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Part 1: True or False

Music: Theme of MegaMan Battle Network 3

Well, here we go again with another MegaMan Battle Network. If you enjoy this series, this game might seem a little bittersweet; in some ways, this marks the end of a certain era of the series with things afterwards changing forever.

You can dwell on what I mean by that as the game goes on. For now, let's dive in.

The game begins with the usual explanation of the year, though it seems the year is 200X. This is the year used in all games until Battle Network 6, which lists it as 20XX. Why the heck don't we have PETs in real life, then? I feel ripped off.

To preserve the futuristic nature of the series, I'm going to assume the game doesn't take place in 2009 - 2010 as this suggests, and that 20XX preserves the proper vagueness of when this takes place.

SciLab, as it turns out, now has a laboratory devoted to the study and handling of viruses, likely in response to the incidents with the Life Virus and Gospel.

And as it turns out, Lan's class has happened to come and visit on a field trip.

Music: Scientific Forefront

Lan is pretty excited about the new virus lab

while the blink animation MegaMan is already tired of his shenanigans.

After a bit of chiding from MegaMan, gameplay begins in earnest.

The menu is the same as ever, albeit with BugFrags now listed below Zenny instead of inside Key Items. This is because they're much easier to get in this game as opposed to being limited to a finite number.

Key Items now also display as pictures. We only have one at present, but it's a very good one to bring up.

The new Plug-In PET! Starting with Battle Network 3, Lan gets a new model of PET every game, making Battle Network 2 the odd game out. Star Force also keeps up this trend, though there Geo is getting a device with a new name every time (Transer, Star Carrier, Hunter-VG).

The Plug-In PET, named for the Japanese phrase Netto uses when sending Rockman into the Net ("Plug-In, RockMan.EXE, Transmission!"), is probably the most iconic one in the series. It was used in lieu of the original PET in the original season of the anime.

NetCrime is still going up despite the WWW and Gospel being dealt with. In all fairness to the setting, this series does take place over the span of a few years, so it's not wholly surprising that things don't instantly get better. Still a bit concerning, though.

Trying to leave the lab results in Lan getting chided by MegaMan, so instead it's time to talk to our classmates.

Most students have only tutorial factoids to share, but there are a few stray bits of dialogue.

Yai and Mayl are hanging out together, the former having a new mugshot for this game that makes everyone else's look notably archaic in comparison.

This NPC stuns me with this completely implausible fact considering that viruses are EVERYWHERE in these games, though maybe that's just for gameplay purposes.

This kid is impressed that Lan's father works in SciLab, which also makes me wonder how Lan's family isn't rich.

Dex, meanwhile, complains about the fact that their school trip is lamer than class 5-B's, who got to go to an umbrella factory.

Mind you, he's not saying this because he thinks an umbrella factory is more interesting than the Virus Lab, but because there's no way they can get away with sneaking off to Net Battle here.

Sekai ichi!

After speaking to everyone, Ms. Mari gathers everyone around for the usual tutorial.

Curiously enough, there is no Jack-In animation in the western version of the game. The original does indeed have one, though, which I believe was also used in the anime.

Well, here we go again.

Music: Shooting Enemy

The tutorial is exactly the same as Battle Network 2. However, there is one noticeable difference: MegaMan can charge his buster from the outset of the game!

This is because Power-Up programs have been omitted entirely. What replaces them? Look forward to it!

Unless what we learned was off-screen, I'm inclined to disagree.

Yai invites the usual group to a web-chat on her homepage tonight

and Ms. Mari scolds them for forgetting their manners just because they're on a field trip.

Back at school, where the music is still unchanged from BN1, Ms. Mari assigns everyone homework for the night. She singles out Lan and Dex in particular to remember to do the assignment.

Oh no, the Apollo Justice treatment!

After class, Yai encourages Lan to go to the park to meet up for their chat details. This might seem arbitrary, but this is a new game which means a reset of everything we did last time. As a result, all of Lan's friends have new Security Cubes, which can probably be explained as them changing up their passwords now and then in the name of virus security. So, in order to attend the chat, they're going to need Yai's new code.

Additionally, seeing as this is a new game, MegaMan no longer has his Style Changes. I guess they disappeared when Yuichiro returned Yumland's national treasure.

A kid at the front of class complains about SciLab not giving them any souvenirs like the umbrella factory offering free parasols.

There are a few details around that also help give a bit more character to Lan and his friends, in case this is your first game. Lan's desk is covered in nicks and full of eraser shavings, Mayl's desk is spotless, Dex's desk is covered in drawings of GutsMan, and Yai's desk is noted as being too big for her.

Well, uh... most of those are about character, at least.

Mr. Prog also exists within the blackboard, which no longer connects to a dungeon like in the first game.

In the hallway are a few calligraphy pin-ups from Lan's class. You can only examine the quartet's, though. Lan's is an 8/10, Mayl's a 7/10, Yai's a 10/10, and Dex's a 2/10.

I'm assuming these are meant to be kanji in the original translation.

This kid in the hallway tells us how he has a parasol he doesn't want from the field trip, noting that he already has a hat.

Seems wasteful!

Everyone's really talking about parasols today, huh?

5-B seems to be on cleaning duty.

Yep, that's a parasol alright.

We did not. At least, not intentionally. There is one thing I will be mentioning once we get to the main Net!

This girl, who I'm going to assume is the girl that's always outside of Mayl's house, seems a little jealous we're going to hang out tonight.

I assume this is why they're on cleaning duty. Animals.

Everyone seems unusually cautious compared to previous games, likely related to that email about NetCrime being on the rise.

I'm sure it's nothing, though.

Music: Home Town

Higsby's back in town for this game, though he's not open yet.

NumberMan isn't able to be fought in this game either.

