Tag Archives: inafune

FGC #410 Mega Man Battle Network 6 Cybeast Gregar & Falzar

GWARHere lies the Mega Man Battle Network series. May it soon return to us.

In a way, Mega Man is videogames. He was right there at the dawn of the NES, and starred in a new, great title every year. He was one of the chosen few to star in Captain N: The Gamemaster, and he had a few shows of his own over the years. But all of his media traced back to one videogame franchise, and as the decades and technology went by, Mega Man grew and changed with them. Mega Man X heralded the dawn of a new, super age, and Mega Man Legends introduced us to the glory of polygons. And when Mega Man seemingly faltered on the consoles, he sought shelter on the handheld systems of the day. Mega Man Zero and Z/X continued the action-based gameplay of Mega Man X, while Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Star Force made an attempt at the new action JRPG genre that had cropped up around gamers’ unpleasant need for games with more and more words. By the time the DS’s popularity was winding down, it was time for Original Mega Man to make his retro return to consoles, and thus could the whole cycle begin anew.

Except… Mega Man’s adopted father, Keiji Inafune, left Capcom in 2010, and the franchise has been slow to restart since. Mega Man 11 is apparently on the way, complete with its own tie-in animated series, but, by and large, Mega Man has languished in cameos for the past decade. Poor little metal boy, left all alone with nary an e-tank to keep him company! Where will we find that amazing Mega Man gameplay now!?

Jackin' itBut that’s the joy of this glorious new future: we do not want for Mega Man games, because Mega Man so greatly influenced gaming, there are now modern successors to his legacy. Shovel Knight is totally its own thing and absolutely a Mega Man game occasionally starring Explosion Man trying to impress his fabulous girlfriend. Walking and gunning opponents until they give up their abilities seems to have become a staple of many 2-D games, and, even though the queen is dead, long live the queen. Mega Man may not have had a new official release in years, but the fan community has also kept the bot alive, and if you want to see the lil’ guy take out the Street Fighter cast, go ahead and download that exe. We’ve got Mega Man games oozing out of our arm cannons!

But we need a few more Mega Man Battle Networks.

Every (mainline) Mega Man Battle Network game is unquestionably a JRPG. What’s more, the entire franchise is basically Pokémon. You’ve got a shorts-clad protagonist that pals around with a bunch of random archetype kids, solves all of the world’s problems through pet (sorry, PET) battling, and, for some inexplicable reason, the villains that could potentially just kick over our rollerblading hero somehow lose to the power of friendship and teamwork. But all of that is just precursor for the best part of any MMBN/Pokémon game: futzing around in the world and becoming a Level 100 battle demigod. The post-game of this franchise is always amazing, and all that talky talk can get lost in the recycling bin for all anybody cares. Who doesn’t enjoy earning icons that forever signify your victory over the super, super, super hidden boss?

But Mega Man Battle Network has one thing that is completely missing from Pokémon: it’s actually fun to play.

WoofOkay, as someone that has sunk a legitimate 400 hours into the last three Pokémon titles, I know that’s absurd hyperbole. Pokémon games are fun to play, in their way, but they are, at their cores, little more than chess. It’s all about strategy and planning, but the game itself could technically be played by a thumb attached to a jar (the jar, like most jars, contains a brain, duh). Mega Man Battle Network still relies heavily on strategy and planning, but actual physical skill is required for every battle. It doesn’t matter if you have the best chip folder on the net, you need to actually move that MegaMan.exe around the screen, dodge incoming projectiles, and maybe score an all-important counter so you can attack a weak point for maximum damage. Mega Man Battle Network is an action JRPG that amazingly adapts Mega Man gameplay. That’s no small feat! Looking at you, Mega Man X Command Mission!

And, what’s more, MMBN doesn’t make “action JRPG” a scary phrase. There have been many titles that attempted to add action heroes to the JRPG formula, and failed miserably. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood could have been an interesting adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog’s “gotta go fast” gameplay to the traditionally slow world of JRPGs (wait, this was always a terrible idea), but its constant need for timed hits every encounter quickly made battles a disappointing slog. There’s no such problem in MMBN, though, as, if you know what you’re doing, your average fight can be over in literally a second. And that’s not a glitch; you will receive all sorts of prizes for unleashing a 700 HP Program Advance at the starting bell. You’re encouraged to be as ruthless as possible, and that means snappy, fun gameplay. Just ask Kratos!

So it’s a bit of a pisser that this glorious action-JRPG gameplay from 2001 is apparently gone forever.

