whole new style of quick and tactical gameplay in a way Legends just couldn’t.

Somewhere out there is a possibility of Legends revival. What such thing would require are money, cheaper production and someone with enough zeal and dedication to it through despite everything being against him. We can vote with our wallets, at least.

Mega Man Legends 3 is not the game we need, but I sure hell would like to have it

Whenever I hear somebody saying that we need something in our lives, I question whether or not we truly need it, especially something that is not vital for our lives. Games are not important to our lives, despite electronic games being one of the biggest industries out there. The chances of a single game being something we’d need is very low. One could argue that a game like Super Mario Bros., Pacman, Space Invaders and any of its brethrens in cultural impact are the games that we, are the needed bodies of works.

This post is a response to Matthew Jessup’s entry in The bold claim that Mega Man Legends 3 is a needed title stems from loving fandom, a thing I share towards this somewhat dead game franchise. However, I will be playing devil’s advocate here and balance with further issues.

While I’d like to concentrate on Legends 3, Mega Man Universe is mentioned first. It’s one of those titles nobody expected and nobody wanted, and Jessup is right in that it would have been the Little Big Planet of Mega Man, which in itself is already something to worry about. Little Big Planet became a franchise of its own and hosted multiple different themes, which made it work so well. While Mega Man has seen its own genre shifts, they have been kept logically separate and allowed to exist on their own terms, Mega Man Battle Network being the best example. MMUniverse would have ridden on the fame of the Mega Man name, which alone should raise some eyebrows. CAPCOM has a strong line of franchises to utilise rather than stick with only Mega Man. This of course raises another question; Why concentrate only on Mega Man when you already had confirmed visiting characters and variations of iconic characters? The game could have been called CAPCOM universe and could’ve contained multiple different franchises across the board as well as allow multitude of different tactics to tackle stages. Then again, comparing it to Mega Man 2 seems to be fishing fan credits. For better or worse, Mega Man Universe was cancelled, and for all the good reasons. Using a 26-years old game as your main advertising point only works once, after which it’s time to move onwards.

Also, we got to play as the Bad Box Art Mega Man in SFxT, which only very few individuals found likeable, and CAPCOM really went overboard with this particular meme in the turn of 2010’s anyways. It was apparent that they were trying to pull in the old guard, the thirty-something gamers rather than doing expansion like most previous instalments.

This wasn't even a cameo, but a full fledged entry
This wasn’t even a cameo, but a full fledged entry

Unlike Duke Nukem Forever, Mega Man Legends 3 was not in making for 11 years. Duke Nukem was in development hell for 15 damn years, while Legends 3 merely sat in the minds of the devs. I bring this comparison up because Duke had no relevancy in gaming anymore when Forever finally came out. The game was out of its time, despite all the modern systems bolted unto it. Fans of the Legends franchise have built their own expectations on the game, and it would be insanely hard to meet these expectations.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons Legends 3 saw such a huge backslash from the fandom, as they finally got their hands on actual designing of the game with the Dev Room. Unlike how Jessup makes it look, the DevRoom wasn’t anything revolutionary. BETA access is nothing new and Mega Man has been known to run Boss Character contests. Then you have all the customer driven early access titles, which are similar how the end-consumer could affect the final product. DevRoom was far more transparent, but that transparency wasn’t necessarily all that positive. For one, it required the team to handle a lot of PR with the DevRoom as well as keep the contests running as well as post concepts that may not even end up in the final product. It’s a lot more hassle than one would initially think. These models, enemy designs, concept art etc. would have ended in our laps nevertheless as per artbooks and other documentation.

The DevRoom could have been a good idea when Legends 3 was approaching its final deadline after the actual, final greenlight. In modern development cycle, games may be scrapped or drastically changed in the middle of production for various reasons, and there are more games cancelled that eventually get out. DevRoom never took into account that Legends 3 could be cancelled, and I have no doubts one reason DevRoom even existed was to keep the consumers aware of it in hope that CAPCOM would keep it under active production. Whether or not Legends 3 was cancelled due to Inafune leaving is an open discussion I do not take part in, but it would have been probable that his levity in CAPCOM would have kept Legends 3 in production.

DevRoom ultimately is the only controversy surrounding Legends 3, which is that a game that was promised by certain person within the company was ultimately cancelled. DevRoom game the customer a glimpse to the functions of game industry, where even people who worked with the game with great anticipation saw the product cancelled. Well, there’s the CAPCOM Europe claiming the fans didn’t want the game bad enough, but that’s not a comment made by the DevRoom. It still reflected badly to CAPCOM overall.

