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Part 12: A Pound of Cure

Today's another one of those "filler" days, to a degree.

At least things pick up once we get past Tora's jobs.

So let's start with a bit of plot before that point! Lan gets an email from Dex, who wants to speak to him at ACDC Park.

MegaMan reminds Lan that Dex was acting strange the other day, so this seems to be a good chance to talk to him about whatever the problem is.

It seems like Tora and Haruka are back from wherever they went, too.

If you're impressed with that, wait until you hear the story of how he took down the Netmafia.

Lan confronts Dex about his strange behavior over the last few days. But before Dex can spit it out

Tora suddenly arrives.

Dex recognizes Tora from the N1 and then Tora challenges him to a battle.

GutsMan almost pulls through, but he's beaten at the last moment.

Tora and Dex decide to become friends afterwards, though, so it all works out.

Tora then heads over to SciLab for the deal he made earlier. As for Dex?

Spit it out, you!

Get back here!

Well, seeing as Dex isn't in a talkative mood, it looks like we have no choice but to go and do Tora's work.

Tamako has also opened a shortcut to Beach Square on her homepage, as I suspected would be the case. Sadly, no one will ever open a shortcut to Under Square!

I'm gonna summarize this really quick, since the quests are largely uninteresting:

- Lan goes to do work for someone.
- They have Lan take care of the business.
- Lan tells them to pay Tora.
- They decide not to have Lan work for free.
- Lan gets some kind of reward.

Lan also gets this little number from these quests, allowing him to access the Undernet.

As previously mentioned, the Beach Area connects to an isolated path in the Hades Isle computer, for some reason, which then leads to the Undernet.

Go back to Reddit, MegaMan.

Sadly, the Under Square is blocked off before the scenario where it's relevant in this game.

Undernet 3 has some interesting spots, though.

Anyway, here's the payoff for our work: finding out that Chaud practices Net Battling ten hours a day.

Lan is blown away by this information, but I'm underwhelmed. Wow, Chaud practices rather than coasting on skill. How amazing?

Tora mentions that he thinks Lan is a genius, but plays off the comment when Lan is confused by it.

He also gives Lan a new folder, mentioning that he'll be hanging around the TV station for a while if Lan wants to catch up with him.

And so ends the day. See? Filler.

The next day opens with Lan oversleeping.

Man, that happens a lot this game, huh?

At any rate, it does seem that we get confirmation that Haruka does indeed wake up Lan in the morning.

It just doesn't really stick.

Must be the result of some of those Bubble Wash shenanigans, no doubt.

Even other teachers are getting frustrated with Lan.

If you're so inclined, you can check out 5-B. Apparently, their teacher is always late in addition to always scheduling lame field trips.

Good thing we have Ms. Mari.

Seems like most of what's going on is normal. Yai is even back!

But it seems like Dex is running behind.

Ms. Mari arrives shortly afterwards and class goes on.

It soon becomes apparent that Dex is more than a little late, so Lan speaks up, asking Ms. Mari if she knows about what's going on. There's a bit of hesitation on her part, but eventually Ms. Mari comes clean.


Lan is not impressed with Dex's attempt at being macho and races out of the classroom.

The background music actually stops at this point, and you're unable to go back into the classroom.

The sad theme begins playing at this point, but there is a significantly better point of the game to play this in.

Lan calls Dex a knucklehead and wonders if he'll ever see him again.

So naturally, Dex suddenly exits his house because dramatic irony.

I kind of get it, but it's still a bit rude. Lan seems a bit miffed about it, but calms down after the explanation.

And then

the whole class shows up!

At this point, the hero theme begins playing. Still not going to link it now, though.

Ms. Mari starts to tear up seeing Dex off, requiring Yai to soothe her.

One thing I really like about Ms. Mari is how she genuinely cares about all of her students, even though Lan and Dex seem to cause her no small amount of irritation.

The rest of the class gives likewise fond farewells to Dex.

That'd be cool if true, but I recommend staying the hell away from Ms. Millions.

Trust me on this one.

And with that, Dex takes off after promising to see Lan at the next N1 finals.