BY THE PITFull disclosure? At its core, the Mega Man Battle Network series is a card-based action JRPG. And I hate card-based games! I would sooner send the entire genre to the Shadow Realm than spend another moment of my life waiting to draw from my deck so I can actually do something. By my view, there are people that rave about the great gameplay of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and, on the other side of the aisle, there are sane people. Nine times out of ten, a card-based action JRPG just means you’re doing the same action you’d normally be performing, but maybe weaker, because you have the same luck as John McClane, and, by God, you’ll be walking barefoot over broken glass before you draw an actually useful card. I don’t care how dutifully you stack the deck beforehand, you’ll be wasting turn after turn waiting for the one card that completes your hand.

But Mega Man Battle Network doesn’t have that problem. Battles are snappy to the point of absurdity, and even if you’ve got a bad draw, you’re still essentially playing Mega Man (albeit one without jumping). It’s fun, exciting, and there isn’t the unending lingering found in its other card-based brethren. Mega Man Battle Network is wholly unique in its dedication to action and strategy!

And nothing else even comes close. So, please, Capcom, Inafune, or somebody, please bring back Mega Man Battle Network.

(But you can keep making regular Mega Man games, too.)

FGC #410 Mega Man Battle Network 6 Cybeast Gregar & Falzar

  • System: Gameboy Advance. It also made it to the WiiU virtual console in 2016, but fat lot of good that does us all now.
  • Scary!Number of players: Like Pokémon, MMBN also always had a robust “meta game” where you could fight your friends. I… don’t think I ever had a friend that was also playing this game… so… uh… I’m sad now.
  • Going to talk about the plot? Maybe if ROB chooses another MMBN game, and I’m not cripplingly nostalgic for the good ol’ days of its gameplay. Look, for MMBN6, just know that the internet was once inexplicably ravaged by a pair of magical monsters, and Dr. Wily wants to bring them into the real world because he’s mad at his adopted son (because his regular son has amnesia).
  • Which version is best? There’s a lot to unpack there, because, not only are there unique Navis between versions, but both versions are direct sequels to the separate versions of Mega Man Battle Network 5. Which story would you like to continue? Which navis would you like to fight? What unique forms would you like to utilize? I chose Gregar version, because it includes a choo-choo.
  • Favorite Navi (this game): EraseMan.exe is a play at featuring the grim reaper in a children’s game, and that’s always fun for everybody. He’s got guillotines for feet! He’s also known as KillerMan.exe in Japan, which is a little less subtle.
  • Did you know? Speaking of EraseMan.exe, if Killer Cross, the version of MegaMan.exe when he’s fused with EraseMan.exe, attacks a virus with a 4 in its HP, the virus will be instantly erased. This is because 4 is a number of death in Japan… which must really make counting in that country a real pain in the ass.
  • Would I play again: Cooooome on, Mega Man Battle Network Collection for Switch. You can do it, Capcom!

What’s next? Random Rob has chosen… Clayfighter 63⅓ for the N64! Is it just two thirds shy of being a good game? We’ll find out! Please look forward to it!

Slashy slashy

FGC #319 Mega Man 6 & Mega Man 7 (Live!)

So I’ve done three streams for the site, and I haven’t actually “finished” a game in a single one. This had to be rectified, so, in order to test Discord chat, we had a live stream of Mega Man 6. And then it segued into a stream of Mega Man 7, because… why not? And then there was a little Sonic Mania, because I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to that title. It happens. Anywhere, here you go:

Notes! With Time Annotations!

3:00 – After a few adjustments, we’re ready to go. Mega Man 6 has always been one of my favorite Mega Man games, so, finally, we’re doing a stream of a game I’m actually good at playing. Our guests to start are Fanboy Master and A Turtle Does Bite.

15:00 – And then BEAT shows up! He’s drinking Victory Golden Monkey booz. Does this count as a plug? Should… should I be getting paid for this?

22:00 – At this point, I randomly start singing what I can remember from We Are Rockman, which was a Japanese song used to peddle Mega Man’s Soccer. Submitted without comment, here’s a sampling of lyrics:

You don’t have to be a president to clock mad dough (yo)
Run you own show (yo) drive a phat car (yo)
Fuck blond ho (New York)
Bro, act like you know

30:00 – We’re going to talk about centaurs now. The Penny Arcade strip mentioned, Unhorse, can be found here (https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/05/26 ). It’s almost a decade old… and honestly, I thought it was older. Huh.

40:00 – LancerECM joins us in the text portion of the stream. Yay! Someone is watching! Oh, I think this is also whereabouts I compare Dr. Wily to confederate war general statues. They’re both bad.

50:00 – I seriously believed I was the first to propose the dual timelines theory of Bubble Bobble, but it apparently originated in a Bad Rats episode. There is nothing new under the sun.

How to live1:09:00 – And thus did Mega Man 6 end. I guess it took an hour to complete? That sounds about right. So, naturally, we talk about the ages of Street Fighters.