Jusspe uses DevRoom as one of the points why Legends 3 needed to be later on by using his pre-established arguments. As much as DevRoom showed some of the development done on the game, it ultimately was a facade in itself. We knew of this one team working on the game, whereas there was most likely a lot happening behind the scenes than what we ever saw with DevRoom. Sargon of Akkad has a long discussion with a electronic game concept artist, who opens the doors of generic game development more than GameDev could even hope to show. It’s an interview anyone interested in game development wants to listen to.

Understanding that stories can have multiple kinds of endings seem to escape a lot of people. Jussep suggests that we are in need for an ending, a closure, for the Legends series. Whether or not Legends series was ever to be intended to be a trilogy should be questioned, as I’ve found no valid proof of this assertion. The Internet does not yield any relevant interviews and source books have nothing to say about this. Then again, Legends series is already a trilogy on the home consoles when you consider the Misadventures of Tron Bonne is considered as the third entry in the series even by CAPCOM themselves as evident by Rockman Perfect Memories sourcebook.

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Was Legends 2 ending planned Legends 3 in mind? Probably it was, but it’s also an ending in of itself. It may be an unfulfilling ending to many, seeing Rock is on Elysium, and Roll and Tron are building a rocket to go pick him up. It’s an ending western world has some tough time to swallow without chewing it some. Open endings can go either way, but it is nevertheless an ending. Games should be able to stand own their own feet in every regard, and if Legends 3 would require people to know the Legends 2 ending in order to be introduced to the gameworld, it’s not very well designed game. Metal Gear Solid went full stupid with this. The closure the fans need is not necessarily the game in of itself. CAPCOM could just employ some light novel writer to make a small book how the story would have its closure. There’s nothing to prevent this from happening and it would be much cost effective rather than developing a fully fledged game.

Second point made is how Legends 3 would have been a system seller. This would not have been the case. A game called Mega Man Legends 3 makes anyone question where is Legends 1 and 2. Another thing would have been that the player would have began playing as Barrel rather than as Mega Man, the titular hero. For a fan this would’ve been a system seller for sure, but to the majority of game market it would have been a curiosity. Jussep is right in that 3DS has no real system seller of its own, but by that definition Legends 3 couldn’t be one either as a sequel to a PSOne game. The author does admit openly that it would have been a system seller to him personally, and I completely agree with him. People have bought game systems for worse games anyways.

Jussep remarks how 3DS has gone the way of the GameCube, which went the way of the N64, and marks how 3DS is in need for high value third party games to ensure success. I agree with him, but note that Nintendo itself has not put too many high grade games on the system that are original. Legends 3, as it was shown in its early stage, would not have been truly original either. It’s status as a sequel already denies it that merit, but also the fact that Inafune developed Lost Planet’s game engine in plans of using it in Legends 3. If you’ve played Lost Planet games, especially EX Trooper, you’ve already played how Legends 3 would have played like, overall speaking. It’s also very apparent that assets from Legends 3’s development cycle ended up in Gaist Crusher, which seemed to be successful enough to warrant that sequel I need to get around at some point.

Was Legends 3 the end of Mega Man? No, Mega Man was finished before Legends 3 even set into production. All these productions that were cancelled were like unsung swansongs. As I mentioned earlier, you can only advertise yourself with a 26 years old game once. Mega Man 9 was a nice shot of nostalgia, but after that CAPCOM should have picked it up and develop a proper sequel rather than Mega Man 10. I would put more emphasize on the lacklustre design and success of MM10 on how the series ended. It wasn’t a big bang, it wasn’t even a damn whimper. It was a blocky retro sequel.

Jussep’s final argument is that Mega Man is CAPCOM. This argument was valid in 1980’s and 90’s and first half of 00’s with Battle Network’s Mega Man.EXE. The author makes extremely good point how Mega Man is, by all means, an ageless character that can stand the test of time as long as he is treated properly.

That is exactly why CAPCOM has been franchising Mega Man lately in any other form but games for a long time now. The Archie Comic indeed is one of the best thing that has happened to the Blue Bomber, but I’m afraid the dropped the ball with Mega Man X. Let’s not kid with ourselves; Mega Man games saw a dip in quality from 2002 onwards, from which they never quite recovered. Starforce saw very low sales for a reason.

