Returning to MegaMan Legends 12 Years Later feels like I Never Left Kattelox

There's no hiding the fact that MegaMan is one of my all time favorite series. I've been playing these games since I was roughly four years old, and a lot of things happened to me in my life thanks to this series! It's kinda crazy to think about how I wouldn't even be who I am today if it weren't for MegaMan. So needless to say, these are games I constantly return to, and I've beaten (most of) them more times than I can count. And MegaMan Legends is no exception! Although my history with it is a bit more complicated...

The first time I heard of Legends was on a TV commercial where it basically hyped up the fact that the series had finally entered the world of 3D. Of course that got me excited, and I couldn’t wait to be able to play it for myself! I didn’t expect that to be anytime soon though (considering I was a kid), but I knew one day I’d eventually get my hands on a copy. Surprisingly it happened sooner than I though, but I had a few problems I had to overcome…

We managed to find the game up for rental at our local movie place, but the store only allowed rental for three days (including the day you got it and dropped it off). So I only had  some of Friday to play it, whatever time on Saturday I was home, and it then had to go back on Sunday. It wasn’t a lot of time to try to beat it (although it can be beaten in two hours easily), and my second major issue prevented me from doing so. I didn’t have a memory card! My progress wasn’t saved, and if I died I had to restart the entire thing. And believe me, I died a lot!

The controllers were so hard for me. Following in Resident Evil’s footsteps; the game features tank controls where you had to use L/R to then, and pressing left and right made you side step.  This was so hard for kid me to get used to. Second of all, I hadn’t really played games with RPG mechanics before, so upgrading my weapons and what not was beyond my understanding of what I needed to do to win. So the first boss fights destroyed me, and I didn’t make it very far. Eventually I had to return the game, and the next handful of times I rented it, things weren’t any better. I failed time and time again, and assumed I would never beat it. Heck I still remember sitting there in the barber shop reading the manual as I got myself excited to give the game another to! But when I got home I just died over and over again. Oh fun times.

It wasn’t until a few years later that things changed for me. I decided to rent MegaMan 64 from the same place, and when I started it up I was completely surprised! It was MegaMan Legends! Except the controls were different! Pushing left made you turn left, and Z and R were used for side stepping! It made things so much easier for me! Of course this control option was in the PS1 original as well, but little me didn’t figure this out. Anyway, the save file 64 came with had already 100%ed the game, but I didn’t care. It let me see the final boss right from the get go (it's where the save file started at), and it then let me go explore all the areas of the game I myself was never able to make it to! I used this chance (again, only had it for three days) to learn as much about the game as possible, and just enjoy exploring the world. Better controls, finally the ability to save, it was all just perfect! Sure the 64 version does have some draw backs as well, but back then, it wasn't a big deal at all. Eventually I had to return the game though, and that was actually the last time I rented it.

I didn't see Legends again for quite some time after that. This is when I got more into other MegaMan games, so Legends really was the least on my mind. Heck I even passed up a copy of Tron Bonne (which is insanely rare) because I was more interested in MegaMan X4 (which I also ended up not getting at the time). So I kinda drifted away from the Legends side of things, and didn't get back into it until one random day we were at Toys R Us.

We went to Toys R Us just to look around -- not expecting to get anything, but surprisingly Legends was on sale in the old PS1 game bin and my mom agreed to buy it for me! Not sure why she agreed (maybe because it was so cheap), but I still remember how excited I was to finally own it! Heck all I could think about on our way home (and as we stopped to eat) was playing the game again. At this point I had a memory card, so for the first time I was going to be able to go through the game myself. I believe I was around 12 years old then.

Playing through Legends from start to finish was amazing. Sure, I knew quite a bit about this world now, but there were still a lot of surprises along the way. I didn't know about the later boss fights, nor did I fully know the layout of the ruins, so it still felt like playing a new game to me. The side quests were something new to me also, so I remember going to my grandpa's house to check out MMHP.net to see what I was missing out on! Man, those were some fun times... Except for that one weekend when I simply wanted to look up something that would take five minutes, and my grandpa instead had plans for us to go with him to Lowe's. It was an hour and a half drive to the store, we spent a few hours there, he took us to some other stores along the way, and then we had the hour and a half drive back. My five minute visit to use his PC turned into a 12 hour ordeal, and I didn't get to play much Legends that day... Oh well, it's still a good memory.

By the time I beat Legends, I wasn't ready to say goodbye to it. Instead I started new game after new game on hard mode! I eventually memorized every step along the way. I no longer needed a memory card, as I could simply start it up and finish it in an hour or two (with cutscene skipping). This is how I unlocked easy mode with the Max Buster upgrade part, and how I had my dad play through the game as well! Looking back, it's the only game he's actually beaten on his own (outside of multiplayer games with me).

As the years went on, my love for the game didn't die. I kept going back to it off and on, and would even play it more than Legends 2 (which was a PAIN to find a copy of). Eventually I'd move onto other games, but Legends would always be special to me. The last time I actually played it was when I bought the Rockman DASH 1+2 collection for the PSP. It didn't matter I didn't know Japanese -- I had completely memorized these games! I personally really loved seeing the differences between the English and Japanese release, and the wide screen mode was a nice touch as well. Hearing MegaMan be called Rock also made a lot more sense with the story, and I still question why they didn't keep this for the translation. Anyway, I loved this version (even with the weird controls due to no L2/R2), and it's the final version I kept coming back to. Then the whole Devroom thing happened with Legends 3, and it kinda killed my interest in continue replaying when there was no longer hope for a sequel.

That brings us to today! It's been all this time later, and I decided to jump back into the series with my wife. She has watched me go through the Battle Network games, and with Legends being so short, I figured I'd be perfect to quickly run through... And guess what? It's like I never left!

Although I don't have it 100% memorized anymore (in the past you could've told me step by step directions of where you turned/what doors you opened/etc and off of memory I could tell you exactly where you were, AND the name of the item found in the hole in the wall), but I for sure remember most of it. It took me roughly 5 hours to get through the game without skipping cutscenes and doing all of the side quests -- which really wasn't too bad! I made a few dumb mistakes along the way, and kicked the can one too many times to cross over into Dark MegaMan territory, but it all worked out in the end. It really is such a unique and fun little adventure game, and I still hope that someday it will return. Even if it's just as a collection -- I'd be sure to buy that day one.

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