1:15:00 – Because I’m rather enjoying myself, we flip over to Mega Man 7, the immediate sequel to Mega Man 6. I realize this should seem obvious, but it’s not like Mega Man 6 requires a complete understanding of the rich lore of Mega Man 5.

1:19:00 – Hey everybody, it’s the first appearance of Shadow the Hedgehog Bass! Also, Muteki stops into the stream. Always room for one more.

1:37:00 – Here’s an actual videogame relevant fact: in Mega Man 7, you can’t obtain the RUSH letter and the RUSH part on the same run-through, so you either have to return to the stage later, or suicide. I choose the option that leads to a dead robot. Also, BEAT talks about streaming his wedding.

1:45:00 – I apologize, the Mighty No. 9 quote about female characters was in reference to Mighty No. 3, the electrical lady. The full quote is “This is pretty much the No. 3 design by Inafune-san himself. You can see how much he likes strong female characters.” –Kimokimo. Maybe there were secret “strong female characters” in the Mega Man franchise?

1:56:00 – I can actually hear the gameplay now, and, yes, I did successfully activate the Ghouls ‘n Ghosts music for Shade Man’s stage. Also, to prove I’m not insane, here’s Mega-Caveman:


2:09:00 – We’re mostly just talking about Sonic throughout the stream. How many chaos emeralds has Knuckles lost over the years? The world may never know.

2:15:00 – You can fight Protoman and steal his shield in Mega Man 7. For all the talk of how this game was rushed out the door, there are a lot of fun little details in this adventure.

2:23:00 – Though the “thoughtless”, rushed game design does show itself with the lack of an easy “escape module” (like in Mega Man X). Having to repeat an entire stage because you chose the wrong option on the menu is just terrible.

2:33:00 – Another day, another Wily Castle. Let’s talk about Atari landfills.

2:40:00 – Bass and Treble are known as Forte and Gospel in Japan. It’s still a basic music theme, but “Gospel” does at least make certain organizations in Mega Man Battle Network 2 sound more interesting.

I hate you2:52:00 – Nobody cares that Freeze Man can “freeze” the game, so let’s talk about fictional characters liking fictional universes. I’m sticking to my theory that Dr. Light sits around watching century-old cartoons when no one is around.

2:58:00 – Mega Man 7 final boss! I hate everything about this!

3:10:00 – And then it finally ends. BEAT talks about “Fifteen Minute Classics”, which is a book that I’m almost certain doesn’t in any way exist.

3:17:00 – We’ve been talking about Sonic Mania all night, so I finally decide to play it. Knuckles is clearly the main character of Sonic Mania, right?

3:25 – BEAT leaves, because it’s 1 AM. I try to stop the stream, but then we start talking about Trump, and I can’t pass up a good chance to deride that idiot, so the stream continues for about another half hour.

And that’s it! Four hours of complete nonsense! If you decided to actually watch the whole thing through (during the live stream or now) congratulations, you’re a Gogglebob.com super fan! Thanks for watching, and thanks to everyone that participated! See you on the next stream!

FGC #319 Mega Man 6 & Mega Man 7

  • System: They’re not quite as ubiquitous as Mega Man 2 & 3, but 6 & 7 have appeared on a number of systems. In this case, it was the Playstation 4, but I’m pretty sure these games have been available on every Playstation model… and Xbox… and maybe like 75% of Nintendo consoles, too.
  • Number of players: One person plays, like four people watch and comment.
  • Pew PewMaybe actually talk about the game for a second: Mega Man 6 isn’t the apex of the NES Mega Man games, but it’s a tight, fun experience. Mega Man 7 is loose, but pretty, and generally inoffensive. If we could even out the difficulty of both final bosses, we’d have some kickass games here.
  • Favorite Robot Master (Mega Man 6): Centaur Man, because 70% horse, 50% man forever.
  • Favorite Robot Master (Mega Man 7): Shade Man, because robot vampire. I guess I just like the “mythical” robot masters… but then again, when the competition includes friggen’ Spring Man…
  • Goggle Bob Fact: Mega Man 6 was one of two games I kept at my grandmother’s house, so it got played roughly 600% more than other NES titles. This is likely why the level layouts of that title are now a part of my DNA.
  • Did you know? Wind Man and Knight Man were both “designed” by American fans (and specifically Nintendo Power readers), but if you look up the “original” designs, they’re pretty far off from the actual final product. I guess it’s more like they officially “named” a couple of robot masters. And I’m not jealous. Not at all.
  • Would I play again: I will play every Mega Man game again until the end of time.

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Low G Man for the NES! Time for some low-down dirty gravity hijinks! Please look forward to it!

The news!

FGC #201 Mega Man Zero 4

Here is the complete history of one reploid named Zero.