There's a moment of silence as everyone takes in the fact that he's gone.

But Lan manages to bounce back before long.

Time skip!

After class, Lan and MegaMan have no idea what to do with their day now that Dex isn't around to get up to Scooby Doo shenanigans with them.

They suddenly get an email, wondering if it's from the man in question, but it's from Mamoru instead.

Recalling that he did indeed promise to visit him, Lan opts to go to Beach Street to hang out.

Haruka's back to her lonesome now that Tora's taken off.

Most everyone is talking about Dex.

Yai provides the best dialogue for this segment.

There's also this guy who tells you about the rare IceBall M chip that comes from ColdHeads which a Navi in Beach Square can tell you more about.

I suddenly feel the urge to press charges against this game for aggravated assault. I don't think my head can take much more of these beatings.

That's probably because it only is ever used in Battle Network 2.

SciLab and Yoka have no updated dialogue, sadly, so let's skip to Beach Street.

Well, there's the imminent Armageddon that Wily intends to unleash and the continued attacks by his operatives.

Including this recent state of affairs.

But aside from that, yes, everything is quite lovely.

NPCs are either getting better at CinemaSins or worse at not spoiling upcoming arcs.

Then again, this one is almost painfully obvious.

More importantly, KingMan Alpha is now available for battle.

Mamoru's on the beach again, same as the first time we met him.

But first, more blunt force trauma to my head.

Alright, now let's visit him.

Mamoru seems to be in good spirits, looking out at the horizon from his spot on the beach.

And then the conversation takes a turn.

Mamoru mentions that he's never been to school or had any friends as a result of his ailment, though the ocean helps him forget about his troubles for a while.

That's... pretty heavy, Battle Network.


Actually, you already have one, Lan. It's in your pack right now.

Maybe he's just playing coy to build up Mamoru's excitement.


Uh oh.

MegaMan takes control of the situation immediately and helps Mamoru ease his symptoms a bit.

As it turns out, he's rather intimately acquainted with Mamoru's ailment.

I'm going to assume that he studied up on it, though, and not that he remembers dying not long after he was born. Because that's pretty freaking dark, man.

The nearby old woman throws out her back trying to help Mamoru. I hope Lan remembers to call a doctor for her, too.

The receptionist panics upon hearing about what has happened to Mamoru, so Lan has to fetch the doctor.

Couldn't she have paged the doctor? I mean, I know she's panicking, but I imagine she'd have realized it before Lan got into the elevator.

Lan heads back to the beach to help calm Mamoru. Fortunately, the doctor shows up before long.

Mamoru and the two depart for the moment, leaving Lan alone on the beach.

Eventually, a nurse approaches Lan to talk about Mamoru's condition.

Turns out things are pretty serious.

Not helped by this little wrinkle.

The nurse says that there's a new treatment that is likely to succeed at alleviating the symptoms of HBD, but Mamoru needs to have the faith to go through with it.

I'm sure you can see where this is going, so I'm not going to show the textboxes that spell it out.

Poor old lady.

Or paged him. That's a thing you should've done.

Lan decides to check up on Mamoru again.

This conversation feels rather realistically awkward. What do you even say in this situation?

Lan opts to go for the direct approach.

Mamoru responds as you might expect, so Lan brings up the new kind of surgery.

Lan gets a little heated momentarily, and says that he won't let Mamoru give up on his life. He then calms down and decides to speak a bit more candidly.

There are moments where this series attempts drama. I can't say there are any I would single out as bad, off the top of my head, but there are some instances where it's like "Okay, this is a video game plot."

This whole segment here feels a lot more emotionally written than any other part of the series that I can recall, though.

I have to wonder if one of the writers was penning from personal experience here.

Incidentally, we never find out what HBD stands for. I assume it's Heart Beat Disorder or something along those lines.

Normally I hate fetch quests, but the emotional payoff for this one is well worth it.

Mamoru is very happy to have received the chip from Lan, and assures him that he'll fight his illness with everything he has.

With that done, Lan and MegaMan decide to head home for the day.

We already did that, Haruka. Try and keep up.