Legends 3 would not have been an entry point to a new generation. The Mega Man Jussep refers to is the Classic Mega Man, not the Legends’ Volnut/Trigger. Battle Network is a good example how to introduce a Mega Man to a new generation by creating a new generation game for them. Some could argue that Mega Man X followed this idea as well. I agree with Jussep that Legends series carries bright and chunky visuals, as it is very clear how Legends is modelled after morning cartoons. All you need is a clock on the top corner. Gameplay is divisive, and while I enjoyed the Legends1, 2 and the Misadventures of Trone Bonne gameplays myself.

So, against Jussep’s conclusion, I would argue that we do not need Mega Man Legends 3. We need a Mega Man game that would introduce the franchise to the new generation without shackling it to the old, but allowing expansion to multiple directions. Not only that, but the game would need to be something unique in its own rights and make itself stand against the almost thirty years of Mega Man we now have. The notion that any company should make a game for loss, especially nowadays, has not gone through enough thinking. Any and all products out there are made to make money, even when it’s recognized it would be a niche product. It is very true that Legends fans had their hearts with this game, but it’s also undeniable that Legends series never had as high profile reputation as its fellow series within the franchises.

Jussep’s last few sentences are something we all should remember; games are about fun. Not politics, agendas or ideologies. I agree with him that Legends 3 would have been fun to play, if the games using Lost Planet engine and its derivatives are anything to signify. However, playing Legends 3 on the 3DS may have been awkward, much like Monster Hunter without the Slide-Pad Pro.

In a perfect world, everybody would get what they want, but even in the game industry when it comes to the the customers the needs of the many out weight the needs of the few.

I admit; I know the lyrics of this song by heart, almost as well as Makenai Ai Ga Kitto Aru.

8-bit worship needs to end

I’ve been seeing loads of games with “retro graphics” within recent years. I’m sick of it. The developers of these games barely realize that why NES games were so successful wasn’t because of their looks, but how they played. Now we’re getting games that try to emulate the visuals while forgetting that these games need to play well. Then again, I shouldn’t complain about that when there are tons of old games that play horribly and are messed up beyond salvage… then again we have the same games released under different names and visuals, so it’s 50/50 I guess.

It begs the question why we can’t have games that look modern and play like the best products of the past? The answer is that making games on the modern standards is both hard and expensive as hell. Nobody really wants to put all that into a product that barely makes its expenses back… except that big companies like EA continue to put insane amounts of money into barely mediocre products year after year and call them a success if they break even, which is why we have First Person Shooter number X. Would it be too much to ask to drop the graphics department down a few notches and concentrate on the content and gameplay?

Games do not need to be in full blown HD. As an owner of a large HD TV, I can say that it’s being wasted with the current market. Only Bly-Ray movies utilise the screen well enough. I can’t play my older consoles on it because they look wrong. I need to buy another, older TV in order to make them look right again.

There’s two Mega Man fangames now that both are 8-bit in visuals. I really have to ask why? Well, the answer is simple really; generally it’s accepted that the haydays of Mega Man was on the NES, thou I’d argue that the best era of Mega Man was from NES to GBA. Thus, it’s natural to assume that following the whole 8-bit thing would be the best, where you can go for nostalgia and true style of Mega Man. Which is naturally complete bullshit when we really get down to it.

WayForward does it right with the new Ducktales game; update the visuals while keeping the same tight gameplay. They could add more content or make Ducktales 3, but nevertheless they did it right. Why is that both CAPCOM and the Mega Man fandom do not realize that the best option would be to utilise modern visuals while sticking to the old gameplay? Mega Man in Smash Bros. is a perfect example of 2D moved into 3D.

But Aalt, it’s the developers’ who decide these things. Here’s some customer service 101; The customer decides what you do. This means that it is the providers job to see what the customer wants and wishes, and then according to this create a product which the customer the purchases. This doesn’t only mean that the customer gets what customer wants, but that the product will be successful. I’m keeping all game developers in the same line, and that is not unfair. All developers are tied down to same rules, no matter if they’re making money or not.

When CAPCOM was planning on Mega Man 9 they conducted a research to see what game popped out the most in the fandom. Of course, this was Mega Man 2. Rather than going for the absolutely best thing they could’ve gone for, that is to make Mega Man 2 obsolete, they decided to replicate it.

For a product to become as successful as it can, the first step is to make the past products obsolete.