Our story begins back in the olden days of 20XX, when one Dr. Thomas Light worked together with Dr. Albert Wily. The two had been friends for many years, and, while Light was always considered the greater scientist, Wily possessed more of what is colloquially referred to as “drive”. This drove Wily to, upon the completion of Light’s initial eight numbers, steal the living hell out of the most dangerous robots this world had ever seen. Fireman may have been built for waste disposal, but any creature with flamethrowers for hands and a head does possess significant destructive potential. In response, Dr. Light modified the super cleaning robot, Rock, into Megaman, the little metal boy with a heart full of righteousness and an arm full of bullets. Megaman went on to totally crush Wily’s Robot Rebellion and demolish that hastily assembled Skull Fortress.

From that point on, the roguish Wily did everything he could to defeat Megaman. He built his own robots. He framed other robots. He hired Russian labor. He invented the worst board game ever. Soccer happened. Through it all, Megaman triumphed, and Wily was barely capable of achieving even fleeting victories. Couple this with severe budgetary issues (building a colossal fortress shaped like a robot’s helmet sounds like a great idea on paper…) and it’s a wonder Wily ever found the time to engineer his greatest creation.

GET IT!?As ever, Light and Wily worked in parallel. When Wily weaponized Gutsman, Light developed Megaman. When Gutsman became a tank, Megaman gained a hoverboard. Wily threw a giant cat into the mix, so Megaman got a dog. Angry robot birds to fight angry robot birds, and companion mecha armor to fling robot dog punches about. Years after their rivalry started lowering Monsteropolis property values, Light and Wily had transferred their enmity to their most prominent creations: Megaman, still defending Dr. Light, and Bass, the very similar robot designed by Dr. Wily.

But neither scientist was satisfied. And this rivalry would lead to the end of mankind.

Light was proud of Megaman, but his creation was not a true artificial intelligence. “It” was programmed to be good and noble and true, but the problem was that it was literally built that way. Megaman, for all his victories, was still just a robot, and could never be the real “son” Thomas had always desired. With this in mind, Light began work on the X project, a mechanical biped capable of more than simple computed thought, something more than a robot, something that would one day be known as a reploid.

Dr. Wily had much the same thought at the same time, but he was more focused on a bot that could double jump. Oh, and a virus that would infect that blasted Megaman if he ever defeated the beast. That would show ‘em.

Both scientists succeed in their endeavors, but, unfortunately, did not live to see it. Light sealed his newly created Megaman X in a capsule so it could run diagnostics confirming “he” would not go crazy and kill everybody upon awakening (Light watched a few too many Matrix movies during the project). Wily sealed Zero in a similar time capsule. It is not known exactly why the traditionally impatient Wily would do such a thing, but there is some record of a mishap involving a jealous Bass and, to quote a discovered recording, “that beautiful girl hair”. Whatever the case, both proto-reploids were sent forward in time to an age when the Wily Wars were long forgotten. And those that ignore history…

ScaryMegaman X was discovered by one Dr. Cain. Dr. Cain, unfortunately, was a complete idiot. Like, seriously, the guy couldn’t find his butt with both hands on a good day, and, on a bad day, he decided to arbitrarily clone a mysterious robot he found in a capsule. And from there, he decided modifications to the design would be a good idea, and created perfectly invisible chameleons made of spikes and octopuses equipped with all the missiles on Earth. Though he did make one adorable penguin, and that was pretty alright. Cain decided to call the reproductions of X “reploids”, and then he knocked off to the pub to have a pint and tell the guys about his great idea for a horsey that could punch fireballs.

Unfortunately, Cain’s sloppiness led to cataclysmic consequences. X had undergone a century of diagnostics to guarantee his heart was in the right place. Cain hastily copy ‘n pasted that code into a number of modified units, and found that the untested dittos had about a 20% chance of becoming instantly homicidal. Rather than halt production, Cain decided the best answer was more reploids (dude was all in on this project, it was either this or live with his mom), and, to answer the murderous “maverick” reploids, the Maverick Hunters were created, with Sigma, a reploid designed to never go maverick, at the helm. For the record, Cain didn’t implement that “immune to being maverick” code in every reploid because, as stated earlier, Cain was an idiot.

WeeeeSigma had a pretty good run as head Maverick Hunter, but eventually happened upon a long sealed cave that housed a certain red reploid. Yes, Dr. Wily’s long lost final creation had finally awakened, and, when Sigma attempted to subdue the rampaging Zero, the hero of humanity became infected with the Zero Virus meant for Megaman. Whoops! From that point on, Sigma started wearing clown makeup and commanding his trusted Maverick Hunters to hunt humans for sport. It was right about that point that it was a really good idea to grab a vacation home on some secluded island somewhere, as highway repair was about to fall far off to the wayside.

