#20's Fan Blog, updated upon the whims of a madman. Friday, 29 May 2015 - 16:02

Pile Up Pipe Dreams

Hey, here’s a thing.

Rockman new software promotional card from 1992.

Rockman new software promotional card
from 1992.

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25 Years, Still Uncharted

Here’s something I’d been searching for for quite a while. This page from Japanese gaming magazine Marukatsu Famicom‘s coverage of Rockman 3 sheds a little more light on something I have long been musing about regarding Rockman published art.

Marukatsu Famicom #16 09/28/90 page 43.

Marukatsu Famicom #16 (28 Sept. 1990), page 43.

Translation and analysis beyond.

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Punk. 124. Rockman World assassin number three, one seriously bad dude. HP 800.

124. Rockman World assassin number three,
that’s quite a tough guy.

Punk, Rockman Killer No. 2, is one bad mutha. He has an interesting design that breaks the mold of your average Mega Man boss while also staying true to the series’ style. His unconventional construction has been one of designer Keiji Inafune’s personal favorites (which you can read about in Mega Man Official Complete Works and Mega Man Battle Network Official Complete Works books). In one of his trademark moves, Punk’s unique body can compact itself into a ball that fits between his large shoulder armor plates to perform a powerful flying spin attack. A pretty bad ass transformation to be sure, but that’s nothing compared to the some of the interesting transformations he underwent across different regions back in the nineties.

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Sketch to Screen – Death of A Player

Today we’ll be comparing the rough drafts of Zero’s Rockman X5 ending scenes with how they appeared in the final game. We will be looking at sketches published in the Rockman X5 Official Guide Book and R20+5 Rockman & Rockman X Official Complete Works. The screenshots are taken from Sprites, Inc. Some of these image comparisons from rough to final are pretty close while others turned out wildly different, but I find viewing both together helps to illuminate the fine details and the thought processes that went into each of these pieces. Click on the pictures to see the larger versions. Obviously, these will contain major spoilers for the game.

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Robotic Utility Support Hound

At PAX Prime back in September of 2013, Keiji Inafune was centered in the public eye with the announcement of Mighty No. 9. At the convention he conducted multiple interviews with online gaming news outlets, with questions polled from fans on various subjects. One topic that was mentioned in multiple interviews was whether Mega Man’s dog Rush was named after Rush the band whose popularity blew up in the early eighties with hits like “Tom Sawyer“, “Limelight“, “Freewill” and “The Spirit of Radio“.
Was all this modern music making Mega Man machinery?

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To congratulate Miss Tron on her unexpected release on PSN, let’s take a quick peek through some of my favorite scenes from the Chinese Rockman DASH comic.

You're alive!  That's wonderful!

You’re alive! That’s WONDERFUL!

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Saving the Universe

Mega Man Universe promotional stickers

Mega Man Universe promotional stickers

Oh hey, it’s Mega Man Universe. Remember that game?

I was pretty excited about it back in 2010. It was controversial to fans for a variety of reasons. The art style (particularly the “Mega Grump” face); using the “Mega Man” title over “Rockman” worldwide while including “Mega Man”, “Rockman” and “Bad Box Art Mega Man” as different playable characters; the reports of questionable game controls and physics coming from early press demo play; the questionable tie-ins; Inafune’s unfortunate departure in the middle of development; the fact that the game was a love letter to Mega Man 2 so soon after Mega Man 9 and countless remixes of “Wily Stage I” had over-saturated fans’ nostalgic favor of the game… There was a lot going on.

I cared not for the naysayers. There was plenty of time for game play and graphics to be tweaked considering how early it was then in the development cycle. More importantly, this title was going to be filled with content and promising ideas, like a kickin’ soundtrack by The Megas; a playable character customization and creation mode; a level editor mode to rival Powered Up but on a console that millions more people actually played; the ability to play as other Capcom characters like Ryu and Arthur–or even more thrilling, the potential for non-Capcom licensed characters to get “MEGA-fied” (think Super Smash Bros or Super Mario Crossover). If Capcom had actually followed through with this concept, there is a good chance we could all be playing Mega Man 2 as Pac Man and Samus Aran with endless custom-made stages right now. Proving once again that we are not living in the best of all possible universes.

