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Overview

The start screen.

Mega Man Legends was originally released on the Playstation 1 in 1998. Legends brought a playful tone to the Mega Man series and marked the blue bombers first adventure in a 3D environment. It was one of the first games in the franchise to focus on a story and delivered one that is light and compelling. The game has traces of RPG elements, as well as an almost free-world enviroment, in which to roam around in. Originally supposed to be a spin-off, Mega Man Legends spawned a sequel in 2000's Mega Man Legends 2 and a prequel titled The Misadventures of Tron Bonne the same year. The game would later be ported to the Nintendo 64 in 2001 under Mega Man 64, the PC years later and a Japan-only release on the PSP in 2005.

Plot

The beginning of the game.

In a world covered by endless water, people live out their lives on what is left of land. Explorers called "Diggers" search for refractor energy among ruins to keep civilization running. But when the Diggers begin to hear whispers of the legendary Mother Lode that would provide energy for the world forever, their goals change significantly. The Mother Lode...a treasure so great that were it discovered, it would provide so much power that the world need never fear of running out of energy....In search of this Mother Lode, Diggers travel from one island to another in their flying machines ever hoping that they'll find what they seek just over the horizon...Hope...Despair...Charity...Greed...Duty...Power...Who can say what truly motivates the Diggers?

Mega Man teams up with Roll Casket and her grandfather Barrel Casket. Barrel found Mega Man abandoned and raised as his son along with his granddaughter Roll, whose own parents disappeared on a dig. Then are closely followed by a mechanical monkey named Data who is used mainly to save your game. They are a group of diggers that go around the world searching for treasures buried in dig sites. They soon run into the Bonne family who are out to steal treasure. Big Brother Teisel Bonne, eldest daughter Tron Bonne, youngest member Bon Bonne, and a whole bunch of Servbots. And that's just the beginning...

One of the new characters of the game, Data.

The game starts out with Megaman Digging in an unknown ruin, under the support of Roll Casket. He is searching for a Refractor to power his ship/home called "The Flutter". After Megaman finds the Refractor and attempts to leave he runs into the Hanmurudoll, the gaurdian of the unknown ruin. Megaman quickly deals with this obstacle and continues on his way to escape with the refractor. He leaves the ruin and meets up in the flutter with Roll, Barrel Casket (Megaman’s spotter and Rolls Grandfather) and Data, a mysterious monkey, which only Megaman can understand. However during flight, the flutter experiences turbulence, which causes them to crash land on the island, called Kattelox. Megaman is now charged with the task of repairing the flutter so the Casket family can return to sailing the skies searching for more treasures.

Once you leave the Flutter a police car comes screeching to Megamans location in order to investigate the crash. Barrel decides to go with the officer in order to answer any questions he needs to clear things up. He asks Megaman to check out the town and see what it has to offer.

After Megaman is through looking through the town and the local ruins Roll asks Megaman to go looking for Gramps. He goes downtown and into the Town Hall and after talking to a few guards is allowed into the Mayors office where he is greeted by Gramps. He introduces you to Amelia, the mayor of Kattleox.

Gameplay

Megaman, roaming around the forest area.

Mega Man Legends is a 3rd person, Action-RPG which takes place in a free-roaming world. The player explores 'digs' sites in which Mega Man just venture into Ruins to find parts that will help restore his ship and get them off the crashed island. Upon exploring these ruins the player will come across many different items that help power-up Mega Man in different ways. The main thing the player will come across will be "Zenny", which the currency used in the Mega Man franchise, as well as many other games with Japanese origins. Zenny comes in the form of crystals that are dropped when enemies are defeated and certain objects are destroyed. Zenny can be used in the towns market to buy items like Health upgrades, buster parts and other power-ups.

Equipment

Mega Man has a fully customizable Bustergun and Secondary weapons. The Bustergun can be upgraded in terms of Range, Power, Energy and Rapid through the use of "Buster parts", which are bought from the Market and found in ruins and side missions.

  • Range- distance from Mega Man the shots will travel.
  • Power- overall attack value afflicted on enemies. The shots develop from small orange pellets to large blue ones.
  • Energy- the number of successive shots the buster gun can shoot. Start from three and stops in a never-ending stream.
  • Rapid- the speed at which the shots travel.

Roll can provide backup using the ‘Support Van’, which she found and restored outside town. She gives Mega Man a walkie-talkie that he can use in any part of the town to take him elsewhere. While inside, Mega Man can save by talking and get healed from Data. Roll can use the van to provide Mega Man with information on his next objective, as well as Upgrade and change secondary weapons.