Mega Man X, who had previously been sitting out this whole war while reading a book on arm cannon philosophy, decided to wade into the fray to stop Sigma. It was on this adventure that he met Zero, now rehabilitated and working for the (human friendly) Maverick Hunters. Zero was far more experienced in the ways of combat than X, so it was only natural when, toward the end of X’s journey, Zero gloriously and suicidally exploded in an effort to destroy some ride armor that usually can only withstand like eight hits. Zero was blown into exactly three pieces, and X soldiered on to separate Sigma into many, many more pieces. Zero, Wily’s greatest creation, died saving Light’s legacy. There was poetry in the final, friendly end of an eternal rivalry.

But it didn’t last.

Wily’s Zero Virus had mutated in Sigma to become the Sigma Virus. So Sigma lived on past his destruction, and gained the ability to transfer his sentience through cyberspace, thus becoming more malware than man. Zero survived, too, after a fashion. Yes, Zero was trisected, but X was able to retrieve those pieces, and Dr. Cain was able to successfully weld those pieces together with superglue. Ultimately, it was Wily’s superior engineering that allowed his creation to breathe again. Yes, it only took a hundred or so robots, but Wily did finally realize that “extra lives” was the source of his constant failures.

He'll be back laterSo X and Zero defeated Sigma time and time again, fighting side by side, and only occasionally pausing to fight each other. Zero died again, came back, picked up a lightsaber, and killed Boba Fett a whole bunch. X quietly wondered what he was fighting for (Zero had a tendency to scream it), and dreamed of a day when Sigma was finally defeated, and all could live in harmony. Took about a century to get to that point.

Sigma’s defeat came from the most unlikely of sources: an elf. A “cyber elf” is a small, module-like piece of sentient programming that is capable of rewriting or overwriting code. Considering Sigma had essentially become code, the lead Mother Elf finally able to wipe Sigma off the face of the Earth. Yay! Now it was just a matter of eliminating the last remaining mavericks, and all would be well. Oh, my bad, I mean, everything would be Weil. Dr. Weil decided that the Maverick Wars weren’t ending fast enough, so why not kick Zero out of his (apparently immortal) body, drop the Mother Elf in there, and use her new invincible body and mind to overwrite and control every reploid on Earth. That would put an end to Mavericks/free will, right? That should make everything fine!

Zero and X weren’t into this plan. Zero got a new, slightly sexier body, and fought with X on the frontlines against his old body (now dubbed Omega). This led to a four year conflict where, somehow, 90% of all reploids and 60% of all humans died. Also, six cats were seriously inconvenienced. In the end, Zero and X defeated Omega before it could combine with Mother Elf, and Scary dudeWeil was transformed into a cyborg that was doomed to forever wander the mostly ruined Earth. Zero decided that, after centuries of fighting, he’d knock off and take a nap for a few years, and X was left with cleanup duty.

X wound up ruling what was left of the planet’s population admirably for a while, but, when faced with the Mother Elf still causing mischief for the population, he decided to sacrifice his body to seal the Elf for a solid couple of years. X lived on as a disembodied consciousness, though, and four Guardians who all embodied some random part of his personality. Fairy Leviathan, for instance, was born of the part of X that was a lady fish. But the universe abhors a vacuum, and, with only “segments” of X to keep the world happy, a young prodigy decided to be the second idiot in history to make a duplicate of X and hope for the best. It went about as well as the first time.

Copy X became, with very little exaggeration, Robot Hitler. Ciel, his creator (who also happened to be nine), regretted her decision, and founded a resistance movement consisting of reploids and humans. By the time she was the ripe old age of twelve, Ciel found Zero’s newish, sleeping body, and awakened him to fight once again. Zero finally fulfilled his destiny when, after fighting through four lesser versions of X, he finally got to slice Copy X in twain. Thus a Wily bot had finally and completely defeated the last Light number, and all was well.

Do not touchWhoops, did it again. All is Weil, as it turns out that sentencing a dangerous lunatic to become an immortal, unkillable monster man is not the best idea. Weil resurfaced shortly after Zero quit and then rejoined the resistance, and tormented the red reploid with vague hints that Zero was in the wrong body. Zero apparently didn’t have much a memory at this point (can’t blame him, death is tough on the brains), and fought Weil to discover the truth of Omega and the Elf Wars and why Fairy Leviathan keeps hitting on him. Finally, after every last aspect of X is sacrificed, Zero discovers the truth, and learns that he wasn’t really attached to his old body, anyway. Zero destroys Omega… but Weil still takes over the last vestige of humanity, Neo Arcadia. Win some, lose some.

Weil, it turns out, was really, really insane (like, more insane than usual), so he decided to destroy the planet. Like, literally, with a space laser. Dude belongs in a Final Fantasy universe. Regardless, Zero is called upon to save the world yet again, and, in his final mission, destroys Weil once and for all as the Ragnarok Orbiting Death Laser crashes to Earth.