NPC chatter is minutiae, but fun to see as always.

We also have the Mr. Progs in Lan's security doghouse. Apparently they usually play bird noises when on standby, but they had a little mishap with the postman the other day.

I also opt to visit Lan's mom earlier than the game encourages me to, hearing the usual indoors theme in the process.

She's also making a sponge cake for dessert.

There are a few other fun details around the house.

One of which includes Lan having action figures of MegaMan, one of which seems to be Heat Guts? I wonder who made that.

It's also noted that Lan's mother organized his bookcase and, while it's not commented on, the answers to Ms. Mari's tests aren't there anymore. That's a cute detail.

Alright alright.

You might notice the park has some different colors from the last game. That's because I'm playing Blue version. White version has the traditional colors and a few advantages in some chip stock, but Blue version has other differences that make it worth playing.

Everyone shows up to set up their date with Yai,

when suddenly this guy shows up with the creepiest introductory line ever.

Even Lan doesn't know what to make of that one.

Fortunately, the reason for his approach is nothing untoward.

Yai mistakes his reason for approaching them as an attempt to scout her for a television program, and the man has no idea what to make of that.

As it turns out, he's actually coming to invite Lan and his friends to the shonen tournament arc N1 Grand Prix, a tournament whose preliminaries will be held in the ACDC Square.

I believe ACDC Square is supposed to be separate from the Den Square in the last game. It'd make sense, at least, given that ACDC is a part of Den City.

The man drops this line before leaving. Everyone is excited about the N1, even Yai, and so they all head off to take part.

Dex even sends Lan an email mentioning he's started by the time that the latter gets home.

Music: Network is Spreading

Lan's homepage is a bit lacking compared to the last game and also has no Mr. Progs to speak to!

But it's not like we're here a lot.

Welcome to ACDC Area!

Unlike in the last two games, there is no area that correlates to the whole of Den City in this game and I believe that holds true for the rest of the series.

Nearby the entrance to Area 1 is a purple skull gate, which serves as the replacement for Gospel Security Cubes.

The Net, which already looked great in the last game, now has further color in order to help convey where things are. The main road, which leads to the Square, is colored yellow. The warp pads that lead to your friends' PCs also have several tiles around them in an eye-catching color. Yai's, as you might be able to see, has orange tiles.

Area 2 of the net seems to be based on the school section of ACDC Town, interestingly enough.

GutsMan is in Area 2, while Roll in Area 3. Area 3 correlates to the park, having both the squirrel and the elephant slide as landmarks.

An alternate section of Area 1 near the Square, where Dex's PC links to, has a Cyber Metroline. Including a Mr. Prog in a fancy hat!

We can't do anything with it now, though.

And so we reach the Square! I don't like it as much as the BN2 version, but it's still serviceable. It cuts down on a lot of the dead space in favor of making it more streamlined for the player, and I can accept that.

Your shopkeepers are to the top left, while everyone else is just an NPC that's wandering around.

Most NPCs are, predictably, talking about the N1 either due to being participants or wondering why there are so many people around the Square suddenly.

Mr. Prog also helpfully informs about the BBS, which is over on the green section to the top right of this image.

There's only two BBSes this time, though.


Chat Board

| Miki | N1Grand Prix!
| Hi! Miki here!
| The N1 Grand Prix has begun! Good luck to all the contestants!

| Gayan | RE:N1Grand Prix!
| Hey Miki!
| I'm entering N1! I'm not that good, but I'll give it my all!

| Crosser | Chip System
| Does everyone know about the Regualr Chip System?
| It's a system where BattleChips set as RegularChips
| become available on the Custom Screen during battle.
| To set a chip, move teh cursor to teh chip you want to
| make Regular on the Folder Edit Screen, then press Select!
| Be aware, however, that you only have a limited amount of
| Regular Memory. You can't set chips larger than your
| Memory, but if you get a "Regular Up" item, you can
| increase your Regular Memory. Having just one
| RegularChip can make a world of difference!

| Pon | SubMemory
| Howdy folks! My name's Pon! You all know about
| SubChips, right? Normally you can only carry 4 of each
| type, but "SubMem" items let you carry more!


Battle Board

| Cartan | Battle BBS!
| Hello, eveyone! My name's Cartan, and I oversee ACDC Square.
| I am pleased to announce we now have a Battle Board! No
| matter what your skill, feel free to post messages!

| Kitager | My favorite!
| Hi, I'm Kitager. Wow! A board for battle information! I'm not
| good at virus busting, but I'll try to contribute to it!
| I'll start off by telling you what my RegularChip is.
| Actually, I'm using an AirShot1. Its * code lets it join
| with other chips. It shoots through Canodumbs, allowing
| me to double delete them with a ShotGun of V-Gun!

A green Normal Navi who's with DNN says that everyone who talks to him is going to take part in the N1 Grand Prix, no matter how they feel about it. Despite this, we can still turn him down.

You can't progress the plot that way, though. Saying yes leads to a round of answering three True or False questions by picking up a symbol on the Net that's either an X (False) or O (True).

If you're in the appropriate area, Lan comments on the clue. If you're not, Lan mentions what area you need to go to.

During this time, I take the opportunity to collect Bug Frags. As opposed to the last game where they were BMD only, here you can get Bug Frags by deleting enemies mid-attack, with an opportunity for more Bug Frags the more enemies are deleted in a fight. One virus gives 1, two give 3, and three give 8. If you defeat a boss in this way, they give 10.

The next two questions are false (and in Area 2 and Area 1 respectively), leading to an easy preliminary.

I guess it's just meant to ensure that the people taking part in the tournament have basic intelligence? IDK.

With that done, our chat date is finally set and we have access to Yai's new security codes.