And Mega Man also has a number of these secondary weapons at his disposal. Parts procured around town and through missions and stores can be taken to Roll to create powerful and varied weapons from Trip Mines to Laser Beams and are effective in a number of different situations. Secondary weapons can be upgraded but cost Roll Zenny to make. While these upgrades change from weapon to weapon, they usually lead to increased attack power and energy. Mega Man can only have 1 secondary weapon equipped, and can only switch them up in the support van.

Mega Man can upgrade his gear by finding a helmet, buying new Armors for increasing protection and building shoes that allow Mega Man to jump higher or skate about town.

A Living City

Kattelox is more than simply a setting for the events of the plot. At its center is a town bustling with life. Citizens, police and vehicles populate the town. Mega Man can enter the library, give antiques to the local museum, enter the TV station and participate in televised challenges and help a local gang of kids find, fix and furnish a clubhouse. During the course of the game, Mega Man will also acquire citizenship and gain access to more areas of the city. While this is merely a way of focusing the player into the events at hand, the sheer number of activities could have been too much to have open at the beginning.

  • Apple Market- Kettelox's shopping arcade. No Citizen Card required! Put litter in its place.
  • Downtown- residential and commercial zone. Go to the library or play in the streets and get hit by one of its many cars.
  • City Hall- with the mayor's office and police station, this is the political backbone of Kettelox.
  • Uptown- this beautiful area is the artistic and cultural center of the city and is home to the Kettelox TV station, museum, Hospital and harbor.
  • Old City- filled with the remnants of the cities industrial past, Old City has seen better days and fewer packs of stray dogs.

What really makes things interesting is the larger effect Mega Man has on the city itself. Several battles take place inside city limits, and the buildings become collateral. The player is given the opportunity to invest Zenny into paying construction fees. Over the course of the game, larger containers will appear on destroyed building as they're repaired and the city will be revived allowing more side missions, each more varied than the last.

Controls

The control configuration is fairly bog standard for a 3D action game. Mega Man can jump and shoot but the mapping of character orientation to L1 and R1 allow for advanced movement options. While the game was one of the first to enable an enemy lock-on, it wasn't as versatile as 'Z-targeting' made famous by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, released the same year; Mega Man can't move while targeting. Running while using the shoulder buttons was a close approximation to circle-strafing but didn't come with any of the disorientation that came from moving outwards in relation to being locked onto a single enemy.

Level Design

Most plot progression comes from completing various dig sites spread across Kattelox. These tend to be small-scale, linear dungeons that are far simpler than anything from the Legend of Zelda games of the time. Each of these dungeons are accessible when the player reaches plot-related events in the story such as acquiring the boat and patching up the Flutter.

All dwarf in comparison to what at first appears to be small ruins spread across the island. Initially nothing more than small diversions that leads to Zenny and items, each section flow into the others and forms a larger labyrinth that allows travel between most main locations on Kattelox when Mega Man acquires items such as the Spring Boots and Drill Arm, allowing him to reach higher platforms and destroy certain walls.

Animation

Special mention goes to the character models and animation. Sporting design that appears proto cel-shaded, the graphics are anime-inspired two years before Fear Effect debuted and Jet Grind Radio hit the streets. Besides possessing more fluid movement and physical articulation than what was reasonably expected from a PlayStation era title, Mega Man Legends features rich facial animations that allowed characters an extensive range of expressions. Unlike most games of the time, dialogue accompanied emotions that were more than full-body pantomime. Here, small twitches of the mouth, shifts of the eyes and the resulting shadows add to every scene.

Capcom References

  • The owner of the boat looks suspiciously similar to the original Mega Man's arch-nemesis, Dr. Wily.
  • Reference to Resident Evil.

Facts about the Game

  • Mega Man Legends marks the first time Capcom tried a 3D Mega Man game.
  • Although never explicitly stated in-game, according to the official Capcom sourcebook Rockman Perfect Memories, the Legends series takes place far, far into the future of the Mega Man Timeline. This persistent timeline can be seen in the changing aesthetics of the Mega Man series to closely resemble that of the Legends series (particularly the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX Series).
  • This is the first game Mega Man can complete without his helmet.
  • Beating the game on the Normal difficulty will unlock Hard. Completing that will open Easy which starts Mega Man with a Buster Part that maxes all of his Buster Gun’s values as well as the Spring Boots and Skate Shoes.

Game Info

  • 1 Player
  • Memory Card - 1 block (PS1)

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