Sorry?And, thus Zero’s story ends while being burned up in reentry. The rivalry between Wily and Light that started over construction robots ended with the near destruction of the very planet itself and literal centuries of war. In time, humanity as we know it would give way to reploid/human hybrids, and the very concept of saving without a monkey companion would become a long forgotten memory. Zero died as he lived: fighting some random lunatic over the fate of the universe, and Wily’s dreams died with him.

… And then some damn kids started wearing Zero like a suit because that idiot with the ponytail couldn’t leave well enough alone. But that’s a story for another day.

FGC #201 Mega Man Zero 4

  • System: Gameboy Advance for the original, DS for part of the Mega Man Zero Collection, and WiiU if you feel like playing a GBA game on the TV.
  • Number of players: Zero. Wait. I mean one.
  • Maybe actually talk about the game for a second: It’s a Mega Man Zero game, the end. I’m sure I’ll have more time to examine what that exactly means in the other three Zero games, but, in short, it’s a difficult, “close range” Mega Man game. This seems to be the easiest of the Zero titles, primarily thanks to how the elves (well, elf) and ranking work. Though, an “easy” Mega Man Zero game is still pretty damn difficult.
  • RAWR?Favorite Einherjar Eight Warrior (seriously, that’s what they call the Robot Masters): Mino Magnus is a minotaur… wait… most reploids are half animal hybrids, is he still a minotaur, or just a bull/man reploid? No matter, what’s important is that he’s got a crazy axe and magnet powers. This guy gets my vote because he’s the archetypal “big guy” maverick, but he has the ability to magnetically separate and reassemble himself, so he isn’t just the typical “stand and slash” giant. Also, he’s dumb as a post.
  • Made it through a whole Mega Man Zero article without mentioning Mighty No. 9? Well… kinda.
  • What’s in a name? Mega Man somehow survived, in one way or another, through Mega Man Zero 3. He also makes a return as part of the X biometal in Mega Man ZX. But Mega Man X is completely absent from this adventure, so, despite the title, there is no Mega Man in this game. Technically.
  • Did you know: Albert Wily was named after Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein had an ancestor named Jakob Weil. … Well, I thought that was neat.
  • Would I play again: Of the Mega Man Zero games, this one might be the easiest to pick up and play. All the same, I’d rather be playing a straight up Mega Man game, so the odds are good, but not great.

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Plok for the SNES! Guess it’s a good week for action heroes that gradually get disassembled! Please look forward to it!


FGC #148 Mighty No. 9

It's finally here!This is going to be a little different.

With the exception of one game (that was technically part of a compilation that I had already played), every single game covered during the FGC I have already played. Heck, including the Xenosaga LP and Kingdom Hearts coverage, literally every game mentioned on this site I have played before. Granted, some of these games I played for very limited time periods (I can think of at least one), but, by and large, for every single FGC article, I knew what I was getting into. While I’ve replayed every FGC game for at least a half hour (you try playing more of Hybrid Heaven when you know you’re not going to finish it… or, ya know, at all) for the site, many of these articles I already knew what I was going to write about well before I picked up the controller. On some occasions, I’ve been surprised by the replay, and went in a completely different direction from my initial inclination, but, generally, it’s not that hard to have something already in mind when writing about, say, Sonic the Hedgehog.

So, as a first for the FGC, I’m going to write part of this article before playing the featured game at all, and then the rest after actually playing the dang thing. We’ll see how that goes.

Today’s game is, incidentally, Mighty No. 9. This is a fine choice for a “blind play”, as, hey, I helped make this game. I’m in the credits!

Yes, I’m one of the people that threw some money at Keiji Inafune to see “the next Mega Man” get made. It’s been nearly three years since I blew over a hundred dollars (I literally cannot even remember what about the tier interested me… maybe an art book?) on a videogame that would eventually come to be a turgid example of the Kickstarter bubble bursting. Delays, mismanagement, delays, controversy, delays, anime, delays, and even lousy distribution at the finish line marred this project, seemingly right from the moment the Kickstarter closed. Demos were damned with faint praise, attempts to “franchise” Mighty No. 9 fell flat, and “the next Mega Man” started to look like the next Mega Man X7.

And you know what? I don’t regret spending a dime.

It is a weird problem with Kickstarter that no one seems to know what it “means”. I helped make the game! No you didn’t, you just provided some capital. I’m a game producer! No you’re not, you just bought a preorder way in advance. I’m responsible for the success of this game! Yeah, sure, you and thousands of I'm pretty self-centeredother precious snowflakes. Personally, I’m not narcissistic enough to believe I had any real impact on Mighty No. 9. I contributed a paltry sum of money (compared to four million) late in a fundraising cycle, and I voted on a couple of random polls. That’s… about it. I don’t believe that I’m responsible for Mighty No. 9 anymore than I think reserving the latest Call of Duty at your local game store makes you an industry insider. I spent money on a videogame, I just spent more money than usual.