This is second thing in customer service; you need to aim for the top at all times. Mega Man 9, alongside with 10, was the nail in Mega Man’s coffin as it didn’t try to be better than Mega Man 2; it tried to be Mega Man 2. So does many other games with “retro” visuals. I can’t fathom why these developers are aiming to make their games like older games rather than making them better in order to replace those old games. 8-bit era is over and has been over for years now; get on with it. Nigoro, the developer of La-Mulana, realized that their game was nothing but a copy of old MSX games both feel and look. Thus, La-Mulana Remake was devised with revamped graphics, musics, and the whole game was rewritten. This is what developers need to do. Realize that in order to make the industry advance, you need to advance as well. Originality is a large factor in this, and this is where loads of “retro” graphics games stumble so hard that it’s not funny.

Mega Man Unlimited stumbles in this so hard. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, it doesn’t bring anything special to the table. It’s yet another 8-bit Mega Man reproduction. If you’ve played the NES games, you’ve played this already. Mega Man Legends 3 Prototype doesn’t even have any reason to be a damn 2D 8-bit game. That is not what Mega Man Legends is. By making a fan game of Mega Man Legends into this, you are conveying the wrong message. Who the hell was the stupid person to say Hey, we’re not getting this 3D game, so let’s make a 2D game based on what we’ve seen to appeal to the developers! because nothing says you want this kind of game than making its appeal something completely different. Surely both of these developers could’ve go for the broke and do something that didn’t fellate NES.

It’s hard to make new graphics from scratch with you own accord, and it’s even harder to make them look good. It takes a lot of work and the workload only gets bigger when you have to stick with certain limitations. Both Mega Man Unlimited and Legends 3 Proto use assets from NES Mega Man games to an extent and the devs have built their graphics based on these assets rather than, y’know, making their own. Then again, Mega Man Unlimited artwork amateurish enough to make anyone cringe. Legends 3 Proto on the other hand have Hideki Ishikawa, an ex-CAPCOM illustrator, and Makoto Tomozawa, who composed Legends games’ music, in their ranks so surely this game will be something exceptional? I’d really love it to be, but it’s just 8-bit Mega Man with more high speed action. The game doesn’t look any better than Unlimited. The content and gameplay from Legends series can’t be adapted to 2D plane without sacrifices, just as 2D gameplay can’t be adapted to 3D without taking something out. Legends 3 Proto should have been completely different project with completely different name. It has nothing to do with Legends series. Hell, rename Ratchet and Clank into Mega Man Legends 3 Prototype with Volnut’s model hacked to replace Ratchet’s and you got a game that has more to do with Legends than this 2D abortion. It will most likely have great music and good promotional poster, but that amounts to nothing.

The industry’s in a sad state when we’re discussing damn 8-bit games. The industry and fans are not driving onward and making something worthwhile as both sides are just sitting in a ring and masturbating to the past while the overall populace just walks by and doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. We’re seeing more and more games released as obsolete Day 1 than ever before. Neither the industry or indie developers are listening to the forest, but just that one tree. No wonder Mega Man’s dead, when there’s nobody to revolutionise and advance his games, not even the fans. All doors are open for a buffet, and everybody’s standing outside in the rain hungry.

Twenty and five years of Mega Man

I used to hang around Mega Man messaging boards and discuss pretty much everything that was to be discussed about the Blue Bomber well into the start ofthe Zero series. Then, ERAS died and I did not have a place to go back to. I think I have some account in Mega Man Network, but I haven’t posted on any board since Planet Mega Man vanished. The current mainstream fandom is not for me, and I think it never really was.

During these twenty-five years we’ve seen many iterations of Mega Man from his 8-bit classic to the 90’s more serious X-series brethren and all the way to far future Legends. I talk with very few people about Mega Man anymore, as the franchise’s fandom went through some sort of… change.

