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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.
- 1 Unused Enemies
- 2 Unused Sprites
- 3 Unused Text
- 4 Miscellaneous
- 5 Regional Differences
Every enemy in the game is given three slots for their variations, each one getting progressively stronger. Not all enemies use them and, as a result, unused values exist.
- The Volgear virus comes in two flavors: fire and water. Its third variation, which cannot be encountered normally, is simply a clone of the first one.
- The Fishy virus only has 2 variations as well. The third one is the same as the first, except with 100 HP. It's possible this was the intended second version since the first and the third one's HPs are 80 and 150 respectively.
- The Puffy virus family also has fire and water variations. The third one is just a copy of the unused Fishy virus using a white dot as a sprite. The chip it drops is always Buster A.
- On the enemy list, between ShadowMan and MagicMan are three blank entries. It can be assumed that bosses were to fill the gaps but were ultimately removed.
- Bass, being an optional boss in the game, only has a single variation. The remaining two are filled with white dots.
- SharkMan has it's fins listed as separate enemies. Three additional fins are also present but not used.
In every single Battle Network game, this unused sprite is present. Presumably, it was used as a Mega Buster chip during development, but it was scrapped in favor of the B button. The chip could also have been used as an attack test. It features its own chip icon, which was removed in the following installments.
Early Zenny Graphic
Present at the end of the chip graphics list is an unused picture of Zenny. This arguably uglier-looking graphic is likely from an early version of the game and wasn't removed.
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 other attack.
Unused Ghost Virus Sprite
The Ghost virus has an unused laughing animation, presumably to be used as a taunt. The same virus appears in Mega Man Battle Network 2 and behaves in the same way, but these frames were removed.
Unused Car Sprites
In the game, cars only drive around in Dentown. Because the roads only go in diagonal directions, the one's displayed on the left are not needed and its sprites go unused. On the right, the cars can be seen using the diagonal directions for reference.
Unused NPC Sprites
Two of the main characters also have scrapped running animations. These were likely to be used in the ending sequence, in which both characters hurry out of the WWW base facing one direction. Normally, a running NPC would use a speeded up animation of the walking sprite, or just move faster.
The Mr.Progs also have unused sprites, including a palette: the gray-green color scheme is never used in the game. It is also the only alternate color that these sprites have. An extra animation of them laying on the floor goes unused as well.
The green Normal Navi has a pink alternate color which the later games used to specify a female Navi. In this game, there are no pink Navis despite the game having 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, likely because he was planned to be the first boss. Several earlier screenshots and scans of a prototype version suggest that WoodMan was the first boss and he was to be fought in the school network. In the final game, this was changed so that 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 location. Because he was a planned stage boss, he was supposed to have dialogue and still 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 was 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.
An alternate version of a girl NPC, also found in Battle Network 2.
Unused MegaMan.EXE Sprites
MegaMan also has a fair amount of unused sprites. The first 5 rows are dashing sprites in all directions. These 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, while these sprites aren't used, they still be accessed from MegaMan's graphics sheet. MegaMan also has a sprite where he is held in place with his arms out. A similar one exists in the game, with the exception that it has animations. This could have been used in an alternate ending scene and the same can be said about the crouching sprites.
Demo Completion Screen
The game still has a completion screen from a demonstration ROM. It can be accessed using the following Code Breaker codes:
D0000020 0004 32006CB8 0010
Pressing Select makes the demo screen appear. For some reason, it can only be viewed once after it goes back to the Capcom screen. The strange, quirky artwork is the same used in an old promotional poster of the game, in which 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.
Present in the ROM is the game's build date and name.
|JP||ROCKMAN EXE 20010120||0x1FA28|
|US||ROCKMAN EXE 20010727||0x1FBB4|
|EU||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 was clearly intended to block testers or reviewers from accessing whatever it would have guarded. It also provides a hint on the naming scheme the developers used, as "dungeon" refers to rooms within a boss level.
At offset 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
The first Battle Network is the only game in the series that doesn't have a categorized sprite list. Instead, all of 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. Lan's friends should have followed his entry and Mayl isn't on the list at this point, meaning she was added later in the game, despite being the first friend you meet in the final game. Furthermore, the friend's order was reorganized in later games into Mayl, Dex, Yai, and Chaud.
If the player gets to an area before the story requires it, a dummy message shows up in the Japanese version: うそメッセージです (No message). This was blanked out in the US release.
The European version of the game was published by Ubisoft. As such, only in the European version an extra logo is displayed after the Capcom logo, before the title screen.
The logo/title screen got a complete graphical overhaul for the international version. This would be repeated for all future entries in the series. Additionally, the copyright for Capcom USA was removed in the European version, as that version was published by Ubisoft.