So, if I think like that, why did I bother? Simple: Keiji Inafune asked.

Look, I love Mega Man games. This is pretty obvious if you’ve bumped around this site at all. I can’t even really tell you exactly why I love Mega Man games, I simply do, and that’s good enough for me. However, with the exception of Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 6, I know that I did not buy a single Mega Man game in my pre-PSX collection new. By the time we saw Mega Man X5, I finally had a disposable income to blow on little blue robots, but prior to that, everything else was just rented over and over again. Mega Man 3, easily one of my favorite games of all time, I eventually wound up purchasing used as part of a lot with thirty other games. I probably, technically, Crooooooow!paid about a dollar for it, and that was a dollar that everyone who made that masterpiece never saw. In a way, I tossed Inafuking some money almost entirely out of guilt.

But that’s not the whole reason. The other reason is that, honestly, I’m pretty delusional.

I have never met Keiji Inafune. I do not know anything about him beyond his videogame career, and, were I to see him on the street, I probably wouldn’t even know who I was looking at (assuming he wasn’t wearing a top hat with a strange pig creature poking out). But, that said, this man has been accountable, one way or another, for some of my absolute favorite videogames. It sounds ridiculous, but Keiji Inafune is responsible for more of my childhood than many of my childhood friends.

And, really, if a childhood friend asked me for a couple of bucks to get a new project off the ground, I’d probably say yes. I didn’t give Mighty No. 9 my life savings, I contributed what I could afford, which is basically the same sum I’d give a friend that’s down on his/her luck. Any time you give money to someone, you’re saying, “this is no longer mine, you do with it what you think is right.” Whether it’s a friend or a complete stranger, you’re not putting that money toward your own venture (“I’ll make my own videogame! With blackjack! And hookers!”), you are trusting the recipient to do what they will with your contribution, your input be damned.

So, yes, it may sound completely ridiculous, but I trust Keiji Inafune like an estranged friend. Dude was responsible for the best Mega Man games! He’s earned it!

Now let’s see how this game actually plays


Alright, yeah, that’s a game that was made by the man behind Mega Man 2.

And that might not be a compliment.

First thing’s first: I liked it. I’m a Mega Man fan, and I liked this very Mega Man-esque game. Probably the greatest compliment I can pay this game is that my thumb randomly gravitated toward the Circle/A button, the dash button for Mega Man X, but not the default dash button for Mighty No. 9. A game being confused for Mega Man X is like strangers asking me for my autograph, and then being disappointed when they find out I’m not Jon Hamm. It’s flattering.

But if I really want to compare this game to anything else in the Mega Man franchise, it’s the Mega Man Zero series. Specifically, Mega Man Zero 1, which would be the game that introduced me to the joys of “training” on save states. When the occasion rises, I can be a might… obstinate. So when a game that I know I should be able to defeat is released, I do everything in my power to conquer that challenge, even if, ya know, I’m not enjoying it. Over the years, I’ve tried to wean myself off this habit, but Mega Man Zero (1) was the first game that I distinctly recall Battletoading myself against. I will beat this game, even if it means playing the same stupid level over and over again.

Pew PewAnd, yes, I certainly experienced that while playing Mighty No. 9. Countershade, Mighty No. 8, is responsible for a level that is practically a war crime. There are no checkpoints, the level loops (literally) endlessly, and there are instant death traps that sporadically pop up. To make matters worse, the same stupid canned dialogue plays every time you restart, and Countershade himself seems to offer no indication as to whether or not you’re making any progress at all. It’s the exact kind of level that, if you created the game, you’d see nothing wrong, but if you’re coming into it blind, is going to be a gigantic stick-to-the-eye pain in the brain. According to the end of level report for that stage, I spent a whole half hour playing that one stupid level.

I also (because I guess time isn’t a factor in that ranking) scored a solid A.

So, like Mega Man Zero, Mighty No. 9 shines when you know exactly what you’re doing. Thanks to 90% completing that same stupid stage over and over again, I practically had the thing memorized by the time I succeed. All enemy locations, all “safe zones”, all death traps: all committed to memory, and all bypassed Get in the choppah!with the grace of some kind of blue figure skating angel. It likely would have been a glorious sight to behold had I not been madder than I had ever been.

But, really, I think I would have the same reaction to a “blind” play of Mega Man 2 today.