The last try CAPCOM gave to Mega Man was X8. They took in fan input, which I saw as something strange. Why would a company that has made the game for almost twenty years suddenly ask for fan input? I took it as something that continued the time-honoured tradition of Boss Design contests. I find it a bit sad X-series never saw this. I remember seeing the suggestions and thought that these are strange. To be honest, I do not remember the details, but I remember myself thinking These are pretty damn weird requests to be inserted into the game. How much CAPCOM listened to the fandom is open to discussion. I did not suggest anything. I always believed that it’s the developers’ job to do the game for us, not the other way around. I did like the Boss Design contests for classic series thou. Damn those were popular back in the day…

And then the game’s PC demo was released and I saw all the small things that were there. I didn’t think much of them, but things didn’t make any sense. When the actual game was released I bought it onDay 1. I played it through within few weeks, and I remember saying that this wasn’t a good Mega Man game. It was good for generic action platforming, but Mega Man was supposed to be the crown jewel in the genre. All the small character attribute changes (why would Zero have the least useful Dash when he is supposed to be theclose-range specialist?) and the added stuff that was never needed, like the new Operators and the heart-tank purchase system. X’s armour system also went through a change that was for the worse. The gameplay also went through a changewhich still throws me off every time I play it. If the PlayStation games managed to keep the same tight controls and accurate mechanics of the 16-bit games, there’s no reason why X8 couldn’t have those same characteristics. But I now know the reason, and the reason is 3D.

But you know what threw me off? The complete lack of respect for what Mega Man X, hell, all the games prior had been. Sure, X8 was meant to be a change for the series, and change they did. We got this 00’s overly simplified look with character designs made to appeal Battle Network fans and the like, and the main villain of the series turned into a third rate mini-boss AND resurrecting one of the biggest baddies in the series… again.

Why am I glossing over Mega Man X8 this much? You know the reason. It’s too hostile in its nature for anyone but a hardcore Mega Man fan, and CAPCOM expected this to sell like hotcakes, because hey, they got a fan input! If they had learned their lesson, they wouldn’t have put up that laughable transparency system with Legends 3. It’s not the customers’ job to design your game CAPCOM, it’s your goddamn work.

And now the idiots are really taking a goddamn fan game into… I refuse to call this anything but a fan game. On top of everything else, they’re going to measure its success to determine if they should continue making Mega Man games.

Let me get this straight; CAPCOM took a fan game and turned it into an official product, and now they intend to measure the franchise’s popularity through this product. To quote;

“We’ll be using this as one of many means of gauging where we’re going,” Christian told me. “One of the challenges that we have is figuring out what is the path forward in terms of, you know, Mega Man has five brands: Classic, X, ZX, Battle Network/Star Force, and Legends. Some of these things are in the same ballpark as one another, and some of them are completely different. That’s part of where the, I’ll say, the disagreement comes in — a non-unified vision of where Mega Man should live on exists within our own company as well as it does in the market.

“I would argue that if anything, if we get a million downloads of [Street Fighter X Mega Man], and certainly I think that’s the floor I hope to see — it’s free, it should hopefully do more than that! — that just helps raise awareness for the brand across the board and creates fertile ground for things to happen regardless of which direction that it kind of comes in.”

Even Hitler is shocked by this
Even Hitler is shocked by this idiocy

I have no clue what the hell CAPCOM is smoking but I want some of that stuff. When I made the initial post about Mega Man X Street Fighter, you got my genuine reaction. I did not know that it was a fan game or anything else surrounding it. But now it’s easy to see what it is. You know what this tells us, dear reader?

This tells us that CAPCOM has no idea what the hell to do with Mega Man. I keep calling it Mega Man X Street Fighter, because it clearly has to do more with Mega Man than Street Fighter…

True, they have five brands; Classic, X, Zero, ZX, Legends, Battle Network, StarForce… wait, that’s seven. They count the BN/StarForce and Z/ZX as one brand? Why? Because the story is over? That never stopped them making BN4 for Christ’s sake. Managing all of these does take a lot of work and developing one game for each brand that are almost different from each other is hard. I want CAPCOM to explain to me how this fan game’s downloads will help them to determine how to continue with what brand of Mega Man. How are they going to measure other brand’s success rate? Does the game have optional playable Mega Men in it and the game sends data to CAPCOM HQ what which character gets used the most? That doesn’t really tell what games they want to use, just what character they use most in this kind of game…

