Mega Man Battle Network
|Mega Man Battle Network|
Also known as: Battle Network Rockman EXE (JP)
The first Mega Man RPG game for the Game Boy Advance, it was released in 2001 by Capcom and a sequel followed in 2002. It seems the gameplay direction wasn't solidified until much later, as the game is well-known for having drastically different prototype screenshots.
More early/unused stuff can be found here.
Provide prototype scans/screens. Also some of the debug chips.
Every enemy in the game is given 3 slots for their versions, each one getting progressively stronger. Not all enemies use them and the result is a few unused enemy values. The Volgear virus has 2 versions: a fire and water version. Its third version, which is never normally encountered is simply a clone of the first one.
The Fishy virus also only has 2 versions. The third version is the same as the first version, only with 100 HP. It's possible this was the intended second version since version 1 and 3's HPs are 80 and 150 respectively.
The Puffy virus family also has fire and water versions. The third version is just a clone of the unused Fishy virus with a white dot as a sprite. Its chip drop is always Buster A.
On the enemy list, after ShadowMan and before MagicMan are 3 blank entries. It can be assumed a boss was used to go here but was removed.
Bass, being an optional boss in the game, only has one version. The other 2 are filled by white dots.
For SharkMan, fins are separate enemies. 3 additional fins are also listed but not used.
In every single Battle Network game, there's this unused sprite. Presumably, it was used as a Mega Buster chip sometimes in development, but they scrapped it for the B button. The chip could also have been used as an attack test. This chip also has its own chip icon which the other games removed.
Early Zenny image
Enemy flinching sprites
The first two viruses in the game have flinching sprites, which suggest enemies were supposed to physically show taking damage. It was probably removed because the enemies were deemed to easy if all their attacks could be stopped with any attack.
Unused ghost virus sprite
The ghost virus has an unused line of animation of the ghost laughing. It is never used in battle and would have likely served as a taunt, but might have been considered annoying and was removed. The same virus appears in Mega Man Battle Network 2 and behaves in the same way, but the unused frames were removed.
Unused car sprites
In the game, the cars only appear in Dentown and travel on the street. Because the roads only go in diagonal directions, these directions are not needed and the sprites go unused. In the image on the right, the cars can be seen using the diagonal directions in the final version of game.
Unused NPC sprites
Also unused, two of the main characters in the game had running sprites. They were probably supposed to be used in the ending where these characters hurry out of the WWW base, considering that they only have one direction (no flipped animation), which are the same directions they run in during the cutscene. Normally, running NPCs use a faster animation of their walking sprite. Apparently they didn't want any exceptions.
The Mr.Progs also have an unused sprite and unused palette. The gray-green color is not used by any animation, but the game never uses that color. It is also the only alternate color that sprite has. An animation of them lying on the floor is also never used in the game.
The green Normal Navi has a pink alternate color which the later games used to specify a female Navi. In MMBN1, there are no pink Navis despite the game setting aside a duplicate sprite and mugshot for alternate colors. Evidently, the idea of gendered Navis was considered, but didn't make it to the final game.
WoodMan also has some unused sprites, which is likely because he was planned to be the first boss. Several earlier screens and scans of a prototype suggest WoodMan was the first boss and was fought in the school network. In the final game, this was changed so FireMan became the first boss in the oven network. WoodMan has one overworld sprite, which would have made an awkward encounter since bosses are hardly, if ever, fought in that direction. Because he was a planned stage boss, he was supposed to have dialogue and has a complete mugshot. None of these sprites are used because in the final Woodman is an optional freefight by talking to Sal. It is likely that Sal hadn't even existed before and was planned later in the development process. The mugshot turns up again in Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge exactly as it appears. The sprite is also updated but still not used in the DS port. Other instances of WoodMan being first is how the School Area background is the first background in the game and how he is the third boss listed in the game.
Unused MegaMan.EXE sprites
MegaMan also has a fair amount of unused sprites. The first 5 rows are dashing sprites for all directions. These sprites would have likely been used in a boss area where dashing would be required. It could have also been used in one of the current levels, but the concept was scrapped. Either way, the dashing sprites aren't used, but can still be accessed from MegaMan's sprite sheet. MegaMan also has a sprite where he is held in place with his arms out. A similar sprite exists in the game, only there are animations with it. This sprite could have been used in an alternate ending scene and the same can be said about the crouching sprites. The sprite is never used but could have been used in a earlier version of the game.
Demo completion screen
The game still has a completion screen from the demo ROM. It can be accessed using the Code Breaker cheat:
D0000020 0004 32006CB8 0010
By pushing select, the demo screen appears. It only congratulates you before returning to the CAPCOM screen. For some reason, the screen cannot be accessed again when it has been viewed once. The strange, quirky artwork was the same artwork used from an old promo of the game, where Woodman can still be seen as one of the main antagonists. MegaMan's artwork is also really old; notice the blue angle near his cheek and emblem. This feature is no longer present in the finalized design.
Game Build date
Present in the ROM is the game's build date and name.
- JP version: ROCKMAN EXE 20010120 (0x1FA28)
- US version: ROCKMAN EXE 20010727 (0x1FBB4)
- EU version: ROCKMAN EXE 20010807 (0x1FD00)
At 0x7244C8, the following message is written in the game's text table:
This is a bonus dungeon not accessible with demo ROMs.
This message cannot be accessed and was clearly intended to block testers/reviewers from accessing whatever it would have guarded. It also provides a hint on the naming scheme the developers used: "dungeon" refers to rooms within a boss level.
At 0x6CBC84, and several other addresses, the following is written in the game's text encoding:
This message is not in the game's dialog box format, and does not seem to be referenced anywhere. There are several other instances of this message around the text table.
Sprite list order
This game is the only game in the series which does not have a categorized sprite list. Instead, all the main sprites were added in the order they were made. The first 3 entries in the list are: MegaMan, Mettaur, and WoodMan. These sprites provided the basis for the first level of the game. Lan, Yai, Dex, and Ms.Mari were added next. Usually, Lan's friends follow Lan's entry and Mayl isn't on the list, meaning she was added later in the game, despite being the first friend you meet in the final. Also, the order of friends is reorganized in later games as: Mayl, Dex, Yai, and Chaud.
If the player gets to an area before the story required it, a dummy message shows up. In the US version it is blank, but there is a message in the Japanese version. It reads: うそメッセージです (No message.)