The number one, easy complaint about Mighty No. 9 is that it is choked to the brim with (strangely purple) instant death traps. There is not a level without turbines, falling towers, “damaged” ceilings, or just plain spike pits. All of these hazards spell instant death, and, assuming it’s your last life (or that damn sniper stage), an invitation to traverse the entire stage all over again. This is terrible! We want classic Mega Man stages, like Bubble Man, Air Man, or Quick Man! Oh, no, wait, those stages feature, in order, persistent spiked ceilings with a jump that will ram Mega right into ‘em, pits for days with a host of enemies designed for knockback, and unrelenting “quick” lasers of doom.

Mega Men 2 is great, but we ignore its gigantic flaws because we’ve already reached the graceful stage of playing that game. Mighty No. 9 is brand new, and afforded no such luxury.

And, really, there’s a lot of Mega Man 2 in this game, even beyond the instant deaths… just not all the good parts of Mega Man 2. The Factory Stage requires utter mastery of Mighty’s various morphing skills… just like a certain BooBeam Trap that requires complete mastery of Crash Bombs. Waiting for a car that effectively works like a moving platform while fending off infinitely respawning air drones Spineysisn’t that far removed from waiting for a track platform at the bottom of Crash Man’s stage while Tellys attack. Disappearing and reappearing blocks over an instantly fatal lava flow? Huh, I think Mega Man 2 might be worse than Mighty No. 9 when it comes to death traps…

But, make no mistake, Mega Man 2 is the better game. Mighty No. 9 has its share of problems, and a few of them (like one late game room that makes it completely impossible to tell what’s going on) are clearly the result of a studio extending beyond its means (the previously mentioned “crowded room” was a neat idea for staging, but it’s obvious no one knew how to make it work… though it stayed in the final product anyway). Really, I can’t think of an Inafune “Mega Man” game in recent memory that wasn’t either retro (Mega Man 9) or on a portable (Mega Man ZX Advent), and, yes, the graphics for much of this game seem like they’d be a lot more at home on the 3DS than WiiU. There is nothing like Guts Tank in Mighty No. 9 that would make the player think, “Yes, this game knows how to push the hardware”. And, disappointingly for a game that was delayed so much, there is some glaringly palpable lack of polish, like at least one character that speaks in stage direction.

Am I supposed to?

But, overall, this is a Mega Man game in another, necrotic skin. I maintain that Inafune only makes good sequels, and I feel like that’s the crux of the problem with this game: Inafune should have known better than to name this thing Mighty No. 9. What’s next? Mighty No. 9-2? Mighty No. X? No, that sounds stupid. But that’s indicative of what everyone expected: after Inafune spent nearly my entire lifetime making the same types of games, you’d expect absolute perfection out of the gate. This is just the same game he made 28 years ago, with a spattering of “modern” (fifteen years ago) improvements.

Inafune promised the next Mega Man, and here it is. It’s just… maybe there’s a reason that franchise stopped.

FGC #148 Mighty No. 9

  • System: Every system. Thanks Beckers! For the purpose of my playthrough (and donor reward), I went with the PS4, mainly because it had the most hard drive space (and I think I get a free Vita version eventually?).
  • Number of Players: I am told (via repeated emails) that the online two player modes were the reason the game was delayed. Having played completely through Mighty No. 9’s one player mode, I have absolutely no desire to put a friend through that gauntlet.
  • Ice to meet youStory Time: God help me, I actually like the characters and “banter” throughout the stages. No, I don’t like that it plays every damn time, but I do enjoy the general tone and players. Yes, the plot is basically the same as every Mega Man Battle Network game ever (give or take a magical meteor man) crossed with Mega Man X, but, hey, I’m a sucker for archetypes (“Professor Round Guy, what is… love?”).
  • X marks the spot: After a Mighty Number is defeated, that boss may join you in another predetermined stage to assist in some way or another. I feel like this is a good compromise between Mega Man X’s “complete one stage and wildly alter another” system and stages not impacting each other at all. Also, it beats the damn pants off Mega Man X6.
  • What’s in a name? The secret name of William White is… Billy Blackwell! … That is way too close to the name of a certain Xenogears character for my comfort.
  • Favorite Mighty Number: Mighty No. 2, Cryosphere might have a few too many bottomless pits in her level, but she’s pretty fun to fight and she’s a queen of puns. Ice puns! As an avid fan of Batman and Robin, I approve.
  • Pew PewDid you know? Mighty No. 8, the most hated sniper, bears a striking resemblance to Jigen of Lupin III fame. The combination of good and evil in that reference is probably a metaphor for the game as a whole.
  • Would I play again: I’m going to try for A ranks. I’m not saying I’m going to attain all A ranks, but I’m going to try. Like the Zero games (or Mega Man 2), this game seems to be built to “learn”, and I want to see how that works out. We’ll see…

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Heathcliff: The Fast and the Furriest for the Nintendo Wii. … What? Did they make an entire Heathcliff racing game just to satisfy that pun? Guess we’ll find out. Please look forward to it!