But this topic isn’t about any of that. Mega Man Universe had me excited about it for yet another reason: a potential new cast member who was perhaps long overdue.

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Fictional and Futuristic

In December of 2007 Capcom put out a duo of arranged soundtrack albums for Rockman’s 20th anniversary. The Techno Arrange album contained the following track, a remixed version of Elec Man’s theme featuring a female computerized voice delivering a speech on Rockman’s origin at around the 1:45 mark.

It is rather difficult to make out all the words spoken by the robotic voice in the track, so I’ve jotted them down here:

Rockman, came into existence due to the following timeline of events. In the fictional and futuristic year of the 200X master designer Dr. Thomas Light worked to create a humanoid robot. This robot would demonstrate an advanced artificial intelligence program that would allow it to make decisions based on vague commands and directions. He called the robot project “Robot Master”, because the resulting robot would be able to supervise the work of other, less intelligent machines.

One might notice some unusual inconsistencies in that speech for a product produced in and developed for the Japanese region, aside from the gratuitous use of the English language. For instance, the use of “Thomas Light” instead of “Right”, or the term “Robot Master” which is not used in Japan. Moveover, calling the character’s very history “fictional” seems like a strange choice. How did the artist come up with this script? Could it be the result of awkwardly running Japanese text through an online English translator, like Google Translate or (the now defunct) Babelfish?

As it turns out, it actually came from copying text almost verbatim from the “Fictional History” section of the Mega Man (character) page of Wikipedia, circa August 30, 2007. Strange, but then if they wanted something authentically recognizably English to say about Rockman as a sound clip, that wasn’t such a bad idea.

So, now you know.

Mighty Empowered

Finally a new post, but it isn’t Mega Man that’s dragging me out of my blogging funk.

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What month is it again?

Whoops, looks like I didn’t update in April. As I’m sure a lot of people have already noticed, it periodically happens where blogging about Mega Man temporarily loses its charm for me. I’m often amazed how dudes like David, Adam and Brian can do so with such regularity. I bet that there have got to be days where those guys wake up and say, “You know, I just don’t feel like writing anything about Mega Man today.” But then they put on their game faces and step up to their computers or tablets or smartphones or whatever and do it anyway. I don’t know what mixture of ardent love, optimism, obsession, and sheer willpower makes this possible, but I stand in awe of it.

When I’m not blogging (which is often) I am still occasionally playing Rockman Xover. Skip this paragraph if you care nothing or less than nothing for this game. I will even block it out so people won’t accidentally be forced to read it. So Xover has recently added a new feature called Irregular Burst which involves maxing out up to 5 of the same card and then fu-sion-haaa-ing them together to make new more powerful versions. So far they’ve said this will be essential to continue onward in fighting the new stage bosses. Yeah, okay, that’s fine, but I’m a little irked at how many duplicates of decent cards I’ve sold off because previously there was absolutely nothing useful to do with them. Right now the best strategy in the game is probably to hold on to mid-level 4 and 5 star cards which tend to show up with the most frequency and max them out for fusion rather than wait on trying to get 6 star cards which unless you have lotto winner luck or lots of real money to throw at a silly online card game you will probably never get duplicates of. Of course, this too may change, as clearly Xover has no problem shaking up the rules of strategy even as we’re already 6 months into the game. Speaking of 6 star cards, in all the time I have been playing I have never gotten one to drop randomly. Not from Gacha tickets, not from Team Battles, not from Master Bosses or even Arcade Man rewards. Never. The only Super Rare + cards I have are the ones that are guaranteed (500th Master Boss fight, Air Man level 8, Arena Battles, calendar giveaways). I am seriously due. D-REX, if you’re listening, I’ll gladly take that Glide Armor X off your hands. I could really use a decent Slow skill card.

Okay, with that out of my system… R20+5 has a new (and perhaps improved) English language name and release date so I do not intend to do much more with translating the Japanese version… save perhaps one or two exceptions. We’ll see if I can get my servbooty back in gear first.