Early to mid 00’s was a blessed time. Battle Network was all the rave and we got X and Zero series games. There were lot of talks about Mega Man, but then CAPCOM kinda stopped caring about the customers. The games didn’t really get stale as much as CAPCOM lost their sight what Mega Man was all about. CAPCOM has lost their sight on general good business, but a Mega Man game is simple to do; inventive weapons and good levels to use them in. Add hidden armour parts and you got X-series game. This is a very, very crude way to put it, as there’s how the player character moves etc. to be noted, but there theyare part of good level design. There’s also clearly a certain mindset that goes into each series. For example, Zero-series has a lot more mid-boss fights than any other series, but Inti-Creates forced these same mini-boss fights into Classic series. Not to say that Classic didn’t have any, but they were much rarer and not nearly as obtrusive. After all, a platformer is all about the platforming even if it is with a gun, and bosses are a necessary evil of sorts. Having four stages out of eight with rather difficult and boring mid-bosses kinda sucks all the fun from platforming. Mega Man 10’s Strike Man stage is horribly layed out and extremely boring to play through because of repeating mid-bosses that do not add to the gameplay; rather they stop the player and force them to fight in onescreen multiple times before the Boss itself with little variation. It’s not even fun.

I didn’t really like Mega Man 10. With it was even more clear that it was just a reskinned Mega Man Zero game than with MM9. If I wanted to torture myself with its level designs andwith crippled mechanics, I’d play Zero series with nothing but the buster and no charging.

Actually, now that I stop and think about it, the one game that destroyed Mega Man as a franchise was Mega Man 9. Contrary to the popular belief, Mega Man games are not hard. It’s a myth that Mega Man games are made to be hard on purpose, and Mega Man Zero is the first series in the franchise that embraced this myth. You know why we only got four Zero series game and no TV animation of it? Because it wasn’t a big hit. Battle Network was, and it deserved all the attention it got. There was still hope, but Mega Man 9 destroyed all the hopes we had for proper Mega Man games in the future.  Because of the myth, we got Xover, a game that is made for retards. CAPCOM allowed Inti-Creates to follow this myth, and thus allowed the whole franchise to die. I mean, I know a bunch of five year old kids who can beat classic Mega Man games, but barely manage Mega Man 9. Why? Because Mega Man 9 does not flow like the game that made the franchise known.  MM 9 and 10 wage a war against all that Classic series stood for, just like Mega Man X8 waged war against all the previous X-series games. Yes, even X7.

Mega Man was an arcade game. Easy to get into, decent difficulty curve and designed to chomp your quarters. As they added stuff, they become more console games. Too much stuff most of the times thou, like the different Rush Armours. Arcade games weren’t about getting the highest score or something like that, it was about getting to the next level and see the rest of the content, and Mega Man really follows this. You want to see the end of the stage, you want to see the boss’ weapon and use it. You want to go beyond those initial eight stages. X-series made the right move with the Introduction Stage; beyond it, the rest of the game followed. I have to admit that CAPCOM did right about rewriting a new game engine to Mega Man X8. Sadly, all potential that X7 had is now all but lost.The game was released unfinished, and unfinished it shall always stay and mark one of the darker moments in Mega Man history. That doesn’t make X8 any better thou.

CAPCOM isn’t against impossible expectations. The general audience has an idea of what Mega Man is and how it works. As always, pandering the small Red Ocean market is not really the best way to make good products, as was with X8. And X6 and X5. And the Zero-series. And the StarForce. And ZX. Well, and the latter half of Battle Network really. And to an extent, the Legends series.

Where am I getting with all this?
Download the game from somewhere else. Don’t let them have the downloads. I hate to say this, but giving this game hits would mean that CAPCOM would do yet another bad game we’d get all hyped for. It’s not worth it. If you must, download it from some other server. Ask somebody to upload it to somewhere else. Personally, I will watch a Youtube playthrough if one ever pops up.

Quarter of a century. That’s a long time. Out of those 25 years some 15 or so are truly noteworthy, especially the first ten. I really don’t want old Mega Man games anymore, we’ve got those three times over by now. I’ve played them through and through and so have you. I’m on the deeper Blue Ocean, waiting CAPCOM to do something new and good with their franchise that would fetch my money.

I will most likely buy the revised R20. That much love I have left for the series. If they decide to publish all those cool Japanese comics in English, I’ll most likely buy them too. That’s good business; giving the customer what they need while making profit. Even when CAPCOM is saying that they’ll celebrate the whole next year we know that it’s a hollow promise. During these past two years we’ve seen nothing but cancellations.

As I’ve already iterated some time ago; Mega Man’s dead. Downloading this game won’t help in the matter at all. Let’s stop shooting Metal Blades at the dead horse, even if the meat is delicious in sausage. We need a proper change in Mega Man, the like of which we haven’t seen since… Mega Man X? Shit, the series has always been about evolution, and while it did evolve, nothing changed. We, the hardcore, were happy but the general audience is right; it was the same thing over and over again.

