Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ben's Gaming Memories - Mega Man Legends

Man, Mega Man Legends. When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of Mega Man, and I always wondered what it would be like in 3D. What it would be like if I could explore that world, and truly feel like I was "Mega Man" for once. Well, really I didn't think it would happen; that is until I saw that TV commercial.

The first time I laid eyes on Mega Man Legends was actually when I was watching Pokemon. Just like I always did on Saturday, I woke up early, rushed to the TV, watched just about every show on Kids WB, and then got excited as I heard the Pokemon theme play, and the new episode. Of course, the newest episode didn't just play, there were always commercials. You had to wait after the theme song, one during the middle of the episode (during "Who's that Pokemon?"), and finally once at the end before the "Poke Rap" or whatever else they decided to show at the very end. I can't remember what part of the episode it played in, but there it was, a commercial with Mega Man running around in a 3D world, shooting things. The advertisement wasn't very long, and basically said something like "The Blue Bomber now in 3D" (don't quote me on that one), but it looked amazing. I don't remember how long it was after that, but soon, the game was up for rental at my local movie rental place "Broadway," and the next thing I knew I was home playing it.

Now the first time I played Legends, I actually had a hard time with it. For one, I didn't have a memory card, and because of that I didn't know you could save. I would turn the game on, see as far as I could get before having to shut it off, and that was that. Since I couldn't play the thing non stop, or leave the game running, during that rental period I must have restarted it at least a dozen times. Each time I did get farther, but often I found myself just having fun running around the town, and getting hit by cars. It sounds funny to say now, but I used to think that game was amazing just because you could get hit by cars, and kick vending machines to get free soda. The whole thing just seemed so realistic to me, and I loved it; the only thing I didn't like was the controls.

Although now days I know you can change them, back then I thought I HAD to use the L and R buttons to turn Mega Man, and that bugged me. I had a hard time getting used to it, and the boss battles were a challenge for me as well; it also didn't help considering if I died I had to restart the whole thing over again. The controls were something I just flat out dreaded, and it wasn't until I rented the N64 version of the game years later that I realized you could change them. Still, it didn't stop me from playing that game over and over again. Just about every time I got to rent a game, Mega Man Legends was the one I wanted. My mom or dad would take me to Broadway, I'd pick it out, and then I'd read the instruction book which came with it until I got home. Sometimes that was only a few minutes later, but other times we'd have to go somewhere first (I still remember sitting there by a window reading the manual as my dad got his hair cut). Sadly over time that rental disc did get damaged, but by then it really didn't matter.

After the PS1 version was busted, I moved onto the N64 version, and then a few years later I finally got the PS1 version for myself. Found it for sale at Toys R Us, went to a fish restaurant (Captain D's) for supper, and then when I got home I spent most of the night playing it. I got pretty far, but I ended up getting stuck on one of the side quests; so the next day I went over to my grandpa's house to look at my favorite Mega Man fan site for help, but once I got there he had other plans. Although I did find the answer I was looking for, me and my mom also had to go shopping with him all day, for whatever reason. Didn't get to play Legends much that day, but over the next year or so, I played it so much I mastered it. Actually got to the point where I could speed run the game on hard mode in less than an hour, and I had memorized just about every inch of the game. It's a game I still know by heart even today, and I still run through every once and awhile (heck, I even imported the Japanese PSP versions of both 1 and 2). What came next however, wasn't that fun...

Legends 2 was out, but it was nowhere to be found. It was listed for $999.99 on Capcom's official site (before it became Capcom-Unity), Ebay wanted a high amount for it, used game stores didn't have it, and al major stores didn't have it either. It was a game that was nearly impossible to be found, and it wasn't after a year or two of searching that I actually found it at an EB games along side Mega Man Chip Challenge. My parents bought me both games as an Easter gift, but I did receive Legends 2 that night simply because of how long I had been waiting for it. Then, the pattern repeated itself. I was hooked on that game, played it for hundreds of hours, and over and over again. In a lot of ways I liked it better than Legends 1, but when I saw the ending, I was pretty upset. To be continued... It wouldn't be until 7 years later when we finally heard from the series again (outside of Namco X Capcom, and Tatsunoko vs Capcom that is).

When the Legends 3 project was announced, I was in my first year of college, and I was deeply involved with the Devroom. During my breaks at school I would log into Capcom-Unity, post on the forums, send feedback, and take place in the Legends 3 events; I was just so happy that they were finally continuing the series, and I wanted to be there every step of the way. I met a lot of people because of that, became much more active on Capcom-Unity (which is where NGR officially started), and I had a lot of fun. During the contest where we got to design a boss, mine, the "Mecha Duck" (which can still be seen in the Devroom forums) actually made it to Capcom's desk! Sadly, I didn't win, but I still had fun, and felt honored to make it that far in the contest. Sadly, even if I would have won, it doesn't matter... After all that time spent on it, the Legends 3 project was cancelled, and once again the series was left unfinished. Not too long after, Capcom also began their journey down hill, and they have been struggling ever since.

Even though the Legends 3 cancellation was a big let down, I still have fond memories of the Legends series. While it may not be my favorite Mega Man series in the long run, it is a game I still really enjoy even to this day, and it brought a lot of good memories along with it. To think, one of the main reasons I wanted it so badly was because I saw it while watching Pokemon... Pretty crazy when you think about it.