Unbeatable love does exist, she sings.

Y’know, Makenai Ai ga Kitto Aru was the song that kickstarted my study on a certain language. Yeah, learning a language because one song…

A year in development? Really?

So, Sven shared with us that the Darkstalkers Resurrection has been in development for a year. What have they done during that time? What we know of CAPCOM’s policy in game development, it’s most likely that the “planning cycles” Sven mentioned are nothing less than pitches to the company execs since Street Fighter IV.

We know that once CAPCOM deems a series dead (ie. unprofitable)making a comeback with the said series is a more than a bit difficult. We all remember how hard Ono had to fight to get Street Fighter IV to get through, and what a fiasco Mega Man Legends 3 was. Ono himself admitted that the DARKSTALKERS ARE NOT DEAD was a pitch to the execs to get a new game to the series. We safely assume that the “planning cycles” Sven mentioned are nothing more than numerous pitches that the developers made. In the end, the execs went with the cheapest option in comparison to the expenses.

We know that CAPCOM hated Street Fighter IV, and that it became a success. Ono can be credited for this. If we had someone with the same level of love and care during the pitches, I’m sure we would’ve actually had a new and proper Darkstalkers game.

From Legends 3 fiasco we know that CAPCOM doesn’t greenlight games directly. They’ve gone through many steps and they’ve been presented to the execs, who then decide whether or not a game should be allowed to continue to be in development or not. I’m sure cheap and fast as well as cheap were the words that the execs liked a lot when Resurrection went up to them. Did I mentioned that CAPCOM execs like to produce games the cheapest way possible? This is unless they’re greenlighting a game they want to promote.

So, what have they done within this year? Most likely the devs have worked in porting the game code to the HD Twins (which should be easy as PS3 is nothing more than loads of PSP tech on top of each other) and adding tutorial modes and all that kind of stuff.

In all seriousness, what we’ve seen tells a lot. DS Resurrection is most likely very, very similar to all other HD releases. As such, there’s very little value in Resurrection to the customer. CAPCOM recycled Morrigan’s sprite until they had to give her a 3D model. Now it seems they managed to weasel out on of making any new content once more with Resurrection.

Is CAPCOM’s new plan to make ports of their old games to new systems and let the industry dry?

Goddammit CAPCOM!

So we got some new Rockman Online artwork, which was neat to see. I didn’t really care about the game when it was announced, but there are loads of people who wish to have an online multiplayer Mega Man.

And then I read that these pictures were released most likely because the game has been cancelled.

So, within span of one year we’ve seen CAPCOM cancel Mega Man Legends 3, Mega Man Universe and now Rockman Online.

I’m not surprised. I’m just… CAPCOM, we know you love money, so why can’t you make productswe would like to buy? Well, Mega Man’s dead to them, so that explains it all. As CAPCOM is now they can’t make a good game. Seems like their company infrastructure also prevents any of their partner companies doing any games for them, which seems to be the case here as well. I’ve got no idea if NeoWiz has done anything good, but seeing their products never really left South Korea perhaps this is for the better. Multiplayer Mega Man is something that would need a completely different design approach than your normal 2D Mega Man. We’ll never know if NeoWiz could have managed to pull it through. Perhaps this is for the better rather than having yet another  fiasco like Xover.

I’ll tell you a secret here, a secret how to make Mega Man and 2D Super Mario sell like hotcakes again.

First step is to have people with skill and will to craft a good Mega Man /Mario game, not people with artistic views and will to innovate. Innovation comes from necessity, and if they truly wish to make a good game, these people will innovate if and when necessary.

Second step is to give them proper resources and realize the world and its contents properly. The way 2D Mario are now is a horrible situation with that WAah wAah music and copy/pasted level designs and visuals. Mega Man Zero sold immensely well because the staff wanted to make a game true to the Nintendo-hard mindset original Mega Man had. They managed to do that, but sadly this mindset seeped through to Mega Man 9 and 10.

With this the third step; have a project leader who knows the aims, the goals and the needs the game has.

A game design needs people who want to make a good game, not people whowant to make the game they want because of their “artistic license.” I do condemn Nintendo for doing New Super Mario Bros. Still,everything after they’ve done the first New SMB game has been nothing short of stupid. Same goes to CAPCOM and their idiotic approach with their games. Nobody wanted a reboot of Devil May Cry, and now we’re getting a game that’s named Devil May Cry Devil May Cry (no, really) which nobody wanted to begin with. There’s also the fact that this new DMC clearly doesn’t respect the original game’s mechanics, design or anything that made it good. I don’t even remember who was it that’s making the new DMC game, and I’ve got no interest in it outside what will happen when it’s released.

At this point it should be clear to all of us that CAPCOM has given up on Mega Man. Whether or not it’s because of their image or not (BWAHAHAHAHA!) CAPCOM won’t do another Mega Man game, unless a hero rises from their ranks like Ono did with Street Fighter. The decades Mega Man existed on, ever since the 80’s, the franchise has been good to CAPCOM and has brought in tons upon tons of money. However, now CAPCOM sees that it won’t bring in any revenue any more. Of course it won’t! They’re treating Mega Man as a second grade franchise to second class customers, much like what Nintendo does with 2D Mario. Mega Man Battlenetwork was a brilliant series with a brilliant design with a brilliant franchising. Out of six games only two can be (and should be) called bad and that’s an insanely good track record right there. It had an animation, a card game, toys, spin-offs and even an arcade game. Original Mega Man had the same thing, X-series to a lesser extent. Legends never punched through, and CAPCOM didn’t really capitalise on Zero-series enough.


I’m really mad about this now. They have a golden goose in their hands, but rather than allowing it to lay those golden eggs they have basically beheaded it and fed it to pigs.

Just get back to your arcade and console roots and you’ll find the same stream of revenue you used to have.

Inafune supports Legends’ revival

According to Keiji Inafune’s own blog, he has now stepped in to support the Mega Man Legends 3 Revival group that’s going on in Facebook and all around the ‘net. He goes on how the feelings of fans will, in the end, go to the creators of the game and will strenghten the resolution to finish and release Legends 3.
However, I doubt Inafune’s support has any weight. While he was with CAPCOM, he was the second most important driving force behind the Mega Man franchise. The most important driver were naturally the customer base. It’s not easy to say whether or not the game have had been released if Inafune had kept working for CAPCOM, the probabilities of Legends 3 been released would’ve been a bit higher.

However, I had to ask myself a question whether or not I want to see Legends 3 anymore. As an avid fan of the series, the answer without a doubt is Yes. As an observer the answer is… no. I would be content if we never had another proper Mega Man game in the future. We’ve seen that this franchise has had astouningly good games, as well as games that nobody wants to remember. During these last years we saw subpar tries to revive the interest in the franchise (ZX and Starforce) and few throwbacks to the early years (MM 9 & 10.) Legends 3 seemed to have proper gameplay and atmosphere, but the fact that you didn’t play as Mega Man but with a new character from the beginning never sat well with me, and many of the fans agreed.

The fact is that vast majority of Legends fandom wants to see the end of the story. As such Inafune, or anyone who was in charge of the writing after he left, could write a light novel to finish the story and we’d get what the fandom wanted. If I may personally say what I expected from Legends 3 since the end of Legends 2 was that we could play as Mega Man wandering around the Elysium’s corridors and meeting up with his past while fighting with various Reaverbots and such. Bringing in a new character to spice things up and attract new customers is an old trick, tried and tested… that rarely worked might I add. Even the Simpsons parodied this with Poochy.

Mega Man needs same kind of rest as Toho gave to Godzilla.
Perhaps even let it rest, until someone with enough zeal and passion for the franchise, similar to Inafune’s. The key of understanding Mega Man, as a franchise, is fourfold; the first is the gameplay as per series; every one of them has a different kind of underlaying basic mechanic. This is why X7 and X8 are not good X series games, because the directors did not understood what they were making. The second part is to find a good level design and work everything in it. A Mega Man game with bad level design is like chocolate cake where the chocolate has been replaced with plastic. The third part is that the characters must be understood in order to make the atmosphere right. Again, X7 and X8 failed in this regard completely. The fourth is simply to let fans design the bulk of the bosses. Boss design contests have been a large part of the franchise and this makes the audience care about the games more than normally.

As such, Mega Man has been exhausted for the time being, especially now that Inafune wants to be just another player among other fans. When the other of the two most important pillars have fallen, the franchise can’t stand. Thus whether or not Legends 3 will be, it won’t reach the quality the series demands without someone strong person leading the whole project.

It’s nice to hear that Inafune supports the fans, but support doesn’t really do anything way or another in their cause.